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2015 Education Issue

Exceptional In Everything… this is Vincentian Academy Educators Making a Difference Saint Alexis… Welcoming, Caring & Nurturing World of Education Winter Wonderland Trivia Kean Quest Draws Amazing Talent


Northern Connection | January 2015


CONTENTS January 2015



Image & Style

10 Kean Quest Talent Search Draws Amazing Talent

40 Walking in a Winter Wonderland – in Style! Kelly Smith

Robin Taylor

12 Cover Story: Exceptional in Every Way, this is Vincentian Academy

Spotlight on Education 15 Educators Making a Difference Marianne Reid Anderson

23 School Mover & Shaker of the Month: Gabby Mayer Hosts Bowling for a Cause Mike Doerfler

25 Tech Talk: What is the Khan Academy? Marianne Reid Anderson

26 Education Spotlight: Saint Alexis Catholic School 28 Education Spotlight: Shady Side Academy 30 School Movers & Shakers 37 2015 NC Education Directory

12 In Every Issue

Health & Wellness


From the Publisher

42 Fit Families: Happy New Year!


Movers & Shakers


Mover & Shaker of the Month: Dede Rittman

Joella Baker

44 Business Spotlight: Het Baby! 4D Ultrasound Studio 48 Fever: What is in a Number Micheal Petrosky, M.D., FAAP

Senior Living

Marion Piotrowski

Paula Green

34 Starting the Conversation: Should Students Dress for Success? Marianne Reid Anderson

53 Happenings for Seniors

39 Support Our Troops: La Roche College Once Again Ranks As a Military Friendly College


55 January 2015 Happenings

47 Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired?

60 Trivia Connection: Winter Wonderland Trivia

52 Town Crier: Hello January! Joe Bullick

Dr. Shannon Thieroff

Paula Green

Paula Green

51 Dr. Vactor


10 2

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Northern Connection | January 2015



Happy New Year!


Welcome to Northern Connection magazine’s 16th year of connecting you to the community!


his January, we are featuring our annual Education issue. For the past 16 years, Northern Connection magazine has worked closely with area schools and we are excited to continue this relationship with our new series, “Educators Making a Difference” where we will highlight educators that go beyond the norm to bring exceptional teaching to their students. If any of the schools are interested in becoming a part of this feature, please call or email us for the details. A special thank you to all the schools that advertise in Northern Connection magazine and to all the exceptional educators that have already been submitted. In this issue, we also feature the 2015 Kean Quest! Northern Connection magazine is proud to be a sponsor of this ever growing popular talent contest that has become a staple in and around the area. Read more about this year’s contest and be sure to register. Maybe your talent will take you to the winners circle! All the proceeds from the Kean Quest Talent contest go to St. Barnabas Free Care fund. Good Luck to all of you who are registering in this year’s contest. Enjoy reading all the Northern Connection magazine’s special features and regular monthly columns. Thank you for supporting Northern Connection magazine for the past 15 years. Together we continue to make our community an outstanding place to live and work. F


P.O. Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722

Phone: 724-940-2444

Laura Arnold


Fax: 724-940-2447 Email: northcon@consolidated.net www.northernconnectionmag.com President & Publisher

Marion Swanson Piotrowski Executive Editor

Marianne Reid Anderson Managing Editor/ Public Relations Coordinator

Paula M. Green Marketing & Account Executive and Office Coordinator

Mary Simpson


Laura Lyn Arnold Marketing & Account Executives

Mary L. Simpson Design & Production

Kostilnik & Assoc., Inc. Web Master

Swanson Publishing Company Core Writers

Marianne Reid Anderson


Joella Baker Joe Bullick Rosemary Garrity Paula M. Green Barbara A. Killmeyer Suzanne (Suz) Mauro, AICI Ryan C. Meyer Liz Miles Donna Summers Moul, M.S.Ed. Marianne Reid Anderson Stacie Sikora Kelly Smith Distribution

Paula Green ncmagazine@northernconnectionmag.com

Linda Watkins Lori Palmer Donna Smith Dominion Distribution

Northern Connection is published twelve times a year by Swanson Publishing Co., Inc. (P.O. Box 722, Wexford, PA 15090-0722, 724-940-2444) and is distributed free of charge to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Subscription can be purchased from the publisher at $25 for one year.

Coming in February 2015 HEALTHCARE GUIDE

The mission of the Swanson Publishing Co., Inc. is to connect the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh by publishing the area’s finest community publication, Northern Connection. The publication is dedicated to the people, communities, educational, religious, travel, and recreational needs of the area. The contents of Northern Connection magazine may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Northern Connection magazine reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertisements that do not meet the standards of this publication.



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@NCONNECTIONMAG Find us on Facebook under Northern Connection Magazine! http://northernconnectionmagazine.blogspot.com/


Northern Connection | January 2015


MOVERS & SHAKERS January 2015

Movers & Shakers

“Jackson’s Jackets” coat collection which benefits The Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side was held in November. Jackson Seabolt of Mars along with his family collected nearly 600 coats, which they delivered on Thanksgiving morning. A tent was set up and they distributed the coats to the homeless men and women before they attend Light of Life’s Thanksgiving dinner. Living Recognition Event recognized 25 local Veterans for success made toward healthy living choices. The event was held Dec. 16 at VA Butler Healthcare’s auditorium.


Grandmaster Young Bo Kong of Young Brothers Tae Kwon-Do has been helping the homeless since Dec. 2011. He has been supporting the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF). He pledged to raise $100,000 over a five-year period by donating the proceeds from two of his tournaments to HCEF. With the $11,000 donation made on Nov. 25, he is right on target to meet his goal. To date, the martial arts facility has raised approximately $60,000.

In December, students in the Religious Education classes at St. Ferdinand’s Church received a special visit from Saint Nicholas.

VA Butler’s third annual Healthy McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s grantmaking foundation announced the awarding of 11 grants totaling $356,425 to ten Pittsburgh-area nonprofit organizations. Three Rivers Wealth Management Group (TRWMG) and Three Rivers Tax & Business Services sponsored their 4th annual Operation Santa. They granted the wish lists over 135 local Pittsburgh children. During the holiday season, local residents were once again given a new lease on life through the generosity of Butler Memorial Hospital, Dr. Thomas Muzzonigro and Operation Walk USA. This is the third year that two Butler county residents received total joint replacements at no cost. Butler Health System recognized Connie Codispot as its recipient for the Cameos of Caring Program® Award.

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

The National Aviary installed a high-resolution, infrared penguin nest cam which gives the public a view inside the nesting cave of a pair of African Penguins within its Penguin Point exhibit. Pittsburgh-based eCareDiary announced a licensing agreement with ArchCare, the non-profit continuing care community of the Archdiocese of New York. UPMC Health Plan has joined forces with Fittsburgh creators of GetFitPgh.com to support and bolster the Fittsburgh mission to increase the health and well-being of area residents.


Dede Rittman Retired teacher turned author BY PAULA GREEN


or 37 years, Dede Rittman immersed herself into a job that she loved. She was an English and Theater teacher at North Allegheny. When her husband Scott was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, Dede retired to take care of him in June of 2011. Sadly, Scott passed away in May of 2012. After her retirement, Dede concentrated her efforts into writing a book called Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop From a Master Teacher. “When Scott died, I knew I wanted to continue doing something important in the field of education, so I wrote this book. It is a fast read for anyone entering the teaching profession, or for new teachers. I enlighten readers on the best ways to get yourself and your students organized, what to wear, developing your teacher style, communicating with parents, and many more practical and useful topics. Three C’s are emphasized throughout the book - Confidence, Communication, and Creativity – and teachers will learn just how important the three C’s are in the classroom. I also share many humorous anecdotes from my career, as well as, student-generated lists of just what makes a “good” and a “not so good” teacher,” Rittman said. Rittman is hard at work on her next book entitled Grady Gets Glasses. “This book is about a rabbit that needs glasses. Grady will be a plush animal toy that comes with the book, as well. A former NA student and friend, Lauren Givens Wood, is my illustrator. Grady is adorable,” Rittman remarked. In addition to teaching at North Allegheny, Rittman also spent 33 years coaching golf. “I served on the WPIAL Golf Committee since 1979. I also volunteer as a Rules Official with the West Penn Golf Association, and I am the Standing Rules chair for the Women’s Golf Association of Western Pennsylvania.  I belong to Diamond Run and play in many competitions each year. I also sing in the chancel choir at my childhood church, First United Presbyterian Church in Tarentum.  I am hoping to speak to student teacher groups and/or teachers to share my positive messages and teaching ideas. I have launched Rittman Publishing, LLC, so instead of teaching, I am becoming a businesswoman,” commented Rittman. Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher is available at www. dederittman.com or Amazon.com. F


Northern Connection | January 2015


MOVERS & SHAKERS January 2015


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015



Draws Amazing Talent BY ROBIN TAYLOR

So you think you can sing… well now’s the time to prove it.


ingers of all ages are welcome to compete in the 2015 Kean Quest Talent Search, a popular local singing competition in Gibsonia that has seen its share of amazing talent – including Pittsburgh’s very own Chris Jamison who wowed millions of viewers this fall with a third place finish on The Voice, and singing sensation Jackie Evancho, who went on to national acclaim in 2010 on America’s Got Talent. Jamison and Evancho were both contestants in 2009 in what was Kean Idol and is now known as the Kean Quest Talent Search. Evancho was nine at the time and was the first runner up. Jamison was in ninth grade and made it to the semi-finals. Both credit the experience they got at the Kean Theatre as helping to pave the way toward their future success. Now in its tenth year, Kean Quest has grown steadily in popularity with


nearly 200 contestants in 2014 in both youth and adult competitions. This year, the adults (19 and up) will vie for a $1,000 cash prize; while the youth (18 and under) will compete for a recording session. The event is for amateurs and is open to anyone who is not currently signed to a recording contract. This year’s competition begins in January for the adults and February and March for children and teenagers, with the Youth Championship taking place Friday, April 10. Contestants who score well in the preliminary rounds move on to the semi-finals and then the finals. They’re judged on three factors: talent, stage presence and presentation. The audience also gets to vote and will select a winner from each round. “Kean Quest is a fun, friendly competition and offers constructive criticism. We know the contestants are amateurs who are learning how to perform and we want this to be a posi-

