Education news of interest in Central Kentucky

Darryl Peavler
Darryl Peavler Photo provided


▪ Several chapters in the 16th District PTA picked up statewide kudos at the Kentucky PTA convention July 15-16 in Louisville.

Veterans Park Elementary received three awards: the Oak Tree Honor, for having one PTA member for every student enrolled; the Apple Award, for having 100 percent of faculty and staff enrolled as PTA members; and recognition for its outstanding newsletter.

Edythe J. Hayes Middle’s PTSA earned the Mrs. George Weldon Award, for chapters with at least a 200-member increase from the previous school year. In addition, several chapters answered the President’s Challenge, signing up at least 25 more members in 2015-16: Booker T. Washington Intermediate, Bryan Station High, Cassidy Elementary, Edythe J. Hayes Middle, Julius Marks Elementary, Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Liberty Elementary, Maxwell Elementary, Meadowthorpe Elementary, the Academy for Leadership at Millcreek, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, Tates Creek Middle, Veterans Park Elementary and William Wells Brown Elementary.

In other honors, Jenna Jennings of the Tates Creek Middle School PTSA was among three recipients of the state’s Outstanding Volunteer Award (one for elementary, middle and high).

This past school year, Jennings averaged about 12 hours a week, served as volunteer coordinator and trainer, and promoted membership in the Tates Creek chapter.

▪ Nearly 3,000 students presented their work in this summer’s National History Day Contest, touting the 2015-16 theme “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” Four outstanding entrants carried the banner for Fayette County Public Schools during the June 12-16 national conference at the University of Maryland.

In the senior division, Stanford-bound Amir Abou-Jaoude captured first place with his paper “A Pure Invention: Japan, Impressionism, and the West, 1853-1906.” Amir, who graduated in May from the Liberal Arts Academy at Henry Clay High School, was also featured in a Time magazine article about his 200-hour independent research project and 2,500-word paper.

In the junior division, Lily Gardner of Winburn Middle School received first-place honors for individual website with “An Unrepentant Risk Taker: Paul Durand-Ruel Encountering Parisian Culture.” Winburn’s Claire Qian and Rocco Wrentmore earned the honor of Kentucky’s outstanding entry for their group website, “Qian Xuesen: Exchange of a Scientist of Two Worlds.”

▪ Competitors from two clubs in Fayette County Public Schools received medals during the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference.

Beaumont Middle’s Amber Koenig and Katelyn Fields teamed up for gold in Chapter Service Project Display, and Logan Justice earned gold in Sports Nutrition in the junior division. Allie Barnes and Hattie Maloney received a silver medal in Entrepreneurship. In the senior division, Sarah Hacker of Bryan Station High School brought home silver in the Job Interview category of the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) contests.

Other news

▪ Transylvania University has received a $71,000 grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust for the Pioneer Pathway Program, which prepares young black males for success in college preparation and completion. Mentorship is at the heart of this program for high school and undergraduate participants.

The grant will help fund activities including Transylvania’s College Empowerment Program for high school students, and professional development and community leadership seminars.

The Pioneer Pathway Program is part of Project One, a campus-wide diversity and inclusion initiative.

The funding from the Kenan Trust in Chapel Hill, N.C., is part of nearly $3 million in grants for black males in Kentucky. Locally, this money also will go to groups such as the Fayette County Fatherhood Initiative at the Lexington Leadership Foundation, Fayette County Public Schools and the United Way of the Bluegrass.


▪ Kerrie Katz has been named the new interim principal of Royal Spring Middle School. Katz was most recently assistant principal at Scott County High School, where she also served as dean of students. She returns to Royal Spring, where she taught special education.

▪ Darryl Peavler, a 2003 and 2005 graduate of Campbellsville University, who has been employed with Wausau Paper Co. in Harrodsburg, has been named director of alumni relations at CU.