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Erie Insurance and Ridge Insurance Have The

to customer service


120 over 80. What’s it worth to U?

Introducing HealthyU from UPMC Health Plan. Reaching your goals is worth more than ever. It’s worth money. That’s because HealthyU offers financial incentives for making healthy lifestyle decisions. Now when you do things like quit smoking, work with a health coach, or even get a flu shot, we put money into your very own Health Incentive Account. Money that can be used to help pay for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and even surgery. To learn more about this new, one-of-a-kind plan, talk to your employer or visit

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 1

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Seneca Valley

IN Seneca Valley is a community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Seneca Valley 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.


IN Seneca Valley | WINTER 2011 |



Older Adults in Seneca Valley

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Advanced Vein Center Are Your Valves Working Properly?



Northwest Savings Bank Local Loan Expert ON THE COVER


Bill Ridge and the staff of Ridge Insurance have a lock on customer satisfaction the Erie Insurance Rate Lock. Photo by Gary Yon.

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Mars National Advisors It’s Time for the Talk...Caring for Your Parents | 42


Complete Chiropractic Health

Health and Wellness News You Can Use


Stress and Your Health

Remember how Mom made you bundle up before going outdoors in the winter so you wouldn’t get sick? She was right. So be sure you dress for the weather — and that means covering your head, ears, mouth, and hands.

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Turn to page 4 to learn why your ears, nose, and throat need extra care in winter.

The Goddard School What’s Inside page 2

UPMC St. Margaret Opens Magee-Womens Imaging Center

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When Your Body Talks ... Be Sure to Listen

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Make a Date With Your Doctor Three Cheers for Your Ears, Nose, and Throat

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Technology for 21st Century Hospitals

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Taking on Tourette Controlling a life in motion at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

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© 2011 UPMC

Staying Active When The Weather Is Frightful What’s Happening at UPMC St. Margaret


Gather ‘Round Our Table 37


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Beleza Plastic Surgery The Eyes Have It!

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Earned Income Taxes




Seneca Valley School District



R.W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology

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UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use

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Sewickley Car Store

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Ridge Insurance Agency, Inc Holds the Key to Customer Satisfaction

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Harmony-Zelienople Community Band Hits High Note | 37 Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Cranberry 9/11 Memorial

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Area Kids Rally to Help

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safetydriven learn more on page 40

eneca Valley PUBL ISHE R

Welcome to the Winter issue of Seneca Valley magazine. We all view winter differently – some see it as the holiday season, some see it as the gloomy period when we put away the swim trunks and patio furniture. Others see it as their opportunity to break out the skis and sleds and hit the slopes. No matter how you view it, winter is a time when we have to be the most diligent, despite our mood about snow, or our preoccupation with playing in it, for those who need us the most – our seniors. While it’s hard enough for many of them to get around in good weather, the winter months can be a trial of terror for the elderly. Who’s going to shovel the snow? How will I get groceries? Will I be home before it’s too dark for me to see the road well enough to drive? And for those who have transitioned to assisted living facilities, the questions might be of an altogether different, but equally unsettling nature. Will anyone visit me for Christmas? Hanukkah? New Year’s? These are our mothers, fathers, friends and neighbors, and they don’t like to ask anything of us. But they need us just the same. I know the economy is bad, and I’m not saying go out and spend money you can’t afford, but going caroling with a church group, or visiting someone who has no one is free to us all. Chances are, you’ll not only put a smile on their faces, you’ll be giving them something money can’t buy – the feeling that someone cares. Have a joyous holiday and a happy New Year!

Wayne Dollard MAN AGIN G E DIT OR

Marybeth Jeffries RE GION AL E DIT ORS

Mark Berton [South and West] Dana Black McGrath [North] Monica L. Haynes [East] OF F ICE MAN AGE R


Debbie Mountain GRAPHIC DE SIGN

Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Sharon Cobb Susie Doak

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda


Heather Holtschlage Leigh Lyons Joann Naser

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Pamela Palongue Gina Salinger Judith Schardt


Gary Yon Kathleen Rudolph



Kelly Lotter

Hello and welcome to the winter issue of Seneca Valley magazine. This year, the first snowfall of the season seemed to arrive early, a few days before Halloween. We should have been carving pumpkins, but instead my daughters were running through the living room, begging to put up and decorate the Christmas tree. I’ll admit, it was hard to refuse. It may have been just a little more than an inch, but that early snowfall was just what I needed to ignite my holiday fever. After bundling up to go outside to play, we came in and had the first hot cocoa of the season. I fought the urge to watch Christmas movies. Instead of running around town taking care of the usual weekend tasks and errands, we stayed in and watched the snow, which was all the entertainment we needed. I am enjoying the change of season now, but come March I am certain I will be completely disgusted by the sight of the last few flakes. Until then, especially through the holiday season, the snow is a welcome enhancement to the festive season before us – as long as it doesn’t prevent us from arriving safely to all of our holiday activities. And, this time of year, there are so many fun and festive things to do and see. Whatever you are celebrating this season, here’s hoping it is the best ever. Happy Holidays,



Derek Bayer Tom Poljak

Tamara Myers


Bruce Burkley Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Karen Fadzen Julie Graff Jason Huffman Lori Jeffries Connie McDaniel Brian McKee Gabriel Negri

Aimee Nicolia Robert Ojeda Ralph Palaski Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Jennifer Schaefer Michael Silvert Karen Turkovich RJ Vighetti Nikki Capezio-Watson Sophia Williard

This magazine is carrier route mailed to all district households and businesses. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright 2011. CORRESPONDENCE Direct all inquiries, comments and press releases to: IN Community Magazines Attn: Editorial 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Ph: 724.942.0940 Fax: 724.942.0968

Spring content deadline: 4/10/12

Please recycle magazine Please recycle this magazine when youthis are through enjoying it. when you are through enjoying it.

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 

pider veins are tiny red or purple dilated blood vessels that form when veins become enlarged and swollen with stagnant blood. Though smaller than most varicose veins, spider veins are often darker and more noticeable. This is because these veins are located just below the surface of the skin. More common in women, spider veins may be triggered by pregnancy or hormonal variations and sometimes result in itching, restless leg and minor aches and pains. Non-symptomatic spider veins may be found on the face and chest as well as the legs. Although surface veins are mainly a cosmetic problem, they can also be an indication of more serious vein disease deep below the surface.


Want to learn more? Go to for more information and for directions to our offices, visit our Locations page, or Call 724-987-3220. This Industry Insight was written by Christina Teimouri, DPM.

Restless Leg Syndrome People with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) may find it difficult to sit still, and they may have trouble sleeping due to the urge to move their legs. RLS is commonly associated with the presence of spider veins.

Lose Spider Veins in a Flash with Intense Pulse Light Therapy As you age, developing spider veins, age spots, and broken capillaries is unfortunately part of the process. Just because they are natural does not mean that you are stuck with these unattractive discolorations on your face, chest and legs forever. One of the fastest and safest ways to get rid of spider veins and similar discolorations is through the use of a revolutionary new technology called Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy. Large areas can be treated quickly and easily, with less damage. IPL targets spider veins and discolorations deep below the surface of the skin while leaving the outer layer of the skin undamaged. An alternative to Pulsed Light is Sclerotherapy - injections of solutions into your spider veins. Our doctors perform the procedure in-office and administer a foaming solution with minimal discomfort. The solution irritates the veins and causes them to collapse, hiding their appearance.

Treatment Spider veins can be treated with injections, surgical removal and laser surgery. You should discuss these treatments with our vein specialist to determine the best choice for your personal situation after having a Doppler Ultrasound at our ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited site. This is performed by a Registered Vascular Technician. Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 5


For as long as some Pennsylvania residents can remember they have sat down four times a year and filled out a small postcard. or as long as some Pennsylvania residents can remember they have sat down four times a year and filled out a small postcard. This small postcard asked you to list your wages, calculate approximately 1 percent of your earnings and mail a check to your local earned income tax collector in your community municipal building. But in 2012, every taxpayer in Seneca Valley School District can cross one more chore off their to-do list thanks to a new state mandate. Beginning Jan. 1, all employers who have work sites in the commonwealth are required by Act 32 of 2008 to withhold all earned income taxes from every employee. And all employees have to do is make sure they have filled out a residency certification form. “The legislation affects every single municipality and school district in Pennsylvania,” says Mitch Hoffman, local government policy manager at the state Department of Community and Economic Development. “That in itself is huge. In addition, it also affects every single taxpayer and every single business that operates in Pennsylvania.”


IN THE BEGINNING Earned income taxes have been a fixture in Pennsylvania since 1965. At the time, state lawmakers imposed the levy to allow local entities such as school districts and municipalities to raise more funds. “It provided an avenue for local taxing bodies to impose a tax to help fund their operating costs, and it was only imposed on people who actually had earned income, not those who were retired or were not working,” says Hoffman. Earned income tax is unique to Pennsylvania. Neighboring states have similar structures in place, but they are not identical. In theory, the tax is simple. Anyone who works in the state pays on average a 1 percent tax four times a year. Some townships, boroughs and school districts tax a bit higher and some a bit lower.

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Seneca Valley

And to pay their bill, an employer could withhold the tax from an employee’s pay or the employees themselves could calculate their tax and send it to their local earned income tax collector. But from the start, issues arose. Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of local municipalities in the country, and at one point, there were up to 560 different earned income tax offices in the state, says Hoffman. “It was very fractured and very convoluted. There was no consistency in collections, no consistency in annual returns and no consistency in transfer of records from one tax collector to another.” Confusion about where to send taxes also abounded for companies that are headquartered out of state but have a plethora of work sites and thousands of employees in Pennsylvania. “Many of these companies did withhold the tax, but with so many different collectors it was difficult for them to comply with all the expectations,” says Hoffman. The cumbersome structure also was not attractive to new business endeavors as it created one more regulation interested companies had to comply with when they opened a site in Pennsylvania. Within decades, people started to question the structure used to collect earned income tax.

A NEW WAY By 2002, various organizations sought change and restructuring. Their pleas were supported by a study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Economy League among other entities. The study found that millions of dollars across the state were not being accounted for correctly and millions of potential tax dollars were not being collected at all. The actual amount always remained uncertain, says Hoffman. “I talk to employers every day who have had work sites in Pennsylvania for years and have never collected the tax. We are not just dealing with Pennsylvania businesses though, this hits businesses across North America.”

Change was slow to come, but in 2008, state lawmakers passed Act 32 and its effects were so far reaching it gave local municipalities and school districts three years to implement its regulations. Under the new law, the burden related to the tax has shifted from employees to their employers. Every employer in Pennsylvania is required to have each employee fill out a one-page local earned income tax residency certification form by year’s end. On the form, employees list their address, municipality and county of residence. This information matches to a municipality specific code ensuring the tax dollars are automatically withheld and end up at the correct tax collector. Throughout Pennsylvania, except in Allegheny County, earned income tax collector positions were eliminated or altered as taxes will go to a county level tax collector chosen by a tax collection district made up of representatives from every municipality and school district in the specific county. In Allegheny County, four collection districts were chosen to better serve the area’s unique demographics, says Hoffman. “The four collection districts are separated by the rivers. Allegheny County is different than anywhere else in the state due to its diverse populations and number of corporations.”

GOING FORWARD In addition to the more centralized structure, the law has other oversight and accountability features. There are explicit time frames set out for the distribution of dollars as well as training and certification for all tax officers. There also are penalties for late payments and annual auditing, says Hoffman. “All of these are built in to guarantee the amount of monies being collected are collected properly, remitted properly and distributed properly.” Filing returns also will be more uniform throughout the state. “Some local returns were several pages, some half a page and some had none at all. Now there is a standard form for all of Pennsylvania and all the tax collectors are required to use it. We now have consistency.” Cranberry Township Manager Jerry Andree expects the positive outcomes predicted to come to fruition in time, although he feels that Cranberry and the other eight municipalities in Seneca Valley School District were doing a thorough job of collection already. “(With) this required withholding, we reduce the frustration by the local taxpayer on when and to whom to send their tax and (it) should improve the ability of the taxing jurisdictions to collect the tax from all taxpayers that should be paying that tax.” The new law allows other municipalities to overcome inefficiencies statewide that Seneca Valley communities already have combated, said Andree. “Cranberry Township and the other eight municipalities and the school district overcame those inefficiencies over 10 years ago with all of us agreeing on one collector and one process. Our structure and approach in Cranberry Township and the Seneca Valley School District was very streamlined and effective. “ Berkheimer Tax Administrator, Butler County’s tax collector, has been handling Cranberry’s earned income tax collection needs for more than 20 years. This familiarity lends itself to an expected increase in tax collection in 2012 whereas many other municipalities are keeping projections stagnant. In 2012, Cranberry Township expects to collect $4.9 million - an increase of $150,000 from 2011. Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 7

Seneca Valley School District

SENECA VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT The Seneca Valley School District pages are compiled by the Seneca Valley Communications Department, Linda Andreassi, director. 124 Seneca School Rd. Harmony, PA 16037 724.452.6040 Fax: 724.452.6105 For more information on Seneca Valley School District activities, athletics, events and more, visit Equal Opportunity Employer The Seneca Valley School District will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability or any other legally protected classification in the employment or in the administration of any of its educational programs and activities. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To inquire about, obtain a copy of or to file a complaint relating to this policy, contact the Seneca Valley Human Resources Department at the address above. For more information, call 724.452.6040, ext. 1760.

SENECA VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT Mission Statement: In collaboration with family and community, the mission of the Seneca Valley School District is to provide an academically rigorous learning experience in a progressive environment, emphasizing civic responsibility and global awareness.

Media Notice As part of an ongoing process to generate good news about our schools, the Seneca Valley School District will be inviting the media inside our classrooms to learn about our outstanding academic programs and events. We will also publicize events and activities via our Web site at Parents/Guardians who do not wish to have their child’s name, photograph or other personal information to appear in any media or district publications, including but not limited to, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, etc., must submit written documentation to the appropriate building principal.


