▪ Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes congratulated Henry Clay ninth-grader Theodore Ehrenborg as the winner in her office’s 27th annual essay contest. The teen was honored March 18 at Rupp Arena during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament. He received a $1,000 scholarship.
The essay contest was created in 1988 to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with an emphasis on election-related issues. This year, students were invited to write about the First Amendment and the role that news media play in elections. Entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness. The University of Kentucky’s Scripps Howard First Amendment Center judged the entries.
▪ Designated a Delegation of Excellence, 30 upper school students represented Sayre at the Kentucky United Nations Assembly in Louisville. Among 1,600 students from 53 high schools representing 103 different countries, the students served in a variety of leadership roles during the mock U.N. and cultural assembly and were recognized for outstanding efforts in the following areas:
Will Kimmerer served as president of the International Court of Justice, his second consecutive year in that state-wide leadership role. Jesse Klus was named Sayre’s Outstanding Delegate and served as the Security Council Pro Tempore. Anjali Shankar was Sayre’s candidate for presiding officer and has been invited to be the assembly’s Summit President next year. Tia Carr and Greg Kimmerer were named outstanding International Court of Justice team. In addition, Tia was named an justice for next year’s conference and Greg was named Outstanding Advocate, winning the final showcase argument. Ellie Webb was named the Amazing Global Marketplace’s Outstanding Businessperson. Missy Hill won an Outstanding Speaker Award. Mustafa Akhtar served on the leadership team as both Committee and Summit Chairs for resolution debates.
▪ Amanda Melendez, a 2015 graduate of Lexington Catholic High School, has received a full scholarship of $47,600 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to pursue a degree in civil engineering at UK.
▪ Fayette County Public Schools produced three of the top five teams and five of the top 10 individuals in the state MATHCOUNTS competition March 12 in Lexington. Winburn Middle School’s William Ding, Dylan Li, Lohith Tummala and Lynn Ye earned second-place team honors, while Tates Creek finished in fourth place, and Beaumont was fifth.
Winburn’s Lohith placed fourth overall among the more than 160 students representing 58 middle schools across the Commonwealth. He won a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to either UK t or the University of Louisville. He also receives an expenses-paid trip to the MATHCOUNTS national competition May 7-10 in Washington, where he will represent Kentucky. Dylan placed fifth among individuals at state, and William was ninth. Both won four-year $1,500 scholarships, along with David Vulakh of Tates Creek (sixth place) and Jason Wang of Beaumont (eighth).
▪ Two teams from SCAPA at Bluegrass earned first-place honors in the finals of the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge, a national STEM contest for grades 6-12 built on environmental issues and practical solutions. The “Mighty Meat Minimizers” and the “No Drive-Thru Crew” were among eight winning teams receiving $15,000 prizes (four middle schools and four high schools). Of each team’s award, $3,000 goes to SCAPA, $2,000 to teacher/adviser Ashlie Arkwright for her classroom, and $10,000 in scholarships divided among the students.
The Mighty Meat Minimizers included Abigail Fister, Angie Xiao, Shannon James, Nolan Gunn, Jacqueline Mullins, Aedon Gunn and Katherine Cherry. Concerned about the environmental impacts associated with meat consumption, they used social media to encourage SCAPA families and community residents to eat two or more meatless meals per week. They also spoke out on WTVQ, at Fayette County’s District Science Fair, and at the state Capitol. In addition, this team published a printed version of its online meatless cookbook.
The No Drive-Thru Crew included Morgan Buckner, Vicky Chen, Helena Schatzki, Abigail Ratliff, Niki Maleki, Samantha Briggs and Mary Beth Matocha. Their mission was to persuade people to forgo a restaurant’s drive-thru and instead park their cars and order inside, resulting in reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality. These students spread the word about their initiative through social media, WTVQ and the District Science Fair, and they partnered with Kentucky’s Division of Air Quality and South Carolina’s Bureau of Air Quality.
Earlier this semester, the two SCAPA groups and the “Let’s Go Batty” team from Tates Creek High School each won $10,000 and advanced to the 32-team final challenge.
This is the ninth year that SCAPA has participated in the Lexus Eco Challenge, with a total of 10 first-round winners. In 2014, the No Heat Ninjas also received a first-place award in the final round, and in 2012, the One Towel Wonders earned a national $30,000 grand prize. To date, the SCAPA teams have earned $168,000 for the student members and their school.