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

tive experience. For many of them, this is the first time they will have ever performed before a live audience,” said Debbie Panei, executive director of St. Barnabas Charities. In 2004, when Kean Quest got its start, American Idol was the most popular show on television, and the vocal competition was seen as a fun way to raise money for St. Barnabas Charities. Unlike American Idol, there are no Simon Cowell’s on the judge’s panel, and the judge’s comments are not shared with the audience. While Kean Quest can’t offer up huge celebrity coaches like The Voice, the judges do have musical or theater backgrounds and offer constructive criticism to help young contestants improve. Gabby Barrett, 14, the 2014 Kean Quest Champion, has sung the national anthem at Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates games and has been invited

to sing at state fairs, Seven Springs, Kennywood and open before thousands of people at country music concerts. She is has her own songs on iTunes and Amazon and is currently working on her first album as she pursues her dream as a singer and performer. The grand prize for the youth competition includes a recording session at Audible Images, a Grammy awardwinning recording studio. The winners will also get professional headshots that can be used by an agent for promotions, if they plan to pursue a career in music or acting. Every year, the Jackie Evancho Award is given to a contestant who has competed in Kean Quest for two or more years and doesn’t give up no matter where he or she places in the contest. Jackie is usually on stage to personally present the award to the winner. Since her success on America’s Got Talent, she has issued 5 albums, including a platinum and a gold album. While Kean Quest is a competition, it is first and foremost a charity fundraiser. The money raised through ticket sales will benefit St. Barnabas Charities. Last year, the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund provided more than $6 million in free care to patients in need. “The goal of the friendly competition is to find a fun way for kids and adults to get involved in this charity fundraiser,” said Panei. Contestants must sign up for one preliminary round of the competition and be prepared to compete in the semi-

finals if they are selected to move on. To register, call 724-625-3770 or visit KeanQuest.com. There is a $30 registration fee to enter. F

Photo Captions (l to r) Audience Choice Award winner Jake Pedersen Jackie Evancho Award winner Maura Yates & Jackie Evancho First Runner Up Courtney MacKay 2014 Kean Quest Champion Gabby Barrett


2015 Kean Quest Schedule Adults Preliminary Competition January 23 or 30 Adult Championship February 6 Youth Preliminary Competition Feb. 15 or 22 March 1, 8 or 15 Youth Semi-Finals March 22 Youth Championship April 10

Northern Connection | January 2015



Exceptional in Every Way, this is Vincentian Academy is a world-class, highly vibrant, Catholic secondary school and is located conveniently in the heart of the North Hills. Now in its 83rd year, Vincentian Academy provides the best possible education to young women and men who graduate prepared to conquer the challenges of today’s modern world.


he Academy is proud of their strong academic reputation and their superior athletic prowess on the field and court. The Academy believes that lessons learned in the classroom, as well as healthy athletic competition, are equally important components in developing our future leaders. These leaders of tomorrow – living right here in our region – excel at Vincentian Academy and thrive in a faith-filled environment that encourages achievement and recognizes the unique talents of each student. The Academy is minutes from many suburban neighborhoods, downtown Pittsburgh, Route 8 and Cranberry, and attracts students from over 20 school districts, many of which provide busing to the Academy. For those who live beyond these regional boundaries, the Academy provides assistance with the cost of transportation. Students are highly motivated, young women and men who are willing to put great effort in achieving at the highest levels. “Vincentian Academy students embrace the challenge of obtaining good grades, while encouraging their peers to do the same,” said Mr. Ed Bernot, Vincentian Academy’s principal. “With the 20 years plus experience in education, I have


never witnessed such a unique environment as we have here at Vincentian Academy, where students empower students.” added Bernot. Student empowerment is at the core of Vincentian Academy’s success. Students are empowered to achieve, to thrive, to assist, to facilitate, to advocate, to transform, to volunteer and to make a difference. As part of the curriculum, students serve their community through service hours, supporting the Academy’s mission of service to others. The Academy offers a service learning program in which students volunteer in school, churches, hospitals, long-term nursing care facilities and food banks, often taking on leadership positions in outreach projects. Vincentian Academy continues daily the tradition of excellence in Catholic education set in motion by the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, rooted in the spirit and charism of Saints Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, who took as their motto: “The charity of Christ urges us.” This spirit is evident every day in the hallways of Vincentian Academy, where friendship and respect are ever-

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Vincentian Academy present. In a positive, enriching environment, the principle core of empowering students for success is unmistakable. Academic excellence has always been an important part of Vincentian Academy’s history, as evidenced by the fact that since 2003, 100% of graduates have been accepted and enrolled at prestigious colleges and universities across the country. The Class of 2014 was offered over $8 million in scholarship awards, and accepted over $2 million in scholarship awards. Vincentian Academy also consistently ranks at the top of the nation and state for SAT and ACT scores. This past fall, four members of the Class of 2014 enrolled at the University of Notre Dame; other schools selected by this class were Brown University, Virginia Tech, William & Mary, Villanova, Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, John Carroll, University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins, and Davidson College, to name a few. Vincentian Academy offers a competitive college curriculum, and also is proud to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, the only one of its kind at a regional Catholic high school. Academic excellence permeates throughout the entire student body as they have an incredible 82% pass-rate on the rigorous IB examinations. Technological advancements continue to lead Vincentian Academy into the 21st century. With the addition of Google® Chromebooks®, students have the capability to go beyond the boundaries of their text book and discover opportunities for further learning. Students and teachers communicate

instantly with the sharing of Google documents, giving students instant feedback on their academic work. Vincentian Academy is also a completely Wi-Fi accessible building, offering additional capacity for education technology. Vincentian Academy’s technological advancements are evident in completely renovated state-of-the-art Chemistry Lab. The new lab supports contemporary science instruction, providing students access to the latest digital technologies, cutting-edge experiment equipment, current computer simulations and enhanced safety features. As impressive as all of the distinctive characteristics are that sets Vincentian Academy apart in the classrooms and on the scoreboards, the true mark of the Academy is the development of strong, disciplined, young women and men who are ready to take on the world at the next level, whether that be on a college athletic field or in a university classroom. Vincentian Academy sets the stage for great success, empowering students to be the future leaders of our world, and it’s all right here in the heart of the North Hills! F Vincentian Academy OPEN HOUSE JANUARY 14 • 7 – 9:00 p.m. Vincentian Academy ENTRANCE EXAM JANUARY 19 • 10:00 a.m. Vincentian Academy SHADOW DAY FEBRUARY 6 • 8:30 a.m.


Northern Connection | January 2015


Spotlight on

Education 2015


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Educators Making a Difference BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON

Here at Northern Connection magazine, we have the tremendous honor of working with many of our area schools, schools that are populated with incredible educators, administrators, and counselors that go above and beyond on a daily basis, devoting countless hours and boundless energy to their students, their schools and their own professional development. Beginning with this issue and continuing in future issues, we proudly highlight a few of our region’s exceptional Educators Making a Difference: Denise Barker of Providence Heights Alpha School – Denise Barker has been teaching Spanish at Providence Heights Alpha School to students in kindergarten through 8th grade for over 10 years. Denise was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and attended law school in South America. Denise aspired to become a teacher because she enjoys serving others and feels teaching is rewarding. She takes pride in touching the lives of her students and feels as if she is making the world a better place one student at a time. In her classroom, Denise encourages her students to ask questions, work hard and be creative with their talents. She always makes sure that what Denise Barker the students are learning in class is relevant in order to prepare them for high school, work and life. She allows her passion for teaching to show through in her lessons and strives to inspire her students. Denise has always believed that educators exist to produce good people, not just good test results. Her biggest reward is when her former students visit and tell her, “Señora Barker, no one could have prepared us better for high school. We have all of the skills needed to succeed. Gracias, Gracias for teaching us!” To learn more, visit http://www.alphaschool.org. Tracy Coll of St. Teresa of Avila School - Mrs. Tracy Coll joyfully teaches preschool and pre-kindergarten at St. Teresa of Avila School. “St. Teresa’s is a family. It’s a school to believe in,” Mrs. Coll explains. She has been

teaching for 11 years, and 10 of those years have been at St. Teresa of Avila School. Mrs. Coll earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from La Roche College in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. With boundless energy, a warm smile, and a genuine love for teaching preschool and pre-kindergarten, she is making a difference in the lives of her students: “I have the opportunity to teach the joy of learning.” With small class sizes, Mrs. Coll gets to know each student on a personal level and has a unique ability bring out the best in each student. She makes learning fun and comfortable, and as a result, her students are confident and excited to learn. Even during Tracy Coll the students’ “free play” time, Mrs. Coll can be found on the floor helping with a puzzle or helping students build a tower. Although much learning occurs through play, she has a Smartboard in her classroom to enhance learning. Mrs. Coll loves teaching The Letter People curriculum and gives each student a chance to spend a weekend with a letter. She has the students create a scrapbook page documenting their time with the letter for the class letterbook. Mrs. Coll enjoys cooking with the students and some of her favorite recipes include “C” cookies, jello, and a blessings mix. She keeps parents connected and informed on classroom happenings with a detailed newsletter. Mrs. Coll feels a special calling to teach these youngest students: “I want


(Continued on page 16)

Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 to make a positive difference in my students’ lives. I want my students to develop a life-long love of learning.” After a year with Mrs. Coll, the students are well on their way to doing just that. To learn more, visit http://www.saintteresas.org. Dr. Maria E. Diaz PhD of Quigley Catholic High School – Dr. Diaz earned her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. She earned her doctorate in engineering from the University of Toledo via a special program combining environmental Dr. Maria Diaz engineering with chemical engineer. Dr. Diaz also earned a Masters in Secondary Science Education from Duquesne University. At Quigley Catholic High School, Dr. Diaz teaches Sophomore Chemistry and Honors Chemistry, Senior Physics and Honors Physics and to Juniors, she teaches both High School and College-Level Chemistry through the University of Pittsburgh, preparing students to meet the professors’ requirements to earn college credits in Chemistry. Dr. Diaz loves the welcoming, family atmosphere at Quigley Catholic High School where she was immediately impressed with both the intellect and the incredible work-ethic of the students. The staff has also welcomed Dr. Diaz with open arms and has involved Dr. Diaz in many school activities and programs including assistant coach to the Cheerleading team, foreign language studies and in a special Spanish service held for Our Lady of Guadalupe. To learn more, visit http://www.qchs.org. (Continued on page 18)


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 Dr. Tina Johnson PhD, Director of Chinese Studies at Saint Vincent College and Director of the University of Pittsburgh Confucius Classroom at Saint Vincent College - Dr. Johnson earned her BA in Economics from Oklahoma State, went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she worked in public health and earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree. She then earned a PhD in History with certifiDr. Tina Johnson cates in Asian Studies and Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research has been on the history of public health in China, including a book titled Childbirth in Republican China: Delivering Modernity (Lexington, 2011), a co-authored book chapter on reproduction in 20th century China, and several articles.  In December 2014, she will complete a Master of Public Health degree from University of Pittsburgh, where she is working with the Asian Studies Center on two public health projects in rural NW China: one on infant nutrition and the other on village doctor training.  Other research interests include biographies of two key women who shaped reproductive health policy in 20th-century China (Lin Qiaozhi and Yang Chongrui), as well as, contemporary Chinese medical diplomacy. As both director of Chinese Studies and director of the University of Pittsburgh Confucius Classroom at Saint Vincent College, Dr. Johnson helped to create the minor in Chinese language and culture, international studies minor in Chinese, and secondary education certification in Chinese language and culture. Through her scholarship, teaching, and travels, Dr. Tina Johnson is a highly-regarded and


