McCracken County High School senior Avery Miller “always knew” he wanted to be an engineer, but wasn’t always sure what sector he wanted to go into.
About two years ago, Miller started looking into it and the petroleum engineering field “stood out” to him above all the others. The profession involves travel, geology and math, and this appealed to him.
“With petroleum engineering right now, the big issue is — of course, running out of oil. The oil reserves are drying up,” he said. “So, a lot of that, I’ll be involved in finding new solutions for the oil, locating it, new systems to refine it and transport it, and to make it safer for the environment.”
The 17-year-old student plans to attend Texas A&M University and study petroleum engineering. He’s also considering a double major in finance, noting he hopes to own his own business one day.
“The program down there is one of the best in the country and, with A&M, the scholarships I would receive were better than other places,” he said. “I’m also heavily involved in band and their marching band is very good down there, so the extracurriculars definitely appealed to me, as well as the academics.”
Miller, son of Gena and Kyle Miller of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes an article on a high school senior who was chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Miller has earned a 4.241 weighted cumulative GPA, which puts him on track for valedictorian status.
He’s also an AP Scholar with Distinction. Miller is active in several school-related activities and clubs, including National Honor Society, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, wind ensemble and marching band.
Miller plays the euphonium for the band and started playing in middle school. He’s been part of the All-District Band, and was part of the Kentucky All-State Band as a junior. He’s seeking a return to it this year.
“Playing my instrument is kind of an outlet for me during the school day — something I really enjoy, making music with other people, and it’s just kind of a nice break,” he said.
Miller is also part of the school’s trap shooting team and has placed in different competitions. He picked up trap shooting back in the eighth grade, starting with the high school team.
“I grew through high school and started to shoot what’s called the Amateur Trapshooting Association — ATA. So, basically if you’re not an Olympian, you shoot ATA,” Miller said.
He describes trap shooting as “another outlet,” adding he’s always loved the outdoors and hunting. He enjoys the people and traveling with the team.
Miller is staying busy for senior year, which includes leadership roles for different school clubs and auditioning for Kentucky All-State Band. There are also some honor bands he wants to make this year. He’s “super excited” about graduation.
“I’m ready to see new places, new opportunities, and definitely grow through that,” he said.
By: Kelly Farrell