■ Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and Tates Creek High School each boast statewide Science Teachers of the Year. Melinda Kinsel of Athens-Chilesburg Elementary has been named the state's 2013 Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher of the Year. A native of Chillicothe, Ohio, Kinsel earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a minor in science from Ohio University and a master's in education from Georgetown College. Before ACE, she taught at Millcreek Elementary for several years.
Cathy Sammons of Tates Creek High School has been selected the state's 2013 Outstanding High School Science Teacher of the Year. "The fact the award came from my peers means a great deal to me," said Sammons, who was nominated by a colleague at a former school.
Sammons, who grew up in Lexington, earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a master's at Mississippi State. She is in her second year at Tates Creek High after 11 years in Barren County.
■ Kala Brown of Lafayette High School and Blake Gilbert of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School are among Kentucky's 12 semifinalists in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program.
Nationwide, some 1,600 African-American high school seniors are competing for awards worth more than $2.5 million. The winners will be announced April 9.
■ The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. have selected outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards. These teachers qualify to compete for the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month. The teachers in the Herald-Leader coverage area, listed by district, name and school, are:
Bracken County — Robin Rath-Fultz, Taylor Elementary
Carter County — Beverly McDavid, West Carter Middle
Elizabethtown Independent — Derisa Hindle, Talton K. Stone Middle
Fayette County — Cynthia L. Brown, Lexington Traditional Magnet; Scot A. Gill, Tates Creek High; Melanie Trowel, Carter G. Woodson Academy; Catherine Vannatter, Bryan Station High
Floyd County — Cortney H. Flannery, Betsy Layne High; Amanda Lee, May Valley Elementary
Hardin County — Kathy S. Thompson, Central Hardin High
Jessamine County — Shawn Carlstedt, Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary
Lincoln County — Joanna H. Stevens, Lincoln County High
Madison County — LenaKay E. Wilson, Mayfield Elementary
Menifee County — Lana Swartz, Menifee County High
Pendleton County — Michelle W. Lustenberg, Phillip A. Sharp Middle
Scott County — Willow Hambrick, Royal Spring Middle
Taylor County — Jessica McCubbin, Taylor County Middle
All the teachers will be honored Oct. 16 at a ceremony in the State Capitol Building in Frankfort. Gov. Steve Beshear, Education and Workforce Secretary Thomas Zawacki, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Ashland's Chairman and CEO Jim O'Brien will be present to honor the teachers and to recognize the Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year.
From this group of three finalists, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
■ Christopher Cool, a biotechnology student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, is one of seven students selected nationally to receive a fellowship to participate in a National Science Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., this month. Cool will attend the Advancing Technician Education Principle Investigator's Conference, which brings together approximately 850 people to focus on the critical issues related to advanced technological education. Cool, who's the fifth student from BCTC selected to participate, will share his experience about the quality of BCTC's biotechnology program with other students and principal investigators.
The NSF created the Advancing Technician Education program to improve and expand programs for technicians who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The program is mandated by Congress and focuses on undergraduate and secondary school levels.
■ The Community Partners Leadership Team is accepting nominations for the 2013 Golden Apple Awards through Oct. 18. Each fall, these awards go to high-performance community partners that provide an exceptional commitment of time, energy and expertise to individual schools or the Fayette County district as a whole.
The Community Partners Leadership Team, which grew out of the 2020 Vision project, is headed by FCPS family and community district coordinator Alice Nelson. For more information, visit Fcps.net/community or call Nelson at (859) 381-4307.
■ The U.S. Department of Education has named Glendover Elementary a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School, based on its overall academic excellence.
"I could not be more proud of the children and staff," Principal Cathy Fine said. "We set really high expectations, and our children are not afraid of hard work and achieve at those high levels. This (award) validates all the good work we're doing here."
Glendover's designation as an "exemplary high performing school" included an asterisk to note that 40 percent of its students are considered disadvantaged. The principal said the Blue Ribbon honor is also a testament to her school's strong English as a Second Language program, with more than 20 percent of Glendover students classified as English language learners.