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

caring mentor for students has introduced Saint Vincent College students to the richness of Chinese civilization. A number of Saint Vincent students have moved to China to work after graduation, have pursued careers in Asian studies and have gone on to graduate school in related fields (Asian Studies, International Relations). Dr. Johnson also works to encourage the study of Chinese in numerous local elementary and secondary schools, and with this foundation these students will be able to continue their study of this language, history, and culture in college. To learn more, visit http://www. stvincent.edu. Cynthia McNulty of Oakland Catholic – Ms. McNulty began her teaching career at Sacred Heart High School in 1976 after earning her Master’s degree in Education from Duquesne University and joined Oakland Catholic in 1989 after the schools merged. Ms. McNulty specializes in Social and International studies and stays up-todate by maintaining a strong professional development ethic through Cynthia McNulty courses at Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as, being involved in the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and through the Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. McNulty has traveled extensively around the world including Shanghai, Singapore, Malasia, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa and throughout Europe. These experiences has led her to develop the Global Competency Initiative at Oakland (Continued on page 20)


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 Catholic High School. This academic endeavor will furnish the students of Oakland Catholic High School with an educational experience that prepares them for higher learning, the 21st century, and global citizenship. The goal of the initiative is to prepare the students for living and working in a multi-lingual, multi-religious, multicultural world and support a global


world view. A four year program that involves extra assignments, lectures, projects, and foreign travel, over 70 freshmen and sophomores (who will take on additional work to finish the four years before they graduate) have already signed-up to be part of this exciting initiative. Ms. McNulty is also key to the development of the Social Studies curriculum, as well as,

being instrumental in a World History program offering AP World History along with AP US History, and AP Government and adapting the Social Studies curriculum to work in tandem with the English and Literature curriculum. To learn more, visit http:// www.oaklandcatholic.org. Dr. Ted Yeshion PhD, Professor of Forensic Science of Edinboro University - Dr. Yeshion has a combined total of 40 years’ experience as a forensic scientist, crime laboratory director, special agent, and forensic consultant. He has testified in hundreds of criminal and civil litigation cases as Dr. Ted Yeshion an expert witness in the areas of Forensic Serology, DNA Analysis, and Crime Scene Reconstruction. One specialty area that has earned Dr. Yeshion an international reputation as a leading forensics expert is the application and interpretation of Luminol, a presumptive blood test. He has appeared on local and national news and radio stations including Court TV, Fox News and Investigation Discovery. His work was cited during “the trial of the century,” People v. O.J. Simpson. Dr. Yeshion is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a member of numerous other professional associations. In 2007, he was appointed to the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission on Wrongful Convictions and has served since as the Chairperson of the Science Subcommittee. Dr. Yeshion is a noted author and has lectured internationally. He currently serves on the advisory board for Forensic Teacher magazine. In May 2013, Dr. Yeshion was awarded Faculty of the Year honors at Edinboro University. In addition, Dr. Yeshion is a Fellow of the Edinboro University Institute for Forensic Sciences. Created in the fall (Continued on page 22)

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Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 of 2014, the Institute brings together forensic activities and related academic programs in a broad range of disciplines for the purposes of integrating these areas of knowledge, promoting faculty research, and creating increased opportunities for student research and engagement in community forensic projects. The Institute also has among its goals increasing public and professional awareness of the various forensic activities, expertise and related academic programs at Edinboro University and serving as a resource in forensics for the region. Dr. Yeshion has used his experience to develop numerous forensics courses at Edinboro and creates mock crime scenes for the university’s students, students from visiting schools, participants in the University’s forensics academy summer camp, and the Pennsylvania State Police camp cadet program. To learn more, visit http:// www.edinboro.edu. F Northern Connection magazine will be highlighting a few incredible educators in each of our upcoming issues in our monthly feature, “Educators Making a Difference.” These educators may include, teachers, teaching assistants, instructors, counselors and administrators. If you know of an educator making a difference, contact us by emailing NorthCon@consolidated.net or by calling 724-940-2444. F


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Gabby Mayer Hosts Bowling for a Cause BY MIKE DOERFLER


o most, an afternoon of bowling may seem like a good time with friends and family, but for Seneca Valley Senior High School senior Gabby Mayer of Cranberry Twp., bowling means much more. As part of her senior project, Gabby recently held a bowl-a-thon at the Family Bowlaway Fun Center in Butler to benefit children with autism, and physical and mental disabilities. Autism is a cause that Gabby has a personal connection with since she has two younger siblings who have it. Gabby has always had a desire to help children with special needs. In the past she’s volunteered at the Miracle League Field in Cranberry Twp. When it was time to choose a topic for her senior project, she decided to help special needs children, particularly those with autism. Gabby began her cause by sponsoring a homerun derby at the Miracle League Field on Oct. 17, which raised $200 towards autism programs. Next, Gabby organized the bowl-a-thon to benefit autism. She also held a 50-50 raffle, Chinese auction and bake sale for the “A Night to Remember” event for the special needs kids. Gabby admits she encountered several bumps in the road as she planned her fundraiser. However, she said her project taught her a lot about holding a successful event “Now I know better what to do and what not to do the next time,” she said. Her bowl-a-thon was held on Nov. 16, and was an absolute success! She managed to raise $362 combined from her 50-50 raffle, Chinese auction and bake sale. After factoring in the bowl-a-thon, along with the homerun derby, her grand fundraising total raised was $2,002! Eighty participants took part in Gabby’s bowling event; more donations are forthcoming, which will increase her charitable efforts. The funds will pay for hairstyles, makeup, dresses, tuxedos and limos for the special children and teenagers who will be a part of “A Night to Remember.” Gabby hopes to inspire others to “dig deep” and do something that is near and dear to their heart. She said, “No matter what the cause may be, just do something that ‘hits home’ with you.” Gabby notes that organization is the key to holding a successful fundraiser, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help, feel a sense of happiness that you’re giving back to a cause you care about. “All the stress and hard work you endure through the whole process is so rewarding, and that’s what counts the most!” F


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015

Aquinas Academy


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


What is the Khan Academy? BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON

The Khan Academy is the ultimate online educational resource with over 100,000 fun and interesting interactive exercises and educational videos encompassing a full array of subjects including math, science, computer programming, history, art, economics and much more.

pletely free and available to everyone. Funded by donations including support from Google®, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft® to name only a few. Microsoft recently debuted a Khan Academy education application on their Xbox One gaming station and home console so students, parents and teachers can use the convenient Xbox One interface directly from a television rather than needing a computer, tablet or mobile device such as a Microsoft Surface®, Apple® iPad® or Google Chromebook®. The Khan Academy was founded in 2006 by Salman Khan who was born and raised in New Orleans. His father was from Bangladesh and his mother was from Calcutta, India. Prior to the founding of the Khan Academy, Salman Khan earned three degrees from MIT: a BS in mathematics, a M.Sc. in electrical engineering and computer science, and a MEng in electrical engineering and computer science. He also pursued an MBA from Harvard

Business School. The inspiration for the Khan Academy began when Salman was tutoring his cousin Nadia in mathematics using Yahoo!’s Doodle® notepad. Then, as other relatives and friends wanted tutored as well, he decided that it would be more feasible to put the tutorials on YouTube. Due to the popularity on YouTube and the testimonials of so many appreciative students, Khan decided to resign from his job in finance as a hedge fund analyst and focus on the tutorials full-time and expand the curriculum to include other subjects in addition to those in mathematics. Content ranges from kindergarten to 8th grade, high school and beyond. As of June 2014, Khan Academy’s website has been translated to 23 languages and the videos have been translated to 65 languages. The Khan Academy is actively recruiting additional volunteers to help translate content and subtitle videos. To learn more, visit the Khan Academy, at www.khanacademy.org. F


he mission of the Khan Academy is “to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” If you can access the Internet, then you, your children or students can access and use the whole range of content and services available through the Khan Academy. There are also great tools for parents and for teachers that monitor progress, determine knowledge gaps or provide ways to incorporate content, videos and exercises into classroom lesson plans, serve as a resource for homework, for test preparation and even for homeschooling. Designed to introduce concepts and skills, to reinforce skills already learned or to serve as a refresher in years to come, the lessons created by the Khan Academy content specialists enable students to learn at their own pace in or outside the classroom. The Khan Academy has also partnered with such notable institutions as NASA®, Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among many others to enhance and contribute to the content. Located on the web at www. khanacademy.com, this resource is com www.northernconnectionmag.com

Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Saint Alexis Catholic School You’ll Find a Welcoming, Caring and Nurturing World of Education at Saint Alexis


ll you need to do is step onto the Saint Alexis grounds and you’ll immediately be welcomed and feel the sincere caring and nurturing environment that exists for students and their parents. A faith-based environment that is celebrating over 50 years of giving their students the best intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social environment as possible, resulting in a lasting moral and academic foundation, within the curriculum, through prayer, service, self-discipline, individual self-worth, and a positive attitude towards others. “We know that we have a good thing going here,” explains principal, Jim Correll, “and we are all dedicated to keeping it going, fostering a truly nurturing environment for young people to grow and learn. We have exceptional teachers and staff that are highly-regarded by students, parents and colleagues and their heartfelt devotion spreads out through the students in academics, athletics, extra-curricular activities, service outreach and much more to bring us all together as a caring community.” In academics, Saint Alexis takes STEM to a new level called STREAM for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math. This curriculum is filled with innovate programs, exercise, projects and mobile device applications designed to make learning fun while keeping students focused and involved. “For example,” continues Correll, “part of ‘Arts’ is Language Arts where students use online writing applications which has led to students publishing poems and winning essay contests; demonstrating the integrated blend of technology, science and arts that leads to positive outcomes for our students.” Award-winning athletics and extra-curricular activities are also where students excel and succeed including Diocesan championships for basketball, cross-country, and soccer. They

also have a youth choir, a forensics team, band, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and are part of the North Pittsburgh Iron Men football team. In addition, there are at least one to two service outreach projects a month, including raising funds for charities, selling pies for Little Sisters of the Poor, creating awareness and support for cancer patients, collecting clothing for the homeless and many, many other service projects. “But most importantly,” says Correll, “this outreach begins right here amongst our own students. It’s great to see the students be so welcoming, kind and inclusive to the new students that have transferred to us. It is amazing to see these new students join in, open-up, and begin to blossom again. One parent even came up to me after only a few weeks since her daughter joined us and said, ‘thank you for giving me my daughter back. She’s happy again for the first time in years.’ It’s such a great testimonial to all of us here at Saint Alexis.” Saint Alexis maintains a family atmosphere throughout every aspect of the school. Correll points out, “Basically, sending your child to Saint Alexis is like sending your child into an extension of your own family where education is the cornerstone.” Saint Alexis accepts students from preschool (3 year-olds) through the 8th grade, preparing students to reach high levels of academic excellence and moral fortitude as they go on to their high school and college and become our future leaders. To experience and learn more about the incredible education, activities and the impressive, nurturing environment that encourages young ones to grow, schedule a tour of Saint Alexis Catholic School in Wexford. For details, go to their website at http://stalexis.org. F


