McCracken County High School senior Ava Chuppe loves reading and writing, so it’s a natural fit that she aims to teach English Literature, in hopes of sparking that same passion in others.
Chuppe, 17, remembers typing out different stories on the computer at the young age of about six or seven.
At first, she liked to mimic what she read, as she once wrote a story about a magic school after reading the Harry Potter books.
However, she later developed her own style.
In fact, she recently won the age 15-18 category for R.L. Stine’s “#MyScariestMonster” international writing contest with “The Visitor.” The famed “Goosebumps” author praised it as, “Well told. Very efficient story-telling with good style … it’s a perfect little story,” according to www.childfund.org.
“I was very excited to find out that I won because it was Halloween and it seemed like sort of a bummer because we were stuck inside, but that made my day,” Chuppe said. “It was the best Halloween I’ve ever had.”
She makes an effort to try and write something everyday, even if it’s only a few sentences. And, of course, Chuppe is “very interested” in literature. She wants to earn a Ph.D. in English Literature and become a college professor one day.
“I think a lot of people see it as an escape to another world, but personally I think it’s more of a way of understanding the real world that’s all around us,” she said, on reading.
“I think ... it helps us see the world through the eyes of others. We get to experience different locations, cultures and time periods and I believe it nurtures our tendency to sympathize with one another and that makes the world a better place.”
Chuppe, daughter of Jason and Amber Chuppe of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors selected from a pool of nominations for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a committee names one of these students as Teen of the Year. It comes with a $5,000 scholarship. A second student is chosen for the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Chuppe has earned a 4.272 weighted cumulative GPA and received a composite 33 ACT score.
She’s an AP Scholar with Distinction and took part in the Governor’s School for the Arts for creative writing. She was selected for the Governor’s Scholars Program, and holds leadership roles within several school organizations.
Chuppe is editor-in-chief for The Mustang Messenger newspaper, and serves as captain for the speech and debate team. She’s president of the National English Honor Society and Y-Club, in addition to being part of the academic team, the Mane Attraction a cappella group, National Honor Society and Beta Club, among others. She’s been part of the All-State Choir.
In summer 2019, Chuppe had a paid internship with The Murray State News.
It exposed her to an aspect of journalism and writing in general that she hadn’t experienced, while she feels that her time with the high school paper helped her learn the “human element” of writing.
“When you’re writing for a school newspaper, it comes out each month,” she said. “When I wrote for The Murray State News I had to adapt to what was happening each and every day as new information came in, and so I think that gave me a taste of the real journalism world, which was interesting.”
Chuppe also plays the mandolin and is a company dancer with the Beverly Rogers Academy of Dance. She has participated in dance competitions too.
As for senior year, it’s been different due to COVID-19. She’s been virtual the whole year, which she thinks has allowed her to focus on school work more and to do it at her own pace.
“I wouldn’t say that I have ‘senioritis’ because, since the situation is so strange right now, I haven’t actually processed the fact that I am a senior,” she said. “But, the idea of college is still very exciting and I’m looking forward to that experience.”
Chuppe has applied to several colleges, including Murray State University, University of Kentucky, Transylvania University and Northern Kentucky University, but feels that she may ultimately attend Murray State.
By: Kelly Farrell