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New & Notable, May 2023

Kids of Star Co-op Raise Funds and Help Neighbors
Kids of Star Co-op Raise Funds and Help Neighbors

Kids of Star Co-op Raise Funds and Help Neighbors

Children in Kids of Star Co-op have been learning about community service this year and decided to host a wheel-a-thon and book fair in the fall to raise funds to help their neighbors. They raised nearly $3,000 and used the funds to make over 150 care kits for the unhoused. The majority of the care kits were delivered to Light of Life, and others were given directly to those in need. To celebrate spring, the remaining funds were used to make 120 birthday cake kits which were distributed to North Boroughs Food Bank, West View Hub, Focus on Renewal and other community food banks. The

17 children involved range in age from 4-12 years old.

FCAHS Students Win National Medals in Art Awards

Three Fox Chapel Area High School students were named national winners in the 2023 Scholastic Art Awards. Senior Siheng Chao won a gold medal for his drawing, “The Flood,” and junior Mikayla Korczynski won a gold medal for her editorial cartoon, “Would You Like a Bag?” This is the first time a Fox Chapel Area High School student has ever won an award in the editorial cartoon category. Additionally, senior Mikhail Ion won a silver medal for his portfolio, “Fantastical Creatures.” Siheng and Mikayla, along with their teachers, Joan Marangoni and Christine Smith, have been invited to attend a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City June 7. Additionally, the students’ artwork will be published in the Online Galleries at in June.

Shady Side Academy Senior Named a 2023 Coca-Cola Scholar

Shady Side Academy senior Elaine Gombos (O’Hara Township) is one of only 150 high school seniors nationwide who were named 2023 Coca-Cola Scholars, a prestigious and highly competitive award that includes a $20,000 college scholarship. Gombos was the only student chosen from the Pittsburgh area and one of only five from Pennsylvania. In addition to her excellent academic record, Gombos is the executive director of programs at Leaders Across the World, a student-led nonprofit focused on providing virtual international exchange programs to youth around the world, and on providing funds and support to encourage youth to implement their own community projects.

North Hills Chorale to Present Sing On!

The North Hills Chorale Spring Concert, Sing On! will be presented on Sat., May 6 at 7 p.m. and Sun., May 7 at 3 p.m. at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park, PA. Freewill offerings accepted. Visit

Free Registration Now Open for Mega Sports Camp

Registration is now open for Northgate Church’s Mega Sports Camp, to be held June 19-23 at Northgate Church, 238 West View Avenue, Ross. Children from first to sixth grades can enjoy baseball, basketball, floor hockey, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, and art. The free camp runs from 6-8:30 p.m. each evening. New this year is a ”mixer” format so kids can participate in a different sport each night. While the camp is free, registration is required. Space is limited so early registration is recommended either online at or by calling 412-931-6016.

Pittsburgh Opera Presents Two Modern Operas in May

Pittsburgh Opera is producing two different contemporary operas in May to coincide with OPERA America’s Opera Conference 2023. Denis & Katya will be performed at the Bitz Opera Factory, 2425 Liberty Avenue, in Pittsburgh’s Strip District on May 6, 9, 12, 14, and 18. We Shall Not Be Moved will be performed at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in downtown Pittsburgh on May 13, 16, 18, 19, and 21. The Opera Conference, which will be held May 17-20, is the largest assembly of opera administrators, artists, trustees, and associates in the world. Hosted by the Pittsburgh Opera, hundreds of stakeholders will convene for discussions, networking, and performances that move opera forward. For tickets, call 412-456-6666, visit the Benedum Center Box Office, or order online at or

Butler Memorial Hospital Wins HeartFlow CT Quality Award

Butler Memorial Hospital’s radiology & diagnostic imaging department and cardiology team were recently awarded the HeartFlow CT Quality Award in the fourth quarter of 2022. Recipients of the award are in the top 22 percent of global medical centers providing patients with a better pathway for identifying and understanding their heart health by utilizing coronary CT and the HeartFlow Analysis, a first-of-its-kind noninvasive technology to aid physicians in the diagnoses of coronary artery disease. More than 160 patients have received a HeartFlow Analysis at Butler Memorial Hospital since the program’s inception in 2021.

