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Bricks 4 Kidz

Promotes STEM Education

Special Section — Health and Wellness Page 9

School District News Page 21




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on the cover Students at Hutchinson Elementary participated in the Bricks 4 Kidz program which introduces complex science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) concepts in an age-appropriate and fun way. Instructor Anthony Greece (left) works with third grade student Colin Rizzi.

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From the Publisher IN the Loop

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School News INCognito

features 9

Special Section: Health & Wellness How to live a healthier, happier, longer life.

18 Go Figure-Skate! Rachel Amundson began skating at four. Today, the 14-year-old competes nationally.

20 O Christmas Tree Choosing a live evergreen in Greensburg-Salem.

sponsored content Business Spotlights 7 The Pawn and Jewelry Exchange

Industry Insights 14 Eye Care: Associates in Ophthalmology

IN Community is a publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Greensburg-Salem area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


PUBLISHER PUBLISHER Wayne Dollard EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Julie Talerico REGIONAL EDITORS Mark Berton [South, West and Erie]

At Seven Springs with my wife Lisa and our three sons.

Top-notch health care, education, banking and technology are what make Pittsburgh known, but our communities are what make us home. Home – where you live, go to school, shop, work and play – is what IN Community Magazines is all about. Each quarter, we bring you the latest news and information about schools, businesses, nonprofits and the people who make them exceptional. We also bring you coverage of interesting events and articles about historical sites you may pass every day without even knowing. We like to surprise you with little-known facts about your community and profile intriguing people who’ve made their mark locally – and sometimes even globally. One thing that makes our communities in western Pennsylvania special is the beautiful seasons. As autumn comes to an end and the snow begins to fall, we hope you take some time to enjoy the many winter activities our area has to offer and hit the slopes, sled ride, cross-country ski or ice skate at one of our many beautiful parks. Or simply build a snowman in the backyard! The staff at IN Community Magazines wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year!

Wayne Dollard Publisher

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We’d love to hear from you if you know someone in your community who is making a difference or has done something extraordinary. We’re also looking for interesting story ideas (little-known facts, history or other news) within your community.

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Pamela Palongue [North and East] OFFICE MANAGER Leo Vighetti ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Debbie Mountain DESIGN DIRECTOR Michael Miller DESIGNERS Cassie Brkich Jim Paladino Melissa St. Giles Anna Buzzelli Tamara Tylenda Sharon Cobb Jan McEvoy CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jonathan Barnes Leigh Lyons Jennifer Brozak Joanne Naser Earl Bugaile Melanie Paulick Tracy Fedkoe Melissa Rayworth Brenda Haines-Cosola Marilyn Wempa Elvira Hoff Mandie Zoller Heather Holtschlag CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ginni Klein Kathleen Rudolph Evan Sanders Jennifer Steenson Primetime Shots Gary Zak GENERAL SALES MANAGER Tamara Myers SALES MANAGER Brian McKee ADVERTISING SALES Sophia Alfaras Holly Hicks-Opperman Pamela Arder Aimee Nicolia Nikki Capezio-Watson Connie McDaniel Jennifer Dahlem Gabriel Negri Tina Dollard Vincent Sabatini Julie Graff Michael Silvert Robin Guest RJ Vighetti ICM PRINTING SALES MANAGER Tom Poljak ©2013 by IN Community Magazines. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of any part of this publication is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Direct all inquiries, letters to the editor and press releases to:

IN Community Magazines 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 724.942.0940; Fax: 724.942.0968 Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.

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Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 3

in the

LOOP What’s news in Greensburg-Salem


Join the Laurel Ballet Company and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra for a magical journey to the land of the Sugarplum Fairy, waltzing snowflakes and enchanted toys. “The Nutcracker” is one of the most beloved ballets of all time. This will be the 20th anniversary production of the holiday classic for Laurel Ballet and the WSO. Walter Morales will be the guest conductor for the production in the beautiful Palace Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. For tickets, please call 724.836.8000 or purchase them online at “The Nutcracker” is a wonderful holiday tradition that can be enjoyed by all ages.


Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra will be presenting its Home for the Holidays Concert on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center on Old Salem Road. Artistic Director Daniel Meyer will be conducting the evening of holiday choral selections which will feature the AllStar Choir of Westmoreland County. Tickets range from $10 – $26 and are available at the door, online at WestmorelandSymphony. org or by calling 724.837.1850.


Friday, Dec. 13, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Experience the latest Pop-Up Exhibition at Westmoreland @rt 30! It’s the second Friday of every month and admission is $7 and includes two drink tickets for All Saints Brewing Company Beer or wine, or $5 admission includes tickets for nonalcoholic drinks. Relax and enjoy music by Dave Stout of the Stout

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Brothers, along with scavenger hunts and fun with friends!


The Greasepaint Players of the Greensburg Civic Theatre will present, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by internationally acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig. Rachel Painter will be directing this Christmas adventure that involves a mouse, an elf and a spirited little girl, all on a quest to find out why Santa missed making a stop at their house last year. Shows will be Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. For information on these and other performances, please visit the website at or call 724.836.PLAY (7529).


Pedal & Pump Across America, a free indoor cycling program, is being offered on an ongoing basis at The Aerobic Center on New Alexandria Road in Greensburg. A video class is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. An instructor-led class is held on Saturdays

beginning at 9:30 a.m. (Participants are required to arrive 15 minutes prior to class time). Participants must be between the ages of 12 and 17 years old and parents are welcome to join with the teens in exercising. Participants are also required to bring a cloth towel and bottled water to class. Parents must complete a health history and in certain cases, a physician’s release may be required. A Physical Fitness Assessment appointment must also be completed before starting the class. A special program card will be issued to enter the facility for classes, with videos being provided at the front desk. Classes are held on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit the website at or call 724.834.2153.


Monday, Dec. 2, 5 - 7:30 p.m. Entertainment by Chris and Meghan Feliciani. Join the Humane Society of Westmoreland County for holiday cheer and help homeless animals. Auction items and delicious food. $50 - Cash Bar.

• Friday, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Saturday, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Sunday, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. The prices for public skating sessions are $5 for adults (18 and over), $4 for youth and seniors (17 and under) and $2 for skate rentals (both hockey and figure skates). Another Learn to Skate program will be held Jan. 2 to Feb. 6, for ages 5 to adult and classes will be held on Thursdays. For more information on these and other programs at the arena, visit the website at GreensburgPA. org and click on Recreation Department.