Seneca Valley

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

Dr. Vitale Takes The Helm School board appoints Superintendent of Schools r. Tracy Vitale is keeping an extra pair of shoes in her office these days. As the recently appointed Superintendent of Schools, she is finding that the time spent visiting students and staff and meeting regularly with community groups and local businesses has kept her on her feet, if not her toes. “I have truly enjoyed meeting with our school community and appreciate the many well wishes and great advice,” said Dr. Vitale. “It’s been an exciting time for me and I believe there is no greater calling than to be an educator. I see it as a vocation within which the extraordinary commitment to change someone’s view or encourage new thinking is at the forefront of what we do.” By a unanimous vote of the school board, Dr. Vitale was appointed in late September to serve as the Superintendent of Schools, a promotion from her previous position as Seneca Valley’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Pupil Services. As the new Superintendent of Schools, she replaces Dr. Donald J. Tylinski, who retired on Sept. 28 after 36 years in education. “With Dr. Tylinski’s emphasis on technology, Seneca Valley experienced its first renaissance,” Dr. Vitale said in reference to the vast improvements made in technology that led to the district being named a 2010 Pennsylvania School Board Association’s Excellence in Technology winner. “I am excited to pick up where he left off and lead Seneca Valley into its second renaissance of change, learning and opportunity.” Dr. Vitale, a resident of Adams Township, has served as an assistant superintendent for the past four years. Prior to that, she served for three years as principal of Seneca Valley Middle School. During her tenure there, the building was recognized for being a top-performing middle school in the state as a 2006 Don Eichhorn “Schools To Watch” winner. She first came to Seneca Valley in 2002 as the assistant principal of Seneca Valley Middle School. She also has building administrator experience in Coatesville Area School District in Coatesville, Pa. She began her education career as an English teacher in 1993, spending time as an instructor in Purchase Line Junior-Senior High School in Commodore, Pa.; Shelby City Middle School in Shelby, N.C.; and Elizabeth Forward High School in Elizabeth, Pa. Dr. Vitale earned her bachelor of science in secondary education in 1993 from Duquesne University. She went on to earn her gifted education certificate in 1999 and her master’s in


Dr. Vitale meets with Haine Middle School students during a recent career fair at the school.

educational leadership in 2000 from Carlow College. In 2009, Dr. Vitale earned her doctorate of education from the University of Pittsburgh. “It’s vital that Seneca Valley’s core values are centered on a keystone that all children come first in every decision that we make,” Dr. Vitale said. “Supporting that theory, the values I believe we should be focused on are accountability, fiscal responsibility, best practices and always striving for perfection. No one person, indeed no one school district can be perfect, but reaching for perfection means that we need to not only say we are providing academic excellence, but that we live it. There is no summit to quality education. It is a never-ending journey and we all play a crucial part in it.” An expert in research-based hiring, Dr. Vitale refined the employment process at Seneca Valley for professional and classified staff. A progressive leader with a keen understanding of today’s technology, Dr. Vitale, through her doctoral research, developed a model process for hiring teachers in Pennsylvania, and plans to use this visionary approach when serving as Superintendent of Schools. “Dr. Vitale is a deeply dedicated, proven asset to Seneca Valley, and has a long and laudable history with our district,” said Mr. Robert Hill, Jr., board president. “During her time with us, she has worked tirelessly with the board, Dr. Tylinski, and our staff, to achieve countless positive, measurable administrative and educational accomplishments that have helped Seneca Valley become the high quality educational institution it is today.”

Seneca Valley School District

K- 6

e n p i ngs p a H


Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

V S s

Flat Stanley in the Big Apple

‘It Takes a Village’ More than 50 Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School parents and their children, teachers and support staff cleaned, weeded and planted flowers to help beautify the school for the start of the 2011-12 year. Thank you!

Haine Elementary second grade teachers take part in a “Flat Stanley” book reading project each year. As part of that effort, students create their own Flat Stanley to send to someone they know in another state – or country - where they ask the recipient to feature the character at a landmark. This Haine Flat Stanley made the billboard in New York City’s Times Square! The “Friendship Crew” is Aimee Kaczmarek’s theme for her Haine Elementary classroom. Teachers have the goal of trying to get pictures of their students’ “Flat Stanleys” in all 50 states, and they are well on their way.

A job well done Rowan Elementary students participated in a variety of outdoor fun in celebration of a recent successful fundraiser at the school.

Making a Difference

EC Pink Day

Seneca Valley students show their support of the Caring Team during a recognition lunch held at Heinz Field on September 27. SV is proud to be a partner of The Caring Team. This organizations helps to raise awareness of the needs of grieving children and to share stories of the hope and healing that many grieving children and families have found through the Caring Place.

Evans City Middle School held Pink Day recently, raising more than $500 for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation. Congratulations and great job! Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 9

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

   Two smaller groups (approximately 44 Seneca Valley earns Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) students in each or 1.1 percent of the total Evans City Middle School – in an incredibly impressive showing – is listed as having the greatest PSSA individual student growth improvement over all of the other 1,389 middle schools in the Commonwealth, and not just for reading, but in math as well. Evans City, Haine, Rowan and Connoquenessing Valley Elementary schools all demonstrated growth in reading and math for both third and fourth grade. Evans City, Haine and CVE all showed gains in reading and math for third grade. Rowan Elementary continued to pull in high results for third grade across math and reading. Haine Middle School saw considerable improvements in fifth and sixth grades for reading. The secondary grades involved in taking the PSSAs (grades 7, 8 and 11) also show only improvements, no decreases, in both reading and math.

e are pleased to announce that, based on 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) results, students in the Seneca Valley School District have demonstrated great gains in achievement overall. The District was once again designated as reaching or exceeding the targeted assessment standards and was given the status of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as established by No Child Left Behind. “We appreciate the continued support of all invested groups, including staff, parents, business leaders and community members as we raise the bar for academic performance in Seneca Valley,” said Dr. Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools. “We look forward to continued improvements in student performance.” The following are examples of the positive changes seen in PSSAs for 2011:


student population) did meet not meet the required thresholds in two areas, and they include 27 economically disadvantaged students in the Seneca Valley Senior High School for math and 21 special education students at Evans City Elementary for reading. “We are aware of those students who are in need of additional assistance and have procedures and supports in place to help them improve,” said Dr. Vitale. “We fully expect those groups to achieve the targets this school year.” To view a detailed account of Seneca Valley’s results, visit welcome.jsf and click on the blue “visit public site” banner. “I want to assure you that we don’t plan to rest on our laurels after this latest round of PSSA testing,” said Dr. Vitale. “In fact, I fully anticipate that the gains will continue and hope our parents will join us in supporting our efforts by making sure students are rested and have had a healthy breakfast on the mornings of PSSA testing.”

Seneca Valley


100 94.1%



94.3% 89.6%


84.9% 75.2%

87% 72.9%



















64.1% 69.6%

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Seneca Valley


Grade 11 Math


Grade 8 Math


Grade 7 Math


Grade 6 Math


Grade 5 Math


Grade 4 Math


Grade 3 Math


Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

 2010-11 ACT Assessment Score

2010-11 SAT Scores Seneca Valley State Norms National Norms

Writing 508 492 489

Critical Rdng. 516 501 497

Math 517 516 514

(Grade 12) Seneca Valley State National

23.6 22.3 21.1

Elite Ranking! The Pittsburgh Business Times (PBT) came out with its Annual Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools in May 2011, and Seneca Valley continues to hold a Top 16 ranking (out of more than 100 western Pa. schools).

Over the last six years, the district jumped a total of 27 spots; going from 43 to 16!!! Add to that the implementation of the Seneca Valley Cyber & Arts, The Academy of Choice, and major improvements in curriculum, instruction

Record number of students earn AP Scholar Awards eneca Valley is pleased to announce that a record 23 students have earned Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the 2010 AP exams. The College Board’s AP Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP exams. About 18 percent of the more than 1.9 million students worldwide who took AP exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award. On a scaled score of one to five, with five being the highest, Seneca Valley not only had a (school) record number of students taking the exams, students averaged 4.13 on all exams combined. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP exams. At Seneca Valley Senior High School: • Twelve students qualified for a State AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of three or higher on a five-point scale on three or more AP exams. These students include Michelle Botyrius, Hannah Bredl, Jordan Case, Matthew Graf, Cara Lucas, Christy Lucas, Sara Mantick, Ryan Nuzzo, Carmen Rizzi, Krista Schweikle, Marla Shipton, and Julia Williams. Michelle, Cara, Christy and Ryan are currently seniors while the others are 2011 graduates of Seneca Valley. • Five students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of


at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. These students are all members of the Class of 2011 and include Simon Brown, Anthony Deluca, Adam Dorko, Kaitlyn Livingstone, and Danielle McKinney. • Six students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are also 2011 graduates of Seneca Valley and include Stephanie Bullis, Nicholas Cupelli, Susan Francino, Kim Kolor, Camaria Lehman, and Daniel Willard. • One 2011 graduate, Susan Francino, was also bestowed with the elite National AP Scholar title as she earned an average score of 4 or high on all AP exams, and scores of four or higher on eight or more of these exams. In fact, she earned a perfect five on all eight exams she took through the AP Program. These exams include English language composition, English literature composition, macro economics, micro economics, US history, calculus, biology and Latin. Each AP exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program.

and technology over the past year, and you have what many, including our state leaders, are calling “a premiere school district others are beginning to notice.”

SV Students Recognized by the National Merit® Scholarship Corporation he National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has recently recognized 11 Seneca Valley students in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Competition. The following two seniors have been named semifinalists:


Laura O. Byko

Cara M. Lucas

The semifinalists now advance to the finalist level of the competition and will learn of their status in spring 2012. Nine additional seniors have earned commended status for placing among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students in the 2011 NMSC program. Each of these students will receive a letter of commendation from the District and NMSC: Rachel Agnello Michelle E. Botyrius John P Kelleher Josephine S. Krome Kelsey M. Mislan

Mark E. Mosso Ryan B. Nuzzo Jesse M. Prisby Melainie N. Young

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 11

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

science, technology, engineering, math STEM SV takes first steps withscience, STEMtechnology, Summit engin ogy, engineering, math STEM nce, technology, engineering, math STEM science, tech W TEM science, technology, engineering, math STEM

ng, math

Chemical Co., Traco/Alcoa, Tower significant interest in creating opportunities hile many of today’s top political Engineering, Society of Automotive and experiences that will assist our students in leaders are looking for ways to drive Engineers, Cranberry Township, Midwestern STEM-related fields, we value their input and down the unemployment rate and Intermediate Unit, Beaver Valley were excited about this important databoost the economy, many of our educational gathering event,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fuller, leaders are looking at ways to better inform the Intermediate Unit, Slippery Rock University, assistant superintendent. public and fill the incredible void in the areas of and the University of Pittsburgh. Through this summit, the district has established a Dr. Kenneth Borland, executive director science, technology, engineering and math committee to advise the district on programs of the North West Pennsylvania STEM (STEM). and activities related to STEM initiatives. Initiative, led the summit and shared his What’s the connection? According to the “As companies or universities with thoughts on Seneca Valley’s current STEM National Research Council, if the U.S. could initiatives as they begin looking at significantly increase students’ their next steps in the formation of a STEM skills, an estimated $100 STEM program. trillion would be added to the U.S. “The challenge is not to simply economy over the next 80 years. increase the number of students It’s an intriguing idea. graduating with college degrees in To further discuss STEM and the STEM fields; it is to lift the the ways to encourage greater overall understanding of science, student interest and participation, technology, engineering and Seneca Valley hosted the District’s mathematics among the rest of the first STEM Summit on Thursday, population as well,” Dr. Borland Nov. 10, 2011, at the Seneca Valley said. Senior High School. District To view Dr. Borland’s complete officials welcomed more than a presentation, please visit the STEM dozen area engineers, technology headline on our homepage at experts and university professors To learn more about from many of the area’s largest STEM, please visit companies, universities and Area business leaders and educational organizations met at Seneca organizations in western Valley in November for a science, technology, engineering and math Pennsylvania, including BASF (STEM) Summit.

Seneca Valley School District Setting the Pace for Environmental Excellence eneca Valley School District students and staff are achieving big savings with energyefficient behavior — and now those good habits are earning national recognition. Seneca Valley School District has achieved a 19 percent cost savings totaling $817,659 in 36 months since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company, which presented Seneca Valley with an Environmental Excellence Award November 7. “Reaching this level of savings at this stage of the program is a significant achievement. Seneca Valley School District has done an excellent job of implementing Energy Education’s organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization,” said Dr. William S. Spears, Chairman and Founder of Energy Education. “I am extremely pleased to present Seneca Valley School District with our Environmental Excellence Award.” Dr. Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, said the success of the program



Seneca Valley

is two-fold in that “it serves as an excellent cost avoidance program while at the same time acting as an example to our students that energy conservation is not only something we teach, but a rule we live by.” A primary benefit of the Energy Education program is that all costs come out of the existing utility budget, with savings projected to more than pay for the program, as they have done for Seneca Valley School District. Additional savings can be redirected to other parts of the budget. The program delivers an environmental benefit from a reduced carbon footprint. Energy not used prevents the emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. According to EPA/EGrid figures, in the first 36 months of the program, Seneca Valley School District saved 44,360 MMBTU, the equivalent of 5,445 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, 977 cars removed from the road, or 139,268 pine trees grown for 10 years.


Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

SV Out & About

SV JROTC joins SRU in training opportunity ctober 22, the Seneca Valley Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), also known as the Raider Battalion, spent the day in a valuable leadership training opportunity that most likely taught them the value of the Army motto, “This We’ll Defend.” Cadets spent the day rappelling from a 40-foot wall, ziplining down a 200-foot cable and climbing and crossing a wire bridge 40 feet off the ground. The group was fortunate to spend the day training with Slippery Rock University’s Senior ROTC Program in three different areas, including tower training, leaders reaction course (LRC), and orienteering. In addition to the tower training, cadets participated in the LRC, which develops teamwork and consists of overcoming simulated combat obstacles. During the orienteering training, cadets are broken down into two- person teams, given a compass and five directions, and are required to navigate through the wooded training site while locating the five points within a given time. “The greatest obstacle the cadets must learn to overcome is fear,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Massullo, Raider Battalion Army Instructor. “Fear of heights being the biggest. Once they overcome that, it becomes difficult to get them off the tower for other training.”



Never Forgotten

SV recognizes area veterans in annual event

eneca Valley was pleased to host the 14th Annual Veteran Recognition Night in tandem with the first home football game of the season. In addition to receiving special parking and seating accommodations, active and retired military personnel were recognized for their years of service and sacrifice. In addition, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, veterans assisted the team in adhering special American flag decals to the helmets of each football player. “On behalf of myself and others who attended, I thank Seneca Valley for the welcome, the gifts and the honors presented to us. You can be assured that everything was appreciated,” said Mr. Dean McMillen, U.S. Navy veteran.


Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 13


Seneca Valley

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

Musical Arts

16 SV students earn honor choir designation

he Westminster Honor Choir consists of 80 singers from a fourcounty area (Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer), and 16 of the 2011 choir was made up of students from Seneca Valley alone. This year, the honor choir took part in a concert held in November at Westminster College. Congratulations to:


Soprano I Tenor I Hayley Hoss- Chair 3-Grade 9 David Osorno- Chair 6- Grade 9 Abbie Kalnas-Chair 4-Grade 12 Ellie DiLeva – Alternate – Grade 11 Soprano II Elicia Gibson-Chair 4 -Grade 12 Beth Holl- Chair 3- Grade 11 Kristin Carmella- Chair 5- Grade 11 Sara Buggy- Chair 6- Grade 12

Tenor II Nick Traverso- Chair 1- Grade 12 Josh Baktay-Chair 2- Grade 10 Lance Hahn – Chair 4 – Grade 9 Charlie Schade- Alternate- Grade 12

Alto I Jamie Walters-Chair 4 - Grade 11 Kacey Faix – Chair 7 – Grade 11

Bass I Ben Paget- Chair 1 -Grade 12 Matt Sweikowski-Chair 2-Grade 12

Alto 2 Julianna Hritz- Chair 2- Grade 12

Bass II Kurt Branby-Chair 8- Grade 12

Jazz quartet jams at SHS Senior high school instrumental and vocal art students were treated to a performance by the Troy Roberts NuJive Jazz Quartet today. Troy Roberts is one of the up-coming jazz giants who fuses elements of jazz, rock, fusion, and blues into his music. In addition to performing for students, he and his band held a Q & A session after school. This high energy, highly talented world renown group can be visited at

‘Beauty and the Beast’

SVMS Performs ‘Guys & Dolls, Jr.’ ongratulations to the cast and crew of the Seneca Valley Middle School Musical, “Guys & Dolls, Jr.” for their successful three-night run in mid-November. The play, based on the book by Abe Burrows & Jo Swerling with music & lyrics by Frank Loesser, was directed by Jennifer Mitnick and Pamela McCarthy with sets by Andra Titus and the theater arts class. Great job!


