Education Notes

Don Halcomb
Don Halcomb Photo provided


▪ Don Halcomb, of Logan County, has been honored by the University of Kentucky Wheat Science Group with its first Service Award.

The group created the award to recognize individuals for their partnerships with and contributions to wheat research in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Halcomb has advocated for research that will improve Kentucky wheat operations and help poise the state as a national leader in innovative wheat production. He has been a partner with the group since its formation and has been the driving force behind many UK research projects.

▪ Amber Noelle “Elle” Woolery, of Lawrenceburg and a recent graduate of Transylvania University, has been awarded the Davies-Jackson Scholarship to study archaeology at St. John’s College, Cambridge.

The scholarship will cover her full fees, plus living expenses for two yearsm as she studies for a Cambridge B.A. — the equivalent of a U.S. graduate degree.

▪ Two students from Lafayette High School have received awards in the 29th annual Sister Cities International Young Artists Competition. The theme was “We’re Going Places.” Tuesday Hadden was the local runner-up with “A Movement That Cannot be Contained,” and Haley Buchanan placed third with “Connected.” They were congratulated at a Feb. 3 opening reception and accepted prizes of $150 and $100, respectively.

The art contest, sponsored by the John Irvin Central Bank Galleries and the Lexington Sister Cities Commission, was open to Lexington students ages 13-18. More than 50 entries from six schools are on display through Friday at the Central Bank Gallery, 300 West Vine Street.

▪ Nearly 700 Fayette County public, private and home-school students in grades 4-12 participated in the 33rd annual Kentucky American Water Science Fair, coordinated by Fayette County Public Schools at Bryan Station High School. The event included 644 projects judged by 230 professionals, as well as hands-on educational exhibits and demonstrations, collectively known as the Discovery Zone.

Receiving awards were 152 student projects. Six projects received special recognition from Kentucky American Water for demonstrating achievement in water science projects, and three students received the Urban Environmental Award for outstanding projects related to environmental stewardship.

Those students were:

Urban Environmental Award: Jayden Channer, Millcreek Elementary; Sarah Ferguson, SCAPA/Bluegrass; and Ashley Liu, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Overall grade level winners: Joseph Hicks, grade 4, Maxwell Elementary; Michael Barnett, grade 5, Seton Catholic School; Kiera Fehr, grade 6, E.J. Hayes Middle School; Quincy Winkler, grade 7, Morton Middle School; Anna Ackerman, grade 8, Beaumont Middle School; Rachel Seevers, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

▪ SCAPA at Bluegrass dominated the junior division of the Kentucky High School Speech League’s 2017 Bluegrass Regional Tournament, and Henry Clay topped the senior sweepstakes. The Feb. 4 contests enabled additional students to qualify for state competition this spring.

Four middle schools participated in this year’s junior regional. Beaumont took second place, and Morton tied for third. These individual placements, except for one, went to SCAPA students:

Declamation: 1. Riley Gossage; 2. Emily Xiao; 3. Luise Wendroth

Duo Acting: 1. Taylor Boss and Emilia Grossi; 2. Natalie Willett and Reese Willett; 3. Maren Bylund and Joshua Bylund

Extemporaneous Speaking: 1. Julie Sharpe; 2. Sarah Grace Sajadi; 3. Ainsley Kurtz

Humorous Dramatic Interpretation: 1. Daniel Baesler; 2. Isabelle Logsdon; 3. Maren Bylund

Impromptu Speaking: 1. Wenbo Fan; 2. Ally Curry; 3. Deya Andreev

Improvisational Duo: 1. Natalie Willett and Ava Hadland; 2. Deya Andreev and Ally Curry; 3. Karsten VanMeter and Julie Sharpe

Original Oratory: 1. Meaghan Haddix; 2. Evelyn Weaver; 3. Emilia Grossi

Poetry: T1. Natalie Willett and Maren Bylund; 3. Emilia Grossi

Prose: 1. Isabelle Logsdon; 2. Sophia Zhou; 3. Manya Tiwari of Beaumont; 4. Aileen Conner

