New & Notable March 2022



Fiffik Law Group Promotes Bole

Fiffik Law Group, PC has promoted Matthew A. Bole to Partner. Bole has worked with the firm since graduating from Duquesne University School of Law in 2011. He focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, workers’ compensation, and civil litigation matters. From 2015-2021, he was named to the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers–Rising Stars, which places him in the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania who are 40 years old or younger. He has also served as a Hearing Committee Member for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the past four years.



Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Show Rocks the Runway

Pittsburgh Opera’s fashion show Diva Dreams and Fashion Queens will take place on Mon., April 4 at the Bitz Opera Factory at 2425 Liberty Avenue in the Strip District. The opera is partnering with Eons Fashion Antique and Studio Booth on this fashion retrospective from the Eons Archives. Diva Dreams and Fashion Queens will showcase over 100 years of fashion originals, including looks from Karl Lagerfeld, Norman Norrell, Ceil Chapman, Thierry Mugler, Halston, Claire McCardell, and more. Tickets are $45 and come with a complimentary signature cocktail crafted by event partners Quantum Spirits and Mindful Hospitality Group. Visit www.pittsburghopera.org/diva to learn more.


FCAHS Senior Named Among Top 300 in Science Talent Search

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Zoe Lakkis has been named one of the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022. Zoe is one of only six students in Pennsylvania, and one of 300 students from across the nation–as well as from China, Switzerland, and Singapore–chosen to receive this designation. The talent search is sponsored by the Society for Science and is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.



Local Author Publishes Pittsburgh Dog & Frog

Kids (and grownups, too) are going to love this story about a Pittsburgh dog who just had to meet a giant, floating frog who was coming to town. In author Annette Hostoffer’s story, Pittsburgh Dog & Frog, the city of Pittsburgh take center stage as readers meet a spunky little dog named Heinz who has lived his whole life on Mount Washington. The tale is about friendship and sharing, a little bit about magic and a lot about the wonders of the ’burgh. There’s even a Pittsburgh cookie table in it. The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.


Seneca Valley Vocalists Chosen for PMEA Junior High Chorus Fest

A record-breaking 22 vocalists from Seneca Valley were selected to attend the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 5 Junior High Chorus Fest on Jan. 21. SV participants included freshmen Ayla Alexander, AJ Barnett, Scarlett Christensen, Isaac Hixon, Andrew Kennaday, Patrick Monahan, Isabella Muthler, Christian Schuster, Zoe Sciullo, Parker Spence, Keith Summers and Madeleine Tomo. Eighth-grade students who participated included Nathan Capizzi, Arthur Covell, Aydan Danylo, Autumn Holmes, Aiden Kephart, Andrew Long, Jacob Maietta, Morgan Roithner, Jillian Snyder and Ethan Theodosis. The students are led by Aaron Magill and Bobi-Jean Alexander, secondary choral instructors.


Northland Library Invites Public to March Events

In March, Northland Library will be holding a number of programs. Registration is required, where noted, to attend these free virtual and in-person programs. For more information and to register, visit www.northlandlibrary.org or call the Ask A Librarian desk at 412-366-8100, ext. 113. The programs include: The Sounds of Caribbean Music on Thurs., March 3 at 6 p.m.; The Battle of Homestead on Thurs., March 10 at 6:30 p.m.; Improving The Heart Health of the Woman on Mon., March 21 at 6 p.m. and Court Basics on Thurs., March 24 at 6 p.m.

FCAHS Students Win Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

Eleven Fox Chapel Area High School students recently won awards for their submissions in the 2022 Pittsburgh Region Scholastic Writing Awards. Senior Anna Ferris won a Gold Key for her short story, The Last Line of Defense, and junior Helia Hamidi won a Gold Key for her personal essay/memoir, Who Are Afghans. Both entries qualified for national judging. Winning Silver Keys were seniors Anna Ferris and Ellen Gray; junior Mahitha Ramachandran; sophomores Emma Kim and Isabella White; and freshmen Josephine Giguere, Zhana Neumann, and Anna Delale-O’Connor. Honorable Mentions went to seniors Anna Ferris and Ellen Gray; junior Lawrence Liu; sophomore Isabella White; and freshmen Anna Delale O’Connor and Rohit Velankar.


Seneca Valley Students Selected for PMEA District Orchestra

Ten Seneca Valley students were selected for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District Orchestra in Sharon, PA Jan. 13-14. They include Allison Alexander (Cello), Marie Fouche (Violin), Tristan Conrad (Cello), Erin Keppler (Violin), Gretchen Kellar (Violin), Nathan Smith (Viola), Aaron Sedlak (Cello), Lindsay Walls Rivera (Bass), Abigail Leslie (Violin), and Maddie Shipe (Bass). Students worked under the direction of Dr. David Tedford with musicians from across western Pennsylvania.



