■ Two students from Henry Clay High School were congratulated March 20 during the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Boys' Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Amir Abou-Jaoude, a junior, and Rebekah George, a freshman, topped their respective grade divisions in Grimes' annual essay contest and each received $1,000.
The contest was created in 1988 to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. This year, high school students were invited to write about the First Amendment and the role that news media play in elections. The entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness.
■ Janet Shedd, a teacher at Providence Montessori School in Lexington, is one of 35 educators from the United States and Canada to be selected as a 2015 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. The program sponsors professional development expeditions that allow teachers to experience firsthand different areas of the world. Shedd will visit the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador in September. She is the only Kentuckian to be selected for the program.
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■ Winners of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's annual Poster and Essay Contest received awards at a luncheon March 13 at Locust Trace AgriScience Center in Lexington. The theme of the contest was Kentucky Agriculture: Growing the Next Generation of Farmers. Statewide winners in each grade were awarded $100 each.
Essay contest winners and schools in each grade, with their teachers' names in parentheses, were:
■ First grade — co-winners Cyrus Bivens, Abraham Lincoln Elementary, LaRue County (Meredith Richardson), and Lucas Leisley, Alvaton Elementary, Warren County (Carolyn Gifford).
■ Third grade — Anthony Pike, Seton Home Study, LaRue County (Angela Pike).
■ Fourth grade — Micah Harrington, Harrington Academy, Whitley County (Jennifer Harrington).
■ Fifth grade — Andy Peeples, Deer Park Elementary, Daviess County (Lisa Clark).
■ Sixth grade — Michael Brockman, Brockman Christian Academy, Boone County (Coleen Brockman) and Breanna Woodward, My Old Kentucky Home Middle School, Nelson County (Joan Cain).
■ Eighth grade — Emma Ingalls, Hardin County Home Study (Jody Ingalls).
■ Ninth grade — Logan Bechanan, Nicholas County High School (Brandon Griffith).
■ 10th grade — Chasity Bryant, LaRue County High School, (Misty Bivens).
■ 11th grade — Abby Willgruber, Greenwood High School, Warren County (Ron Tipton).
■ 12th grade — David Ehlert, Locust Trace AgriScience High School, Fayette County (Sara Tracy).
Poster contest winners and schools in each grade, with their teachers' names in parentheses, were:
■ Kindergarten — Benjamin Caldbeck, Caldbeck Ag Education, Daviess County (Claire Caldbeck).
■ First grade — Lily Likarich, Rineyville Elementary, Hardin County (Doris Hudson)
■ Second grade — Kason Wright, Joe Harrison Carter Elementary, Monroe County (Cheryl Thompson).
■ Third grade — Jordan Hester, Tompkinsville Elementary, Monroe County (Whittany Shaw).
■ Fourth grade — Elizabeth Johnson, Johnson Family Home School, Warren County (Shannon Johnson).
■ Fifth grade — Zoe Barker, Deer Park Elementary, Daviess County (Lisa Clark).
■ Sixth grade — co-winners Phillip Caldbeck, Daviess County Middle School (Andrea Higgs), and Lydia Newton, Old Kentucky Home Middle School, Nelson County (Joan Cain).
■ Seventh grade — Kaitlyn McNulty, Second Street School, Franklin County (Brittany Lane).
■ Eighth grade — co-winners Richard Pike, Seton Home Study, LaRue County (Angela Pike), and Cara Storm, Burns Middle School, Daviess County (Ali Huffman).
■ Ninth grade — co-winners William Caldbeck, Daviess County High School (Marcus Kimbrell), and Taylor McCarty, Montgomery County High School (Jennifer Billings).
■ 10th grade — Chloe Teets, Mercer County High School (Julia Snellen).
■ 11th grade — Melanie P'Poole, Lyon County High School (Amy Beard).
■ 12th grade — Emily Jeter, Metcalfe County High School (Chris Long).
Madison McVey of Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling (Jennifer Billings) won the digital art competition.
The statewide winner of the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Contest also was honored at the luncheon. Reagan Prather of Anne Mason Elementary School in Georgetown received a check for $1,000. Reagan grew a cabbage that weighed 23.8 pounds.
To find out more about the poster and essay contest, go to Kyagr.com/marketing/poster-essay-contest.html.
