Education news from Central Kentucky schools

Allison Connelly
Allison Connelly Photo provided

▪ Lynsey Crumbie of Tates Creek High School has been named the 2016 Youth Achiever of the Year at the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Black Achievers awards banquet. A half-dozen fellow seniors in Fayette County Public Schools also received college scholarships April 16 at the Embassy Suites. These awards were based on the students’ Black Achievers senior packet score, number of years and attendance in the program, GPA and ACT scores. In addition to Lynsey, the scholarship recipients were McKenxzy Boateng of Lafayette High School, Jade Garner of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Jazzmine McNeal of Bryan Station High School, Destini Sanders of Henry Clay High School, Makayla Shearer of Tates Creek High School, and Tyrus Sundy of Carter G. Woodson Academy.

▪ Andrew McLeod, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, a year-long, federally funded fellowship for study and work in Germany. McLeod was selected as one of 75 participants (from more than 700 applicants) for this program.

While in Germany, McLeod will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months, and complete a five-month internship with a German company in his career field (hospitality).

Applicants should go to for more information.

▪ The UK Trumpet Studio recently took second prize at the 2016 National Trumpet Competition, the world’s largest instrumental music competition. Later that week in Washington, it was the UK Trombone Choir taking a national stage, where it was selected to perform at the American Trombone Workshop.

The UK Trumpet Ensemble participated in the Getzen Trumpet Small Ensemble Division, and UK was the only public university invited into the final round. Performing UK faculty member Jason Dovel’s arrangement of Anthony Plog’s Four Sketches, the UK ensemble took second, with first and third prizes going to private conservatories (Curtis Institute and the Eastman School of Music, respectively).

“This was an extraordinary accomplishment achieved in a highly competitive field of students from around the country,” said Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet at UK School of Music.

In addition to the ensemble’s success, UK trumpet students also competed in the solo divisions. UK freshman Matthew Coile, a music and chemical engineering major from Gaithersburg, Md., and junior Caden Holmes, a music performance major from Madisonville, competed in the undergraduate division. UK doctoral student Steve Siegel, from Yonkers, N.Y., UK alumni Jared Wallis, a 2015 music performance graduate from Talala, Okla., and Eric Millard, 2013 music performance graduate from Mechanicsburg, Pa., competed in the graduate solo division. Millard, who is now attending graduate school at Florida State University, took third prize in the graduate solo division.

The trombone choir meets as a chamber ensemble in the fall and spring semesters. The ensemble explores all genres and styles of music, from baroque to jazz, and is comprised of music majors, as well as students from other UK colleges.

▪ U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the 2016 best high schools, featuring top-performing schools at the national and state level. These rankings evaluate data on more than 21,000 public high schools to identify which ones are best at preparing students for college and careers. Ninety-two schools in Kentucky made the rankings, with five gold, 29 silver and 58 bronze medal schools. Woodford County High School came in at No. 7 statewide, Henry Clay at No. 11, Lafayette at No. 14, and Bryan Station at No. 30 — all silver medalists. Carter G. Woodson Academy got a bronze.

▪ Joanna Slusarewicz, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, is among Kentucky’s 11 semifinalists in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which recognizes high school students’ accomplishments.

Fayette County Public Schools produced 11 of Kentucky’s 90 seniors named as 2016 candidates. Along with Joanna, they included Henry Clay’s Kayla Beebout and Eliza Jane Schaeffer, Lafayette’s Annaliese McFarlane, and Dunbar’s Jacob Cottrell, Thomas Huang, Dasha Kolyaskina, Jasmine Liu, Abigail Woolums, Kathleen Yang and Runyang Zhang.

▪ Dozens of young musicians from Fayette County Public Schools were selected for the 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association’s District 7 Middle School Honors Orchestra. The group is divided into the Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Aaron Breeck of Montgomery County High School; and the Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mary Elizabeth Henton of Henry Clay High School.

Symphonic Orchestra

Beaumont: Grace Goff, Chandler Zhu and Stella Guralski

Bryan Station: Madeline Farrar, Eve Blackburn, Brendley Nathaniel, Thomas George, Amelia Hunter, Ben Shapere, Peyton King and Adam Florence

Edythe J. Hayes: Maddie Samuelson and Catherine Dalton

Jessie Clark: Michelle Choi, Debora Han, Joe Mattingly and Tala Glass.