For more information call the shelter at 724.837.3779 or email


The Kirk S. Nevin Arena offers Public Ice Skating Sessions the following days and times: • Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 noon. • Wednesday and Friday, 1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 5


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space Pittsburgh’s premier guide to stylish living, sophisticated design and the best resources in Pittsburgh and surrounding regions. l aunc hi ng fir s t i s s ue De c e mbe r 2013 To advertise contact Leo Vighetti at 724.942.0940 or

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Business Spotlight


Pawn and Jewelry Exchange

large gems and more. Visit If you’re a fan of “Pawn Stars” and walk away to see what has been created. from the show thinking that real life’s not like Plus, if you’re looking to sell or pawn your item, that at all, then Ashley Ralston can convince the process is pretty much the same as you see on you otherwise. TV. Interest rates for pawns are a flat 3 percent, As the owner of the Pawn and Jewelry and loans can be renewed, up to eight times, as Exchange in Greensburg, Ralston has been long as the interest is paid on time. trading and making deals with community “You’re not going to get a rate like that at a bank members since 2005. The rise of popular or with a credit card, so if you need some extra shows like “Pawn Stars” and “Hardcore Pawn” money for the holidays, or you bit off more than have only increased people’s interest in her you can chew with that new computer, we can help,” already thriving business. While the shop does Ralston said. “Those shows have really helped us buy precious metals, Some of the more unique items that have come because it shows people what a pawn Ralston would prefer through the Pawn and Jewelry Exchange’s doors shop is actually like,” she said. “People include a 24K gold chalice that a couple discovered are always impressed by the cleanliness, people to come in to see in their attic, WWII American and Japanese friendly faces and professionalism at some of the amazing bayonets, a Star Wars poster signed by the cast our store. And, unlike retail stores, our custom jewelry work with a certificate of authenticity, high-end vintage inventory changes constantly, so it’s never toy trains, antique medical kit with the original really the same store twice.” they offer, as well as medicine and surgical instruments included, and So what can you find at the Pawn and unique items such as antique grandfather clocks. But if you’re just looking Jewelry Exchange? Vintage guitars for Rolex watches, vintage for an extra iPad or Xbox, it has those as well. starters. It also has the newest iPad or iPod, What’s more, the Pawn and Jewelry Exchange tools, electronics, games, recorded media, pocket watches, large is the only licensed pawn shop in Westmoreland musical instruments, specialty items such gems and more. County. The staff works daily with local law as antique neon signs, vintage tin signs, and, enforcement agencies to ensure that everything of course, jewelry and precious metal items. that comes into the shop is legitimate and that all With a full-time jeweler on staff with nearly transactions are above board. 20 years of experience, the Pawn and Jewelry “We want to get the best investment for our Exchange isn’t one of those “We buy gold!” customers,” Ralston said. “Everything we take in is places. While the shop does buy precious gently used. Electronics are inspected and we stand metals, Ralston would prefer people to come behind our items 110 percent and go out of our way to make sure we in to see some of the amazing custom jewelry work they offer, as well have happy customers.” as unique items such as Rolex For more information on the Pawn and Jewelry watches, vintage pocket watches, Exchange, go to pawnandjewelryexchange. biz online, or call 724.836.7296. It also has an eBay store and can be found on Facebook at The Pawn and Jewelry Exchange.

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Great Ways to Live a Healthier, Happier, Longer Life in Greensburg-Salem


Though finding the fountain of youth (or miracle product) is unlikely, you can embrace the following ways to feel and look younger. Gleaned from age-defying experts this list is a must-keep for your desk or refrigerator for reference.

So turn the page — hack into the havoc that aging can wreak on your body! ››

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H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Greensburg-Salem

HEALTH & FITNESS EXERCISE TO LIVE LONGER. Greensburg-Salem has many walking and biking trails to help you stay fit. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), regular exercise helps control blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels, and reduces the risks of hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke. Not to mention you will look and feel better! WARM UP AND COOL DOWN. Regardless of the types of exercises you do, warming your muscles as well as cooling down with slow rhythmic stretches is key to avoiding injury, reducing soreness, and speeding up your recovery. COMMIT TO DAILY FITNESS. Getting out there and staying active translates into better health and well-being — both physically and mentally. FOCUS ON TOTAL FITNESS. ACE recommends aerobics and muscular conditioning along with exercises to stretch your body and promote good posture. YEAR-ROUND EXERCISE. Don’t ditch your fitness routine because of inclement weather. Try new activities, such as snowshoeing, swimming at an indoor pool, or fitness classes at your local fitness or senior housing facility. JOIN A HEALTH CLUB. Be social and get fit. This one’s worth its weight in sheer motivation points.

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS. Don’t mega-dose, just take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. GET AEROBIC. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting moderate aerobic activity 30 minutes per day, five days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity, three days per week. BREAK IT UP. Instead of 20 or 30 minutes of exercise, break up your cardio into 10-minute segments throughout the day. MAKE WORKING OUT FUN. Getting out of the house and traveling to interesting places where you can walk around is one of the best ways to get exercise without even trying, and you get to enjoy the sightseeing, too. PUT A SET OF DUMBBELLS BY YOUR TELEVISION SET — and use them!

STOP SMOKING. Nuff said.

PUMP IT UP. Margaret Richardson, author of Body Electric, says one pound of fat burns three calories a day while one pound of muscle burns 30 plus.

GO GREEN. Eat organic, use eco-friendly products and practice green living to protect your health as well as the environment.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF. To counteract age-related muscle loss, do exercises with progressively challenging resistance.

“We want people to feel that they are in a family atmosphere when they are at the Aerobic Center,” explains Marianne Anzovino, general manager. “Our pool is one of the only pools in the area that uses a UV system that cleans the pool in a way that reduces chemicals and makes the pool safer and healthier for people to use.”

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H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Greensburg-Salem

COGNITIVE BOOSTERS MUSIC THERAPY. Music can regulate mood, decrease aggression and depression, improve sleep, and, because old songs are stored in memory, even create new brain cells. BRAIN FOOD. Keep your mind sharp by eating salmon, nuts, olive oil, soy, meat, eggs, dairy, leafy greens, beans, oatmeal and dark skinned fruits.


TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Working a daily crossword, Sudoku puzzle or another brain teasing game can help improve your mental fitness.

POSTURE AVOID SITTING CROSS-LEGGED. Pain management specialists at New York Chiropractic warn that crossing your legs puts excessive stress on your knees, hips and lower back. SIT UP STRAIGHT. When you slouch or strain to look at the screen, these patterns stick and posture learns these positions. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. See a chiropractor, physical therapist or post-rehabilitation specialist for postural exercises to reduce pain and risk of injury. STRETCH. Stretching your neck and chest can prevent short and tightened muscles that can lead to injury. A simple stretch involves bending your head to your shoulder, holding it there and slowly bringing it back to the mid line and then switch sides. BELLY BUTTON TO SPINE. Not only will this exercise help you stand taller, it will take five pounds o your waistline! HEAD UP. Instead of scrunching your head to your shoulder to hold the phone, get a headset and avoid injury to your neck and shoulders.

