▪ Four Transylvania University seniors have been named semifinalists for Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants that fund English teaching assistantships abroad for the 2016-17 academic year.
Samantha Easterling of Wilmore, McKenzie Gearheart of Pikeville, Erin Marek of Pataskala, Ohio, and Courtney Smith of Batavia, Ohio, have been selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
In the past 10 years, 17 Transylvania students have received Fulbright English teaching assistantships, including four last year who are currently serving in Thailand, India, Malaysia and South Korea.
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Easterling is a semifinalist for Macedonia, and Gearheart is a semifinalist for India.
▪ Paul Laurence Dunbar High School was the overall runner-up in Region 11 of the 2016 Governor’s Cup, which concluded Feb. 20. The Governor’s Cup, which was founded in 1986 to promote classroom achievement, is Kentucky’s premier academic competition.
Team results for Fayette County Public Schools in Region 11:
Overall standings: 2nd Dunbar; 6th Tates Creek.
Future problem-solving: 1st Dunbar; 2nd Tates Creek.
Quick recall: 3rd Dunbar.
For details and students’ scores, go to Kaac.com/results.
▪ A team of “mathletes” from Winburn Middle School won first place in the local MATHCOUNTS on Feb. 20 at the University of Kentucky, where 18 area schools participated in bee-style contests. Jason Wang of Beaumont Middle School was the top-scoring individual and recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship offer from UK and a $1,000 scholarship offer from Western Kentucky University. Jason also received a $500 scholarship from Kentucky MATHCOUNTS.
The top three teams move on to this spring’s state competition:
Winburn: William Ding, Lohith Tummala, Dylan Li and Lynn Ye
Beaumont: Jason Wang, David Manche, Mohammad Rashad and Fernando Macchiavello
Tates Creek: David Vulakh, Nicholas Clevenger, Ashley Su and Rohan Rauch
Several individuals from Fayette County Public Schools also advance: Joey Ilagan and Noah Katz of Tates Creek, Isaac Martin of SCAPA at Bluegrass, and Ayush Kumar and Brian She of Winburn.
▪ Laura Roché Youngworth, a French teacher at Beaumont Middle School, has received the 2016 SCOLT Teacher of the Year Award. Each state in the 13-member area could send its top language teacher to compete at the regional level. Roché, who uses her maiden name professionally, was selected on the basis of excellent teaching, strong contributions to world languages, letters of recommendation and an interview.
Roché and three other regional winners now advance to the national contest sponsored by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language. The National Language Teacher of the Year, who will be announced in November during the ACTFL convention in Boston, will serve as the spokesperson for language learning in 2017.
Roché, who is in her 24th year of teaching French, graduated from UK with a bachelor’s degree in English, French and Secondary Education; she earned a masters and Rank I in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2014, she finished her doctorate in Administration and Instruction. Roché has taught for the past six years at Beaumont and is the world languages content lead for Fayette County Public Schools.
▪ Sara Francis, who leads the orchestra at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, has been named the 2016 Outstanding Director by the Kentucky chapter of the American String Teachers Association. This honor goes to a K-12 ensemble director who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and leadership.
Francis has taught orchestra in Fayette County Public Schools for 14 years, including 10 at Hayes. Her Hayes groups have performed twice at the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s conference, and at the National Orchestra Festival in 2014. She also leads the Hayes Fiddle Club and teaches strings at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary.
▪ UK’s Abby Schroering, a theater and English junior from Louisville, has been awarded an English-Speaking Union Scholarship presented by the English-Speaking Union Kentucky Branch. The scholarship will cover Schroering’s expenses for summer study at the University of Cambridge.
The Kentucky branch of the English-Speaking Union awards a limited number of scholarships to qualified Kentucky college students for courses offered at institutions in the United Kingdom.
The scholarships are awarded for studies in English literature, history and social sciences at Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh University for the summer of 2016. Scholarship winners, selected through an essay and interview process, are expected to become articulate lifelong ambassadors for British/American cultural exchanges.
Schroering’s scholarship will fund three weeks of English literature studies at Cambridge.
UK students interested in the ESU Scholarship may apply through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.
▪ Several students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School brought home first-place honors from the 75th annual Kentucky Beta Club senior convention. Winners were Cici Mao in Math Division I, Jennifer Lee in Onsite Pencil Drawing, Thirushan Wignakumar in Science Division II, and David Ma in Spanish Division I. Also, the Dunbar team was runner-up in Quiz Bowl with Thirushan, Zsombor Gal, Erin Markel, and Zainab Kahloon, and placed third in Sweepstakes. Ashton Brown of Lafayette High School placed third in French.
