New & Notable, March 2021



Seneca Valley Nurses Take Part in COVID Vaccination

Nurses in the Seneca Valley School District were exceptionally grateful to receive the COVID-19 vaccine offered by Butler Memorial Hospital (BMH) as part of the Commonwealth’s phased approach to vaccinating Pennsylvanians. The first round of doses, manufactured by Pfizer, was received in early January with the second dose scheduled for later in the month.


Allegheny County's Newest Humane Society Police Officers Sworn In

Animal Friends is pleased to announce that two Humane Society police officers, Justin Galvin and Krista Koontz, were officially sworn in on Monday, Jan. 25. Koontz and Galvin will serve Allegheny County as members of Animal Friends' Humane Investigations team. The Humane Investigations Department responds to calls of suspected animal abuse, neglect and abandonment and serves as a vital resource for citizens, municipalities and other law enforcement agencies.


Fox Chapel Student Chosen To Receive Youth Mental Health Leadership Award

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Abigail Rickin-Marks has been chosen to receive NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Keystone Pennsylvania’s 2021 Youth Mental Health Leadership Award. The award is given to a young person who is a change-leader in the areas of mental health education and is instrumental in shifting conversations about mental health from negative to positive. Abby, who received four nominations, was selected for her vital contributions in both her school and community to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma. At Fox Chapel Area High School, she is involved with social activism and the peer-to-peer empowerment program, and also serves as a member of the school’s diversity council.


SV Students Named Winners in Mock Trial Competition

Seneca Valley Senior High School students in the gifted program were named winners in a virtual mock trial competition hosted by Penn State University. SV’s two teams placed second and third out of 14 teams from across the state, and senior Ella Pologruto received best attorney overall out of 150 students who participated. Team members who placed second in the competition included seniors Parker Logue, Annie Castagnero, Luke D’Ambrosio, Gargi Rane and Nick Folino and juniors Megan Abel, Megan Bablak, David DeVyver and Paul Amado. Team members who placed third included seniors Tori Read, Nick Hartman, Kaitlyn Moore, Emma Reynolds, Dawson Morrow and Ella Pologruto and junior Ava Katzenell. The two-day tournament was held over Zoom Jan. 23-24, and enabled students to present a civil case based on a wrongful death lawsuit. Over the course of the weekend, students participated in four separate trials.


Butler Health System Names New Trustee, Elects New Chair

Larry Richert has been appointed to the BHS board of trustees and BHS Foundation board. A popular personality in Pittsburgh radio and television since joining KDKA in 1988, he currently hosts the KDKA Radio Morning Show with Kevin Battle. Tim Morgus, a five-year trustee of Butler Health System, became BHS board chair on Jan. 1, 2021. Morgus is vice president at Maher Duessel Certified Public Accountants. He is a certified public accountant (CPA), certified fraud examiner (CFE) and certified government financial manager (CGFM).


Shady Side Academy Announces $1.75 Million Athletic Facilities Initiative

Shady Side Academy has announced The Gene Deal Fields project, a transformative $1.75 million athletic facilities initiative that will honor the extraordinary legacy of longtime SSA coach and Director of Athletics Gene Deal. In partnership with Strada LLC, a Pittsburgh-based design firm, Shady Side will turn the lower grass athletic fields on the Senior School campus into a state-of-the-art outdoor sports complex featuring a number of critical enhancements, highlighted by a multi-use turf field lined for lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball and field hockey.


Three Shaler Area High School Students Sign Letters Of Intent

Shaler Area is proud to announce that three high school students signed National Letters of Intent on Feb. 3 to continue their academic and athletic careers post high school. Alyssa DeLeonibus committed to Davis & Elkins College where she will continue her soccer career and plans to study nursing. Danielle Eshelman committed to the University of Delaware where she will continue to run cross country and track and field. Danielle plans to study exercise science for physical therapy. Ashley Venezia committed to California University of Pennsylvania where she will continue her soccer career and plans to study criminal justice.


Shaler Area And North Allegheny Girls Basketball Teams Take Public Stand Against Racism

Shaler Area’s varsity girls basketball program teamed up with North Allegheny’s varsity student-athletes to show a united front against racism during their Feb. 24 game. Before the Titans and Tigers faced off, they warmed up in T-shirts displaying a unified anti-racism message. The initiative is supported by Shaler Area School District’s Response to Racism committee. This season, the Shaler Area Titans have been focused on how the team can use their platform to become leaders in the community to understand and respond to racism.

