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Spring 2015

Upper S

g of L n i n e p O d t. Clair Celebrates Gran

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uxury Apartment Community

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W W W. S TC L A I R . O R G


GO LOCAL. STAY

LOCAL Spring 2015 • Volume 21 • Issue 1 www.twpusc.org/magazine/usc-today-home

Features & Around the Township 10

The Historic W. T. Fife House

14

Joanne Ostergaard, Protector of History

20

Body Surfing at Eisenhower

76

usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us

School District 25

Township 51

28

USC Township Library

The Mentor Program Active Shooter Drills Held in District

32

Celebrating 30 Years of the Earthwarden Program at Boyce

38

Pawprints

USC 2014 Medallion Ball Honorees

Department of Finance

56 60

USC Recreation and Leisure Services

66

Guides/ Directories 44 Pinebridge 46

Celebrate Good Times... Celebrate Good Food

70 Home Improvement 88 Advertiser Index

Understanding ISO

Cover

The cover of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is sponsored by Torrente at Upper St. Clair and showcases this new, upscale apartment complex that will serve the community and its residents. See pages 12 and 13 for the feature article.

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27

28

32

37

59

60

64

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UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

Spring 2015


JOIN THE FAMILY


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

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 edition marks the beginning of our 21-year celebration of our publication.

The 81st 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.

Editors and Staff Linda M. Dudzinski, Editor-in-Chief Terry Kish, Associate Editor Colleen DeMarco, Office Manager Dorothy Clark, Graphic Designer Alison Hess, Marketing Executive Lynn Dempsey, Advertising Executive Neena Jacob-John, Advertising Executive Laura Whitcomb, Advertising Executive

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY steering committee and staff members include Mark Mansfield, Paul Fox, Linda Dudzinski, Terry Kish, Colleen DeMarco,

Dorothy Clark, Alison Hess, Lynn Dempsey, Neena Jacob-John, and Laura Whitcomb.

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a non-partisan Town-

ship, 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. 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.

The next issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY will be the Summer 2015 issue and will be published in May 2015. 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: Editor

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

1820 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or email UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY at usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us.

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: dclark@uscsd.k12.pa.us

Website www.twpusc.org/magazine/usc-today-home Email usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us Board of School Directors Frank J. Kerber, President Buffy Z. Hasco, Vice President Amy L. Billerbeck Barbara L. Bolas Harry F. Kunselman Louis P. Mafrice, Jr. Louis M. Oliverio Angela B. Petersen Rebecca A. Stern

6

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

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

Spring 2015

Thank you to our volunteer contributors this issue: Judge Ronald Arnoni, Zach Barone (YWG), Dan Barr, Cindy Brophy, Mark Cedar, D.O., Scott Churchill, John D’Angelo, Pam Dillie, Dina Fulmer, Amie Guarino, Barb Helmecci, Maureen Mahoney Hill, Heather Holtschlag, Melissa Jones, Jessica Kester, Jennifer Kirk, Robb Lenhart, Pat McClintock-Comeuax, Shawn Morton, Jay Lynch, Jim O’Brien, Jack O’Leary (YWG), Helen Palascak, Laura Reid Riggin, Joseph Rongaus, State Senator Matt Smith, Mary Lynne Spazok, Brad Vespa (YWG), Marilyn Walsh, and Dan Zelenski 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 usctoday@uscsc.k12.pa.us to find out how your student can contribute. The 81st issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a joint publication of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair. © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in print or web version, in whole or in part, without the express 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: usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us 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 • www.dmcdesign.com


If you could help make an amazing difference, would you?

Some kids face challenges that would overwhelm the toughest adults. They come to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh from across the region — sometimes across the country or around the world — and that’s when the amazing differences begin. Your contribution to The Children’s Institute can keep the amazing differences happening. Won’t you help change the future for the kids and families who so greatly deserve it? To learn more, visit www.amazingkids.org/giving


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

Matthew R. Serakowski

Welcome to the 21st year of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, our spring 2015 issue. Twenty-one years of publishing a valued magazine is a milestone and one that we are happy to have reached. For a person, turning 21 can be liberating. To many people, this number marks a rite of passage and with that rite comes a heightened sense of responsibility. While celebrating our coming-of-age milestone, TODAY remains dedicated to sharing news and information responsibly so that this magazine continues to be a true reflection of Upper St. Clair and its residents. A number of stories in this edition tell of our community’s preservation and promotion of history: (The Historic William T. Fife House, page 10; Joanne Ostergaard, Protector of History, page 14; and Celebrating 30 Years of the Earthwarden Program at Boyce, page 32). One story pays tribute to the many who have served this Township and our nation (High School Veterans Day Assembly, page 26). As leaders of this community, we are mindful of how to best advance Upper St. Clair for its residents. The School District’s articles (The USCHS Mentor Program, page 25; STEAM-ing Along at Baker, page 36; and Going Full STEAM at Streams, page 37) and stories of what’s happening in our Township (Torrente at Upper St. Clair Welcomes New Residents, page 12; Hitting the Trails Full Speed in 2015, page 54; and USC Recreation and Leisure Services, page 60) are just a few examples of how our community is moving forward to achieve our mission and reach our goals for 2015 and beyond. Throughout the years, we’ve had many opportunities to tell stories of Upper St. Clair and the people who live and work here. We’ve provided useful tips through advertising guide articles and offered informative, historical, and some light-hearted accounts that we hope you have enjoyed. Be inspired by these articles and by those that speak to the future of our Township and our School District’s promotion of exceptional 21st-century learners who are on their way to becoming model citizens. Thanks for journeying with us over the years… and don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere! We’ll be back in May with our next edition of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, showcasing new stories and sharing news to keep you connected. With that said, we hope you’re ready to celebrate spring—the season of renewal—by getting out and reclaiming your sense of community (see our “Celebrate Good Times... Celebrate Food” guide, page 46). Also, consider initiating projects around your house (see our “Home Improvement” guide, page 70) to enhance the beauty of your personal surroundings. Surely, your efforts improve the overall aesthetics of our community. We appreciate the pride you take in Upper St. Clair! Things sure do look bright from where we sit. We hope you think so, too.

Sincerely,

Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager Township of Upper St. Clair 412-831-9000 • Fax: 412-831-9882 Website: www.twpusc.org Email: uscadmin@twpusc.org

Sincerely, GO LOCAL. STAY

LOCAL

Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole Superintendent of Schools Upper St. Clair School District 412-833-1600 • Fax: 412-833-5535 Website: www.uscsd.k12.pa.us Email: info@uscsd.k12.pa.us

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

www.twpusc.org/magazine/usc-today-home UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

Spring 2015

usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us


Terry Abbott

Lynn Banbury

Frank Conroy & Florine Kelly

Kathy Corazza

Brian & Karen Cummings

Bob Dini

Wayne Freund

Judy Gelman

Kathy Hallberg

George Herrington

Liz Hoyson

Lori Maffeo

Bob Main

Elva Marotta

Barbara Kurdys-Miller

Heather Orstein

JoAnn Robb

Michele Schocker & Ruth Weigers

Kristin Shaw

Judy Ward

Michele Young

Tony Mete Manager

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Real Estate Agents Who Make a Real Difference!

Let us help you find your way home! Call one of our award-winning Mt. Lebanon Regional sales associates

412.833.7700 1679 Washington Road www.PrudentialPreferredRealty.com Š2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchise of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not a solicitation.

Spring 2015

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

9


The Historic William T. Fife House Robb Lenhart

The historic William T. Fife house at 2421 Old Washington Road in Upper St. Clair has long been a landmark in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. Stately Austrian pines, distinctive tamarack larch trees, fruit-laden mulberry trees, and colorful magnolias contribute to the beauty of this property. The changes that have occurred to this estate over nearly two centuries provide a compelling story.

Front view of the Fife house

The Greek Revival style, brick farm house was constructed in 1832 when Andrew Jackson was the U.S. President. Thompson Fife—grandson of John Fife, Sr., the pioneer settler in the USC region in 1760—built the house, and for the next 103 years it remained in the Fife family. Thompson lived just 28 years in the house, with his death occurring in 1860. William T., named after Thompson’s son, spent his entire life of 86 years there. The house was eventually sold by his heirs in 1935, seven years after his death. Surprisingly, the house has had relatively few owners in its 183-year history—three from the Fife family and six nonFife owners. In September 1979, its significant stature in the community was formally recognized in a public ceremony held by the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair when a bronze plaque identifying the house as a historic structure in the Township was given to the owners. The William T. Fife house has the unique distinction of being the oldest house in Upper St. Clair built by a direct descendant of pioneer John Fife, Sr. It also ranks as the third oldest, still-occupied residence in Upper St. Clair, behind only the Joseph Philips home on Seegar Road (circa 1806) and the Thomas Dell and Martha Lesnett home on Old Lesnett Road (built in 1820). The William T. Fife

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UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

Spring 2015

William T. Fife house is older than several other current residences from the 1800s—the Johnston home on Southvue Drive (1838), the Quigg house on Fort Couch Road (1847), the John Gilfillan house on Washington Road (1855-57), the Orr home on Murdstone Road (1857), the Alexander and Margaret Gilfillan home on Swanson Lane (1865), the James Fife home on Fife Drive (1870), the Strickler DeMuth home at the corner of Hays Road and Lindenwood Drive (circa 1881), the John McEwen home on Locust Lane (1892), the William W. Lesnett home on Lesnett Road (1897), and the Harry and Lydia Boyce home next to Boyce Station (1898). Two other structures in Upper St. Clair built in the 1800s are older than the William T. Fife house; however, they are no longer residences. The Fife Homestead, circa 1820—former home of William James Fife, a second cousin of W.T. Fife—sits at the intersection of Old Washington Road and Johnston Road and is now used as an office building in the Summerfield Commons office complex. Also, the historic Log House on McLaughlin Run Road (next to Upper St. Clair High School) was built in 1830 by Alexander Gilfillan or his son, John. Initially, the Log House provided lodging for hired men and their families, but it later served as a residence for others. The Log House has been unoccupied for many years. Initial Construction The William T. Fife house is a two-story brick structure on a natural stone foundation. The exterior brick walls were constructed two layers thick. Clay for making bricks was abundant in the area and, in the early- to mid-1800s, a brick-making facility was located near the intersection of Johnston Road and Old Washington Road. This brick-making plant was operated by William James Fife, great-great-grandson of William Fife, Sr., the brother of USC pioneer settler John Fife, Sr. Bricks from this plant were used to build the W.T. Fife house as well as that of his cousin, William James Fife, aka the “Fife Homestead circa 1820” house. The W.T. Fife house has a gabled roof with asphalt shingles and four wall dormers. The Greek Revival design reveals a box cornice with dentils. Double hung windows have 6/6 lights. The left side of the house has a rectangular, screened porch, while an

Dining room, showing mantel, closet, and door molding woodwork


open rectangular porch with a hip roof and four box pillars is located on the front of the house. When first built in 1832, the house was a simple four-room structure, consisting of a living room and dining room downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. A central hallway and staircase connected the two floors. There were no indoor kitchen or bathrooms. However, the rooms were spacious and were constructed with 11-foot ceilings. The house footprint measured 20 feet by 40 feet, providing 1600 square feet of living space. There were two chimneys, one on each end of the house, and a total of four fireplaces, one to heat each room. Oak log floor joists, used previously in a cabin, support the wooden floors in this original part of the main house. Fluted wood moldings were installed around doorways, windows, mantels, and chair railings. Authentic wooden cupboards, bookcases, baseboards, and the main staircase were constructed to provide striking examples of high quality woodcraft throughout the house. The Owners and Their Changes to the House The William T. Fife house is woven into the historical fabric of Upper St. Clair. Beyond the age, architectural design, and community stature of the house, its owners and occupants have also been very successful, influential, and productive people in the region. Thompson Fife, who built the house, was a very successful farmer and businessman, providing operating loans to numerous local farmers. At the time of his death, his “book accounts” showed 23 outstanding loans to nearby farmers. His son, William T. Fife, carried on his legacy of successful farming, held Township offices, and served on the board of trustees for the Bethel Presbyterian Church. Future non-Fife owners of the property were premier attorneys of their day, a physician, a senior corporate executive, and successful businessmen. Examples of significant roles and contributions in the community from their spouses include a teacher who also assisted in founding the USC Township Library; a psychology graduate who volunteered as a counselor in the ICU unit at a local hospital; a pediatric oncology nurse; and a board member, volunteer, advisory committee member, and officer in several local community organizations. Over the years, many changes and modifications have been made to the landmark William T. Fife house by these various owners. A brief summary of those changes is provided below. More details are provided in the author’s book (see sidebar). Thompson and Margaret Espy Fife, the original builders, selected the house site on acreage referred to as Cremona, the name of a land patent obtained in the 1760s by USC pioneer John Fife, Sr. No changes are known to have been made to the house for nearly 50 years after its construction. Thompson Fife died in 1860, followed by his wife, Margaret, in 1884, resulting in their oldest son, William T., taking possession of the house and the surrounding 110-acre farm. To share their total 242-acre real estate holdings, younger brother J. Albert, his only living sibling, accepted sole ownership of a 46-acre parcel (near the family farm) and another 86-acre tract of land (situated across Route 19 from the Westminster Presbyterian Church where the development of Brookside Farms began in 1913). William T. Fife’s first wife, Caroline, died in 1877 at age 34; he married his second wife, Annabelle Sterrett, in 1879. Sometime during the 15-year period from 1880 to 1895, W.T. Fife made a significant renovation to the house to accommodate the addition of seven more children to his family.

W. T. Fife house in 1935, prior to renovations

Continued on page 84 Spring 2015

Want to Know More? Written by Robb Lenhart, the book The Historic William T. Fife House in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, describes the landmark South Hills home built in 1832 by Thompson Fife, grandson of John Fife, Sr., the pioneer settler in the USC region. It describes the life and times of the Fife family members who, for 103 years, owned the house named after Thompson’s son, William T. Fife, who spent his lifetime of 86 years there. Given the extended involvement of the Fifes with the property, considerable information is included about the Fife family genealogy. Historic photographs are provided of the Fife family church—the Bethel Presbyterian Church— along with a discussion of its four different meetinghouses, dating from 1779. The book identifies all owners of the William T. Fife house over its nearly two-century history and documents the changes each owner made to the property. The book contains 333 pages and more than 230 photographs, and is supplemented with Township plats, sketches, diagrams, schematics, oral history interviews, and newspaper articles. One of the ten appendices in the book provides a listing and photographs of the remaining 1800-era Upper St. Clair homes. Another appendix contains the 41-page reference document entitled Descendants of John and William Fife, Fifeshire, Scotland, Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, 1721-1890, which was originally compiled by Joseph Vance in 1890 and then updated by John V. Murphy in 1979. Assembled from information collected for the 1885 and 1890 Fife family reunions, this document provides insight on numerous Fife and related families who lived during the 1800s and early 1900s. n Copies of the book are available from the Upper St. Clair Township Library, Historical Society of Upper St. Clair, Carnegie Library, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Bethel Park Library, and Peters Township Library. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

11


Torrente at Upper St. Clair Welcomes New Residents Melissa L. Jones

What comes to mind when you hear the words “stainless steel appliances,” “granite counter tops,” “garage parking,” “swimming pool,” “fire pit?” For most people, these terms conjure visions of upscale homes. But a recent addition to Upper St. Clair Township brings all of these amenities and more to a luxury apartment complex. Torrente at Upper St. Clair, which started accepting its first leases in January, is the Township’s first luxury apartment community. The complex will boast 220 one- and two-bedroom apartments, a beautiful clubhouse with a sparkling outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, elevatored buildings, walking trails, and indoor parking for each apartment. Rents will range from $1,200 to $1,655 a month, with a limited number of premier penthouse units available priced near $3,000 a month. Plans for Torrente—Italian for “creek”—began about two years ago. The Township recognized a need to provide an alternative for downsizers, while also attracting professionals who are looking for upscale living but who are not yet ready to purchase a home. The property that Torrente sits on has a long-storied past in which several developers attempted to build condominiums. Those

projects never materialized though, primarily due to the housing recession that occurred both locally and nationwide. The current owner looked at the site for its potential use and maximized the unique wooded, creek-side setting. “The site was challenging,” said John R. Deklewa, president of RDC, Inc., the construction manager. “When we decided to move ahead with this project, we assembled a great team of experienced engineers and architects to make the most of this beautiful setting, now known as Torrente.” Apartments serve an important function in a thriving community. The rental market across the country and in particular Pittsburgh is at an all-time high. Pittsburgh ranks seventh among major cities with the lowest apartment vacancy. The strong commercial real estate market and specifically multi-family construction has helped power our area from recovery to expansion, according to CBRE, a long-standing American commercial real estate company headquartered in California. Growth in the job market has also increased the need for apartments. CBRE forecasts Pittsburgh to have a deficit of 900 apartments in 2015, with rents forecasted to grow. In addition to attracting people who are new to the area, Torrente expects to fill another growing trend: downsizers. Empty nesters and other people seeking to lessen the burdens of home ownership are expected to make up a significant percentage of the residents. A luxury apartment complex affords the opportunity to downsize without sacrificing. “With walk-in closets, indoor garage parking, storage units, and large outdoor entertainment spaces, residents aren’t giving up conveniences they’ve become

Kitchen 11' x 16' 2" with over-sized granite island

“Palermo” living room measures 13' 6" x 16' 2" 12

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Walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom for master bedroom


accustomed to in their own homes; instead, they now get to enjoy them without the cost or responsibility of daily maintenance,” explains Lauren Hornyak, leasing director for Torrente. The professionally-managed complex will offer a number of concierge services, including pet care and auto detailing on site, and cleaning and grocery service delivery for each apartment. Providing these special accoutrements makes Torrente a truly maintenance-free experience, whether it’s for the yearround resident or for those seeking warmer climates in the winter months. “We are offering a complete resort lifestyle to our residents,” says Hornyak. Torrente is situated on property near the corner of Boyce and Mayview Roads in Upper St. Clair. The location, with the entrance off Boyce Road, is conveniently accessible to Route 19 and I-79. The wooded location provides a quiet, serene backyard setting where even pets will feel welcomed. With a designated pet area on the property and walking trails that connect to Boyce Mayview Park, owners and their animals will be pleased. The Township and the developer both expressed the desire to include “green” concepts into the building and landscaping plans. Environmentallyconscious materials and products were sourced, and special attention was devoted to maximizing natural light. Recycling containers that blend into the environment will be conveniently placed throughout the grounds for residents’ use. Each apartment has its own private balcony, making it almost impossible for residents to not enjoy the great outdoors just a few short steps from their kitchen or living space. The clubhouse area includes a fire pit and outdoor kitchen and pool, along with plenty of custom-designed lounging furniture for gathering, socializing, or simply relaxing. The clubhouse also features a fitness center, open 24 hours a day. Residents can reserve the clubroom or

pub room to host gatherings, perfect for birthday parties or Steelers games. Large screen televisions and a complete kitchen make these common areas great places to gather and food service a breeze. After a day at the pool, neighbors can join in a game of horse shoes or bocce ball, with the pit and courts located near the creek. Torrente’s resort-style living strives to become an integral part of the USC community and has been designed to exemplify the Township’s high standards. Come visit; we think you will agree! n

Master suite

Amenities at Torrente at Upper St. Clair Walk-in Closets Stainless Steel Appliances Granite Countertops and Island Garbage Disposals In-suite, Full-size Washers and Dryers Private Balconies Oversized Windows Open Floor Plans Interior Storage Units Integral Garages Assigned Parking Elevatored Buildings Secured Entrances Woodland Views Penthouse Premiere Apartments Available Professionally-designed Clubhouse Wi-Fi Access 24/7 Fitness Center Pub Room Outdoor Swimming Pool, with Lifeguard Outdoor Kitchen Area Fire Pit Walking Trails Designated Pet Areas Horseshoe Pit Bocce Courts Snow Removal Service Professionally Landscaped On-site Management 24-Hour Emergency Maintenance Concierge Service

Residents and businesses are invited to attend an open house to tour the model and the clubhouse on Saturday, March 21, 1 to 3 p.m. Potential residents are encouraged to call Lauren at 412-551-0520 for a private tour. Visit Torrente on Facebook at www.facebook.com/torrenteatusc or torrenteusc.com.

Clubhouse Great Room Spring 2015

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Joanne Ostergaard, Protector of History Fort Pitt Block House Celebrates 250 Years Maureen Mahoney Hill, Project Manager, Block House 250 For those who haven’t met Joanne, a current resident of Friendship Village and a former resident and school teacher from Mt. Lebanon, she is the powerful engine behind 2014’s yearlong celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Fort Pitt Block House, Pittsburgh’s oldest historic landmark. The Block House remains standing in its original location surrounded now by scenic Point State Park in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, a reminder of our past and a beacon to the future. Beginning with its construction in 1764, the story of the Fort Pitt Block House is one that spans nearly three centuries of Pittsburgh history. The Block House was originally constructed as a defensive redoubt for Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War. After the conflicts on the Pennsylvania frontier ended, the brick-laid building served briefly as a trading post for wares and munitions. During the 19th century it was used as a private dwelling, hosting numerous families for over one hundred years. In 1894, the only surviving structure of Fort Pitt was gifted to be preserved and used as a historic site and museum to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) by then owner Mary Schenley. Though the building was threatened by demolition for the expansion of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the DAR’s Fort Pitt Society fought to preserve this precious historic structure. Last year, the Block House welcomed more than 54,000 visitors from across the region and around the world, including approximately 1600 children on school-sponsored field trips. Yet, many Pittsburghers are unaware that the Block House is a private, independent nonprofit organization, receiving no state or federal funding. For the past 120 years, the Fort Pitt Society has owned and operated the Fort Pitt Block House, working tirelessly, and often anonymously, to keep the 250-year-old structure in sound condition and open to the public and free of charge, presenting Pittsburgh’s rich history for all to enjoy.

At the Block House 250 Gala, Joanne Ostergaard (right) greeting keynote speaker Julie Nixon Eisenhower 14

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Joanne Ostergaard joined the Pittsburgh chapter of the DAR in the 1980s; she says she joined to please her mother. She didn’t really become active in the chapter until 2000 when she was elected to the Fort Pitt Society board of directors. Up until that point, she claims she was unaware that the chapter actually owned and operated the Block House. But it didn’t take long for Joanne to fall under the spell of that little building with a big history. In 2010, Joanne was elected president of the Fort Pitt Society, a critical time in the organization’s history as it was about to embark on efforts to acknowledge the upcoming 250th anniversary of the construction of the Block House. Under Joanne’s leadership, a vision was developed to use the 250th anniversary as a critical opportunity to build internal capacity and begin focusing on the future sustainability of the Block House. To say her vision was successfully realized is truly an understatement. Joanne stepped down as president of the Fort Pitt Society in late 2012, but maintained an active leadership position in planning the anniversary commemorations and served as the Fort Pitt Society coordinator for Block House 250. As such, Joanne’s fingerprints have been on every single event and activity related to the 250th anniversary of the Block House. Her first task was to raise the funding needed for a long overdue preservation and restoration project. This effort represented the first time that the Fort Pitt Society and the DAR had to raise funds from the public for the Block House. Despite the challenge of being virtually unknown in the funding community, the Fort Pitt Society was successful in raising the $190,000 needed for the restoration project. Joanne showed up on the coldest day in January 2013 as the project started with technicians taking X-rays of the 250-year-old gun loop timbers that encircle the building on two levels. The ten-month project included repair and preservation of the gun loop timbers, and masonry and French drain repairs and reinforcement of the upper floor beams. Additional foundation support was secured to develop the Block House’s first professional website—www.fortpittblockhouse. com—to kick start an important effort to build communications capacity at the Block House and increase public awareness, ensuring a more active role by the wider Pittsburgh community in preserving and protecting local history. In August 2013, an archeological dig was conducted on the grounds of the Block House where a new memorial garden, part of the Block House 250 commemorations, was planned. The dig


unearthed hundreds of artifacts from the 19th, 18th, and even 17th centuries and provided an exciting opportunity for visitors to the Block House to get their hands dirty and truly touch history. While Joanne didn’t plan for it, the next major event that coincided with the 250th anniversary preparations was the arrival of a giant rubber duck. The rubber duck, brought to Pittsburgh in fall 2013 as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts and docked at Point State Park, resulted in a record number of visitors to the Block House, more than 10,000 in just the month of October, and quadrupled souvenir sales. A pet project of Joanne’s and an important element of the 250th anniversary commemorations was the writing of the first comprehensive history of the Fort Pitt Block House. November 2013 brought the launch of a full length professionally published book written exclusively to tell the whole story—and what a story it is—of the Fort Pitt Block House, written by former Block House curator Emily Weaver. Finally, the anniversary year, 2014, arrived, and with it came the news that the Fort Pitt Society would be recognized as a recipient of the 2013 Jefferson Award, known as the Nobel Prize for volunteerism. But there was no resting on their laurels for Joanne, the Fort Pitt Society board members, or the Block House staff. The winter months were quite busy, as new brochures were written and produced, print and electronic newsletters created, and funds raised for the anniversary events. In April, the first official event of the Block House 250 celebrations was held; the dedication of the Edith Ammon Memorial Garden designed to pay tribute to Edith Darlington Ammon and the founding members of the Fort Pitt Society. More than 200 guests, including DAR members from across the state, joined Joanne and the Fort Pitt Society for an educational lecture and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Fort Pitt Block House

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Edith Ammon Memorial Garden at the Block House in April 2014 are, left to right, Emily Weaver, former curator, Fort Pitt Block House; Liz Wheatley, president, Fort Pitt Society; Jack LaQuatra and Dan McDowell, LaQuatra Bonci Associates; John Rohe, Colcom Foundation; Joanne Ostergaard, Alan Gutchess, Fort Pitt Museum; Matt Greene, manager, Point State Park

The Pittsburgh Symphony paid tribute to the Block House and its 250th anniversary with a special salute at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in June, a great way to kick off the busy summer months. On August 9, the Pittsburgh chapter of the DAR invited the public to join in a festive outdoor celebration held in conjunction with the Fort Pitt Museum and Point State Park. The event featured re-enactors and living history demonstrations, educational lectures, and musical performances. The capstone event of the year—the Block House 250 gala—was held on September 11, highlighted by an inspirational keynote address by Julie Nixon Eisenhower. More than 125 guests enjoyed cocktails and a scrumptious dinner at the Wyndham Grand Hotel, looking out over Point State Park and the Fort Pitt Block House. With the 250th anniversary year drawing to a close, the Rediscover Your Block House social media campaign was launched in November. Using Facebook, photos were shared, including items of product packaging, souvenirs, and other memorabilia featuring the image of the Fort Pitt Block House. The campaign was designed to remind the public of how the Block House has been used throughout history as a symbol of Pittsburgh and its residents on everything from beer bottles to coffee cans. On November 23, restricted to a wheel Spring 2015

chair as she awaited hip replacement surgery, Joanne presided over the final event of Block House 250—the dedication of a time capsule at the Senator John Heinz History Center. The time capsule, designed to be opened in 2065 on the 300th anniversary of the Fort Pitt Block House, preserved the many events and activities of the 250th anniversary year. Guests were encouraged to bring their children and grandchildren— the next generation who will continue the work of Joanne and others like her as careful guardians of the past. Through many challenges, Joanne has remained a tireless advocate for the Fort Pitt Block House. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Her attention to detail and focus ensures that every project she starts is brought to successful fruition. Perhaps, most importantly, Joanne has built a team of dedicated and talented DAR members, staff, contractors, volunteers, donors, and friends, who together worked to create this one-of-a-kind celebration known as Block House 250. Joanne leaves huge shoes to fill for those who will follow in her footsteps at the Fort Pitt Society, but her legacy is ensured: the Fort Pitt Block House stands strong and ready for the next 250 years of remarkable history. n For more information, visit the Fort Pitt Block House website at www.fortpittblockhouse.com.

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Signing Books to the Beat of Different Drummers Story and photos by Jim O’Brien

If you live long enough you never know what you might experience. I had a first in my writing career last summer when I held a book-signing event and was stationed between two blacksmiths and a belly dancer. I sat at a table under a tent at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg for the four-day Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival held over the Fourth of July weekend. An hour drive from Upper St. Clair, I was at the festival for the entire four days, eight hours each day, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. My table was placed along a walking path in the woods, just off one of the lakes. A light breeze blew off the lake and the smoke from the blacksmith’s tent traveled across the walking path towards me. The smoke bothered passersby—I saw them waving it off as they walked along the path—but had mostly dissipated by the time it reached my table. Then, too, maybe the fact that I grew up in Pittsburgh’s steel mill towns of Glenwood and Hazelwood, where the smoke that blew ’round the clock from the mills and the smells that came from the slaughter house across the Monongahela River in Hays, conditioned me not to be bothered by either smoke or putrid odors. The two blacksmiths stood over a fire pit and hammered orange hot steel rods into various decorative pieces. With them hammering away almost non-stop for eight hours all of the four days, I was subject to their clang, clang, clang noises for my entire time at the festival. Next to me, better yet, was a tent set up to promote the soon-to-be-arriving Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival in nearby West Newton during certain weekends in August and September through Labor Day. If you’re into jousting or sword fighting, you may want to catch the festival this coming summer. One of the attractions being promoted for the Renaissance festival was belly dancing. Belly dancing, I learned, was a big deal in medieval times. There was one belly dancer at the Twin Lakes festival, and she danced nearly non-stop for eight hours each day. I was impressed with her stamina and her flat stomach. Although I tried to concentrate on what I was doing, my attention was continually diverted to the belly dancer who shimmied right to left and then left to right. She’d shimmy into my view every few seconds, invading my space like clockwork. But, who’s going to complain about that?

