Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eight ifs for the Elite Eight

One more step to take for remaining teams to make Final Four

This from Mike Lopresti at the NCAA:
How quickly, and hard, they fall in March. One moment, the bracket is full of hope and promise. The next, there are but eight teams still standing, knocking at the glittering Final Four door.

Three are from the Big Ten. Two are No. 1 seeds. There is also Kentucky, owner of the Bluegrass State, after an epic showdown Friday night in which Louisville led nearly every minute, but not the last one. A Cinderella in Dayton. A revival in Connecticut.

Friday was a frantic exercise in NCAA tournament survival, from Lucas Oil Stadium to Madison Square Garden. It was one of those nights that makes the month.

It was Kentucky’s John Calipari, looking back on all the big plays his young team has had to make in back-to-back classics against Wichita State and Louisville, and observing, “They’re maturing right before our eyes.”
 It was Louisville’s Rick Pitino, mourning an excruciating 74-69 loss that finished the careers of Russ Smith and Luke Hancock, saying, “It’s the end of an era for us.”

It was Nik Stauskas, mentioning with relief, after Michigan nearly wavered at the end against Tennessee, “Time couldn’t run out fast enough for us.”

And over in the other locker room, it was Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon who spoke for all the broken-hearted of the night, “Damn, we almost had it.”

It was Michigan State out-gritting and out-defensing the notably gritty and defensive Virginia, and Connecticut refusing to budge against Iowa State. This after last year’s academic sanctions left the Huskies program barred from the postseason, out in the cold. “If you don’t give up in the dark times,” head coach Kevin Ollie said Friday night, “it will reverse.”

So what happens now? Eight ifs for the Elite Eight.

• If Arizona beats Wisconsin ... it’d be Sean Miller beating the school that gave him his first assistant’s job. He still remembers that Wisconsin winter and his first look at ice fishing. It’s a little different in Tucson. It’d be the first Wildcat team in the Final Four with a coach not named Lute Olson.

• If Wisconsin beats Arizona ... it’d electrify a program that has been a regular player in the Big Ten race, but has advanced to the Final Four only once in the past 72 years. It would send Bo Ryan to his first Final Four in his 927th game as a head coach. And it would mean the Badgers beat three No. 1 seeds this season -- Arizona, Florida and Virginia -- and seven conference champions.

• If Dayton beats Florida ... the Flyers would be the third No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four in nine years, joining George Mason of 2006 and VCU of '11. They, too, had to upset No. 1 seeds in the regional championship. It would put a team in the Final Four that did not receive one vote in the latest Associated Press or USA Today coaches’ polls, and lost three times this season to Saint Joseph’s. It’d make Archie Miller a Final Four coach at the age of 35, or 10 years younger than brother Sean.

• If Florida beats Dayton ... Billy Donovan will be coaching in his fourth Final Four in 15 years. This at a school that had been to one in the previous 61 seasons. It’d make Florida only the second No. 1 team in six years to survive the second week. If Connecticut also wins, it would put the Gators against the last team to beat them.

• If Connecticut beats Michigan State ... it would confirm there is life after Jim Calhoun. It would blow out Kemba Walker’s cell phone mail, with reporters calling to ask him to compare his extraordinary journey in 2011 with Shabazz Napier. It would be the first time in 30 years -- Virginia in 1984 -- that a No. 7 seed appeared in the Final Four. It would put the Huskies in the Final Four 21 days after they lost by 33 points to Louisville.

• If Michigan State beats Connecticut ... it would be right on schedule, Tom Izzo-wise. He had not been back to the Final Four in three years. He has never gone as long as four. And it would further prove what everyone suspected all along; that once the Spartans were healthy, they would be difficult to stop.

• If Michigan beats Kentucky ... it would send the Wolverines back to doorstep of a national championship, which they came so close to winning this past April. It would be a remarkable sequel to 2013 after losing two vital seniors and Mitch McGary to injury. And it would prove the Wolverines can trade muscle with the big guys, a charge they are sensitive about. “I guess people forgot we play in the Big Ten and we won the Big Ten outright,” Jordan Morgan said Friday.

