education notes

Education notes: Nov. 20

November 19, 2013 

Lafayette High School students Danny Alford, left, Darian May and Will Lovan will march with The Macy's Great American Band in the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Lafayette student Nathan Rayans, not pictured, will also march with the band.


■ Four students from Lafayette High School will march with The Macy's Great American Band in the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Danny Alford (trombone), Will Lovan (trumpet), Darian May (dancer/color guard) and Nathan Rayans (sousaphone) will leave Saturday for New York.

Students from across the country sent in audition tapes. The 185 selected musicians will be complemented by about 40 flags and dancers. Arriving at Macy's Herald Square, the students will perform for a grandstand audience and millions of TV viewers.

Bryce Curtsinger of Bryan Station High School will be part of the 2014 All-Star Invitational Marching Band, which will perform Jan. 3 at the Discover Orange Bowl in South Florida. Bryce, who was accepted after nationwide auditions, plays trombone.

The 2014 All-Star Invitational combines the skill of some of the country's best marching band students with the excitement of performing in front of nearly 75,000 college football fans and a television audience.

■ Seniors Scott Deschamp, Sean Bell and Kyle Schneider, from the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, earned a third place and a fifth place award in the team competitions at the annual Wall Street Journal National Biz Quiz hosted by The Ohio State University.

In the written portion of the competition, Deschamp, Bell and Schneider placed third, besting top students from schools such as Emory, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame and others. In the oral portion, the Gatton squad placed fifth nationally out of 18 universities. Paxton Roberts served as the Gatton squad's alternate team member and student assistant coach.

The Gatton team was coached for the sixth consecutive year by Gordon Holbein, senior lecturer in strategy and management. Under Holbein's direction, Gatton teams previously have earned one overall national championship (2012), two fourth-place finishes and three individual national titles: Jeffrey Howard (2008), Jeffrey Wei (2009) and Bert Smith (2012).

Fayette County Public Schools and the Madison County School District are two of 477 school districts in the United States and Canada selected by the College Board for its fourth annual AP District Honor Roll.

This honor recognizes districts for increasing access to AP coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Inclusion on the latest AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2011 to 2013.

■ The Blue Grass Community Foundation has awarded nearly $10,000 in mini grants to 11 teachers to implement innovative classroom projects that encourage student learning. The money enables teachers to secure extra materials and resources that aren't allocated in school budgets.

The foundation is funding these projects during this academic year:

Arlington Elementary: Music Movement in the Classroom

Booker T. Washington Intermediate: Fitness 101 and We Do Robotics!

Booker T. Washington Primary: We Do Robotics!

Bryan Station Middle School: Readers Theatre Workshop

Dixie Magnet Elementary: Fruit Ninjas in Kentucky

James Lane Allen Elementary: Quaver's Marvelous World of Music

Lafayette High School: Activities from Passport to French curriculum for Jessie Clark Middle School's French club

Liberty Elementary: Visual Art Journaling

Meadowthorpe Elementary: The Wizard of Oz performance and A Book a Month library project

For more information about the mini grants, contact Kassie Branham at (859) 225-3343. For grants assistance in Fayette County Public Schools, contact Kim Lyon at (859) 381-4354.

Merl Hackbart, a UK professor and interim director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration on Nov. 14. Hackbart was elected as a fellow this year based on his nearly five decades of service as both a university professor and administrator, and as state budget director of Kentucky, as well as other service to the Commonwealth and his home city of Lexington.


■ The Scott County Ninth Grade PTSA is having a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair from 9 am. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Scott County Ninth Grade School, 1072 Cardinal Drive, Georgetown. The event will also feature a silent auction that will close at 2 p.m. that day. Free admission to shop. For more information, email or call Brenda Capps at (502) 868-0541. Proceeds from the gift fair will be used to purchase wireless hubs for the school.

■ The Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education is collaborating with similar centers at Northern Kentucky University and Morehead State University to provide training and free copies of the Virtual Economics 4.0 Flash Drive (a $109.95 value) to K-12 teachers in schools throughout the region.

Virtual Economics is a tool for teaching economics, entrepreneurship and personal finance to grades K-12. The flash drive is loaded with interactive tools to help teachers better understand principles and concepts and to teach them to their students.

Within the tool is a database of more than 1,400 lessons that can be referenced by grade level, concept, key word or discipline, and even by Common Core standards.

The next workshop will be Thursday at Model Laboratory School on EKU's Richmond campus. The workshop is free, but a refundable deposit is required to register.

For more information or to register for the Virtual Economics workshop, email

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