FCAHS Students Win Awards At Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Six Fox Chapel Area School District students recently won awards at the 84th Annual Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF), and one of those students qualified for an international competition. Senior Arvind Seshan was one of six overall winners and qualified to participate in the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair for the third consecutive year. Additionally, Arvind won first place in the senior division Computer Science/Math Category. Sophomore Rohit Velankar was named the first-place winner in the senior division Physics & Astronomy Category, and junior Adhitya Thirumala won a scholarship award from Slippery Rock University. Sixth-grader Rishabh Krishnamurthy won first place in the junior division Behavioral & Consumer Science Category and sponsor awards from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh & Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, and the Naval Nuclear Laboratory. Eighth-grader Param Thawani won third place in the intermediate division Engineering /Robotics Category and the Lemelson Early Inventor Prize affiliated sponsor award. Seventh-grader Divya Thirumala won a Society for Women Engineers sponsor award.

Walker Accepts Clinical Director Role

Kristen Walker, MS Ed, LPC has accepted a new role at the Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh as clinical director. Walker, a cognitive behavioral therapist who has worked in the mental health field since 1995, helps clients heal from symptoms related to and including autism and spectrum-related disorders, addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, personality disorders, psychiatric disorders, and major mental health diagnoses. She was been with CWC for eight years.

Sewickley Academy Appoints Mark Shelley as Head of Middle School

Mark Shelley has been named the new Head of Middle School at Sewickley Academy, starting in July 2023. Shelley is joining Sewickley Academy from Pittsburgh’s Environmental Charter School, where he has spent nearly two years as the executive director for academics for grades 6-12. He previously served as the supervisor of humanities at Princeton High School in New Jersey before becoming the principal at Princeton’s Riverside Elementary School. As Head of Middle School at Sewickley Academy, Shelley will oversee the day-to-day operations of his division and further develop relationships among parents, students, and faculty.

AWAACC Presents The Take Center Stage Gala: Higher Ground

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center is ascending to higher ground in the spirit of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, August Wilson. The Take Center Stage Gala will take place on May 6, 2023 at the Westin Hotel, with proceeds supporting AWAACC’s arts and education programming. The evening will feature cocktails, dinner, and a Center Stage performance by acclaimed vocalist Eric Roberson and the classical ensemble, the String Queens. The Legacy Award will be presented to Franco & Dana Harris, and Dr. & Mrs. Leon Haley. The Luminary Artist Award will be presented to Thaddeus Mosely and posthumously to Victoria Edwards. Purchase tickets at

Northland Awarded Local Share Account Grant Funding

Northland Library has been awarded $500,000 in Local Share Account (LSA) grant funding, which will be used as part of a large-scale construction project to rehabilitate the exterior staircase and lower level entrance and lobby of the library. The funding for LSA grants comes from gaming revenues and is intended to support projects of public interest within the state.

Butler Health System Celebrates National Donate Life Month

Butler Health System has joined the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) to raise awareness about organ, tissue, and cornea donation during National Donate Life Month. During this time, the system will recognize the power of organ, tissue and cornea donation to save and heal lives; affirm the partnerships between CORE and the hospitals it serves throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia that made possible nearly 900 lifesaving organ transplants in 2022; mobilize and inspire local communities to register as donors; and honor the generous donors and donor families whose decision to give the gift of life have provided hope and healing to so many in the community. Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history. To sign up, visit

Lindsey Theater to Screen Local Resident’s Film

Local filmmakers Sheri Ward’s documentary, The 90s Club, will be screened at The Lindsey Theater in Sewickley on Monday, May 15 at 1 p.m. The screening will have free admission and the theater will provide coffee and conversation after the show. The film was selected as Best Documentary Feature Film at the Manhattan Film Festival this past summer and also selected for 18 film festivals. The 90s Club hands the mic to 12 charming people in their 90s to prove that empathizing and listening to seniors is not just socially responsible, but hearing their voices can be inspiring, enriching, funny, and compelling.