Clean Eatz Unleashes WeChangeLivez Challenge 2022

With prominent café locations in Cranberry Township and Fox Chapel, Clean Eatz recently kicked off its annual WeChangeLivez (WCL) Challenge. The challenge, which encourages participants to share the stories of their improvement journeys via social media and within their café communities, runs from March through April 2022. This year, each location will be giving away 12 weeks’ worth of meals to two lucky Pittsburghers (one winner per location). These winners will also be entered to receive a grand prize of $25,000. All winners will be announced in early May. Those interested in participating can sign up online at www.cleaneatz.com/wechangelivez, or by stopping by Clean Eatz in Cranberry Township at the Streets of Cranberry shopping center on Rt. 19 or in Fox Chapel at 175 Freeport Rd.


Shady Side Academy Students Named Merit Scholarship Finalists

Five members of the Shady Side Academy Class of 2022 have been named finalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These academically talented seniors continue will in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $30 million, which will be offered this spring. The SSA finalists are Braden Crow (Irwin), Grace Greeno (Pittsburgh-Oakland), Jamila Snyder (Aspinwall), Prayag Vemulapalli (Hampton) and Anker Zhao (Indiana Township).


Back Hall Gallery to feature Artist Lynda Kirby

Lynda Kirby will be the featured artist in the Back Hall Gallery during the month of March 2022. A new member of the Cranberry Artists Network, she is a professional graphic designer and runs her own design studio, Kirby Creative, founded in 2006. Recently, Kirby earned a Photography/Digital Award of Distinction at the Latrobe Art Center Annual Open Show for Mountain of Trash. She was also awarded First Place for her digital piece Hold On at the Laurel Art Center’s Building Bridges exhibition. The gallery is located in Cranberry Township Municipal Center at 2525 Rochester Road.


Butler County Symphony to Host Two More Concerts

The Butler County Symphony Association has announced its last two concerts of the season: Tchaikovsky’s Fifth On March 5 And Guys And Dolls on April 10. BCSO also offers its Free Summer Concert Series every Friday from June through September. Concerts feature a variety of music from Blues to Beethoven. All concerts are held in the Butler Intermediate High School Auditorium, 551 Fairground Hill Rd, Butler, PA 16001. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.butlersymphony.org or call 724-283-1402.


FCAHS Team Wins First Place In Powering Pittsburgh Competition

A team of four Fox Chapel Area High School freshmen were named first-place winners in the high school division of the Powering Pittsburgh competition. The team members were Etash Jhanji, Arnim Kuchhal, Varad Sant, and Rohit Velankar, and the team’s sponsor was FCAHS gifted support teacher Lisa Gibson. As part of the contest, the students were asked to reimagine the way the City of Pittsburgh and/or Heinz Field are powered. The team, named The Mean Greenes, developed a unique way to power Heinz Field in an environmentally friendly and renewable way, as well as making the stadium more efficient to promote green and renewable energy. The team presented a prototype of a system that would harness energy from solar panels and the flow of the three rivers.

Fox Chapel Area High School Presents Seussical

Fox Chapel Area High School’s 2022 spring musical, Seussical, will be performed March 3-5 in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m., and March 6 in the auditorium at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13 each and all seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased through www.showtix4u.com/events/fcahsmusical and will also be sold at the door.


Two Seneca Valley Juniors Qualify for NAfME Honor Ensembles

Seneca Valley Junior vocalists Allison Alexander and Elizabeth Hixon recently qualified to participate in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE). Only .002% of eligible, qualifying students advance to the national level. This year, Seneca Valley was the only school district in the state of Pennsylvania that had two choral students qualify. Each ensemble will create a final, recorded performance which will be premiered online during the 37th-annual Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM).


FCAHS Hosts #MATCHFORJAX to Help 6-Year-Old

In February, Be The Match held an event at Fox Chapel Area High School to help find a match for 6-year-old Jackson “Jax” Ramirez, who needs a bone marrow transplant due to the serious genetic disorder IPEX, a super autoimmune bug that targets different systems and organs. Jax is the son of Melissa “Missy” and Pete Ramirez; Missy is a school psychologist for the Pine-Richland School District. The event was held in conjunction with the Fox Chapel Area High School vs. Pine-Richland High School Unified Sports Bocce match and guests were encouraged to have their cheek swabbed to be added to the Bone Marrow Registry. While the goal was to find a #matchforjax, the need for donors is nationwide, and anyone who was swabbed at the event could be put into the nationwide database of potential bone marrow donors.

