North Hardin High School senior Addison Sutton proves that athletics and the arts can go hand in hand.

She achieves athletic success in basketball and tennis while participating in choir and musicals at North – all this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and perfect attendance.

Sutton is ranked first in her class with the highest GPA, she was a part of the Governors Scholars Program over the summer, was a region champion in tennis and an All-Area basketball player.

“With all those accomplishments, she’s done it with a grace, kindness and an inner beauty that makes her who she is,” said Leslie Hall, NHHS Youth Services Center Coordinator. “You don’t find that everywhere, all this accomplishment in a sense of grace and humility about her that’s amazing.”

Sutton has played sports for a long time.

“Since I was a little girl I’ve always had a racket or a basketball in my hands,” she said. “I’ve grown up to love it and really love being a part of the team here.”

Her interest in the arts began in high school. She often sang at church but when she was a freshman, her older sister got her involved in choir.

“It’s probably one of my most favorite things here at North,” she said.

This year’s musical production is “Seussical the Musical” and she plays Mayzie La Bird, who she describes as a little bit sassy.

Last year in “Shrek the Musical” she played Pinocchio and she had smaller roles her freshman and sophomore years.

“Ms. (Beth) Root (choir director) likes to tell us that most of the parts we get are completely out of the box of who we are because you can become somebody else,” Sutton said, adding she’s not at all like Mayzie.

Sutton enjoys the role because of the creativity involved in making the roll whatever she wants.

Root called Sutton a “great student to work with.” She said she was no-nonsense but also liked to have fun.

“She takes everything she does to heart and is mission oriented but loves to dress up, sing, dance and support others,” Root said. “She’s a beast if you are up against her in competition, but laughing loudly with you if you are her friend.”

Since her sophomore year, Sutton has been the choreographer for the choir

“Her peers enjoy her creativity, teaching skills and work ethic and when Addison is leading, we learn very quickly,” Root said. “I appreciate having her by my side and she’s a true leader that wants to see others do well.”

Root is exited to see Sutton’s performance in “Seussical the Musical,” while wearing an ornate red bird costume “with her strong alto voice and the not so sweet character she portrays as Mayzie La Bird.”

“It has been fun to see her grow into this role with the other kids,” Root said. “She makes us all laugh each time she sits in that tree.”

Sutton, 17, from Vine Grove, spent most of her fall break going on college visits. Several colleges are looking at her for a possible tennis scholarship, she said.

Right now she’s hoping to go into pre-nursing or physical therapy.

“Since I was little I’ve had scoliosis (abnormal lateral curvature of the spine),” she said, adding she wakes up with a sore back or it’s often sore after a game or match.

“I’m just tired of feeling that and I don’t want other people to go through it when there can be ways to help out,” she said of why she’s focused on a medical career.

Because of the scoliosis, Sutton has to adjust her shot in basketball and compensates her serve in tennis.

“I try to push through and make it work,” she said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.