HAZARD — Alex Vermillion has a lot going on for a guy about to enter his Junior year. Vermillion, a student of Hazard High School, attended a dedication ceremony Saturday for the StoryWalk he created at Bobby Davis Museum and Park in Hazard. The StoryWalk serves as Vermillion’s Eagle Scout project and features a book by renowned local children’s author, Nancy Allen, titled The Munched Up Flower Garden. Allen attended the dedication ceremony and gave a reading from her story.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can receive. Only 2 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle Scout honor. Vermillion is part of Boy Scout Troop 90, which operates under the leadership of Scout Master, Charles Boggs.
“I want to thank Charles and Lori Boggs,” said Alex’s mother, Melissa Vermillion, “There are actually five or six boys pursuing Eagle Scout and it is thanks to Charles and Lori. They have stuck with these boys and stood by their sides, encouraging them. These boys have the opportunity to expand their horizons because of them.”
The StoryWalk starts at the museum and curves along the walkway. According to Bobby Davis Museum and Park, “The StoryWalk is an opportunity for children to enjoy Bobby Davis Park and reading at the same time.”
After all the work Vermillion has placed into the StoryWalk and earning his Eagle Scout honor, he will not have much time to relax because Alex has been accepted into The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University. For those not familiar with the Craft Academy, MSU describes it as an institution with a college-level curriculum that will allow students to finish high school while also completing up to two years of university coursework. The academy offers a residential college experience and environment to promote innovation and creative enterprise, developing the full potential of the state’s brightest minds and most promising future leaders.
Alex should be well-prepared when he enters the Craft Academy because his sister, Rebekah Vermillion, is already a member, entering her second and final year. Rebekah is a Senior at Hazard High School. She and Alex are the only siblings to ever share the honor of being accepted into the Craft Academy.
Only 60 students were accepted into the Craft Academy this year. In a statement published on Morehead State University’s website, Craft Academy Director, Dr. Carol Christian says, “I am extremely pleased to announce the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Class of 2018. These students represent some of the Commonwealth’s best and brightest. The application and selection process was very competitive again this year, and we look forward to welcoming these young scholars to the Morehead State University campus in the fall.”
Alex and Rebekah Vermillion come from a long line of MSU Eagles. Their grandfather and both of their parents graduated from Morehead State.
“I want to thank Morehead State University, President Andrews of MSU and Joe Craft for providing an opportunity for gifted and talented students in East Kentucky to let their lights shine,” Melissa Vermillion said, when asked about her children’s acceptance into the academy, “With programs like this, students in East Kentucky are given a great shot for opportunity in life and I appreciate that.”
Alex and Rebekah are the children of Melissa and Kevin Vermillion. The Nancy Allen StoryWalk can be enjoyed by visiting the Bobby Davis Park at 234 Walnut Street in Hazard. Summer in the Park on Saturday, June 25 will be a great time to check out Alex Vermillion’s hard work, while also enjoying the festivities. The people of Hazard are benefiting greatly from the bright young minds in our community.
Sam Neace is also an MSU Eagle and can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.