CCAC students selected as Democracy Fellows by the Campus Vote Project

The Community College of Allegheny County enjoys a legacy of civic engagement on the part of its students. This commitment was bolstered by the efforts of CCAC students Madysen Kelly and Sabrina Ukasik, who were selected by the Campus Vote Project to serve as Democracy Fellows. As such, they assisted CCAC’s Civic Engagement Coordinator and History Professor Dr. Jacqueline Cavalier with student voter registration and student voter education efforts throughout the 2020 election season. Kelly and Ukasik organized student activities, including a virtual “Ask All” event, in which students had the opportunity to ask any questions they may have had about the election in a relaxed environment.


Northwest Names Kyle Kane Executive Vice President, CHRO

Kyle Kane has been named executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Northwest Bank. In this role, he will be responsible for the development and execution of the bank’s strategy for talent acquisition, development and retention and will manage all key functions of its Human Resources Department, including employee inclusion and engagement, compensation and benefits, succession planning, compliance and operations. Previously, Mr. Kane served as senior vice president and the head of human resources for global business services at Fidelity Investments.


La Roche University Introduces Two New Certificate Programs

La Roche University recently added two fully online certificate programs—health leadership and global health care. The health leadership certificate is designed for individuals seeking competencies in active and effective roles in the health care system. The global health care certificate is built for those who would like to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes within various cultural populations. The health leadership certificate will begin this spring, and the global health care certificate will launch this summer. Each can be used domestically or internationally in any health care setting.


Fox Chapel Area Students Named as Candidates in Presidential Scholars Program

Two Fox Chapel Area High School seniors, Ryan Kenyon and Vivian Shao, have been named candidates in the 2021 United States Presidential Scholars Program. More than 4,500 students from across the U.S. have been named candidates in this year’s program, and 172 are from Pennsylvania. Inclusion in the Presidential Scholars Program, begun in 1964, is one of the nation’s highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.


Magee-Womens Research Institute Receives Nearly $1 million from Mellon Foundation

Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) has received three grants from the Richard King Mellon Foundation totaling nearly $1 million to fund projects are aimed at supporting socially disadvantaged mothers; implementing and expanding technologies so that clinicians can intervene when there is a higher risk of infant mortality or morbidity; and reimagining fundraising strategies for the institute in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more about each project, visit https://www.upmc.com/media/news/012721-mwri-rkmf-grant.


Community Liver Alliance Announces National Expansion

The Community Liver Alliance (CLA) is announcing the expansion of their organization to national status. While continuing to headquarter in Pittsburgh, PA, the CLA now has offices in San Diego, CA and Milwaukee, WI. While growing to become a national presence, the CLA is still holding true to their mission to invest in local communities and to continue to provide a voice to both patients and providers.


SV Marksmanship Team Places First in JROTC Championship

The Seneca Valley Raider Battalion Marksmanship Team hit the bullseye when they brought home the Western PA Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) League trophy after placing first at the Western PA Army JROTC League 2 Championship. The team was led by the top three shooters in the competition: team captain and senior Garrett DeVault, who placed first with a score of 474-4; freshman Logan Randall who placed second scoring 474-1; and senior Alek Matusiak who came in third with a score of 471-3. Other contributors to the team’s victory were junior Bryan Broad and sophomore Lexi Bardos.


FCAHS Students Win Forensic Tournament

Three Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed in virtual forensic tournaments. Junior Patrick Alexander won first place in Student Congress at the Shady Side Invitational Forensic Tournament and received his second bid for the Pennsylvania state championship tournament. The Policy Debate team of senior Jackson Romero and junior Ian Mackey-Piccolo advanced to become Double Octofinalists and were named winners in the University of Houston Cougar Classic Tournament.


FCAHS Librarian Chosen For PSLA Leadership Institute

Fox Chapel Area High School librarian Laura Ward, Ed.D., has been selected as a member of the 2020-2021 Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) Leadership Institute for School Librarians (LISL). Through her participation in the Leadership Institute, Dr. Ward will receive professional development, training, and strategic planning guidance on issues surrounding the topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Upon the completion of her training, Dr. Ward will serve as a mentor to other school librarians in the state.


