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FALL 2016


USC, an active community that celebrates its past

The official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair


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SIMPLIFY Be seen in


Fall 2016 • Volume 22 • Issue 3

Features & Around the Township 12

Thankful for the Princes (of the Sporting World)


Never Too Old and Never Too Late


Yesterday’s Lessons for Today’s Coaches


You Win Some, You Louvre Some

Township 27

Highlights of the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings


Citizens’ Police Academy Application


USC Township Library Offerings


School District 59

USC Nationally Recognized for Music Education


The “Positive Glow”— Benefits of Volunteering


Science and Tech-Ed News

Recycling Updates


Helpful Information from Tri-Community South


USC Awarded Active Learning Classroom

Guides/ Directories 17 Dining 42 Pinebridge 45 Residential Resource

(centerfold pullout)

54 Health & Wellness 80 Educational Resource 96 Advertiser Index Photo Ops 28

Community Day 2016— Peace, Love, Panthers



Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair’s Giving Tea

South Hills Junior Orchestra Kicks Off 34th Season


The fall cover of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY showcases activities and places of interest in Upper St. Clair. Read the Publishers’ Letter on page 8 to learn more about this collection of photos.


Sixty Plus Years and Three Generations


Coach’s Corner, Featuring Doug Whaley

71 Shining STARS 32

Freaky Friday at the C&RC 4


USCHS Commencement



Traveling with TODAY

Fall 2016

The award-winning, official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a not-for-profit community magazine that is dedicated to promoting

the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair by recognizing the gifts and contributions of the people who live and work here. This year marks 22 years of our publication.

The 87th issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY magazine is made possible through the combined resources of the staff and volunteers of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair. Thanks are extended to the staff and volunteers for their enthusiasm and efforts on this continuing project.

Winter 2016 edition deadlines: Articles—September 15 Advertising—September 19

Publishers Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole Superintendent of Schools Steering Committee Mark S. Mansfield, Assistant Township Manager Paul K. Fox, School District Representative Editors and Staff Linda M. Dudzinski, Editor-in-Chief Terry Kish, Associate Editor Colleen DeMarco, Office Manager, Advertising Executive Lynn Dempsey, Advertising Executive Dorothy Clark, Graphic Designer Alison Hess, Marketing Executive

Mark Mansfield, Paul Fox, Linda Dudzinski, Terry Kish, Colleen DeMarco, Lynn Dempsey, Dorothy Clark, and Alison Hess. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a non-partisan Township, School District, and community magazine. Political advertising and political commentary are not accepted. The publishers of this magazine reserve the right to reject advertising or articles inconsistent with the objectives, image, and aesthetic standards of the magazine.

The next issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY will be the Winter 2016 issue and will be published in November 2016. Articles that were submitted but not published in this issue are on file for consideration in upcoming issues. Articles and announcements may be sent to:

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY magazine is published


and mailed quarterly to residents and businesses in Upper St. Clair. Extra copies of the magazine are available at the Township of Upper St. Clair Municipal Building and Township Library. If you did not receive a copy in the mail, please call 412-833-1600, extension 2284. Subscription Information If you know someone living outside the Township who would enjoy receiving UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, please send $12 to cover mailing and handling for the next four issues with name and address, including zip code, to our address listed above. Add $10 to cover international mailings.


1820 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or email UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY at

Article Information

Editor-in-Chief Linda Dudzinski phone: 412-833-1600, extension 2681

Advertising Information

Office Manager Colleen DeMarco phone: 412-833-1600, extension 2284 fax: 412-851-2592 Ad file submission:

Website Email Board of School Directors

Buffy Z. Hasco, President Angela B. Petersen, Vice President Amy L. Billerbeck Barbara L. Bolas Phillip J. Elias Patrick A. Hewitt Frank J. Kerber Harry F. Kunselman Louis P. Mafrice, Jr.



Township Board of Commissioners Mark D. Christie, President, Ward 4 Rex A. Waller, Vice President, Ward 2 Nicholas J. Seitanakis, Ward 1 Robert W. Orchowski, Ward 3 Ronald J. Pardini, Ward 5 Russell R. Del Re, At Large Daniel R. Paoly, At Large

Fall 2016

Thank you to our volunteer contributors this issue: Judge Ronald Arnoni, Cindy Brophy, Deb Conn, John D’Angelo, Grace Eden (YWG), Rachelle Engel, Dina Fulmer, Daphna Gans, Milt Hamel, Buffy Hasco, Heather Holtschlag, Dave Ickes, David Kutschbach, Jay Lynch, Rep. John Maher, Jim Meston, Laura Murtough, Jim O’Brien, Jena Oberg, Dominic Ortenzo (YWG), Dr. Patrick O’Toole, Helen Palascak, Glenn Prokopovitch, Dr. Eric Reitz, Jim Render, Jennifer Roberts, Emanuel Romanias, Ron Sarrick, Kimberly Sears, Mandy Seiner, Jessica Spencer, Dr. Beth Troy, and Marilyn Walsh. Young Writers Guild (YWG) promotes and encourages young writers in the Upper St. Clair School District to provide articles of interest for our community magazine. Email to find out how your student can contribute. The 87th issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a joint publication of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair. © Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in print or web version, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of the Editor, is strictly prohibited. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY 1820 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 Phone: 412-833-1600, extension 2284 Fax: 412-851-2592 Email: Township­: 412-831-9000 School District: 412-833-1600 Printed by Knepper Press 2251 Sweeney Drive, Clinton, PA 15026-1818 724-899-4274 Design by DMC Design 412-824-7844 •

A Fall Note from the Publishers Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole

Matthew R. Serakowski

Welcome to UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY’s back-to-school issue! This edition includes the biennial Residents Guide, in which we share lots of information regarding Upper St. Clair Township and School District. The eight-page centerfold guide is meant to be pulled out and retained as your go-to source when you have a question (see pages 45–52). Keep it in a handy place for your reference, or access the information at from our digital version. We hope that you like our community-themed front cover. While we typically accept cover sponsors for our publication, this issue we kept it in-house to show off certain landmarks and activities that bring out the best in Upper St. Clair. The various photos aptly capture the history and significance of our bedroom community—the historic log house, our community’s municipal building, our modern high school, and USC Veterans Park—and they also portray our community’s youth enjoying their surroundings. Soon to be our next generation of leaders, they are learning what it means to care for our community and to hold steadfast to the ideals of being upstanding citizens. Many of us eagerly anticipate the start of the new school year on August 23 and all the activity and promise that it brings. Take pleasure in our community’s resources—the 18 parks and their amenities, our Township library, the C&RC, and our well-appointed neighborhoods—as summer and leisure near an end. Also, plan to set aside November 11 and pay homage to the veterans of our Armed Forces (see Veterans Day celebration information found on page 31). Let’s continue to advance USC Township with our prominent resident-involved spirit, being kind and thoughtful to one another along the way. We wish to thank you for your volunteer efforts which have contributed to our Township’s elevated and stable reputation, often being recognized both locally and nationally. (See examples “USC Named Banner Community” on page 30 and “USC Nationally Recognized for Music Education” on page 59, and read the article on the benefits of volunteering on page 62). Check out the collage of Community Day activities and events (see pages 28–29), at which many of us pitched in and participated. We appreciate your unwavering dedication to our community and to parenthood, both of which keep USC consistently in the forefront of achievement and advancement. As the leaves develop hues of brilliant colors and eventually begin to drop to the ground, may you enjoy the finest of moments of the fall season with your family and friends.



Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager

Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole Superintendent of Schools

Township of Upper St. Clair 412-831-9000 • Fax: 412-831-9882 Website: Email:

Upper St. Clair School District 412-833-1600 • Fax: 412-833-5535 Website: Email:

TODAY, the award-winning, official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair 8


Fall 2016

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Sixty Plus Years and Three Generations Milt Hamel

From Clifton School to the present day Upper St. Clair High School and other school buildings and many teachers along the way, there are many stories to be shared. In 1947, I moved from the small town of McDonald to Upper St. Clair Township when my dad opened his funeral business on McMurray Road. Since Upper St. Clair had no kindergarten at the time, it was September 1949 when I entered first grade at Clifton School, located where the drive to the present day high school intersects with McLaughlin Run Road. On that first day when I climbed the school steps with my Roy Rogers lunchbox in hand, I made a left turn to enter my classroom and saw a tall, thin, wire-spectacled woman with her grey hair pulled back into a bun and a rather stern look. When at the door, I slowed my pace to almost a stop. Miss Sara Lesnett issued me a name tag and a cloak room number for my coat, boots, umbrella, hat, gloves, and lunch box, then ushered me to my alphabetically-assigned desk. I vividly remember the eight-room schoolhouse with the restrooms in the basement, four rooms on the first floor for grades one through four, and four rooms on the second floor for grades five through eight. My first grade classroom had a wall of windows that extended from near the ceiling to the floor, with very dim lights. Looking out over the playground, Miss Lesnett rang a large bell from one of those windows she would open to call us back to class. An extraordinarily large chalkboard ran the length of the wall behind the teacher’s large wooden desk at the front of the room. Centered on the wall above the chalkboard was a big round clock that would never go unnoticed. The students’ wooden desks were grouped in units of four or six, with the seat bases connected to one another by strips nailed to the wooden floor. Each desk had an inkwell in the upper right-hand corner and a groove that ran the width of the desk top for pencils. Under the desktop was a storage shelf for books and paper. Sitting at my desk and facing the front of the classroom, I could see the door to the hallway to the right and a flag pole displaying the American flag placed at the left corner of the room. Each school day began with Miss Lesnett addressing the flag and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. I moved from Clifton School to the new Fort Couch School in 1951 for third grade. I returned to Clifton as a fourth grader for half the year while additional classrooms were being added to Fort Couch to accommodate the rapidly increasing student population

Clifton School, circa 1930s; photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair 10


Fall 2016

Three generations of Hamels, left to right, are Milt, Lauren, and Brad

that Upper St. Clair was experiencing in the ’50s. After returning to Fort Couch, I never left; it served me for the remainder of my elementary, middle, and high school years. My high school experience was unusual because there was only one class ahead of me for each of my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Then, when I was a senior, there were three classes behind me! Until 1956 when Upper St. Clair Township students were ready for high school, they usually attended and graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School. But with increasing student population and related costs of tuition, it made sense for Upper St. Clair to begin phasing in grades nine through 12. I was part of that transition period, and graduated high school from Fort Couch School in 1961. In the early years, Upper St. Clair offered only football, baseball, basketball, track, and golf to boys. We also had a small band with cheerleaders and majorettes, but I can’t recall any women’s sports teams during my high school time. Being a small school, we were part of the Ohio Valley Conference, Division B. Suiting a team was difficult. In order to get the numbers we needed to form a team, students were heavily recruited. I was recruited to play guard on the football team during my junior and senior years. There were no playoffs, but USC ended its football season with its first winning record of 5-4-1 during my senior year. Moving forward 15 years to September 1976, when my son, Bradley, entered kindergarten at Johnson Elementary School. Brad remembers, “I stepped off the school bus in front of the school and did not know where to go. I asked the man standing at the front door and he pointed for me to go through the door and to the left. That man, I later learned, was Mr. Broggi, the school’s principal. Young, dark-haired, smiling, and friendly, Mrs. Richardson greeted me at the classroom door and pleasantly gave directions. I remember the classroom as being small, with colored tiles on the walls. There was a door leading out of our room to a side parking lot, where we would play kick ball. There were lots of school supplies—glue, crayons, paints, and papers—cluttered in a space. I don’t recall having desks; I believe we had tables with chairs.” Boyce and Fort Couch were both middle schools in the ’80s. Brad completed sixth through eighth grade at Boyce since we lived in that school’s assigned area of the Township. Brad recalls “looking at a computer for the first time with its large floppy disks. I remember the day when I was in Mr. Sunderman’s seventh grade math class, and he told me he remembered my dad in school.” Perhaps there were other teachers that crossed our two generations, but Brad only remembers Mr. Sunderman. In 1985, when Brad was a freshman at Upper St. Clair High School, the aqua paneled and blonde bricked high school building had been in its current location for a little more than 20 years.

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724.745.2376 Mrs. Richardson’s class for activities. “Mrs. Richardson often reminded me that she had my dad in her class,” said Lauren. Lauren went on to attend fifth and sixth grades at Boyce and seventh and eighth grades at Fort Couch, where Mr. Toth, who was Brad’s physical education teacher, was a guidance counselor. After completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) middle years program (MYP) curriculum, Lauren received her IB middle school certificate at the end of her sophomore year of high school. “In high school, Dad and I shared the same art teacher, Mrs. Luck, and Mr. Malarkey, my Dad’s baseball coach, who is a guidance counselor.” Besides sharing teachers, Lauren’s friend, Natalie Urban, is the daughter of John Urban, Brad’s basketball teammate and friend to this day. Like me, Lauren’s grandfather, she experienced an Upper St. Clair “first” in athletics. She was a member of the 2015 USC High School women’s soccer team that brought home its first women’s soccer state championship. Lauren proudly graduated from USC this past June. From ringing a bell out of a window to call students into class to a nationality-ranked school system where computers abound, three generations of Hamels have experienced many changes while at Upper St. Clair schools. Will Upper St. Clair High School today there be a fourth generation Hamel to continue the legacy? Only time will tell. If I am fortunate to experience that, I wonder what changes that generation will see. n

Brad recalls, “Students did not have their own computers, but a class was offered to teach students computer basics. There was no Internet. Another thing I remember about those years was the outside students’ smoking area frequented by some. There for my entire four years, I believe it was removed the year after I graduated.” Both hockey and lacrosse were club sports. Brad lettered in basketball and baseball. Brad recalled, “We made the WPIAL playoffs twice in basketball and once in baseball during the years that I played.” Brad graduated from Upper St. Clair High School in 1989. Moving forward another 14 years when, in September 2003, my granddaughter, Lauren (Brad’s daughter), entered kindergarten at Carl Streams Elementary School. Lauren recalls the many times her class joined with

Upper St. Clair High School, as it looked in the 80s, prior to the school’s completed renovation in 2000

USC resident Milt Hamel is a member of Writers of Westminster (Church), a group of amateur writers under the direction of local author Jim O’Brien. Milt is the funeral director of Hamel Mortuary in Upper St. Clair. Fall 2016



Thankful for the Princes (of the Sporting World) Jim O’Brien I could hear a soft rain tapping at the windowpanes of my bedroom in the Trotwood Hills section of Upper St. Clair. I wasn’t sure whether I was dreaming or just thinking in the night. Mel Blount, one of my all-time favorite Steelers, spoke at a dinner at LeMont atop Mt. Washington earlier that evening. He said he thought that they should leave a chair empty on the dais at sports dinners and luncheons where sports broadcaster Bob Prince once performed his magic. It would be a proper tribute to Prince. That would surely include the Dapper Dan Dinner held here, the Coaches Corner luncheon, and the Jim O’Brien Thompson Club Sports Night Dinner in West Mifflin. Maybe they should also leave a seat open for Prince in the TV and radio broadcast booths at PNC Park. Prince put the Thompson Club on the map with his outrageous emcee efforts through the years. There was no sports banquet quite like it, and Bill Hillgrove had been a great replacement to keep the fires burning. Social media helped put that stag and often raucous and raunchy banquet out of business after 51 years. There is a lounge at PNC Park with lots of Prince photos and memorabilia, including one of his infamously loud sports jackets. Maybe there ought to be a Prince statue outside the ballpark the way there’s a statue of broadcaster Harry Carey outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. Prince, who died at age 68 in June 1985, was laid to rest in the columbarium in the courtyard at Westminster Presbyterian Church along Route 19. He and his wife, Betty, were proud members, and Bob volunteered as a Sunday School teacher there from time to time, while Betty was a member of most of the church’s women’s organizations. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since Bob Prince was “The Voice of the Pirates.” Lanny Frattare was in the booth for more than 30 years, surpassing Prince’s run of 28 years at the mike. It’s been 30 years since Prince died. Both men lived in Upper St. Clair, Prince in Deerfield Manor and Frattare, in his final years in the community while still working for the Pirates, in Tall Trees. Prince lives on. Hearing his voice on a taped broadcast for some reflection piece continues to command our attention and stir our hearts. There was something special about the way Bob Prince talked; his voice distinctive—so warm and clear. His voice evoked “baseball.” Bob Prince, with Art Rooney, Sr., at a Dapper Dan dinner During his tenure with the Pirates, he lived in Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair and was a familiar face at St. Clair Country Club. He picked up a lot of bar tabs there, as well as a lot of Screwdrivers. Steve Blass, Myron Cope, Dave Kelly, Al McDowell, and Jack Bogut—all Upper St. Clair residents most of their adult lives—were among the most popular sports broadcasting voices in Western Pennsylvania. A month seldom goes by that someone doesn’t ask me why the Pirates fired Prince, who was known as “The Gunner” during his heyday. I try to explain, but it still makes no sense. Prince admitted he contributed to his own dismissal, failing to comply with admonitions from the brass at both KDKA and the Pirates to alter some of the things he did both at the ballpark and away from the ballpark. In the end, however, it was a firing in which everyone lost. Bob Prince lost, the Pirates lost, and, most of all, those of us who cared about baseball and the Pirates lost. It was an unfortunate triple play. Many insist they quit caring about the Pirates when Prince was fired. A man came up to me at South Hills Village and told me that his father had immigrated to America from Czechoslovakia and claimed he learned to speak English by listening to Bob Prince doing the Pirates’ broadcasts. I asked the man what his father’s friends thought about his saying, “Bug on the rug” or “Can of corn” or “We need a bloop and a blast.” I was just kidding the Czech’s son, of course, but those are some of the phases we continue to associate with Prince. He was a pure delight. I also hear stories of how Prince picked up someone who was hitchhiking, and how great it was to be in his open Cadillac convertible, riding through the streets of Pittsburgh. He was a generous man. Prince is in my top ten list. Headed by Art Rooney, the founder of the Steelers, this list also includes Frank Gustine, the former Pirates’ infielder who owned and operated a popular restaurant on the Pitt campus for over 30 years, and Doc Carlson, the director of the student health service at the University of Pittsburgh when I was a student there in the early ’60s. Carlson had been an All-American football player at Pitt, the basketball coach, and a member of the charter class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. I always enjoy having lunch at St. Clair Country Club with Art Rooney, Jr., the second of Art Rooney, Sr.’s five sons. A great story-teller, he is open and honest and down to earth. Just like his dad. Cont. on page 94



Fall 2016



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Coach’s Corner

Featuring Doug Whaley, Buffalo Bills General Manager

Jim Render, USCHS Football Coach As I prepared to write my next proThe year 1988 was a monumental year 7–0, and had a touchdown taken away due file article for UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY for the football program at Upper St. Clair. to a bad official call. Jerry was indeed corabout one of my former players, I’m feeling Doug and his teammates were beginning rect; we had them right where we wanted like a real journalist. Often, writers use to mature, but it was a process not a quick them. Upper St. Clair enjoyed its first unnamed sources for people who prefer leap. It was a year of ups and downs. We outright WPIAL championship! to remain anonymous for one reason or lost three of the first nine games and travThis year was also the inaugural year of another. So, I’m going to take the liberty eled to Butler for game ten. The winner a PIAA state championship title. Many area and reveal the following exchange that of this game would claim fourth place in schools were skeptical about the success happened between some Upper St. Clair the conference and qualify for the WPIAL or sustainability of the state playoffs. USC residents. playoffs. Led by senior captain Ron Cortes School District declined to participate beyond “Are you aware that the general man- and quarterback Jerry Berteotti, USC beat the WPIAL championship and informed ager of the Buffalo Bills is a graduate of Butler 21–0. Berteotti, now the owner of the PIAA that September. Because of this, Upper St. Clair High School?” The person Pizzaz Restaurant on Route 19 in Peters Central Catholic took USC’s spot and went who replied “Yes,” was very much aware Township, exclaimed to me, “This is going on to defeat Cedar Cliff at Penn State’s Beaver of this fact. The first person then asked, to be great; we have them right where we Stadium to become the first Pennsylvania “Do you think Coach Render knows him?” want them!” I looked at him in amaze- state championship football team. From this point forward, I will deal ment. Mt. Lebanon and North Allegheny Although 1988 ended on a bittersweet in facts rather than use information from had already beaten us, and North Hills, note, the upside was that the talented jua source who overheard a conversation. who was coming off a USA Today na- niors were returning to the field in 1989. Coach Render has known Buffalo Bills’ tional championship in 1987, also beat us. In addition to Whaley, USC had Phil Dunn, general manager Doug Whaley since 1986 Gateway, ranked number one, was unde- Mike Orie, Mike Quealy, and Pete Habib, when Doug entered Upper St. Clair High feated and Pittsburgh Central Catholic was, all of whom were named as Athletes of the School as a freshman. Doug and his par- and always is, loaded. Let the fun begin! Week by the two Pittsburgh newspapers ents, Bobby and Gaynell Whaley, moved We traveled to Gateway where Cortes, during the fall of 1989. They were joined here from Nitro, West Virginia. Doug’s a defensive lineman, scooped up a fumble by a host of rock solid teammates and older brother, Bobby Jr., did not make the and rumbled into the end zone for a 21–0 achieved a record season of 15–0, playing family move to Western Pennsylvania, victory. Next, we had a rematch with Mt. in and winning both the WPIAL and PIAA since he had already graduated from high Lebanon at Baldwin. We won 14–0 in a championships. school by then. game that featured a sustained 12-minute USC began the 1989 season by shutting In 1987, Doug’s high school football drive that began at the end of the third out the first four teams we faced. The fifth career took off. As a sophomore, he started quarter and lasted until just under two game is perhaps the most memorable game as a flanker and outside linebacker. By minutes left in the game. After our third in USC history and possibly in the history midseason he was in charge of making shutout in a row, we were off to Three Rivers of Western Pennsylvania football. Against defensive calls. I recall remarking to the Stadium for the WPIAL championship North Hills at a jam-packed Morterelli assistant coaches that it was unbelievable game. Officially we beat Central Catholic Stadium, the highly anticipated game was what we were asking this young man nationally televised on Sports Channel to do in his first year of varsity footAmerica, which is now Root Sports. ball. However, Doug was smart, savvy, USC, which had not given up a single and more than willing to accept all the point in eight consecutive games, fell challenges we posed. behind 26–7 in the game’s first half. I told this same story for an interThe USC Panthers clawed their way view I recently had with a member of back to win the game late in the fourth the Buffalo media. My point was, and quarter on a short pass play over the is, that I am not surprised that Doug middle. It was Doug Whaley who is one of the youngest general managcaught the ball, turned off balance, ers in history of the National Football and stumbled into the end zone for League. Many of his leadership qualithe winning touchdown. Great players ties were founded at Upper St. Clair. During Doug’s USC football days, left to right, are Phil Dunn, make great plays in great games! The Pete Habib, Sal Gaetano, Coach Jim Render, and Doug Whaley I was witness. telecast ended with a slow-motion shot 14


Fall 2016

of my ten-year-old son, Eric, leaping into my outstretched arms. I cry every time I watch it. In game nine, running back Pete Habib bruised his knee and was not available for game ten against Butler. We put Doug at tailback, where he ran for 305 yards. In week 11, we played Hempfield at home in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. Doug repeated his stellar performance and rushed for 309 yards, all the while playing his usual defensive role. With Pete’s knee better, USC beat Woodland Hills in the semifinal round with interchangeable running backs to again be matched up with North Hills at Three Rivers Stadium in the WPIAL finals. In the first game against them, we scored the final 27 points to win; in the championship game, we scored the first 38 points and coasted to victory. Next, we went to Altoona to take on Hollidaysburg for the PIAA playoffs. After a slow start, we scored 51 points and headed to Hershey for the state championship. Our opponent was West Lawn Wilson High School with the future Penn State and NFL quarterback, Kerry Collins. It was a tough game played on a frozen field with the wind chill at negative 20 degrees. A USC victory and state championship was clinched when Kevin Orie intercepted a Collins’ pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter. A sports trivia question: Who is the only man to intercept a pass from Kerry Collins and later hit a major league home run off of Roger Clemens? Answer: Kevin Orie. Doug Whaley was named the 1989 large school football player of the year by the Pennsylvania Associated Press, and was also selected to play in the Big 33 Game. I had the good fortune to be named as an assistant coach of the Pennsylvania team for that game. In addition, there was an All-American game played in Reno, Nevada, over the Fourth of July in the summer of 1990. Since the USC football team was voted number four in the country by USA Today, Doug and I were invited to participate. It was a great honor for me to be named head coach of the eastern United States team. Doug was the fullback. His backfield running mate was a young man from Detroit, Michigan, who was headed to Notre Dame. Steelers fans know him as Jerome Bettis and affectionately refer to him as “The Bus.” Our team also included

Ruben Brown, a recent inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame who was Doug’s teammate at the University of Pittsburgh. Penn State fans will remember tight end Kyle Brady and Michigan faithful should remember Ricky Powers. The quarterback for the West was Drew Bledsoe. Great memories, indeed, of the players and the eastern team’s win that summer!

football operations. A year went by and Doug got a call from Tom Donahoe, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mr. Donahoe, a lifelong resident of and coach in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, offered Doug a one-year internship, which Doug accepted. Doug then took a job with the Seattle Seahawks and served for three years as that team’s scout for East Coast personnel. In 1999, Doug returned to Pittsburgh and served for 11 years as the Steelers’ pro scouting coordinator. During that period, he mentored under Bill Nunn, the man who signed many of the great African-American football players from the Deep South. Bill was responsible for drafting Steelers players and future Hall of Famers John Stallworth and Mel Blount. Doug credits Mr. Nunn for where he is today and fondly remembers an important lesson he taught: Doug Whaley, flanked by his parents, Bobby and Gaynell “You are not bigger than the game.” Whaley, and Coach Jim Render, in 1990 at his college Letter of Intent signing day On February 6, 2010, Doug accepted a job with the Buffalo Bills as the team’s assistant general manager. Although the Steelers counter-offered with a promotion, Doug stated that he looked forward to being out of his comfort zone. After two years of working with Bills’ general manager Buddy Nix, Doug was offered the top job when Nix retired. Doug is now entering his fourth season as GM and was given a three-year contract extension this past January by Bills’ owner Terry Pegula. Mr. Pegula remarked Doug Whaley, general manager of the Buffalo Bills that he likes the fact that Doug “takes In the fall of 1990, with a football advice and listens. He is open to all discusscholarship in hand, Doug enrolled at sions and highly motivated to win.” the University of Pittsburgh. It did not Recently, Doug came to my house for take him long to establish himself as a lunch and to talk about the many memories premier college student-athlete. Although he has of Upper St. Clair and football. As there were no team championships in his we concluded our talk, I said to him, “Do four years at Pitt, Doug was a three-year you think we covered it all? Did we miss starter as a defensive safety. He was also an anything?” His reply will always stay with honor student and named an academic All- me. “Coach,” he said, “I’ve been to three American in 1992 and 1993. He graduated Super Bowls, winning two of them. There as a four-year letter winner with a degree were many great moments during my time in business/finance. He gave credit to his at Pitt and with the Steelers. But, what many experiences that taught him to “al- continues to make the hairs on the back of ways answer the bell and be ready.” Doug my neck stand up is the standing ovation I said he learned that it is important to work received following my 300 plus yards after hard when no one is looking, a life lesson the USC/Hempfield game and when the that he continues to practice to this day. Upper St. Clair fans threw Hershey Kisses After college and moving to Brooklyn, at us, thrilled that we were going to a state Doug took a job as a retail stockbroker on championship.” Wall Street. Meanwhile, he had a letter on There was nothing more that Doug file with the Pittsburgh Steelers, express- could have said to make me so proud to ing his interest in becoming involved in have coached him. n Fall 2016



Never Too Old and Never Too Late Dina Fulmer

My brain was slowly atrophying. Since my husband died, I had too few intellectual challenges. What to do? Go back to school, of course! Where? Studying what? Fortunately, the answer was right at hand with the most recent catalog from Road Scholar: Living and Learning in France: Independent Stay and Language Study. Six weeks in Aix-en-Provence. Perfect! I had been to Provence (but not to Aix) 40 odd years ago, and at the time my French was passable, but had since deteriorated. Combining my love of travel with my love of French was the perfect way to avoid winter’s end in Pittsburgh. Sixteen other Francophiles joined me in Aix on Good Friday. My home for the next six weeks was a well-equipped apartment in the Adagio Hotel, just a ten-minute walk from the center of town and close to the necessities of independent living—a supermarket, a bakery, and several restaurants. The Adagio served breakfast, but after the first three days I chose to fix my own. After settling into our apartments, the group met in the lobby for a brief introduction and overview of the program; then it was off to one of the many fine restaurants for dinner. The next day, we had a walking tour of the old part of the city, which is quite compact and very medieval, with streets going every which way. Aix was founded by the Romans in 123 B.C.; most of the extant buildings in the old city date from the 16th to the 18th centuries, although most of the churches are considerably older. The city center is split into two by the Cours Mirabeau, a Aix’s 17th-century city hall and 16th-century clock tower wide thoroughfare open only to pedestrians, bicycles, motos, and four-passenger nd built on 2 -century Roman bedrock mini-buses and planted with double rows of plane trees, which were bare when we arrived, but fully leaved when we left. Aix is known as the City of a Thousand Fountains, and four of them are on the Cours, from one of which flows water always at 18° C. In six weeks we became well acquainted with le Cours, its many shops, restaurants, and markets. Our next excursion was to Casino, the nearby supermarket, where we learned how to weigh and price our own produce and other vagaries of French grocery shopping. Quite an experience for the first timers! That evening we had dinner at yet another memorable restaurant, and then we were on our own. Since both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday were holidays, classes did not begin until Tuesday, so we had ample time to become acquainted with the city and even to visit a museum or two before getting down to business. The French are by no stretch a religious people, but they certainly take full advantage of every possible religious holiday. On Tuesday, it was off to class for two and a half hours of French at the British American Institute (BAI). We were given a short test, written and oral, to determine our current ability in French for class placement. We were split into two classes—a beginner, for those who knew no French through those who had had high school French, and an intermediate, for those of us who could (usually) understand and be understood in French. At noon, we had a two-hour break for lunch, then back to class for an additional two and a half hours, then homework, which took another hour or so. I certainly got my intellectual challenge! Fortunately, most days were not so rigorous. Class was usually from 9:30 until noon; afternoons were free except when we had make-up classes (because of one holiday or another) or a Fresh markets on nearly every street corner scheduled event in the morning. We had signed 16


Fall 2016

Cont. on page 18


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Never Too Old Cont. from page 16

up for 90 hours of instruction, and every hour was filled. Our teacher, Éve, increased our vocabularies, corrected our grammar, and struggled to improve our accents, determined to have all nine of us thoroughly proficient by the beginning of May. Tuesday afternoons at five was the appointed “aperitif” hour, when met with a BAI staff member at one of Aix’s historic cafés and, over a glass of wine or two, critiqued the classes—what we thought was going well or not going well, where we thought the instruction was too difficult or insufficiently difficult, and areas we thought needed more attention. By the end of the six weeks, most of us, including the beginners, were comfortable in French, our accents were greatly improved, and our grammar was nearly perfect. In addition to visiting Aix’s many museums and churches, the outdoor twice-weekly vegetable and fresh fish markets, the flower market, Cezanne’s studio and his home, several vineyards, and certainly the cafés and restaurants, we took advantage of our free time to visit many of the sights of Provence. One weekend we went to Nice, stopping at Cannes and Antibes. And even though the weather was quite Ève explains when to use the subjunctive voice. cool, both the topless and the nude beaches seemed to be well-populated. Other excursions included Avignon, Arles, Pont du Gard, the Luberon hill towns, Roussillon, St. Remy, Cassis, Marseille, Isle sur la Sorge, Fontaine de Vaucluse, St. Paul de Vence, and Les Baux. In addition to touring the market with a chef who explained how to spot the freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables, we had two cooking lessons in a professional kitchen preparing the local cuisine; spent a morning behind the scenes at a true French bakery; visited a factory where calissons, the distinctive ground almond and dried cantaloupe candy of Aix, are made; toured the workshop where Santons, the clay figures which decorate every Provençal house at Christmas are molded, fired, and hand painted; celebrated a Provençal Christmas Eve, with its 13 desserts; ate our fill of foie gras; developed an appreciation for A display of Santons (special hand painted figures) the Rosés de Provence, light, dry, totally delightful wines, which, of course, one cannot buy in Pennsylvania; toured the immediate environs of Aix in a restored Deux Chevaux; and fell in love with a city with a 2000-year history, a vibrant young population, the largest university (founded 1409) in the French-speaking world, and the magnificent Romanesque and Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur. Our jaunts out of town were usually accompanied by Laura Legeay, Road Scholar’s representative in Aix, or by Delphine Segret, an independent tour guide. Both were extremely knowledgeable and flexible and added a lot to our understanding of the history and the customs of Provence. After six weeks, we felt like true Aixois, and many of us are planning to do it again next year. Independent living and learning in one city for six weeks is, of course, not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes a certain amount of courage to make the leap, a willingness to spend a lot of time outside one’s comfort zone, a desire to expand one’s knowledge, and more than a modicum of confidence to become self-sufficient in a foreign environment. Our group was the first for this program in Aix as it is a new Road Scholar program. Similar six-week programs are held in Paris, Berlin (for German), Florence (for Italian), and Seville (for Spanish). Plans are being made to add more cities, including Bordeaux and Lyon in France. And, for those A Sunday craft market at Le Cours Mirabeau who don’t have six weeks to spend, Road Scholar has about 6500 programs in both the U.S. and abroad, covering hundreds of topics designed for empty nesters who want to broaden their horizons or pick up a new Statue of Paul Cézanne, the Aixois painter skill. Check them out at n 18