• If Kentucky beats Michigan ... Calipari would be back in the Final Four with another cast of prized freshmen, to have his one-and-done ways on center stage again. Maybe it took them longer this season. “We almost ran out of runway,” Calipari said Saturday. “We grew up. We have 18- and 19-year-olds that were counted out and ridiculed and crushed.”

But one decisive, game-saving play Friday night was an example of how far the Wildcats have come.
With Louisville ahead 68-67 in the final minute, Julius Randle had the ball in heavy traffic in the paint. There was a time not long ago, he would have tried to manufacture some theatrics, being the most hyped of them all. “Three weeks ago,” Calipari said,” he would have shot a hook.”

Not anymore. “They have finally surrendered and lost themselves in the team,” Calipari said. Randle found an open Aaron Harrison in the left corner. Three-pointer.

The night was theirs. And the state. And maybe, soon, a lot more. If they beat Michigan, they will be the rarest of Final Four teams, with five freshmen starters. The other team to do it (as irony nods)? Michigan, and it’s Fab Five.

“They’re going to be very tough to beat,” Pitino said. “Very tough to beat.”

By now, aren’t they all?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dodge the Prez

EKU President Mike Benson has challenged the University to a friendly game of DODGEBALL !

Folks at Eastern may not be aware, but Benson was a member of Globo-Gym back in 2004 and we hear he is pretty confident he can win. You'll want to show up just to count the number of ringers he has on his team.

If you would like a chance to beat him, sign up your team (4-6 team members) at or tell an EKU GURU.

 Well worth the price of admission!

Event Date: March 31; 7:30-9 p.m.  
Location: Weaver Gym  
Admission: Free 

Cindy Heine to Leave Prichard, Brigitte Ramsey Follows

Education leader named associate executive director of Prichard Committee

An education and public policy leader has been named associate executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Brigitte Blom Ramsey succeeds Cynthia Heine, who is retiring after 31 years of service with the Committee. 

Ramsey (right) with Roger Marcum
Ramsey, of Falmouth, has been director of strategic resources and public policy of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati since 2011. She is a member of Kentucky's Early Childhood Advisory Council and co-chairs the Northern Kentucky Education Action Team. 
She was appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear in 2008 to the Kentucky Board of Education, a position she will resign upon assuming her Prichard Committee post. 
Ramsey has bachelor's degrees in economics and international studies from Northern Kentucky University and a master of public policy from the University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. 

Her background includes work as director of tax and budget for Kentucky Youth Advocates and as a researcher for the University of Cincinnati, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Northern Kentucky University. She also is a past member of the Pendleton County Board of Education. 

Cindy Heine
Heine's tenure with the committee began as a volunteer member when the statewide citizens' advocacy group was formed in 1983. She joined the committee staff in 1989. 

Stu Silberman, Executive Director of the Committee said, "Cindy has been such a great advocate and champion for kids during her 31 years and she will be missed by all. We are so fortunate to be able to have someone with Brigitte's quality and experiences join us as we move forward. We are also excited to have a transition plan in place where Cindy and Brigitte will overlap for a couple of months beginning in May." 

Ramsey's position with the Prichard Committee begins May 1, 2014.

SOURCE: Prichard Committee Press release.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Charter School Legislation Advances To House

This from WUKY:
41 of Kentucky’s chronically low-achieving schools could form charter schools under a bill adopted by the state Senate Tuesday.
Senate Bill 211 would enable schools with a 60 percent graduation rate or lower to seek the charter designation.

"It's only allowed in conversions for these low-achieving schools and schools do remain accountable to the local board. That is who the contract is with. And it's only for a period of five years," bill sponsor Sen. Mike Wilson said.

The measure, which has died previously in the Democratic-controlled House, is unpopular with some teachers’ unions, who worry about a takeover of public schools by for-profit entities.

