Skip to main content

North Hills Monthly

New & Notable, May 2015

Apr 30, 2015 02:44PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

Fish’s Minions: Daniel Borgen, Colin Morse, Sean Easler, Garrett Provident, Alec Logan, Matthew Prosser and Maxwell Borza.

Boy Scouts Launch Scouting for Food Drive
In April, Boy Scouts in southwestern Pennsylvania launched the 29th annual Scouting for Food drive. More than 8,500 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and their leaders in the Laurel Highlands Council gathered nutritious food and household products to donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This year, the drive featured a virtual food drive online, with Joe and Anthony Vennare co-chairing the campaign.

Saint Alexis School Celebrates 13th Annual Gala
This year’s Saint Alexis School Gala, Auction and Dinner, themed “We Grow,” and was held at the Omni William Penn Hotel in March. The event was co-chaired by Mark and Michel Conklin, and Todd and Jennifer Salac. WPXI meteorologist Scott Harbaugh was the master of ceremonies. The proceeds of the event benefited the school. 724-935-3940.

Carson Scholars Fund Honors Saint Joseph High School Students
Saint Joseph High School junior Alexandra Loperfito was selected as a 2015 Carson Scholar by the Carson Scholar Fund, Inc., and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The following students qualified as 2015 Recognized Carson Scholars: seniors William Aikins and Dillon Schetley, junior Carly Dinnin, and sophomores Julianna Nichols and Isabelle Schroeder.

Redican a National Finalist in Young Naturalist Awards
Shady Side Academy Middle School seventh grader Caroline “Coco” Redican has been named a finalist in the 2015 Young Naturalist Awards. Ten other SSA seventh-graders were among the 31 national semifinalists in the competition, including Jack Calihan, Din Johnson, Andrew Meyers, Max Minard, David Missry, Anjali Patel, Arjun Patel, Clay Patterson, Alex Reuter and Scott Sobol. Bonnie Maxwell is their SSA science teacher.

Ritter Develops Mobile App to Improve Classroom Experience
La Roche College department chair of Communications, Media and Technology, Jeff Ritter, Ph.D., has developed a mobile application called TeachBack, a new classroom educational tool for teachers, professors and administrators that allows educators to collect student feedback through the use of pre-made and custom-designed surveys. Ritter released TeachBack under Relative Content, a company he founded, and the application is available to download for free on the iTunes App store and Google Play Store.

Cranberry Named Banner Community
The Allegheny League of Municipalities, along with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, have designated 42 municipalities as 2015 Banner Communities. Cranberry Township, the only honoree outside of Allegheny County, has been recognized in the program for the third consecutive year. 

Aquinas Academy Students Honored for Illustrations
Aquinas Academy recently awarded its annual Penn Pal awards to Sarah Hall (1st place), Julia Meland (2nd place), John Paul Henry (3rd place) and Grace Gasior (honorable mention). The award recognizes the best cover illustrators for the fourth grade’s soon-to-be-published book, P is for Penn’s Woods. Framed certificates were presented by Head of School Leslie Mitros.

FCA Students Win at National Stossel Contest
Fox Chapel Area High School senior Anna Wang and sophomore David Stebbins were named semifinalists in the national Stossel in the Classroom 2014-2015 essay contest. Senior Samuel Columbus won an honorable mention. Students submitted a total of 3,500 essays, of which 125 won prizes.

Mars Area School Board Appoints Shipley as New Superintendent
Dr. Wesley W. Shipley of Gibsonia has been appointed the Mars Area School District’s next superintendent. He will begin on July 1, 2015 and his contract will extend through June 2019.

Kline Joins Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky
Julie I. Kline recently joined the Pittsburgh office of Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky as counsel, where her practice will focus on working with companies on corporate and real estate transactions, and helping business owners with business succession and estate planning.

Kavic New Medical Director for Advanced Vein Center
Dr. Timothy Kavic has been named the new medical director of the Advanced Vein Center. Dr. Kavic will be performing office-based vein surgeries as well as overseeing the practices of the Advanced Vein Center and its partner, Body Beautiful Laser Medi-Spa. He has 33 years of experience as a general surgeon.

Leung Named Finalist for State Teacher of the Year
Shaler Area High School science teacher Jade Leung has been named one of 12 finalists for the state Teacher of the Year award. She is one of four finalists from western Pennsylvania, and joined the Shaler Area School District in 2007, where she teaches biology and physics. 

SAHS Students Win Best Robotics Design
Fish’s Minions, Shaler Area High School’s robotics team, recently won Best Robotics Design at the VEX Robotics Competition at Ambridge High School. The team includes Daniel Borgen, Colin Morse, Sean Easler, Garrett Provident, Alec Logan, Matthew Prosser and Maxwell Borza. The team competed against five other teams from Ohio and Pennsylvania in the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation event.

