Skip to main content

North Hills Monthly

New & Notable, November 2015

Oct 30, 2015 03:04PM ● By North Hills Monthly Magazine

Kim Ferderbar Organizes Halloween Store for Students in Need

Ferderbar Organizes Halloween Store for Students in Need
Burchfield Primary School custodian Kim Ferderbar collected gently used Halloween costumes to stock a Halloween costume store where, in exchange for a nonperishable food item to be donated to North Hills Community Outreach, any Shaler Area primary student could ‘shop’ for a costume. Federbar first started the Halloween costume store last year, distributing 90 costumes and collecting eight boxes of food to donate to NHCO.

Crafty Kids Opens in Harmony

Crafty Kids, a new business offering birthday parties, kids’ classes, ladies’ night out, and an open studio has opened at 257 Mercer Street in Harmony. The store has over 50 art materials that children can use to create masterpieces, and there are no studio fees.

WearWoof Scotch & Chocolate Party a Success
At WearWoof’s 7th Annual Scotch & Chocolate Party held in the PPG Place Wintergarden on Saturday, Oct. 3, hundreds of people came out to enjoy amazing scotch and Dorothy’s Candies chocolates, while raising money to help shelter animals and support spay and neuter programs. Whisky Professor Brad Jarvis, joined here by WearWoof owner Nancy Lee and her husband, Robert, provided the evening’s program on Scotch whiskey.

Isabelle Dutkovic
Dutkovic Wins First in National Garden Club Contest
Shaler Area Elementary School fourth-grader Isabelle Dutkovic received first place in the National Garden Club’s annual poetry contest. She was sponsored by Ingomar Garden Club, and was awarded with a certificate, an anthology of poetry with her published poem and a check.

Orion Celebrates 20 Years of Caring
Orion Personal Care Residence of Allison Park, a 25-bed home with a bed-and- breakfast atmosphere for the senior population with dementia, is celebrating ‘20 Years of Caring.’ Carin and John Constantakis are grateful for their dedicated staff and the continued support of volunteers.

BMH Earns ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center Designation
Butler Memorial hospital has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology.

La Roche College Business Honor Society Earns STAR Status
The Eta Psi chapter of Delta Mu Delta at La Roche College earned STAR chapter status from the International Honor Society in Business. Of the 300 chapters eligible each year, La Roche was one of only 24 selected chapters chosen this year. The Delta Mu Delta International Headquarters will recognize the college at its national conference in Missouri this month.

Gray and Haffely to Participate in Smithsonian Learning Lab Workshops
Shaler Area Middle School social studies teacher Thomas Gray and special education teacher Lynn Haffely were selected to participate in the Smithsonian Learning Lab Workshops, presented by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. They will be two of the first educators to work with the lab before it officially launches in 2016. The workshops are possible through a grant from the Grable Foundation with support from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Hampton High School Offers AP CapstoneTM Program
Hampton High School is one of only four Pennsylvania high schools, and the first in western Pennsylvania, to implement the AP CapstoneTM Program. Over 100 students are enrolled in the AP Seminar course for the 2015-16 school year, and AP Research, the second course in the program, will be available for the 2016-17 school year.

Senior Housing Community in Ross Opens Ahead of Schedule
On Sept. 30, community and civic leaders joined Presbyterian SeniorCare and Presbyterian Senior Living leadership for a building dedication ceremony. In a first time partnership with Presbyterian Senior Living, Presbyterian SeniorCare developed and opened Mt. Nazareth Commons to provide more senior housing in the North Hills. The community is currently at full occupancy and has created a wait list for eligible seniors.

NA Speech & Debate Program Earns National Recognition
The North Allegheny High School Speech & Debate Program earned significant recognition from the National Speech & Debate Association by being ranked #12 out of more than 3,200 schools nationwide for the 2014-15 school year. Sharon Volpe is the program’s sponsor.

Joe Latess Agency Opens
The Joe Latess Agency–Farmers Insurance is now open for business at 9012 Marshall Road in Cranberry Township. Latess is a former school teacher, coach, and administrator who has taken his expertise in working with people and devotion to excellent customer service to the insurance industry., 724-436-5222 or

Ference and Cafaro Launch Omnicode
After teaming up to write code as part of the Pennsylvania Computer Fair during the 2014-15 school year, Chris Ference and Joey Cafaro III decided to launch their own company, Omnicode. The young entrepreneurs’ first product is the Smile Stand, a portable stand for both phones and tablets.

