Take a Pass in Louisville with the Kids This Summer Saturday, May 23 2015 

Louisville's Main Library was built in 1908

Cultural Pass returns to keep kids learning, growing over the summer

Passes allow children free access to 30 museums, cultural attractions

LOUISVILLE  – The hugely popular Cultural Pass, created last year to keep children learning and exploring over the summer, is back with an expanded list of participating attractions Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

 “We are dedicated to building a culture of lifelong learning in Louisville for everyone, from our youngest citizens to our wisest grandmothers and grandfathers,” Fischer said. “The Cultural Pass was an immediate success, helping thousands of youngsters visit engaging and inspiring places they’d never been, to learn, dream and stay engaged over the summer.”

 The pass, a collaboration between Metro Government and cultural partners, admits one child/student (ages 0 through college) to attractions as diverse as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Kentucky Derby Museum to Yew Dell Gardens. If the child is under 16, one parent or guardian is also admitted.

Fischer said the list of participating cultural attractions has grown to 30 – nine more than last year. Passes are available starting today at all Free Public Library branches and Metro Parks Community Centers. The pass is valid May 31 through August 7.

kycenterfortheartsChildren who get their pass stamped by at least eight different institutions this summer will be eligible for prizes and other incentives.

The Cultural Pass made its debut last summer with 51,000 children and young adults taking part.

“The beauty of the pass is – those students learned,” Fischer said.  “They learned about the science of gardening and plants; they learned about animals and endangered species; they learned about braille and they learned about history and performing arts.”

Fischer said there was also spinoff impact for participating organizations. The library saw a 16% increase in students completing Summer Reading and a 9% increase in children’s book circulation.

University of Professor Nat Irvin and his creativity team of Vision suggested the idea for the pass.

This year’s Cultural Pass is being funded primarily by the Gheen’s Foundation, with additional support from Metro Government and an anonymous donor.

Fischer said the Cultural Pass is one of the city’s many strategies to help prevent summer learning loss and to keep students engaged. The strategy also includes more programs, hot meals and longer hours during the summer at Community Centers. It includes connecting parents, students and families to the many out of school programs, from free arts classes to paid summer camps and everything in between. And it includes SummerWorks, the Mayor’s summer jobs program, which is on track to provide 2,500 young adults a summer job, a mentor and a paycheck.

2015 Participating Organizations
21c Museum
Actor’s Theatre of Behind-the-Scenes Tours
American Printing House for the Blind
Arts and Cultural Attractions Council
Arts Council of Southern Indiana Pat Harrison Arts Center Gallery
Asia Institute – Crane House
Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest
Camp Wonderopolis
Carnegie Center for Art & History
Frazier History Museum
Gheens Science Hall/Rauch Planetarium
Historic Locust Grove
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Kentucky Derby Museum
Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft
Kentucky Science Center
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Little Loomhouse
Local Speed | Speed Art Museum
Ballet School
Free Public Library
Youth Choir
Metro Parks & Recreation – Monday Movie Nights @ Iroquois Amphitheater
Metro Parks & Recreation – UPS / First Tee Youth Golf Course (Seneca)
Portland Museum
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
Stage One Family Theatre
Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Louisville Free Public Library Ready to Kick off Annual Summer Reading Program Thursday, May 21 2015 


Louisville, Ky., – School is almost out for the summer and that means the return of the perennially popular Summer Reading program. Presented by the Library Foundation, this year’s program, “Under the Sea”, encourages kids up to fifth grade to read for fun this summer offering prizes and incentives, including a shark backpack and passes to area attractions.

Library Summer Reading

Summer Reading begins June 1, but you can help us kick it off early on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. at the Main Library at our Reading Frenzy! There will be stories, games, performances, and activities for the whole family.

The Summer Reading Program and Kickoff are free. Visit LFPL.org/kids or call (502) 574-1620for more information.

And don’t forget! Teens have their own summer reading program: TSR. For more information, visit LFPL.org/teen.

Cards Get It Done in the Classroom, Too Wednesday, May 20 2015 


Men’s Basketball Among Four UofL Teams with Perfect APR Scores

Cards’ have a perfect APR score in the four-year period while winning 121 games

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Four University of Louisville athletic teams are among the nation’s leaders within their sport in the most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released by the NCAA.

UofL’s men’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s golf and softball teams are among the top 10 percent in their respective sports in the latest APR, which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes. All four sports programs have a perfect 1000 score for the most recent four-year period from 2010-14

“Every coach strives for not only excellence on the court, but for excellence in academics,” said UofL Head Coach Rick Pitino. “The work that our academic staff does with our players is first class and our players are committed.  (UofL Director of Academic Services) Anthony Wright and our student-athletes have done a great job in making us all very proud of their accomplishments.”

Over the four-year period of this multiyear APR report, ’s academic success has come while winning a combined 121 games — the second-most in the nation in that stretch — and the Cardinals won the 2013 NCAA Championship and reached the 2012 Final Four.

While the University of men’s basketball team has performed well on the court, the Cardinals have excelled in the classroom as well. The Cardinals earned a collective 3.26 grade point average for the 2014-15 academic year and the team has produced around a 3.0 or better GPA for 14 consecutive semesters.  placed a league-high seven individuals on the 21-member 2015 ACC All-Academic Team.   Senior forward Wayne Blackshear was a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America second team selection, the Cardinals’ second such selection in the last three years (also Peyton Siva, 2013).

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino

Notable academic achievement has become a regular occurrence for the Cardinals.  also received an NCAA Public Recognition Award each of the last two years for ranking among the top 10 percent in men’s basketball in the APR.  UofL’s men’s basketball team earned its league’s last four Team Academic Excellence Awards, which recognizes the highest collective grade-point averages in each of the conference’s sports (2014 American Athletic Conference, 2011-13 Big East).