FCASD Students Win Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

Six Fox Chapel Area School District students recently won awards for their submissions in the Pittsburgh Regional Scholastic Writing Awards 2021 competition. Junior Anna Ferris won a Gold Key for her flash fiction, A Life in Moments, and her entry has now been sent to New York City for national judging. Winning Silver Keys were senior Jessica Jing McCann in the poetry category and junior Lance Wilhelm in the journalism category, and Dorseyville Middle School eighth grader Moonyoung Hwang won two Silver Keys for her poetry. Honorable Mentions went to senior Margaret Dean in the personal essay & memoir category, and to junior Shea Davison in the flash fiction category.


Allegent FCU Acquires Riverset Credit Union

With the acquisition of Riverset Credit Union, Allegent Community Federal Credit Union has become one of the largest and most prominent credit unions in western Pennsylvania. The combination of these two local, vibrant, and financially stable credit unions has expanded Allegent FCU’s footprint in Pittsburgh, allowing increased resources, products, reach, growth, and services to its members and the communities it serves.


Performing Arts Students Advance In PMEA Festival System

As the Pennsylvania Music Education Association (PMEA) moves forward with their 2020-21 virtual festivals, Seneca Valley students also continue to advance. The following orchestra students have made it to the district level and are awaiting results for regionals: Allison Alexander (Grade 10, Cello), Marie Fouche (Grade 10, Violin), Gretchen Kellar (Grade 10, Violin), Erin Keppler (Grade 11, Violin), Jacklyn Ko (Grade 12, Violin), Aaron Sedlak (Grade 11, Cello), Madeline Shipe (Grade 10, Bass), Nathan Smith (Grade 11, Viola) and Lindsay Walls Rivera (Grade 11, Bass). The following band and choir students have already been accepted for the regional level and will be auditioning for All-States in the coming weeks: Choir: Allison Alexander (Grade 10, Alto 2), Nick Folino (Grade 12, Tenor 2), Elizabeth Hixon (Grade 10, Alto 1), Leta Hixon (Grade 10, Alto 1), Trey Hixon (Grade 11, Bass 2), Colton Marley (Grade 10, Tenor 2), Anya Maschmeier (Grade 10, Soprano 1), Sarah McKinley (Grade 12, Alto 1), Alex Mortier (Grade 11, Tenor 2), Eli Peel (Grade 11, Bass 1), Greta Schmidt (Grade 11, Soprano 1), Jonah Smeltzer (Grade 11, Tenor 1), Izzy Vescio (Grade 12, Alto 2) and Dorothy Vogel (Grade 10, Alto 2). Band: Connor Allen (Grade 11, Trumpet), Alaina Althouse (Grade 11, French Horn), Paul Amado (Grade 11, Trombone), Ally Buchek (Grade 12, Clarinet), Luke Choban (Grade 12, Tuba), Emma Conrad (Grade 11, Alto Sax), Rebekah Heltzell (Grade 11, Bass Clarinet), Peter Ko (Grade 10, Alto Sax), Julian Lagoon (Grade 11, Percussion), Katelyn Livorse (Grade 11, Trombone), Kyra Martino (Grade 12, French Horn), Victor Myrna (Grade 11, Oboe), Alex Owen (Grade 12, Bass Clarinet), Sreya Padamati (Grade 11, Tenor Sax), Ashleigh Patterson (Grade 12, Clarinet), Liz Salgado (Grade 12, Flute), Jackson Scherzer (Grade 11, Bari Sax), Daniel Simoes (Grade 11, Trumpet), Jonah Smeltzer (Grade 11, Percussion), Lizzie Sylves (Grade 12, Bassoon), Roy Tilton (Grade 10, Trombone), Josie Walter (Grade 12, Flute), Mark Wimer (Grade 11, Euphonium), Renhan Xu (Grade 12, Clarinet) and Haihan Xu (Grade 10, Trumpet).


PRSA Pittsburgh Honors Top Communication Professionals at Renaissance Awards

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recently hosted its 2021 Renaissance Awards that honors local organizations, agencies, businesses and communicators in Pittsburgh for their innovative work across all aspects of public relations and marketing communications. This year’s ceremony recognized more than 30 different communication campaigns and tactics created in 2020 from some of the most recognizable brands such as Duquesne Light Company, Highmark, Pittsburgh Zoo, Starkist and The Home Depot. In addition to honoring creative work, PRSA Pittsburgh awarded its first recipient of the inaugural Black Excellence Award to Isabella Moreland. Brunner took home Best in Show for their Zep 2019 Brand Launch campaign. To see a complete list of this year’s award recipients, visit https://prsa-pgh.org/2021-renaissance-awards.


