Education notes of interest for Dec. 29


▪ Clay County High School students won first place honors at the “We The People” state competition at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston, W. Va., on Dec. 15. The 12 students in the AP Government and Politics class, taught by Philip Dobbins, will represent West Virginia in the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April.

The “We The People” program has been in existence for more than a quarter-century and focuses on high school students achieving greater civic knowledge and attitudes through learning about constitutional principles and good citizenship. This culminating activity was in the form of a mock Congressional hearing.

This is the second year in a row that Clay County High School has been the statewide winner. Rebecca Tinder, state coordinator for “We The People” and an attorney with Bowles Rice, commended the students for their outstanding performance and the teaching leadership of Dobbins. She also praised Circuit Court Judge Jack Alsop and Clay attorney Mike Asbury, who assisted in judging the district event and gave guidance and advice to the students as they prepared.

▪ Fayette County Public Schools has saluted the district-level winners in the 2015-16 Reflections competition, whose theme is “Let Your Imagination Fly.” These students – the overall winners in each age group and category – received kudos Dec. 6 from the 16th District PTA and now advance to the statewide contest sponsored by Kentucky PTA.

Thirty-five schools in Fayette County Public Schools participated in Reflections this fall, with Tates Creek Elementary and The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek turning out 100 percent through their art classes. Countywide, students submitted more than 4,000 entries, and the schools passed along some 300 pieces for district-level consideration. Those entries were judged by teachers, university professors, dance studio owners, LexArts members, Lexington Philharmonic members, and the head of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference.

The National PTA established the contest in 1968. Designed to enhance a quality arts education, it enables students to express themselves and receive recognition for their artistic efforts. The six areas are music composition, film production, dance choreography, literature, photography and visual art (drawing, painting, print-making and collage).

The overall winners in each age group and category advance to the state competition. The Awards of Excellence represent second place at the district level, and the Awards of Merit are third place.

Primary Music Composition

Overall winner: Taylor McQuillen, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Awards of Excellence: Noah Jackson, Maxwell Elementary; Lucas LeSage, Glendover Elementary; Philip Ritchie, Wellington Elementary; Anvi Vaish, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Award of Merit: Daytavion Lewis, Breckinridge Elementary; Brisia Muralles, Breckinridge Elementary; Kylie Noah, Wellington Elementary; Julianna Squire, Sandersville Elementary.

Intermediate Music Composition

Overall winners: Kayla Chambers-Reed, Rosa Parks Elementary; Katie Squire, Sandersville Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Emerson Farrar, Maxwell Elementary; Jayalaxmi Murty, Rosa Parks Elementary; Avery Padgett, Maxwell Elementary; Evan Prinssen, Veterans Park Elementary.

Award of Merit: Natalie Hoten, Wellington Elementary; Kyle Lewis, Liberty Elementary; Eli Park, Ashland Elementary; Jill Peterson, Sandersville Elementary; Ella Grace Sewell, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary.

Middle School Music Composition

Overall winner: Noah Katz, Tates Creek Middle.

Award of Excellence: Dylan Campbell, Lexington Traditional Magnet; LaRae Jackson, Bryan Station Middle; Parker Smith, Tates Creek Middle.

Award of Merit: Haowen Chih, Jessie Clark Middle; Eryn Keenan, Edythe J. Hayes Middle.

High School Music Composition

Overall winners: Hanna Lyons, STEAM Academy; Brenden Talbert, STEAM Academy.

Award of Excellence: Katilin Meredith, Bryan Station High; Wilkenslev Thervil, Bryan Station High.

Award of Merit: Kallan Adair, STEAM Academy; Emma Reynolds, STEAM Academy.

Primary Dance Choreography

Overall winners: Katie Beth Skaggs, Stonewall Elementary;Elise Trimble, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Anne Margaret Beck, Stonewall Elementary; Harper Gorham, Maxwell Elementary; Benjamin Gus Moore, Wellington Elementary.

Intermediate Dance Choreography

Overall winners: Eliza Louise Mullins, Maxwell Elementary; Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Malarie Kersey, Wellington Elementary; Hadley Roberts, Ashland Elementary; Ally Robertson, Wellington Elementary.

Award of Merit: Rachel Brown, Clara Margaret, and Katherine Landfield, Picadome Elementary; Oliver Copeland, Ashland Elementary; Campbell Jean Tippey, Stonewall Elementary.