’s three additional perfect APR teams have excelled academically as well.  UofL’s women’s golf team, which capped the year at its second-consecutive NCAA Regional, produced a collective 3.72 grade-point average this year.  Between the two semesters, the Cardinals accounted for 16 Dean’s List honors, and Haley Andreas, Emily Haas, and Sara Karlsson each earned their bachelor’s degrees in the spring of 2015 while Katie Petrino graduated in 2014.  It is the fifth straight year that the women’s golf team has produced a perfect 1000 APR score to rank among the nation’s top programs.

The Cardinals’ softball team posted a program-best combined 3.382 GPA during the 2014-15 academic year, including a record 3.425 GPA for the 2015 spring semester as 20 student-athletes earned Athletic Director’s Honor Roll status. All six seniors from the final year of the APR report in 2014 team have graduated.

Four members of ’s men’s cross country team earned spots on the 2014 All-ACC Academic Cross Country team.  Runners Edwin Kibichiy and Ernest Kibet both received U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors on Wednesday and both were USTFCCCA All-America selections.

Multiyear APRs and the most-recent single-year figures from 2013-14 for all Division I sports teams will be released on May 27.

Thousands of Louisville High School Seniors Sign on to College Tuesday, May 19 2015 

college signing day

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  – Nearly 1,500 college-bound seniors in Louisville have been recognized for their commitment to go to college and earn a degree. The students were honored at a celebration Monday at the KFC Yum! Center. Jefferson County Public Schools, the KFC Yum! Center and 55,000 Degrees – ’s education movement – joined forces to host College Signing Day.

“It’s always exciting when you see people gather around when a high school athlete signs on for college,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, chairman of 55,000 Degrees. “But this event recognizes that every college decision is exciting! These students are not only helping us reach our goal of having 50 percent of working age adults with college degrees by 2020 – they’re also taking a critical step to building satisfying careers. This is an important day for them, their families, and our entire community.”

Students from 26 JCPS high schools, along with some students from Archdiocese of high schools, attended the celebration. They heard from inspiring guests, met with representatives from their colleges and had a chance to meet with other area students planning to attend the same school.

“Our JCPS vision is for all students to graduate prepared, and one of our strategies we use to reach that goal is celebrating the success of our young people,” JCPS Donna Hargens said. “All students who commit to pursuing their goals in college deserve the encouragement, excitement and support that surrounds student athletes when they select their future college.”

Fischer, Hargens, 55,000 Degrees Executive Director Mary Gwen Wheeler and AEG Facilities’ KFC Yum! Center Premium Sales Director Robbie Valentine, a member of the 1986 NCAA Championship University of men’s basketball team, took part in a roundtable discussion and shared some of their college experiences with students.

“It’s important for students to know that college is challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding,” said Wheeler. “It’s often in college that we begin to author our own life stories and envision our future potential selves. These students are getting ready to begin an important journey that will change their lives.”

The students heard from Colmon Elridge III, who serves as executive assistant to Gov. Steve Beshear. Elridge, the first person in his family to earn his college degree, was 26 years old when he was appointed and started managing day-to-day operations of the Governor’s office.

After the roundtable discussion and keynote address, students fanned across the concourse of the KFC Yum! Center to take part in breakout sessions with representatives from their colleges. Representatives from more than two dozen colleges and universities were in attendance, providing valuable information and advice to students.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with JCPS and 55,000 Degrees to recognize students for their academic excellence and plans to continue their education,” said AEG Facilities’ KFC Yum! Center General Manager Dennis Petrullo. “It’s important for us to give back to the community and helping to shine a spotlight on the next generation of ’s potential leaders is one of many ways we seek to do that.”

During their breakout sessions, students received a certificate with their school’s logo and signed a commitment to continue their education and earn their degree. Students returned to the bowl of the arena for the special signing day celebration. Students were honored on a college-by-college basis as they proudly held up their certificates of commitment.

Following the signing day celebration, Bellarmine Basketball Coach Scott Davenport, who led the Knights to a NCAA Division II national championship, took to the court to congratulate students and encouraged them to be champions in the classroom and in life. College Signing Day ended on an inspirational note, with First Lady Michelle Obama delivering words of support and motivation in a video message.

Students were encouraged to share their College Signing Day experiences on social media using #SignLou. They were also invited to sign up for college text updates, www.marlimar.com/student55, and summer coaching, summercoachingteam@gmail.com, to connect with college resources and personnel during the summer months.

College Signing Day would not have been possible without the hard work and support of many individuals. Special thanks to:

Renee Murphy, Rachel Platt and Terry Meiners (WHAS TV)

Ben Davis and Kelly K. (WDJX)

Class Act Federal Credit Union

JCPS High School Counselors Association

Tiger Foundation, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Kentucky, Inc.

 55,000 Degrees is the ambitious initiative launched in 2010 with the goal of having 50 percent of ’s working-age adults with college degrees by 2020. In 2014, had the highest percentage of working-age adults with a college degree in the community’s history at 41.5 percent. Find more information atwww.55000degrees.org.

Louisville Teacher Garners National Recognition Friday, May 15 2015 


Louisville, Ky., – Kitty Head, an instructor with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Adult & Continuing Education, received the 2015 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award last month during the Commission on Adult Basic Education Conference in Denver. The award recognizes Head as an avid student advocate who reaches students on a personal level to better understand their needs and guide them to the skills and training necessary to reach their individual goals. Head teaches science, social studies, math, and language arts. Information on the JCPS Adult & Continuing Education Program is available at http://adulted4u.com/.

Here is the commission’s biography about Head:

Kitty Head joined the staff at Jefferson County Public Schools Adult Education in 1986. With her 38 years of instructional experience, Kitty is frequently called upon as a contributor for program strategy sessions to best meet student needs and provide resources for her fellow staff members. Always an avid student advocate, Kitty is able to reach students on a personal level to better understand their needs and guide them to skill upgrades and the attainment of individual goals. She currently teaches all four subjects of the GED® including Science, Social Studies, Math, and Language Arts and was instrumental in the development of study packets to help students adjust to the new 2014 GED® series.