Fox Chapel Area Students Win Regional 2021 Scholastic Art Awards

Several Fox Chapel Area School District students recently won awards for their entries in the Pittsburgh Region of the Scholastic Art Awards 2021. Gold Key winners were seniors Jessica Jing McCann (4 Gold Keys), Joey Wang (2 Gold Keys), Alwyn Williams, and Wenyu Zuo (2 Gold Keys); sophomore Jonathan Li; and freshman Isabella White (2 Gold Keys). Additionally, Jessica Jing McCann was selected as an American Visions nominee for her jewelry piece entitled, Anxiety’s Flight. Silver Key winners were seniors Samantha DiGregory, Meredith Francis (2 Silver Keys), Kristian Kerschbaumer, Jessica Jing McCann (5 Silver Keys), Joey Wang, and Zoey Zoschg; junior Alexa Berman (2 Silver Keys); sophomores Jonathan Li and Sophie Shao; and freshman Isabella White. Honorable Mention winners were seniors Emma Begg (3 Honorable Mentions), Madelyn Francis, Ainsley Good, Jessica Jing McCann (3 Honorable Mentions), Joey Wang (4 Honorable Mentions), Alwyn Williams, Zoey Zoschg, and Wenyu Zuo (3 Honorable Mentions); juniors Alexa Berman (4 Honorable Mentions) and Emily Hook; sophomores Madisyn Elwood, Jonathan Li (3 Honorable Mentions), and Sophie Shao; freshmen Emma Kim (3 Honorable Mentions) and Isabella White (4 Honorable Mentions); and eighth graders Caleb Adams and Yuqi Zhou. The Fox Chapel Area High School art teachers are Joan Marangoni, Mary Jo Montgomery, Sarah Patrick, Christine Smith, Sarah Stewart, and Amy Wickman. The Dorseyville Middle School art teachers are Cheryl Etters, Nanci Goldberg, and Mackenzie Seymour.


Gateway Health And Bridges Health Partners Announce ACO Partnership

Gateway Health Plan, Inc., a leading managed care organization dedicated to caring for the total health of its members, and Bridges Health Partners LLC, a Clinically Integrated Network, have entered an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) partnership. The partnership aims to enhance quality of care by using data insights and value-based programs that proactively manage the health care needs of Gateway Health’s Medicare members in southwestern Pennsylvania. It will provide patient-centered care that improves the patient experience and health outcomes, while also reducing costs.


Assemble Announces New Board Members

Assemble, a community space for arts + technology, has elected five new board members: Derek Luke, Mary Jayne McCullough, Janet O'Rourke, Kara Rubio, and Kristen Wishon. Assemble is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering learning and creativity that envisions diverse neighborhoods of empowered people who create, connect, learn, and transform together.


Beaver Valley Choral Society featured on DCINY’s Wonderful Choir Wednesday

The first virtual ensemble performance by the Beaver Valley Choral Society, You’ll Never Walk Alone with Climb Every Mountain, was recently honored by Distinguished Concerts International New York as part of their online Wonderful Choir Wednesday on Jan. 13. BVCS embarked upon the historic virtual project of the two Rodgers and Hammerstein songs during the summer and fall of 2020, when members could not gather to make music due to COVID-19. Fifty members of the principal choir, the orchestra, high school apprentices, and treble youth chorale attended online rehearsals with Conductor Sharon Burchill, in preparation for their at-home recordings. More than 3,500 people have watched and enjoyed the message of hope and comfort on YouTube and Facebook. To watch, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDuidZF5_4


