Gordon looking at engineering fieldPublished 6:01am Saturday, October 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
Anyone who has observed Russelllville senior Katelynn Gordon over the past three and a half years of her high school career could probably tell the words “ambitious” and “motivated” are appropriate words to describe her.
This 17-year-old has made it a point to do it all during her high school days all while keeping her focus clearly on her bright future.
Gordon spends most of her time with the RHS Marching Hundred, something she’s been part of since middle school.
She currently serves as majorette captain, but she’s also been part of the dance line, a flute and piccolo player for concert band and a keyboard player for jazz band.
“The Marching Hundred has been a major part of my life during high school,” Gordon said. “Some of my very best high school memories are those I’ve made at football games, competitions, practices or at some other band function.
“I’ll miss seeing my friends every day and I’ll miss the teachers, but the Marching Hundred will definitely be the thing I miss the most when I graduate.”
In addition to the Marching Hundred, Gordon has also been president of the National Honor Society, president of Christian Students United, vice-president of Key Club, committee chair of Mu Alpha Theta, a junior and senior editor for Annual Staff and a member of Chemistry Club, Spanish Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
“I think it’s good to get involved in different clubs and organizations because it not only helps you prepare for college but it allows you to stay focused on positive ways to spend your time, make new friends and keep up with what is going on around you,” she said.
Gordon is also involved in community service through her church, First United Methodist of Russellville, where she is the president of the Youth Council and an active member of the youth group, and her participation in Franklin County Junior Leadership.
“Junior Leadership is a great opportunity for local students to become more informed about our community and find ways to give back to our community since our community has given so much to us,” she said.
“It was also an opportunity for me to make friends from across the county that I might not have made otherwise. I now have connections to people from Red Bay and Phil Campbell and Belgreen that I didn’t have before Junior Leadership.”
And if school organizations and community service aren’t enough to fill a 17-year-old girl’s time, Gordon is also employed with the Russellville Park and Recreation Department as a lifeguard during the summer months and teaches baton lesson with Addie’s Flip, Tip and Tap.
She also actively plans for her future – something she’s done since she started high school through participation in leadership activities, maintaining good grades, and even taking three different online classes through the University of Alabama since her junior year.
“Graduation and starting college are definitely on my mind a lot now as a senior,” she said.
“Russellville has been a great place to go to school because the atmosphere here is great – everyone has school spirit and really supports the school – and I’ve made good friends and I love the teachers,” she said, “but even though high school has been fun, I’m still looking forward to a new beginning in college and getting one step closer to my future career.”
Gordon’s college plans aren’t completely set in stone, but she has pretty much decided to head to Tuscaloosa in the fall where she has been accepted into the University of Alabama’s School of Engineering.
“I really love math and science and chemistry so I think I will really enjoy engineering,” she said.
Gordon said she planned to major in chemical engineering and use her degree to do something she is very passionate about.
“I had a scare with skin cancer back in 2010, and even though the spot they removed didn’t end up being cancerous, it gave me a passion for finding a cure for skin cancer,” Gordon said.
“Having a career as a chemical engineer would give me the opportunity to do research in this area and maybe one day help find a cure.”
Once she graduates with her degree, Gordon said she saw herself settling down close to Franklin County but in a bigger city where she would have more of an opportunity to use her degree.
“I really like Franklin County but I would probably live somewhere more like Huntsville,” she said. “In reality, where I live will more than likely just depend on my job and where it is located. That’ll be my first priority when I graduate is to find a job, and that will determine where I’ll end up living.”
Gordon is the daughter of Elliott and Ponda Gordon and she has a younger brother, Charlie. Her grandparents are Betty Stults, Sammy and Barbara Stults and Charles and Sandra Gowing.