Her drive to help others extends outside the classroom as well. Kitty is an active member of her church, taking on various leadership roles including: Eucharistic Minister, Children’s Liturgy of the Word Leader, and HIV/AIDS Parish Leader. She also supports numerous church ministries such as Appalachia mission trips, retreat support, prayer group, and marriage enrichment. Additionally, Kitty spearheaded an after-school tutoring program at the parish school for struggling students. Outside her church home, Kitty volunteers at St. John’s Center, a local day center for homeless men, frequently sharing her knowledge to help with their annual fundraising event. Often merging the needs of her students with community resources, Kitty initiated a local Girl Scout troop’s help with aiding a student and her daughter living in a local shelter. She also became friends with a homeless student, who under Kitty’s guidance, earned his GED® credential. Kitty welcomed the student at her own family’s holiday gatherings and eventually took on more responsibility for him as his health declined. She became his advocate in the end stages of his life and was by his side, still offering support, at his death.

Mayor Fischer Honors Louisville’s Outstanding High School Seniors Wednesday, May 13 2015 

Oustanding Seniors

Louisville, Ky., – Public, private and Catholic students who have excelled in and out of the classroom are being honored today by Mayor Greg Fischer as recipients of the annual Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors Award.  Fischer will present the honor to 51 students this evening at 7 p.m., following a reception at Metro Hall.

This year’s recipients include a survivor of the Haitian earthquake, a refugee from Rwanda,  students who have battled medulloblastoma, blindness and other medical conditions and a student who will earn an Associate Degree alongside their high school diploma. The students include at least 27 National Honor Society members, 17 Governor’s Scholars and two International Baccalaureate Candidates. At least one of the students will be the first female in her family to graduate high school.

“These are young people who have shown dedication, who have overachieved and overcome obstacles in life and in the classroom while taking the time to help and motivate others along the way,” Fischer said. “They are real-life examples from schools large and small of what you can achieve through focus, teamwork and a drive to continue learning and continue helping others.”

In addition to their academic accomplishments, the winners include notable athletes in a variety of sports, artists, dancers, musicians and entrepreneurs. Principals and guidance counselors at public, private and Catholic schools throughout nominated students for the award.

AT&T is the presenting sponsor of the Outstanding High School Seniors Award which began in the mid-1980s. Additional support is provided by Gordon Food Service and Sullivan University.

 Oustanding Seniors

2015 Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors

Rachel Abney, Christian Academy of

Rachel is constantly broadening her horizons. She has been a member of the principal’s honor for four years. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, writer for the school newspaper and a National Merit Finalist. She has received the subject award for highest grade in four different subjects. Last summer Rachel received a scholarship from the State Department to travel to Morocco and study Arabic, which she has been studying independently for three year. Rachel will attend American University on a full scholarship to study International Studies with a minor in Arabic. Rachel would like to pursue a career in federal government.

LeAisa Bowen, Mary Ryan Academy

LeAisa is a student of perseverance and determination. This strong will is going to make her the first female of her family to graduate high school. LeAisa was a victim of bullying during her first two years of high school. She has taken her situation to develop positive relationships with her peers to help them through difficult situations. She has received the Social Studies Award for Outstanding Achievement. LeAisa has maintained a 3.7 GPA during her final two years of high school. She plans to attend college and pursue a career in mental health services with a focus on youth mental health.

Matthew Bradshaw, Butler Traditional High School

Matthew has already started his college career before receiving his diploma. With a 4.11 GPA, he has completed five dual-credit courses through the University of . Matthew received home schooling for the first seven years of schooling and managed to overcome a difficult transition. He is a member of the National Honor Society, baseball and soccer teams as well as president of the Beta Club. Matthew is a Governor’s Scholar, Poetry Out Loud State finalist and University of Kentucky Rising Scholar. Matthew has received the full tuition Vogt Scholarship from the University of where he will major in English. He plans to pursue a career in editing or philology.

Shalonte Branham, Central High School Magnet Career Academy

Shalonte is a dedicated student with an interest in law. She is involved with ROTC, Metro Youth Advocates, Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and Summer Law Institute. Shalonte’s athletic accolades include KHEAA State Championship Runner-Up, 4×100 Meter Relay State Champion and 4×100 Meter Relay Regional Champions. She is a Governor’s Scholar and has received the Smith College Book Award, University of Kentucky Rising Scholar Award, Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award, First Honor Award, Churchill Downs Winner Circle Governor Scholar and Justice William E. McAnulty Essay Award. Shalonte plans to attend Bellarmine University.

Felicius Bucyukundi, Collegiate School

Felicius did not have the normal path of most students. He and his family fled Rwanda to avoid war and violence. This has motivated Felicius to use his voice against violence and hatred. He was on the honor roll and part of the Newcomer Academy at Central High School before transferring to Collegiate. He is a member of Pep Club, Student Government and Beta Club as well as a member of the soccer and track teams. Felicius has earned All-State and All-Region honors in soccer as well as the title of Team Captain and the Titan Award. Felicius volunteers his time at his church with the Trinity World Outreach Center as well as The Refuge youth program. He plans to do a post graduate year at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He has deferred his college acceptance one year with hopes to play soccer at a Division-I college.

Launi Brown, Western Early College High School

Launi is an outstanding student who will be receiving her diploma right along with an Associate’s Degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College. Launi has carried a 4.0 high school GPA as well as a 4.0 GPA in her JCTC coursework. She has served as president of the Beta Club, captain of Quick Recall team, sophomore and junior class president, senior class treasurer and a member of the softball team. She has received AP honors, the Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award from Berea College and four year MVP of the Quick Recall team. Despite her upbringing in a neighborhood riddled with crime and violence, Launi has become an outstanding student and has worked as a peer mentor to help other students stay on track. She plans to attend Duke University and major in history with a concentration in human rights.

