Murakami Scholars program implemented at Taylor County High School and EKU

Front row, from left: Charles Higdon, assistant superintendent, Taylor County Schools; Michael Rodenberg, president and chief operating officer, Murakami North America; Thomas Erekson, dean, Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology. Back row, from left: Kristen DeLaGarza, Taylor County High School student; Lindsey McPhearson, college and career ready counselor, Taylor County High School; Laura Benningfield, principal, Taylor County High School; and Angie Miller, administrations/HR manager with Murakami Manufacturing USA.
Front row, from left: Charles Higdon, assistant superintendent, Taylor County Schools; Michael Rodenberg, president and chief operating officer, Murakami North America; Thomas Erekson, dean, Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology. Back row, from left: Kristen DeLaGarza, Taylor County High School student; Lindsey McPhearson, college and career ready counselor, Taylor County High School; Laura Benningfield, principal, Taylor County High School; and Angie Miller, administrations/HR manager with Murakami Manufacturing USA. Photo provided

▪ Two students from Taylor County High School will be named Murakami Scholars, thanks to an agreement between Eastern Kentucky University, Murakami Manufacturing and Taylor County Schools.

The program will forge an alliance between Murakami Manufacturing, a Tier 1 automotive supplier in Campbellsville, Taylor County Schools and EKU to provide a $1,000 annual scholarship and paid internship to help two graduates from Taylor County Schools attend and graduate from EKU’s applied engineering management program. The university will match the $1,000 scholarship provided by Murakami. The intent is to prepare Murakami Scholars for full-time employment in an engineering position upon graduation.

Initially, rising seniors will be targeted with the scholarship opportunity, but graduating seniors are also eligible. Murakami and EKU plan to name the first two Murakami Scholars by the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

▪ The Fayette County Education Association awarded this year’s $500 American Education Week scholarships to Audrey Long, an English as a Second Language teacher at Bryan Station High School, and Melanie Trowel, a science teacher at Carter G. Woodson Academy. This award goes to an association member who is pursuing a Rank 2, Rank 1, doctorate or national board certification.

The teachers group congratulated Long and Trowel at its winter meeting along with these $250 classroom grant recipients: Jennifer Bailey of Garden Springs Elementary, Liz Buckler of Squires Elementary, David Cornelison of Carter G. Woodson, Scott Diamond of The Learning Center, Tammy Drury of Meadowthorpe Elementary, Marilyn Hoffman-Elrod of Garden Springs, Lindsey Patrick of Mary Todd Elementary, Sarah Ryder of Deep Springs Elementary, Lisa Spaulding of Cardinal Valley Elementary, and Tara White of Harrison Elementary. They plan to use the funds for Spanish-language books for their school library, supplies for science experiments, field trips, author visits, art supplies, community garden materials, math manipulatives, animal supplies for a STEM lab, and reading instruction resources.

▪ The 16th District PTA has announced the district-level winners in the 2016-17 Reflections competition. The theme was “What is your story?” All the students listed below received kudos at the Dec. 3 awards ceremony in Norsworthy Auditorium.

The overall winners in each age group and category advance to this spring’s state competition, sponsored by the Kentucky PTA. The Awards of Excellence represent second place at the district level, and the Awards of Merit are for third place.

Primary Music Composition

Overall winners: Benjamin “Gus” Moore, Wellington; and Violette Welker, Maxwell

Award of Excellence: Kate Moore, Wellington; and Faith Sweazy, Ashland

Award of Merit: Ainjini Patra, Glendover; Anvi Vaish, Rosa Parks; Shiva Vaish, Rosa Parks

Intermediate Music Composition

Overall winners: Jonathan Callahan, Veterans Park; and Noah Jackson, Maxwell

Award of Excellence: Kylie Noah, Wellington; Jill Peterson, Sandersville; and Sia Vaish, Rosa Parks

Award of Merit: Caleb Boles, Wellington; Oliver Copeland, Ashland; Colt Hager, Maxwell; and Ananditha Sivakumaran, Rosa Parks

Middle School Music Composition

Overall winner: Noah Katz, Tates Creek

High School Music Composition

Overall Winner: Parker Smith, Paul Laurence Dunbar

Award of Excellence: Katilin Meredith, Bryan Station; and Alexander Stern, Dunbar

Primary Dance Choreography

Overall winners: Sabrina Murphy, Rosa Parks; and Katie Beth Skaggs, Stonewall

Award of Excellence: Ainjini Patra, Glendover; and Elizabeth Rice, Veterans Park

Award of Merit: Harper Gorham, Maxwell; Rosie Katz, Maxwell; and Mary Beth McGuffey, Rosa Parks