My neighbors at the festival: two blacksmiths and one belly dancer 16

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Impressive to say the least, she had no muffin top, unlike most belly-dancers I’d seen in movies or on television. I imagine that if you undulate—Webster’s dictionary definition: present a wavy appearance, to move or cause to move in wavy, sinuous, and flowing manner—for nearly eight hours over a four-day period of time, and do that on a number of occasions throughout the year, you, too, would have a flat stomach. I will have to try it sometime in the privacy of my own home. I introduced myself to the belly dancer, letting her know I was a reporter, and asked her some questions. What I found most impressive from our conversation was that she maintained such a fantastic shape for a woman in her 40s and a mother of four. The belly dancer’s movements caused me and the blacksmiths to lose focus from time to time. Surely, the blacksmiths had more to lose that I did. I warned them that they risked burning their hands if they kept looking up from their work to steal a peek at this wondrous sideshow. I wondered if my signature and writing were the same as usual or if my book signing penmanship was off and included more swirls. I know for certain that my peripheral vision had improved. After undergoing cataract surgery two summers ago, I can see better now than I could as a child. I’ve been grateful for my eye doctor’s skills ever since. Thank you, Dr. Roger Zelt of South Hills Eye Associates! The blacksmiths and the belly dancer were show-stoppers and head-turners, and passersby would pause to check them out. As I was positioned between them, my business benefited, as well. People teased me about my location. “Did you pay extra to get this table?” some asked. “How’d you get so lucky?” they continued. Playing dumb, I asked them what they were talking about, as if I had no idea to what they were referring. At the same time, I knew when I got home that my wife, Kathie, would somehow know that I had been sitting all day in the woods, watching a belly dancer instead of a passing deer or spiders or bees; she would sense it. After 47 years of marriage, I know this. Trust me; I wouldn’t have to say a thing. As people continued by, some guys, especially older guys, would stop and express their personal enthusiasm for belly dancing. Some guys, especially younger guys, maybe newlyweds, would walk by and check out the blacksmiths’ work instead of the belly dancer, not daring to risk the wrath of their wives. I suggested to their wives or girlfriends that they take their male companions to the nearby hospital in Greensburg to find out if they indeed had a heartbeat.


The belly dancer was accompanied by a musical troupe that played guitars and lutes and continually banged on medieval drums. So, for nearly eight hours a day for four days I was at the festival, I was entertained by the clanging of hammers on steel anvils, the banging of medieval drums, and the swaying movements of the belly dancer. It went something like this: clang, clang, clang!… boom, boom, boom! (audio)… and shimmy, shimmy, shimmy (visual). It’s a wonder I can still hear, and it’s a wonder I can still see! Throughout the course of the festival, while seated at my table, I found myself tapping my feet to the cadence and slapping my thighs as if I were beating on drums myself. I didn’t try to undulate, lest I get arrested by the state police who patrolled the park. Distracted by my surroundings, I did survive. Talk about an intriguing idea for a TV reality show! Amongst all of this commotion, Steelers, Pirates, Pitt, and Penn State fans stopped by my table and asked for my thoughts and predictions about those sundry subjects. Some patrons even showed me their tattoos that boasted of their sports allegiance. For many personal reasons, I will remember this festival to be uniquely entertaining and fun, too. n

Planning a Day Trip in 2015?

How about one of the following? • Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, Twin Lakes Park, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, offers visual and live performing arts, traditional and fine crafts, cultural heritage activities, humanities, and exciting ethnic foods. An annual summer celebration, this free festival takes place each July around Independence Day. Times are 11 a.m.–8 p.m. daily. • Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, West Newton, Pennsylvania, opens for six weekends in August and September and on Labor Day at a former farm in Westmoreland County with much to enjoy about a bygone era. Directions: 112 Renaissance Lane, West Newton (15089). From downtown Pittsburgh, follow I-376 east to the Pennsylvania Turnpike east. Take Exit 75 at New Stanton. Travel I-70 west to Exit 51A. The festival is a quarter mile on the right. Visit http://pittsburghrenfest.com for more information and entrance prices. • Held in October of each year on the grounds of the camp in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, Fort Ligonier Days is a three-day outdoor festival celebrating the historic events that occurred at Fort Ligonier, which signified the beginning of the American Revolution. Including a living history encampment, the 56th year of this festival occurs Friday–Sunday, October 9–11, and depicts frontier life and military tactics of 1758.

Jim O’Brien, sports author, has penned Chuck Noll–A Winning Way, the first biography of the Steelers Hall of Fame coach who resided in Upper St. Clair for 23 years while he led the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories. The book is available at www.jimobriensportsauthor.com or through Albert’s Gifts at Amazon.com. Spring 2015

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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

The Darker Side of Technology As District Judges, Guy Reschenthaler and I, all too often, hear cases involving sexting, sextortion, and cyber-bullying. Because of the new tools that online predators employ against their victims, we decided to take proactive steps to protect our constituents through education and community outreach. To that end, we, along with Jim Dill, veteran of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and cybercrimes expert, recently set out on a whirlwind tour of our local schools, including Bethel Park, Jefferson Hills, South Park, and Upper St. Clair to present “The Darker Side of Technology.” We wanted to warn our young people about the potential dangers of social media and the consequences of bad decisions. We discussed predators, cyber-bullying, and oversharing of information which, unfortunately, have contributed not only to damaging reputations and self-esteem, but also have cost lives! Although the material contained in this presentation was graphic and was hard to hear, we wanted to provide our kids with the tools, resources, and advice to mitigate their risk, similar to programs that reenact accident scenes in an effort to prevent drinking and driving. We also conducted a presentation geared toward parents at an evening community event for anyone interested in gaining information about the pitfalls of social media. Originally, we thought the program would be most beneficial for students, but we came to realize that the bigger impact may have been on the adult audience. They were surprised to learn that teens send or receive an average of 3000 text messages each month and that 80% of middle school students now carry cell phones. We discussed such things as sexting (supposedly self-destructing photo apps), secret messaging apps, information hidden in digital photos, location sharing, sextortion, and the ways juveniles are hiding things from their parents, teachers, and police. Listed below are ten tips for using social media safely; but, most importantly, parents also need to diligently monitor their children’s online activity: 1. While away from home on vacation, do not post updates. Posting your whereabouts is like putting a key under your doormat. 2. Geotagging, Foursquare, Facebook Places, and other apps leave a footprint, like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. If you’ve imported your friends’ lists from Facebook, you could have hundreds of people seeing where you are at any given time. 3. When using public WIFI or other free wireless service on your laptop or other device, use a secure setting. The URL should start with https://. If you don’t login securely, anyone can obtain your ID and passwords. For example, on Facebook, go to “Account Settings,” then “Security,” and then “Enable Secure Browsing.” 4. There is a difference between suspending and deleting Facebook accounts. Suspended accounts can be reactivated by anyone who knows your login information. If you end a personal or business relationship, you should reset all passwords, even for banking and shopping sites. 5. Make sure your virus protection is updated automatically to protect you from phishing, malware, and viruses. 6. Beware of sites forwarded to you (even by friends) that use a tiny URL address. Be wary of emails from your bank or other accounts asking for password information. Play it safe. Log on to these sites yourself; don’t hit the link. 18

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Left to right are District Judges Ronald Arnoni and Guy Reschenthaler

7. Be careful of who you accept as a friend on Facebook. Some people feel it’s a status symbol to have hundreds of friends, but if you accept invitations from people you hardly know, they could easily hijack your page. It really isn’t rude to ignore a friend request. 8. Set your Facebook page security parameters to “Friends Only.” Go to “Privacy Settings” and review your information often. Know that settings can change when Facebook adds new features. 9. Do not post personal information—your birthday, mother’s maiden name, names of pets, etc.—that is commonly used on banking and credit card sites for security questions. You may not get as many birthday wishes on your special day, but you will be better protected. 10. Do not post photos the moment you snap the shot. Digital photos in JPG, TIF, and RAW formats posted on Flickr, Picasa, and similar websites contain information about where and when you took the picture. All new phones and 25% of new cameras contain GPS chips. By posting your pictures immediately, anyone (predators, a disgruntled ex, etc.) knows exactly where you are. This presentation was so well received that another one, with an increasingly comprehensive program to include administrators, teachers, and law enforcement personnel, is being considered for this spring, We are encouraging school districts to adopt an anti-sexting policy with a clear definition of what constitutes a violation and the consequences of that violation, including searching the device and getting law enforcement involved. Hopefully, users of all ages realize that while social media can be helpful and a good thing, it can also destroy reputations, careers, and lives. When a negative comment is made through any technology device, it is there for all to see and can never be completely removed. Today, potential employers, college admissions offices, and even law enforcement agencies are conducting background checks and investigations using social media. We hope that our message is being heard loud and clear and that everyone will stop and think about the long-term effects of their actions before they hit “enter,” “send,” “tweet,” or “post.” n For more information about cybercrimes, visit the following sites: • www.cyberbullying.us/resources.php • www.stopbullying.gov • www.netsmartz.org/Parents • www.safetyweb.com/prevent-teens-sexting


STATE SENATOR MATT SMITH Mt. Lebanon District Office: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 319 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15234 Phone: 412-571-2169 Fax: 412-571-2000 Peters Township Satellite: Tues & Thurs 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Peters Twp. Municipal Building, 610 East McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317 Phone: 724-942-7210 Fax: 724-942-7211 www.SenatorMattSmith.com Twitter: @SenMattSmith Facebook: SenMattSmith

Workforce Investment Crucial, but Reforms are Needed

Late last year, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an audit of job creation programs housed in the Department of Community and Economic Development. His report made recommendations for improvements. Although this report illustrated room for reforms, when structured properly, these programs can serve an important function by offering a real return on investment to taxpayers, while helping to create family sustaining jobs in our communities. The key to success is that each program must ensure that taxpayer dollars are expended in a transparent and accountable manner. This is an issue that Senator Wayne Fontana and I partnered on last session. We have renewed our efforts this session by reintroducing a Senate resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a comprehensive study on the effectiveness of all state-sponsored workforce investment programs. While the auditor general’s report specifically addressed programs within the Department of Community and Economic Development, workforce development programs are also currently administered in the Departments of Labor and Industry, Education, and Human Services. Stakeholders—namely employers, trades, and educators—have reported that the current system is too fragmented, efforts at the state

level are duplicated, and some programs may not yield adequate returns in taxpayer dollars. A comprehensive study could address these issues. It is imperative that we innovate and use best practices in all state programs, but also weed out ineffective and inefficient programs. The final report is expected to provide the legislature with useful information and guidance on how we can further reform workforce investment programs statewide. We must look for any and all ways to streamline and modernize state government to be more efficient and responsive to the needs of individuals and businesses across the state, while also recognizing the changing employment landscape and global economy. Today, Pennsylvania students are competing with students across the U.S. and in other countries for jobs. We must ensure that our efforts are highly coordinated, constantly evolving and have the maximum impact. Hand-in-hand with a comprehensive study, we must make the necessary investments in training initiatives. Investing in current and future generations of working Pennsylvanians is an absolute must for our long-term growth as a commonwealth, one that we ignore at our peril. Thoughtful investment is no longer a nice thing to do; it is a necessity and the right thing to do, now more than ever! As always, I welcome your feedback on this or any state matter. n

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Body Surfing at Eisenhower Jay Lynch

It’s an age old debate: Are grade school teachers effective when they drill students on common sense rules? A couple come to mind: “stay with the group” and “don’t run in the hallways.” Or do these warnings only sink in when kids witness the consequences of breaking the rules? My classmates at Eisenhower school and I will never forget the day we learned by example in 1961. As second-graders, we were assigned to Mrs. Gross, a nononsense classroom teacher. My best friend and classmate, Mark Cahill, was a frequent target of her discipline. She didn’t much like Mark’s habit of twiddling his thumbs (fingers interlocked and thumbs rotated in a circular motion) while she was lecturing the class. Mark had mastered the odd kill: he could twiddle his thumbs both clockwise and counterclockwise at great speed while keeping his hands dutifully folded on his desk, pretending to pay attention. Mark’s action immensely irritated Mrs. Gross. At least once a day, she would abruptly stop a lecture and call out, “Mark Cahill, stop twiddling your thumbs!” Her scolding phrase morphed into a source of delight during recess, when we chanted the phrase every time Mark came to the plate during kickball games. Of course, we also begged Mark to train us on his technique, in hopes of organizing a mass twiddle when her lectures became intolerable. At lunch time, Mrs. Gross would march us to the cafeteria, military style, where we would eat together as a group. When lunch was over, she’d gather us for a return march to our classroom. She insisted on discipline. No fooling around or a ruler to the knuckles might be your fate. One day, Mark got lost in cafeteria chaos and failed to join us when we assembled before returning to class. All of us, except Mark, dutifully followed Mrs. Gross down the long hallway from the cafeteria to our classroom. We gathered at the door as she fumbled through her purse to find the room key to the locked classroom door. Steve Fogelman, a classmate who was in the middle of the crowd, became unusually quiet. Turning a sick shade

1961 Eisenhower second grade class photo, including Mrs. Gross (top row, middle), Steve Fogelman (second row, far right), Jay Lynch (third row, last boy on right), and Mark Cahill (fourth row, middle) 20

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of pale, he made a few half-crying noises and proceeded to throw up his lunch. Standing, huddled near the door, we quickly and instinctively moved away from Steve to avoid the mess. Meanwhile, Mark, still in the cafeteria, realized he’d missed the group’s departure and knew Mrs. Gross would punish him if she became aware of his absence. Running out of the cafeteria, he looked down the hallway towards our classroom to notice his classmates still gathered at the door. He sensed an opportunity to save his hide, but only if he made it quickly down the linoleum floored hallway and blended into the crowd before Mrs. Gross would notice he’d been missing. Running and reaching full speed half way down the hall, he planned to “stop on a dime,” relying on the strong grip of his sneakers, 1960 model PF Flyers. Unfortunately, the crowd blocked Mark’s view of Fogelman’s surprise. Some of us saw him coming and gave him fair warning, calling out “Cahill, slow down!” But it was too late. His quick-stop strategy failed miserably when he hit Fogelman’s puddle and he was unable to stop. He went into an uncontrolled slide; first, on his feet, and then on his back. His momentum carried him to the end of the hallway, where he finally came to a stop. He ended up on his back staring at the ceiling and covered in the lunch prepared for that day. His shoes, pants, and shirt were soaked. The students and Mrs. Gross were stunned. Tim Patter, a rarely politically-sensitive classmate, said, “Look! Cahill’s swimming in Fogelman’s lunch!” Mrs. Gross sent Fogelman to the school nurse. She then sent Cahill to the principal’s office, expecting him to receive some sort of punishment. Apparently, Principal Small had no specific disciplinary protocol for a student doing a full body slide in a classmate’s regurgitation, so he delivered his standard lecture about running in the halls. Mrs. Glenn, the school’s secretary, could no longer stand the odor. She insisted that the lecture be cut short and end immediately, and that Mark should sit on the curb outside of the school and wait quietly for his mother to pick him up. As Mark put it, after the principal’s short lecture was over, I was “saved by the smell.” Mrs. Cahill arrived at the school with an old canvas tarp laid out in the back seat of her car. Mark rode home atop the tarp to a hot bath and more harsh words, including the ’60s standard, “Wait ’til your father gets home!” Thereafter and whenever Mark ran bases during school recess kickball games, a gleeful chorus of students would yell, “Slide, Cahill, slide!” n Jay Lynch, a 1971 graduate of USCHS, lives on Blairmont Drive and raised his family in USC. Contact him at bkefather@yahoo.com.


Our McMurray Location is Moving New Location starting Feb 24th 2015 4198 Washington Road • McMurray, PA 15317 (724) 225-3640

whsdocs.org

Preparing for Pregnancy The decision to have a baby is very exciting. For many women, this decision also comes with many questions: What can be done to prepare for pregnancy? What can be done to ensure a healthy pregnancy? How long will it take to get pregnant? The preconception period, the time before pregnancy, is the ideal time to optimize healthy habits and lifestyle choices. It is also the time to modify bad habits, such as smoking and/or drug and excessive alcohol use that could negatively affect a pregnancy. “Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise is important at all times in a woman’s life, but is particularly important when trying to conceive and throughout the pregnancy period,” explains Kathryn Simons, M.D. from Washington Health System OB/GYN Care. “Although most nutrients should come from food, a multivitamin is an excellent supplement that will help to guarantee that women are meeting all of their daily vitamin requirements,” continues Dr. Simons. One of the most important vitamins to take when preparing for pregnancy is folic acid. Daily folic acid (400

Kathryn Simons, M.D., Washington Health System OB/GYN Care

micrograms—the amount commonly found in a multivitamin) in the prepregnancy period and first three months of pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. If possible, achieving a normal body weight before becoming pregnant will also optimize pregnancy outcomes. A normal body weight before and during pregnancy helps overall fertility and minimizes complications of pregnancy. Women with excess weight are more likely to experience complications of pregnancy, including elevated blood pressure, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pre-term birth, and increased rate of cesarean delivery. Women who are underweight are more likely to have a low birth-weight baby or experience a pre-term delivery. The preconception period is also an important time for women to review their medical history, making sure all immunizations are up to date and that any medications being used are safe and approved to use during pregnancy. “Women who have medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, seizure disorders, or depression have a Spring 2015

higher risk of complications during pregnancy, so it is important for them to discuss these conditions with their physician so that the medical condition is well controlled before pregnancy,” says Dr. Simons. Once a woman has optimized her health and lifestyle for pregnancy, the next question is often, “How long will it take to get pregnant?” A couple can start trying to conceive immediately after stopping birth control. Although fertility can be influenced by many factors, including age and overall health, most couples (85%) are able to conceive within one year. A couple who has not conceived after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse should meet with their physician to begin an evaluation for possible factors affecting fertility. Preparing for pregnancy will help create a healthy environment for the mother-to-be and the baby. n For more information, call Washington Health System OB/GYN Care at 724-225-3640 or visit www.whsdocs.org. See ad for Washington Health System on this page.

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THANK YOU!

BECAUSE OF YOU . . . THIS HAPPENED!! The COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF UPPER ST. CLAIR appreciates your support. ! Through your donations, these are some of the accomplishments you made possible in 2014.! THANK YOU!

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16 16 The PSO PSO Cares Cares Concert Concert in in the the USC USC Theater, Theater, by by Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 11 -- The Symphony musicians, raised funds to support public school Symphony musicians, raised to enjoyed support the public school music programs. 2 - Over 300 funds families 5th Annual music programs. 2 -night Overon300 the 5thfield. Annual Free Family Movie thefamilies C&RC enjoyed multi-purpose 3The Upper St. Clair High School Pantheon Choir, West Minster Free Family Movie night on the C&RC multi-purpose field. 3 Chancel professional opera soloists,Choir, and the The UpperChoir, St. Clair High School Pantheon WestAcademy Minster Chamber Orchestra combined for an unforgettable performance Chancel Choir, professional opera soloists, and the Academy of Verdi’s Requiem. 4 - Over two hundred 8th-11th grade Chamber Orchestra unforgettable performancea students & parentscombined attended for thean11th annual Becoming Competitive College Applicant seminar. 5 Supported of Verdi’s Requiem. 4 - Over two hundred 8th-11thUSCHS grade sports, musicals and attended band festival through program ads, 6 astudents & parents the 11th annual Becoming Continued to support the annual Bounty at Boyce Mayview Competitive College Applicant seminar. 5 - Supported USCHS Park. This year’s grant supported having Native American, sports, and Johnson. band festival ads, 6 a“Ghost musicals in the Head” 7 - through Partneredprogram in establishing 24/7 laptop computer lending center for online learning by Continued to support the annual Bounty at Boyce Mayview USCHS students. 8 Supported the Adaptive Miracle Field at Park. This year’s grant supported having Native American, “Ghost in the Head” Johnson. 7 - Partnered in establishing a 24/7 laptop computer lending center for online learning by USCHS students. 8 - Supported the Adaptive Miracle Field at

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the C&RC. C&RC. 99 -- CFUSC CFUSC sponsored sponsored the the winter winter USC USC TODAY TODAY the cover commemorating 75 years of service by the USC Fire cover commemorating years of Our service by the USCraised Fire Department. 10 - The 75 Celebrating Schools GALA Department. 10 - The Celebrating Schools GALA raised funding for technology in the USC Our classrooms. 11 - Shuttle buses were once again provided from parking lots to USCHS funding for technology in the USC classrooms. 11 - Shuttle for thewere Townonce Hallagain Southprovided series. 12 - CFUSC the to depository buses from parkingislots USCHS for six College Scholarship Funds. 13 - The second annual for the Town Hall South series. 12 - CFUSC is the depository Oktoberfest sponsored by CFUSC. 14 - Miracle Field of the for six Hills College Funds. 13and - The second annual South EndScholarship of Season Celebration Halloween Party. 15 The 16th annual CFSC sponsored Duck Race on Oktoberfest sponsored by CFUSC. 14 - Miracle Field of the Community Day. 16 The Silver Giving Tea raised $10,000 for South Hills End of Season Celebration and Halloween Party. CFUSC. 17 - CFUSC Book Club started in November. For 15 - The 16th annual CFSC sponsored Duck Race on information on the club and future book discussions, send Community Day. 16 - The Silver Giving Tea raised $10,000 for questions to berlanger@verizon.net. For more information and additional pictures For CFUSC. 17 - CFUSC Book Club started in November. of these events, go to www.cfusc.org. information on the club and future book discussions, send questions to berlanger@verizon.net.

For more information and additional pictures of these events, go to www.cfusc.org.


!! ELLIE BATZ SCHOLARSHIP! ! For a graduating senior who is planning to major or minor in performing or theater arts. Scholarship is ! ! St. Clair High School College Scholarships & Criteria! based onUpper exceptional talent and leadership. Must have participated in USC Musicals or Fall Plays for at ! least two years. Scholarship amount is $500. Application is! available indepository the Counseling Department, USCHS.! Upper St. Clair School Criteria! The Community Foundation ofHigh Upper St. Clair is College currently theScholarships for six & college scholarships.

!WILLIAM A. POPE, Ph.D, SCHOLARSHIP!

The scholarship recipients are carefully selected by the high school or fund scholarship committees, acting totally independent of the Community Foundation. All scholarship applications are available in the USC High The Community of Upper St. Clair is currently the depository for six college scholarships. School CounselingFoundation Office.! The scholarship recipients are carefully selected by the high school or fund scholarship committees, acting TED BARNETT SCHOLARSHIP! totally independent of the Community Foundation. All scholarship applications are available in the USC High !School For a graduating who attended Baker Elementary School and will attend a four-year college. ! ! Counselingsenior Office.! Scholarship is based on academics, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and volunteerism. Scholarship ! TED BARNETT amount is $500. SCHOLARSHIP! Application is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.! !! !For a graduating senior who attended Baker Elementary School and will attend a four-year college. ! ! ELLIE BATZisSCHOLARSHIP! Scholarship based on academics, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and volunteerism. Scholarship ! !amount For a graduating senior whoisisavailable planning in to the major or minor in performingUSCHS.! or theater arts. Scholarship is ! is $500. Application Counseling Department, based on exceptional talent and leadership. Must have participated in USC Musicals or Fall Plays for at ! !! ELLIE least twoBATZ years.SCHOLARSHIP! Scholarship amount is $500. Application is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.! ! For a graduating senior who is planning to major or minor in performing or theater arts. Scholarship is ! WILLIAM POPE, Ph.D, based on A. exceptional talentSCHOLARSHIP! and leadership. Must have participated in USC Musicals or Fall Plays for at ! !least For atwo graduating senior planning a post-high school education program. Applicant essay shouldUSCHS.! provide ! years. Scholarship amount is $500. Application is available in the Counseling Department, evidence of: selflessness among peers and a willingness to help others through volunteerism; that the ! WILLIAM POPE, Ph.D, SCHOLARSHIP! student hasA.achieved the best in school performance; that the applicant has limited opportunities for other ! !academic For a graduating senior planning post-high school education Applicant essay should provide !! or athletic scholarships. aScholarship amount is $500. program. Application is available in the Counseling evidence of: selflessness among peers and a willingness to help others through volunteerism; that the ! Department, USCHS.! student has achieved the best in school performance; that the applicant has limited opportunities for other ! T.J. WHITEorUPPER CLAIR ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP! academic athletic ST. scholarships. Scholarship amount is $500. Application is available in the Counseling ! !Department, For a graduating senior attending a four-year college who plans on continuing participation in his/her sport. ! USCHS.! Applicant must have been a member of a USC team sport for four years and been awarded at least two ! T.J. WHITE ST. CLAIR SCHOLARSHIP! varsity lettersUPPER in that sport. A 3.2ATHLETIC grade point average is required. Scholarship amount is $750. Application ! ! For a graduating senior attending a four-year college who plans on continuing participation in his/her sport. ! is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.! Applicant must have been a member of a USC team sport for four years and been awarded at least two ! JOANNE SZYMANSKI SCHOLARSHIP! varsity letters in that sport. A 3.2 grade point average is required. Scholarship amount is $750. Application ! !isFor a graduating attending a a four year college or university and has an intent to major in mathematics.! available in thesenior Counseling Department, USCHS.! Preference will be given to applicants who attended middle school in Upper St. Clair. Scholarship amount is ! JOANNE SZYMANSKI SCHOLARSHIP! $750. Application is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.! ! For a graduating senior attending a a four year college or university and has an intent to major in mathematics.! PATRICK O’BRIEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP! Preference will be given to applicants who attended middle school in Upper St. Clair. Scholarship amount is ! !$750. In memory of Baker School student, O’Brien, to be awarded to a member of his graduating class in !2020.! Application is available in thePatrick Counseling Department, USCHS.!

!!For a graduating senior planning a post-high school education program. Applicant essay should provide ! evidence of: selflessness among peers and a willingness to help others through volunteerism; that the ! ! has achieved the best in school performance; that the applicant has limited opportunities for other ! student academic or athletic scholarships. Scholarship amount is $500. Application is available in the Counseling ! Department, USCHS.!

!T.J. WHITE UPPER ST. CLAIR ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP!

! ! For a graduating senior attending a four-year college who plans on continuing participation in his/her sport. ! Applicant must have been a member of a USC team sport for four years and been awarded at least two ! ! varsity letters in that sport. A 3.2 grade point average is required. Scholarship amount is $750. Application ! is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.!

!

! JOANNE SZYMANSKI SCHOLARSHIP! !!For a graduating senior attending a a four year college or university and has an intent to major in mathematics.! Preference will be given to applicants who attended middle school in Upper St. Clair. Scholarship amount is ! ! $750. Application is available in the Counseling Department, USCHS.! ! PATRICK O’BRIEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP! !! In memory of Baker School student, Patrick O’Brien, to be awarded to a member of his graduating class in !2020.! !PATRICK O’BRIEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP!

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all of the friends responded Community Foundation Annual class Solicitation ! InTHANKS memory ofto Baker School student,who Patrick O’Brien, toto bethe awarded to a member of his graduating in !2020.!

THANKS all of ofthethefriends who responded the Community Foundation Annual Solicitation request. to Support year-end appeal makes ittopossible to meet the mission of creating a sense of community through enhancing the quality of life for all the people of Upper St. Clair. request. Support of the year-end appeal makes it possible to meet the mission of creating a sense of ! IFappeal YOU MEANT A meet CONTRIBUTION request. Supportthrough of the year-end itTO possible to mission creating a sense of community enhancing themakes quality ofMAKE life for all thethepeople ofofUpper St. Clair. IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

!!

THANKS to all of the friends who responded to the Community Foundation Annual Solicitation community through enhancing the quality of life for all the people of Upper St. Clair. Send your tax deductible contribution to CFUSC, 2585 Washington Road, SuiteTO 131, Upper St. Clair, PA, 15241, or IF YOU MEANT MAKE A CONTRIBUTION donate online usingIT a credit card by visiting IS NOT TOO LATE! www.cfusc.org and clicking on Send your tax deductible contribution to CFUSC, 2585 Solicitation. Washington Road, Annual Suite 131, Upper St. Clair, PA, 15241, or donate online using a credit card by visiting www.cfusc.org and clicking on Annual Solicitation.

IF YOU MEANT TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION IT IS NOT TOO LATE! Send your tax deductible contribution to CFUSC, 2585 Washington Road, Suite 131, Upper St. Clair, PA, 15241, or donate online using a credit card by visiting www.cfusc.org and clicking on Annual Solicitation. Spring 2015

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

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SD Upper St. Clair School District Board of School Directors

Frank J. Kerber President 412-833-4873 2017*

Louis P. Mafrice, Jr. 412-851-0622 2017*

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

Louis M. Oliverio 724-941-4584 2015*

Amy L. Billerbeck 412-833-2712 2015*

Angela B. Petersen 412-831-7182 2015*

*Date indicates expiration of term.

Barbara L. Bolas 412-833-9841 2015*

Harry F. Kunselman 412-851-1115 2017*

The 2015 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 meeting is scheduled for July.

Rebecca A. Stern 412-220-0745 *Date indicates expiration of term. 2015*

School District Detailed Monthly Calendar—Visit www.uscsd.k12.pa.us.