Fall 2016

Representative John A. Maher 711 Summerfield Commons 2547 Washington Road Pittsburgh, PA 15241 412-831-8080

Rx for Unused Prescription Drugs

“Where Custom Homes are a Family Tradition”

John A. Maher, R-Upper St. Clair

Prescription drugs can be medical miracles. But what do you do with medications that wind up as leftovers? Pennsylvania law has allowed us very few options to this point. Consequently, unused prescription drugs tend to stack up in our medicine cabinets or get flushed away. Neither is a good choice. We trust pharmacists to dispense prescriptions but, until now, those very same pharmacists have been prohibited from taking back any leftovers for safe destruction. I believe that disposing of leftover drugs should be as easy as picking up a prescription and I have authored legislation to bring this common sense to our state. Medications that were legally prescribed but linger unused in our homes can become an invitation to abuse if they end up in the wrong hands. Upper St. Clair School Superintendent Dr. Patrick O’Toole reports that, “Prescription drugs from a home have been brought to school by children who either live in the home or have visited the home. This obviously creates a dangerous circumstance for all children in the schools.” Opioids have captured our nation’s attention amid reports of increasing numbers of people becoming addicted to or dying from abuse of the drugs. Too often, the path to these terrible problems started with unused prescriptions. How much medication goes unused? On April 30, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted its National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, netting a record 893,498 pounds of unused pharmaceuticals nationwide. About 44,000 pounds of the drugs were collected in Pennsylvania, including 12,675 pounds in the Pittsburgh area alone—six tons of leftover drugs collected in the Pittsburgh area in a single day! The drugs collected, however, amount to just a small fraction of unused drugs. Most people are discouraged by the inconvenience of traveling to a downtown destination on a specific date just twice a year. (The next DEA collection will be sometime this fall, but the DEA had not yet set the date at the time of this article.) To overcome the obstacle of inconvenience and allow our neighbors to dispose of drugs as soon as they become surplus, Upper St. Clair’s Police Department welcomes residents to drop off unused prescriptions at the police department. The police then deliver the collected drugs to the DEA for safe destruction on the DEA destruction date. I applaud the USC Police for helping to make drug disposal readily available to all residents. Not all police departments have followed USC’s lead. Even if they did, heading to the police is not the first thing most folks think about when looking at leftover drugs in their medicine cabinets. Most folks think of their pharmacist. Every pharmacist will tell you that they have had to turn away patients and others who attempt to return unused prescriptions from where they’ve come. My legislation would allow every pharmacist to conduct drug take-back programs every day to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. “Drug take-back programs are wonderful,” said Chief Douglas Burkholder of the Upper St. Clair Police Department, “They work, and they work well! I thoroughly support the program.” Beyond the obvious concerns about abuse, unused prescription drugs are creeping into our water supply. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2015, nearly four billion prescriptions were filled in the United States. It is estimated that as much as one third of dispensed medication goes unused and is subsequently dumped into the trash or flushed down the toilet. Sewage systems are not designed to detect or eliminate contamination from unwanted drugs. Trace amounts of antidepressants, hormone replacement drugs, opioids, amphetamines, and antibiotics creep into drinking water (which is good for no one) and can adversely impact aquatic life in our rivers and streams. My legislation received unanimous approval this spring in the House of Representatives and vocal support from Governor Tom Wolf. With Senate action, safe disposal of pharmaceutical drugs will be as close as any pharmacy, hospital, long-term care facility, or hospice. n

Pennsylvania Representative John Maher is also chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Fall 2016

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Yesterday’s Lessons for Today’s Coaches Jay Lynch

Upper St. Clair High School teachers and administrators have developed a school that’s ranked in the top two percent in the country, while coaches have produced winning teams and worldclass athletes. So, what could today’s coaches possibly learn from events that took place in the 1970s? Maybe nothing. But, perhaps yesterday’s lessons can help them avoid some painful pitfalls. Beware of players who take your words literally. When I attended USCHS—1968 to 1971—summer breaks included unofficial basketball practices, which were “pick up” games in the main gym. The games included coaches, who taught us the game, as they played alongside us. Games were sometimes stopped when a coach/player wanted to make a point. During one of these games I was playing the point guard position and the JV coach, Mr. Fusetti, was one of the players on my team. As the “quarterback” of the team, my job was to force the action and distribute the ball to team members who were in position to make good plays, or score. Coach Fusetti was doing a pretty good job of moving without the ball and getting open, but my focus was on getting the ball to teammates who were also friends and classmates. His temper got the best of him, as he wasn’t getting the ball. He stopped the game, ran from the baseline to the top of the key, grabbed me by the arm, and said, “Lynch, I’ve been open the whole game. Throw me the damn ball!” I was surprised by his anger Coach Fusetti and seemingly self-centered message. So, the next time I brought the ball down the court, I ignored all the other players and kept a sharp eye on Coach Fusetti. He made a nice jab-step toward the base line and shook his defending player. But I didn’t wait for him to complete his move and turn toward me. I threw the ball early. Very early. He expected to see the ball, but didn’t expect it to hit him squarely in the face. His glasses went flying. After a moment of stunned silence, he came after me. Coach Fusetti was bigger and stronger, but I was faster, and I knew he had very poor eyesight without his glasses. He chased me around the gym twice, and then I ran into and through the men’s locker room, where I used a Three Stooges technique of throwing towels, gym bags, and folding chairs behind me as I ran through the room. I could hear him crashing into the chairs and cursing as he chased me. I ran out the locker room door, through the cheerleaders practicing in the gym foyer, out the school doors, and up the hill into the parking lot. Coach Fusetti ran out of gas midway up the hill, shook his fist, and headed back to the gym. Since I had driven my mom’s ’69 Mustang to the gym, I could have driven home and the event would have been over, except the keys were in the locker room. So, I decided to wait until Coach Fusetti left the gym at the end of the unofficial practice. I didn’t want to hide in the parking lot for an hour, so, I walked through the meadow and woods that are now the Westminster Manor neighborhood, and across Route 19 to my girlfriend’s house on Brookside Boulevard. I knew she wasn’t at home, as she was at 20


Fall 2016

cheerleading practice at the gym, but her mother was a delightful person and nearly always tolerant of my behavior. True to form, Mrs. Montgomery served me a glass of lemonade. We sat on her porch and chatted about the events of the day, like Apollo 13, Kent State, Nixon’s secret invasion of Cambodia, the break-up of the Beatles, and the deaths of Hendrix and Joplin. She never asked why I was covered with sweat and wearing only white gym shorts, tube socks, and a pair of Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers. (I was shirtless, as our team had been “skins” in the fateful game). When Marty came home, the questions began: “Why did you run through the cheerleaders like a bull in a china shop, and why was Coach Fusetti chasing you?” I had to fess up. I explained that I had knocked the JV coach’s glasses off with an intentionally premature pass. Marty was less tolerant than her mother, and reminded me that Coach Fusetti would help decide who made the varsity team. She insisted that I apologize immediately. She drove me back to the gym, where I hesitantly sought out Coach Fusetti. Luckily, he had calmed down, and his black, horn-rimmed glasses had been repaired with white athletic tape. I approached him and started to apologize. He stopped me and said he had been out of line in demanding a pass and probably deserved what he got. He explained that his behavior was exactly the opposite of the teamwork commitment he was trying to teach us. I was stunned by his humility and delighted that my smart-aleck, career-ending move resulted in an apology from the coach! Keep a safe distance from teens wielding clubs. Mike Sheleheda was a long-time USC baseball coach and the District’s well-respected athletic director for many years. I had the good fortune to be a player on his first varsity baseball teams in 1971. I was co-captain of the team (by seniority, not skill), so Coach Sheleheda entrusted me with a few team leadership activities, like leading calisthenics, which Mike Sheleheda former USCHS Athletic Director and coach weren’t very rigorous for baseball players in the era of Boog Powell—five jumping jacks, a pushup or two, and lots of stretching. He also let me hit ground balls to infielders during practice. The protocol was straightforward. I stood at home plate with a bucket of balls and hit grounders in rapid succession. Coach Sheleheda stood beside me, received balls from the first baseman, and tossed them into the bucket while barking constructive criticism at the players, along with occasional moans of exasperation. During a Baker Field practice, Coach Sheleheda bent over to retrieve an errant ball that had rolled behind me. I didn’t see him. I pulled my bat back forcefully to start a swing and hit him squarely in the mouth. It knocked him backward and to the ground, and we could see that there was real damage. His tooth was partially missing and his lip was a mess. One of the other coaches drove him to St. Clair Hospital where a few stitches helped stop the bleeding. His dentist gave him a gold replacement for his broken incisor. Cont. on page 22

RONALD A. ARNONI, DISTRICT JUDGE District Court 05-2-20 Office: 412-835-1661; Fax: 412-835-4060 5100 West Library Avenue, Bethel Park, PA 15102

Judge Arnoni Discusses Terrorism

Belgium, Paris, San Bernadino—all beautiful places with an unfortunate commonality, terrorist attacks. Terrorism is in the forefront of every presidential political campaign. It is the subject of newspaper articles and broadcast journalism on a daily basis. Sadly, we live in a dangerous world, one that requires our vigilance. The threat to our security occurs much too often and recent incidents are uncomfortably close. In December, a man was arrested in Harrisburg for spreading propaganda and advocating violence in the U.S. for a terrorist group via social media. When arrested, he had weapons in his possession. FBI agents continually troll social media looking for potential threats. But it is impossible to be everywhere. Therefore, be vigilant online. If you see something suspicious, contact the police or the local FBI. In January, a police officer was shot

while sitting in his patrol car in West Philadelphia. Luckily, Officer Hartnett survived. The brazen shooter, Edward Archer of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, was captured and confessed to police that he targeted the officer because the police enforce policies objectionable to the Quran. He pledged his allegiance to ISIS. It is becoming increasingly clear that the biggest threat to domestic security in the U.S. is most likely not from outside our borders, but from within. If a neighbor or co-worker appears to have changed and adopted anti U.S. sentiments or has made threatening comments, bring it to the attention of local authorities. Terrorist attacks are often thwarted by the FBI and other government agencies. However, law enforcement, whose job it is to protect us, can only do so much. We need to be situationally aware of our

Fall 2016

surroundings, especially in high profile places or where large numbers of people gather, including sporting events, festivals and celebrations, government buildings, military facilities, bus or train stations, and airports. Be smart and stay off your smart phones in high profile and crowded places. You cannot be alert if you are preoccupied. Ordinary citizens can prevent and have prevented past terrorist attacks. The underwear bomber as well as the shoe bomber were both identified and subdued by fellow passengers. The smoking bomb left by a terrorist in Times Square was spotted by a vendor working in the area and reported to police. If you “see something, say something” is good advice that we should all follow. If you observe anything suspicious such as an abandoned vehicle, a package left in a public space, a person who looks out of place in a workplace, school, or business, don’t be afraid to get involved or second guess your suspicions. Report it! An alert community can act as a deterrent to terrorism and can help people feel more in control of their lives, especially when they partner with law enforcement. n



Yesterday’s Lessons Cont. from page 20

USCHS 1970 baseball team, including Coach Mike Sheleheda (back row, second from left) and players Dave Bunnel (back row, third from left) and Jay Lynch (middle row, third from left)

Twenty years after the event, I was on the seventh tee at Lindenwood, a short par three. The group ahead of us was walking off the green, when one golfer stopped, walked back to the flag, and yelled, “Go ahead, Lynch. I betcha can’t hit it again!” He smiled broadly and clutched the flagpole. I was too far away from him to recognize his face, so we hit our tee shots and proceeded to the green. As I got closer, I could see the fellow was Coach Sheleheda, and he was pointing to his gold tooth. We had a very entertaining conversation, which ended with some advice he gave to my fellow golfers: “Never stand behind Lynch when he’s got a club in his hand.” Direct language can confuse players. Before Coach Sheleheda took the reins of the USCHS baseball team, Coach Hartwell was in charge. Beloved by his students and players as a dedicated teacher and inspirational coach, he also had an entertaining fondness for direct language and quirky observations. He never sugar-coated his messages to players. Dave Bunnel, one Dave Bunnel of my teammates, described the first day of spring practice in 1969. Dave was standing outside the gym doors, waiting for Coach Hartwell to welcome the players. But instead of a happy message about the upcoming season, Coach Hartwell silently looked over each player like a boot-camp drill instructor. When he got to Dave, he broke his silence, and said, “Did I give you a varsity letter last year?” Dave said, “No.” Coach Hartwell then said, with a little smile, “That’s right. You didn’t deserve one!” During the upcoming season, Dave not only proved that he deserved a letter, he won the MVP title his senior year. We’ll never know if it was Hartwell’s directness, or smile, that motivated Dave to achieve USC sports fame. One of Coach Hartwell’s most refreshingly insensitive observations was the result of an unfortunate event. In a game, Dave was batting against a flame-throwing pitcher from Chartiers Valley who lost control of a fastball and hit Dave in the face, knocking him briefly unconscious and to the ground. When Dave opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was Coach Hartwell bent over him. In his typically direct manner, Coach Hartwell asked, “Has your nose always looked like that?” You’d think a concerned coach would offer some reassuring words, like, “You’ll be OK, Dave. Just stay down and relax. 22


Fall 2016

You’ll feel better in a minute.” Instead, Coach Hartwell posed a question—“Yikes, did your nose always look like that?”—that was either alarming or delightfully esoteric and unanswerable. Since Dave didn’t have a mirror, he had no idea what his post-fastball nose looked like and had no way to compare it to how it normally looked. So, he couldn’t answer the coach’s question. Coach Hartwell had coined a Yogi Berra-ism, and a funny one, at that! Wear protection at all times, even when around nine-year-olds. I was on the receiving end of unintentional player-induced pain when I was the manager of a little league team for the Upper St. Clair Athletic Association in 2001. Most little league managers like to coach first or third base, which allows them to teach base running. Since I was blessed with helpful dads (and moms) who wanted to coach the bases, I managed and kept score from my favorite spot­—leaning against the outside corner of the dugout at Municipal Field (now Founder’s Field), adjacent to the front post of the backstop. From this position, I could see the field clearly and could help batters when needed. However, I wasn’t aware that my desire to be close to the field presented a danger. The corner of the dugout is in line with home plate and unprotected by the backstop. This left me exposed to foul balls hit off the end of a left-hander’s bat. You can guess what happened. Little Nate McCormick, one of my best batters, swung very late on a fastball. I wasn’t paying attention. The foul ball was a sharply hit line drive. It struck me directly in an area that made my vasectomy unnecessary. I dropped my scorebook, doubled over, and fell to the ground. Men winced and groaned. Women giggled. The teenage umpire helped me off the ground and laid me down on the dugout bench. My players knew what was up, but graciously didn’t start teasing me until I could talk. The pain lasted longer than I could imagine, and my thoughts went back to Mr. Fusetti. Forty years overdue, Nate McCormick unwittingly delivered the punishment I never received.

USCAA 2001 little league baseball team “The Donkeys,” including Nate McCormick (front row, far right)

Congratulations to all the coaches and players who make USC a great place to enjoy athletics! I hope they find these historical tidbits valuable. n Names of certain individuals represented in the story were changed to respect their privacy. Jay Lynch, Class of 1971 and a USC resident, welcomes your feedback at


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Fall 2016



You Win Some, You Louvre Some Mandy Seiner

I stretched my arm out like a crosswalk guard halting traffic, palm flat and fingers pointing toward the ceiling. The painting disappeared behind my hand, but the crowd didn’t. An elderly man standing next to me but looking in the opposite direction whispered “The Last Supper?” I wheeled around to face artwork that was definitely not The Last Supper, but could have been, for all its glory. The image was enormous, stretching from floor to ceiling and end to end of the gallery. But barring

the old man, no one was looking at it. All of the patrons inched their way toward the front of the mob on the other side of the room, craning to catch a glimpse of Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile. The road to the Mona Lisa was longer than expected. After standing in the rain for an hour while waiting to go through pre-Louvre security and being thoroughly patted down, my friend, Gil, jokingly suggested that we try to slip inside the museum without tickets. Julia, another friend, and I were shocked by this suggestion and wanted to pay, but decided to humor him before doing so. We made our way past a policeman looking at his phone and raced up the escalator to the second floor. Constantly looking over our shoulders, we speed-walked toward the hallway on our right. Distracted by our own paranoia, we bumped into a counter that read “Ticket Checkpoint.” “Les billets, s’il vous plait?’ “Oh, uh, sorry,” I stammered, hands trembling. “I don’t have one—we don’t, Protected by bullet-proof glass and guards, left center of uh, have any.” this photo is the Mona Lisa

Standing in line outside the Louvre

“Ah, students!” The woman at the counter smiled. “May I see ID?” We all exchanged confused looks and pulled out our wallets. She examined each of our driver’s licenses before waving us through. “I do love Friday nights,” she said, “when all the students come for free.” With a new spring in our step, we strutted toward the beginning of the galleries, laughing about our ignorance. We set out to find the Mona Lisa, following signs placed throughout the museum that showed a black and white photo of the piece and an arrow in the direction we were to continue in to find it. While initially energetic, we quickly lost steam. Every Cont. on page 94

Forgiveness Versus Revenge Jim Meston

Have you ever been unfairly treated at times in your life? Of course I don’t know your response, but I do know that there were various incidents in my life, and you’d be a rare individual if you haven’t had some unfair treatment in yours. In every occasion, my gut reaction was how to retaliate against the person who treated me unfairly. Revenge was a common emotion, but I never took any retaliatory action. In my case, these unfair instances were not ongoing or insurmountable, just painful lessons where some people didn’t keep their promises or misinterpreted something I had said. There are numerous people who are treated unfairly on a regular basis because of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their religious preferences, or any number of other bigoted reasons. Living your life under theses circumstances is different, and all too often is the ongoing cause of violence as a reprisal. Other Options Another choice as an alternative to carrying a grudge is to forget about it or forgive the person who treated you unfairly or took some action that offended you and your values. While the urge for revenge is a powerful feeling, forgiving an offender is frequently difficult. But once you can forgive and move on, you can release that negative feeling and mental burden. In some workshops that I used to conduct, we had an exercise known as “worst first.” I’d list five or six statements such as “lose 24


Fall 2016

your best friend,” “lose all your money,” “be sentenced to prison for life for a crime you did not commit,” and two or three others. Each person would then be asked to prioritize the statements, Jim Meston ranking them and placing the worst first. With limited exceptions, the statement that was mostly ranked as being the worst was to be sentenced to prison for life for a crime you did not commit. The “worst first” list generated great discussion. Often, we read stories involving a young driver under the influence of alcohol who gets in a motor vehicle accident and unintentionally kills another young person, perhaps a passenger. The pain experienced by the parents of the deceased seems unbearable, and yet often they offer their forgiveness to the driver. That’s quite an expression of compassion for the pain the perpetrator is experiencing. The ability to forgive appears to be linked to the compassion the forgiver has for the person who made the poor decisions that led to the offense. It’s a rare person who doesn’t make an occasional bad decision that leads to hurting others in a variety of ways. Many Strong Feelings Affect Forgiveness If you’ve been on the receiving end of discrimination, it might be difficult for you to forgive. Forgiveness requires a great deal of

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FALL FAMILY MATINEES October 30 thru November 26th 724-745-6300

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Your Satisfaction is My Goal! courage and intelligence to understand that it’s not your fault. In reality, the discriminator is projecting bad feelings about himself onto others. Understanding this will make forgiveness easier. Evaluate those things for which you are holding a grudge and hoping for revenge, and then wipe them off your slate and convert them to acts of forgiveness. The flip side of forgiveness is when we have done something that has offended others or caused them harm. We can easily balm our conscience by saying they deserved the treatment, but usually we would just be trying to relieve the feelings of guilt for our actions. It’s not uncommon that these mean or harmful treatments of others have caused once close relationships to end. It happens in families and with close friends. Taking responsibility for our actions isn’t always easy, but apologizing to those who are offended may restore the relationship or, at least, clear the conscience of the one perpetrating the offense. And yet, there may be those who have offended you and they have no intention of changing their offensive actions. Once again, revenge or retaliation is tempting, but would probably just worsen the situation. Whenever possible, do your best to avoid this person. Sometimes nothing works and you have your cross to bear. Actions of revenge can only cause further problems. It’s not worth it. Be nice to everyone; not because everyone is nice, but because you are. n To read Jim’s blogs on a variety of subjects, visit

Diane Horvath, GRI, CRS

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Office: 412-833-3600 ext. 219 Cell: 412-491-6984 Howard Hanna–USC Office 180 Fort Couch Road Pittsburgh, PA 15241

Fall 2016



T Township Commissioners

2016 Township of Upper St. Clair Meeting Dates

Mark D. Christie

Rex A. Waller

Nicholas J. Seitanakis

Robert W. Orchowski

Day 412-831-9000 2017*

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-854-5065 2017*

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-220-4434 2019*

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-854-1868 2019*

President Ward 4

Vice President Ward 2

Ward 1

Ward 3

Ronald J. Pardini

Russell R. Del Re

Daniel R. Paoly

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 724-941-1199 2019*

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-287-9076 2019*

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-862-5995 2017*

Ward 5


• The Board of Commissioners meets at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building. The regular public meeting is held the first Monday of the month in the Board Meeting Room. The informational and general affairs meeting is held the last Monday of the month in the Board Meeting Room. • The Planning Commission meets the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. • The Parks and Recreation Board meets at the C&RC the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m., no meeting in December. • The Zoning Hearing Board meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 8 p.m. • The Civil Service Board meets as needed. • The Building/Fire Codes Appeals and Advisory Board meets as needed. • The Library Board meets as needed.


*Date indicates expiration of term.

All business regarding the operation of the Township is conducted at the regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners. Citizens are invited to comment on any Township matter. Complete Board minutes can be found at the Upper St. Clair Township Library or on the website at For more information, call 412-831-9000.

Township Administration

Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager

Mark S. Mansfield Asst. Township Manager & Director of Administration

Douglas Burkholder Chief of Police

Mark P. Romito Director of Finance

Adam A. Benigni Director of Planning & Community Development

Amy Sommer Director of Information Technology

To reach Township personnel, call 412-831-9000 and follow the automated directions. Administrator Extension Matthew R. Serakowski........................................................216 Township Manager Mark S. Mansfield.................................................................219 Asst. Township Manager & Director of Administration Douglas Burkholder..............................................................238 Chief of Police Mark P. Romito......................................................................218 Director of Finance Adam A. Benigni....................................................................501 Director of Planning & Community Development Amy Sommer Director of Information Technology George Kostelich, Jr...............................................................271 Director of Public Works Helen M. Palascak.................................................................247 Director of Library Paul Besterman......................................................................656 Director of Recreation & Leisure Services Other Services Police–Administration............................................ 412-833-1113 Tri-Community South EMS–Administration........ 412-831-3710 USC Volunteer Fire Department–Administration.... 412-835-0660 Animal Control..................................................... 412-833-7500 Community & Recreation Center....................... 412-221-1099 Cable 7................................................................... 412-831-1030 Emergency–Police, Fire, EMS ............................. 412-833-7500

George Kostelich, Jr. Director of Public Works


Helen M. Palascak Director of Library


Paul Besterman Director of Recreation & Leisure Services

Fall 2016

USC Township website:


Highlights of the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings March 7, 2016

May 2, 2016

Approximately 7 people attended.

Approximately 82 people attended.

The Board • Adopted Bill No. 4-16 to amend Chapter 57 of the Code of the Township entitled “Fees.” Approval of Contracts 2016 Street Improvement Program • Russell Standard Corporation Mars, PA.............................................................$42,000 2016 Street Crack Sealing • El Grande Industries, Inc. Monessen, PA...........................................$1,527,574.85 2016 Annual Street Resurfacing w/Alternate Public Works Equipment • E. H. Griffith, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA One (1) Toro 4500D Groundsmaster Mower.................................$62,322.87 One (1) Toro 5910 Groundsmaster Tier 4 Final Mower.....................................$104,471.18 Total Contract...................................... $166,794.05 Tri-Community South EMS Emergency Vehicles • Pfund Superior Sales Lower Burrell, PA Three (3) 2016 Ford E-450 Wheeled Coach Type III Ambulances @ $158,312 each.........................$474,936 Three (3) Power Load Systems Installed @ $22,870 each...................................$68,610 Less Wheeled Coach Discount (3 @ $6,000 each)...........................................($18,000) Less Ford GPC Rebate (3 @ $4,800 each)......($14,400) Less Sale of Three (3) 2011 Ambulances........($86,000) Total Contract........................................... $425,146

Recognitions • Commissioner Robert Orchowski presented a Proclamation to James E. Sekela who served as a Planning Commissioner from August 1991 through March 2016.

June 6, 2016

Commissioner Robert Orchowski and James Sekela • Commissioner Ronald Pardini presented a Proclamation to Nora Helfrich, Director of Tri-Community South Emergency Medical Services proclaiming May 15–21, 2016, as “National Emergency Medical Services Week” in Upper St. Clair with the theme, “EMS STRONG: Called to Care.”

April 4, 2016

Approximately 3 people attended.

Recognition • Commissioner Daniel Paoly presented a Proclamation to Helen Palascak, Library Director, in recognition of National Library Week, April 10–16, 2016.

Commissioner Ronald Pardini with members of Tri-Community South EMS

Commissioner Daniel Paoly and library director Helen Palascak The Board • Adopted Resolution No. 1610 Re. Adoption of the 2015 Allegheny County Hazard Mitigation Plan. • Adopted Resolution No. 1611 Re. Extension of 2008 Bonds Liquidity Facility. • Adopted Resolution No. 1612 authorizing the disposal of Township records in accordance with the Municipal Records Retention and Disposition Schedule referenced in Chapter 11.7. of the Township Code. Approval of Contract • Stryker EMS Equipment Portage, MI Five (5) Model 6506 Power-Pro Ambulance Electronic Stretchers ($16,025.24 each).......$80,126.20

The Board • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC16-0002–Tuscany Pointe–Planned Residential Development–Tentative Approval to the Regular Board Meeting of June 6, 2016. • Adopted Resolution No. 1614 Re. Adoption of the 2016 Parks and Recreation Plan. • Adopted Resolution No. 1615 authorizing the Township to enter into a multi-year agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for Comprehensive Road Maintenance. • Approved the appointment of Kimberly J. Smith to Planning Commission, term expires 12/31/2017. Approval of Contracts • Folino Construction, Inc. Oakmont, PA Site Work, Electrical Work, Mechanical Work and Court Paving for Air Support Structures for Tennis Courts 5 & 6...................................$300,292 • Yeadon Fabric Domes, LLC Maplewood, MN Air Support Structures and Outer Membrane Tedlar Coating for Tennis Courts 5 & 6..........$229,000

• Commissioner Nicholas Seitanakis presented Certificates of Achievement to Coach David Schraven and members of the Upper St. Clair High School Girls’ and Boys’ Swim Teams for their achievements in several events at the 2016 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Championship and the 2016 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Championship: Ynrya Bohan, Lindsey Choate, Maeve Lersch, Abby Matheny, Maddie Yoos, Jack Fitzpatrick, Kevin Liu, Brandon Novak, and Braedon Wong.

Commissioner Nicholas Seitanakis with members of the USCHS boys’ and girls’ swim teams

Approximately 6 people attended.

Recognition • Commissioner Christie presented a Proclamation to Jonathan William Sommers, of Boy Scout Troup #4, recognizing his attainment of the Eagle Scout Award. The project involved 149 hours and 19 volunteers insulating, drywalling, and then painting unused coal fireplaces in eight classrooms at the Cornerstone Christian Preparatory Academy. He also organized a car wash to help fund the project. The Board • Approved the applicant’s request to table the public hearing Re. PLC16-0002–Tuscany Pointe–Planned Residential Development–Tentative Approval to the Regular Board meeting of July 5, 2016. • Tabled the Adoption of Resolution for Plan Revision for New Land Development (Planning Module) for PLC 16-0002–Tuscany Pointe–Planned Residential Development–Tentative Approval to the Regular Board meeting of July 5, 2016. • Adopted Resolution No. 1616 to establish August 1, 2016, as the public hearing date Re. PLC16-1301–Zoning Map Amendment for the rezoning of 1320 Mayview Road from C-1 Neighborhood Commercial District and R-LI Low Intensity Residential District to R-3 Medium Density Residential. • Approved the appointment of Lisa McMillan to the Youth Steering Committee (4-year term expires 6/30/2020). • Adopted Resolution No. 1617 Re. the Township’s acquisition of 108 Hays Road. Approval of Contracts • MacBracey Corporation Washington, PA USC Municipal Administration Renovations–Phase 4........................................$673,790 • Dagostino Electronic Services, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Municipal Administration Technological Upgrades...........................................................$194,400 • Don’s Glass & Mirror, Inc. Wexford, PA Library Sloped Glazing Renovations..................$ 83,175 • Merit Electric, Inc. Oakmont, PA Brush Run Pump Station–Generator Installation........................................................$211,700 • Tri-Stars Motors Blairsville, PA Two 2017 Ford F-550 Cab & Chassis for Public Works ($35,435 each)...........................$ 70,870 • Cargill, Inc. North Olmstead, OH Rock Salt/2016-2017 Winter Season............. $69.29/ton

All business regarding the operation of the Township is conducted at the regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners. Citizens are invited to comment on any Township matter. Complete Board minutes can be found at the Upper St. Clair Township Library or on the website at For more information, call 412-831-9000. Fall 2016




USC Community Day 2016 Rain and grey skies didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended Upper St. Clair’s 2016 Community Day! From the very colorful Run for Fun, a moving Armed Forces Day kick-off at USC Veterans Park, the parade, booths, and activities along McLaughlin Run Road to the main fire station and Gilfillan Farm on Route 19, it was a day dedicated to Peace, Love, and Panthers. The grand marshal for this year’s parade was USCHS assistant activities director Sheila Lloyd, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year. Check out the collage to see who was lucky enough to be captured by our photographer having fun!

Color Run for Fun AGE GROUP

MALE (race time)

FEMALE (race time)

8 & Under 9–11 12–14 15–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50 & Over

Jake Cimarolli (32:26.60) Anthony Denoon (22:35.70) Abelardo Sobarzo (19:14.32) CJ Hess (18:04.60) (event male winner) John Pacalo (22:54.80) Blake Olack (21:20.20) Dave Wehrle (22:16.70) Angel Coch (32:01.60)

Annabelle Kirk (29:55.40) Jillian Fishell (25:22.00) Anne Ferry (22:28.30) Savannah Shaw (22:28.00) (event female winner) No entries Melissa Eannarino (34:33.10) Ann Rhodes (25:21.60) Sharon Heilman (31:35.00)

To view complete race results, visit the TODAY website at and click on “Past Issues” in the upper left-hand area of the screen. Scroll down to the “Community Races” column on the right to find the link to “2016 Community Day Race Results.”

Thank You to Our Community Day Patrons Thank you to the following businesses and organizations that supported USC’s 2016 Community Day: The Almanac newspaper, ARAMARK, Ardolino’s, Bruegger’s, Colussy Chevrolet, Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, The Gateway Engineers, Giant Eagle, Lorenzato Automotive Service, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Petrinis Promos, Pittsburgh Fleet Feet Sports, Restorations Physical Therapy, Rex Glass & Mirror Co Inc., The Rooted Tree, Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park, South Hills Financial Group, Taylor Rental, Traffic Control Equipment & Supplies Co., USC High School Cheerleading Boosters, and Washington Wild Things. 28


Fall 2016





Flour, sugar, and lots of creativity made it a tough job for the judges of the annual Community Day Bakeoff, sponsored by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services. This year’s winners were: • Grand Prize/Best in Show: Marley Crochier • Most Original: 1st–Haley Beardsley, Marly Crochier, with her Best in Show bakeoff creation 2nd–Ally Fishell and rd Victoria Semenov, 3 –Zoe Soledrum • Favorite TV, Movie, or Book: 1st–Kody and Ella Haley, 2nd–Neeve McCormick, 3rd–Grace Kelly • Most Patriotic: 1st–Noor Einokali, 2nd–Cole Jooste, 3rd–Jimmy Ken and Mariah Rainer • Honorable Mention: Kelsey Leach

the Hottest Dog A little rain wasn’t going to cool down the “hottest dogs” in Upper St. Clair! This year’s winners were: Best Costume–Joy (Chihuahua/Terrier mix), handler Gigi Perella Best Trick–Luma (Havanese), handler Amy Sarkett Cutest Puppy–Max (Blue Heeler), handler Nikki Engle Best Tail Wag–Buddy (Golden Retriever), Joy handler Alyvia Baculik Owner/Dog Look Alike–Charlie (Golden Doodle), handler Bella Proceeds from the Hottest Dog contest, sponsored by Howard Hanna, benefit Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund.

Bike Winners Lauren Tanner and Eli Coffman were the 2016 Community Day bicycle winners. The bikes were donated by Target at South Hills Village.

Lauren Tanner with Officer Donovic (right) and Officer Cafaro (left)

Eli Coffman with Sergeant Sambolt (right) and Chief Burkholder (left)

Fall 2016





USC Named Banner Community

Mock Crash Demonstration

Upper St. Clair Township was recently named a 2016 Banner Community by the Allegheny League of Municipalities (ALOM), demonstrating a commitment to professional development, prudent fiscal management, and sound community engagement. The Township has been recognized each year since the program’s inception in 2013. n

Life happens, and so do car accidents. This past spring, the Upper St. Clair Police Department demonstrated to students at the high school how vehicular mishaps can happen to any of us at anytime due to distractions while driving, driving under the influence, or a myriad of other reasons. While we should always obey the laws of the road and conditions of the roadways, certain “don’ts” were stressed at the demonstration to help remind the students what not to do while behind the wheel: don’t text, don’t play your music too loud, don’t be on the phone, and never drink and drive. n

Upper St. Clair assistant township manager Mark Mansfield (left center) and Upper St. Clair Township administrative assistant Prudence Cooper (right center) accept the 2016 Banner Community Citation from County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. County Councilwoman Sue Means is also pictured.

