45 juniors selected for Leadership Lexington Youth Program

Alex Eberle
Alex Eberle Photo provided

▪ The Leadership Lexington Youth Program has selected 45 students from Fayette County for the eight-month program that encourages high school juniors to interact with community leaders and explore various careers, business opportunities and post-secondary options. Selected students are:

Bryan Station High School: Ally Frederick and Jordan Leggin

Carter G. Woodson Academy: Thomas Grey-Lewis

Frederick Douglass High School: Jermaine Cole

Henry Clay High School: Elizabeth Bowling, Anne Douglas Chambers, Lauren Chatfield, Cate Clay, Lucie Helmers, Merrick Moore and Sarah Palmer

Lafayette High School: Mia Albornoz, Meklit Amsalu, Niran Chattha, Sam Edwards, Audrey Fields, Hart Hallos, Michael Lozovoy, Una Mijatovic, Emma Owens, Anna Watrous and Matthew Wirasakti

Lexington Catholic: Brian Banahan, Evan Lancho, Dominique Morris and Elizabeth Yeager

Lexington Christian: Rachel Cooke and Cate Crosbie

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Jacob Chapman, Andy Du, Riley Feddock, Cheyenne Fullwood, Rehan Ghanta, Amanda Jones, Saiprasad Naidu and Subershan Wigna-Kumar

Sayre School: Cassidy Hook, Audrey Kwun, Karuna Lakhiani and Brue Paulsen

STEAM Academy: James Fitzgibbon and Jaycee Taylor

Tates Creek High School: Elia Zonio

The Montessori High School: Sophia Harryman

Trinity Christian Academy: Jonathan Tanaka

The program will take these students out of school one Wednesday a month to visit different segments of the community and learn how they can make a difference. The youth will also practice networking with their peers.

▪ Several staffers and music ensembles from Fayette County Public Schools received accolades at the regional Kentucky Music Educators Association fall meeting, including the following District 7 award winners:

Elementary Teacher of the Year — Chris McDowell of Clays Mill Elementary

Middle School Teacher of the Year — Nathan Wilson of Leestown Middle

High School Teacher of the Year — Kelly Mayes of Bryan Station High School

Citation for Service — Debbie Sogin, retiree from Morton Middle School

These groups were selected to perform during the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s 2018 professional development conference this winter in Louisville:

Leestown’s seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra, directed by Nathan Wilson

Henry Clay High School’s wind ensemble, led by Bill Kite and Jeff Bayerle

Tates Creek High School’s chamber choir, guided by Nick Johnson

In addition, the SCAPA Lafayette chamber orchestra, directed by Phil Kent, will perform at the 2018 American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival in Atlanta; and Lafayette High’s Madrigal Singers, guided by Ryan Marsh, at the 2018 Southern Division of Choral Directors convention in Louisville.

For more about KMEA, go to

▪ Alex Eberle a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, has been selected to travel to NASA’s Langley Research Center this fall to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project.

Eberle is one of 304 community college students from across the United States to be part of the project. The five-week program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Langley Research Center, where students interact with NASA engineers as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. For more information, go to

▪ Tori Summey, Masters of Community and Leadership Development student at the University of Kentucky, is one of 10 students nationwide to receive a conference scholarship from the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health. The $500 cash scholarship also waived all conference fees, allowing Summey to attend the 2017 annual conference held June 25-28 in Logan, Utah.

▪ Montgomery County High School became the first team in the history of the Farm to School Junior Chef program to repeat as state champion when it prevailed over Corbin in the fifth annual Junior Chef championship cook off recently at the Kentucky State Fair.

The Montgomery County team of Jamila Green, Hayden Holley, Jennie Walters, Landon Holley and Mackenzie Green prepared Farmers Luau Chicken. Each member of the team, coached by Lee Etta Greer, received a $16,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan University.

The “Roasting Redhounds” of Corbin — Makenzie Belew, Sarah Sawyers and Ken Trudelle — prepared Pollo y Pavo Fajita Flatbread. Corbin was coached by Jessica Lester. Each Corbin team member was awarded a $10,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.

Sawyers was named Most Valuable Chef of the tournament and earned an additional $6,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.

Graves County and Bath County rounded out the top four teams. Each member of the Graves County and Bath County teams received a $6,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.

Middle-school students advancing to high school for the following school year were allowed to compete for the first time in the program’s history. One team, Beaumont Middle School in Fayette County, was made up of all middle school students. Also, the team from the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville advanced to the state tournament for the first time, and the Kentucky School for the Deaf’s entire high school attended the competition to watch the teams compete on Aug. 22.

Montgomery County will represent Kentucky in May at the first Southeastern Junior Chef tournament, hosted by Sullivan University in Louisville. Montgomery County will compete against Junior Chef state champions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

For more info, go to

▪ Christina Relich, a Richmond resident and recent graduate of iCademy, an online academy, has started her own publishing company called Dapple Grey Books, which she used to publish her first children’s book, “Herman to the Rescue,” written as a dedication to the Centenary Children’s Ministry.

In addition, Relich has won the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts for her book, renovations she made to a run-down child-care room at Centenary United Church, and a mural that aligns with the book’s story. All of this took more than 400 hours of community service and a year to complete.

▪ Cynthia Harter, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for Economic Education at Eastern Kentucky University, has been selected by the National Association of Economic Educators and the Council for Economic Education to receive the Henry H. Villard Research Award, named for the co-founder and first editor of The Journal of Economic Education, citing her “positive impact in economic education research.”

▪ Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University rank first and second, respectively, among all public universities in Kentucky in Washington Monthly’s annual “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings. EKU scored highest in the category of earnings performance in what the magazine calls its “exclusive list of schools that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

The rankings compare graduation rate, Pell performance, first-generation performance, earnings performance, net price of attendance for families with an income of below $75,000, and predicted repayment rate.

To see a complete list for the South Region, go to and scroll down to Best Bang for the Buck-South.