■ Ellora Amrit, a junior at Henry Clay High School, won first-place honors in the cancer survivor's division of the annual Write Stuff Teen Contest sponsored by Gilda's Club Louisville. Through essays, poems and artwork, nearly 170 students in grades 6-12 from Kentucky and Southern Indiana reflected on what it's like to live with cancer — dealing either with their own condition or someone close to them. The organizers plan to compile the winning entries, along with some finalists, in a book to serve as a resource to affirm teens' experiences, enhance their coping and build their resilience.
Ellora was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 3. In an excerpt, she wrote: "Cancer has also taught me to find happiness in each day. We have a picture of my dad and me during our stay at the Ronald McDonald House. Despite the grim time, we still look happy. Even if it was for a short time, we somehow found the ability to smile. This picture reminds me to smile even during hard times because it makes them more bearable. ... This disease has also taught me compassion. I always think how amazing it is how people can come together during terrible times. Even though we don't necessarily know someone, we as humans have the ability to feel compassion for them. I am so grateful of the compassionate nurses and doctors that took care of me."
■ Five central Kentucky students achieved top honors in statewide piano competitions sponsored by the Kentucky Music Teacher Association in November at Campbellsville University. In the Bluegrass Junior High Piano Competition Erik Han, an eighth grader at Tates Creek Middle School, won first place. In the Bluegrass Senior High Piano Competition Amy Wang, a sophomore at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, won first place. In the Music Teachers National Association Junior High Competition, the first place winner was Andy Du, an eighth grader at Tates Creek Middle School, and second place went to David Moore, an eighth grader at West Jessamine Middle School. In the MTNA High School Competition, the first place winner was Alice Li, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Both Du and Li will represent Kentucky to compete at the Music Teachers National Association nine-state regional level competition mid-January in Knoxville.
■ Students across the Commonwealth auditioned for the Kentucky Music Educators Association's 2015 All-State High School Chorus. Vocalists in grades 10-12 tried out in quartets — all performing the same piece, sung a cappella; they also had to sight-sing. KMEA chose the top students and assigned them to one of three ensembles: a women's chorus, a men's group and a mixed choir of soprano, alto, tenor and bass. These ensembles will perform Feb. 6 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts' Whitney Hall during KMEA's state conference in Louisville. For ticket information, visit Kmea.org/conference.
The following Fayette County students were selected to the all-state women's chorus: Brennan Burke, Alexis Caudill, Hunter England, Catarine Hancock, Hannah Hetzel-Ebben, Rachel Johnson, Allie Langdorf, Hattie Nunley, Adrienne Omelchenko, Hannah Shannon, all of Lafayette; Erin Connors, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Mari Bartlett, Cassidy Mullins, Erin Reed, Tates Creek.
The following Fayette County students were selected to the all-state men's chorus: James Bailey, Bryan Station; Carlton Williams, Henry Clay; Kurtis Brown, Harrison Carter, Scott DiMeo, Trevor Hignite, Jason Jackson, Kason Speir, Gareth Walker, Slade Warnken, Lafayette; Andrew Lee, Jimmy Rutherford, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Ka'shaun Argrett, Spencer Horman, Caleb Nelson, Tates Creek.
The following Fayette County students were selected to the all-state mixed chorus: Laura Asher, Holly Bennett, Diane Clements, Melissa Findley, Cooper Fitch, Emily Hulett, Sam Ifeacho, Da-Yup Kim, Stella Lee, Hannah Neff, Hunter Nelson, Quentin Prewitt, Lafayette; Colin Fleming, Jonah Fryrear, Kaitlyn Honaker, Amelia Hurt, Kenneth Porter, Ryan Welleford, Tates Creek.
Junior High and Children's Choruses
The 2015 Kentucky Junior High Chorus includes seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders selected via recorded audition, and the children's group is made up of fifth- and sixth-graders. Their concert during the KMEA conference is Feb. 5 in Whitney Hall. For ticket information, visit Kmea.org/conference.