Sen. Gerald Neal told the chamber Tuesday that charter schools are not a “magic bullet.”

"I think what is needed is a lengthy, in-depth discussion of all that are interested. Disband the name 'charter school' because it's deceptive and a political statement in and of itself and it's being used as such. Let's have a serious discussion about how to advance our children in our schools," Neal said.

The measure passed the Senate 22 to 14.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Giving Christian Schools a Bad Name

Little Girl Taken Out Of Christian School 
After Told She's Too Much Like A Boy

This from ABC News:
Sports, sneakers, and short hair; it's what makes eight year old Sunnie Kahle unique. It's also what had her removed from Timberlake Christian School. Her grandparents pulled the plug on her time there after they said she was no longer welcome.

The family received a letter telling them that if their eight year old granddaughter didn't follow the school's "biblical standards," that she'd be refused enrollment next year. She's out and in public school now. - ABC13

Sunnie Kahle has short hair and a huge heart, and as far as her grandparents are concerned, she is a completely normal little girl.

"She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," said Doris Thompson.

Doris and Carroll Thompson are Sunnie's grandparents. They adopted and raised the little girl and took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received a letter from the school's K-8 Principal.

"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," read Doris from a part of the letter.

The letter goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl and specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.

The letter goes on to reference specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs.

The letter reads in part, "We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education."

"How do you label a child, eight years old, or discriminate against an eight year old child? It just don't happen" said Carroll Thompson.

"Sunnie says, 'I'm a girl, I know I'm a girl' and she said then you know, you're acting like and looking, and wanting to look and act like a boy" said Doris.

An administrator from Timberlake Christian, said the problem with Sunnie goes "far beyond her hair length" and that the little girl is a good student, but that "things disturbed the classroom environment."

"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants a shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can't, you've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can't do that" said Doris.

School administrators said they have not accused Sunnie of being anything or anyone and simply asked that her family follow the guidelines they set forth for all students. The Thompsons say they have no desire to re-enroll Sunnie at Timberlake Christian.

This from Timberlake Christian School:

Admissions Policy

Timberlake Christian Schools admit students of any race, color or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the Schools. The Schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of their educational or admissions policies, hiring, or their scholarship, loan, or other schools-administered programs. This statement of nondiscrimination shall appear in all of the schools’ promotional literature.
Timberlake Christian Schools is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinct Christian environment, and it believes that its biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christ like. On those occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle that the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school (Leviticus 20:13a; Romans 1:21-27; Matthew 19:4-6; I Corinthians 6:9-20).
 And this memorable bit from the West Wing by way of YouTube:

We all have a stake in ensuring the Common Core debate rests on facts

This from the Fordham Institute:

Yesterday, National Review Online posted an article entitled, “The Eleven Dumbest Common Core Problems.” This is the latest in a series of posts making their way around the internet aimed at demonstrating how the Common Core ELA and math standards are “forcing” low-quality, fuzzy math and politically charged English passages on our nation’s elementary students. But that’s like saying wet roads caused it to rain—it’s got the causation all mixed up.

The posts and the pictures of awful curriculum have parents, teachers, and community members rightly concerned. We should be teaching important content, free of political biases and agendas, and we should be teaching that content in the most effective and efficient way possible.

But we can blame the Common Core only if we have some evidence that pro-environmentalist reading passages—or otherwise low-quality elementary reading and math materials—are a new phenomenon. Or that they account for a significantly higher proportion of texts read than before CCSS. Or if opponents can demonstrate a clear link between the poor curriculum and the demands of the standards.

Thus far, very little (if any) such evidence has been presented, so it isn’t clear why the CCSS—or any standards that don’t explicitly demand fuzzy math or environmentalist literature—are to blame. Is choice to blame for charlatan school leaders? Because there is financial mismanagement of some charter schools, should we eliminate privately managed public schools? Hardly. But that is the same line of argument being advanced by opponents of the Common Core, with very few commentators pushing for evidence.

