■ Eight Lexington high schools joined forces this semester in the inaugural Fayette Food Frenzy and collected a combined 17,745 pounds of food and $2,427 to help stock God's Pantry.
Sayre Upper School took first-place honors, donating 27.2 pounds of food per student (a total of 5,268 pounds) and $125. Lexington Catholic High School came in second, donating 8.4 pounds of food per student, for 5,336 pounds total, and $681. Lafayette High School finished third, donating 2.6 pounds of food per student (1,930 pounds) and $1,587, and Lexington Christian Academy was fourth with 2.2 pounds of food per student (860 pounds).
■ Fayette County Public Schools members of the Future Business Leaders of America competed in various categories during the state conference April 23-25 in Louisville. First-, second- and third-place finishers advance to the national contests June 29 through July 2 in San Antonio, Texas. The following people placed at the conference: Clark Murray, 2nd, Impromptu Speaking, Bryan Station High. Ryan Blood, 1st, Personal Finance; Vania Ma, Andrew Brennen and Lilly Xie, 1st, Global Business; Matthew Wu, 1st, Introduction to Business; Vincent Cao and Nelson Ng, 2nd, Entrepreneurship Team; and Nigel Zhang, 2nd, Cyber Security, all of Paul Laurence Dunbar High. Alanna McGlothlin, 4th, Introduction to Business, Tates Creek High.
Also, these Bourbon County High School students placed in the FBLA regional competition to advance to the state competition: Keenan Hines, Accounting 1, 1st; Meagan Whitaker, Business Calculations, 1st; Ashleigh Lowe and Savanna Whitaker, Marketing, 1st; Austin Gaunce, Technology Concepts, 3rd; and Chase Gibson, Cyber Security, 2nd.
■ More than 2,500 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities were announced May 23. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution.
There were 43 Kentucky seniors in this group of National Merit scholarship recipients.
These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2012 competition to approximately 4,800.
Area winners include:
Rachel L. Newcomb, Danville High School, Danville, University of Kentucky
Jonathan T. Schaeffer, Western Hills High School, Frankfort, University of Kentucky
Anita Shanker, Western Hills High School, Frankfort, University of Kentucky
Lauren V. Wilson, home school, Georgetown, University of Kentucky
Emily A. Griggs, Tates Creek High School, Lexington, University of Kentucky
Grace H. Johnson, home school, Lexington, University of Kentucky
Johnson Lam, Tates Creek High School, Lexington, University of Kentucky
Jenny Lee, Henry Clay High School, Lexington, University of Chicago
Jonathan F. Coburn, home school, Nicholasville, University of Kentucky
David T. Pagan, home school, Paris, University of Louisville
■ From June 2011 through April 2012, seven students in Fayette County Public Schools scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance exam: Junior Macy Early of Henry Clay High School, and senior Melanie Schmocker, juniors Dustin Doss, Corey Lockridge, Casey Ren and Leia Wedlund and freshman William Walters, all of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.
Nationally, roughly one-tenth of 1 percent of test-takers achieve a composite 36.
■ A student from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School has received a $1,500 award at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh on May 13-18.
Miranda Richardson picked up a gold medallion for her project, "Evidence for a Role of Genetics and Foaling Date in Equine Wobbler Syndrome." Her award and certificate of achievement came from the U.S. Army.
Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9-12. More than 1,500 high school students from about 70 countries, regions and territories showcase their independent research as they compete for more than $3 million annually.
In addition to Miranda, six more Dunbar students carried the Fayette County Public Schools banner this spring: Julie Graf, Yuki Inoue, Idrees Kahloon, Vania Ma, William Prince and Valerie Sarge.
■ A pair of freshmen at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School secured two of the top three spots in a statewide essay contest sponsored by the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association.
Rebecca Neely was named runner-up and received an iPod Touch, and Alyssa Montgomery came in third and received a $100 gift card for Dick's Sporting Goods. KPMA also awarded their English teacher, Greg Adams, a $100 gift card.
