Paducah Tilghman High School senior Ben LeBuhn is a young man with lots of interests. You can catch him out fishing in the summer, duck hunting in the winter, playing sports for the Blue Tornado and taking music lessons for the mandolin, when he’s not busy with school work.
“Fishing and hunting are, by far, the No. 1 thing I do in my free time,” he said. “Pretty much all summer and any time it’s nice out — and I’ve got a break — I either want to go fishing or go hunting. In the winter, I spend a lot of my time duck hunting. In the other months, I spend a lot of my time fishing. I fish all over.”
That’s why it’s not too surprising to learn that environmental science is among the subjects LeBuhn is considering to study in college. Last summer, he volunteered some time with the Hancock Biological Station in Calloway County, and he got to see electrofishing used to collect data about fish.
“I did one cruise where we collected some data about just the lake itself, and that’s like a part of a research program they have there,” he said. “I was then put in touch with an ichthyologist, who does some electrofishing on the lake. We went out probably three or four times at night. ... We’d leave the dock at like 8 or 9 at night, come back at like 12:30.”
LeBuhn, 18, said he’s undecided about his future college and career plans, but he’s narrowed it down to three possible areas: history, political science and environmental science, and he’s applied to many universities.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning about American history, especially, just all the different events that have kind of led us to where we are now,” he said.
“I find that pretty interesting, and just looking at how everything kind of ties in with itself, and the world as we know it today. I enjoy learning about geography, which ties into history in a few ways.”
Meanwhile, LeBuhn thinks political science would be helpful in day to day life, such as understanding the “deeper meaning” behind what bills are passed and how the country is run and why it’s run in a certain way.
“I think it helps you become a better citizen to have a true understanding of how your political system works,” he added. “And then, environmental science, because for as long as I can remember — my whole life — I’ve spent it outdoors, hunting, fishing, just running around in the woods.”
LeBuhn, son of Carl and Polly LeBuhn of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Tuesday, The Sun will publish profile stories on area high school seniors chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a committee will name one of these students as Paducah Bank Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At Paducah Tilghman, LeBuhn has earned a 4.27 weighted cumulative grade-point average. He’s an AP Scholar with Honor and received a composite 32 ACT score.
LeBuhn has played on the varsity football team throughout high school, after overcoming an ACL injury during a scrimmage as a freshman. He’s played in different positions, such as left tackle, center and long snapper.
He’s also a member of the varsity tennis and golf teams. Outside of athletics, LeBuhn takes part in the school’s concert, pep and jazz bands as an alto saxophonist. He’s on the varsity academic team and mock trial team, among other activities. LeBuhn is a member of the National Honor Society, as well.
Team camaraderie is one of LeBuhn’s favorite aspects of playing sports, as players can get to know a lot of people. He noted that he’s played with many of his teammates since elementary school.
”Playing football, tennis, and doing sports is definitely for the friendship, just as much as the competition, as I’ve made a lot of friends and lasting relationships through those sports,” he said.
LeBuhn will miss sports after high school, but he’s interested in perhaps playing intramural or club sports in college. While he doesn’t know yet about where he’s going, LeBuhn said he’s excited about going off to college.
His senior year has been “tough,” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but LeBuhn shared that he’s gotten to enjoy it too. He still was able to participate in different extracurricular activities, including football and the academic team.
“It’s been definitely weird, and difficult, with respect to COVID, but still fun and enjoyable,” he said. “I’m, in a way, kind of sad. I’m going to miss going to Tilghman for sure, and I’m going to miss high school, but ... I enjoyed it.”
By: Kelly Farrell