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North Hills Monthly

New and Notable, May 2018

Apr 30, 2018 05:01PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine
Honduras Hope Mission
Dr. Robert Potter has completed his 13th successful Honduras Hope Mission. One of the founders of Genesis Medical Associates, Inc., the largest still independent primary care physicians group serving the Greater North Hills, he was joined by wife Cindy, a pediatric physical therapist, fellow Genesis physician Dr. Dan Grob, Dr. Grob’s daughter, Paige, and 20 other volunteers. If interested in volunteering, contact or contact Honduras Hope Mission, P.O. Box 463, Mars, PA 16046.

Weiss Wins Gold in National Writing Award
Shady Side Academy senior Emily Weiss won a national gold medal in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her piece titled, Androgynous: A More Complete Definition. This award is the nation's most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. As a national gold medalist, Weiss is invited to New York City to participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 7.

Bushee Joins Treasure House Fashions Board
Michelle Bushee has accepted a position to serve on the board of directors for Treasure House Fashions. A former legal professional, Bushee spent much of her career helping families navigate the process of adoption. Today she is a multimillion dollar real estate producer with Northwood Realty in Cranberry Township, PA, and is looking forward to using her business and legal skills to support the nonprofit agency.

Wolfslayer Named National Aviary Volunteer of the Year
The National Aviary has named Wexford resident Melissa Wolfslayer its 2017 Volunteer of the Year for her commitment and service as a docent, instructor and guide. Since 2013, she has donated more than 2,000 volunteer hours teaching classes, providing visitors with personal insight and background on the National Aviary’s birds, and leading groups on educational tours.

CCAC and Sharon Regional to offer AEMT to Paramedic program
Starting this October, the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and Sharon Regional Medical Center are partnering to offer a new satellite program for advanced emergency medical technicians to become paramedics. The 11-month program will enable students to develop or upgrade the industry skills that are required for EMS providers, and graduates will have the ability to obtain employment as paramedics upon successful completion of the National Registry Paramedic exam. For information, contact Kurt Ellefson at 724-983-3980 or

Cross Wins National Art Award
Kelly Cross, a Shaler Area High school senior, won a national medal in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She was awarded a Silver Key for her artwork depicting a peacock and has been invited to attend a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 7. She will also participate in showcase events at Parsons School for Design at The New School and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City.

Fox Chapel Students Named National Merit Finalists
Fox Chapel Area High School seniors Albert Liu, Elizabeth Mountz and Jordan Taxay have been designated as National Merit Finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarships winners will be announced this spring.

Beck and Herat to Participate in Governor's School
Seneca Valley juniors Victoria Beck and Hiruni Herat have been selected to participate in the prestigious PA Governor’s School for Global and International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh this summer. Following an application process based on GPA, coursework, essays and faculty recommendations, the two were awarded  full scholarships to attend the program. There they will have the opportunity to attend global studies lectures, learn a lesser-taught language such as Mandarin, Portuguese or Arabic, and participate in immersive cultural experiences.

McCort Baker Group Becomes Ameriprise Financial Private Wealth Advisor
The McCort Baker Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., has become an Ameriprise Financial Private Wealth Advisor. The company is among the 15 percent of approximately 10,000 Ameriprise financial advisors to achieve this status, which requires experience in providing a comprehensive approach to financial planning and advice, completing specialized training and achieving exceptional business results. The company is located in Wexford, PA.

SV Junior in South Africa for Leadership Training
Seneca Valley junior Jacob Geil was one of 14 students selected in a nationwide program to attend an intensive six-week, pre-college leadership training program through the Experiment Leadership Institute. Geil is in South Africa, where he will be fostering discussion on critical issues such as worldwide health, human rights and other global issues, including youth leadership in peace, politics and human rights.

Mock Trial Held at Shaler High School
Shaler Area High School students had the opportunity to experience the local judicial system firsthand in a mock trial program hosted by AAA East Central, Allegheny PreTrial Services, Pennsylvania State Police and the Shaler Police Department. Students were issued “citations,” appeared in a real courtroom, and were given the chance to plead their cases before the Honorable Daniel Konieczka, magisterial district judge. The judge and School Resource Officer Frank Spiker spent additional time with the students to explain the court process.

Emma Gallagher Wins National Honor
North Hills Middle School eighth-grader Emma Gallagher has been honored on the national level for her artistic talent as a 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national medalist. Emma’s photo, Liquid Crystals, was selected by creative professionals as one of the most accomplished in the nation. Less than one percent of artists out of nearly 350,000 submissions to the competition are awarded its highest honor and only 3,300 medals are awarded nationwide.

PTOs, Libraries Benefit from Shaler Fundraiser
The success of February’s fundraising event, Shaler Area’s Got Talent, enabled the all-district fundraising committee to split the proceeds between all of Shaler Area’s parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) as well as to give back to community libraries. On April 4, the committee presented representatives from Shaler North Hills Library, Millvale Community Library, and Glenshaw Public Library with checks totaling $700 in support of the valuable programs they provide.

Fontecchio Wins National Video Contest
Fox Chapel Area High School senior Alessia Fontecchio was recently named a first-place winner in the 2018 Civics Essay and Video Contest. The topic was the 14th Amendment: 150 Years Later, and Alessia won $1,000 for a video she created focusing on “What Does Equal Protection Mean to Students?” Approximately 220 essays and videos were submitted for the competition, which was sponsored by the Federal Judges Association and the Federal Bar Association.

St. Stephens Classical Academy Open
St. Stephen’s Church in Sewickley has opened a new elementary school structured along the classical University Model, which is a hybrid of private education and home schooling. Students attend class four days per week for their core academic courses, and then participate in music, art and sports in the wider community. Enrollment is now open for the 2018-2019 school year for grades 1-3. 412-741-1790 or

Katie’s Clay Studio Adding DIY Wood Sign Workshop
Katie’s Clay Studio, the local headquarters for the maker-movement and farmhouse aesthetic, is offering DIY wood sign workshops. Be inspired by the classic and vintage appeal of wooden signs harvested from pallets and other reclaimed wood sources. 412-486-2184 or