Seneca Valley is proud to announce this year’s selection of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” for the allschool musical. You will be transported to the heart of provincial life in a lovely French town. When Maurice becomes lost in the woods on the way to the fair, he seeks shelter in an old castle, but the master of the castle is a horrible beast that takes him captive. Maurice’s daughter, Belle, must then give up her freedom to save his life. Belle’s taming of the unfortunate Beast and his ultimate transformation back into a handsome prince has enthralled Broadway audiences for over 13 years. The production will run at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24-25, and March 2- 3, 2012, and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26, in the intermediate high school auditorium. Tickets for this family friendly show will go on sale in January. Please check the district’s website for a link to purchase tickets in early January. Tickets will go fast so plan ahead so you don’t miss this sure to be sold out event! Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 15

Seneca Valley School District


Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

Secondary Campus

‘Out of this world’ Seneca Valley’s Homecoming week was held in early October with a host of activities that were, as the theme of this year’s event aptly pointed out, “Out of this World.” In addition to the game and the homecoming dances, members of the senior class were honored to be a part of the 2011-12 court. They are, pictured from top left: Lauren Campitelli, Kelly Cundiff, Julianna Hritz, Kelly Kress, Kailey Lucci, Morgan Midkiff, Kylie Rapso, Mary Rekuc, Audrey Semel, and Delaney Stengel. From bottom left: Gabriel Edwards, Tyler Gilbert, Conner Gillooly, Kylan Hill, Brady Marburger, Max McCloskey, Tim Pecora, Mason Pynos, Colin Staudt, and Troy Witt. Congratulations to Audrey Semel for being named the queen, and Colin Staudt for being named the king.

Carving out some fun The family and consumer science for healthy living class recently spent time carving pumpkins with the Lifeskills and German exchange students at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. They cleaned and roasted the seeds and cuttings to make pumpkin scones, pudding and dip. What a great way to make use of the whole pumpkin - and what a great experience for all.

 Through the support of community/parent donations and staff volunteers, the Seneca Valley Middle School Annual Pajama Rama event was once again a success. The event provides seventh grade girls the opportunity to interact (in their jammies!) in a positive way with each other, their school and community. It is a night about fun, trying new things and, most importantly, making new friends. The evening started with representatives from the senior high school Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group speaking to the girls about their memories of middle school, friendships and making positive choices as young adolescents. Stations with various activities were available for girls to visit throughout the night. This year’s activities included dodgeball, volleyball, karaoke, face painting, photo magnet frame-making, ankle bracelet-making and self-defense. There was also a concluding dance in the cafeteria under the disco ball. The entire night is aimed at showing the participants that they can have fun without using drugs or alcohol, making friendships within their grade level and with staff as well as getting comfortable in their new school. 16

Seneca Valley

Pledging to Rachel’s Challenge Students at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School were noticeably moved when the nationally known Rachel’s Challenge visited the school this past October. Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries were the foundation for this incredibly inspiring school program. Powerful video/audio footage of Rachel’s life and the Columbine tragedy held students spellbound during the presentation, motivating them to be aware of the way they treat others. The assembly was followed by a separate, interactive 90 minute training session involving both adult and student leaders that shows both how to sustain the momentum created by the program. The assembly creates the “want to” or desire for positive change. The training session teaches the “how to” and ensures that the positive impact will continue. Students have signed a Rachel’s Challenge Banner and have it proudly on display as you enter the school’s cafeteria.

Seneca Valley School District

Kick it! At press time, two Seneca Valley students, who are also brothers, had just been notified that their scores in the regional NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Competition put them in the running for the state title. They were invited to compete for that title during halftime of the Dec. 4 Steelers game against the Front, fr Danielle om left: Lauren S Cincinnati Bengals. Chris Hart, a Pos erv Back, fro pistle and Anna ello, Haine Middle School sixth Palmieri. m left: B rian Lawson and Cory Hart, Luke grader, and Brian Hart, a Rowan Lindey. fourth grader, were to compete against other regional winners to see how far they can kick a football. As winners, they would represent the Steelers during the national Punt, Pass & Kick competition held during the AFC Championship game. Other Seneca Valley students who placed in the regional competition include: Age 6-7 Groups: Luke Lawson - Rowan - 2nd Place Danielle Popistle – Rowan - 2nd Place Dillon Gallagher – Haine - 4th Place Age 8-9 Groups: Brian Hart – Rowan – 1st Place Lauren Servello - Rowan - 3rd Place Anna Palmieri - Rowan - 4th Place Age 10-11 Groups: Chris and Brian Hart Brooke Lawson - Rowan - 3rd Place Age 12-13 Groups: Chris Hart – Haine Middle School – 1st Place Bella DeFabbo - Evans City Middle School - 2nd Place Age 14-15 Groups: Alicia Hart – Intermediate High School - 2nd Place

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

Smooth Sailing Connoquenessing Valley Elementary (CVE) held its Olweus anti-bullying kick-off program at the building earlier this fall. DeeAnn Graham, principal, said this year’s theme is “CV Friendship, and it includes a forecast of calm seas and smooth sailing.” The week-long kick-off ended with grade level meetings and announcing the winners of the paintings, which were created and donated by George Williams, a Seneca Valley Middle School art teacher.

 Haine Middle School students made and sold 700 “hungry bowls” last May as part of a fundraiser to help The Gleaners Food Bank in Cranberry Township. Noele Reynolds, art teacher, recently informed us that, thanks to this effort, they were able to donate $3,360 to the food bank. Gleaners was able to use the money to purchase fresh produce for all their food bank clients.

SHS Student Connections “Linked Together” is a participatory art project/temporary installation that senior high school completed as a project that combined the CARE Program and the art forms classes. Students, during a CARE activity, were asked to write down a positive experience they had while at Seneca Valley and roll it into a newspaper tube. These tubes were assembled by Jason Shorr’s art forms classes into individual structures. They were painted and hung close together to appear as a single form. The work resembles steel girders used in the substructure of a building or DNA strands in the human body. Seneca Valley colors were used to further connect the piece to the school and students while the black is found in other linear designs in the recent school addition.

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 17

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

What’s Online? SV on YouTube The Seneca Valley School District has a variety of YouTube videos on everything from our technology offerings to anti-bullying programs. You can also hear first-hand from Dr. Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, about her plans for the district. View it all here at: com/user/SenecaValleySD.

Invest in School Spirit

Online Photos

Looking for casual weekend clothing options? Want to show your school spirit? Be sure to visit the Seneca Valley Pride Store for lots of warm and cozy Raider options to keep you warm this winter. Proceeds from the store benefit Raider Athletics. The pride store is linked from the Seneca Valley home page and athletics, or you can go directly to the page by clicking on

Haine Middle School held its Annual Exploratory Career Fair in November with more than 40 professional presenters attending. Students were able to choose four presentations from 16 different career clusters. Some examples: a chef, engineer, music recording artist, journalist, FBI agent, attorney, car service and sales person, and information systems manager. The kids enjoyed learning about various professions and were keeping a journal. They’re even starting to work on their own resumes. Great job to the HMS staff for organizing the event. To view more photos of the event and others like it all over the district, visit the district website at: and click on the school of your choosing at the top left side of the screen.

SVC&A – The Academy of Choice Seneca Valley Cyber & Arts, The Academy of Choice, provides students with a world-class virtual and/or performing arts education, individualized instruction and support by certified and highly qualified members of the Seneca Valley teaching staff. Benefits include flexibility of scheduling, traveling and exploring career options! We’re excited to introduce a strings program and ballet classes to our performing arts school for the 2011-12 school year. A special thank you goes to Murrysville resident Michelle Jankosky for donating a baby grand piano to our performing arts program. Learn more about SVC&A or enroll today! Call us at 724.452.6040, ext. 1015 or visit us online at

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter Do you like social networking? Are you a registered user of Facebook or Twitter? Then join us! Our Twitter Link:!/search/Seneca_Valley Our Facebook Link:!/pages/SenecaValley-School-District-Official-District-Site/1331 05866727178 You can expect to find regular updates on school information, activities and student accomplishments. We also use Facebook to post school delays and cancellations. 18

Seneca Valley

Online Results ·

The Seneca Valley Academic Games Team has been competing in a number of regional competitions as students vie for a position on the national qualifying team. The Academic Games National Competition will be held in

Oglebay, W. Va., on April 27, 2012. To keep current with all of the Academic Games results, visit their website under the Activities/Clubs section of the district website at · On November 9, the 9-12 Library Club hosted the 6th Annual Interscholastic Reading Competition. Teams of students from BethCenter, South Butler, Laurel, Mohawk, Oil City, Purchase Line and Seneca Valley competed against each other to determine who would win the coveted winner’s plaque and victor’s T-shirts, not to mention bragging rights and free books. A tie for first place between Beth Center’s “A-Team” and the Mohawk “Warriors” resulted in a sudden death bonus round with Beth Center winning by one point. It was an exciting evening. For a look at the evening’s events, and complete list of results, check out the video on the IHS Librarian’s home page. 220235990/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMD RN=2000&BCOB=0&C=60569

Community Links Seneca Valley feels fortunate to have so many partners working with us in this educational endeavor. For example, Cranberry Township generously donated supplies and use of their equipment and personnel in helping to repurpose the yard at Rowan Elementary School. Once the modular classrooms were removed in late summer, the lawn was greatly in need of repair. Cranberry Township stepped in to assist and removed concrete piers, applied topsoil, seeded, and cleaned out the catch basin. Their assistance was very much appreciated by the Rowan community, as well as the entire district. To visit the Cranberry Township Website and other municipal sites, be sure to visit the links page found under “Community” on our website at

Diversity Committee Committee members are looking forward to another school year filled with exciting diversity initiatives. Below is a list of diversity meetings new members are always welcome! For more information or to join, call (724) 452-6040, ext. 1760, or visit the diversity committee link under site shortcuts at

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

alumni news

  

In other alumni news:

2011 SV grad hits the muddy trail with health and physical education instructor ara Moyer, a 2011 Seneca Valley Graduate, joined Jeannie Orend, a senior high school health and physical education teacher, in running the Columbus Ruckus Race on August 27, with both of them coming out as winners. The Ruckus course is four miles long and made up of more than 20 obstacles, with lots of mud, according to Ms. Orend. She and Ms. Moyer finished first and third, respectively, during the preliminary heat, qualifying them to run in the championship race, which was made up of the top ten percent of racers from the preliminaries. In the championship race, Ms. Orend finished second and Ms. Moyer put on a huge burst and sprint at the end to pass another woman to finish third overall. There were approximately 300 women in the competition. “I’d say we did pretty well,” Ms. Orend said. “I was happy to run a race and do so well with a former student of mine. I’d say we represented Seneca Valley pretty well! We hope to do more obstacle and muddier races together in the future.”


Before the Ruckus.

• Michael Doerfler, SV Class of 2001, is a member of the Cranberry Lions Club and recently earned the Melvin Jones Award. For his efforts, $1,000 has been donated in Michael’s name to Lions’ International. Congratulations! • Gary Flavion, SV Class of 2008, is a senior offensive lineman for the Washington & Jefferson College football team and was recently named first team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Great job! To submit alumni news, simply email the information to Linda Andreassi, Seneca Valley communications director at To view more information on alumni, visit

After the Ruckus.

2011 SENECA VALLEY BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS Mr. Robert J. Hill, Jr., President Serving fourth term, expiration in 2015 Represents Cranberry Twp. West III, Region 3 324 Green Fields Court Cranberry Township PA 16066 724-772-5669

Ms. Kelly Kopera Serving first term, expiration in 2015 Represents Evans City & Seven Fields boroughs, Region 7 110 Pattison Street Evans City PA 16033 724-538-5617

Mr. James Nickel Serving first term, expiration in 2015 Represents Cranberry Twp. West I & II, Region 2 223 Whispering Oaks Drive Cranberry Township PA 16066 724-452-1325

Mr. Eric Gordon Serving first term, expiration in 2013 Represents Cranberry Twp. East III & West V, Region 5 318 Brookston Drive Cranberry Township PA 16066 912-227-2896

Ms. Jeanette Lahm Serving first term, expiration in 2013 Represents Cranberry Twp. East I & II, Region 1 22 Burke Road Cranberry Township PA 16066 724-742-5116

Mr. Jason G. Wehrle Serving second term, expiration in 2013 Represents Cranberry Twp. West IV & West VI, Region 4 402 Karen Court Cranberry Township PA 16066 724-779-2074

Mr. Eric DiTullio Serving first term, expiration in 2013 Represents Lancaster & Forward Townships, Region 8 112 Victory Terrace Harmony PA 16037 724-452-0905

Rev. Reid Moon Serving first term, expiration in 2015 Represents Zelienople Borough, Region 6 442 South Main Street Zelienople PA 16063 724-816-2035

Mr. James Welsh Serving first term, expiration in 2013 Represents Callery & Harmony boroughs and Jackson Twp., Region 9 350 Prospect Road Evans City PA 16033 724-538-5251 Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 19

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

 We would like to welcome the pictured Seneca Valley teachers who joined the staff this year. They include front row, from left: Brittany Story, Yvette Martin and Susie Wanamaker. Second row, from left: Karen Hicks and Rebecca Funyak. Third row, from left: Mark Smith, Patricia McNeill and Shannon Zolkowski.

Name Droppers Congratulations to the following staff members for their outstanding work: • Sean VanScoyoc, information technology director, has been named a finalist in Tech & Learning magazine’s 24th Annual Leader of the Year Contest. Sean will be featured in the December issue of this national publication - nearly 100,000 print circulation - for his efforts. • Jason Woolslare, intermediate high school art teacher, completed the Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art and AP art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This labor intensive, two-week program is held in the heart of downtown Chicago, at one of the most prestigious art schools in the world. Mr. Woolslare was one of only 25 high school art teachers in the nation to complete the program and the only teacher from Pennsylvania. He also facilitated and completed “The Windows of Hope/Broken Windows” project in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh this past summer, working with approximately 100 at-risk youth from the Hill District to create 250 murals on plywood that are going to be installed on abandoned homes and buildings in the Hill District. • During the summer months, at Gallery Simm, the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh presented a juried Myths and Fables show. Jason Shorr, senior high school art teacher, and Mary Mason, Rowan and Evans City Elementary art teacher, were part of the 33 who were selected from the 85 who submitted to have artwork chosen to be exhibited in the show. Fellow art teachers joined Ms. Mason, second from left, in a show of support at the event. They are, Amy Humes, Evans City Middle School art teacher, far left; Kathy Bischak, retired Evans City Middle School art teacher, second from right; and Clare Torso, CVE art teacher, far right. Mrs. Masons jewelry piece, “The Green Man,” received the Jurors Award. 20

Seneca Valley

• Gerald Miller, special education director, completed the 2010-11 Pennsylvania Fellowship Program for Special Education Leaders. Mr. Miller participated in the rigorous year-long program that extended his wealth of knowledge in special education, thereby ensuring the success for all students with individualized education programs (IEPs). • DeeAnn Graham, principal at Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School, was invited, along with Maralee Walter, second grade teacher and parent, and Lisa Salak, paraprofessional and parent, to present the school’s successful Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at the fall Pennsylvania School Board Association’s Educational Excellence Fair in Hershey. Also playing a key role in preparing for the presentation was Scott Rupik, third grade teacher and parent. Congratulations to all for your hard work and great representation!