ORAL HEALTH & HEARING BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH. According to research, chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. TURN IT DOWN. According to the House Ear Institute, noiseinduced hearing loss is a leading cause of permanent hearing loss that can be prevented by turning down the volume on your TV, radio, or headsets to a level that you can comfortably hear.

P PRACTICE HEALTHY SLEEPING HABITS. Not getting enough nightly rest puts you at risk for accidents, depression and other illnesses, and it decreases your quality of life.

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Childhood Obesity One Child at a Time By Heather Holtschlag

Imagine – for the first time in four generations, a

child’s life expectancy may not match his/her parents. One in 10 American children is obese, and between 16 to 25 percent of children are overweight. Children average a weight of about nine pounds heavier today when compared to the 1960s, and the average teenager’s weight has increased by 12 to 16 pounds, according to government statistics. Beyond the issue of just being overweight is the risk factors associated with obesity, including heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, located in Bethel Park, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is devoted to the prevention of childhood obesity in the western Pennsylvania region. The purpose of Fit-Trix Fit Kidz is to educate children and parents on the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by adopting increased physical activity and healthy eating. “We promote fitness, proper nutritional habits and self-esteem in a fun, positive and safe environment,” said Lynn Ross, owner of FitTrix Fit Kidz. “Our 45-minute program provides a full body workout regardless of fitness ability. We focus on cardio, hydraulic and resistance training with kid-friendly equipment, including BOSU balls, punching bags and agility ladders.” Fit-Trix Fit Kidz also encourages small lifestyle changes that may provide immediate health benefits for children, such as lower blood cholesterol levels, increased independence and productivity and reduced demands for health care services. And, staff members are committed to disseminating these healthy lifestyle messages to children of 12 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Greensburg-Salem

all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status. Ross said that the main purpose of Fit-Trix Fit Kidz is to teach kids that fitness can be fun, so that they can develop a healthy lifestyle to maintain throughout their entire lives. The staff members do this by providing a fun and safe environment where they teach healthy behaviors to children at young ages, hoping that by doing so, the children will carry their good habits well into adulthood. “At Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, we believe that exercise and proper nutrition are the pinnacles of preventing obesity in children and adolescents,” Ross explained. “We differ from other gyms in that we work by appointment, which helps make the children we see to remain accountable to their fitness goals and gives the staff the opportunity to work with and get to know each child on an individual basis.” According to Ross, there are a number of benefits that can have an impact on children as they begin an exercise program. These include an improved body mass index (BMI), an increase in self-esteem, a boost in athletic performance, increased flexibility and endurance, and an increase in lung capacity and fat burning through cardio exercise. “Strength conditioning also will increase a child’s bone density and improve tendon and ligament strength,” Ross noted. For more information about Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, call 412.831.1200, stop by the facility located at 4941 Library Road in Bethel Park, or visit the website at

SAY WHAT? Your mother was right when she warned you that loud music could damage your hearing, but now scientists have discovered exactly what gets damaged and how. In a research report published in the September 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists describe exactly what type of damage noise does to the inner ear, and provide insights into a compound that may prevent noise-related damage. “Noise-induced hearing loss with accom-panying tinnitus and sound hypersensitivity is a common condition which leads to communication problems and social isolation,” said Xiaorui Shi, M.D., Ph.D., study author from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Oregon Hearing Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University. “The goal of our study is to understand the molecular mechanisms well enough to mitigate damage from exposure to loud sound.” To make this discovery, Shi and colleagues used three groups of six- to eight-week-old mice, which consisted of a control group, a group exposed to broadband noise at 120 decibels for

three hours a day for two days, and a third group given singledose injections of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) prior to noise exposure. PEDF is a protein found in vertebrates that is currently being researched for the treatment of diseases like heart disease and cancer. The cells that secrete PEDF in control animals showed a characteristic branched morphology, with the cells arranging in a self-avoidance pattern which provided good coverage of the capillary wall. The morphology of the same cells in the animals exposed to wide-band noise, however, showed clear differences - noise exposure caused changes in melanocytes located in the inner ear. “Hearing loss over time robs people of their quality of life,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. “It’s easy to say that we should avoid loud noises, but in reality, this is not always possible. Front-line soldiers or first responders do not have time to worry about the long-term effects of loud noise when they are giving their all. If, however, a drug could be developed to minimize the negative effects of loud noises, it would benefit one and all.”


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SURGERY OF THE FUTURE IS NOW A relatively new approach to gynecological surgery is revolutionizing the standard of care in obstetrics and gynecology. daVinci is a technology that enhances a surgeon’s capabilities while offering patients the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, such as less surgical trauma, smaller incisions and a faster recovery time. “daVinci is like an extension of the surgeon’s hands,” said Shannon McGranahan, MD, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Clair. “It can mimic the natural movements of my hand while causing less bleeding, less pain and fewer complications than traditional surgery.” Gynecological procedures being performed with daVinci include hysterectomies, which is the most common utilization; complicated hysterectomies; pelvic pain present with endometriosis; and myomectomies, or removal of fibroids. daVinci also is being used across many other disciplines as well, including urology, colorectal surgery and thoracic surgery. “In the past, surgery such as hysterectomy would require an extended recovery period of several weeks or more, which is a large reason why many women procrastinated with their care. The long recovery interfered with their daily responsibilities,” Dr. McGranahan said. “Surgery performed with daVinci, however, usually requires only one overnight stay in the hospital, and the woman can return to work in about one to two weeks.” A common patient misconception, however, is that daVinci is a programmed robot that will be performing the surgery. “That’s simply not true,” Dr. McGranahan noted. “Board-certified surgeons are still managing and performing the operation. daVinci is there to enhance their capabilities.”

HEALTH &WELLNESS DIRECTORY The Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Greater Pittsburgh 724.837.8076 • Located in Greensburg, The Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Greater Pittsburgh offers comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services for patients in need of care following a hospital stay. We value each patient as an individual, which is why our care plans are customized to address your specific treatment needs. Our team of highly skilled professionals will work with you, your physicians and family to deliver unsurpassed, patient-centered care.

Associates in Ophthalmology 412.653.3080 • Associates in Ophthalmology (AIO) is a premier, multi-specialty eye care practice in the greater Pittsburgh area, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, diseases of the cornea, retina (including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic eye care, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, flashes and floaters), glaucoma, and other vision correction treatments and surgeries. For information about AIO, please call 412.653.3080.