School District Recognizes Staff Members Several Upper St. Clair School District staff members have recently been chosen to receive state and regional awards. Dr. Lou Angelo, acting USCHS principal, was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (PASCD) with The Outstanding Research and Publication Award when he was USCHS associate principal. This award is presented to a PASCD member who has researched and published within the past two years (July 1, 2012– June 30, 2014). The nominee submits the published article, book, book chapter, or research report, which is reviewed on the basis of design, conceptual framework, format, and publication. Dr. Angelo’s dissertation research focused on the effects of leadership development on adolescents.

Dr. Lou Angelo 24

Matt Henderson

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Matt Henderson, Boyce Middle School teacher, was selected as the Blended Schools Network Teacher of the Year. This award spotlights a passionate, enthusiastic teacher who teaches in an online or blended learning environment. Honorees are selected by students and teaching peers. The Pennsylvania School Counselors Association named Jennifer Kirk, USCHS guidance curriculum leader, School Counselor of the Year. This award honors the “best of the best” counselors who are running a top-notch, comprehensive school counseling program at either the elementary, middle, or high school level. Dr. Timothy Wagner, middle school language arts curriculum leader, received the 2014 Outstanding Young Educator Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum

Jennifer Kirk Spring 2015

Dr. Tim Wagner

Development (PASCD). This award recognizes an educator who has made an impact on educating the whole child, leadership, and contributions to the profession. Raymond Berrott, USCSD director of technology, and Kristin Cilli, Boyce Middle School teacher, were chosen as 2014 Champions of Change by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and its Center for Creativity. Recipients were selected based on their demonstration of innovation and emerging trends in the classroom. “I am extremely proud of our staff members who were chosen for their respective awards. They are each so very deserving and represent our District’s tagline… ‘Customizing Learning, Nurturing Potential…Delivering Excellence’,” stated Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, Superintendent of Schools. n

Raymond Berrott

Kristin Cilli


SD

The Mentor Program—an Overview

Jennifer Kirk, High School Guidance Counselor and Curriculum Leader The Upper St. Clair High School Counseling Department oversees many developmental programs that aim to provide students with support as they transition into high school. Of these programs, the USCHS Mentor Program is one of the most prominent, as it has an impact on every student in the high school. Its mission drives the program: building relationships, promoting student success, and fostering genuine concern. In its eighth year, the USCHS Mentor Program students, who are the driving force and energizers of the program, are engaged in much of the functionality of the high school and they serve as a resource to all. The mentors are identified through a rigorous selection process, and students are eligible to apply in the spring of their sophomore year. After a formal presentation outlining the program, sophomores have the opportunity to complete an application and acquire two teacher recommendations. Program sponsors then labor through the applications, reviewing additional details such as demeanor, attendance, and discipline. Being selected as a mentor is very prestigious. Student mentors are held in very high regard and are seen as ambassadors of USCHS. The sponsors hold strong expectations, most notably that mentors maintain good standing both in and outside of the classroom. In addition, there is a high level of integrity that is tied to the responsibilities of mentoring. Of the 150-200 applicants, approximately 60 students are selected to be junior mentors and participate in a rigorous leadership, mentoring, and mediation overnight retreat, this past year facilitated by Jennifer Kirk, USCHS guidance curriculum leader; Thomas Marquis, USCHS school counselor; and Michael Funfar, USCHS mathematics teacher. Mentors are challenged to step outside of their comfort zone through a variety of high and low ropes courses, a leadership reaction course, and curriculum delivery role-plays. By the end of the two-day training, mentors are grouped into teams of three. These mentoring teams spend the next school year working together to mentor an individual freshman homeroom. Trained mentors return to the high school excited and ready to mentor the incoming freshmen. Mentors first meet their soon-tobe freshman mentees on Simulation Day, where time is set aside on the last day of the school year, allowing the incoming freshmen to start their summers feeling positive for the coming school year.

Mentors run a freshman orientation the week before school starts and are assigned to a homeroom with their team of three. Once school begins, each week mentors deliver transitional curriculum to freshman homerooms, covering a variety of topics including academics, extra-curricular activities, and other hot topic information that is new and sometimes confusing for freshmen. Each fall, mentors facilitate and participate in a team-building freshman/mentor event. This student-planned and organized event is critical to the mentoring program. There are 450 students on the stadium field and six team-building events; the takeaway is that “energy is contagious!” The junior mentors spend the year with their mentees building relationships, promoting student success, and fostering genuine concern. Several of these juniors are selected to serve as “super mentors.” These students assist in the training of the new group of mentors and facilitate follow-up maintenance trainings, implement the large fall event, speak to students in the elementary and middle schools about bullying prevention and decision-making, and are a resource to students and staff. The super mentors are invaluable in the facilitation of the Mentor Program and they pave the way for continued success of the program in the future. The USCHS Mentor Program is known for its impact on students, teachers, counselors, administration, and school climate. It was reported this past fall by a majority of our freshman students and ninth grade homeroom teachers that the Mentor Program improves the school climate and is a valuable program that supports the school community. The teachers also report that the ninth graders have benefited from the time they have spent with their mentors. On December 5, 2014, program sponsors and super mentors presented at the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association State Conference about the program and the impact it has had on the USCHS student body and school climate. The program continually changes to meet current needs and is guided by the voice of the students. It is anticipated that the Mentor Program, with the continued support of the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) and school administration, will continue to be a positive force in the high school by not only streamlining and enhancing the transition to high school, but also by connecting students with one another and improving relationships across the school community as a whole. n USCHS junior mentors, waiting for freshmen on Simulation Day

Spring 2015

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SD

High School Veterans Day Assembly Dan Zelenski, USCHS Social Studies Teacher The USCHS annual Veterans Day assembly, held

on November 10, 2014, in the high school theater, began with performances by the Chanteclairs and band prior to the formal presentation of the colors. The students’ attention was captured when they heard the thought-provoking story of how a history teacher in Little Rock, Arkansas, had removed the desks from her classroom on the first day of school in 2005. She told the students that they could not have their desks until they could explain how they had earned the right to sit at the desks. At the end of the school day and after no student could answer correctly, the teacher opened the door and 27 U.S. veterans walked into the classroom, carrying the students’ desks. The teacher went on to explain that the students didn’t earn the right to sit at the desks, but that the heroes did it for them. Consistent with this year’s theme, “Honoring USC Veterans: Past, Present, and Future,” the following former and current USCSD faculty and staff veterans were then honored: • Lee Altman, Bus #161 driver, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1966 before being honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant. • Ed Callahan: Former USCHS science teacher and curriculum leader, served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1969. • Bill Jordan: USCHS custodian, served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an aircraft recovery technician from 1980 to 1984. • Roy Legacy: USCHS maintenance technician, served in the U.S. Navy for 42 ½ years before retiring in 1987. • Christine McCown: Fort Couch Middle School teacher’s aide, served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1988 to 1996 as a Specialist in the Engineer Battalion of Kittanning. • Major Gary McCullough: Boyce Middle School science teacher, serves as a pilot for the Air National Guard and has served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. • Fred Peskorski: USCHS technology education teacher, served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1992 to 1998. • George Salamacha: USCHS security officer, served on active duty for 29 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard from 1971 to 2000. • Tom Smedley: Former USCHS math and physics teacher and curriculum leader, served on active duty and in the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1974 to 2004. • Second Lt. Rob Sully: Boyce Middle School teacher, serves in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and was recently deployed with the Air Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is currently on military leave while in Texas completing promotion training until April 2015. At that time, he will return to teaching sixth grade social studies at Boyce. • David Walk: Former USCHS maintenance technician, served in the U.S. Navy Reserves on active duty in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. Also acknowledged were the following family members of the USCSD staff who are current or former members of the armed forces. • Specialist Kevin Bartlett of the U.S. Army, son of USCHS student activities secretary Sheila Lloyd. • Major Thomas More Garvey of the U.S. Army, nephew of USCHS art teacher Robyn Smigel. 26

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• John Gallo, Airman 1st Class of the U.S. Air Force, husband of USCHS library secretary Sandy Gallo. • Ronald Hadley, WWII Veteran, served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. At age 93, he is the father of USCHS teacher aid Cindy Osbourne. In addition, Cindy also has a niece and nephew who served in the Army Special Forces: Samantha Rawlings Brillion, Army specialist, served from 2001 to 2007, and her brother, Christopher F. Rawlings, Army Sergeant First Class, served from 2002 to 2014. • Lieutenant Colonel Alan Hietpas of the U.S. Air Force, deployed for six months to Amman Jordan. He is married to the twin sister of USCHS learning support teacher Maureen Chermak. • Senior Airman Kevin Krakosky of the U.S. Air Force. He is the brother of USCHS foreign language teacher Kelly Krakosky. • Lt. Andrew McGovern of the U.S. Navy Submarine Service, active duty. He is the son-in-law of USCHS Theater secretary Elizabeth Williard. • Edward Milovac, a sergeant of the U.S. Army during WWII (stationed in the Philippines). He is the father of USCHS choral director Lorraine Milovac. • Mitch Morton, Senior Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force. He is the brother of USCHS physical education teacher Shawn Morton. • First Lt. Nicholas Orsino of the U.S. Marine Corps CBL-2 Division, on active duty in Africa. He is the stepson of USCHS teacher aide Susan Orsino. • Colonel Richard Mark Nixon of the U.S. Marine Corp (Ret.). He is the uncle of USCHS guidance curriculum leader Jennifer Kirk. • Lt. Commander Jeffrey C. Storer of the U.S. Navy. He is the son of USCHS athletic office secretary Cindy Storer. Next, the students honored and remembered William Anthony Finn of the U.S. Army, who recently passed away at the age of 86. Mr. Finn was the father-in-law of USCHS science teacher Tim Hartnett and had a decorated career of selflessly serving our nation. The students heard an inspiring story of how he earned the Purple Heart and Commendation Badge. In keeping with this year’s theme, the students then heard from veteran Chris Riemer, father of freshman Abby Riemer and junior Zach Riemer. Lt. Col. Riemer retired in September 2014, after serving for more than 20 years in the U.S. Army. In addition to serving in airborne and mechanized combat units, he was also assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for five years. The students listened intently as he provided valuable life lessons while recounting his experiences serving in the armed forces. Then, representing those who are currently serving, the students watched a personalized video message from 2012 USC graduate and current West Point Cadet Austin Wilding, the brother of senior Brooks, junior Hannah, and freshmen Lydia and Mary Wilding. The students were especially interested to hear Austin discuss his daily activities while at West Point. Finally, in recognition of all those who will serve, USCHS senior Jake Wilmot spoke about why he is currently pursuing his goal of serving in the Armed Forces. Along with the educational and financial benefits, Jake noted that he wants to enlist because of family tradition and his desire to serve our country. The presentation concluded with a moving video tribute to our veterans. n


SD

Veterans Day Observance at USC’s Veterans Monument Park The School District and Township of Upper St. Clair, along with the Upper St. Clair Veterans Park Committee, hosted a Veterans Day observance at USC’s Veterans Monument Park on November 11, 2014. Congressman and Lt. Commander (Naval Reserve Medical Service Corps) Tim Murphy was the featured speaker. Also present to celebrate the occasion was the South Hills Veterans Honor Guard and many others who took part in or attended the celebration. n

Spring 2015

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Active Shooter Drills Held in District

It’s the situation no one wants to imagine: an active shooter in a school filled with students. No school district is immune from violence and, today, educators must be prepared to deal with these types of incidents. This past November, teachers, aides, and staff at USCHS participated in a one-day active shooter drill conducted by Upper St. Clair Police Department’s Lt. John Sakoian, owner/founder of Command ExcellenceTM, LLC. Command ExcellenceTM provides incident command and active shooter crisis safety training designed for police officers and crisis safety consulting designed for schools, universities, churches, corporations, commercial, and other workplace environments. A number of safety training topics were covered, including Critical Incident prevention, preparation, recovery, and ACTIONTM responses. ACTION responses are identified as: • Assess: Situational awareness of events to observe, orient, decide, and act to preserve life. • Cover and Call 911: Find immediate cover and safety by movement. Call 911, clearly articulating the type of threat(s). • Time: Buy time and distance. To lockdown or evacuate is determined by situation and location. No two incidents are alike. • Inform: Inform police and your people with updates in plain English (codes are confusing). • Offensive: Take the offensive and resist as a last resort if confronted. • Never Give Up! Develop the skill and will to survive. After going through classroom training, participants were split into two groups for live drills. One group participated in a shooting scenario, complete with noise, smoke, and emergency personnel. The other group observed the drill. In addition to high school personnel, all teachers, aides, and staff at the District’s elementary and middle schools went through the training this past October. Jennifer Kirk, USC High School guidance counselor and curriculum leader, said the training provided important information regarding how individuals should respond in the midst of an active shooter scenario. The training was most helpful, because it outlined concrete actions that staff members should follow to improve overall safety. USC Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick O’Toole commented, “Our staff requested this type of training in order to be as prepared as possible in the event of a real crisis situation. The comprehensive training provided an excellent opportunity for District staff to work collaboratively with USC Township police and EMS. 28

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As a result of the training, we have improved our overall preparedness to keep our students and staff members as safe as possible. Safety remains a priority moving forward.” Lt. Sakoian said the benefit of training was to give District staff an opportunity to gauge their own reactions in the midst of a crisis scenario. During a stressful event, teachers will be able to quickly assess and respond the way they were trained and, therefore, be better prepared to save lives. Every threat is different and there is never only one response. Training together with police enables a coordinated effort to neutralize any threat(s) to students as quickly as possible. In addition to teaching school personnel how to respond during a crisis situation, the drill was of value to USC’s school police officers Jason Remmy and Rita Leap. After participating

John Sakoian, far right, provides instruction to School District personnel for the Active Shooter Drill training program.


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in the drill, Officer Remmy said, “The active shooter training has given us expanded skills, which will allow us, as school police officers, to improve overall safety for our students and staff.” USC Township’s recently hired police officers also participated in the drill and stated that the interaction with the teachers and the training will better prepare them for a real critical incident, should it occur. Dr. O’Toole said, “The District remains committed to providing a safe and healthy school environment where our students and staff can continue to learn and grow.” “It’s knowing what to do in the first seconds that saves lives,” said Lt. Sakoian. n

For more information about Command ExcellenceTM and the services it provides, visit www.commandexcellence.com.

About Lt. John Sakoian

John began his law enforcement career in 1973 with the Carnegie Police Department and is currently serving as lieutenant for the Upper St. Clair Police Department. John formulated and instructed the Crisis Incident Command/Management and Active Shooter Training programs for more than 1000 police officers and has trained more than 2000 educators in universities and K-12 schools, and offered training for more than 200 commercial/workplace settings. His training programs have been approved by Pennsylvania’s Municipal Police Officers Education & Training Commission (MPOETC), obtaining 24 Pennsylvania MPOETC grants and three Homeland Lt. John Sakoian Security-PEMA grants approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). John earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and performed postgraduate work at Penn State and the University of Virginia. He graduated first in his class at the Allegheny County Police Academy. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy’s 163rd Session and is the current president of the FBI NAA W. Pennsylvania Chapter. He is certified in crash and pedestrian reconstruction and is a charter member of the Police Futurists International (PFI). John earned police instructor certification through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Instructor Development programs. He is certified by MPOETC as a “general instructor” and “special instructor” in physical conditioning and emergency vehicle operations. John is an Active Shooter/Rapid Deployment instructor and a Less Lethal Force and Chemical Munitions instructor. He is a graduate of police courses in SWAT Supervisors, Major Incident Management, School Violence and Riot Control, Dignitary Protection, and Media Relations. He has trained with National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Navy Seal Team 4. John is a 25-year member of the Upper St. Clair Police Department’s Tactical Team (SITT) and is currently the team’s commander. n Spring 2015

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Lady Panthers Are “Set” for the Future The USCHS girls’ volleyball program returned to familiar grounds by winning the 2014 WPIAL Section 2 title for the first time in three years, while returning to the WPIAL playoffs for the eighth consecutive year. The USC Lady Panthers finished the year with an overall record of 14-2 and a section record of 12-0, winning 25 consecutive sets at one point during the season. The team was led by First Team All State, WPIAL, and Section selection Samantha Amos (junior) as well as First Team All Section selections Annie Cavrich (senior), Leah Kern (junior), Alex Amos (freshman); Second Team All Section selections Abby Drucis (senior), Olivia Wright (senior); Third Team All Section selection Kindler Norman (sophomore); and other key contributors Carson Mafrice (senior), Julie O’Malley (junior), Emma Galligan (junior), Emily Kennedy (junior), and Lilly Drucis (sophomore). The team expects to continue to build for the fall 2015 season under the direction of head coach Alex Hinsey. They look to repeat as Section champions and are working towards the program’s

Members and coaches of the USCHS 2014 girls’ volleyball team

ultimate goal of making the PIAA state playoffs. With over 80% of the team’s offense returning and a JV team that finished this past season with ten wins, the future looks bright for the Lady Panthers. n

Making a Difference, One Birdie at a Time Brad Vespa, Jack O’Leary, and Zach Barone

our coach, Craig Borst, reminds us to always be gentlemen on and off the course. Coach Borst executed our goal and helped us with our cause.” On December 18, the golf team was invited to participate in the Children’s Hospital Telethon, which took place at Pittsburgh’s PPG ice rink. “It was an incredible experience and our interview with KDKA’s Dave Crawley aired during one of the station’s news broadcasts,” said Brad. The Upper St. Clair boys’ golf team will again continue Birdies For a Cause this coming fall. With the success they experienced in making a difference last year, they are hoping to involve more USC community participation and keep things moving in the right direction, one birdie at a time. n Members and coaches of the USCHS 2014 boys’ golf team

For the fourth consecutive year, the Upper St. Clair boys’ golf team continued its charity fundraiser, Birdies For a Cause. In 2011, golf team member and high school senior Tim Novic began this charity, desiring to raise money for autism. After a successful initial year, USCHS student-athlete Grant Engel continued the charitable tradition of giving back to the community and spearheaded the initiative, which has raised more than $10,000 for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and for colorectal cancer research at Allegheny Health Network. Engel’s involvement in the program earned him Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s “Young Achiever” honor. Under the direction of USCHS junior Brad Vespa this past year, the golf team selected Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund for its 2014 charitable organization and raised $4444. The choice was a simple one for Brad; he chose Children’s Hospital as a result of a personal experience he had as a child. When asked why he wanted to take charge of the initiative this year, Brad said, “Through golf, I am eager to work for a cause that will raise money to help other people. I am honored to play this magnificent sport and 30

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The golf team participated in the Children’s Hospital Telethon, held at the PPG ice rink.

Young Writers Guild (YWG) provides opportunities for USC students grades eight and higher to offer articles of interest for UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY. If your student is interested to pursue this opportunity, contact usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us with your idea, placing “YWG” in the subject line of the email.


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Partners in PE

Shawn Morton, USCHS Physical Education Teacher This past fall, Partners in PE took

a field trip to Baldwin High School, where approximately 15 schools participated in volleyball activities for their Life Skills students and their student partners. Some students were engaged in games, while others participated in lead up skills. Lunch at the Texas Roadhouse followed to end a very special day. The Partners in PE teachers are planning for more of these types of activities with other schools in the future. Partners in PE also took to the dance floor with ballroom dancing. Board of School director Becky Stern asked Chris Roth from “Yes You Can Dance” to come and teach ballroom dancing to the Partners in PE class. During the 12 lessons, the students learned the merengue, the waltz, and club swing. The USCHS Life Skills students were paired with a different partner every three or four classes so that they could experience different dance partners. The kids had a lot of fun with this unit, and we thank Chris for his time and enthusiasm! n

Life Skills students enjoyed ballroom dancing during a Partners in PE activity.

Partners in PE joined with other schools for volleyball activities.

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Celebrating 30 Years of the Earthwarden Program at Boyce

Western Pennsylvanians certainly recognize the traditional harbingers of spring, such as the increase in the number of robins and the blossoms of crocus, tulip, and daffodil flowers. Many Upper St. Clair residents, however, will tell you that there is another definitive way to know when the warm, steamy Pittsburgh summer is almost upon us. The sight of eager sixth grade students, parents, and Boyce Middle School staff members loading the buses to head to the Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp in Fort Hill, Pennsylvania, has become an equally reliable sign that summer nears. This scene has played out in the parking lot of Boyce for the past 29 years from late April through mid-May. This year’s trips will mark the 30th anniversary of the Earthwarden Program at Boyce. Started in the 1985-86 school year by Howard O’Shell, former Boyce Middle School teacher, the Earthwarden Program has since been recognized at both the state and federal levels as an award-winning opportunity for USC sixth graders. It is a crosscurricular experience that combines learning in the areas of science, math, social studies, art, family and consumer sciences, English language, arts, physical education, and music. Students, parents, and Boyce staff members spend three action-packed days and two restless nights at Somerset County’s Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp. The activities and lessons focus on providing the participants with exposure to a number of environmental science topics, including energy flow in ecosystems, watersheds, water quality, renewable and nonrenewable resources, reducing, reusing, recycling, integrated pest management, and more. Participants have the opportunity to hike from camp to the top of Mt. Davis and visit Pennsylvania’s highest point at 3213 feet above sea level. They also take part in the Nightwalk, which is a safe, organized walk through the woods in the dark. It is a thrilling way to experience the sounds of the night and to gain an understanding of how the other senses make up for our lack of sight. The program is designed to foster an appreciation of the environment around us and also to encourage a positive attitude

Group stretching exercise 32

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toward the planet. When the students return from their trip, they are asked to commit themselves to three separate actions: improve the quality of the environment, demonstrate their knowledge of the earth, and share their appreciation of the environment with others. The students must complete and submit what is known as their Earthwarden Action Plan project. At the end of their Earthwarden Program experience, the hope is that the students will understand that all life on this planet is interdependent and that our actions on the earth, no matter how big or how small, do make a difference. At the heart of the experience is the academic, social, and emotional development of the students, as the design of the program provides a variety of opportunities for each participant to develop responsibility for self and others, to work cooperatively, and to gain a sense of independence. Through the years, this interdisciplinary trip has become more than just an academic and social event. It has become a part of the fabric of the community. Going to Deer Valley has become a rite of passage of sorts for our USC sixth graders. It is something that the students begin to anticipate and look forward to even in elementary school as they hear the stories from their parents, older siblings, neighbors, and friends. The excitement continues to build as they enter fifth grade at Boyce and they begin to fundraise for their trip. By the time they enter sixth grade, many of the students are so excited that they begin to ask questions about the details of the spring trip as early as September. After their Deer Valley trip has come and gone, the excitement and anticipation often turn to fond memories that students carry with them long after they graduate. Many graduating seniors mention their Deer Valley experience as a favorite memory of their time in the District. Parents and students alike say that the Earthwarden Program fosters a sense of community beyond its curricular goals. Throughout its existence, it has contributed to the development of a positive schoolcommunity relationship. Since its inception, well over 16,000 Boyce students, community members, and Boyce staff members have participated in the Earthwarden Program, each leaving with memories of their time spent working together while at Deer Valley. In its infancy, the program was originally started as a way to extend what Mr. O’Shell was teaching the students at school. Years before the first Boyce students traveled by


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bus to Deer Valley, his students were learning about environmental issues and taking part in hands-on activities that sought to develop a sense of appreciation for the outdoor world around them. Parents were recruited to help with activities that were sometimes done at school and other times done at off-site locations. Howard felt very strongly that to teach students about the environment in which they live, he needed to take them outside and let them experience, firsthand, the lesson he was trying to teach them. He began trying to envision a way that he could immerse his students in their environment and still teach important environmental concepts in a way that helped the students take ownership of what they were learning. Making a terrarium Looking for a more cohesive way of teaching the students, rather than taking various day trips outside the school spread out over many weeks during the early 1980s, Howard partnered with the McKeever Environmental Learning Center in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and began taking students there for a two-day, one-night trip in which students sought to become EarthKeepers. Those trips continued through the 1984-85 Fishing school year, but by then Howard saw a need to expand the program to three days and two nights. He also wanted to increase the number of parents that could participate in the trip with their child, but that meant the need for a facility that could house more people. That is when he discovered the Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp in Somerset County. Its facilities were a perfect match for what he envisioned for his new Earthwarden Program. Thirty years later, the Deer Valley site remains a perfect match. Today, an average of 95% of the students have at least one parent, grandparent, or older sibling attend the trip with them. Howard O’Shell was a passionate leader of the program until he retired from teaching in 1998. Even in his last year of teaching, he could often be found teaching his students outside, taking them across Morton Road to explore the wildflowers in the fields by the community garden or to the wetlands to explore the organisms that were a part of that ecosystem. By the time Howard retired, the Deer Valley trip had become such a cherished and memorable part of the District that keeping it going was not really an option, but rather a necessity. That is when Boyce teacher Dawn Yoder, known then as Ms. Fullerton, stepped in to take the reins of the program. Since 1992, she had been spending three weeks a year at Deer Valley, helping to run the program alongside the core team of Howard O’Shell, Myrna Wiese, Daria Lacey, and Jim Reeves. Dawn continued as director of the program for four years through the 2001-02 school year. Kevin Clark, the current Earthwarden Program director and Boyce sixth grade teacher, started as director during the 2002-03 school year, after having helped as a staff member since 1997. Kevin, a student of Howard O’Shell’s, was a member of the last sixth grade class to visit McKeever under O’Shell. He later interned for him as a graduate student and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to take over as program director. As the Earthwarden Program continued to grow and change, Viv Criner, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Boyce, was brought on as co-director in 2003. As Continued on page 34 Spring 2015

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Earthwarden Program— General Schedule of Activities

Continued from page 33

Celebrating 30 Years of the Earthwarden Program at Boyce a former parent who attended Deer Valley with her own children, she has been an invaluable addition to the program and spends three weeks a year at camp helping to run the trips. Her experience as both a parent and staff member in the program brings a much-needed sense of balance when planning for the trips. Matt Dudley, learning support teacher at Boyce, joined the crew in 2007 as a co-director and has been instrumental in developing a new website for information, registration, and parent feedback. He has also moved the program to be greener by continually looking for ways to lessen the use of paper, making it nearly paperless. He is the backbone of the Earthwarden Program operations at Boyce Middle School. Despite its many changes through the years, the Earthwarden Program has maintained many of the core concepts implemented since its beginning. With its current leadership, the program has continued to move to meet the needs of the 21st-century learner with updated lessons geared towards current state standards, hands-on activities, self-reflection, and much more. The program continues to evolve with each passing year, yet the core objectives of the program have remained unchanged since Howard O’Shell first envisioned it 30 years ago. The goal to raise the level of environmental awareness in our students and to foster a sense of environmental stewardship remains. Kevin Clark, Viv Criner, and Matt Dudley are dedicated to continuing the meaningful and successful partnership between the School District and the Upper St. Clair community. The devoted and passionate staff members of Boyce Middle School, who help to make the program possible, are committed to providing this experience for our students and families. Excited about the past, but looking forward to what is still to come, here’s to a hopeful 30 more exciting years of existence for the Earthwarden Program at Boyce! n

Lookout tower on top of Mt. Davis 34

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Schedule subject to change, as needed. Day One 8:30 a.m. Arrive at Boyce Nutrition Center 9:00 a.m. Depart for Deer Valley 11:15 a.m. Arrive at Deer Valley; move into Mario Martin Lodge room 11:45 a.m. Walk from Lodge to Alexander Hall 12:15 a.m. Introduction to Earthwarden Program 12:30 p.m. Lunch 1:20 p.m. Explore and Envirolopes: From Alexander Hall by learning groups 3:30 p.m. Deadly Links: From Alexander Hall by homerooms 4:15 p.m. Introduction to Grokking: From Alexander Hall 4:30 p.m. Grokking: From Alexander Hall by learning groups 5:00 p.m. Dinner bell rings for gophers and supervisors to leave 5:15 p.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall; everybody else leaves for Dining Hall 5:30 p.m. Dinner 6:10 p.m. Walk with your dinner table group to the Lodge 6:15 p.m. Get ready for evening activities; change boots and socks, bring sit-upon 6:30 p.m. Magic Spots #1: From Lodge Commons by learning groups 8:00 p.m. Alexander Hall: Students prepare for environmental plays/poems, adult meeting 8:20 p.m. Environmental plays performed by students 8:45 p.m. Environmental poems performed by students 9:15 p.m. Nightwalk for all learning groups 10:00 p.m. Sing-a-Long at Campfire Stage by lake (weather permitting) 10:15 p.m. Snack in Dining Hall 11:00 p.m. Bedtime Day Two 6:00 a.m. Optional activities: walk around lake or fish 7:15 a.m. Rise and shine! Shower (please!) 7:30 a.m. Breakfast bell rings for gophers and supervisors to leave 7:45 a.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall 8:00 a.m. Breakfast 8:40 a.m. Independent Magic Spot #2: From Dining Hall by learning groups 9:10 a.m. Walk to first lesson site 9:15 a.m. First lesson of the day; students rotate to next lesson each hour Noon Lunch bell rings for gophers and supervisors to leave for Dining Hall 12:15 p.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall; everyone else leaves for Dining Hall 12:30 p.m. Lunch 1:10 p.m. Team photo at Lake Amphitheater/Alexander Hall Stage 1:30 p.m. Afternoon lessons, students rotate to next lessons 3:30 p.m. Return to Lodge 3:45 p.m. Discover Time Intro in Lodge Commons; adult meeting in basement 4:10 p.m. Discovery Time at the amphitheater by the lake 5:15 p.m. Dinner bell rings for gophers and supervisors to leave for Dining Hall 5:20 p.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall; everyone else leaves for dinner 5:30 p.m. Thanksgiving-style Dinner 6:15 p.m. Magic Spots #3: From Dining Hall by learning groups 7:15 p.m. Pennsylvania Terrariums/Tree Cookies by homerooms; all adults help 8:15 p.m. Bouldering (weather permitting) or games by homerooms 9:30 p.m. Sing-a-long in Dining Hall 9:45 p.m. Evening snack in Dining Hall 10:00 p.m. Walk students back to Lodge 10:30 p.m. Bedtime Day Three 7:00 a.m. Rise and shine 7:30 a.m. Breakfast bell rings for gophers and supervisors to leave; pack belongings 7:45 a.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall 8:00 a.m. Breakfast 8:45 a.m. Walk to Mt. Davis from Dining Hall as a large group 11:00 a.m. Lunch bell rings for gophers to leave for Dining Hall 11:15 a.m. Gophers arrive at Dining Hall; everyone reports to Dining Hall 11:30 a.m. Lunch Noon Walk with lunch table group back to Lodge, load bus, depart for Boyce 3:00 p.m. Arrive at Boyce Middle School, exhausted but full of new information

