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North Hills Monthly

New & Notable, October 2019

Sep 30, 2019 01:34PM ● By North Hills Monthly Magazine
Ambridge Historic District Adds Directional Signs, Interpretative Markers
The Ambridge Historic District Economic Development Corporation (AHDEDC) has installed five new tourist oriented directional signs (TODS), a welcome & information kiosk, and nine interpretative signs throughout the Ambridge Historic District to help increase awareness of the district, direct traffic from Ohio River Blvd. into the district and encourage and assist visitors exploring the area.

Mayor Names Kevin Pawlos Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Mayor William Peduto named Kevin Pawlos, currently the assistant director–operating budget in the Office of Management & Budget, as Pittsburgh’s new director of the Office of Management & Budget. Pawlos joined the city in August of 2012. He is replacing former budget director Jennifer Presutti, who left the city last year to become the budget director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The appointment will be subject to confirmation by Pittsburgh City Council.

Shaler Area launches Go Bucket Project
The Shaler Area District Parent Council, in partnership with the district, is launching a new initiative to help teachers be more prepared for emergency situations. The Go Bucket project provides classrooms with five-gallon buckets that contain flashlights, first-aid kits, duct tape, rope, a space blanket and whistle. The buckets serve as a container for the supplies and doubles as a stool or an emergency lavatory when fitted with a plastic trash bag, toilet paper, and a shower curtain for privacy. The DPC’s initial efforts collected enough items to assemble 29 completed Go Buckets, which will be used to outfit each classroom in Marzolf Primary School. The council is looking to expand the program so that every classroom in Shaler Area has a Go Bucket, and is seeking donations from the community. For more information, email

Northwest Names Thurman Office Manager and Community Relationship Manager
Northwest Banks’ LaMarcus Thurman has been named office manager and community relationship manager for the Pittsburgh area, where he will be responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the bank's Community Reinvestment Act Compliance program by establishing, participating and maintaining relationships with community-based charitable and nonprofit organizations. As manager of Northwest’s office on Smithfield Street, he will be responsible for customer service, administration, lending and business development. Thurman received his degree in business and managerial economics in 2001 from Allegheny College. He is a board member for the Pittsburgh Downtown CDC, Crossroads Foundation and 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania.

CCAC Students and Staff Receive Accolades in Draw the Lines PA competition
Two teams from the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) have been named regional winners in the Draw the Lines PA competition. Team Wild Card from CCAC North Campus received an honorable mention in the Higher Ed-West category, and Team CCAC South received an honorable mention in the Adult-West category. The Draw the Lines PA competition asks participants to redraw congressional districts for the Commonwealth using a software program called District Builder. Members of Team Wild Card include Jeffrey Elms, Ian Bookser, Will White, John Bender, Logan Pilardi, Brian Kress and Steven Maskiewicz. Team CCAC South included administrators Dean Jolin, assistant dean, Student Development; Dr. Kelli Maxwell, associate provost; Darren Lesher, student success coach; and Steven Shaulis, Perkins Career & Technical Education director.

Saint Joseph High School Student Selected in Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS
Saint Joseph High School freshman Kathryn Huth has been selected as one of the Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS® in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS®, a program of Society for Science & the Public. This honor places Kathryn among a select group of 300 MASTERS® Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition. She was named from over 2,300 entrants throughout the United States. Her project, Solar Activity and Geomagnetism, is a data analysis on the mass of a coronal mass ejection and any effect it might have on the geomagnetic atmosphere.

Rachel Spear Invited to Compete for Math Prize 
Seneca Valley sophomore Rachel Spear was recently invited to take part in the Advantage Testing Foundation 2019 Math Prize for Girls Competition based on her performance on the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 10 test last school year. This is the largest math prize for girls in the world. Each fall, nearly 300 young female mathematicians compete in the challenging test of mathematical creativity and insight. Last school year, Rachel was the first-place winner at Seneca Valley in the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) AMC 10. Her high score also qualified her to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). 

Seneca Valley Band Gives Back
The Seneca Valley Marching Band added green to their traditional black and blue uniform at their game against Mt. Lebanon to fight against the real enemy—cancer. Throughout the week leading up to the game, the band held its second annual campaign called SV Band Gives Back. They raised over $2,400 to support the McFeeley Family from Mt. Lebanon. Brian McFeeley, Mt. Lebanon High School principal, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Shady Side Academy Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists; Commended Students
Four members of the Shady Side Academy Class of 2020 were named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. This includes Akshay Amesur (Hampton); Nicole Caputo (Indiana Twp.); Arusha Nirvan (Murrysville); and Giri Viswanathan (Monroeville). In addition, eight seniors were named Commended Students. These include Jack Calihan, Cameron Casey and Jack Uhlman (Fox Chapel); Albert Hoe and Alex Reuter (Hampton); and Trent Lane, Arjun Patel and Ahmer Shaikh (Pine). Learn more at