SA High School Students Participate in Watershed Project
Shaler Area High School partnered with Alcosan and the Borough of Etna to identify and label storm drains located in watersheds as a way to educate the public and combat waterway pollution. About 20 students in the Ecology Club and the Gifted and Talented Education program participated in Alcosan’s Storm Drain Stenciling Program in October. Students identified about 300 storm drains in the Etna and stenciled the message “Dump No Waste—Drains to River” near the drains.

FCAHS Students Collect Supplies for Louisiana Students
Hearing that an FCA graduate who was teaching in Louisiana needed supplies for her students, classmates in Fox Chapel Area High School orchestra teacher Mairi Cooper’s homeroom spent a week collecting school supplies and books, which were then shipped to the students.

Abbie Minard
Minard Chosen for Princeton Symposium
Shady Side Academy senior Abbie Minard was one of 90 high school seniors nationwide selected to participate in Princeton University’s annual Creative Arts and Humanities Symposium. The program was held in October on Princeton’s campus.

Franklin Park Borough Offers Land Trust Challenge Grant
Rep. Mike Turzai, along with officials from Allegheny Land Trust and Franklin Park Borough, announced grants from the Linbrook Woodlands land conservation project that will be used to protect the 178-acre property. Once acquired by ALT, the green space will be available to the public for recreational activities.

FCA Students Named in 2016 National Merit® Competition
A number of Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit semifinalists and named commended students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship program. Semifinalists include Isabel Acevedo, Jessica Berg, Madelyn Coulson, Christopher Esch, Conor Gaffney, David Humphrey, Nicola Lee-Oesterreich, Shaina Munin, Stephen Polcyn, Sophie Rodosky, Anja Schempf, Sreeroopa Som, James Thomson, Daly Trimble, Konrad Urban and Spencer Williams. Commended students include Maria Burns, Ishan Khatri, Julia Lynch, Levi McCrady, Amanda Puthenpurayil, Siddharth Rajupet, Margot Savin, Priyanka Shah and Emily Trageser.

La Roche College Students Join Business Honor Society
Eight La Roche College students became members of the international honor society in business Delta Mu Delta. They are Rakan AlJanady, Bennett Carter, Xin Deng, Mahmoud A. Fallatah, Wesley P. King, Dennis Riosa, Diana D. Vogel and Jacob Michael Weidner.

Three SV Students Named in 2016 National Merit Scholarship Competition
Principal of the Seneca Valley Senior High School Mark Korcinsky recently announced that seniors Elise Harrison, Michael Kolor and Joseph Sloan have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. A letter of commendation was presented to the students.

New, Safer Entry Completed at Burchfield Primary
Shaler Area School District staff recently completed a project designed to improve the safety and security of Burchfield Primary School. The installation of a third set of doors will cause visitors to enter the main office to sign in before staff will unlock the doors. The ‘captured vestibule’ concept is used at the high school, middle school and elementary school.

La Roche College Participates in Illuminating the Mission
In September, La Roche College joined schools, churches, libraries and hospitals in ‘Illuminating the Mission: 7 Days-7 Pages’ as a symbol of Christian unity and hospitality. The project consisted of turning a page of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition each day of Pope Francis’ historic visit to America.

Rick McClure
McClure New Member on NA School Board
The North Allegheny school board announced the appointment of Richard McClure to its board of school directors during a special meeting in September. He fills the vacancy left by longtime board member Thomas Schwartzmier, who resigned in August to serve on the Franklin Park Borough Council. Five candidates applied for the open seat.

