■ Thirty-three students at Sayre School have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on Advanced Placement exams last spring. Some of the students have since graduated.
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program provides motivated and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams. About 18 percent of the 1.7 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award.
At Sayre, four students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award, granted to students who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. These students are Annie Ahmed, Gabriel Ambruso, Claire Simon and Adam Suhl.
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Fifteen students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are Annie Ahmed, Gabriel Ambruso, Conrad Bandoroff, Keith Cavanaugh, George Chalhoub, Charlotte Cruze, Hayley Cunningham, Caroline Jacobs, W.K. Prewitt, Jamie Rosenstein, Claire Simon, Peter Simon, Adam Suhl, Michael Waltman and Alison Zeitlin.
Seven students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. These students are Rick Gammill, Brendan McCray, Will Park, Cody Pfiester, Gwen Rodgerson, Ben Turnbull and Hannah Turnbull.
Eleven students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams, with grades of 3 or higher. The AP Scholars are Jed Ball, Ellie Colclough, Chase Deppen, Annie Marcum, Wilson Mendes, Sam Pauly, Caroline Sabharwal, Spencer Strup, Jamie Sutherland, Corinna Svarlien and Ameena Syed.
Of this year's award recipients, 11 members of the Class of 2012 — Jed Ball, Keith Cavanaugh, George Chalhoub, Ellie Colclough, Chase Deppen, Wilson Mendes, Cody Pfiester, Jamie Rosenstein, Corinna Svarlien, Ben Turnbull and Hannah Turnbull — have one more year in which to complete college-level work and possibly earn a higher-level AP Scholar Award.
■ Providence Montessori School earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government's Environmental Commission in recognition of the school's implemented expansion plan and its integrated sustainable curriculum. Providence's 2010 campus expansion and reconfiguration alleviates gridlocked traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, promotes pedestrian safety, and reduces water run-off into the city's storm sewer system with the addition of bio-retention swales with native grasses and plant species for rainwater management. The design solution decreased the number of staff needed to coordinate traffic flow during peak pick-up/drop-off times and preserved the campus's trees. The project complements the school's student-driven Earth Day ecological research projects, its annual "Dumpster Dive" event and its long-standing, sustainability programs that include classroom gardening, composting, recycling and energy conservation.
■ The Morehead State University Space Science Center recently held its first Space Science Weekend for high school students.
This was a continuation of a weeklong Space Science Camp in July. Jointly sponsored with the University of Kentucky's Robinson Scholars Program, the weekend program offered 12 students the chance to learn about surveillance balloon launching.
With the help of former Stanford University astrophysicist Bob Twigg, students designed and built instrument panels and attached them to clusters of helium-filled balloons, which they then launched.
Each instrument panel included a camera, which was programmed to snap one photo every 10 seconds looking back toward Earth once the balloon cleared the launching area.
Students were organized into teams. Each team conducted three launchings. After the first and second tries, they revised and adapted their equipment to function better.
High winds prevented the balloons from reaching the high altitudes hoped for, but enough data was collected to make the day a success. Students downloaded the data onto a laptop computer after each launching returned to Earth.
The students will return to Morehead on Nov. 19 for an astronomy session with Tonino Carnevali, professor of physics and astronomy.
■ The University of Kentucky is one of America's first universities to receive students from the southwest Asian state of Oman in a five-year scholarship agreement with the nation's Ministry of Higher Education. UK welcomed 50 undergraduate students to campus in October.
Most Omani students will be registering for engineering, computer science and business courses in January, after an intensive English language program, but UK has the ability to enroll students now, due to its English as a Second Language Program's mid-fall admit date.
■ The landmark exhibition Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: The Horse in American Art, hosted by The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, has been awarded a commendation by the Curators Committee of the Southeastern Museums Conference in the category of "best exhibition over $100,000" and Gold Award for its comprehensive marketing campaign.
The prizes were awarded at the organization's annual meeting last week in Greenville, S.C. Director of publications and public relations Dorothy Freeman accepted the awards on behalf of the museum.
■ George Szekely, professor of art education at the University of Kentucky, was named Kentucky's Higher Educator of the Year at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Art Education Association, held Oct. 14 to 16 in Morehead. Szekely will represent the state at the National Art Education Association convention in New York City in March and is a candidate for the National Art Educator of the Year award.
The association's Higher Educator of the Year award recognizes Szekely's work as an arts advocate in Kentucky schools, communities and institutions. In the past year, Szekely was invited to present four keynote presentations at major museums and universities, and published a book, Art Teaching.
Szekely is recognized as an expert on children's art, play and creativity. He writes the column "Children's Art Diary" for Arts & Activities magazine and has published more than 100 articles in major journals and magazines in the U.S. and Canada.
Szekely also has written 10 other books, including Encouraging Creativity in Art Lessons, From Play to Art and How Children Make Art: Lessons in Creativity From Home to School.
Szekely also produces and creates educational film and continues his own art career as a painter.
■ Fayette County Public Schools has earned accolades for Most Outstanding Organization and Most Outstanding Program from the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education. In addition, the school district received an Energy Leadership Award this fall during the Governor's Conference on Energy and the Environment.
Associated president John LeFevre and Greg Guess of the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence attended the Oct. 24 school board meeting to commend the school district's vision and initiative. Energy and sustainability managers Tresine Logsdon and Britney Thompson accepted the awards on behalf of FCPS.
Fayette County Public Schools launched a formal sustainability program in the fall of 2009 — incorporating energy assessments, conservation, sustainable building design, environmental management and education. The cornerstone of classroom efforts is the formula E=USE2 (Education leads to Understanding Sustainability, Energy and the Environment).
The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education, which was established in 1976 as a statewide, non-profit organization, includes people from all walks of life working to advance sound environmental education.
The Energy Leadership Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions by promoting and using energy efficiency and alternative energy sources as a way to achieve their sustainability goals.