Saint Joseph High School Senior Named Volunteer of the Year
Senior Michael Smith has been named the Volunteer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Cares Foundation for his work at Computer Reach. Over the past few years, Michael has volunteered 112 hours, helping to deconstruct, rebuild, and reprogram donated computers that are then donated to in-need local, national, and international schools and organizations. He has also recruited a couple of his classmates to volunteer there as well. Michael will be recognized during the Pirates' Roberto Clemente night at PNC Park, where he will throw out the game's honorary first pitch and will be a guest in the Pirates' Charity Suite. He is the son of Laura and Gregory Smith of Tarentum.

La Roche Makes Best University in the North List
U.S. News & World Report recently named La Roche University a Best University in the North. Schools listed as Best Regional Universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs, as well as an array of master’s programs. La Roche also ranks 50th among regional universities in the north for 2020 Top Performers on Social Mobility. Additionally, La Roche ranks third for Regional Universities in the North with the Most International Students. The University is 15 percent international, with 42 countries represented on campus. La Roche accepts international students into both undergraduate and graduate programs, and into its ESL program for non-native English speakers.

Shady Side Academy Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists; Commended Students
Four members of the Shady Side Academy Class of 2020 were named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. This includes Akshay Amesur (Hampton); Nicole Caputo (Indiana Twp.); Arusha Nirvan (Murrysville) and Giri Viswanathan (Monroeville). In addition, eight seniors were named Commended Students. This includes Jack Calihan, Cameron Casey and Jack Uhlman (Fox Chapel); Albert Hoe and Alex Reuter (Hampton); and Trent Lane, Arjun Patel and Ahmer Shaikh (Pine). Learn more at

$300,000 in Grants Awarded to Pittsburgh and West View Park Projects
Two park rehabilitation projects in the Pittsburgh area will be able to go forward thanks to two state grants totaling $300,000. The grants include $100,000 for the rehabilitation of Farley Park in West View Borough and a $200,000 grant for the 84-acre Riverview Park in Pittsburgh. The Farley Park project will include rehabilitation to a basketball court, playground equipment replacement, shelter installation and landscaping. The Riverview Park project includes making trail improvements, installing improved lighting, updating signs and parking areas, and upgrading landscaping throughout the park.

Marzolf Primary School Adds Sensory Path
 Students at Marzolf Primary School have a colorful new addition to their playground. Over the summer, art teacher Therasa Joseph designed and painted a sensory path on the sidewalk behind the school, creating a colorful obstacle course that requires students to hop, step, and jump through the designs. The physical movement of completing the sensory path helps students focus better in the classroom and provides a “brain break” from classroom lessons. The idea for the sensory path came out of the school’s Schoolwide Positive Behaviors and Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) Committee to provide a resource for all students in kindergarten to third grade.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Adds New Senior VP, Franchise Development
On the heels of its 30th anniversary, six consecutive years of same store sales growth, record-shattering average unit volume and new store openings, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream is doubling down on development with the addition of Greg Danziger as senior vice president, Franchise Development. Danziger joined Bruster’s earlier this month bringing with him nearly 20 years of franchise and business development expertise. His knowledge and vision will complement the deep experience of Kim Ellis, VP, Franchise Development and Lori Molnar, director, Franchise Development. 

Three Seneca Valley Seniors Named Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program
Seneca Valley Seniors Nishant Jayachandran, Olivia Schultheis and Sean Scott have been named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. 

Fox Chapel Area Students Named 2020 National Merit® Semifinalists/Commended Students
Fourteen Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Semifinalists and 12 have been named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship. Semifinalists include Paige Asbury, Amelia Bothe, Hanna Chen, J. Oliver Choo, Hazel Cline, Oskar Ernharth, Claire Fenton, Rajeev Godse, Noah Hertzman, Christiana Paljug, Sina Shaikh, Jake Sperry, Felix Veser and Aaron Wu. Commended Students are Jackson Boychuk, Rachel Ferris, Evan Gu, Abigail Miller, Zeynep Ozkaya, Leda Perdriel-Arons, Anzu Sekikawa, David Shin, Shane Susnak, Ameya Velankar, William Wang and Michael Weiss.  All of these students were selected based on their 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) scores.

Princeton Review Names La Roche a Best in the Northeast College
The Princeton Review, a nationally renowned education services company, lists La Roche among its Best in the Northeast recommended schools in its 2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region website feature. For 16 consecutive years, The Princeton Review has ranked La Roche as one of the region’s best colleges for students to earn undergraduate degrees. For more info, visit