Northern Connection | January 2015



Shady Side Academy: Explore•Engage•Excel


hady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school for boys and girls in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, with an optional boarding experience in high school. Three age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life. To meet the needs of children in various life stages, Shady Side Academy is set on three unique campuses. The seven-acre Junior School (PK-5) is in Point Breeze, while the 35-acre Middle School (6-8) and 130-acre Senior School (9-12) are in Fox Chapel. At Shady Side, there is a balanced approach to education with a commitment to students’ academic, physical and emotional development. Putting that approach into action is a caring faculty dedicated to fostering a true love of learning in students. The academic program provides a challenging, yet nurturing, atmosphere that encourages inquiry, questioning, selfdetermination and creativity. Teachers urge students to think expansively, read deeply and stretch ideas broadly – helping them to develop into critical thinkers who can write analytically and speak confidently. Small class sizes encourage a strong sense of community. Technology is integrated throughout PK-12 classrooms, including a 1:1 iPad program in grades 5-8. Shady Side’s passionate teachers set high expectations for students, pushing and challenging them to reach their full potential. They serve as coaches and advisors, building strong, authentic relationships with students that last a lifetime. Faculty members are leaders in their fields, and 63% hold advanced degrees. Arts and athletics are an integral part of the curriculum. Music, visual and performing arts are intertwined into all levels of learning, and students are encouraged to explore an array of athletic options and find the sport or activity best for them. Extracurricular activities and clubs support students’ diverse interests. The Academy’s Guiding Principles of honesty, kindness, responsibility, respect and safety form the foundation of a strong character education program. Students are engaged in meaningful service learning projects in all grades to cultivate the value of giving back to the community. Both programs ensure that Shady Side graduates are not only outstanding scholars, but also good citizens.


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Senior School students refine critical thinking, writing and analytical skills that distinguish them in the college search, while three full-time college counselors support them through the process. The average SAT score is more than 400 points above the national average, and SSA enjoys a 100% college matriculation rate. An impressive 60% of 2014 graduates attend schools ranked among the Top 50 universities and liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The Senior School offers both five- and seven-day boarding options. Boarders benefit from greater access to school resources and learn responsibility and independence in a supervised setting, which helps prepare them for a smooth transition to college. To learn more or schedule a personal tour, call 412-968-3180 or email admissions@shadysideacademy.org. or visit our online admissions viewbook at www.ThankYouShadySide.org. F


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 School Movers & Shakers

Pine-Richland Congratulations to the PineRichland High School football team and coaches for their outstanding season! The Rams were crowned WPIAL Class AAAA champs with a win over Central Catholic, and they were also victorious in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal game final defeating State College. The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials announced that Pine-Richland School District accounting specialist Rachel McCarthy has earned status as a Registered School Business Official.

Oakland Catholic

Rachel McCarthy

On Dec. 9, Oakland Catholic students participated in the Hour of Code, which is a national challenge that promotes computer science. Oakland Catholic was excited to participate in this event since it is an all-girls school that emphasizes STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

Vincentian Academy Vincentian Academy announced that Coach Todd Hazlett is the varsity football head coach for Vincentian Academy.

Todd Hazlett

Aquinas Academy Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh’s first grade class celebrated “Corn Day” on Nov. 24, as a fun activity to extend their knowledge of the history of Thanksgiving. Aquinas Academy unveiled the new MrossMcGonigle Hall which now serves as the new home for high school students. The completed $4.85 million dollar building has two state-of-art science labs and art wings.

Hampton Hampton High School alumnus Elizabeth Cardillo was crowned Miss Pennsylvania USA 2015.


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Shaler Shaler Area High School assistant principal JoAnne Townsend received the 2014 Leadership Award from Blended Schools Network. Shaler Area Varsity Competition Cheerleading Squad has won the Pennsylvania Cheer and Dance Competition for the second year in a row. Eight Shaler Area student athletes signed National Letters of Intent during the Nov. 12-19 early signing period with universities across the country. The students are: Annie Bozzo, Jake Potock, Andi Lydon, Neely Regan, Lizzie Kline, Bri Schwartz, Shannon Lynch and Steph Fleming. Shaler Elementary has partnered with PNC Bank to establish a School Bank Program. Shaler Area’s Burchfield Primary students are slated to compete in the state level of the 2015 National Garden Clubs, Inc. Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest and Poetry Contest. Ingomar Garden Club sponsored the contest locally. Shaler Area High School students’ service project a “Christmas miracle” donation drive was conducted by the school’s Helping Hands Group. The members were able to fill 50 stockings with personal items that were then distributed to the Light of Life Mission. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity and Common Sense Media recognized Shaler Area School District’s Project ACE team and Shaler Area Elementary School teacher Mike Penn as 2014 Champions of Change.

Avonworth The Avonworth School District Board of School Directors and Avonworth Education Association announced the ratification of a 3-year contract extension covering the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

Seneca Valley Seneca Valley senior Trianna Lynn Winters was selected as one of twelve winners of the American Association of Physics Teacher’s National Photo contest. The Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) presented Seneca Valley freshman, Shirlann Harmon with the Dale D. Hawley Award during the annual PASC state conference held in Altoona on Nov. 6. Seneca Valley is one of 547 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Todd Winter, a Seneca Valley Middle School teacher received $1,000 for his classroom from the Public Education Leadership Community Grant (PELC) through the PPG Foundation. (Continued on page 32)


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015 Seneca Valley Academic Games Team had an outstanding performance during the Onsets Tournament on Nov. 20 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. Haine Middle School teams placed first, second, third and fifth.

Providence Heights Alpha School Students from Providence Heights Alpha School held a Baby Jesus’ Birthday Party on Dec. 23.

St. Sebastian Three Saint Sebastian musicians have been selected by audition for the Diocese of Pittsburgh North District Honors Band. They are: Mary Doerfler, Cecilia Engelhardt and Matthew Santucci.

La Roche College Toni Burley, a senior at La Roche College was a first place winner at the Smart Tag App Hackathon powered by AT&T. La Roche named Sister Rita Yeasted, SFCC, Ph.D., the Dorothy Saladiak Distinguished Professor of English. The Academic Senate of La Roche College approved changes to the college’s transferrable credit policy. They increased the number of transferrable credits from a community college from a maximum of 66 to 90. Additionally, a student who enrolls with an associate degree will be exempt from the core curriculum.

CCAC Two Community College of Allegheny County North Campus students, Kayla Schwartz and Alex Garbini qualified in the NJCAA Division III National Cross Country Championship. The championship was hosted by Finger Lakes Community College and held on Nov. 8 in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Saint Vincent College Dr. Peter M. Hutchinson, professor of economics at Saint Vincent College was presented with the Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award at the Founders’ Day Honors Convocation. Three seniors enrolled in Saint Vincent College’s Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government received top scores on the Educational Testing Service/(ETS) Major Field Test Examination in Business. The honorees were – Michael Koontz, Robert Casturo and Joseph Penta. Saint Vincent College’s chapter of the Alpha Chi honor society has been recognized as a Star Chapter for their activities in 2013-14. Four Saint Vincent College students were elected officers of the Student Government Association executive board. They are – Peter Reiter, Joshua Vasko, Peter Santiago and Rabia Uddin. Peter Reiter


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015



Should Students Dress for Success? BY MARIANNE REID ANDERSON


oing to private school and being “required” to wear a uniform, for me, was great! No decisions, no competition, no peer pressure for a fashionable anything – just grab and go for all day, jeans and T’s when I got home. Sweet and Simple. Perfect. It was also great for my family not having to worry about financing a teenage girl’s wardrobe on top of tuition. The school said they mandated the uniform to prepare us for potential careers, such as nursing, that require a uniform. They also said that the uniform on the outside made for inner-growth on the inside. Which, I always thought was a very nice sentiment and very helpful since my first job in Connecticut was at an IBM spin-


off with a dress code so strict regarding suits, blouses and nylons that I longed for my high school uniform. In addition, studies across the U.S. have demonstrated that when a public school goes beyond enforcing a dress code to eliminate inappropriate attire to enforcing a uniform or a “business casual” dress code, that academic performance goes up and school-based troubles go down. (Visit my blog for links to several studies that validate the overall positive outcomes of these studies). Even so, many of my fellow students thought it wasn’t “fair.” But what do you think? Are you, or have you ever been, required to wear a uniform? Do you think dress codes at school are needed? Should they be stricter? More lenient? Let’s continue the conversation on my blog at http://northernconnectionmagazine. blogspot.com. F

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015

St. James


St. Ursula


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

2015 NC Education Directory Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh aquinasacademy.info 724-444-0722

See ad on page 16

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School Cwnchs.org 412-321-4823 See ad on page 29

The Campus School of Carlow University Campusschool.carlow.edu 412-578-6158 See ad on page 35

Carlow University Carlow.edu 412-578-6000 See ad on page 21

Central Catholic High School Centralcatholichs.com 412-621-7505 See ad on page 33

Early Years

EarlyYearsInc.com 412-318-4607 See ad on page 23

Eden Christian Academy Berkeley Hills Campus Edenchristianacademy.org 412-364-8055 See ad on page 19

Eden Christian Academy

Wexford Campus Edenchristianacademy.org 724-935-9301 See ad on page 19

Eden Christian Academy

Mt. Nebo Campus Edenchristianacademy.org 412-741-2825 See ad on page 19

Edinboro University edinboro.edu 888-8GO-BORO See ad on page 19

The Glen Montessori School Glenmontessori.org 412-318-4885 See ad on page 36

Holy Sepulcher Catholic School

holysepulcher.org/school 724-586-5022 See ad on page 31

La Roche College laroche.edu 800-838-4572 See ad on page 38

Montessori Centre Academy

montessoricentreacademy.com (412) 486-6239 See ad on page 23

Northside Catholic School

Northsidecatholicschool.org 412-761-5043 See ad on page 38

Oakland Catholic Oaklandcatholic.org 412- 682-6633 See ad on page 20

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart olsh.org 412-264-5140 See ad on page 22

PA Cyber Charter School Pacyber.org 1-888-PACYBER See ad on page 24

Providence Heights Alpha School Alphaschool.org 412-366-4455 See ad on page 18

Quigley Catholic High School Qchs.org 724-869-2188 See ad on page 17

Rock School of Pittsburgh

RockSchoolPittsburgh.com See ad on page 36

Rothrock’s Kung Fu Rothrockskungfu.com 724-940-0120 See ad on page 22

Saint Alexis Catholic School

Stalexisschool.org 724-935-3940 See editorial on page 26

Saint Alphonsus Catholic School

Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic School Stmaryglenshaw.org 412-486-7611 See ad on page 30

Saint Teresa of Avila School saintteresas.org 412-367-9001 See ad on page 18

Saint Ursula

stursulaschool.org 412-486-5511 See ad on page 32

Saint Vincent College stvincent.edu/academics/ Chinese 412-486-5511 See ad on page 33

