Rotary Club honors high school seniors and Bryan Station teacher

Beau Revlett
Beau Revlett Photo provided


▪ Carlos Verdecchia of Bryan Station High School has received the 2017 Jack T. Bryden Great Teacher Award from the Rotary Club of Lexington. Verdecchia is head of the science department at Bryan Station, where he has taught for 17 years.

The Rotary Club also recognized several high school seniors recently. Maddie Covey of Tates Creek won the Rotary Scholar Award. Jamin Waite of Lafayette (SCAPA) received the first-generation college scholarship. James Kyrkanides of Sayre School won the W. Emmet Milward Cup. In addition, members of the All-Fayette County High School Academic Team including Russell Scaife of Bryan Station, Chancellor Lewis of Henry Clay, Thomas Kikuchi of Lafayette, Emily Liu of Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Lauren Greiwe of Tates Creek, Ryan Carter of Trinity Christian Academy, Jack Klier of Lexington Catholic High School, and Kennedy Sabharwal of Sayre School, were also awarded scholarships.

▪ A nearly $12,000 gift from the Baptist Health Foundation Lexington and donor Henry Jackson of Lexington, has funded 18 CPR in Schools training kits for Fayette County’s six public high schools. A recent state law requires all high schools to train students in CPR. “This is a wonderful example of how a public-private partnership can help save lives,” said Barry Stumbo, foundation executive of the Baptist Health Foundation Lexington.

▪ Eight Fayette County Public Schools seniors are among Kentucky’s 34 recipients of the 2017 National Merit $2,500 scholarships: Sameer Ahmed, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School; Nathan Dutch, Henry Clay; Emily Liu, Dunbar; Ananth Miller-Murthy, Dunbar; Russell Scaife, Bryan Station; Andrew Wachal, Lafayette; Lucy Sandmeyer Whitman, Henry Clay; and Benjamin Xie, Dunbar.

▪ D. Stephen Voss has been named the 2017 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award, co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science, part of the College of Arts & Sciences. The annual honor is given to one person in recognition of a long record of outstanding service to UK, the community and Kentucky. Voss is an associate professor of political science at UK, where he has held an appointment since 1998 and served for years as associate chair. He has taught introductory American government for more than two decades.

▪ Kaylee Hicks, of Versailles, an international studies major on the pre-medical track at the University of Kentucky, has been named the female winner of the 2017 Sullivan Medallion, the highest award that UK presents for humanitarian efforts. Kyle Hancock, a 2016 UK graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public health, has been named the 2017 male winner of the Sullivan Medallion.

As a Singletary Scholar, a Gaines Fellow, a Chellgren Student Fellow and an Honors student, Hicks studies the intersections between public health, clinical treatment, and community capital in underserved populations. Hicks has served as a missionary in Peru and has taught children at an orphanage in Mexico while serving as a translator for health professionals teaching CPR. In 2016, she traveled with a team of volunteers to Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador to support low-income churches.

Hancock has begun his master’s program at UK with concentrations in environmental health and epidemiology and a certificate in public health management. He was inspired to pursue public health as a career after a trip to Haiti as a part of a medical team.

The 2017 citizen award co-winner is Cagney Coomer Felton, a UK doctoral student in molecular biology. She is the founder of Nerd Squad, an outreach organization “dedicated to inspiring the next great minds by bringing life to STEM activities.”

The second 2017 citizen award winner is Charlie Lanter, director of Lexington’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. During his tenure, Lexington’s homeless population has declined by 27 percent.

▪ Now in its fourth year, Sphinx Academy, on Winchester Road, has received accreditation from AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts on-site external reviews of Pre-K through 12 schools and school systems.

Sphinx Academy is a full-time school that allows students the opportunity to explore areas of knowledge that most interest them. Learning is achieved through a mix of online and face-to-face classes. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit at Sphinx Academy through AP classes and/or dual credit classes through Eastern Kentucky University and/or Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Students also have the opportunity to pursue Aerospace careers through partnership with the Air + Space Academy. For more information about Sphinx Academy, go to

▪ Four TSA clubs from Fayette County Public Schools won awards during the Technology Student Association’s 2017 state conference.