Middle School Dance Choreography

Overall winner: Trinity Hope Prather, Jessie Clark Middle.

Award of Excellence: Claire Davis Tippey, Jessie Clark Middle.

High School Dance Choreography

Overall winners: Carson Hardee, Lafayette High School; Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette High School.

Award of Excellence: Elly Gardev, STEAM Academy.

Primary Film Production

Overall winner: Benjamin Gus Moore, Wellington Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Mia DeFino, Wellington Elementary; Matthew Perrine, Liberty Elementary; Zach Perrine, Liberty Elementary.

Intermediate Film Production

Overall winners: Kyle Lewis, Liberty Elementary; Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Thomas Porter Cranney, Sandersville Elementary; Andrew Hughes, Liberty Elementary; Houston Mountjoy, Wellington Elementary; Ava Roberts, Ashland Elementary.

Award of Merit: Ethan Yiannikauris, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Middle School Film Production

Overall winner: Annika Karri, Beaumont Middle School.

High School Film Production

Overall winners: Camille Harn, STEAM Academy; Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette High School.

Award of Excellence: Jackson Quinn, STEAM Academy; Angel Varillas-Llewellyn, Henry Clay High School; Eric Varillas-Llewellyn, Henry Clay High School.

Award of Merit: Xzavier Brown, STEAM Academy; Paul Diaz, STEAM Academy; Richard Grevious, STEAM Academy.

Primary Literature

Overall winner: Luke Majors, Maxwell Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Eric Gordon, Sandersville Elementary; Carter Lankford, Maxwell Elementary; Lucy Elizabeth Miner, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary.

Award of Merit: Jana Rady, Picadome Elementary; Lily Tay, Rosa Parks Elementary; Nikhil Venkateswaran, Picadome Elementary.

Intermediate Literature

Overall winners: Reese Lile, Glendover Elementary; Miyun Santalucia, Wellington Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Savannah Belcher, Sandersville Elementary; Emileigh Lewis, Ashland Elementary; Ava Grace Melloan, Cassidy Elementary; Andrew Peng, Liberty Elementary.

Award of Merit: Oliver Copeland, Ashland Elementary; Walker Drotovick, Garden Springs Elementary; Kharis Hanson, Wellington Elementary; Madelyn Smith, Veterans Park Elementary.

Middle School Literature

Overall winners: Jackson Gonzales, Lexington Traditional Magnet; Laura Holsclaw, Beaumont Middle School.

Award of Excellence: Victoria Jackson, Bryan Station Middle School; Caden Pearson, Tates Creek Middle School; Trevor Prather, Jessie Clark Middle School.

Award of Merit: Connor Genton, Jessie Clark Middle School; Anya Hartman, Tates Creek Middle School; Erin Stratton, Beaumont Middle School.

High School Literature

Overall winners: Grace Michels, Lafayette High School; Christopher Revis, Bryan Station High School.

Award of Excellence: Bethany Boggs, Lafayette High School; Robert Craig, STEAM Academy; Kiara Pankins, Lafayette High School.

Award of Merit: Nell Adkins, STEAM Academy; Renee Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar High; Julia Glenn, Lafayette High School.

Primary Photography

Overall winner: Karver Caswell, Stonewall Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Patrick Rawlings Casey, Veterans Park Elementary; Benjamin Gus Moore, Wellington Elementary; Maggie Grace Young, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Award of Merit: Eva Calder, Maxwell Elementary; Ada King, Rosa Parks Elementary; Kale Masterson, Veterans Park Elementary; Faith Sweazy, Ashland Elementary.

Intermediate Photography

Overall winners: Megan Barrett, Rosa Parks Elementary; Nina Tay, Rosa Parks Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Anjel Gabe Katz, Maxwell Elementary; Lucille Grace Montague, Maxwell Elementary; Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome Elementary; Isabella Sutton, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary.

Award of Merit: Savannah Hughes, Liberty Elementary; Carlyn Sharp, Veterans Park Elementary; Joseph Mills Wilson, Ashland Elementary.

Middle School Photography

Overall winner: Griffin Shively, Beaumont Middle.

Award of Excellence: Andrew Lewis, Bryan Station Middle.

Award of Merit: Mason Duncan, Morton Middle; Rowen Farmer, Leestown Middle; Savannah Mundy, Tates Creek Middle.

High School Photography

Overall winners: Christopher Revis, Bryan Station High School; Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette High School; Jenna Strange, STEAM Academy.