WearWoof Collecting Pet Food during Dolly’s Birthday Sale
In honor of Dolly the shop cat’s birthday, WearWoof is collecting pet food for homeless shelter pets. Shoppers who visit on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and bring a 5-pound or larger bag of pet food will receive a $5 gift certificate to use during the birthday sale. WearWoof will be collecting pet food donations all week, and the $5 gift certificate never expires. WearWoof is located at 1105 Rochester Road,

Saint Sebastian Students Place in Mathletics
Ten Saint Sebastian students participated in Mathletics as part of the Math 24 challenge. Emma Polen, Sydney Ryan and Michael Taffe advanced to the semifinals with Cannon Herring finishing fourth in the final round and Luke Gaertner finishing third. Karen McDunn is the Math 24 coach.

Bishop Zubik Blesses Aquinas Academy’s New Hall
In March, Bishop David A. Zubik blessed Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh’s New Mross-McGonigle Hall after celebrating a Mass. The new $4.85 million building, named after its lead donors, consists of 13 classrooms, two high school science labs and an arts wing.

FCAHS Book Club Hosts Author
The Fox Chapel Area High School Book Club hosted award-winning young adult novelist A.S. King as a guest speaker in the high school library where she also held a writing seminar. This event was a collaborative effort with the Upper St. Clair High School Library and the high school’s PTA. 

Biernesser Receives AITP Scholarship Award
La Roche college junior Peter Biernesser is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the Association of Information Technology Professionals. He is double majoring in management information systems and business management with a minor in information technology. 

Gentile Authors Story of Immigrant Grandfather’s Journey
Former dean of Workforce Training & Development at CCAC north campus Dr. Paul Gentile has completed his second book, Salvatore and Maria, Finding Paradise. The book is about young Salvatore Ciccone’s journey to find the American dream. Part of the Harmony Memoir Series, the book is available at Barnes & Noble,, and by special order at libraries.

FCAHS Students Win Medals in National Art & Writing Awards
Fox Chapel Area High School students were named national winners in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Sophomore Suvir Mirchandani won a gold medal and Best in Grade, and junior Julia Lynch won a silver medal in the writing portion. Senior Faith Kim and sophomore Mary Clare O’Connor received silver medals for their artwork. The students instructed by Jessica Green and Jody Shell.

CTVFC Delivers Fire Truck Bookcase to Cranberry Library
Members of the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company delivered a rack of fire safety-related books written for young readers to the Cranberry Public Library as part of its fire safety and prevention initiative. The donated books are displayed in a handmade red and white bookcase shaped like a fire engine that will remain a permanent fixture in the Children’s Room at the library.

New Members Named to La Roche College Distinguished Alumni Circle
La Roche College recently honored 2015 Distinguished Alumni Circle awardees Eucario Bakale Angue Oyana, Very Rev. Andrew J. Deskevich, Peggy H. Eddens, Steven C. Fleisch, Natasha Garrett, Kevin M. Gyke, Dana Z. Keefer, Zachariah Milch, Stanley M. Pittavino, Lejla Uzicanin, and Richard L. Vareha as its Celebrate La Roche! event, where it also recognized the Class of 1965 in honor of its 50th anniversary.

Shaler Area Students Participate in PMEA Concerts
Shaler Area eighth-graders Michael Zang (trumpet) and Peter Moorey (trombone) were selected to perform in the PMEA Junior High District Band Concert at Bethel-Park High School in April. Eighth-graders Marissa Fukas and Camryn Turner (violists), and ninth-grader Esther Kim (violin) were selected to perform in the PMEA Junior High District Orchestra Concert at Pine-Richland High School in April.

Lingenfelter and Jordan Earn Awards at PRSEF
Seneca Valley senior Andrew Lingenfelter received a fourth place category award in physics and a special award from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center at the 76th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March. Sophomore Jared Jordan earned a special award from the Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences. Valerie Jordan, Julia Kooser and Tom Zugell also presented their original scientific research projects. The students competed with over 1,000 students from the Pittsburgh region.

Monk Named Finalist in PA Teacher of the Year Program
Richland Elementary second grade teacher Alison Monk has been named one of only 12 finalists in the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year program for 2016. She has been teaching in Pine-Richland since 1991.

La Roche College Students Inducted into International Society
In April, La Roche college students became members of the international honor society in business, Delta Mu Delta. They are Jaffar Mohammed Alobaid, Ali Salman Al Sinan, Shaker Hashem Azmerli, Tiffany A. Babinsack, Peter Michael Biernesser, Kaitlyn Hendrickson, Genna MacDonald, Derek E. Meeder, Amy D. Nichols, Paige M. White, Andrew J. Wolf and Christian A. Wolosik.

FC Students Place First in German Day Competition
Fox Chapel Area High School junior Kristopher Penner was named the first place winner in the fictional writing category, and freshman Cassidy Caron-Love won first place in both the poetry and painting categories in the 15th Annual German Day competition that was open to students from across western Pennsylvania and West Virginia at Washington & Jefferson College.