Salem Crossroads Apothecary 724.668.2284 (Delmont) • 724.468.5565 (New Alexandria) Trust Salem Crossroads Apothecary and Keystone Pharmacy not only to fill your prescriptions but our staff of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will answer your questions and provide sound advice. We’re open six days a week and carry a full range of convalescent aids, medical equipment and supplies. Free local delivery from our Delmont location. Providing hometown service since 1977 — make us your first choice.

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H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Greensburg-Salem

EAT HEALTHY EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET. Holistic guru Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal processed foods to reduce inflammation in your body. EAT ALL NATURAL. Avoid high-calorie foods full of sugar, fat and artificial ingredients and concentrate on eating high-nutrient, high-flavor foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

EAT MANY SMALL MEALS. Eat something every three hours to keep your metabolism high and your blood sugar and insulin levels steady. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST. The easiest meal to skip but the most important. Eat something small, even if you aren’t hungry. READ LABELS. Opt for products with at least three grams of fiber, low sugars and no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. EAT LESS AND LIVE LONGER. Maoshing Ni, author of Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways To Live to be 100, suggests the “three-quarters rule,” essentially not eating any more after you feel three-quarters full.

EAT AND DRINK COCONUT. The type of saturated fat in coconuts does not contribute to heart disease and it is rich in lauric acid, which boosts your immune system. AVOID BAD FATS. Bad fats include saturated fats, which are primarily derived from animal products, and trans fats, which are used in commercial fried foods, margarines, and baked goods like cookies and crackers. SPICE IT UP. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients, recommends high-antioxidant spices and herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, curry, rosemary, thyme, oregano and red pepper. DRINK UP. Drinking water throughout the day can decrease your urges for sweets, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, minimize pain associated with arthritis, migraines, and colitis, hydrate your skin, and help with your digestion. LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE TO ONE OR TWO DRINKS PER DAY. According to the Centers for Disease Control, too much alcohol can increase your risk for developing various diseases and physiological and social problems.

DRINK TEA. Ni recommends daily tea because tea is a proven preventive and treatment for hardening of the arteries and has potent antioxidant powers.

SIDELINE THE SODA. The phosphoric acid in carbonated beverages, particularly colas, can put you at risk for osteoporosis.

SLIM DOWN WITH SOUP. People who eat soup before a meal reduce the total number of calories they consume.

DRINK RED WINE. Red wine is renowned for its many health benefits, primarily for the heart. However, new research from the Institute of Food suggests that wine may also protect you from potentially fatal food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and H. pylori.

SINK YOUR TEETH INTO SUPERFOODS. Experts say superfoods can help ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, bad moods, high blood pressure, and improve digestion, skin, hair, nails, bones and teeth. Superfoods recommended by are beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, green and black tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt. EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS. According to University of Michigan Integrative Medicine, healthy fats to include in your diet are monounsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and some plant foods as well as polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3s found in fatty fish and omega-6s found in nuts.


Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, and omega-3 fats better ensures you get all the nutrients your body needs. 16 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Greensburg-Salem

MARINATE YOUR MEAT. Research from the Food Safety Consortium recommends marinades with rosemary, thyme, peppers, allspice, oregano, basil, garlic and onion to cut down on carcinogens.

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Greensburg-Salem

STRESS CONTROL SMILE. Smiling lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. AROMATHERAPY. Essential oils improve your mood, reduce stress and even improve your memory. Try lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon or cedarwood.

YOGA. The Mayo Clinic recommends practicing yoga to reduce stress and anxiety. GET KNEADED. Research from the Touch Research Institute indicates that regular massage lowers heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety levels, depression, hostility, and the stress hormone cortisol. SEE A THERAPIST. Mental health professionals can help you deal with stress.

BEGIN WITH BREATHING. The first thing you ever did for yourself was breathe. And consciously focusing on your breath remains the epitome of self-care throughout your entire life.

P HUMOR YOUR STRESS Laughing improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, releases tension, and improves your immune system.

Reprinted with the permission from

LET NATURE TAKE YOUR STRESS AWAY. Being outdoors with green plants, fresh air and the sounds of nature is a proven stress buster.

GET FIT IN GREENSBURG-SALEM Here are just some of the fitness classes available: The Aerobic Center Indoor Pool

526 New Alexandria Rd., Greensburg; 724.834.2153 Swimming is not only easy on the body’s joints, but a great way to get fit! Take advantage of a Lap/Recreational Swimming Program at the Aerobic Center indoor pool. The cost is just $5 per session which includes “unlimited lap swimming during specified times, use of lockers and shower room facilities.” Check the website for schedules and information on other affordable fitness programs.

Kirk S. Nevin Arena

520 New Alexandria Rd., Greensburg; 724.834.4880 Enjoy an ice skating workout at a public skating session Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. while the kids are at school. Admission for a session is $5 for adults with skate rental costing just $2. Check for other available days and times on the website.

McKenna Senior Center

971 Old Salem Rd., Greensburg; 724.837.8832 Beat the winter blues and have fun with other seniors by enjoying a variety of fitness classes, including Steps in Motion, on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. Call for more information on other available classes and activities.

Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation Five Star Trailhead at Lynch Field 526 New Alexandria Rd., Greensburg; 724.830.3950

Dust off your hiking boots and enjoy the multi-use, non-motorized, recreational rail-trail. Over eight miles in distance, the trail is named after the five municipalities through which it passes: Greensburg, Hempfield Township, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg, and Youngwood. Visit the website or call for more information.

Moonglow Yoga

534 West Otterman St., Greensburg; 412.551.1555 Enjoy hot yoga, gentle yoga, workshops and more at Moonglow Yoga. Take advantage of a drop-in price of just $12 at the Greensburg location and visit the website for information on class schedules and other details.

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 17

Rachel Amundson began skating at four. Today, the 14-year-old competes nationally.

By Pamela Palongue


s temperatures fall and snowflakes fill the air, ice rinks will become the place to be for skaters of every level — some of whom skate for the pure joy of it, others for the exercise and those who practice with Olympic ambitions. One local skater, Rachel Amundson, is a serious competitor. The 14-year-old competes in the free skate at the national level through U.S. Figure Skating (USFS) and practices at the Kirk S. Nevin Arena in Greensburg. She credits skating with giving her confidence and improving her focus. Amundson also credits her coach, Christi Baughman, for being a great influence on her skating. “A great coach can make all the difference,” says Amundson.

