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The Rotary Club of Lexington will hold its weekly meeting Thursday, May 10, at 12:00 p.m., at Fasig-Tipton, 2400 Newtown Pike. During this program, the winner of the Tommy Bell Award for Lexington's Outstanding High School Student-Athlete will be announced. Established by the Lexington Rotary Club in memory of Tommy Bell, who passed away on February 20, 1986. The honorable Judge Bruce Bell will announce the winner of the award. Judge Bell will also introduce the guest speaker, Tom Shelton, Ph.D., Superintendent of Fayette County Schools.

Tommy Bell was a highly respected and well-liked member of our community. While he may be best known for his 14-year career as an NFL referee, including two trips to the Super Bowl for Super Bowl III and Super Bowl VII, his participation in athletics included playing both high school and college football, until a knee injury ended his playing ability as a University of Kentucky sophomore. His participation then shifted to officiating at the high school level until moving into the SEC in both football and basketball, where he officiated the 1956 and 1959 NCAA Basketball Championship games.

The leadership, integrity and optimism with which he officiated carried over into his private and professional life. He had a very strong interest in the youth of not only our country, but of our community. His work with civic endeavors extended to many areas of Lexington and Fayette County. In leading by example, he wanted all of us to try to the best of our ability both on and off the field to make our world a better place for all.

Any student at a public or private school in Fayette County who plays a Kentucky High School-sanctioned varsity sport is eligible to win The Tommy Bell Award. Ballots are sent to all varsity coaches, Athletic Directors and principles and five members of the media. They are asked to vote for the best student-athletes. The ballots are compiled and using a point system, three finalists are determined by the most points received. The final determinant is the Grade Point Average of the finalists. The highest GPA determines the winner of The Tommy Bell Award.

Tom Shelton, Kentucky’s 2011 Superintendent of the Year, became superintendent of schools in Fayette County effective September 1, 2011. Tom had served as Superintendent of the Daviess County Public Schools in Owensboro KY from July 2004 through August 2011. He previously served six years as the assistant superintendent for finance and operations and three years as Director of Business and Finance, also in Daviess County.

Coming from a long line of both ministers and teachers on both sides of his family, Tom followed a non-traditional route to a career in education. He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in business administration, and a Rank I in educational administration from Murray State University. He has completed his Ph.D. degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisville and a graduate certificate program in executive educational leadership from Harvard University.

He currently serves as a member of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees, as a member of the Superintendents Advisory Council (SAC) for the Commissioner of Education, and as President of the Council for Better Education. He also represents Kentucky as a member of the Governing Board and of the Council of County School Superintendents of the American Association of School Administrators.

He and his wife of 24 years, Gwen, have two daughters, Abby, age 20, and Audrey, age 17.

For additional information, or to attend this meeting,
please contact Peggy Trafton at trafton@rotarylexky.org.

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