education notes

Education notes: June 3

June 2, 2014 


Coleman Stivers ​has been awarded a $20,000 Fayette County Farm Bureau Scholarship to attend the college of his choice. Coleman, the son of Jeff and Melanie Stivers, is a senior at Locust Trace Agriscience Farm and Lafayette High School. His "farmers market to your door" business, Stivers Brothers Homegrown Produce and Honey, has expanded to become a member of the Bluegrass Farmers Market, where he serves on the ​b​oard. Coleman will ​attend the University of Kentucky ​this fall to study ​b​iosystems and ​agricultural ​e​ngineering.

Ashley Hardee has been awarded a $10,000, four-year scholarship. Ashley is the daughter of Tony and Linda Hardee and is a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. ​Inspired by her younger brother, Carson, who has a genetic condition called hypogammaglobulinemia, ​Ashley intends ​to pursue a career as a pediatrician. She will attend Xavier University ​this fall as a St. Francis Xavier Scholar and will major in chemistry.

Jordan ​Taylor ​Kearns of Nicholasville​ has been named valedictorian​ of his 2014 graduating class at Washington and Lee University.​ Jordan compiled a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while earning a B.A. in politics and a B.S. in physics and engineering. He recently received a Fulbright fellowship to Estonia to pursue a research project titled "Improving Oil Shale Technology to Provide Energy Security to Estonia and the United States." After a year abroad, Jordan will attend graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jordan is a 2010 graduate of West Jessamine High School. He is the son of Stuart and Cindy Kearns of Nicholasville. Cindy Kearns is a fifth-grade teacher in Jessamine County. Jordan's grandparents are Ken and Hila Sharp, also of Nicholasville, and Sandy Kearns of St. Petersburg, Fla.

■ P​aul ​L​aurence ​Dunbar​ senior and AP German student Rebekah Ferguson has been awarded the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Nationwide only 200 students receive the scholarship, which is funded jointly by the U.S. Congress and German Bundestag. As a recipient, Rebekah will attend an orientation session and language camp this summer in Washington, D.C. ​,​ before departing for Germany. She will spend the academic year in Germany, where she will attend a Gymnasium (college preparatory school) and live with a host family while improving her German fluency.

■ Two seniors from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School ​have ​earned accolades at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest international pre-college science competition. Valerie Sarge received the American Chemical Society's top honor and a $4,000 prize. Vincent Cao was among third-place honorees and $1,000 recipients in the ​p​hysics and ​a​stronomy category for his work​. Valerie plans to attend MIT this fall, and Vincent is headed to Stanford.

Team Kentucky, consisting of students from Lexington, Louisville and Northern Kentucky, came away with a state-record 14 awards during the May 11-16 trip to Los Angeles. In addition, as student representatives from Kentucky, Dunbar's Caroline Bush and Samuel Wycoff attended the Nobel Laureate Luncheon and presented questions to five prize winners in the Excellence in Science & Technology panel forum.

■ The Educational Foundation of the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants has awarded $50,000 in scholarships to college students studying accounting. The awards were given on behalf of the foundation and other benefactors.

Area winners are:

Brown-Forman Diversity Scholarship​:​ JeLisa Smallwood of Winston-Salem, N.​C., Berea College​.

William J. Caldwell Scholarship: Tyler Roberts of Lexington,​ Transylvania University;​ and Brittany Neaves of Mount Sterling​,​ Eastern Kentucky University ​.​

The Educational Foundation of the Kentucky Society of CPAs Scholarships​: Samuel Shearer of Winchester,​ Eastern Kentucky University​.​

Henderman Jessee & Co. Scholarship: ​Matthew Maher of Corbin​,​ University of the Cumberlands​.​

Kelley Galloway & Co. Scholarship: ​Laura Brock of London​,​ University of the Cumberlands ​.​

Mountjoy Chilton Medley Scholarship​: ​Brittany Sims of Harrodsburg,​ Georgetown College​.​

■ Two Eastern Kentucky University employees have earned honors for their efforts in course design. Jennifer Perkins, instructional designer, and Scott Townsend, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, received a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program, which recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities worldwide who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the best in technology and learning.

