Bullitt East students earn top honors in state event

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 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Having advanced through preliminary judging, the team of three Bullitt East Students known as the Mount Washington Youth Chamber of Preservationists (aka the “Youth COPs”) joined with over 5,000 students of all ages from over 400 schools representing 100 Kentucky districts at the Lexington Convention Center for the annual state finals of the Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) competition.

This was Bullitt East’s first ever entry into this annual state-wide competition.

The project of juniors Shelby Crum and Abby Shelton and senior Hannah Miles, “Footprints of the Past… Footsteps to the Future” is a collectible photo essay publication depicting the historical evolution of downtown Mount Washington. It advanced to the State Final in three competition categories.

At the end of a very long day of judging and presentations, the winners were announced and presented with awards on the stage in Rupp Arena.

The “Footprints…” entry was awarded the State Championship in the “ePublishing/publishing” product category; First Place in the “heritage” live presentation category sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council; and named Best in Regional Group as a “community service showcase project.”

Principal Willie Foster praised the youth for their efforts.

“Being a BEHS graduate as well as being raised in Mt. Washington, it has been truly inspiring to see the work of Shelby, Hannah and Abby come to life,” he said. “It is very reassuring to see young people take pride in preserving and celebrating the history and heritage of a community. Charger Nation is very proud of each of these young ladies.”

“I also would like to thank the fine folks with the Mt. Washington Main Street Group for taking the time to work with our students.  It was absolutely a ‘win-win!’” Foster added.

School STLP Coordinator Becky Todd said the students put much heart into research and execution of their project.

“I am very proud of Shelby, Abby, and Hannah not only because they did an amazing job on their ‘Footprints…’ project, but also because they worked extremely hard to prepare for each level of competition,” she said. “I would love to say that I helped them in some way but they did it all, I simply gave them the requirements for each competition category and they ran with it. I had no doubt that they would do well.”

“While their ‘Footprints….’ project alone is outstanding, the STLP competition offered the team an opportunity to demonstrate their exceptional skills in research, planning and organization, teamwork, communications, and presentation, all of which are skills they will need in the future and they excelled at all levels,” she said.

“I would also like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Darrell Vincent for continuing the BEHS STLP Club alone after my move in late December,” she said. “This opportunity would not have been possible without his continued support.”

The “Chamber of Preservationists” was formed as a youth element in support of Mt. Washington’s Main Street Program. The students were tasked with coming up with a mission and primary focus project to augment the Main Street Program goals.

With guidance from Main Street Youth coordinators Dale Salmon, Carolyn Saunders, Bobby Darnell, and BEHS staff coordinator Stephanie Brock, the Youth COPs historic preservation mission and “then and now” photo essay project idea took shape.

“It was a long but rewarding day in Lexington, and while there are so many things that each of us will remember fondly from last Thursday, the greatest has to be what I witnessed in the Rupp Arena dressing rooms hall while I was with our girls as they waited their turn to be called for the heritage category judging,” Salmon recalled.

“Abby, Shelby and Hannah bonded with and gave encouragement to a group of four 4th grade girls from the little town of Hillsboro in Fleming County who were waiting to present a narrative video that they had made about their hometown. Our girls asked them questions about Hillsboro and encouraged the 4th graders to share and practice their presentation with them – it was truly special and I have little doubt that the boost in confidence that these 4th graders gained from our fine students strengthened their presentation performance to the level that earned them the 2nd place honor in the elementary school level and a place on the awards stage with our kids,” he said.

Printed copies of “Footprints of the Past…Footsteps of the Future” are going fast! At only $5 each, it makes a great gift item for anyone with a connection to Mt. Washington.

Copies are available for purchase at Amanda’s Creations Florist in Mt. Washington or by calling Bobby Darnell at 538-3770 or Carolyn Saunders at 538-0688.

BEHS students can get a copy from Abby, Shelby or Hannah.

Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.