Radio Broadcasting: 1. Ally Curry; 2. Meaghan Haddix; 3. Karsten VanMeter

Solo Acting: 1. Meaghan Haddix; 2. Daniel Baesler; 3. Ava Hadland

Storytelling: 1. Isabelle Logsdon; 2. Daniel Baesler; 3. Reese Willett

In the senior division standings, Paul Laurence Dunbar finished third, Lafayette fourth and Bryan Station eighth. Individual results included:

Declamation: 2. Angie Xiao, Dunbar; 4. Sarah Fields, Dunbar

Dramatic Interpretation: 1. Emma Bellomy, Henry Clay; 2. Cooper Boss, Henry Clay; 4. Sarah Fields, Dunbar

Duo Interpretation: 2. Tyler Gorman and Elizabeth Salamanca, Henry Clay; 4. Paige Barricklow and Alex Welch, Henry Clay

Extemporaneous Speaking: 1. Leila Abou-Jaoude, Lafayette; 2. Henry Walther, Henry Clay; 3. Zach Sippy, Henry Clay; 4. David Ma, Dunbar

Humorous Interpretation: 1. Jade Kropp, Henry Clay; 2. Nasim Mohammadzadeh, Dunbar; 3. Julia Radhakrishnan, Dunbar

Impromptu Speaking: 1. Leila Abou-Jaoude, Lafayette; 3. Henry Walther, Henry Clay; 4. Rachael Gilbert, Henry Clay; 5. Shelby Amato, Henry Clay; 6. David Ma, Dunbar

Improvisational Duo: 1. Emma Bellomy and Maddie Butler, Henry Clay; 3. Jade Kropp and Elizabeth Salamanca, Henry Clayp; 5. Sydney Craig and Sarah Belin, Henry Clay

Informational Speaking: T1. Luke Sills, Dunbar; 2. David Vulakh, Dunbar; 3. Irish Jenkins, Henry Clay; 4. Sarah Elliott, Lafayette

Oratory: 1. Megan Slusarewicz, Dunbar; 3. Parker Smith, Dunbar

Poetry: 1. Sahar Mohammadzadeh, Dunbar; 2. Paige Barricklow, Henry Clay; 3. Megan Slusarewicz, Dunbar; 4. Rest Aliu, Dunbar

Program Oral Interpretation: 1. Jade Kropp, Henry Clay; 2. Cooper Boss, Henry Clay; 3. Sahar Mohammadzadeh, Dunbar

Prose: 2. Jillian Nichols, Henry Clay

Radio Broadcasting: 1. Leila Abou-Jaoude, Lafayette; 2. Parker Smith, Dunbar; 3. Tyler Gorman, Henry Clay; 5. Shelby Amato, Henry Clay; 6. Katie Chen, Henry Clay

Storytelling: 1. Maddie Butler, Henry Clay; 3. Alyssa Payton, Henry Clay; 4. Cas Young, Henry Clay

▪ Seven high school students from Fayette County Public Schools have earned gold keys in the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which qualifies them for this spring’s national competition at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The following artists from Lafayette and Paul Laurence Dunbar high schools earned gold.

Lafayette: Zoe Felice

Dunbar: Jennifer Lee

Lafayette: Katrin Flores and Joseph Hurt

Dunbar: David Ma, Sahar Mohammadzadeh and Megan Slusarewicz


▪ Local nonprofits The Color of Education and the OWL Foundation have partnered with United Bank and Trust Co. to provide seven computers with software to be used by at-risk Central Kentucky high school students. These computers will help prepare the students for life and success after graduation. To learn more, go to and

▪ The Lexington Legends are working with Fayette County Public Schools to encourage participants in the Student Technology Leadership Program to complete activities related to science, technology, engineering and math. After all four activities are complete, students can redeem a punch card at the Legends’ box office for two tickets to a home baseball game.

Students’ progress will be recorded on cards distributed by their schools’ STLP coordinators. The activities are listed under the four Cs of STEM:

Critical thinking: Students must complete an hour of coding.

Creativity: Students must create an innovative project using technology.

Collaboration: Students must attend an STLP meeting or STEM Fair.

Communication: Students must teach someone else something they have learned, either one-on-one or through a class presentation.