Sewickley Academy Sewickley.org 412- 741-2230 See ad on page 16

Shady Side Academy

stals.org 724-935-1152

See ad on page 24

SSAexcel.org 412-968-3206 See ad on page 29

Saint Bonaventure Parish School

Tender Care Learning Centers

Stbonaventureparish.org 412-486-2606 See ad on page 30

Saint Gregory School stgregzelie.org (724) 452-9731 See ad on page 22

Saint James School Stjamesschool.us 412-741-5540 See ad on page 32

Saint Kilian Parish School Saintkilian.org/school 724-625-1665 x2101 See ad on page 22


Educationpros.org Wexford 724-934-0411 Cranberry 724-772-0598 McCandless 412-367-3269 Hampton 412-486-5510 See ad on page 25

Vincentian Academy Vincentianacademy.org 412-364-1616 ext. 123 See editorial on page 12

Western Pennsylvania Montessori Wpms.edu 412) 487-2700 See ad on page 31

Northern Connection | January 2015


Education 2015

Eden Christian Academy


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


La Roche College Once Again Ranks As a Military Friendly College BY PAULA GREEN


eterans can sometimes find it difficult to transition into a civilian career. They need to weigh out their options when exploring various colleges and universities, the task can be overwhelming. The good news is one local institution has once again received high ranks it the military realm. According to the veteran’s journal G.I. Jobs magazine, La Roche College ranks in the top 15 percent of all Military Friendly colleges, universities and trade schools across the country. This is the sixth consecutive year that the college has been bestowed with this high national honor. G.I. Jobs magazine premiered in Dec. 2001. It is the premier publication for military transitioners, and provides education, transition assistance, and job opportunities for military transitioners looking for careers and employment. It serves the needs of the nation’s 400,000 service members who leave the military every year and enter the civilian workforce. It’s a school’s matchmaker. In 2009, La Roche became a Yellow Ribbon institution and works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reimburse 100 percent of veteran’s tuition cost. The college and government equally share costs associated with veterans obtaining their degrees as part of the program. This series was inducted after the Post-911 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Another fine, service incentive at La Roche is veteran and military students find support through the Veterans Organization, one of more than 30 student clubs and organizations offered on their campus. This initiative was established in 2013. It gives veterans the opportunity to meet each other, get involved with campus activities and receive support from their peers. Last year the organization held a Veterans Day panel for students and faculty members to share their military experiences with the student body. La Roche offers credit for military services and welcomes all veterans, military students and their dependents to begin or complete their education on campus, through online learning or at one of its satellite campuses. To learn more about their Yellow Ribbon Program, call (412) 536-1263 or laroche.edu. F We welcome brief biographies and photos of local servicemen and women from our community. If you know of someone you’d like to see featured in this column, please call (724) 940-2444 or mail the information to: Northern Connection Magazine, P.O. Box 722, Wexford, PA 15090-0722 or email northcon@consolidated.net.


Northern Connection | January 2015


IMAGE & STYLE January 2015

Walking in a Winter Wonderland — in Style! BY KELLY SMITH

Winter has arrived and it did not come alone. It brought an unwelcomed visitor by the name of Old Man Winter. I don’t like him. In fact, I don’t know anyone that does. Well, maybe those cute parade of penguins at the zoo but they’re indifferent to our winter fashion plight.


e’ve all become experts on bundling up with layers and layers of cotton, wool, and puffy down coats. Underneath all of those outer layers sits a cute, well put together outfit just dying to be seen but those puffy layers are shielding it from all. Showing off your style while fending off frostbite, can be a bit of a challenge but there are a few things that you can do that will keep the cold at bay that does not require a bulky, heavy get-up. Here are some top tips for greeting the season in style: Invest in a quality coat--- After Christmas shopping season is the very best time to grab up the goodies at the mall and coats are no exception! Now is the perfect opportunity to buy that

coat that you would normally bypass due to price. Take advantage of the sales and consider buying a couple of styles that are fitted and tapered. To keep maximum style, stick to a classic cut that can be worn for many years. Basic black is no longer the rule in basic. Look for hot styles in winter whites and creamy vanillas- just don’t forget the scotch guard! If you want to stand out in a crowd, opt for a swing coat in a bold color or print. Add those accessories-- We all know that accessories can either make or break a look so choose wisely. Styles are hot and prices are cool, so do stock-up on the accessories. Bright scarves, cute trendy hats and gloves in every color of the rainbow are a winter

outfits’ best friends! Hats aren’t for everyone so why not try a cute headband or earmuffs this year? Make a statement by keeping the look sleek with a matching set of hat & gloves or go wild & loud with a mix and match of patterns & colors. It is winter after all so anything goes! Boot camp-- Boots are quite efficient for keeping the snow out and the warmth in but not all boots have to conform to the standard galosh monstrosity. There are now many designers that combine style and practicality and winter boots are no exception. Sherpa lined ankle boots are sure to put a bit of style in your step while still keeping the arctic air out. Tall knee boots that are fleece lined will keep you even warmer than ankle boots and even better, many are now made specifically for winter. Snow boots are a real asset in this region, so I recommend getting at least one good pair. They are usually a little more than fashion boots but worth the investment. These too, have changed over the years to reflect a more fashionable flair while still functioning as protection from the elements. Like it or hate it, winter is here, so weather you’re trudging over the river or through the woods, you’ll be getting to Grandmothers’ house in style! F


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


HEALTH & WELLNESS January 2015




ith the New Year upon us, we all hear about resolutions. Those pesky goals that we all set for ourselves and somehow, so many of us never live up to. The definition of resolution in this sense, from the dictionary is a resolve; a decision or determination: “to make a firm resolution to do something.” This sounds simple. You decide to do something and you do it. However, two of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are exercising more and losing weight. Two things that are not easy to change in your life. Perhaps you’ve fallen into the habit of not eating well and not exercising. So your resolution is now about changing your habits. So, this is what usually happens. After January 1, most gyms see an influx of people aiming to meet their resolutions to exercise more and lose weight. This influx usually lasts for 2 weeks or up to a month before the excuses start to set in. I’m too busy at work, I need to be home for the family, it’s too

tough to get out of bed in the morning, getting in shape is too much work. Once the excuses start, you can kiss the resolutions goodbye. So how do you change that this year and stick to your resolution? You have to make exercising more and eating better a new habit. There are many theories out there regarding how many days it takes to change a habit. Some say it takes 18, 21 or 28 days, but recent research says it can take 66 days or up to 245 days to successfully change a habit. Basically, the point is, every person is different and depending on the habit that you choose to change may make it a longer or shorter process. Bad habits can usually catch on in a few days. For example, eating a donut or drinking a coffee or a diet soda can catch-on quickly. Adding a good habit such as eating more fruit, flossing your teeth, exercising more is usually tougher to change. The bottom line, changing a habit is hard. Of course, that’s what also makes those good habits so worthwhile once they stick. When you make your New Year’s Resolution, realize your resolution will require you to change your habits. That means, you can’t get discouraged if you miss a day of exercise or you eat a donut when you should have eaten fruit. Missing a day or cheating here and there doesn’t mean all is lost, simply jump back in and try again. The key is you can’t give up. Keep trying and eventually that New Year’s Resolution will be a reality, give yourself the whole year to make that resolution stick. Get rid of the excuses and don’t give up in the first couple months. You can do this! Have confidence in yourself and tell yourself you will succeed.

This year, I would like to help one of our readers with their New Year’s Resolution. If you are someone who wants to start a fitness program, lose weight, run or walk your first 5K or half marathon, then email me your story and why you should receive 3 months of free personal coaching with me. If you’re selected, you will be set up with specific goals and realistic ways to achieve those goals. We will track your progress and at the end of the 3 months, we will have an update for our readers on how you were able to turn your resolution into reality. Send me your story at joella@zoominternet.net. You must have your entry to me by January 20. Your program will begin on February 1 and run through April 30. I want to help you make 2015 your best year ever. Happy New Year everyone! F


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


HEALTH & WELLNESS January 2015


Let’s Take a Look at You! 3D/4D Imaging of Your Bundle of Joy


hrough 3D/4D prenatal ultrasound technology, Hey Baby! 4D ultrasound studio offers you a personal and profound look at your baby-in-waiting. Performed in the same manner as a standard ultrasound, but with a press of a button, the equipment can render a 3D-image so you can see the features of your newest family member. The 4D adds the dimension of motion so you can see the baby’s movements like video and take home your own pictures and DVD. Hey Baby! 4D is perfect for the impatient parent. At only 15 weeks, they are able to determine gender! Not to worry, if your baby is shy and gender can’t be determined on the day of your visit, you are always welcome to come back, free of charge, for a time that your little one wants to be seen. One impatient mother-tobe was told she “might” be carrying twins and just couldn’t wait the 10 days for a standard sonogram appointment, so she called Hey Baby! 4D and the parents were able to verify and see the twins that same day. Hey Baby! 4D is owned and operated by Jennifer Salac, ARDMS. Mrs. Salac is a registered ultrasound technician and has been performing medical sonograms for over twenty years. “I always loved the last couple minutes of the diagnostic exam, when I could show the baby moving around and point out fun features like fingers and toes, so I decided to pursue this opportunity and focus on the joy and happiness these services can bring. Also, you can share this experience with family and friends, we welcome you to bring up to 15 people with you to your appointment!” explains Salac. In addition, Hey Baby! 4D offers scratch- off cards with the baby’s gender and is a fun way to let grandparents-to-be and other family members know. You can also have the baby’s heart beat recorded onto a “heartbeat chip and have it placed into a cuddly plush-toy. Hey Baby! 4D is also ideal for parents who only want to see what their baby looks like and not know the gender. In this circumstance, the gender will not be determined. Gift cards can also be purchased and make for a unique baby shower gift. Hey Baby! 4D is an inviting, relaxing, comfortable, and spacious environment located conveniently located at 12703A Perry Highway in the Westmont buildings in Wexford. To learn more about Hey Baby! 4D and their complete array of services and packages visit the facebook page at www.facebook.com/heybaby4d or the website at www.heybaby4Dultrasound.com or call 724-241-3881. F


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015



Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired? BY DR. SHANNON THIEROFF


t’s a “creeps-up-on” you kind of feeling. A little bit at a time, you realize that your energy isn’t what it was. Your body is working slower than it once did. Maybe you’re tired, gaining weight, stressed. Perhaps you’ve started relying on more chemicals to get you through the day, a little more coffee by day, a cocktail at night, sugary treats. You might even be getting sick more often or never really feel “right.” There are a lot of reasons that you might not be feeling your healthiest. In fact, it’s reported that 1 in 4 Americans report feeling tired “all the time.” There’s a debate about why some people are naturally more “healthy” and why others seem to struggle. Deepak Chopra, author, relates that “studies show that if a cold virus is swabbed directly into a subject’s nose, the chance of getting a cold is 1 in 8. Being exposed to chill, damp, or a draft does not increase the odds. Also, when the Black Death wiped out 1/3rd of Europe’s population in the 14th century, no one knows why the other