▪ Fayette County Public Schools students made a strong showing at the 2016 Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by UK. In the high school division, Kyra Seevers of Paul Laurence Dunbar received top honors, classmates David Ma and Amy Wang were runners-up, and Brenna Wallin of Lafayette placed third overall. They are all invited to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, set for May 8-13 in Phoenix, Ariz. In the middle school field, Ayush Kumar of Winburn took overall top honors in the March 5 regional competition; and in the fourth-grade contest, Grayson Rice of Athens-Chilesburg Elementary earned the first-place award.
Animal Sciences: 1st Jack Boyd, Rosa Parks; 2nd Noah Tinch, Glendover
Behavioral and Social Sciences: 1st Evan Riegert, SCAPA at Bluegrass
Biochemistry: 1st Kiran Koul and Allie Kronenberg, Rosa Parks; 2nd Natalie Butler, SCAPA
Chemistry: 1st Rogers Kobes, Glendover; 2nd Jack Patterson, Cassidy
Engineering/Materials Science: 1st Grayson Rice, Athens-Chilesburg; 2nd Colten Gayne, Liberty; 3rd Elijah Greinke, Glendover; 4th Isaiah Cruz, Sandersville
Earth and Environmental Sciences: 1st Sawyer Scott, Cassidy; 2nd Theo Swank, SCAPA
Medicine and Health Sciences: 2nd Annie Arnold, Sandersville; 3rd Avery Simmons, Dixie
Physics and Astronomy: 3rd Matthew Donovan, Wellington
Plant Sciences: 1st Samantha Miculinich, SCAPA; 3rd Alex Stumbur, Ashland
Overall honors: 1st place, Grayson Rice, Athens-Chilesburg; 2nd Samantha Miculinich, SCAPA
Middle school division (grades 5-8)
Animal Sciences: 1st Meena Ambati, Winburn
Behavioral & Social Sciences: 3rd Jessica Rowell and Kate Messerli, Ashland
Chemistry: 1st Varun Hariprasad, Meadowthorpe; 2nd Philip Maxton, Winburn
Biomedical & Health Sciences: 1st Evan Winkler, Morton; 2nd Mohammad Rashad, Beaumont
Earth & Environmental Sciences: 1st Khushi Borikar, Winburn; 3rd Andrew Lewis, Bryan Station
Energy/Chemical: 1st Wilson Spangler, SCAPA
Energy/Physical: 1st Grace Goff, Beaumont; 2nd Skyler Trowel, Leestown
Engineering Mechanics: 1st Kayla Turney, Leestown; 3rd Suhas Medam, Beaumont
Environmental Engineering: 1st Lea Yiannikouris, Beaumont; 2nd Emma Jinright, Beaumont; T3rd London Kreide, Edythe J. Hayes
Materials Science: 2nd Kylie Schmidt, Winburn
Mathematics: 1st Jeffrey Shen, Winburn; 2nd Sophia Humza, Morton
Microbiology: 1st Frances Kilgore, Maxwell Elementary
Physics and Astronomy: T3rd Mason Young, Morton, and Elliot Blanche, Glendover Elementary
Plant Sciences: 1st Quincy Winkler, Morton; 2nd Manya Tiwari, Beaumont; T3rd Keenan Wilson, Morton
Robotics & Intelligent Machines: 1st Melissa Hannemann, Winburn
Systems Software: 1st Ayush Kumar, Winburn
Translational Medical Science: 1st Lutece Dubravac, Winburn
Overall honors: 1st place, Ayush Kumar, Winburn; 2nd Evan Winkler, Morton
High school division (all from Dunbar unless noted)
Animal Sciences: 1st Megan Slusarewicz; 2nd Zarian Embry
Behavioral and Social Sciences; 1st Emily Liu; 2nd Zachary Ross
Biochemistry: 1st Adil Yusuf; 2nd Joanna Slusarewicz; 3rd Annie Griffith
Biomedical & Health Sciences: 1st Jasmine Liu; 2nd Angela Vitchitbandha; 3rd Francesca Macchiavello Cauvi
Cellular & Molecular Biology: 1st Abigail Woolums; 2nd Usman Hamid; 3rd Connor Krolack
Chemistry: 1st Amit Lohe; 2nd Younjin Han
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics: 1st Thomas Cheal
Earth and Environmental Sciences: 1st Ashley Liu; 2nd Ananth Miller-Murthy
Engineering Mechanics: 1st Kyra Seevers; 2nd Chase Vickery
Materials Science: 1st Brenna Wallin, Lafayette; 2nd Eric Cao; 3rd David Seder
Physics and Astronomy: 1st Ronit Kar; 2nd Madeline Basehart
Plant Sciences: 1st Ethen Shen; 2nd LucyYang
Translational Medical Sciences: 1st David Ma and Amy Wang; 3rd Amina Anwar
Broadcom Masters awards: Meena Ambati, Winburn; Lutece DuBravac, Winburn; Grace Goff, Beaumont; Melissa Hannemann, Winburn; Ayush Kumar, Winburn; Jeffrey Shen, Winburn; Wilson Spangler, SCAPA; Kayla Turney, Leestown; Evan Winkler, Morton; Quincy Winkler, Morton; and Lea Yiannikouris, Beaumont
