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New & Notable April 2022

JKS Financial Donates to United Way through Rebound Rewards

JKS Financial, a financial planning and wealth management firm affiliated with Northwestern Mutual, has donated more than $10,000 to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania as part of the firm's dedication to giving back to the Pittsburgh community. In 2021, JKS Financial launched a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh to sponsor the school's Rebound Rewards program, during which the number of rebounds made by the Pittsburgh Panthers is recorded. For every rebound made during the season—a total of 1,083—JKS Financial donated $10 to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Butler County Symphony Wraps Up 21-22 Season with Guys and Dolls

The Butler County Symphony Association will wrap up its 21-22 season with Guys and Dolls, bringing the Frank Loesser classic score to life with a semi-staged production in collaboration with Butler Musical Theater Guild. The concert will be held in the Butler Intermediate High School Auditorium, 551 Fairground Hill Rd, Butler, PA 16001 on Sunday, April 10 at 3p.m. Individual concert tickets are $25 for adults, $8 for children/students pre-sale, more at the door. Group rates are available. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call 724-283-1402. Proceeds from ticket sales help to cover the costs associated with maintaining a professional symphony orchestra and supporting local talent through the Musical Theater Guild.

Photo by Karli Cadel

Pittsburgh Opera Presents Blue

From April 23-May 1, the Pittsburgh Opera will be performing Blue at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Blue centers on the hopes and fears of a young Black couple as they raise their son and prepare him for the harsh realities of 21st-century America. A special student/community matinee will be performed at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 28. To bring your school or community group to this performance, contact Pittsburgh Opera’s Wendy Parkulo at 412-281-0912, ext. 213. More information at

Fairview Elementary Students Place First in Science Bowl

Two teams of Fox Chapel Area School District Fairview Elementary students tied for first place in the grades four and five division of the 2022 Science Bowl. The teams included fifth-graders Bettis Bierenbaum, Elisabeth Lange, Salam Saidi, Glenn Story, Alejandro Torres-Smalley, Linden Trac, and Maya Vyas, and fourth-grader Om Vemulapalli. The Science Bowl, held on March 9, was sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Northland Library to Host April Programs

In April, Northland Library will host the following programs; visit to see if they are virtual or in-person. Registration is required.

  • April 7, 6:30 p.m.: A Funny Program about Funny Programs: The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time

  • April 14, 6 p.m.: Welcome to Opera: Rusalka

  • April 18, 6:30 p.m.: Marilyn Monroe: The Girl Behind the Image

  • April 20, 1:30 p.m.: The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest To End Deafness

  • April 28, 6 p.m.: Landlord-Tenant Issues

FCAHS Team Wins First Place in Brain Bee

A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students won first place in the 2022 Pittsburgh Brain Bee. The students are junior Prajval Sreenivas, and freshmen Omar Al-Bataineh, Murugan Ayyanar, Etash Jhanji, and Arnim Kuchhal. The team will receive a trophy for its winning performance. Additionally, Prajval won third place in the individual portion of the competition. The Pittsburgh Brain Bee helps students gain an in-depth knowledge of the nervous system, the brain, and its functions.

Old Economy Village Opening for Season

Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA is opening for the 2022 season on April 1, 2022. Hours of operation will be Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old Economy Village preserves and presents the life, thought, and material culture of the Harmony Society, a highly successful and entrepreneurial 19th century religious community. Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, it is part of Ambridge’s Economy National Historic Landmark and is among the region’s most important historic sites.

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is Moving

After decades in Point State Park, the 63rd annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, will move entirely into the Cultural District, June 3-12, 2022. The festival will celebrate 10 days of art and music—free and open to everyone—and will help to reinvigorate downtown Pittsburgh by generating millions

of dollars in economic activity. To learn more, follow

Eliza Davis

FCAHS Student Named Winner in National Essay Contest

Fox Chapel Area High School sophomore Eliza Davis was named a national winner in The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America Essay Contest. Eliza is one of only 50 winners from across the nation and one of only three winners from Pennsylvania. As a national winner, Eliza will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Washington Workshops Congressional Seminar in a week-long, civic-focused experience in Washington, D.C.