18 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Greensburg-Salem

Skating wasn’t love at first sight for the teen however. She started skating with a “Learn to Skate” program and cried the first couple of times she went to her lesson. She was only four years old after all. Amundson now consistently lands double salchows and is currently working on double toe loops. Individuals who wish to participate in the beautiful sport of figure skating needn’t be intimidated by the prospect of performing difficult jumps or skaters half their age whizzing effortlessly past them, however. Many figure skaters do not take up the sport until they are in their 40s, 50s or even 60s! There are many different genres to participate in that do not require the high degree of athleticism required for individual freeskate competition. Many people enjoy the lovely sport of ice dancing in which couples whirl around the ice performing waltzes, polkas and various other dances. Synchronized skating involves large groups of people who skate together making formations and performing choreographed steps. This offers another alternative for beginning skaters. Even beginning skaters can glean health benefits from ice skating. It’s a low-impact aerobic activity and is a great cardio workout. Figure skating alternates between more difficult moves and the easier activity of gliding. This change-up

helps increase endurance. Most people realize that ice skating increases muscle tone and leg strength, but it’s also great for abdominal and lower back muscles. It helps improve balance and coordination and many of the moves performed in figure skating require flexibility, another important fitness marker. There are great mental benefits to skating as concentration shifts from stressful thoughts to maintaining balance and performing a choreographed routine. If you’re lucky enough to skate outdoors, you’ll have the added benefit of nature surrounding you during your workout. Why not venture out to your local ice rink and try a class to see if figure skating is the right fitness activity for you? It’s truly a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. For more information on skating and classes, please contact the Kirk S. Nevin Arena at 724.834.4880 or visit

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 19

O Christmas Tree

Choosing a live evergreen tree in Greensburg-Salem By Matthew J. Fascetti


t’s the most wonderful time of the year, and choosing a real Christmas tree is a season highlight for many families. Whether you make the trek to a tree farm to cut down your own, or head to your neighborhood tree lot, the smell of fresh pine in your home signals the beginning of the holiday season. Your tree selection is often the result of personal preference and budget, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Perhaps the most popular type of tree is the Fraser Fir. It has one-inch needles that are silvery-green and soft to the touch. Because there is space between the branches, the Fraser is easier to decorate and the firm branches hold heavier ornaments. Also very popular is the Noble Fir, with a deep green color, soft needles and well-shaped, sturdy branches. Other varieties include the Colorado Blue Spruce, known for its blue foliage and pyramidal shape with strong limbs that can hold heavy ornaments. The Grand Fir has glossy dark green foliage and is soft to the touch, however it may not hold heavier ornaments. The Balsam Fir is a wonderful dark-green color with airy, flexible branches and a pleasant fragrance. The branches are not as sturdy so it’s not the best choice for heavy decorating.

Find it here...

20 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Greensburg-Salem

The White Fir has a pleasing natural shape and aroma and good needle retention. The Eastern White Pine is known for making garlands, wreaths and centerpieces due to its long, feathery-soft needles. Though it’s a beautiful tree, the branches can be a bit too flexible to use as a Christmas tree. Finally, the Douglas Fir makes a visually appealing tree with soft, shiny green needles and wonderful aroma. If you purchase your tree at a lot, keep in mind some pre-cut Christmas trees may have been cut weeks earlier. Try to buy your tree early to extend its freshness. Check the tree for brown needles and perform a “drop test.” Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and then firmly place the tree trunk on the ground. If green needles drop, it could indicate the tree may have been cut for some time. Once you take your tree home, make a straight cut at the bottom of the trunk, removing about one inch. This will improve the tree’s ability to absorb water. Place the tree in a container that holds at least one gallon of water and add more as needed. The base of the trunk should always be in water which will help sustain the beauty of the tree for as long as possible.

❅ Wilkinson’s Nurseries Route 819 Ambrust, PA 15616 724.925.7261

❅ Wolfe Nursery 320 Wolfe Nursery Road Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.9276


Greensburg Salem School District 22

Letter from the Superintendent


Everybody needs a BUDDY!


Around the District


High School Lions are Teaching Our Cubs


Class of 1963 Visits Their Alma Mater


Leveraging Technology to Get the Message Out




Golden Lion Art Gallery

• High School Recognized for Service to American Red Cross


Special Education

• National Certification Earned • Middle School Dominates Language Arts Competition • Students Win “Chalk the Walk”

Letter from the Superintendent


Greensburg Salem

The Pathway to Success This year at Greensburg Salem we have begun to address several very critical questions, “What exactly do we mean when we say we want all students at Greensburg Salem to achieve success?” “What do we believe success looks like?” and “How can we get all students to experience success?” Talking about student success is something all of us embrace and are eager to discuss. Yet, we acknowledge that this is a very complex issue. Defining and embracing an organization’s view on success ultimately frames a purpose for all that the organization does. Unpacking these important questions and supporting each other in our efforts to bring success to every student is, indeed, a very important task for all of us. As we have peeled back the layers on the meaning of success, we have uncovered that we believe student success encompasses four critical areas: scholarship, Dr. Eileen Amato – character, leadership and Superintendent service. Using the Photo by Jeremy Lenzi metaphor of the sun, we envision the student as the center and each of the four areas: scholarship, character, leadership and service as the rays that continue to shine from our students and light our community long after our jobs here are done. From our littlest learners in kindergarten to our graduating seniors, we are sharing this vision and working with our students as they define and develop their four rays. Traditional schooling has focused on the ray of scholarship in the past but we are certain that scholarship without the other three rays is a much more limited view of success than we are looking for in our students. We acknowledge that developing a balanced approach to success is not easy but we know our students and staff support this vision and will do whatever it takes to work toward this noble goal. At Greensburg Salem, scholarship has been and, still is, very important. We want all our students to have a commitment to learning. Scholarship can only be achieved through effort and diligence. We are working hard to make sure that students do not seek knowledge in isolation. Knowledge and skills are only useful if they can be applied. We are asking our students of all ages to analyze what they have learned, consider how their learning can be useful and to work to apply it to new problems and situations. We want our students to be excited by the thought of discovering something new and to use the self-satisfaction derived from

