Education notes: Aug. 29

August 29, 2012 


■ Two students in Fayette County Public Schools and one from Woodford County are semifinalists in the Broadcom MASTERS, a national contest in which middle school students demonstrate their mastery of Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering as Rising Stars through science fair competitions.

Amanda Wallin, an eighth-grader at Lexington Traditional Magnet School; Winburn Middle's Joanna Slusarewicz, now a freshman at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School; and Woodford County's William Southall, an eighth-grader at Lexington Christian Academy, were nominated by the Central Kentucky Regional Science & Engineering Fair last spring. They are now among 300 students nationwide, including seven others from Kentucky, competing for a trip to the Broadcom MASTERS Science & Engineering Showcase in Washington, D.C.

The 30 finalists were to be announced Wednesday, and the first, second and third-place winners on Oct. 2.

Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public.

The Trinity Math and Science Society at Trinity Christian Academy competed in its third consecutive International Space Settlement Design Competition from July 27 to 31 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Trinity students are the only Kentucky team to ever represent the commonwealth at the competition. Andrew Brooks, a Trinity junior, was selected as best male presenter, a high honor as an exceptional participant for the second year in a row.

Trinity students Caleb Voss, Paul Rockaway, Joshua Miller, Andrew Brooks, Jonathan Sekela and John Burgess were members of an aerospace company team that included students from India, California and Argentina. Their slide proposal for a self-sustaining settlement on Mercury was completed in 43 hours.

Participating in the high-pressure, live design and engineering competition were 12 finalist teams and four invited teams from around the globe representing Argentina, Australia, India, Pakistan, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States: California, Iowa, Kentucky and Texas. Proposals were formally submitted and presented to a panel of aerospace engineers that awarded a settlement contract to the winning company.

Trinity's team was invited to participate in the finals based on its March 31 Aynah Space Settlement proposal. submitted during the qualifying round. The 40-page proposal, which included design specifications, artistic renderings and engineering and mission support, was developed under the leadership of Jayne Everson, a TCA high school math teacher and Math and Science Society instructor.

TCA, a classical, Christian, private school in Lexington, serves more than 400 students in preschool through 12th grade from Fayette and surrounding counties.

Leadership Lexington Youth is an eight-month program in which high school juniors interact with community leaders and discuss careers, business opportunities and post-secondary options. Participants are selected after a competitive application process in the spring. This year's class has 45 students, including 39 from Fayette County Public Schools and six from private schools in Fayette County.

Bryan Station High: Mallory Cusic, Emma Guilfoil, Jake Margolies and Susie Saffari

Henry Clay High: Annie Bradford, Evan Caldwell, Mason Duke, McKenna Foster, Austin Gardner, Mary Hacker, Michael Kamer Jr., Alyssa Liew, Falon McGinty, Elizabeth Minor, Urvi Patwardhan and Ben Swanson

Lafayette High: Amelia Collins, Elias Conwell, Lauren Mehanna, Abby Miller, Alex Money and John Spencer

Paul Laurence Dunbar High: Christine Brandewie, Vincent Cao, Alejandro Duque, Sydnee Franklin, David Hilty, Christopher Irving, Alyssa Molden, Morgan Quick and Chase Siegel

Tates Creek High: Shaimaa Abdeljaber, Hiatt Allen, Benjamin Childress, Rebecca Clancy, Ian Hafley, Chris Owens, Morgan Ullery and Veronica van Gessel

Lexington Catholic: Abbey Bowe, Sarah Doom and Lindsay Mair

Lexington Christian Academy: Jack Drake

Sayre School: Lisa Cole and Elizabeth Mechas

Taking students out of class one Wednesday a month, LLY exposes the teens to various segments of the community and shows them how they can make a difference.

Go to or contact program coordinator Amy Carrington at (859) 226-1610.

The NEA Foundation has selected a Fayette County team led by the local teacher union president and superintendent to join the second cohort of the NEA Foundation Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, a national effort to address challenges facing public education.

The institute work will engage a diverse team of school system employees and educational community members to implement a holistic approach to educational quality, termed their superior customer service model.

The Fayette County team is one of just five new teams invited to participate in the institute's two-year program, becoming part of a network of teams tackling some of the most pressing issues in public education, such as creation of a strategic compensation plan, and engaging and motivating teachers to be the drivers of their individual and collective professional growth through the design of comprehensive development systems, including career ladders. Other second cohort members hail from: San Juan United in California; Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado; Escambia Public Schools, Florida; Oregon City Public Schools, Oregon.

Teams were selected based on applications co-written by teacher union presidents and superintendents demonstrating their ability to address difficult issues of systems change and collaborative reform, with a sense of urgency and focus.

Founded on the belief that good instructional practices will have the greatest effect on student learning, the institute was formally launched in 2010.


Kristel Smith, executive director of the Innovation and Commercialization Center at Eastern Kentucky University, has been named to the Minority Employment, Business Affairs and Economic Development Council by Gov. Steve Beshear.

The council, in collaboration with major corporations, business owners, government entities, community and higher education institutions, seeks to develop outcome-driven initiatives that can measurably grow minority business enterprises and minority employment opportunities in Kentucky.

After holding a variety of positions with the EKU Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology since 2003, Smith assumed her new role in June.

Smith, who will serve on the council through April 2015, earned a bachelor's degree from Southern University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Kentucky. She has more than 20 years experience in the business field.

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