Christopher “CJ” Burton, Walden School

To call CJ a student athlete might be an understatement. He has been on the honor roll all four years. CJ is a member of the cross country, track and field, basketball and golf teams. CJ is a member of the National Honor Society, Environmental Club, Spanish Club, KIVA club and Key Club. He has been recognized for the Grey Sebree Endowed Scholarship, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program, MVP of the golf team, Coaches Award for varsity basketball and the Chamber of St. Matthews’ scholarship award. CJ plans to major in accounting in college.

Legacy Carter, Seneca High School Magnet Career Academy

Legacy is an outstanding student and role model for younger students. She has overcome a difficult childhood and foster care to excel in the classroom and community. Legacy is a member of the Governor’s Scholar Program, Beta Club, National Society, Best Buddies and Hawk Watch Club. She has earned the honors of student of the month, honor roll and the LEEP ABC Scholarship. Legacy will attend Clark Atlanta University.

Thomas Case, Fairdale High School

Thomas is both an outstanding student and athlete. He is a Governor’s Scholar and member of the National Honor Society with a GPA of 4.32. Thomas is a member of the varsity baseball and tennis teams. Some of Thomas’ honors include Commonwealth Ambassador, Top Dawg Award, AP Scholar, New Horizons Scholarship, First Honors, Grace Jenkins Memorial Scholarships and Madeline and Jerry Abramson Scholarship. He is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Student Council. Thomas has volunteered throughout the community for the Humane Society, Camp Crooked Creek, the Fairdale Fair and various cleanups for the athletic programs. Thomas plans to double major in financial economics and computer science at Centre College.

Carlyn Causey, J. Graham Brown School

Carlyn is a determined student with a strong personal will to achieve success. She is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, yearbook staff, newspaper staff, varsity cheerleading team and homecoming committee. Carlyn has received the University of Kentucky Book Award, Rotary Club Unspoken Hero Award, Kentucky Science Center Life Saver Award and award for Best All Around Cheerleader. In addition to her academic and athletic achievements, Carlyn finds time to volunteer with the Kentucky Science Center, St. Vincent DePaul as a mentor and as peer advocate and tutor at the Brown School. Carlyn plans to attend Lindsey Wilson College majoring in Secondary Biology Education. She will also participate in the Bonner Scholar Program as well as the cheerleading squad.

Brianna Daniel-Harkins, Presentation Academy

Brianna has a strong dedication to her education and service in the community. She is a Trustee’s Scholar with 4.1 GPA. Brianna is a member of Kentucky Youth Assembly, Kentucky United Nations Assembly, Prezettes, National Honor Society, STEM Club, Science National Honor Society, Mayor’s Give A Day board, Teen Court, Dance Team, Math Team, Retreat Leader and Rotary Club Speech competitor. Brianna has dedicated numerous hours of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, Give A Day, Cathedral of the Assumption, Y-Corp, Kids Cafe and Waterstep. Brianna will double major in International Business and Public Policy at Loyola University New Orleans.

Logan Davis, Beth Haven Christian School

Logan is a leader in academics as well as athletics at Beth Haven. Logan has served as class president all four years. He is a captain of the varsity baseball and golf teams and has earned all-conference honors in three sports. He has been on the honor roll all four years and is a member of the student council, Beta Club, National Honor Society, varsity basketball team and high school praise band. Logan volunteers time with his youth group, church praise band, local youth sports teams and is a sign language tutor for elementary students. Logan plans to attend college and major in sports administration or physical therapy.

Loandria “Andi” Dahmer, Youth Performing Arts School

Andi has had a diverse academic career at the Youth Performing Arts School and looks to continue her universal approach after high school. Andi is a Governor’s Scholar, AP Scholar, National Merit Semifinalist with a 4.21 GPA. She is class president, Y Club president, Student Senate Vice President, Spanish National Honor Society Vice President, Publications and Media Relations Chair of Girls Leadership as well as featured contributor to the Courier-Journal. Andi has received the Ronald Reagan Student Leadership Award. Andi has had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador and attend Concordia College’s Language Villages Spanish Immersion Camp which has furthered her passion for leadership and cultural relations. She has accepted the Cherry Presidential Scholarship to attend Western Kentucky University as well as being accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. She will major in Chinese, Spanish and International Business.

Hannah Esrock, Male High School

Hannah is full of spirit. So much, in fact, that she fell off the school bleachers fracturing two neck and back vertebrae during her senior year. Hannah carries a 3.8 GPA and is deeply involved in the school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Honor Roll, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program, drama club, pep club, SBDM, French club, student senate and student ambassador. Hannah is the yearbook editor, junior and senior class president, field hockey captain and junior and senior homecoming princess. Her honors include three time Field Hockey Bulldog Leadership Award, Miss Male Spirit Award, Rachel Caroline Baker Leadership Award nominee and Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. Hannah plans to attend the University of ’s Honor College and find a job that is both creative and makes others smile.

Bethany Gannon, Evangel Christian School

Bethany is a shining example of a student who values excellence and service. Bethany is the class Valedictorian carrying a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Council and Student Leadership. She has earned the Academic Excellence Award, Christian Character Award, Principal’s List, Perfect Attendance Award and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist. Bethany has served on numerous mission trips to New York, Florida and Africa where she has served the homeless, worked with medical missions and served a children’s home. She plans to attend a four year university to pursue a degree in the medical field.

Jose Garcia, DeSales High School

Jose is a distinguished student who is looking to constantly further his education. Jose immigrated to the United States. Even with the assimilation to a new culture, Jose has achieved a 4.0 GPA with Academic Honors and is ranked 5th in his class. Jose is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Student Technology Leadership Program, Diversity Club, Track and Field team and Chemistry Club. He is the organizer of Racism Awareness and a math tutor. Jose will attend Bellarmine University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. He would like to work in systems security and database management.

