▪ Amit Lohe, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been selected as one of Kentucky’s two delegates for the 2017 U.S. Senate Youth Program in Washington and will spend March 4-11 experiencing his national government in action.
The student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, House members, congressional staff, the president, a Supreme Court justice, leaders of Cabinet agencies, an ambassador and senior members of the national media. They will also tour monuments and museums.
In addition, each student will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship with encouragement to pursue coursework in government, history, political science and public affairs.
Amit is part of the Math, Science and Technology Center at Dunbar, serves as chairman of the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council’s legislative committee, and is co-president of the Dunbar Envirothon Team. He is a graduate of the Leadership Lexington Youth Program, a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit semifinalist. He has also conducted research at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research, where he is working to reduce emissions from coal power plants. Amit plans to major in computer science and later enter politics and public service.
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▪ Hanae Yoshida, a ninth-grader at Sayre School, has been named the winner of an essay-writing contest sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Hanae’s essay, “Election 2016: Do You See What I See?”, marks the first time a Sayre School student has entered the contest.
“Hanae’s essay is a sobering, heartfelt personal narrative by a biracial immigrant student who sees America divided and angry. While the essay examines the effects of the volatile election environment, it also offers hope in perseverance and steadfastness," said her teacher, George Bebensee.
According to Judy Johnson, a representative from the League of Women Voters, “Generally, we receive 30 to 40 essays; however, this year the prompt attracted the most serious thinkers and skillful writers, with 14 contenders from six different schools in Fayette County,”
The following is an excerpt from Hanae’s essay:
“Imagine seeing through the eyes of a 14-year-old like me. You are trying to understand who you are and who you are becoming, but in the midst of all this, a verbal war is raging between the adults of America. Did you see what I saw? I saw neighbors pitted against neighbors, friends rejecting friends and relatives turning on relatives. I saw the media fill all our ears with all of Secretary Clinton’s scandals and all of Mr. Trump’s insults, constantly wearing us down every single minute of every day. I was living in a world where I was supposed to see role models and celebration and success, but all I saw was desolation, fighting and pain. I saw Democrats and Republicans alike talking in terms of “we” and the hated “them,” instead of common citizens with valuable opinions and the right to voice them. This was the first time in my young life that I saw our country so broken, so worried. Ironically, it was during a process that was supposed to unify our country through choosing a kind and just leader.”
▪ Teams from Edythe J. Hayes and Leestown middle schools tackled the Future City Competition for the first time this year and picked up three awards in the Jan. 16 regional contest:
Best Virtual Design, the Amara Cities of Aelius and Lunarc, Leestown
Best Newcomer School, Leestown
Best Presentation, City of Tomorrow, Hayes
The Leestown groups were guided by teacher Melissa Graham, and the Hayes students by teacher Ashlee VanHoose.
▪ Students across the Commonwealth auditioned for the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s 2017 All-State High School Chorus. The association chose the top students and assigned them to one of three ensembles: a women’s chorus, a men’s group, and a mixed choir of soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
The 2017 Kentucky Junior High Chorus includes seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders selected via recorded auditions, and the children’s group is made up of fifth- and sixth-graders who prepared solo and rhythmic/melodic patterns for their recorded auditions.
The younger ensembles will perform at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 9 during a statewide conference in Louisville, and the high school groups at 8 p.m. Feb. 10. The following vocalists were selected from Fayette County Public Schools:
All-State Women’s Chorus
Lafayette High: Lauren Adams, Sarah Byrd, Katie Copeland, Georgia Danhires, Lilith Embury, Catarine Hancock, Abby Holthaus, Victoria Kauffman, Valerie Langdorf, Grace Money, Sydney Mullins and Danielle Norman
Paul Laurence Dunbar High: Madison Alexander, Savanna Arnold, Hannah Broomhall, Erin Connors, Tayanita Hill-Childers, Ashley Holsclaw and Divya Sunderam
Tates Creek High: Ginnie Pinkston
All-State Men’s Chorus
Bryan Station High: Wilkensley Thervil
Lafayette High: Williams Atkinson, Justin Bentley, Jason Jackson, Woods Prewitt and Kason Speir
Paul Laurence Dunbar High: Jack Burton, Andy Du and Max Taylor
Tates Creek High: Larkin Gensheimer, Benjamin Horman, Ethan Mooney and Caleb Nelson
All-State Mixed Chorus
Lafayette High: Daniel Balko, Kaan Celik, David Forish, Bonnie Kuntz, Allie Langdorf, Ellie Reece, Jared Sayers and Alexis Zapata.