NA Inducts Hall of Famers
North Allegheny School District held its 19th annual Hall of Fame Banquet in October and honored Matt Butler, Kathy Byrnes, Virginia Hetzel, Morgan Howard, Nicole Lenart, Ray Lewis, Gregg Otto, Randy Potter, Gary Treser, Bill Turner and Tanja Wenzel Koller. In addition, the Hall of Fame Association honored Ron and Pam Dassner with the Joseph Drazenovich Award for legendary service, and George Guiley was given the Bob Miller Award for outstanding support of NA athletics. Lou Meyer received the Distinguished Coaching Service Award. Also, 2014-1015 individual and team PIAA State Champions were acknowledged, and included the Girls Tennis Team; Boys Cross Country Team; Tina Li and Eugenia Lee (Girls Tennis Doubles); Jared Issacs and Richard Hofmann (Boys Tennis Doubles); Jacquline Du (100 Backstroke); and Jacqueline Du, Kayla Churman, Erin Kuhn and Katie Wright (200 Yard Medley Relay).

SA High School Students Experience Japanese Culture
Every month, Shaler Area High School Japanese language teacher Steve Balsomico and his co-teacher, Shunji Iwasaki, teach students about traditional Japanese ingredients and foods. About 25 students learned to cook gyudon in the first cooking lesson of the 2015-16 school year. Iwasaki, of Osaka, Japan, is teaching at the school as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program.

NA Students to Participate in Apprenticeship Program
Thirty-two North Allegheny High School students have been selected to participate in the 2015-16 Allegheny Intermediate Unit Apprenticeship Program. They are Sarah Hartley (acting); Olivia Eastly and Nathanael Kegel (advertising/PR); Yuri Tamama (astronomy); Tess Majewski and Julia Maruca (avian care); Lauren Rogus (art); Regina Torchia (broadcast journalism); Sebestian Immonen and Megan Wadas (conducting); Brittany Burmester and Hunter Greenberg (digital photography); Giavonna Borgese, Mason Gonzalez, Maxwell Gonzalez and Jane Venezia (engineering); Gwen Lindberg (filmmaking); Samidha Sane (green design); Arlen Belitsky, Jonathan Moses and Margo Weller (international affairs); Gabrielle Kossuth (journalism); Mitchell Wadas (marine biology); Cecilia Jewell, Zeynep Marasli, Leah Popkin, Eric Ricci and Alexandra Ziolkowski (nursing/healthcare); Tess Christensen (opera and voice); Mehrnaz Tiv (screenwriting); and Grace Brennan and Nadia Durante (zoo animal care).

SA Middle School Students Raise $380 for Parkinson’s Foundation
Shaler Area Middle School’s 7Red team raised $380 to donate to the Parkinson‘s Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. Seventh-grade students competed as homerooms to donate the most pennies along with their teachers Jennifer Birch, Jeannine Vittorino, Jessica Sapsara, Amanda Grady, Sally Welka and April Witkowksi. Collecting more than $60 worth of pennies, Witkowski’s homeroom was the winner.

CCAC FireVEST Scholarship Program Graduates Honored
Allegheny County Council recently honored graduates of the Community College of Allegheny County FireVEST scholarship program. The grads were recognized for their academic achievements and their commitment to serve as volunteer firefighters in their respective communities for the next five years. They are Jared Amos, Edgewood VFD; Carlos Caminos, Dormont VFD; Tina Cook, Dormont VFD; Harry Hart V, Vigilant Hose Fire Company #1; David Hollenberger, West View VFD; Kelly Rodgers, Renton VFC #2; Timothy Shields, Peebles VFD; Todd Shipley, Munhall VFC #5; Jonathan Singer, Marshall Twp. VFD; Bruce Snyir, Citizens Hose Company #1; and Sarabeth Wissner Scheller, West View VFD.

NH Seniors Recognized in National Merit Scholarship Program
North Hills High School senior Robert Colville was named a 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist and seniors Anna Aguiar Kosicki, Maria Clegg, Sarah Glatz, Stephanie Latona, Colleen McCarthy and Nicholas Osmond were named Commended Students in the program.

La Roche College Enrollment Numbers Highest Since 2006
La Roche College has announced a 7.8 percent increase in total enrollment for the 2015-16 academic year, with total enrollment peaking at 1,523 students—an increase of 111 students over last year’s final enrollment number of 1,412. In addition to the 1,523 for-credit students, another 117 students have enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program this fall.

Dr. Bryan O'Black
Dr. O’Black Named SA Assistant Superintendent
In September, the Shaler Area school board approved Dr. Bryan O’Black as assistant superintendent effective September 17, 2015. His term will end Sept. 30, 2019.