Lexington Traditional Magnet School

Dragster - second: Michael Fields

Flight - second: Gavin Bell

Junior Solar Sprint - second: Emily Kostelnik, Caleb Pence and Jalya Pence

Structural Engineering - second: Jacob Hunley and Jack Swanagin; third: Terrin Chrisco and Canaan Hunley

Systems Control Technology - first place: Faisal Al Abbasi, Chetan Aspari and Cooper Samuelson; third: Zac Beard, Alex Brown and Steven Smith

Tech Bowl - second: Chetan Aspari, Cooper Samuelson and Jack Swanagin

Video Game Design - first: Zac Beard, Caleb Cole, Irving Flores and Riley Hayden

Southern Middle School

Biotechnology – first place: Katelin Shelton and Allyson Van Haaren; second: Sophie Shelton and Pragya Upreti

CAD Foundations – first place: Troy Nolan

Catapult Design - first place: Alex Alaniz, William Allen and Logan Carmical; third: Shaylin Lewis, Sophie Shelton and Pragya Upreti

Challenging Tech - first place: Alex Riley and Andrew Riley; second: Katelin Shelton and Allyson Van Haaren; third: Alayna Fraser and Kendall Sheward

Children’s Stories - second: Alex Riley, Andrew Riley and Bethany Ryan;

Digital Photography - first place: William Allen

Environmental Engineering – second: Kendall Sheward and Bryce Towle

Essays on Technology – second: Shaylin Lewis; third: Bethany Ryan

Flight – first place: Alex Riley; third: Bryce Towle

Forensics Tech – first place: Katelin Shelton and Allyson Van Haaren; third: Caden Tobin and Dhruv Upreti

Inventions and Innovations – first place: Luke Day, Andrew Fraser, Gabe Mattingly, and Brooks Theis; third: Davis Miller and Bryce Schaffer

Junior Solar Spring – first place: Alex Alaniz and William Allen; third: Logan Carmical, Jackson Hurley and Ibrahim Shalash

Leadership Strategies: first place: Shaylin Lewis, Gabe Mattingly and Bryce Schaffer; third: Alayna Fraser, Sophie Shelton and Pragya Upreti

Medical Tech – first place: Shaylin Lewis, Sophie Shelton and Pragya Upreti

Microcontroller Design – first place: Caden Tobin, Dhruv Upreti and Pragya Upreti

Prepared Speech – first place: Katelin Shelton; second: Gabe Mattingly; third: Andrew Riley

Problem Solving – second: Alex Alaniz and Lucas Wright; third: Caden Tobin and Dhruv Upreti

Promotional Marketing – second: Troy Nolan; third: Andrew Riley

Structural Engineering – first place: Alayna Fraser and Andrew Fraser

Tech Bowl – third: Alex Riley, Andrew Riley and Bethany Ryan

Technical Design – first place: Katelin Shelton and Bryce Towle; second: Alex Riley and Andrew Riley; third: Jackson Hurley and Troy Nolan

Video Game Design – second: Luke Day, Gabe Mattingly, Bryce Schaffer and Brooks Theis

Website Design – first place: Davis Miller, Caden Tobin and Dhruv Upreti

Lafayette High School

Computer-Aided Design Engineering - first place: Ben Stone; third: Jimmy Rose; fourth: Abram Torbush

Extemporaneous Speech - second: McKayla Weaver

On-Demand Video – third: Atlanta Harrison, Emily Jones and Jimmy Rose

System Control Technology - first place: Caleb Hunley, Malik Bryant and Chase Smith; second: Jason Bussell and Abram Torbush

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Children’s Stories – third: Katie Yoder, Molly Grych and Idalia Flores Martinez

Digital Video Production – second: Katie Yoder, Chris Grych and Ken Turner

Program Cover Design – first place: Ken Turner

Promotional Design – third: Ken Turner

In addition, Tates Creek High School had two members elected to TSA statewide positions for 2017-2018: Mikayla Day as sergeant at arms and Susie Rickert as reporter.

