■ Darrius Garr, a fifth-grader at Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy, was selected as Lexington's junior fire chief for 2015. This year's nationwide theme for Fire Prevention Week, which continues through Saturday, is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep," meaning that every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm. "It's so you don't get burned when there's a fire in your house," said Darrius, whose winning poster features a bright red fire engine speeding to the rescue.
Each fall, Lexington's Division of Fire & Emergency Services selects a different elementary school for its essay/poster/brochure contest, and the school's staff chooses a fifth-grader to wear the badge for the week. The honoree should be a model citizen and a good student who can miss a few hours of school and be comfortable in front of crowds. The other finalists at Booker T. Washington Intermediate were Brandy Aguilar, Chris Ignacio, Lyric Lilly, Ramon Martinez and Giovanni Perez, who rode on a fire truck in Sunday's parade.
Darrius had a full schedule in his honorary role, including riding in a horse-drawn carriage in the parade; appearances on local news shows; and tours of the firefighters' training academy, Keeneland, Fifth Third Bank, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, and a horse farm. Darrius will present his poster at Tuesday nights Urban County Council meeting. His term wraps up with a tour of Blue Grass International Airport and a ride on a ladder truck.
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■ Malcolm Gooding, a seventh-grader at Morton Middle School, was once again the class champion and overall grand Champion in 4-H geology at the Kentucky State Fair. This is his third year competing at the fair. The first year he was class champion and overall grand champion; the second year he was again class champion and overall reserve grand champion.
Malcolm traveled throughout the state collecting rocks, minerals and fossils. Thirty-five specimens were then selected, identified, numbered and mounted. Identification labels were generated for each sample with name, pertinent information and qualifying properties. They were added below the correct specimen displayed in two framed boxes constructed to 4-H specifications.
■ The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has selected University of Kentucky senior Robert Cass of Lexington as one of this year's 38 recipients of a $10,000 scholarship. The scholarship is presented annually to college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math.
Cass, the son of Valerie and Wayne Cass, is a 2012 graduate of Lafayette High School. At UK, he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in mathematics. A member of the Honors Program, Cass also was named a Chellgren Fellow in the UK Academy for Undergraduate Excellence. Upon completion of his bachelor's degree, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics.
For more information on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, go to Astronautscholarship.org.
■ Several FFA members from Locust Trace AgriScience Center competed in various events at the Kentucky State Fair in August. Allie Richie earned a blue ribbon in horticulture's potted flowers, plants and blooming annuals division, and Claire Blalock received a blue ribbon in hanging baskets. Tamuz Babatunde, Matthew Blancet and Sydney Lewis teamed up to bring home a red ribbon in the small power equipment career development event contest.
Other winners from Fayette County Public Schools were:
Sarianna Denegri-Dittoe, Morton Middle, blue and white ribbons in photography.
Caroline Dunson, Tates Creek High, blue, red and white ribbons in arts and crafts.
Malcolm Gooding, Morton Middle, blue ribbon in geology.
Abby Hardin, Edythe J. Hayes Middle, blue ribbon in sewing.
Elise Lindsay, Tates Creek Middle, red ribbon in photography.
Claudia Markel, Tates Creek Middle, blue ribbon in arts and crafts.
Erin Markel, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, blue ribbon in arts and crafts, blue in home environment, white in photography, white in sewing, white in food exhibits.
Alexander Neal, Meadowthorpe Elementary, white ribbon in arts and crafts.
Breydan Neal, Leestown Middle, blue ribbon in food preservation, red in arts and crafts.
Emily Sandford, Henry Clay High, red ribbon in trends, red in arts and crafts.
Makenzie Webb, Jessie Clark Middle, blue ribbon in horticulture and plant science.
■ The U.S. Department of Education has deemed SCAPA at Bluegrass a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School for its overall academic excellence and the exemplary high performance of its students.
"SCAPA is absolutely thrilled," said principal Beth Randolph. "For 29 years, the students and teachers at SCAPA have had the joy of performing and creating works of art and learning academics through the arts as part of our everyday school experience. Learning in this manner has been delightful, and the bonds we've shared working hard to be our best and to produce the highest quality work have become part of who we are. We are grateful to Fayette County Public Schools for having the foresight and wisdom to allow students to learn in such a rich atmosphere of imagination, innovation, and individuality."
Education Secretary Arne Duncan saluted a total of 335 schools, including 11 in Kentucky.
■ Twelve students from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System were honored at the second annual Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Frankfort Convention Center on Sept. 26. Recognized at the induction ceremony were:
John T. Kimpston, Ashland Community & Technical College; Delbert Hunter, Bluegrass Community & Technical College; Joshua Clemence, Gateway Community & Technical College; Joseph Johnson, Hazard Community & Technical College; Lee Adamson, Henderson Community College; Gary Klemm, Hopkinsville Community College; Jennifer Crone, Jefferson Community & Technical College; Daniel Jones, Maysville Community & Technical College; Justin Yazza, Somerset Community College; Justin Potter, Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College; Rutland Vaughn Melton Sr., Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College; and Nicholas Jagielo, West Kentucky Community & Technical College.
■ Kentucky Coal Academy Mine Rescue team member Taber Tichenor recently was named the 2015 National Mine Rescue Bench BioPak champion after competing in the National Mining Association's Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift Competition, which was held Sept. 14 to 17 in Lexington.
Tichenor, also of Armstrong Coal Co.'s Kronos Mine, was one of 43 individuals competing in the Bench BioPak 240R Competition, where miners are given 30 minutes to inspect and ensure self-contained breathing apparatuses work properly.
■ Ten Kentucky public schools, including Fayette County's Carter G. Woodson Academy, have been recognized for effective teaching, school leadership practices and learning conditions. These Winner's Circle schools, which received certificates and banners during the Continuous Improvement Summit in Lexington, were selected based on their 2015 TELL Kentucky Survey results, school safety and student achievement scores. Fayette County also had two honorable mentions: Veterans Park Elementary and Opportunity Middle College. All three schools will be promoted as models of best practices across the state.
■ Two employees of Fayette County Public Schools have earned honors from the Kentucky Association of School Librarians. Amanda Hurley of Henry Clay High School was named the state's outstanding school media librarian, and Jennifer Prall of Tates Creek High received an Eleanor Simmons Grant for professional growth.
■ Loretta Jean Elder, a professor of nursing at Madisonville Community College, has been selected as a recipient of the 2015 Acorn Award, which recognizes outstanding faculty at Kentucky's public and independent colleges and universities. Recipients receive a $5,000 honorarium. They are selected based on information they provide about their reasons for selecting college teaching as a profession, their teaching philosophy, their professional achievements and recommendations by faculty and students.
Elder has taught nursing at MCC's integrated nursing program for nine years. She is co-chair of the Baptist Health Medical Center Nursing Education Council; president of the Hopkins County Community Clinic's executive board; district president of the Kentucky Nurses Association; and a member of several national organizations including the National League for Nurses, American Nurses Association, National Organization for Associate Degree Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau International.
■ Porter G. Peeples, president and CEO of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County, spoke to students at Bryan Station High School as part of the 6th annual Back to School with the History Makers program. The theme of the day was commit. Peeples and others returned to classrooms to give their testimony about pursuing an education, overcoming challenges on their path to success, and making a difference in their communities.
■ The Visible Learning Institute will be 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Northeast Christian Church, 990 Star Shoot Parkway. Kentucky Educational Development Corp. is partnering with learning resources publisher Corwin to bring John Hattie, professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, to Lexington. Cost: $300. Register at Corwin.com/kedcvl. For the full agenda with topic descriptions, go to Bit.ly/1FL5GWD.