■ Dixie Elementary Magnet School is the among the country's Blue Ribbon Schools for 2010. The award honors schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.
"The turning point was when we started to realize that every child who comes in the door is an opportunity," said Loraye Jones, principal at Dixie from 2004 to 2009. "The teachers just kept pushing the kids to reach to higher levels."
This year's Blue Ribbon Schools — 254 public and 50 private — will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C. Dixie is among five winners in Kentucky.
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One emphasis at Dixie is individualized instruction that accelerates a student's growth.
"Dixie's philosophy has always been about educating the whole child," said Jones, now an elementary director in Fayette County Public Schools.
She also credited the staff's flexibility in helping to transform the school.
In FCPS, Veterans Park Elementary was a Blue Ribbon School in 2008. Before that, the district had not had a recipient since Southern Elementary in 1989.
In the past 28 years, more than 6,000 schools across the nation have received this award.
■ Georgetown College has added sports journalist William F. "Billy" Reed to its team.
The national award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist, radio talk-show host and author becomes the college's second executive scholar-in-residence. Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins was Georgetown's first in 1998 and continues to serve the college in advisory capacities.
Reed's biggest task at Georgetown College will be giving enhanced exposure to its new "Champions of Athletic Character" program. This is an initiative to create a learning environment that is suitable for character growth and leadership for all student-athletes, maintaining a realistic goal of scholarly athletic success. (For more, visit www.georgetowncollege.edu/champions )
"Throughout my career as a columnist and commentator, I've always tried to stand up for those individuals and institutions who play by the rules and conduct their business with honor and integrity, so I see my work at Georgetown College as a continuation of that lifelong mission," said Reed, who is known in Kentucky for his years as a sportswriter, then sports editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal, and later as sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Georgetown College's president Bill Crouch expects Reed, who also spent 30 years as a writer with Sports Illustrated. to be a valuable resource in assisting the college with special fund-raising efforts and events, acting as a liaison to the state's legislature, and speaking at events and to classes.
■ The Horse Farm Workers Education Assistance Fund has awarded 32 scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year to children of full-time workers on Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms. Scholarships for tuition are granted for education after high school and are based upon need, merit, essays and personal interviews. To date, 416 annual scholarships (averaging nearly $2,000 each) have been awarded since the fund's inception in 1996. Two of the current scholars are Pollard Scholars at the University of Kentucky.
Scholarship recipients and the schools they plan to attend are as follows: Kaitlyn Alexander, Morehead State University; Jannica Brady, University of the Cumberlands; Matt Broughton, Bluegrass Community and Technical College; Lindsay Brumley, Thomas More College; Mary Ruth Callaway, Samford University; Monica Calleja, BCTC; Frank Carter, University of Kentucky; Nathan Carter, Eastern Kentucky University; Cheli Castillo, BCTC; Cody Courtney, BCTC; Josh Davis, MSU; Liz Fiero, Murray State University; Megan Hephner, Middle Tennessee State; Mary Koch, UK; Megan Lynn, BCTC; Linzay Marks, Louisiana State University; Steven Powell, Western Kentucky University; Justin Purvis, UK; Alex Rankin, Northern Kentucky University; John Rankin, MSU; Trent Rankin, NKU; Trey Rankin, Thomas More College; Elaine Royse, Georgetown College; Jose Salazar, BCTC; Viridiana Salazar, BCTC; Lyndsay Sams, EKU; Sarah Shaw; EKU; Miller Thornbury, University of the South; Casey Ward, Nashville Auto-Diesel College; Sam Wells, WKU; Parker Wornall, WKU; Lindsay Zahn, EKU.
The scholarship fund is managed on a volunteer basis and more than 92 percent of monies donated flow through to the recipients. Additional information about the fund may be found at www.horsefarmworkerseducationfund.com. Inquiries for applications may be made to (859) 269-1719.
■ The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence honored its fourth class of 46 Chellgren Fellows recently. Benefactor Paul Chellgren and his wife Deborah, in addition to Chellgren Endowed Chair Philipp Kraemer and UK Provost Kumble Subbaswamy, all recognized and congratulated the sophomores on being named Fellows.
Anna Brzyski, associate professor of art history and visual studies in the UK College of Fine Arts, was also named the newest Chellgren Endowed Professor.
The Chellgren Fellows Program is for students with exceptional academic potential and aspirations, who are eager to participate in a special learning community designed to cultivate extraordinary achievement.
The students selected as Chellgren Fellows include: Maria Bane, Catherine Brereton, Jennifer Brogie, Carter Daniels, Jonathan Davies, Brooke Davies, Brett Dickens, David Dirkes III, Charles Fieseler, Jonathan Finnie, Jared Flanery, Tyler Flynn, Courtney Ford, Geraldine Goh, Jillian Harris, McKinley Heflin, Andrea Hiller, Cody Hollan, Alexandria Jarrells, Mary Jennings, Deron Johnson, Kelsey Joseph, Abigail Kerins, James Knott, Taylor Lloyd, Shelby Malone, Madison McGhee, Saumya Mehta, John Motes, Asri Mumpuni, Lindsay Oberhausen, Emily Pena, Justin Penny, Amanda Rambo, James Rossi, Ethan Rutledge, Elizabeth Schaller, Emma Scott, Sarah Seger, Alexandria Sehon, Abdel-Sater Shalash, William Spence, Jonathan Tyler, Grant Weherley, Mary Wimberly and Madeline Wright.
The center was created in August 2005 with an initial gift of $1.5 million from alumnus Paul Chellgren and his family, with an additional gift of $250,000 in September 2006. His total commitment of $2.25 million was matched by the state's Endowment Match Program, creating a $4.5 million endowment for the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence.
Chellgren is the former chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc. He is now an operating partner with SPG Partners, a New York City private equity firm.
■ Employees at LabDx Laboratory and BioDiagnostics donated school supplies to Deep Springs Elementary in the one-year-old company's first community outreach project. A handful of students accepted the gifts Sept. 8 on behalf of their school.
■ The Lafayette Alumni Association will host its annual pot-luck picnic at 4 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Bach Farm on Redd Road. Meat and drinks will be provided. All LHS alumni are invited. For reservations and directions, call (859) 278-1489.