22 | Greensburg-Salem

persevering through complex tasks as a lifelong motivation factor. We hope our students stretch themselves and their thinking well after their years of public education are over and feel proud and accomplished every time that they have done so. Equally important, we have been working with students to help them understand the value of character. Students with character are those who learn from their mistakes, make good choices and work to become self-disciplined. Respect, responsibility, fairness and trustworthiness are all qualities of successful adults and we are working with our students to have them build and work toward these qualities. A strong character is not achieved overnight. Encouraging our students, being willing to help them through difficult times, and giving them opportunities to take risks and move ahead in spite of failures is all part of our job as educators. In addition to character, we will strive to provide all students the opportunity to work on individual leadership qualities. We want our children to show initiative, exhibit self-confidence, and be able to sacrifice their personal gain in order to meet the needs of others. We are working hard, as a district, to find places where students can accept responsibility and work in groups and on teams to accomplish tasks. Leaders are those who can exercise a positive influence on others and help contribute to their own and the success of others. We like to build student choice into learning so that students can contribute in meaningful ways to their learning and the learning of others. Student leaders will translate into adult leaders. Each one of our students will need to be a leader in their chosen life path while determining their futures and the futures of those around them. And finally, we want all students to be committed to the service of others. We hope our students will leave us willing to make their part of the world a little better. Whether it’s a kind word, volunteering for those who are in need, organizing community assistance or just putting aside your own wishes to make things better for someone else, we hope our students will leave us with an understanding of empathy and greater purpose. In public education, we have the unique opportunity to offer this challenge to students every day as we gather with young people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. There isn’t a single instance when an individual within our walls doesn’t need another person for something and there is never a time where they can’t be needed. It is that reciprocity of humanness that is perhaps the most valuable for students to understand and appreciate. We are excited to see what this new focus has to bring to our students and staff this year. We believe you’ll see us shining brightly!

The Greensburg Salem School District pages are edited and compiled by the Community Relations Department. For more information please contact Anita Rometo, community liaison, at 724-832-2907 or

Students in Mrs. Gillespie’s 5th grade class at Metzgar Elementary used whiteboard technology to practice and share their understanding of fractions. The interactive whiteboard helps to engage students with a diverse learning styles.

Students at GSMS were at war in October – the Silver Wars! This war was sponsored by Student Council and raised $795.05 for the school’s holiday Giving Tree. The silver coins that students put into their own grade-level containers counted as positive money while the dollar bills they added to other grades’ containers were subtracted (negative money) from the other grades’ total.

Visiting author Jessica Warman shared her loving of writing and literary experiences with Mrs. Bevington’s high school creative writing class. The students learned about her personal journey as well as some of the joys and challenges of a career as a Young People’s author.

Nicely Elementary hosted their traditional fall celebration of school and family – Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads. On both days the parking lots and tables were overflowing as parents enjoyed breakfast treats with their children in the school cafeteria.

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 23


The Bricks4Kidz after-school program at Hutchinson Elementary helped students to learn math and science concepts to enhance their understanding of engineering and architectural principals. They learned, they built, and they played!

Greensburg Salem


Class of 1963

Visits Their Alma Mater


Greensburg Salem

By Paige Kemsey (Class of 2014) “What is this which morning sunlight guilds with golden beams? Tis our noble Greensburg Salem, castle of our dreams.” If you sang this line instead of read it, chances are you are a graduate of Greensburg Salem. When walking across the turf at Offutt Field on graduation day, the last thing going through a student’s head is the wonder of when they will return to that field. For some, it may be just a few days or months. For others, the answer may be never. For the graduating class of 1963, the answer was August 30, 2013. “I haven’t seen you in years!” “How are the kids?!” are just some of the quotes I heard flying around when I arrived to help with the reunion. In the sea of brown and gold, I felt out of place in my grey shirt. But that did not last for long. As I stood there countless adults came over and introduced themselves. I thought to myself, “I just met these people, and yet, it’s like I have known them for years.” It is at that moment I realized that being a part of Greensburg Salem meant being part of a family. The day started out like any other. It was a Friday and understandably, students and staff were anxious for the weekend, but more anxious about that night’s football game against Knoch. The Golden Lions knew they would have a tough game, but they had faith. Having so many friends on the team I was more than excited to start the season. But I was anxious for something else. That morning Mr. Maluchnik, the assistant principal had asked me if I would help with the 1963 class reunion tour. I agreed, knowing that this was an opportunity to meet people who walked down the same halls I do every day some 50 years earlier. I arrived at the high school just a few minutes before the graduates were supposed to start arriving. I was astounded to see the amount of students that had shown up to help with the reunion, and who were genuinely excited to meet the alumni. As they arrived, we ushered them into the library – a favorite spot of many students. When it was time to begin our principal Mr. Zilli spoke for a few minutes sharing recent accomplishments surrounding Greensburg Salem. Then, some current students split up into various places to give directions, and the rest became designated tour guides. 24 | Greensburg-Salem

While on the tour, alumni got see just how much the school changed and improved in the past 50 years. As they visited key spots like the gymnasium, cafeteria, weight room, and auditorium I heard numerous comments like, “Wow, I wish that would have been here when we were here.” At the conclusion of the tour everyone reassembled in the library and ate pizza provided by Rizzo’s restaurant and chatted about how the school had changed, shared memories and continued to catch up with one another. But the fun was far from over. From the high school the alumni traveled to Offutt Field for the football game. They had their own role to play on the field that night – they formed two lines so that the football team could run through them for the teams’ entrance onto the field. Being a Student Athletic Trainer, I was walking onto the field the same time the class of ’63 was lining up, and as I looked around, I did not see one person without a smile on their face. During the game the class of 1963 had their own special section in the bleachers. Periodically I would look back at them, see their smiles, and hear their laughter. “What is this which morning sunlight guilds with golden beams? Tis our noble Greensburg Salem, castle of our dreams.” I sang in my head, as I looked into the bleachers. No matter where life takes me, I will never forget that I started out as a Greensburg Salem Golden Lion, and by the looks on the faces of the alumni, I knew that they felt the same way.

Students Win “Chalk the Walk”

Four National Art Honor Society students earned first place in the Vandergrift Arts Festival “Chalk the Walk.” Building on the Walk of Fame theme, the students’ entry was a depiction of famous artists and the quote by artist Henri Matisse, “Creativity takes courage.” Pictured (1-r) with their winning artwork are seniors Anastazia Byerly-Bleyer, Alysa DiCristofaro, Gabby Walton, and Laura Rosner.

High School Recognized for Service to American Red Cross

Greensburg Salem High School was presented the Community, Business and School Partnership Award by the American Red Cross, Westmoreland-Fayette Chapter. The school has an active Red Cross Club which continues to raise money for the Red Cross in addition to distributing preparedness information, coordinating a Holiday Mail for Heroes Program and providing community service students volunteering administrative support during the school day. Pictured (l-r) are Red Cross board member Beth Tiedemann, student Lauren Rymer, and club sponsor Mrs. Julie Firmstone.

