■ Shaina Whitt, a player in the Lexington Youth Soccer Association, was crowned sophomore homecoming princess at Lafayette High School's Ishmael Stadium on Oct. 12. Injured in early August when she was hit while riding her bike across Man o' War Boulevard, Whitt, 15, has spent several months recovering from the accident. Members of the soccer organization rallied behind her and her family as she recovered and held a fund-raiser for her in early September.
■ Vincent Cao, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High has been named to the Next-Generation Student Advisory Council, which provides grass-roots input to the Kentucky Department of Education. He will serve on the council for one year.
This group meets with Commissioner Terry Holliday and KDE staff, in person and virtually, to discuss how state-level decisions affect students. The council provides valuable feedback and engages student leaders in learning by doing.
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The Next-Generation Student Council, which is a yearlong program for public school students in grades 10-12, is made up of diverse students with refreshing ideas and thoughtful insight into how public schools and student achievement can be improved.
In January, Bryan Station High senior Cory Banta was among the first teens selected.
■ Joyce Crupper Clifford and Helen Anderson Shaw, two former educators, are the newest inductees into the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame.
Clifford, an Owen County native, received her bachelor's in vocational home economics education from UK in 1959.
In 1967, she began teaching home economics at Harrison County High School. She became the high school's principal in 1989 and retired from that position in 1994.
Shaw, a Lexington native, received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from UK in 1958. She received her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 and 1969, respectively.
While pursuing her degrees, Shaw conducted research on histidine, an amino acid in humans. This research was the first indication that histidine might be an indispensable amino acid in humans.
In 1989, Shaw became department chairwoman in the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's School of Human Environmental Sciences and a researcher at the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station.
She became dean of the school and assistant director for Human Environmental Sciences Research in the experiment station in 1994.
She retired from UNC-Greensboro in 2000 and is now an aspiring watercolor artist with paintings on exhibit at art galleries in North Carolina and Virginia.
■ Based on its high-performing students, Rosa Parks Elementary is among the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
This spring, Rosa Parks was selected a national Green Ribbon School for its work toward an energy-efficient school environment and sustainability literacy.
Principal Leslie Thomas and a teacher will attend a recognition ceremony Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. Nationwide, 307 schools will be cited based on one of two criteria: schools whose students are high-performing as measured on state assessments or nationally normalized tests; schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve their performance to high levels.
Kentucky's other honorees are Trapp Elementary in Clark County and Porter Elementary in Johnson County, along with these private schools: Seton Catholic School in Lexington, Rock Creek Elementary in Louisville, Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, St. Henry High in Erlanger and St. James Catholic Regional School in Elizabethtown.
Since the program's revamping in 2003, 40 Kentucky public schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools. The most recent Fayette County Public Schools honorees were Dixie Magnet Elementary in 2010, Veterans Park Elementary in 2008 and Southern Elementary in 1989. For details, visit Ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.
■ The University of Kentucky chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society, has been recognized as a 2012 Chapter of Excellence. The UK chapter is one of only 19 to be honored with this designation, which includes two student members winning awards for their academic achievements.
The UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was established in 2009. Each fall, the chapter initiates eligible juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders into its ranks. PKP recognizes students for their academic excellence and service to the community. This year, UK students Taylor Lloyd and Brittany Kidwell were awarded scholarships through the national office of PKP.
Lloyd was awarded the $5,000 PKP Fellowship, which will be used to help pay for her tuition or housing for the current year.
Kidwell, who is a fourth-year student in the UK College of Pharmacy pursuing her doctor of pharmacy degree, was awarded a $1,000 study-abroad grant, enabling her to study for six weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The UK chapter of PKP is led by Emmett "Buzz" Burnam, student affairs coordinator in the Office of Admissions and Registrar, who is the chapter president.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's academic team — juniors Athena Kern, John Luan, Joseph Schneider and Neelav Dutta — has won a platinum-certified qualifier for the 2013 PACE national competition.
The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is a non-profit alliance of college and high school academic teams that organizes tournaments to expose students to top levels of competition. The Oct. 6 tournament, hosted by the University of Illinois, was written at the University of Michigan and the University of Delaware. The next-to-last questions were rough for the Dunbar students, according to coach Susan Magedanz. After six hours of perfect play, they lost to the Carbondale, Ill., team by two questions. When the schools met again in the final playoff, a power answer enabled Dunbar to seal the victory in a close game where the lead changed multiple times.
As tournament champion, Dunbar received a bid to PACE nationals next summer, where about 60 teams will vie for the title of most outstanding quiz bowl team. Last year, Dunbar finished 16th in the country despite missing some key starters due to graduation ceremonies. Magedanz said this year's team of mostly juniors and sophomores hopes for an even better showing and has already started raising funds for the trip.
■ Students interested in a career in government or non-profit management will have an opportunity to meet faculty, staff, students and graduates of the University of Kentucky's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at its annual open house.
The event will be from 5:30-7 p.m. today, at the Hilary J. Boone Center. Visitors can learn more about the Martin School and its graduate programs, including a new, accelerated one-year master's program.
For information, contact Sarah Lee at (859) 257-5594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Lexmark International is accepting nominations for its INSPIRE Award, which salutes exceptional middle and high school teachers for their contributions to science, technology, engineering and math education in Central Kentucky. Each honoree receives $1,000 for STEM classroom needs.
Nominations may come from students, colleagues, parents, school administrators or community leaders. A committee of Lexmark employees chooses the winners, who exemplify these key characteristics to INSPIRE students: innovation, nurturing, STEM literacy, progressive, influential, resourcefulness and excellence.
The online nomination form can be found by visiting Lexmark.com and clicking "Corporate Responsibility" under "About Lexmark." Next, click "Inspire Award" under the "Society" tab.
For information, call (859) 232-4547.