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New & Notable January 2022

La Roche University Board of Trustees Appoints New Member

Dr. Paul J. Gleason, an accomplished dentist serving the Pittsburgh area, has joined the La Roche University board of trustees. He became a member of the board in October 2021. A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, Dr. Gleason completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in biological sciences in 1982, and he received his doctorate degree in dental medicine in 1986. Dr. Gleason established his private practice in Regent Square in 1987. Dr. Gleason is a member of the Pittsburgh Dental Research Club, the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the American Dental Association. In 2021 Dr. Gleason was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine as a Top Dentist.

SV Student Raises Money in Support of Athletic Director

Seneca Valley Senior Jada Nabry “cheered up” SV’s athletic director by taking the lead on a very special project. As part of her leadership class, she created pink #SVALLIN T-shirts that she advertised and sold. As cheerleading captain, she also enlisted the help of her squad to promote sales of the shirts. All money raised went to Cancer Bridges in support of SV’s Athletic Director Heather Lewis. In total, Nabry and her fellow cheer and dance teammates, with additional donations from Raider Crate and the SV Marching Band, donated $6,105 to Cancer Bridges, and the check was presented to Lewis on Nov. 16. To learn more about Cancer Bridges, visit

Students Selected to Participate in HOBY Leadership Seminar

Four Fox Chapel Area High School sophomores were selected to receive Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) recognition. Annalese Bartolacci, Amelia Costello, Lakshanya Rajaganapathi, and Abraham White have been chosen to attend the Pennsylvania-West HOBY Leadership Seminar June 17-19, 2022. In order to be considered for selection, the students submit an essay detailing what they feel would be the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a leader in their school and/or community. They also go through an interview process. As part of the seminar, the students will explore and discover their personal leadership potential and strengths through inspiring leadership development programs.

Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber Named One of Top Three Chambers in America

Since 2007, The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has annually recognized chambers of commerce in various size categories for their work leading businesses and communities with the Chamber of the Year award. Chamber of the Year is the most prestigious and competitive award in the chamber industry. The award recognizes excellence in operations, member services and community leadership. The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber has been named a finalist for the 2021 Chamber of the Year award, placing them as one of the top three chambers in America. The ACCE is an association based in Alexandria, VA, that has over 1,600 chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations as members, representing more than 9,000 professionals in the industry.

FCAHS Student Wins First Place in Statewide Photo Contest

Fox Chapel Area High School junior Zoe Broyles was named a first-place winner in the 2021 Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest. She won $500 in the student category for her photo titled, Rachel Carson’s Dream. The photo shows litter strewn under the Rachel Carson Bridge with a picturesque Pittsburgh skyline in the distance. The contest is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Resources Council and was open to students and adults from across Pennsylvania.

Psychic Vincent Sisters Presentation to Benefit Butler Country Humane Society

The Psychic Vincent Sisters will hold a gallery reading, lecture and Q&A event at Harmonie Laden Gift Shop at 229 Main Street in Harmony on Sat., Jan 22 and Sun., Jan 23. Tickets are $40 and partial proceeds will benefit Butler County Humane Society. Attendees are also asked to bring a can of cat or dog food to the event. For more information, visit

(l-r): Julia Lingenfelter, Maddie Gross, Grace Hines and Cooper Sainiak. Missing from photo: Tyler Yurich

Five Seneca Valley Seniors Named Candidates For Special Scholarship

Five Seneca Valley seniors—Madelyn Gross, Grace Hines, Julia Lingenfelter, Cooper Sainiak and Tyler Yurich—were named candidates in the competition for a Special Scholarship to be awarded through the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Special Scholarship is a corporate-sponsored award. Miss Gross’s sponsor is the Liberty Mutual Scholarship Foundation; Miss Hines is W.W. Grainger, Inc.; Miss Lingenfelter is the PPG Foundation; Mr. Sainiak is The UPS Foundation; and Mr. Yurich’s is the Norfolk Southern Foundation. These five seniors will submit their applications this month and will be notified if they are winners in March 2022.

Allies Announces Carrie Reighard as New Chief Financial Officer

Allies for Health + Wellbeing recently hired Carrie Reighard of Mount Lebanon as its chief financial officer. Reighard is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a master’s degree from Strayer University. She worked in banking in Philadelphia and in North Carolina before switching her focus to public accounting. She spent 15 years working in public accounting. Allies for Health + Wellbeing provides integrated medical care, supportive human services and community-based education for individuals living with, or at risk of HIV, viral hepatitis or sexually transmitted infections.

Butler Memorial Hospital Earns Leapfrog Top Hospital Award

Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, Butler Memorial Hospital was named a Top General Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group. The Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers recognized as the toughest standard-setters for health care safety and quality. More than 2,200 hospitals were considered for the award.

FCAHS Students Win Awards at Shady Side Tournament

Three Fox Chapel Area High School students won awards at the virtual Shady Side Academy Speech and Debate Tournament. Senior Patrick Alexander was named Outstanding Speaker (equivalent to first place) in Student Congress. Sophomore Isabella White received third place in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Junior Blaz Vavpetic won sixth place in Impromptu Speaking. Nearly 180 students representing 22 public and private high schools from four states participated in the competition.