It’s true that some of the assignments posted on NRO and elsewhere—not all of which are as stupid as the post’s title suggests—have “Common Core” stamped on the bottom. This makes it clear that the publishing market has not yet responded to states’ shift in standards with quality resources. There are no doubt lots of reasons for this failure—not least of which the fact that very few state or district leaders have put any pressure on the market to produce quality. Louisiana’s recently released curriculum toolkit, which evaluates and provides summary judgments on commonly used ELA and math curricula, provides an example of how state leaders can help put pressure on the market to respond to the CCSS with quality. But Louisiana’s good work will only help if others follow. State, district, and local educators and leaders need to send publishers back to the drawing board and demand better options. Markets undoubtedly need time to adjust and consumers need good information, which few leaders have provided.

After months of debate, there are three things we can say about the “blame the standards for the curricula we dislike” mentality.

First of all, I’ve yet to see a post where truly stupid assignments are linked to actual content requirements of the CCSS. Basic arithmetic can be taught a number of ways. The Common Core standards, to their credit, demand fluency, and they demands students learn the standard algorithm. That’s about as close as a set of standards can get to demanding traditional math without dictating pedagogy—something I agree standards shouldn’t do.

Second, eliminating these or any standards does not protect our kids from learning fuzzy math or whole language. Poor curriculum exist. I’d go even farther to say that they are apt to flourish in areas where there are no expectations that all students learn some basic content. (For instance, it wasn’t the free market that brought phonics to the forefront of the early reading conversation.)

Most of all, I worry that this aspect of the debate—which emphasizes appeal to emotion and shock over facts and reason—has become very damaging to the effort to improve schools. On the Right, the education-reform movement was built on reasoned debate, evidence, and logic. So much of what’s passing for the Common Core debate defies all three. (To be clear, I’m not saying any opposition defies all three. I’m very specifically talking about those who focus on digging up sensationalist questions—no matter the veracity or copyright date—and using them to appeal to the fears and emotions of parents and the community.)

We cannot keep re-litigating the question of whether states are in control of their own standards. State leaders need to stand up and take control and to stay the course or adapt—but, either way, they need to move forward. Teachers need to know the expectations to which they and their students will be held, students need to know what’s expected of them, and parents need to remain vigilant and press schools and districts to make wise curricular and instructional choices. And everyone in the education debate needs to take responsibility for policing false accusations so that these decisions are based on the facts.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Common Core Spawns Widespread Political Fights

This from ABC News:
More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce leads establishment voices — such as possible presidential contender Jeb Bush — who hail the standards as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul
Many archconservatives — tea party heroes Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among them — decry the system as a top-down takeover of local schools. The standards were developed and are being implemented by states, though Common Core opponents argue that President Barack Obama's administration has encouraged adoption of the standards by various parameters it set for states applying to get lucrative federal education grants.

Tea party-aligned officials and candidates want to delay the standards or abandon them altogether in at least a dozen of the 45 states that adopted some part of the guidelines. Indiana lawmakers approved a repeal that now awaits a decision from Gov. Mike Pence.

"Common Core is like Obamacare: They passed it before they knew what was in it," said William Evers, a Hoover Institute research fellow and lead author of a California Republican Party resolution denouncing Common Core.

To a lesser extent, Democrats must deal with some teachers — their unions hold strong influence within the party — who are upset about implementation details. But it's the internal GOP debate that's on display in statehouses, across 2014 campaigns and among 2016 presidential contenders.

The flap continues as students in 36 states and the District of Columbia begin this week taking field tests of new assessments based on the standards, although the real tests won't be given for another year.

Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, has joined seven colleagues, including Texas' Cruz, to sponsor a measure that would bar federal financing of any Common Core component. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio isn't among the eight, but he had already come out against the standards. So has Rick Santorum, a 2012 presidential candidate mulling another run.