Mock crash demonstration at USCHS

Upper St. Clair Citizens’ Police Academy Sign up now for the 2016 Citizens’ Police Academy beginning in October.

Upper St. Clair Police Department 2016 Citizens’ Police Academy Application Name: (last, first, middle)______________________________ Address:____________________________________________ Home Phone: _______________________________________ Cell Phone #:________________________________________ Employer and Phone Number:__________________________ Social Security Number:_______________________________ Date of Birth: _______________________________________ Email Address:______________________________________ Have you ever been arrested?__________________________ If yes, please explain:_________________________________ Signature:__________________________________________ The final decision on class participants is at the sole discretion of the Upper St. Clair Police Department.

Please mail or deliver to: Upper St. Clair Police Department • 1820 McLaughlin Run Road • Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 Emergency 412-833-7500 • Administration 412-833-1113

Upper St. Clair Citizens’ Police Academy

A free opportunity for people who live, work, or conduct business in Upper St. Clair The Upper St. Clair Police Department is hosting its 2016 Citizens’ Police Academy. Classes will be held seven consecutive Tuesday evenings, beginning October 4 and ending November 15, 7–9:30 p.m. The interactive academy classes are conducted at the USC Volunteer Fire Department on Route 19. There is no charge for the academy and it is open to adults of all ages. Why watch it when you can live it? Citizens’ Police Academy course objectives and overview: • An overview of the criminal justice system, local and global • Active shooter(s) and crisis management in the schools and workplace • Cyber crimes and identity theft issues and prevention • Firearms safety, the Castle Doctrine, use of force, and self-defense tactics • Patrol procedures, traffic stops, speed enforcement, and felony stops • Criminal case investigations, local ordinances, and vehicle code issues • Domestic crimes, custody disputes, and missing children • A night with the USC Fire Department and Tri-Community South EMS • The role of the District Attorney and the courts • The United States Constitution and citizens’ rights • Local crimes, current investigations, programs, and public issues

Mail or deliver the completed application found on this page to the Upper St. Clair Police Department, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241. Questions? Contact the Police Administration office, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. at 412-833-1113. 30


Fall 2016


USC Veterans Park












This Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, will mark the fifth anniversary of the USC Veterans Park. This beautiful park, which was designed and built to honor veterans of all branches of the military, stands along McLaughlin Run Road as a memorial to men and women in the area who have served our country. The large granite tablets remind and educate those who visit the park about the history of each branch of service. Upper St. Clair students use the park when studying the importance of the military during their social studies classes, and they learn honor and gratitude for those who have served. Plans are nearing completion for the final phase of the park, and at the November observance, a bronze statue will be dedicated. During a nationwide search for an artist for the project, Pittsburgh artist William Kofmehl was chosen for his design of a fifth grade child respectfully saluting the flag. Mr. Kofmehl will be present at the dedication to explain his inspiration and the meaning of the artwork. Donations are being accepted toward the completion of the park and may be made by contacting Vicki McKenna at 412-831-7125 or via email at Committee members who planned the park, including its final phase, are TJ McGarvey (president), William Babcock (vice-president), Harry Kunselman (secretary), Ched Mertz (treasurer), Vicki McKenna (fundraising), Barbara Bolas, Mark Christie, Russell Del Re, Scott Hawkins, Michael Mascaro, Karen McElhinny, Rachel Mertz, and Richard Thomas. n



Veterans Day Observance and Dedication

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412.401.6389 (c)

The Veterans Park Committee invites all citizens to attend the Veterans Day observance on Friday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m.

Youth Steering Committee The Youth Steering Committee of Upper St. Clair is a community action group, appointed jointly by the Township Board of Commissioners and Board of School Directors. Adult residents, student representatives, and liaisons from the appointing boards comprise the committee. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month (with the exception of July and August) at 7 p.m. at the Community & Recreation Center on Mayview Road. The committee offers programs of interest and information on timely topics throughout the year. Additionally, USC Cares for Kids—an initiative of the Youth Steering Committee—sponsors social events for the middle-school youth of Upper St. Clair with volunteer assistance from high school students, parents, and interested residents. n

Youth Steering Committee 2016 Spring Fling

For more information, contact Gary Seech, chairperson, Youth Steering Committee, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241. Fall 2016




USC Recreation and

Arts & Chocolate Spectacular Despite the unseasonably low temperatures and April (snow) showers, the Arts & Chocolate Spectacular experienced its best attendance ever! Local chocolatiers and bakeries spent the day sharing samples and selling their candies and desserts, while amateur performing artists entertained the crowd. Beyond the sea of sweet treats, families stopped by the student art gallery, visited the face painting station, and put their own artistic skills to the test in the craft tent. Children painted rocks for the C&RC rock garden, screen-printed souvenir t-shirts, and created masterpieces to take home, using a variety of art mediums.

All awards were “People’s Choice Awards” and voted on by event-goers. Congratulations to our winning vendors and artists! Winning vendors Best Dessert Presentation: Batter & Dough Best Chocolate Dessert: Life Is Sweet Bakery Cafe Best Chocolate Candy: Victoria’s Fudge-A-Licious Best Candy Presentation: My Favorite Sweet Shoppe Winning artists High School: Lizzie Lynch (USCHS) Intermediate/Middle School: Dylan Hartley (Cecil Intermediate) Elementary School: Ben Todd (Eisenhower Elementary)

Family-Friendly and Fun Events!

NFL Punt Pass & Kick (PPK) Sunday, September 11 PPK is a national skills competition for boys and girls ages six to 15 to compete in punting, passing, and placekicking. This program is free and open to all age appropriate USC and surrounding community residents. In case of inclement weather, a makeup date will be scheduled and communicated. To participate, pre-register online at Freaky Friday’s Two Events Friday, October 21 Celebrate Halloween at the C&RC with two fun events. Costume Parade No tricks, only treats for costumed children of all ages parading through the C&RC. Meet in the lobby of the C&RC by 10 a.m. Craft a treat bag and then parade through the building while collecting goodies along the way. Free for all participating children. Scary Swim Later that evening, bring the entire family for a night of frightfully good fun at the annual Scary Swim. The staff at the C&RC will transform the indoor pools into festive scenes appropriate for all ages. Spooky crafts will be available in the lobby. Contact the C&RC for more information.

Color Crawl—Halloween Edition Saturday, October 29 Little ghouls and big goblins alike will have a blast participating in this familyfriendly, non-competitive two-mile walk/run at the C&RC. Meet in the community rooms for packet pick up and check in. Make your way through a series of stations where you’ll be showered with vibrant colored powder. There might even be a few treats at the finish! 32


Fall 2016

Bounty at Boyce Mayview Park Fall Fest Saturday, November 5 Spend the day taking in the sights and sounds of Boyce Mayview Park to celebrate the splendor of fall. Kick off the fun with a visit to the indoor pool for the Plunge with the Pumpkins, submit your best baked goods into the baking contest, or sit back and relax while listening to live music playing throughout the day in the covered, heated event tent. Food trucks will be on hand serving up some favorites, and both indoor and outdoor activities will keep everyone in the family engaged and entertained. For more details, contact the C&RC beginning in October.


Leisure Services 412-221-1099

Senior Programs are Fun and Free at the C&RC Seniors at Leisure

Every Friday afternoon there’s something fun to do! The Seniors at Leisure program is free for older adults, both USC residents and surrounding community residents; no C&RC membership required. All activities are held at the C&RC unless otherwise noted. There are four activity rotations each month. T’ai Chi Practice T’ai Chi for health, balance, and mental fitness. This meditative exercise is characterized by slow circular and stretching movements and positions of bodily balance. First Friday of each month only Time: 12:15–1 p.m. Art Experience Professional Artist Rikki Walsh offers a hands-on art activity, including watercolors, pastels, sculpting, and more! Second Friday of each month Time: 1:30–3 p.m. Movie Matinees Join seniors from around the area to view old favorites and new releases on a big screen. A free pizza lunch and light refreshments are served. Third Friday of each month Time: 12:30–3 p.m. Game Day Cards? Mahjong? Jigsaw puzzles? Tripoley? Bridge? Grab your friends or make new ones and play the afternoon away. A different game is scheduled for each month. Forth Friday of each month Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Resources for Seniors

Gold Card

Offered by the USC School District to residents age 62 and older. Card admits holder to School District drama and musical performances, athletic events, and other events free of charge. Applications taken at School District reception desk at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road. ACCESS 65 PLUS is a sharedride transportation service program for senior citizens age 65 and older. Contact Chaz McCrommon, assistant community programs coordinator, at 412-221-1099, ext. 603, for information about this program and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Senior Citizen identification card for the Port Authority Transit (PAT) system.

Silver Card

Offered by USC Township to residents age 62 or older. Card admits holder to the Municipal three-hole golf course, outdoor tennis facilities, specified Community & Recreation Center programs, and other activities designated and sponsored by the Township of Upper St. Clair. Applications are available at the Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park.

For more information on any Older Adult programming, contact Chaz McCrommon, assistant community programs coordinator, at 412-221-1099, extension 603, or

Group Exercise Classes

Upper St. Clair seniors who sign up for a Silver Card through the Recreation Department are eligible to take the following group exercise classes for free at the C&RC: Water Walking Held in the C&RC indoor pool resistance channel, this class uses a variety of aerobic movements to push against the water’s natural resistance. Mondays, 9–9:30 a.m.; Thursdays, 6:30–7 p.m. Hydro Strength Class participants will focus on a total body strengthening routine using multiple pieces of water exercise equipment while in the C&RC indoor lap pool. Wednesdays, 10:30–11 a.m.; Thursdays, 10:45–11:15 a.m. Boomer Boot Camp This modified circuit class held in the C&RC gym will challenge participants’ cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength. Mondays, 12:30–1:30 p.m.; Thursdays, noon–1 p.m. Senior Fit Great for beginners, this class is designed to improve stamina, strength, range of motion, and flexibility in a fun, safe environment. Exercises are performed both seated and standing. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. T’ai Chi Combining Chinese martial art and meditative exercise, T’ai Chi uses methodically slow circular and stretching movements alternated with body balance positions. Fridays, 12:15–1 p.m. (This is also a once-a-month Seniors at Leisure activity.) Zumba Gold You’re sure to have a blast and get a great work out in this Latin dance-based aerobics class. Wednesdays, noon–1 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m.–noon Zumba Gold Sculpt Improve muscle strength, posture, coordination, and mobility by dancing to the golden oldies, Latin sizzlers, and the latest pop hits. Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:15–9:15 a.m.

Dates of Note

C&RC Annual Building Closure August 21–26 The indoor facility is closed for maintenance Sunday, August 21 through Friday, August 26. Contact the C&RC for outdoor pool availability. Outdoor Pool Last Day Monday, September 5 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (weather permitting) Blood Drive at the C&RC Wednesday, September 14 (tentative date; call the C&RC) Fall 2016



T Personal Growth: Self-Knowledge and Self-Awareness Helen Palascak, Library Director

One of the key missions of our library is to support life-long learning. The books and audiovisual materials in the collection span a wide spectrum of information needs, from pre-literacy skills development to adult education resources. Self-directed learning occurs when one takes the time to first learn and then practice. Research has shown that often what Helen Palascak is learned best is that which is remembered at least seven times. Using different modalities—reading, hearing, seeing, and doing—also helps with retention. To that end, programs at the library are selected to provide information in a different format. There has been strong interest in programs that help people to do things, as well as those that provide insight into current events. A few recent partners who shared their expertise with us included the Audubon Society, the Penn State Master Gardeners, the Frick Museum, the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh PostSusan Marquesen, Penn State Master Gardener Gazette columnists Gretchen McKay and David Shribman. The Express Yourself Writers Group, which meets twice a month, is also a great resource for aspiring writers. Recent programs helped attendees to reflect specifically on aspects of their lives that they may take for granted. In April, Certified Counselor Carmen Accetta discussed ways one can approach personal transformation in his talk on the “Second Half of Life: Knowing, Growing and Sowing.” The May Spring Tea brought author Mary Jo Sonntag who talked about how she traced the history of her ancestors through a collection of letters, and then wrote the book, Write, If You Live to Get There. Her new understanding of her family history changed her perception Carmen Accetta, certified counselor of her world and her place in it. If you have been reflecting on your life, how you are feeling, or what you want to know, there are many books in the library collection to support your journey in continuing personal growth and selfimprovement. And don’t forget to watch for announcements in UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, the local press, and the library’s website and Facebook page, for upcoming programs. Live well. Take advantage of all the resources your library offers. As educator Eric Butterworth says, “Don’t go through life, grow through life.” n

Offerings This Fall History Night Join in for this new monthly 90-minute interactive discussion series as we explore our roots the second Monday of each month, 7–8:30 p.m. The theme for the first three evenings is World War II. Come for one or come for all! Suggested books for further reading will be available. Join local USC history enthusiasts Glenn Flickinger and Scott Moore as they facilitate the evening discussions. Dates/Topics: Monday, September 12. The Road to Berlin, Part 1: The Prelude, presented by Glenn Flickinger Monday, October 10. The Road to Berlin, Part 2: D-Day, presented by Scott Moore Monday, November 14. The Road to Berlin, Part 3: The Battle of the Bulge, presented by Glenn Flickinger Birds of Prey, with Gabi Hughes, Environmental Educator from the Audubon Society Date: Thursday, September 1 Have you ever wanted to know more about that hawk flying overhead? Or why there might be owls right in your neighborhood? Explore the natural history of Pennsylvania’s raptors, including the importance of habitat and how our actions impact these fascinating creatures. Join Gabi and some live “avian ambassadors” of the feathered kind as we discover birds of prey! Children, with their parents, are invited to come to this hands-on interactive program.

Mary Jo Sonntag, local author Screech owl 34


Fall 2016


The Uniqueness of Pittsburgh, with Brian O’Neill, columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Date: Thursday, September 15 We all love Pittsburgh! O’Neill, author of The Paris of Appalachia, says he can “talk Pittsburgh all night.” Come and be entertained!

Drake’s latest book, Only Ever You, was heralded as an “adrenalinefueled thriller” by Publishers Weekly. Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series, set in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, and was recently nominated for her second Agatha Award. The fourth book in the Zoe Chambers series, With a Vengeance, came out in May. Cready is a winner of the RITA Award for romance. Every Time with a Highlander, the final book of her Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands trilogy, came out August 2. The authors will be selling and signing their books after the talk.

Brian O’Neill

Hazo Live Date: Monday, September 19 USC resident Sam Hazo, author of poetry, fiction, essays, and four plays, was Pennsylvania’s first State Poet from 1993 to 2003. From his first book to his newest poems, he explores the themes of mortality and love, passion and art, courage and grace—all in a style that is unmistakably his own. Dr. Hazo will discuss, and then autograph, his latest book, They Rule the World, published in August 2016. Zen Practice: An Introduction, with Head Priest Kotoku Ray Crivello from the Zen Center of Pittsburgh Date: Thursday, October 13 Finding a way, in the midst of a busy life, to practice meditation can help to enhance your sense of well-being. Hear about Zen Meditation and how to get started. Mary Robb Jackson: My Life in Broadcasting Date: Monday, October 17 Mary Robb Jackson, a 40-year veteran of local broadcasting, will share her perspectives on the broadcasting business and some of her personal experiences while working as a TV reporter. Writing Pittsburgh: A Panel Discussion with Acclaimed Novelists Rebecca Drake, Annette Dashofy, and Gwyn Cready Date: Thursday, October 27 Rebecca Drake, Annette Dashofy, and Gwyn Cready represent the suspense, mystery, and romance genres, respectively. Between them, they have written 17 novels, a number of which have been set in and around Pittsburgh. They’ll talk about getting published, what it’s like to use one’s hometown as a setting, writing about strong female protagonists, and their current releases.

Rebecca Drake

Annette Dashofy Gwyn Cready

Memorable Places and Recent Changes in Pittsburgh with Louise Sturgess from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Date/Time: Monday, November 7, 1–3 p.m. Cost: $2 per person. Advance registration with payment is required. This is a visual feast—including more than 255 images—showing memorable places in the Golden Triangle and in areas north, east, and south of Pittsburgh’s downtown that have undergone recent changes because of restorations, adaptive-use projects, and new construction. The interactive presentation draws on participants’ memories and knowledge of Pittsburgh and reveals how historic preservation efforts have helped create a city of great beauty and character. Enjoy a brown bag lunch. Aeolian Winds Back by popular demand. The Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh will entertain with lovely holiday music in December. Watch for details.

Aeolian Winds

All programs are in the Township library multipurpose room at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Fall 2016



T Kids & Teens

Summer Reading Donors 2016 Every summer, the library runs summer reading programs for kids and teens of all ages. The library staff is grateful to the businesses and organizations that support kids reading through their very generous donations. These donations help us keep kids reading through the summer. Many of these businesses and organizations have helped for many years. Thank you to all! Friends of the Upper St. Clair Library Allegheny County Dept. of Parks AMF Mt. Lebanon Lanes Applebee’s Ardolino’s Pizza Bravo! Cucina Italiana Bruster’s Ice Cream Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History Carnegie Science Center

Chick-fil-A Crust Cafe and Pizzeria Donut Connection Fired Up Pottery Heinz History Center Learning Express Pennsylvania Trolley Museum Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc. Phoenix Theatres Entertainment Pittsburgh Children’s Museum

Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium Primanti Bros. Rice Enterprises LLC (McDonald’s) Sincerely Yogurt Texas Roadhouse TGI Fridays Washington Wild Things

I WANT TO BE A FRIEND! ❑ Yes, I'd like to sign up today.

Please accept my tax deductible donation payable to Friends of the Library of USC. FRIEND

$10 per household + $____ (donation) = _____Total

GOOD FRIEND (entitles you to a Friends of the Library coffee mug)

$25 per household + $____ (donation) = _____Total Name: ______________________________________ _____________________ Date: __________________ Address: ____________________________________ ____________________________________________ Phone: ______________________________________ Email:_______________________________________

❑ Yes, call me for volunteer opportunities. 1820 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

USC Township Library Hours 412-835-5540 36


Monday–Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, 1–5 p.m. Outside book and video return available 24/7

Fall 2016

Closed summer Sundays through Labor Day Closed Monday, September 5 (Labor Day)

T Kids & Teens

Fall Classes and Special Events for Kids and Families Children and their families are invited to attend the library’s popular classes and events this fall. The library’s weekly classes for kids run for six weeks from Monday, September 26 through Friday, November 4. Registration for these popular classes begins Wednesday, September 14, in person at the library. For more information, visit the library’s website at library/library-home or visit the library in person to pick up a printed program guide. Babies & Toddlers Storytime Children ages 4 to 24 months with a grown-up Mondays or Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Twos & Threes Storytime Children ages 2 to 3 ½ years of age with a grown-up Tuesdays, 11 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. Preschool Storytime Children ages 3 ½, 4, or 5 years of age who are ready to spend a half-hour on their own Thursdays, 10 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. Math Mites Children ages 4 or 5 who are not in Kindergarten Wednesdays, 1:15 or 2:15 p.m.

Once-a-Month Offerings Family Storytime Families with children ages 2–7 years old Thursdays, date TBA, 7 p.m. Paws for Reading Kids in 1st–5th grades Thursdays, date TBA, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Craft Time at the Library Come to the library for craft time. Crafts to complete will be set up for the fall and winter holidays. Stop in during library hours for some creative fun. Celebrate Halloween Kids of all ages with a grown-up Monday, October 24–Monday, October 31, during library hours Celebrate Thanksgiving Kids of all ages with a grown-up Wednesday, November 16–Wednesday, November 23, during library hours Make a Holiday Ornament Kids of all ages with a grown-up Monday, December 12–Thursday, December 22, during library hours

Library Boot Camp Learn about all of the services the library offers. Bring your personal tablet devices to see how you can get free e-books, audio books, movies, and more. From databases to catalog searching, it’ll all be covered! Thursday, September 29, 6:30 p.m. Escape the Library Can you solve the riddles and puzzles to escape the library? Thursday, October 27, 7 p.m.

Save the Date Teen Readers’ Theater Rehearse and create sets for short fairy-tale skits that you’ll present to children in the library. Registration for this two-month program (December and January) begins Monday, November 28.

ds children,

Dear parents of special nee

gram ll be offering a monthly pro Beginning this fall, we wi ental autism and other developm designed for children with six. We’ll to ee ms are for kids ages thr disablilities. These progra ng in our s, and spend time socializi share books, songs, rhyme Storyroom. r storytime, y sitting through a regula ult fic dif s ha ld chi r you If ping this ll work for you. We are ho perhaps this storytime wi comfortable and en and their parents feel storytime will help childr g. safe in a storytime settin . A parent nday evenings at 6:30 p.m Mo on be ll wi es im ryt Sto help guide them end with their child and or caregiver is asked to att y ll Laurie Bush at the librar through the activities. Ca gram. pro s thi ut abo information (412-835-5540) for more

Library Explorers Kids in Kindergarten Tuesdays, 10 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. Book Trek Kids in 1st–4th grades Tuesdays, 4 p.m. Wednesdays, 4 p.m. End of Summer Reading Ice Cream Social Summer readers were entertained by singer-songwriter John Lobello. Thank you Friends of the Library of USC for making this special event possible! (Become a Friend today! See Friends form on page 36.)

Events for Tweens and Teens at the Library Kids in middle school and high school are invited to attend Teen Fun Nights each month at the Township library.

John Lobello

Your librarian, Deb Conn Fall 2016




CPR and First Aid—Not Just for Humans Dave Ickes, USC VFD

As firefighters, the volunteers at the USC VFD are continually training for a variety of emergencies. After attending a class offered through the fire service, I was interested in learning more about CPR and first aid for pets. I’ve always been a dog and cat person, and I wanted to know that if I was ever in a situation where an animal needed help, I could at least make an attempt to save its life. Firefighters are trained to save property and lives, so to me, it was natural that we should make an attempt to save all lives, pets included. At the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department, there were masks on the truck for animal CPR, but most of the men didn’t know what they were for. Following my training, I asked fire chief Steve Moore if I could put together a program

to show other firefighters what to do if we needed to perform CPR on an animal. The chief agreed, and we purchased a trainer dog so I could demonstrate the proper procedure and technique of pet CPR on a dog and cat. Most of our firefighters have now received pet CPR training that could possibly save the life of one of our four-legged friends. I am continuing my training by attending a class to be certified as an instructor, and I hope soon to offer this valuable training on pet CPR to the public. n

Firefighter Dave Ickes demonstrated pet CPR during this year’s USC Community Day.

Homeowners Can Help Improve Water Quality David Kutschbach, Superintendent of Projects

Storm water regulations associated with the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) are administered under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Program. An MS4 is any public entity, such as the Township of Upper St. Clair, which discharges storm water into waters of the United States. MS4s, suburban areas with populations of less than 100,000, are required to get a non-point discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit, which regulates storm water discharges. The Township of Upper St. Clair discharges storm water into Brush Run Watershed, which has EPA approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for sediment and phosphorous. The long-term goal is to reduce the amount of sediment and phosphorous carried into Brush Run. Fertilizer use, yard waste disposal (leaves and grass clippings), and pet waste contribute to impaired water quality. Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorous, are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. When it rains, lawn fertilizer can wash into nearby storm drains and streams. Below are behavioral changes that a homeowner can adopt to help improve water quality: • Do not use fertilizer to de-ice sidewalks and driveways. • Do not apply fertilizer within ten to 15 feet of a stream. • Spilled fertilizer easily finds its way down storm drains or into the ground and from there into the water supply. Sweep up spilled fertilizer and put it back in the bag rather than using a hose to wash it away. • Mow your lawn two to three inches in height. A good thick lawn filters pollutants. • Leaf litter and grass clippings were found to be a major source of phosphorous. Do not discard on a stream bank or in the water. Leave grass clippings on the lawn and grind leaves with your mower, or bag and dispose of them properly. • Re-seed bare spots and disturbed lawn areas to keep silt from washing into a stream. • Do not plant a vegetable or flower garden next to a stream bank. Allow for a grass buffer strip to filter silt before it leaches into the waterway. n 38


Fall 2016

For the past 12 years, The Outdoor Classroom has offered a wide variety of environmental education programs and activities to introduce children, students, and adults to the wonders of the natural world using the resources of Boyce Mayview Park. The programs have been praised by students and teachers; however, the Classroom has not been able to maintain sufficient funding to continue offering programs. As a result, The Outdoor Classroom’s board of directors reluctantly suspended operations effective June 2 and initiated the refund of payments for programs scheduled for June 2 and after. The board wishes to acknowledge the dedication and teaching excellence of the Classroom staff and the support of its many friends. The benefits delivered by more than a decade of environmental education programming stand as a testament to The Outdoor Classroom’s mission to connect the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania with their environment. Thank you for your past support. Sincerely, The Outdoor Classroom staff and board members Inquiries should be sent to The Outdoor Classroom, PO Box 12566, Pittsburgh, PA 15241

T Benefits of living at Providence Point

•Tax Advantages

No more property taxes and, under our LifeCare agreement, you may take a one-time medical expense deduction to offset capital gains.

•Quality Healthcare

With LifeCare, you are assured access to quality care.

•Financial Security •Asset Protection •Focus on Wellness •Goodbye to Home Maintenance


is the point in the road where preparation meets


For more than seven years, Providence Point has been recognized as Pittsburgh’s premier senior living community. Due to our success, we are now planning to expand. We invite you to learn more about our unparalleled amenities, outstanding value, and this exciting new opportunity to make Providence Point your home.

Call 412.489.3550

to learn more, to attend an event, or to schedule your personal tour.

Pittsburgh’s premier senior living community


Autumn Maintenance Tips

Glenn Prokopovitch, Community Development Autumn offers a wonderful opportunity to view the beauty of nature as the landscape changes colors with a nip in the air. The transition from summer to fall is also the time to get your home’s exterior ready for the winter months that lie ahead. Preemptive maintenance can save you money by averting deterioration, which leads to expensive future repairs. Here are a few ideas to help protect your home against the coming winter months. Walk around your home, shed, detached garage, or other outbuildings to check for blistering or peeling paint.

Autumn is the perfect time to get your home ready for winter.

Blistering or peeling paint indicates that the paint film has failed and is no longer providing a protective coating. Left uncorrected, your structural or decorative elements will deteriorate. Check your roof or have a qualified individual check it for safety’s sake. The roof of your home is very important; it protects everything under it, including you. Warning signs that your roof needs attention are buckled, cracked, or missing shingles. Inclement winter weather involving snow, ice, and wind, accompanied by vast temperature changes, tests the integrity of your roof. If your roof is not functioning properly, water damage can occur to wood, insulation, drywall, electrical, plumbing, and attic-based HVAC systems. Two additional important maintenance items to check are the gutters and downspouts. An obstructed roof drainage system creates the potential for water to back up,

creating leaks and wood rot issues. Additionally, an obstruction may cause water to flow over your gutter and pool around the foundation of your home, creating foundation issues. The best time to clean your gutters and downspouts is toward the end of fall, as most trees have shed all of their leaves. Late fall is also ideal for trimming back tree limbs that touch your home. This will help prevent moisture from dripping onto the roof, brick, siding, or windows and help prevent damage during times of high wind. Preparing your home for winter during the fall allows you to enjoy the crisp air of autumn and have peace of mind knowing you are keeping your home in peak condition. Another important benefit you will enjoy is contributing to a pleasant community appearance that adds value to your home and shows the pride you take in your neighborhood. n

USC’s Department of Community Development strives to be responsive to your questions and concerns. To report a potential violation by letter or in person, contact Community Development, located in the Township building at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, or call 412-831-9000. Photo by Glenn Prokopovitch. Fall 2016




Recycling Updates

Ron Sarrick, Buildings/Grounds & Sustainability Administrator

Community Day

Community Day has come and gone once again, and hopefully all who spent a few minutes at the recycling booth had their questions answered. Thanks to Colleen Miles and Debbi Yelich for their assistance. Debbi reaches out to residents on a daily basis from the Public Works Department. Her assistance with residents’ calls will usually provide a quick answer or solution to what may have seemed a burgeoning problem. Colleen’s rapport with the community is through the Children’s Library. She has worked with Public Works over the years on several civic activities related to recycling. Colleen’s willingness to help and her recycling knowledge have made her a great go-to person for Township functions like Community Day and Bounty at Boyce. Thanks to Waste Management for supplying some of the Community Day game prizes, reusable totes. Use the “USC Recycles” totes with pride; it’s better for the environment to reuse a tote than a one-time plastic bag!

Battery Recycling

USC Township is very active with both internal recycling as well as the Call 2 Recycle program for recycling rechargeable batteries. Call 2 Recycle is open to the community, and the drop-off place for the dead rechargeable batteries is in the lobby of the Township library. For 2015, approximately 160 pounds of rechargeable batteries were dropped off, a substantial increase in battery recycling for this rechargeable battery program. Internally, the Township recycled one-time alkaline batteries to the tune of 150 pounds during a 15-month period, from January 2015 through March 2016.

Document Destruction

The Township has performed its annual archive purge, resulting in the shredding of 144 boxes of paper documents. The paper is reused to provide recycled paper for making other paper-based products. In addition, the May drop-off collection yielded 1205 pounds of paper. Thanks to all who participate in the drop-off program. All the recycled paper will be put to a good use instead of going to a landfill!

Retire Old Glory

The Retire Old Glory program has been a great success locally, with over 1200 flags collected and more than 1160 retired since the start of the program. The bin at the C&RC has been a busy stop for those who have dropped off their old, frayed, worn, torn, and faded American flags. To view pictures of Troop 366 at the flag retirement ceremony, visit


Electronic recycling moved from the USC Municipal building parking lot to the Community and Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park (C&RC) this past April. The closing of some local e-cycling programs, which included electronic recyclers in the area, necessitated the move. Because of the decreased number of drop-off programs and the fact that USC’s e-cycling contractor does not collect in February, the March drop-off at the municipal building was so busy that within two hours of opening, our recycler requested we take no more items. Unable to control the traffic, it caused disruption to other programs at the Municipal building, which raised safety

Helpful Information from Tri-Community South John D’Angelo, TCS EMS

Zika Virus Facts

A good deal of misinformation about the Zika virus has been disseminated recently through both the Internet and mass communication outlets. The result of such disinformation is a combination of confusion and unfounded fears which can only be eliminated by a presentation of the facts. First, Zika is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The symptoms displayed by an infected person include a fever that is accompanied by a rash and joint pain. These symptoms, which usually last less than a week, are so mild that many people are unaware that they have been infected. Also, once infected, a person will be immune from further infection, no matter how many times he or she is bitten by an infected mosquito. The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda, and, since then, outbreaks have been confined primarily to areas in Africa, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. However, in May 2015, Zika cases were confirmed in Brazil. Since then, confirmed Zika cases have been found in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and, most recently, in the U.S. itself. Previously, the only reports of infection in this country concerned travelers returning from Zika-infected countries. 40


Fall 2016

The primary danger of the Zika virus is that it can be transmitted from a woman to her fetus during pregnancy. Such transmission can lead to the infant being born with microcephaly, a serious birth defect of the brain. Although the virus can be transmitted sexually from an infected male to his partner or partners, the greatest danger would be to the woman who is, or who may become, pregnant through such contact. Since pregnant women are at greatest risk from exposure to the Zika virus and since a vaccine has yet to be developed, pregnant women must protect themselves. The best and easiest means of protection is to avoid travel to areas where the Zika virus is present. However, if such travel cannot be avoided, the next best thing is to prevent mosquito bites with common sense approaches, such as wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, staying inside air-conditioned buildings, and using EPA-approved insect repellants. Finally, pregnant women who develop Zika-like symptoms should see a health care professional immediately. Members at Tri-Community South EMS recommend that pregnant women who are planning to travel in the near future should visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at to determine if the Zika virus is present in

issues because of the long lines of car traffic around the building. The Township apologizes for those of you who were turned away. The change in the e-cycling venue allows for an increased drop-off area and a means to have double line drop-off, if necessary. Using the additional space will help to take care of most future problems for Township e-cycling.

LED Lighting

Light emitting diodes, better known as LED, is the choice of light source for the future… and today for that matter! The Edison A19 bulb covered residential household needs for decades, as did the F40 T12 fluorescent bulb for offices and businesses. While several attempts to bridge the lighting gaps to LED were implemented, customers became more confused with new lighting choices. Compact Fluorescent Lamps, or CFLs, were the first residential “screw type” bulb that attempted to bump the Edison bulb out of standing. However, the bad rap about the mercury content made consumers doubt the safety of CFLs. (Did you know that those long fluorescent tubes that we’ve had in our game rooms, garages, and basements for all those years have mercury, as well?) There was the complaint that CFLs have a bit of a ramp up time to get to full light and the complaint that they needed to be recycled. However, these light sources do have a benefit both to the grid and to us. The truth of the matter is that the power generation industry has a mandatory power reduction number to which it must comply. That is why there have been many free CFL bulb give-aways to those who are willing to change. They have also created many incentives to save electricity. CFLs use less wattage, which means they also cost less to operate. Also, CFLs are no more hazardous than any other fluorescent bulb; however, these concerns can be easily brushed aside since LED has now adapted to home use.

that area. If it is, she should take the proper precautions to protect both herself and her unborn child.

