■ Sayre School student Mason Hill is one of two Kentucky students selected as delegates to the 50th Anniversary United States Senate Youth Program to be held March 3-10 in Washington, D.C.
Hyrum Dean of Fort Knox and Hill of Versailles were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program's 50th Anniversary Washington Week.
Each year this competitive merit-based program brings 104 high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.
The Hearst Foundations provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
Hill is president of his junior class at Sayre and a member of the school's academic team. He also participates in the YMCA Youth in Government program including the Kentucky Youth Assembly, the Kentucky United Nations Assembly and the Youth in Government Conference on National Affairs. He has received the school math award and GPA award and has been a member of the school's varsity track and cross-country teams. He recently completed his Eagle Scout certification.
■ Ashley Abshear, a seventh grade student at Saints Peter and Paul Middle School, has received an outstanding delegate award at the Kentucky Youth Assembly. KYA is a three-day experiential learning conference in which students participate directly in the commonwealth's democratic process. Students have the opportunity to write and debate bills and sit on the capitol floor for a bill debate.
Ashley received an outstanding delegate award for her participation in debate.
Ashley is the daughter of Sandra and Owen Abshear of Nicholasville.
■ SCAPA at Bluegrass is among eight middle-school winners nationwide in the air/climate division of the annual Lexus Eco Challenge, which encourages students to develop environmental programs that positively affect their communities.
Eighth-graders Sara Bidarian, Herman Bratcher, Blakeley Burger, Spencer Burt, Jordan Luciano and Baylee Polzin will divide $7,000 for their efforts. Their adviser, science teacher Ashlie Beals, will get $1,000 for school supplies, and SCAPA will receive the remaining $2,000 of the prize money.
For their project, the One-Towel Wonders encouraged people to reduce their energy consumption by using only one towel a week. The team created a Facebook page, Twitter account and Web site, made posters and a commercial about their campaign, and handed out nearly 500 informational brochures to six libraries, two hotels and more than 100 students.
The SCAPA team now advances in the competition along with a group from Tates Creek Middle School, a national winner in last semester's land/water division contest.
This spring's Final Challenge, which includes middle and high school teams, aims to inspire environmental action worldwide. Eight first-place teams will each receive $15,000, while two grand prize winners will take home $30,000 each for scholarships and school supplies. Winners will be announced in March.
■ Lexmark International has honored the first three recipients of INSPIRE: Lexmark's Teaching Award. The program recognizes outstanding Central Kentucky-area middle and high school science, technology, engineering and math teachers.
The following teachers were named winners: Tina Cox, a math teacher at Lexington Traditional Magnet School; Joy Cox, a science and math teacher at KORE Academy; and Jay Cloud, a technology education teacher at Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville.
Lexmark presented each teacher with a $1,000 award. Nine teachers in total will be recognized during the 2011-12 academic year.
To be eligible for the INSPIRE award, a teacher must receive an online nomination as well as two reference letters from students, colleagues, parents, school administrators or community leaders. Eligible nominees must teach in one of the following counties: Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Scott and Woodford. Nominations can be made on the INSPIRE: Lexmark's Teaching Award page on Lexmark.com.
■ The University of Kentucky won the 2012 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education for the Discover Germany-Discover USA program.
Issued by the Institute of International Education, the Andrew Heiskell Award honors initiatives in international higher education among IIE's association of more than 1,100 member institutions. The awards showcase the most innovative models for international partnership programs, study abroad and internationalizing the campus, with emphasis on programs that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of international teaching and learning on campus.
The Discover Germany-Discover USA program sends 20 UK students of diverse backgrounds, either minority, Appalachian or first-generation college students, to Berlin each June and brings 20-25 German immigrants or first-generation college students to UK each September. The program provides a fully funded, five-week academic experience for those students, who are largely underrepresented in study abroad programs.
The program's prevailing goal is to have students reflect on the concept of "otherness," in local, national and global contexts: to provide a mechanism through which students from underrepresented groups in both countries can reconsider their own concepts of identity through an international experience.
J.J. Jackson, vice president for Institutional Diversity, has coordinated the program since its development in 2008. Involved in the selection process and pre-departure preparation, Jackson also accompanies the students to Germany each summer.