On the other end of the spectrum is Bush, the former Florida governor and Rubio's mentor. "This is a real-world, grown-up approach to a real crisis that we have, and it's been mired in politics," Bush said last week in Tennessee, where he joined Republican Gov. Bill Haslam at an event to promote Common Core.
Haslam, who is running for re-election this year, is trying to beat back a repeal effort in the Tennessee legislature. "These are simply guidelines that say a fourth grader should be learning the same things" regardless of where the student lives, the governor said recently. "Historically, we haven't been good at setting high standards."

The National Governors Association and state education superintendents developed Common Core. Among other things, the framework recommends when students should master certain skills. For example, by the end of fifth grade, a math student should be able to graph and solve complex problems by plotting points on x and y axes. A high school sophomore should be able to analyze text or make written arguments using valid logical reasoning and sufficient evidence.

The issue presents a delicate balancing act for some governors. Bobby Jindal's Louisiana and Scott Walker's Wisconsin initially adopted the new standards. Now both men — possible presidential candidates — must watch as GOP lawmakers in their states push anti-Common Core bills. Jindal, who was an NGA member during Common Core's development, told the Baton Rouge Press Club earlier this year that he's "absolutely for rigorous standards" but "absolutely against any kind of federal takeover." Before Wisconsin lawmakers convened, Walker announced support for rethinking Common Core. In both states, however, the anti-Common Core legislation appears stalled, as neither governor has made repeal a priority.

Establishment Republicans in Georgia, meanwhile, derailed a repeal effort in favor of a "study commission" empowered only to make recommendations. Alabama GOP leaders have held off a repeal measure, as well.
Immediate political consequences of the disputes aren't clear. GOP officials and strategists say any fallout for them is dwarfed by Democrats' struggle with Obama's health care law. In the meantime, conservative candidates use Common Core as a symbolic rallying cry.

Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr, a long-shot primary challenger to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, insists Common Core "is just one more overreach of a federal government that wants to insert itself into everything." An Alabama congressional hopeful, Scott Beason, casts Common Core as liberal indoctrination. In Georgia's crowded Republican U.S. Senate primary, Rep. Paul Broun declared in a recent debate, "I want to abolish the Department of Education and get rid of Common Core forever." His first goal wouldn't necessarily accomplish the second.

The arguments perplex the politicians most responsible for the plan.

Democrat Jack Markell, Delaware's second-term governor, told the Associated Press that opponents mistakenly equate a coalition from across the nation with a federal government initiative. Markell co-chaired NGA's Common Core panel with Republican Sonny Perdue of Georgia.

Perdue, who left office in 2011, said Common Core actually began as a pushback against federal influence because of the No Child Left Behind law, the national education act signed by President George W. Bush. Perdue said it was "embarrassing" for governors of both parties that Congress and the White House pushed higher standards before state leaders.

Perdue attributes the outcry against Common Core to Obama's backing: "There is enough paranoia coming out of Washington, I can understand how some people would believe these rumors of a 'federal takeover,' try as you might to persuade people otherwise. I almost think it was detrimental ... for the president to endorse it."

Evers, the Hoover Institute fellow who was also a top Education Department appointee during the Bush administration, says it's unfair to reduce opponents' concerns to partisanship. He notes insufficient training for teachers expected to use new teaching methods, and he criticizes specific components. For example, some math courses are recommended for later grade levels than in standards already adopted in leading states like Massachusetts and California.

States move forward, Evers argued, because of competition. "It's by emulation and rivalry that we have always seen advances in public education," he said. National standards, he added, "will close the door on innovation."
Hat tip to Brad.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bill to allow persistently low-achieving schools to become charter schools passes Senate committee

I haven't read HB 211 yet, so I don't have an opinion on it. If it's limited to persistently low-performing schools, I think there's an argument for supporting it. But if it opens the door to "for profit" firms to enter the Kentucky school "market" it's surely a bad idea. The vast majority of charter school abuses have occurred in "for profit" groups and should be resisted here. 

