Senior Profiles: Emilee Autry

Grace Murphy, features writer

College: Quincy University

Major: Nursing


She was in her sophomore honors English class when she asked Dr. Amy Barker, English teacher, if the strawberry patterned vest she was wearing made her look too fat. She needed to ask Barker about colleges or help with school at anytime. From that moment on, Emilee Autry, senior, built relationships with Barker as well as her swim coach, Matt Beasley, KHS swim coach. These two teachers helped her throughout high school whenever she needed them. She called these teachers her ‘school parents’ because she always knew these teachers were right down the hall if she needed to talk to them about anything.

“I don’t think of them as teachers, I think about them as friends,” Emilee said. “We have gotten so close over the past four years it is just nice to have a friend that isn’t your age but also not your parent.”

Lisa Autry, Emilee’s mom and KHS chemistry teacher, said having her at KHS has made her job enjoyable, as she has witnessed her daughter growing into an amazing person. She said Emilee has learned a lot from her teachers that will help her in college.

“I know she has become a really good writer as a result of [Barker’s] teaching,” Lisa said. “Having someone she can go to talk to whenever she needs to [is a good thing].”

Emilee said she built a strong relationship with Beasley through swimming and his guidance through her four years at KHS. Beasley said that she was a great contributor to the girls’ swim and dive team with her positive energy and attitude.

“I don’t think she is going to go away [to] college and I will never hear from her again,” Beasley said. “I’m sure she is going to keep in touch with me and keep me updated on what she is doing, how she is doing and things like that.”

Barker said she was able to help Emilee grow as a student and take time to focus on what is happening in the moment. According to Barker, she is always ready to keep moving forward and grow.

“I hope [teachers] have shown her new ways of thinking,” Barker said. “I hope we have helped her grow. She is a curious person, she is always asking questions, wanting to improve herself and wanting to know more.”

According to Emilee, listening was one of the most important things she learned from the strong relationships she had with these teachers. She knows she can go to them and they will listen to whatever she is saying.

“Finding teachers that are really understanding and that you can create personal relationships with is always really helpful and fun as well,” Emilee said. “You aren’t going to leave next year and forget who they are. They have meaning in your life.”