Intermediate Dance Choreography

Overall winners: Evelyn Margaret Hruby, Stonewall; and Elise Harper Trimble, Rosa Parks

Award of Excellence: Malarie Kersey, Wellington; and Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome

Award of Merit: Ally Robertson, Wellington; and Moahnishan Wignakumar, Meadowthorpe

Middle School Dance Choreography

Overall Winner: Khushi Arora, Beaumont

Award of Excellence: Avery Pearcy, Beaumont

High School Dance Choreography

Overall winner: Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette

Award of Excellence: Abigail Hendren, Dunbar; and Eleanor Liu, Dunbar

Primary Film Production

Overall winner: Benjamin “Gus” Moore, Wellington

Award of Excellence: Ainjini Patra, Glendover

Award of Merit: Zachary Perrine, Liberty

Intermediate Film Production

Overall winners: Jayden Barnette, Sandersville; Huston Mountjoy, Wellington; and Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome

Award of Excellence: Michael Perrine, Liberty; Sofia Sweazy, Ashland; and Sia Vaish, Rosa Parks

Middle School Film Production

Overall winner: Julianne Avril de la Llana, Jessie Clark

High School Film Production

Overall winner: Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette

Award of Excellence: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette

Primary Literature

Overall winners: Rosie Katz, Maxwell; and Ainjini Patra, Glendover

Award of Excellence: Avinash Koul, Rosa Parks; Benjamin “Gus” Moore, Wellington; and Nikhil Venkateswaran, Clays Mill

Award of Merit: Jake Keeton, Garden Springs; Neihal Saini, Veterans Park; and Lily Tay, Rosa Parks

Intermediate Literature

Overall winners: Zoe Breitigan, Rosa Parks; and Susanne Estepp, Rosa Parks

Award of Excellence: Gabriella Albornoz, Veterans Park; Meher Saini, Tates Creek; and Shannon Studts, Ashland

Award of Merit: Andrew Hughes, Liberty; Carter Lankford, Maxwell; and Angelina Temprano, Veterans Park

Middle School Literature

Overall winner: Janna Elshahawi, Morton

Award of Excellence: Anna Ackerman, Beaumont; Joshi Francis, Edythe J. Hayes; and Emma Katherine Shadwick, Morton

Award of Merit: Olyvia Blankenship, Tates Creek; and Elke Coenders, Bryan Station

High School Literature

Overall winner: Eleanor Liu, Dunbar

Award of Excellence: Faeza Ashraf, Dunbar

Award of Merit: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette; and Dara Golding, Henry Clay

Primary Photography

Overall winners: Logan Reynolds, Glendover; and Jax Thompson, Stonewall

Award of Excellence: Sarah Craven, Millcreek; Eric Matthew Gordon, Sandersville; and Katie Beth Skaggs, Stonewall

Award of Merit: Patrick Rawlings Casey, Veterans Park; Ada King, Rosa Parks; Benjamin “Gus” Moore, Wellington; Ainjini Patra, Glendover; and Faith Sweazy, Ashland

Intermediate Photography

Overall winner: Annie Arnold, Sandersville

Award of Excellence: Kiran Koul, Rosa Parks; Piper Lehmann, Maxwell; and Shannon Studts, Ashland

Award of Merit: Caroline Carty, Athens-Chilesburg; Madelline Compton, Maxwell; Savannah Hughes, Liberty; Shanel Skaggs, Rosa Parks; and Sofia Sweazy, Ashland

Middle School Photography

Overall winner: Tara Bose, Beaumont

Award of Excellence: Elke Coenders, Bryan Station; Jamison Gordon, Edythe J. Hayes; and Griffin Shively, Beaumont

Award of Merit: Varun Hariprasad, Tates Creek; Savannah Mundy, Tates Creek; and William Samuelson, Lexington Traditional Magnet School

High School Photography

Overall winners: Jade Graninger, Bryan Station; and Megan Slusarewicz, Dunbar

Award of Excellence: Sydney Carter, Dunbar; and Joseph Craven, Henry Clay; and Rohan Munnolimath, Henry Clay

Award of Merit: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette; Kylie Baczkowski, Bryan Station; Dara Golding, Henry Clay; and Kacie Hughes, Henry Clay

Primary Visual Art

Overall winner: Dillon Jenkins, Rosa Parks

Award of Excellence: Timothy Li, Rosa Parks; Ainjini Patra, Glendover; and Jax Thompson, Stonewall