Summer Gillock, Valley High School

Summer is full of talent. Currently Summer has 4.0 GPA and completed AP courses in eight different subjects. Summer is a 12-year professional jam skater as well as a member of varsity volleyball and softball teams. Summer participates in the Beta Club and Metro Youth. She has received the Distinguished Young Women Award, Most Determined All-Tournament team in softball, MVP in volleyball, Principal’s list three years, All Around Jr. Girl and Miss Valley. Summer takes time to help others by helping with Wayside Mission, Vacation Bible School and Medical Society “Wear the White Coat.” She plans to attend Bellarmine University to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

Miles Green, Southern High School

Miles is an outstanding example of a student with exceptional academic achievements all while maintaining a strong presence in the community. He has been the top ranked student throughout his career at Southern. Miles is a Governor’s Scholar, president of the Beta Club and first chair in the orchestra. He has volunteered for various organizations and events around the community including the Salvation Army, Lighthouse Christian Ministries and WorldFest. He has been selected for the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientist Award of Excellence as well as the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. Miles plans to attend the University of and pursue a career in the medical field.

Joshua Gully, Waggener High School

Joshua is a hard working individual in the class room and in life. Despite obstacles outside of the classroom, Josh has excelled through a rigorous course load including AP and technical courses. He is a member of the Student Help Desk Program and helps to maintain, update and manage all of the school’s technology. Outside of school, represents Waggener on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and regularly works over 25 hours per week at SkyZone. Josh has begun taking courses at Sullivan University through the JumpStart Program to begin his pursuit of a degree in Information Technology. He would like to have a career in software development and web design.

Hannah Hardy, Sacred Heart Academy

Hannah is a leader in the classroom, on the field and in the community. She is a Governor’s Scholar with a 4.0 GPA and earned a 35 on her ACT. Her honors include Principal’s List recipient, International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and the Excellence in Math Award. She has participated in the National Student Leadership Conference, National Honor Society and is president of the Ambassadors Club. In addition to academics, Hannah is three year captain of the back-to-back state champion Lacrosse team where she has earned the Team Captain Leadership Award, Lacrosse Heart Award and All-State honors twice. She has volunteered as a Sacred Heart Ambassador, Retreat Leader at Holy Trinity Parish School, leader at Engelhard Elementary and Hand in Hand Ministries. Hannah will attend Centre College.

Emily Hubbuch, Portland Christian School

Emily is a distinguished student who has shown leadership and service throughout her high school career. She has been on the honor roll all four years at Portland Christian. Emily is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Yearbook Staff and the Totem Editor. Emily has also served as Class Secretary. She has earned the ACSI Distinguished High School Student Award in Leadership and the School Christian Character Award. Emily has volunteers at various school events and participated in a mission trip to Nicaragua. Emily will attend Asbury University on a soccer scholarship.

Murray Huber, Eastern High School

Murray has excelled in many areas throughout her high school career. She is a Governor’s Scholar, National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student, member of the National Honor Society, AP Scholar with Honor and ranks in the top 3% of her class. Murray is the team captain of the competitive jump rope team and has earned first in a national Double Dutch competition as well other national accolades in the AAU Jump Rope and USA Jump Rope Leagues. Murray also teaches younger jumpers at the local elementary school. Murray’s creative talent has earned honors in the national VANS shoe design competition, REEL Action Film Contest and WKU Film Festival. She is currently deciding between University of and WKU Honors College and is considering a degree that would allow her to pursue teaching, writing, engineering or math.

Jeremy Jackson, Atherton High School

Jeremy has worked diligently throughout his school career. He is an AP Scholar, International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, National Achievement Scholarship finalist, Unsung Hero semi-finalist and Advanced Program Student. Jeremy is a member of the Rho Kappa Society, vice president of the National Honor Society, president of Y-Club, speaker of the House of KYA, debate team co-captain and class treasurer. Some honors include Academic Gold Medal, International Baccalaureate Achievement Award, Berea College Legacy Award and Yale Book Award.  Jeremy will attend the University of to major in psychology.

Anna Johnson, Churchill Park School

Anna is taking her communication and social skills to the next level. She has been diagnosed with a hearing impairment and has had to develop her own augmentative communication system. She has received honor roll throughout the entire year. Anna participates in community based instruction by shopping for supplies for the classroom. She is volunteers with Red Cross and is a greeter at the Kentucky Science Center. After school, Anna plans to travel and do volunteer work within her community. She also plans to join a day program where she will meet new people and make life-long friends.

Braniesha Johnson, Breckinridge Metropolitan High School

Braniesha has really taken the time to focus on her education and develop a positive atmosphere in her life. Despite decisions that obligated her to attend an alternative school, Braniesha has found the adult support she needed through teachers, administrators and her counselor. She has been recognized by the Board of Education for her journey of overcoming personal challenges and success in academics. She participates in the Partial Day Program allowing her to leave school early to go to work. Braniesha will attend Jefferson Community and Technical College to obtain an Associate Degree and then transfer to a four year college.

Michelle Jones, St. Francis High School

Michelle is a bright and intelligent student. She has held a 4.44 GPA and honor roll every year. Michelle has participated in Science Olympiad, Math League and Quick Recall all four years. She has earned the AP Chemistry Award, BC Calculus Award, Geometry Award, Multi-variable Calculus Award, AP French Language Award and Harvard Book Award. Michelle is an avid gymnast. She is a coach at Kentucky Gymnastics Academy, two-time state champion and earned the Overcoming Fear on Vault Award. Michelle has also volunteered her time at the EMW Women’s Clinic, Camp Shantituck, EP Tom Sawyer Park and Cherokee Park. Michelle is currently deciding between attending MIT, Yale or Harvey Mudd.