What’s an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system becomes compromised and can no longer deliver effective, lifesustaining rhythms. These non-life sustaining rhythms (arrhythmias) are of two kinds: ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular tachycardia occurs when the bottom chambers of the heart are moving so quickly that blood cannot be expelled into the system. Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the lower chambers’ movements are so chaotic that, once again, blood cannot be pushed into the body’s circulatory system. In either case, if these arrhythmias are uncorrected, the result will be irreversible brain damage and death. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that can deliver an electric shock through a cardiac arrest victim’s chest into his or her heart. This shock, in turn, will stop the irregular, chaotic rhythm and allow the heart to resume a normal, life-sustaining rhythm. However, this shock must be delivered within minutes of the occurrence of the cardiac arrest because

LED has made its way to the consumer market because it uses less power and is more economical. “LED lamps have a lifespan and electrical efficiency which are several times greater than incandescent lamps, and they are significantly more efficient than fluorescent lamps, with some chips able to emit relatively high wattages. The LED lamp market is projected to grow more than 12-fold over the next decade, from $2 billion in the beginning of 2014 to $25 billion in 2023, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%.” * “Like incandescent lamps and unlike most fluorescent lamps (e.g., tubes and compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs), LEDs come to full brightness without need for a warm-up time; the life of fluorescent lighting is also reduced by frequent switching on and off. The initial cost of LED is usually higher.” * However, cost distributed over the life of the bulb makes them significantly less expensive. Some LED lamps are made to be a direct compatible drop-in replacement for incandescent or fluorescent lamps. “An LED lamp packaging may show the lumen output, power consumption in watts, color temperature in kelvins or description (e.g. ‘warm white’), operating temperature range, and sometimes the equivalent wattage of an incandescent lamp of similar luminous output.” * If you are in the market to replace a light fixture, consider LED, the technology where the industry is spending its dollars. There may be a bit of an increased upfront cost to purchase the fixture, but the decreased operational cost will pay off down the road. When I last checked with my power supplier rates, I learned that the price per kilowatt-hour will be increasing. Come to think of it, rarely, if ever, do they go to the PUC for a decrease in rates! n *Source information: LED Lamp. n.d.

the victim’s chance for survival drops about ten percent for every minute that treatment is delayed. An AED is extremely simple to use. Once the two adhesive pads are attached to the patient’s chest, a built-in computer will assess the heart rhythm, calculate whether a shock is needed, and will guide the user by both voice and visual prompts to deliver the shock if needed. Despite the ease of use, AED training is recommended for everyone. AED training is included as a part of every CPR course, so finding the training sites will be fairly easy. AEDs are found in most public places including schools, churches, libraries, government buildings, and airports. In addition, first responder vehicles such as police cars and fire company vehicles carry AEDs. Also, it is becoming more common to see AEDs in areas where large groups of people gather, including shopping malls, concert sites, and movie theaters. Finally, it is important to remember that CPR cannot be ignored when an AED is made available at the scene of a cardiac arrest. Both CPR and the AED are to be used together in such cases because each contributes to the overall effort. Good CPR will save organ tissue by circulating oxygen throughout the body. The AED, in turn, will re-establish a life-sustaining heart rhythm. Both are equally important facets of the life-saving effort. n Tri-Community South EMS offers CPR and AED training classes twice a month at its Progress Boulevard location. For more information or to register for a class, visit Fall 2016




Pinebridge Commons Pinebridge Commons ••••••••••••••••• Abacus Settlement Co.

Midway Financial Services

Cardinal Endocrinology Design Image Salon, Joe Ruffalo

Pediatric Alliance Pediatric Dentistry South

Emerick Financial Planning

Piccolina’s Restaurant

Emma’s Market & Deli, Inc.

Pgh. Stone & Waterscapes

Ethical Intruder

Pinebridge Commons

Peter Gialames & Associates

Questa Petroleum Co.

Interior Designs/Furnishings

Randal Agency, Allstate Ins.

by Mary Kay Chaffee

Richardson Family

Timothy Kerr, DMD &

Cindy Brophy, State Farm Ins.

724-942-4840 133 West Allegheny Road Imperial PA 15126


Our primary goal is to give your child positive memories that instill lifelong hygiene habits.

Suburban Dry Cleaners Travel Leaders, Kiernan Ent.

Melissa D. Michel, LPC

4000 Waterdam Plaza McMurray PA 15317

Beth Troy, DMD

Jimcor Associates, Inc. Romana Pautler Kerr, DMD


Eric J. Reitz DMD &

Jennings & Co., CPA

Larry E. Manalo, DMD

1580 McLaughlin Run Rd Pittsburgh PA 15241

Wininsky Law Offices Xcoal Energy Resources


McLaughlin Run Road at Lesnett Road Leasing Opportunity – Avison Young (412) 944-2138

Office hours are Monday through Friday. Evening appointments are available.

Larry E. Manalo, D.M.D. Complete General & Specialty Dental Care Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry Prosthodontic Specialist

You Are Here

In the heart of Upper St. Clair

Your smile is the greatest gift of all!

1580 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

412-221-2221 • 42


Fall 2016


Let us make you smile!

New seasonal menus focused on local & organic ingredients Al fresco dining Made from scratch sauces ~ dressings ~ soups

T imothy J. K err , D.M.D. R omana P autler K err , D.M.D.

KK 412-257-4250

For private events and catering, please contact Debbie.

1580 McLaughlin Run, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241


(Sign up for our email list and receive a free appetizer!)

Pinebridge Commons Suite 207

Chairside Whitening System

We’re on Facebook

Troy Orthodontics provides care for the communities of Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, and the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Dr. Beth Troy and Dr. Eric Reitz take the time to place and adjust braces on every patient, giving individualized attention in a caring environment.

Schedule your complimentary consultation today! • Orthodontic services for children and adults

Pinebridge Commons location: 1580 McLaughlin Run Road, Suite 200 Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 412-221-0392

• Individualized care in a friendly and patient-focused environment • Convenient appointment hours, including Saturday mornings • 24-hour emergency services • Most major insurance plans accepted

Bethel Park location: 2414 Lytle Road, Suite 100 Bethel Park, PA 15102 412-831-2188

Fall 2016



General Election—Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Polls Open 7 a.m.—8 p.m.

Monday, October 11, 2016, is Voter Registration Deadline Date. (Date subject to change pending Pennsylvania legislative action.)

If you have questions regarding the election, registration, or absentee ballots, please call the Allegheny County Elections Department at 412-350-4500 or visit The Township Library and the post office have voter registration forms. Check the Township website to verify the location of the polling place closer to the General Election date. Ward District Polling Place 1


Township Building, Library Multi-purpose Room, Ground Floor–McLaughlin Run Road



Baker Elementary School, Gymnasium–Morton Road



Fort Couch Middle School–Gymnasium Miranda Drive entrance



Fort Couch Middle School–Gymnasium Miranda Drive entrance



Fort Couch Middle School–Gymnasium Miranda Drive entrance



Westminster Presbyterian Church–Washington Road



Fort Couch Middle School–Gymnasium Miranda Drive entrance



Fort Couch Middle School–Gymnasium Miranda Drive entrance

Ward District Polling Place 3 1 Recreation Center–McLaughlin Run Road 3


St. Louise de Marillac Business Office (rear)–McMurray Road



Recreation Center–McLaughlin Run Road



Baker Elementary School, Gymnasium–Morton Road



Boyce Middle School, Gymnasium–Boyce Road



Boyce Middle School, Gymnasium–Boyce Road



Boyce Middle School, Gymnasium–Boyce Road



Wesley Spectrum Services, Gymnasium–Johnston Road



Wesley Spectrum Services, Gymnasium–Johnston Road



Boyce Middle School, Gymnasium–Boyce Road

Sanitary Sewer Backups AND your homeowner’s coverage The Township maintains over 158 miles of underground sewer lines. There is no way to predict when the next sanitary sewer backup will occur. And while only a handful of our residents experience a significant sanitary sewer backup each year, we know that when it does occur, it is a distressing situation. It can be even more devastating if a resident is not insured for losses—losses that can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars. Sewer Backup Insurance Homeowners can alleviate possible sewer-related damage expenses by contacting their property insurance provider to verify that they have sewer backup coverage. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not automatically include coverage for these occurrences. Given the potential for significant loss, it would be advisable for homeowners served by a public sewer system, particularly those with finished basements, to obtain some level of coverage. Lastly, if you experience a floor drain backup or otherwise suspect a sanitary sewer problem, contact the Township’s Public Works Department immediately at 412-831-9000, extension 271.



Fall 2016

2016 Trash-Recycling Holiday Collection Holiday Collection Date Labor Day............................... Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9 Thanksgiving.......................... Friday, November 25

2016 Fall Yard Debris/Leaf Waste Collection—Saturdays

Place your fall yard debris and leaf waste in compostable bags, then place the bags at curbside by 6 a.m. the morning of pick up. Collection will take place the following six Saturdays: October 22, 29; November 5, 12, 19; and December 3.

The Township of Upper St. Clair 1820 McLaughlin Run Road


The Township of Upper St. Clair became a Home Rule Community on January 1, 1976. As a Home Rule Community, the Township is governed by a locally drafted charter adopted by the voters of the Township. The Home Rule Charter provides for a Board of Commissioners comprising seven members. Two commissioners are elected at large by all voters of the Township and five are elected by ward. In a commissioner/manager form of government, the charter provides a clear distinction between policy-making functions and administrative functions. The Board of Commissioners is responsible for the policy-making functions.

Township Manager

Matthew R. Serakowski, Township Manager 412-831-9000, ext. 216 The Township Manager is appointed by the Board of Commissioners and is directly responsible and accountable to the Board. He serves as Chief Administrative Officer and is responsible for the administrative functions of the Township. The Township Manager and his designated representatives, including Assistant Township Manager Mark S. Mansfield, are responsible for directing and supervising the operation of all Township departments; preparing an annual budget and financial report; signing papers, contracts, obligations, and documents on behalf of the Township as required by law; preserving order in the Township; representing the Township to other governmental organizations and agencies; and providing staff assistance to the elected Board of Commissioners. The Township Manager oversees the activities of the following eight departments.

Department of Administration

Mark S. Mansfield, Assistant Township Manager and Director of Administration 412-831-9000, ext. 219 The Department of Administration is responsible for personnel administration, purchasing, labor relations and negotiations, public relations, community communications and cable television, office management, records maintenance and retrieval, in-service training programs, and coordination of grant applications.

Township Board of Commissioners Mark D. Christie, President, Ward 4 Rex A. Waller, Vice President, Ward 2 Russell R. Del Re, At Large Robert W. Orchowski, Ward 3 Daniel R. Paoly, At Large Ronald J. Pardini, Ward 5 Nicholas J. Seitanakis, Ward 1

Department of Planning and Community Development

Adam A. Benigni, Director of Planning and Community Development 412-831-9000, ext. 501 The goal of the Department of Planning and Community Development is to protect the property values and residential character of the Township. Development of the community is guided by the Township Comprehensive Plan, which is prepared every ten years, most recently in 2015. This department administers and enforces land use codes and issues permits for zoning, building, electrical, fire protection, driveways, sewers, alarms, grading, and street openings. Additionally, the staff provides assistance to the Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, and Building and Fire Codes Appeals and Advisory Board.

Department of Finance

Mark P. Romito, Director of Finance 412-831-9000, ext. 218 • Tax Office: 412-831-9000, ext. 226 The Department of Finance is responsible for all fiscal concerns of the Township, including budget preparation, expenditure control, financial reporting and projecting, insurance management, debit management, property and inventory control, purchasing, investment of funds, and operation of the Tax Office. The Township Tax Office collects taxes for both the Township and the School District. The Township budget is prepared each fall for the subsequent fiscal year, which runs from January 1 to December 31.

Department of Police

Douglas Burkholder, Chief of Police Emergency: 412-833-7500 Administration (non-emergency): 412-833-1113 The Police Department is responsible for ensuring public safety and for the enforcement of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the laws and ordinances of the Township. The 24-hour dispatch center coordinates all emergency services, including police, fire, and emergency medical services (ambulance). Additionally, the police department provides patrol squads dedicated to neighborhood and business patrols, vacation home checks, criminal investigation, a special investigation tactical team prepared for extraordinary crisis, and more. The Police Department also sponsors a Citizens’ Police Academy in the fall. See page 30 for the application. Continued on page 46

Municipal Building Fall 2016



R E S I D E N T I A L G U I D E — T O W N S H I P

Continued from page 45

Department of Information Technology

R E S I D E N T I A L G U I D E — T O W N S H I P

Amy Sommer, Director of Information Technology 412-831-9000 The Department of Information Technology is responsible for the computer needs of all Township departments. The Township’s website ( provides residents with agendas and meeting minutes; downloadable applications and permits; trash and recycling information; calendars providing Township, school, and community events; bi-annual recreation booklets; UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY magazine; board and commission information; and much more. This department also oversees Cable 7, a public access television station, whose purpose is to provide a conduit for information from the Township, community groups, and individuals to Township residents. A video newspaper displays announcements for Township meetings, and activities and information from community groups and churches. For more information about Cable 7, contact Glenn Ward at 412-831-1030. Cable 7 office is located in the municipal building at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road.

Department of Recreation and Leisure Services

Paul Besterman, Director of Recreation and Leisure Services 412-221-1099 The Department of Recreation and Leisure Services is responsible for recreation programming and activities for residents of all ages. A program booklet is published twice each year in April (spring/ summer programs) and September (fall/ winter programs) and delivered to all residents. The booklet can also be viewed online at Registration for various programs can be conducted by mail, online, or in person during regular

business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can also contact the Recreation office to reserve Township facilities such as the Recreation Center for parties and special events, meeting rooms, or availability of Township fields. The Recreation and Leisure Services Department is located at the Community and Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park, 1551 Mayview Road. The Department of Recreation and Leisure Services offers a senior citizens program (United Senior Citizens of Upper St. Clair), which provides Wednesday luncheons and programs for all residents 55 years of age and older. Additionally, a Community Day for all residents is held on the third Saturday in May, and an annual flea market is held on a Saturday in July.

Public Works

Department of Public Works

George Kostelich, Jr., Director of Public Works 412-831-9000, ext. 271 The Public Works Department is responsible for the management and supervision of all activities relating to streets, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, trash collection, recycling, leaf and yard waste collections, parks and recreation facility maintenance, building and grounds maintenance, and forestry. An annual trash and recycling schedule is mailed to residents at the end of each calendar year for the coming year. The schedule is also available on the Township’s website (

Department of Library

Helen M. Palascak, Director of Library 412-835-5540, ext. 247 The Upper St. Clair Township Library is located on the second and third floors of the Township Municipal Building and is open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays during the school year from 1 to 5 p.m. The library collection of approximately 70,000 circulating items includes books, audio books, music, and movies for all ages. The kids’ department of the library also lends puppets and puzzles, and has a “Play to Learn” area filled with educational toys to foster math and literacy skills as well as eye-hand coordination and imagination. An “Explore to Learn” center features STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities appropriate for elementary school children. Online resources include ebooks, downloadable audio and video, and online databases. As a member of the Allegheny County eiNetwork, the library participates in the shared County Catalog, which library patrons can access from the website. Requested materials may be sent from and picked up at any public library in Allegheny County. The library has computer workstations with high-speed Internet access and Microsoft office software and also provides free wireless access for laptop users. Fax service, test proctoring, and 3-D printing are available for a small fee. A variety of programs and classes, listed on the library website ( is offered throughout the year for both children and adults. Use materials and share services with others during programs and classes, and connect to a world of information. Use, share, and connect at the Upper St. Clair Township Library, your community resources center. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Recreational Facility—State-of-the-Art Community & Recreation Center (C&RC) 1551 Mayview Road 412-221-1099 Located in the active area of Boyce Mayview Park, the Community & Recreation Center (C&RC) offers indoor/ outdoor aquatics, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, group fitness rooms, 1/8 mile running/walking track, two full-size basketball courts, and rentable community rooms. In addition, throughout the year the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services offers programs to improve the quality of life for residents of all ages, from pre-schoolers to seniors and all ages in between. See program and offerings information on pages 32 and 33. 46


Fall 2016


Other Services in the Township Animal Control

412-833-7500 The Township participates in a joint animal control program with neighboring communities. Officers are on duty seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with 24-hour emergency ser vice. Clair’s Kennel, along McLaughlin Run Road, provides a temporary home for wandering pets. Residents should call the police department for animal control services, including animals running at large, injured or killed animals, and animal nuisance calls. Clair’s Kennel

Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department

Emergency: 412-833-7500 Office (non-emergency): 412-835-0660 Since 1939, the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department has been responsible for fire protection, rescue service, and other emergency assistance for the Township. The primary fire station along Route 19 provides an efficient and safe building for preparing and responding to emergency events. The fire department also answers calls for hazardous materials incidents, vehicle rescue, and mutual aid assistance to fire departments in surrounding communities. In addition, the fire department conducts an extensive fire prevention program including fire safety talks in the schools, tours of the fire stations, and fire extinguisher training for local businesses. Each May, a letter is sent to residents and businesses asking for donations. The fire department does not solicit funds by telephone. Please support this invaluable all-volunteer service.

Tri-Community South Emergency Medical Services

Emergency: 412-833-7500 Office (non-emergency): 412-831-3710 Upper St. Clair Township participates in a jointly-operated emergency medical services program with the Township of South Park and the Municipality of Bethel Park. This program provides emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport by highly trained and state-licensed medical personnel. Each fall, an annual subscription drive is held. For a nominal fee, the entire household and household visitors are provided with emergency ambulance coverage when emergency transport is needed. Tr i - C o m m u n i t y South does not receive direct subsidies from the Township, nor does it receive any revenue from the Local Services Tax (formerly the Emergency and Municipal Tri-Community South EMS Services Tax). n

Appointed Boards and Commissions of Upper St. Clair In addition to the elected Board of Municipal Authority

Commissioners, Upper St. Clair residents comprise appointed boards and commissions. Residents wishing to serve on a board or commission should submit a Talent Bank form that is available from the Township Manager’s Office or download the form from the Township’s website ( In the event of a vacancy, the Talent Bank forms identify residents interested in volunteering their time and expertise. The following are citizens who currently serve on Township boards or commissions, with their respective December 31 term of expiration, if applicable. Building and Fire Codes Appeals and Advisory Board Michael P. McDonnell, Chair.................. 2016 Anthony L. Pitassi, Vice Chair................ 2018 David J. McLean.................................... 2017 James A. Sampey................................... 2016 Robert T. Stevens, Jr.............................. 2017 Alternate (Open)................................... 2017 Civil Service Board P.J. Murray, III, Chair............................. 2016 Paul J. Battisti, Vice Chair....................... 2017 Neal Holmes, Secretary.......................... 2018

Charles E. Mertz, Jr., Chair.................... 2017 Karen M. McElhinny, Vice Chair............. 2018 T.A. Ward, Secretary.............................. 2021 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Roger Hartung, Chair............................ 2016 Jennifer Schuler, Vice Chair.................... 2018 Kelly B. Bakayza.................................... 2016 William O. Barnard............................... 2017 Thomas Browand.................................. 2017 Diane Morris......................................... 2017 Timothy Stouden................................... 2016 Planning Commission Robert W. Stevenson, Chair................... 2018 Scott R. Slagle, Vice Chair...................... 2016 Kevin T. Turkall, Secretary..................... 2017 Todd Burlingame................................... 2019 Joel Helmrich........................................ 2016 Kimberly J. Smith.................................. 2017 David Wade........................................... 2018 Zoning Hearing Board David E. Tungate, Chair......................... 2018 Dwight D. Ferguson, Vice Chair............. 2016 Gregg R. Zegarelli.................................. 2017 Robin Weissert, Alternate....................... 2017 Anderson T. Bailey, Alternate................... 2017

Library Board Paula Holmes........................................ 2017 Robert G. Ontolchik.............................. 2016 Barbara Zimmt...................................... 2017 USC Volunteer Fire Department Fall 2016



R E S I D E N T I A L G U I D E — T O W N S H I P

Serving Upper St. Clair Churches and Synagogues


Nursery Schools

Alliance Church of Upper St. Clair 2510 Old Washington Road­—412-835-4775

St. David’s Episcopal Church 905 E. McMurray Road, Peters Twp.—724-941-4060

Bethany Presbyterian Church 740 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville—412-221-5132

Berean Fellowship Church 300 Rockfield Circle, Scott Township 412-220-4673

St. George Orthodox Church 610 Dewey Avenue, Bridgeville 412-221-2277

Beth-El Nursery School 1900 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-561-1168

Bethany Presbyterian Church 740 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville—412-221-5132

St. Gregory Byzantine Catholic Church 2005 Mohawk Road—412-835-7800

Bethel Park Presbyterian Church 2999 Bethel Church Road, Bethel Park—412-835-0441 Beverly Heights Christian Preschool 1207 Washington Road—412-561-7200

Bethel Presbyterian Church 2999 Bethel Church Road, Bethel Park 412-835-0405

St. John Capistran Roman Catholic Church 1610 McMillan Road—412-221-6275

Center Church Christian Preschool 255 Center Church Road, McMurray—724-941-9050

Beth-El Congregation Of South Hills 1900 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-561-1168

St. Louise de Marillac Roman Catholic Church 320 McMurray Road—412-833-1010

Christ United Methodist Church Nursery School 44 Highland Road—412-854-4310

Beverly Heights Evangelical Presbyterian Church 1207 Washington Road—412-561-5100

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 1066 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-531-7153

First Bethel United Methodist Church-Kings School Kids

Bower Hill Community Church 70 Moffett St., Mt. Lebanon—412-561-4114

St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church 126 Fort Couch Road 412-833-0031

Kingdom Kids Nursery School 255 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-531-6227

Brightwood Christian Church 5044 West Library Ave., Bethel Park—412-835-6703 Center Presbyterian Church 255 Center Church Road, McMurray—724-941-9050 Christ Community Church of the South Hills 100 Warwick Drive—Sunday 10 a.m. Christ United Methodist Church 44 Highland Road, Bethel Park—412-835-6621

South Hills Assembly 2725 Bethel Church Road, Bethel Park 412-835-8900 South Hills Church of the Nazarene 5601 Library Road, Bethel Park—412-831-6333 South Hills Community Baptist Church 2400 Old Washington Road—412-833-1313

5901 Library Road, Bethel Park—412-835-6141

Montessori Early Childhood Center 2400 Old Washington Road—412-835-3340 Mount Lebanon Montessori 550 Sleepy Hollow Road, Mt. Lebanon 412-563-2858 Mushroom Family Learning Center 1900 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-531-1225 Noah’s Ark Preschool-Our Redeemer Lutheran 105 Gateshead Drive, McMurray—724-942-6699

South Hills Interfaith Ministries 5301 Park Avenue, Bethel Park 412-854-9120

Ruthfred Lutheran Nursery School 3401 South Park Road, Bethel Park—412-835-7140

Temple Emmanuel 1250 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-279-7600

St. David's Preschool and Mother's Morning Out 905 E. McMurray Road, Venetia—724-413-0490

The Bible Chapel 300 Gallery Drive, McMurray 724-941-8990

St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery Washington and Mayfair Roads, Mt. Lebanon 412-531-2644

Grace Fellowship Church of South Hills 3857 Willow Avenue, Castle Shannon—412-334-3803

The Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills (aka Sunny Hill) 1240 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon 412-561-6277

St. Thomas More Preschool & Transitional Preschool to 8th Grade 134 Fort Couch Road—412-833-1412

Hillside Christian Community 1050 Campbells Run Road, Carnegie—412-279-2996

Westminster Presbyterian Church 2040 Washington Road—412-835-6630

Faith Lutheran Church of Upper St. Clair 80 Bartley Road—412-835-4590 First Bethel United Methodist Church 5901 Library Road, Bethel Park—412-835-0700 First Church of Christ, Scientist 1100 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-561-1125 Good Shepherd Church 110 Hays Road—724-941-9418

Holy Child Parish 212 Station Street, Bridgeville—412-221-5213

Temple Emmanuel 1250 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-279-7687 Westminster Nursery School 2040 Washington Road—412-835-2906

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox 123 Gilkeson Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-833-3355

Day Care (Children)

Day Care (Adult)

Mt. Lebanon Christian Church Cedar Blvd. at Hollycrest Dr., Mt. Lebanon 412-531-8554

Bethel Park Presbyterian Church 2999 Bethel Church Road, Bethel Park 412-835-1043 Christ United Methodist Child Care Center 44 Highland Road, Bethel Park—412-854-4310 First Bethel United Methodist Church Kings School Kids 5901 Library Road, Bethel Park—412-835-6141 Kid Biz, LLC 3540 Washington Road, McMurray—724-941-4172 KinderCare Learning Center 1040 Clifton Road, Bethel Park—412-831-1888 KinderCare of McMurray 118 Wilhaven Drive, McMurray—724-941-4579 KinderCare of Mt. Lebanon 1610 N. Highland Road, Mt. Lebanon 412-531-1953 Westminster Child Development Center 2040 Washington Road—412-835-9450

Prime Time Adult Care, Inc. Alzheimer Day Care 44 Highland Road, Bethel Park—412-835-6661

Mt. Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church 255 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon—412-531-3387 New Day Assembly of God 701 Circle Drive—724-941-1661 Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (ELCA) 105 Gateshead Drive, McMurray—724-941-7467 Peace Lutheran Church 107 Carol Drive, McMurray—724-941-9441 Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church 250 Brookwood Road, Peters Twp.—724-942-3635 Ruthfred Lutheran Church Patterson and South Park Roads, Bethel Park 412-835-7140 48


Fall 2016

Seton Center—Brookline 1900 Pioneer Avenue, Brookline—412-344-4777 *Unless otherwise listed, the organization is located in Upper St. Clair Township.

If we’ve overlooked your information, have incorrect information, or if you would like your Upper St. Clair facility to be represented in our magazine with an article, please write to: Editor, UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or email For an online version, visit and find the “Features” section under the “Past Issues” sub-directory.

Local Clubs and Organizations Directory 1830 Log House Association Kimberly Guzzi, President .....................................412-851-0570 American Assoc. of University Women Helpline............................................................ 1-800-326-AAUW Bethel-St. Clair Evening Rotary Club ( Tom Atkins.............................................................. 412-901-0987 Boy Scouts of America..........................................412-325-7965 Boyce Road Gardeners Phyllis Kender, Registrar....................................... 412-221-3118 Brookside Woman’s Club Lisa Ambrose......................................................... 412-916-7303 Civil Air Patrol Glenn Ward.......................................................... 412-221-0846 Community Foundation of USC Angela Petersen, Executive Director................. 412-831-1107 Different Strokes Tennis League Gina Braun ............................................................412-221-5717 Friends of the Library Kate Mayberry, President ....................................412-835-5540 Friends of the Montour Trail in Bethel Park Peter Kohnke, President...................................... 412-854-1835 Girl Scouts of USC Jim Corona............................................................724-941-1193 Historical Society of Upper St. Clair Marjie Heins........................................................... 412-835-2050 League of Women Voters Louise Cannon..................................................... 412-835-8822 Lifespan Kim Rollinson............................................... 412-464-1300 x 127 Odyssey of the Mind ( Meridith Markovitz.................................................412-401-5233 Laura Murtough.....................................................412-478-1736 Parent/Teacher/Student Organization (PTSO) Sally South Hills Chamber of Commerce ...........................................412-306-8090 South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) James Guffey, Executive Director...................... 412-854-9120 South Hills Junior Orchestra Janet Vukotich .....................................................412-341-5160 South Hills Kennel Club Barb Baker............................................................. 724-258-6828 South West Communities Chamber of Commerce Emerald VanBuskirk, Executive Director............ 412-221-4100

Town Hall South Maureen Ludwig, Chairman............................... 412-429-7202 Trotwood Manor West Association Tyson Swigart........................................................ 412-595-7600 United Senior Citizens of USC Chaz McCrommon.................................... 412-221-1099, x603 USC Athletic Association ( Brett Russell, President..............................................412-298-5273 Baseball/Spring................... Erik Lund....................412-736-3251 Boys’ Basketball/Winter..... Jay Sukernek............412-334-0975 Girls’ Basketball/Winter...... John Tarcson............412-584-9990 Football/Fall........................ Rob Stevenson.........412-833-8671 Softball/Spring.................... Don Angel................412-303-8045 Rec Soccer/Fall.................. Bill Friday...................412-398-0104 Traveling Soccer/Fall......... Rob York....................412-523-8688 Wrestling/Winter................. Matt Pollock.............412-221-7383 USC Band Parents ( Tara Rankin............................................................412-523-2555 USC-Bethel Park Breakfast Rotary Club Brian Schill............................................................. 412-833-6229 USC Citizens for Land Stewardship ( Preston Shimer...................................................... 412-221-5163 USC Democratic Committee Brien Wall, Mary McIntyre, Vice Chair USC Hockey Club Pete Gialames...................................................... 724-213-2990 USC League for the Arts (USCLA) Joan Newman ......................................................412-835-8127 USC Library Helen Palascak, Director..................................... 412-835-5540 USC Newcomer’s Club ( Krystin Ciesco, President.......................................209-639-3590 USC Parent Teacher Council Beth Huzjak, President..........................................412-914-8120 USC Republican Committee Barbara Lloyd, Chairman ................................... 412-831-8918 USC Swim Club Kristin Matheny, President........ USC Volunteer Firefighters Daniel Barr, President ................................ 412-835-0660, x100 Woman’s Club of Upper St. Clair Shirley Tadda, President.......................................412-854-4955 YMCA South Hills Area Ken Soliday, Executive Director.......................... 412-833-5600

Call the UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY office at 412-833-1600, extension 2284, if your club or organization’s information needs to be updated, added to, or deleted from our list. Thank you. For an online version of this directory, visit and find the “Features” section under the “Past Issues” sub-directory. Fall 2016





Upper St. Clair School District 1820 McLaughlin Run Road

R E S I D E N T I A L G U I D E — S C H O O L D I S T R I C T

School Board Directors Buffy Hasco, President Angela Petersen, Vice President Amy L. Billerbeck Barbara L. Bolas Phillip J. Elias Patrick A. Hewitt Frank J. Kerber Harry F. Kunselman Louis P. Mafrice, Jr.


Elementary Schools (grades K-4) Middle Schools (grades 5-8)

School Board

The Upper St. Clair School Board consists of nine elected directors. The regular meetings of the School Board generally take place on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Upper St. Clair Central Office Board Room. There is no scheduled meeting in July. School Board minutes are available on the School District website at For further information regarding meetings, call 412-833-1600, ext. 2202.

Albert Baker

Dr. Patrick McClintock-Comeaux, principal 2300 Morton Road–412-833-1600, ext. 4000 Erected: 1968, enrollment: 381* School day: 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Boyce (grades 5-6)

Daniel O’Rourke, principal 1500 Boyce Road–412-833-1600, ext. 5000 Erected: 1960, enrollment: 622* School day: 8:35 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Central Office

Patrick T. O’Toole, Superintendent The Upper St. Clair School District’s Central Office is located in the Municipal Building at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road and can be reached at 412-833-1600. As you enter the building, the School District offices are straight ahead.

Fort Couch (grades 7-8)

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mark Miller, principal 100 Warwick Drive–412-833-1600, ext. 8000 Erected: 1960, enrollment: 482* School day: 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Joseph DeMar, principal 515 Fort Couch Road–412-833-1600, ext. 3000 Erected: 1951, enrollment: 716* School day: 8:35 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

High School (grades 9-12)


The primary responsibility of the Upper St. Clair School District’s Department of Transportation, located in Cecil Township, is to provide safe, efficient transportation for the 4300 public, private, and special needs students who attend approximately 30 schools within a ten-mile radius of Upper St. Clair. For more information, contact Jonn Mansfield, Director of Transportation at 412-833-1600, ext. 3450. 50


Carl R. Streams

Dr. Claire Miller, principal 1560 Ashlawn Drive–412-833-1600, ext. 6000 Erected: 1966, enrollment: 501* School day: 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Upper St. Clair High School

Dr. Louis Angelo, principal 1825 McLaughlin Run Road– 412-833-1600, ext. 2236 Erected: 1960, enrollment: 1,374* School day: 7:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m. (* Enrollment figures for each school are as of May 2016.)

Fall 2016


Food Services

The School District’s six nutrition centers serve thousands of healthy meals each day. For information, contact Kimberly Cooper at 412-833-1600, ext. 2287.


The role of the Upper St. Clair School District’s Technology Department is to provide and support the use of resources that enhance the teaching and learning processes, strengthen communication, and improve efficiency of operations. For more information, contact the Technology Department at 412-833-1600, ext. 2211.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The Upper St. Clair School District piloted the International Baccalaureate Program in 1988 and is offering this program for grades one through 12. For more information, call Central Office at 412-833-1600, or visit the District website at

School-wide Enrichment Program (SWEP) for grades 1–4

Many opportunities are available for elementary level students to explore topics that interest them through SWEP. Mini-assemblies, mentorships, and independent study projects are all part of SWEP. For more information, contact Central Office at 412-833-1600 or the respective building’s school principal.

2016-17 USC PTC Council, left to right, are Holly Spina, advisor; Lisa Henricks, treasurer; Beth Huzjak, president; Dr. Patrick O’Toole, second vice president; Daphna Gans, vice president; and Stacey Friday, secretary

Boosters (Parent Support Groups)

Boosters and parent groups are formed to support various activities and sports teams. For information, call Upper St. Clair High School at 412-833-1600, ext. 2260 (athletics) or ext. 2264 (activities). Fine and Performing Arts The Upper St. Clair Band Parents Association is a parent group formed to support the band and orchestra. The Upper St. Clair Choral Boosters is a parent group formed to support the choral groups. For information, call Upper St. Clair High School Fine and Performing Arts Department at 412-833-1600, ext. 2627. Theatre Angels support the USCHS spring musical. Call 412-833-1600, ext. 2530 or 3325 for more information.



