■ VEX Worlds, the largest international robotics event, brings together 800 of the best and brightest student-run teams from 30 countries to compete over the course of three days in back-to-back robotics matches April 16 to 18 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. For more information, go to RobotEvents.com/ championship. This event is free to observe. Area teams that will compete include: Iteration Happens, middle school, Stamping Ground; CHHS Bruins, Central Harding High School, Cecilia; and ECS Bulldogs, Elkhart Crossing School, Georgetown.
■ Journalism professor Buck Ryan won the 2015 ODK Outstanding Leadership & Student Enhancement Award presented by University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto in a ceremony marking a second annual event by UK's Nu Circle chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, founded in 1914.
Ryan was nominated by Terry Brockman, a UK Honors student and Iraq war veteran, whose 30-second public service announcement appeared in "Ballot Bomb: Exploring the Young Voter Explosion," an Oct. 20, 2014, documentary for KET co-hosted by Ryan and his son, Austin, a Centre College sophomore. Brockman created the PSA in an "iStorytelling" Honors class Ryan taught in the spring 2014 semester.
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■ The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 60 students for its Class of 2017.
Applicants were evaluated based on ACT/SAT scores, high school grades, awards, extracurricular activities, responses to essay questions, and letters of recommendation. Last month, 108 candidates were invited to interview with community leaders from across the commonwealth and Gatton Academy alumni.
The selected students scored an average composite of 30.82 on the ACT and 30.58 on the mathematics portion of the exam. The highest possible score is a 36.
Students from 39 counties represent the Class of 2017. Casey County had a student admitted to The Gatton Academy for the first time, while the following counties had a second student admitted in The Gatton Academy's eight-year history: Edmonson, Harlan, Jackson, Perry, Russell, Todd and Trimble.
Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in Bates-Runner Hall this upcoming school year before moving back into a renovated Florence Schneider Hall. The renovation of Florence Schneider Hall will allow for The Gatton Academy to admit 100 students each year, starting with the Class of 2018. At the end of their two-year course of study, students will graduate from high school with a minimum of 60 college credit hours.
Students selected for The Gatton Academy Class of 2017 are:
Anderson County: Levi Wilson, son of Veronica and Jubal Ramsey, Lawrenceburg.
Barren County: Tithe Ahmed, daughter of Muina Sultana and Aziz Ahmed, Cave City.
Boone County: Ethan Abate, son of Jeffrey and Elizabeth Abate, Florence; Reese Danzer, son of Dr. Steve Danzer and Keri Kaeding, Crittenden; Jessica Williams, daughter of Scott and Allison Williams, Florence; Amanda Zahn, daughter of Steve and Andrea Zahn, Walton.
Breathitt County: Andrew Wills II, son of Andrew and Rhonda Wills, Jackson.
Bullitt County: Caity Forgey, daughter of Ryan and Emily Forgey, Shepherdsville.
Campbell County: Parker Graff, son of David and Carolyn Graff, Alexandria; Emma Reed, daughter of Mark and Charlotte Reed, Fort Thomas; Gabrielle Witt, daughter of David and Pam Witt, Alexandria.
Carter County: Jacob McDavid, son of William and Susan McDavid, Grayson.
Casey County: Ashley Johnson, daughter of Michael Johnson and Robin Brown, Liberty.
Christian County: Sherafghan Khan, son of Rizwan and Huma Khan, Hopkinsville; Jonathan Kinnard, son of Steven and Vicki Kinnard, Hopkinsville.
Daviess County: Patricia Thompson, daughter of Albert and Molly Thompson, Owensboro.
Edmonson County: Makenzie Daniels, daughter of Matthew and Lysette Daniels, Smiths Grove.
Estill County: John Caleb Stickney, son of Jack and Teresa Stickney, Irvine.
Fayette County: Tyler Smith, son of Mike and Trish Smith, Lexington; Elizabeth Yates, daughter of Mark and Suzetta Yates, Lexington.