The following Fayette County students were selected for the Junior High Mixed Chorus: Max Taylor, Beaumont;
Molly Katherine Cornett, Courtney Evans, Jessie Clark: Michael Naish, Sarah Morgan, Rosa Mukandama, Danielle Norman, Caroline O'Neill, David Forish, Woods Prewitt, Lafayette; Zachary Eichner, Elizabeth Bowling, Morton; Alison Hiler, Ben Fuller, Dunbar; Kiara Butts, Abigail Cunningham, Grace Brown, Ava Cullen, Tabitha Gervis, Williams Atkinson, Trevor Prather, SCAPA at Bluegrass; Noah Mathenia, Olivia Jett, Mason Tomlinson, Southern Middle
The following Fayette County students were selected for the Junior High Treble Chorus: Gaby Silva, Hannah Broomhall, Beaumont; Emma Owens, Mara Flaherty, Abigail Mires, Taylor Pollitt, Jessie Clark; Georgia Danhires, Rory Hefner-Templar, Ashley Morford, Kaelyn Payton, Sarah Byrd, Katie Copeland, Abby Holthaus, Lafayette; Elly Chula, Selah Houston, Leestown; Brinna Voss, Morton; Madison Alexander, Jameka Jackson-Tucker, Ashley Holsclaw, Dunbar; Aubrey Dawson, Ashley Prigge, Valerie Langdorf, Kendall McCormick, Eliza Sayers, Winburn: Bi Schuler, SCAPA at Bluegrass
The following Fayette County students were selected for the Kentucky Children's Choir: Ashley Lannum, Rosa Parks Elementary; Daniel Baesler, Katelyn Cooper, Ally Curry, Idalia de Beer, Liliane Elayi, Anastasia Hinton, Vivien Kurtz, Dory McDonald, Olivia Miley, Charles Stephenson, SCAPA at Bluegrass; Elizabeth Moore, Kori Silence, Winburn Middle.
■ Beaumont, Edythe J. Hayes and Winburn middle schools topped their respective fields in the 2015 Governor's Cup district-level contests, which wrapped up Jan. 17. The Governor's Cup, which was founded in 1986 to promote classroom achievement, is Kentucky's premier academic competition. A contest consists of five written assessment exams, composition, future problem-solving and quick recall.
FCPS team results in District 59
Overall: Beaumont, first; Morton, second; Jessie Clark, third.
Future problem-solving: Beaumont, first; Morton, second.
Quick recall: Beaumont, first; Morton, second; Jessie Clark, fourth.
Overall: Edythe J. Hayes, first; Southern, third.
Quick recall: Hayes, first; Southern, second.
Hume Sportsmanship Award: Southern.
Overall: Winburn, first; Tates Creek, second; Lexington Traditional Magnet, fourth; Bryan Station, fifth.
Future problem-solving: Winburn, first.
Quick recall: Winburn, first; Tates Creek, second; LTMS, third.
Hume Sportsmanship Award: Bryan Station.
Complete details and individual scores are available at Kaac.com/results.
The middle grades and high school divisions of Governor's Cup include district, regional and state competition. Elementary students participate only in district and regional contests. This year's middle school regional concludes Saturday, and the state finals are March 14-16 in Louisville.
■ A new high school is being built in Scott County and the Scott County School System is asking students and community members to submit their ideas for a school name, mascot and colors by Feb. 1. Ideas should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Lexington Catholic High School's DanceBlue 2015 took place Jan. 16, as more than 500 students, plus volunteers and guests, gathered at LCHS for their annual DanceBlue six-hour mini marathon.
LCHS raised $105,042.45 for the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hemotology Oncology Clinic and the fight against childhood cancer.
■ TAI Preschool, serving the entire Lexington community for more than 30 years, is expanding and will offer all-day programming in the fall for children ages 18 months through pre-K. Enrollment for the 2015-16 school year begins Jan. 26, and space is limited. Affiliated with Temple Adath Israel, the school is at 124 North Ashland Avenue, close to downtown and the University of Kentucky. For more information, go to TAIpreschool.com or call preschool director Katherine Henry at (859) 269-1915.
■ HMB Professional Engineers, a civil engineering and environmental planning firm with headquarters in Frankfort, is offering a $2,500 scholarship to a University of Kentucky junior in the UK College of Engineering.
Scholarship applications are available online at Hmbpe.com/careers/scholarships and must be printed and mailed or hand-delivered to the UK College of Engineering by April 15.
Scholarship recipients are also required to complete a paid summer internship with HMB the summer after receiving the scholarship. With questions, contact Mary Michael McDonald, scholarship coordinator, University of Kentucky College of Engineering, at (859) 257-0569 or by email at email@example.com.