■ Lois Wiggins, band director at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School since 2004, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Beacon Award given by the International Women's Brass Conference. She and four others will be honored at a concert and reception during the group's June 4-6 gathering at Northern Kentucky University.
Wiggins is the band content area leader for Fayette County Public Schools and the state band chair for the Kentucky Music Educators Association. She is also a member of the Lexington Brass Band and co-conductor of the Central Kentucky Youth Repertory Orchestra.
■ The Lafayette High School Hall of Fame has two new inductees for 2014 and both of them are Kentucky Derby-winning trainers. Don Combs, Paris, class of 1957, trained Dust Commander, winner of the 1970 Kentucky Derby. John T. Ward Jr., Lexington, class of 1963, trained 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. Previous inductees included John Y. Brown Jr., class of 1952, and Ernie Fletcher, class of 1970, both Kentucky governors.
■ Kenneth R. Troske, the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and senior associate dean for Administration, Faculty and Research in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, is the 2014 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Service.
The Lyons Award is presented each year to an individual associated with UK who has contributed significantly to the university, the Lexington community and/or the state.
During his career at UK, Lyons served as director of the Martin School, chair of the department of political science, chair of the University Senate Council and executive director of the Merger Commission that established the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, was as member of the Urban County Council and chair of various LFUCG government committees.
■ Each spring, Fayette County Public Schools commends a group of freshmen through the districtwide Ninth-Grade Improvement Awards, which the 16th District PTA launched in 1998. The awards recognize students' effort, determination and resiliency.
Each school selected one ninth-grader deemed to be the most improved in 2013-2014, and these students received MP3 players:
Bryan Station, Tyzon Edwards; Henry Clay, Amari Ricks; Lafayette, Hannah Holbrook; Paul Laurence Dunbar, Shyire Woods; Tates Creek, Taron Cummins; Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, Richard McFadden; STEAM Academy, A.J. Chenault; The Learning Center at Linlee, Isiah Chrystal.
■ Fayette County Public Schools salutes five seniors who are are among Kentucky's 33 recipients of the 2014 National Merit $2,500 scholarships: Marie Armbruster of Lafayette High, chemical engineering; Sara Arthur-Paratley of Bryan Station High, fine arts; Christine Brandewie of Paul Laurence Dunbar High, engineering; Valerie Sarge of Dunbar, alternative energy; and Ben Swanson of Henry Clay High, international development.
■ Both of Kentucky's U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2014 are seniors at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Athena Kern and Joseph Schneider. This is one of the nation's most prestigious honors recognizing high school students' accomplishments.
Athena, who plans to attend the University of Chicago, is interested in comparative literature and biology; Joseph intends to major in physics at the California Institute of Technology. They will connect with government leaders, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and others in Washington, D.C., this summer as they grapple with global issues, volunteer for service projects, attend recitals and receptions, and tour area museums and monuments. Each student will also receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion in a June 22 ceremony.
■ Two UK students will study critical languages on scholarship in 2014-15. Samuel Northrup, a political science and international studies junior, has been awarded a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Scholarship of up to $20,000 to study Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Samuel is the son of Betsy and Mark Northrup of Wilmore and is a 2013 graduate of West Jessamine High School.
Cassidy Henry, a graduate student at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce from Navarre, Fla., has been awarded an NSEP David L. Boren Fellowship of up to $30,000 to study Russian in Irkutsk and Vladivostok, Russia.
■ Lafayette High School students represented Fayette County Public Schools at the Distributive Education Clubs of America international conference May 3-6 in Atlanta. John Wheatley and Raevan Quincy, both seniors, received an Award of Excellence for a combined score of 70 or higher in Hospitality Services Team Decision-Making.
Also competing from Lafayette were Ariel Norvell in human resource management, Jacob Wachal in business services marketing, Tess Cook in fashion and merchandising plan, and Sibley Miller in marketing management.
■ UK student Samuel Saarinen of Shelbyville has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship worth up to $7,500 a year. Saarinen is one of 283 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
Saarinen plans to use the Goldwater Scholarship to fund studies at the graduate program of his choice.
Samuel is the son of Anne and Tim Saarinen. He is pursuing computer science, mathematics and physics majors.