Franklin County: Cordelia Jones, daughter of Trevor Jones and Kate McDougall, Frankfort.
Gallatin County: Olivia Urso, daughter of Tim Urbanski and Anne Sohacki, Sparta.
Greenup County: Ayush Prasad, son of Aparna and Yogendra Prasad, Flatwoods; Mia Weaver, daughter of Samuel Weaver and Amy Poteet, Ashland.
Hardin County: Samuel Newton, son of Mark and Lana Newton, Elizabethtown; Taylor Senay, daughter of Mike and Jeanie Senay, Elizabethtown.
Harlan County: William Mason Miller, son of Will and Stacey Miller, Harlan.
Hopkins County: Zechariah Daugherty, son of Tondra and Debra Daugherty, Madisonville.
Jackson County: Lea Rhiannon Connor, daughter of Eric Spencer and Erin Connor, McKee and Berea Independent Schools.
Jefferson County: Katie Alexander, daughter of Craig and Stacey Alexander, Louisville; Katherine Brown, daughter of Peter and Beth Brown, Louisville; Eileen Price, daughter of Rob and Ellen Price, Louisville; Sara Saeed, daughter of Osman Saeed and Samia Ali, Louisville.
Knox County: Cherish Gray, daughter of James and Donna Gail Miller, Barbourville.
Marion County: Matthew Courtwright, son of David and Jennifer Courtwright, Campbellsville.
Marshall County: Taylor Young, son of Jason and Stacey Young, Benton.
McCracken County: Robert Bosh, son of Frank and Jennifer Bosh, Paducah.
Meade County: James Matthew Biddle, son of Mitch and Mary Biddle, Vine Grove and Elizabethtown Independent Schools.
Mercer County: Ruth Hughes, daughter of Andrew and Karen Hughes, Harrodsburg.
Nelson County: Caroline Boone, daughter of John and Camille Boone, Bardstown; Clara Pozgay, daughter of Walter and Margaret Pozgay, Bloomfield.
Oldham County: Alexander Banaszak, son of Terry and Colleen Banaszak, Crestwood; Maria Clark, daughter of Robert and Rebecca Clark, Crestwood; Aaron Kirtland, son of Robert and Beccy Kirtland, Crestwood; Logan Parker, son of Jason and Heather Parker, LaGrange.
Perry County: Alexa Davidson, daughter of John Davidson and Lisa Townes, Hazard.
Pulaski County: Mark Carrender, son of Harold and Virgilia Carrender, Somerset; Austin Murrer, son of Erick and Sherri Murrer, Nancy.
Rowan County: Honor Hare, daughter of Timothy and Janelle Hare, Morehead.
Russell County: Haley Dicken, daughter of Eric and Kim Dicken, Russell Springs.
Todd County: Julia Johnson, daughter of Bill and Delinda Johnson, Elkton.
Trigg County: Matthew Broadbent, son of Jeff and Tammy Broadbent, Cerulean.
Trimble County: Jenna Rowlett, daughter of Douglas and Missy Rowlett, Bedford.
Warren County: Vishnu Karthik Boyareddygari, son of Suneel and Prasanthi Boyareddygari, Bowling Green; Veronica Johnson, daughter of Daren Johnson and Trish Beresford, Bowling Green; Evan Kessler, son of Bruce and Heather Kessler, Bowling Green; Longji Li, son of Jianfu Wang and Jiping Zhang, Bowling Green; Elaine Losekamp, daughter of Craig and Michelle Losekamp, Bowling Green.
Whitley County: Katherine Ashley, daughter of Don and Diane Ashley, Corbin.
Woodford County: Benjamin Luckett, son of Danny and Wendy Luckett, Versailles.
■ Danielle Lake, Jonathon Hurley, and Moses Botaka of Leestown Middle School's pre-engineering program won medals during National History Day at Eastern Kentucky University on March 14.