Sports programs are available at all levels. For information regarding middle school or high school sports, call Athletic Director Matthew Mellinger at 412-833-1600, ext. 2261 or Athletic Office secretary Cindy Storer at 412-833-1600, ext. 2260. Music programs, including chorus, theater, orchestra, and band, as well as cheerleading and dance are available at each grade level. For information regarding high school activities, call Activities Director Danny Holzer at 412-833-1600, ext. 2263. Also, see page 69 for a list of high school activities. For information regarding elementary and middle school activities, call the respective building’s school principal.

— S C H O O L

Kennywood Day (a Community-wide Tradition)

Kennywood Day is a community-wide tradition of fun. Each year on the third Monday in June, all Upper St. Clair residents are invited to participate in a day at Kennywood Park. For information, call 412-833-1600, ext. 2202.

Upper St. Clair School District

Customizing Learning, Nurturing Potential ... Delivering Excellence

USC eAlerts Upper St. Clair School District regularly sends news and information via email. Weekly recap emails with the latest news, upcoming events, links to news articles and more are sent to subscribers. Subscribe to eAlerts on the District’s website ( under Quick Links, shown on the left-hand side.


Continued on page 52

District Calendar The USC School District detailed monthly calendar is available online, providing residents with the most up-todate information about events in our Township’s schools. To access the calendar, visit the District website at and click on the “Calendar” tab. In addition to viewing events for the entire District, there is also an option to filter by specific school building.

Fall 2016




Continued from page 51

Rent School Gyms, Panther Stadium, and the Theaters

The school gyms and high school stadium are often available for rent. For information, call Karen Huckenstein at Central Office at 412-833-1600, ext. 2202. For rental of the high school or Boyce theaters or the high school LGI room or nutrition center, call Karen Powers at 412-833-1600, ext. 2363.

Volunteers in Our Schools (grades K-12)

There are well over one thousand volunteers who share their time and talents with the children in our schools. Any resident who is interested in volunteering in any of our schools is encouraged to contact the respective building’s principal.

Open Mikes

Open Mikes are informational meetings between building principals, teachers, administrators, and parents where current issues are discussed and concerns are voiced. Call the respective building’s principal or PTA president for more information.

Upper St. Clair

School District Calendar 2016-2017

— S C H O O L D I S T R I C T

August 23–First Day of School for Students September 5–No School–Labor Day October 14–Half Day (Early Dismissal for Students) October October 31–No 31–No School School–Teacher - Teacher In-service In-service November 1–No School–Teacher In-service November 8–No School–Teacher In-service November 23–Half Day (Early Dismissal for Thanksgiving Recess) November 24–25–No School–Thanksgiving Recess December 23–January 2–No School–Winter Recess January16–No School–Teacher In-service February17–No School–Teacher In-service February 20–No School–President’s Day March 23–Half Day (Early Dismissal for Students) March 24–No School–Teacher In-service April 10–14–No School–Spring Recess April 17–No School–Teacher In-service May 26–Snow Make-Up Day #1 May 29–No School–Memorial Day June 8–Last 7–Last Day of School for Students (Pending Snow Make-Up Days) June 8–High School Commencement June 19–Kennywood Day 52


Fall 2016

Parent Teacher Council (PTC) Parent Teacher Council (PTC) is the “umbrella” organization in Upper St. Clair (USC), which provides leadership and coordination for all of the parent/teacher organizations in USC. If you would like to be involved with your child’s parent/teacher organization and get the “big picture,” you are welcome to join! For more information, call Beth Huzjak, PTC president, at 412-914-8120. A list of Parent Teacher Council sponsored or affiliated activities follows: Partners in Education (PIE) PIE is a group of parents, administrators, and staff formed as a branch of the PTA Council to foster the best educational environment for all exceptional children and to educate and assist parents of exceptional children. Topics in Education (TIE) TIE is a branch of the PTA Council formed to foster and address general education issues for all school-aged children. TIE meets twice annually. Guest speakers address the audience with discussion following. Together in Parenting (TIP) TIP is a branch of the PTA Council and offers support and education on difficult parenting issues. TIP is open to all Upper St. Clair residents. Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) GATE is a committee of the PTA Council whose objective is to provide information and support to parents of gifted and academically talented students in the District. Building Level Parent/Teacher Organizations Each school building has an organization of parents, who together with their teachers, work within the schools to provide extra help, additional programs, and educational and social activities for the children. For information, call your building’s school representative at 412-833-1600. Baker Elementary School PTA – Extension 4000 Eisenhower Elementary School PTO – Extension 8000 Streams Elementary School PTO – Extension 6000 Boyce Middle School PTO – Extension 5000 Fort Couch Middle School PTSO – Extension 3000 Upper St. Clair High School PTSO – Extension 2236

Youth Steering Committee

The mission of the Youth Steering Committee of Upper St. Clair, with School District and Township representation, is to involve the Upper St. Clair community in providing positive direction and support to our youth and their families. Gary Seech, Chair Jennifer Bowen, Vice Chair Angela Petersen, Secretary Geralyn Austin Amy Billerbeck Adam Boucek Lynn Boucek Mike Burch Tina Florkowski Manjri Gupta Ed Kavo

Jeffrey Krantz Lisa McMillan Robert Plummer Stacie Sebastian, resident professional Daniel Beck, School District liaison Lynn Walcoff, Township liaison

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Welln ess

Running for a Reason Heather Holtschlag, Owner, Healthy Fit PR Runners—especially those who run with friends—know what a good run can do to lower stress, ease tension, and bring relief. For one Upper St. Clair family, the passion and camaraderie conveyed by a local USC moms running group went above and beyond its initial mission. Catie Tomb, a student at Fort Couch Middle School, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in July 2015. Her mom, Lynn Tomb, was one of a 12-member running group called Moms Steel Runnin. “We were shocked and could not understand how she developed Type 1 Diabetes with no family history,” Lynn said. “It also saddened us to think Catie would be dependent upon synthetic insulin and closely monitor her food intake and control her blood sugar everyday for the rest of her life. Yet, I have to confess, we truly believe that she is healthier today than she was prior to her diagnosis.” The Moms Steel Runnin group, which, in addition to Lynn, includes Jonette Shanahan, Meredith Aumer, Betsy Boughner, Lenley Casares, Amy Gaither, Renee Henry, Alisa James, Julie Lane, Meridith Markovitz, Kelly Tanner, and Kamryn York, ran into action, literally, through various fitness fundraisers, raising raised nearly $2000. “Our team co-hosted a fitness fundraiser in collaboration with Mecka Fitness in Mt. Lebanon. We called it 32FIGHTONE, a relay-style, three-part workout,” James explained. “The funds


Skate With Us at the MT. LEBANON RECREATION CENTER Open Year Round with Something for Everyone Friday Night Teen skate with D.J. (begins Nov. 4) from 8:10 - 10:30pm. Learn-to-Skate Classes/ Beginner & Advanced Hockey Clinics Youth Developmental & Adult Hockey Leagues Public Skating Figure Skating Sessions Daily Adult Skating & Instructional Programs Speed Skating * Broomball Birthday Party Packages Call the Recreation Center at 412-561-4363 for times and rates Or visit us online at 54


Fall 2016

we raised benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” The team also ran in honor of Catie at one big race, the Ragnar Relay, which took place May 13 and 14 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and was the team’s second Team Moms Steel Runnin finished a 200-mile time participating. Their Ragnar Relay in honor of Catie Tomb, a USC first Ragnar Relay was in student battling Type 1 Diabetes. May a year ago. “A Ragnar Relay is a team relay race where 12 runners run 200 miles collectively,” James explained. “Each runner completes three legs of the course. The event begins Friday morning and ends when all 36 legs are complete. Running a race like this transforms running, which is typically an individual effort, into a team sport. And, because of the endurance needed to go the distance both mentally and physically, it was one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences for me. I truly believe the 12 of us can do anything together (including helping a teammate’s daughter battle a difficult disease).” “I think I might have shed a few tears when the Moms Steel Runnin group decided to run and raise money in Catie’s honor,” Lynn said. “Knowing there are so many causes out there, this was a true testament of our friendship, and I’m truly blessed to have such wonderful friends. Moms Steel Runnin is a group of amazing women who stay active while enjoying healthy friendships. It’s a win-win situation. It’s like positive peer pressure meets support group.” James said that after this year’s Ragnar Relay event, the general feeling among the group was one of elation, as well as exhaustion and giddiness. “There was lots of laughter coming from our van!” Moms Steel Runnin not only runs races together, but they often go to the gym together and take part in others types of training, as well. James expressed that the group is discussing the possibility of participating in a destination half marathon for their next venture. “The most enjoyable part of this group is the support, love, and friendship from like-minded women,” James said. “We are a team of runners, fitness enthusiasts, and moms who support one Steel Runnin team members another and push each other to be Kamryn York and Amy Gaither our best selves.” n greet each other during a race. Donations to support Type 1 Diabetes research can be made through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s website at or the American Diabetes Associations website at

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Should You Get Personal Insurance? Homeowners insurance is one of the best ways to protect your possessions. However, you may own some high-value items that the insurance alone does not cover. Consider the following to determine if personal insurance may be right for you. Personal Article Insurance Personal article insurance covers valuable items that your homeowners insurance may not protect, including: • Furs • Jewelry, such as engagement or wedding rings • Electronics, such as digital cameras • Silver or other precious metals • Fine art • Sports and golf equipment • Other items with high financial value (typically worth $1000 or more) As you’re reviewing your possessions, consider making a home inventory. The list will be helpful in the event of theft or large-scale damage in your home. Include details of high-value items, such as make, model, value, and purchase date. You may also want to take photos of each item and store your home inventory digitally. Personal Liability Insurance If an accident happens as a result of your fault or on your property, you could face a lawsuit or damages. While your existing policies may provide substantial insurance liability limits, a personal liability umbrella policy could provide additional liability coverage beyond that provided by your auto, homeowners, and other personal liability policies. Personal insurance policies may be a good fit for those who have high-value possessions or those who don’t want to risk potentially expensive personal liability. n See ad for Cindy Brophy, State Farm® agent, on page 43. Fall 2016



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Restorative Yoga Offered at St. Clair Hospital

Vincent Reyes, M.D.

St. Clair Hospital’s Cancer Care Center recently launched an innovative new program for persons who have cancer or are cancer survivors. Yoga for Patients with Cancer is a series of classes in restorative yoga, a form of hatha yoga that is designed to meet the special needs of people with cancer, chronic illness, or disability. The program was developed for St. Clair by Vincent Reyes, M.D., board certified oncologist/hematologist and Heather Martorella, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N.,

oncology nurse specialist, in collaboration with South Hills Power Yoga, a popular yoga school with locations in Dormont and Peters. According to Martorella, restorative yoga is a safe and gentle form of exercise for nearly everyone, including older adults and those who use wheelchairs. “Restorative yoga focuses on gentle movement, breathing, and meditation,” she explains. “It promotes relaxation, reduces pain and anxiety, improves sleep, and may lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and cancer medication. It improves quality of life and helps people feel more at ease within their bodies. Restorative yoga is a form of integrative therapy that complements and supports the medical management of disease. Integrative therapies help patients manage symptoms, cope with pain and side effects, and handle the emotional aspects of illness. Many medical journals have published

studies indicating that yoga can be a safe and effective intervention as an adjunct to cancer treatment. At St. Clair Hospital, patients with cancer receive advanced, highly specialized treatment from clinical experts, including Dr. Reyes. “Restorative yoga classes are a means of caring for the whole patient,” says Dr. Reyes, “and recognizing their human needs as well as the needs of their families and caregivers.” Yoga for Patients with Cancer classes are conducted at the Dunlap Conference Center on the fourth floor of the hospital. Family members and caregivers are welcome. Classes are free of charge. Yoga mats, fruit, and water are provided. Participants should bring two bed pillows and wear comfortable clothing that moves with their bodies. n For a schedule of sessions and more information, call 412-942-5082. See ads for St. Clair Hospital on pages 2 and 95.

Former USC Residents View Life from New Perspective Marilyn Walsh, Baptist Homes Society

Eva and Miro Klain

I was delighted to have the opportunity to submit an article about senior issues for this edition of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY. I planned to interview someone who had been from Upper St. Clair and report on aging from their perspective. Instead, I found so much more… Miro and Eva Klain. Miro and Eva met at a hospital in Czechoslovakia where Miro was working as a doctor and Eva as an X-ray technician. They first came to the U.S. in 1965 when Miro served as a research fellow for a year at the Cleveland Clinic. At the end of that year, they returned to Prague, and when the Russians came, they moved to Austria. From there they moved to Texas. Eva recalls, “We brought all we had. We each carried one kid and one suitcase.” 56


Their oldest children were four and six years old when Miro and his family got the chance to return to Cleveland. Miro was hired to take charge of artificial heart development at the Cleveland Clinic. Then, a lecture he gave in 1972 resulted in a job offer at Pittsburgh’s Presbyterian University Hospital Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. For 41 years, they made their home in Upper St. Clair. Eva served as the family’s homemaker and, with her husband, raised three children. Eva also shared her expert skills as a knitter and, with two other women, ran a craft business—The Yarn Barn—in Bridgeville for several years. As I listened, learning so much about the Klains (Miro, at 88, continues to work as a professor emeritus of anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh; he speaks English, German, Czech, Russian, Latin, and several other languages, while Eva (also a polyglot) continues to teach knitting and is involved in the community), I realized that their decision to move to Providence Point was just another step in an interesting and accomplished life. Their move was about continuing an active, fulfilling life. Eva explained, “Moving to Providence Fall 2016

Point was a good decision for us. Life is easier.” The Klains had a big house and yard, requiring quite a bit of maintenance. Albeit, the move to the 2100-square-foot apartment required a little downsizing, Eva explained, “It is very comfortable.” “We have stunning 360-degree views of Scott Conservancy and the surrounding communities and enough room for visiting family,” Miro said. Eva agreed. They love their apartment and take advantage of the pool, the dining venues, and the open spaces—especially when their children come to visit. They also appreciate that the freedom from home ownership allows them to travel to Czechoslovakia or to visit their children and six grandchildren who live in Prague, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. Eva added, “We also chose to live here because we knew we would be taken care of, no matter what happened,” referring to Providence Point’s unique LifeCare program. As I left the Miro’s lovely Providence Point home, I realized that throughout their life, they had seized opportunities and faced challenges head on. As older adults, it appears that has not changed. n See ad for Providence Point, a Baptist Home community, on page 39.

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Malay Sheth, M.D. Kevin Stocker, M.D. Marianne Wizda, M.D. William Mitsos, M.D.

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Does Invisalign® Really Work? Dr. Beth Troy and Dr. Eric Reitz

Does Invisalign® really work? Admit it. You have asked yourself this question when you have seen TV or magazine ads parading happy adults and teens with straight teeth, wearing thin trays of “invisible” plastic. How in the world could that plastic—I can barely see it—move teeth? Invisalign is made with 3D computer imaging technology and uses a series of custom-shaped aligners to straighten teeth. The aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. The aligners are removable, so there are no diet restrictions while in treatment. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks, removing them to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As each aligner is replaced with the next in the series, your teeth will move until they have straightened to their final position. Invisalign can address a wide variety of dental issues, including spacing between teeth, crowding, overbite, open bite, and underbite. Spacing between teeth can occur when someone has smaller teeth, compared to a larger jaw. Congenitally missing or extracted teeth can also cause the adjacent teeth to shift toward the extra space, creating gaps between the teeth. Many patients consider spacing to be unesthetic. Spacing issues can also lead to gum problems, due to potential increased food collection between teeth. Crowded teeth occur when there is simply a lack of room within the jaw for all of the teeth to fit normally, often due to larger teeth compared to a smaller jaw. When left untreated,

crowded teeth will worsen over time, causing increased difficulty in brushing and flossing. This can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay, and an increased chance of gum disease. An overbite is a common dental issue and occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth and essentially hide the lower teeth. It is also referred to as a deep bite, and if not corrected will worsen over time. Many adults suffer from the effects of an overbite, where the lower teeth cause trauma and damage the opposing roof of the mouth. If addressed early, as in childhood, it is usually easy to correct, and the results are stable throughout life. Open bite is less common than an overbite and occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth when biting. Most often caused by an abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor chewing function and even speech impairment. An underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It is usually caused by overgrowth of the lower jaw, undergrowth of the upper jaw, or a combination of both. It can also be caused by missing or crowded upper teeth, or excessive spacing of lower teeth. This can prevent the normal function of the front teeth, which can lead to permanent tooth wear, chipping, and TMJ problems. If you have any of these dental issues, contact your dental professional today for a consult to discuss options that will give you the healthy bite and smile that you deserve. n See ad for Troy Orthodontics on page 43. Fall 2016



SD Upper St. Clair School District Board of School Directors

Buffy Z. Hasco President 412-833-5712 2017*

Patrick A. Hewitt 412-831-0178 2019*

Angela B. Petersen Vice President 412-831-7182 2019*

Frank J. Kerber 412-833-4873 2017*

Amy L. Billerbeck 412-833-2712 2019*

Barbara L. Bolas 412-833-9841 2019*

412-851-1115 2017*

412-851-0622 2017*

Frosina Cordisco Director of Business and Finance

Dr. John Rozzo Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Judy Bulazo Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

Ray Berrott Director of Technology

Amy Pfender Director of Student Support Services

*Date indicates expiration of term.

To reach personnel, call 412-833-1600, and follow the automated directions. Administrator

Dr. Sharon Suritsky Assistant/Deputy Superintendent

Phillip J. Elias 412-257-1198 2019*

The 2016 regular meetings of the Upper St. Clair Township Board of School Directors are held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at the Central Office Board Room, unless otherwise noted. No regular Harry F. Kunselman Louis P. Mafrice, Jr. meeting is scheduled for July.

School District Central Office Administration

Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole Superintendent of Schools

Secretary/Email Address Extension

Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole................................ Mary Ann Stabile.............................2201 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sharon Suritsky................................... Donna Faccenda..............................2218 Assistant/Deputy Superintendent Dr. John Rozzo............................................ Mary Ann Stabile.............................2201 Assistant Superintendent Frosina Cordisco........................................ Dawn Machi.....................................2220 Director of Business and Finance Dr. Judy Bulazo.......................................... Donna Faccenda..............................2218 Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Ray Berrott.............................................................................................................2059 Director of Technology Amy Pfender............................................... Terri Lott...........................................2283 Director of Student Support Services Melissa Garvin............................................ Cheryl Ellison...................................2116 Asst. Director of Student Support Services Bradley Wilson .....................................................................................................3318 Supervisor of Customized and Online Learning Sheila Gorgonio.....................................................................................................2826 Director of Advancement Joseph Conners......................................................................................................2560 Chief of School Police Jonn Mansfield........................................................................................................ 3450 Director of Transportation Tina Vojtko............................................................................................................2215 Communications Specialist School District Building Administration

Melissa Garvin Asst. Director of Student Support Services

Bradley Wilson Supervisor of Customized and Online Learning

Sheila Gorgonio Director of Advancement

Dr. Lou Angelo............................... High School Principal Dr. Timothy Wagner ..................... High School Associate Principal for Program Planning and Innovation Daniel Beck.................................... High School Assistant Principal Christine Mussomeli...................... High School Assistant Principal Joseph DeMar ................................ Fort Couch Middle School Principal Erin Peterson.................................. Fort Couch Assistant Principal Daniel O’Rourke............................ Boyce Middle School Principal Dr. Patrick McClintock-Comeaux... Baker Elementary School Principal Mark Miller.......................................Eisenhower Elementary School Principal/ Supervisor of Elementary Education Dr. Claire Miller............................. Streams Elementary School Principal

Upper St. Clair School District Notices Online The required annual notices to parents of children who reside in the Upper St. Clair School District are available online. To view the District notices and immunization regulations for the 2016-2017 school year, visit the District website at 58


Fall 2016


USC Nationally Recognized for Music Education The Upper St. Clair School District was named among the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) by the NAMM Foundation. Upper St. Clair is one of only ten school districts in Allegheny County, 63 in Pennsylvania, and 476 from across the country to earn the distinction in 2016. “This award recognizes the commitment of our school administrators, school board, teachers, and parents who believe in music education and are working to ensure that it is part of a complete education for all children,” said Don Pickell, performing arts curriculum leader and band director. “This distinction highlights music education in Upper St. Clair and demonstrates that our District provides excellent opportunities for music learning.” According to the NAMM Foundation, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Districts are assessed on a variety of factors, including funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. This marks Upper St. Clair’s first time earning the recognition. Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, superintendent of schools, attributes the success of Upper St. Clair’s music program to the quality of its music faculty, community support, and motivated students. “We are extremely fortunate to have many professional musicians on staff, people who have performed and studied their craft for many years at a very high level,” Dr. O’Toole said. “In addition, the music program benefits greatly from enormous parental support, including a vibrant band parents association.” In its 17th year, the BCME designation is an important part of the NAMM Foundation’s efforts to advocate for school-based

music education. Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost other academic and social skills. “As research strongly supports the correlation between music education and student achievement, we take enormous pride in receiving this honor,” Dr. O’Toole said. “In addition to our gifted student musicians, our music program provides all students— regardless of skill—opportunities to further develop 21st century skills that are vital to their development, including leadership, collaboration, communication, teamwork, interpersonal skills and goal-setting.” According to the NAMM Foundation, this award recognizes that Upper St. Clair School District is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, recognizes music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children. “Upper St. Clair is defining itself as a leader in music education by becoming an increasingly visible program in the community and in the Pittsburgh area,” Don said. “We are demonstrating that students can achieve at a very high level in both music and academics, and that each supports the other.” The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. n For more information about the NAMM Foundation, visit

Teachers and School District Reach Early Contract Agreement The Upper St. Clair School District and the Upper St. Clair Education Association (USCEA) reached a new six-year collective bargaining agreement. The USCEA represents the District’s nearly 300 teachers, guidance counselors, and school nurses. The agreement was ratified by the USCEA and approved by the Upper St. Clair Board of School Directors on April 8, 2016, and became effective August 18, 2016, when the old contract expired. “The new agreement reflects the constructive partnership that exists between the association and School District in support of educational excellence,” said Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, superintendent of schools. “The Upper St. Clair School District, based on student performance, has been the highest rated school district in Allegheny County over the past ten years. Our excellent teaching staff is critical to our success.” Under the new agreement, teachers will receive a larger salary increase in the first year of the contract. “The economic settlement appropriately recognizes that the salaries paid to USC teachers had fallen behind other comparable districts,” Dr. O’Toole said. “In 2012, Upper St. Clair teachers voluntarily agreed to substantial salary concessions. For many teachers, the concession totaled more than $15,000 over the term of the 2012 agreement.” The average salary increase will be 4.7% for the first year of the contract and an average of about 1.8% for the contract’s remaining five years. Each teacher’s contribution for health insurance will

increase over the term of the contract based on a contribution of 16% of premium increases. “Our members are pleased that the parties were able to reach an agreement ahead of schedule,” said William Gehrlein, USCEA president. “The USC teaching staff remains dedicated to high quality teaching practices and excellence in student achievement.” Beyond the financial terms of the contract, the superintendent believes the contract effectively supports student learning and the strategic direction of the District. “Most importantly, the new contract will improve the quality of education for students through greater scheduling and assignment flexibility, additional days for training, and the continued strategic integration of technology,” Dr. O’Toole said. The agreement was reached after four months of bargaining with assistance from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation. “The Upper St. Clair Board of School Directors recognizes and appreciates the dedication and professionalism of our teaching staff and of the USCEA leadership,” said Buffy Hasco, board president. “Even though the existing contract did not expire until the end of August, the Upper St. Clair teachers, through their association, engaged in serious, good faith negotiations in order to reach an early settlement and thereby avoid any disruption to students or the community. Members of the board believe that the new contract is fair and reasonable to all parties.” n Fall 2016



SD USCHS Commencement 2016 Opening Remarks

Buffy Hasco, President, USC Board of School Directors Standing before you today, I can honestly say that I’m more painfully aware than ever of how little I know. With age comes hubris. Giving a commencement speech is pretty daunting. So I established one parameter for myself: be brief. If nothing else, you will think of me fondly when you’re munching on buffalo chicken dip and cheering as the Pens score their first goal of the night. Class of 2016, you are a remarkable group. Your academic, artistic, and athletic accomplishments have been significant. You are a dream team, matriculating to schools that have every kindergarten parent in Upper St. Clair patting themselves on the back for choosing our school district. Well done! And I congratulate your parents and teachers, who surely share in your success. As for the schools, I won’t even attempt to list them; first, because it would violate my brevity rule and, second, because I’ve seen how that plays out. The speaker always leaves out a few great ones and invariably offends a few people. I’m not even going to mention my own alma mater, though many consider it to be the Harvard of State College.

Some of you didn’t have perfect SATs or a 5.0 grade point average. One of the most valuable skills in life is the ability to work hard and persist, even when you don’t always excel. I’m speaking to the average students, the benchwarmers, and the chorus. If you can experience the pure joy of doing something you love without needing the validation of being the best, I’m betting you’re going to be a pretty happy person. Very few of us are the best at something. I’m not. My kids give me a card every year that says, “You’re the best mother,” but, honestly, I suspect it’s just because Hallmark doesn’t sell one that says, “You are a perfectly adequate mother” or “You’re fine.” And know this: the high school experience is not always predictive of future success. Not all skills can be precisely tested, evaluated, measured, and standardized. The capacity for collaboration is one example. No matter how bright you are, if you don’t play well with others, it’s going to be tricky. If you alienate your team, you’re going to have to cure cancer alone. I don’t have the faintest idea what would be involved in curing cancer, but I suspect it would be really hard to do by yourself.

Buffy Hasco

Life can be difficult. Many of you know this already. Having navigated the social and academic trials of high school, I imagine you all have your battle scars. The best advice I have for shoring up your reserves for the storms and possible tsunamis in your path ahead is to find your people, your squad, your tribe. Friends who really know you—not the insta, snap chatting, I’m having an awesome time, all the time, you—but the real you. Find a kindred spirit who has your back no matter what—whether you experience the heights of success or the depths of despair. It doesn’t have to be a crowd; one or two will do. But trust me on this—you will need them. Surround yourself with people who make you better; who make you feel less alone, less scared; who hold the ladder as you climb the rungs, keeping it steady so you don’t

Superintendent’s Address Dr. Patrick O’Toole, Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Patrick O’Toole

This is my tenth opportunity to address an Upper St. Clair High School graduating class. Tonight, I will talk with you briefly about two of your constant companions: your inner voice and your inner critic. Increasingly, these two companions seem to show up like The Cat in the Hat and his friends, Thing One and Thing Two— sometimes wreaking havoc, and sometimes cleaning things up. As a friendly companion, this inner voice has helped you make good decisions, keeping you safe as you grew from childhood, through adolescence, and to the young adults you are today. In fact, your parents have counted on this inner voice to keep you safe when they were not around, hoping your inner voice sounded a lot like their voice. Researcher J.D. Krumboltz found that this inner voice will influence your career 60


decisions. He labels this voice a “selfobservation generalization” that informs you that you have the skills, the interest, and the inclination it takes to be an accountant, doctor, teacher, nurse, entrepreneur, or whatever career you choose. But Krumboltz cautions that this voice, this self-observation, can also be an inhibitor to your decision-making. It may limit your choices and potential for fear of stepping outside of your self-observation or because you may be making an inaccurate self-observation. Author and researcher Tara Mohr calls the limiting version of your inner voice, your inner critic. Mohr suggests that there may be several forms of fear at the core or your inner critic, whether it be fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of controversy, self-doubt, or even fear of being alone. Mohr suggests several tools to help us manage the influence of our inner critic. I will focus on one. She suggests that we learn to “unhook from criticism and praise.” In case you didn’t realize it these past 13 years, the school setting tends to provide plenty of criticism and praise toward all of us. Fall 2016

Fear of criticism, Mohr posits, may hold you back at times. Therefore, it will be important for you to recognize and manage this fear. On the flip side of criticism, many of you may have grown accustomed to receiving praise. An unhealthy reliance on praise, according to Mohr, may prevent you from stretching in new directions, moving lateral at times instead of up, or attempting innovation or experiencing the unknown out of fear that you will no longer be praised. The upshot is that your friendly inner voice may help you by warning you of risks, while your inner critic may hold you back out of fear of risks. But do not let fear imprison you to your comfort zone. As the Dalai Lama once said, “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve risk.” My final suggestion to you is to allow your inner critic to be present, but have a conversation with it. In that dialog, tell your inner critic that as a graduate of Upper St. Clair High School, you are prepared for risks, uncertainty, and new experiences as a student, an employee, a family member, and a citizen of our great country. n

Class of 2016 Academic Achievers

fall. Share your heart with people, even if it’s been broken. Use social media carefully, and never as a weapon. Be kind. So, Class of 2016, I leave you with this: whether you had the ideal high school experience or if it was something less than that, know that these four years are just a snapshot, a moment in time, one chapter. You have all the time, space, energy, and opportunity to write your story. You each have something meaningful to say. Discover your voice and trust it. And always know that this is your home, even if you’re running away from it as fast as you can. We will be here, in your corner, cheering you on and waiting, with bated breath, to see the magic you create. n Graduation photos courtesy of M&M Photography


Valedictorians pictured above are listed alphabetically below along with IB Diploma Graduates and Superintendent’s Academic Achievement Award recipients

Valedictorians: Christopher Adamo, Andrew Berlin, Emily Hobart, Mary Lucas, Michael Nastac, Yein (Christina) Park, Akshay Prasadan, Geet Punjabi, Jacob Riberi, Madeline Rocks, Mariaya Savinov, Bennett Sneath, Katherine Starr, Rachel VanRyzin, Mark Vlah, Hannah Wilding

International Baccalaureate Diploma Graduates: Gaurav Bhushan, Jacob Heilman, Zoe Kunzli, Hunter Lantzman, Alyssa Montgomery, Yein (Christina) Park, Nymisha Rameswarapu, Zachary Riemer, Mariya Savinov, Vidi Shah, Sowmya Srinivasan, Anne-Sophie van der Poel, Rachel VanRyzin, Aarya Wadke S u p e r i n t e n d e n t ’s A c a d e m i c Achievement Award: David Corbin, Alexandra Steve

To view the list of students who were honored at the Upper St. Clair High School awards ceremony in May, visit the TODAY website at and click on “Past Issues” in the upper left-hand area of the screen. Scroll down to the “USC TODAY Features” section to find the link to “USCHS 2016 Student Awards.”

Student Speeches Michael Nastac … We have great potential in our graduating class of 2016: future engineers who designed and launched their own rockets, award-winning actors who will make strides in the fine arts, tomorrow’s doctors who have shadowed at hospitals and already performed medical research, statewide and nationally recognized orators who will become future government leaders. We all have aspirations to make a positive difference in the world, and I know that we can help drive mankind forward…

Mary Cugini … For me, I was and am still in awe of everyone at school who stood by me; be it a teacher who never said anything to me, but always offered a smile when I couldn’t, the school counselor who let me sit in her office no matter the time of day, or the student in my history class that took notes for me even though we rarely spoke. That challenge showed me that we are all a part of something bigger, something greater than anything we could be alone. And to each student here: that adversity did not hold you back, it did not stop you…

Leah Day … Even one person changes a statistic. What statistics will you change? What will you choose to become a part of? Some of these questions are beginning to be answered with the start of college. Some are yet mysteries. But this I know: If we always view the future as a distant dream, the goals that we wish to achieve in our future will never become realities. We must think of our future as simply an extension of the present, and in thinking this way, our future becomes now. Not after this ceremony, not on the first day of college, but right now in this moment. My hope for my classmates is that we have the strength to use our uniqueness to our full potential. For each of us to share our individual backgrounds, talents, ideals, and dreams, and in so doing become the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be. n

Three members of the USCHS Class of 2016 were selected by their peers to speak at commencement. Shown are excerpts from those speeches. View them, as well as the superintendent’s and Board of School Director president’s speeches, in their entirety by visiting TODAY’s website at magazine/usc-today-home. Click on “Past Issues” and scroll down to the “Features” section, where the 2016 USCHS commencement speeches are listed.

Fall 2016




Awards Aplenty

USC Named Among Best High Schools Upper St. Clair High School

ranks among the top high schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The newspaper released its list of 2016 Best High Schools this past April. Ranked 11th in Pennsylvania, Upper St. Clair is one of only 216 of the Commonwealth’s 676 high schools to make the list. Upper St. Clair ranks third among the 42 suburban high schools in Allegheny

County. Nationally, it ranks 638 out of 29,070 high schools, which is among the top two percent. U.S. News & World Report used a fourstep process to determine its list of the best high schools that includes overall and subgroup performance on standardized tests, graduation rates, and college readiness as demonstrated by Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate data.

Upper St. Clair High School

Dr. O’Toole Honored with Alumni Award

Upper St. Clair Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick O’Toole received the 2016 Clarion Distinguished Alumni Award this past June during a ceremony at Clarion University. According to information provided by Clarion, this award, established in 1966, recognizes alumni who, over an extended period of time and/ or through a singular achievement, have achieved exemplary success in their own field, extraordinary service to Clarion, their community, state, nation, or all of humanity.