Fox Chapel Student Publications Win National Awards

Two Fox Chapel Area High School publications won awards in the 2020 American Scholastic Press Association Contest/Review for Yearbooks, Magazines, and Newspapers. The 2019-2020 literary arts magazine Tapestry received a first-place national award. The high school’s newspaper, Fox Tales Quarterly, was also named a first-place national winner for the fall 2020 issue. The 2019-2020 student staff members of Tapestry were 2020 graduates Amelia Bothe, Claire Cummings, Gwendolyn Davison (editor-in-chief), Fiona Healy, Emma Lusk, Megan Matthis, Zeynep Ozkaya, Navjot Pabla (layout design), Anzu Sekikawa, Olivia Tang (head of submissions), Helene Tracey, and Angelique Uku; current 2020-2021 seniors Molly Dean, Divine Eyth, Emily Li, and Nora McDougall; and current 2020-2021 juniors Carlie Barnett, Alexa Berman, Mackenzie Borkovich, Nina Busch, Ellen Gray, and Ruth Mertens. The students’ advisor is Fox Chapel Area High School English teacher Jessica Green. The 2020-2021 student staff members of Fox Tales Quarterly are seniors Amulya Garimella, Rachel Horne, Maggie Kelly, Ryan Kenyon, and Abigail Rickin-Marks; juniors Noah Bradley, Justine Eng, Russell Fenton, Danielle Horne, Madeleine Muller, Beata Turnquist, Calla Truschel Jacobs, Kaylee Uribe, Katherine Voigt, and Ann Yonas; sophomore Trevor Katz; and freshmen Shriya Krishnamurthy and Abraham White. The students’ sponsor is Fox Chapel Area High School gifted education coordinator Lisa Gibson.


UniSound Launches Black Teaching Artist-in-Residence Program

In February, UniSound launched its new Black Teaching Artist-in-Residence program (BTAR), an initiative to support the music practice and professional development of Black teaching artists in Greater Pittsburgh. The inaugural residencies have been awarded to multi-genre performance artist Lyn Starr and flutist Brittany Trotter. UniSound is an alliance of organizations dedicated to creating a more accessible, sustainable and equitable youth music ecosystem in Greater Pittsburgh. Each teaching artist will conclude their residency with a project of their choosing, such as a workshop, a recital or a lecture.


Wang Chosen For National Concert Band

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Joey Wang was chosen for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) Concert Band event. A clarinet player, he joined 120 band students from across the United States and military base schools overseas who are considered to be the “best of the best” in a virtual event Jan. 7-8, 2021. He was chosen for this national honor by audition and based on his selection to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Band in 2020.


Fox Chapel Students Place In Regional FBLA Competition

Several Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed in the 2020 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Virtual Regional Leadership Conference and many qualified for the virtual state competition. First-place regional winners were seniors Melina Bradley, Erin Doherty, David Kronman, and Vivian Shao; juniors Alexa Berman, Brooke Bowman, Noah Bradley, Russell Fenton, Alicia Gu, Thomas Healy, Alaina Kaslewicz, Sydney Kennedy, Alex Zatman, and Ryan Zatman; and sophomores Donay Allen, Aisling Beresford, Maya Bradley, Paul Kullman, Diya Reddy, and Shawn Rygelski. Second-place regional winners were seniors Sara Friday and Isabella Liberto; juniors Margo Levenson, Carter Rowe, and Finnbar Ruff; sophomores Thomas Selwood and Alexandra Solomon; and freshmen Isaac Jacobs and Jadyn Smouse. Third-place regional winners were seniors Alex Blaylock, Riley Collins, and Vinisha Sant; juniors Isabella Geraci, Kaitlyn Legge, and Siddharth Yende; sophomores Christopher Ernharth, Nathania Lingam, Sophie Shao, and Jack Wilk; and freshmen Troy Susnak and Bridget Yun. All of these students have qualified to participate in the 2021 FBLA Virtual State Leadership Conference that will be held in March and April. Additionally, the following seniors qualified for participate in the state conference based on their project submissions: Katherine Caracciolo, Allison Carey, Rachel Chang, Emily Li, Kaylee Werner, and Zoey Zoschg. Other state place-winners at the conference included seniors Arda Akinci, Kaya Akinci, Elena Bradley, Nathaniel Lazzara, and Matthew Zytnick; juniors Carlie Barnett, Louise Coleman, William Cooper, Grace Flanagan, Elia Gillespie, Bridget Kilmer, and Delaney Miller; and freshmen Annalese Bartolacci, Lexi Biernesser, Henry Dreier, Evelyn Healy, William Kratsa, Angela Ngo, and Gloria Wen.