Ingomar Garden Club to Hold Plant Sale

The Ingomar Garden Club will be holding its annual fundraising plant sale on Sat., May 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables, plus a flea market. At the corner of Ingomar Road and 9600 Perry Highway (Rt. 19), Pittsburgh 15237, in front of Commodore Perry Plaza and Bruster’s. Visit

Four Shady Side Academy Student Musicians Named to PMEA All-State Music Ensembles

Four Shady Side Academy Senior School students have reached the highest level a high school musician can achieve by earning places in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Festival music ensembles. The following students performed at the 2023 PMEA All-State Festival at the Kalahari Resort in The Poconos on April 19-22: senior Grant Cummings (Wilkins), Eb Soprano Clarinet, PMEA All-State Concert Band; junior Sophia Jho (McCandless), Harp, PMEA All-State Orchestra; senior Hannah Song (O’Hara), Viola, PMEA All-State Orchestra; and junior Hari Viswanathan (Monroeville), Piano, PMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble. This marks the highest number of SSA student musicians ever to earn PMEA All-State honors, and the first time an SSA student has been named to the All-State Jazz Ensemble.

Three Shady Side Academy Students Win National Medals

Three Shady Side Academy students won national medals in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, including one gold medal in art and two silver medals in writing. They are junior Yuntong Pan (China), who won a national gold medal in art for his painting, To Mom, Grandpa, Adai, and Ice cream; senior Elaine Gombos (O’Hara), who won a national silver medal in writing for her critical essay, From Enemies to Lovers: Japanese War Brides and Their Influence on Multiculturalism in the United States; and sophomore Sarah Voigt (Fox Chapel), who won a national silver medal in writing for her flash fiction story, Wonder Girl. National medalists are invited to a national awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June and will have their works showcased in the national exhibition and an online gallery at

Shohei Katayama Opening Reception

On Sat., April 29, The Mattress Factory will be hosting the opening of a new exhibition by artist-in-residence Shohei Katayama. As Below, So Above invites viewers to challenge their perceived reality and consider their place in a complex and everchanging world. The opening reception is a free event that will feature a walk-through of the new exhibition and an opportunity to meet the artist. Drinks and non-alcoholic refreshments will be available. Registration is strongly encouraged. The show will be on view through May 19, 2024.

Programs at Northland Library

Summer hours begin May 30. The library will be closed on May 28 and closed on Memorial Day, Mon., May 29. Summer Hours: Sunday – Closed; Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mon., May 22, 6:30 p.m.: Northland Radio Hour: Witness for the Prosecution

Northland staff will perform Agatha Christie's classic, Witness for the Prosecution. Join in-person to watch the recording process or relax, curl up on the couch at home and listen to the drama! Registration is required. Sign up at to receive the Zoom link the week of the program.

Tues., May 23, 6 p.m.: Advances in Breast Imaging

Chief of the Clinical Breast Division at UPMC, Terri-Ann Gizienski, will talk about new technologies in breast imaging, discuss current recommendations for breast imaging studies and what radiologists look for on breast imagining studies. Registration is required.

Thurs., May 25, 6 p.m.: Idlewild: History and Memories of Pennsylvania’s Oldest Amusement Park

Writer and historian Jennifer Sopko will share the fascinating story of Ligonier’s beloved amusement park along with vintage images gathered during research for her book, Idlewild: History and Memories of Pennsylvania’s Oldest Amusement Park.

