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New & Notable, January 2023

FCAHS Team Wins Second Place in Powering Pittsburgh Competition

A team of four Fox Chapel Area High School sophomores—Etash Jhanji, Arnim Kuchhal, Varad Sant and Rohit Velankar—were named second-place winners in the high school division of the Powering Pittsburgh competition. As part of the contest, the students were asked to reimagine the way the City of Pittsburgh and/or Acrisure Stadium are powered. This is the second consecutive year that this group has won an award in the Powering Pittsburgh competition. The team’s sponsor was Fox Chapel Area High School gifted support teacher Lisa Gibson. Pictured L-R: Arnim Kuchhal, Etash Jhanji, Rohit Velankar, and Varad Sant.

Hartwood Fourth-Grader Wins County Sumdog Contest

Hartwood Elementary School fourth-grader Charlene “Cici” Xu was recently named the winner of the Allegheny County Sumdog contest, which consists of an online math quiz that students take on their own time. Cici took the online test in November and answered 991 out of 1,000 questions correctly, more than any other participating student in the county. In September 2022, she finished 32nd (in the top 1 percent) of all 26,524 students who competed in the national Sumdog September Slam Math Contest. Additionally, as part of that national contest, Hartwood Elementary teacher Leah Rea’s fourth-grade class as a whole finished in the top 10 percent overall out of 1,615 classes in the nation.

Aquinas Academy Middle School Students Perform Peter Pan and Wendy

In November, Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh middle school students performed Peter Pan and Wendy, a play by Doug Rand, directed by Mike Flynn. Fifty-four students participated, including leads Alice Dingle (Mrs. Darling), John Dolan (Peter Pan), Veronica Fowler (Wendy), Fionn McGinley (Captain Hook), Matt McGrath (Mr. Darling), Jack Stanton (John), and Michael Richthammer (Michael). Production leadership roles were held by Felicity Koble (Accompanist), Clara Yuo (Choral Director), Ashlin Knox (Choreography), Joseph Chufo (Choreography), Gabby Keverline (Choreography), Lucy Keverline (Choreography), Mia Russell (Stage Manager), Veronica Mylott (Stage Manager and Make-up), Nick Urban (Sound), Sam VanVickle (Lights), and Julia Meland (Make-up). Aquinas art teacher, Brady Buchanan, worked with first-grade teacher aide, Gina Liguori, on the set production. High school teachers Rosemary Meland and Ellen Kaffenes were in charge of costumes. L-R: John Dolan (Peter Pan), Veronica Fowler (Wendy) and Ava Repasky (Tinker Bell).

Fox Chapel Area High School Students Chosen for PMEA Honors Band

Six Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected by audition to perform with the 2022 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Honors Band. The students are seniors Elijah Conklin (French horn), Lawrence Liu (flute), and Ethan Tan (clarinet); juniors Elijah Herzer (bass clarinet) and Chloe Kim (clarinet); and sophomore Marina Dunham (bassoon). The band was comprised of 120 of the best student-musicians from Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Pictured l-r: Marina Dunham, Chloe Kim, Elijah Herzer, Lawrence Liu, Elijah Conklin and Ethan Tan.

Seneca Valley Welcomes New Haine Elementary Assistant Principal

Thomas McKelvey has been named the new assistant principal at Haine Elementary School in Cranberry Township. A resident of Hampton Township, he will be joining Seneca Valley after serving in various roles in several Beaver County school districts, including most recently as principal of Highland Elementary School in the Ambridge Area School District. McKelvey earned his bachelor’s degree in Education with certifications in Elementary Education, Special Education and Middle School Science Education from Slippery Rock University and his master’s degree in Education with certifications in Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision from California University. He is currently finishing his work on a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from Point Park University. McKelvey replaces Jeremy Womer, who is now serving as assistant principal for Haine Middle School.

Fox Chapel Area School District Annual Telethon Benefits Fox Families Care

Fox Chapel Area School District students held their 33rd annual telethon on Dec. 23, 2022 to raise money for Fox Families Care. The telethon involved students from all six schools in the Fox Chapel Area School District, and student, teacher, parent, and community representatives participated by making donations during the event. The telethon was broadcast/live streamed on the Swift Fox Media YouTube Channel and was coordinated by FCAHS Student Government and the digital media production students of the high school who planned and produced the event. To date, FCASD students have donated more than $1,025,628 to various local and regional charities through this annual telethon.

Three New Members Join La Roche University Board of Trustees

La Roche University recently welcomed three new members to its board of trustees. They include Adrienne Cook, SPHR, CCP, Barry Melnkovic and Jaclyn E. Faulds, Esq. Alumna Adrienne Cook is senior vice president and director of total compensation for Federated Hermes Inc. in Pittsburgh, and earned her master’s degree in human resources management from La Roche. Barry Melnkovic is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for U. S. Steel Corporation in Pittsburgh. Melnkovic earned a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from the University of Pittsburgh and received a master’s degree in human resources from Rutgers University. Jaclyn E. Faulds is a director at Houston Harbaugh, PC in Pittsburgh where she acts as counsel to clients in sales and acquisitions, operates as an outside general business law counsel for corporate clients and drafts and negotiates business-related agreements. Faulds is also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

AAUW Presents Fanny Kemble at the Slave Plantation

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 at 10 a.m., the American Association of University Women, Fox Chapel Area Branch will present Fanny Kemble at the Slave Plantation, a one-woman play performed by Dr. Lydia Axelrod, in observance of Black History Month. Produced by Ron Flucker, the play will take place at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church (corner of Fox Chapel and Field Club Roads), and is free and open to the public.

FCAHS Student Places in Speech and Debate Tournament

A Fox Chapel Area High School student recently placed in the Moon/Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Speech and Debate Tournament. Sophomore Swati Mylarappa won fifth place in Student Congress.

The tournament was held in November with approximately 340 students representing 26 public and private high schools from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia competing.

Kerr Elementary Students Participate in Math Festival

Kerr Elementary School second- and third-grade students participated in a Math Festival on Dec. 2, engaging in math activity stations that included problem-solving tasks using various hands-on math tools. The festival enabled students to work on logic puzzles, mazes, and other problem-solving tasks and provided a unique way for students to practice their math skills in a fun learning environment. The Kerr Elementary School Math Festival was made possible by a $3,000 grant to the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival from the PPG Foundation

PCT Announces Second Annual Januscary Film Festival

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has announced the return of the Januscary Film Festival at the Harris Theater, Jan. 6-11. Back with six different new and classic horror films, Januscary features a one day only Abbott & Costello Double Feature hosted by Pittsburgh Magazine’s Sean Collier on Jan. 8. Children 12 and under can enjoy this screening for free! The five remaining films include Slash/Back, Kids vs. Aliens, Huesera, Thrust! and Satanic Hispanics. Guests can purchase tickets to all Januscary films* by building a five-film festival pass and save $3 per ticket. Each festival pass purchase includes a free exclusive Januscary enamel pin and an introductory Partners membership to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For tickets, visit the Harris Theater box office, call 412-456-6666, or buy online at *The film Thrust! is excluded from the film pass and requires a separate $15 ticket.

HalfDream: Another Room Opens at The Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory is pleased to announce HalfDream: Another Room, a new solo exhibition by Hong Kong and US-based artist Doreen Chan. This new site-specific installation engages Chan’s ongoing participatory art project, HalfDream, in which users around the world can describe their dreams, adding them to a database which matches common dreams of participants and connects “dreammates.” The exhibition opened Dec. 3 and will be on view in the museum’s main building through fall 2023.

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