Andrew Katz loves sports, enjoys writing and feels passionate about journalism. It shows in his work and preparation.
The 17-year-old Paducah Tilghman High School senior picked up an application for "The Tilghman Bell" before his junior year and quickly became sports editor by second semester. He was named editor-in-chief for the following year and now serves in that capacity, writing a little bit of everything.
"I really fell in love with it last year and realized that it was just really fun to interview people," he said. "It was fun to report on news and review different movies, albums and share my opinion of the facts."
Katz is interested in other media platforms to express himself, such as podcasts, and hopes to one day work for media outlets like ESPN, The Ringer and Fox Sports, or any outlet with creative content that covers sports in "unique and fun ways."
Katz, son of Mary and Brian Katz of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors chosen from a pool of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Near the end of the school year, a selection committee will pick one of these students as Teen of the Year, who will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Another student is selected for the Inspiration Award, which carries a $1,000 scholarship.
Katz's academic achievement puts him among the top of the senior class at Tilghman. He ranks fifth with a cumulative weighted GPA above 4.3. He is an AP Scholar with Honors and earned a 34 ACT score.
Aside from The Bell, Katz participates in a variety of other school organizations and clubs. He serves as co-captain of the Mock Trial team, co-captain in varsity tennis, treasurer of Rotary Interact Club and is part of National Honor Society, Beta Club and Pep Club. Outside of school, Katz is a Paducah Human Rights Commission intern and took part in the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce's Youth LEAD program.
He was also accepted into the Governor's Scholars program, but ultimately decided to attend Medill-Northwestern University Journalism Institute this past summer. It continued a trend for Katz, as he attended The School of the New York Times Summer Academy in 2017 and 2018 for sports related topics.
"I had the greatest time at that (Northwestern) program, and I knew I wanted to advance my journalism skills because I knew I was going to be the editor for this upcoming year, and it's helped me improve The Bell," he said. "It was just an incredible experience."
Katz said writing journalistically is different than writing for an English class or a paper. He learned a lot about Associated Press style, design, taking pictures in the "right way" and how to improve feature and editorial writing. He was around other aspiring journalists in high school and "obviously great" instructors.
He's interested in several schools, such as Northwestern and the University of North Carolina. He's doing early decision with Northwestern and plans to major in journalism if he attends a school with a strong program.
When he's not in school or otherwise busy, Katz enjoys weightlifting and hanging out with his friends. He loves and looks up to his two older sisters, Elizabeth and Sarah Katz, who both went to New York for college. Elizabeth graduated with a film degree and works in New York, while Sarah is studying acting and musical theater.
"I look at them both as role models because they're both really, really great people," he said.
Senior year can be an exciting, yet challenging, time for many teenagers, and Katz is no exception. He's busy with AP classes, like many of his fellow students, while filling out college applications and keeping up with extracurricular activities.
Katz describes this year as being a little overwhelming and tough, but fun.
"I am excited to move on and go to college, but I wouldn't say that I'm waiting for the day I graduate," he said. "I'm just taking it day by day. Senior year has been ups and downs like most school years, but it's been great because I have a great group of friends and I have enjoyed most of my senior year so far."