Butler soars 'Miles' over Teen field
"I'm extremely honored to be recognized in this outstanding group," he said. "Mostly I'm just surprised, I knew I worked hard and am well-rounded but there were so many impressive students from schools across the region."
The Teen of the Week program highlights high school seniors whom guidance counselors nominate based on their excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and community service. Top teens are recognized once a week throughout the school year. The Teen of the Year who is selected from the weekly winners is eligible for a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun.
In its seventh year, the Sun received 124 total applications and 31 students from 14 schools were selected as Teen of the Week, according to Sun general manager Gary Adkisson. He said the key traits of leadership, service, commitment to sports and extracurricular activities as well as success in the classroom were aspects seen in all the chosen students and embodied in Butler.
He illustrated an ability to balance many time commitments with a full plate of athletics, extracurricular clubs and community service while maintaining far above a 4.0-grade-point-average.
"Miles has done a lot and worked hard to balance sports with everything else ... he has enjoyed running from event to event," his father, Danny Butler, said.
As the kicker for the football team, Butler recorded the most points in Tilghman history and the longest field goal at 44 yards. He connected on a 40-yard field goal that was the go-ahead score to lead Tilghman to victory over South Warren 8-7 in this year's regional championship. He also served as pitcher and utility player on the baseball team and a varsity starter on the soccer team.
Butler was named to the first-team all-state athletic academic team for three consecutive years and nominated for the all-state football team. Butler received the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association's Male Athlete of the Year Award earlier this month.
His achievements extend past the athletics field, as co-founder and president of the Interact Club, a service-driven organization modeled after the Rotary Club. Butler has also been a member of the mock trial team, academic team, Future Business Leaders of America, chemistry team and sports editor for the school newspaper, The Tilghman Bell.
"He is very deserving and we are proud that he has committed to being a leader and giving back to his community," his mother, Lori Butler, said.
Butler will attend the University of Kentucky in Lexington and be a kicker on the Wildcat football team. He plans to double major in economics and finance and then attend law school.
Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.