Education notes: Aug. 1

August 1, 2012 


NaKia Ridgeway, a senior at Tates Creek High School, was among the 98 young women who attended the annual American Legion Auxiliary's Girls Nation. NaKia was one of Kentucky's two "senators" selected to participate in the national leadership conference July 21 to 28 in Washington, D.C.

Key components included mock Senate sessions, campaigns and the election of party officials and leaders. In a new activity this summer, the students hosted a Wounded Warrior barbecue at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

NaKia, who is in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Tates Creek, has been active in student council and Young Democrats, Teens Against Tobacco Use and Future Business Leaders of America. She also enjoys writing, public speaking and volunteering at God's Pantry.

■ Three students from Tates Creek High School brought home medals after this summer's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America national competition in Orlando, Fla.

Savannah Shearer earned gold for her Teach and Train project, and Angel Gao won gold in the Career Investigation category. Madison Smith took silver in Fashion Construction. Angel is a sophomore; Savannah and Madison graduated in May.

In FCCLA, an organization for students taking family and consumer sciences courses, teens develop leadership through community service and create career projects for competitive events through STAR — Students Taking Action for Recognition. Members began preparing last fall by doing research and applying new skills, job shadowing and more. They worked for several months designing portfolios, displays and oral presentations.

During the conference July 6 to 12, the girls also participated in workshops and general sessions with 7,000 fellow members from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and Japan.

The Madrigal Singers of Lafayette High School earned two silver medals in Cincinnati at the 2012 World Choir Games, known as "the Olympics of choral music."

The 30-member choir, directed by Ryan Marsh, took silver in the "musica sacra" champions competition and the mixed youth champions competition (ages 12 to 24) on July 6 and 7. Several Kentucky groups participated in the 10-day festival, but the Lafayette choir was the only one from Lexington.

The Madrigal Singers competed with choirs of all ages from around the world, including middle and high schools and colleges. The champions division is open to choirs by invitation, world ranking at other competitions or prior qualification. The Lafayette group qualified by virtue of its Southern Division American Choral Directors Association performance in 2010 in Memphis.

The World Choir Games in Cincinnati featured more than 250 concerts. This was the seventh World Choir Games, which are held every two years, and the first time they were held in the United States.

Bonnie Jean Jouett Johnson, of Lexington, the West Kentucky National Alumni Association scholarship chairperson, received the West Kentucky Community & Technical College African-American Legacy Award on June 16 during the National West Kentucky Alumni banquet in Louisville. Johnson is a graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and what is now West Kentucky Community and Technical College. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.

■ The Blue Grass Community Foundation has announced the recipients of the Hudson-Ellis Scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year. This year's recipients are: Bianca Dubree, Kentucky School for the Deaf; Katie Lester, Boyle County High School; and Meriah Rose, Danville High School.

The scholarship is the creation of Danville native Lottie Ellis. This fund awards scholarships to Boyle County High School seniors who are attending a college or university in Kentucky. To date, the Hudson-Ellis Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $90,800 in scholarships.

For more information on this and other scholarships available through the Blue Grass Community Foundation, e-mail Kassie Branham, director of grants and scholarships, at


■ Lexington has a new program called Path to Success aimed at helping out-of-school youth, ages 16 to 18 in four neighborhoods.

Path to Success is provided through the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Youth Services and serves the Gainesway, Winburn, Woodhill and Cardinal Valley neighborhoods.

The program provides youth with GED preparation or alternative schooling, work readiness and leadership skills, and summer employment. The program aims to prepare participants so that, on leaving the program, they have attained their goals and are ready to enter the work force or to go on to higher education.

For more information about the program, call Mattie Morton at (859) 246-4323.

Nicolette Coontz, an Eastern Kentucky University student, has a front-row seat for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and is earning academic credit in the process.

As part of the in-house production press team of London-based Channel 5 television network, she will work with Channel 5 employees to coordinate press and publicity events. Coontz, a senior from Stanford majoring in broadcast and electronic media, began her internship June 8 and will continue through Saturday.

Coontz has worked in the EKU Scholarships Office since 2009 and as an orientation leader and Colonel Camp leader the past two summers. Her career goal is to work for a small-market local news station.

■ The Kentucky Chinese American Association Chinese School, 2080 Georgian Way, Lexington, is enrolling students for its fall semester. Classes are offered for preschool students through adults. Chinese language classes meet Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m., and arts classes meet Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Download registration forms at


The 40th reunion of the Lafayette High School Class of 1972 will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 18 the Cellar Bar & Grill (formerly The Lansdowne Club). There will be a cash bar, and food may be ordered individually. For questions or reservations, email

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service