Leestown: Richard Smith, Promise Kyembe, Talayiah Stewart and Rosa Smith

Lexington Traditional Magnet School: LeAnn Khong and Ahtziri Melo

SCAPA at Bluegrass: William Auer, Alexander Auer, Sophia Li, Isaac Martin, Maren Bylund, Delaney Rayens, Oscar Heft, Anna Grace Hurst and Isabelle Logsdon

Tates Creek: Ingrid Cassel, Joon Woo Park, Joey Ilagan and Charlie Frederick

Winburn: Yunseo Chung, LaMargaret Johnson, Kylie Schmidt, Jimmy Chen, Katherine Henson and Sierra Wyllie

Philharmonic Orchestra

Beaumont: Alan Na, Many Tiwari, Erin Stratton and Mary Rice

Bryan Station: Lauran Owens-Mundy, Ruby Sharrard, Shellby Russell and Hannah Spencer-Pope

Crawford: Liza Duarte

Edythe J. Hayes: Leanna Marji, Sasha Gordon, Isabella Witt, Anna Cave and Trevor Davis

Jessie Clark: Abby Mires, Violet Updike, Ava Pitts, Kylie Meadows and Lindsey Long

Leestown: Abby Peck, Deltarria Jackson, Victoria Holliday and Brayden Mefford

LTMS: Colin Martin and Kaylynn Webster

Morton: Melissa Richard, Clara Wheeler, Emily Kim and Emily Gibson

SCAPA: Ella Abraham, Allison Chavez, Emily Xiao, Cora Strode and Jackson Arnold

Tates Creek: Anya Hartman, Arik Baron and Sean Reardon

Winburn: Sarah Ming, Beppy Badgett, Lynn Ye, Caleb Clark, Ryan Sperry, Eleanor Badgett and Rob Gilligan

▪ Sixteen students from Southside and 40 from Eastside technical centers attended the 2016 SkillsUSA state conference in April. They competed in various categories, conducted business for the Kentucky chapter, met with business and industry representatives, and heard from government officials.

Southside contest results

Gold medals: Mackenxzy Boateng, mobile robotics; Blake Dunn, cabinetmaking; Tara Keel, first aid/ CPR; Huston Martin, electronics technology; Arif Moula, mobile robotics; Axel Rincon, residential systems installation; and Breanna Thomas, commercial baking.

Bronze medals: Nanya Bryant, commercial baking; and Elliot Stephens, carpentry.

Eastside contest results

Gold medals: Abraham Mendoza, airbrush design; Andoni Munoz, photo art display; Matthew Murray and Khalil Thomas, audio/radio production; Jimmy Robinson, employment application process; and Tywana Webb, patriotic salute.

Silver medals: Brandon Bradley, Zak Smiley, Dylan Wain and Josh Woolridge, broadcast news production; Trent Brock, power equipment technology; Alexa Stilley and Madison Wells, digital cinema production; and Payton Todd, collision repair.

Bronze medals: Paxton Barnett, Brandon Huff, and Rylan Toland, interactive application and video game design; Walker Deering, power equipment technology; Flemoh Dulleh and Daniel Elliott, digital cinema production; Teva Gilliam, firefighting; Kira Glasgow, Mary Malicote and Kassondra Runyon, community service; Triston Keith, diesel equipment technology; Sergio Quezada, automotive technology I; and Alexa Stilley, pin design.

▪ UK junior Savanah Sellars of Lexington has been awarded a Study Abroad Grant worth $1,000 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Savanah is one of 25 students nationwide to receive the award.

Currently a junior majoring in integrated strategic communication in the College of Communication and Information, Savanah will use the grant to study in London over the summer. She will be working as a communications intern at Rosa: The UK (United Kingdom) Fund for Women and Girls.

▪ For Earth Day 2016, Russell Cave Elementary and Morton Middle School received recognition for their sustainability initiatives. The U.S. Department of Education tapped Russell Cave as a National Green Ribbon School, and Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools made Morton a model school for its program.

Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate excellence in the three pillars of sustainability: environmental literacy, student wellness and energy efficiency. This is the highest national award for sustainable schools, and four others in Fayette County Public Schools previously earned this honor: Bryan Station Middle (2015), Wellington Elementary (2014), Locust Trace AgriScience Center (2013) and Rosa Parks Elementary (2012).

▪ Allison Connelly, the James and Mary T. Lassiter Clinical Professor in the College of Law and founding director of the UK College of Law Legal Clinic, is the 2016 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award, co-sponsored by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The annual honor is given to one person in recognition of a long record of outstanding service to UK, the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Connelly is the college’s first assistant, associate and full clinical professor. Before joining the faculty on a full-time basis, Connelly served as an adjunct instructor and professor from 1986 through 1996.

