Student achievements honored by Bell School Board

Published 4:22 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

The Bell County Board of Education recognized Lone Jack eighth-grader Audriana Partin for winning the regional MathCounts competition as well as the BCHS boys and girls cross country teams for advancing to the Class AA State finals at their meeting in February.

As the MathCounts regional champion, Partin was offered a full tuition scholarship to Morehead State University, a $4,000 scholarship to the University of Kentucky and a $3,000 scholarship to Western Kentucky University as well as a $500 Math Counts scholarship to use at any college and $250 in cash.

“Audriana is the MathCounts Regional champion. With that she is eligible for a full scholarship to Morehead State,” Superintendent Tom Gambrel said. “As an eighth-grader, to earn a full ride scholarship is just fantastic.”

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The board also took time to recognize the cross country teams. Bell County’s varsity girls were KHSAA Class AA state finalists. Team members include Sophia Good, Meredith Allen, Lily Nolan, Ava Harris, Kaelyn Lyric and Keira Good. The Bell varsity boys were KHSAA Class AA state finalists as well as the Class AA Region 5 runner-up and Southeast Kentucky Conference champions. Team members include Braydin Hickey, Hayden Green, Nicholas Stewart, Reese Arno, Jacob Brannon, Andrew Roy, Landon Eldridge and Ashton Manis.

Individual plaques were presented to Hayden Green, Jacob Brannon and Braydin Hickey for being named All-SEKC first team while Nicholas Stewart and Reese Arno were both named All-SEKC and All-Area 8 first team. Jason Stewart was named the Area 8 boys varsity Coach of the Year. In addition, Tanner Simpson was recognized as the 13th Region Elementary Boys 6th and Under Champion, KTCCCA All-State and the Area 8 Boys Elementary Runner of the Year; Aubreigh Green was recognized as the 13th Region Elementary Girls 3rd and Under Champion and Logan Good for being selected to the All-Area 8 Boys Elementary first team.

“We are very proud of Coach Stewart and the job he does with these kids,” Gambrel said. “He continually has success with our cross country programs and he certainly has put a lot of hard work into it.”

In other business, the board approved the 2024-25 school calendar. The first day for students will be Aug. 7, there will be no school Oct. 7-11 (two days are for professional development and three days for Fall Break), Nov 4 is another professional development day and Nov. 5 is Election Day. Christmas Break will start on Dec. 23 with students returning to school on Jan. 7, Spring Break will be March 31-April 4, and the last day for students is May 16.

The board also accepted bids and agreed to sell 10 surplus buses that had been disabled in compliance with an EPA grant program. The grant pays the district $20,000 to disable each old bus and the buses were sold for scrap. The board also approved the purchase of six new buses through the same EPA grant program.

“All of our buses are 2019 and above, they all have air conditioning, our transportation fleet is in fantastic shape,” Gambrel said. “Getting six new buses will get us on a good rotation of keeping all of our buses new, clean and in depreciation.”

The board also approved the Fiscal Year 2025 draft budget and a BG-1 for possible improvements to the baseball and softball fields.

“Basically, we’re exploring what our options are on that and the BG-1 allows us to petition the state to see what they’ll allow us to do,” Gambrel said.