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North Hills Monthly

New & Notable, December 2017

Nov 30, 2017 01:28PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine
Hagins Recipient of Volunteerism Award
La Roche junior and founder of Cuddles for Kids, Conner Hagins, was awarded the 2017 Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award. Hagins established his charity when he was 10 years old and the nonprofit has since donated $500,000 worth of goods to children’s agencies around the world. The annual award is given to someone in the 72nd Legislative District whose volunteerism has made the community a better place.

NH Middle School Named Apple Distinguished School
North Hills Middle School has been recognized by Apple for its successful creation of an innovative environment that utilizes iPads through Project Connect. Educators are able to personalize instruction for grade 7 and 8 students in the district and use technology to incorporate vital skills for college and career readiness. The program provides iPads to all students in grades 6-9. Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

Jeffery Primary School Receives $5,000 Grant
The Grainger Foundation through its Grainger Community Grant program awarded Jeffery Primary School $5,000. The school and the Jeffery Parent Teacher Organization partnered to submit the grant. The money will be used to purchase books for each teacher’s classroom library as well as a poster-maker for the school.  

La Roche AITP Receives Outstanding Performance Award
CompTIA Association of IT Professionals (AITP) recently awarded La Roche College’s AITP chapter with the Student Chapter Outstanding Performance Award (SCOPA). CompTIA presents SCOPA annually to student chapters who meet or exceed criteria measured through a points system in five areas: education, membership, public relations, meetings and association participation. La Roche exceeded in the areas of public relations, meetings and association participation. Former AITP President Joseph Malachosky, current AITP Vice President Johnny Nicholson and Dr. Noakes gathered and submitted data and documentation to CompTIA in May. This is the first time the college has earned this prestigious award.

Fox Chapel Students Place First in Math Competition
Four Fox Chapel Area High School students recently placed in the regional CalcuSolve competition, which tests students' problem-solving skills related to mathematics. The team, made up of sophomores J. Oliver “Justin” Choo, Rajeev Godse and Anzu Sekikawa and freshman Vinisha Sant, won first place in the team competition for grades 9-10. Additionally, Rajeev placed first and Justin placed second in the individual category of the competition for students in grades 9-10. Approximately 280 students from about 40 school districts across the Pittsburgh area participated. 

Seneca Valley Students Selected for YAC Program
Seneca Valley seniors Mackenzie Neff and Erin Piotrowski were selected by the Andy Warhol Museum to participate in the Youth Arts Council Program for the 2017-2018 school year. Youth Arts Council is a yearlong leadership program that invites a small team of high school students from across Pittsburgh to go behind the scenes, collaborate with museum staff and artists, create art and develop public programs and events for other teens. Youth Arts Council participants receive stipends, gain professional experience working in a museum, and learn new skills and techniques.

SV Girls Soccer Team Collects Clothes
The Seneca Valley Girls Soccer Team held a clothing drive for Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1).  Both the boys and girls collected clothing at every home game this past season. Players and parents sorted and labeled boxes according to sizes and gender for IU1 students in grades K-12, and donated 75 boxes to the cause. IU1 is an alternative school that offers comprehensive special education services for exceptional students until age 21.

Paulini Named to Scholastic Honor Roll
Fox Chapel Area High School senior Helen Paulini, a member of the Fox Chapel crew team, was recently named to the 2017-18 USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll. Helen is one of only 34 students from across the nation to earn a spot on the Honor Roll, which recognizes high school seniors who have excelled in both academics and rowing. Applicants must be USRowing members, have rowed or coxed for at least one year, and successfully competed at or above the league or regional level.

Ennis Selected to National Advisory Board
Susan Ennis has been selected to the first-ever national advisory board for Scholastic Library Publishing. Along with nine other school and public librarians, she will represent the Seneca Valley School District as a Scholastic Library Publishing board member for two years. She will attend all national library conferences and selected state conferences in the eastern United States and will meet with and train librarians, educators and administrators about integrating Scholastic's digital and print resources into instruction. She plans to share what she learns with the Seneca Valley teachers and administrators as it aligns with the district's instructional goals.

Animal Friends Connecting Vets with Pets
Animal Friends has created two unique adoption programs specifically for men and women who have served their country. Active military member or veterans interested in adding a new four-legged member to their family can work with the adoption team in the Friends for Vets program to find just the right companion animal to match the veteran’s lifestyle. The new pet will be current on vaccines, spayed/neutered and microchipped for additional identification, and the adoption donation will be waived. Pets for Vets is a national charitable organization that works to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans living with PTSD and TBI. The veteran is paired with a shelter animal that has been personally matched to the veteran based on personality and lifestyle. Animal Friends is the official Pittsburgh Chapter of Pets for Vets.

Hardman Claims Gold in Michigan
Aquinas Academy fencer and team captain Harry Hardman claimed a gold medal at the UFO “Pools to Pools to Pools” Senior Mixed Foil Competition at Salle d’Etriot in Livonia, MI. The victory earned him a US Fencing Association “C” rating. The win places him in one of the top tiers in the USFA national ranking system, making him eligible to fence in Division I North American Cup competitions.  Only 6 percent of all USFA-rated fencers in western Pennsylvania maintain a rating of “C” or above. Hardman was also awarded a ceremonial saber, attesting to his performance as the best overall tournament fencer across all three weapons—foil, epee and saber.

Tower of Voices Construction Underway
In partnership with the Families of Flight 93 National Memorial, the Friends of Flight 93 and the National Park Foundation, Flight 93 National Memorial has announced that Leonard S. Fiore, Inc., a general contractor from Altoona, PA, was awarded the construction contract for Flight 93 National Memorial’s Tower of Voices. The award marks a significant milestone in telling the story of 40 brave passengers and crew whose courageous actions on September 11, 2001 thwarted a terrorist attack on the nation’s capital. The Tower of Voices will be a visual and audible reminder of their courageous actions, and marks the final phase of major construction of the memorial’s original design. It will stand 93 feet tall and contain 40 wind chimes that will serve as an enduring memory of the voices of the passengers and crew. A completion and dedication ceremony are planned for September of 2018.

Vincentian Breaks Ground on Terrace Place
Bishop David Zubik joined elected officials, community leaders and representatives of Vincentian Collaborative System for a ceremonial groundbreaking for Terrace Place at Vincentian, an active senior living community located along Babcock Blvd. in McCandless on the former site of Vincentian Regency. The 91-unit community will feature independent living apartment homes for individuals 55+ in an adaptable, innovative, parklike setting that embraces a green and open concept. Terrace Place at Vincentian, part of Vincentian’s continuum of care in the North Hills, joins Vincentian Villa as the system’s second independent living location in McCandless. Terrace Place residents will enjoy all the benefits of Vincentian’s continuing care retirement community, providing peace of mind to residents and their families should they require additional care in the future.

Shaler Students Accepted into PMEA District 1 Band
Six Shaler Area High School students were accepted into the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Band. The students were selected based on their level of musicianship, involvement in PMEA, as well as their involvement in the arts. A band festival will be held on Jan. 18, comprised of students from 54 districts in Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Greene, and Fayette counties. Students include Jacob Aufman, (percussion), Maryann Berdik (flute), Jon Brockway (euphonium), Michael Chaney, (clarinet), Michael LaBella (bassoon) and Hana LeBrew (clarinet).