Now in her 20th year as the founding director of the Kentucky Mock Trial Championship, Connelly also serves as the Law Trial Advocacy Board’s faculty advisor and national team coach. UK’s mock trial teams have been nationally ranked in 11 of the past 16 years.

▪ UK junior Corrine Faye Elliott, of Lexington, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Elliott is among 252 students nationwide awarded the scholarship this year. This year’s scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science and engineering students, who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The daughter of Kathleen Elliott and D. Stephen Voss, of Lexington, Corrine majors in mathematics and chemistry.

▪ A UK senior and recent graduate have been selected for fellowships from the Princeton in Asia program. As part of the program, biochemistry senior Calvin Hong and 2015 arts administration and Spanish graduate Brittney Woodrum will teach in Hong Kong and Myanmar, respectively.

Calvin, the son of Boi and Fang Du Hong of Lexington, is a 2012 graduate of Henry Clay High School. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish in May.

Brittney, the daughter of James and Sherry Woodrum of Winchester, is a 2011 graduate of George Rogers Clark High School and 2015 graduate of UK. Woodrum, who teaches English in Guadalajara, Mexico, as a Fulbright Scholar, will use her fellowship to travel to Yangon to teach English and basic computer skills to Buddhist nuns.

▪ Fifteen students from Fayette County Public Schools earned kudos at the Future Business Leaders of America state conference in April.

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

First place in entrepreneurship: Linda Zhang and Jasmine Liu

First place in marketing: Amy Wang, David Ma and Emily Liu

First place in management decision-making: Theo Livas, Ben Xie and Adil Yusuf

Second in hospitality management: Nicholas Imam, Rehan Ghanta and Sai Naidu

Third in networking concepts: Kelly Chen

Third in economics: Amit Lohe

Tates Creek High School

Fourth in management decision-making: Nolan Adams and Karam Isa

Fifth in contemporary sports issues: Nolan Adams

▪ Kathi Kern, UK associate professor of history, has been named one of 78 new speakers to the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship Program for 2016-17.

The scholars join more than 400 other Distinguished Lecturers who speak to audiences across the country each year. Distinguished Lecturers promote understanding and appreciation of U.S. history from the 1600s through the present, which is a component of the organization’s mission.

▪ For the fourth consecutive year, the UK MANRRS chapter was named National Chapter of the Year at the recent 31st annual conference for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. The chapter, housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, also brought home honors for students and 4-H agents.

Quentin Tyler, assistant dean and director of the college’s Office of Diversity, is completing his term as national MANRRS professional president May 1 and will move into the role of immediate past president for a three-year term.

UK MANRRS also brought home individual honors. ReDell Atkinson, a senior merchandising, apparel and textile design major, placed first in the Impromptu Public Speaking Contest. Brittany Love, a junior majoring in kinesiology, placed second in the Written Essay Contest. UK MANRRS was runner-up in the National MANRRS Quiz Bowl. Seven of the 20 Farm Credit MANRRS VIP Scholars were UK students: Xavia Gantz, Tiffany Harper, Fabian Leon, Carley Fort, Destiny Butler, Brian Bryson and Gloria Maldonado.

Other honors included:

Ashley Shanee, Jefferson County extension 4-H agent and graduate student, is now serving as the national MANRRS graduate student president.

Marcus Tyler, a sophomore majoring in agricultural economics, was elected to serve as the national MANRRS undergraduate president.

Kelly Moore, a senior majoring in community and leadership development, will be the new national MANRRS undergraduate past president. She is the 2015-16 national MANRRS undergraduate president and earned the Eunice Foster Award for her hard work and dedication to the national MANRRS organization.

Marcus Bernard, a doctoral student in community and leadership development, is now serving as national MANRRS graduate parliamentarian.

Tiffany Harper, a graduate student in community and leadership development, is now serving as national MANRRS Region I and V graduate vice president.

Xavia Gantz, a graduate student in hospitality and tourism management, is now serving as national MANRRS Region III graduate vice president.

Carley Fort, a freshman majoring in community and leadership development, won the Bayer Elevator Speech Contest and earned a summer internship with Bayer Crop Science.

At the annual awards ceremony held on April 20, junior J.D. Harmon, a member of the UK football team, was named as the new MANRRS member for 2015-16.

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