Clean Eatz Announces WeChangeLivez Challenge Winners

Clean Eatz is announcing its annual winners in the WeChangeLivez (WCL) Challenge. This year, the health food restaurant and online meal plan franchise has selected Michael Keener as the Fox Chapel location winner and Jim Rimmel as the Cranberry Township location winner. Each will be receiving 12 weeks’ worth of meals. The Challenge encourages participants to share the stories of their WCL journeys via social media and within their café communities. Keener was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and has used Clean Eatz to lose a significant amount of weight and to reduce his inflammatory response to many foods that include additives. Rimmel, a retired judge who continues to work part-time as an arbitrator, purchases nearly every weekly meal from Clean Eatz and orders low cholesterol meal choices on the advice of his physician.

FCAHS Student National Finalist in Junk Kouture Competition

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Marley Pistella has been named a top 30 finalist in the United States in the Junk Kouture contest. As part of the competition, Marley created a high fashion couture outfit titled, “In Bloom,” from used jeans and other found fabrics. Only two students from Pennsylvania were named among the 30 finalists. Marley now moves on to the New York City Final that will be streamed on YouTube May 9, 2023. City finals will be held in Abu Dhabi, Dublin, London, Milan, New York, and Paris and the top 10 designs selected will advance to the Junk Kouture World Final later in 2023.

FCASD Wins 11 Awards in State Communications Contest

The Fox Chapel Area School District won 11 awards in the 2022 Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) Excellence in Education Communications Contest. The district received Awards of Excellence (the highest honor) in the graphic design category for a collection of entries, and for its website in the website & apps category. The district received Awards of Honor in the publications category for the weekly digital newsletters from the superintendent and in the writing category for Unified Robotics Program Expands Inclusion Efforts and 72-Year-Old Veteran Surprised with Diploma, both of which appeared in the spring 2022 IN Fox Chapel Area community magazine. The district also received Awards of Merit in the graphic design category for the student art gallery in the summer 2022 IN Fox Chapel Area; in the publications category for the IN Fox Chapel Area summer 2022, fall 2022, and winter 2022 issues; and in the writing category for Social-Emotional Learning Bolstered by Technology and Stand Together Initiative Boosts Peer Support, Understanding, which also were part of the spring 2022 IN Fox Chapel Area community magazine. The district’s winning entries were coordinated by Bonnie Berzonski, the district’s coordinator of communications, and Jill Leonard, the district’s community engagement specialist.

Stanford Economist John Taylor ‘64 to Speak at Shady Side Academy Commencement

Alumnus and renowned economist John Taylor ’64 will be the featured speaker at Shady Side Academy’s Senior School Commencement exercises, held Fri., June 2, 2023, at 9 a.m. in Michael J. Farrell Stadium. A giant in the field of macroeconomics, Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution, and director of the Stanford Introductory Economics Center. His research has had a seismic impact on global economic theory and policy, and he has been active and influential in U.S. economic policy, serving both democratic and republican administrations on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and as under-secretary of the treasury for international affairs. Taylor attended Shady Side Academy in grades 9-12 and remains engaged as a member of the SSA Board of Visitors.

FCAHS Students Chosen For PMEA Region I Band

Four Fox Chapel Area High School students were selected by audition to perform with the 2023 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Region I Band. The students are senior Elijah Conklin (French horn), juniors Elijah Herzer (bass clarinet) and Chloe Kim (clarinet), and sophomore Marina Dunham (bassoon). The concert, held in March, was conducted by Christopher Cicconi, director of bands and orchestras at Towson University.

FCASD Students Place at Westminster Model UN Conference

Four Fox Chapel Area School District students placed at the annual Westminster College High School Model United Nations (UN) Conference. Junior Adhitya Thirumala and sophomore Swati Mylarappa each won Honorable Mention awards (tied for second place) for their debate performances. The team of freshman Zachary Rubin and Dorseyville Middle School eighth-grader Ashley Wingard won an Honorable Mention (tied for second place) for their performance. A total of 221 students from 18 public and private high schools from across western Pennsylvania participated in the conference, which was held April 13, 2023 at Westminster College.

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