Alexandria Karcher, Moore Traditional High School

Alexandria excels in the classroom and has a heart for service. She is a Governor’s Scholar and Valedictorian of her class. Alexandria is a member of HOSA, Go College, Back Club, World Quest, Quick Recall, National Honor Society, class officer, soccer team and lacrosse team. Her honors include student of the month, University of Kentucky Book Award, MVP Junior Soccer, Most Outstanding Medical Student, Most Outstanding Go College, Greater Medical Society Wear the White Coat, Youth and Adult Voices in Action Summit and JCPS board meeting representative.  Alexandria has volunteered at Relay for Life, Jefferson Youth Soccer, Baptist East Hospital and Norton Healthcare. She is going take her dedication for service further when she attends Murray State University to obtain a degree in Nursing.

Austin Kelly, Holy Cross High School

Austin is a leader in academics and service. Austin has carried a 3.6 GPA and is ranked 12th in his class. He has been a member of the Cross Country Team for four years and is currently the captain. Austin has earned the Rotary Club Unsung Hero Award, NKU Scholarship and Brescia Scholarship. He helped gather hundreds of pairs of shoes to deliver to Waterstep, a local organization that has helped communities in dozens of countries to clean up water supplies. Austin will attend Northern Kentucky University.

Gabe Kinderman, St. Xavier High School

Gabe is an outstanding model of perseverance and dedication. In May 2013, after suffering from headaches and a collapse at school, Gabe was rushed to the ER for an MRI where the doctor’s discovered a tumor on his brain. After surgery and radiation treatments, Gabe attempted to return to school in the Fall of 2013. Unfortunately, it did not work out for Gabe to finish his senior year alongside his classmates, but that did not stop him from returning in the Fall of 2014. Through everything, Gabe has remained positive and upbeat. Gabe has a deep passion for cars. After his first chemotherapy treatment, he returned home to an El Camino sitting in his driveway; a gift from a group of friends.

Mark Kiselevach, Trinity High School

In addition to a transfer from home schooling to Trinity, Mark has made the commute from Elizabethtown to daily for his education. Mark carries a 3.82 GPA and is in the top 10% of his class. Mark has taken 6 AP courses and is a member of the Kentucky Youth Assembly, Kentucky United Nations Assembly, Investment Club, National Honor Society, Pre-Medical Society, Speech Team and Tae Kwon Do.  Mark has volunteered with Feeding America, is a junior teacher for Tae Kwon Do and taught English in K-12 school in Panama over the summer. Mark has been accepted into the LEAD program at the University of and wants to pursue Dental School.

Raughn Lewis, Liberty High School

Raughn is a very committed young man with a strong dedication to helping others. Raughn has been instrumental in the organization of various school events, charity programs and volunteer opportunities. He has served as the President & Vice President of the Student Forum as well as member of Liberty’s Men of Quality. Raughn has volunteered with organizations such as Camp Crooked Creek and Blessings in a Backpack.  In addition to his academics and community involvement, Raughn helps out at home with his younger brother in the mornings while getting ready for school as well as working a nearly full-time job in the evenings. Raughn will major in a Pre-Med program at the University of Kentucky with the intention of becoming a Doctor of Neurosurgery in the future.

Payton Mayfield, Binet School

Payton is an exceptional student with the drive to continually better himself and those around him. He has excelled academically improving in all areas of study. Payton is a talented artist who has received the PTA 15th District Art Award multiple times for photography and artwork. Although he can get nervous at times, Payton has not allowed that to interfere with extracurricular activities. He maintains a job after school, utilizes public transportation, has trained to be a photographer for the Humane Society and received numerous medals in various sports with the Special Olympics. Through his volunteer work, Payton helped a peer with unique needs acquire their first job at the Zoo. After high school, Payton plans to live outside the home, maintain his current job and continue to be an advocate for individuals with special and unique needs.

Savannah Molyneaux, Mercy Academy

Savannah is an excellent student whose dedication goes far beyond the classroom. She has maintained a 3.89 GPA, maintained a spot on the Principal’s List throughout high school and is ranked 11th in her class. She is a member of the National Honors Society, National English Honors Society, International Thespian Society, Quest Bridge National College Match finalist, Governor’s Scholar, George Eastman Young Leader Award, Junior Class President and National History Day Award Winner. Savannah is involved in Mercy Theater Productions, Drama Club, Mercy Choral Program & Acapella Group, Girls Leadership, Peer Leaders, Glee Club and St. X Theater Productions. She has always maintained a job throughout school to help out with family expenses. Savannah has volunteered with Riverwood, Christian Churches Disability Ministries, Franciscan Health Care, Jefferson Memorial Forest, Dare to Care and other organizations. Savannah plans to attend Western Kentucky University as a part of their Honors College and double major in English and Theater eventually pursuing a degree in Law.

Stenley Mondestin, Iroquois High School

Stenley arrived in the United States from Haiti two years ago following the devastating earthquake where he was separated from his mother and lost many family members. Once at Iroquois, Stenley was quickly identified as academically gifted and moved quickly to AP classes. Fluent in three languages, Stenley has a 4.0 GPA and list of honors including Who’s Who nomination, KUNA Most Outstanding Delegate, Beechmont Women’s Club Scholarship and McDonald’s Black History Makers of Tomorrow Scholarship. He is involved in the Interact Club, International Academy Ambassador, President of the International Club, Assistant Director of Iroquois’ Blue Jeans Drive for Homeless and KUNA Delegate. Stenley will attend the University of to study International Diplomacy and Law.

Javonte Mosley, Ahrens Education Resource Center

Javonte has transitioned from being a quiet, reserved student into an outgoing, hardworking young man. Javonte is very enthusiastic for athletics of all kinds. He is active in sporting events at Ahrens, Doss High School and the University of . He is also involved in United Basketball with the Ahrens Work Transition Program. Javonte loves his job at Lowes and the constant interaction with people. When he isn’t working, he loves to volunteer at various hospitals and help out at the Zoo commissary making diets for the animals. After he graduates, he plans to continue working at Lowes, keep in touch with friends and cheer on the University of Cardinals.