Award of Merit: Justyce Jordan, Coventry Oak; Tasha Means, Millcreek; Jackson Melloan, Cassidy; Benjamin “Gus” Moore, Wellington; and Sophie Salyer, Garden Springs

Intermediate Visual Art

Overall winners: Max Fredric Majors, Maxwell; and Alexander Stumbur, Ashland

Award of Excellence: Victoria Lamarche, Rosa Parks; Teaghan Rice, Maxwell; and Grace Walton, Glendover

Award of Merit: Haiden Evans, Wellington; Olivia Hardin, Millcreek; Zoe Johnson, Wellington; Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Picadome; and Michelle Lin Zhao, Meadowthorpe

Middle School Visual Art

Overall winners: Joanna Cholewo, Tates Creek; and Andrew Peng, Bryan Station

Award of Excellence: Sophia Bonziglia, Beaumont; Elke Coenders, Bryan Station; and Kierra Payden, Edythe J. Hayes

Award of Merit: Avery Durham, Jessie Clark; Nicole Johnson, Jessie Clark; Grace Inocencio, Edythe J. Hayes; and Kennedy O’Nan, Edythe J. Hayes

High School Visual Art

Overall winner: Uriel Trujillo, Bryan Station

Award of Excellence: Jennifer Lee, Dunbar; Elora Mukhopadhyay, Lafayette; and Morgan Slone, Dunbar

Award of Merit: Mia Albornoz, Lafayette; Carmen Coleman, Bryan Station; and Dara Golding, Henry Clay

▪ More than 800 students from 39 Fayette County schools participated in the annual Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) regional competition Nov. 10 at the Lexington Convention Center. The fall showcase projects were divided into categories of instructional, service or technical, and student groups were scored during 10-minute interviews with judges.

The 25 elementary showcases advancing to state:

Arlington Elementary: Triple D (instructional)

Athens-Chilesburg Elementary: PokéLex (service)

Garrett Morgan Elementary: GME Monthly (service), Safety Patrol (service), Eagle Eye News (service), Cyber Bully Stoppers (service), The Energy Squad (service)

Harrison Elementary: Go Green (service), Move It! (service)

James Lane Allen Elementary: Eye of the Tiger News (service)

Julius Marks Elementary: A.O.K. @ JME (service), iMove Manners (technical), K-9 Kevlar (service), The More You Learn, The More You’ll Earn (instructional)

Liberty Elementary: Math Wizard (instructional), Solar Carz (technical)

Northern Elementary: The KN=night Show (service)

Russell Cave Elementary: SCRATCH for Service (instructional)

Sandersville Elementary: Exercising with the Sharks, Help the School (service)

Tates Creek Elementary: RESPECT... We need this at TCE! (service)

Wellington Elementary: Sustainability at Wellington (instructional), Tech Tuesday (instructional), The Wellington Way (service)

William Wells Brown: Energy Team (technical)

The 16 middle school showcases advancing to state:

Beaumont Middle: Desktop vs. Handheld (Technical)

Carter G. Woodson Academy: Super LIT Productions (Instructional), Fit Squad (Instructional)

Crawford Middle: KUNA (Service), SET Club (Technical)

Edythe J. Hayes Middle: Hayes Live (Service), Panther Robots (Technical)

Jessie M. Clark Middle: Mission 22 Project (Service), Technology of Money (Technical), Washington 360 (Technical), NTI Snow Days (Instructional)

LTMS: Channel 12 Black Cat News (instructional)

Morton Middle: Morton Filminators (service), Mustang Tech Training (technical), Mustang Web Team (service)

SCAPA: Student Cam Group 1 (instructional)

High school showcases advancing to state:

Bryan Station High School: BSTA/ Carpool Me (service), Phones Down (technical)

Carter G. Woodson Academy: (service)

Eastside Technical Center: Benefits of eSports (instructional), Educational Gaming (instructional), Get Technical (service)

Lafayette High School/Eastside Technical Center: Harry Gary (instructional)

Lafayette High School: Connecting the Arts 1 Continent at a Time (technical), General Tech (service)

Locust Trace AgriScience Center: Agriculture Education: Positive Experiences in Agriculture for Fayette County Youth (instructional)

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: International Connections (service), Lamplighter (service), Maestro 101 (instructional)

STEAM Academy: Cooking with STEAM (instructional)

STEAM Academy: Google: Full STEAM Ahead (technical)

Tates Creek High School: ArtRage (technical)

The Learning Center: Red, White or Blue — It’s Up to You (Service), Wellness Blog (Instructional)

These students will polish their projects and compete at the STLP state championship on April 12 at Rupp Arena, where one showcase from each division (elementary, middle, high) will be chosen to represent Kentucky at the International Society for Technology in Education national technology conference.