Public Invited to The Power of One Caring Adult

In partnership with Butler Area School District, Slippery Rock Area School District, Early Learning Connections, Butler County Early Care & Education Council, and local nonprofits, the Seneca Valley School District will present The Power of One Caring Adult at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. The free event is open to all teens, parents, teachers and community members. The event will be hosted in-person at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School Auditorium and livestreamed at two additional locations: Butler Area Intermediate High School and Slippery Rock Area High School. The program will be hosted by Josh Shipp, a former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, who is renowned for the documentary TV series on A&E that followed his groundbreaking work with youth and families. No reservation or RSVP is required.

La Roche Student Collaborates with National Geographic Explorer on Film

In collaboration with award-winning underwater filmmaker Ziggy Livnat, La Roche University film major Camila Casas recently released Blue-less, a short film promoting the protection of oceans from plastic. The film, featuring Livnat’s underwater footage, depicts the ocean asking humans to stop polluting the underwater world with plastic. Casas created Blue-less as part of her Filmmaking for the Web class at LRU, taught by Crystal Fortwangler, Ph.D., assistant professor and department chair of film. Casas, along with seven other students, worked with Livnat to create short PSAs promoting the protection of the oceans from plastic.

Dorseyville Middle School Students Chosen For PMEA Honors Band

Four Dorseyville Middle School students in the Fox Chapel Area School District were selected to perform with the 2022 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 East Junior High Honors Band. The students are eighth-graders Elliott Broyles (trombone) and Sophia Nguansiri (French horn), and seventh-graders Abigail Jones (bassoon) and James Saleone (French horn). The band was comprised of 70 of the best student-musicians in grades seven through nine from Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. The event culminated with a concert on March 5 that was conducted by Dr. Kate Ferguson, director of athletic bands and lecturer at Youngstown State University.

Fairview Students Win Awards in County Battle of the Books Competition

Six Fairview Elementary School students from the Fox Chapel Area School District recently placed in the top 10 as part of the 2022 Children’s Choice Awards Battle of the Books competition, sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Allegheny County Library Association. Fairview Elementary School fifth-grade student Salam Saidi placed second overall in the Battle of the Books event. Five other Fairview students helped to round out the top 10: fourth-grader Aarya Senn (sixth place), fourth-grader Catherine Carlson (seventh place), fifth-grader Elisabeth Lange (eighth place), fourth-grader Eleanor McCall (ninth place), and fourth-grader Naomi Thorne (10th place). More than 175 students in grades three-six from throughout Allegheny County participated in the Children’s Choice Awards event.

Fox Chapel Students Place in Speech And Debate Tournaments

Eleven Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed at speech and debate tournaments. The Parliamentary Debate team of juniors Matthew Lu and Blaz Vavpetic won third place at the Mars Area High School Prequalifier Tournament. The Pennsylvania High School Speech League’s District 2 state championship-qualifying tournament was held virtually February 26, and sophomore Lakshanya Rajaganapathi won first place and freshman Joseph Seifried was awarded second place in Persuasive Speaking; junior Martin Stanton won second place in Informative Speaking; freshman Colette Walter was awarded second place in Poetry Reading; and freshman Swati Mylarappa won second place in Student Congress. All five of these students have qualified to participate in the Pennsylvania High School Speech League State Championship Tournament. Additionally, four students, including the team of senior Ian Mackey-Piccolo and sophomore Adhitya Thirumala in Policy Debate, sophomore Isabella White in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and senior Patrick Alexander in Student Congress had already prequalified for the state tournament through their top finishes at regular season tournaments.

Fox Chapel Student Chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

Fox Chapel Area High School junior Zachary Sullivan was selected to attend the 2022 Disney Dreamers Academy. Dreamers are selected through their answers to essay questions where they share their personal stories and dreams for the future. As a winner, Zachary received an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. A total of 100 high school students from across the United States were selected from thousands of applicants. At Fox Chapel Area High School, Zachary is involved with Best Buddies where he serves as secretary, National Honor Society and carries a 4.05 grade point average, Student Government, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and the WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit. He will graduate in 2023 with a Fox Chapel Area Business Seal of Excellence Award with Distinction.