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CalcuSolve 2014

Highley

Upper St. Clair

“mathletes” performed well at the regional CalcuSolve competition this past year. Fort Couch Middle School students used their problem solving and critical thinking skills at the annual event, held at CalcuSolve Fort Couch students, left to Duquesne University right, front row: Mallika Matharu, Brooke this past November. Christiansen, Riwk Sen, Jack Clark; middle row: Serena Luo, Neha Patel, Sean Martin, Hridhay Following an in-school Reddy, Vikram Reddy, Jason Choi, Sam Ding; test, the 16 students back row: Meghan Joon, Braden Yates, Vivek who qualified to repBabu, Dina Leyzarovich, Julia Fennell resent Fort Couch at the competition were Vivek Babu, Jason Choi, Brooke Christiansen, Jack Clark, Sam Ding, Julia Fennell, Meghan Joon, Dina Leyzarovich, Serena Luo, Sean Martin, Mallika Matharu, Neha Patel, Hridhay Reddy, Vikram Reddy, Riwk Sen, and CalcuSolve Boyce students are, left to right, Braden Yates. front row: Rohan Mishra, Declan Gessel, Harrison Chui, Jack Myers, Grace Suter, The competition startChristian Chiu; back row: Jonah Murray, ed with a team question Ryan Sarkett, Henry Zou, Lucas Manalo, involving averages. Then, Reshma Gudla, Richa Mahajan each student was given seven questions to solve. The teams came back together for the last question, and the competition finished with an intense tiebreaking round. Sam, Dina, Serena, Riwk, and Braden ended the competition, each with a perfect score and participated in the final tie-breaker round. Sam and Dina placed in the top ten as individual students and the team of Sam, Julia, Serena, and Braden participated in the team tie-breaker round and earned first place overall. Fort Couch team coaches and facilitators Connie Gibson, Yasmina Hough, Pat Palazzolo, and Tim Wagner supported the students as they represented the District. Over 100 Boyce fifth and sixth graders took the CalcuSolve selection test, and from that group the top 12 scorers were selected to represent Boyce at the 2014 CalcuSolve competition. The three teams from Boyce were Team X: Declan Gessel, Reshma Gudla, Richa Mahajan, and Grace Suter; Team Y: Rohan Mishra, Henry Zou, Ryan Sarkett, and Lucas Manalo; and Team Z: Jack Myers, Jonah Murray, Harrison Chui, and Christian Chiu. The Boyce teams competed against more than 250 students from throughout Allegheny County, solving two group problems and eight individual problems. Boyce’s Team Y won third place overall and Team Z won honorable mention. Rohan Mishra was awarded individual honorable mention. Kathy Hoedeman, Boyce math resource teacher, coached the Boyce teams. In addition, Upper St. Clair High School provided student score keepers for the competition and Fort Couch students served as competition ambassadors, running the problems and answers to and from the contestants during the competition. n

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STEAM-ing Along at Baker

Barb Helmeci, Pam Dillie, and Pat McClintock-Comeaux Design challenges have been a part of the School-Wide Enrichment Program (SWEP) at Baker Elementary for many years. After participating in District initiatives to learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) opportunities and attending several STEAM events in the city, Baker staff decided to incorporate the engineering design process into the existing design challenges, finding a new way to Third graders designing their knee braces, left to create excitement and challenge in the right, Leo, A.J., and Aleks SWEP classroom. The students’ progress through the steps of the engineering design process—ask, imagine, plan, create, test, improve, and share—to solve a given design challenge. These challenges address the creative and critical thinking goals that are required for SWEP learners. In addition, this year at Baker, students in grades 1–4 have an opportunity to participate in similar design chalWith Jake and Chase is lenges after completing their ASSET Johnny, who has a science modules. These challenges are twisted knee the pilot for a District-wide curriculum recommendation that will eventually grow to include all USC elementary schools. First graders will be designing windmills as an extension of their weather unit. Second graders will be designing hand pollinators as an extension of their life cycle of the butterfly unit. Designing a knee brace will be the challenge for third graders, after they study the human body. After studying motion and design, fourth graders will design two simple machines to make work easier at a potato chip factory. As an example, third graders are taught the engineering design process. Through a story, they are introduced to Erik, a boy from Germany who is on a camping trip when one of his fellow

campers is injured on the hike. Erik uses knowledge he has gained from his mother, a biomedical engineer, to help design a knee brace for his friend using any of the supplies taken along on the camping trip. The third graders use their knowledge about muscles, bones, and joints from studying the human body in Ava and Eliza, with their functional knee brace science class to design their own knee brace using “junk.” Envision the scene from the movie Apollo 13, where the NASA engineers jury-rigged a carbon dioxide removal system with items found on the space shuttle. The third graders did something similar to create their knee braces. They used available supplies, including wooden tongue depressors, pieces of fabric, and tape. Students also requested pieces of dryer hose to help engineer a functional knee brace. This year, to kick off SWEP, each grade level also had a design challenge. Second graders built “Terribly Tall Towers” that had to be free-standing, 36-inch towers made with certain designated materials, including cups and paper plates. Third graders had to design a pedestal that would support the weight of a statue using only tape and index cards. Fourth graders had to design a free-standing, moveable textbook support made from paper, cups, and paper plates. The end results of the challenges were fun, motivating, and surprising for all students who participated. What we are learning as educators is that students need to have not only fact-based knowledge, but also the skills to solve problems in the real world. This engineering initiative includes many 21st-century learning skills that are required of our students: collaborate in teams, communicate and share ideas and information, and solve problems using critical, creative, and innovative thinking. These skills are not only critical in the SWEP classroom; they are vital skills for all students. Coordinating the teaching efforts and using the same language throughout the classrooms has helped accelerate this process, which is why we’re expanding our implementation to all classrooms in grades one through four. This year, it’s “full STEAM ahead” at Baker School! n

Baker Staff Toy Drive For the second year in a row and held before the winter holidays, staff from Baker Elementary collected toys for Toy Treasures. Last year when members of the Baker staff discussed undertaking a service project of their own and after some investigation, they decided to support local organization Toy Treasures. Between the 2013 and 2014 toy drives, the staff collected approximately 100 toys. Tom Kwiatkowski, director of Community Relations for Compassion Connections, Inc., said that the majority of the toys stay in the South Hills area. The Toy Treasures organization asserts, “Toy Treasures is a pseudo store where parents can ‘shop’ for presents for their children for ten percent of the item’s original retail value. Although this departs from the usual toy give-aways done by many organizations at Christmas, we believe that this method affirms a parent’s dignity and worth.” n 36

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Baker Elementary staff gathers at the toy drop off site in their school.

For more information about Toy Treasures, visit http://compassionpa.org/toy-treasures/.


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Going Full STEAM at Streams Fourth grade math students at Streams Elementary had an exciting and thought-provoking experience with cafeteria tables as part of a STEAM initiative to make science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts come together in a meaningful way for young learners. Streams principal, Dr. Claire Miller, mentioned in passing that the current tables in the school’s nutrition center were in need of replacement. This got the wheels turning for enrichment resource teacher Mary Quinn, who has been integrating STEAM activities into learning opportunities. It was a real world problem that she believed would be an interesting challenge for the students: Can you design a cafeteria table? Working with Streams’ fourth grade teacher Anne Glaid, Mary set up interviews with several USC School District employees who had a vested interest in the decision-making process. These persons included Dr. Miller, who would order the tables; head custodian Gregg West, who is responsible for maintaining and moving the tables; and Steve Mehalik, who had repaired and replaced the wheels on the old tables several times. Using the engineering design process, small groups of students met with the “experts” to ask questions about an ideal cafeteria table. Students were then regrouped into teams of three and shared the information they had gleaned from Table prototype the interviews.

Armed with ideas and information, students measured the cafeteria and size of the current tables, calculated how many students needed to fit in the cafeteria, and considered various table configurations and limiStudents with Gregg West, tations. After producing head custodian at Streams written plans, using only cardboard and tape, student teams created prototypes that met the constraints outlined through their research: tables needed to be mobile, fold easily, and accommodate more than 100 students in the cafeteria at one time. Students then shared their designs with one another, reflecting on what had been challenging and what changes they would make to future designs. “The project really engaged the students and got them thinking about what goes into creating everyday objects,” said Mary, who hopes the experiences spur interest in engineering career paths for the young students. Other STEAM projects are planned and enthusiasm is high among the learners. In the meantime, Streams students enjoy seeing how the new tables compare to their own designs. Twentyfirst century thinking isn’t just about technology. Streams students know firsthand how innovation, collaboration, and problem solving can make even a seemingly unimportant cafeteria table an exciting learning adventure! n Spring 2015

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Pawprints... Baker

Eisenhower

Streams

For this issue, each school’s PTA/PTSO unit asked its teachers and students the following question: What is your favorite PTA or PTSO sponsored event? PTA Council Brooke Tarcson, PTA Council President At the PTA Council level, we don’t have students or teachers to ask, so I’ll answer this question myself! We have been very hard at work producing the new and improved printed family directory. With all of the incredible effort it took to create, it may be hard to say this was my favorite activity of this school year; however, it was really nice to bring this listing back to life, accomplish the final production of the directory, and have so many people happy with the new size and layout! We are already hard at work to improve the process for the next school year, but I will put one more plug out for the households of USC to fill out “Back to School Online” quickly, so we can get the ball rolling sooner than we were Holding the new directories are, left to able to this past year.

right, Holly Spina, PTA Council vice president; Brooke Tarcson, PTA Council president; and Kristen Buonomo, PTA Council treasurer

High School Kristy Lee, PTSO President The primary focus of the PTSO is to provide a forum for parents, administration, teachers, and students in which they can work together to enhance the educational process of our high school students. In keeping with this goal and with the support of our members, PTSO sponsors many programs and events throughout the year. These programs include Caring and Sharing, the Fab Lab, Author Day, and the Mentor Program, to name a few. The Caring and Sharing program provides assistance to families in the Upper St. Clair School District who have been identified by the USCHS counseling department as having a specific school-related need as a result of family hardship. Another program overseen by this department is the Mentor Program. We are especially proud to support this program as it promotes and supports caring relationships between mentors and their assigned students. (See related article “The Mentor Program—an Overview” on page 25.) Most recently, PTSO donated to the development of the Innovation Hub and the new Fab Lab at the high school. Through the Fab Lab, the students will be provided with the tools and experiences necessary to forge ahead into the future of STEAM! In honor of School Library Month in April and through the efforts of the school’s librarians, we are thrilled to sponsor a visit from well-known author and speaker A.S. King. Ms. King is a popular writer of young adult fiction books, including Please 38

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Spring 2015

Boyce

Fort Couch

USCHS

Ignore Vera Dietz and Everybody Sees the Ants. Here is what a few students are saying about their favorite PTSO-supported programs: I like being a junior mentor because it helps me get to know the freshmen of the high school. As a junior mentor, I can tell my mentees everything I wish I had known as a freshman. I am helping out and I am learning to be responsible to my mentees.—Mary Cugini, junior The Fab Lab opens up numerous opportunities for students to design and create real 3D models of our designs. Being an aspiring mechanical engineer, I find this process exciting and revolutionary for the school because not only are we being taught engineering, but the Fab Lab can make our designs and creations come to life.—Will Friedlander, junior I am looking forward to A.S. King’s visit and learning how professional writers find inspiration for their stories. As an aspiring writer myself, I struggle with developing ideas for my creative pieces. I am excited to learn tips that will help me improve.—Kelly Conner, senior Fort Couch Middle School Joyce Burton, Fort Couch PTA President One of the perks of being involved with the Fort Couch PTA is interacting with the students and staff. Fort Couch is an exciting place and according to Callahan Sollie, seventh grade, “My favorite PTA event is Field Day because I get to hang out with my friends.” Anna Aumer, eighth grade, answered, “My favorite was Caught You Being Good. The students behave better and when you get a slip, it makes you feel good.” The staff at Fort Couch is very involved and appreciative. They enjoyed the Welcome Back to School Breakfast and the Warm Winter Wishes dessert and coffee bar. Many liked being at the socials, while others are looking forward to another fun Field Day. It’s been my pleasure to talk with so many amazing students and staff at The Fort! Boyce Middle School Vicki Strain, Boyce PTA President I was given the opportunity to interview a few of the teachers and students, and I was touched by what they had to say about PTA. It was a nice reminder of just how important our role is at the school. Here are some of our students’ comments: Left to right are Lucas Pash Lily Tarcson: I like all of the and Lily Tarcson activities the PTA does here at Boyce, especially the Book Fair. Lucas Pash: I like how the PTA gives gift cards as an incentive for various things.


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... a USC PTA Council Feature Catherine Dowds and Malorie Glancy: We love the team t-shirts that the PTA bought for us and how they are different colors for each team. Josh Howard: I like how the PTA lets us do fun fundraisers. Nate Paul: I like the field trips that the PTA helps pay for. Carson Ellsworth: I like the fundraisers and the field trips!

Left to right are Catherine Dowds and Malorie Glancy

Left to right are Carson Ellsworth, Nate Paul, and Josh Howard

The kindergarteners, although only being at Eisenhower for a short time, had definite opinions. The Eisenhowler came in first, followed closely by the Holiday Mart. First graders also voted for the Eisenhowler. Second and fourth graders both voted for classroom parties, and third grade voted for Field Day by a landslide! Thank you Eisenhower Elementary for making my writing assignment exciting. You’re the best!

Kindergarteners

Baker Elementary Karly Foster-Cianflone, Baker PTA President My favorite thing that the PTA does for Baker is send us on field trips! The best one for me so far was the second grade trip to Phipps.—Grace Atencio, third grade, Mrs. Dillie’s class My favorite things that the PTA does for Baker are the Boo Bash and Baker Bingo. It’s fun to see my friends and win prizes!—Zackary Cianflone, kindergarten, Mrs. McCarthy’s class My favorite thing that the PTA does for Baker is the Enchanted Shop. I love shopping for my family; it’s my favorite thing about Christmas!—Andrew Cianflone, second grade, Miss Moskovitz’s class

Second graders

Fourth graders

Grace Atencio

Left to right are Zackary and Andrew Cianflone

Eisenhower Elementary Gail Groninger, Eisenhower PTA President It is always exciting to visit Eisenhower! However, I chose to do my research for this article the day before winter break. As you can imagine, there was a little extra energy at the school! My task was to find out the favorite PTA-sponsored activities and events, and needless to say, I had some very eager participants. With the help of Mrs. Kabala’s third grade class, we came up with a list of possible choices: the Eisenhowler, Field Day, Bingo Night, Holiday Mart, Book Fair, and classroom parties, to name a few.

Streams Elementary Ann Rhodes, Streams PTA President I asked the question “What is your favorite PTA event?” to five different kids in five different grades and guess what… they all gave the same answer! Stravaganza, because what could be better than a wall-to-wall carnival with a cake walk, games, raffles, and treats! The students shared a few more of their favorite PTAsponsored activities: Hayley Zeringue, a kindergartener, says: I like the holiday gift shop, because I like to buy gifts for Mommy. First grader Griffin Fennell says: I like Snuggle Up & Read when we read inside the big, big tent, but also because of the cookies; mostly, the cookies, actually. Sarah Spencer, a second grader, is sticking with Stravaganza: I like all of the games and seeing my friends who are not in my class. Stravaganza raises money for the school and for supplies. I like the cake walk and I have so much Hayley Zeringue fun! Continued on page 87 Spring 2015

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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? USC Ranks High in SAT Scores Upper St. Clair School District is proud to announce that the 317 Upper St. Clair High School students who took the SAT college entrance exam in 2014 have ranked seventh in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and first in the Pittsburgh region, with a combined SAT score of 1,741. The SAT is a college readiness exam taken by approximately 1.4 million students each year in the United States.

Montage Takes First The 2014 Montage won first place in the American Scholastic Association contest. The 2014 magazine, produced by USCHS students and submitted for contest consideration, features art and literature that explored the relationship between vortices and our lives. Editors for the Montage included USCHS students John Benhart, editorin-chief; Kelly Conner, literary editor; Sarah Seitanakis, art director; Liam Kollar, layout editor; Brooks Wilding, assistant layout editor; Sarah Meiman, public relations director; and general staff members Ricky Alfera, Tori Stevans, Meg Haggerty, Olivia Wright, and Jenny Park; and faculty adviser Elizabeth Cecelia. Congratulations to the hard-working, talented student editors, staff members, writers, and artists! The 2014 Montage won a Superior ranking in the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) PRESLM (Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines) Contest.

Hitting the High Notes! Five USCHS choir students were accepted into the National Association for Music Education’s All-East Festival Choirs in 2015. Congratulations to Megan Jones (12), Ben Nadler (11), and Jonny Summers (12) for making the Mixed Honors Choir, and Lindsay Buono (12) and Morgan Hogenmiller (12) for making the Treble Choir. In addition, the following students have been accepted into various Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District ensembles, including Megan Jones (12), Lindsay Buono (12), Carly DeCock (10), Eva Schenker (10), Izzy Tarcson (11), Devon Garcia (10), Cassidy Poerstel (10), Ben Nadler (11), Jonny Summers (12), Tom Maddigan (12), and Noah Manalo (12) for District Chorus; Lauren Boehmer (12), Natalie Fiedler (12), Kabir Khan (11), Madeline Kulp (12), Marielle Snyder (12), and Brian Tsui (12) for PMEA District Band; and Mary Molitoris (11), Andrew Khor (12), and Alexis Scott (12) for District Orchestra. Also, selected for the American Choral Directors Association’s first-ever “Voices Around the World” Honors All-State Choir Festival for students in grades four through seven were Christina Conte, Kody Dressler, Clare Joyce, Kelsey Leach, Kathy Li, Carmela Martin, Shay McDowell, Alexander Mitchell, and Elizabeth Young. The students worked with Steven Fisher of New Jersey’s Westminster Choir College this past October at Seton Hill University, along with other singers from across Pennsylvania. Their day-long festival concluded with a free concert. All students are members of the sixth grade chorus at Boyce, under the direction of Jennifer Noel Schetley.

Among others, left to right, are some of those involved with Montage: Kelly Conner, Elizabeth Cecelia, Jenny Park, Sarah Seitanakis, John Benhart, and Brooks Wilding.

Music Department Hosts Benefit Concert The USCHS music department hosted a benefit concert this past October with performances by all high school choirs, jazz ensembles, the brass choir, and the flute choir. The International Thespian Society and Tri-M Music Society sponsored the concert, with proceeds split between Weight Management Wellness (a group that fights childhood obesity) in honor of USC resident Mary Doohan who passed away this past September, and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of USCHS Latin teacher Dina Lardas. Animation Students from the Digital Art Class at USCHS attended the PHLIPITS animation demonstration by Dr. Don Marinelli, co-founder of Carnegie M e l l o n U n i v e r s i t y ’s entertainment technology department. 40

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

ACDA Honors Festival participants, left to right, are Alexander Mitchell, Kelsey Leach, Carmela Martin, Clare Joyce, Christina Conte, and Elizabeth Young. Not pictured are Kody Dressler, Shay McDowell, and Kathy Li.

Sweet Harmony The USC Music Department brought the American Choral Directors Association Sweet Harmony Festival to Upper St. Clair High School Theater this past November. USC choral directors Lorraine Milovac (USCHS), Thomas Hunsberger (Fort Couch), and Jennifer Noel Schetley (Boyce) hosted 175 students in grades six through nine from 21 area school districts and also students from Duquesne University for this educational event. The festival and concert were conducted by Dr. Gabrielle Dietrich, the artistic director of the Young People’s Chorus of Erie and director of Choral Ensembles at Penn State Behrend. Dr. Dietrich is also the conductor of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus.

2014-2015 Reflections Winners Congratulations to all of our students who entered the 2014-15 Reflections contest sponsored by PTA Council! Using the prompt “The world would be a better place if...” as inspiration, they put forth their best efforts. The top three finishers from each category within USC’s PTA judging go on to regional judging and will be listed in TODAY’s summer 2015 edition.

Spring 2015


DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow? DidYouKnow?

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Kids Helping Kids The Upper St. Clair High School Kids Helping Kids Club partnered with the national organization Blessings in a Backpack to provide weekend meals for children in two Wilkinsburg schools, Kelly and Turner Elementary. This effort helped 630 students, all of whom are below federal poverty guidelines, receive backpacks of food for a weekend this past winter.

History Bowl Boyce Middle School came in first at the annual History Bowl held at the Heinz History Center this past October, competing against hundreds of students from districts across Western Pennsylvania. The students completed four challenges, including a “Passenger Journal” at the new Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat exhibit and the “Heinz by the Numbers” challenge held at the Heinz exhibit.

HONESTY, INTEGRITY & LEADERSHIP

Building Your Empire One House at a Time

The History Bowl winning team of fifth graders from Boyce includes Shane Williams, Kaitlyn Clougherty, Shivani Jajoo, and Aidan Besselman

Scholarship Offered Bus drivers from USC, for the fourth year in a row, are offering a $500 scholarship to a graduating 2015 USCHS senior who plans to enter a college, university, or technical school this fall. The scholarship’s essay topic is “describe your personal experience(s) involving USC buses and the drivers while a student at USC.” The application also requires additional information. The 2014 bus scholarship winner was William Petley (USCHS Class of 2014). His essay described the positive influence all of his drivers had on him, and their kindness and dependability, too. Applications can be picked up at the high school guidance office or from any bus driver. Completed applications must be returned to the guidance office by May 1 for scholarship consideration.

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www.TheJimRomanGroup.com Spring 2015

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Streams Teacher Featured as Advocate Spotlight by PMEA Jeffrey Leonhardt, music teacher at Streams Elementary, has been featured as the Advocate Spotlight in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 1 Advocacy newsletter. One of the many reasons why PMEA chose Jeff as their advocate spotlight is because of his work with elementary homeroom teachers to align general music units with social studies units to link the arts and music curricula with International Baccalaureate program units of inquiry. Jeff regularly schedules Streams outreach concerts in nursing and assisted living homes so that the students can interact with senior citizens in our community. On Senior Citizens’ Day, members of the

Upper St. Clair United Senior Citizens group were invited to Streams to share an afternoon with the students and enjoy performances from the fourth grade chorus and third/fourth grade strings students and to also experience hands-on interactive looks at the building’s classrooms and curricula. “I echo Mr. Leonhardt’s comment to PMEA that he always tries to ‘make sure our music program is an integral and vital part of our school and is visible within the Upper St. Clair community’,” stated Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, Superintendent of Schools. “Mr. Leonhardt is a shining example of our District’s tagline… ‘Customizing Learning, Nurturing Potential…Delivering Excellence’,” he said. n

USCHS Students Win App Challenge A team of Upper St. Clair High School students has been named Best in State, Best in Region, and Best in Nation in the 2014-15 Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Sponsored by Pat Palazzolo, USCHS gifted coordinator, Michael Nastac, Christina Park, Gaurav Bhushan, Nymisha Rameswarapu, Akshay Prasadan, and Vidhi Shah created the “A Look Inside” app, which satisfies the curiosity of the “natural engineer” in every child by providing elementary and middle school youngsters the opportunity to virtually explore the inner workings of common devices, from blenders to laptops. As a Best in State team, in January, the students participated in a live, interactive questionand-answer session with MIT’s “Bionic Man,” Hugh Herr. In 2011, TIME magazine named Herr the “Leader of the Bionic Age” due to his work in the field of biomechatronics-technology that combines huTeam members posing with their award plaque, left to right, are Nymisha man physiology and Rameswarapu, Michael Nastac, Christina Park, teacher sponsor Pat Palazzolo, electromechanics. Gaurav Bhushan, Akshay Prasadan, and Vidhi Shah As Best in Region winner, the team will receive a $5000 Verizon Foundation grant to advance the District’s STEAM program, and as a Best in Nation winner, Verizon will donate an additional $15,000 Foundation Grant toward STEAM education at USCHS. In addition, Verizon will award a Samsung Galaxy tablet for each student and their sponsor, in-person training from the MIT Master Trainers to turn the students’ concept into a working app, and an all-expense paid trip for each team member and one guardian to the National Technology Student Association Conference this summer in Dallas. The Verizon Innovative App Challenge was created in partnership with the Technology Student Association (TSA) in response to an expressed critical need to inspire student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. n 42

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Jeffery Leonhardt, Streams Elementary music teacher

District’s Website Receives Award

The Upper St. Clair School District’s website is one of two in Pennsylvania to receive an Award of Excellence in the Website/Intranet category of the 2014 Educational Publications Contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Entries in the Educational Publications Contest are judged on appearance, writing and style, editing, layout and design, use of artwork and photography, printing, and value to the audience. “I commend Ray Berrott, USCSD director of technology; Doreen Leech, webmaster and technology support coordinator; and Mary Ann Stabile, executive assistant to the superintendent, for their work and leadership of our School District’s website,” stated Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, Superintendent of Schools. n

Left to right are Mary Ann Stabile, Ray Berrott, and Doreen Leech


Experience Providence Point’s retirement lifestyle before moving in! Ask us about “Choices,” our new program for future residents, or join us for an event. Call 412-489-3550 or visit www.providencepoint.org.

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Finally, an Effective Treatment for Bowel and Bladder Incontinence Mark A. Cedar, D.O.

No doubt the topic can be embarrassing, but fecal incontinence (FI) affects the lives of millions of people of all ages. Many who suffer believe it is simply part of the aging process; others may not be aware that it can be treated successfully and continue to live with the embarrassment and limitations caused by the condition. Fecal incontinence can range from an occasional leakage to complete loss of bowel control. The condition is more common in women over the age of 65, although I have seen several young women develop this problem after muscle injury to the rectum resulting from traumatic childbirth. FI may also be related to chronic constipation, diarrhea, advanced age, or damage to the pelvic floor and its nerves, and in certain neuromuscular disorders. Until recently, the only non-surgical treatment options for FI were fiber supplements and anti-diarrhea medications. Sphincter surgery was occasionally performed, though not without potential for significant adverse outcomes. In 2014, doctors from Pittsburgh Gastroenterology Associates became the first gastrointestinal physicians in the area to perform phase one of a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, known as InterStim® therapy, for the testing and treatment of fecal incontinence. The initial evaluation is performed at the South Hills Endoscopy Center (SHEC) in Upper St. Clair and involves the insertion of a thin, hair-like, flexible wire in the upper buttock area. This works by sending mild non-painful electrical pulses to the sacral nerves that control and strengthen bowel, rectum, and bladder function. Interstim has been used for more than 15 years to successfully treat overactive bladder and other urinary incontinence issues. To

date, the device has helped more than 100,000 men and women in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. It was approved in April 2011 for the treatment of chronic fecal incontinence in patients who have failed more conservative therapies. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer from both fecal and urinary incontinence. The test phase of the procedure can be performed typically in 15 minutes with the use of only topical sedation and without the need for an incision. Dietary changes, antibiotics, fasting, and laxative preps or enemas are not necessary. The patient returns to the office in one week to have the wires removed and, if the testing is successful, will then undergo placement of a permanent battery-powered device, about the size of a thin stopwatch, under the skin below the belt-line. Loss of bowel and bladder control can be devastating and, in many cases, life-altering. Many people stop traveling or going to the gym or restaurants; others withdraw further, avoiding family and friends and often become home bound. We are very excited to be at the forefront in treating this disorder, offering a new state-of-the-art option for the many men and women who are suffering in silence. n Mark A. Cedar, D.O, is a board-certified gastroenterologist and partner at South Hills Endoscopy Center and Pittsburgh Gastroenterology Associates. He is chief of Gastroenterology and director of Endoscopy at St. Clair Hospital. Dr. Cedar and his family reside in Pittsburgh’s South Hills. See ad for South Hills Endoscopy on page 1. Spring 2015

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Chairside Whitening System

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Complete General & Specialty Dental Care Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry Prosthodontic Specialist

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. . .O N E S TO P C O N V E N I E N C E The orthodontic office of Dr. Eric Reitz and Dr. Beth Troy provides care for the communities of Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, and the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Dr. Reitz and Dr. Troy 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 Bethel Park location: 2414 Lytle Road, Suite 100 Bethel Park, PA 15102 412-831-2188

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Celebrate Good Times...