▪ A robotics team called Terminator 2 from Morton Middle School was runner-up in the Dec. 10 area SumoBot tournament. Henry Davis and Ben Hightower 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. Third place went to Tracy Belongia and Jonathan Callaway of Mary Todd Elementary.

Eight schools from Fayette and Franklin counties gathered at host Beaumont Middle School ,where eight elementary and 11 middle school teams competed in the double-elimination tournament.

SumoBot competitions are also slated for March 25 during the district’s STEM Fair at Bryan Station High School, and April 12 during the STLP state championship at Rupp Arena.

▪ Several groups from Fayette County were among the middle and high schools participating in Kentucky Youth Assembly conferences in Louisville during November and December. In the three-day experiential learning program, students served as part of a model state government, explored a range of issues, developed critical-thinking skills, and expressed their beliefs while engaging with peers from around the state. Students also served as officers, ran as candidates and earned merit-based awards.

Fayette County Public Schools middle school honors:

Delegations of excellence: Beaumont, Winburn and Edythe J. Hayes

Outstanding delegates: Victoria Bravo, Beaumont; Caitlin Crum, Winburn; and Lauren Kindy, E.J. Hayes

Outstanding parliamentarian: Angela Zang, Winburn

Outstanding bluegrass bill: E.J. Hayes

Outstanding delegation: Winburn

Outstanding speakers: Tallulah Young and Jamison Gordon, E.J. Hayes, and Sophia Wu, Lily Gardner, Sitara True and Emma Lauritzen, Winburn

Presiding officer: Aneesh Kadambi, Winburn, 2016 Senate president

Elected officer: Rileigh Smith, E.J. Hayes, 2017 governor

High school honors

Delegations of excellence: Henry Clay, Lafayette, Tates Creek, Bryan Station and Paul Laurence Dunbar

Outstanding delegates: Mya Elias, Lafayette; Ellora Kameneni, Dunbar; Emma Bellomy, Henry Clay; Sarah Ali, Tates Creek; and Alex Hart, Bryan Station

Outstanding bluegrass bill: Tates Creek and Bryan Station

Outstanding parliamentarian: Delaney Hughes, Lafayette

Outstanding delegation: Dunbar

Outstanding speakers: Henry Walther, Sophie Clark, Young-Kyung Kim and Olivia Pourel, Henry Clay; Ashley Barnette, Lafayette; Drake Witt, Bryan Station; and Abby Hendren, Kelly Chen and Nisarg Patel, Dunbar

Outstanding lobbyist: Leighanne Guettler-James, Henry Clay

Outstanding media corps delegate: Ben Givens, Henry Clay

Presiding officers: Evan Hayes, Henry Clay, 2016 governor; and Olivia Feck, Henry Clay, 2016 bluegrass president of the senate

▪ The Alzheimer’s Association has awarded Dr. Linda Van Eldik, of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, a Part the Cloud Translational Research for Alzheimer’s Disease grant. The funding will support research aimed at developing new preventions and treatments for the disease.

Van Eldik’s team is focused on brain inflammation and why neurodegenerative disorders exhibit overactive and chronic inflammation that can lead to disruption of normal communication among brain cells and cause nerve cell damage. Her research is identifying potential points of intervention, with a goal of developing new drugs to slow the disease’s progression. The grant provides Van Eldik $997,738 in project funding over two years to test the drug candidate for safety in humans.

Van Eldik is director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, the Vernon Smith Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research, and professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UK. She is also director of UK’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Scholarships/Summer Camps

▪ The Kentucky Society of CPAs is accepting applications for its Educational Foundation scholarships through Feb. 20.

Students studying accounting at Kentucky-based colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $2,500 each. For more information, criteria or an online application, go to or call 502-266-5272.

▪ The Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants is taking applications through Feb. 28 for its tuition-free summer business camp program for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

BASE Camp will be held June 11-15 at Bellarmine University’s campus in Louisville. Selected students will stay on campus and learn the basics of business and accounting in a hands-on, interactive format.

Tuition, housing, materials, meals, books, tours and activities at the camp are provided free to participants. The only costs are a nonrefundable application fee and, if accepted, a transportation fee. Students who cannot afford these fees may request a BASE Camp scholarship to cover the cost at

High school students interested in majoring in business or accounting are invited to apply. Applications must be postmarked no later than Feb. 28.