Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Boone touts achievements

Academics to arts to athletics

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — Ryle High School senior Katie Hanger, 17, is her school's National Merit Scholar.

        Kellen Ashworth, 12, and Greg Ashworth, 12, seventh-graders at Gray Middle School, are state wrestling champions.

        And Yealey Elementary fifth-grader Lauren Koch, 10, won a statewide conservation poster contest.

[photo] Boone County Schools superintendent Bryan Blavatt addresses some of the students to be honored.
(Patrick Reddy photos)
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        These four are among more than 350 Boone County Schools students who will be honored this weekend. From academics to athletics to arts, the district's Breakfast of Champions celebrates students who have won regional, state or national recognition this year.

        “It's really good to recognize the positive things that happen,” Katie said. “People have such a bad opinion of kids and schools.”

        This is the third year Boone County has been host for the breakfast. The first year, 150 students were honored. That number has more than doubled.

        “I was thoroughly amazed to see how many students have achieved beyond the regional level and even beyond the state level,” Superintendent Bryan Blavatt said. “It's incredible.”

        From junior Olympians to Web page designers, Boone County students have claimed hundreds of state and national titles. The 13,000-student district is the largest in Northern Kentucky and the third-largest in the state.

        Other team winners:

        • The Ryle High School cheerleaders, who placed third in the nation.

        • Yealey Elementary and Conner Middle schools, which won their regional Governor's Cup academic competitions.

        • Ockerman Middle School, which boasts the national speech champions.

        • The Boone County High School forensics team, which took the state title.

[photo] Troy Methvin, 8, won a national reading contest by reading 557 books in two months.
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        Several students won individual honors. Among them:

        • R.A. Jones Middle School sixth-grader Andy Schneider, 11, was awarded a distinguished rating for his snare drum solo at the state's Solos and Ensembles competition.

        • Yealey fifth-graders Colin Combs, 10, and Joshua Schwartz, 10, helped design a mission to Mars, for a national NASA contest for middle-schoolers. The students' project is one of six national finalists.

        • Troy Methvin, 8, a second- grader at Ockerman Elementary, read 557 books in two months to win a national reading contest sponsored by the Sylvan Learning Foundation. For his efforts, he won a trip to Universal Studios, which he'll take later this month.

        Troy said he used nearly all of his time before and after school to read all those books.

        “I'm pretty wore out now,” he said.

        Boone County High School senior Jeff Woods, 18, a member of the school's forensics team, said he appreciates the district's efforts to put the spotlight on academics and clubs as well as sports.

        “I like sports, but I like that other organizations are being recognized too,” he said.

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