Dr. Patrick O’Toole

The “Positive Glow”—Benefits of Volunteering Daphna Gans, PhD

Volunteering time in unpaid productive roles is an important aspect of civic engagement, the active participation of individuals in the life of their communities. While it is well known that volunteering contributes to the local community and our society at large, research demonstrates that it brings personal benefits to the volunteers themselves, as well. It is estimated that the overall economic impact of volunteering activities to the global economy may be as high as $400 billion yearly. Recent research further suggests that individuals living in communities with a high level of civic engagement and strong social networks (also termed high in social capital) are better off in a variety of ways. These communities have better physical and mental health, better education systems, stronger economies, and lower crime rates. Beyond these benefits, studies also show that volunteering yields a direct psychological benefit to volunteers. While helping to improve one’s community, this kind of engagement taps 62


into the natural pro-social or altruistic tendencies of individuals. The volunteering act itself, therefore, is satisfying, offering a psychological reward termed the “positive glow” associated with helping others. The Upper St. Clair community is rich with civic engagement. We are fortunate to have a multitude of community-based organizations, from parent teacher organizations (PTA, PTOs, and PTSOs), to the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, to multiple booster organizations committed to ensuring the continuation of extracurricular programs for all kids, to name a few. These organizations are all run by committed volunteers who devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to the respective organization’s cause. However, as noted by several of these organizations, recently there seems to be a continual overall decline in the number of parent volunteers. It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill key leadership positions on executive boards, find volunteers to chair Fall 2016

committees, and, at times, even find volunteers for short-term commitments such as chaperoning sponsored events. Let’s put this trend in a larger societal and historical context. The best-selling book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000) brought much attention to this issue. Using evidence from nearly half a million interviews, Putnam proposed that over the last quarter century, the American society has become less civically engaged and increasingly disconnected. His book title alludes to the fact that people no longer belong to bowling leagues, preferring individual over collective activities, hence, bowling alone. The book sparked a lively public debate: Has America lost its social capital? Have we moved even further away from a collectivist culture, putting the good of all before the good of oneself, towards a dominant individualistic culture, where one’s self interest trumps the interest of


Sharon Suritsky Distinguished Female Educator

Upper St. Clair Assistant/Deputy Superintendent Dr. Sharon Suritsky received the 2016 Distinguished Female Educator Award from the Tri-State Area School Study Council. The award recognizes honorees for their leadership within their school districts and communities, as well as their mentorship and assistance extended to others. Dr. Suritsky was nominated by Superintendent Dr. Patrick O’Toole, who describes his colleague as a respected and revered leader, communicator, and mentor. Dr. Suritsky, who oversees Upper St. Clair’s K-12 instructional program, joined the District’s administrative staff in 1996 as supervisor of special education. In 2009, acting assistant to the superintendent for curriculum and instruction was added to her responsibilities, and in 2012 she was elevated to assistant superintendent. Dr. Suritsky has served in her current capacity as assistant/deputy superintendent since July 2014. Among her many accomplishments at Upper St. Clair is Dr. Suritsky’s work with the District’s Leadership Academies. In addition to guiding the District’s curriculum, instruction and assessment, she has been instrumental in the acquisition of grants totaling more than $185,000 to support academic programs and school safety initiatives. Dr. Suritsky began her career in education as a special education teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. In addition, she previously taught special education courses at Duquesne University and Pennsylvania State University. She completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies in special education at Penn State University and earned her master’s degree in special education from Bloomsburg University. Additionally, Dr. Suritsky’s alma mater honored her with two awards: the Leadership and Service Award from the Penn State College of Education Alumni Society and the Excellence Award for Outstanding Professional Service and Teaching from the Penn State College of Education. n Dr. Sharon Suritsky

the community as a whole? Since 2000, Putnam has been leading a large initiative titled The Saguaro seminar: Civic Engagement in America at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, focusing on the study of social capital (the value of social networks) and community engagement, seeking to find ways to re-engage communities (https://www. about-saguaro). The large body of work of this esteemed groups of thinkers and researchers continued to show that while there had been a spike in civic engagement following the 9/11 events, overall, civic engagement is indeed on the decline. Much of the decline has been attributed to demographic, economic, and historical changes in America, including, for example, increased workforce participation among women, declining wages, loss of free time due to the urban sprawl with commuting times continuously increasing, and the technological transformation of leisure to our society with increased technology. Within this larger societal and historical context, it is quite clear that we are a

thriving community with high levels of social networks and civic engagement. However, our recent struggles to attract volunteers may indicate a beginning of a slight breakage in the tight-knit fabric of our social capital. It might be time for us to come together, as a community, and ask ourselves what may be some effective ways


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to attract volunteers and sustain a high level of social capital in our ever-changing social and economic landscape. By doing so we can ensure that our community continues to flourish, our children have a supportive environment, and that we, the volunteers, can continue to benefit from a “positive glow.” n

Daphna Gans, PhD, is vice president of the Upper St. Clair Parent Teacher Council (PTC), a new trustee for the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, faculty at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, and a wife and mother in the USC community.

Fall 2016




Science and Tech-Ed News

Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair Seven USCHS students participated in the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair held in April at Heinz Field. Now in its 77th year, the competition invites students in grades six through 12 to submit research projects in various fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Participants included sophomores Kriti Shah, Alex Brufsky, and Sahil Doshi, and juniors Vedant Parekh, Vashisth Parekh, Connor Byrnes, and Mahima Reddy. Sahil Doshi earned the first place award in the “Senior Physics” category. Sahil also won sponsor awards from Eaton Corporation, Innovation Works, and United States Steel, as well as the Perseverance Award-Associate Scientist. Sahil’s project was titled “Phase Field Modeling of Dendritic Growth.” Vedant Parekh earned the first place award in the “Senior Earth/Space/Environment” category. He won affiliate awards from the American Meteorological Society and the ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. Vedant also won sponsor awards from the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration and earned the Perseverance Award-Associate Scientist. Vedant’s project was titled “Breathing Battery.” Vashisth Parekh earned the first place award in the “Senior Chemistry” division. Vashisth won sponsor awards from Alcoa Technical Center, American Chemical Society, CMU Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach, Chemical Association of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and United States Steel. Vashisth also won scholarship awards from Carnegie Mellon University, Chemical Association of Pittsburgh, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, La Roche College, and St. Francis University, and he earned the Perseverance Award-Associate Scientist. Vashisth and his teacher-sponsor, Lynn Kistler, were invited to attend the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh/American Chemical Society Annual Awards Dinner held at Duquesne University in May. Vashisth’s project was titled “eBatt: A Printable Battery.” Mahima Reddy earned a scholarship award from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Perseverance Award-Associate Scientist. Her project was titled “Determining if T-bet Overexpression Induces Immune Factors In Vitro.” Kriti Shah earned the Perseverance Award-Associate Scientist for her project “ULuminate–Human Light Bulb.” Kriti worked with sophomore Alex Brufsky on the project. Connor Byrnes earned a scholarship award from the Duquesne University Summer Undergraduate Research Program and won an affiliate award from the Stockholm Junior Water Prize/ Water Environment Federation. Connor’s project was titled “StreamDuino.” American Chemical Society-Pittsburgh Section High School Contest Beginning in 1945, the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society has sponsored an annual contest for secondary schools to recognize outstanding achievement by the students and their teachers as well as to encourage interest in chemistry among students. The contest is used to qualify students interested 64


Fall 2016

in participating in the International Chemistry Olympics and to identify students for scholarships. The exam is administered to students from schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Sophomore student Kevin Chen earned first place in the category “S-First Year Chemistry, Large Schools.” Kevin’s USCHS teacher was Dr. Dominic Frollini.

Kevin Chen

USA Biology Olympiad The USA Biology Olympiad is the premier competition for biology in the U.S. Nearly 10,000 students nationwide compete to earn the privilege of representing the United States in the International Biology Olympiad. Six USCHS students put their skills to the test during a 50-minute exam covering a wide range of biology topics, including plant Sam Ding and animal anatomy and physiology, cell biology, genetics and evolution, and ecology. Participants included Kevin Chen, Jag Gummadi, Steve Cheung, Sam Ding, Yash Lohoti, and Aditi Chattopadhyay. Sam Ding scored in the top ten percent nationwide and participated in a more grueling two-hour test for semi-finalist. Pittsburgh Data Jam In its third year of competition, Pittsburgh Data Jam is a high school competition that teaches students about big data, gives them an opportunity to work on a data analysis project, visit big data companies in the local area, and hear from data scientists. As part of the Data Jam program, students also have the opportunity to visit businesses that use “big” data. Aditi Chattopadhyay, Mahima Reddy, and Mary Lucas, escorted by USCHS teacher Lynn Kistler, visited IBM Watson in Squirrel Hill, UPMC Enterprises in Bakery Square, and Management Science Associates in East Liberty. Upper St. Clair participated in this event for the first time and earned a spot in the top five teams. Team members included Aditi Chattopadhyay, Mahima Reddy, Kriti Shah, Mary Lucas, Kevin Chen, Yash Lohoti, and Pramod Narayanan. The group collected and analyzed data to answer the question “Does natural gas production correlate with USC students at Data Jam drinking water contamination

SD levels?� Students processed water quality data from Pittsburgh, Washington, and Butler over a 20-year period and found slight increases in some contaminates, yet none were above the legal limits. Students presented their finding to a panel of judges in April at the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland. An awards ceremony was held afterwards at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald viewing their project posters and complimenting the groups on their efforts, emphasizing the value of big data. Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Four students from USCHS participated in the Region 7 PJAS Competition held at Duquesne University this past February. Aditi Chattopadhyay, Mahima Reddy, Tanvika Sriram, and Hridhay Reddy shared their scientific research with a panel of judges in a ten-minute presentation. Aditi, Mahima, and Tanvika each earned a first place and the opportunity to attend the PJAS state competition at Penn State University. The three girls attended the competition in May with chaperone and teacherAditi Chattopadhyay sponsor Lynn Kistler. Aditi and Mahima each earned a first place at the competition, which is attended by over 2000 students from across Pennsylvania. In addition, both girls interviewed and earned scholarship offers from the PSU Eberly College of Science. Mahima was one of three students selected to attend an all-expenses-paid trip to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) National Convention to be held in February 2017. Mahima Reddy

We Dream, We Do.

Kimberly Cooper, Food Services Director Joe Wightkin, Support Services Director

National Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders For the second year in a row, USCHS sophomore Sydney Closser was nominated to attend the National Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston. Last year, Sydney was nominated by astronaut Buzz Aldrin and this year, Shree Bose, the 2011 Google Global Science Fair winner, nominated her. During last year’s Congress, Sydney heard speeches from renowned inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen, FourSquare creator Dennis Crowley, and others. n Sydney Closser

Fall 2016




Speech & Debate Team Competes at Nationals

The USC Speech & Debate team qualified 26 students to National Catholic Forensic League Grand Nationals in Sacramento, California, for a tournament that occurred over Memorial Day Weekend. Qualifying in debate were Public Forum teams Hunter Lantzman and Caleb Troughtzmantz, and Anvi Kumar and Harshini Sakhthivel (who were unable to attend the competition after being added from the alternate list). Three Policy Debate teams also qualified—Jacob Lantzman and Yash Lahoti, Spencer Miller and Eva Schenker, and Meghan Joon and Mallika Matharu—the first to represent USC in this event. All four USC Lincoln-Douglas debaters qualified to nationals, including Amna Amin, Neale Misquitta, Ariana Chiu, and Raahema Durrani. Raahema went 5–0 in the preliminary rounds to become the first USC debater ever to do so at a national tournament and placed 17th nationally. Qualifying in speech were Declamation competitor Rita Beauchamp; Extemporaneous speakers Chase Miller, Justin Brandwein, Thomas Mologne, and Roderick Smith; Oral Interpers Laura Lapham and Hannah Sanner; Original Orators Tana Mahajan and Krisha Monpara; and Dramatic Performers Saraj Quinto, Erin Graham, and Katherine Starr. Senior Speech Captain Saraj broke the top 48 in the nation, narrowly missing a chance to be USC’s first-ever national finalist and finishing seventh overall. The team enjoyed another terrific national-level performance in Salt Lake City this June at the NSDA national tournament, which is considered to be the largest academic competition in the U.S. Chase Miller ended his career placing 16th overall of nearly 300 of the best in the country in Domestic Extemp.

Public Forum debaters Macey Kaplan and Arushi Kewalramani broke to the eighth round of competition with a 9–3 record in preliminaries. Additionally, they competed in International Public Forum Debate and achieved USC School District’s highest placing, with a seventh place (quarterfinal) finish against teams from around the world. Justin Brandwein and Saraj Quinto ended their respective careers in Domestic Extemp and Dramatic Interpretation. Justin made the third round of Extemp Debate and Saraj was chosen to judge Middle School Nationals. Amna Amin anchored Team Pittsburgh in World Parliamentary debate, a position she gained through a voting of area coaches this past March. The team ended with a 3–3 record and Amna made the fifth round of Extemp Debate. Krisha Monpara competed in Informative Oratory and made the fifth round of Expository. n

Left to right are Speech & Debate members Krisha Monpara, Amna Amin, Arushi Kewalramani, Macey Kaplan, team advisor Ben Edwards, Justin Brandwein, Chase Miller, and Saraj Quinto

Students Excel at Japanese Speech Contest Grace Eden

This past March, 14 of Sensei Junko Kapples’ Japanese students from USC High School participated in the 2016 High School Japanese speech contest, hosted by the JapanAmerica Society of Pennsylvania (JASP) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center, at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. This year, 110 students from various area schools, including Upper St. Clair, participated in either the poster contest or a contest for one of the four levels of speech (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or advanced plus). USCHS students Hashim Durrani, Riley Davis, Harris Altherr, Macey Mesinere, Anna Culhane, Ethan Quinto, Austin Li, John Chakos, Cassidy Turner, Jade Callas,

Students, staff, and USC administration celebrating the contest results, left to right, are Christine Mussomeli, Hashim Durrani, Daniel Beck, Clare Reinone, Erin Graham, Sensei Junko Kapples, Dr. Lou Angelo, Deanna Baird, and Dr. Tim Wagner 66


Grace Eden, and Erin Graham represented the Japanese Level 1 class in the poster contest. Clare Rainone represented the Japanese Level 3 class, and Clare also competed in the intermediate level speech competition. Veteran Alison Mesinere, former Japanese Level 3 student, participated in the advanced speech contest. All three awards for the poster contest were given to USC contestants—Erin Graham came in first, Hashim Durrani took second, and Grace Eden took third. Also, Clare Rainone received the third place award for the intermediate level speech competition. The participants browsed various booths while they waited to be called upon for their presentation. There were booths at which students could make traditional origami or calligraphy. Personally, I enjoyed learning how to make origami, while being instructed in Japanese. While I am only in Japanese level 1 and do not have a wide range of vocabulary, I was amazed at how I used my intuitive listening skills to infer what the instructor’s commands meant, even when I was unfamiliar with the words she used. I responded, using simple signal phrases, including Japanese words for “yes,” “no,” “I understand,” and “I do not understand.” Some of the booths represented colleges that offer Japanese-related programs, and I Fall 2016

was able to learn about how I can continue my Japanese-learning experience at a university level, including schools like Carnegie Mellon (CMU) and Temple. CMU advertised the various clubs on its campus that center on Japan and its culture, including a Japanese cooking club which meets to cook and enjoy Japanese food. A Temple representative spoke about how that school offers Japanese classes and also has its own independent English-speaking TempleJapan campus, located in Tokyo. Temple also offers a summer experience in Japan for high school students who are interested in learning more about the Japanese culture and language. The High School Japanese speech contest was rewarding. We learned not only about our given topic, but also what it takes to memorize a speech that is in one of the most difficult languages to learn for native English speakers. We enjoyed meeting other Pittsburgh area students who also study Japanese and we are eager to participate again in 2017! n Grace Eden, daughter of Marisa and Brian Eden, is a senior at Upper St. Clair High School. Young Writer’s Guild is for any USC student, grade eight and above, to write voluntarily for UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY. Contact for more information.



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World Language Students Earn Top Honors A team of Upper St. Clair High School juniors earned top honors at the 2016 Cultural Communications Alliance’s marketing competition this past May at the University of Pittsburgh. Team members included Alex Beynon, Heaven Knight, and Marius Rosu. The Cultural Communications Alliance works with Pittsburgh area high school teachers to introduce international business concepts to their students using an international case competition. High school teams work on their projects throughout the year, with final presentations conducted in May. To compete, students must be enrolled in a high school world language course. The five teams in the competition were tasked with preparing a marketing strategy for a software program known as Radimetrics, which measures radiation doses in hospitals. The target market was the country of Taiwan. Each team had 12 minutes to present its marketing strategy to a panel of judges from the academic and business communities, which was followed by a three-minute question opportunity by the judges. Teams were expected to include information regarding the utilization of language, culture, cultural practices, and business practices of Taiwan, government regulations, advertising, promotion, distribution, packaging, non-market strategy considerations, sales potential, and pricing. Students were evaluated on a variety of factors, including thoroughness of research, creativity, innovation, and use of technology. “The research and presentation provided students with an authentic, ‘real-world’ experience in international business,” said Joanna Darakos, Upper St. Clair High School Spanish teacher.

“The project required participants to fully understand another culture when creating their marketing pitch.” The USC team began working on the project in November. Students were supervised by high school teachers Deanna Baird (German), Joanna Darakos, Kate Speer (Spanish), and Amanda Haas (math), as well as Maureen McDonough, an Upper St. Clair parent and mentor. “We are proud of these students who worked so hard with this extracurricular activity!” Deanna said. “Alex, Heaven, and Marius have progressed far on their journey to an international mindset that will help them in future careers.” The Cultural Communications Alliance works in cooperation with Bayer USA; the International Business Center, the Global Studies Center, the Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, and the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; Chorus Call; and other entities to create and administer the events and competition. n

Left to right are Maureen McDonough (USCSD parent and team mentor); students Alex Beynon, Marius Rosu, and Heaven Knight; and teachers Deanna Baird and Joanna Darakos Fall 2016





The Ultimate Panther Pass includes general admission for regular season home events: football, soccer, basketball, swimming, wrestling, lacrosse, and volleyball (approximately 75 paid events). ADULT PASSES ULTIMATE PANTHER PASS (All Events Pass to 75 events) (General Admission to all sports events: Fall, Winter, and Spring Sports for $70).... #____ of passes @ $70 = $____ Contact the athletic office regarding winter and spring reduced rate adult passes. GENERAL ADMISSION FOOTBALL ONLY PASS #____ of passes @ $30 = $____ PANTHER (STUDENT) PASSES

USCHS Varsity Sports Scorecard 2015-2016 Sport Win-Loss-Tie FALL Cross-Country (Boys) 5-3-0 Cross-Country (Girls) 4-4-0 Field Hockey 8-5-0 Football 6-4-0 1st round of WPIAL playoffs

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Passes will be mailed when processed. For the complete football schedule, see below. For more information on athletics, visit Lost or stolen passes will not be replaced.

2016 USCHS Varsity Football Schedule Fridays, 7:30 p.m. kickoff Date Opponent Location September 2 September 9 September 16 September 23 September 30 October 7 October 14 October 21 October 28 68

North Hills Moon Baldwin Fox Chapel Chartiers Valley West Allegheny McKeesport Hampton Woodland Hill


Home Home (Youth Night) Away Home (Halls of Fame/Homecoming) Away Home Home (Senior Recognition) Away Away Fall 2016


WPIAL team playoffs

Golf (Girls)


WPIAL team finals


1 round of WPIAL playoffs st

Soccer (Girls)


Section and PIAA state champions

Tennis (Girls)


WPIAL quarterfinalist

Volleyball (Girls)


WPIAL 3rd place, PIAA quarterfinalists

WINTER Basketball (Boys) Basketball (Girls) Wrestling

11-10-0 5-17-0 6-4-0

WPIAL team playoffs

Swimming (Boys)


WPIAL 3 place, PIAA 6 place rd

Swimming (Girls)



WPIAL 3rd place, PIAA 7th place

Rifle Ice Hockey SPRING Baseball Softball Tennis (Boys)

0-12-0 4-14-2 8-11-0 2-15-0 13-3-0

Section champions, WPIAL quarterfinalist

Volleyball (Boys)


WPIAL playoffs

Track (Girls) Track (Boys) Lacrosse (Girls)

2-3-0 2-3-0 12-7-0

WPIAL playoffs

Lacrosse (Boys) WPIAL playoffs


SD PIAA Football Gets a New Look Dominic Ortenzo

This year, Upper St. Clair, along with the other districts in the area, will see a change in their high school football playoff alignments. Every two years the alignments are evaluated to see if changes should be made based on student enrollment in each school district. The larger or smaller the enrollment is in each school determines where that school district plays in the playoffs, be it as low as Class 1A or as high as Class 6A. This kind of change in sports occurs quite often and not only in football. As an example, USC is 6A in basketball for boys and girls, 4A in soccer for boys and girls, and now 5A in football. Alignments are overseen by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), which is made up of 12 districts throughout Pennsylvania. Several districts felt strongly that there needed to be new classifications for football playoff sections, and the PIAA voted it through. While evaluations occur every two years, the discussion over new classifications has been going on for the past ten years. The goal is to have a more competitive balance between school districts rather than having teams play each other with a student enrollment of 3500 vs. USC’s 1500 enrollment, for example. The change will result in there being six state champions instead of the current four. WPIAL championships will be similar, since WPIAL is a member of the PIAA and is required to abide by state-level decisions. So how does this affect high school football in our Township? Since USC is not one of the largest school districts, it was moved into Class 5A, section 1, with other regional teams similar in size, including Baldwin and North Hills. USC High School athletic director Matt Mellinger thinks the new alignments will not affect the football program in any way. “We play mostly the same teams in most sports except for football,” he said. When I asked if it would be hard for the football

team to adapt, Mellinger replied, “I feel as if the Panthers will be ready to play whomever is on the other side of the line. Plus, we have played most of them in recent past.” Unfortunately, with the new classes and sections, USC will not be playing its usual rivals, including Bethel Park, Peters Township, and Mt. Lebanon, which disappoints our players. Head Coach Jim Render stated that there was a possibility of playing one of the rivals instead of playing a second scrimmage, but it was not a good option. “We elected to play the ‘hand’ that we were dealt,” he said. But, there are also multiple positives to the change. USC wide receiver Michael Harbula said, “It should be easier for us now. Plus, the new competition should make things more interesting.” Render added that he thought the PIAA and WPIAL should work more closely to retain neighborhood rivalries. All schools should play ten regular season games instead of nine so that all teams can have five home games, and there should by only one tournament throughout the PIAA and WPIAL, instead of two. After this realignment, additional changes might be considered. The most important aspect of this realignment is the concern that Upper St. Clair football will have the opportunity to continue to play competitively against its opponents. I asked Mellinger and Render if they thought that the USC football team will continue to do well in the coming seasons. “We have a hard working group of boys back this season, and as long as we stay healthy, we should be good. Honestly, that is one of the great things about this move for football,” Mellinger said. Render added, “I always expect our USC teams to do well. In that regard, I could form an argument, based on past records and team history, that in many cases the 6A division is easier than the 5A. Nonetheless, I think the team that will represent USCHS this fall will be ready, willing, and able!” n

Dominic, the son of Tony and Cindy Ortenzo, is a senior at USCHS. Young Writer’s Guild is for any USC student, grade eight and above, to write voluntarily for UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY. Contact for more information.

USCHS Clubs and Activities 2016-2017 Art Club Athletes Taking Action Badminton Club Biology Club Cause for Paws CHANGES (Community Helping Alliance for Neighborhood Goals in Education & Service) Cheerleading Chess Club Choral Groups Clairvoyant (yearbook)

Classic Rock Club Color Guard–Marching Band Computer Programming Club Crew (Rowing) Dance Team Environmental Awareness & Recycling Fall Play FBLA (Future Business Leaders) Film Production Club Fishing Club Forensics (Speech & Debate) French Club

FRIENDS (Finding Relationships in Every New Direction) Future Med Gay-Straight Alliance German Club Girl Childhood Network Golf Club Hip Hop Dance Team Ice Hockey Interact Invisible Children Japanese Club Jewish Student Union

Junior Classical League Kids Helping Kids Lacrosse Club Latin Club Law Club Library Media Assistants LINK (Leisure Interaction Networking Kids) Majorettes–Marching Band Make-A-Wish Marching Band Mathematics League MENC Tri-M Music Honor Society

Montage (literary publication) Multi-Cultural Club Music Production Club National Honor Society Natural Helpers Orchestra Outreach Club Pantherettes–Marching Band Pep Club Photography Robotics Science Club Ski Club

Spanish Club Spring Musical St. Clarion (school newspaper) Stage Crew Student Council Teens for Casey’s Clubhouse Thai Club Thespian Society Ultimate Frisbee UNICEF Club World Affairs Club

F o r i n f o r m a t i o n , c a l l U S C H S a t 4 1 2 - 8 3 3 - 1 6 0 0 o r v i s i t w w w. u s c s d . k 1 2 . p a . u s . Fall 2016





Turning the Table on Tina Vojtko

Communications specialist Tina Vojtko joined USC School District earlier this year in anticipation of Doreen Leech’s retirement. While she’s normally the person asking the questions, TODAY turned the table on Tina and interviewed her so our readers could learn more about the person who keeps our community up to date on the great things happening in our schools! What do you do at work during a “typical” day? One of the things that I like most about what I do is that no two days are ever alike. As a communications person, I spend a lot of time writing. Whether it’s a news release, website content, social media post, letter to families, or an eAlert message or survey, writing consumes much of my day. I also spend a lot of time managing the District’s website following the retirement of Doreen Leech, who is amazing. Educational background: I have a bachelor’s degree in communication from Bethany College in West Virginia and, 20 years later, I earned two master’s degrees from Duquesne University in corporate communication and multimedia technology. What you did before coming to USC? I have worked in school communications for the last 15 years, including the North Hills, Quaker Valley, and Moon Area school districts. Prior to relocating to Pittsburgh, I served as

the director of annual giving for West Liberty State College in West Virginia and as the director of community relations for the Children’s Home of Wheeling in Wheeling, West Virginia. Favorite part of your job: As a working mom, I have an auTina Vojtko thentic perspective on the needs of today’s families. I empathize with our families who are juggling multiple children, endless activities, and life’s daily challenges. There are countless stories to share about the amazing achievements, projects, and initiatives that are happening daily in our classrooms and schools. I am so thankful that I get to play the role of storyteller for USC. It’s such a great story to tell! Where do you live? I grew up in Maine and relocated to the North Hills area of Pittsburgh in 2001. Family—spouse, kids (ages), pets: My husband, Dan, and I have two teenagers–Andrew, 19, and Darby, 15–along with three cats: Buddy, Zozo, and Cooper. What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy walking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. n

Thank You Thank you to the following Upper St. Clair School District employees (listed alphabetically) who retired at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. We thank them for their service. Deanna Baird, High School German teacher, K-12 World Language Curriculum Leader, and German Club sponsor Linda Dalzell, High School student records and scheduling assistant Ronald Devey, Jr., District maintenance technician Frank Eisenreich, High School and Baker music teacher Richard Falascino, Boyce industrial arts teacher Rosemary Fouts Lostetter, Streams guidance counselor Peter Hess, Baker custodian Susan Hofrichter-Watts, Baker art teacher Jettie Kaplan, Streams head secretary Catherine Kauffman, Bus attendant Madeline Kneier, Eisenhower teacher aide Virginia Knudsen, Eisenhower special education teacher

Irene Koestner, Boyce head secretary Doreen Leech, Central Office technology support coordinator Roy Legacy, Maintenance technician Sheila Lloyd, High School student activities assistant Mark McCreery, High School part-time custodian Karen Momyer, High School home economics teacher Maureen Strathmann, Baker teacher aide Barbara Snyder, Boyce teacher aide Deborah Spada, Boyce teacher Eloise Stoehr, Supervisor of pupil personnel services Russell Tenace, Bus driver Catherine Zora, Eisenhower elementary teacher

Doreen Leech Retires As the District welcomes Tina Vojtko, it reluctantly says goodbye to Central Office technology support coordinator Doreen Leech. Doreen started her career with the District as a teacher aide at Boyce Middle School before filling the job of Boyce computer center secretary in 1991. In 1996, she moved to Central Office as a confidential secretary and in 1998 she became technology support coordinator. Doreen retired in July, after 28 years of dedicated service to the District, most of which were behind the scenes activities that enhanced the District’s presence to the public. n 70


Fall 2016

Doreen Leech, with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick O’Toole and Director of Technology Ray Berrott


Shining STARS

This past spring, special needs students from school districts across Southwestern Pennsylvania met at Upper St. Clair High School for a STARS partnership program. STARS (Schools Together with Athletes Reaching Success) provides meaningful activities for students with and without physical and intellectual disabilities to collaborate, create, and participate in activities that enrich the school curriculum. USC hosted its first STARS event, “Put Your Best Foot Forward,” as athletes were placed on competitive and Many enjoyed the indoor activities. non-competitive teams with their regular education “partners” for support and friendship. The event featured outdoor soccer and kickball games, as well as indoor skill building games and activities. In addition to USC, students from Avonworth, Baldwin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Jay Pollock, provides instructions for Forward, Montour, Moon, Mt. Lebanon, Peters the STARS event. Township, South Allegheny, South Fayette, and Washington high schools participated in the event. Organizing the event as his Eagle Scout project was Jay Pollock, who was assisted by Eric Lehman. Both students are seniors at USCHS. Lyn Mulroy, high school special education teacher, said that the STARS partnership program has grown out of the Partners in PE group, with Southwestern Pennsylvania involved. Shannon Parker and Jolie Oswald STARS coordinates interscholastic opportunities where all students can compete, participate greeted visitors. in, and build friendships through athletic and social events. n

Sandbox Serves as Teaching Tool Looks can be deceiving. At the back of the classroom in the Upper St. Clair High School’s FAB Lab sits a black, wooden sand table that stands about waist high. Seemingly, the only things lacking were the small shovels, pails, and other sand toys that would keep a child busy for hours. But when the lights dimmed, the once simple sandbox was transformed into a virtual topographical map that adjusts instantly to the contours of the sand. Meet the augmented reality sandbox built by Michael Smith, USCHS Class of 2016. In need of an idea for his culminating project for the high school’s Advanced Engineering course, Michael turned to his teacher, Fred Peskorski. Although he had previously never heard of an augmented reality sandbox, two weeks into the school year Michael was researching and learning everything he could in order to build one. The augmented reality sandbox allows users to create and change topography models by simply moving and shaping sand. In real time, the technology projects a color-coded contour map. Dragging your hand through the sand instantly creates a river of blue water that flows with realistic motion. Make a pile of sand and you’ve created a red mountain with contour lines showing the elevation. Hold your hand over the sand and rain begins to fall, eroding the landscape. “Basically, all of the magic happens from the Kinect, which senses how deep the sand is and how high the sand is and that sends the depth to the computer, which translates it into a topographical map,” Michael said. “A high point would be red and the low points represent below sea level so that’s where the simulated water will travel.” The technology for the project required a short-throw

projector, an Xbox 360 Kinect sensor, a computer equipped with a Linux operating system, and open source software that Michael was able to find online. The technology for the project totaled more than Michael Smith and Fred Peskorski $1000, which was funded by Sonny Bringol, president of Victorian Finance, through the assistance of Upper St. Clair’s advancement office. Director of Advancement Sheila Gorgonio matched the innovative project with the interests of the donor. The actual table was built in the school’s FAB Lab with extraordinary attention to detail. The table was designed to fit through standard doorframes and casters were added to insure that it could travel easily between classrooms and schools. “Originally my intention was to use this in an architecture class to help teach students about topographical maps and site plans for building houses,” Fred said. “As I further realized its capabilities, this can also be used in environmental studies classes. We can transport it to the elementary schools and let them play in sand to understand how a topographical map is developed.” Although Michael graduated this past June, his project remains in the District. The augmented reality sandbox will serve as an effective teaching tool for environmental science concepts including topography, the meaning of contour lines, understanding how water flows over a landscape, erosion, and more. This fall, Michael will begin his college career at the University of Akron, where he will major in computer engineering. n Fall 2016






... a USC Parent Teacher Council Feature




Fort Couch


Stepping up to the challenge of leading the PTSOs, PTOs, and PTA at our schools are the unit presidents. TODAY is happy to introduce you to these dedicated parents who spend so much time to enrich the educational experience in our schools. Please respond generously when and if they ask for volunteers this year! Council President: Beth Huzjak Occupation: Part-time marketing research analyst Spouse: Ryan Children: Madeline (14), Morgan (11), Meredith (9), Mia (8) Busy day “go-to” meal: Takeout! Favorite “free time” activity: Travel, shop, read, interior design, and home improvement projects

Fort Couch Middle School PTSO President: Melanie Lenthall Occupation: Substitute teacher aide for USC School District Spouse: Josh Children: Riley (15), Maddie (13), Aubrey (10) Busy day “go-to” meal: Homemade macaroni and cheese Favorite “free time” activity: Spend time and have fun with family when we’re not racing around going somewhere!

Beth Huzjak

High School PTSO President: Sally Ondrejko Occupation: Research associate at Ramsay Corporation Spouse: Tom Children: Shari (23), Eliana (19), Nicholas (17) Busy day “go-to” meal: Open-faced tuna melts Favorite “free time” activity: Sudoku or sewing


Kristie Proud

Melanie Lenthall

Boyce Middle School PTO President: Katy Loomis Occupation: Stay at home mom Spouse: Scott Children: Dana (14), Claire (11), Evan (5) Busy day “go-to” meal: Family-friendly homemade chicken tenders, green beans, and rolls Favorite “free time” activity: Golf

Sally Ondrejko


Baker Elementary PTA President: Kristie Proud Occupation: LuLaRoe fashion consultant Spouse: Mark Children: Evan (10), Morgan (7), Andrew (5) Busy day “go-to” meal: Chicken and veggie stir-fry Favorite “free time” activity: Go for a run!

