McCracken County High School senior Carlie England’s different experiences with orthodontic issues — starting around the sixth grade — inspired her to become an orthodontist one day.
“I want to be able to help other people who have the same issues, because my smile was such a big thing for me,” England said.
England, 17, shared that math and science are her strongest subjects and she’s always wanted to be doctor, but she decided on a career plan around eighth grade or freshman year. She wore braces for years and described it as “pretty difficult,” but she also found it interesting going to the orthodontist.
“I liked to listen to what he’s telling me, like what he was doing,” England said.
“He’s worked really good with me about explaining every step because he knew that was something I wanted to do, so he really made sure that he was telling me everything that he was doing, so that I could get like an inside look.”
England plans to attend Murray State University and study biology on a pre-dental track, before going on to dental school and an orthodontics residency. She looks to minor in business administration and chemistry, noting that learning about business could help with opening a practice one day.
England, daughter of Corey England and Mikki Durst, of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles on area high school seniors who were 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, England has earned a weighted cumulative GPA above 4.24. She’s also an AP Scholar with Distinction and attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program this past summer at Centre College in Danville.
She participates in a number of school clubs and activities, including the McCracken County co-ed cheer team, Beta Club, National Honor Society, HOSA (Future Health Professionals), student government, Future Business Leaders of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and environmental club. In the community, England took part in the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Youth LEAD program.
As part of the co-ed cheer team, she has won two state championships and Universal Cheerleaders Association titles for medium co-ed in 2019 and for large co-ed (virtual) in 2021.
She enjoys the team’s camaraderie and figuring out the challenges each season with the cheer team, but a top challenge for England has been injuries. She’s had setbacks each year of her high school cheer career, including a meniscus injury as a freshman.
England said she had scar tissue removed from her knee and hasn’t been competing this season. She was in Florida this past weekend to help support her fellow teammates, as they competed for another national championship.
“It’s definitely hard, but ... our team really is a family and that makes it so much easier to keep going,” England said, on the injury setbacks.
“They’re always there for me and they understand that I’m not giving up on them. They understand that there’s been problems and they just support me in everything.”
As for senior year, England shares that her main goal is “finishing out the year strong” at McCracken County and she wants to achieve valedictorian status. She also plans to work on applying for different scholarships, and expressed excitement for going off to college at Murray State.
By: Kelly Farrell