Award of Excellence: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette High School; Thomas Bradley, STEAM Academy; William Chapman, STEAM Academy; Jacob Compton, STEAM Academy; Abby Lee Hughes, STEAM Academy.

Award of Merit: Joseph Craven, Henry Clay High School; Malajah Hodgens, STEAM Academy; Eric Varillas-Llewellyn, Henry Clay High School.

Primary Visual Arts

Overall winner: Iris Zhou, Veterans Park Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Maebri Cole, Sandersville Elementary; Benjamin Gus Moore, Wellington Elementary; Katie Beth Skaggs, Stonewall Elementary; Aren Vilsama, Breckinridge Elementary.

Award of Merit: Amelia King, Glendover Elementary; Kyla Kruchinshi, Clays Mill Elementary; Simon Lovely, Clays Mill Elementary; Jackson Melloan, Cassidy Elementary.

Intermediate Visual Arts

Overall winners: Ava Vono, Liberty Elementary.

Award of Excellence: Joseph Eskridge, Tates Creek Elementary; Andrew Peng, Liberty Elementary; Shannon Studts, Ashland Elementary; Alex Stumbur, Ashland Elementary.

Award of Merit: Sepehr Dindoust, Stonewall Elementary; Grace Hardin, Liberty Elementary; Spencer Harston, Rosa Parks Elementary; HianWon Seo, Stonewall Elementary; Elise Skidmore, Picadome Elementary.

Middle School Visual Arts

Overall winners: Joanna Cholewo, Tates Creek Middle; Kevin Lin, Jessie Clark Middle.

Award of Excellence: Amelia Eddy, Leestown Middle; Anya Hartman, Tates Creek Middle.

Award of Merit: Danielle Bellamy, Leestown Middle; Katrina Hannah, Lexington Traditional Magnet.

High School Visual Arts

Overall winner: Samichhya Aryal, Henry Clay High School; Ethan Martion, STEAM Academy; Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette High School.

Award of Excellence: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette High School; Hannah Kern, STEAM Academy; Morgan Slone, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Award of Merit: Dara Golding, Henry Clay High School; Jaycee Taylor, STEAM Academy.

▪ Nancy Jones, chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance and professor at the College of Fine Arts, has been named the winner of Kentucky’s National Society of Arts and Letters Distinguished Arts Educator Award.

Jones brings an international resume of theater experience to the classroom. On UK’s campus, she has helped develop interdisciplinary projects as well as the development of a UK Education Abroad Program, with UK Honors Program students in Paris.

Jones’ performance career includes credits in dance companies, equity tours, television, commercials and film. Her work as a theater director has been featured in New York at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, where she staged Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream; the New York International Fringe Festival, the American Living Room Festival at HERE; Immigrants’ Theatre Project; New York Performance Works; New Dramatists, the country’s premiere playwright development organization; and Actors Theatre of Louisville 24-Hour Play Festival.

▪ Georgetown College has received a grant of $598,000 to establish Faithways Academy, a 12-day summer experience for high school youth. It is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

Faithways Academy is an on-campus living experience for sophomores to seniors from all denominations. The program includes instruction in Biblical knowledge and interpretation, church tradition and theology, worship, Christian ethics, travel for a mission experience, and recreational community building activities.

The academy is slated to begin in June 2016. Information about registration and tuition will be available on the college website in March.

▪ John Chowning, executive vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at Campbellsville University, has been named “Man of the Year” by Project One in Louisville.

Chowning was one of four to receive awards through Project One that was started May 15, 1985, in Louisville. Project One has placed more than 18,000 students in meaningful jobs since its inception.

▪ Seven groups from Fayette County Public Schools were among the more than 250 middle and high schools participating in the Kentucky Youth Assembly conferences in November and December. The assembly is a three-day learning program in which students serve as part of a model state government. It offers them the opportunity to learn about a variety of issues, develop critical-thinking skill, and articulate their beliefs while engaging with their peers. Students also serve as officers, run as candidate, and earn merit-based awards.

Middle school honors

Delegations of excellence: Beaumont and Edythe J. Hayes.

Outstanding delegates: Holly Kate of Beaumont; Kori Silence of Winburn; and Rileigh Smith of E.J. Hayes.

Outstanding statesmanship: Winburn.

Outstanding speakers: Brice Craig and Olivia Purcell of Edythe J. Hayes; and Sadie Bograd, Lily Gardner and Elizabeth Moore of Winburn.