Thirteen SSA Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Thirteen Shady Side Academy seniors were among the 15,000 finalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The SSA finalists are Ishika Arora, Tyler Hart and Gabriela Jegasothy (Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill); Luke Brennan (South Fayette); Caroline Green and Will Karet (Fox Chapel); Andrew Liu (Bridgeport, WV); Zhuoxin Ma and Zewei “Jason” Wu (Beijing, China); Eve Mango (Pine); Jason Vasko (Churchill); Nicholas Zana (Hampton) and Qingqing Zhao (Indiana Twp.).


Community Liver Alliance Honors Local Liver Health Advocates

The Community Liver Alliance’s 7th Annual You Make a Difference Awards took place virtually on Feb. 25. Those honored with awards include Eileen Gallatin, MSED, BSN, RN, CCTC and Brianna Milankovich, BSN, RN of UPMC Transplant Services; Jennifer Fiddner, MPH, CIC of the Allegheny County Department of Health: Martha Loeffert, MSN, BSN, RN of the Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition, Allegheny Health Network; Brian Boone, MD, Wallis Marsh, MD, MBA, and Carl Schmidt, MD – WVU Medicine, Hepatic Oncology; and Steven Rechtorik, executive chef—Steel Chef Challenge Culinary Gala Leader. The 2021 Board Spotlight Award was presented to Bruno Mastroianni, CIO and Susan Stuart, president and CEO – Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE).


DMS Students Place In Regional Math Competition

A team of Dorseyville Middle School students recently placed in the regional CalcuSolve competition. The team of eighth-graders Alex Kim and Arnim Kuchhal, and seventh-graders Michael Costello and Rodrigo Silva won third place overall in the seventh- and eighth-grade team division. Additionally, Rodrigo and eighth-grader David Black tied for first place in the individual competition, with both achieving perfect scores. Sixth grader Leonidas Vandapel tied for third place in his division.


FCAHS Students Place In Duquesne Model Un Conference

Five Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed in the Duquesne University High School Model United Nations (UN) Conference. First-place winners at the virtual conference were senior Cecilia Rike, junior Daniel Thomas, and freshman Isabella White. Juniors Patrick Alexander and Janise Kim were each awarded second places at the conference.


FCAHS Students Place At Hampton Forensic Tournament

Two Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed at the virtual annual Hampton Talbot Invitational Forensic Tournament. Junior Patrick Alexander won first place in Student Congress and received the final bid that he needed to qualify for the Pennsylvania High School Speech League State Championships. He will represent the district at the state competition in March 2021. Additionally, sophomore Silas Owens won fourth place in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, which gave him his second bid to the state tournament.


FCASD Students Chosen for Allegheny Valley Honors Bands

Thirteen Fox Chapel Area School District students were selected by video audition for the 2021 Allegheny Valley senior and junior high honors bands. A total of 197 student-musicians auditioned for the groups, and 117 were selected. The students chosen from Fox Chapel Area were senior Nathaniel Kisslinger; sophomores Lawrence Liu, Silas Owens, and Lans Taylor; freshmen Claire Heary and Chloe Kim; eighth-graders Malik Choset, Moonyoung Hwang, Alex Kim, Varad Sant, and Timothy Ye; and seventh-graders Joanna Li and Joshua Shah.


Rowan Elementary Second-graders Show Appreciation

To celebrate the 100th day of school, second-graders in Gabriella DeSimone’s Rowan Elementary School class worked on writing 100 thank you letters for people in the district and community for going above and beyond during this difficult time. Some of the special recipients included Rowan’s cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, school counselor and a technology teacher, just to name a few. It also included community members such as package delivery service workers, hospital staff and even the restaurant Burgatory. The kindhearted class read aloud their letters to many of these groups throughout the day on Feb. 8. Their gracious words brought tears to the eyes of many and each group was able to take their handwritten thank you notes with them.


Fox Chapel Area Seniors Named 2021 National Merit Finalists

Seven Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Finalists include Suparna Agrawal, Amulya Garimella, Brendan Gladwin, Ryan Kenyon, Mark Puthenpurayil, Jackson Romero and Vinisha Sant.


Fox Chapel Students Chosen for All-Eastern Honors Ensembles

Three Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been chosen to perform with the prestigious 2021 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern Honors Ensembles. Nathaniel Hines was selected for the All-Eastern Honors Mixed Chorus, Jack Penland was chosen to play with the All-Eastern Honors Orchestra, and Joey Wang was chosen for the All-Eastern Honors Symphonic Band. Prior to being chosen for the All-East ensembles, these students were also selected to perform with the 2020 All-State ensembles.