The program focuses specifically on selecting students with limited travel experience. For many participants, the trip abroad is their first experience outside of Kentucky.
In Berlin, students study German culture, language, politics and societal issues. They also take excursions to historic and cultural sites.
Jackson, along with Susan Carvalho, associate provost for international affairs; Andrea O'Leary, administrative assistant for international affairs and John Yopp, associate provost for the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform, will accept the award in New York in March.
■ Eleven students representing school districts statewide have been selected to serve on the first Next-Generation Student Council, a new group formed by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. The eleven students are: Logan VanWay, 10th grade, Boone County High; Forrest Miller, 12th grade, North Bullitt High; Brittany Hughes, 12th grade, Burgin High; Steven Peay, 11th grade, Butler County High; Cory Banta, 12th grade, Bryan Station High; Jake Walker, 11th grade, Henderson County High; Natalie Fahrbach, 11th grade, Louisville Male High; Blair Walden, 11th grade, South Laurel High; Tiffany Parham, 10th grade, Murray High; Iman Ali, 11th grade, Pikeville High; Morgan Casto, 10th grade, Russell High.
Public school students in grades 10-12 were invited to apply for membership in the Next-Generation Student Council, a year-long program, which will provide valuable feedback from Kentucky students and engage student leaders in learning by doing. This group will meet with the commissioner and Kentucky Department of Education staff, both in person and virtually, to discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Kentucky and provide feedback — from a student perspective — on critical issues impacting Kentucky students and schools.
This first group of students will serve during the 2011-12 school year, and those who are not graduating seniors during that school year may reapply to serve in the 2012-13 school year.
The first meeting of the Next-Generation Student Council has been set for Feb. 28 in Frankfort.
■ Millcreek Elementary celebrated its success in the Get Active, Get Fit School Challenge with an hour-long live dance party hosted by Radio Disney, complete with warm-up stretches, a teacher dance-off, and water-bottle prizes for kids.
As one of the first to register in the nationwide contest, Millcreek also received $500 worth of gym equipment.
In the two-month challenge, students in grades K-5 aimed to do something physically active on at least 40 of the 55 days and kept track of their efforts in individual notebooks.
Millcreek was among the eight Kentucky schools with the highest percentage of participation in the Get Active challenge, which was sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The Get Active, Get Fit School Challenge was designed to motivate children and families to achieve fitness together by engaging in fun activities. Organizers provided evaluation forms for students to take to their parents to gauge the initiative's impact at home.
Other area schools receiving Radio Disney dance parties are: Stamping Ground Elementary, Scott County; Hillsboro Elementary, Fleming County; Clearfield Elementary, Rowan County; and McBrayer Elementary, Rowan County. The following area schools were awarded new gym equipment: Hillsboro Elementary, Fleming County and Northern Elementary, Scott County.
■ Fayette County Public Schools registration for kindergartners and other new students will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays during these dates:
Feb. 13 through March 9 (also 4-7 p.m. Feb. 13);
April 9-26 (also 4-7 p.m. April 9);
Tuesdays from June 12 through July 17 (except July 3);
July 23-Aug. 15, the first day of school.
Any child who turns 5 on or before Oct. 1 can enroll in full-day kindergarten.
To enroll a child in Fayette County Public Schools, families should go to the school their neighborhood is assigned to and fill out a registration packet. To determine which school, use the online street directory at Fcps.net/street or call (859) 381-4315 for assistance.
■ Bluegrass Community & Technical College is accepting applications for the 2012 Citizens' Leadership Academy, a grassroots leadership development program that is open to Fayette County residents who want to prepare for greater involvement in the community.
This year's Citizens Leadership Academy, in cooperation with the Georgetown Street Neighborhood Association, will meet from 6-8:45 p.m. Thursdays, March 8 through May 24, at the O'Rear Center, Douglass Park, Georgetown Street.
The 12-week leadership academy is free to selected applicants. Applications must be received by Feb. 16.
For more information about the BCTC Citizens' Leadership Academy or for an application, call Sheila Simpson at (859) 246-6676.