The students and their project topics were: Lake, sixth grade, presenting Percy Lavon Julien: The Medicine Millionaire; Hurley, seventh grade, presenting Qin Shi Huang: China's First Emperor; and Botaka, eighth grade, presenting Thomas Alva Edison: The Man Who Started it All. They will be competing at the state level April 25 at the University of Kentucky for the chance to go to nationals.
■ Kentucky's best high school speech and debate students competed at Centre College on March 20 and 21 at the annual Kentucky District Tournament of the National Speech and Debate Association. Students competed in six speech and five debate categories for the right to represent the commonwealth at the Grand Nationals, the largest academic contest in the world, in Dallas in June.
Go. Steve Beshear was named the Kentucky District Communicator of the Year, the first year for this award, in recognition for his support of the Kentucky Common Core. Accepting on behalf of the governor was his executive assistant, Colmon Elridge, a 1999 graduate of Harrison County High School who is a past participant in the speech and debate tournaments. Elridge was awarded the district's first Alumni of the Year honor at the awards ceremony, held at Centre College.
Danville High School took top honors in the Speech and Congress team categories with Louisville's DuPont Manual High School taking the team debate prize. Ryle High School was the District Trophy winner; Calloway County High School was the winner of the Traveling Team Trophy; Boone County High School was named the District's Chapter Achievement award winner. LaRue County High School assistant coach Bill Thompson was named District Coach of the Year with his student Brian Anderson named the District's Student of the Year and the Susan Moore Scholarship winner. Scott High School's Casey Child won the Harlen Hamm Scholarship.
Advancing to Dallas to represent Kentucky at Nationals are Casey Child (Scott) and Austin Barringer (Danville) in Dramatic Interpretation, Lydia Graham (Danville) and Nathan Sudenga (Boone County) in Humorous Interpretation, Emily Hu and Kayla Soren (DuPont Manual) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Agdas Khudadad/Madison Von Deylen (Ballard) and Robert Watson/ Anthony Survance (DuPont Manual) in Public Forum Debate, Spencer Henderson and Jack Hauersperger (Highlands Latin) in Policy Debate, Olivia Nickell/Makda Mehari (Rowan County) and Zoie Webb/Jacob Thomas (LaRue County) in Duo Interpretation;
Abbey Geurin (Rowan County) and Julia Gensheimer (Gatton Academy) in Oratory; Damon Helton (LaRue County) and Emily Falica (Sky Academy Homeschool) in United States Extemporaneous, Brian Anderson (LaRue County) and Lane Hedrick (Rowan County) in International Extemporaneous, Sue Cook and Zane Arnold (Danville) in the House of Representatives, and Jacob Sanders (Harrison County) and Mary-Scott Bugg (Danville) in the Senate. The National Tournament will be held in Dallas June 15 to 19. Visit Speechanddebate.org or Kynsda.org for more information.
■ Austin Li of Winburn Middle School captured first place, and Insik Lee of Beaumont Middle finished fourth in the state Mathcounts competition March 21 in Louisville. Each received a full tuition, four-year scholarship to either the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville. They also won an expense-paid trip May 7 to 10 to the national Mathcounts in Boston, where the top four students will team up to represent Kentucky. Each individual will also compete for additional scholarships, a trip to U.S. Space Camp and other awards.
In addition, Winburn recorded the best overall score among the 28 teams from around the state. Beaumont was fourth, and Tates Creek fifth. Also in the top 10 individuals were Beaumont's Jason Wang, seventh place and Tates Creek's Erik Han, ninth.
■ Creative students represented Fayette County Public Schools well in the 30th annual Bluegrass Regional High School Art Exhibition. Noah Poirier of Paul Laurence Dunbar earned Best of Show Overall for "Ignorance Landfall," and Bryan Station's Kristen Hefling received the Art Education/AESA Award for her entry "Floating Head." The Chair's Award went to Bryan Station's Zoe Schroeder for "Rocks and Pyramids," and schoolmate Kelly Potts won Best of Show 3-D for "Zi Yue." Lafayette's Annie Kane earned Best of Show 2-D for "Eye of the Beholder."