Seneca Valley School District

Proud of the Past...Committed to the Future

 ue to several retirements within the administrative team, a number of building and central office personnel changes have taken place. Several are faces you know and others are new. Meet them in their new roles:


Ms. Kyra Bobak At the regular board meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 members of the Seneca Valley School Board promoted Ms. Kyra Bobak, Haine Elementary principal, to the role of human resources and pupil services director for the district. Ms. Bobak replaces Dr. Tracy Vitale, who was recently promoted to the role of superintendent. Ms. Bobak, who has been with Seneca Valley since 2006, has done so as an administrator for Haine, first as the assistant principal and then principal. Her work with the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program earned Haine Elementary the elite designation of being one of only three schools in the nation to earn the 2011 Olweus Quality Assurance Award. Speaking of Olweus and the continued and numerous student and staff achievements at Haine, Dr. Tracy Vitale, superintendent said “Ms. Bobak has clearly demonstrated her abilities and skills in both human resources and pupil services. I look forward to working with her in this capacity and having her lead the human resources department.” In addition to working at Seneca Valley, Ms. Bobak has administration and elementary teaching experience in the Wilkinsburg School District and as a first grade teacher in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nev. A member of several professional associations, Ms. Bobak has experience spearheading professional development opportunities for teachers and substitutes in Seneca Valley. She earned her bachelor’s of science in elementary education/early childhood from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She earned her principal certification and master’s in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ms. Michelle Ellis Also on Oct. 10, 2011, Ms. Michelle Ellis was promoted by the Seneca Valley School Board from assistant principal to principal at Haine

Elementary School to replace Kyra Bobak, who was promoted to human resources and pupil services director. Ms. Ellis has been serving as assistant principal at Haine Elementary since 2007. Additionally, she has previous experience as an assistant principal at Seneca Valley Senior High School. Prior to her role in building administration, Ms. Ellis was an English and speech teacher for Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. She also has experience as an English and speech teacher at Riverside High School. Ms. Ellis earned her bachelor’s in secondary communication education from Slippery Rock University. She earned her principal certification and master’s in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to athletic coaching experience, Ms. Ellis has extensive involvement with the elementary side of the Seneca Valley Cyber & Arts Program and has served on a variety of district teams, including the diversity, data, guidance curriculum and report card committees, just to name a few.

Ms. Mandy Toy At the regular board meeting on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, members of the Seneca Valley School Board appointed Ms. Mandy Toy, a fifth grade learning support teacher at Haine Middle School, to the role of assistant principal for Haine Elementary and Middle Schools. Ms. Toy replaces Ms. Michelle Ellis, who was recently promoted to the role of Haine Elementary School principal. Ms. Toy, who has been with Seneca Valley since 2006, has been providing instruction and support to fifth grade learning support students in both the pull-out and the inclusion settings. In addition to teaching, Ms. Toy participates on a variety of committees, writes curriculum for the elementary cyber courses, and has assisted in planning and executing exploratory days such as career fair and cultural day. Ms. Toy earned her bachelor’s in elementary education and special education from Slippery Rock University and her master’s of science in educational administration from the University of Scranton.

Mr. James Pearson Earlier this fall, members of the Seneca Valley School Board approved the hiring of Jim Pearson to serve as the District’s transportation director. Mr. Pearson replaces Kevin Prady, who retired from Seneca Valley after 21.5 years in the position. Mr. Pearson, of Wexford, comes to Seneca Valley from the Deer Lakes School District, where he was serving as the assistant principal of Deer Lakes Middle School for the past three years. Prior to that, he served as assistant principal of Hampton Middle School in Hampton Township School District. He also has experience as the dean of students for Hampton High School. Additionally, Mr. Pearson has sales, marketing and broadcasting experience as he has a bachelor of arts in communication arts radio and television. He earned his grades 7-12 teaching certification in English and communications from Robert Morris University, and his masters of educational administration from the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Pearson earned his principal certification from Slippery Rock and Clarion Universities.

Mr. Robert Cook On January 17, 2011, Robert Cook was hired to serve as the Buildings, Grounds and Security Director. Members of the Seneca Valley School Board approved his hiring to replace Ronald Lamneck, who retired after nearly two decades with Seneca Valley. Mr. Cook, of Grove City, comes to Seneca Valley from Burt Hill, where he was serving as a construction administrator for the past four years. Prior to that, he worked as a roofing contractor for PennRo Associates LLC in Valencia. He also has years of management experience with Foreman Architects & Engineers and Education Management. Additionally, Mr. Cook has architectural draftsman experience and training as he holds an associate degree in architectural technology from Triangle Tech. In additional to being a LEED accredited professional, Mr. Cook is a Pennsylvania certified asbestos building inspector.

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 21

Seneca Valley fall teams keep the playoff momentum going 2011 fall sports wrap up:

Cross Country The boys’ Cross Country team finished sixth in the WPIAL. The team narrowly missed qualifying for the team championship by 36 seconds. The girls’ cross country team also placed sixth at the WPIAL Championships this season.

Girls’ Volleyball The team started the season ranked as the fourth ranked team in the PIAA Coaches Poll. They earned the section championship plaque and went on to win the WPIAL crown and qualify for the PIAA State Championship Tournament. The team succeeded in the state tournament to the semifinals and finished the year as the third ranked team in the state. This year marks the second time in three years that the girls’ volleyball team has earned a berth in the PIAA semifinal match.

The team posted an overall record of 16-2-2 and earned the WPIAL AAA Section 2 Title. They entered the WPIAL Championship Tournament as the second seed and were successful through the quarterfinals. • All-section athletes: Kailey Lucci, Misha Demchuk, Alex Bilka, Raegan Dobbins, Morgan Williams

• The Seneca Valley 9th Grade Football Team concluded the 2011 season by becoming the first team in school history to have both an undefeated section record and undefeated season. The team ended the season with an 8-0 record and comprises of 53 players. The coaches pictured here, from left, are Luke Kuffer, standing, and Jason Bell, kneeling. On the right side, standing is coach Barry Murray and kneeling is head coach Michael Henry.

• All-WPIAL athletes: Morgan Williams, Raegan Dobbins

The boy’s golf team posted a winning season of 8-6.

Girls’ Soccer

Boys’ Soccer The team earned the WPIAL Section 2 AAA Championship with a record of 8-2. The team succeeded to the semifinals of the WPIAL Championship Tournament for the second time in three years. In addition to the success of the team, Junior Ryan Vilella earned a place on the Pennsylvania All-State Team.


Football • The varsity football team posted their second winning season in the past three years. They earned third place in the Northern Seven Conference and entered the WPIAL Championship Tournament as the ninth seed. The team succeeded to the quarter final round of the tournament for the first time since 2002. As of press time, Seneca Valley was hosting the conference all-star selection meeting and hoping to place several young men on that prestigious list.

Seneca Valley

Boys’ Golf

Scoreboard donations help SV Athletics chool board members recently voted to purchase a new scoreboard for the Seneca Valley Senior High School Gymnasium, and were pleased to do so with financial help from local groups. Mr. Greg Caprara, athletic director for the district, reported to the board that a coalition of groups, led by Venture Engineering, donated funding to support the purchase of the new scoreboard. Venture donated $7,500 and the boys’ and girls’ basketball boosters each donated $3,000. Caprara outlined the need by noting that


the current equipment is original to the building which opened in 1994. He further added that the equipment is now old enough that several parts are no longer manufactured by the company, leading to an annual budget expense of $1,200 per year for repairs. “The technology in the new equipment will reduce this annul budgeted expense and provide for reliable operations for years to come,” he said. The district will spend approximately $6,000 on their portion of the $19,430 project. The funds for this will be taken from the facility improvement fund which is fueled

with activity fees and not by tax dollars. “The facility fund is used to provide improvements based on fees paid by those who use the athletic facilities of the district,” Caprara said. “The employment of user fees helps to keep tax dollars channeled toward the educational process.” According to the vendor, Institutional Specialties, Inc. of Pittsburgh, the new scoreboard should arrive around Nov. 20. The new equipment is expected to be operational for the start of the winter sports season on Friday, Dec. 4.

SPORTS BRIEFS 40 Finest Zach Herrmann and Chad Albert received accolades from the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches by being named to Pennsylvania’s Finest 40 List for 2011. The list consists of the top 40 volleyball players in the state, which is voted on by the coaches. Zach is now attending Baldwin-Wallace College as a sports management major, and continues to play volleyball. Chad is currently a senior at Seneca Valley.

Scholarship News • Cate Seman, senior volleyball player, signed her letter of intent to the University of Rhode Island. • Matt Smith, senior baseball pitcher, signed his letter of intent to attend Georgetown University. • Abigail Palmer and Samantha Potter signed letters of intent for rowing teams at the University of Alabama and the University of Washington, respectively.

Coaching News • Coach Don Holl was recently selected as the winner of the Steelers High School Coach of the Week for the Raiders’ Week 10 victory over Penn Hills. The Steelers Coach of the Week Program recognizes the hard work and dedication devoted both on and off the field. Coach Holl was recognized for this honor during the two-minute warning of the first half of the Dec. 4 Steelers Game. He was also featured on the Mike Tomlin show,, and the USAFootball website, Additionally, the Raiders’ football program received a $1,000 donation from the NFL, a Steelers Coach of the Week cap, and a framed certificate signed by Coach Tomlin and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. • Congratulations to Seneca Valley Boys Soccer Coach George Williams. On September 6, 2011, Coach Williams posted his 150th career victory as the head coach at Seneca Valley. The victory came during the third game of the season which saw the Raiders defeat the Warriors of PennTrafford 3-0.

Seneca Valley |Winter 2011 | 23

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Seneca Valley


Health and Wellness News You Can Use

BundleUp,Baby Remember how Mom made you bundle up before going outdoors in the winter so you wouldn’t get sick? She was right. So be sure you dress for the weather — and that means covering your head, ears, mouth, and hands. Turn to page 4 to learn why your ears, nose, and throat need extra care in winter.

What’s Inside

© 2011 UPMC

page 2

A Different Vein Providing care for patients unable to accept transfusions

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When Your Body Talks ... Be Sure to Listen

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Make a Date With Your Doctor Three Cheers for Your Ears, Nose, and Throat

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Technology for 21st Century Hospitals

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Taking on Tourette Controlling a life in motion at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

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Welcoming New Physicians What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant

A Different Vein

The UPMC Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery offers special care for patients who are unable to accept blood transfusions There are many patients who choose bloodless medical treatment — medical care without blood transfusions or products — for religious or ethical reasons. However, a growing number are selecting it to reduce their risk of adverse reactions and bloodborne illnesses. The UPMC Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery was established to ensure that patients who are unable to accept transfusions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are identified early. “Most patients don’t Resources provided by the Center realize blood transfusions often for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery can be avoided are available for all patients including by following a those at UPMC Passavant, Mageefew simple steps Womens Hospital of UPMC, and before surgery.” throughout the UPMC network. — Perry Doebler Special wristbands are placed on all patients who choose not to have transfusions so that their wishes are clearly understood by medical staff and other care providers. Patients who decide against receiving a blood transfusion are educated by their doctors about the risks and benefits before any procedure is done. “Our paramount concern is to make sure the doctor is committed to respecting the patient’s decision,” says Perry Doebler, the center’s director. “We make sure the surgical team and nurses know ahead of time so they can be ready, and the patient doesn’t have to keep explaining things.”

Advance planning Planning is key to successful bloodless medicine and surgery. Careful blood management can boost the patient’s blood count before surgery and minimize blood loss. Minimally invasive surgery, special surgical tools, medications, and other techniques can help reduce or even stop bleeding. Doctors also can capture blood lost during surgery, clean it, and reinfuse it into the patient. Mr. Doebler says most patients don’t realize blood transfusions often can be avoided with a few simple steps before surgery. For example, one in four surgical patients is anemic, but doctors can recommend iron therapy, vitamins, or medication to stimulate blood production. Doctors also may tell surgical patients to discontinue certain pain relievers, herbs, and supplements that may interfere with blood clotting and cause more bleeding. “Being proactive and planning ahead are important for everyone. There are things a patient can control,” he says.

To learn more If you cannot accept blood transfusions, or may be planning for surgery and want to learn more about blood management, visit, or call the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at 1-877-674-7111.


Blood Management Benefits According to Mr. Doebler, reducing or avoiding blood transfusions has many potential benefits, including lessening the patient’s exposure to viruses and other bloodborne diseases, and even helping to shorten the hospital stay. It also helps preserve the blood supply for other patients.

Is bloodless medicine a good option for you? Your doctor is the best source of information when it comes to deciding to choose bloodless medicine. Some questions you may want to ask: 1. What is my current blood count? 2. How can I increase my blood count? 3. Should I stop any medications or supplements? 4. Will I need a blood transfusion during surgery? 5. What risks are involved with blood transfusions? 6. What are the risks if I decline a transfusion? 7. What can my doctor do to minimize my need for a transfusion?

Pre-op tips • Know your blood count. The normal hemoglobin range for males is 14-18 g/dL and for females is 12-16 g/dL. • Be honest. Tell your doctor about all of the medications and herbal supplements you take. • Ask questions. Understand your risks and options. • Communicate. Make sure your bloodless medicine preferences are known.

When Your BodyTalks…

Be Sure toListen Being attuned to changes in your body can help in the early detection and treatment of cancer and other serious medical problems Is your body trying to tell you something important? It can be an excellent communicator — if you pay careful attention to its symptoms. There are numerous warning symptoms for cancer, many of which also can point to other serious medical conditions. That’s why you should call your primary care physician (PCP) if you have any unusual or persistent symptoms lasting longer than two or three weeks, says Edward Chu, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology/ Oncology at UPMC and deputy director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. “The vast majority of patients will get a clean bill of health from their doctor,” says Dr. Chu. “But when it comes to cancer, time is often of the essence. Early detection can help keep cancer from spreading, allow for faster treatment, and improve your chances for recovery.”

Symptoms that reveal Most of us know to be on the lookout for such important cancer warning signs as a sore that does not heal; a thickening or lump in the breast, or other parts of the body; blood in the stool or urine; or changes in the size or color of a mole.

