■ This year marked the 13th annual Partners For Youth/Toyota Scholarship Program.
On Nov. 7, nine local students were honored at a special reception at The Bell House. Eight students from Lexington high schools received $1,000 each, and one student received $1,500 as the 10th annual recipient of the A. J. Newcomb Scholarship.
The A.J. Newcomb Scholarship is named in honor of a past recipient who died of complications from a heart transplant shortly after graduating from Lafayette High School in 2001.
The scholarships can be used for college or a trade or technical school. To be eligible for a scholarship, a student must be associated with one of the 33 grass-roots programs supported by Partners For Youth.
Young people were selected based on a series of questions concerning life activities and things that made them proud. Participants also were asked what advice they would give to younger people that would help them develop skills for promoting successful behavior and coping with problems.
Partners For Youth/Toyota Scholarship recipients are: Seirria Adams, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School; Isabelle Amuri, Lafayette High School; Kiearra Brown, Tates Creek High School; Charna Coleman, Lafayette High School; Kiana Davis, Tates Creek High School; Victoria Joseph, The Learning Center; Tiffany Seaman, The Learning Center; Lauren Wash, Henry Clay High School; and Demetria Wingate, Tates Creek High School
■ Lisa Hager, who has taught wellness and physical education at Southern Middle School since 2009, is the state's secondary physical education teacher of the year.
The award, which she received Nov. 15 during a statewide conference in Lexington, comes from the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
A Lexington native, Hager earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University and her master's in health and Rank I in sports administration from the University of Kentucky.
■ Mary Molsky, a special education teacher at Beaumont Middle School, is the winner of this year's Betty Triplett Award, given by the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children.
The statewide honor is awarded to a passionate advocate who has created a service or started a program that helps meet the needs of families and children with emotional, social or behavioral disabilities. At Beaumont, Molsky launched the Gummy Bears Club, whose members make friends with special-needs students and lend a hand with their academic lessons and development of social skills.
Molsky was nominated by Junior Achievement classroom volunteer Craig Browning, who helped promote the club's philosophy district-wide through a Leadership Lexington project.
Molsky received the $250 award at a Dec. 3 luncheon in Frankfort hosted by the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, a private, not-for-profit family organization.
■ Professor John Thelin, of the University of Kentucky Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation in the College of Education, has been named the recipient of the Outstanding Research Achievement Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
The award was presented Nov. 18 at the annual national conference in Charlotte, N.C. Each year, ASHE selects one scholar to receive the award "for outstanding contribution to research to an individual whose published work advances understanding of higher education in a significant way."
■ Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic, a non-profit corporation, is one of five finalists with a chance to win $25,000 for scholarships and educational tools in the 2011 Heska Inspiration in Action Contest.
A first-of-its-kind animal hospital, Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic opened this fall on the campus of the Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, which provides high school students an opportunity to observe and assist as veterinarians provide care for pets, horses and food animals. Prize money from the contest would be used to provide students with scholarships to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. For more about the program, go to Locusttracevet.com.
Heska, a provider of veterinary diagnostic and specialty products, will award the grand prize winner $25,000 and the runner-up $5,000 to help bring inspired ideas to life.
The project with the most online votes by Dec. 18 will win. You can vote for Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic at Heska.com/action.
■ Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary has been chosen as one of eight schools across the nation to receive $25,000 from the Windstream SchoolsWIN Classroom Connections program. As a part of the Classroom Connections program, Mary Queen participated in a community service project and submitted a video to be considered for the award of $25,000. Students collected soda can tops to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.
After being chosen as one of the 30 finalists in the Classroom Connections program, Mary Queen encouraged families, friends and residents to vote for the school's video. Mary Queen was announced as the only Kentucky winner. The money will be used for technology upgrades in the school.
To view the school's winning video, go to http://schoolswin.windstream.com/post/1084.
■ The Blue Grass Community Foundation has awarded a total of $25,860 to Fayette County Public Schools this fall, including $10,000 as SmART grants in a new partnership with LexArts.