Do Something Different Heather Holtschlag

Do something different for the New Year. Throw away that list of New Year’s resolutions. Forget about getting mad at yourself for not fulfilling those promises beyond three or six months into the year. Don’t worry about the “I will get to it tomorrow” commitments. This year, vow to make a complete personal transformation—one step at a time—and prepare yourself to become healthier, more energized, and increasingly vibrant with a more enthusiastic lease on life. Here are some first steps you can take: Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga dates back 10,000 years and is the only style of yoga that has clinical research to support its use. Kundalini Yoga is a healing form of yoga that has benefits for everyone. For instance, it is highly beneficial for people with health issues, especially those suffering from depression, stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, memory loss, and other neurological issues. This yoga consists of 5000 medical meditations that work on different aspects of the brain and glandular system and 1000 yoga sets that address the endocrine and nervous system and a variety of specific organs in the body. And, yes, it is possible to customize a yoga set to address a particular health issue. Some Kundalini Yoga participants have felt the effects of this yoga so quickly, in fact, that they often refer to it as the “quick fix yoga.” Nutrition for Healing. Food is one of the most powerful tools a person can use to heal and repair the body. Not only can the foods 46

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Spring 2015

a person chooses to eat help them lose weight, but food can also play an important role in helping ward off illness. This year, instead of looking at changing food habits as a way to diet, think of it as a lifestyle change. Focus on what is going into the body, rather than what is being restricted or eliminated. Making small changes, such as decreasing sugar and eliminating GMOs and processed food, can produce long-term positive health results. Instead, choose grassfed and organic foods that provide abundant nutrients to help the body attain health from the inside out. Perhaps, most importantly, discover what combination of food choices work for you and your specific lifestyle. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Emotional freedom technique is based on the idea that all negative emotions stem from a disturbance in the body’s energy system, and that by “tapping” on the endpoints of the 14 electrical pathways in the body, known as meridians, we can disrupt that disturbance. The negative emotion that we are feeling at that moment—whether it’s frustration, stress, anger, conflict, or the anxiety of overeating, to name a few—goes away. Many people rely on EFT to get through feelings of grief, manage fear-based emotions, to help with anxiety or depression (without the use of medication), manage panic attacks, or even end procrastination habits. Others employ its use to enhance their sports performance or help determine which candidate to hire for a job. n For more information about any of the steps mentioned above or for additional information on how to get started on your own personal transformation, call AVANI Institute at 724-941-7400 or visit www. avani-institute.com. See ad on this page.


...Celebrate Food Silver Celebration

Amie Guarino, Louis Anthony Jewelers This year marks Louis Anthony Jewelers 25th year in business. Our USC family-owned business looks forward to celebrating this milestone throughout 2015 with family, friends, and loyal customers. In honor of our silver anniversary, here are some new and exciting gift ideas to commemorate any occasion. Artist Michael Aram is known for his artistic and versatile giftware. While perfecting the art of metalworking, Aram set up a workshop and made his home in New Delhi, India. From picture frames to tableware, each piece is handmade with silver tones and soft metallic finishes. His work reflects humanity in the artisan nature of the pieces and the soulful energy they emulate. His Black Orchid collection embraces the beauty of contrast with dramatic darkened floral motifs paired with glimmering hammered silver. Many items, including cocktail shakers and coaster sets, make perfect gifts for men, too! In addition to his extraordinary object d’art, he introduced a fine jewelry collection in 18K gold and sterling silver. Inspired by nature and his decorative art pieces, his jewelry is striking and sensible. Pearls and colored stones adorn statement necklaces, and his signature artisan finish is apparent in rings and bracelets alike. Surely, the Michael Aram collection will have you looking for reasons to celebrate this year! The uniqueness and affordability make this a special gift for anyone from Grandma to grads! If you’re hard pressed to find a reason to celebrate, stop by Louis Anthony Jewelers and wish us a happy anniversary. Cheers to a happy, healthy, and sparkly 2015! n

Michael Aram giftware—Black Orchid collection

See ad for Louis Anthony Jewelers on page 5. Spring 2015

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Celebrate Good Times...

M-Thurs 11:30AM - 10:00PM F-Sat 11:30AM - 11:00PM Sun 12:00PM - 9:30PM dine in-carry out-delivery-catering 670 Washington Road, Mt Lebanon, PA, 15228

412.531.6666 • www.jadegrille.com

Celebrate Aging

Marilyn Walsh, Baptist Homes Society The world is getting older. In addition to people living longer, population growth has slowed. By the year 2025, about 25% of the population in the United States will be over 60 years of age. Is this something to cause alarm or to celebrate? According to HelpAge International, that depends on our response to this changing demographic trend. Leona Cimino, an active 101-year-old who HelpAge International is a non-profit organi- has resided at Baptist Manor and Baptist zation dedicated to the welfare of older adults. It Homes for more than 30 years, shares a story about her life with her daughter, Sarah. publishes a report card, Global AgeWatch Index, that ranks 96 countries on quality of life issues, including income security, health status, agefriendly environment, and capability for addressing the global shift in aging. Currently, the U.S. ranks eighth on the scale, behind six European countries and Canada, and just ahead of Japan. It appears that the U.S. does well, but could do better. According to HelpAge, the U.S. ranks poorly in current public perceptions about aging. The media frequently depicts seniors as a “burden,” warning of the “looming” effects of the “tsunami of seniors” on the economy. This negative hype can have a profound effect on policy-making, healthcare, and societal trends. HelpAge International suggests that, with proper understanding and preparation, this shift in population could be part of the solution to many of the world’s current issues. With appropriate support systems, seniors can contribute substantially to society. Older adults are exceptional volunteers, mentors, tutors, babysitters, and companions. HelpAge challenges the world to do more to help seniors, including: • Recognize the change and prepare for the growing numbers of older persons. • Enhance understanding, strengthen capacities, and develop the political, economic, and social reforms needed to adapt. 48

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T Township Commissioners Robert W. Orchowski

President, Ward 3 Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-854-1868 2015*

Russell R. Del Re

Vice President, Ward 5 Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-287-9076 2015*

Nicholas J. Seitanakis Ward 1

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-220-4434 2015*

Rex A. Waller Ward 2

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

Mark D. Christie Ward 4

Day 412-831-9000 2017*

Glenn R. Dandoy At-Large

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-944-3957 2015*

Daniel R. Paoly At-Large

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

*Date indicates expiration of term.

Trading Places

Public Works director exchange gives road crews a new view of winter maintenance When the public works directors of two similar Pittsburgh suburbs began to think about preparing their road crews to face winter’s wrath, they hit on a novel idea: instead of hiring a consultant to come in and review winter maintenance procedures with their respective employees, they would simply trade positions for a day—each one briefing the other’s personnel. Cranberry Township, a community of 30,000 to the north of Pittsburgh, maintains 115 miles of local roads. Upper St. Clair, on Pittsburgh’s southern tier, has 20,000 residents and an almost identical number of road miles to keep clear. Personnel levels in the two communities are comparable, and so is the weather. Both have brine production equipment, and both fleets are alike in size and composition. As a result, there’s a lot about clearing snow that is pretty much identical. So the two men—Jason Dailey of Cranberry and George Kostelich, Jr. of Upper St. Clair— got together and developed a PowerPoint® presentation that each would deliver to the other’s personnel. Much of the material it covered was the same for both communities, but there were also some important differences. And it was those differences, as much as their common practices, that each man hoped would ultimately influence his home community’s tactics. George Kostelich, Jr., briefing Cranberry Township personnel Different practices “We pre-treat key roads with brine a day or so before a storm is forecast to arrive,” George noted, “so a barrier of brine solution is in place to assist in keeping ice from forming.” Cranberry, on the other hand, pre-wets road salt as it is being applied. Upper St. Clair uses beet extract as a salt additive; Cranberry is experimenting. They knew that much of the material in the presentation would be the same for both communities, but they also realized there were important differences. Take, for instance, the pretreatment of roads when a storm is approaching or the use of beet extract as a salt additive; the use of employees’ official uniforms or rendering out-of-vehicle assistance; on-street parking regulations or the use of cell phones instead of radios; staffing in shifts for major snow events or the responsibility for sidewalk maintenance. Free speech Whatever apprehensions the two directors may have had about speaking to an unfamiliar group vanished quickly. If anything, both men felt free of inhibitions that might have kept them from talking candidly to their own crews. And it was reciprocated; the workers felt free to raise concerns they may have felt uncomfortable bringing up with their own supervisors. It turned out to be such a positive experience, in fact, that the two men, along with their respective road crew chiefs, held a follow-up meeting a few days later to build on the momentum their swap had created and to institutionalize the practice, at least for another season. However, the potential for exchanging senior managers for training purposes extends well beyond winter road maintenance. It applies equally well to other public works functions. Worth the work This collaboration requires effort. Every community has limited resources and personnel. Managers and workers have busy schedules which are difficult to coordinate. At the same time, though, communities that share similar circumstances can benefit from one another by no-cost, short term exchanges to train, challenge, and expand the horizons of one another’s municipal employees.

Cranberry Township Public Works director Jason Dailey is president of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the American Public Works Association. Upper St. Clair Public Works director George Kostelich, Jr. is the chapter’s vice president. Versions of this article also appeared in PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors), Snow Business, and Cranberry Today. Spring 2015

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Highlights of the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings September 2, 2014

October 6, 2014

November 3, 2014

Approximately 23 people attended.

Approximately 28 people attended.

Approximately 7 people attended.

The Board • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC14-0007–Ardolino Development Plan and Claire Place Planned Office Center– Non-Residential Development–Amended Final Approval to the October 6, 2014, Regular Meeting of the Board. • Adopted Bill No. 14-14 amending Chapter 130 of the Township Code entitled “Zoning” by adding definitions for recognition signs and by incorporating new regulations to permit recognition signs for a public or semi-public use. • Adopted Bill No. 15-14 Re. PLC13-0015 granting Amended Final Planned Development Approval to Willowbrooke Estates PRD, subject to certain conditions. • Adopted Resolution No. 1589 for Plan Revision for New Land Development (Planning Module) for PLC14-0009– Crum Plan of Lots–Preliminary and Final Subdivision Approval. • Adopted Bill No. 16-14 Re. PLC14-0011 granting Final Subdivision Approval to Shenandoah Estates, located at 2519 Shenandoah Drive, subject to certain conditions. • Adopted Bill No. 17-14 Re. PLC14-0013 granting Final Plat Approval to Siena at St. Clair, located at 1800 Washington Road, subject to certain conditions. • Approved temporary lighting at the Miracle League Field for the 2014 fall season (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, September 6–October 22, 2014) and the 2015 spring season (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, May 23–June 27, 2015).

Recognitions • Allegheny County Council Representative Sue Means presented a Proclamation to the Township of Upper St. Clair, re-designating the Township as a 2014 Banner Community by the Allegheny League of Municipalities and recognizing the Township for its participation in Sustainable Pennsylvania. • Commissioner Christie presented a Proclamation to Alexandra Peck, recognizing her attainment of the Girl Scout Gold Award. Alexandra’s Gold Award project involved teaching gymnastics to four- and five-year-olds and teaching them healthy eating habits. • Commissioner Waller presented a Proclamation recognizing The Outdoor Classroom’s tenth anniversary. • Commissioner Paoly presented a Proclamation to Steven Moore, Chief of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department, designating October 5–11, 2014, as Fire Prevention Week in Upper St. Clair. • Commissioner Seitanakis recognized the following members of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department for their years of service: William Neill–55 years; David Kropp–25 years; Daniel Barr–15 years; Douglas Heckman–15 years. • Commissioner Dandoy presented a Proclamation and bronze firefighter statue recognizing the 75th anniversary of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department to Jerry Kopach, Jr., president of the Volunteer Fire Department.

The Board • Adopted Bill No. 19-14 Re. PLC14-0010–Pine Creek Structures–Unified Conditional Use/Preliminary and Final Land Development Approval. • Adopted Bill No. 20-14 Re. PLC14-0012–1321A McLaughlin Run Road–Conditional Use Approval. • Adopted Bill No. 21-14 Re. PLC14-0014–Zahalsky Plan of Lots–Revision No. 2–Preliminary and Final Subdivision Approval. • Closed Public Hearing Re. 2015 Proposed Budget. • Adopted Resolution No. 1594 authorizing the appropriate designee to file all documents and execute forms between the Township of Upper St. Clair and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through the Department of Transportation for a PennDOT TAP grant. • Adopted Resolution No. 1595 authorizing the appropriate official to file all applications, documents, and forms with the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development for a grant to replace ADA water fountains in Clair, Byrnwick, and Trotwood Parks. • Approved the following appointment to the Youth Steering Committee: New Appointment/4-Year Term Adam Boucek

Approval of Contracts • Cargill, Inc. North Olmsted, OH.....................................$ 79.29/ton 2014–2015 rock salt • Lone Pine Construction, Inc. Bentleyville...................................................... $513,650 Brush Run Pump Station renovations–Phase 2 • Tyco-Simplex Grinnell Cranberry.................................................. $192, 335.54 Hardware and equipment for Municipal Building renovations-security work • Plavchak Construction Company, Inc. Jefferson Hills................................................... $ 80,500 Labor to install hardware and equipment for Municipal Building renovations-security work • R & B Mechanical, Inc. Pittsburgh........................................................ $139,900 Replacement of 40-ton air conditioning system– Municipal Building

2015 Township of Upper St. Clair Meeting Dates

• 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. 50

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

Approval of Contracts • Dagostino Electric Services, Inc. Pittsburgh......................................................... $ 60,200 Security Equipment/Installation Costs (Tri-Community South EMS Building) • USDA Wildlife Raleigh, NC...................................................... $ 37,500 Special Use Culling Permit/Prescribed Activities

December 1, 2014

Approximately 4 people attended.

Commissioner Mark Christie and Alexandra Peck The Board • Adopted Bill No. 13-14 Re. PLC14-0007–Ardolino Development Plan and Claire Place Planned Office Center– Non-Residential Development–Amended Final Approval. • Adopted Bill No. 18-14 Re. PLC14-0008 Forest Brook Estates Revision No. 2–Preliminary and Final Subdivision Approval. • Adopted Resolution No. 1592 for Plan Revision for New Land Development (Planning Module) for PLC14-0008– Forest Brook Estates Revision No. 2–Preliminary and Final Subdivision Approval. • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC14-0010–Pine Creek Structures–Unified Conditional Use/Preliminary and Final Land Development Approval to the November 3, 2014, Regular Meeting of the Board. • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC14-0012–1321A McLaughlin Run Road–Conditional Use Approval to the November 3, 2014, Regular Meeting of the Board. • Approved the following appointment and reappointments to the Youth Steering Committee: New Appointment/ Reappointments/ 4-year Term 4-year Term Kurt Kondrich Angela Petersen Amy Billerbeck Marjri Gupta Ed Kavo Lynn Boucek

Recognitions • Commissioner Seitanakis presented a Proclamation to Sahil Doshi for winning the national 2014 Discovery Education 3M Scientist Challenge and for being awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” for his invention of the “PolluCell.” The Board • Adopted Bill No. 22-14 Re. Adoption of the 2015 Annual Budget. • Approved the 2015 Township Engineer and Township Attorney fee schedules. Approval of Contracts • Glassmere Fuel Service, Inc. Curtisville........... OPIS Daily Pittsburgh Average Index plus Fixed Margin of $.0189 on each gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel • Robinson Pipe Cleaning Co. Pittsburgh........................................................ $932,350 Sanitary Sewer Video Inspection (Base Year +4 Option Years unit price per contract) • Cityworks® Sandy, UT.......................................................... $45,000 Software • Timmons Group Richmond, VA................................................. $211,265 Implementation/Configuration of Software

www.twpusc.org 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 www.twpusc.org. For more information, call 412-831-9000. Spring 2015


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Department of Finance

2015 Budget Highlights General Fund Budget Overview In preparation for the 2015 budget, Township staff continued with the streamlined, focused approach established in past years. The use of departmental budget worksheets, featuring trend analysis and inflation statistics, allows for the staff to more accurately predict future budgetary expenditures. Department directors were provided the opportunity to respond to the departmental budget worksheets with an acknowledgement of the projections or a justification for a change in budgetary numbers. After preparing any proposed changes, the staff met with individual departments to discuss both operating and capital budget requests. This process yielded an increase in the 2015 Budget Operating expenditures for the General Fund of 3.11% from the 2014 budget. Where the Money Comes From The 2015 major operating revenues are real estate and earned income taxes. The balance of operating revenue comprises other taxes and other revenue. Other taxes include real estate transfer, public utilities, sales and use, and local services taxes. Other revenue consists of licenses and permits, fines, fees, rental and service agreements, investment earnings, recreation fees, and other non-tax revenue. General Fund revenues are projected to increase from 2014 budget amounts of $19,909,614 to $20,148,432, or 1.20%. The increase in General Fund revenue is mainly due to the effect of increased tax revenues, primarily earned income tax, which is projected to increase by more than $200,000. The Township’s real estate tax rate will remain at 3.83 mills and the earned income tax rate will remain at 0.80%. The General Fund is projected to be at $3,027,782 Fund Balance, or 15.0% of estimated 2015 General Fund revenues.

For more information, visit www.twpusc.org. Operating Expenditures Summary For the 2015 budget, overall General Fund operating expenditures have increased by $448,110, or 3.11%, from 2014 budget amounts. This has occurred through a combination of the following reasons: • Full-time non-contractual personnel salary and wages increases are projected at 2.5%. • Police officers contract has a set hourly wage increase of 2.25%. • Public Works contract has a set hourly wage increase of 2.5%. • Health insurance costs are budgeted to increase by 5%. • For 2015, the pension Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) for the Police is $240,290 and $362,005 for the Public Works employees. This is a net decrease of ($12,694), or (0.2%), from 2014. • Workers’ compensation, life insurance, and long-term disability premiums are budgeted to remain close to the 2014 levels for 2015. The 2015 budget will maintain the General Fund Balance at a level necessary for the Township to maintain its AA+ Bond Rating. n

Capital Projects Fund

The Capital Projects Fund will be funded by an operating transfer from the General Fund and the Fund Balance, which is estimated to be $3,163,735 at the end of 2015, down from the 2014 budget projection of $4,017,662.

Where the Money Goes The 2015 projected operating expenditures will increase from the 2014 budgeted amount of $14,419,294 to $14,867,404. The 3.11% increase is due to a variety of reasons, including increases in personal services costs, contractual services, and winter maintenance costs. The primary programs of the Township are Public Safety, which includes the Police, the Volunteer Fire Department and Animal Control, and Public Works. These programs represent 64.8% of the Operating Budget. The remaining difference of projected revenues over operating expenses of $5,281,028 will be used to fund the Debt Service Costs for 2015 of $1,133,015 and operating transfers of $4,148,013.

Continued on page 52

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Department of Finance

Continued from page 51

2014 and 2015 General Fund Budget Major Revenue Sources 2014 Budget Real Estate Tax $7,781,700 Earned Income Tax 8,202,090 Local Services Tax 265,000 Real Estate Transfer Tax 875,000 Public Utilities Tax 22,500 Local Option Sales & Use Tax 480,000 Licenses and Permits 151,525 Fees and Fines 524,200 Rental Income 80,900 Investment Earnings 3,500 Service Agreements 208,826 Other Non-Tax Revenue 934,373 Recreation Fees 380,000

General Fund Appropriations by Major Programs

2015 Increase Percentage Budget (Decrease) Change $7,805,500 $23,800 0.31% 8,414,000 211,910 2.58% 265,000 - 0.00% 890,000 15,000 1.71% 22,500 - 0.00% 490,000 158,025 525,450 82,400 3,500 216,100 902,957 373,000

10,000 2.08% 6,500 4.29% 1,250 0.24% 1,500 1.85% - 0.00% 7,274 3.48% (31,416) -3.36% (7,000) -1.84%

Total Revenues $19,909,614 $20,148,432 $238,818 1.20% Fund Balance - - - 0.00% Total Major Revenues $19,909,614 $20,148,432 $238,818 1.20%

2014 Budget

2015 Increase Percentage Budget (Decrease) Change

General Government $1,690,248 $1,781,317 $91,069 5.39% Public Safety 4,845,638 4,957,715 112,077 2.31% Community Development 602,053 606,662 4,609 0.77% Public Works 4,539,684 4,689,599 149,915 3.30% Refuse Collection 1,192,225 1,191,500 (725) -0.06% Recreation & Leisure Services 527,969 589,402 61,433 11.64% Library 876,427 904,559 28,132 3.21% Unallocated Insurance Costs 145,050 146,650 1,600 1.10% Total Operating Expenditures $14,419,294 $14,867,404 $448,110 3.11% Operating Transfers 4,343,822 4,148,013 (195,809) -4.51% Debt Service Payments 1,146,498 1,133,015 (13,483) -1.18% Non-Operating Expenditures $5,490,320 $5,281,028 $(209,292) -3.81% Total Expenditures $19,909,614 $20,148,432 $238,818 1.20% Fund Balance - - - 0.00% Total Major Programs $19,909,614 $20,148,432 $238,818 1.20%

Boyce Mayview Community & Recreation Center (C&RC) Fund Projected Revenues • Membership Revenue: Current membership demographics show membership is made up of 67% residents and 33% non-residents. Assuming no increase in membership rates for July 2015, the Township has projected an overall increase of 3.6% in membership revenue from 2014 budgeted revenue. • General Fund Appropriations: For 2015, the General Fund will appropriate $1,189,719 for debt service costs associated with the construction of the C&RC building. The General Fund will also contribute $537,934 in additional funds to support the common area operations of the C&RC. • Other Revenue: Facility rental revenue and program revenue have been estimated at $97,700 and $404,500, respectively for 2015. • Total Memberships: Total annual memberships reached 3100 in 2014.

Projected Expenses • Personal Services: Personal services have increased $148,178, or 8.5%, from 2014. This is mainly due to an increase in wages associated with increased demand for several programs. The corresponding revenue for these services has increased accordingly. • Contractual Services: Contractual services expenses have increase by $28,551, or 2.8%, from 2014. • Commodities: Projected to decrease slightly in 2015 by $4300, or 2.0%. • Distributed Costs: Distributed costs include information technology costs and depreciation costs on all equipment. • Capital Transfer: There is an estimated capital transfer of $825,000 to the C&RC Capital Account for future capital funding needs of the C&RC. n

2015 Real Estate Tax Notice and Corresponding Payment Schedule

The Township of Upper St. Clair and the Upper St. Clair School District hereby give public notice to all Township real estate taxpayers of the payment schedule of each taxing body for the year 2015.

As of the date of this notice, the 2015 Township millage rate is 3.83 mills of the assessed valuation of a home owner’s property. If new reassessment valuations are ordered to be used by Allegheny County, the 2015 millage rate will be adjusted, accordingly.

Township Real Estate Tax Schedule for 2015 Date Tax Period May 1 .........................................Tax bills mailed May 1–June 30 .......................... 2% discount July 1–September 1 ................... Face Amount September 2–December 1 .......... 10% penalty December 2 ............................... Lien date

School District Real Estate Tax Schedule for 2015 Date Tax Period July 1 ......................................... Tax bills mailed July 1–September 1.................... 2% discount September 2–November 2 ......... Face amount November 3–December 1 .......... 10% penalty December 2 ............................... Lien date

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The School District will adopt its real estate tax millage rate for the fiscal year 2015-2016 at the June 2015 School Board Meeting. This notice reminds all taxpayers that they are responsible to see that their property is properly assessed and taxed, and to ask for the appropriate tax bills if they have not received them by mail. No appeals will be granted due to a taxpayer not receiving a real estate tax bill. Only payments received in the tax office or postmarked by the tax period due date will be given the two percent discount or avoid the ten percent penalty. n


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Department of Finance

2015 Earned Income and Net Profits Tax Rate Notice and Corresponding Payment Schedule The Township of Upper St. Clair and the Upper St. Clair School District hereby give public notice to all earned income and net profits taxpayers of the Township that Act 32 of 2008 governs the collection and distribution of Earned Income Tax in every local taxing jurisdiction in Pennsylvania, except for the City of Philadelphia. Under Act 32, all employees must register and have withheld by their employer the earned income tax at the rate of the municipality and school district in which they reside. For 2015, the Earned Income and Net Profits tax rates of the Township and the School District are 0.80% and 0.50%, respectively, of taxable income as defined by Act 32. Thus, the total Township taxpayer’s rate for 2015 is 1.30%. The Township of Upper St. Clair and the Upper St. Clair School District reside in the Allegheny County Southwest Tax Collection District. Jordan Tax Service, Inc., whose main office is located at 102 Rahway Road, McMurray, PA 15317, is the earned income tax collector for all taxing entities within this district.

All unincorporated business owners of Upper St. Clair Township and School District are also taxed upon the net profits from their business at the same aforementioned rate and must remit their tax liability quarterly to Jordan Tax Service on the following schedule for 2015: Date Tax Period April 30, 2015 .........1st quarter 2015 Tax Estimate due July 31, 2015............2nd quarter 2015 Tax Estimate due October 31, 2015........3rd quarter 2015 Tax Estimate due January 31, 2016..........4th quarter 2015 Tax Estimate due

Quarterly tax payments are required. A taxpayer whose employer does not withhold local earned income tax must file and pay quarterly tax on the aforementioned schedule. Final tax returns are required for all taxpayers. Final returns for the 2014 tax year are due on April 15, 2015. Final returns for the 2015 tax year are due on April 15, 2016. n

Bonnie Detwiler

Northwood Realty Services

Office: 412-595-3010 Cell: 412-298-6646

bdetwiler@northwood.com

• Experience counts • Multi-million dollar producer • Serving Buyers and Sellers • Resident of the South Hills

Sanitary Sewer Fund

The sewer user fee multiplier rate has been set to remain at 2.25 in 2015, but billed rates will increase due to an 11% rate increase from ALCOSAN in 2015. The Township’s costs for sewer processing fees in 2015 are projected at $3,513,000 and EPA Administrative Consent Order expenses are budgeted at $1,470,000. The projected net assets at the end of 2015 are $234,383. n

D&M CHIROPRACTIC AND THERAPEUTIC REHAB

2015 Upper St. Clair Township Sewer User Multiplier Rate

The Township of Upper St. Clair hereby gives public notice to all Township sewer users that ALCOSAN will raise sewage service charges and usage fees by 11% for 2015. The Sewer User Multiplier rate used to calculate the Township’s cost reimbursement remains at 2.25 for the year. The Township of Upper St. Clair contracts with Jordan Tax Service to provide the billing and collection of t h e To w n s h i p ’s m o n t h l y sewer user fees. n

All questions or concerns regarding sewage billing should be directed to Jordan Tax Service at 412-835-5243, option #4, or via email to sewage@jordantax.com.

Spring 2015

Mention this Ad for a Free Consultaion!

412-833-1101 2555 Washington Rd., Suite 620 Summerfield Commons Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

www.dmchiro.com UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

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T Hitting the Trails Full Speed in 2015

Jessica Kester, Program Manager, The Outdoor Classroom It’s hard to imagine how my New Year will shape up, as I sit here writing this article for the spring 2015 edition in December, nearly 40 weeks pregnant! The past year has been a whirlwind of events not only in my personal life, but in the life of the Classroom, as well. With everything flying by so quickly in 2014, I was having a hard time trying to find a topic to write about for the spring season. After writing more than 30 articles for TODAY, I thought I’d look back over the past year or so in preparation for what’s to come. I’ll start with the more obvious topic of The Outdoor Classroom. The Classroom went through some major events this past year. Our staff grew by two new amazing educators, Eva Barinas and Julie Travaglini, who helped us bring the love of our natural world to nearly 17,000 individuals through on- and off-site programming in 2014 alone. That brings our overall number of people Excited to hike with Mr. Mike reached to over 102,000 from our inception in 2004. We celebrated our tenth anniversary with our very first fundraiser at Bar Marco in October, when over 80 people joined in the merriment. And we made some great new friends at the Pennsylvania Game Commission who are helping the Classroom ramp up our educator and adult programs in 2015 by bringing out some amazing statewide programs, including Project WILD, WILD About Raptors, and the oh-so-fun and hands-on WILD About Bears! As we move forward into 2015, be on the lookout for a brand new logo for the Team Tadpole Preschool Outreach Program and some great new topics in the Talk N Walk series beginning this month. Moving on to a more personal side of things as I sit here counting down the days until baby Kester arrives, I realize that I can’t wait to inCatching critters in the creek troduce him/her (it’s going to be a surprise) to the beauty of the natural world. Although it will be a few years until my little one can officially join a nature camp with other local children, I’m sure we’ll be playing in the mud, eating grass, and chasing critters in no time. Or at least, that’s what I was doing as a small child! With these precious thoughts in mind, I can’t help but think of how lucky I am to have such a perfectly suited career. Not only here at the Classroom but throughout my career as an environmental educator, I’ve been able to describe my daily routine as “going outside, catching critters, playing in the mud, and helping children of all ages connect with nature in fun and exciting ways.” Whether my classroom has been a sandy beach, a tidal wetland, a rocky glacial valley, or the colorful deciduous forests of Pennsylvania, I’ve been privy to so many once-in-a-lifetime events such Garden helpers as the gleam in a child’s eye when he sees the ocean for the first time, the wonder on a middle schooler’s face when she walked through a space with more than one tree surrounding her, and the pride and contentment in a grandparent’s hug as they thanked their eight-year-old grandchild for showing him how to use a microscope for the first time. Here at the Classroom, each one of us strives for these amazing moments every day. Our mission of connecting people to the natural world of southwestern Pennsylvania is what we live for. You won’t find us standing on a soap box, lecturing about the evils of not recycling (although it is a great idea). Instead, you’ll find us chasing a toad down a trail so someone can see it up close for the first time. We’ll be wading On January 4, 2015, the Kesters welcomed in Chartiers Creek, discussing the variety of macro-invertebrates you can Faeryn Grace to their family. Congratulations! find in our local waters and how that makes for amazing fly fishing. Or 54

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T We wanted to plant the seed early this year... This year the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair is exploring the roots of the USC Community with genealogical and family photo presentations. And you can help! We are looking for community members to loan us their pre‐1900 St. Clair photos and documents for scanning and archiving. To contribute or for more information: president@hsusc.org, 412-835-2050

Tree at St. Clair Country Club where Alexander Gilfillan first settlled in Upper St. Clair

Be sure to stop by the Gilfillan Farm during Upper St. Clair Community Day Saturday, May 16 from 12-4, (House Tours 12-3)

we might even be lying in one of our beautiful meadows watching the clouds and insects fly by, helping students understand weather and its effects on local wildlife. With all these amazing activities and more waiting for you, your children, your grandchildren, or a group of friends, how can you pass up joining the Classroom for one of the wonderful programs we have lined up for this year? Who knows, you may even find yourself in the presence of one of those wonderful and all too rare moments yourself. Join us at the Classroom, and hit the trails at full speed in 2015—you’ll never know what awaits you around the next bend! n

Exploring the wetlands at Wingfield Pines Spring 2015

March 22 EcoHiking 28 Mulch Madness Volunteer Day Twinkles at Twilight: Earth Hour Event 29 Spring Birding at Brentwood Community Center April 4 Moonstruck Full Moon Hike 12 Cub Scout Adventure: Science 19 Sustainable Suburbs (new!) 25 Trash & Treasures: Park Stewardship CITO May 4 Moonstruck Full Moon Hike 9 Wildflower Hike All About Birds Scout Day International Migratory Bird Count 16 Pennsylvania Songbirds with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (new!) 17 Serpent Science (new!)

