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May and Newsome are 2015 Rogers Scholars 

Lonnie Lawson, left, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, and Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center, present 2015 Rogers Scholars graduate Conner May of Lawrence County with a certificate for completing the program.  May, 16, is a junior at Lawrence County High School.

 2015 Rogers Scholars graduate Laken Newsome._0939.jpg Lonnie Lawson, left, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, and Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center, present 2015 Rogers Scholars graduate Laken Newsome of Martin County with a certificate for completing the program.  Newsome, 16, is a junior at Sheldon Clark High School.

Lawrence County High School, SCHS students graduate from Rogers Scholars program

Lawrence County High School student Conner May and Sheldon Clark High School student Laken Newsome graduated this summer from The Center for Rural Development’s 2015 Rogers Scholars program.

Rogers Scholars is an intensive one-week summer leadership program that provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.

“The Rogers Scholars program has been great,” said May, 16, a junior at Lawrence County High School. “It was an experience of a lifetime, and has shaped me into a better leader. I plan on making a positive impact on my community.”

“The Rogers Scholars program has allowed me to be exposed to unparalleled leadership that will last my entire life,” added Newsome, 16, a junior at Sheldon Clark High School. “Friendships, memories, and fellowship with other students from across Kentucky will truly stand the test of time.”

Sixty-three high school students from 45 Kentucky counties graduated this summer from the 2015 Class of Rogers Scholars. The program was held on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in South Central Kentucky in Adair County.

“We had yet another outstanding class of Rogers Scholars to participate in the program this summer,” said Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center. “I’m excited to see what happens over the next few years for these young people as they pursue other opportunities to seize their future.

“What’s so encouraging to see with these Rogers Scholars is that they come together for six days, from 45 counties, and form friendships that will last a lifetime,” he said. “I was amazed at the level of focus each of them has for wanting to return to their hometowns and make a positive impact for their community.”

Conner is the son of Casey and Christy May of Louisa. Laken is the daughter of Gene and Robin Newsome of Inez.

Since 1998, 1,056 high school students have graduated from Rogers Scholars, and potential scholarships valued at more than $7.2 million have been offered to graduates from 17 participating colleges and universities.

For more information about the Rogers Scholars program, call youth programs coordinator Delaney Stephens at 606-677-6000, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.


AUGUST 25, 2015


ACTC Conference Will Feature Liz Bohannon

Liz Forkin Bohannon

The 3rd annual Young Women Lead (YWL) conference at Ashland Community and Technical College will feature Liz Forkin Bohannon, an entrepreneur who believes that business is an opportunity to effect social change.

Keynote speaker Liz Forkin Bohannon is the founder of Sseko Designs, a fashion brand born from the desire to empower women.

After graduating from the University of Missouri with a Master’s degrees in Journalism and Strategic Communications. She moved to Uganda to learn about the effects of extreme poverty on women. She went as a journalist and came home with a sandal company.

Moved by the problems of young women who were struggling to finance their education, she founded Sseko Designs to help them earn money by making sandals with native materials. Sseko is now an international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial training to women in East Africa.

By creating an environment of dignity, honor and dedication, the company provides the opportunity for marginalized women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.

Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoe-maker, Bohannon shares her passion for social enterprise, conscious consumerism, social justice, creative leadership, gender equity, risk-taking, and empowering women. 

Bohannon has spoken in venues around the world to motivate and encourage audiences to get involved and work to make a difference, and the Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications, including, Vogue, Redbook, Shape, Fitness, O Magazine, People Magazine and Huffington.

She has won honors as a Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards finalist, SVN Innovation Award winner, SXSW Eco Social Impact Award winner, and Bloomberg Businessweek’s top social entrepreneur to watch.

She is passionate about social justice, compassionate consumerism and believes in empowering young women to pursue their dreams.

Young Women Lead (YWL) is a leadership, education and development opportunity for high-school junior girls in Eastern Kentucky.  The conference is sponsored primarily by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. in partnership with ACTC, SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) and local organizations.

“Response from the students who attended in the last two years has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Karen Coburn, ACTC Director of Workforce Solutions and YWL committee chair. “We are pleased to continue the partnership with Toyota and SOAR that offers so much to teenage girls.”

The conference will include breakout sessions with women from local businesses and organizations who are experts on issues that high school girls currently face.  Topics will include leadership, financial literacy, careers, social media, fitness and health issues.

The free conference will be held October 13 and 14 at ACTC’s Technology Drive Campus with 500 students expected to attend each day, one-third more than last year.  The conference service area includes Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis and Rowan counties in Kentucky.

Interested girls who will be high school juniors in any of those counties may contact their school counselors in September to register.  For more information on the conference or to become a sponsor, email Karen Coburn at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 606.326.2129.


ACTC Is Offering 12-Week Classes

ACTC is offering a 12-week term to help people who want to take classes this fall. September 7 is the application deadline, and the term starts September 14. The 12-week classes have the same content as full semester classes, but cover the content in a shorter time.