2/3rd, who were certainly exposed, didn’t die.” He also relates that the best way to get sick is to suffer from as many of the following conditions as possible: • High stress • Lack of coping mechanisms to deal with stress • Sedentary Lifestyle • Unsanitary Conditions • Aging Running out of Energy We often find that Everyday is No Way to Live. when people come to us for help, they usually have a “hurt” they’ve been dealing with for a time. When we get further into the issue, there’s usually other problems that go along with it. For instance, they haven’t been able to exercise, or they’re having trouble focusing on their work and it’s stressing them out, or they have to bow out of social events because they don’t have the energy or feel well enough to attend. How does that relate to chiropractic? It’s interesting…experts relate that approximately 90% of the energy we expend everyday is spent keeping us upright against gravity. The following factors dealing with alignment can affect that including: Spinal misalignment and poor posture causing strain on the muscles, discs and nerves Nerve irritation causing “disorganization and miscommunication” in the systems of the body Changes in breathing, digestion, and immune function have all been studied and have been shown to be adversely affected by spinal disease It’s important not to ignore the subtle signs that your body isn’t at its best. If you’re concerned and you want your energy and your life back, it’s time to take some action. Studies have shown that 90% of chiropractic patients report having positive side effects in their health like better sleep, less sickness, and more energy. Sound like something you want? We’ll be happy to let you know if we can help. F Brought to you as a Public Service by:

Choice Chiropractic & Wellness Center, P.C. Dr. Shannon Thieroff and Associates McKnight (412) 364-9699 Harmar (412) 826-9030 www.choicechiropractic.net We are your “in-network” provider Like us on Facebook www.northernconnectionmag.com

Northern Connection | January 2015


HEALTH & WELLNESS January 2015

Fever: What Is In a Number?




hat temperature is too high?” is asked to me almost every day. I always respond, “A number is just a number.” Everyone reacts differently to a fever. I have seen quite active and playful patients with a temperature over 103°F and some appearing very ill with their temperature under 100°F. I treat only when a child is not feeling well. It is alright to have a fever, as it can be beneficial. It is a symptom that aids in the body’s defense. The next question I get is, “What about febrile seizures?” These do happen, but treating with fever reducers does not prevent them. Although scary to observe (my son has had two) febrile seizures are not dangerous. Although I don’t treat based on numbers, a few are worth noting. Fever, defined as a rectal or oral temperature 100.4°F or above, in a child under 3 months old is an emergency and medical attention should be sought. Older children should be evaluated for temperatures above 105°F or persistent fever for 5 days or longer. Dr. Michael E. Petrosky “So, what about treatment?” is the next logical inquiry. Tylenol and ibuprofen are medications that can be used to reduce fever and lessen symptoms. However, an infant has to be at least 6 months old to receive Ibuprofen. Aspirin should never be given children as it can cause Reye Syndrome. Every patient I see is different in their own way and should be treated accordingly. The same philosophy holds true for their fevers as well. F


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


Dr. William Bentz


Dr. Daniel Grob

Dr. Tad Scheri

Dr. Mark Woodburn

Dr. Eric Griffin

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

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y name is Dr. Michael Vactor. I’ve been a doctor of chiropractic, a natural health care advocate and weight loss expert in the north Pittsburgh area for the last 14 years. I have been featured on KDKA television as an expert. You may have heard me in the past on my various radio shows speaking about health and weight loss issues. I have taken care of the players, coaches, and their family members from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ and Pirates’ organizations. My office has received many awards and accolades from the community. Most recently, we were voted best office by the readers of the Tribune Total Media. I routinely travel around the United States training with the top wellness and weight loss doctors in the world. We also strongly believe in giving back to our community. We support numerous church and charitable organizations. I share all of this with you, not to impress you, but to impress upon you, that you are dealing with a doctor that is completely committed to helping his patients reach their goals. I’m sure you have seen my ads over the past year with this dramatic weight loss claim. When people approach me about these ads, the most common question someone will ask is, “C’mon…are you serious…Is it really true?” The answer is ABSOLUTELY! I have lived in both Cranberry Township and Mars for the last 14 years. My parents also live here. I finished my schooling in 1999 and began my practice. I have two children currently in school in Mars. If you are wondering why I mention this, it is because I have deep roots in our

community. I would not make claims if I weren’t absolutely sure of the outcomes. I’m so sure that you can lose the weight that I offer a GUARANTEE. (So far, 90 to 95 percent of our patients have achieved their weight loss). I have been approached with many different types of weight loss programs over the past several years to offer to people interested in losing weight. Frankly, many of them weren’t really promising and did not have consistent results. Some “weight loss” fads or gimmicks simply don’t work. Magical fat burning lasers, chemicals to block fat absorption, herbal body wraps, super supplements and many other (ridiculous) things being sold out there can make weight loss frustrating and confusing. I have chosen to offer this weight loss system not only because of the consistent, predictable weight loss results but also because people are seeing a dramatic improvement in their HEALTH in about a month’s time. I have seen cholesterol numbers, blood pressure and blood sugar levels return to normal levels in 30 days. People who follow our program as outlined get great results! But I must be straight-forward about our system. You must be dedicated, committed and want results. Several different products come with our plan, as well as a simple, easy-to-follow meal plan. The food choices are normal food you can get anywhere and prepare easily yourself. Drinking pH-balanced ionized water (which we supply) is also an important part of our system. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry…it’s not hard to follow at all. We have made this as simple as possible. Also, exercise is NOT required. All of the products in our system are made up of ALL-NATURAL ingredients, and this program is completely safe! Learn how to keep the weight off. We have a follow-up period to help your body reset itself to your new weight. So, if you are serious about losing up to 30 pounds of FAT, inches off of your waist and IMPROVING YOUR HEALTH in about a month’s time, call for a FREE, IN-OFFICE REVIEW of our revolutionary weight loss system or you can attend one of our blockbuster workshops. Call now, 724-742-2700 – Seating and space is limited. Yours in health,

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Northern Connection | January 2015


SENIOR LIVING January 2015


Hello January! BY JOE BULLICK


ello January and hello 2015! I hope you had a great Christmas and safe New Year’s celebrations, and I also hope that 2014 was a good year for you. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced, Roman god of beginnings and endings. It is a fitting deity to preside over the start of the New Year. A fresh calendar encourages us to fill-in the blanks with ambitious projects for home and personal improvement, which is otherwise known as our “New Year’s resolutions.” You need to toss out last year’s resolutions because they are “so yesterday.” You need to now turn your face to the future. As a young boy, I remember mom would bring in last year’s calendar and we would go over the past year. We would laugh, and sometimes cry. She said, “We went to two weddings and four funerals.” She always marked on the calendar who wrote her a letter. She always seemed

to be writing to someone. She would make note of how much snow we had and the coldest day of the year. Mom also always marked the date of my birthday, and she would have a party for me. The years have slipped by, she is not with me anymore, but those calendar days will always be in my heart. One of the important things we did was hold a weekly family meeting, and recorded concerns, new achievements and schedules of each family member in a notebook. The kids will love to look back at this running log of family life. If you have always intended to keep a journal or diary, but never quite got around to starting one, then there’s no time like the present. The best advice for novice journalists is to write for yourself, not for posterity, after all, it’s best to know your audience. With the New Year, I take my hat off to the visiting nurses who provide home healthcare to people recovering from illnesses or accidents. With the cold weather mom always had things on hand, such as old-fashioned horehound drops to help a sore throat. To relieve aches and pains, she would make a simple liniment with baby oil and a little powdered mustard and she would rub it into my sore joints. For chapped lips, she would mix a few drops of honey, instead, to make a sweet and natural balm. January is the best month for being a homebody; for reading novels, playing board games, hunkering down and staying warm. January, the cold heart of winter, carries the seeds of spring. The first garden catalog arrives in the mail. Another thing that January brings is the scrumptious soups and stews. If you want excellent beef stew use beer in place of water or broth, add a teaspoon of honey to the tomato base to counteract the acidity, and improve the flavor. Don’t forget, that in January we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. This day commemorates the visit of the Magi (the Three Wise Men) to the baby Jesus and it marks the end of the holiday season. Happy Birthday to you Capricorns and Aquarius. I leave you with this – Now Christmas is past Twelfth day is last To the old year adieu Great joy to the new. – Welsh Carol


Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Happenings for Seniors Free Home Safety Inspection is available for seniors through the Open Your Heart to a Senior program. For info, call Cathy at (412) 307-0069, ext. 3313 or clpschirer@nhco.org. Free Rides for Seniors, to grocery stores, doctor’s appts & more thru St. Margaret’s Foundation. Pick up & drop off seniors in the corridors from Sharpsburg to Blawnox & Rt. 28 to the Allegheny River. Sign up by calling, (412) 449-0151. Free Services for Seniors through North Hills Community Outreach. Help with rides to medical appts., grocery stores, yard work. For info, call Cathy at (412) 307-0069 ext. 3313 or Kerry at (412) 449-0151 to schedule an in-home registration visit. Home Instead Senior Care® is offering a unique approach to help area families in Northwest Allegheny County manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Free training is available for families at HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com. McKnight Meals on Wheels provides home delivered meals to the elderly, homebound and disabled. Services Ross Twp., Berkley Hills, Swan Acres & part of McCandless Twp. Call (412) 487-4088.

1-3:15 p.m., Knitting & Crocheting Circle meets every Weds., 1-3:15 p.m., Monthly Meeting 2nd Thurs. of each month 1:15-3:15 p.m., The Lunch Bunch meets 4th Thurs. of every month 11 a.m.1:30 p.m., The Talking Book Club meets 1st Mon. of each month 1-2:30 p.m. For info, call (724) 444-0064. Paramount Senior Living at Cranberry Alzheimer’s Affiliated Support Group meets the 1st Mon., of every month 6-8 p.m., and the last Fri., 1:30 p.m. Contact Pam, at (724) 779-5020.                             Primetimers, noon, first Thurs of the month, Christ Church Grove Farm, Ohio Twp. For info, call (412) 741-4900 or visit http://www.ccgf.org.

Entertainment & Social Events St. Alexis Over 50 Trips & Events, Jan. 10, Cake & Coffee. Contact Rose at (724) 728-2563 or Janet at (724) 869-5339 for information.

Volunteer Opportunities: North Hills Community Outreach’s Faith in Action program is seeking Senior Companion volunteers. For details, contact Nancy, at (412) 307-0069 or nljones@nhco.org. Pittsburgh Friendship Group is looking for volunteers to help visually impaired seniors. No experience is necessary. For info, call (724) 444-0064. St. Athansius Parish Education & Community Center (West View) & Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services need your help this tax season to provide tax preparation for low income individuals, families, the disabled & the elderly. If interested, call Frank at (412) 350-3463 or frank.grande@alleghenycounty.us. Snow shoveling for Seniors, volunteers are needed in all neighborhoods of Allegheny County. To register as a volunteer with Open Your Heart to a Senior, call (412) 307-0071 or email allegheny@openyourhearttoasenior.org.