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From the Director’s Desk: The End of an Era? Helen Palascak, Library Director

Have we arrived at the end of the paper age? For centuries, paper has been the chosen and unparalleled medium for writing and communicating across distance, time, and socioeconomic strata. Now, however, we are living in a curious mixture of page and screen. Will the transition one day be complete, with digital convenience trumping all? There is an incredible number of ways you can read these days. First, many physical formats exist, including paperback, hardback, kid’s board books, and magazines. Ebook delivery is available to specific devices, including the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and iBooks, to name a few. Finally, there are apps which can display text on the computer or device of your choosing. Popular ones include Google Play Books, Librify, Aldiko, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, and BlueFire Reader. To be sure, digital text has its weaknesses. It requires power to light that screen. It can be hacked. It may have disappeared the next time you look for it. Then there is the issue of privacy. Internet search engines know which pages you have opened. Ebook providers know how many pages you have scrolled through in that book you think you purchased. Traditional language has failed to capture the essence of an online digital purchase. The “buy” button next to an ebook seems self-explanatory, but the fine print in the contract reveals that you are merely paying for access to material under a certain

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set of circumstances. As it stands now, the ebook seller controls the ebook, not you the “owner.” None of these disadvantages, however, is likely to be important enough to stop the drive to digital. So, does this mean that not only paper books but also your library is nearing end-of-life? Helen Palascak Are we looking at the last page for libraries? For some people, the word “library” conjures up images of rows of books—stacks and stacks of old, dusty, yellowed paper books. I invite you to visit USC Township Library and see for yourself that this is not at all what your library is. Yes, the library has space for the newest and most high quality printed materials, but it also offers access to online information with computers and portable devices. It provides learning spaces and social experiences for all members of the community. Today’s library merges digital and paper, offering the best of both to all. Borrow ebooks or print books. Listen to audiobooks on CD or download an audiofile. Your privacy is assured and ownership is not a question. The value of a good book lies in the nature of the content, whatever the format may be. It’s not the end of an era yet, and definitely not the last page for libraries!


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Hoopla

Annual Upper St. Clair Library Author Luncheon

Your Library Card Is Your Ticket to Enjoying Great Video Entertainment

Sunday, April 19, 1–3 p.m. St. Clair Country Club A French-themed lunch will be served.

Spend an Afternoon in Paris Don’t think you can make the trip to Paris? An afternoon with author Kathleen Tessaro will be just as good! Tessaro, author of The Perfume Collector, will delight you with tidbits from her novel, set mostly in the Paris of the 1920s and the 1950s. You’ll hear about Paris, of course, but also learn interesting secrets about perfumes and why we love them so very much. You’ll hear about her research for The Perfume Collector and get to relive favorite parts of the novel.

The Perfume Collector

About Kathleen Born in Pittsburgh, Kathleen Tessaro attended the University of Pittsburgh before entering the drama program at Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of her sophomore year, she traveled to study in London for three months and stayed for the next 23 years. She began writing at the suggestion of a friend and was an early member of the Wimpole Street Writers’ Workshop. Her debut novel, Elegance, became a bestseller in hardback and paperback. All of Tessaro’s novels, including Innocence, The Flirt, The Debutante, and most recently, The Perfume Collector, have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. She returned to Pittsburgh in 2009, and we are so very fortunate she did!

The library is excited to announce a unique digital entertainment/media service, “hoopla,” which enables you to borrow movies, videos, music, and audiobooks straight from your browser, tablet, or Smartphone. Never offering a service quite like this before, hoopla could be the beginning of a beautiful, new digitallydriven friendship between us! Hoopla gives you access to thousands of titles anywhere, anytime you have an Internet connection, with more new content being added all the time. And, with hoopla, there are no hold lists, no extra apps or accounts needed, and no waiting for your title to buffer. Imagine being able to view hit movies or listen to your favorite artist and more without expensive subscription fees—all you’ll need is your valid library card! Hoopla can be accessed on Apple iOS 6.0+ or Android devices and through the four major web browsers. To access the system on your mobile device, you’ll need to first download the free hoopla digital app from the App Store on your device. There is no need to download an app or extension for your web browser. Why wait? To get started today, visit the library website and click on “hoopla.” Come join us in all the hoopla, today!

Elevate Your Mind Do you have your library card number memorized? Come recite it to a library staff member to receive a special library doodad.

Kathleen Tessaro

USC Township Library Hours Monday–Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, 1–5 p.m.

The library is closed Sunday, April 5 (for Easter). Outside book and video return available 24/7.

www.twpusc.org 412-835-5540 Spring 2015

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Music in the Stacks

Let’s Talk Medical Ethics

Pittsburgh’s finest wind quintet, the Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh, performed a variety of seasonal music at the library one evening this past December. Delighting all in attendance, this was the first year that the concert was held on the adult floor of the library.

When: Thursday, March 26, 7–8:30 p.m. Where: Library Multi-purpose Room Presented by: Sarah Stockey, Clinical Ethics Fellow/ Supervisor, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University; and Jason Byron, Manager, Medical Ethics, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Have you ever wondered about how doctors are trained to make medical decisions? Field experts Sarah Stockey and Jason Byron will share information and answer questions about the ethical guidelines that direct healthcare decisions today. Topics include: • What is Medical Ethics and how is it taught to new doctors? • Ethics at hospitals • The Emergency Factor—how emergencies can affect ethics • Advance Directives—a vital link to fulfilling your wishes and preferences

The concert performed by Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh delighted the audience.

Upcoming Library Programs Thursday, April 2: Edible Weed Foraging with Faith Starr Wednesday, April 29: The Treatment of Chronic Pain with Dr. Kevin Smith Monday, May 11: Laughing Yoga with Dave Russell Programs meet at 7 p.m. in the Library Multipurpose Room.

Enjoy library programs? Want the latest library news?

Sign up now to join the library’s email list and get the latest news about upcoming library events and programs. It’s easy! Just click on the link at the bottom of the library homepage from the Township website (www.twpusc.org) to fill out a simple form or cut out this one. You can also stop by any library desk and a staff member will help to sign you up.

Mailing List Sign Up Stay current with the latest news from USC Library! First Name_________________________________________ Last Name__________________________________________ Email address_______________________________________ ___ Subscribe to Library Adult Mailing List ___ Subscribe to Library Kids Mailing List 58

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This program is sponsored by the Allegheny County Library Association from funds received for this year’s One Book One Community program featuring the book Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink.

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale Bargain books for all ages and tastes will be featured at the Friends of the Library used book sale, Wednesday, May 6– Saturday, May 9, in the large multi-purpose room near the main entrance of the library. With book prices starting at 50 cents, this opportunity is too good to pass up! Mark your calendar and then bring the family and stock up on some great reading. All proceeds are used to assist the USC Township Library in serving the needs of the community.

Dates and Times Wednesday, May 6, 5:30–8 p.m. (Preview night: Members free, non-members $5) Thursday, May 7, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday, May 8, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Bag day: $5/bag


T Kids & Teens Dear Librarian, the library offer garten this fall. Does My child begins kinder grams? ten Parent kindergarten readiness pro Soon-to-Be a Kindergar Dear Parent, are designed to ng children at the library All of the programs for you The programs provide ng and school readiness. rni lea of e lov a age our enc ion in a group setting, to practice paying attent opportunities for children ections, and developt interrupting, following dir listening to stories withou end programs with a birth to three years old att ing self-control. Kids from rn appropriate group wn-up helps the child lea gro e Th . ver egi car or ent par ime or Math Mites attend Pre-school Storyt behavior. Older kids can grams, they practice schoolers attend these pro independently. When pre ng in a group on their ents and adapting to bei separating from their par dergarten. skills for doing well in kin own. These are important kids who will be m ary offers a progra for libr the r, me sum the g rin Du K/1 activity program first grade in the fall. This going to kindergarten and o practice printing and science skills. Kids als works with reading, math, lt. these programs with an adu and cutting. Kids attend to help your child ed ign of library kits des lots are re the n, itio add In sounds, sight words, ing the alphabet, letter learn specific skills, includ re. Most of these are cing, patterning, and mo numbers, counting, sequen tion of kits that can , but there is a small collec meant for use in the library . be borrowed for home use r child is the best way ding lots of books to you rea t tha d min in Keep ldren learn the stories e a reader. Not only do chi to help him or her becom . o learn how a book works as they listen, but they als dergartener! kin e to your soon-to-b I hope you’ll read every day Sincerely, ian Debra Conn, Your Librar

Quiet! at the Library If you’re a regular visitor to the kids’ floor at the USC Township Library, you’re probably aware that it can be a noisy and very active place. The kids’ floor now has a special room for quiet study, library programs, and meetings of community organizations. We created this space by removing the wall that separated the two study rooms, so the new space is light and airy. Any library user may use the room for quiet study when it is not being used for meetings or programs. Community organizations may reserve the room for small meetings. The room’s capacity is ten.

Upcoming Classes This spring, the library will be offering a wide variety of classes for children of all ages. The popular storytime sessions will begin Monday, April 6 and run through Friday, May 8. This five-week series will offer children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers many opportunities to visit the library, hear stories, and have a good time. Registration for all spring classes will begin Wednesday, March 25. A complete list and all program information can be found at the library or on the website at www.twpusc.org/library/kids. Babies & Toddlers Who: Ages 4 to 24 months with a caregiver When: Mondays, 10 or 11 a.m. or Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Twos & Threes Who: Ages 2 to 3 ½ with a caregiver When: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. or Wednesdays, 10 or 11 a.m. Pre-School Storytime Who: Ages 3 1/2 to 5 with a caregiver When: Thursdays, 10 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. or Fridays, 10 a.m. Math Mites Who: Ages 4 and 5 who are not yet attending kindergarten When: Wednesdays, 1:15 or 2:15 p.m. Library Explorers: Explore the Earth and Sky Who: Children who are currently in kindergarten When: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. BookTrek: Super Science Ages: Students in grades 1–4 When: Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Special Events Family Storytime Who: Ages 2–7, with a caregiver When: Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m. Paws for Reading Who: Students in grades 1–5, with a grown-up When: Thursdays, April 9 and May 7, 5:30 p.m.

Crafting Fun at the Library Come visit the library and experience some great programs for kids as we celebrate spring with a variety of crafts. As always, consult the library website or visit in person for complete program information. Celebrate Spring When: Daily, Wednesday, March 25 through Monday, March 30 Celebrate Mother’s Day Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3

To reserve the quiet room, call the library at 412-835-5540, extension 251. Spring 2015

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USC Recreation and Leisure Services Bounty Baking Contest Winners Bounty Fall Fest Recap In November 2014, the Township of Upper St. Clair and The Outdoor Classroom hosted its annual Bounty at Boyce Mayview Park Fall Fest. Festival attendees were treated to a variety of activities including fall crafts, face painting, apple sling shots, pumpkin bowling, cider tasting, and the Plunge with the Pumpkins. New this year was a petting zoo and Native American educator Ghost in the Head. Event-goers looking to get out of the cold were able to sit and enjoy live music in the heated outdoor tent while sampling delicious snacks and lunch options from food vendors and trucks, including BRGR, Franktuary, Rolling Cones, Berlin Street Food, Nonna’s Ravioli, Victoria’s Fudgea-Licious, The Pie Place, and My Favorite Sweet Shoppe. Last but not least was the addition of the Fall Feast 5K, a relay style 5K race in which participants ate a breakfast food item, then ran just under a mile. Thank you to all of the participants and Chick-Fil-A for sponsoring the race. Festival Awarded ZIP Gold This year’s festival was again awarded Zero Waste Pittsburgh ZIP Gold Certified. What is ZIP? The ZIP program is a certification developed and operated exclusively by PRC’s Zero Waste Pittsburgh program. ZIP is intended to encourage, reward, and acknowledge organizations that have taken important steps toward reducing the waste they produce through recycling, composting, and source reduction measures.

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Congratulations to our Bounty at Boyce Mayview Park Fall Fest 2014 baking contest winners! Youth Division (through age 10) • First place: Gabrielle Fishell, Acorns • Second place: Jillian Fishell, Turkey Cupcakes • Third place: Emily Barrie, Pumpkin Cake Junior Division (age 11–17) • First place: Emilia and Elena Chirino and Fatima Mendez, Big Pumpkin Cake • Second place: Becca Swiech, Turkey Cake • Third place: Madison Fisher, Baked Pumpkin Coffee Cake Doughnuts Adult Division (Age 18 and up) • First place: Jennifer Neuheiser, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting • Second place: Melissa Ansell, Apple Pie Bouquet • Third place: Abby Pagliai, Apple Roses Thank you to our judges: Jessica Gombar, owner, The Pie Place; John McCleaster, taster extraordinaire; and Carol Brinkhoff, teacher, Boyce Middle School.

Big Pumpkin Cake, by Emilia and Elena Chirino, and Fatima Mendez, junior division winners

Spring 2015

Thank You to Our Generous Patrons (listed alphabetically) Bedner’s Farm & Greenhouse, Brown’s Orchard and Cider Co., Chick-Fil-A South Hills, Dawson’s Orchards, Dupree’s Garden Center, Empress Arabians, Giant Eagle Market District, Janoski’s Farm and Greenhouse, Jim Jenkins Lawn & Garden Center, King Arthur Flour, Lowes, Shop ’n Save, Simmons Farm, The Fresh Market, The Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, Trader Joe’s, Trax Farms, and USA Pan


www.twpusc.org C&RC Aquatics Department Hits a Milestone E v e n b e f o r e it opened, the Community & Recreation Center was training lifeguards. In the spring of 2009, the aquatics department began offering American Red Cross lifeguarding courses. Initially, this was done to train staff needed to safely supervise the three pools, water slides, and features at the facility. Over the past six years, however, the lifeguard training program has grown to be a regional center for American Red Cross training. It now conducts over 20 classes a year for certifications ranging from entry level first aid and CPR to instructor level certifications. The C&RC recently passed a milestone when the one thousandth lifeguarding certificate was issued from the facility. Number 1000 was John Tambellini, a member of the C&RC since 2009 and a

412-221-1099

recently retired air traffic controller (ATC) at Pittsburgh International Airport. John decided, like a growing number of guards at the facility, to use his acquired life skills to contribute to the safety of the patrons. “Surprisingly, it’s a lot like ATC,” said John. “Know the rules, keep your eyes moving, and prevent problems instead of solving them.” As the C&RC prepares for its seventh season at the outdoor pool, a big part of that preparation is ensuring that all lifeguards are well trained. The year-round staff consists of about 40 part-time guards, with that number doubling in the summer. All guards receive full American Red Cross recertification every two years, as well as four hours a month of recurrent training topics, including lifeguard responsibilities, rule enforcement, first aid, and CPR. The C&RC aquatics department conducts lifeguard training classes year-round to meet the needs of its staff, as well as those of several surrounding public and private pools. n

A Healthier U(SC) Now Trending: The Latest in Fitness Heather Holtschlag

Piloxing… Barre… TRX... HIIT... is this insanity? Nope. In fact, these are all things that can help lower your stress levels and prevent you from feeling like you’re going insane. These are just some of the newest trends in gym classes and workouts that you may have seen advertised around town or heard people talking about while getting in your regular workout. “Many people get stuck in the same exercise routine,” explains Cari Lackner, group exercise coordinator at the C&RC. “But after a certain amount of time, they will no longer see changes in their bodies or with their strength and endurance. Trying new types of workouts will help challenge their mind and body. It is important to vary exercise routines each week. Having a couple of group exercise classes to add to their existing routines will help prevent participants and their bodies from becoming stagnant.” And though you may be unfamiliar with the names of the classes or the workouts, there is little doubt you could give them a try, no matter your fitness level. “As with any type of exercise, we recommend that participants consult with their physicians before engaging in any new exercise program or class,” said Lisa Reutzel, fitness coordinator at the C&RC “Although typically, all fitness levels would be able to participate. The main requirement for the majority of the classes would be that the individual has established a basic fitness foundation, which would include knowledge and proper execution of the basic strength moves, including squats, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups.”

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John Tambellini

If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, contact Aquatics Supervisor Chris Biswick at 412-221-1099, extension 615, and attend the next class that begins on Monday, March 30.

Still lacking confidence? Need some reassurance that these new fitness regimens might be the answer to your workout plateau? Accordi n g t o L a c k n e r, most group exercise classes are geared toward all fitness Left to right are C&RC instructors Cari Lackner and Lisa Reutzel levels. “In any given class, there will be beginners to experienced participants. All of our talented, knowledgeable instructors offer modifications for every exercise to meet the needs of those who are in the class— whether the participants are new to the class or to the exercise, or if someone has an injury or is recovering from an injury, or may be pregnant. Everyone will be able to get in a good workout, regardless of their current situation.” If you are looking for new ideas to boost your routine outside of fitness classes, you may want to try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Kettlebell conditioning, or incorporate medicine balls or jump ropes into your workout. “HIIT consists of short, but intense, workouts using intense effort for a certain amount of time, like 30 seconds, followed by a rest period of about 15 seconds,” Reutzel explained. “The workto-rest intervals can be adjusted to benefit each individual’s needs. However, correct form needs to be stressed during these workouts, and adequate recovery time is necessary to avoid overtraining Continued on page 62

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USC Recreation and Leisure Services

Continued from page 61

C&RC New Class Offerings

A Healthier U(SC) and injury.” And, similar to the classes, exercise modifications are available during HIIT workouts to allow participants to continue with an exercise at a lower impact, Reutzel noted. “Exercise progressions are also available to encourage participants to work even harder,” Reutzel said. “One type of a HIIT workout is known as Tabata. This popular workout is typically found in CrossFit workouts and involve working at maximum intensity for 20 seconds followed by a rest period of ten seconds for a total time of four minutes. If done correctly, this is the only workout that you need. The C&RC has classes, including TRX and 20/20/20, that use the Tabata-style format.” According to Reutzel, other newer workout styles include Broga, which is yoga geared toward men, and restorative yoga, which helps with stress relief and incorporates the use of props to support the body, which allows individuals to hold poses longer. “Express classes and training, other variations of HIIT, are also becoming popular,” Reutzel noted. “These consist of 30-minute personal training or group exercise workouts. These workouts are growing in popularity because they allow individuals to fit exercise into their daily routines without taking up too much of their time. They also are typically higher in intensity, thus enabling the body to burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Again, it is important that a person have a basic fitness foundation before participating in express classes.” If you give a new workout or class a try, remember the old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This is especially true with new exercise routines. “Participants should try a class at least two times before deciding if they like it,” Lackner stressed. “In some classes, the format and exercises are the same for several weeks in a row. You may not feel comfortable the first time you try it, but the more you go, the more you will learn the routine.” Given all of these new trends, could there possibly be anything else to add, particularly to the lineup at the C&RC? “We always try to keep up with new trends in group exercise,” Lackner said. “In addition to new class offerings like Barre, Insanity, and TRX that have recently been incorporated, we are looking to add a flexibility class, a foam roller class, a high intensity resistance band/tubing class, and a PiYo class, which combines Pilates and yoga movements, to name a few.” Reutzel, too, has her sights set on bringing some new and interesting workouts to the C&RC. “I would like to incorporate small group training sessions, which would be mini training modules that focus on specific goals or special populations. I also am looking forward to seeing the evolution of our current mind and body classes because I feel that they are an important piece in completing the exercise puzzle, but one that everyone forgets. And lastly, as a personal trainer myself, I am looking forward to moving toward the direction of optimum health coaching, where all of the personal trainers become more involved in the overall well-being of our clients and members and use our knowledge to build a happy, healthy, and active community.” n For more information about group exercise classes or fitness programs, call Cari Lackner or Lisa Reutzel at the C&RC at 412-221-1099. 62

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The C&RC offers a variety of new classes to help encourage members to try new exercises and challenge their bodies. The list below is a small sampling of the current fitness class schedule. For more information, call 412-221-1099. • Barre-Pilates Fusion—This workout combines isometrics, interval training, and mat Pilates to reshape and elongate the muscles. First 30 minutes are at the barre, second 30 minutes on the mat. Fridays, 5:45–6:45 a.m., or 10–11 a.m. Free for members; $5 non-member drop-in fee. • Piloxing Barre—This well-rounded workout uses the same fundamentals as Piloxing (boxing, Pilates, and dance) and is low-impact, yet intensity building. Piloxing Barre creates full body awareness using a ballet barre for the entire class. Saturdays, 11 a.m.–noon Free for members; $5 non-member drop-in fee. • Piloxing—A unique and exciting interval fusion of boxing, Pilates, and dance. It blends the power, speed, and agility of boxing with the targeted sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. Tuesdays, 7–8 p.m. Wednesdays, noon–1 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.–noon. Free for members; $5 non-member drop-in fee. • The Good Fight—This workout is focused on building lean muscles, cardio strength, and endurance. It is made up of circuit training using MMA (mixed martial arts) techniques. Thursdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Free to members; $5 non-member drop-in fee. • Insanity—This cardio-driven class is a high intensity class designed to use longer bursts of maximum intensity exercise with shorter intervals of rest periods. Mondays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30–11:30 a.m. Free to members; $5 non-member drop-in fee • TRX (Total Resistance Training)—The TRX suspension training system leverages gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of various exercises. An effective total body workout for all fitness levels, it helps build a strong core and increases muscular endurance. Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 10:30–11:30 a.m. Payment options consist of registering for the class for a four-week session, purchasing a coupon book and using one coupon per class, or paying a drop-in rate for each class you want to attend. Costs: Member: $24 for a four-week session Non-member/resident: $32 for four-week session Non-member/non-resident: $40 for four-week session Coupon Books (four coupons total): Member: $32 Non-member/resident: $40 Non-member/non-resident: $48 Drop-in fees per class: Member: $10 Non-member/resident: $12 Non-member/non-resident: $14 Personal training rates: Member: $55/hour Non-member/resident: $60/hour Non-member/non-resident: $65/hour


www.twpusc.org

412-221-1099

Save the Dates!

Coming Soon—Spring/Summer Recreation Guide Keep an eye out for the USC Recreation Spring/Summer Program Guide published at the end of March. Residents will have a hard copy of the guide mailed to their home, or check out the digital guide on the C&RC’s webpage: www. twpusc.org/crc/crc-home. Spring programs begin in April. Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 21 The USCHS Interact Club, with support from the Bethel-St. Clair Evening Rotary, will once again sponsor an egg hunt at the USC municipal golf course off McLaughlin Run Road. This annual event is scheduled for Saturday, March 21, with a rain date of March 28. Crafts, games, and Easter Bunny photo ops will start at 10 a.m., followed by the egg hunt at 11 a.m. Parents should bring their cameras and children should bring their baskets to gather the candy-filled plastic eggs. Children will have a chance to win a stuffed animal by entering the grand prize drawing or finding a number inside an egg. Optional treats will be given to children ages two and under.

Mark your calendars and check the USC Township website at www.twpusc.org for more information about this fun-filled family event! Arts & Chocolate Spectacular Saturday, April 18 Everyone is invited to the C&RC for a day filled with art, performances, and lots of sweet treats! Walk through the art gallery, create some artwork of your own to take home, and taste and purchase some delicious chocolate treats from local vendors. The Arts & Chocolate Spectacular, appropriate for all ages, is open to all USC and surrounding community residents. Event admission is free. MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Sunday, April 26, 1 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, May 3, 1 p.m. The USC Recreation Department will host

USC Community Day Run For Fun Registration Form Name_____________________________________________ Age as of May 16, 2015_____________

Sex____________

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a local MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition at Boyce Mayview Park. Participants will test their skills in three categories: Pitch: Try to throw strikes like Major League pitchers by taking a shot at hitting the MLB Strike Zone. Hit: Swing away from home plate! Just like big leaguers, you’ll be judged on distance and accuracy. Run: Start at second base, round third, and head for home to test your speed at running the bases. This is a free event for boys and girls, ages 7 to 14 (competition in four age groups: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, and 13/14. Age determined as of July 17, 2015). Winners will advance to the sectional championship (date and location TBA). For more information, contact C&RC representative Chaz McCrommon at 412-221-1099, extension 603. Community Day Saturday, May 16 Upper St. Clair Community Day is right around the corner on Saturday, May 16. Complete information will be available in the summer 2015 issue of TODAY. Set the day aside to have some community fun, but for now, register for the Run for Fun 5K (see form below) and get your child’s imaginative juices flowing for the Kids bake-off; pre-registration required (see details below).

!! s d i K

Annual USC Bake-Of h t f 12

Address___________________________________________

COMMUNITY DAY – May 16th, 2015

Telephone Number_________________________________

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services

Email (optional)____________________________________

Show your culinary creativity! Prizes awarded to 3 winners in each of the following categories plus a grand prize of $100!

T-shirt sizes: Child’s Adult’s

qS qM q S q M q L q XL q XXL

$12—Run for Fun and T-shirt, $5—Run for Fun race only Make checks payable to:

Upper St. Clair Community Day Return this form by May 1, 2015 to: C&RC at Boyce Mayview Park 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

CONSENT RELEASE FORM: I agree to hold the Township of Upper St. Clair, the Community Day committee and volunteers, and/or any employees thereof harmless and blameless for any accident or injury which may occur while participating in the Run for Fun.

Sponsored by

Most Patriotic Most Original Favorite TV Show, Movie or Book Entries will be judged on appearance, not taste, but must be edible. Pre-registration required. For more info or to register call: Lisa Davis 412-833-5405

_________________________________ _______ Signature

(Parent/Guardian if Under 18 Years of Age)

Date

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker© is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.

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Older Adults

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.

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, Community & Recreation Center specified 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. ACCESS 65 PLUS is a shared-ride 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. For more information on any Older Adult programing, contact Chaz McCrommon, assistant Community Programs coordinator, at 412-221-1099, extension 603, or mccrommon@twpusc.org.

Upper St. Clair Citizens’ Police Academy, Class of 2014 The fall 2014 Upper St. Clair Citizens’ Police Academy is completed and was a great opportunity for participants to learn about many things regarding civil obedience and the law, including some hands-on activities. Congratulations to the graduates! Look for information about 2015’s class in the fall issue of TODAY. 64

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Left to right, front row, seated: Donna Bowser, Kathy Sekeras, Rose Lynn, Kathy Knopp, Tish Goodman; middle row: assistant USC fire chief Drew Gerlach, Tri-Community South director Nora Helfich, Ann Dennig, Rick Cobb, Bob Feldmeier, Natalie Mihalek, Robin Fingert-Zinger, Judy Stultz, Norene Christiano, Jeri Williams, Jeff Lynn; back row: Rich Nagel, Doug Dennig, Bob Jenkins, Roy Lanz, Darren Moore, Tom Lloyd, John Williams, Lieutenant John Sakoian Spring 2015


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What Is an AED?