High School Students Win Awards at Pitt Model UN Conference

Several Fox Chapel Area High School students won awards at the annual University of Pittsburgh High School Model United Nations (UN) Conference. Seniors Patrick Alexander and Nathaniel Mueller won Best Delegate (first place) awards. Best Position Paper awards (equivalent to first place) went to juniors Caleb Hahl and Blaz Vavpetic. Third-place (honorable mention) awards went to senior Siddharth Yende, sophomore Connor Mazzoni, and freshman Swati Mylarappa. Additionally, the team of senior Janise Kim and sophomores Logan Dressman, Connor Mazzoni, Adhitya Thirumala, and Isabella White were named Outstanding Large Delegation (second place). Approximately 200 students from 15 public and private high schools from across western Pennsylvania competed.

Book Featuring 412 Food Rescue CEO Among Marie Claire’s Best Coffee Table Books in 2021

412 Food Rescue co-founder and CEO Leah Lizarondo and the work she and her team have accomplished are celebrated in Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower, which was recently featured as one of the 26 Best Coffee Table Books in 2021 in international magazine Marie Claire. Lizarondo appears in Vital Voices alongside global leaders including Malala Yousafzai; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; and the late United States Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Edited by Alyse Nelson and illustrated with beautiful portraits painted by Gayle Kabaker, Vital Voices is a culmination of insight from women leaders the world over. Marie Claire lists the volume among its “Best Coffee Table Books” roundup, identifying it specifically as a gift “for the changemaker.”

Beyond Spots & Dots Wins Two MarCom Awards Beyond Spots & Dots received recognition from the 2021 MarCom Awards, an international creative competition for marketing and communication professionals. The full-service advertising agency attained one platinum award for website redesign and one gold award for magazine advertisements.

Fox Chapel Area High School Students Chosen for PMEA Honors Band

Four Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected by audition to perform with the 2021 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Honors Band. The students are senior Jonah Hertzman (oboe), juniors Lawrence Liu (flute) and Silas Owens (alto saxophone), and sophomore Chloe Kim (clarinet). The band was comprised of 85 of the best student-musicians from Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.

Seneca Valley Hosts Five Days to $5K

Staff and community members of Seneca Valley School District answered a call for help to make the holidays memorable for students in need. Five Days to $5K was a one-week fundraiser with the goal of supporting Neighbors for Neighbors (N4N), a local Butler County organization that is committed to fulfilling holiday wish lists of Seneca Valley students in need. The students raised $5,880, over double the amount raised in the same number of days last year. N4N was formed in 2011 and has been a longtime partner of Seneca Valley’s fulfilling the wish lists of students and families that often ask for basic necessities such as jackets, shoes, clothes, blankets and toiletries. To learn more about and support Neighbors for Neighbors, visit their webpage:

Fox Chapel Area School Board Holds Reorganization Meeting

The Fox Chapel Area Board of School Directors held its annual reorganization meeting Dec. 6, 2021. Marybeth Dadd was re-elected president. Ronald P. Frank was re-elected vice president. Vanessa K. Lynch was elected assistant secretary. Additionally, re-elected board members Amy B. Cooper and Adam G. Goode, and newly elected board members Kimberly Joi Andrews, Katie Findley, and Ariel Zych were all sworn in by the Honorable Elliot Howsie, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge. The other school board member is treasurer Eric Hamilton.

Seneca Valley Academic Decathlon Team Wins Myriad Medals

The Seneca Valley Academic Decathlon Team placed first and won a wealth of medals in the past two local competitions. With a score of 25,020 points, the team took first place against 12 other local schools on Nov. 13. SV medalists included Nancy Chen, Rayan Ghaffar, Ashley Kemp, Kate Lipscomb, Shivani Umesh, Kason Kunkelmann, Nicholas Nedzesky, Declan Ward, Quang Nguyen, Elaine Kamau, Nicholas Foulkrod, Katherine Hilling, Phebe Locante, and Shanker Pillai. With an almost 4,000-point lead, the SV Academic Decathlon team placed first and took home 23 medals at the local competition on Dec. 4.

SV medalists included Rayan Ghaffar, Quang Nguyen, Kason Kunkelmann, Nicholas Foulkrod, Nancy Chen, Katherine Hilling, Shivani Umesh, Julia Lipscomb, Nicholas Nedzesky, Ava Stewart, Ashley Kemp, Shanker Pillai and Declan Ward.

Seneca Valley Students Win at Juried Art Show

Thirteen students were accepted into a juried art show and four were named winners at Slippery Rock University’s (SRU) 2021 Regional High School Art Exhibition in November. Winners included junior Emma Bedell and senior Zatara Whetstone in the painting/drawing category. Seniors Sydney Hunt won the SRU Potters Guild Ceramics Award and Julia Lingenfelter was awarded the SRU Art Club Students’ Choice.

