Regional Academic All-Stars announced
by Staff Report -- Email News
Nov 07, 2012 | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight Trigg County High School seniors and four Trigg County Middle School eighth graders will be recognized for their academic excellence at the 11th Annual Kentucky New Era / Rotary Regional Academic All-Star Team Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

Taylor Hayes, CEO / Publisher of the Kentucky New Era, Inc. and founder of the Regional Academic All-Star Team Program announces the eight Trigg County High School Seniors and four Trigg County Middle School Students who were selected by their schools to represent Trigg County in the program.

Trigg County High School Seniors to be recognized:

• Savannah Young, daughter of Jessica White and Chase Young, was nominated in the discipline of the ARTS

• Michael (Austin) Durham, son of Patrick and Brigitte Durham, was nominated in the discipline of the CAREER & TECHNICAL

• Makaela Kennedy, daughter of Roger and Connie Kennedy, was nominated in the discipline of the ENGLISH

• Blaine Alexander, son of Kim and Kevin Alexander, was nominated in the discipline of the FOREIGN LANGUAGE

• Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of Connie and John Johnson, was nominated in the discipline of the JOURNALISM

• Ryan McCloud, son of Travis and Sharon McCloud, was nominated in the discipline of the MATHEMATICS

• Aubree Burcham, daughter of Shannon and Christina Burcham, was nominated in the discipline of the SCIENCE

• Madison Brooke Lane, daughter of Mark and Tina Lane, was nominated in the discipline of the SOCIAL STUDIES / ECONOMICS

Trigg County Middle School eighth graders to be recognized:

• Matthew Skinner, son of Roger and Sherry Skinner, was selected for her outstanding performance in the discipline of the ENGLISH

• Stuart Boyd, son of Roger and Leah Boyd, was selected for his outstanding performance in the discipline of the MATH

• Belinda Perry, daughter of Shawn Perry, was selected for his outstanding performance in the discipline of the SCIENCE

• Alexis Kent, daughter of Michelle and Nathan Kent, was selected for her outstanding performance in the discipline of the SOCIAL STUDIES

These students are being recognized through the pages of the Kentucky New Era newspaper preceding the ceremony. In addition they will be recognized at a formal ceremony Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 p.m. at the Hopkinsville Community College auditorium building. The seniors are vying for thousands of dollars in scholarships made available through the program by the Kentucky New Era newspaper and numerous sponsors including the Cadiz Rotary Club, Trigg County Public Schools and AT&T. The event will recognize a total of 60 high school seniors and 44 eighth grade students from Caldwell, Christian, Todd and Trigg Counties along with students from Fort Campbell.

The speaker for the evening is Hopkinsville native Raymond Burse who is the recent retired Vice President & General Counsel for GE’s Appliance and Lighting Division. “The Academic All-Star Team Program purpose has always been about showcasing students excelling in the classroom. Among Hopkinsville natives who serve as role models to young people today, I can think of very few people who match Mr. Burse’s level of academic, professional and personal achievement. And, like our previous speakers the last five years, he is a product of our local educational system,” says Hayes.

More information about the program along with the essays written by the eighth grade students can be found at

Hayes concludes, “My mantra for this program is … With so much competition among schools on the athletic level, it is sometimes easy to ignore and lose sight of the core purpose of our schools … academics and preparing students for their next step in life. Recognizing academic performance and achievement should never be taken for granted. For me, all the students nominated are winners. The Kentucky New Era partnering with Rotary and the sponsors are proud to recognize their achievements. These are the best and brightest students in the region.”

The public is invited to the ceremony with invitations being sent to nominees and their families, school officials, public officials and the media.

Biography for Raymond Malcolm Burse

Raymond Malcolm Burse was born in 1951 in Hopkinsville, the youngest of 12 children, and graduated 10th in his class of 325 students at Christian County High School. Now residing in Prospect, Ky., with his wife, Kim, he is recently retired as vice president and general counsel for GE Appliances and Lighting. Burse has a distinguished record in education, law, athletics and community service.

After graduating from CCHS in 1969, Burse attended Centre College in Kentucky, where he studied chemistry and mathematics. He was a member of student government, played football and ran track. He was Centre’s Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1972 and was named to the All-College Athletic Conference Football Team. Burse founded the Black Student Union at Centre and served as its president for three years. Also at Centre, he was a member of the American Chemical Society and the Black-White Coalition. He was the “C” Club treasurer and an adviser to the college president.

Burse was the recipient of the highly coveted Rhodes Scholarship at the conclusion of his undergraduate studies and spent two years at Oxford University, England, where he studied chemistry and participated in rugby, crew, track and basketball. He received three “Blue” athletic awards at Oxford. He was the first black American and the sixth American to receive the award in rugby.

Following his studies at Oxford, Burse returned to the United States and earned his Juris Doctorate at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he received the John W. Davis Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He was a law clerk for Wyatt, Grafton and Sloss, Louisville, in 1976, and Proctor and Gamble Co., Patent Division, Cincinnati, in 1977. Burse was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1978 and began his law career at Wyatt, Grafton and Sloss.

From 1982 to 1989, Burse was president of Kentucky State University, Frankfort. The small liberal arts college has approximately 2,400 students and 500 employees. Burse returned to the practice of law in 1989 and was a partner in Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs, Louisville, until 1995. He then became senior counsel for commercial law, GE Appliances, Louisville. He served in several roles as general counsel for GE and became vice president and general counsel, GE Appliances and Lighting, in 2010.

Burse has a lengthy record of public service and professional recognition. He served on the Centre College Board of Trustees, 1979-1980, and currently serves as a board director for the Chestnut Street Branch YMCA. He has served on the boards of the Frankfort-Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the NCAA Presidents Commission, the Louisville Branch of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the Louisville Economic Development Corp. and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education. Additional board affiliations include the Harvard Alumni Association, YMCA of Kentucky, All Saints Preparatory Academy, 100 Black Men of Louisville Inc., African-American Business Association Inc. and the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program.

Kentucky State University presented Burse the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1989. He received the honorary Doctor of Laws from Centre in 2007.

Burse has three sons, Raymond Jr., a graduate of Ohio State University and a professional soccer player for the Carolina Railhawks, Justin, a law student at the University of Kentucky, and Eric, a student at the University of Southern California. His wife is the chief financial officer for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.
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