▪ Garden Springs Elementary and Beaumont Middle School have won the 2017 Battle of the Books, a competitive reading incentive program in Fayette County Public Schools.


Winner: Garden Springs, with Michael Mungillo, Merry Parrent and Crystal Tharappel.

Runner-up: Veterans Park, with Isaac Cook, Aidan Waters and Haley Williams.

3rd place: Garrett Morgan, with Kate Brown, Tessa Ward and Sara Yesufu.

4th place: Millcreek, with Matthew Bruner, Kate Hensley and Caden Thacker.


Winner: Beaumont, with Erika Borck, Jenny Lee and Erin Stratton.

Runner-up: Leestown, with Victoria Holliday, Rachel Holland and Abby Peck.

3rd place: Bryan Station, with Grace Brown, Arden Ensor and Zach Henz.

▪ The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 undergraduates as new scholars for the university’s Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2017-19 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues, and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student’s junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK’s 12 new Gaines Fellows are:

Hadeel Abdallah, Lexington, majoring in political science and Arabic and Islamic studies

Margaret “Meg” Coppala, Scott Depot, W. Va., majoring in English and gender and women’s studies

Nathaniel Cortas, Louisville, majoring in English and music

Sophia Decker, Los Angeles, majoring in classics and linguistics

Benjamin Jones, Harlan, majoring in history

Meghana Kudrimoti, Lexington, majoring in biology and political science

Alyssa Mertka, Geneva, Ill., majoring in English

Eric Poore, Williamsburg, majoring in political science

Michael Regard, Lexington, majoring in public health

Beau Revlett, Georgetown, majoring in philosophy

Stephanie Smith, Lexington, majoring in political science and sociology

Amaris Wade, Lexington, majoring in foreign language and international economics - Chinese

▪ UK senior Benjamin Riley, of Louisville, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Riley is among 240 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year’s Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,286 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 470 colleges and universities nationwide. Riley’s scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. He is the son of Mike and Sally Riley, of Louisville.

▪ Beau Revlett, a sophomore philosophy major at the University of Kentucky, has received the John Lewis Fellowship from Humanity In Action. The fellowship recognizes commitment to social justice and future promise for community leadership and seeks to educate, connect and inspire the world’s future leaders in the fields of human rights and social justice.

As a recipient of the HIA John Lewis Fellowship, Revlett will join a group focusing on issues of diversity within the United States, with a particular emphases on Atlanta, the American South and the Civil Rights Movement. Beau is the son of Sam and Teresa Revlett, of Georgetown. He is a 2015 graduate of Scott County High School.

▪ The University of Kentucky’s Center for Community Outreach has named Fayette County Public Schools as its 2016-17 Community Partner of the Year.

During this school year, homeless education liaison James Hodge and the FCPS Office of Student Support Services, the Community Action Council, Emmanuel Baptist Church and multiple UK students helped provide 300 Thanksgiving baskets to nearly three dozen schools. Hodge also teamed with UK’s outreach center to supply five elementaries with mentors for about 30 students experiencing shelter insecurity, offering support for the childrens’ academic and social development.

▪ Deep Springs kindergarten teacher Christine Stenzel has been named the winner in the ‘Tell on Your Teacher’ contest. Stenzel received a $1,500 check for a classroom makeover. Also, the family of student Liam Lunsford, who nominated Stenzel, received a Xooker $500 gift card.

Two other UK students, Connor VanMeter, of Lexington, and Aaron Mueller, of Louisville, and were among 307 students to receive honorable mention recognition from the scholarship program.


▪ Daniel Patterson has been named system director of virtual student services for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. He most recently served as a system financial aid program coordinator. He is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Eastern Kentucky University.


▪ Horse Farm Workers’ Educational Assistance Fund Scholarship applications are available for children of Central Kentucky Thoroughbred horse farm workers. Applicants must have graduated from high school or have a GED and be accepted by a college or technical school. Awards are made toward tuition and based upon financial need, merit, essay and a personal interview. Parent or parents must have worked for at least three years on a Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farm. Email to request an application.