Fox Chapel Students Selected to Participate in Hoby Leadership Seminar

Seven Fox Chapel Area High School sophomores were selected to receive the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) recognition. Aisling Beresford, Zoe Broyles, Leah Kenyon, Mia Lynch, Lindsay Scheffler, Prajval Sreenivas, and Laci Toomey have been chosen to attend the virtual Pennsylvania-West HOBY Leadership Seminar June 18-20, 2021. As part of the seminar, the students will explore and discover their personal leadership strengths and learn how to apply them to serve their community.


FCAHS Students Win Awards in National Youngarts Competition

Two Fox Chapel Area High School students were named winners in a contest sponsored by the National YoungArts Foundation. Senior Jessica Jing McCann was named a Finalist and received a Silver Award in the Design Arts category, and sophomore Sloane Simon received an honorable mention in the Voice: Singer-Songwriter category. Jing was honored for her portfolio consisting of jewelry (wearable art) designed to communicate how stress and anxiety impacts her and others and how it takes a toll on mental and physical health. Sloane submitted three original songs in her category, including Seven Feet Apart, The Boy Who Cried Beautiful and Laurel Canyon.


La Roche Recognized as a Military Friendly University

La Roche University earned the 2021-22 Military Friendly® School designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM Jobs SM and Military Spouse. La Roche has been consecutively named a Military Friendly School since Victory Media’s publication of the list in 2009. The University offers credit for military experience and an on-campus Veterans Organization for members to connect through shared experiences, provides mentorship and encourages camaraderie in an inclusive and supportive environment.


Butler Health System Adds Two New Foundation Board Members

Butler Health System has added Jud Stewart and April Stilley to its BHS Foundation board. Stewart retired from the Armstrong Group in July, 2020 after 41 years of service. He was vice president of marketing and programming for over 35 years. April Stilley, MPA, PA-C has worked as a physician’s assistant for Pittsburgh Gynecologic Oncology, Allegheny General Hospital Neurosurgery, and UPMC Physical Medicine and Rehab. She also served as an instructor at her alma mater, Duquesne University, in the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies department.


Sewickley Spa Sold to Jonelle McMahan

At the end of 2020, Dorothy Andreas, owner of the Sewickley Spa, passed the ownership baton to her valued employee Jonelle McMahan. Over the past 12 years, McMahan has been running the day-to-day operations of The Sewickley Spa and has helped the spa to continue to grow through her creativity, leadership and keen business sense.


Buford to Become President of Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Earl Buford, chief executive officer of Partner4Work (P4W), will step down after nearly three years to become president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), an affiliate of the Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network. He assumes the role on April 12, 2021. Established in 1974, CAEL forges viable connections between education and career success for adult learners.


SSA Students Win 71 Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

A total of 39 Shady Side Academy students in grades 8-12 won 71 awards in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional competition, including 31 art awards and 40 writing awards. The winners included 19 eighth graders from SSA Middle School and 20 students at SSA Senior School. Twelve students won Gold Keys for 16 works to advance to the national competition. One student, junior Marnie McCormick (Fox Chapel), won awards in both art and writing. Twelve Shady Side students won 31 Scholastic Art Awards from the Pittsburgh Arts Region: 8 Gold Keys, 9 Silver Keys and 14 Honorable Mentions. The Gold Key art winners were freshman Benjamin Bischoff (Crafton Heights) in Drawing & Illustration for Last Breath; junior Marnie McCormick (Fox Chapel) in Ceramics & Glass for two works, Molten Bowl and A Bowl Made for Lemons; freshman Yuntong Pan (Bethesda, MD) in Painting for Rest; senior Melissa Riggins (Pine) in Ceramics & Glass for Waterfall and senior Xinru “Vita” Yang (Beijing, China) in Drawing & Illustration for three works: two self-portraits and Umbrella. Twenty-eight Shady Side students won 40 Scholastic Writing Awards from the Western PA Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh: 8 Gold Keys, 16 Silver Keys and 16 Honorable Mentions. The Gold Key writing winners were eighth-grader Maanya Goulatia (Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill) in Personal Essay & Memoir for Far Far Away #2; eighth-grader Mark Henne (Fox Chapel) in Per