Naval Research Office awards: Isabella Squire, Leestown; Neha Kadambi, Dunbar; Gloria Ming, Dunbar; Hemanth Sontenam, Dunbar
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration “Pulse of the Planet” award: Elizabeth Hightower, Glendover
American Psychological Association award: Emily Liu, Dunbar
ASM Materials Foundation award: Brenna Wallin, Lafayette
Intel Excellence in Computer Science award: Amina Anwar, Dunbar
Mu Alpha Theta Award in Mathematics: Jeffrey Shen, Winburn
Society for In Vitro Biology award: Jasmine Liu, Dunbar
Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Lucy Yang, Dunbar; and Ananth Miller-Murthy, Dunbar
Yale Science and Engineering Award: Ronit Kar, Dunbar
Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Award: Ananth Miller-Murthy, Dunbar
▪ Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass has selected Kelly Abraham, a church youth director at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year for Fayette County. Abraham, who has a business background, was nominated by SCAPA at Bluegrass teacher Mike Spaeth.
Abraham teaches the Economics for Success program to Spaeth’s seventh-graders, teaches the sixth-grade Global Marketplace program and volunteers with the elementary grades.
Abraham, who began volunteering with Junior Achievement about 10 years ago, is teaching five classes this semester. Overall, she has logged close to 75 classes in grades K-7 at several schools, including SCAPA, Sandersville and Arlington elementaries.
Junior Achievement board member Todd Sallee also praised a second Volunteer of the Year, Karen Cropper of Johnson Controls, who serves in Scott County schools; and the Junior Achievement Teacher of the Year, Mary Beth Olds of Peaks Mill Elementary in Frankfort.
To get involved with Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass, contact Erin Warren at 859-219-2423.
▪ Frank R. Ettensohn, Jefferson Science Fellow, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UK, was one of eight geologists and nine geographers recently elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. The honor recognizes Ettensohn for his achievements, dedication and commitment to science.
Before coming to UK in 1975, Ettensohn served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and earned his doctoral degree in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ettensohn also serves as president of the UK chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi and of the Geological Society of Kentucky.
▪ Organizers of the annual Innovations for Learning Conference are booking presenters for this summer’s event, set for June 7 at Bryan Station High School. The free, one-day conference will offer 45-minute sessions and 20-minute mini-sessions. Do you know a classroom teacher who has had great success with a specific project or website tool? Do you have strong examples of student work using technology? These topics could be ideal for IFL sessions.
The conference promotes the use of technology and innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning. Teachers, technology specialists, administrators and anyone else with these interests are encouraged to attend.
▪ New principals have been selected at three Fayette County Public Schools. Superintendent Manny Caulk also filled another key leader at the district office level with the hiring of a director of data management, planning and program evaluation.
Grant Davis, has been named the new principal at Clays Mill Elementary School; Paul Little, the new principal of Henry Clay High School; Stephanie Urbanek, the new principal at Meadowthorpe Elementary School; and William “Billy” Buchanan, director of data management, planning and program evaluation.
Buchanan, Davis, Little and Urbanek will assume their duties on July 1.
▪ Graduation dates for Fayette County Public High Schools have been set for 2016. The last day of school will be May 26.
All ceremonies will take place at Rupp Arena.
May 26: 4 p.m. Bryan Station, 7 p.m. Henry Clay
May 27: 1 p.m. Lafayette; 4 p.m. Paul Laurence Dunbar; 7 p.m. Tates Creek