■ Lexington Catholic High School has received the 2011 Community Partner Award from the Mayor's Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention. LCHS earned the award in recognition of its student participation with the Youth Coalition for Alcohol Education, participation in the Parents Who Host Lose the Most Campaign, and its commitment to gathering and using data to create programs to promote healthy lifestyles in Fayette County. Renee Brown, a Lexington Catholic junior, has been named president of the Youth Coalition for Alcohol Education.
■ John Preston, a consultant in the Somerset office of Eastern Kentucky University's Small Business Development Center, has received the 2011 Kentucky State Star from the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Preston was formally recognized at the ASBDC national conference in San Diego on Sept. 6.
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Preston, a Boyle County native who now resides in Monticello, joined the EKU SBDC in 1999 after almost three decades in business.
Preston serves the center's 15-county service area as a general management consultant, working one-on-one with clients and coordinating training workshops.
The EKU SBDC has offices in Richmond and Somerset. To learn more about its services, visit Ekubiz.com or call (859) 622-1384 (Richmond) or (606) 678-3042 (Somerset).
■ Katherine Nelson of Lexington is one of two University of Montana 2011-12 Wyss Scholars for Conservation in the American West.
The Wyss Scholars Program provides financial support to UM students who are committed to careers in western land conservation through a federal or state land management agency or at a nonprofit in the region. It's funded through the Wyss Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to land conservation in the intermountain West.
Nelson is pursuing a master's degree in environmental studies at UM. She received her bachelor's degree in global studies from St. Lawrence College in New York in 2006. She has worked for the Eastern Sierra Land Trust in education and outreach and as a wilderness ranger for the Inyo National Forest. Nelson spent the last four years working with projects to study and protect raptors, Canadian cougars, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and Texas horned lizards.
■ Fayette County Public Schools has four of Kentucky's 18 semifinalists in the annual National Achievement Scholarship Program. They are among 1,600 black high school seniors who will compete this spring for awards worth more than $2.4 million.
Local semifinalists are Miles Clark, Trevor McNary and Micayla Tatum, all seniors at Henry Clay, and Annesha Carter, a senior at Lafayette. Henry Clay is the only school in Kentucky with more than one honoree.
About 80 percent of semifinalists are expected to advance, with more than half of the finalists winning a scholarship based on their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
The finalists will compete for 700 one-time $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships, which are awarded on a regional representation basis. In addition, corporate and business sponsors will underwrite about 100 awards, some of which are renewable for four years of study. All the winners will be announced in April.
■ Fayette County Public Schools recently awarded six Golden Apple Awards to high-performance community partners who deliver an extraordinary commitment of time, energy and expertise to individual schools or the overall district.
Winners of the second annual awards were announced Sept. 22 at the Commerce Lexington Good Morning Bluegrass Breakfast at the Griffin Gate Marriott. Winners included community organizations/nonprofits: Child Care Council of Kentucky, United Way of the Bluegrass, and Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass (all for their district-wide initiatives); post-secondary institution: University of Kentucky's Center for Community Outreach, in partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Academy for Excellence; faith-based organization: First Baptist Church Bracktown, in partnership with Leestown Middle School; school-based organization: Dixie PTA, in partnership with Dixie Magnet Elementary School.
■ Out of more than 800 entries in Rack Room Shoes' national back-to-school online photo contest, two of the five grand prize winners are from Fayette County Public Schools.
Julius Marks Elementary and Rosa Parks Elementary finished in the top five in terms of online votes, meaning their schools will each receive a $10,000 computer lab grant.
Participants in the contest submitted snapshots this summer and online voters chose their favorites. The Rosa Parks photo and Julius Marks photo each received about 10,000 votes. Other big winners were from Tennessee, South Carolina and Louisiana.
■ Richard Dawkins, one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists, will present a lecture titled "The Magic of Reality," on Thursday at Eastern Kentucky University.
The lecture, part of the university's year-long Chautauqua lecture series, "Living with Others: Challenges and Promises," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Auditorium. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.
Dawkins' presentation is free and open to the public. For more information about EKU's Chautauqua Lecture Series, visit Chautauqua.eku.edu or contact Coordinator Dr. Minh Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ The Bluegrass Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 12 at Hilton Suites of Lexington Green, Nicholasville Road. Presenter Joann Atcher will discuss the importance of legislation affecting retired and active teachers. Cost is $18 per person. Checks should be mailed by today to Anna Mack, 112 Hamilton Park, Lexington, Ky. 40504. Information: (859) 252-4353.
■ Eastern Kentucky University's Office of Greek Life has renewed its sponsorship of a double occupancy apartment at Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women in Richmond.
On Sept. 16, members from the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and National Panhellenic Council visited Liberty Place to drop off items for the sponsored apartment.
Liberty Place is a long-term substance abuse recovery program for women. Its program provides support as well as hope for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.