Katy Loomis

Fall 2016

Eisenhower Elementary PTO President: Jill Hicks Occupation: Stay at home mom to my two wonderful daughters Spouse: Andy Children: Emma (10), Sophie (7) Busy day “go-to” meal: Tacos with lots of variety, which pleases everyone in the family! Favorite “free time” activity: My husband and I are avid concertgoers and love to see live music whenever we can. We love spending time with family and traveling, particularly to Chautauqua, Jill Hicks New York.


To Worlds for Two OM Teams Laura Murtough, Odyssey of the Mind Coach/Co-coordinator

PTC Streams Elementary PTO President: Leria Miles Occupation: Stay-at-home mom and protector of the realm (which doesn’t actually extend beyond my house) Spouse: Ron Children: Lucia Regina (10), Chance Sebastian (8), Mileidi Valentina (4) Busy day “go-to” meal: Spaghetti with “secret” sauce (secretly loaded with blended veggies that my kids can never detect) Favorite “free time” activity: I enjoy taking time to call and chat with my friends and family in Texas. After that, binge watching my favorite shows is a treat! Leria Miles

In Appreciation A special thank you to our outgoing school building and Council presidents for all their hard work last year!

Outgoing presidents, left to right, Daphna Gans (Fort Couch), Melissa Epler (USC High School), Brenda Tomsheck (Boyce), Amy Garces (Eisenhower), Alissa Mammana (Streams), Brooke Tarcson (Council advisor), Kristin Polochak (Baker)

Two Odyssey of the Mind teams from Fort Couch Middle School travelled on an epic journey. Their voyage began last October with a challenging task: create an original eight-minute performance, restricted from assistance by their team coaches, teachers, family, or friends. They worked together throughout the fall and winter. By spring, the teams had found success at the regional and state tournaments. But their journeys were far from over. Based on their performances, both teams earned a place at the Odyssey World Finals in Ames, Iowa, in May where they competed with more than 800 teams from across the globe. One of them went on to earn third place! Odyssey of the Mind is an epic journey, indeed. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program where students apply their creativity to solve one of five problems. They bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world levels where they are judged on creativity and risk-taking. It’s a STEAM program that develops life-long problem solving skills. One team from Fort Couch chose the vehicle problem, “No-Cycle Recycle.” Team members Vivek Babu, Christina Conte, Jacob Conte, Yash Jajoo, Gracie Lowden, Fort Couch team members, left to right, are Joseph Maggie Lowden, and Isabella Putorti built Markovitz, Eric Wang, Max Murtough, Brianna Lin, Victoria Cuba, Constantine Tripodes, and drove a recycling vehicle that traveled and Sammie Seewald without pedaling for propulsion. The vehicle picked up and repurposed discarded items, then delivered them to places to be re-used. Their clever performance was inspired by the Wizard of Oz. In their story, Dorothy, a budding young photographer, stumbles upon her famous friends during an assignment for National Geographic. Each character discards an item before being transported to a new location by a pesky, but musical tornado. Dorothy then presents her friends with a repurposed item that solves their problems. “The team scored high Fort Couch team members, left to right, are Jacob marks for creative use of materials by using Conte, Maggie Lowden, Christina Conte, Vivek Babu, National Geographic magazines for all Isabella Putorti, Gracie Lowden, and Yash Jajoo their set and costume pieces,” said Rachel Lowden, who coached the team along with Beatrice Conte. The other Fort Couch team—seventh graders Victoria Cuba, Brianna Lin, Joseph Markovitz, Max Murtough, Sammie Seewald, Constantine Tripodes, and Eric Wang— solved the classics problem “Aesop Gone Viral.” The team retold the tale of one of Aesop’s fables and made it go viral in a time period before continuous electricity was discovered. In their interpretation, a fable is published in Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper during the American Revolution to inspire soldiers with the moral “Whatever you do, use your might.” Rain falls on the paper, and reads and absorbs the moral, and then evaporates to deliver the message to Lightning and Wind in the sky. Wind then whispers the message to the soldiers on the ground. In a clever twist, Franklin mishears the moral as a call to use his kite (instead of might) and re-enacts one of the most famous discoveries in American history when lightning strikes. This team’s performance earned them third place. “The judges appreciated their ‘great blend of science and history’ as well as their humor,” said Laura Murtough who coached the team alongside Stacey Seewald and Meridith Markovitz. n For more information about Upper St. Clair’s Odyssey of the Mind program or to join a team for the upcoming school year, visit Fall 2016




USC Awarded Active Learning Classroom Upper St. Clair School District is one of only 13 school districts and universities throughout the nation to receive the installation of an active learning classroom through the Active Learning Center program, a grant initiative in its second year founded by Steelcase Education. The grant award, valued at nearly $62,000, will provide state-of-the-art furniture and classroom design to enable the implementation of the new Innovation Hub@Boyce Middle School. Modeled after the Innovation Hub@Upper St. Clair High School, which opened in 2014 and includes a MIT-certified FAB Lab, the Boyce initiative furthers the District’s strategic plan to increase STEAM opportunities for all students. “In 2015, the Upper St. Clair School District set a goal to increase the depth and breadth of STEAM curriculum offerings and improve the integration of STEAM across the curriculum and at all levels for all students,” Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, superintendent of schools, said. “Through the generous support of Steelcase Education, we can expand these innovative programs to our students at Boyce Middle School this fall.” Over the summer, a Steelcase Education learning environment was installed at Boyce Middle School by Franklin Interiors. Ready for the 2016-17 school year, the active learning classroom, which features a maker space, will positively impact teaching and learning by providing an educational space that encourages creativity, collaboration, and discovery. “Upper St. Clair School District was chosen for its commitment to using progressive pedagogies and active learning strategies that truly impact student engagement,” Craig Wilson, director of market development for Steelcase Education, said. “Teachers and students at Boyce Middle School will now be able to use a flexible learning space and explore the capabilities of an environment built specifically for improved engagement and collaboration.” In addition to receiving a new classroom, Boyce Middle School staff will receive training from Steelcase on the uses of the technology and furniture in their new spaces and will have the opportunity to participate in a community of practice with all awarded schools to share insights and best practices. Over the two-year program, Steelcase Education and Upper St. Clair School District will partner together to conduct assessments and research on the impact of the newly designed space. “We are honored to be recognized by The Active Learning Center grant,” said Brad Wilson, USC’s supervisor of customized and online learning. “Like Steelcase, we place a priority on providing students with the most engaging and active learning spaces available so we are excited to be able to continue in our mission with the installation of this unique classroom.” Steelcase research has shown that active learning environments positively impact student engagement. When surveyed, a majority of students and educators reported that the active learning classrooms contributed to higher engagement, the expectation of better grades, more motivation, and more creativity, when compared to traditional row-by-row seating. The Innovation Hub@USCHS provides specialized equipment and software that students use to engage in project-based learning and hands-on fabrication, bridging between the concepts taught in traditional classrooms and the realworld applications. The Innovation Hub is the cornerstone of two initiatives: an MIT-certified FAB Lab and SHOP@USC, a student-run business that combines STEAM opportunities, business skills, and life skills. The Innovation Hub@USCHS was made possible through generous donations from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, The Grable Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the PTSO, and several individual donors. “Innovation Hubs in our schools facilitate STEAM opportunities within our classrooms and our curriculum,” Dr. O’Toole said. “Generous contributions and support have enabled these projects to come to fruition and we look forward to extending these opportunities to all middle and elementary school students in the coming years.” n 74


Fall 2016

Math-tastic! Math Council of Western Pennsylvania

Nine Fort Couch students—Sujay Banerjee, Julia Brubach, Eri Hayakawa, Yash Jajoo, Patrick Joyce, Basir Khan, Alex Lampe, Kathy Li, and Rohan Mishra— placed in the top 30 first-round winners of the 2016 Mathematics Council of Western Pennsylvania (MCWP) First Year Algebra/Integrated Math II Contest. MCWP is an organization of mathematics teachers that is affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics (PCTM.) Eri Hayakawa finished third in the 2016 overall competition.

Accelerated Math Students Excel in International Competition

For the fifth consecutive year, Boyce’s accelerated math team earned a plaque acknowledging “Highest Team Achievement” in the 2016 international Math Olympiads. The team score is the sum of the ten highest total individual scores, and only 84 of the 1112 registered teams (less than eight percent) won this honor. Boyce’s highest scoring students, and winners of the gold pin indicating placement in the top two percent of all 86,436 registered students, were Bear Bottonari, Phoebe Chen, Sophie Chen, Eden Ma, Alexander Todd, Daniel Wang, and Adam Zheng. Sophie Chen achieved a perfect score of 25 and was awarded the George Lenchner Award, a special medallion named for the founder of Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS). Sophie’s achievement represents 0.25% of the more than 86,000 students from the U.S. and 30 countries!

Sophie Chen, winner of the George Lechner Award

Pennsylvania Mathematics League

Math Olympiad gold medal winners, left to right, are Alex Todd, Daniel Wang, Bear Bottonari, Eden Ma, Sophie Chen, and Phoebe Chen. Missing from photo is Adam Zheng.

24 Challenge

Both Boyce and Fort Couch middle schools conducted school-wide championships to determine the ten students who would travel to West Jefferson Hills to compete in the South Hills 24 Challenge held this past May. The 24 Challenge is an arithmetical card game where the objective is to find a way to manipulate four integers so that the end result is 24. The beginning version of the game uses four single digit numbers. As students gain skill, the game is played with double-digit numbers, exponents, integers, fractions, and even variables. Qualifying to compete from the single digit version through to the “platinum” or highest level, were Fort Couch students Christian Chiu, Devan Ekbote, Jay Vakil, and Braden Yates. Qualifiers from Boyce were Esha Lahoti, Keshav Narasimhan, Qadir Khan, Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Danny Martin, and Daniel Wang. Final results: platinum winner was Braden Yates; seventh-eighth grade division winners were Devan Ekbote, first place, Christian Chiu, second place, and Jay Vakil, fourth place; sixth grade division winners were Daniel Wang, first place, and Danny Martin, fourth place; and fifth grade division winner was Qadir Khan, second place.

Eighty Boyce Middle School students signed up to participate in the annual fifth grade mathematics contest sponsored by the national organization Mathematics Leagues, Inc. Fondly referred to in Pennsylvania as the “PML,” this contest consists of 30 non-routine problems that students must solve in 30 minutes. Awards were given to those students who scored highest on their teams, as well as to those students who placed first, second, and third overall. Team Comet First place (tie)—Lauren Starr, Evan Grady Second place—Andrew Xu Team Challenger First place (four-way tie)—Ethan Anderson, Noah Gordley, Qadir Khan, Ipsita Singh Team Eagle First place—Ben Wasson Second place (tie)—Owen Damon, Nico Roth Third place—Debbie Chu Team Galaxy First place—Chase Neponuceno Second place—Ben Wasson Third place (tie)—Tyler Riemer, Abby Weber Overall Boyce Champions First place—Chase Neponuceno Second place—Ben Wasson Third place (tie)—Tyler Riemer, Abby Weber

MATHCOUNTS is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee”-style contests. The Pennsylvania competition is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.

Abraham El, Pennsylvania MATHCOUNTS coordinator, with Braden Yates

Using Math to Benefit Others

This past May, Michelle Senneway’s CT Algebra class conducted a food drive at Fort Couch Middle School, with proceeds going to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In conjunction with the food drive, the Fort Couch students spent a day at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as volunteers, boxing over 10,000 pounds of food for the needy in the community. The project involved collecting donations, creating an equation that the students could use to determine earnings, and graphing the earnings. The students spent a few days organizing the food drive, advertising, and spreading the word. The ultimate goal was to create a real life scenario using the algebra learned during the school year to successfully complete a food drive. This year’s drive raised $177.75 in cash and brought in 1603 donated items. n

Left to right, front row: Chase Neponuceno; middle row: Ethan Anderson, Abby Weber, Evan Grady, Qadir Khan, Tyler Riemer, Owen Damon; back row: Ipsita Singh, Noah Gordley, Debbie Chu, Nico Roth, Ben Wasson, Andrew Xu, Lauren Starr


24 Challenge members, left to right, front row: Qadir Khan; middle: Danny Martin, Esha Lahoti, Keshav Narasimhan, Daniel Wang; back row: Kathy Hoedeman (teacher-sponsor), Devan Ekbote, Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Jay Vakil, Christian Chiu, Braden Yates, and Connie Gibson (teacher-sponsor)

Braden Yates finished ninth in the 2016 Pennsylvania MATHCOUNTS competition in Harrisburg this past March as an eighth grader from Fort Couch Middle School. He reached the statewide competition after placing second in the Allegheny County competition in February. This marked Braden’s second consecutive year competing at the state level. Fall 2016

Nicky Natoli, Alex Gillespie, Maddie Schopp, Elena Evans, Matthew Newman, and James Metzger boxed food at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY




Connections With the Spanish Community

Señora Montgomery’s Fort Couch students had the opportunity to experience the culture of Spain during a visit from Mariu Muñoz Mengibar. Señora Mengibar, a resident of Upper St. Clair, is from the region of Andulucia, Spain, and she was excited to show a PowerPoint® presentation of her wonderful mother country, España. Sra. Mengibar’s presentation was in Spanish, and she was impressed that the students understood her Spanish and were able to ask questions in Spanish! The Fort Couch eighth grade students enjoyed the culture lesson, and they were pleased to use their Spanish knowledge and conversation skills. Mariu Mengibar, the founder of “Feels Like Home,” a crosscultural orientation and transition support group in Pittsburgh, appreciated the opportunity to connect with the Fort Couch students. n

Left to right are Aidan Gordley, Benjamin Nelson, Isabela Couoh, Mariu Mengibar, Zachary Smith, and Jack Clark

“Tell Me a Story” Elementary Art Contest

Rachelle Engel, Arts in USC Committee Chair Arts in USC, a District-wide arts program formed within the Upper St. Clair Parent Teacher Council, brings opportunities for students K–12 to express themselves in various forms of art. The elementary program provides students the opportunity to participate in the contest, with judging at the individual school level, and those winners moving on to District-wide judging. Parent Teacher Council was excited that the inaugural year’s theme “Tell Me a Story” blended art and literacy. Students in grades K–4 were given a list of books for each grade level represented. Books were selected by the elementary school librarians and the USC Township librarians. Participants selected a book of their choosing that was on the list and then created a 2D piece of art that represented a theme, an idea, a character, or an event in the book. n

Congratulations to the following USC School District winners: Kindergarten–Audrey Bodamer (Eisenhower): “Rocket and the Little Yellow Bird” based on How Rocket Learned to Read First grade–Breylynn Mathews (Eisenhower): “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Second grade–Pritika Gupta (Streams): “The Secret” based on The Princess in Black Third grade–Avery Neal (Baker): “Remember the Best” based on The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig Fourth grade–Evelyn Hertzog (Eisenhower): “Hugo’s Mind” based on Hugo Cabret

Streams Elementary participants Baker Elementary participants

Eisenhower Elementary participants First, second, and third place winners from the 2015-16 “Tell Me a Story” elementary school art contest from Baker, Eisenhower, and Streams 76


Fall 2016


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Fall 2016



Did You Know? Did You Know? SD Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know?Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know?Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? USC Senior Earns National Merit Scholarship Recent USCHS graduate Yein Christina Park was named a National Merit $2500 scholarship recipient—one of only 2500 in the country. Winners are named in every state based on the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. Students entered the scholarship competition by completing the PSAT, the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, during their junior year. Christina will be attending Harvard University this fall and plans to double major in microbiology and math. She hopes to eventually become a research professor at a university. Yein Christina Park

Boyce Students Participate in Rain Barrel Program Members of Boyce Middle School’s Green Team participated in the Barrels by the Bay Three Rivers Project. Students Ella Blough, Carmella McNally, Emma Redlinger, Hannah Rieger, Kendall Wright, and Penny Yates recycled and painted a Coca-Cola syrup barrel that will serve as a rain barrel. The project, which was open to schools throughout Allegheny County, provided each participating school with educational materials, teaching tools, and painting supplies (including the barrel) at no cost. Nearly 100 Allegheny County schools participated. Barrels by the Bay, a nonprofit organization with its mission of educating students about the world’s water resources, was founded by Megan Rosenberger, a Natrona Heights native who is studying at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. For more information, visit

High School Receives Recycling Grant USCHS received a $3000 environmental education grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to establish a recycling effort at the high school. The initiative involves the high school’s Environmental Club, SHOP@ USC program, Life Skills Partners, and the custodial staff. Recycling bins—fitted with specially-designed lids created in the Fab Lab—will be placed throughout the school’s science wing to collect paper and plastic on a weekly basis. Student-led presentations will teach the importance of recycling and encourage others to get involved. In addition, signage, designed and produced by students in the Fab Lab, will be posted throughout the school to remind the school community to recycle. A paper recycling dumpster will be added to the high school campus and funds earned through the recycling process will be used for ongoing environmental education initiatives.

Computer Fair Winners USCHS senior Connor Byrnes earned top honors this past school year at the regional Pennsylvania High School Computer Fair competition at the Carnegie Science Center. Connor’s Party Planner app took first place in the Programming category and his Warhol-inspired logo earned first place in the 2017 Computer Fair Logo category. He advanced to the state-level competition in May. Also earning high honors were USCHS student Sam Burt, whose educational app for the Periodic Table placed second in the Programming Category, and Fort Couch student Antara Cleetus, who earned third place honors in the Animation category of the middle school computer fair. 78


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Spanish Classes Focus on Community Service USCHS students recently collected 15 bags and boxes of personal hygiene items and weather gear and more than $400 in gift cards to benefit Operation Safety Net, an effort that provides outreach and medical services to Pittsburgh’s homeless community. Spearheaded by Spanish teacher Kelly Krakosky, students enrolled in Spanish 2 and 3 participated in the project. In addition to the Operation Safety Net collection, students enrolled in these classes wrote letters to hospitalized veterans. Spanish 3 students also participated in a food drive for Urban Impact, which benefits underprivileged children from Pittsburgh’s North Side and wrote 100 letters to Safyre, the burn victim from New York.

Green Team rain barrel project members, left to right, front row, are Ella Blough, Penny Yates, Hannah Rieger, Kendall Wright, Emma Redlinger and Carmella McNally. Boyce teachers, who provided the leadership, are, back row, left to right, Susan Fleckenstein, Matt Dudley, and Kevin Clark

PMEA All-State Concert Band USCHS trumpeter Steven Fontanella and percussionist Matt Higgs earned placement in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Concert Band, the highest-level symphonic ensemble for Pennsylvania students and were selected based on auditions. Steven and Matt are members of the high school’s bands, under the direction of Don Pickell and recently retired Frank Eisenreich.

Four Selected for All-State Choir Four USCHS students—Carly DeCock, Ben Nadler, Cara Ravasio, and Mariya Savinov—were selected through competitive auditions to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Choir. In addition to this and with seven other USCHS students—Chase Banton, Jonah Glunt, Zoe Rankin, Alexa Rieger, Jacob Ross, Jack Smith, and Kyle Warmbein—they p a rt i c i p a t e d i n the PMEA Region Chorus event. The students are active members of the high school’s choral program, directed by Lorraine Milovac.

USCHS students of the PMEA Region Chorus, left to right, front row: Carly DeCock, Ben Nadler, Chase Banton, Jonah Glunt, Zoe Rankin; back row: Mariya Savinov, Cara Ravasio, Alexa Rieger, Jacob Ross, Kyle Warmbein, Jack Smith

Did You Know? Did You Know? SD Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know?Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know?Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Did You Know? Students, left to right, Marni Zinger, Jacelyn Wong, and Annie Xiao help assemble the hygiene kits.

Fort Couch Students Help Kids in Haiti Students and staff at Fort Couch Middle School completed a community service project that resulted in 108 hygiene kits to benefit children in Haiti through the Yahve-Jire Children’s Foundation. The project included collecting donations of personal care items and assembling each kit, which includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, vitamins, and a hat or headband. The kits were distributed to needy children in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, by USC resident and Yahve-Jire Children’s Foundation board member, Dan Raeder, and the foundation’s director, Chedlin Justinvil. According to the Yahve-Jire Children’s Foundation’s website, 77% of the Haitian population lives in poverty, only half of the population has access to safe water, and access to basic health care is non-existent.

SHOP@USC One activity suggested by the US Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students for enhancing school preparedness is the creation of essential emergency supplies, or “Go Kits.” Go Kits were designed specifically for emergencies, field trips, or anytime a class is out of the classroom for an extended period. Students in SHOP@USC personalized a Go Kit for all classrooms in the District. Pictured, left to right, are Brendan Pacalo, Tanner Gensler, Jamie King, Hanna Harris, and Adam Grainger

Student Artists Support Empty Bowls Event USCHS students created and donated more than 120 bowls to support the 21st annual Empty Bowls event co-hosted by Just Harvest and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank this spring. Students enrolled in art teacher Erika Valentine’s Ceramics I class began making the bowls last October. The annual Empty Bowls event is a simple community meal of bread and soup that serves as a fundraiser for the two organizations as well as a stark reminder that access to a healthy meal is a struggle for many. According to Just Harvest, one in seven residents of Allegheny County are facing hunger. Pittsburgh’s Empty Bowls event typically draws more than 1500 people and in its past 20 years has raised more than $500,000 to fight hunger in the Pittsburgh region. Attendees select a handmade bowl—including those made by USCHS students—as a keepsake.

Mock Trial Team Competes in State Finals A team of 12 USCHS students became the school’s first Mock Trial team to win the regional championship and advance to the statewide competition. The 33rd annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition was held this past April in Harrisburg. The team, coached by gifted education coordinator Pat Palazzolo, included seniors Erin Graham and team captain Katherine Starr, juniors Amna Amin, Tyler Clark, Raahema Durrani, Macey Kaplan, Arushi Kewalramani, Yash Lahoti, Natalie Urban, and Vicki Wang, and sophomores Wyatt Keating and Abbie Wagner. In addition, Samuel Hornak, a USCHS school alumnus, served as the team’s mentor lawyer. This year, 315 teams from 271 high schools competed in district and regional levels of Pennsylvania’s mock trial competition in hopes of gaining one of 14 coveted spots at the statewide event.

Recent Grads Receive SHASDA Awards Two members of USCHS Class of 2016 were named South Hills Area School Districts Association Student Performance Award winners. Matthew Colten and Aleen Klym were honored at the annual SHASDA conference held in April. Each year, SHASDA, which includes 23 school districts, presents awards to two students from each participating high school who demonstrated significant improvement in student performance or overcame obstacles in their academic careers.

Book Auction Benefits Animal Shelter Boyce fifth graders in Beth Harris’ class held a “gently used” summer book auction at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, raising $1089 for Angel Ridge Animal Shelter in Washington, Pennsylvania. Clark Earns President’s Volunteer Service Award Nominated by USCHS’s counseling department, Tyler Clark, a 2016 USCHS graduate, earned the national President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of his exemplary volunteer service. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of U.S. President Barack Obama. In spring 2014, Tyler’s sister, Kate, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Subsequently, Tyler created a walk team—Kate’s Krew— to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. To date, Kate’s Krew has raised more than $5000 toward the type 1 diabetes cure effort and continues to actively raise funds and participate in the annual walk-a-thon to Tyler Clark promote diabetes awareness.

Members of USCHS’s Mock Trial Team

Fall 2016



Educational Resource Guide

Growing Dancers Since 1967 Offering The Following Techniques: Ballet | Hip Hop | Pointe Lyrical | Tap | Modern Jazz | Gymnastics Cross Training | Tumbling

Fall Registration

Seasonal Classes All Levels Offered Ages 2-18

20 09 SBA Family Owned Small Business of the Year!

Specialized Preschool Classes Children’s Birthday Parties

Thomas Dance South 412-257-2000

111 Washington Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017

Thomas Dance West 412-787-7686

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter

Point View Plaza, 7053 Steubenville Pike Suite 18, Oakdale, PA 15071

Developing Healthy, Happy, Creative, and Confident Little Ones Jessica Spencer, Thomas Dance Studio, Artistic Director We’ve all recited the quote “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish” at least once in our lifetime. The longer I consider the meaning of that quote, the more I wonder whether it might be just a bit misleading. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe in the power of the human spirit and hard work as tools that allow an individual to progress and evolve; however, I also recognize that we can set ourselves, and our children, up for greater success if we start off surrounded by people who know how to build confidence, nurture talent, and provide an environment that is both supportive and challenging. Is every young student who walks through the doors of a dance studio going to be a professional dancer? No, of course not. Does every young student have the opportunity to receive the benefits of a positive and healthy dance education? Yes! Dance can be an incredibly rewarding activity for young children as it promotes physical and cognitive development coupled with joy and creativity. Finding a dance studio that seeks appropriate teachers for their young dancer programs is the key to finding the right place to start. Look for a staff of gifted, patient, and professionally trained teachers. Look for lively, experienced teachers who employ an early childhood emphasis in every aspect of classes for the young beginner. The passion for dancing and teaching should be reflected in the joy seen in the students! Many of you probably have fond memories of your time spent 80


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in a dance program as a child. It may have provided you with your first experience of taking directions from someone other than your parents or your first friend as a shy two-year-old. Both of these aspects of dance should be something that dance teachers take great pride in. Dance class is a wonderful place to develop a child’s social awareness as it fosters social encounters, interaction, and cooperation. Children learn to communicate their ideas to others and work within a group dynamic. As the ongoing, and sometimes challenging, process of cooperation evolves, children learn to understand themselves in relation to others. In dance class we take turns, we celebrate our own and our classmate’s accomplishments, and we move to express our emotions. On a more tangible level, students learn how to skip, jump, climb up, and crawl under through movement patterns that teach coordination and a greater range of motion. It takes a special person and teacher to understand and implement the incredible benefits of dance, all while never losing sight of the fun that dance can and should provide for growing children. At Thomas Dance Studio, the future of our students is our priority and you will find that our classes help develop healthy, happy, creative, and confident little ones. n For more information on Thomas Dance Studio, call 412-257-2000 or visit See ad on this page.

Educational Resource Guide Watson Institute Education Center SEWICKLEY

The Watson Institute Social Center for Academic Achievement (WISCA) LEAP Preschool SHARPSBURG

Friendship Academy PITTSBURGH

Watson Institute Education Center South SOUTH FAYETTE

Our Family is Growing !

Carnegie Squirrel Hill Upper St. Clair

Led by a team of educators and a mission focus of nearly 100 years of providing educational services and supports to children with special needs, the Watson Institute announces its newest location in South Fayette/Bridgeville. (412) 741-1800 Fax 412-741-2454 Toll-free (866) 893-4751, ext. 2805 Admissions/Referrals (412) 749-2805


Now accepting Fall 2016 registrations! • Private & Group Lessons on Violin, Piano, Cello, Viola, Flute & Guitar

• Pre-Twinkle Camp in August for new beginners

Call us to register!

Watson Institute Comes to the South Hills With one of every 68 children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the need for specialized educational services is great. Students with autism spectrum disorder and neurological impairments can benefit from highly-structured teaching and classrooms that are specifically designed to adapt to their needs. That model is employed by the Watson Institute’s family of schools. Currently, the Watson Institute offers special education services through three locations in Sewickley, Sharpsburg, and Friendship, and will celebrate the addition of a location in the South Fayette/Bridgeville area that will open in January 2017. Michele Trettel, Program Director for the Watson Institute’s Education Center in Sewickley, will oversee the Watson Institute’s new Education Center South. Michele has been with the Watson Institute for more than 20 years, and has worked in the field of special education as a developmental specialist, behavior therapist, and teacher of the visually impaired. Michele answers some common questions about educational services for students with special needs: Q: How does a parent and school district know that a student needs extra supports to meet his or her educational needs? A: In my experience, school districts and, of course, parents want what is best for the child. If a child with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is not meeting the goals developed for him and the team has tried revising the goals and the child continues to struggle, the IEP team may want to take a closer look at the student’s current levels of functioning. Reevaluating

the student will help to identify the issue, provide solutions, and develop a better plan for the student moving forward. Open communication early on between parents and the school district helps everyone identify need areas, propose solutions, and develop a plan that is best for the student. Q: What kind of classroom structure works best for students with special needs? A: An essential component is providing a structured environment based on the student’s needs and being flexible within that structure. At Watson, we structure our classrooms to support student needs and encourage independence. Within our communities, the Watson Institute also offers training and consultation to school districts to assist them in their work with children with special needs. Our goal is always for the student to be successful in the educational environment that works best for them, and Watson strives to support school districts—we work with more than 70 districts—to do just that. An essential part of a student’s success is to provide support and educational resources to students’ parents or caregivers. That support can come in the form of a sympathetic ear, respite, or educational resources about their child’s diagnosis. Ongoing communication with parents or caregivers is very important. n See ad for Watson Institute Education Center on this page. Fall 2016



Educational Resource Guide 2016


Season Tickets






Dog Loves Books • Pete the Cat Galumpha • Circo Comedia Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play!







Educational Phone Apps for the New School Year Jennifer Roberts, Extended Day Services, Administrative Director In today’s society, 53% of American children own a cell phone by the time they are seven years old. Most elementary school children can explain to you how to use most social media apps, but ask them how to use their phones for school work and you get a blank stare. The trick is to teach them at a young age that a cell phone is a powerful tool, not just a device on which to play games, message their friends, and pass the time. The seven apps below help children in the elementary grades through high school manage their time, complete homework assignments, and study for exams. They are all free and just may open a whole new world of productivity for your children. We parents might even learn a thing or two! • 30/30. Control your time with this wonderfully simple time management tool. Enter a list of homework tasks and the time you want to spend on each one and 30/30 lets you know when it’s time to move on to the next task. It keeps you on a schedule so you can get it all done! • Brainscape. Make better flashcards by creating them on your phone or tablet. It’s more fun and you can use your flashcards anywhere. No need to wait until you get home to study. • DuoLingo. An addictive way to improve your foreign language learning by playing games full of listening, speaking, 82


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and translating. It’s as fun as any mobile game out there and covers almost any language. • Evernote. Keep all class information in one place. Snap a photo of teacher whiteboard notes or an important textbook page, add a photo from the Internet or add your own notes, to-do lists, and assignments—all in one place for each class! • Khan Academy. Deepen your knowledge by clicking on a wide variety of topics and subtopics in all content areas, including science, math, and literature. A great way for kids to clarify concepts they may not fully understand after listening to their classroom teachers. • Photomath. Stuck on a math problem? Or maybe you got an answer, but it doesn’t match the answer in the book and you can’t figure out why? Simply take a photo of the problem in question and let Photomath show you a step by step solution! • Vocabulary Builder. Learn a new word each day until you learn the 1200 most important words for tests like the SAT. This app repeats missed words until they are mastered and uses new words in sentences to help with comprehension and usage. n See ad for Extended Day Services on this page.

Educational Resource Guide

Cultural District in Your Backyard Kimberly Sears, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Intern

What do Pete the Cat, Percy Jackson, Canadian stuntmen, and tree-planting puppets have in common? They will all be in Pittsburgh for the 2016-17 Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Bridge Theater Series. This series brings to life storybook favorites, including Dog Loves Books and Pete the Cat. It also features stunning displays of acrobatics and physical comedy. Hailing from Canada, two circus-trained stuntmen in Circo Comedia will delight audiences of all ages with their silly antics and impressive feats. There are performances of each of the shows on the series at the Byham Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh, but the performances will also travel to the South Hills, with shows at Mt. Lebanon High School and Mt. Lebanon’s Mellon Middle School. To find out when they will be nearby, check out the full season schedule at If your teens and tweens are looking for something more grown up, the EQT Bridge Theater Series presents thrilling stories of adventure for audiences ages seven and up. The series welcomes Percy Jackson in a stage adaptation of The Lightning Thief. Also gracing the stage will be the Puppet State Theatre Company with The Man Who Planted Trees, an inspiring tale that the whole family will enjoy. Learn more about this series online at Both of these series are not only fun theater offerings for families, but they also countdown to the EQT Children’s Theater Festival to be held May 18–21, 2017. The festival brings in theater from all over the world and offers hands-on activities for families in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Once summer really gets underway, the Dollar Bank Three River Arts Festival is another exciting way for families to experience art and music in Downtown Pittsburgh. Best of all, it is free! If your family still has the theater bug, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust also presents a number of other family-friendly shows throughout the year. The King & I and Finding Neverland will enchant all ages through the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series. Coming September 27, younger children will love Cohen and Grigsby Trust Presents: The Wiggles on their Wiggle Town Tour. With so many entertaining arts events in Pittsburgh, you will be able to find the perfect shows and festivals for your family! The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust strives to enrich the lives of millions of people each year and aims to expand creative horizons in theaters, galleries, and public art environments. It’s never too early or too late to expose your children to the wonders of art! n See ad for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on page 82.