Callie Myers, The Phoenix School of Discovery

Callie is an extremely involved individual with a dedication to herself and others. She was raised by a single mother and describes herself as shy and introverted. Her accomplishments say otherwise. Callie is a member of the Physics Club, Ambassadors Club, Phoenix Women of Worth, Yoga Club, Games Club, Phoenix School PTSA, dog therapy program, peer tutor, student office aide, student newspaper, Valley View volleyball team and Upward Bound UofL College Prep Program. She has been a four-year silver and gold honor student. Callie is a package handler at UPS as a part of their School to Work Program allowing her to take college courses. In addition to her academic achievements, Callie has volunteered at the Zoo and even named the baby giraffe. Callie is deciding between the University of and Lindsey Wilson College to pursue her Bachelor of Science with the hopes of becoming an anthropologist.

Alexandra Oney, DuPont Manual High School

Alexandra has always known what success looked like but the definition changed during her high school career. Alexandra has a 3.79 GPA with 12 AP Credit courses to her name. She is a member of the Girl Scouts, KIVA club volleyball & school varsity team, Leadership Committee at River City Worship Center, Kids Center Fashion Show planning committee, Campus Life Club, Red Cross Blood Drive Organizer and Key Club. Key Club became a distraction from dealing with her parents’ divorce and a sister leaving for college. Alexandra felt depressed and began volunteering every weekend to escape. It was during those trips that she realized how fortunate she was in life and how being selfless changed her perspective. Alexandra will attend Louisiana State University and look to continue her involvement with the Kiwanis Family and Key Club Organization.

John “Ellery” Payne, Jeffersontown High School

Ellery is an exceptional student who has immersed himself in a variety of academic endeavors. He holds a 4.37 GPA, is the class Valedictorian, Governor’s Scholar, HOBY participant, PLTW Pre-Engineering student and will already have 24 college credit hours upon graduation. Ellery is Vice President of the National Honor Society, President of the Beta Club, Captain of the Quick Recall team, Captain of the Bowling Team, Student Representative of FORD NGL, Class Historian and President of the USBC League. He is also a member of the Principal’s Forum, VEX Robotics team, Ecology Club, Skills USA Club, Pep Club and Governor’s Cup. Ellery plans to attend the University of ’s Speed School of Engineering to become a Bio-Mechanical Engineer or Environmental and Civil Engineer.

Adriana Perez Perez, Westport (Teenage Parent Program)

Adriana arrived in America just three years ago unable to speak English. She has taken the opportunity and excelled in her educational career. At Westport, Adriana has made the All-A Honor Roll multiple times and has a Career and Technical Education Major in Business Administrative Support. She is a writer for the school newspaper, works in the cafeteria and serves as a member of the Red Cross, helping lead a school-wide blood drive. Adriana has earned the Outstanding Student Award in four subjects as well as the Legacy of a Lady Award. Adriana has a one year old son, William and looks to continue her education at Jefferson Community and Technical College to become a nurse.

Annelise Peters, Kentucky Country Day

Annelise is student of courage, determination and pride. She delivered a speech to her school regarding the Day of Silence. The goal of the Day of Silence is to bring attention to the struggles faced by the LGBTQ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer — community in schools. She told her story and that of another peer. Annelise is the captain in varsity and club volleyball year round as well as varsity softball captain. She has been recognized for holding the school record for most volleyball digs in a season, two-time winner of the Board Award for volleyball, All-A District and Regional Team, US History Award, All-A State softball team. Annelise will attend Ohio State University to study criminology or criminal justice.

Jami Rankin, Fern Creek High School

Jami is an exceptional student. She is a class Valedictorian, Governor’s Scholar, Vogt Scholar and AP Scholar. Jami is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Beta Club, Principal’s Advisory Council, All-State and All-County Choir, Quick Recall team, Drama Club, Cooking Club and World Language Club. She is also a member of the cheerleading, softball and dance teams. Jami has volunteered with Hand in Hand Ministries, including mission trips to Appalachia and Belize, Girls Leadership, Vacation Bible School, Elementary Cheer clinics, food/coat drives and Dare to Care. Jami will attend Centre College.

Erin Raque, Assumption High School

Erin is an exemplary student with a drive for not only bettering herself but those around her. She holds a 4.52 GPA and is ranked in the top 5 percent of her class. Erin’s honors include Governor’s Scholar, Distinguished Scholar, Girl Scout Silver Award, McAuley Scholar, 4-year Principal’s List and WKU Alumni Association Junior Book Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. She has volunteered throughout the community with various organizations including Metro Animal Services, Humane Society, Indian Trail Elementary, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Bashford Manor Nursing Home and St. Raphael Church. Erin recently completed a four year scholar’s thesis project on how investing in the education of women can help build communities and confidence.

Jacklyn Riggs, South Park (Teenage Parent Program)

Jacklyn has made education a top priority while becoming a mother in high school. She has a cumulative GPA of 3.96. She is involved with Project S.M.A.R.T., Shining Stars, Student Leadership Team, Senior Student Council and the Student Technology Leadership Program. Jacklyn has received the Academic Excellence Award, TAPP Leadership Award and the Outstanding Student Award in four subjects. She volunteers with children’s church at Incarnation Church, serving food at St. Vincent de Paul, gardening at South Park and drug awareness programs at the Neighborhood Place. Jacklyn plans to attend college full-time as well as working part-time.

Nathan Robertson, Whitefield Academy

Nathan is deeply involved in many facets of his school. Nathan has been a four year member of the honor roll, Student Leadership Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Class President, Class Chaplain and captain of the soccer team. He has also held leading roles in Whitefield Academy Drama Productions. Nathan has received the Varsity Soccer Coaches Award, 24th District All-Tournament Team honors, Region 6 All-Tournament Team honors and 2nd Place in the Cup. Nathan volunteers with his church tech team, Saturday Morning Food Pantry, grade school basketball leagues, Brightside, Operation Christmas Child and WorldFest. He also attended a mission trip in Honduras. Nathan plans to attend Cedarville University and major in Broadcasting and Digital Media.

