Education notes: Sept. 19

Angela Stark
Angela Stark


Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council and a nationally recognized expert on coal mining issues, will address "Surface and Underground Coal Mining" when he speaks at Eastern Kentucky University at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Perkins Building.

The event is free. A question-and-answer session will follow.

■ The University of Kentucky Chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society has been awarded one of 14 literacy grants for 2012-13 from the national society for its proposed project, "Healing through Reading."

The project is a nine-month, self-care book club for women and their children who are survivors of domestic violence and living in a safe house. It aims to assist women by improving their literacy skills and providing a space for residents to connect and discuss monthly book topics that include domestic violence, unhealthy relationships, isolation and self-empowerment. In addition, children's books are provided for residents to read to their children.

The project is a collaborative effort between UK Phi Kappa Phi and the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program.

A team of UK's PKP student members, led by Heather Davis of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation in the College of Education, and Alisha Hamilton, recent graduate of the College of Social Work master's program, worked to develop the grant proposal in partnership with Bekah Fulcher, family advocate of the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program.

Amanda Nicksic, outreach and programming specialist at the UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, helped develop the idea for the grant proposal.

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, please call 1-800-804-9880 or visit

Fayette County Public Schools dominated the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 7 awards, announced at the Sept. 10 fall meeting.

Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Lisse Lawson, music teacher at Rosa Parks; Middle School Teacher of the Year: Sarah Payne, orchestra director at Bryan Station; High School Teacher of the Year: Bill Kite, band director at Henry Clay; Outstanding Administrator: Tammie Franks, principal at Harrison Elementary.

These district winners will be nominated for KMEA statewide awards, which are presented at the annual professional development event in February.

In addition to Fayette, KMEA District 7 encompasses Bourbon, Clark, Franklin, Jessamine, Harrison, Scott and Woodford counties.

Eastern Kentucky University has been named a 2012 recipient of a Diversity Award from Minority Access Inc. This marks the third consecutive year EKU has earned the honor.

Sandra Moore, associate provost for diversity planning, will accept the award at the National Role Models Conference Sept. 28-30 at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

For more information, visit


Angela Stark, a physical education and wellness teacher at Southern Middle School, will help make a broader impact through Team Healthier Generation, which is raising money via the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.

Team Healthier Generation inspires runners across the country to raise funds to expand healthy eating habits and physical activity programs in places that can make a difference for a child, such as schools, doctors' offices and their own homes. With one in three children either overweight or obese, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation aims to reduce those numbers by 2015 and empower students to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Fayette County Public Schools is a member of the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program, which provides free advice and resources. Southern and Tates Creek middle schools recently earned bronze medals for significant improvements on their campuses. For example, Southern altered its class schedule so that students can walk outside for 20 minutes a day, the cafeteria offers free water, and staff members may participate in wellness assessments. Southern also has a running club for students and staff as well as an outdoor track.

An avid runner involved with Southern's Lightning Strike 5K each spring, Stark completed a marathon several years ago, so she knows what's in store.

"I've always wanted to run New York City, so to be able to run it for a cause, it means the world to me," she said.

Stark, who grew up in Washington state, ran cross country and competed in the heptathlon in college while earning a kinesiology degree. She has coached soccer, basketball, cross country and track at the middle school and high school levels. In 2003, she and her husband moved to Lexington, where she has taught special education and physical education.

To support Stark, or for more information, visit

Christ the King School recently launched a 1:1 initiative in its middle school. The school has more than 150 iPads for students to use at home and in school for academics. The iPads were purchased by the school through fund-raising efforts. Before receiving an iPad, students had to pass a "Digital Driver's License" test.

Apple representatives will visit Christ the King School on Thursday as part of a nationwide tour to educate community leaders on the many aspects of mobile initiatives.

■ Renowned physicist and author Richard Muller will speak at Eastern Kentucky University as part of the 2012-13 EKU Chautauqua Lecture Series, "Crossroads."

Muller, professor of physics at University of California-Berkeley, will present "Physics and Technology for Future Presidents" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The lecture, in the Student Success Building's O'Donnell Hall, is free.

Muller is currently leading the "Berkeley Earth" study making a new evaluation of global warming. He has been awarded the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Waterman Award, the Texas Instruments Founders Prize, and numerous teaching awards. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

To see the complete schedule of the 2012-13 EKU Chautauqua Lectures, visit

Gail Minger, who lost her son Michael to an arson fire at Murray State University in 1998, will be on the Eastern Kentucky University campus on Sept. 24 to present a new documentary film on a series of campus-related fires nationwide.

A presentation by Minger, followed by a screening of 9 Fires, will begin at 5 p.m. in Room 108 of the John Grant Crabbe Library. The event is free.

The documentary, produced by the Minger Foundation, follows what happened after each of the nine fires and features interviews with survivors, families, the educational institutions, and fire departments.

Because Michael Minger had a non-verbal learning disability that was a contributing factor in his death, the Minger Foundation's mission is to raise the awareness and standards of campus fire safety for all students, with a special focus on students with disabilities.

Gail Minger has become a national advocate for fire safety, was instrumental in the passage of the Michael H. Minger Act in Kentucky, and has worked on national legislation, education and awareness.

■ Eastern Kentucky University is hosting a New Voter Workshop from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 27 in Walnut Hall of the Keen Johnson Building. The free event is geared toward college students and high school seniors. Lunch is included. Those who have not yet registered to vote will have the opportunity to do so at the workshop.

Space is limited and reservations are required to

■ The League of Women Voters of Lexington is sponsoring an essay contest for Fayette County high school students asking them to research and respond to the Supreme Court decision known as Citizens' United.

The contest is open to any student in grades 9-12 who attends a Fayette County school. Private school and home-schooled students are eligible.

Monetary prizes of $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place will be awarded in December. An honorarium of $100 will be awarded to the teacher of the first place winner. The teacher/sponsor of the second and third place winners will each receive $50.

Students and teachers can learn more about the contest by e-mailing Essay Contest Committee chair, Judy Johnson at or visiting the League's Web site at