Bantering With the Bard

A Midsummer Glimpse into Shakespeare and His Language Jena Oberg, Director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake Theatre Canonsburg’s Little Lake Theatre is about to be aflutter with fairies, harbor lovesick runaways, and set the stage for a group of bumbling mechanicals turned actors in one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Little Lake Theatre’s Midsummer is the perfect play and the perfect place to introduce people of all ages to Shakespeare. Little Lake is a small and intimate space where audiences always feel a part of the action, especially since the play literally unfolds around them. This comedy has something for everyone: a love story, fairies, politics, a troupe of amateur actors, comical brawls, and beautiful costumes. It is a family-friendly theatre experience not to be missed! However, if sudden dread comes over you when you hear the word “Shakespeare,” don’t worry. You are not alone. Even the most experienced playgoer may feel some trepidation at the thought of seeing and hearing Shakespeare performed. Between the use of verse and some archaic words, the language can be, at times, hard to understand. But Shakespeare is easier to comprehend than you might think. English born playwright and poet, William Shakespeare wrote during the latter part Cont. on page 94

Fall 2016



Around the Township

A History Lesson

Upper St. Clair corn husking party

Woman’s Club Offers Scholarships

The Woman’s Club of Upper St. Clair is a social and philanthropic organization open to all women in the South Hills communities. For more than 65 years, the club members have raised funds through various means, including catering of weddings, parties, and civic meetings, as well as rental and fundraising events, including the Christmas Shopper Delight and the funnel cake booth each year at USC Community Day. The group supports not only charitable donations and scholarships but was also able to build a large, beautiful clubhouse and maintain it for 55 of those 65 years. Sadly, as membership in the Woman’s Club dwindled, the members were forced to face the reality that the sale of the building was necessary to keep the club alive. To date, scholarships and charitable donations using the funds from the sale of the clubhouse and surrounding property have reached well over $300,000. This year, $5000 scholarships were awarded to three very deserving high school graduates of 2016. Selected by a club committee, the scholarship recipients were presented at the club’s May meeting, held at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park. n

Corn Husking Party In the 19th century and early part of the 20th century,

corn husking parties took place in the late fall every year after the harvest. Neighbors would travel to each other’s farms in turn to help one another with the overwhelming task of preparing that year’s corn to store through the winter months. After a long day’s work, they would share a meal and often finish the evening with dancing. Many communities also had a tradition that the guy or girl who found a red ear of corn could kiss the girl or guy of their choice. This photograph shows a local corn husking from the late 19th or early 20th century. Those pictured are possibly members of the McEwen family and their friends. n Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair. If you have genealogy questions or old photos that you would like to share, email

Left to right are Judy Gardner (Woman’s Club outgoing president); Matthew Price (CVHS grad and son of Rebecca and Douglas Price), who will be attending Penn State University; Maura Brody (USCHS grad and daughter of Jan and Stephen Brody), who will be attending Temple University; and Mary Ann Cunningham, Paula Huffman, and Shirley Tadda (Woman’s Club scholarship committee members). Not pictured is Sarah Kerman (USCHS grad and daughter of Amy Kerman), who will be attending American University.

Results are In Carpet Pad Recycling Partnership a Great Success! Rusmur Floors, a family-owned flooring company headquartered in Bridgeville, recently reported the results of a carpet pad recycling partnership it initiated four years ago with Carpenter, the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products. Since the partnership began in April 2012, Rusmur Floors and Carpenter have jointly recycled more than 250,000 pounds—nearly 125 tons—of carpet pad 84


recovered from Rusmur Floors’ customers. The recycling process begins when Rusmur Floors collects urethane carpet pads removed from the homes, offices, and buildings of customers during new installations and stores them at its Lawrence warehouse. From there, the pads are baled and sent to Carpenter, where they are processed and manufactured into newly re-bonded urethane padding. Don Boal, director of operations for

Fall 2016

Rusmur Floors, said, “We’re proud to be a part of this environmentally-friendly program. Our family-owned company has been part of the Pittsburgh community for more than 50 years, and we are grateful to Carpenter and to our customers for helping us to keep thousands of pounds of scrap materials out of local landfills.” n For more information about Rusmur Floors and their recycling efforts, visit or call 412-221-6366. See ad on the inside back cover.

South Hills Junior Orchestra Kicks Off 34th Season

Students and adults of all ages are invited to join the community group The South Hills Junior Orchestra (SHJO) spring concert on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at will return to open its 2016-17 season with introductory, 3 p.m. Admission is free and all performances are held in the USCHS Theater. no-obligation, free-trial rehearsals on September 10, 17, SHJO is directed by an all-volunteer 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29. music staff, led by retired public school Students in grades five through 12 are encouraged to teachers Paul Fox and Donna Fox. The come with their instruments and “try out” the orchesorchestra is nonprofit and non-competitive, tra any time throughout the year. Practices are held on Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the and supports school string and band Upper St. Clair High School (USCHS) Band programs throughout Western Pennsylvania. It is Room. made possible in part by the Upper St. Clair School New this year, adults are also encouraged District, professional music educators and comto brush up on their skills (or learn something munity volunteers donating their services, and the new) and join the weekly “training level” SHJO Booster Organization. orchestra practices. No one has ever been or In addition to supporting the educational ensemwill be turned away! Rehearsals are stress-free bles, organizing the banquet, and funding opportunities for instrumentalists of all ages who want of the gifts and scholarships for the student to develop their skills and artistry, explore orchestral instrumentalists, the SHJO boosters, along literature, and collaborate with others in the making of with the players and music directors, are beautiful music. proud of their 33-year history of philanPerformances for SHJO’s 34th season will include a thropy and community service raising fall concert on Sunday, November 13 more than $30,000 for at 3 p.m., a holiday charity concert on In 2015-16, SHJO welcomed with open arms several adults, including returning school district and local SHJO alumna Christina Yunghans on the violin, Carla Bouvy, a professional Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m., and a charities. n cellist currently working at St. Clair Hospital, and SHJO alumnus and college/ church music director Michael Mackey on the piano.

For more information, contact managing director Janet Vukotich at, visit the website at, or call founding directors Paul or Donna Fox at 412-854-3459 and leave a message. Fall 2016



The Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, established in 1993, has been honored to help ! complete the stories of many community activities. The Foundation helped to create a happy ! ending for the Upper St. Clair Rowing Association (USCRA):!


! !

! !




Elke Caldart summarized the Crew Team appreciation when she said “. . . The CFUSC grant has helped the ! USC Rowing Association achieve our goal of purchasing a new 2-person rowing shell for the team. We ! are very thankful to the CFUSC!”!

! !

“. . . We are so incredibly grateful for the generous donation from the Community Foundation” - Emma Field, ‘15-‘16 Captain!

! !

Besides the athletic aspect of rowing, it has other attributes “ . . . Being a member opened me up to people whom I would never meet otherwise, and the team gave me a family with a bond that will never go away.” - Ajinka Rai, ‘15-’16 Captain!

Invictus, the name of the new rowing shell, is “unconquered” in Latin.

Seniors, l-r, Ajinkya Rai (Captain), Steven Wagner, Brendan Boettger, Emma Field (Captain), Katie Finneran, Alyssa McKenzie!

USC Rowing Association President-Elect Elke Caldart christens the newest addition to the USC fleet of rowing shells, "Invictus," as CFUSC representatives Buffy Hasco, Angela Petersen, Dr. Tim Wagner, and USC Crew Team Coach RJ Pisani look on.!

According to the Crew Team’s coach RJ Pisani “ . . . The ‘boat’ was delivered to the USC Crew Team on April 8, 2016. Medals and awards have already been achieved with the Invictus.” USCRA is a club sport and, as such, receives no school district funding “ . . . USCRA maintains a 501(c)3 status, and parents, students, and coach Pisani continue to raise money to fund capital purchases.” The crew can still earn a sport letter.



Fall 2016

A GIVING Tea 2016 CFUSC Giving Tea Hosted by Sejal Gosai

Wendy Vespa and Karen Boston

Carol Woodring, Terrie Piatt, and Jean Piatt

Thanks to all who participated!

Mary Kay Chaffee and Del Dempster

Upper St. Clair SHOP@USC students creating the Giving Tea invitation

Tessie Kucherawy, Beth Huzjak, and Rachel Lowden

Beth Ellis, Ellen Halloran, Joan Joson, and Lisa Clark

Hostess Sejal Gosai taking a picture of CF trustee Paul Fox taking a picture of her

Seema Ekbote, Bela Patel, Lyn Benonis, Sejal Gosai, Laura Brookfield, Kerrie McCormick, Neeta Raja, and Neeta Patel

Laura Jones, Vidya Craig, Vicki Strain, and Lucy Higginbotham

!The Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair is your Leanne Adamo, Melissa Epler, and Brooke Tarcson

foundation and appreciates your support. If you have an idea for making USC better, go to and download a grant request.


Community Day Duck Race

The lucky Duck Race winners were determined and over $1,200 in prizes were distributed. Thank you to all who supported the Duck Race!

Fall 2016



Traveling with TODAY While Churchill Downs is hundreds of miles away from Pittsburgh, that did not stop some local seniors from celebrating the 142nd Kentucky Derby in style. Friendship Village of South Hills, a retirement community in Upper St. Clair, hosted Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 7, complete with ornate hats, mint juleps, and bourbon-themed dishes.

Team members include, left to right, front row: Landon York, Eric Zhang, John Zhao, and Connor Hyatt; back row: Michael Stalder, Matthew Earley, Ryan Hyatt, and Aniketh Vivekanandan. The team was coached by Kim Hyatt, Subha Vivekanandan, and Matthew Hyatt (student coach).


trotted along for the “Run for the Roses” festivities!

Louise Rhoades and Connie Vacca; shown on the table of contents (page 4) are Charles Hauth and Marti Moray

Traveling with TODAY enjoyed a fun-filled Memorial Day weekend at Bethany Beach with four USC graduates of the Class of 2012. Traveling for pleasure that weekend and living in four different states, the 2016 college graduates recently began their next journey into the post-college world of gainful employment.

This past spring, UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to partake in the Vex World Robotics competition, being photographed with members of Vex United (team #41229A), a USC elementary team which is part of the nonprofit organization Team RobotiX that was featured on the cover of the 2015 fall edition of TODAY. After 735 matches over the four-day competition, the team ranked first for qualifying matches, third for robot skills, and fifth for teamwork. During the 2015-16 season, the team also won seven first place awards at various competitions. Judges were impressed with the team’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) project, “The Biology, Chemistry, and Physics of a Concussion.” The team conducted research with leading neurologists from UPMC and AGH. In total, 1075 teams from around the world (elementary, middle, high school, and college divisions) competed at the event, noted in the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest robotics competition.

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY stayed in the

Left to right, Val Repischak, a graduate from Indiana University, is in Fort Worth working for Lockheed; Paige Gillen, a graduate from Miami of Ohio, is in Chicago working for Allstate; Bridget Keefe, a graduate from Miami of Ohio and a previous TODAY intern, is in Pittsburgh working for PNC; and Erin Kyle, a graduate from Penn State, is in Loudoun County, Virginia, working for Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School. 88


Fall 2016

The Dunkin’ Donuts mascot gives TODAY a thumbs up!

Township and welcomed Dunkin Donuts to its new location on McLaughlin Run Road. With a ribboncutting ceremony this past June, a percentage of the opening day sales benefited The Miracle League of the South Hills. The restaurant, which has free Wi-Fi, employs nearly 30 people and is open 5 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.

Highley Dedicated Knowledgeable Accessible Dependable

Susan Highley ABR, CRS, SRES

$200 Million Sales in 25 Years

“Your Real Estate Needs Are My #1 Priority”

412.833.3600 ext 268 Cell: 412.889.1214 Traveling with TODAY Read the following criteria to find out how to submit information. • Clear, close-up photo of USC resident(s) holding his or her TODAY magazine. • Digital photo or hard copy 35mm accepted. ‣‣ For digital, attach jpg (at least 300 dpi) and send via email, including required information (see below) in the body of the email. ‣‣ For 35 mm, attach post-it to back of hard copy photo, listing the required information (see below). • List name(s) of resident(s), group, and specific photo location. • List objective of visit—leisure, volunteer, career, etc. • Include email address or phone number should further contact be necessary. • Deliver one 35 mm photo with details to the USC Township receptionist in an envelope marked “ USC TODAY,” or • Email one digital photo with details to, with “TODAY” listed in subject line. Note: Submitted photos and information for this feature section will remain on file for upcoming editions until published.

412-561-5405 Dear Outreach, We have just made the hard decision to divorce and we have two children, ages 10 and 15. We are very concerned about their adjustment to the changes ahead. How do we break the news and help support our children in this difficult time? Divorcing Parents

Dear Parents, This conversation is never easy but it’s important that you are open, responsive to their concerns, on the same page as much as possible, and check in with them frequently following the initial conversation. Meet together beforehand and discuss what to say, how to answers questions that might come up such as living arrangements and visitation, and most importantly make an agreement to not blame or speak negatively about the other parent. You have an opportunity to set a meaningful tone for how things will go in the future; demonstrate respect and willingness to work together for their best interest. Children will process the news in different ways and it may take time to sink in. Be available to listen, validate their feelings, and realize that you can’t fix this for them but you can be a support as you adapt to your new family structure. You may find that your older teen turns to their friends more to vent feelings, while the younger child may become more clingy and want more time with parents. If you notice prolonged periods of sadness, or extremes in mood or behavior, you might suggest that they talk to a counselor for more help and to learn some coping skills. n If you need more support, contact Outreach 412-561-5405 or Outreach Teen & Family Services is a nonprofit, confidential counseling service offering counseling and educational programs to teens and parents. Fall 2016



Prof iles

on People with a USC Connection

Know of a resident to profile?

Send information to: Editor,

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or Erik M. Happ, MD, a resident of USC, was named the director of Neuro-ophthalmology and Neuro-ophthalmic Trauma at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH). Neuro-ophthalmology is a subspecialty that merges the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, and ophthalmology, dealing specifically with diseases of the central nervous system that affect vision and eye movements. A board-certified ophthalmologist with subspecialty training in both neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastic surgery, Dr. Happ is an expert in the management of orbital and skull-based tumors and other complex neuro-ophthalmic conditions. Additionally, he performs surgery for many conditions affecting the eyelids, tear duct system, and other orbital diseases. Dr. Happ helped to pioneer the use of a fiber optic laser to perform functional blepharoplasty, the removal of excess skin and fat in the eyelid to improve diminished vision, and other oculoplastic surgeries. Along with Khaled Aziz, MD, director of AGH’s Center for Complex Intracranial Surgery, Dr. Happ has perfected and published a unique approach for treating tumors, aneurysms, and other issues in the front of the brain through an eyelid incision. Dr. Happ earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University, completed a general surgery internship at the National Naval Medical Center and Flight Surgery Training at the Naval Operational Medicine Institute. After serving five years in the U.S. Navy, he completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Dr. Erik Happ Pittsburgh’s Eye and Ear Institute followed by a fellowship in the departments of Ophthalmology and Neurosurgery at AGH. Dr. Happ is a member of the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons. Dr. Happ is an avid supporter of the non-profit Hawaiian Eye Foundation, SEE International, and organizations dedicated to promoting the preservation, restoration, and improvement of vision for underserved people of the Pacific Basin. He also helped establish a fellowship program in the U.S. to train Vietnamese ophthalmologists and is co-director of the oculoplastic and orbital surgery fellowship program at AGH.

Accion Labs, headquartered in Upper St. Clair and located in the Sainte Clair Plaza campus on Boyce Road, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Accion Labs works with tech firms to help clients conceptualize, design, develop, and deploy commercial products. Co-founder and vice president of sales Tony Kernan, a USC resident, along with co-founders Sandesh Sukumaran, vice president of talent acquisition, and CEO Kinesh Doshi came together to grow the next phase of the technology movement in Pittsburgh. The trio, who combined have more than 30 years of experience in the IT Industry, brainstormed their concept in the fall of 2010 with a chance meeting between Tony and Kinesh on the Montour Trail. On February 2, 2011, they put their plan into action. Since that fateful day five years ago, Accion has grown from a small three-room office to include two suites at the Pittsburgh headquarters, 11 global offices, and more than 850 employees. Accion Labs was ranked as one of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing tech companies and Kinesh was a 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. For more information, visit



Jennifer (Shingler) Hansberry, USC resident, was inducted into Altoona High School’s Hall of Fame. An all-state guard for the Altoona Lady Lions basketball team, she was on the school’s first PIAA state championship team in 1985-86. Upon high school graduation, she went on to Pitt where she was a four-year starter, three-year co-captain, and scored 1081 points. Her point total is currently 15th all time at Pitt and at the time of her graduation in 1990, she was only the sixth player in the school’s history to reach 1000 points. She was named to the Big East all-freshman team in 1987 and ended her college career by winning Pitt’s Blue-Gold Award, an award given annually by the school to one male and one female student-athlete for a combination of athletics and academics. A year after college graduation, Jennifer entered law school at Pitt, completing her JD degree, where she met her husband, John. The couple has three children: Catharine, 22; Julia, 19; and Jack, 15. Jennifer is a lawyer in the child welfare system. Jennifer Hansberry

Beth Brown Fall 2016

Beth Brown, USC resident, was hired as the new director of development for Family House. Family House provides affordable housing for patients and their families who are receiving medical treatment at local Pittsburgh hospitals. Beth brings more than 12 years of experience in management and fundraising to the organization and is responsible for overseeing fundraising activities, implementing fundraising strategies, and ensuring that patients and their families have an affordable and comfortable place to stay while seeking medical treatment in Pittsburgh. For more information on Family House, visit

For the Love of Valentine’s Day Heather Holtschlag

Valentine’s Day took on a completely different meaning for Upper St. Clair residents Ginny and Tim Hannan, when, in 2012, they heard a church sermon on sacrificial giving. They saw needs around them and realized that they weren’t making any sacrifices to give. “We were only giving our ‘leftovers,’ ” Ginny realized. “So, we decided to start the movement called The Great Valentine’s Day Give.” At first, it was just Ginny and Tim involved in the Valentine’s Day Give, a project through which people sacrifice the money they would normally spend on Valentine’s Day gifts and fancy dinners, and instead, give that money to someone in need. Since its beginning, however, others have expressed interest in joining them, and the project has grown. “Our annual Valentine’s Day tradition used to be splurging on dinner at an expensive restaurant,” she said. “Now, we instead take the money we would normally spend on the nice dinner and give it away. We still celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we do it low-key.” According to Ginny, Valentine’s Day has become incredibly commercialized. And while it is supposed to be a holiday to celebrate love, present-day culture often dictates that we cannot adequately celebrate love unless we buy people stuff. “We want to hijack Valentine’s Day to change the way people celebrate love, and what better way to celebrate love than by helping others together with your loved ones?” Through their spearheaded efforts, Ginny and Tim are hoping that people everywhere will begin to rethink the way that they celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. “It is so easy to get caught up in the flowers and the jewelry and the fancy dinners,” she noted. “We want Valentine’s Day to be more than just giving to each other. We want it to be about coming together to lift up those in need. Wouldn’t it be great to focus less on material stuff and instead focus on charity?” To help make the Valentine’s Day Give an even bigger “give” last year, Ginny and Tim partnered with nearly all of the Pittsburgh-area Chick-fil-A restaurants. A portion of the money spent by anyone coming into the restaurant that day for the Great Valentine’s Day Give was given to local charities. Ginny said that the stores got really into the idea, with the South Hills location even setting up flowers, tablecloths, and centerpieces. And, they had waiters and waitresses waiting on the tables. The Washington, Pennsylvania, location brought in a photo booth and decorated the restaurant to replicate a fine dining establishment. “The representatives at Chick-fil-A have been awesome,” Ginny said. “It’s so cool to see big corporations that really care about the communities in which they are Ginny and Tim Hannan celebrate Valentine’s Day at Chick-fil-A while located.” helping various charities The Hannans suggested that anyone can join the Valentine’s Day Give. Simply determine how much money you would normally spend on Valentine’s Day for gifts, flowers, chocolates, or dinner. Then find someone in need, whether through a personal connection or an organization that helps the needy, and give the money to them for Valentine’s Day. To celebrate the day, why not join in the celebration at Chick-fil-A! The Valentine’s Day Give is not just for couples, either; anyone can participate. Ginny said they have had families, groups of friends, and co-workers join in the effort together. “We would love for this to become a nationwide thing,” Ginny expressed. “We want to see Valentine’s Day transformed into a holiday where the majority of the $19.7 billion that we spend on gifts get redirected to people in need instead.” Ginny said that while they personally like to remain anonymous in their giving, they have seen people get really excited and creative with their giving efforts. “We have heard from couples who have anonymously left money on a needy family’s porch, made cards and treats to deliver to lonely neighbors, or have used the Great Ginny and Tim Hannan, with their Valentine’s Day as a mechanism to teach their kids about daughters (left to right), Katie and Rosa giving instead of receiving,” she explained. “For example, For more information about the one nine-year-old boy chose to celebrate his birthday this Valentine’s Day Give, follow the year, which happens to be on Valentine’s Day weekend, project on Facebook at The Great by going to Chick-fil-A and donating to the Washington Valentine’s Day Give. City Mission. n Fall 2016

SIMPLIFY Be seen in


Place your ad in our winter issue’s Life Planning or Gift guides.

Contact a sales representative at or call 412-833-1600, extension 2284. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


Caged Dogs of Hong Kong

Stacy & Emanuel Romanias


Real Estate Round Up Emanuel Romanias

As a Realtor®, I get to witness first-hand the myriad

USC residents since 1991, with over 14 years of experience.

Office 724.941.3000 Cell 412.370.3447

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of home buyer preferences with regard to home size and layout. From a cozy little A-frame bungalow to a ninebedroom mansion on a sprawling 20-acre estate, there is literally a home to fit every budget and desire imaginable. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of homes built in the U.S. has steadily increased over the past 30 years, from 1725 square feet in 1983 to 2598 square feet in 2013. In addition, from 2005 to 2013, new construction of mega-homes (4000 square feet or larger) grew from 6.6% to nine percent, while homes between 3000 and 4000 square feet jumped to 21.7% from 15.6%. The National Association of Home Builders reported the average (mean) square footage for new single family homes increased from 2677 to 2736 square feet in the first three months of 2015. The underlying cause of this phenomenon is two-fold, according to Stephen Melman, director of Economic Services for the National Association of Home Builders. First of all, the rich have gotten richer and are using their increased wealth to buy bigger homes. Second, there are relatively few first time homebuyers as many young buyers are having difficulty securing a mortgage. First-time homebuyers represent the largest group that purchase smaller homes. It is this second circumstance which has propelled the market for micro homes over the past few years. Micro homes are typically considered to be 400 square feet or less and, depending on the material and amenities, can turn out to be quite pricey. For the most part however, the appeal of a micro home is that it can provide an inexpensive means to home ownership without the burden of a large mortgage, and in some cases no mortgage at all. But, how small is too small? Many people would scoff at living in a 400-square-foot home, yet some find it acceptable to house human beings in 18 square foot cages. Consider for a moment that the minimum indoor housing requirements for one to two adult lions is 2000 square feet, according to the Association for Zoos and Aquariums. Hong Kong, one of the wealthiest and most densely populated cities in the world, forces the poorest of the poor to live like caged animals. They are called the “caged dogs of Hong Kong” who, as of 2014, numbered over 50,000. These people live in shanty towns of 3' x 6' cages stacked atop one another and are charged rent of roughly 1500 Hong Kong dollars per year. Many of the caged dogs are on a three-year waiting list for public housing. When asked why he is willing to live inside a cage, a 73-year-old retired laborer who would not give his name said, “It’s better than living on the streets.” I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. n Emanuel is a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, and can be reached at See ad on this page.



Fall 2016

Health for the South Hills.

Compassionate, Comprehensive Care – Right Where You Live. Home. It’s where you’re happiest, and where your heart and mind are most at ease. That’s why we’re committed to keeping you close to home for all of your healthcare needs. From primary care to specialized services, Allegheny Health Network providers are offering care of the highest quality — including cardiovascular, orthopaedic, bariatric and gynecologic surgery care, as well as neurosurgery, minimally invasive robotic surgery, rehabilitation services, behavioral health, and so much more — here in your own back yard. Number one rated large health system in Western PA for hospital, medical, and surgical quality care*,  right around the corner.

To find a physician, call 412.DOCTORS or visit today.

Allegheny General • Allegheny Valley • Canonsburg • Forbes • Jefferson • Saint Vincent • West Penn Health + Wellness Pavilions at Bethel Park, Peters Township and Wexford

Comparion® Medical Analytics, 2016 Quality Database.

7.5” x 10"

Bantering With the Bard Cont. from page 83

Thankful for the Princes Cont. from page 12

of the 16th century, during the Enlightenment, an age of exploration. This was a time when the English language was in a state of change. Foreign words and phrases were being adopted into the lexicon, and the dialect of the common man was becoming the norm. Brilliant wordsmiths like Shakespeare coined many new words and phrases long before the Urban Dictionary came into existence! Hundreds of phrases and words that we still use today were invented by the Bard—examples include birthplace, cold hearted, employment, eyeball, and uncomfortable. Though on the cutting edge of neology, Shakespeare wrote with his audience foremost in mind. He used verse to help the listener hear the natural flow of the language. This allows the ear to hear the important phrases. Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter (also known as “heroic verse”) which is a verse pattern that most closely follows the pattern of speech. There is something inherently familiar about this meter; it is the same as the human heartbeat! Incorporating this verse pattern in the language helps actors performing Shakespeare, as well. It provides clues to an actor’s intention or emotional state, and the predictability of the meter aids in memorization. Actors can pay attention to the stressed syllables to discover words that are crucial to telling the story. Monosyllabic phrases, or verse lines made up of ten single syllable words, tell an actor where extra emphasis should be placed. A break in the verse line, or an incomplete verse line, serves as a stage direction and indicates to the actor where physical action or interrupted dialogue may occur. As you watch a Shakespeare play, “listen” with your eyes, as well. Look at the action of the play. Take in the emotional and physical information the actors are presenting. Relax your ears. Listen with all of your senses. You will be amazed at how much you are able to take in once you stop trying so hard to understand each and every word. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a great play for doing just that as it’s a high energy comedy with plenty of action and physical story telling. A treat for young and old, A Midsummer Night’s Dream springs to life at Little Lake Theatre this fall, running from October 20 through November 5, with special student performances. n

Many of us long for the Steelers’ glory days and the wonderful fellows who played on those teams in the ’70s. There are a lot of good guys on the current club, as well, though some tend to lean too often toward a Terrell Owens showboat stance. That’s hardly in their best interests. I’ve learned from all of them. A few years back, I enjoyed a few telephone calls with Angelo Dundee from south Florida. He was Muhammad Ali’s trainer. Talking with him reminded me of his kind acts through the years. Dundee rates in my top ten, as well. It’s important to carefully choose your role models, and even the greatest of them have flaws. Find the best in what they have to offer and behave similarly. Former Steelers’ star Mike Wagner, who lived in Upper St. Clair but now resides in the community of Mars, would like to see more sportsmanship in the games we play. Isn’t that supposed to be what it’s all about? Prince always put baseball and fun and games in proper perspective. If I try, I can still see his smile and hear the gaitey of his voice—it’s summer at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium once again! n

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Little Lake Theatre Company, 500 Lakeside Drive South, Canonsburg; call 724 745-6300; or visit See ad for Little Lake Theatre on page 25. 94


Mike Wagner

Pittsburgh sports author Jim O’Brien’s book We Had ’Em All The Way: Bob Prince and his Pittsburgh Pirates is available at You Win Some, You Louvre Some Cont. from page 24

hallway seemed to branch off into four more, with artwork covering nearly every inch of the walls. Before reaching “Mona,” as we began affectionately calling her, we traveled through Africa, India, and Spain. We reached Italy, but she wasn’t there. I felt about the Louvre the same way I felt upon first entering the Boston Public Library—there was so much, and I knew I would never be able to consume it all. We turned around and retraced our steps, consulting the museum signs and wondering how we could have misinterpreted them. Our feet began to drag. An announcement came over the loudspeaker, first in French, then in German, and finally in English, telling us that the museum would be closing in 15 minutes. We turned toward the entrance of the gallery we were currently in, and after a few steps saw a huge crowd in the room to our left. We tentatively entered, then began walking more and more briskly toward the other side of the room. The Mona Lisa sat on the far wall, protected by glass, shouldered by two guards, and surrounded by people. We worked our way through the crowd then quickly back out, deciding not to cut our exit too close to the Louvre’s closing time. “It was so much smaller than I thought it would be. I mean, I heard its size was surprising, but I was expecting it to be at least poster size,” Gil stated. “I mean, hey. It was worth the price of admission,” I joked. “Yeah, I don’t know. It was nice?” Julia seemed ambivalent. We laughed at our ignorance again and our disappointment in such a renowned piece of art. There was just so much more. I wish we had seen it. n

Fall 2016

Mandy Seiner, USCHS Class of 2014 and a junior at Emerson College, is studying writing, literature, and publishing. During a semester abroad in the Netherlands this past school year, Mandy traveled to a number of European cities, including Paris.




Coronary Bypass Surgery

Orthopedic Care

Overall Surgical Care

Overall Hospital Care

Gastrointestinal Care

Cancer Care

Neurological Care

Major Bowel Procedures

C Scorec omparion M ard: De e tailed dical Analyt Quality ic Rating s Inc. C lin ica and Sc l Cate Overa ore gory: l l HOSPITA Hospit al Car L & LOC e ATION St. Clair Hospital: RATING Pittsbur SCORE W. PA. gh, PA RANK ✔++

9 8 .1


National accolades for St. Clair Hospital’s quality continue. The latest to recognize St. Clair as a national leader in patient safety and quality is Comparion Medical Analytics, one of the nation’s largest privately held healthcare information services companies. Using its proprietary CareChex® quality rating system, Comparion rates St. Clair #1 in western Pennsylvania and in the top 2 percent in the country for “Overall Hospital Care.” Comparion also rates St. Clair as best in the region for eight different specialties.




M T. L E B A N O N , P E N N S Y LV A N I A 1 5 2 4 3





Happy 200th Birthday Pittsburgh! (a bicentennial celebration) From

Advertiser Index

Fall 2016

Advertiser Page

Advertiser Page

Affordable Decks ................................................................................... 85 Allegheny Health Network ...................................................................... 93 * Angelo Associates ................................................................................. 65 * ARAMARK ............................................................................................. 65 Arbor Tree Specialist, Inc. ...................................................................... 21 * Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty, Rt. 19 South ..9 BISTECCA - STEAKHOUSE - WINE BAR ............................................... 17 Brookside Lumber ................................................................................. 67 * Calabro Tire & Auto Service .................................................................. 89 Chase Custom Creations ....................................................................... 92 Chinese Acupuncture & Herbs Center, LLC ........................................... 55 * Coldwell Banker–The South Hills Office .......................Back outside cover Coldwell Banker–Lynn Dempsey ........................................................... 67 Coldwell Banker–Leigh Harkreader ....................................................... 31 CRUST Café and Pizzeria ....................................................................... 17 * Cupelli & Cupelli, Drs. .......................................................................... 31 D&M Chiropractic & Therapeutic Rehab, Inc. ....................................... 55

* Louis Anthony Jewelers .......................................................................... 5 * Manalo, Larry E., D.M.D. ....................................................................... 42 Mount Lebanon Montessori School and Academy ................................ 83 Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center ............................................................. 54 NRM Contracting & Building Designs.................................................... 77 Pediatric Dentistry South ....................................................................... 42 * Piccolina’s Restaurant ........................................................................... 43 * Pinebridge Commons Associates .......................................................... 42 Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater ............................................ 82 Pittsburgh Music Academy .................................................................... 81 Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Company .......................................................... 57 Plastic Surgical Assoc. of Pittsburgh, Robert W. Bragdon, MD, FACS .. 55 Providence Point, a Baptist Homes Society Community ........................ 39 RE/MAX Premier Group–James Roman ................................................ 23 * Rusmur Floors ...............................................................Back inside cover * St. Clair Hospital ............................................................................... 2, 95 * Scott Bros. Windows and Doors ............................................................ 11

What They Said Advertising in UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY has made it possible for me to reach many families in the community. Having lived in Upper St. Clair for 35 years and selling real estate for as long gives residents a chance to put my face with my name.—Diane Horvath of Howard Hanna Davey Tree and Lawn Care ..................................................................... 85 Eichenlaub Landscapes for Living............................................................ 7 Extended Day Services .......................................................................... 82 Historical Society of Upper St. Clair ...................................................... 77 * Howard Hanna USC Office ............................................Front inside cover * Howard Hanna–Maureen Cavanaugh .................................................... 91 * Howard Hanna–Susan Highley .............................................................. 89 * Howard Hanna–Diane Horvath .............................................................. 25 Infinity Custom Homes .......................................................................... 13 Jacksons Restaurant + Bar ..................................................................... 63 * Keller Williams–Sandy and Marshall Goldstein .................................... 63 * Kerr Family and Cosmetic Dentistry ...................................................... 43 Little Lake Theatre Company ................................................................. 25

* Sesame Inn ........................................................................................... 17 South Hills Endoscopy Center ................................................................. 1 Southwest Gastroenterology Associates................................................. 53 * State Farm Insurance–Cindy Brophy ..................................................... 43 Sydney B. Moore Estate Sales ............................................................... 92 The Romanias Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices .................. 92 The Watson Institute .............................................................................. 81 * Thomas Dance Studio ........................................................................... 80 Torrente at Upper St. Clair–Luxury Apartments ....................................... 3 Troy Orthodontics .................................................................................. 43 Valley Brook Dental, LLC–Joseph L. Gurecka, DMD ............................. 77 Washington Health System .................................................................... 57 * Wellington Real Estate–Patty Thomas & Rebecca Lutz .......................... 19

The fall 2016 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is our biennial residential guide. Our advertisers know this and have responded wonderfully by placing their ads in our publication! *The above advertisers, who are advertising in this issue, have contributed their support for a minimum of 43 issues. Thank you.

Upcoming guides for the Winter 2016 issue include Dining, Gift Giving, and Life Planning. 96


Fall 2016

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Fall 2016 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY Magazine, the official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylv...


Fall 2016 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY Magazine, the official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylv...