■ Five Central Kentucky civic and business leaders have been named members of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a statewide citizens' organization working to improve education in Kentucky. The five, among 20 new members joining the committee during its recent meeting, were:
Bill Garmer, an attorney with Garmer & Prather in Lexington; Ouita P. Michel of Midway, executive chef and owner of the Holly Hill Inn restaurant group; Herbert A. Miller, Jr. of Lexington, president of Columbia Gas of Kentucky and a former middle school PTA president and school council member; Joshua Santana, an attorney with the Santana Law Office in Lexington; and Ben Self of Lexington, former owner of Blue State Digital.
■ Eight Central and Eastern Kentucky students have been selected as winners in the Dive Into Savings for College 2010 Summer Reading Program, sponsored by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust. Each student has been awarded a $1,000 cash prize that can be invested in a KESPT account, a state-sponsored 529 college savings plan. Winners selected during a random drawing include: Jena Pendergrass, Lexington; Conley Byers, Nicholasville; Zack Weaver, Annville; Adam Schlick, Oil Springs; Carley Wilhoite, West Liberty; Eva Greene, Nancy; Zachary Whitaker, Somerset; and Shaelyn Frye, Beattyville.
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■ Fifteen Transylvania University students and writing, rhetoric and communication assistant professor Scott Whiddon have been inducted into the Lampas Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. Recent inductees include: Holly Brown, Brodhead; April Corman, Nicholasville; Joshua Edge, Owensboro; Brennan English, Winchester; Kaitlynn Foree, Pleasureville; Jessica Short, Olive Hill; Joseph Underwood, Lexington; Abigail Woods, Louisville; April York, Glendale; Kelsey Fulkerson, Lexington; Ashley Howe, Danville; Monica Lawson, London; Lindsey Robke, Independence; Haley Senninger, Louisville; and Erin Brock, West Chester, Ohio.
■ Robot-building students from across Central Kentucky participated in the First Lego League's regional qualifying tournament, and nearly every team fielded by Fayette County Public Schools will advance to the state tournament Jan. 29 at Western Kentucky University.
In the robot game, teams build and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to score points in 2½ -minute matches on a themed playing field. In the project, teams explore a problem for today's scientists and engineers, develop an innovative solution and share their findings.
Fayette County teams advancing to the state competition include: JC3-PO, Jessie Clark Middle, (Nathan Allen, Jonah Andreatta, Benjamin Bossert, William Bossert, Alex Brinkhorst, Ben Howell, Drew Norby, Seth Rogers, Mitchell Slavik, Katie Woods and Jared Young), robot innovation and robot performance award; Denominators, LTMS and Dixie, (Ryan Norton, Cody Leslie, Alec Baron, Kylie Russ, Taylore Jordan and Zachary Jordan), best quality project presentation; LEGO Cyborg Warriors, Winburn Middle, (Logan Boggess, Jacob Ferguson, Kai Nicholls, Stephen Perry and Rayny Palmer), robot programming award; Warriorbots, Winburn Middle, (Ben Gardner, Samuel Springate, Andrew Tapia and Kevin Zhang), robot design award; ACE Alumni, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and Edythe J. Hayes Middle, (Nick Joseph, Lucas Etter, Will Hickey, William Lain, Shane Little, Austin Hocker, Bailey Knight and Ross Boggess), team spirit award; and Mindstorms, Stonewall Elementary, (Jonathan Browning, Maya Elias, Laney Ruth, Erin Remley, Sophia Carlton, Bryce Lincavage, Bobby Payne, Hossein Zolfaghari, Tyler Ferry and Holden Turner), sportsmanship award.
The RoboPatriots from Veterans Park Elementary, noted for most creative project, are a first alternate for state. The ACE Eaglets from Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, who received the gracious professionalism award, are a second alternate. The Brainbots from Stonewall, noted for their teamwork, also competed in the Dec. 4 regional tournament at the University of Kentucky.
■ Fayette County Public Schools came through with a record-setting donation of nearly 115,000 pounds of non-perishable food items in this year's Kids Helping Kids Food Drive. The donation has an estimated retail value of $183,891.
"We were a bit worried when this year's food drive got off to a slow start," said Marian Guinn, CEO of God's Pantry. "But the students really came up big this year, helping the food drive top the 100,000-pound mark for the first-time ever and making this the largest food drive in God's Pantry history."
Food-drive winners were announced in three divisions. Veterans Park Elementary was the top primary school and made the overall largest donation of 18,133 pounds, which equates to 27 pounds per student. Winburn Middle School won its division with a 10,809-pound donation, equaling 20 pounds per student. Eastside Technical School was once again the top high school, contributing 8,901 pounds of food or 22 pounds per student.
The Kids Helping Kids Food Drive is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. The awards were handed out at a ceremony Thursday at God's Pantry Food Bank and are listed below.
First-place $500 awards went to Veterans Park Elementary, Winburn Middle School and Eastside Technical Center.
Second-place $300 awards went to Cassidy Elementary, Jessie Clark Middle and Southside Technical Center.
Third-place $125 awards went to Meadowthorpe Elementary and Southern Middle School.
Most Improved $175 awards went to Sandersville Elementary and Edythe J. Hayes Middle School.
The students from Veterans Park Elementary donated their $500 award back to the food bank during the ceremony.
■ Sherwood Thompson, assistant dean of the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University, has been elected president of the National Academy of Educational Research by the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research.
The organization promotes excellence in educational research through presentations and exchange at conventions and conferences and through publications, special reports on public policy, news releases and press conferences.
