Education Notes: PLD's Xiong chosen for National High School Honors Orchestra


Eric Xiong, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been chosen for the National High School Honors Orchestra. A violinist, he is the only student from Kentucky in the 2013-14 group, which is hosted by the American String Teachers Association.

The honors orchestra is a collection of 100 competitively selected musicians who assemble biennially to perform at the association's national conference. The next gathering is March 5-8 in Louisville, where the students will present Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, by Dmitri Shostakovich.

The orchestra includes juniors and seniors who play stringed instruments and percussion, and wind students in grades 9-12. Gary Lewis, director of orchestras and professor of music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will rehearse the students for three days to prepare for the concert performance.

At Dunbar, Eric is under the guidance of orchestra director Rebecca Goff.

Cumberland University, University of the Cumberlands, St. Catharine College, Lindsey Wilson College, Campbellsville, University of Pikeville, University of Rio Grande and Shawnee State University have been named an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Five Star Champions of Character Institution for 2012-13.

The award is given annually to institutions that promote character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions also earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.

Alexander Blum-Hayes, an Earlham College senior and son of Kendall Hayes and Virginia Blum of Lexington, is studying in Philadelphia this fall through The Philadelphia Center. During the Philadelphia Program, participants live independently while taking seminars and interning 32 hours per week. Earlham is a liberal arts college in Richmond, Ind.


■ The Fayette County Public School district's Transportation Department has raised $1,500 for the district's Relay for Life team, which collects donations for the American Cancer Society. The highlight was the second annual Ride for the Cure, which drew 30 motorcyclists. Transportation employees also hosted a spaghetti dinner and a hot dog lunch.

Lexington Catholic High School will hold an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 for 5th-8th grade students and their parents. Special information sessions will be held in the following areas: Exemplar Scholars Program for Excellence in Math, Science, and Technology, Exemplar Scholars Program for Excellence in the Fine Arts, Equine Academy, and The High Marks Center and Learning Differences Program. For admissions information, go to or contact director of admissions, Mindy Towles, (859) 277-7183, Ext. 231 or

■ The Equity Council in Fayette County Public Schools, which advocates for all children regardless of their background and circumstances, is accepting applications for membership. The deadline is Friday.

The Equity Council monitors and advises the school board on issues of fairness, access and barriers that might keep a child from learning or a teacher from teaching. In its membership, the council seeks people from all walks of life who want to help create a collaborative culture among the schools, the district and the community that supports learning for all students. The application is available for download at, or can be picked up at the district office at 701 East Main Street.

■ Fayette County Public Schools has a new Autism Support Center, an online resource designed to give school administrators, teachers and families easy access to information on supporting students with autism. The page can be found at