▪ Charles Wilson, an eighth-grader at Southern Middle School, will be Kentucky’s representative at the “Teens Speak Up!” advocacy conference March 26-28 in Washington. Charles, who has generalized primary epilepsy, also plans to attend the national epilepsy walk and to speak with representatives and senators on Capitol Hill.
During the conference, Charles will work with other students to raise awareness about what it means to live with epilepsy. The event includes training sessions, inspirational speakers and special programs for teens only. Charles, who was chosen by the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, met with state lawmakers last month in Frankfort.
Charles is on Southern Middle’s honor roll and participates in marching band, concert band, Beta Club, student council, math team and Explorer club. His goal is to attend the University of Kentucky and become a pediatric oncologist.
▪ A robotics team from Jessie Clark Middle School took first place in the Robo Challenge Xtreme regional tournament on March 4 at Georgetown College. Noah Sprout, Isaac Recktenwald, Colin Farmer and Wes Baskette also qualified to compete during the state championships, set for April 12 at Rupp Arena.
Nearly 100 students from several counties participated, including teams from 16 elementaries, seven middle schools and one high school. Five teams, including Jessie Clark 7, advanced to state. The Sandersville 2 team, which placed third in its division, is an alternate to state, along with Jessie Clark 8 and Jessie Clark 6 Gold (third and fourth place, respectively).
Other participants from Fayette County Public Schools came from Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and Carter G. Woodson Academy.
▪ Sayre School’s F. Kevin Simon History Symposium for secondary history and social studies teachers was held on Feb. 25 on the Sayre campus. This year’s symposium, “War and Memory: American and European Perspectives on the Great War, 1914-18,” featured speakers Karen Petrone and Ashley Sorrell, both from UK.
The symposium was named in memory of its founder and director, F. Kevin Simon. Head of School Stephen Manella said, “Imagine a professional development experience that intertwines scholarly expertise, collegiality and intellectual stimulation all at no cost to the participants. That is Sayre’s F. Kevin Simon Symposium, and for nearly three decades, secondary-level history teachers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana have benefited from this unique program.”
▪ Mary Richardson, a fourth-grader at Stonewall Elementary, has earned first-place honors in a national art contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. Mary’s entry depicting the Year of the Rooster was selected as tops in the computer graphics category in the elementary division. She received a certificate and a $25 Amazon gift card.
The other categories were artistic, comical and original. Stonewall teacher Hiroko Hunter invited her fourth- and fifth-grade students to participate in the 2017 New Year’s Contest, and seven were selected to compete nationally. Besides Mary, the others were:
Artistic: Henry Levy and Evelyn Hruby
Comical: Aidyn Sanning and Hannah Hall
Original: Sophia Parmley and Grace Baker
▪ UK’s Derek Gaiser, a secondary social studies education and history junior from Ludlow, has been awarded an English-Speaking Union Scholarship presented by the English-Speaking Union Kentucky Branch. The scholarship will cover Gaiser’s expenses for summer study at Oxford University.
The Kentucky Branch awards a limited number of scholarships to qualified Kentucky college students for courses offered at institutions in the United Kingdom. Scholarship awards include tuition, lodging and two meals daily for three-week courses at the recipient’s chosen institution. Scholarships also include one week of lodging in London and a cash allowance.
Gaiser’s scholarship will fund three weeks of history, politics and society studies at Oxford. The son of Kelly Gaiser, of Ludlow, Gaiser is a member of the First Scholars Program at UK.
▪ Three of Mariko Barnes’ students at Lafayette High School earned kudos in the annual Japanese Speech Contest, held March 4 at UK. The honors included:
Toby Rasmussen, first place in Level 2, who talked about his Japanese learning experience
Dongeun Kim, second place in Level 3, who discussed the kind of person she wants to be in the future
Maggie Thomas, third place in Level 3, who shared her aspirations for college life
Lafayette’s Claire Melvin also participated, along with students from two Louisville high schools, UK, Centre College and Eastern Kentucky University. The contest was open to Japanese language learners in the Kentucky region who are not heritage speakers.
▪ The speech and debate team from Henry Clay High School swept first place in the 2017 Smoky Mountain Invitational, held Feb. 23-25 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Competing against more than 20 teams from across the Southeast, Henry Clay was crowned champion in speech, debate and overall sweepstakes.
Top results in speech
After-Dinner Speaking: Cooper Boss, first place
Declamation: Alex Welch, runner-up
Dramatic Interpretation: Emma Bellomy, sixth
Extemporaneous Speaking: Zach Sippy, fifth
Humorous Interpretation: Jade Kropp, fourth
Impromptu Speaking: Rachael Gilbert, runner-up; Henry Walther, third; Spencer Parsons, fourth; Young-Kyung Kim, sixth
Improvisational Duo: Emma Bellomy and Maddie Butler, first place
Persuasion: Sophia Li, sixth
Program Oral Interpretation: Cooper Boss, third
Prose: Emma Bellomy, third
Storytelling: Alyssa Payton, runner-up; Alex Welch, third; Maddie Butler, sixth
Trithon (individual overall competition): Emma Bellomy, fifth
Top results in debate
Tournament champions: Young-Kyung Kim and Zach Sippy
Speaker awards in Public Forum Debate: Shelby Amato, fifth; Young-Kyung Kim, sixth.