Dr. Chu says it’s also important to be aware of more generalized body changes (also known as constitutional symptoms) that can compromise your physical performance and overall well-being. By getting to know what’s typical for your own body, you’ll be better able to recognize unfamiliar changes when they occur. They can include: • Extreme tiredness (fatigue) • Unexplained weight loss (typically 10 pounds or more) or loss of appetite • Changes in how food tastes • Fever and chills • Night sweats • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing “These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have cancer,” he emphasizes. “But if they linger or worsen, it’s important for your doctor to rule out — or treat — possible problems.” If you are interested in locating a PCP or specialist in your area, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Did You Know? The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), based at the Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside, is the only National Cancer Institutedesignated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania. Learn more about UPCI and its partnership with UPMC Cancer Centers at

Cancer Screenings: Are they right for you? Another important tool in the early detection of cancer is screenings. “When combined with regular checkups with your family doctor or specialist, screenings like mammograms, PAP smears, and colorectal exams have proven to be invaluable in the fight against cancer,” notes Theodore L. Crandall, MD, of UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant. “Your personal and family medical history, risk factors, age, and other considerations will help your physician recommend the right tests — and frequency — for you.” To learn more about the program and services of UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant, visit



Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Make a Date With Your Doctor You take your car to the mechanic for an annual inspection to be sure it’s running properly. So why aren’t you giving your body the same kind of attention? When you’re in good health, it’s easy to put off going to the doctor. But regular checkups can help you stay healthy, and avoid disease and disability. That’s why scheduling a physical is the one New Year’s resolution you should keep. According to primary care physicians (PCPs) at UPMC Passavant, an annual exam is the perfect time to talk about illness prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and any screenings. That information helps you and your doctor create a plan to maintain your health, or get you started on making changes to improve your health. Building an ongoing relationship with a PCP also means peace of mind. PCPs at UPMC Passavant say there’s real value to being seen by someone who knows you and your health history — someone you trust to guide you through an illness or emergency.

Your exam checklist How can you make the most of your annual exam? Here are four things to do before you see the doctor:

1. Make a list of all medications you are taking Include all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements that you currently take, how often you take them, and why.

2. Update your family history Your family history can provide important clues about your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.

3. Ask about health screenings Screenings can be important tools in preventing some illnesses and diseases. Get a list of recommended screenings and talk about them with your doctor.

4. Make a list of questions or health concerns Asking questions and sharing your concerns about health issues helps your doctor improve your care. One final piece of advice: Be honest. Never be afraid or embarrassed to tell your doctor something. What you don’t disclose could be important for your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis or prescribe the best treatment plan.


Three Cheers for Your Ears, Nose, and Throat Winter is the season for sniffles, scratchy throats, and earaches — often all at once! And with good reason: our ears, nose, and throat all are connected and affect each other greatly. Otolaryngologists (also known as ear, nose, and throat doctors or ENTs) are physicians who specialize in caring for this complex, interrelated system. Test your ENT knowledge with this quick quiz:

Who gets earaches more often — children or adults? Nearly every child experiences at least one ear infection between infancy and the age of five — something weary parents know firsthand. Because children have shorter, straighter Eustachian tubes (which connect the nose to the ears), it’s easier for bacteria to migrate into their ears.

Why are you more likely to get a nosebleed in winter? The same heated indoor air that makes your home cozy in winter also can dehydrate the inside of your nose. It can become crusted or cracked, or can even bleed. A dry nose makes you more susceptible to germs, so exercise good nose care. Lightly coat the inside with petroleum jelly. Overthe-counter saline mists and sprays (not decongestants) also are helpful.

Will antibiotics cure laryngitis? Most cases of laryngitis are caused by viral infections that make the vocal cords swell — so antibiotics are ineffective. Your best course of action? Drink plenty of fluids, rest, and cut back on talking. Straining your voice when you have acute laryngitis can damage your vocal cords. Source: American Society of Otolaryngology

Technology for 21st Century Hospitals How technology is working to transform the quality of your care during hospitalization If you ever have to be hospitalized, you’ll certainly want to be cared for at a place that delivers quality health care using the latest technology available. That’s precisely what patients find when they are admitted to a UPMC hospital. “UPMC’s vision of quality is for every patient to receive the right care, at the right time, in the right way — every time,” says Tami Minnier, RN, and chief quality officer for UPMC. “Technology lets us serve patients more efficiently and accurately. Most of all, we’re able to give patients greater control of their health care.” Here are just two of the ways UPMC hospitals are delivering on that goal.

SmartRoom® technology brings it all to you Launched three years ago by UPMC in partnership with IBM, SmartRoom is an impressive technology. First used at UPMC Shadyside and UPMC Montefiore, it is gradually being introduced in other UPMC hospitals. All patient rooms at the new UPMC East will be equipped with SmartRoom technology. SmartRoom brings all essential data related to your care to your bedside. Its computerized software programs give caregivers fingertip access to all the information essential to your care — from your electronic medical records to the tests you’ll need that day.

The SmartRoom concept simplifies workflow and makes documentation of your care faster and easier. Each room has two screens: one for your caregivers, and another for you to access email, entertainment, and a vast library of patient education videos and information.

The right meds at the right time “It is our goal to make the hospitalization and discharge experience as stress-free as possible for our patients and their families,” says Jacqueline Dailey, UPMC’s vice president for Solutions for Medical Science, Research, and Patient Centered Accountable Care. “Not surprisingly, by the time patients leave the hospital, they’re often confused and overwhelmed by changes in their medications and how to take them.” “We begin when you’re admitted with an electronic assessment of your current medications and how they’re being taken,” explains Ms. Dailey. “As medications are adjusted or eliminated during your stay, this information is instantly available to all your physicians — from your family doctor to the specialists caring for you. That’s especially important if you transition from one level of care to another, such as intensive to acute care.” An added layer of safety: both a pharmacist and the nurse administering the medications verify any new medication orders from your doctors. Throughout your stay, you’ll receive comprehensive instructions on your medications. “We know that people learn in different ways, so this information will be shared multiple times and in multiple ways,” notes Ms. Dailey. “We also urge patients to contact their doctors for help with any questions they may have on their return home.”



Taking on Tourette Controlling a life in motion at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC That’s especially difficult for adolescents who want to fit in. Tics, such as throat clearing, turning, or shaking, also can cause pain.

Seven Barnishin was just 11, playing with action figures alone in his Pitcairn home, when the tics began — involuntary arm flicks, head jerks, and sounds. “I freaked. It seemed like something else was controlling me,” he says.

At the Tourette Syndrome Clinic, patients have access to a trio of experts: two pediatric neurologists with training in neurodevelopmental disorders, and an adult neurologist trained in movement disorders who provides transitional care for older teens.

Tom and Amy Barnishin first thought their son’s behavior was linked to the start of the school year and peer pressure. When symptoms grew worse, and other tics emerged, their doctor sent Seven to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC where he was officially diagnosed with Tourette syndrome (TS) in January 2009. “We were blindsided,” says Amy.

Be in the know about TS Treatment varies.While there’s no cure, medication sometimes helps control tics. Psychologists can teach habit reversal and relaxation techniques to help patients cope with stress and reduce symptoms. But the most important treatment is education, says Dr. Coffman. “That includes educating families, educators, and the general public about TS.”

Diagnosing Tourette syndrome TS is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting one in 100 people, says Keith Coffman, MD, a pediatric neurologist and co-director of the Tourette Syndrome Clinic, part of the Brain Care Institute at Children’s Hospital. Most cases are diagnosed between ages 3 and 12; the majority are boys. The main symptoms are sudden, repetitive, uncontrollable movements and sounds called tics, including throatclearing, sniffing, blinking, gestures, and head jerking. For a true TS diagnosis, tics must start before age 18, include two or more motor tics and at least one vocal tic, and last at least one year. Tics peak at the onset of puberty. Approximately 60 percent of children outgrow the tics, or the tics become so subtle only that person knows when they occur.

Did You Know? An estimated 200,000 Americans have TS, but misconceptions still surround the disorder. For example, TS is not an emotional or behavioral condition. It is an inherited neurodevelopmental disorder that causes abnormalities in the brain.


Coping with Tourette “People with TS cannot control their tics. They experience a sensation that makes them feel like they have to move — like having to sneeze,” Dr. Coffman says. The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner children can benefit. Movements can interfere with school work. Children with TS often are bullied, teased, or viewed as being disruptive.

Other TS facts include: • TS patients have the same IQ range as the general population. • People in every walk of life, including professional musicians, athletes, authors, and scientists, have TS. • Less than 15 percent of TS patients swear or use inappropriate expressions.

“Knowledge is power. I’d be unnerved if I didn’t know what it was,” adds Seven, now age 14. Although he cycled through almost every tic, the movements and sounds have subsided with treatment. The Barnishins credit the team at Children’s for helping them understand TS, guiding them through treatment options, and providing support. “Children’s gave us answers and helped us gain control over an uncontrollable situation. Instead of being spectators, we were part of the process. That helped lower Seven’s anxiety, which helped ease the tics,” says Tom. To learn more about the Tourette Syndrome Clinic and the Movement Disorders Clinic at Children’s Hospital, visit, choose Neurology as the service, then click the Clinics and Services button on the left.

Welcoming New Physicians To schedule an appointment, or for more information about any of our physicians, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Fnu Abhishek, MD Hospitalist Medicine

Christopher J. Friend, MD Imaging Services

Charles J. Lin, MD Anesthesiology

Erin K. Snell, MD Rheumatology

Aneel Kumar Bole, MD Hospitalist Medicine

Kenneth N. Gold, MD Rheumatology

Rohan D. Naik, MD Hospitalist Medicine

Kristen A. Stephen, MD Dermatology

Asheesh Bothra, MD Hospitalist Medicine

Razvan N. Gramatovici, MD Radiation Oncology

Khoa N. Nguyen, MD Anesthesiology

Guillermo Linares Tapia, MD Neurology

Ralph A. Capone, MD Internal Medicine

Denise M. Hall-Burton, MD Anesthesiology

Jeffrey S. Nicklas, MD Anesthesiology

Haibin Wang, MD, PhD Anesthesiology

Timothy J. Chips, DMD Head and Neck Surgery

Sulwen He, MD, PhD Nephrology

Kristin M. Ondecko-Ligda, MD Anesthesiology

Jeremy B. Wingard, MD Ophthalmology

Megan H. Cortazzo, MD Orthopaedics

John W. Ingle, MD Otolaryngology

Jennifer L. Rogers, MD Emergency Medicine

Aaron J. Wyse, MD Imaging Services

Pavan Devulapally, MD Hospitalist Medicine

James J. Jaber, MD, PhD Otolaryngology

Abir A. Senz, DO Internal Medicine

Christopher R. Dobbelstein, MD Psychiatry

Michael C. Jones, MD Imaging Services

Toni Sicenica, MD Pulmonary/Critical Care

What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant These free events are offered by UPMC Passavant and the Passavant Hospital Foundation Diabetes Education Series Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 1 to 3:30 p.m. UPMC Passavant–McCandless Ask at the Information Desk for class location. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011 6 to 8:30 p.m. UPMC Passavant–Cranberry Classes are held in the 2nd floor conference room. Learn what diabetes is, what medicines are available for treatments, and current recommendations for staying healthy with diabetes. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

For more information about classes at UPMC Passavant and affiliated outpatient centers, call UPMC Physician Referral at 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Heart-Healthy Living ... Good Choices to Live By Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speakers: UPMC Heart and Vascular Team Heart disease is America’s leading killer. More women than men die each year from heart disease, but few women really understand how the heart and vascular system work. Learn what you can do to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle and diet. Please call 412-367-6640 to register. Colorectal Cancer… What You Need to Know! Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2012 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Ved Kaushik, MD Prevention, detection, and advancements in treatment options related to colorectal cancer will be discussed at this seminar. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.

Weight Management & Safe Weight Loss for Seniors Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Registered dietitian, UPMC Passavant Your body is absolutely unique. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to know about a variety of factors that will improve your health, thus allowing you to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Please call 412-367-6640 to register. Autism Through the Lifespan Thursday, Apr. 19, 2012 8:30 a.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Conference Center Legacy Theatre This daylong event will include presentations and breakout sessions. Topics will appeal to families, educators, and providers dealing with autism. CEUs will be available. Registration is required. For more information, visit

Bridge to Hope — Family Support Group Wednesdays 7 p.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Conference Center Conference Room #1 Cumberland Woods Village Drug and alcohol addiction and its accompanying tragedies have touched countless Americans from all walks of life and from all backgrounds. The Bridge to Hope provides education and support to such affected families. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information. Legacy Music Series UPMC Passavant-McCandless Passavant Hospital Foundation is seeking talented musicians who want to help lift people’s spirits and volunteer their time to give the gift of music. Inquiries are now being accepted for upcoming dates. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.



UPMC Passavant 9100 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

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Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 33


Returns to

hoppers, crafters and holiday merry-makers converged upon the 19th annual Historic Harmony Weihnachtsmarkt – a traditional German Christmas Market. The holiday tradition, which celebrates Harmony’s German heritage, was held Nov. 13-14 and featured a variety of vendors and artisans, along with live music, traditional German foods, German imports, an antiques show and sale, and horse-drawn wagon rides. Visitors had the opportunity to visit the many specialty shops around town, enjoy the festive atmosphere, and stop by the Harmony Museum. Proceeds from the event benefit Historic Harmony, Inc.


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Seneca Valley

Historic Harmony

Photos by Ginography

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 35

Local Loan Experts: Manager Matt Irvin and Cranberry Township’s Northwest Savings Bank If you want to borrow money, look no further than Northwest Savings Bank in Cranberry Township — an experienced, local bank with expert lenders. Northwest stands out from the competition more than ever before, helping overcome uncertainty in the current lending market by making it easy to get the loans you need. “While other banks seem to be finding it more and more challenging to help customers get the loans they need, Northwest is actively lending,� said Cranberry Township Manager, Matt Irvin. “Our low rates and fees make it easy to do what you need to do and purchase the things you want.� For more than 115 years, Northwest Savings Bank has been there for the communities it serves with local decision making, quick turnaround, and competitive rates. Whether you are looking for a Mortgage, Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line of Credit, or a personal loan, Northwest can lend you the money you need with fast approvals and monthly payments to fit your budget.