Safety for Seniors Day of Service, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Feb. 7. For info, call Cathy, at (412) 307-0069 ext. 3313 or clpschirer@nhco.org. UPMC Senior Communities offers independent living & personal care. For details, call 1-800-324-5523.

Senior Meetings AARP Chapter #2991 meetings, 11:30 a.m., 3rd Thurs. (Jan. 15), basement of Northmont Church, intersection of Rt. 19 & Perrymont. Refreshments served at noon (for a nominal fee). New members are welcome. For info, call (412) 367-5718. Bereavement Support Group (for Widows/Widowers over 50), 1-2:30 p.m., 2nd & 4th Wed., St. Sebastian, Haber Hall. To register, call (412) 366-1300. Cranberry Senior Citizens Club for residents 55+ meets at 1 p.m., the 2nd Tues., of the month in the Cranberry Municipal Center. Call (724) 816-4977 for info and programs. Friendship Groups for Visually Impaired, Men’s Group meets every Weds. www.northernconnectionmag.com

Northern Connection | January 2015


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NORTHERN CONNECTION MAGAZINE 20,000 magazines connecting you to the community

Pittsburgh’s 2015 Healthcare Guide Attention all health care professionals... NC Magazine’s February 2015 issue will feature “Pittsburgh’s Healthcare Guide.” Be sure to make your health care organization a part of this special issue by taking advantage of a complimentary directory listing with your ad to highlight your facilities and services!

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Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

HAPPENINGS January 2015

January 2015 Happenings North Happenings Citrus Sale going on until Feb. 5, thru North Hills Community Outreach. Pickup Mar. 7 & 8 at St. Paul’s United Methodist. To order, call (412) 487-6316 or https://www.nhco.org/fruit/cfm.



Cranberry Women’s Club, meets 7 p.m. the 2nd Thurs of the month, Cranberry Library Meeting Room. Contact Sandy, (724) 779-1854.

Christy House Tea Room Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays, on Walnut & Frederick in Sewickley. Homemade soups, salads, breads & cookies. Needles Eye & Early Treasures gift shops. RSVP to (412) 741-5960.

North Hills Community Outreach’s Community Auto Program serving the Greater Pittsburgh region needs car donations. Call (724) 443-8300 or www.communityauto.org.

(Continued on page 56)

North Hills Community Outreach needs 50 runners to commit to running the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon in May. For details, call (412) 408-3830 or pmferraro@nhco.org. North Hills Community Outreach is accepting donations of organic seeds. For details, call (412) 408-3830, or jmdrayton.nhco.org. North Hills Food Bank, 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m. every Tues & Thurs, rear parking lot of Hiland Presbyterian Church, 845 Perry Highway. Call, (412) 366-7477 or www.northhillsfoodbank.com. Donations always welcome. WorkAble employment workshops and more for job seekers. To find out more on this United Way-funded program of North Hills Community Outreach. Call (412) 408-3830 ext. 3219 or visit www.workableac.com.

Mondays Chisel and Chips Carvers of North Pittsburgh meetings, meets 6:30-10 p.m., the 2nd Monday of every month, Parkwood United Presbyterian Church, 4289 Mt. Royal Blvd., Allison Park. For info, call (724) 940-0034. Greater Cranberry Barbershop Chorus, meets every Monday at 7 p.m., Mars Alliance Church, Rt. 228. Visit Bogmeisters.com. Greater Pittsburgh Civil War Round Table meets the 3rd Monday of every month 7 p.m.,(Jan. 19) topic: Pittsburgh’s Reaction to the Death of Lincoln, Hampton Township Community Center, 3101 McCully Rd., Allison Park. Call, Bob or Margie (724) 625-2329. Legacy Theatre Movies, 2 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 5, And So it Goes; Jan. 12, Jersey Boys; Jan. 26, The Fault in Our Stars, 700 Cumberland Woods Dr., McCandless. For info, visit http://www.thelegacylineup.com/movies/

Tuesdays North Pittsburgh Mother of Multiples meeting, 7:30 p.m., 3rd Tues., of the month, North Hills Community Baptist Church, 7801 Thompson Run Rd. For info, visit www.facebook.com/NPMOMS.

Wednesday Country Knight Line Dancers host a line dance 7-10:30 p.m. every Wed., in St. Athanasius Hall, cost $5 per person. Call, Janine (412) 931-6971 or janine.beley@gmail.com.


Northern Connection | January 2015


HAPPENINGS January 2015

Saturdays Saturday Singles Dance for ages 40+, 8 p.m.-midnight, Jan. 3, Perfect Pair Icebreaking Singles Event, Jan. 24, Free Pizza Party, West View VFW, 386 Perry Hwy, West View. Call, (724) 316-5029 or www. dancetonight.weebly.com.

Arts & Entertainment Butler Symphony Orchestra concerts: Feb. 7, Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, Butler Intermediate High School. Call (724) 283-1402 or visit ButlerSymphony.org. Children’s Theatre: Click, Clack, Moo!, 2 p.m., Jan. 11, Byham Theatre; 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., Jan. 15, Marshall Middle School; 2 p.m., Jan. 18, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Feb. 22-Mar.1 (six locations). Visit www. TrustArts.org/kids. Hillman Performing Arts Series, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 28, ArcAttack: Telsa Coil Music, Shady Side Academy Senior School campus, 423 Fox Chapel Rd., Fox Chapel. For info, visit www.thehillman.org. Legacy Theatre Lineup: Tamburitzans, 2 p.m., Feb. 15; Hollywood Goes to the Oscars. For tickets, call 1-877-987-6487 or TheLegacyLineup.com


My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy, Jan. 17-18, Byham Theatre. For details, call (412) 456-6666 or visit http:// www.trustarts.org.

Support Groups

Obsessions art exhibit runs thru Jan. 25, SPACE, 812 Liberty Ave. For info, visit TrustArts.org.

Bereavement Support Group, Beyond Bridge to Hope, 7-8:30 p.m., 2nd Wed., of every month, Passavant Hospital Conference Center, McCandless Twp. Free of charge, no registration is necessary. For details, (412) 748-6640.

Pittsburgh Rockin’ Reunion, 4-8 p.m., Apr. 4, Benedum Center. For details, visit http://trustarts. culturaldistrict.org/production/43538/pittsburgh-rockinreunion.

Bereavement Support Group (for widows/widowers over 50), 1-2:30 p.m., 2nd & 4th Wed. Hosted by St. Sebastian Parish, Haber Hall. To register, call (412) 366-1300.

PNC Broadway Across America, Pippin, Jan. 21, Cameron Mackintosh’s New Production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, Feb. 18. For info visit www.TrustArts.org.

Bridge to Hope, 7-8:30 p.m., every Wed., of the month, Passavant Hospital Conference Center, McCandless Twp. For drug & alcohol addiction. Phone, (412) 748-6640.

Ron K. Brown Evidence, 8 p.m., Feb. 7, Byham Theater. For tickets, (412) 456-6666 or www.TrustArts. org.

Lupus Foundation meetings, 7-8:30 p.m., every 3rd Tues, UPMC Passavant Hospital, 9100 Babcock Blvd., Donor Hall. To register, call (412) 261-5886 or ccallen92@aol.com.

Health & Wellness Lizzy’s Bikes, a Kiwanis Club of Mars community action program, provides free bikes to local needy children. Call (724) 779-4364 or email LizzysBikes@yahoo. com.

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Women’s Self Care Support Group, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Sats., Feb. 28-May 2, Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry. Call (412) 366-1300 ext., 129 to register.

Counseling Ask the Attorney, free legal consultation for low-income families. Sessions are 7 p.m., Jan. 14, at NHCO in Allison Park; Feb. 11, at NHCO in Millvale; Mar. 11 at NHCO in Bellevue. For info, call (412) 4083830 or hzgibbs@nhco.org. Berkley Hills Lutheran Church is offering it Stephen Ministry Program for people experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, illnesses, job loss, loss of home, military deployment & other life struggles. Free & confidential program for people of any faith. Call (412) 486-4010 or www.bhlc.org. Blended, 7-8:30 p.m., Jan. 15-Mar. 5, Orchard Hill Church, Room 203. Register at, orchardhillchurch.com. DivorceCare, 7-9 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 15-Apr. 16, (no meeting Apr. 2), Orchard Hill Church, Room 201. For details, visit orchardhillchurch.com. DivorceCare for Kids, 7-9 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 15-Apr. 16, (no meeting Apr. 2), Orchard Hill Church, Room 200. For details, visit orchardhillchurch.com. Grief Share, 7-9 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 15-Apr. 16, (no meeting Apr. 2), Orchard Hill Church, Room 205. For details, visit orchardhillchurch.com Group Services, Intensive Outpatient Program, 5:30-8:30 p.m., M,W, Th.,Therapy Group 6-8 p.m., Tues., Family Only Group 7:30-9:00 p.m., 2nd Tues, Psycho-educational Support Group 7-9 p.m., 4th Mon. Contact Anita at 412-215-7967, pened1@aol.com, or www.anitasinicropemaier.com. Professional Counseling, need someone to talk with but can’t afford it or lack health coverage. Call Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, (412) 366-1300. Reason for Hope, 7-9 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 15-Mar. 5, Orchard Hill Church, Gathering Place. For details, visit orchardhillchurch.com

Networking AM Spirit, a business networking group, meets 7:15 a.m. every Wed, at North Park Deckhouse, Rt. 19, Cranberry Twp. For info, call Glen at (412) 916-8699.

Cranberry Chapter of Women’s Business Network meets, 7:30 a.m., Thurs., Jan. 15, Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church, Cranberry Twp. For info, call Marcia at (724) 538-3059. Cranberry Chapter of Professional Referral Exchange meets 7:15 a.m., networking meeting every Wed., North Park Deckhouse, Rt. 19, Cranberry Twp. Call Mary Ann, (724) 935-2221. Criders Corner Chapter of Women’s Business Network meets, noon, Thur., Jan. 8 & 22, Sheraton, Cranberry Twp. For info, call Annette at (724) 316-8005. North Allegheny Special Education Parent Networking meeting, 9:30 a.m., Jan. 9, Baierl Center at NA High School. For info, visit http://www.nasepng.org/ North Hills Chapter of Women’s Business Network meets, 9 a.m., Fri., Jan. 9 & 23, King’s Restaurant, Gibsonia. For info, call Jean at (724) 443-0990.

North Hills Newcomers & Friends luncheon, Jan. 13, Atria’s Restaurant. New members are welcome. For details, visit www.northhillsnewcomers.org or NHNFmembership@gmail.com. Professional Referral Exchange (PRE) meets 7:15 a.m., Weds, Deck House, Rt. 19, Cranberry Twp. Call Ken, at (610) 496-7600 or visit, www.prenetworking.net. Seven Fields Chapter of Women’s Business Network meets, 8:15 a.m., Fri., Thurs. Jan. 8 & 22, Concordia, Adams Ridge. For info, call Nina at (724) 772-1922. Toastmasters Cranberry High Noon Club, meets noon-1 p.m., every Mon., at the Cranberry Library, 2525 Rochester Rd., Suite 400. Guest & new members are welcome. Call Mary Jo, (412) 367-7710 or http://3331281.toastmastersclubs. org. Wexford Chapter of Women’s Business Network meets, 8 a.m., Tues., Jan. 13 & 27, Atria’s Restaurant, Wexford. For info, call Kathy at (724) 935-5143.