The SmART program aims to maximize young people's access to professional artists and local arts groups. SmART also allotted $1,000 for professional development to help teachers integrate the arts into core curriculum.
The BGCF's teacher mini grants of $14,860 encourage classroom innovation and support ideas for creative, interesting programs, projects and events.
The following are 2011-12 Fayette County LexArts SmART grant recipients:
Bryan Station High School, $1,000 for an artist to perform for six keyboard classes and teach a master class for advanced students; Deep Springs Elementary School, $1,000 for the Lexington Children's Theatre to conduct an arts residency for third-graders; Dixie Elementary School, $1,000 for an artist-in-residence to work with fifth-graders on an Appalachian Festival mural; Henry Clay High School, $1,000 for a field trip to the Art Museum and the Art Academy of Cincinnati; Landsdowne Elementary School, $1,000 for Teaching Westward Movement through Drama using Lexington Children's Theatre, which provides a workshop for fifth-graders; Meadowthorpe Elementary School, $1,000 for an artist to provide Appalachian dance and music workshops for fourth- and fifth-graders; Millcreek Elementary School, $1,000 for Kentucky Shakespeare to provide workshops introducing Elizabethan dance, pantomime/drama, music and visual arts; Morton Middle School, $1,000 for a Japanese Kabuki Theater/Asian Music and Movement Integration program to provide workshops and involve the whole school in a Kabuki play; Russell Cave Elementary School, $1,000 for Lexington Children's Theatre to guide the fifth grade production of Alice in Wonderland; SCAPA at Bluegrass, $1,000 for the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's Broadway Bound's 13: The Musical Workshop.
LexArts SmART grants awarded to Fayette County Schools for professional development:
Tates Creek High School, $500 for orchestra director Ben McWhorter to attend the American String Teacher Association's national conference in March 2012; Tates Creek High School, $500 for choir director Meg Stohlmann to attend the American Choral Directors Association's convention in February 2012.
The 2011-12 teacher mini grants included: Arlington Elementary School, $1,000 for the Special Education Improvement Project to improve instructional practices in the classroom; Booker T. Washington Academy, $1,000 for Roller-Skating to Life-Long Health to demonstrate the benefits of roller skating; Harrison Elementary School, $1,000 for the Reuse, Recreate and Recycle project to decorate and place recycling bins in all the classrooms; Henry Clay High School, $1,000 for the Keeneland Comes Alive in LEGO Style project where students design and build a scale model of Keeneland's track, grandstand and paddock; James Lane Allen Elementary School, $996.52 for an African Heritage Celebration program that teaches students about West African art and culture by designing and decorating adinkra symbols and bandannas; James Lane Allen Elementary School, $1,000 for Boogiebeats, a bilingual music program that introduces and reinforces preliteracy skills through music, chant, imagination, puppets and illustrated books; Liberty Elementary School, $1,000 for the SHARE Gallery program, which offers a permanent gallery for students' artwork; Millcreek Elementary School, $1,000 for Litter Mapping, where kids use GPS to track litter deposits along the restored urban stream and examine humans' impact on the environment; Northern Elementary School, $679 for Arts through Architecture and Art beyond Borders, traveling art exhibits to facilitate a better understanding of Hispanic culture and language; Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, $730.45 for a printmaker to work with students in creating artwork for a permanent display; Russell Cave Elementary School, $935.90 for the Digital Reading Group instruction; SCAPA at Bluegrass, $1,000 for the Music and Dance of Appalachia, Colonial America and West Africa program; Veterans Park Elementary School, $825 for the Chinese Dance Residency program, culminating with a performance for the community; Winburn Middle School, $756.92 for World Music Drumming, which provides tubano drums for a music-making experience; Winburn Middle School, $935.93 for the Connecting Voices in Kentucky History: What's Your Story?, which enables students to conduct research linking the past and present and $1,000 for the Improving Reading for Lifelong Learning program.