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 Northwest Savings Bank provides a wide range of retail lending services, including Mortgages with fast, free pre-approvals so you can qualify before you buy; Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit to use your home to pay for the things you need; and Personal Loans for other necessities, such as purchasing a car, consolidating debt, or paying for educational or medical expenses. “This fall, we’re offering a number of great rates on our Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit,â€? said Irvin. “With no closing costs or fees for Home Equity Loans and the ability to get a free fixed-rate lock-in on a Home Equity Line of Credit, Northwest’s offers are hard to beat.â€? Along with competitive rates, Northwest customers also enjoy convenient services such as Online Banking and Bill Pay, eStatementsplus, Mobile Banking, GO! Rewards Check Cards, and 43,000+ service charge free ATM locations. Northwest Savings Bank also boasts exceptional customer service. It was awarded “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Two Years in a Rowâ€? by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011. Northwest is a local bank, making local decisions, committed to the communities it serves – and there are a lot of them, with 169 Northwest offices across four states. Stop into the Cranberry Township office at 1688 Route 228 and ask for Matt Irvin to learn about the best in class products and services Northwest offers for you and your business. *,.#1 -. 0$)"- )& ,  $0  .#  #$"# -. )/( ,$' -*,  (*)" , .$' )&- $) .#  $ .').$ "$*)$).# +,*+,$ .,3*1 ,) --*$. - .$')&$)".$-!.$*)./3 ./3 -  *)   .*.' , -+*)- - ( -/,$)"  +,*0$ ,- $) .#  $ .').$ , "$*)    )( -/, -*+$)$*)-*!*)-/( ,-1$.#.# $,+,$(,3)&$)" +,*0$ ,,*+,$ .,3-./3, -/'.-, - *) 2+ ,$ ) -)+ , +.$*)-*!*)-/( ,- -/,0 3  $) )/,3  */, 2+ ,$ ) - (3 0,3 $-$. %+*1 ,*(  

  by Dana Black McGrath

he Harmony-Zelienople Community Band’s annual concert, set for Sunday, April 1, is the high note of the season for many band members, who span multiple generations and miles. Director Sue Van Arsdale, who is the band director for grades four, five and six at both Evans City Middle School and Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School, founded the band in 1999. The program started as an outreach to adults – an adult education course offered through the Seneca Valley School District in an effort to get adults who once played an instrument back into music. “I wanted them to get their instruments out of the closet, blow off the dust and make music again,” says Van Arsdale. In its first year, 22 members joined the band. Last year, 95 members performed at the band’s 13th concert. “We have grown by leaps and bounds,” says Van Arsdale. Members come not just from the local community, but as far as Westmoreland County, Mercer, Pittsburgh and Butler. “We have a really great group of people.” Another aspect that makes the organization unique is that children of band members are permitted to join, so there are members as young as fifth grade who are playing alongside senior citizens and making music together. Members exhibit a wide range of ability levels, from beginners to retired band directors. “There is a unique camaraderie. Everyone really supports each other and helps each other,” says Van Arsdale. She attributes a large part of the program’s success to the schedule, which requires just a 10-week commitment each year. “Everyone’s time is so valuable now,” she says. “One of the ways to deal with that is to not require a year-round commitment.” The band’s season begins in January and runs through April, and offers a good way to get through the winter doldrums. After that 10-week period, members’ commitment is over. That, she says, makes the band very appealing. This year, rehearsals will begin on the last Thursday in January, and will be conducted every Thursday until April 1.

There is one addition to the band’s schedule this year. The group has been invited to perform as part of the Mercer County Summer Concert Series on July 13. “My goal is to get people to make music again, to revisit a good old memory for a short period of time and then put it away until next year,” says Van Arsdale. During that time, the band prepares for its annual concert, which runs about 90 minutes long and is held at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. Van Arsdale prepares a program with something for everyone – some standard marches, some Broadway show tunes, works from new composers and a special feature performance in the middle of the concert. Last season, the Greater Harmony Chorus (a chapter of the Sweet Adelines) performed. Previous featured performers have included a soloist from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Slippery Rock University Percussion Ensemble. “We like to highlight what others are doing,” she says, “and it gives us a chance to rest.” This year about 1,000 attended the concert. Admission is free, but the band does accept donations. Despite the fact that the band is comprised of volunteers of all ages, all the sections are balanced and everything that is needed is represented, Van Arsdale says. “We have been really blessed with awesome instrumentation.” Those who are interested in joining need not worry about their ability level – or lack thereof. “My first comment is, ‘You are here to have fun. Do not fear. Play the notes you can play and maybe you might learn to play a few more.’” says Van Arsdale. The band experience has inspired members to rediscover their love of music. Van Arsdale reports that one member had not played his trumpet in nearly 50 years and, after joining the band, started to take private lessons. Another member, who had not played an instrument previously, came to a concert and was so inspired that she decided to take flute lessons and joined the band a year later. For more information about the band or membership, visit or email Van Arsdale at Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 37

Seneca Valley North Soccer It was opening day for Seneca Valley North Soccer Association’s Fall 2011 season. The association welcomes boys and girls ages 4 to 18 years old to play in both fall and spring seasons. The organization, which has approximately 600 players, is part of the state soccer association PA West and serves participants from the Zelienople, Harmony, Evans City, Cranberry and surrounding communities. There is an in-house program for younger players and a sunday travel program for older participants. All games and practices were held at Seneca Valley High School lower athletic fields. For more information about the association and how to participate in the upcoming spring season, visit the website at

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Scores Another

Successful Season Photos by Ginography

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 39

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safety-driven T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co. is now Peoples TWP. Peoples TWP was acquired by Steel River Infrastructure Fund in May 2011 and was renamed to reflect its affiliation with Peoples Natural Gas. Peoples Natural Gas is also owned by Steel River Infrastructure Fund. While our name has changed, the natural gas you depend on will not be disrupted in any way. You can still count on us for safe, reliable service. You will also see Peoples TWP playing an active role in our communities. We have renewed our commitment to the communities where our customers, and our employees, live and work. I From volunteering with social service organizations to supporting community events, Peoples TWP is committed to our region. T.W. Phillips is now Peoples TWP. New name. Renewed commitment. Still Local.

Safety is the number one priority of Peoples TWP. Every day, we strive to keep our customers, our employees and our communities safe. Here are 3 Sensible Words about Natural Gas to help keep you and your family safe. Natural gas leaks are rare. But they can happen. Your senses will alert you if a leak occurs. SIGHT Escaping gas affects the nutrients in soil, so discolored soil or dead vegetation near a pipeline may indicate a leak. Dirt or water blowing up from the group may indicate a natural gas leak. SOUND Natural gas leaks may make a hissing or a high-pitched whistling noise. Noises will vary based on the line pressure.


SMELL A strong odor of natural gas can indicate unburned fuel in the air. Because the gas is odorless, a sulfur based odorant is added to give it a rotten-egg smell that warns of its presence. Be alert for this odorant or any petroleum smell. If you believe a natural gas leak is occurring, leave the area immediately and notify Peoples TWP by calling 1.800.222.5101.

y o u r e n e r g y p a rt n e r


Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 41

It’s Time for

the Talk... Caring for Your Parents hether the change comes dramatically or slowly over time so that you barely notice it, there will come a time when you’ll need to take on a larger role in the care of a parent or an older relative. These new responsibilities will most likely raise some unfamiliar issues. Being informed before someone is in need is often the best strategy. So in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee, consider having ‘The Talk’ – about caring for your parents. Many people find the most uncomfortable change to face is having someone you’ve always depended upon now depending upon you. At times, you may disagree about how to handle the new situation. And your parent or relative’s need for independence may conflict with your need to ensure their safety and comfort. Consider the following situations: • You’ve just finished a phone conversation with your 70-year-old mother, who sounds depressed and confused. When you asked if there was anything wrong, she said “No.” She lives 500 miles away. • Your mother died last year. When you and your family arrived at your father’s house for a holiday visit, you were shocked to see how


It’s Time for the Talk... It’s time. You can’t avoid it any longer. You’re at the point in life when you need to face the facts and have ‘the Talk’. It’s time to discuss your financial plan for retirement. Money concerns can be frightening, especially in uncertain economic times. In fact, they’re easy to ignore...but as time passes, the issues only become more pressing. If you’re ready to get serious about your financial future, contact us to receive a free copy of “Retirement Talk” a 5 minute video that starts the conversation about retirement planning.

Call or email today to set up your ‘talk’ or to request the free DVD...either way, there is no obligation. Contact Karen M. Bostick, Mars National Advisors, 724.776.3898 or ©2011 Mars National Advisors Securities are offered through Financial Network Investment Corp., a registered broker/dealer and member of the SIPC. Financial Network Investment Corp. is not an affiliate of Mars National Bank. Mutual funds, annuities and other investments available through Financial Network Investment Corp. are not insured by the FDIC, NCUSIF or any federal government agency, are not deposits, or obligations of nor guaranteed by Mars National Bank, or any other affiliated entity. Investments are subject to investment risks including loss of principal invested.

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thin he had become. There was little food to be found, and the house needed a sound cleaning. • After trying without success to reach your aunt by phone for three days, you finally contact a neighbor. He tells you your aunt is in the hospital after being taken by ambulance after a serious fall. You are your aunt’s only living relative. Any one of these scenarios suggests that it may be time to seek additional support and care for that aging person. When you start to notice changes in your parent or relative’s behavior or health, it’s only natural to look for a quick solution. However, if the situation is not yet an emergency, it is a good time to gather information and identify the key problems. By getting involved before a crisis develops, you and your relative will be able to explore more care options. You will also have the time to understand what your relative needs and wants. You can also begin identifying resources that are available to address a wide range of issues. An important note: make sure to involve the rest of the family! Their understanding and support can be crucial throughout the process. Although it can be uncomfortable, it’s important to talk with an older relative about your concerns. Just think of how hard it would be if you were in the older person’s place. He or she may be afraid of losing independence or may be coping with the loss of friends or a spouse. Also, decreasing abilities and growing dependence on others may be causing feelings of frustration. Here are some ideas for discussing these sensitive issues with your relative: LISTEN to your relative at least as much as you talk. Be POSITIVE, and keep suggestions constructive. RECOGNIZE that your relative still needs to make his or her own decisions if possible. Set aside a QUIET place to talk, during the BEST TIME OF DAY for your relative. Caring for elders or helping to manage their finances can be a complicated process, and few of us are trained for it. Fortunately, you can turn to your investment professional to rely on their resources regarding many legal, tax, insurance, and health care related areas. For more detailed information, including a free Guidebook to Caring for Aging Parents, or to start planning now, call or email us today…It’s Time for the Talk – about caring for your parents! This Industry Insight was written by Karen M. Bostick, Vice President, Investment Advisor Representative* Mars National Advisors 211 Scharberry Lane Mars, PA 16046 724.776.3898 (Office)

*Securities and advisory services offered through Financial Network Investment Corporation, a registered broker/dealer and member SIPC. Financial Network is not an affiliate of Mars National Bank or Mars National Advisors. Mutual Funds, annuities and other investments available through Financial Network Investment Corporation are not insured by the FDIC, NCUSIF or any federal government agency, are not deposits, or obligations of nor guaranteed by Mars National Bank or Mars National Advisors, or any other affiliated entity. Investments are subject to investment risks including loss of principal invested.

You don’t have to live with painful varicose and spider veins. Should I Have My Veins Evaluated? Q & A WITH A VEIN SPECIALIST: While finishing charts at the end of my day, I took a few moments to listen to my staff answer questions for a patient on the phone. The questions asked were very important as were the answers that were given. Here are some examples:

What is Phlebology? Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and the disease of veins. Two organizations dedicated to the advancement of this field are The American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.

Why should I see a board- certified phlebologist to evaluate my varicose veins When it comes to any aspect of your health care, it is important to be proactive in the choice and research of who will become medically responsible for your evaluation and treatment. Though venous disease is not always a visible ailment, it can be a serious health problem leading to more serious issues, so choosing a specialist, or board certified phlebologist for your venous care is a wise decision. Board certification in phlebology identifies a physician who has taken the extra step of becoming specialized in the treatment of venous disease. Not only is the physician often a member of organizations such as the American College of Phlebology (ACP) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) but they have met additional requirements set by the certifying board. After meeting these requirements, he or she must then pass a certifying exam allowing the physician to identify him or herself as board-certified.

Is membership the same as board certification? This question is particularly important as it defines the specialty of a phlebologist. While a physician may be a member of many different organizations, these organizations only require an interest in the field for joining. Thus membership is unlike board certification where qualification is determined through training and testing. Here’s how the ACP defines its board certification: “The establishment of a Board Certification Exam brings recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers in the field who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.”

I had a free screening at a health fair and was told that I don’t have venous disease, but I still have aching, pain and discoloration at the ankles. What should I do? While free screenings can be informative, remember that this is just a brief glance into a patient’s venous system. A complete venous exam and venous mapping by a boardcertified phlebologist is best to determine if a patient has venous disease. Since a proper venous ultrasound is such an integral part of this evaluation, the American College of Phlebology has set requirements for it that include the following: • A venous ultrasound should be ordered by a physician. • A lower extremity ultrasound should study the entire leg, from ankle to groin. Failure to identify and treat all sources of reflux may result in outright treatment failure. • Evaluation of the venous system should be performed with the patient in the upright position. Sitting or lying down are inappropriate for the detection of reflux or the measurement of vein diameters. • A venous ultrasound should be performed by a trained physician or a registered vascular ultrasound technician (RVT) and then interpreted by a physician.

If I have had an evaluation elsewhere, can I still be evaluated in your office? Of course. A free evaluation is commonly ‘ free’ because patients are often not meeting with a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, so this visit cannot be billed to insurance. However, most insurances allow for a second opinion. If you have any questions about the second opinion being covered, contact member services on the back of your insurance card.

724-934-VEIN (8346) Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 43


R.W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology

Hearing Tools for

Hearing Loss

earing loss happens to all of us as a natural side-effect of aging. However, some people are born with a loss, or can acquire significant hearing loss as a result of their job or hobbies. At R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology, no matter what the source of your hearing loss, restoring your hearing is their first priority. “We do on-site hearing evaluations and we’re looking in the person’s ears using a video otoscope,” said Robert Petruso. “The patient can see what we see. They can see wax build up or perforation of the eardrum or anything unusual.” R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology also has an on-site sound booth, where patients can be immersed in absolute silence while hearing tests are conducted. Results are processed and explained to patients thoroughly, so that they can understand exactly what’s going


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on with their particular loss. Hearing aids, if necessary, are also explained and demonstrated for patients. R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology can actually program the results of your hearing test into a computer and model how the hearing aid will improve your hearing loss as well. “Hearing loss crosses a whole spectrum of patients from children through seniors,” Petruso said. “We do testing for children where there might be concern for speech development and hearing loss. We also do annual hearing testing for Head Start programs. We also do OSHA industrial testing. We’ll do evaluations for the employees and report our findings to their employers.” While the baby-boomer generation approaches retirement age, their concept of hearing aids might be the large, squeaky, clunky devices worn by their parents and grandparents. Not so of today’s devices, Petruso said. “A lot of the manufacturers have aggressive feedback cancellers in their hearing aids. When they sense feedback, the hearing aid diminishes it. They’re virtually feedback free,” he said. “A lot have a telephone circuit to hear better on the telephone. They monitor and control background noise and have features that help patients better understand speech. They still have behind the ear models, but they are much smaller and sleeker. The standard models fit in the ear canal and are barely noticeable. What’s more, they are more lightweight and comfortable and don’t require as much power, which means less battery changing.” R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology has been a family business for more than 38 years. In addition to Robert, his wife, Arlene has been in the audiology business for 25 years. Their son, Robert, II, is a doctor of audiology and has been practicing for 22 years, and, incidentally, wears hearing aids himself. Their other children, Travis and Racheal also are in the family business, with Racheal managing the Meadville office for more than 13 years. Robert said that whether or not hearing aids are covered by insurance depends on the carrier, so people are encourages to check into their plans. “I would say for the younger population, and anybody that’s not retired, generally it’s not covered with insurance,” he said. “Some of the Medicare HMOs do have some coverage for hearing aids. Some of the bigger companies might have coverage for hearing aids as well.” Regardless, R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology will ensure that you find the best hearing aid at a cost that you can accommodate. R. W. Petruso Hearing and Audiology has 9 locations in Northwestern Pennsylvania. To find an office location near you or to schedule your appointment, please call 1-800-475-9192 or visit our website at

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O L D E R A D U L T S I N S E N E C A VA L L E Y Whether you are a mature adult facing changes in your living arrangements or the child of an aging parent, the prospect of discussing this major life change can be a formidable one. Most experts agree that it is best to broach the subject earlier rather than later.