Become an Advocate for Your Library during National Library Week

National Library Week (April 3-9) is a time to highlight the essential role that libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Connect with Your Library,” which promotes the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers and other resources. Northland Library encourages all community members to visit the library in person or online to explore and access services, programs, and resources. The public can also show their appreciation and support for libraries by working to advocate for increased funding and financial support from local and state funding sources. For more information, visit the Northland’s website at

FCAHS Student Wins Honorable Mention in Shakespeare Contest

Fox Chapel Area High School sophomore Sophia Rike received an honorable mention in the 28th Annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest. Sophia was recognized for her portrayal of Rosalind from As You Like It. More than 400 students from over 60 schools in grades four-12 from across the greater Pittsburgh area submitted video performances of monologues and/or scenes they had chosen from the works of William Shakespeare. The contest is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Last Few Weeks to See Spring Flower Show at Phipps

Phipps Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show: Sunshine and Rainbows, runs through April 17. Designed by Associate Director of Exhibits Jordyn Melino, the show includes tens of thousands of spring blooms, including signature lilies, amaryllis, petunias, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths alongside lesser-known stunners like New Guinea impatiens, kalanchoe, nemesia, muscari and lobelia. Guests can also adventure through the new Tropical Forest Hawaiʻi exhibit, an exploration of the plants, animals, history and culture of The Rainbow State. To reserve your ticket, visit

CCAC Flips The Switch to Solar Power

In March, the College of Allegheny County (CCAC) officially flipped the switch to solar power through an extensive 543-kilowatt solar installation that will produce enough electricity to power 30–40 percent of CCAC North Campus’s electrical energy needs. The new solar array was installed by BAI Group, LLC, of State College, PA, and was facilitated by the Pennsylvania Solar Center through its G.E.T. Solar program. It will save CCAC about $750,000 in energy costs over the next 28 years, and thanks to a Power Purchase Agreement with BAI, the college did not have to spend any of its own money on the project. Those interested can also learn more by visiting or by sending an email to

New USS Requin Escape Room at Carnegie Science Center Opens April 15

Escape USS Requin is a new, immersive escape room experience where between four and eight guests have 60 minutes to work collaboratively to use their deductive reasoning skills to escape the historic USS Requin (SS 481) Radar Picket submarine through a series of puzzles and games. The first and only escape room experience on a real submarine, these challenges will use the submarine’s history, science, and general naval principles to provide guests with the clues necessary to make their triumphant escape. Beginning on Friday, April 15 and continuing every Friday and Saturday through May 28, advanced tickets are required–walk-ups not available. Tickets are $25 for Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh members and $29 for nonmembers. Learn more about

FCASD Students Place at Regional PJAS Competition

Ten Fox Chapel Area High School and Dorseyville Middle School students recently won awards as part of the virtual 88th Annual Region 7 Meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS). A total of six of those students qualified for the state competition. Fox Chapel Area first-place winners were juniors Lawrence Liu and Arvind Seshan; sophomores Lakshanya Rajaganapathi and Adhitya Thirumala; freshman Anna Delale-O’Connor; and seventh-grader Param Thawani. The first-place winners qualified for the state PJAS competition which will be held virtually this spring. Second-place awards went to freshmen Etash Jhanji, Arnim Kuchhal, Varad Sant, and Rohit Velankar.

FCASD Students Chosen for Allegheny Valley Honors Bands

Several Fox Chapel Area School District students were selected by audition to perform with the 2022 Allegheny Valley senior and junior high honors bands. Seventh-12th grade student-musicians from the Avonworth, Fox Chapel Area, Hampton, North Allegheny, Northgate, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Riverview, and Shaler Area school districts auditioned for the groups, and a total of 160 were selected (80 for the senior high band and 80 for the junior high band). The students chosen from Fox Chapel Area were juniors Elijah Conklin (French horn), Caleb Hahl (percussion), Sonny Hur (bassoon), and Silas Owens (saxophone); sophomores Elijah Herzer (clarinet) and Chloe Kim (clarinet); freshmen Malik Choset (trumpet), Marina Dunham (bassoon), and Varad Sant (French horn); eighth-graders Elliott Broyles (trombone) and Joshua Shah (flute); and seventh-graders Max Choset (flute) and Rachel Kim (clarinet). The conductors were Robert Traugh, a Pittsburgh-based freelance music creator and composer and area coordinator of the composition for media degree at Duquesne University, and Scott Rush, team lead for the “Habits” series published by GIA and the conductor of the Charleston Wind Symphony in South Carolina.

Fox Chapel Area Student to be Inducted Into National Technical Honor Society

A Fox Chapel Area High School and A.W. Beattie Career Center junior will be inducted into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) this year. Monique Coutu participates in the Veterinary Sciences program and to be considered for the honor, had to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher; have a grade of at least 93 percent in the career training programs, and miss no more than five days of school. Candidates also must have a clear disciplinary record and belong to a service organization or participate in an extracurricular activity.

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