Sarah Russman, Bethlehem High School

Sarah has been enthusiastic inside and outside of the classroom. She is a four year honor roll student and has earned the Advanced Placement Psychology Award, Algebra Award, Banshee Award, Leadership Award and Academic All-State First Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Competitive and School soccer teams, prom committee, Bardstown-Nelson County Young Leaders, Interact Club, Pro-Life Club and St. Joseph Youth Group. Sarah has a long list of community involvement including Kids Against Hunger, Handy Hands Service Camp, Souper Bowl of Caring, Haiti mission trip, National Catholic Youth Conference and Relay for Life. Sarah received the Monsignor Treece Scholarship from Bellarmine University where she will pursue a career in the medical field.

Jayla Stevenson, Pleasure Ridge Park High School Magnet Career Academy

Jayla is a committed and hardworking student. She is the Panther Yearbook editor, and is often seen at various school sporting events taking photos and gathering stories. Jayla has been on the honor roll throughout her entire high school career. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Debate Team, Student Council and Class of 2015 Historian. Jayla volunteers her time helping students at Crums Lane Elementary. Jayla is passionate about learning and looks to continue her education in college by pursuing a degree in Philosophy and attending Law School.

Samuel Thompson, Ballard High School

Samuel is a brilliant student and leader. He is the valedictorian of his class, a Governor’s Scholar and National Merit Finalist. Samuel is an All-A’s Honor Roll student and a member of FBLA, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Boy Scouts of America, Spanish Club, Math Team, Academic Team, Study Abroad Program and the lacrosse team. Samuel is an Eagle Scout and also earned AP Scholar with Distinction Award and Bausch and Lomb Science Award. Samuel volunteers with Boy Scouts of America, Middletown United Methodist Church Youth Group and the Belize Mission Team. Samuel plans to attend the University of Kentucky to pursue his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering.

Elizabeth Vissing, Jefferson County High School

Elizabeth is a determined student who knows how to set goals and achieve them. Elizabeth attended Eastern High School from her freshmen through junior years but made the decision to transfer to Jefferson County High School to graduate early. She is active in performance and visual arts. She is a member of the dance team and has earned two first place ribbons for a life-size mermaid sculpture and painting of ’s skyline. Elizabeth will attend Jefferson Community and Technical College in the fall eventually transferring to the University of to study Art Therapy.

Andre Watkins Jr., Doss High School Magnet Career Academy

Andre is a fantastic example of a well-rounded student. He is a Governor’s Scholar and class officer with recognition in the Honor Roll and College and Career Ready Academic Letter. He is a member of the soccer, wrestling and baseball teams. In addition to his athletics, Andre was recognized as a member of the All-County Orchestra for the viola. He is also a member of the FBLA, Green Team, National Honor Society, Peer Mentor group, Gaming Club and Young Professionals of Doss. Andre has volunteered with the Trunnell Elementary Fall Festival, Public Library mentoring ESL students and as an usher at church. Andre plans to major in accounting and is currently deciding between the University of , University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.

Elijah Wegner, Kentucky School for the Blind

Elijah is an outstanding student who has overcome adversity related to his eyesight but has persevered and managed to excel in academics. He manages two schedules and two sets of teachers because of his dual enrollment with Central High School. Elijah has taken honors and AP courses while maintaining a 3.45 GPA. He has participated in Goalball, forensics, wrestling and was a member of the 2014 Insight Program at Morehead State. Elijah was selected as a student voice for the National Federation for the Blind where he travelled to Washington D.C.  to lobby on behalf of the Fair Wages for Disability Act. Elijah plans to attend Northern Kentucky University to study English and Writing. He would like to pursue a career as a teacher and published writer.

Anoa Zakee, The Academy @ Shawnee

Growing up in a household with seven siblings, Anoa knows what it takes to be leader. Ana has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is a Governor’s Scholar. She is a member of DECA, Churchill Downs Governors Scholar Winners Circle, All-A Honor Roll, Junior Advisory Board, yearbook staff and the 25 Book Campaign. She has been featured in Magazine as part of their Super Students. Anoa is also a member of the swim team and Girl Scouts. In her spare time, Anoa volunteers as a swim instructor and life guard at the YMCA. Ana plans to attend the University of where she will major in Pre-Med with the goal becoming a pediatrician. She has been accepted in the PEPP program at UofL.

Opinion: Trinity’s new drug testing policy is legal, but it won’t instill the value of sober living Monday, May 11 2015 

Trinity High School | Photo courtesy Archdiocese of LouisvilleOn May 5, Trinity High School sent a letter to parents announcing a new program to randomly drug test all students. The program, administered by Massachusetts-based Psychemedics Corp., will begin next school year. From the outset, there is no question … Continue reading

The butler did it … and other things you can learn in ‘Murder Mystery History’ Monday, May 11 2015 

Crime Scene - Do Not CrossLibraries are amazing. And this sounds like a killer (pun intended) bookclub on steroids. Starting Thursday, May 14, the Louisville Free Public Library‘s Main Branch will host its latest college-level short course: “Murder Mystery History: An Examination of the ‘Whodunnit’ Genre.” This … Continue reading

Teach Kentucky: A case study for attracting talent to Louisville Saturday, May 9 2015 

downtownLouisvilleBy Rowan Claypool | Teach Kentucky A hot button topic of discussion is how we attract great human capital to Louisville. Through Teach Kentucky, a local nonprofit established to recruit and retain new teachers, we have a template for a … Continue reading

Student activists win as U of L declines to renew contract with JanSport over sweatshop concerns Friday, May 8 2015 

Cards United Against Sweatshops and Mahinur Gegum — a survivor of the Raza Plaza collapse — outside President Ramsey’s office during their March 3 protest of JanSport and parent company VF Corp. | Photo by James El-MallakhAfter many months of pressure from the student activists of Cards United Against Sweatshops, the University of Louisville confirmed Friday it will not renew its apparel licensing contract with JanSport. The student activists had targeted JanSport because of the refusal of its … Continue reading

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