Foster receives 2017 Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship

Fiona Foster
Fiona Foster Photo provided

▪ Fiona Foster, a recent University of Kentucky graduate and member of Phi Kappa Phi, has received the 2017 Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship. Phi Kappa Phi presents 51 fellowships of $5,000 each to students entering their first year of graduate or professional study. Foster graduated in May 2017 with a mathematics major and a computer science minor. A member of the Lewis Honors College, she helped found the UK Mountain Cats, worked with UK Sound and Lights, served as an undergraduate assistant in UK Calculus 1 Math Excel, served as a site leader and participated in Alternative Service Breaks; and worked as a computer programmer and rock wall attendant at the Johnson Center Outdoor Pursuits. A National Merit Finalist, Foster also received the Carolyn S. Bunyan Award, the Sallie Pence Award, the UK Patterson Scholarship and the National Merit Scholarship. She hopes to teach math in Eastern Kentucky and battle low graduation rates in the area.

▪ Southside Technical Center’s Axel Rincon took third place in Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference last month in Louisville. Rincon, who graduated in May from Lafayette High School, was one of only three medalists from Kentucky. He also placed third in last year’s national contest.

Also finishing in the Top 20 from Southside were Tara Keel in First Aid/CPR and Arif Moula in Job Skill Demonstration A.

Meanwhile, Eastside Technical Center had two students in the Top 10: Donovan Richardson in customer service and James Robinson in employment application process. Among those in the Top 20 of their respective categories were Corey Resinger in auto tech; Zak Smiley, Doni Munoz, Tyler Reyes and Kellin Toomey in broadcast production; Justin Watts, Shaelin Sechrest and Michael Sainato in crime scene Investigation; and Paxton Barnett in job interview.

▪ A trio of students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School brought home top honors from the Future Business Leaders of America’s national conference, held June 29-July 2 in Anaheim, Calif. Kevin Jing, Rehan Ghanta and Sai Naidu placed first in the sports and entertainment management category, which they also won at the state level this spring.

Also at the event, Sahar Mohammadzadeh placed fifth nationally in public speaking II, and Kelly Chen was seventh in business law.

▪ The 2017 Governor’s School for the Arts, an intensive summer residency program for rising juniors and seniors, accepted 40 Fayette County Public Schools students, who spent June 18-July 8 at Centre College in Danville. During their three-week session, these teenagers were immersed in seminars, master classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips.

From Bryan Station High School: Erin Zearfoss, architecture and design; Jordan Bryson, creative writing; Sidney Bibbs, instrumental music (viola); Simone Bibbs, instrumental music (cello); Anna-Claire Wright, instrumental music (violin); and Jada Commodore, visual art.

Henry Clay High School: Lucy Ferguson, dance; Cooper Boss, dance; Reagan Cox, instrumental music (trumpet); Julia D’Orazio, instrumental music (flute and piccolo); and Adrian Partridge, visual art.

Lafayette High School: David Choate, creative writing; Katrin Anne Flores, creative writing; Ruby Tevis, creative writing; Olivia Connelly, dance; Walker Cody, dance; Josh Andreatta, instrumental music (acoustic guitar); Matthew DeRossett, instrumental music (trombone); Ben Henault, instrumental music (marimba and timpani); Vanessa Meliksetyan, instrumental music (piano); Matthew Mitchell, instrumental music (bassoon); Anna Watrous, instrumental music (cello); David Forish, musical theater; Alexis Zapata, musical theater; Kennedie Nelson, visual art; Williams Atkinson, vocal music (tenor); Katherine Copeland, vocal music (soprano); Rory Hefner-Templar, vocal music (alto); and Abby Holthaus, vocal music (soprano).

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Katrina Baniak, architecture and design; Megan Slusarewicz, creative writing; Tejaswini Sudhakar, creative writing; Kaitlin Rucker, drama; Rohan Palla, film and photography; Andy Du, instrumental music (piano); Megan Guan, instrumental music (violin); Olivia Zastro, instrumental music (clarinet); and Maxwell Qiu, visual art.

Tates Creek High School: Eliana Shapere, creative writing; and Benjamin Horman, musical theater.

▪ Several Family Career and Community Leaders of America members from Beaumont Middle School earned awards in the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) national contests July 2-6 in Nashville.

Sports nutrition: gold medal — Annie Boling and Allison Clabes for “All Sport Annie”; illustrated talk: gold — Khushi Arora for “Children of Neglect: Turning a Page to a Brighter Future”; focus on children: gold — Sydney Montgomery and Kate Hazelwood for “Whipping Up a Successful Transition”; entrepreneurship: silver medal — Amber Koenig and Katelyn Fields for “Sync Up”; and parliamentary procedure: bronze medal — Hattie Grace Maloney, Allie Barnes, Caroline Devine, Lauren Alexander and Ella Williams.

▪ The 900 additional students receiving National Merit scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities included three recent graduates of Fayette County Public Schools and one graduate from Woodford County: Jan Balk of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, to Purdue University, with a probable career field of aerospace engineering; Alec Dupont of Henry Clay High School, to Auburn University, medicine; Nisarg Patil of Dunbar, to Vanderbilt University, computer science; Caylee E. S. Marshall, of Woodford County High School, to UK, chemical engineering.

The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. The 182 sponsoring colleges selected their recipients from among the National Merit finalists who plan to attend their schools.


▪ Kentucky State University has received a $1.3 million four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement a project to reduce violence among racial and ethnic disadvantaged at-risk youth ages 12 to 17 in Franklin County. The project, Please Call Me Mister,” will serve 125 black and Hispanic males who have experienced violence in their community. The project will be a multidisciplinary approach, including mental health, law enforcement, business and education. The project will also provide services to mitigate trauma and promote academic enrichment, personal development and wellness, cultural enrichment, career development, life skills, crime and delinquency prevention, and teen dating/violence-substance abuse. Herman Walston, a Kentucky State professor of child development and family relations, will administer the grant.

▪ Fayette County Public Schools’ television programming can now be found on Channel 197 in Spectrum’s cable service. FCPS-TV, which has broadcast locally on Channel 13 since 1981, will continue to provide coverage of the district and its schools, students and employees.


▪ Marty Mills has been named principal at Tates Creek High School. Mills has 14 years of experience at Tates Creek, where he has served as an English teacher and associate principal.