John D’Angelo, Tri-Community South EMS An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable device used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a life-threatening condition in which the heart stops its usual contractions and either contracts too quickly (v-tach) or quivers instead of contracting (v-fib). In either case, the resulting new heart rhythms cannot push blood through the body, and the result is rapid organ deterioration quickly followed by death. It is generally estimated that for each minute a person is in SCA, he or she has This AED is mounted to a a reduced survival rate of ten percent. wall in the academic wing Thus, treatment time is critical if an SCA of the Upper St. Clair High School. Two additional AEDs victim is to survive. To understand how an AED works, are located at the school in the arts and athletic wings. we must first understand how our hearts work. Our hearts have an internal electrical system that runs from the top to the bottom of the heart muscle. When the heart is working normally, this signal runs over the heart’s surface, causing the muscle to contract, thus pushing blood into our veins and arteries. Problems with the electrical system can cause arrhythmias, some of which are not immediately life-threatening and others, such as v-tach and v-fib, which are life-threatening because they lead to SCA. Arrhythmias such as v-tach and v-fib, however, can be changed to a normal heart rhythm through a combination of CPR and the

use of an AED. Doing CPR on a person in SCA keeps the major organs, including the heart and brain, alive by pushing oxygenated blood to these areas. The application of an AED can restore the heart to its normal rhythm by sending a current along the heart’s surface from top to bottom. AEDs are portable battery-operated devices that will give the operator voice prompts with step-by-step instructions for its use. These devices also come with a tool kit of supplies, including scissors to allow the user to cut away clothing from the victim’s chest area and a razor for shaving the chest area if the victim is extremely hairy. AEDs are usually found in public places, including churches, schools, government offices, airports, and public libraries. In addition, all police cars in our area carry AEDs. In fact, Tri-Community South EMS is proud that it was the first EMS organization in the country to supply its communities’ police cars with AEDs. AEDs are easily recognizable by the universal heart with the lightning bolt symbol. According to the latest statistics, about 94% of people stricken with SCA will die within ten minutes. Help to do your part to reduce this percentage by learning both CPR and the use of an AED. Even though AEDs are fairly simple to use, members at Tri-Community South EMS urge everyone to take a CPR course that will demonstrate the proper use of an AED. n A basic CPR-AED class is held at TCS’s headquarters in Bethel Park on the first Tuesday of every month at a cost of $25. Call 412-831-3710, extension 109, or visit www.tcsems.org for more information.

A Wish Comes True

Eleven-year-old South Park resident girls delivered to Tri-Community’s base for Madison. A local Madison Wasco had an unusual Christmas wish this hardware store owner also generously donated over 300 toys and past holiday season. Madison, who spent Christmas two new bicycles to the project. To make the event even more special for Madison, Tri2013 in the oncology unit of Children’s Hospital, knew what it is like to have to spend Christmas in a hospital. Community’s staff decorated one of the ambulances as Rudolph Madison told her mother that her 2014 Christmas wish was to the Red-Nose reindeer, with antlers and hundreds of lights. buy toys for all the children in the oncology unit. Members of Madison’s mother gave her permission to allow an ambulance to Tri-Community South EMS read about Madison’s wish in a local pick up Madison at Gram’s Place, a day-care center in South Park newspaper and set about to see that her wish was granted. where Madison’s mom is employed. The staff at Gram’s Place had First, the paramedics and EMTs held a “Stuff the Ambulance” also collected enough toys to fill another ambulance. Madison, event in the parking lot of St. Thomas More R.C. Church in Bethel wearing a Rudolph hat, sat in the front of the decorated ambulance Park. Northwest Bank graciously donated the sign that was made and played Christmas music over the speaker system as the toys for the event. The goal of the event was to get as many people as were delivered to Children’s Hospital. The staff of Tri-Community, wishing to thank Madison for possible to donate toys for Madison to distribute to the children who had to stay in the hospital during the holidays. Paramedics her kindness in thinking of others, donated money that was used to purchase gift cards that were given to and EMTs from Tri-Community donated Madison so that she could buy gifts for their off-duty time to collect the toys from herself. the generous people who willingly gave In the end, Madison, indeed, had her much more than was expected. In the end, wish fulfilled but to a greater extent than so many toys were collected that they comshe had ever dreamed. Madison brought pletely filled two ambulances. the true meaning to the holidays and shared Meanwhile, a small group of girls heard with others during their time of need. The about Madison’s wish and decided to help staff of Tri-Community was grateful to have by singing Christmas carols and asking for played a part in making a special child’s wish donations, collecting more than $350. The Tri-Community staff and Madison come true. n money was used to purchase toys that the surrounded by other helpers Spring 2015

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Understanding ISO

Daniel Barr, USC VFD Vice President What is ISO? ISO began in 1971 and is known as Insurance Services Office. While it still serves the property and casualty insurance marketplace, its business has expanded greatly. ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC™) Program To help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties, insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community’s fireprotection services. ISO provides that information through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program. What is the PPC™ program? ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of these communities, ISO analyzes relevant data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). ISO then assigns a Public Protection Classification number from one (best) to ten (worst). Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, while Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. By classifying a community’s ability to suppress fires, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC™ program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services. ISO has extensive information on more than 47,000 fire-response jurisdictions. How does ISO evaluate local fire protection? What does the classification mean for individual property insurance costs in my community? Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO’s Public Protection Classifications in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC rating is substantially lower than a premium in a community with a poor PPC rating, assuming all other factors are equal. The FSRS considers three main areas of a community’s fireprotection program: Fire Alarms. Ten percent of a community’s overall score is based on how well the fire department receives and dispatches fire alarms. Field representatives evaluate: • The communications center, including the number of operators at the center • The telephone service, including the number of telephone lines coming into the center • The listing of emergency numbers in the telephone book • The dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency Fire Department. Fifty percent of the overall score is based on the fire department. ISO reviews the distribution of fire companies throughout the area and checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine company’s nozzles, hoses, breathing apparatus, and other equipment. ISO also reviews the fire department records to determine things, including: 66

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• Type and extent of training provided to fire department personnel • Number of people who participate in training • Firefighter response to emergencies • Maintenance and testing of the fire department’s equipment Water Supply. Forty percent of the overall score is based on the community’s water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has a sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO surveys all components of the water-supply system, including pumps, storage, and filtration. They observe fire-flow tests at representative locations in the community to determine the rate of flow the water mains provide. They review the condition and maintenance of fire hydrants, and they count the distribution of fire hydrants no more than 1000 feet from the representative locations. Upper St. Clair—ISO Class 4 Community The Upper St. Clair VFD can only control 50% of the overall score, but it strives to meet as many of the criteria as possible to assist its residents in maintaining low insurance premiums. Upper St. Clair Township is a ISO Class 4 community. The VFD’s fiscal year begins mid-May (around Community Day), at which time the annual fund drive letter is mailed to all USC residents. Two reminders are subsequently mailed; one around Labor Day and the final one during mid-December. A donation to this fund drive is your way of helping the USC Volunteer Fire Department maintain the highest level of training, updated equipment, and the required testing and maintenance to keep its classification rating as high as possible. Members of the USC VFD thank you for your donations throughout the year. n

Special Needs Registry In 2012, an estimated 159,027 people with a disability lived in Allegheny County. To better serve these residents, the Department of Emergency Services developed a Special Needs Registry that allows for the collection of voluntary information deemed helpful for emergency responders to know in a crisis. Individuals with autism, those who are deaf and/or blind, those who have intellectual disabilities, and those who have physical challenges that keep them from leaving the home quickly if they were required to do so are some of the types of disabled people who should register. The Department of Emergency Services partnered with the District Attorney’s Office, local police departments, and organizations that support those with special needs to educate the public about this opportunity. n

To learn more or to begin the registration process, visit the Emergency Services webpage of the Allegheny County website, or go directly to www.alleghenycounty.us/specialneeds.


Meet… Ray Tomnay

In this issue, TODAY introduces you to Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department’s new safety officer, Ray Tomnay. Uniquely qualified for this position, Ray joined the fire department in 1971 and for 42 years has served as an officer, including chief, assistant chief, captain, lieutenant, and board member. At the end of 2014, when Ray reached USC VFD’s mandatory retirement age, current fire chief Steve Moore didn’t want to lose Ray’s expertise. Steve created the position of safety officer in order to use Ray’s decades of experience Ray Tomnay without subjecting him to the physical demands of active firefighting. He said having Ray act as safety officer is a great way of using a qualified person to benefit the department. “The young guys in the department have a great respect for him, and he has a great reputation with the fire service throughout the South Hills. It was a natural position for him to fill,” said Steve. Ray, who served as chief of the department for 17 years, said it was rewarding that the members chose him as their leader for so many years. He said a big part of being chief was to calm people so they could do their job, experience that will help him as safety officer. A graduate of Upper St. Clair High School (class of 1967), Ray earned his bachelors degree in mathematics from the University of Akron. He started a brick business while he was still in college, employing six people. Tomnay Construction, Inc. has grown since then, and continues to maintain Ray’s high standard of excellence. When asked about his hobbies, Ray laughed and said that volunteering with the fire department was his hobby. During his firefighter training, Ray learned that he understood how fire worked and that he was good at the job. He also liked being a firefighter, stating that he always liked doing something good for people. Whether it was saving property, helping at an accident, or saving a dog, he enjoyed seeing people happy. Ray also has a passion for working on structural pre-plans of buildings in the Township. Upper St. Clair was one of the first communities to have drawings of everything that is not residential property. The information used to be in binders and maintained on each truck, but with technology changes, the pre-plans are now accessed electronically from computers in the fire trucks and on tablets carried by the officers. “Those pre-plans work,” said Ray, adding that “it is nice to come on a scene at 4 a.m. and know where a utility shut-off is located. It’s been a big help over the years,” he said. Firefighting is part of Ray’s family heritage; his father was a former chief with the USC VFD, his brothers, Joe and Richard, were firefighters, and his son, Mike, is a firefighter. In addition to Mike, who lives in U p p e r S t . C l a i r, Ray has four other children: Jennifer, in Florida; Billy, in Pittsburgh; Danny, in Whitehall; and Bobby, who is deceased. Ray and his wife, Jill, are USC residents. n Ray (center), giving a safety briefing to USC VFD members

T Your Satisfaction is My Goal!

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Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center ATTENTION UPPER ST. CLAIR RESIDENTS SKATE & SWIM at the MT. LEBANON RECREATION CENTER Open Year Round with Something for Everyone *Learn-to-Skate Classes/ Beginner & Advanced Hockey Clinics Youth Developmental & Adult Hockey Leagues Public Skating Summer Figure Skating School and Figure Skating Sessions Daily Adult Skating & Instructional Programs Speed Skating * Broomball Birthday Party Packages Newly renovated pool and bathouse *Individual & Family Season Swim Passes Available Pool Open Noon – 8 P.M. Daily beginning June 13

Call the Recreation Center at 412-561-4363 for times and rates Or visit us online at www.mtlebanon.org Spring 2015

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Document Destruction Two Saturdays in 2015 Dates: May 9 and October10 Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Location: USC Municipal lot at Veterans Monument Park Cost: $5 banker’s box, $8 banker’s double box, $0.16/lb bulk documents Documents with sensitive information can be destroyed on site.

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T 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.

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www.premierhomedesigncenter.com 1597 Washington Pike • Bridgeville, PA 15017 Call 412-276-5650 premierkitchenandbath@verizon.net

PREMIER HOME DESIGN CENTER

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Time for Some Spring Cleaning Laura Reid Riggin, Premier Home Design Center The holidays are long gone, and with them all of the usual organized chaos. With the kids back in school, the routine of everyday life is back with full force. It is this time of year when many of us realize that it might just be the time to get our houses in order. Certainly, there must be some way of making the everyday schedules filled with parental responsibilities just a little less hectic. Is it possible that an organized, well designed kitchen could really make life less hectic? Consider the amount of time spent in the kitchen, from a quick breakfast before heading out the door to the family dinner in the evening, there is no other room in your house that is used more than the kitchen. It is truly the nucleus of your home. It is often during a holiday season when families notice the lack of efficiency in the kitchen. Friends and family gather ’round; everyone wants to lend a hand or simply sip on a glass of wine while they chat with the cook. When your kitchen isn’t organized or designed properly, it is torturous to prepare a meal for entertaining. It seems as though people are continually under foot and bumping into each other. What can be done to eliminate such madness? Organization is defined as an efficient and orderly approach to tasks. Synonyms for organization are efficiency, order, and planning. Is your kitchen efficient in design? If the cabinets and appliances are not laid out in a way that works best for the way that you work in the kitchen, then the answer is “no.” When you decide to remodel your kitchen, work with a trained kitchen designer to design the room 70

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in such a way that it meets your needs. It almost never makes sense to tear out a kitchen and replace it with the same layout. Consider a design that works best for you and your family. A good designer will listen to your needs, discuss your personal requirements, and design a kitchen just for you. There are many ways that cabinetry can add to the efficiency of a kitchen. For example, a large pantry with roll out shelves is an excellent way to organize canned goods and baking supplies. Pull out spice cabinets near the cooking surface means less of a reach to retrieve your go-to spices. Pull out waste basket cabinets eliminate the need for the clutter of a free standing waste bin. Wide drawer bases not only have an up-to-date look, but are also wonderful for organizing plastic ware, pots and pans, and even plates. Before remodeling begins is a great time to sort through some of the gadgets and contraptions that are taking up space in your cabinets. Donate them. You will be surprised at how much space is freed up by removing those gimmicky do-dads that you just had to have the last time you went to a housewares party. With your new kitchen complete with organizational extras and less clutter filling your cabinets, you will be surprised at how much more fun it is for not only everyday tasks, but also for entertaining at your next big event. n See ad for Premier Home Design Center on this page.


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Time for a Homeowners Insurance Review Your home requires regular maintenance, and so

does your homeowners insurance. Updates to your house and belongings can affect whether or not you’re adequately insured. To make sure your home is properly protected, plan an annual homeowners insurance review to determine if you may need to adjust your coverage. Why is it important? Sitting down with your agent for a thorough policy review will help you select a coverage amount that best meets your needs. What will affect coverage? When you meet with your agent, discuss any improvements or changes you’ve made around your house over the past year. Here are some situations that may necessitate updates to your coverage: • Home Renovations. Additions and remodels may increase the estimated replacement cost of your home. Even if it’s just a small change, it is important to determine if the changes affect the replacement cost of your home. • Inventory Changes. Life-changing events, such as combining households or a child moving out, could increase or decrease the amount of coverage you need for your personal possessions. • Safety Improvements. Adding a home security system can help you save on insurance premiums. Your agent can help explain additional discounts or endorsements available.

How do I select the right amount of coverage? State Farm® recommends selecting a coverage amount at least equal to 100% of the estimated replacement cost, not the market value, of your home. The replacement cost typically differs from the amount for which you could sell your home because it factors in construction costs. These can change dramatically year after year due to labor supply and demand and the cost of building materials in your area. Market value varies based on market conditions, which can vary considerably from construction costs. The amount you paid for the house may have little or no bearing on the current replacement cost or market value. To k e e p y o u r coverage current with replacement costs, have the estimated replacement cost of your home updated and adjust your coverage to reflect the current estimate to rebuild your home. n Article complements of State Farm®. See ad for Cindy Brophy, State Farm® agent, on page 44. Spring 2015

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HOME IMPROVEMENT Sound advice— for an uncertain market. The right partnership can give you one of the most powerful tools in investing today—confidence. Your UBS Financial Advisor, backed by world-class research and resources, will work with you to create your plan that offers clear direction and relevant advice. Because in order to rebuild confidence in today’s unpredictable marketplace, you need to surround yourself with a team you can count on. Redwood Wealth Management UBS Financial Services Inc. 4000 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 100 Canonsburg, PA 15317 877-320-9160

Joseph Rongaus First Vice President– Wealth Management 724-416-6040 joseph.rongaus@ubs.com

ubs.com/team/redwood As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at ubs.com/workingwithus. UBS Financial Services Inc., its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice. Clients should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. ©UBS 2013. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member SIPC. 31.20_Ad_7.5x4.375_PR0319_RonJ

Financing Your Home to Fit the Rest of Your Life 31.20_Ad_7.5x4.375_PR0319_RonJ.indd 1

3/20/13 4:36 PM

In today’s investment environment, it’s important to create a financial plan that looks at both sides of your balance sheet—a plan that takes into account your liability side and enables you to access strategic financing solutions that can help you achieve your goals. A great example is choosing the right home financing option that complements your overall financial strategy. The average person buys a home or refinances a mortgage every 7.5 years. However, with interest rates still near historic lows, you may have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save money by exploring the various mortgage options available to you. Keep in mind that getting a mortgage is more than a one-time transaction. It’s the type of decision that impacts your life for years to come. Today’s mortgage products are more sophisticated than ever before and with the right advice, you can choose one that works for you today and also complements your long-term financial goals. Fixed rate vs. variable rate In this low-rate environment, is it better to choose a fixed rate, a variable rate, or an interest-only mortgage? The answer is that it depends on your individual needs and goals. Below you’ll find a few key considerations that can help you make a decision about what’s right for you. • Fixed rate: With interest rates currently low, locking in a fixed rate mortgage may be a rare opportunity for you to take advantage of, especially if you plan to live in your home for a longer period of time. • Variable rate: If you have a relatively short time horizon, an adjustable rate mortgage might actually be the right choice for you. For instance, you may be planning to sell your home in a couple of years when your children graduate from college or when the real 72

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estate market picks up. In cases like these, a variable rate mortgage (or ARM) could result in lower monthly payments now, giving you greater flexibility with your cash flow.1 • Interest-only: While interest-only loans are not right for everyone, you may prefer them because you may find this feature lets you have greater control over your payment strategy. Generally, interest-only loans appeal to people who have the means to repay their loan at any time, but choose to benefit from the tax advantages of a mortgage.2 It’s about more than a low rate. It’s about the advice you get. A lower interest rate market like this one doesn’t come along every day. Now would be a great time to discuss a plan that helps you choose a mortgage that fits into your overall financial strategy. That way, you can live more comfortably today and feel more confident about your future. 1 In contrast to fixed rate mortgages, which bear interest at a set rate, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) have an interest rate that varies with the movement of a particular reference rate (e.g., the one-year London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)). While in declining rate environments you may benefit from having an ARM instead of a fixed rate mortgage, in rising rate environments you may be at risk of paying higher rates of interest on your ARM than you would on a fixed rate mortgage. You should consider this, plus other differences between ARMs and fixed rate mortgages, carefully before deciding what type of mortgage is right for you. 2 Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor any of its employees provide legal or tax advice. You should consult with your personal legal or tax advisor regarding your personal circumstances. n This article has been written and provided by UBS Financial Services Inc. for use by Joseph Rongaus, a UBS financial advisor. See ad on this page.


HOME IMPROVEMENT

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Springtime Tips to Choose the Right Loan for Home Improvement Surely as the trees start sprouting leaves and the flowers bloom, homeowners’ minds start racing with all the great home improvement projects they can undertake as winter turns to spring. From a new kitchen to a new spa-like bathroom; from a backyard oasis to a finished basement, the project list is limited only by one’s imagination... and budget. Many homeowners look to the value already held in their homes to help finance these projects, but it’s hard to know where to start when looking at financing options. Generally, there are two major types of products offered by banks throughout the region. Both a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and a Home Equity Term loan (HET) offer possible tax advantages and the opportunity to borrow up to certain percentage (typically 85%) of the market value of your home. But there are definite differences between the two offerings. “When the need arises for access to funds, check and compare the different ways to borrow these funds,” says Vince Cassano, assistant vice president and manager of residential and consumer lending for Brentwood Bank. “You should look at the overall cost to obtain the money needed, including the rate, fees, and minimum payment requirement.” A Home Equity Term loan (HET) is designed to meet one-time fixed expenses, offering a fixed payment and a fixed term of up to 15 years. A HELOC is designed to meet ongoing expenses and you only pay on the funds you actually borrow. A HELOC is typically a

See Home Improvement guide article on remodeling projects provided by Cindy Brophy, State Farm® agent on page 82. 74

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variable rate; however, some lenders, including Brentwood Bank, also offer a fixed rate option. “If you are borrowing for a specific project or purchase, consider choosing the home equity term loan (HET) with a set repayment plan that includes monthly principal and interest with a payment that fits into your budget,” Cassano said. “For a short-term need for funds, choosing the home equity line of credit (HELOC) with an interest-only payment will allow for lower payments until your cash flow allows you to pay down the principal. “For example, if you are looking at remodeling the kitchen, building a deck, or finishing the basement, you should probably look at a home equity term loan,” Cassano continued. “But if you are projecting a series of projects, like replacing the driveway today and buying new appliances over a period of time, a home equity line of credit may be the better solution.” When comparing home equity products, Cassano said the three things every consumer should look for are the term and rate of the loan, closing costs, and any pre-payment penalties. “You should also always check with your deposit bank and then perform your due diligence to see what the competition is offering,” he added. “And always read the fine print on any financial offering.” When paying off a home equity loan or line of credit, the most important thing is to have a plan in mind before even applying for a loan. “Let your equity work for you,” Cassano said. n Call the Brentwood Bank customer support and outreach center at 412-409-2265 or visit the Brentwood Bank branch at 401 McMurray Road. See ad on page 29.


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Around the Township USC 2014 Medallion Ball Honorees Volunteering promotes goodness and improves the quality of life for humans. While there is no financial gain involved for the volunteer, the act of volunteering is incredibly rewarding. Socialization, fun, and career development opportunities are just a few of the attributes associated with volunteering, and the act of volunteering helps people and communities without the desire for pay. Many volunteers are specifically trained in vocations such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue, but others serve on an as-needed-basis, which can include responding to a natural disaster. The benefits of volunteerism for the community are vast, but the benefits for the volunteer are just as great. Congratulations 2014 Medallion Ball honorees of Upper St. Clair! In celebration of completing a minimum 150 hours of service—with some honorees logging many, many more hours—your family, friends, and community applaud your selfless enthusiasm. Shown in alphabetical order are the 28 Upper St. Clair Medallion Ball honorees of 2014. Escorts, each chosen by an Upper St. Clair Medallion Ball honoree, are listed alphabetically and include Richard Alfera, Reed Antonich, Martin Bacik, John Benhart, Benjamin Boyd, Ryan Boyle, Zachary Cagni, Austin Cassidy, Malik Cumberbatch, Patrick DeMarco, Fernando Escribens, Cameron Finney, Marcus Galie, Louis Kropf, Hunter Lantzman, Patrick Lersch, McCoy Madson, Christian Meyer, Andrei Mihailescu, Trevor Morrow, Cullen Murin, Parker Phillips, B. Turner Queen III, Kenneth Rapko, James Schrott, Joseph Selep, Nathan Steinhauer, and Daniel Trocano. n

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. —Aesop

Riley Bakayza

Delaney Burke

Francesca Cappetta

Kelly Conner

Photos courtesy of Ron Richards Photography. Story by Mary Lynne Spazok.

Julia de la Parra

Caroline DeIuliis

Lauren DeSantis

Alyssa DeShields

Rachel Diffendal

Alice Evans

Stephanie Frenette

Julia Gross

Francesca Guarino

Margaret Haggerty

Morgan Hogenmiller

Emily Hughes

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A Helping Hand, A Willing Heart The Volunteer Gift—Author Unknown A helping hand, a willing heart, Sometimes that’s all it takes– A simple gesture on someone’s part, But what a difference it makes. That’s just the kind of gift you give, Over and over each day, And we’ll always be glad that you’ve Chosen to live in such an unselfish way.

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Traveling with TODAY USC TODAY Travels Italy

Experience the region of Tuscany Italy at least once in your lifetime! Enjoy beautiful Renaissance cities, tiny medieval hamlets, rolling hills, sandy beaches, and delicious cuiWith Florence, Italy’s Piazzale Michelangelo in the sine. Skilled artisans produce everything from fine Chianti wines to superb jewelry and background, left to right are Ted Spazok and Al Iaconis leathers. Can a vacation get any better? Absolutely! Touring on a 2014 Harley Davidson Electric Glide Ultra Classic added to the destination results in an unforgettable experience. Off the high speed Autostrade, biking in Italy is very different from American biking. European bikers brave challenging, but scenic switchback country-side roads, especially in the Cinque Terre region. Italy, though not covering a vast surface, offers an endless diversity in scenery. Appreciate medieval towns, castles, mountains, and multiple ethnicities. Quieter back roads expose Italian hamlets, including Civita di Bagnoregio, Orvieto, Greve, and Montepulciano and afford trailblazing exploration, including the earthiness of native agriculture of olive orchards and grape vineyards. Small, family-owned hotels allow for a full cultural immersion. Characteristic dining includes a Remini trattoria with a shimmering Adriatic Sea UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is proud to travel with you, too! Read the followpanorama or a vintage Portofino seaside ristorante. Starting the trip in Florence, Ted Spazok and Al Iaconis’s 15-day bike trip included stops at ing criteria to find out how. • Clear, close-up photo of USC Carrara, notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarry, and Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis of resident(s) holding his or her Assisi, patron saint of Italy. Assisi’s main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica di San Francesco, which TODAY magazine. contains the sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life. • Digital photo or hard copy 35mm About 1000 miles of terrain provided many driving skill challenges of narrow thoroughfares, accepted. cobblestone roadways, and maneuvering roundabouts. TODAY accompanied the travelers as they em‣‣ For digital, attach jpg (at least 300 braced the Italian’s warm hospitality, breathtaking scenery of Chianti wine country, and the dramatic dpi) and send via email, including coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. n required information (see below) in the body of the email. ‣‣ For 35 mm, attach post-it to back A Meston Vacation Includes TODAY of hard copy photo, listing the required information (see below). The family of Jim Meston vacationed • List name(s) of resident(s), group, at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, and took and specific photo location. along UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY to share • List objective of visit—leisure, volamongst themselves and with others. All unteer, career, etc. five of Jim’s children and their spouses • Include email address or phone were present, in addition to six of Jim’s number should further contact be 12 grandchildren. necessary. All of Jim’s children—Cathy, Carol, • Deliver one 35 mm photo with Jim, Bob, and Tom—are Upper St. Clair details to the USC Township recepgraduates. In addition, Bob’s wife, Patti, tionist in an envelope marked “USC TODAY,” or and Tom’s wife, Nina, also graduated from • Email one digital photo with details USC. Grandson Marcus, a USC graduate, to usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us, with was away at college and unable to attend “TODAY” listed in subject line. the family outing. Granddaughter Chloe, a senior at USCHS, enjoyed the family Note: Submitted photos and information The Meston family at Emerald Isle beach trip. n for this feature section will remain on file for upcoming editions until published.

The Platform— Traveling Back in Time and Around the World The Barsotti family celebrates the holiday season each year with a family tradition of staging their Christmas display on “the platform.” At 15-feet-by-15feet and taking up most of the space in their living room, each section and piece of the display is thoughtfully placed. Evoking special family memories of their Italian heritage and past Christmases, many pieces are handmade and have been handed down through generations. As the toy train traveled through each section, TODAY was given a wonderful glimpse of the many villages and scenes that are part of this USC family’s holiday tradition. Look for a story about the Barsotti family platform in the winter 2015 issue of TODAY. n Left to right are Michael (11) and Jonathan Barsotti (15) 78

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Even he needs you to get back to it. TheOrthopedicGroup.com 1145 Bower Hill Road | 412-276-7022

Chicken BBQ Has a Lot to Cluck About Scott Churchill, USC/BP Breakfast Rotary It was October 2013 and I had agreed to chair the 26th annual Chicken BBQ for the Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park (Breakfast) Rotary Club. I must have been crazy. Now in for my second time around as the 2014 chairman, I remembered all the work, time, and effort it took to run this event. The weekend of this year’s event certainly had its challenges. Friday set up went fairly smoothly with only a few panicked moments when we thought we did not have enough cookies. The day of the BBQ was anything but a typical early October day in Western Pennsylvania. It rained, it was cold, and there were two instances during the day when I think we had “microbursts” of wind and sleet. We pressed on, realized almost 100% attendance from club members, and had many satisfied customers. At the end of the day, we knew that it was a special year. Setting this year’s goal at $50,000 for gross sales, we exceeded that goal with a final total around $54,000. We had plenty of chicken, and donated about 250 unsold meals to Washington City Mission. With the help of rookie Rotarian Dennis Gilfoyle, we enlisted the help of many volunteers from the student body of USC High School. The club sold more sponsorships than ever before, and with the leadership of Rotary

members Bill and Pat Findle and many others, we sold close to $20,000 in coupons, placemat ads, and sponsorships. Our ticket sales reached record levels thanks to the work of Bill Findle, Frank Procaccini, Peter Muck, Brian Schill, and Pat Findle leading the way. The Rotary would like to thank Westminster Church and the USC School District for the use of their facilities and the cooperation of all staff. We also appreciate Jennifer Kirk and Dennis Gilfoyle, who came through two days before the BBQ with approximately 30 student volunteers, organized and ready to help. Thanks also to our major sponsors and advertisers for their financial support; they are a very large reason for our success. But above all, thanks to everyone who purchased tickets and enjoyed our home-cooked BBQ chicken dinner. Without you, these wonderful results would not be possible. The Upper St. Clair–Bethel Park (Breakfast) Rotary Club has been holding its annual Chicken BBQ for 26 years. As the club’s only fundraiser, proceeds from this event are given to local charities. Various organizations request financial assistance to help fund certain projects. The Rotary provides donations to

help defray costs of these projects. Over the years, the Rotary has financially supported many entities, including South Hills Interfaith Ministry (SHIM), Westminster Church, Nyadire Connection with Christ United Methodist Church, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, USC High School Leadership Academy, and has offered scholarships to students at both USC and Bethel Park High Schools and made donations to the Rotary Foundation. In addition to the Chicken BBQ, the Breakfast Club will be hosting a beer tasting event supporting the Gilfillan Farm on Saturday, May 23 and will also be running the Westminster Farmers Market on Thursdays throughout the summer months. Get involved and come check out what Rotary is all about. n

The Rotary Club of Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park (Breakfast) is on Facebook, or search them on Google. Contact membership chair Larry Lehman at 412-337-1022 for more information. Spring 2015

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UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or usctoday@uscsd.k12.pa.us.