Additional student work on display at the Martha Gault Art Gallery included seniors Kali Wengryn, for two pieces in the category of painting/drawing, Sophie Byrd in the categories of painting/drawing and digital art, Maddie Amrhein for two pieces in the painting/drawing category, Zoey Klenoshek in the category of mixed media, Adrien Koromaus in the digital art category, and Sreya Padamati and Dakoda Mock, who each had a piece in the ceramics category. Junior Alexis Neal had two pieces in the painting/drawing category and freshman Gabbie Nye had a piece in the painting/drawing category. All Seneca Valley students are under the direction of Jason Woolslare, Jason Shorr and Megan Bonistailli, high school art teachers.

Achieva’s Awards of Excellence to Honor Inspirational People who Impact the Disability Community

Each December, Achieva recognizes citizens and organizations that have done or achieved extraordinary things when helping people with disabilities lead lives of personal significance. On Dec. 16, Achieva honored Dr. Josie Badger, who provides youth development and disability consulting services for transition and leadership development organizations; David Caliendo, for his volunteer efforts with Meals on Wheels and his employment at Giant Eagle’s Market District store in Pine; and Greg Fajt, a Pennsylvania licensed certified public accountant, former chief of staff to former Gov. Ed Rendell, and dedicated board member for many organizations including Pittsburgh Vision Services, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Korean War Veterans Memorial Fund, Beginning with Books, and Saint Anne’s Home.

FCAHS Students Place in Pittsburgh District Speech & Debate Tournament

Two Fox Chapel Area High School students won awards in the virtual Pittsburgh District Winter Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. Sophomore Isabella White won second place in Lincoln Douglas Debate, and senior Patrick Alexander won third place in Student Congress. Approximately 135 students representing 17 public and private high schools from five states participated in the competition.

Carnegie Mellon University Receives Funding to Combat Sexual Assault on Campuses

Carnegie Mellon University is receiving $29,000 through the “It’s on Us” PA grant program, a statewide initiative working to combat sexual assault on college campuses. The grant program will provide funding from January 2022 through May 2023 to help post-secondary institutions implement strategies on campus to combat sexual assault, increase access to reporting sexual assault, and better assist victims. Thirty-four Pennsylvania schools were awarded more than $928,000 in this round of It’s on Us PA grant funding. More information about the program and a list of recipients can be found here.

Pittsburgh Opera to Perform Fairy Tale Opera and World Premiere Of In a Grove

Pittsburgh Opera will perform two operas this winter at its Bitz Opera Factory headquarters at 2425 Liberty Avenue in the Strip District. The first opera is The Rose Elf, based on the fairy tale The Elf of the Rose by Hans Christian Andersen. Performances run from Jan. 22-30. In a Grove is based on the short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, which inspired Kurosawa’s renowned film Rashomon. Performances run from Feb. 19-March 3. Additional details about each opera can be found on the In a Grove and The Rose Elf webpages. Tickets to each opera are $50. See for details.

Attack Theatre Presents Curiosity: The Play Book at its new Lawrenceville Headquarters

From Jan. 27-Feb. 5, 2022, Attack Theatre, now in its 27th year, will host the world premiere of the all-ages dance performance Curiosity: The Play Book. This creative adventure, which will take place at the company’s new studio in Lawrenceville (212 45th St.) will ignite feelings of joy and wonderment to momentarily let habits, responsibilities, grocery shopping, middle school assignments, old friend drama, dirty laundry, and bad coffee melt away. Choreographed by artistic directors Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, with new media design by Dane Toney and original music by Dave Eggar, Curiosity will feature company dancers Lydia Clinton, Miranda Nichols, Sarah Zielinski, Isabella Bergamin, and Savionne Chambers. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35; visit for information.

BHS Marks 1 Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Vaccinations On Sat., Dec. 18, Butler Health System (BHS) marked the one-year anniversary of its first vaccination against COVID-19. Starting with healthcare workers, BHS rapidly expanded vaccination to the community, targeting the most vulnerable first. Over the subsequent year, vaccines were made available to an ever-expanding portion of its communities, most recently to children as young as 5 years old. Booster doses have been provided as authorized, to maintain maximum protection for the vaccinated. Across the vaccine clinics at its Butler Memorial and Clarion Hospitals, BHS has administered over 162,000 adult and pediatric COVID-19 vaccine doses to date. BHS urges all eligible people to get vaccinated, and to get booster doses if previously vaccinated. Please visit the BHS website for more information about COVID-19 and to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Fox Chapel Area School District Annual Telethon Benefits Fox Families Care

Fox Chapel Area School District students held their 32nd annual telethon on Dec. 23 to raise money for Fox Families Care. The telethon involved students from all six schools in the Fox Chapel Area School District and students, teachers, parents, and community representatives made donations during the live event. The telethon is coordinated by the Fox Chapel Area High School Student Government and the digital media production students of the high school who plan and produce the event. To date, the students have donated more than $918,386 to various local and regional charities through their annual telethon over the last 31 years; last year’s telethon for the Sharpsburg Community Library raised $16,433.

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