Junior High Mixed Chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass)
Beaumont Middle: Gabe Helgerson and Nate Krohmer
Jessie Clark Middle: Emery Grimm
SCAPA at Bluegrass: Virgil Lewis, Bobby Lowther, Dory McDonald and Brendan Naish
Lafayette High: Luke Dailey, Mara Flaherty, Harrison Hancock, Alison Ritcher and J.T. Snow
Paul Laurence Dunbar High: DaMontaveious Smith
Junior High Treble Chorus (soprano, alto)
Beaumont Middle: Emma Nevels, Elizabeth Nieto, Ella Petrey and Kayla Pryer
Jessie Clark Middle: Abigail Bix and Elizabeth Shanfield
SCAPA at Bluegrass: Katelyn Cooper and Ally Curry
Henry Clay High: Hannah Miller and Stephanie Nikel
Lafayette High: Madison Carbary, Molly Cornett, Abigail Cunningham, Bella Mancuso, Abigail Mires, Virginia Peppiatt and LaKyya Washington
Paul Laurence Dunbar High: Mariana Arias and Catheryne Cunningham
Kentucky Children’s Chorus
Dixie Magnet Elementary: Jenna Matney and Kara Peters
Garrett Morgan Elementary: Gabriella Martin
Jessie Clark Middle: Hannah Knox and Paul John Marshall
SCAPA at Bluegrass: Claire Abraham, Gabe Brown, Hadley Collins, Sam Dailey, Abbey Foley, Marianne Gebb, Mia Hetzel-Ebben, Priscilla Higashi, Jocelyn Langdorf, Bella Luciano, Nora Mack and Kaiti Moberly
▪ Joe Ratliff, a chemistry teacher at Henry Clay High School, has been nominated for a 2016-17 LifeChanger of the Year Award. Fifteen winners from across the country will be chosen this spring. In addition, a Spirit Award will go to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their candidate.
The LifeChanger program, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, recognizes and rewards K-12 educators and employees who make a difference in students’ lives by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Ratliff, who was nominated by a colleague, is the National Honor Society sponsor at Henry Clay and serves as an assistant football and tennis coach.
▪ Teams from Lafayette High School and Yates Elementary led their respective Region 6 divisions in Kentucky’s fall edition of The Stock Market Game.
The game is an interactive, interdisciplinary program that teaches grades 4-12 about economics and finance as teams research companies and invest virtual money in stocks, bonds and mutual funds for several weeks. In competition, the teams are then ranked according to the equity in their portfolios. The Lafayette group’s $100,000 portfolio increased by $9,835, or 4.2 percent, above the S&P 500 growth; the Yates portfolio was up $3,301, though it was 1.31 percent below the S&P.
Guided by teacher Connie Waespe, the Lafayette team included Draven McConathy, Zack Rankin and Tyler See. The Yates group, led by teacher Leslie Nuckols, included Alfredo Alfaro, JRah Allen, Leigha Beatty, Daniel Galindo, Jonah Govea, JaQuana Hill, Vaughn Tovar and Sid Nee Williams. As Region 6 winners, all these students received medals and certificates.
▪ Nicholas Clevenger of Tates Creek Middle School and Winburn Middle’s Dylan Li, Lohith Tummala and Angela Zhang made the Honor Roll of Distinction by scoring in the top 1 percent nationally on November’s AMC 8. This 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice math exam is a fun, optional test that promotes problem-solving skills.
About 150,000 middle school students from dozens of countries take the American Mathematics Competitions exam each fall. Fayette County Public School students scoring in the top 5 percent nationally were Kiefer Lin, of Tates Creek, and Winburn’s Ayush Kumar, Lynn Ye, Max Ederington and Connor Zhang. Each school with participating students also noted its top scorers.
Lexington Traditional Magnet School
Gold: Jacob Hunley (school winner) and Kendall Davis
Silver: Cooper Samuelson, Autumn Clay, Steven Smith and Ethan Tantasook
Bronze: Jagger Thompson, Kiley Hughbanks, Evan Durham, Arianna Lane and Nazahia Morton
SCAPA at Bluegrass
Gold: Luise Wendroth (school winner)
Silver: Jenna Sharpe and Alex Auer
Bronze: William Auer
Tates Creek Middle
Gold: Nicholas Clevenger (school winner)
Silver: Kiefer Lin
Bronze: Aimee Stamm
Gold: Dylan Li and Lohith Tummala (co-winners)
Silver: Angela Zhang
Bronze: Ayush Kumar
▪ Kentucky Bank helped kick off National Mentoring Month by donating $10,000 to the William Wells Brown Elementary School Plus Mentoring program.
In the past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters has paired 30 children with adult mentors who meet at the school during the school day or in the afterschool program for one hour, once a week. Mentors and their students work on academics for a portion of that time and spend some time having fun.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters and the program at William Wells Brown Elementary showcase how a small amount of time and a partnership with the school can make such a big impact on a child’s life,” said Louis Prichard, Kentucky Bank president.
Adult mentors are still needed for the William Wells Brown Elementary School Plus program. If you are interested, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass at 859-231-8181 or Bbbs-bluegrass.org for more information.