This from cn/2:
A bill to set up the framework for charter schools in Kentucky moved forward Thursday when it passed the Senate Education Committee on a party line vote.
Senate Bill 216, which would allow a local board of education to designate a persistently low-achieving school as a charter school and solicit applications for a governing board, passed 7-4 with no votes being cast by the four Democratic Senators on the committee.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, said that the bill is about giving struggling school districts another option to turn things around.
“You know they’ve already exercised a restaffing option, transformation option,” Wilson said. “It’s either close the school or have it be taken over by an outside agency. Why not give them one more option which would be charter schools.”

Teachers unions such as the Jefferson County Teachers Association have come out against the legislation.
Brent McKim, president of JCTA says his organization does not want to see public schools privatized.
“We do not believe we should have a corporate takeover of public schools by for-profit companies that aren’t even in our commonwealth,” McKim said. “They don’t know our kids, they don’t know our parents and they don’t know our communities.”

Similar bills have been passed in previous sessions by the Senate only to die in the House.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Alltech Hits High Note

Awards More Than $500,000 to Vocal Scholars

KSN&C recently received an unusual offer to cover Alltech's Vocal Scholarship Competition at the University of Kentucky. Ignoring the fact that I am almost completely unqualified to judge what constitutes good opera (and confessing that I combine a profound ignorance with a pro-Puchini snobbery!?) I was very tempted to cover the event. But alas, other priorities intervened. I especially regret missing the opportunity to interview Alltech Founder and President Pearse Lyons about the competition and his view of educational preparation in Kentucky. C'est dommage.

So, a bit after the fact, congratulations to this year's recipients:
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, first place graduate winner Ryan Traub, second place graduate winner Iris Fordjour-Hankins and Dr. Everett McCorvey, Director and Executive Producer of UK Opera Theatre.

This from Alltech:
A compelling passion for arts and education is what drove Alltech’s president and founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, to carry forward the annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, Kentucky’s largest vocal event. Kentuckians were invited to the 9th Annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, to hear world-class singers compete for more than a half-million dollars in scholarships and prizes for the University of Kentucky School of Music. 
“It’s a game-changer, it’s a life-changer, it’s the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition,” said Lyons.
The 17 vocal finalists from as far as Venezuela, South Africa and Ecuador came to Lexington with a voice and a dream, and left with over a half-million dollars in scholarships to attend the UK School of Music. The competition, fueled by Alltech, the University of Kentucky and several other supporting business partners, awarded nine high school graduates and eight college graduates with cash prizes and tuition waivers to UK. 
Christopher Kenney of Fargo, N.D. grabbed the top prize as the Alltech Graduate Winner, with Blake Denson of Paducah, Ky. taking home first place as the Alltech Undergraduate Winner.

“I am over the moon with this opportunity to come to the University of Kentucky and work with the faculty and staff there to further my vocal education. I feel really lucky, and so blessed that Alltech has given me this chance,” said Christopher Kenney, Alltech Graduate Winner.

The other winners of the 2014 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition include:
  • Second Place Alltech Graduate Winner – Caroline Pircon, Macomb, Ill.
  • Bryant’s Rent-All & Kentucky Eagle Second Place Alltech Undergraduate Winner – Michael Pandolfo, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jim Beam & C&T Durham Logistics, Inc. First Place Transfer Student Award Winner– Thanbang Stevens Masango, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Lynn Imaging’s Monster Color Transfer Student Encouragement Award Winner– Izhar Poncelis Santana, Mexico City, Mexico
In honor of Alltech’s Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day, this year’s event incorporated appearances from the renowned Kentucky McTeggart Irish Dancers and Liam’s Fancy. Fine Celtic music filled the air at UK’s Singletary Center for the Arts.

In 2012, Alltech was recognized by Americans for the Arts as one of the country’s best arts supporters: The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America. The annual designation recognizes American companies that support the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board participation.

Testimony from former winners underscores this life altering opportunity.


Founded in 1980 by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. With more than 3,000 employees and a presence in 128 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. For further information, visit For media assets, visit    

Alltech is the proud title sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. For more information about these prestigious global championships, visit