NAI Appoints Bogosta as New Principal
The North Allegheny School District has announced the appointment of Caitlin Bogosta to the position of assistant principal at North Allegheny Intermediate High School. The appointment was unanimously approved by the district’s board of directors.

Hughes Named a Commended Student in 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program
Shaler Area School District senior Zachary Hughes was named a Commended Student in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program and was presented with a letter of commendation and certificate for his achievement by school principal, Dr. Timothy Royall.

Donato and Valenty Bring Home Varsity Girls Medals
St. Ursula eighth-graders Annessa Donato and Hannah Valenty brought home varsity girls’ medals for St. Ursula’s cross-county team at the fourth annual North Area Cross County Championships held in October at North Park. This is the second time that both girls have been awarded invitational medals.

SASD Inducts Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015
Shaler Area School District inducted five athletes and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame during a banquet in October. They include Stuart Anglum (Class of 2005, basketball); Robert ‘Bibby’ Hammill (Class of 1953, football/track/basketball); Dr. Edward ‘Biff’ Jones (Class of 1960, football/track/wrestling); Nicholas Sefscik (Class of 2005, basketball); Chelsea Siar (Class of 2010, softball); and the 1973-1974 wrestling team.

New Members Inducted into Nursing Honor Society at La Roche
La Roche College hosted an induction ceremony for new members of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society, in October. Joining La Roche’s Theta Mu Chapter of STTI are undergraduate students Mary Carlin, Michael Rietscha, Dawn Salerno, Andrea Lamb, graduate student Carrie Rubino and faculty member Christina Baktay, RN, MSN.

SASD Named a Pathway Partner by Carnegie Science Center
Shaler Area School District is one of the 10 Allegheny County school districts selected as the 2015-16 cohort for the Carnegie Science Center’s Carnegie Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Excellence Pathway.

NA Students Recognized in National Merit® Scholarship Competition
North Allegheny School District students have been named semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship competition. They are Stephen Baime, Thomas Bina, Joie Feng, Anna Iouchmanov, Grace Jin, Benjamin Klingensmith, Jeewon Lee, Sophia Lee, Sarah Luo, Jasmine Mahajan, James McGaa, Zain Mehdi, Eric Mi, Siddarth Narayan, Ashwin Reddy, Guanlin Ren, Russell Ruffolo, Keerthana Samanthapudi, Kevin Stiles, Andrew Xu, and Joe Zhao. Student earning Commended status are Anagha Arunkumar, Mohit Bhide, Jason Brar, Brittany Burmester, Joseph Caulkins, Sienna Chadran, Derek Chen, Nathaniel Chen, Thomas Cwalina, Andrew Fong, Alec Ge, Bryson Gull, Kexin Hu, Robert Kasper, Caitlin Kelly, Dharani Kotekal, Tristyn Maalouf, Casey Meyers, Jack Mo, John O’Sullivan, Ahna Pearson, Vibha Reddy, Kristofer Robinson, Stephen Savchik, Ashvath Sekhar, Joshua Shaw, Michael Struk, Nila Suresh, James Vinski, Samuel Wenzel, Elaine Xu and Jack You.

Student Representatives Welcomed to SA School Board
Members of the Shaler Area School board of directors welcomed the student representatives for the 2015-16 school year during their October meeting. Senior James Belany, who returns for a second year, and junior Sage Wilson, will serve as this year’s representatives to the board.

Saint Joseph Soccer Team Wins Section
The Saint Joseph High School men’s soccer team became the Class A Section II champions by defeating Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic on Wednesday, Oct. 14. This is the first time in the school’s history that the men’s soccer team has won the section.

Saint Joseph High School Celebrates 100 Years
Saint Joseph High School recently held a Centennial Celebration that included having Bishop Malesic from the Greensburg Diocese celebrate mass on Thursday, Oct. 8. Monsignor Larry Kulick (SJHS grad ‘84) Vicar General for Greensburg Diocese, Father John Moineau (SJHS grad ‘79) pastor of Immaculate Conception Church and Fr. Daniel Ulishney, parochial vicar at St. Mary of Czestochowa concelebrated mass. Bishop Malesic also met with students in a small reception and received a tour of SJHS.