Dorseyville Middle School Students Win First Place in Quiz Bowl
A team of Dorseyville Middle School students won first place in the 2014-2015 7th Grade Northeast Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl. Team members include Abigail Alexander, Jackson Boychuk, Hanna Chen, Serena Fisher, Rajeev Godse, Evan Gu, Noah Hertzman, Shando Naini, Anzu Sekikawa, Angelique Uku, Ameya Velankar, Felix Veser and Qingqing Zhao. The students received a team trophy and individual ribbons for their win against 23 schools from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

FC Students Win Awards at Forensic Tournament
Fox Chapel Area High School sophomores Ellen Pil and Jeremy Rodrigues won first place in Public Forum Debate with an undefeated record at the annual Freshman-Sophomore Forensic Tournament. Sophomore David Han won fourth place in Student Congress and was recognized as Merit Speaker. Winning fifth place in Policy Debate was the team of sophomore Darwin Leuba and freshman Sara Puthenpurayil. The tournament was held in April at Keystone Oaks High School.

Spadafor Named La Roche College’s 50th Commencement Speaker
La Roche college alumna Christine J. Spadafor will deliver the commencement address at La Roche College’s 50th commencement ceremony and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters this month.

Shaler Students Place in High School Integration Bee
In the 2015 University of Pittsburgh High School Integration Bee in April, Shaler Area High School senior Josiah Johnson took first place and senior Jacob Nasiadka took second place. In addition, seven other Shaler Area students competed. They include Sean Easler, Luke Pomrenke, James Gualtieri, Lea Wenger, Stephen Callen, Jeremy Wekeley and Tanner Boyle. The event was sponsored by the College in High School Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

NA Students Win Medals on National Latin Exams
North Allegheny School District students have garnered gold and silver medals for their performance on the 2015 National Latin Exams. The Latin I students who garnered gold medals with perfect papers include Tess Christensen, Steven Lu, Eugenia Lee, Heya Lee and Richard Yan. Latin I gold medalists include Joseph Shin, Grant Jiang, Sebastian Immonen, Anuleka Elapavaluru, Angela Lu, Merry Xiang, Ratujit Raviprakesh, Teresa Majewski, Surina Jindel, Preeti Arumalla, Anna Barton, Matthew Pitell and Anya Soller. Latin I silver medalists include Noah Fenton, Tomi Akindele, Matt Secen, Ian Young, Prasheil Mandava and Inu Miriyala. Latin II students who garnered gold medals with perfect papers include Remi Akindele, Gayathri Manchella and Gunasheil Mandava. Latin II gold medalists include Sarah Losco, Julia Maruca, Kimberly Delsignore, Anisha Yarlagadda, Rebecca Avigad, Emilie Hughes and Nandita Kannapadi. Latin II silver medalists include Angela Lu, Allison Suddaby, David Bjorklund, Kathryn Barancyk, Emma Ross, Thomas McCaffrey, Francesco Ferrara, William Gleeson, Shannon Kelly, Emily Kaib, Jane Venezia and Thomas Kim. Latin Prose, Level III gold medalists include Ashwin Reddy and Andrew Xu. Latin Prose, Level III silver medalists include Joie Feng, Brooke Himmelstein, Anna Iouchmanov, Robert Kasper, Caitlin Kelly, Jeewon Lee, James McGaa, Stephen Savchik, Nila Suresh and Elaine Xu. Latin Poetry, Level IV student gold medalist include Perry Cheng. Latin Poetry, Level IV silver medalists include Jason Hu, Zain Mehdi and Charles Oestreich.

Students Place in State FBLA Competition
Fox Chapel Area High School students earned first through 10th places at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference. First place awards were earned by seniors Stephanie Buzzatto, Lily Hartsock, Brad Jamiolkowski, Christopher Selwood and Andrew Wissinger; junior Stephen Polcyn and freshman Sarthak Navjivan. Sophomore Rohan Chalasani won second place, and third place finishers include seniors Frances Dean, Justin Dembowski, John Kilmer, Stephen Pollock and Zane Rosen; sophomores Yelim Lee, Tim Marsh, Grace Mueller and Hannah Mueller. All 17 students qualified for the National FBLA Leadership Conference. Through the LifeSmarts Challenge, junior Jacob Kronman, sophomores Sophia Lee and Yelim Lee and freshman Benjamin Kronman qualified for the national FBLA competition. Additionally, the following FCAHS students earned fourth through tenth places in the state competition: seniors Sam Burke, Tynan Englert, Andrew Golio, Elias Graca and Matthew Herrmann; juniors Rahul Bidanda, Kavya Darapuneni, Benjamin Santilli, Zachary Wiegand and Elaine Yates; sophomores Tanvi Meringenti, Jeremy Rodrigues, Waleed Tariq and Ronald Tran, and freshman Rohit Nandakumar. Five FCAHS students placed in the Open Competitive Events held at the state competition, including junior Stephen Polcyn, sophomore Yelim Lee, seniors Stephanie Buzzatto and Lily Hartsock, senior Elias Graca, sophomore Hanna Mueller, sophomore Tim Marsh and senior Treavor Moore. The FCAHS Chapter of the FBLA won third place for the largest local chapter membership of 202 students; seventh place in the “Big 33” with community service hours; and eighth place with the Local Chapter Annual Business Report. The FCAHS FBLA sponsor is business education teacher Christina Shanko.