Classes open to new students are Basic Public Speaking, Digital Literacy, Writing I, History of the US through 1965, Pre-Algebra and Intermediate Algebra.

Admissions forms and information are online at: class information is online at:

New students enrolling only in the bi-term session may be eligible for financial aid.  To apply for financial aid, complete the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at For more information, call 855-246-2282.

For more information on 12-week class enrollment, call 606-326-2040 or 606-326-2228.


ACTC Faculty Recognitions

Outstanding faculty at Ashland Community and Technical College were recognized at the All College Meeting on August 3.

Each semester, students and faculty nominate faculty for the annual Teaching Learning Excellence Awards. The awards are based on student ratings and evidence of learning presented by the faulty member.  One award winner from each academic division was selected by the college’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Committee for a “First Among Peers” Award. The recipients are listed below.

The recipient in the Math and Natural Science Division was Dr. James Schmidt, an Ashland resident and Professor of Chemistry.

The recipient in the Manufacturing Transportation and Industrial Technology Division was Woodrow Fosson, an Ashland resident and Assistant Professor of Applied Process Technologies.

The recipient in the Humanities Division was Jonathan Joy, a Huntington resident and Assistant Professor of English.

The recipient in the Social Science, Education and Business Technology Division was Robin Johns, a Catlettsburg resident and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Program.

The recipient in the Health Science Division was Rachel Henderson, a Rush resident and Assistant Professor of Associate Degree Nursing.

The recipient for Adjunct Faculty was Linda Hunt, a Proctorville resident who teaches development mathematics.

Joy Receives “First among Firsts” Award

Jonathon Joy was selected by the ACTC President’s Office for the 2014-15 “First Among Firsts” Teaching Learning Excellence Award presented at the All-College Meeting.   The First Among Firsts recipient is selected from the recipients of the “First Among Peers” Awards for teaching excellence.

Joy is a Huntington resident who grew up across the river in Burlington, OH, and who earned Bachelor of Fine Arts Master of Arts degrees from Marshall University.

He started at the college in 2010 and has won teaching excellence awards each year since then. An accomplished playwright, he started a playwriting class two years ago to give students a new way to express their creativity. Their monologues, short scenes, and one acts plays are performed at ACTC’s annual New Play Festival.

Although a successful and prolific writer, with more than 25 plays to his credit, Joy considers himself to be a teacher.

“I love to read and write, and I love to teach,” Joy said.  “I am blessed to have the classroom as a place where my enthusiasm for the written word can meet the needs of a group of students and community, as well as the goals for the College.”

”Oral and written communication is consistently the number one job skill sought by employers,” he said. “Helping students become better writers can help them succeed in other courses and ultimately on the job.”

Diversity Conference Reminder

The 2nd Annual Tri-State Conference on Diversity and Inclusion is Friday, Sept. 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Marshall University.

Community leaders, educators, college and high school students, counselors and area residents are invited to the conference on “Beyond Diversity.”  Keynote speaker Tim Wise is an antiracist writer and educator. The conference includes concurrent sessions on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics.

ACTC is cosponsoring the Conference with Lindsey Wilson College, Marshall Health, Marshall University School of Pharmacy, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Morehead State University-Ashland/Morehead State University, Mountwest Community & Technical College, Ohio University, Ohio University - Southern, Shawnee State University and Walgreens, Inc. 

The conference fee is $40 per person or $15 for secondary and post-secondary students.  Register online at:  For more information, contact Al Baker, ACTC Director of Cultural Diversity, 606.326.2422 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



LOUISA -- Lawrence Clerk Chris Jobe announced that State Commissioner of Education Terry Holiday contacted him by mail informing him that he has appointed Madelynn Roberts to the temporary vacancy on the BOE and that she can be sworn in immediately.

Ms. Roberts will then be sworn in again after the November election for the remainder of the three year term vacated with the resignation of JD Goble earlier this year, Jobe said.

Lawrence Supt. Robbie Fletcher said he "would rather not comment" but did acknowledge receiving the letter from Holiday. He did not say when Ms. Roberts will be sworn in. The next meeting of the BOE is scheduled for September 21, 2015.

In other school news Fletcher announced the meeting schedule for Fallsburg Site Based Decision Making Committee meetings to hire a new principal.

Angela Holmes has moved from Fallsburg principal to Blaine teacher over the weekend."Ms. Holmes resigned as Principal of Fallsburg Elementary, effective August 27, 2015," Fletcher said.  He said Mrs. Holmes then applied for a teaching position at Blaine Elementary.  

"According to Mrs. Holmes, she felt that she would like to be with kids again in the classroom setting," Fletcher said.  "She seems very excited to be in the classroom setting." She has served as principal for the last year. 

Angela Holmes could not be reached for comment this afternoon. Fletcher did not release the information until today.