■ A community supporter and alumna of Bryan Station High School will receive the National Academy Foundation's 2015 Advisory Board Champion Award this summer. Tari Young, a development firmware manager at Lexmark International, chairs the Information Technology Academy's advisory group at Bryan Station. The award recognizes her leadership in ensuring that students have the opportunity to participate in a series of work-based learning activities designed to prepare them for college and career success. Young will accept the honor during a national conference July 20-22 in Anaheim, Calif.
A 1999 graduate of Bryan Station, Young has been involved with the academy's advisory board since 2007 and has served as chair since 2011.
■ In an elementary version of March Madness, teams from Rosa Parks and Cassidy capped the 2015 Academic Challenge season with victories in the Superintendent's Cup. Those students, along with individual winners in the math/science and writing assessments, received college scholarship offers from several sponsoring institutions.
The top primary and intermediate teams from the three regional tournaments met in the district's Norsworthy Auditorium to tackle core-content questions in several subject areas, including math, science, language arts, social studies, arts and humanities, and practical living and vocational skills.
Primary division (grades 2-3):
First place and winners of scholarships to Georgetown College: Rosa Parks (16 of 18 possible points, blue region) — Chakrapani Gudlavalleti, Victoria Lamarche, Evan Sammons, Harshith Tummala, Tarun Sitaraman and Danni Yang.
Second place: Tates Creek (13 points, green region) — Matt Covert, Madison Hill, Yama Jatta, Isaiah Mitchell, Kiara Thompson and Tony Xu.
Third place: Russell Cave (9 points, red region) — Gustavo Barragan-Lopez, Jermerion Brown, Antonio Lagunes, Brittany Navarro, Johan Perez-Rosas and McKenna Schrack.
Intermediate division (grades 4-5):
First place and winners of scholarships to Morehead State University: Cassidy (16 of 18 possible points, blue region) — Richelle Barnett, Blake Blanton, Lilly Clifford, Frank Payne, Jada Turley and James Winkler.
Second place: Tates Creek (15 points after a tiebreaker, green region) — Maggie Asbury, Joanna Cholewo, Caleb Conway, Aminata Jatta, Amber Knight and Braxton Witt.
Third place: Arlington (14 points, red region) — Madelyn Dewhurst, Alex Halliday, Christian Hovermale, Chamon Robinson, Chaylon Robinson and Angeles Waight.
The following scholarship recipients from each region were selected earlier and announced during the March 24 awards ceremony at "It's About Kids" Support Services.
Fifth-grade math/science winners, awarded by the University of Kentucky: Zain McCoy, Julius Marks; Donya Nikouharf, Mary Todd; Lindsey Sargent, Picadome; Brennan Taggart, Harrison; Caroline West, Tates Creek; and Anna Wilson, Veterans Park.
Fifth-grade writing winners, awarded by Eastern Kentucky University: Isaac Downs, Picadome; Georgia Hale, Squires; Bailey Hoard, Dixie; NaZahia Morton, Harrison; Tania Pacheco, Cardinal Valley; and Mallory Sparks, Cassidy.
Fifth-grade writing winners, awarded by Kentucky State University: Spenceria Davis, Mary Todd; Karsyn Harris, Northern; Lucas Jacobson, Garden Springs; Joy Lefevers, Lansdowne; Raseel Shalash, Julius Marks; and Trent Watkins, Sandersville.
Fourth-grade writing winners, awarded by Bluegrass Community and Technical College: Farryn Beatty, Julius Marks; Madelyn Dewhurst, Arlington; and Riya Guha, Rosa Parks.
In a special recognition, The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek and James Lane Allen Elementary both received the Haymaker Foundation Team Award, which goes to schools with impressive participation levels.
■ Charles Hughes, associate professor in Eastern Kentucky University's Communication Disorders Program, has been elected to serve a four-year term on the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders. Hughes, the only board-certified specialist in fluency in Kentucky, also serves as the board's social media director.
Hughes, who joined the EKU faculty in 2011, launched the EKU Stuttering Clinic for Children and Adolescents Who Stutter, one of the few such programs in the state.
■ Ben Mohler has been named as assistant vice president for major and planned gifts in Eastern Kentucky University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
Mohler has served the past seven years as director of philanthropy and development for the William States Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He brings 14 years of experience in higher education advancement, having previously served at the University of Texas at Austin and Cedarville University in Ohio.
■ Siwei Gao has been appointed to the Thomas and Rebecca Coffey Endowed Professorship in Insurance Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. The Coffey Professorship became the university's first endowed professorship when it was established in 2004. Gao joined the EKU Risk Management and Insurance faculty in 2012 after teaching for a year at Temple University.