▪ Obadiah Hamilton, a seventh-grader at Leestown Middle School, received a $1,000 college savings plan account after participating in the “On Your Mark, Get Set … Save for College!” summer reading program. Obadiah and his family accepted the prize on Nov. 7 at the Lexington Public Library, which also received $500 for future reading programs. He was among eight recipients chosen at random from across the state.
▪ Angela Stark, the health and physical education teacher for SCAPA at Bluegrass, has received two state-level awards from the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Dance and Recreation. Stark was named Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and she accepted the Distinguished Service Award.
Stark is in her second year at SCAPA. She has worked in Fayette County Public Schools for 14 years.
▪ Miranda Rojas, a senior in the School for the Creative and Performing Arts program at Lafayette High School, has been selected for the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program.
Every year, the program salutes about 5,000 of the 250,000 Hispanic/Latino students who take the PSAT/NMSQT. This is an academic honor that can be included on college applications. It’s not a scholarship, but colleges use this program to identify academically exceptional students. Students who are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino are encouraged to take the PSAT in October of their junior year.
Miranda is also a 2017 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. In summer 2015, she was accepted for the Governor’s School of the Arts in instrumental music, and last winter she was a violinist in the All-State Commonwealth Strings ensemble.
▪ Allison Connelly, director of the Legal Clinic and James and Mary Lassiter Professor of Law, is the recipient of the 2016 Duncan Teaching Award at the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Every year, a UK Law faculty member is recognized for excellence in the classroom, courtesy of the Robert M. and Joanne K. Duncan Faculty Improvement Fund, established in 1982 to promote outstanding teaching performance at the college.
Connelly joined the faculty in 1996 as the first director of the college’s Legal Clinic. Prior to joining UK Law, she spent 13 years as a state public defender representing individuals unable to afford legal counsel. She rose through the ranks to become the only woman ever named Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the head of Kentucky’s statewide public defender system.
▪ Kentucky Community and Technical College System vice president Paul Czarapata has been named one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 Technology Leaders for 2017.
This award honors individuals who have had a positive impact on their organization through technology. Honored individuals manage internal information technology organizations, mentor and motivate their IT teams with interesting challenges, envision innovative solutions to business problems and effectively manage and execute IT strategies.
Czarapata joined Kentucky Community and Technical College System in 1999 as director of enterprise systems, was named chief technology officer in 2007, and became vice president and chief information officer in 2011.
▪ Luke Birkes, a freshman from Winchester studying at Midway University, has selected as one of the 2016 UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship recipients. Outside of school, Luke participates in and volunteers at numerous Epilepsy Foundation programs and events throughout the year; he has raised more than $15,000 for epilepsy research. The scholarship is awarded each year to inspiring students like Luke whose lives have been affected by epilepsy, and who seek personal growth through higher learning.
▪ Virginia Newsome from Lexington was among the 16 Oklahoma City University musical theater students invited to join alumna Kristin Chenoweth on closing night of her show, “My Love Letter to Broadway” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York on Nov. 13.
Chenoweth is joined on stage each night by special guests, and for her closing performance, she asked to be accompanied by students from her alma mater.
▪ Drama students from Bryan Station High School earned first runner-up honors with “The Cagebirds” in the state High School Festival, held during the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Nov. 11-12 conference at UK. Chris Copley and Ellie Stevens also received an Adjudicators’ Discretionary Award for the show’s musical composition. In addition, Bryan Station qualified to compete for the regional title at the Southeastern Theatre Conference annual convention.
Lafayette High School student Alexandra Simpson was second runner-up with “Dear Kitty: The Intimate World of Anne Frank” and will be Kentucky’s alternate for the competition, slated for March 2-3 at the Lexington Opera House.
To cap the state festival, Bryan Station’s Kaelyn Payton and Lafayette’s Alexandra Simpson were selected for the All-Star Cast.
▪ Locust Trace Agriscience Center sent three teams from its FFA chapter to compete Nov. 16 in career development events or state-level contests hosted by Murray State University.