At the state’s junior convention, which ran Feb. 18-19 at the Galt House, Kailie Settles of Edythe J. Hayes Middle School was runner-up in Poetry.
▪ Beth Anne Brumfield, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has received the Award for Aspirations in Computing from the Kentucky affiliate of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
Aspirations in Computing is a talent development pipeline initiative. The awards recognize girls for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership abilities, academic history and plans for post-secondary education. Beth Anne, who is a member of the Student Technology Leadership Program and Dunbar’s robotics team, is among 2,100 students across the country selected this year.
▪ Meadowthorpe, Maxwell, Rosa Parks and Wellington elementary schools were the overall winners at the district level of the 2016 Governor’s Cup, which concluded Feb. 27.
Team results for Fayette County Public Schools in District 85:
Overall standings: 1st Meadowthorpe, 2nd Dixie
Future problem-solving: 1st Meadowthorpe, 2nd Dixie
Quick recall: 1st Meadowthorpe, 2nd Dixie
Overall standings: 1st Maxwell, 2nd Liberty, 3rd Cassidy, 4th Athens-Chilesburg
Future problem-solving: 1st Maxwell, 2nd Athens-Chilesburg
Quick recall: 1st Liberty, 2nd Maxwell, 3rd Cassidy, 4th Athens-Chilesburg
Overall standings: 1st Rosa Parks, 2nd Ashland, 3rd Clays Mill
Future problem-solving: 1st Rosa Parks, 2nd Clays Mill, 3rd Ashland
Quick recall: 1st Ashland, 2nd Rosa Parks, 3rd Clays Mill
Overall standings: 1st Wellington
Future problem-solving: 1st Wellington
Quick recall: 2nd Wellington
For details and students’ scores, go to Kaac.com/results.
▪ Students from Henry Clay High School were the only Kentucky participants in this year’s North American Invitational Model United Nations, which was Feb. 11-14 in Washington. They toured the Capitol, visited the Library of Congress, met with Rep. Andy Barr and Sen. Mitch McConnell, and received an official briefing at the embassy of the Republic of Cyprus. Three Henry Clay students also earned recognition in the 2016 essay contest: Donald Andrews as runner-up, Rebekah George in third place, and Young-Kyung Kim in fourth.
The event included more than 3,000 high school delegates and 200 Georgetown University student staffers from the Foreign Service School. Critical thinking, leadership and teamwork were crucial in this educational simulation, in which the teenagers practiced international relations skills as U.N. diplomats.
▪ Several sites in Fayette County Public Schools now provide free after-school meals for low-income students through the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, which is run by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. All children and youth attending qualified educational and enrichment activities can receive healthful food options through the At-Risk After-School Meals component.
The participating sites include Breckinridge, Cardinal Valley, Deep Springs, Glendover, Harrison, James Lane Allen, Julius Marks, Mary Todd, Meadowthorpe, Millcreek, Northern, Squires, Tates Creek, William Wells Brown and Yates elementary schools, Bryan Station Middle School and Lexington Traditional Magnet School.
The free meals are provided without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
▪ Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk has launched a book club to help make education the center of public discourse, engage the community in critical conversations, and support development of a community of readers. It starts with The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley, a former Time magazine reporter who chronicled the experiences of three teenagers attending school in some of the world’s top-performing education systems.
Two community book club meetings are slated this month:
5 to 6:30 p.m. March 22 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers’ Bronte Bistro, 161 Lexington Green Circle .
6 to 7:30 p.m. March 24 at the Northside library branch, 1733 Russell Cave Road.
In addition, two classes at Henry Clay High School and four at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School are reading the book. These students plan to Skype with the author on March 25.
▪ Three dozen students from across Kentucky, including four from Fayette County Public Schools, participated in the statewide Japanese Speech Contest held March 5 at the Lexington Public Library. Lafayette High School freshman Issabella Gibson shared her observations of Japanese and American cultural differences, and sophomore Alex Toney spoke of his experience learning Japanese in class. Zachary Lloyd and Emma Russell, both eighth-graders at Jessie Clark Middle School, also delivered speeches. During the opening ceremony, Picadome Elementary second-graders performed Japanese songs, and Stonewall Elementary fifth-graders presented a dance.
The third annual competition was open to Japanese language learners in the Kentucky region who are not heritage speakers.