By Pamela Palongue

n the popular 1990s TV series “The Golden Girls,” Dorothy always had a secret weapon she used to coerce her mother into cooperating with her. Dorothy would periodically threaten her with the ominous warning, “Shady Pines is getting your room ready as we speak…” But nowadays, only around 7% of people over age 75 live in nursing homes, according to census figures, and there are more choices than ever for different lifestyles and levels of care. There are as many as 20 different types of senior care facilities, and before looking at any new living arrangement, it’s important to have a basic idea of what the different levels are to avoid feeling overwhelmed with choices. The following are some of the most popular living arrangements for seniors of today. One favorite for mature adults is the active adult community, sometimes referred to as a retirement community or independent living. These dwellings are usually homes or condos with individuals living independently and owning their own home, but in a grouping or housing plan with other seniors. Many times these communities will offer a clubhouse and have planned social and cultural activities 46 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE


Seneca Valley

and limited transportation. They may also provide housekeeping and communal meals for a monthly fee. They are probably best suited to individuals who are active and able to assume total care for themselves, but desire social interaction with others in their own age group. Assisted living facilities usually allow individuals to have the privacy of their own apartment or home, while offering daily assistance with bathing and dressing. Some communities may also help with administering medications. This is an attractive option for many seniors because residents may be able to bathe and dress themselves initially, but as health and mobility decline the help becomes readily available without having to make a change in living arrangements. Communal dining may also be an option for an added fee. Residents rent their apartment or home and may pay one ‘all inclusive’ fee for services or may be charged ‘a la carte’ for each additional service needed. This is a good choice for any mature adult who is currently ambulatory, but who may have concerns about future mobility problems or perhaps has the beginning of mobility issues. Another increasingly popular option for mature adults is home

health care which allows individuals to remain in their homes while receiving professional assistance with bathing, dressing and meal preparation. The care may also extend to medical needs such as the administration of medications and the ongoing management of blood pressure or diabetes. Medicare and Medicaid may provide financial assistance in some cases, but there are several eligibility requirements which must be met. This is a particularly good option for individuals who are emotionally attached to their residence and do not have a strong need for social interaction with other seniors. Rehabilitation facilities are primarily a temporary option for those recuperating from injury or illness. Rehab helps the individual recover and provides adaptive techniques for preparing the patient to return to independent living. While the person may not function at the previous level, the goal of rehab is to enhance the patient’s quality of life by improving mobility, speech and self-care. Though people seldom look forward to going to a nursing facility, skilled nursing homes provide 24-hour care for individuals with serious illness, injury or mental decline. The good news is that there have been several improvements in the quality of care received in nursing facilities since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Nurse aides now have more training, and each resident must be fully evaluated upon admission so that an individual care plan can be established. Meals are planned by a dietician to ensure proper nutrition, and many nursing facilities now include regular exercise as a part of their managed care for residents. Whether you are a mature adult facing changes in your living arrangements or the child of an aging parent, the prospect of discussing this major life change can be a formidable one. Most experts agree that it is best to broach the subject earlier rather than later. Try to discuss the different options with aging parents and find out which ones appeal to them. Certain conditions such as serious dementia may prevent a meaningful discussion of these topics later. By talking about the choices now, your loved one can weigh in on the decision and help you decide based on personal preferences. The topic is also easier to discuss when it seems a long way off, rather than inevitable in the near future. The older person will also have more time to make decisions, rather than hastily settling on a new home. When beginning the discussion, always reassure your loved one that you want him/her to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Ask questions rather than offering advice. This will help your parent to feel more in control of the conversation. Try not to force any decisions with only one discussion. Give your loved one a chance to digest the idea and to form some thoughts on the subject. Suggest the possibility of a visit to an independent or assisted living community. Many parents who are initially reluctant to even discuss moving become excited about the prospect of making a change when they are able to see firsthand the positive social aspects and activities offered at assisted living facilities. Finally, enlist the help of one of your parent’s friends already in independent or assisted living as an advocate. Oftentimes parents may feel that their children are “ganging up” on them if they are confronted by several siblings telling them what they should do. However, an individual in their own age group who has made the adjustment and is happy is the best advocate. For more information on finding a home for your loved one, you may want to consult, a free elder care referral service. For more tips about speaking with your parents or services available for your loved one, visit the Area Agency on Aging website at Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 47


and Your Health Symptoms

The most common symptoms naturally include headache, backache and fatigue as well as cardiovascular disorders (high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, etc.) digestive problems (ulcers, colitis, etc.) and sleeping difficulties.

raffic Jams. Paying Bills. Deadlines. Pesky neighbors. These unpleasant or challenging situations create stress in our lives. So why is it some people deal with these stress situations better than others? The answer is complex and includes many factors from genetics to weather conditions, but an interesting study in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics indicates that there is a relationship between chiropractic and the effect it can have on dealing with stress situations in your life. This study revealed that nearly one in three patients viewed their lives as moderately to severely stressful, and more than 50% felt that stress had a moderate to severe impact on their health problems. Additionally, 71% of the patients indicated that it would be helpful if their chiropractor offered advice to help them cope with these stressful situations. Communicating with your chiropractor about dealing with stress is the starting point, and you might be surprised to find that your chiropractor is full of sound advice on ways to effectively deal with stress in your life. Most people know that improving nerve and spinal function has a dramatic impact on improving emotional, mental and physical function. Getting the most out of your chiropractic care may include talking to your chiropractor about effective strategies to deal with the stress in your life, so be sure to inform your chiropractor about your personal situation so your Doctor of Chiropractic can help you improve your health and wellness at maximum levels. TREATMENT Chiropractic involves touch; this factor alone sets the stage for release of muscular tension. Your chiropractor administers one or a series of manipulations (“adjustments”) to the spine and surrounding musculature. The adjustments may help the fatigue or stress by removing nerve irritation, releasing muscular tension and improving blood circulation. To see if chiropractic may be able to help you call 724.779.0001 today for a complimentary consultation.


Source: JMPT, July/August 1999 (originally published in the PCD Chiropractic Newsletter) This Industry Insight was written by Drs. Gina Agostino and Anthony Manes. Complete Chiropractic Health is located at 2625 Rochester Rd. in Cranberry Twp. The practice is owned by Dr. Gina Agostino and Dr. Anthony Manes. The doctors may be reached at 724.779.0001. For more information, visit

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Girls Scouts Launch

 to Celebrate 100 Years

by Dana Black McGrath irl Scouts in Cranberry Township are always on the move, but for the next few months, they are going to be extra busy. The national Girl Scouts of America organization will celebrate its 100th anniversary in March. Each service unit was asked to do something to celebrate the landmark anniversary. Locally, troop leaders started tossing around ideas and decided that the area troops would take on one service project every day for 100 days, explains coordinator Allison Beresnyak, who also is a Brownie troop coleader and recruiter for the organization. But, they also decided to take the effort one step further and blog about it, so everyone could read about the daily projects and see pictures of the results of the troops’ efforts. The initiative started on Dec. 4 and will run through March 12, the actual date of the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary. “I said, ‘I think we can do this,’” says Beresnyak. “We do service projects all the time.” But the trick with this initiative was to coordinate the scheduling of those projects so that there would be one happening each day, she explains. For example, December is a particularly busy month for service projects – there are 30 to 40 projects scheduled – but they needed to be scheduled on different days to make sure all the days in that month were covered. One of the service projects conducted in the month of December was the Mittens & More Drive. A tree at the Cranberry Community Center was decorated with ornaments, and supporters were asked to take an ornament from the tree, and in exchange leave a set of mittens or gloves to be donated to the needy. They also conducted a Mr. Rogers’ Sweater Drive to collect new and gently used sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts that were donated to The Lighthouse Foundation, in partnership with Fountain Park Church. All of the Girl Scout troops in Cranberry are participating in the 100 Days of Caring project, and each troop was asked to do two to three projects. That is not unusual, Beresnyak explains. Each would probably be conducting


that many service projects during that time frame anyway, but there has been careful scheduling so that one project falls each day during the 100-day campaign. Beresnyak will be managing the blog for the campaign as well. While the original intention was to post about the projects on the day they occurred, there may be a few-day delay to allow the troop leaders to gather and submit their information and photos. Plans also are in the works for an All-Girl Scouts project, one in which all of the community’s troops would participate, that is scheduled for March 11. “We are asking community organizations and non-profits to submit requests for help,” Beresnyak says. There are nearly 400 Girl Scouts in the area, so the organization is seeking a large-scale project that would require the work of many hands to complete. She explains that the scouts range in age from kindergarten through 12th grade, so it may be difficult to find a project that is a fit for all ages. They also are taking suggestions for the smaller, daily service projects. For more information, to submit a project idea or see a list of service projects, email at girlscouts.

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 49

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  or most parents, getting the family to the dinner table— and keeping them there—takes some creativity. Here are a few secrets to help your little ones (and bigger ones) stay put, eat something other than mac-n-cheese and even look forward to family meals together. Cut yourself some slack. The goal is to keep your family mealtime a positive, happy experience. Think about lowering your expectations for what a “sit-down” meal with little ones and bigger ones means. Real life can be hectic—balancing work, soccer, piano lessons, play dates—and getting the whole family to the table at the same time can be so challenging that many families just give up. Most of us believe that family dinner is important—we simply lack the patience, energy or tools to pull it off. And then we feel guilty. Why not make dinnertime fun instead of a chore? Include an unexpected ingredient such as purple carrots or star fruit, serve the kids’ juice in fancy glasses—or enjoy pancakes, eggs and OJ instead of your usual dinner fare. Have a picnic: pack up a basket, spread out a blanket on the living room floor, move a couple potted plants over and enjoy dinner in “the park.” Is your fridge full of leftovers? Dish them up, put out some soft taco shells and let your family enjoy making their own “wacky wrap” creations. Make it a group effort and give everyone a responsibility. Your spouse could get the salad together while your daughter sets the table. Let your youngest supervise from his booster seat while your son takes the drink orders. Your 10year-old can feed the baby while you get the rest of dinner on the table. This is the perfect opportunity to provide your children with a valuable sense of involvement. Ask your family for their own ideas and allow them to choose the side dishes for the week. Remember that while some of their requests may be a bit off the wall, they are (generally) do-able.


Start a tradition of “Family Happy Hour.” Before you start preparing dinner, serve healthy appetizers such as chopped veggies with hummus or baked whole grain tortilla chips with mango salsa while listening to a fun playlist. These healthy options take the edge off their hunger, and you may find your children happier and more willing to try new foods when you do sit down together. Dinner is not your only option. Sometimes the demands of real life can get in the way of this important commitment— so, we need to be flexible. Family mealtime is about connecting with your family—if dinner is impossible, why not connect over lunch or a snack? And, take advantage of some shortcut ideas. On the weekend, why not prepare a few meals in advance so that everything is ready to be heated when you get home from a long day at work? Learn to make some compromises—crock pots can be wonderful, and not every meal needs to be Coq au vin! Family dinner is a good idea. “Mealtime is often the only time in the whole day when everybody’s in the same room having a conversation,” says William Doherty, Ph.D., author of The Intentional Family (Addison Wesley Longman, 1997), “so it’s where the family’s culture gets created.” Family dinner helps demonstrate to our children that they are important enough for us to spend this valuable time with. And we often hear experts say that consistent family mealtime improves nutrition, table manners, communication skills, family relationships and bonding. This Industry Insight was written by Dina & Matt Speranza. They are the owners of The Goddard School®, located at 8065 Rowan Road in Cranberry. Goddard offers both full- and part-time Infant/Preschool/K programs. For more information, visit or call 724-778-9999.

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Second Annual Steelers Cabana Bash to Benefit Children’s Free Care Fund by Kathy Rudolph


teelers fans adorned in their best black and gold came out to support Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund and enjoy an outdoor party and Steelers game at The Cabana Bar at The Oxford Club. The event was hosted by Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Cranberry and included a Steelers ticket auction, a James Harrison autographed football, a signed Ben Roethlisberger jersey and more. A Cornhole tournament, delicious food and libations and D.J. Digital Dick kept the party moving. nt and e id s e r P e rie, Vic The event was part of Howard Yvonne Guth he Howard Hanna T Hanna’s ‘Chow Chow’ fundraising f o y r r e r g e a b n n a M ra campaign now in its 23rd year. Office in C Real Estate Approximately 130 Howard Hanna offices raise money for the Children’s Free Care Fund in their area from September to December. Last year, Howard Hanna raised more than $568,763 in their offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia. The money raised in each region is donated to that region’s children’s hospital.

“This is our second year of hosting the Cabana Bash and the people that have attended have been very generous,” said Yvonne Guthrie, Howard Hanna vice president and manager of the Cranberry office. “We thought it would be a great idea to start early with our Children’s Free Care fundraising with the first away game.