The annual competition, which is open to ninth- and 10th-graders in the commonwealth, focuses on the topic, "When Not to Keep a Secret." Each school may submit as many as three entries, and KPMA typically receives about 150 essays each year.
Adams had selected eight essays in his classroom as finalists and then asked judges outside of the Dunbar community to pick three to compete at the state level.
■ For the 15th consecutive year, SCAPA at Bluegrass secured the junior division title at the Kentucky High School Speech League's state tournament. Category champions leading the way for SCAPA were Kurtis Brown, Erin Disponett and Amir Abou-Jaoude.
In the senior division's speech and debate competition, first-place winners included Ben Swanson of Henry Clay High School and Andrew Brennan and Eric Xiong of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Dunbar finished fifth overall.
■ The Central Kentucky Special Education Cooperative has recognized Bobbi Jo McGlothlin as an Outstanding Educator for 2011-12.
For more than 20 years, McGlothlin has provided support to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, from preschool through high school. She also has helped plan Lexington's Hands Alive event for the past five years.
Each spring, the cooperative honors one teacher or collaborative team from each of its 23 member school districts.
■ Lexmark International has honored two FCPS employees with its INSPIRE Teaching Award. John Grieb, a biology teacher at Bryan Station High School, and Jessica Roberts, a seventh-grade science teacher at Beaumont Middle School, received $1,000 checks this spring for classroom needs.
The INSPIRE program recognizes outstanding Central Kentucky area middle and high school teachers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
■ Benjamin C. Withers, chair of the University of Kentucky Art Department, has been selected as the new director of the UK Honors Program.
Withers joined the UK Art Department in 2004, after studying medieval art at the University of Chicago.
The Honors Program will also see significant changes to its curriculum in the fall; the new curriculum will allow students to enroll in interdisciplinary courses specifically in Honors or to choose classes in their majors that count for Honors credit. Travel abroad, service-learning and individually designed research projects can also count as Honors experiences.
■ Roger Cleveland, associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Eastern Kentucky University, has been honored by the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education.
At the 2012 KABHE state conference, Cleveland was presented with the Dr. Joseph H. McMillan Faculty Award, given to a current tenure-track faculty member in Kentucky who is a member of the association and has a demonstrated record of scholarly research, service and teaching.
The award is a tribute to the late Joseph McMillan, honoring his legacy as co-founder of KAHBE and his outstanding leadership, service, research and teaching. The award is presented annually to salute and highlight the state's top minority talents in academia.
■ The Franklin County High School Wind Band recently performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Assessment. For the third year in a row, FCHS received unanimous Distinguished ratings, the highest possible rating given. The program has garnered four such perfect ratings in the past three years, with the junior varsity band accomplishing the same feat last year. This makes FCHS one of only two schools in the state recently to receive two Distinguished state ratings in the same year.
■ The Child Nutrition Department of Fayette County Public Schools has received national accolades for its "Connect the Dots" campaign, which encourages students to choose a variety of nutritious foods in the school cafeteria line.
The prize for the 2012 Little Blue Dynamos Health Halo Award is an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the School Nutrition Association's annual conference in Denver.
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council had asked schools to demonstrate how they incorporate fruits and vegetables into their menus and help children learn about how diet and exercise can support better health. Marty Flynn, the child nutrition coordinator in Fayette County Public Schools, submitted the program designed by dietitian Monica Fowler during her internship with the district.
Based on the color-coded graphic from the USDA MyPlate, "Connect the Dots" relates the colors to five food groups: breads/grains (orange), vegetables (green), fruits (red), dairy/milk (blue) and meat/protein alternatives (purple). While a school lunch must contain three of those components, it can contain all five. "Connect the Dots" suggests students select foods identified with each of the five colors.
■ The Lexington School will offer the following professional development opportunity for preschool staff and faculty: Best Practices in Early Childhood Education, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, $100; 7/5 state-approved training hours. Email Jaci Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org for information and registration.