Winburn Middle School finished fourth among 128 teams in the 2014 National Academic Quiz Tournaments Middle School National Championship Tournament. The team included eighth-graders Gus Carlson, Zsombor Gal, David Ma and Hannah Wang and seventh-graders Max Bograd and Shashank Bhatt.

■ The 16th District PTA gathered at Fasig-Tipton for its annual awards luncheon May 16 to celebrate the successes of 2013-2014 and recognize outstanding school chapters and volunteers. ​At the event, James Goodman receiv​ed​ the PTA's National Lifetime Achievement Award, and Alva Mitchell Clark accept​ed​ the annual Maggie Price Award. Goodman has volunteered at Ashland Elementary School for more than a decade; and Clark, whose son has autism, leads the 16th District PTA's special needs/exceptional child committee.

The PTA also awarded $1,000 scholarships to five high school seniors: Haneefa Muhammad of Bryan Station, Shaquawn Newton of Henry Clay, Courtney Fields of Lafayette, Cassandra Almasri of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Shaimaa Abdel Jaber of Tates Creek. In addition, Dunbar's Shane Wilson received the inaugural exceptional-child scholarship, which goes to a student with special needs.

■ Twenty​ ​Classical Conversations ​students age 8-12 plus three adults earned the title of Memory Master after ​reciting 500 pieces of information. They had to show mastery of this information through four rounds of​ testing. The last two rounds required 100 percent mastery and one missed question would have disqualified them. Sean Mackey, ​Tirzah Schanding, Brendan Tighe and Deborah Tighe were also recognized for completing three years of Memory Master achievement, representing 1,200 pieces of information.

​Those earning Memory Master certification were Sophie Bish, daughter of Kevin and Nicole Bish; Paige Cerniglia, daughter of Rusty and Cristie Cerniglia; Jack Parker Coffman, son of Barrett and Karen Coffman; Nathan Dattilo, son of Mike and Stacey Dattilo; Emma Duerson, daughter of Gavin and Karla Duerson; Guy Duerson, son of Gavin and Karla Duerson; Ethan Hanssen, son of Jim and Claire Hanssen; Willem Hanssen, son of Jim and Claire Hanssen; Jack Johnson, son of Keith and Kati Johnson; Sean Mackey, son of Mark and Susan Mackey; Noah Patane, son of Charles and Salome Patane; Logan Powell, son of Scott and Angie Powell; Sam Santrock, son of Dale and Lori Santrock; Wyatt Saunders, son of Matt and Martha Saunders; Naomi Schanding, daughter of Brent and Angela Schanding; Tirzah Schanding, daughter of Brent and Angela Schanding; Ethan Shelton, son of Brent and Joy Shelton; Ben Tighe, son of Todd and Deborah Tighe; Brendan Tighe, son of Todd and Deborah Tighe; Aubrey Valentine, daughter of Paul and Carrie Valentine; Claire Hanssen, Salome Patane and Deborah Tighe.

Traci Gross Rust, art teacher at Arlington Elementary School, has received the 2014 Fayette County Education Association Award for Teaching Excellence from the Fayette County Education Association. She was nominated for supporting teacher rights, keeping members informed of current legislation, encouraging school employees to contact legislators, listening and finding solutions to problems at her school and working to improve teacher and staff morale.

Rust​ ​has taught at Arlington since 2004. She serves on the school's Program Review Committee, the Family Resource Committee and the Social Committee and is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team member. ​The award includes a $500 check.


Lindsey Wilson College will begin a graduate program in interactive design this fall. The 36-hour program — which will cost about $17,000 and take about 22 months to complete — will be offered almost entirely online.

For more information, contact David Edwin Meyers at or (270) 384-2126 or go to

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