Thompson is a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education. He holds a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction as well as a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
■ The inaugural Golden Apple Awards went to six community partners who provide commitments of time, energy and expertise to individual schools or school districts.
The winners, announced Nov. 16 at a Commerce Lexington breakfast, included:
Business/industry: Dean Dorton Ford, in partnership with Breckinridge Elementary.
Faith-based organization: Southland Christian Church, in partnership with Tates Creek Elementary.
Post-secondary institution: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, in partnership with Opportunity Middle College.
Community organizations/non-profits: Sunrise Rotary, in partnership with Arlington Elementary.
School-based organization: Veterans Park PTA, in partnership with Veterans Park Elementary.
Individual: Mildred Bailey, in partnership with Winburn Middle School.
The Community Partners Leadership Team, which grew out of the 2020 Vision project, organizes, guides and monitors the ongoing work of school/community partnerships and serves as a link between Fayette County Public Schools and the local community.
The team, which is headed by the school district's family/community liaison and includes representatives of more than 20 organizations and the Fayette County Board of Education, developed the Golden Apple Awards to show appreciation for all that local supporters contribute.
■ The Campbellsville University 2010 Racial Reconciliation Award was presented to the Rev. Michael Caldwell at the annual celebration of the university's Dialogue on Race by John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president.
The Campbellsville University Racial Reconciliation Award is given to someone who has a record of leadership in bringing people together across lines of race and ethnicity, and who has been a significant bridge builder for a community.
■ Fleming County High School announced that it has received national certification for the Project Lead The Way program that it has been offering since 2008. Project Lead The Way, the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math education, offers a curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects.
The primary purposes of the certification program are to recognize schools that have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the quality national standards of the Pathway To Engineering program and to provide an opportunity for students to apply for college credit at affiliate universities for selected courses. The project has more than 35 affiliate college and university partners that offer students credit for completing certain courses in high school, including the University of Kentucky.
■ Two Eastern Kentucky University faculty members were recognized recently by the Kentucky Association of Colleges and Employers at its annual awards program.
The Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Carole Garrison, professor of criminal justice and police studies in the College of Justice and Safety. Karen Rudick, associate professor of communication studies, received the Distinguished Service Award for her support of Career Services and the co-op program at EKU.
KACE is an association of Kentucky colleges and universities, state and technical institutes, and employers of students and graduates. The organization's purpose is to bring together students, educators and employers with an interest in the formal integration of a student's academic study with work experience and the student's ultimate career employment.
■ Tyler Farquhar, a Tates Creek High School senior, has been nominated to compete in the national NASSP/Herff Jones Principal's Leadership Award scholarship program, co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Herff Jones, Inc. Tyler is the son of Robert and Donna Farquhar.
Sam Meaux, principal of Tates Creek High School, announced the nomination, which places Farquhar in the national competition. One hundred national winners will be chosen this spring to receive college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $12,000.
High school principals from across the country were able to nominate one of their student leaders. Nominees were selected based on their leadership skills, participation in service organizations and clubs, achievements in the arts and sciences, employment experience and academic record. They were also required to write an essay.
■ Idrees Kahloon, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is one of 15 players selected to compete in this year's Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. The tournament will broadcast nationally beginning Feb. 17.
If Kahloon wins the grand prize, he will receive $75,000. The second-place winner receives a minimum of $50,000, and the third-place winner receives a minimum of $25,000. Semifinalists receive $10,000, and contestants eliminated in the first round receive $5,000.
The episodes were taped on the Sony Pictures Television lot in Culver City, Calif., Dec. 6-7.
■ Fayette County public school students Andy Du and Alice Li won first-place honors in the Kentucky Music Teachers Association's 2010 Bluegrass Piano Competition. Andy is a fourth-grader at Ashland Elementary, and Alice an eighth-grader at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. Each October, young pianists from across the state compete in four age divisions during the music teachers' conference.
■ Lafayette High School earned a Best Choreography award in the varsity jazz dance division at the Winter Jam, an annual cheer and dance team extravaganza.
The Winter Jam, held Dec. 11 at the Lexington Center, included school, recreational and all-star squads from Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.
In addition to the overall award, Lafayette received second-place honors in varsity jazz dance competition and finished third in advanced non-spring floor varsity cheer.
Among others from Fayette County Public Schools, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School was runner-up in the junior high pom dance division, third in the advanced junior high school cheer contest and fourth in junior high hip-hop dance.
Lexington Traditional Magnet School was runner-up in the intermediate non-spring floor junior high category and came in third in junior high pom dance.
■ Stacey Greenwell, associate dean for Academic Affairs and Research at University of Kentucky Libraries, is the 2010 recipient of the Special Libraries Association's Dow Jones Leadership Award. The honor, which carries a $2,000 cash award, recognizes Greenwell's dedication to the association's Kentucky chapter, her work at UK and her leadership as a founder and first chair of the association's academic division.
As associate dean at the UK Libraries, Greenwell is responsible for the administration of all public services based in the William T. Young Library, as well as nine branch locations.
She previously served as the head of the UK Information Commons, known as The Hub, a collaborative student space that combines a technology help desk and computer lab with traditional library reference services. Greenwell helped design the facility and managed The Hub from its opening in March 2007 to August 2010.
Greenwell was also named a Frye Leadership Institute Fellow and won the Lyrasis NextGen Librarian Award for Leadership in 2009. She often speaks at conferences and writes about information commons and library and technology issues on her blog, The Uncommon Commons blog.
Greenwell holds a master's degree in library science and a bachelor's degree in English from UK. In 2009, she began the doctoral program in instructional systems design at UK's College of Education.