Presiding officers: Kevin Jing of Winburn, 2015 governor; Olivia Feck of E.J. Hayes, 2015 speaker of the House.

Elected officers: Aneesh Kadambi of Winburn, 2016 president of the Senate.

High school honors

Delegations of excellence: Henry Clay, Lafayette and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Outstanding delegates: Allison Grzywacz of Lafayette, Sarah Hoffman of Dunbar, Nicole Loy of Henry Clay, and Drake Whitt of Bryan Station.

Outstanding statesmanship: Henry Clay.

Outstanding speakers: Spencer Parsons of Henry Clay and Louis Schatzki of Dunbar.

Outstanding bill packet: Dunbar.

Outstanding parliamentarian: Ryan Kennedy of Dunbar.

Outstanding lobbyists: Patrick Rodrigue of Lafayette and Anya Slepyan of Henry Clay.

Outstanding media corps delegate: Emily Bragg of Henry Clay.

Presiding officers: Eliza Jane Schaeffer of Henry Clay, 2015 governor; Jamie Smith of Henry Clay, 2015 chief justice; and Colton Warner of Henry Clay, 2015 premiere president of the Senate.

Elected officers: Evan Hays of Henry Clay, 2016 governor; and Olivia Feck of Henry Clay, 2016 premiere president of the Senate.

2015 Adviser Hall of Fame inductee: Matt Helton of Henry Clay.

▪ A robotics team from Mary Todd Elementary, Skull Crusher, took first place in the Dec. 12 SumoBot tournament. Jose Astudillo and Jose Garcia used math and engineering skills to build and program a LEGO Mindstorm robot to disable their opponent’s robot or push it off a 4-foot circular competition board.

Students and families representing seven schools from Fayette and Franklin counties gathered in the Beaumont Middle School gym to watch 12 elementary and 11 middle school teams compete in a double-elimination tournament. Runner-up was team World War 2, Yumeto Shikano and Eric Moberley from Picadome Elementary; and third place went to Mustangs 2, Peter Park and Zain McCoy of Morton Middle.

▪ Sarah Fields, a freshman at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, was runner-up in the poetry division of the 2015 Write Stuff Teen Contest sponsored by Gilda’s Club Louisville. Through essays, poems, videos and artwork, students in grades 6-12 from Kentucky and Southern Indiana reflected on what it’s like to live with cancer – either their own or someone close to them. When Sarah was in third grade, her grandfather died of lung cancer and her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer but survived.


▪ William Wells Brown Elementary received a technology windfall when an anonymous businessman donated 18 iPads valued at $5,000.

The iPads will be used by the 18 participants in the School Plus Program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Other first- and second-graders will also use the devices in class. The goal is to help students progress in reading and math skills.


▪ Big Ass Solutions is once again seeking Kentucky’s brightest high school seniors for a $10,000 scholarship and summer internship program.

The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and $5,000 stipend for a full-time, mentor-guided internship the summer after high school graduation. The program is open to graduating seniors in Kentucky, but applicants must arrange for their own housing and transportation to Big Ass Solutions’ Lexington headquarters during the internship.

To be eligible, students must reside in Kentucky, earn an unweighted GPA of 3.7 or higher, achieve a minimum composite verbal/math SAT score of 1,200 or composite ACT score of 27, and plan to attend a four-year accredited college or university in the United States.

To apply, visit Applications are due Feb. 26. Contact Big Ass Solutions at with questions.

▪ The Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants is taking applications now through Feb. 29 for its tuition-free summer business camp program for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Held June 12-16 at Bellarmine University’s campus in Louisville, selected students will stay on campus and learn the basics of business and accounting. Tuition, room and board, materials, meals, books, tours and activities at the camp are free. The only cost is a nonrefundable application fee and, if accepted, a transportation fee. Students who cannot afford these fees may request a BASE Camp scholarship at BASE Camp is a supervised program open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Kentucky and the southern Indiana.

High school students interested in majoring in business or accounting are invited to apply. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 29. For more information, go to or call 502-266-5272 or 1-800-292-1754.

▪ The Kentucky Society of CPAs is accepting applications for its Educational Foundation scholarships through Feb. 19. Students studying accounting at Kentucky-based colleges and universities are eligible to apply, which range between $1,000 and $2,500 each. For more information, , go to or call 502-266-5272 or 1-800-292-1754.