National Certification Earned

Miss Lynn Jobe, Greensburg Salem Athletic Director, has attained the designation of “Certified Athletic Administrator” (CAA). This accreditation identifies athletic directors nationally who demonstrate a certifiable level of both experience and expertise in the field of athletic administration. This voluntary certification process includes the

successful completion of a rigorous written examination.

Middle School Dominates Language Arts Competition

Three GSMS teams recently competed in a Language Arts event at Monessen Middle School. The teams used their knowledge of obscure vocabulary and unusual short

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 25


words to earn first, fourth and sixth place team honors. First place team members, 500 points ahead of the second place team, were Zach Armentrout, Kevavn Downs, Janelle Hayward, and Melissa Paravate. Fourth place team members were Grant Hoffer, Julius McBride, Claire Simpson, and Megan Shissler. Sixth place team members were Scott Armentrout, Peter Mica, Elizabeth O’Neal, and Gaige Tarris. Individual awards went to Janelle Hayward (1st place), Melissa Paravate (2nd place), Claire Simpson (4th place) and Kevan Downs (5th place).

Greensburg Salem


Everybody needs a BUDDY!


Greensburg Salem

For the past five years, the GSMS Buddies Club has given any interested sixth, seventh or eighth grade student the opportunity participate in community service activities in an inclusive group. These students model inclusion and acceptance of all students by participating in various recreational, vocational and educational opportunities that enhance the educational experience of students with and without disabilities. Essentially, the Buddies Club is an extension and practical application of the school’s Life Skills program. This year the club has about 130 members, which is 20% of the school’s population. Guided by elected officers, the club has monthly club-wide events, as well as many sub-committees. The first club event was a cupcake social – the club’s cooking committee prepared all of the food. Students are also involved through the Pencils and More Store, selling pencil

26 | Greensburg-Salem

supplies during lunches every Thursday; the games committee, reinforcing friendships and social skills; and the lunch committee, a group of students committed to helping their peers socialize and sit with new friends at lunch. Monthly events are planned each year based on student needs, club interests and officer leadership. In addition, the Buddies Club has always supported the Westmoreland County Food Bank through its Empty Bowl Event, and it ends each year with a student-prepared celebration. Having a place to “belong” during the middle school years is important – and for some, their place is

the Buddies Club. “Students have a lot of fun, and along the way, learn valuable life skills about effort, selflessness, kindness, acceptance, character, citizenship, and ultimately, what it means to be a good person,” commented club sponsor Mrs. Christine Metzger. “But the best part is witnessing the effects of the club outside of club events in everyday situations – in the classroom, in the hallway, at a school dance – that is when we say, mission accomplished.”

By Aryn Burda (Class of 2014) Cub’s Den has been teaching and preparing the young children of Greensburg Salem for school and older students for career and life experiences since 1998. Part of the high school’s Family and Consumer Science Child Development class, sophomore, junior, and senior level students have the opportunity to plan and implement a preschool program under the supervision of Mrs. Kristen Vassar. Through the Child Development program, students utilize course materials to deliver lessons related to a child’s development, growth, safety, and guidance. The course level a high school student enrolls in determines the responsibilities that he or she will undertake. While in level I, Child Development students learn the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of young children. After developing the understanding and skills that are needed to work with preschoolers, the high school student will work one-on-one with a Cub’s Den student. They also prepare and teach educational lessons and activities based on a weekly theme that meets Pennsylvania

“We cannot say enough positive things about the Cub’s Den preschool program. We love that each child works one-on-one with a high school student who tracks his or her individual progress in the development of kindergarten readiness skills.” — Kresta & John Schlesman Learning Standards for Early Childhood. Level II Child Development students build upon their previous learning. They become more knowledgeable in preparing a preschool classroom and help alongside Level I students to prepare and deliver lessons. Level III students have the same responsibilities as a Level II but are given more supervisory duties. These students are responsible for preparing

and updating information for preschool families. Preschool parents, Kresta and John Schlesman, were interviewed about how Cub’s Den has benefited their son, Ty. They said, “Our son is now a kindergarten student at Nicely Elementary, and we feel Cub’s Den helped ease the transition from preschool.” They continued, “In the few short weeks that kindergarten has been in session, our son has recognized some of the concepts he had learned in Cub’s Den and has easily been able to build upon his skill set. We are such avid proponents of the Cub’s Den program that our youngest son is enrolled for the spring term.” Ty was also interviewed about what his favorite part of preschool was and he responded, “I loved my high school helper and had lots of fun playing and learning! I really liked circle time and the learning centers, but the calendar was the best!” Mrs. Ashley Nestor, Coordinator of Elementary Education, Federal Programs and Instruction, stated, “Cub’s Den provides our littlest learners with the tools necessary to make a seamless transition to our elementary schools and prosper in our kindergarten classrooms.” If interested in the program, please complete the application found on the Greensburg Salem High School Web Page under the Programs and Activities tab. You can also contact Kristen Vassar at 724. 832.2960, if you have any further questions. Please send all applications to Kristen Vassar at Greensburg Salem High School, 65 Mennel Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.

Greensburg Salem is implementing a new notification system to support communication of school events to parents and staff. The School District has partnered with SchoolMessenger. com to provide a system that will allow schools to notify parents of school events, contact parents regarding student daily absences, and notify parents regarding school delays, closings or emergencies. Parents and staff will be able to create a profile online and choose the methods in which they would like to be contacted. When completed, SchoolMessenger will replace the notification system that has been used through the District website. Announcements can be created using a combination of automated voice messages, emails, or SMS text messaging. With these new features, a more robust and reliable communication system will enhance the District’s ability to provide timely notifications. Greensburg Salem is completing a link between the student information system (SIS) and SchoolMessenger to notify parents of student daily absences. Staff members are currently completing their registration within the new system which will be followed by correspondence sent to parents instructing them to complete their online registration. Parents will first create an online profile and then be directed to complete their registration through a phone verification process. After the phone verification, parents will be able to access their online account and register multiple students to that one account while choosing the methods in which they would like to be contacted. Greensburg Salem is pleased to offer this new system which promises to be an effective communication tool that can be used for school and District events. With winter approaching, SchoolMessenger will also be an effective tool for informing parents and staff of those dreaded delays and cancellations.

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 27


High School Lions Are Teaching Our Cubs

Greensburg Salem

Leveraging Technology to Get the Message Out

Golden Lion Art Gallery HUTCHINSON

Thanks to a school-wide ocean theme, a stroll through Hutchinson Elementary is like peeking into an artist-interpreted underwater world. Fourth graders in Ms. Erica Butler’s class created this mural in art class under the direction of Ms. Cheryl Carnicelli. Their vision of life under the sea is full of colorful plants and fish and features mermaids, divers and sea creatures.