D.J. Digital Dick

Michelle Shannon , General Manger of The Cabana Ba and Staff r

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Marsha Gruber


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Janet Yasko and Kristen Crusan, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh development coordinator, corporate campaigns The idea for this came from our ‘brainchild,’ Janet Yasko, and Marsha Gruber.” The event included a poignant prayer for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 victims and law enforcement and for the recovery of patients in children’s hospitals everywhere. “We thank Howard Hanna and everyone here for their generosity to the patients and their families from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh,” said Kristen Crusan, development coordinator, and corporate campaigns. According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, “$31 million worth of free care went to children in the Pittsburgh region last year.” The Fund “helps families that can’t afford care because of a loss of insurance, a child having a chronic illness or the cost of care exceeds what insurance will pay.” No child is ever turned away. “The fund also allows us to provide extras for the patients so that they can enjoy their childhood while in the hospital,” said Ms. Crusan. “Examples include providing video games so patients can play with family or friends or hosting a Prom,” said Ms. Crusan. To learn more about Howard Hanna in Cranberry, please visit To find out about upcoming events at the Cabana Bar, go to Finally, to make a donation to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Free Care Fund, please visit

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Calvin Presbyterian Church . . . . .724.452.7560 Camp Run Presbyterian Church .724.368.8446 Christ Bible Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.776.2780 Christian Community Church of Mars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.625.3230 Church of God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.538.9841 Congregation B’Nai Abraham . . . . .724.287.5806 Cranberry Baptist Church . . . . . . . . .724.776.3110 Cranberry Community United . . . . .724.776.5310 Cranberry Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship . . . . . . . .724.443.0892 Crestview United Presbyterian Church . . . . . . . . . . .724.538.8559 Crossroads Community Church . . .724.776.6763 CrossWay Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.898.4600 Discovery Christian Church . . . . . . .724.779.1010 Dutilh United Methodist Church . . .724.776.1094 English Evangelical Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 724.452.8110 Faith Full Gospel Church . . . . . . . . .724.452.5864 First Baptist Church of Evans City . .724.538.8341 First Baptist Church of Zelienople . .724.452.9290 First Bible Baptist Church . . . . . . . .724.452.7915 Focus Community Church . . . . . . . .724.612.4411 Fountain Park Church . . . . . . . . . . . .724.779.2003 Good Samaritan Church of the Brethren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.776.5508 Gospel Fellowship Presbyterian Church . . . . . . . . . . .724.898.3322 Grace Church of Harmony . . . . . . . .724.452.7270 Grace Community Church . . . . . . . .724.779.7997 Harmony-Zelienople United Methodist Church . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.452.7670

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Hope Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . . . .724.776.3141 Mars Alliance Church . . . . . . . . . . . .724.776.9400 Mars Campus of Dutilh UMC . . . . .724.625.1488 Mars United Presbyterian Church . .724.625.1365 New Life Anglican Church . . . . . . . .724.614.7746 New Life Presbyterian Church . . . . .724.744.4760 Oak Grove Lutheran Church . . . . . .724.774.6410 Oak Hill Alliance Church . . . . . . . . . .724.776.4350 Old Union Presbyterian Church . . .724.538.8672 Park Presbyterian Church . . . . . . . . .724.452.9570 Plains Presbyterian Church & Cranberry Nursery School . . . . . . .724.538.8785 Seaman Memorial Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.452.3594 St. Ferdinand Catholic Church . . . . .724.776.2888 St. Gregory Catholic Church . . . . . . 724.452.7245 St. John (Burry’s) Church . . . . . . . .724.452.6941 St. John Lutheran Church . . . . . . . .724.865.2490 St. John’s United Church of Christ 724.538.8124 St. Kilian Catholic Parish . . . . . . . . .724.625.1665 St. John Lutheran Church . . . . . . . .724.865.2490 St. Mathias Catholic Church . . . . . .724.538.8237 St. Paul Lutheran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .724.452.8832 St. Peter’s Lutheran Church . . . . . . .724.535.5810 St. Peter’s Reformed Church . . . . . .724.452.8120 Valencia Presbyterian Church . . . . .724.625.2002 Valencia United Methodist Church . . . . . . . . . . .724.625.2330 Victory Family Church . . . . . . . . . . .724.453.6200 Westminster Presbyterian Church . .724.538.8188 Woodland Valley Church . . . . . . . . .724.625.4500 Zelienople Church of Christ . . . . . . .724.452.5332 Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church .724.452.8886

Seneca Valley

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. It would seem reasonable that with millions of sperm and only one egg that the majority of infertility problems would lie with the female. Not true, according to the National Library of Medicine which tracks national statistics kept by fertility clinics. Difficulties with fertility are evenly split, with the source of fertility problems being linked to the male one third of the time and the female also having difficulties one third of the time. The final third is a mixture of situations where both parties have infertility issues and those cases where the cause is indeterminate. The good news is that there is hope for males who wish to start a family. Director of Male Reproductive Medicine Surgery at UPMC, Thomas Jaffe, MD, an urologist, offers a hopeful perspective for males experiencing difficulties with reproductive issues. “Because of many technologies and treatments, many men who previously had no hope of fathering a child now have treatment options that can be [effective.]” One important advancement in reproductive research is a relatively new diagnostic test called the DAZ test. The DAZ test detects a genetic mutation in the Y chromosome for sperm production.

This test is ordered when sperm production is unusually low. Another important factor in analyzing the quality of the sperm is its motility or movement. Generally, sperm with greater motility are able to more easily fertilize an egg. One common problem among men with fertility issues is type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes. Individuals with diabetes may experience what’s called retrograde ejaculation. Simply put, this is when the bladder stays open with ejaculatory fluids washing back into the bladder rather than exiting the body as with normal functioning. “This problem can be treated with Sudafed which helps the bladder to stay closed during ejaculation,” explains Dr. Jaffe. Retrograde ejaculation can also be a problem with spinal cord injuries, nerve damage or certain medications that contain alpha blockers such as high blood pressure medications. Another problem Dr. Jaffe sees among his patients are men who have little to no sperm production. “Even with no sperm, we have found that these men still produce limited numbers of sperm within the tissues of the testicles.” This sperm can be extracted from the tissue and remains viable to fertilize an egg.

One of the most common problems associated with male infertility is when an enlargement of a vein in the scrotum forms. These veins are specially equipped with one-way valves which insure that blood flows upward. When these veins become compressed, they crush the gonadal vein and heat and toxins build up in the scrotum inhibiting healthy sperm production. The vein can be surgically repaired however to promote normal function with increased sperm production and better quality with sperm motility increased. Finally, male cancer patients may experience fertility problems due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “Ideally ,we [harvest] sperm prior to treatment. We work with the Pittsburgh Cryobank to store the sperm until needed,” explains Dr. Jaffe. Although no treatment is an absolute guarantee, male infertility can often times be overcome with the right evaluation and treatment. For more information about Dr. Jaffe and treatment of male infertility, call 412.692.4100.

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special groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Route 19 fire station for the Cranberry Township’s 9/11 memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 memorial is a project initiated by members of the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company, who worked to secure a piece of structural steel from the former World Trade Center. The monument will incorporate the piece from Ground Zero within its design. That event marked the beginning of the fundraising campaign for the memorial. Now, the fire company is focusing on fundraising efforts, according to Bruce Hezlep, president of the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company. He says donations are starting to come in, but a bit slower than he anticipated. “If every resident of the township gave a dollar, we would be more than well on our way to raising the funds we need,” Hezlep says. He admits that because the company is taxpayer supported through the township and does not need to raise its own operating funds, fundraising is a challenge for them. So the company has turned to Bruce Mazzoni, council member and treasurer of the Cranberry Township Community Chest, for help. CTCC conditions attached to receiving the piece of building, including that the already has awarded the fire company a $10,000 grant as seed receiving entity could not profit from it in any way. money for the project. Last April, the fire department received word that it was approved to The group also helped them to connect with local receive a piece of the structural steel salvaged from Ground Zero – a huge company HRG, which donated its expertise to the structural support beam weighing 832 pounds and measuring roughly 8 feet renderings and concepts for the township’s Scouting by 3 feet. Centennial Plaza project, and offered to do the same Until the day the beam was picked up at a hanger at JFK airport, no one had for the 9/11 memorial. any idea about how big the piece of steel would be and what it would look like, so Efforts to construct a memorial to the first design concepts couldn’t be developed in advance. responders of 9/11 have been ongoing for a Those who are interested in making a contribution to the project may contact few years. Hezlep at Two years ago the fire company became aware of an opportunity to acquire a piece of structural steel from Ground Zero. Firefighter Jeff Berneburg initiated the lengthy application process, and a 9/11 Memorial Committee was formed. There were many

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Photos by Ginography

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eneca Valley ADVERTISE HERE!   


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ave you ever seen someone and said those are the most beautiful, hypnotic eyes I have ever seen? A person’s eyes are the focal point of their facial features and are often focused on by others during conversations or first meetings. For that reason, patients are very concerned about how their eyes appear to others. In this day and age with everyone wanting to look as lovely as they can, aesthetic eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be beneficial to men and women at any age. How do I know if I need eyelid surgery? This is a common question that men and women alike ask me as well as themselves. Here is a good checklist reference for you. 1. Bags and dark circles under the eyes 2. Lower eyelid droopiness 3. Excessive and loose skin hanging down from the upper eyelids, sometimes even obstructing vision 4. A puffiness to the upper eyelids, making the eyes appear tired 5. Excess skin and fine crepe paper type wrinkles of the lower eyelids


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Have It!

Eyelid surgery can usually correct these problems, but sometimes other treatments may also need to be considered. What we commonly refer to as “crow’s feet” lines may be smoothed out with Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing. Dark circles under the eyes that are caused by dark pigmentation may be treated with Hyaluonic Acid fillers, fat injections or sometimes chemical peeling. Often, if drooping upper eyelids is combined with sagging of the brows, an endoscopic brow lift may be the answer. When patients come in for a consultation for this type of surgery, I usually have them look in the mirror and tell me EXACTLY what they want to see improved. This will allow me to understand their expectations and determine whether they can be realistically achieved. Patients should always come to their appointment ready to discuss their medical history. Especially important conditions with eye surgery

Seneca Valley

are high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid problems. Allergies are also something I need to know before performing this surgery. Eyelid surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can go home after their operation and time in the recovery room. With upper eyelid surgery, or Upper Blepharoplasty, the incision is generally hidden in the natural fold of the eyelid. With lower eyelid surgery, or Lower Blepharoplasty, the incision is usually hidden just below the lower lash line. As with other surgeries, I will advise you to stop smoking. The amount of recovery time varies among individuals. The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. Remember not to take aspirin or any anti inflammatory medications. These products tend to thin your blood, which can increase bruising and swelling with surgery. Bruising usually disappears within 7-10 days. Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early post- operative period. But, in most cases, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. After you have aesthetic eyelid surgery, people may remark about how rested you look or think you have recently returned from a vacation. When you have eyelid surgery, the healing is a gradual process. Because of this, you will need to wait at least a few weeks to get an accurate picture of your results. Incisions will fade over several months, usually becoming barely visible. The results of this type of surgery are ordinarily long lasting. Removing fat from your eyelids, which is what typically causes the bags and puffiness, is permanent. Patients are normally delighted with their results and feel that they look much younger and refreshed. In today’s world, patients want to look the very best that they can, not only for themselves, but for the workplace. People are working later into their lives and want to have an edge in the competitive marketplace. In summary, eye surgery is not just for reasons of vanity, but can also aid in securing new jobs or advancing to that promotion.


Photos by Ginography

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Little Miss Horse Trading Days, Sophie Stumm

he falling flakes failed to frighten away the fun as the annual Halloween parade stepped through downtown Zelienople. The huge, fluffy, white chunks of snow falling from the sky may have led one to mistake this for a Christmas parade, but it wasn’t. The annual Zelienople Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Zelienople Lions Club, marched on despite nearly an inch of snow that fell during an early first snowfall of the season. Held on Saturday, Oct. 29, the parade and its costumed characters, floats, bands and other participants marched on despite the cold temperatures and slippery snow. Carolyn, Chuck, Cole & Jackson Skillman

Ashley Hare

Amanda & Hunter Curtin, Sam Kline

Lexi, Kayli & Josh Tomasovic, Chloe Sommers, Joslyn Korcok, Liam, Emma & Heather Allison

Mickaila & Morgan Bartlett

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 59

 Frighteningly a

Photos by Ginography

Fun Time in Cranberry

Mary and Drew Long, Cooper Burchan, Jason Palmero, Lucy and Eva Alejandro, Keira Colella

ranberry Township’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted “Spookapalooza” just a few days before Halloween. Held at the Lions Shelter in the Community Park on Oct. 29, the event featured story telling by “Witch Hazel,” along with other fun activities for children 1 to 8 years old, including crafts, games and refreshments. A pumpkin hunt rounded out the funfilled afternoon.

C utko n, Naomi D Grace Merte

“Witch Hazel ” & Breanna


Molly Bell

Karen Russell as “Witch Hazel” Michelle & An nabelle


Erica, Scott & Elliott Gilbertson

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A Family Business with its

 to the

                                                                       

                                                  KC Kowalyk        

“Our personality and organization are better suited to Sewickley. The borough’s been good to us, the city of Pittsburgh has been good to us.”

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 61

hen most kids were trying to fit in their final fun days of summer before the school year began, Aleah Meek was busy raising money to help a young boy who was struggling to overcome serious medical complications. Her mother, Lori Meek, explains that a friend’s nephew was a patient at The Children’s Institute, and Aleah took it upon herself to coordinate a lemonade/artwork/

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Twizzler stand to help raise money for the young boy and his family. The young patient, just 7 years old, already had undergone multiple surgeries throughout his young life and had recently experienced a setback that caused him to lose most of his gross motor skills. “I have my kids involved so they realize how fortunate they are,” says the proud mother. On Aug. 27, the day of the fundraiser, Aleah joined forces with her two brothers and a few neighbors who helped to bring items for people to buy. The young crew gave all of the money that was donated to the boy’s family. Together they raised more than $280. “I am so proud of these kids and their hearts to do a fundraiser for this little boy and his family,” says Lori Meek. They delivered the donations and gifts on Sept. 11. Since then, Lori Meek reports that she received a text from the boy’s mother that he had another surgery and is learning to walk and can now feed himself. He is expected to return home later this month. “I think what is amazing is the attitude this little guy has. He was happy and cracking jokes when we met him, really amazing to see.”


Evans City Oktoberfest

by Kathy Rudolph

anizer oberfest Org ans City Okt Ev , lz Vo m Pa

Bill Westerman, Evans City Rotary Club President and Lee Dwyer, District Governor-Elect of Rotary International,

picturesque ‘end of summer’ weekend was the backdrop for honoring German heritage at a celebration in a charming, small town. Hosted by the Oktoberfest volunteers and local business sponsors, Evans City’s 25th Annual Oktoberfest was packed with three days of family fun for all ages. A parade, ‘All You Can Eat Breakfast,’ hosted by The Evans City Volunteer Fire Department, Middle School Band Concert and Senior Drum Circle were just some of the features that took you back to a simpler time. “My grandfather, R. Paul Wingard, started Oktoberfest 25 years ago,” said Pamela Volz, one of the committee members. “He wanted to promote business in Evans City and bring the community together. The great thing is that it is a safe, family event with free admission, parking and many free activities. We Betty Lambert of the couldn’t do it without the help of our sponsors and The Resurrection Band Evans City Volunteer Fire Department.” A ‘Little Miss and Mr. Oktoberfest’ Contest, Kid’s Tractor Pull, Patches the Clown and rides kept the kids entertained. Community vendors including The Evans City Lions Club, The Rotary of Evans City and Cranberry Mobile Fire House informed and educated the residents. Craft and food vendors and musical entertainment including The Tamarack Lake Cloggers and Michael Christopher Band kept the crowd moving. “Evans City is a ‘hometown’ town and there are not many left like it,” said Ms. Volz, when asked why she and her committee and sponsors continue her Lake Cloggers The Tamarack grandfather’s legacy. “It was important to him to keep Evans City on the map and if it was important to him, then it should be important to his grandchildren.” To learn more about Evans City Borough and upcoming events, please visit


Kelly Kopera, Ev ans City Lions Club President and Members

Rick Reifenstein

Kathy McDon ald of The Whi te Barn and Fam ily

Seneca Valley | Winter 2011 | 63

Fun at the

Country Fall Festival

he Business Association of ZelienopleHarmony Area Chamber of Commerce once again hosted its widely popular Country Fall Festival. Winding through the streets of historic Harmony and Zelienople, the two-day event was held Oct. 8 and 9, and welcomed visitors to the community offering live music, food, historical perspectives, crafts, antiques and more. The Zelienople Main St. Park was home to arts, crafts and entertainment, as well as a Farmers’ Market, homemade foods, and historic encampments. Sidewalk sales throughout the business district, children’s activities and special performances at The Strand Theater also were part of the festivities. Other events included a tractor cruise, a chili cook-off, tours of Passavant House and Buhl House, and antique car show, and even special flights from the Zelienople Municipal Airport.


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              Great Gift for any occasion can take groups of 1-4


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Do you have story ideas for IN Seneca Valley Magazine? Email your events and ideas to Dana Black McGrath, North Region Editor, at

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