Fox Chapel Area Students Win Regional 2022 Scholastic Art Awards

Thirty-four Fox Chapel Area School District students recently won awards for their entries in the Pittsburgh Region of the Scholastic Art Awards 2022. Senior Emily Hook won a Gold Key for her art portfolio; the first time in Fox Chapel Area School District history that a student has ever won a Gold Key for a portfolio which included several pieces of artwork. Emily also won two other Gold Keys and was selected as an American Visions nominee for her mixed media piece titled, Night in the City. Other Gold Key winners were seniors Benjamin Shelestak, Noah Snider, and Mira Tramontina; juniors Eleanor Fox, Mikhail Ion, Jonathan Li and Katelynn Rothwell; sophomores Hailey Anderson, Nicholas Goodman and Emma Kim; and eighth graders Nora Kelley and Elyse Ritchie. Silver Key winners were seniors Sarah Giuffre, Emily Hook, Uma Muzumdar, Benjamin Shelestak, Julia Stutzman, Mira Tramontina and Nicole Trasatti; juniors Zoe Broyles, Eleanor Fox, Sophia Gustafson, Mikhail Ion, Jonathan Li, Katelynn Rothwell and Joseph Zgurzynski; and sophomore Emma Kim. Honorable Mention winners were seniors Owen Carter, Iain Condron, Sarah Giuffre, Emily Hook, Paloma Pelfrey, Grace Rygelski,, Thomas Scott, Ian Shelvey, Noah Snider, Izabella Stern, Julia Stutzman, Nicole Trasatti, and Macayla Weiner; juniors Siheng Chao, Eleanor Fox, Mia Fraga-Ruiz, Mikhail Ion, Jonathan Li, Marley Pistella, Katelynn Rothwell, and Sydney Ward; sophomores Emma Kim and Mikayla Korczynski; and freshman Caleb Adams. The students will be honored at a special ceremony March 19 at 11:30 a.m. at Seneca Valley High School. The Fox Chapel Area High School art teachers are Joan Marangoni, Mary Jo Montgomery, Christine Smith, Sarah Stewart, and Amy Wickman, and Dorseyville Middle School art teachers are Cheryl Etters and Mackenzie Seymour.


FCAHS Students Chosen for Special Bands 2 pix FCAHS Dist 1 band East and PMEA Honors Jazz Ensemble Three Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected by audition to perform with the PMEA District 1 Honors Jazz Ensemble. The students are seniors Dino Iasella (guitar) and Miguel Quemado (trumpet) and junior Silas Owens (alto saxophone). The ensemble performed at Seton Hill University Feb. 5 under the direction of world-renowned jazz performers and composers Clint Bleil and Joe Scheller. Four FCAHS students were selected by audition to perform with the 2022 PMEA District 1 Band East. The students are seniors Jonah Hertzman (oboe) and Lawrence Liu (flute), junior Elijah Conklin (French horn), and sophomore Chloe Kim (clarinet). The PMEA District 1 Band East concert was held Jan. 28 at Belle Vernon Area High School. The guest conductor was Dr. Jason Worzbyt, associate director of bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Fox Chapel Area Seniors Named 2022 National Merit Finalists

Nine Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Finalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. They include Noah Bradley, Zhiyi Chen, Shea Davison, Russell Fenton, Anna Ferris, Claire Hamilton, Janise Kim, Zoe Lakkis, and Nathaniel Mueller. The students were named Semifinalists in September 2021 and have met all the requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition for National Merit Scholarships.


FCAHS Students Win Awards in Model UN & Speech and Debate Tournaments

Three Fox Chapel Area High School students recently won awards at the virtual Ninth Annual American University Model UN Conference. Senior Patrick Alexander and sophomore Connor Mazzoni both won Diplomacy Awards, and also won Best Delegate Awards (equivalent to first place). Additionally, freshman Etash Jhanji was part of the World Health Organization group representing Australia that developed a resolution that was selected by the professors who helped judge the tournament to be sent to the U.S. State Department for further consideration. At the virtual Hampton Talbot Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament, sophomore Lakshanya Rajaganapathi won third place overall in Original Oratory.


Fox Chapel Area Chief Of School Police Named Treasurer of National Organization

Fox Chapel Area School District Chief of School Police/School Safety and Security Coordinator Joseph Kozarian has been named the treasurer of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). He will be sworn in at the conclusion of the 2022 National School Safety Conference in July. Kozarian has worked for the district since October of 2018. He was previously the director of school police and facilities management for the Brentwood Borough School District for 16 years. He was also a police officer in the Mon Valley for 15 years. He is a longtime member of NASRO, which he served as Region 3 director, and he is currently a NASRO instructor.

FCAHS Students Selected for PMEA District 1 Chorus

Thirteen Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected to perform with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Chorus. The students are seniors Gabrielle Bell, Andrew Byersdorfer, Julia DeMarco, Anna Ferris, Jacob McWilliams, and Simeon Owens; juniors Ryder Smith and Sam Smith; and sophomores Hailey Anderson, Lincoln Baldwin, Kristopher Pizzella, and Micah Shelley. Additionally, junior Lawrence Liu was selected by audition to be the choir accompanist. The guest conductor was Dr. Susan Rice, the director of the Heinz Chapel Choir at the University of Pittsburgh.


Transfer Tuesdays at La Roche University

Every Tuesday from now until May 17, La Roche University will host Transfer Tuesdays at its main campus in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Transfer Tuesdays are open to students who want to transfer or return to college to complete a bachelor's degree. Students will have the chance to tour campus, receive an unofficial credit evaluation, and get an on-the-spot admission decision. Participants who take a tour when visiting will receive a $250 visit grant applied to their first semesters tuition. Contact the Graduate Studies & Adult Education Office at 412-536-1260 for more information .


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