The veterinary science team, which included Savannah Freeman, Claire Taylor, Kodi Forish and Seth Felts, placed fifth in a field of 35 groups. The horsemanship riders — Madi Hall, Avery Downs, Shantel Sturgill and Grace Caudill — picked up a fifth-place ribbon, two ribbons for sixth place, and a seventh place. The horse evaluation team, which consisted of Aubrey Dawson, Madison Haire, Lauren Walker and Kiley Power, finished seventh out of 37.
▪ Centre College has received a No. 3 national ranking for study abroad participation rates at an undergraduate institution.
Centre has consistently ranked among the nation’s top colleges in the “Open Doors” report, being named in the top five of the Institute of International Education’s report all but one year in the last decade. In 2014 and 2012, the Centre was ranked No. 1.
Director of the Center for Global Citizenship Milton Reigelman attributes the success of Centre’s program to the college’s strong focus on global citizenship, emphasized by its study abroad guarantee and a free passport for every incoming student.
▪ Nine schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System placed in the top 10 in a 2016 study ranking Kentucky colleges that offer online classes or degree programs. The analysis was conducted by OnlineColleges.com.
Gateway Community and Technical College ranked No. 1 out of the 59 Kentucky schools in the study. Out of all state colleges that provide online classes, Gateway placed fourth for the number of distance education programs offered. The college also tied for first for its comparatively low in-state tuition.
To generate the ranking, OnlineColleges.com used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to evaluate schools on the number of online programs offered, the percentage of students studying online, the average cost of in-state and out-of-state tuition, student services and other criteria.
Based on the study, these are the top 10 schools in Kentucky that offer online programs or classes: Gateway Community and Technical College, Maysville Community and Technical College, Ashland Community and Technical College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Hopkinsville Community College, Somerset Community College, Western Kentucky University, Owensboro Community and Technical College, Henderson Community College and Jefferson Community and Technical College
Visit OnlineColleges.com to learn more.
▪ For the past several years, Lighthouse Ministries has hosted a Thanksgiving meal in the Sayre Buttery for local people in need. They typically serve 450 people, 150 of them children.
Each grade level, from preschool through eighth, is asked to bring food for the guests. The Parents Association, Alumni Council and Board of Trustees join the effort by covering the cost of the turkey. The Upper School Student Council provides the plates, cups and cutlery, and members of the Sayre Culinary Club help with the desserts.
Because the biggest need of many is socks, students in the Upper School and members of the Sayre Philemon Society bring in new socks.
On Nov. 11, Sayre students gathered with their grandparents and other special persons in the gymnasium for a program providing needed items for the Lighthouse Thanksgiving meal. The program, A Place at the Table, included Sayre student vocal performances.
This year, Sayre’s Upper School collected more than 1,625 pairs of socks. Nearly 500 were donated to those who attended the Thanksgiving meal. The remaining socks were distributed to the Catholic Action Center, the Hope Center, the NEST and the Room in the Inn.
▪ Students from schools all over Lexington meet once a month at Sphinx Academy on Winchester Road to discuss world issues and assign stories—that are presented as either written articles or video stories. You can see their work at Sidebysidenews.org.
To help raise money for programs such as Side By Side News, the Sphinx Academy is hosting a trivia night fundraiser from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Southern Acres Christian Church.
The $20 price tag gets you a seat for trivia as well as dinner and a drink. Teams can have up to eight people. There will be questions from a variety of categories, and the winning team will take home prizes worth more than the cost of admission. Tickets are on sale at Sphinxacademy.com.
▪ Two professors from the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University have been named to leadership positions with a national journal.
Russell Carpenter, executive director of the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity and associate professor of English, and Jennifer Fairchild, associate professor of communication studies, will serve as editor and associate editor, respectively, of the Communication Center Journal.
Additionally, Fairchild will serve as a faculty mentor for the metacognition course in EKU’s Developing Excellence in Eastern’s Professors faculty development system designed by the Faculty Innovation Workgroup. For more information about the DEEP system, go to studio.eku.edu/DEEP.