IN THE SCHOOLS
Distance Learning Made Fun
Teachers of Fayette County Public Schools make distance learning fun by dressing up as different characters and placing life-size cutouts of celebrities in the empty desks.
Whitney Walker of Lafayette High School creates a unique background for her students during daily virtual teaching sessions with cardboard cutouts of Dolly Parton, Kobe Bryant, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and more.
Shad Lacefield, a fourth-grade teacher at Garden Springs Elementary, dresses as a different character every day, from a snowman to The Mandalorian.
Dunbar senior named Distinguished Young Woman of Kentucky
Wendy Wei, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, is the 2021 Distinguished Young Woman of Kentucky.
Wei is the 13th state winner from Fayette County in the program’s 63-year history and the second winner from Dunbar in the past five years.
The program encourages self-esteem and excellence in young people through its five principles: Be Healthy, Be Involved, Be Studious, Be Ambitious, and Be Responsible. In the coming year, Wendy will represent Kentucky at various public events and serve as a role model by spreading the program’s national outreach message of “Be Your Best Self.”
Kentucky Girl Scouts take on 2021 cookie season virtually
Kentucky Girl Scouts have quickly navigated and prepared for the 2021 cookie season with the launch of innovative virtual tools that optimize socially distant and contact-less sales and delivery options. The new streamlined Girl Scout Digital Cookie® platform keeps girl scouts front-and-center while offering a convenient way for customers to buy cookies online and support girl scouts at the same time. The Smart Cookies Mobile App also allows girls to sell cookies and track their progress from their mobile devices.
Kentucky Girl Scouts also announced its participation in a national collaboration with food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub, for facilitation of contact-free cookie orders. In Lexington and Northern Kentucky, consumers can order Girl Scout Cookies for pickup or delivery online or through the Grubhub App on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-7 pm. Kentucky Girl Scouts will manage e-commerce, track and fulfill orders, and manage inventory, all using Grubhub’s back-end technology. Grubhub is waiving all fees to make this new delivery option feasible, without reducing Kentucky Girl Scout troops’ and councils’ cookie sale proceeds.
While launching new digital tools, Kentucky Girl Scouts also introduced a new cookie. The new Toast Yay!™ is a French toast–inspired cookie, available locally from Kentucky Girl Scouts.The vital programming that is funded through Girl Scout Cookie season leaves a lifelong impact on Kentucky’s future leaders.
Kentucky’s 2021 Teachers of the Year
Nine educators from across the state were chosen as semifinalists for Kentucky’s 2021 Teacher of the Year award and Fayette County boasted two of the finalists.
Stonewall Elementary’s Donnie Piercey won the overall award and is Kentucky’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. Piercey, who is also the Elementary Teacher of the Year, received the highest cumulative score. Piercey teaches fifth grade English, social studies, math, and science, and serves as the school technology coordinator and STLP coach at Stonewall. His motto is “Equity every day — every student and every lesson.”
Within the high school division, Lafayette’s Christopher McCurry is the state’s High School Teacher of the Year. McCurry teaches Dual Credit 101 and 102, Sophomore English, and Advanced African American Literature. “My approach to my students is that they are people first, students second. I believe that they all want to learn,” he said.
In another Teacher of the Year competition, Michelle Hudson is Kentucky Music Educators Association’s (KMEA) State Middle School Teacher of the Year for 2021. Hudson is the orchestra and guitar director at Jessie Clark Middle School. “I strive to build a music community in my classroom by facilitating involvement, differentiating instruction, and having high expectations,” she said. “I encourage my students to make friends and have fun while learning and playing music together. I also feel a responsibility to be involved in the larger music education community and facilitate conversations about curriculum and instructional techniques.”
This article appears on page 33, 34 & 35 of the 2021 annual print edition of Beaumont Guide.
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