Greensburg Salem

Eighth grader Jenna Barbour, in Ms. Alberth’s class, created depth in a non-objective painting by using at least three layers and a complementary color scheme that included neutrals. Jenna blended beautiful browns and grays by mixing opposite colors on the color wheel. 8th Grade artists at GSMS are exploring the question: “How do artists create/manipulate space?” Other activities have included abstract sculpture, op art, photorealistic still life, perspective drawing, and more.


At GSHS, in Mrs. Audia’s Drawing I class, students were asked to interpret the concept of contrasting viewpoints by selecting a small image to translate to a large drawing surface, as well as a large image to translate to a small drawing surface. The two selected images were to be unified by a common theme, thus creating a work of art that focuses both on technical skill as well as concept. 9th grade student, Savannah Hall created this large charcoal study of the eye as well as a small drawing of the night sky.


Students from Mrs. Tobay and Miss Fidazzo’s third grade classes filled Mr. Pantelone’s art room at Nicely Elementary with red, white, and blue artwork. The students were creating artistic salutes to our military personnel for the school’s Veteran’s Day program. Each year, all three of the Greensburg Salem’s elementary schools remember and celebrate familymember and community veterans.


Art Teacher Raphael Pantelone instructs Mrs. King’s first grade class at Metzgar Elementary on the finer points of gluing as they work on their Halloween pumpkins. “Less is better than more” and “Dots of glue rather than lines of glue,” were his recommendations. Students created their jack-o’lanterns by using construction paper, scissors and glue.

28 | Greensburg-Salem


Title I is a federally funded program that supports students in reading and math to reach their grade level benchmarks. Title I programs encourage parents to partner with the school to see that students achieve success.

Greensburg Salem

District and Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Provide Special Services

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate education program. Screening is a joint effort between the school district and parents. When results suggest that a student might qualify for the gifted program, an educational evaluation is completed. The school guidance counselor or building principal may be contacted if additional information is needed.

——— Protected Handicapped Students ———

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 29

30 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Greensburg-Salem

Greensburg Hempfield Area Library 237 South Pennsylvania Avenue • Greensburg, PA 15601 • 724-837-5620 •

Events for Adults and Children WINTER WONDERLAND! Wednesday, Dec. 4, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 5, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Take a holiday walk through the library’s decorated Candy Cane Lane. Feel free to bring a camera. It will be a magical place for children, but fun for all ages. No registration required. STRANGE ENCOUNTERS OF PENNSYLVANIA Saturday, Jan. 25, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Stan Gordon presents Strange Encounters of Pennsylvania, an illustrated lecture. Gordon,

a noted UFO and Bigfoot researcher and author, will discuss a history of UFO sightings and encounters with strange creatures which have been reported across Pennsylvania. Gordon will discuss the 1965 Kecksburg UFO incident, as well as many other strange events that occurred around the Greensburg and Westmoreland County area. He will speak about incidents where Bigfoot and UFOs were reportedly seen simultaneously, along with an update on on more recent happenings! Following the presentation, autographed copies of Gordon’s books and DVDs will be available for purchase. Sign up for the event online at or call 724.837.5620.

of age. Sign up online at or call 724.837.5620. CRAYONS! CRAYONS! CRAYONS! Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m. Latrobe author Chris Rodell’s book “Use All the Crayons!” is touted to be a national best-seller by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. A humor book with lots of heart, its joyful message has resonated with readers everywhere. Rodell will be at the library for a presentation on Feb. 8. Sign up for the event online at or call 724.837.5620.

THE GIRL FACTORY Saturday, March 15, 2 p.m. Author Karen Dietrich will present her book, “The Girl Factory: A Memoir by Karen Dietrich.” “The raising of girls through the prism of men’s desire becomes an unsettling, suspenseful theme in this affecting first work by journalist Dietrich, who is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg,” writes Publishers Weekly. The Girl Factory illuminates small-town factory life while exploring a complicated motherdaughter bond in this story of a girl’s coming

Greensburg-Salem | Winter 2013 | 31



Historic Hanna’s Town was Westmoreland County’s Original County Seat By Jennifer Brozak


s Westmoreland County’s business and cultural center, the city of Greensburg has served as the area’s county seat for more than 200 years. Despite its rich history, however, Greensburg was not Westmoreland County’s first county seat. That honor belongs to Hanna’s Town, a small village founded in 1773 by prominent landowner Robert Hanna. Originally from York County, Hanna served as a justice in Bedford before moving to Westmoreland County. He purchased a large parcel of land upon which he and his friends planned to build a town. The village’s location along Forbes

Trail Road served as the main passage between Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania. As such, Hanna’s Town became an “oasis for settlers and those seeking justice and order in the often chaotic environment of the western Pennsylvania colonial frontier,” according to the Westmoreland County Historical Society. Moreover, because the town was halfway between Fort Ligonier and Fort Duquesne, it became a critical stopping point for transporting provisions and ammunition. Hanna’s Town rose to prominence quickly and, as the county seat, it played a critical role in the American Revolution, both locally and nationally. It provided the first English court west of the Allegheny Mountains; a tavern owned by Hanna served as the county seat’s first courthouse. In 1774, not long after they settled, fear of an attack by British forces and their Indian allies drove Hanna and his settlers to construct a fort. Using Fort Ligonier as a model, the villagers built a large, tworoom log house with a flat roof, one door and no windows on the upper story, except for small holes that were large enough for a musket barrel to fit through. For further

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defense, they surrounded the fort with a palisade (stake wall). Two years later, in 1776, the fort was enhanced to include a storehouse where the private property of the settlers could be stored. Soldiers stood guard at the fort at all times, and because of their diligence, the fort and the town remained safe from attack for several years. Despite the strength of its battalion however, a raiding party of Seneca Indians, aided by British Rangers, invaded Hanna’s Town in 1782 and burned the entire town. The fort provided refuge for the families and ultimately saved many lives, but the town never recovered from the vicious assault. As a result, the county seat was moved to Greensburg in 1786. In the early 1800s, Hanna’s Town was converted to farmland. Since the late 1960s, archeologists have recovered more than one million artifacts from the historic site and have excavated 12 acres of homes, a stockade and the fort. It remains an active archeological dig, and is registered with the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors to Hanna’s Town will find a reconstructed village complete with Robert Hanna’s tavern/courthouse and jail, several log houses, a replication of the fort and a wagon shed that houses an authentic Conestoga wagon. More information about visiting historic Hanna’s Town can be found on the Westmoreland County Historical Society website at StarOf

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