Volunteer Opportunities American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to drive cancer patients who are undergoing treatments to & from their appts. Interested volunteers should call (412) 919-1100 or emailsharon.stalter@cancer.org. Hope Hospice is looking for volunteer for their patients. Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, just have the heart! For details, call (412) 367-3685.


Volunteer Orientation, 10 a.m., Jan. 15, NHCO Allison Park, Ferguson Rd. For info, call (412) 408-3830 or pmferraro@nhco.org. Volunteer Tutors Needed for children struggling with school work. Call Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, (412) 366-1300.

School Events & Courses & Symposiums Financial Aid Community Night, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 28, Ryan Room in the Zappala College Center at La Roche. For info, call Sharon, (412) 5361125 or Sharon.platt@laroche.edu. Into the Woods, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 21, 27 & 28, and 2 p.m., Feb. 21, Vincentian Academy. Adults $12, students $8. For info, call (412) 364-1616 ext. 219. Meet Design, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Feb. 16, La Roche College. For details, call (412) 536-1792 or admissions@laroche.edu. Saint Vincent College Department of Education will offer a live online graduate program leading to a teaching certificate in online instruction beginning in the fall of 2015. Call (724) 805-2933 or gradadmission@stvincent.edu.

Veterans Harmony Museum presents “The Civil War in Pennsylvania,” Heinz History Center traveling exhibit. For info, (724) 452-7341 or www.harmonymuseum.org. (Continued on page 58)

Northern Connection | January 2015


HAPPENINGS January 2015

Yes, You Can Dance!


his Special Needs Ballroom Program offers Ballroom dance classes for adults and teens (16+) with cognitive disabilities. Each week, students are paired with Dance Mentors (trained volunteers) who provide each student with the individual support and attention he or she needs to succeed. Students learn all dance steps from the Waltz to the Merengue. No previous dance experience necessary!   Tuition for the Jan. 4 - Feb. 8th session of classes is $60. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, all students receive a half scholarship: your cost is $30 for the six-week session (this ends up being only $5 per dance class)!   Classes are every Sunday from January 4th February 8th, 12-1pm  Located at the DancExplosion Arts Center (5505 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237)  Registration Deadline: Jan. 3rd, or when class reached full-capacity at 12 students.    Register at http://www.yesyoucandance.org/eventregistration-2/?ee=112 F


North Pittsburgh Quilts of Valor meets 7-9 p.m., 2nd Mon., of the month, Quilt Company, Middle Rd., Allison Park. Call (412) 487-9532 or www.qovf.org. Pennsylvania CommunityBased Programs Awarded VA Grants to Support Disabled Veterans in Adaptive Sports at Slippery Rock University. For info, visit www. va.gov/adaptivesports. Veterans Discover HOPE Here-Career, 3rd Wed., 6:308:45 p.m., Cranberry Twp., Municipal Building, 2525 Rochester Rd., Cranberry Twp. Free. Call (724) 779-8323, discoverhopehere@gmail.com or www. discoverhopehere.com. Veterans Fitness Classes 5 Days a week, 4:30-5:30 p.m., VA Butler Healthcare Auditorium (bldg. 1), 325 New Castle Rd., Butler. For details, visit www.prevention.va.gov/B_ Physically_ Active.asp. “Veteran X” mental health & substance abuse recovery program for vets meets 6 p.m., every Mon., at VA Butler Healthcare, Room 213, East South (ES), 325 N. Castle Rd., Butler. For info, visit http://www.butler.va.gov/.

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com

Seminars Celebrating Pittsburgh: Its Character and Significance, 11 a.m., Jan. 27, Legacy Theatre. Speaker: Louise Sturgess, executive director of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. Call, (412) 6358080 or visit thelegacylineup.com. Consecrated Dust, the fictionalized story of a terrible day in Pittsburgh history, La Roche College. For info, call (412) 536-1216 or rita.yeasted@ laroche.edu.

Tax Preparation North Hills Community Outreach is seeking Tax Preparers to help low-wage families. Training is provided. For details, visit www.swpafreetaxes.org.

Festivals Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, Mar. 27-29, Westin Convention Center, downtown Pittsburgh. To learn more, visit www. pghknitandcrochet.com.

Sales New and Gently Worn Prom Dresses, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Mar. 28, Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church, 2662 Rochester Rd., Cranberry Twp. For info, call (724) 776-5310 or www.ccupc.org.

Winter Events Ballroom Dancing, 7-8 p.m., Beginners, 8-10 p.m. Social Dancing, Fri., Jan. 9, Feb. 6, Mar. 6, Apr. 10, 24, May 1, 15 & 29, Orchard Hill gym. For info, call (724) 935-5555 or orchardhillchurch.com. Celebrating Pittsburgh: Its Character and Significance, 11 a.m., Jan. 27, Legacy Theatre. Speaker: Louise Sturgess, executive director of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. Call, (412) 6358080 or visit thelegacylineup.com.

Orchard Hill Church: Yoga with a Twist, 6:30 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 15-May 21; Mommy N’ Me Ballet, 10 a.m., Jan. 28-Mar. 4; PiYo Fitness, Thurs., Jan. 15-May 21; Zumba, Tues., 6:15 p.m., Jan. 13-May 19; Tai Chi for Beginners, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 10-May 30; Wedding Dance Lessons, 7 p.m., May 8; Financial Peace, 7 p.m., Tues., Feb. 3-Apr. 7. For info, call (724) 935-5555 or orchardhillchurch.com.

Library Northland Public Library: Cabin Fever Reading Club begins Jan. 5; Computers Classes offered in Jan., Folklore & Coal Mining Songs of Northeastern PA, 7 p.m., Jan. 8; Writers at Work, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 12; Northland Knitters, 1 p.m., Jan. 16 & 7 p.m., Jan. 27; Non-Surgical, Regenerative Procedure for Pain, 7 p.m., Jan. 26. For info, (412) 366-8100, ext. 113.

Harmoniefest Dinner, 6 p.m., Feb. 14, Stewart Hall, Harmony Museum. For info, call (724) 452-7341 or www.harmonymuseum.org.


Northern Connection | January 2015



Winter Wonderland Trivia BY PAULA GREEN


Well, since we have wandered through the winter wonderland we must now plow through this chilly query. Get set to don those tossle caps, because it’s time to get a little trivial... 1. What is the average annual snowfall amount that Pittsburgh receives in a season? 2. Name the hugely popular 2013 Disney release about a princess that is able to produce ice, frost and snow at will. 3. During winter, we sometimes see ocean-atmosphere phenomenon call La Niña (means – the girl) and its male counterpart called __ ___. 4. Michael Keaton starred as this icy character in this 1998 film. 5. This European country has won the most gold medals at the Winter Olympics (118 gold and 329 total medals), more than any other country. 6. How many sides does a snow flake have? 7. This NFL Championship game was played on Dec. 31, 1967 in Green Bay, Wis. The game temperature was 15 below zero, which earned it the nickname - ____ ____ ____. 8. Name the William Shakespeare novel that has a blustery seasonal title. 9. Retails have their “Winter White” sales in January, name two items you can purchase at discounted prices during the sale. 10. Keenan Wynn voiced this character in the Christmas show Santa Claus is Coming to Town. 11. On New Year’s Day, the NHL has an outdoor hockey game called the ______ ______. 12. This cool, female royalty is found in the game Candyland®. 13. Which three months is it winter in the southern hemisphere? 14. What is an Alberta Clipper? 15. Who sang the hit song Winter World of Love? F Sources: http://www.kidskonnect.com/subjectindex/32-categories/holidaysseasons/133winter.html, http://www.infoplease.com/spot/wintersolstice1.html#ixzz3JwPDWbIG, http://www. almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice, http://www.livescience.com/31880-countdown-10-worst-blizzards.html, http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/weather/qt/winter_temps.htm, http://farmersalmanac.com/weather/2012/01/16/quiz-how-much-do-you-know-about-snow/, http://www.weather.com/sports-recreation/superbowl/news/5-worst-weather-super-bowls-nfltitle-games-20131014#/6

Answers: 1. 43.5 inches 2. Frozen 3. El Niño 4. Jack Frost 5. Norway 6. six (hexagonal prism) 7. The Ice Bowl 8. The Winter’s Tale 9. bedding and linens 10. Winter Warlock 11. Winter Classic 12. Queen Frostine 13. June, July and August 14. an extremely cold, fast moving winter storm 15. Engelbert Humperdinck


eather patterns can be crazy and unpredictable – how about parts of Buffalo, N.Y. getting blasted with over seven feet of snow in November? Ironically, this crippling event happened in fall, and not winter. Besides snow - sleet, hail, and freezing rain are associated with this blustery season. Winter is the season with the shortest days and the lowest temperatures. In our area (the Northern Hemisphere), the winter solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn. Some people live for winter, which ushers in the perfect weather conditions for “s” named sports - skiing, skating, sledding and snowmobiling.  Other folks dislike the frigid temperatures, blizzards, the snow shoveling, and hazardous driving conditions. Winter is a great time for sports enthusiast, with so many exciting things to watch – football (college Bowl games, the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl), ice hockey (let’s go Pens!), basketball (March Madness), and every four years there is the Winter Olympics. It’s also nice time to build a cozy fire, huddle up in a blanket and watch a movie, read a good book, knit or build a jigsaw puzzle. There are plenty of holidays celebrated during this chilly season. There’s Christmas, New Year’s, Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. On the culinary scene, this frosty period gives us warm food choices – soups, chili, hot chocolate and hot toddies. Winter is a fun time to venture outdoors and build a snowman or craft a snow sculpture. It is also a good time to shop, because we see lots of bargains! There’s holiday shopping, after Christmas sales, Winter White sales, and many discounted and clearance items. Another great thing about winter for students, teachers, and school administrators is the beloved – snow day! Pittsburgh has had its share of big snow storms. Many people still talk about the big storm that fell Thanksgiving weekend. It began on a Friday and lasted three days. When the storm finally subsided Pittsburgh was blanketed with 27.4 inches. On March 13, 1993, “The Storm of the Century” wreaked havoc from Cuba to Canada. Blizzards and cyclones caused $6.6 billion in damages and were responsible for 310 Another more recent winter snow fell in Feb. 2010. That one was billed as ‘Snowmageddon.” Our area was hit with 21.9 inches of snow.

Northern Connection | January 2015 www.northernconnectionmag.com


Northern Connection | January 2015


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2015 Education Issue  

Pittsburgh's 2015 Education Issue Exceptional Educators in the Area Kean Quest Draws Amazing Talent

2015 Education Issue  

Pittsburgh's 2015 Education Issue Exceptional Educators in the Area Kean Quest Draws Amazing Talent