"Patrick is self-confident ... and thorough in his approach to his studies," said Atwood. "Along with being involved in extracurricular activities, he maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and holds the honor of (being a) Governor's Scholar."
Helm, a senior at Casey County High School, is the son of Jim and Gwen Helm of Ky. 70 East.
"It was a pleasant surprise," said Helm, the first Casey applicant to win the award. "I had no idea I could win this award, and it will look really nice on my resume', which is one of the important aspects of winning."
Helm is not only happy for himself, but said this is one way of giving back teachers Atwood and Carmella Clark. "They have made a great impression on me."
He won the top award from among 17 finalists and 1,200 eligible applicants. He said each finalist got a plaque and as winner, he got two plaques.
Helm said when tech center Principal David Horseman told him about the competition, he also said the application had to be in the next day.
"I had to have recommendations from the principal, teacher and a fellow student," said Helm. With the help of information on an application for the Governors' Scholars program, Helm made the deadline to become the first one nominated from his county. Now he's reaping the rewards. Posters and signs congratulating him are displayed on the tech center walls.
"I'm not used to being in the spotlight," said Helm, general manager and technical director of the high school's WREB-TV station. He's also president of the schools Future Business Leaders of America Chapter. He's traveled to Tennessee and Texas for competitions.
Helm said the tech center has given him opportunities that he otherwise would have missed.
"The past four years have ... extended my horizons in a field of study (information technology) in which I plan to specialize in college," he said.
Long, Preston set high standards
The outstanding program award went to health services at the Harrodsburg tech center, taught by Vicki Long of Harrodsburg and Patricia Preston of Danville. It was selected as the state's top program because the two teachers set high standards for their students and are recognized for their accomplishments in the health science field, according to a press release.
Both instructors are registered nurses and are active with local health care agencies, which helps keep their teaching methods fluid and flexible.
"We are constantly evaluating our program and tweaking (it) for success," said Long.
"We have a very close working relationship with our clinical site coordinators, and many times we have used information from them to revamp portions of our programs," added Preston.
Preston said the health services program has been at the school since 1971 where she began teaching three years ago. Long has been teacher there 11 years.
"We've never won before, but our students win in competitive events," said Preston.
She said Principal Duane Flora suggested the class enter the state competition.