■ Meadowthorpe Elementary won overall first place in Region 20 of the 2015 Governor's Cup, with Rosa Parks Elementary coming in a close second in the 16-team field. Rosa Parks took top honors in the future problem-solving and quick recall components, while Meadowthorpe was runner-up in both team events.
FCPS overall standings: 1. Meadowthorpe; 2. Rosa Parks; 5. Cassidy; 6. Dixie Magnet; 7. Ashland; 8. Clays Mill; T9. Wellington; 11. Maxwell.
Future problem solving: 1. Rosa Parks; 2. Meadowthorpe; 3. Clays Mill; 4. Maxwell.
Quick recall: 1. Rosa Parks; 2. Meadowthorpe; 4. Dixie.
Mathematics — 1. Ayush Kumar, Meadowthorpe; T2. Chandler Zhu, Rosa Parks; 4. Angela Zhang, Rosa Parks; 5. Kendall Davis, Dixie.
Science — 1. Ralph Bright, Meadowthorpe; T2. Morgan Dawson, Dixie, and Meena Ambati, Cassidy; 4. Max Lipsitz, Meadowthorpe; 5. Phoenix DuBravac, Ashland.
Composition — 2. Mallory Sparks, Cassidy; T4. Emma Daman, Wellington.
Social studies — T1. Jimmy Chen, Meadowthorpe, and Craig Upton, Rosa Parks; 4. Ralph Bright, Meadowthorpe; 5. Chandler Zhu, Rosa Parks.
Language arts — 1. Angela Zhang, Rosa Parks; 3. Victoria Toles, Rosa Parks; T4. Adam Imam and Preston Mullins, Meadowthorpe, and Olivia Moore, Dixie.
Arts & humanities — 1. Angela Sun, Meadowthorpe; 2. Maggie Ferguson, Ashland; T3. Mae Mobley, Meadowthorpe.
■ U.S. Bank is offering current and prospective college students the opportunity to earn a $5,000 scholarship through the U.S. Bank Financial Genius Scholarship Program. To participate, applicants are required to complete eight online learning modules that cover key concepts for building financial wellness.
The program will provide five students with $5,000 to use toward any eligible two- or four-year educational institution.
Students will complete online learning through Financial Genius for Life, which provides real-world skills and knowledge that everyone can benefit from through EverFi@Work, a self-paced, online learning platform that covers key concepts for building financial literacy. The 15-minute courses will train and motivate students to make positive financial decisions by teaching fundamentals such as: how a credit score is calculated; the basics of overdraft coverage; and how to avoid identity theft, pay for college, refinance their mortgage, or start a small business.
The online application process is open until Sept. 17 with winners being announced in October. For more information or to apply, go to Usbank.com/scholarship or follow U.S. Bank on Twitter @usbank_news, #financialgenius.
■ The 307 students at Russell Cave Elementary each received a red bag of new and gently used books to take home over spring break. The donation of more than 1,200 books came courtesy of their young counterparts at Sayre School.
The donations included a range of topics, from classics like To Kill a Mockingbird to the Harry Potter series. The Russell Cave teachers sorted them by reading level and individualized each student's bag according to their abilities and interests. Sayre also pitched in some preschool picture books for younger siblings at home.
■ The Lexington Rotary Club will again recognize the academic achievements of outstanding graduating high school seniors in Fayette County. Some significant changes have been made to the club's long-standing scholarship program.
1. Scholarship awards are increased. The Rotary Scholar will receive a $10,000 scholarship, payable in the amount of $2,500 a year for four years of study at a college or university of the student's choice. Also, the All Fayette County Scholastic Team members will earn a scholarship of $1,000 per honoree.
2. The application process in now online at Rotarylexky.org.
3. Applications are open to all students who exhibit academic success and choose to apply.
4. Students are considered for both scholarships. The W. Emmet Milward Award, based on the student's extracurricular activities, honors, organization memberships, church and civic work recipient, will also be selected.