Rob Goodman joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh as director of the Federation’s South Hills Engagement Initiative. Goodman brings to the Federation more than 27 years of experience in event, entertainment, and sports marketing, branding, sponsorships, media relations, and facility management, as well as a detailed history of Jewish volunteerism. As director, Goodman Rob Goodman is working to build and strengthen relationships among community leaders, groups, and institutions that have a common goal of increasing participation in Jewish life. The Initiative is formed from many South Hills communities, including Bethel Park, Canonsburg, Carnegie, Greentree, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Pleasant Hills, Scott Township, South Fayette, South Park, and Upper St. Clair. Pittsburgh’s South Hills is home to approximately 3000 Jewish households. Goodman most recently served as senior vice president of marketing for the Pittsburgh Power Arena Football League Club and spent more than six years as assistant general manager/director of marketing at CONSOL Energy Center and Mellon Arena. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh’s South Hills, Goodman spent almost seven years in New Orleans with SMG, serving as general manager of the Pontchartrain Center, a multipurpose sports and convention facility in Kenner, Louisiana, and as senior marketing manager for the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena. Rob began his professional career with the Omaha Royals Triple-A Baseball Club and has also held positions with George Washington University athletics, the Omaha Racers CBA franchise, Omaha-based entertainment and marketing firm Monster Productions, and Radio Disney and ESPN radio stations in Omaha. Goodman moved to Pittsburgh in May 2006 and immersed himself into the Jewish community. He served on the Federation’s Jewish Community Life Council and co-chaired the marketing committee of Pittsburgh Hillel JUC’s “Campus Superstar.” He was also on the board of trustees at Temple Emanuel in Mt. Lebanon for four years, where he co-chaired the youth team and technology task force. A native of the Philadelphia area, Goodman earned both his bachelor of arts and masters of education degrees from Temple University. Rob resides in Upper St. Clair with his wife, Lisa, and their four children, Isabel (18), Suzanna (15), Shoshanah (13), and Noah (11).

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Ariana Chiu

Ariana Chiu, a ninth grader at Upper St. Clair High School, recently won the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO) Concerto competition and will be the featured soloist with PYSO in its final concert on Sunday, May 17 at Heinz Hall. She was also chosen as a soloist for the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Young Artist competition and will be performing with the orchestra on Saturday, April 4 at the USC High School Theater.

Upper St. Clair’s Brad Buzzelli won the Art Barlow Student Journalist of the Year award from the Society for Collegiate Journalists. A senior at Robert Morris University majoring in communications with a concentration in journalism, Brad is a WPXI web freelancer, Northside Chronicle freelancer, and The Sentry campus newspaper editor-in-chief and sports editor. He is the president of the RMU chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Put together by a group of writers from Westminster Presbyterian Church, Butterflies and Fireflies is a collection of stories that capture personal reflections and memories of its writers. Originally intended as a project to request church members to write stories drawn upon personal experiences of how they’ve come to know God, the project took on a life of its own. Under the volunteer direction of writer Jim O’Brien, members would meet monthly to discuss how to “write their own story.” Two years and many meetings later, church members and other community residents have together published this lovely 78-page bound book of introspection and family and personal experiences. Contributors to this book, listed alphabetically, include Barbara Allwes, Jim Barbarino, Dr. Jim Gilchrist, Marsha Gnagey, Carol Hamel, Milt Hamel, Art Humphreys, George Krock, Paul Kulp, Marilyn Lindstrom, Ed Lyness, Marg Mueller, Jim O’Brien, Heather Richardson, Kathy Richardson, Helen Watson, Jack Watson, Susan Whyard, and Dr. Tammy Yeager. People can order Butterflies and Fireflies by mailing a check for $8, made payable to Westminster Presbyterian Church. List your name, your phone number, and the word “book” in the check’s memo line. Mail to 2040 Washington Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241. The book can be picked up in the church office lobby.


South Hills Bikers Ride Again for Arthritis Riding 106 miles over ten hours, they raised $6500 F i v e f r i e n d s from Pittsburgh’s South Hills area, including two from Upper St. Clair, joined together on a cold, rainy Saturday this past October to ride their bikes 106 miles in one day along the Great Allegheny Passage trail to raise awareness and money for the Arthritis Foundation. Jeff Krakoff, 50, and Vic Walczak, 53, of Upper St. Clair, were joined by Pete Chiste, 56, Peters Township; Craig Hoffman, 42, Bethel Park; and Scott Bowlin, 35, Mt. Lebanon. In 2013, four members of this group and five others rode from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. on the rail trail over five days, averaging about 65 miles each day in the inaugural fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. Krakoff said the original idea for the Pittsburgh to D.C. ride came during morning coffee after a weekly soccer game. He said, “The first ride was really a win-win situation. We had so much fun exploring the beauty of our trail system, but we also were able to set a difficult goal and achieved it—all while raising money for a great cause.” Krakoff, who owns a public relations firm, and Bowlin, who owns a graphic

design firm, branded this year’s ride “RiverRide 100.” The name represents the distance and the fact that the trail they rode follows and crosses the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongahela Rivers to the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers in Pittsburgh. RiverRide 100 was the first “century ride”—or 100-plus mile ride—for each of the riders. The trip began in Rockwood, near Somerset, just before 8 a.m. and finished at “the Point” in downtown Pittsburgh at about 6 p.m. The more than $6500 raised will be used to provide support, referrals, and programming for people with arthritis and their families. Krakoff, Walczak, and Chiste have been diagnosed with arthritis, and Hoffman and Bowlin both have various aches and pains at different times due to their sporting lifestyles. According to Walczak, “Riding more than 100 miles in one day was quite a challenge, especially when you consider that it was a cold, rainy day, and the trail was soft and covered with soggy leaves for most of the trip.” “We trained together and separately for weeks to prepare for this ride,” said Krakoff, who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for about 20 years. “I have really grown to love and appreciate bike riding since it’s a great low-impact activity that has a positive impact on both body and mind.” The group will look for other bike riding locations and adventures, but plan on making RiverRide 100 an annual fundraising event. They are looking for more people to get involved in future rides. n

Visit www.riverride100.com for more information. Spring 2015

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Happenings! The Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania (OSWP) will hold its annual orchid show on Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Phipps Garden Center, 1059 Shady Avenue (Fifth and Shady). Admission is free. The theme of this year’s 60th anniversary show is “Sixty years and growing… Orchids.” Hundreds of orchids will be in full bloom in beautifully-staged exhibits and floral arrangements. The show will also include free educational seminars, plant raffles, and sales by vendors from all over the eastern U.S. and Ecuador. An excellent opportunity to learn about and acquire orchids, the orchids and exhibits will be judged by a team of certified American Orchid Society judges. For more information about the orchid show, orchids, or The Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania, visit www.oswp.org.

Women’s Golf Association of Mt. Lebanon invites you to join this golf group on Tuesdays, April through September. Membership is open to all women in the South Hills communities of Pittsburgh and for all skill levels. For more information, call Sharon Ackerman at 412-480-3319.

Baptist Homes is seeking volunteers who can help with the crafts and activities for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Here’s a chance to give back, help local senior citizens, and join in the fun with other terrific volunteers. Volunteers are eligible for free meals (weekdays) and have access to Baptist Homes’ fitness center.

The 12th annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will bring together three of the best community bands in the Western Pennsylvania region, plus an all-new festival band. The festival, scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2:30–5 p.m., will be held at Upper St. Clair High School Theater, with doors opening at 1:45 p.m. WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham returns again this year as program host. Admission is free, and contributions to support the festival are appreciated. The Three Rivers Community Band Festival is a showcase of the region’s many musically-talented individuals, and the concert promises a medley of music to appeal to a wide range of musical tastes. Community Band South represents the South Hills communities. This brass, woodwind, and percussion band of over 80 members is co-directed by Dean Streator, former teacher of instrumental music at Bethel Park High School, and James Bennett, retired director of bands and chairman of fine arts from the Upper St. Clair School District. Since its premier concert on December 14, 1987, at USCHS, Community Band South has been entertaining audiences throughout the communities from which its membership is drawn, performing an average of 15 concerts a year. Also participating is the East Winds Symphonic Band, founding band of the festival. Joining the festival this year as the regional guest band will be the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band from Youngstown, Ohio. The fourth band will be the “ultimate community band,” made up of musicians from more than 50 community bands in Allegheny County and ten other counties in the region. The 2015 Festival Band will perform selections under the baton of guest conductor Dr. Marty Sharer, director of bands and an assistant professor of music at California University of Pennsylvania. Festival-goers are invited to enjoy free, light refreshments after the concert and have the opportunity to meet and greet the musicians.

Call 412-572-8254 to learn more.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) will be available at The Bible Chapel, 300 Gallery Dr., McMurray, now through Wednesday, April 15. Regular hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m.. No appointments accepted; walk-ins only. Volunteers will assist taxpayers with Federal, Pennsylvania, and local wage 2014 tax returns and real estate/rent rebate and PACE applications. Bring W-2s, 1099s, (e.g., interest and dividend statements, social security, and pension statements), totals of itemized deductions (e.g., medical, taxes, charitable), real estate tax receipts, receipts for large purchases, such as cars and social security cards for you, your spouse, and your dependents. Bring proof of identification for yourself and your spouse and also copies of your 2013 federal and state tax returns. If filing jointly, your spouse should be present. For direct deposit of any applicable refunds, bring a voided check. Questions about VITA? Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Do not call The Bible Chapel. 82

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For more information about the Three Rivers Community Band Festival, visit www.ewsb.org/festival.

Interested to life guard this summer? Who wouldn’t be? For a fifth consecutive year, USC Swim Club is offering a Lifeguarding/CPR course, certified by the American Red Cross under instructor Alycia Miller. Held at Upper St. Clair High School pool, Friday–Sunday, April 10–12, full certification is $250 (25 hours), re-certification is $175 (Saturday and Sunday only), plus cost of reading material. Certification is good for two years. Class begins at 4 p.m. Friday, and at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Registration is open for ages 15 and up and limited to the first 25 registrants. To register online or to get more information, visit www.uscswimclub.org.


412-561-5405

info@outreachteen.org

Transitions Dear Outreach, My daughter really enjoys volleyball and would love to be on a recreational team. However, she will not try out because she does not know any of the girls on the team and is worried that they will not like or accept her. How do I help her overcome this fear? Sincerely, Concerned Mother The first thing to tell your daughter is that many people feel anxious when faced with a new situation. The good news is that most of what we worry about never actually comes true. In addition, we overestimate the consequences of a feared situation and underestimate our ability to cope. Anxiety usually begins in the brain and results from how you think about and interpret situations. Worry is increased when we distort our thoughts in a negative or unrealistic way. For example, if she tells herself “Nobody will talk to me,” help her recognize that she does not have a crystal ball and can’t possibly predict that will happen. If she believes that they will laugh at her skills, help her counter this with a new more helpful thought such as “No one has ever laughed at me when I played before and I am good at setting the ball.” Start with small goals that will help her experience and overcome a little bit of worry at a time and work up to trying out for the team. Maybe she can start by watching part of a practice and move on to talking to one of the girls in school. n

Five Star Realtor for Customer Satisfaction for the past 4 years! “Thanks to my clients for voting for me!”

If you need more support, contact Outreach 412-561-5405 or info@outreachteen.org. Outreach Teen & Family Services is a nonprofit, confidential counseling service offering counseling and educational programs to teens and parents.

Four Remodeling Projects That May Pay Off If you’re planning to remodel a home office and hoping to recoup your investment when you sell your home, you could be disappointed. According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report 2011-2012 from Remodeling magazine, you’ll recover slightly less than 43% of your money for this project. But upgrade your exterior with fiber-cement siding and you might see a return of 78% in terms of increased home value. For many homeowners, how an improvement affects a home’s resale value is a critical factor in deciding whether the project moves forward. Here are four investments that pay off, based on this report: Replacement projects: On average, replacing things like flooring, countertops, fixtures, and cabinets return 64% of the costs upon sale, compared to large scale remodeling jobs that return 57%. Replacements typically cost less and are appealing to buyers because they are important indicators of home maintenance. New siding, windows, and doors: These projects enhance curb appeal and have some of the biggest payoffs when you sell.

www.sandygoldstein.com Sandy@Sandygoldstein.com GoldsteinMarsh@aol.com

Remodeled attic space: Creating a bedroom in a previously unused area pays a 72.5% return on the investment, largely because the project adds living space without expanding a home’s footprint. Kitchen facelifts: These minor remodeling projects often include new cabinet doors, hardware, countertops, and appliances, and typically return more than 72% of the investment. One add-on that doesn’t pay off well is a sunroom addition. While a pleasant sunroom may be your family’s favorite relaxation spot, this project typically returns less than 46% of your investment. In addition to payback rates, the report cites other considerations for homeowners who are planning a home improvement. For example, recognize that adding a room may provide you with more space, but may result in increased household heating and cooling bills. Enlarging a bathroom at the expense of a bedroom may make perfect sense for your family, but be seen as a lost room by a buyer. Elaborate remodeling projects that are out of sync with the value of the surrounding homes in the community in which you live may also be viewed negatively by a potential buyer. n

Article complements of State Farm®. See ad for Cindy Brophy, State Farm® agent, on page 44. Spring 2015

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Continued from page 11

The Historic William T. Fife House This addition of a left wing provided another bedroom, bathroom, sitting room (possibly used as a small bedroom), an enlarged living room, and a left-side porch (perhaps used initially as a porte cochere). During his lifetime, W.T. Fife’s home was referred to as “Cremona Hill.” Like his father, William T. worked as a farmer all of his life. He died in the house in 1928 at the age of 86. [More than a century ago when hospitals were not readily accessible to people living in rural areas, it was common for children to be born in the home and for the elderly to die there. This was certainly a fact of life—and death—in the history of the W.T. Fife house. A total of 27 births and deaths have occurred in the house; seven people who were born there also died in the house.] W.T. Fife’s four surviving sons (and their spouses) inherited his house and farm and retained the property for the next seven years, renting it to Fife family relatives who used it as a horse farm. As time passed, the heirs began to sell off their homeplace and pieces of the property to eventual individual owners and then to housing developments named Broadlawn Highlands (1955-56) and Huntington Manor (1961). When the first non-Fife owners purchased the W.T. Fife house and 12 acres of the farm from his heirs in 1935, the house was a red brick structure W. T. Fife house, right wing view with an outside frame kitchen and frame wash house (see photo on page 11). Renowned Pittsburgh Architect Louis Stevens updated the house for the new owners by razing the two frame buildings and then adding an L-shaped right-wing to include a two-car garage, two bedrooms, two baths, and a laundry. Upon completion in December 1935, the house was painted white. In 1945, a father and son and their spouses bought the house and the surrounding 12 acres and held it just under five years, the least amount of time of the non-Fife owners. Each couple purchased a one-half share interest in the property. A year later, however, the foursome purchased an additional 1.85 acres from the Fife heirs, giving them a total of 13.85 acres. Under their ownership, the two-car garage was eliminated and converted into a family room. In 1950, the 13.85-acre property was sold again, along with its barn and an apple orchard with 160 trees. The owners installed a powder room on the first floor beneath the main staircase, remodeled the kitchen, and built a herringbone brick walk from the front porch to the driveway. After the property was held for just over 11 years, an 11.35-acre parcel was sold to the developer of the Huntington Manor subdivision and the remaining 2.5 acres to another private party. Since 1961, the property has retained its 2.5-acre size. The new buyers in 1961 kept the house for 13 years. They replaced the coal furnace with two gas-fired boilers that enabled hot water radiator heating. The gravel driveway was upgraded to asphalt. In 1974, the property changed hands again and was held for nearly 36 years, the longest time for any non-Fife owners. Among numerous changes, the first-floor laundry room was converted into a study, the family room was remodeled, and a high velocity A/C system was added. The wall and the doorway separating the kitchen and breakfast room were removed, the pantry was eliminated, and the kitchen exit door was relocated to the breakfast room with its wall of windows in the rear of the house. The most recent sale of the property occurred in mid 2010 to a couple who hold the distinction of being the youngest non-Fife owners of the house. The house has since been re-roofed; numerous internal renovations have been completed to refinish walls, ceilings, and floors; the A/C system has been upgraded for the top floor; three bathrooms have been updated; and new electrical service has been installed. Related Stories Several interesting stories about the William T. Fife property have originated over the years. One involved Paul Harvey, the legendary radio commentator, as he described a recurring theft of approximately 200 chickens from the chicken coops near the barn and how the owner’s ingenuity and persistence eventually resulted in an arrest of the thief. As Harvey related the “rest of the story,” the 82-year-old thief admitted that he had been pilfering pullets for over 50 years, and that his objective was to eat the chickens, since he didn’t care much for the eggs! W. T. Fife house, rear view An intriguing story that has endured for decades involves the possible role of the W.T. Fife house as part of the Underground Railroad or a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century slaves to escape to both free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and other sympathetic allies. While it’s true that the Fifes were fervent Presbyterians who strongly opposed slavery, no physical evidence has ever been found that supports the long-time rumor that a tunnel existed between the house and barn that was used in harboring slaves. In fact, the preponderance of first-hand knowledge and experience from prior occupants of the house (children of the owners) and informed residents strongly indicate that the tunnel did not exist. However, the possibility still remains that a sympathetic, compassionate Fife family may have offered temporary refuge 84

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or shelter in either their house or barn to slaves en route to their freedom. If this were true—and it appears quite possible due to the religious convictions and anti-slavery beliefs of the Fife family—the story about the tunnel may have arisen over the years simply as an embellishment to the actual support the Fife family provided to assist the movement of slaves to freedom. Research on the history of the house uncovered interesting names still used in the Township. As an example, long-time residents of Upper St. Clair may recall that “Cremona” was the name of a stop on the former trolley line operated by Pittsburgh Railways Company that ran for many years from Washington, Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh until service was discontinued beyond the Allegheny County border in August 1953. Many Upper St. Clair residents are also familiar with Cremona Drive, located not far from the intersection of Route 19 and McMurray Road in an area that would have been part of the original W.T. Fife farm. A century ago when two of William T. Fife’s daughters announced their engagements in the Pittsburgh Gazette Times, the location of their father’s residence was stated as “Cremona Hill.” The reason behind why the word “Cremona” was first used on the initial Fife land patent, however, remains unknown. Nevertheless, after the introduction by the Fife family of the word “Cremona” to the region, it continues to this day to be tied to Upper St. Clair. Regional history buffs are aware that the Whiskey Rebellion, a tax protest in western Pennsylvania beginning in 1791, was concentrated in this area. Farmers often met at the Pioneer Inn (razed in 1985) on Fort Couch Road just below South Hills Village at the current site of the McDonald’s restaurant. Their resistance reached a climax in July 1794 when more than 500 armed men gathered at the Inn to march on Bower Hill, the fortified home of the Federal tax inspector General John Neville. President George Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to negotiate with the rebel farmers. The following month, Washington issued a proclamation, calling out the militia and ordering the disaffected citizens to return to their homes. The history of the Fifes in this region involves their association with President Washington as well as their role in the Whiskey Rebellion. The first Fife family reunion was held in 1885 at the William T. Fife farm in Upper St. Clair, with up to seventh-generation descendants from pioneer John Fife, Sr. and his brother, William Fife, Sr., attending. A follow-up reunion occurred five years later

Front door, showing transom glass and woodworking

Lynn Dempsey REALTOR®

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in 1890 when it was estimated that there were approximately 2200 descendants of the two immigrant brothers. The third and latest reunion was held at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in June 1990 and was attended by up to tenth-generation descendants. The Legacy of the House Although it is no longer a farm house surrounded by large pasture fields, the magnificent William T. Fife house provides a continuing reminder of what country living was like during the early history of Upper St. Clair. With more than 4400 square feet, eight fireplaces, five bedrooms, and four and one-half baths, the house now complements a delightful combination of charm, beauty, and sophistication with modern amenities. One especially captivating feature of the house that remains intact yet today is the colored glass around the front door where visitors are welcomed. Nearly two centuries old, this wavy, beaded glass is particularly attractive when the late afternoon sunlight passes through the red transom glass and the blue sidelights, casting delicate hues into the foyer. Decade after decade, the historic house keeps inviting visitors and guests to relax and enjoy its comfortable, elegant interior or to simply walk around the grounds and enjoy the views from the top of Cremona Hill. Only 13 of the 1800-era houses still remain in Upper St. Clair as residences. Most houses from that period have been razed because of deterioration or to accommodate new housing developments. To survive, these old historic homes need continuing recognition of their role in our history, coupled with a lot of tender, loving care. The landmark William T. Fife house has received a lot of that over nearly two centuries. n Spring 2015

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Ronald L. Thomas, M.D.

Brings His Prenatal Testing Expertise to St. Clair Hospital Ronald L. Thomas, M.D. , a perinatologist who has garnered national recognition for his expertise in prenatal diagnostic screening, has joined the staff of St. Clair Hospital. Dr. Thomas brings decades of experience to St. Clair, advancing the services of the hospital’s highly regarded obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) physicians and the hospital’s renowned Family Birth Center. Dr. Thomas works closely with the hospital’s team of obstetric sonographers in the OB/GYN ultrasound suite. His role is largely a diagnostic one, as he utilizes ultrasound technology and non-invasive prenatal testing, known as NIPT, to assess fetal health and development, and identify risk factors and problems that may lead to complications. Women who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies, as well as those who have a history of pregnancy loss or complications, and those who are at risk for pregnancy complications due to maternal medical conditions, such as diabetes, will benefit from consultation with Dr. Thomas. St. Clair’s OB/GYN ultrasound suite is equipped with one of the region’s most advanced ultrasound systems.

Advances in ultrasound imaging and NIPT, Dr. Thomas explains, have made invasive prenatal testing quite rare. “Amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling have nearly disappeared thanks to new technologies,” he says. “NIPT has given us the capacity to simply take a small blood sample from a pregnant woman and analyze it genetically. The maternal blood contains fetal DNA so we can screen for common fetal chromosomal anomalies. Fortunately, most of the time, we are able to give good news and provide reassurance to prospective parents.” As a perinatologist, Dr. Thomas is an obstetrician/gynecologist with specialization in the diagnosis and management of high risk pregnancy. His expertise includes obstetrics, ultrasound, genetics, and maternal fetal medicine. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Following a oneyear stint in Alaska with the U.S. Navy, he went on to complete a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He has been practicing medicine in Pittsburgh since 1991.

Dr. Thomas supports women’s healthcare beyond his direct patient care. He has received multiple teaching awards, sponRonald L. Thomas, M.D. sored by Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) and Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO), for his teaching of OB/GYN residents. In 2013, he was the medical honoree for the March of Dimes annual signature auction, part of its 75th anniversary celebration and fundraiser. The Allegheny County Medical Society announced in the December 2014 issue of the BULLETIN that Dr. Thomas was chosen as the 2014 Ralph C. Wilde Leadership Award recipient. This award “recognizes a physician who demonstrates exceptional skill in their clinical care of patients and dedication to the ideals of the medical profession as a teacher or profession leader.” n To contact Dr. Thomas, call 412-942-2628. See ad for St. Clair Hospital on pages 2 and 3.

Coldwell Banker’s South Hills Office Ends 2014 with Successful Charity Event Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services of Pittsburgh wrapped up its 2014 charity event schedule on a high note with its annual holiday breakfast, sponsored by Coldwell Banker’s South Hills Office, located in Upper St. Clair. Three hundred and thirty guests were welcomed to the festive, holiday-themed event held this past December at the Crowne Plaza. Proceeds from the fundraiser supported local charity partners Make-A-Wish® of Greater Pittsburgh and West Virginia and The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The sold-out event featured an amazing gift basket auction which helped to raise $21,000 for Make-A-Wish®, bringing Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh’s contributions to the charity to $121,000 in 2014. Three additional activities supported the Food Bank, including a 50/50 raffle, a basket of cheer raffle, and a “Breakfast Table” food drive. Marian McGinley, South Hills office manager for Coldwell Banker, credited the success of the event to the generosity of the guests in attendance and the more than 220 local retailers, banks, restaurants, and service providers who made monetary donations and contributed gifts. She also recognized the continued support of the South Hills office agents, and the hard work and dedication of the breakfast committee. Special guests included Ivy Ero, a representative of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. She expressed her sincere appreciation for the breakfast food donations, noting that many children 86

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in the Pittsburgh area go to school each day without any type of breakfast. Guests from Make-A-Wish® included Stephanie Pugliese, director of Area residents peruse the charity auction tables at Development, and the holiday breakfast event, hoping to win a gift “wish” assistant basket or two. Meghan Sluzinsky, who was a wish recipient in 1998. USC resident and keyboardist Craig Zinger added to the festive atmosphere, playing a wonderful selection of holiday music throughout the morning. Members of the breakfast committee included Upper St. Clair residents Hope Bassichis, Joanne Fibbi, Genie Gooding, and Kathi Kernan, and also Valerie Ackerlow, Donna Cillo, Lisa Davis, Judy Hlister, Christine Holland, Hedy Krenn, Julie Leslie, Marian McGinley, Carmela Viviano, and Faith Williard. To further its charitable efforts beginning in 2015, all area Coldwell Banker offices conducted food drives for The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank this past January. n For further information, including contact information, see ad on the back outside cover of this edition.


Continued from page 39

Pawprints

Henry Ginsberg, a third grader, reports: My favorite PTA event is the Children Helping Children silent auction. I like it because the money goes to charity and it’s exciting to listen for my name to see if I won. And, fourth grader Lucas Tranquilli says: Holiday parties are my favorite because you get to play games, there are prizes, and it’s a big party where you can Henry Ginsberg have fun with your friends. Common themes continue throughout. First of all, fun! It is key for kids to have fun in the midst of their important work. Second, the kids recognize that PTA is helping to raise money either for their own school (i.e., Stravaganza) or for charities (i.e., the silent auction). Finally, the kids mention friends. The social aspect of elementary school is critical and PTA offers many events to Lucas Tranquilli get kids socializing. I’m pleased to report that in the eyes of the students, PTA is achieving its goals at Streams! n Continued from page 48

Celebrate Aging • Ensure that all older people can live with dignity and security, enjoy access to health and social services that extend their autonomy and independence, and contribute to healthy aging. • Support communities and families to ensure that frail older people receive the long-term care they need and promote healthy aging to facilitate aging in place. • Promote healthy habits throughout people’s lifetimes to improve the lives of future generations. • Offer flexible employment, lifelong learning, and retraining opportunities to help integrate or retain seniors in the labor market. • Support local, national, and international efforts to develop research on aging. Baptist Homes Society operates two senior living and care communities—Baptist Homes in Mt. Lebanon and Providence Point in Scott Township—and has been at the forefront in senior care for more than a century. Its president and CEO, Al Allison, Jr., agrees with HelpAge’s challenges and notes, “The seniors we are privileged to serve in our communities are vibrant, engaged, and a source of information and inspiration. Baptist Homes Society’s vision for the future is to provide them and all seniors with opportunities for the most fulfilling lives possible.” Al adds, “We are partnering more and more with other organizations to benefit seniors. I am optimistic that the increased involvement and awareness will result in more and better services for all seniors.” n Baptist Homes Society, a not-for-profit, faith-based organization founded in 1910, is committed to providing the highest quality of living for seniors. See ad for Providence Point on page 43.

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UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY

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GO LOCAL. STAY

LOCAL Advertiser Index

Spring 2015

www.twpusc.org/magazine/usc-today-home

Advertiser Page Affordable Decks & Additions ................................................................ 75 Al’s Shoe Repair .................................................................................... 87 * Angelo Associates, Inc. ......................................................................... 75 * ARAMARK ............................................................................................. 37 Arbor Tree Specialist, Inc. ...................................................................... 71 Ardolino’s Pizza ..................................................................................... 47 AVANI Institute ...................................................................................... 46 * Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, The Preferred Realty, Rt. 19 South ..9 BISTECCA - STEAKHOUSE - WINE BAR ............................................... 47 * Boehmer Heating & Cooling ................................................................. 75 Brentwood Bank .................................................................................... 29 Brookside Lumber ................................................................................. 74 * Calabro Tire & Auto Service .................................................................. 69 Chinese Acupuncture & Herbs Center, LLC ........................................... 83 * Coldwell Banker–The South Hills Office .......................Back outside cover Coldwell Banker–Lynn Dempsey ........................................................... 85 * Cupelli & Cupelli, Drs. .......................................................................... 81 D&M Chiropractic & Therapeutic Rehab, Inc. ....................................... 53

Advertiser Page * Louis Anthony Jewelers .......................................................................... 5 * Manalo, Larry E., D.M.D. ....................................................................... 45 Michel, Melissa D., LPC ........................................................................ 45 Molinda, Dr. Laurie S. ........................................................................... 31 * Mount Lebanon Montessori School and Academy ................................ 87 Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center ............................................................. 67 Northwood Realty Services .................................................................... 17 Northwood Realty Services–Bonnie Detwiler ......................................... 53 Orthodontics by Dr. Reitz & Dr. Troy ...................................................... 45 Pediatric Dentistry South ....................................................................... 44 * Piccolina’s Restaurant ........................................................................... 45 * Pinebridge Commons Associates .......................................................... 44 Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater ............................................ 37 Premier Home Design Center ................................................................ 70 Providence Point, a Baptist Homes Society Community ........................ 43 R&R Masonry Restoration ..................................................................... 87 * Rusmur Floors ...............................................................Back inside cover * St. Clair Hospital ................................................................................. 2, 3

What They Said

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY’s high standard of quality and content is a reflection of its

staff, editorial contributors, and advertisers. I am proud to be part of such a publication. —Tom DiPasquale, Farmer’s Insurance

Davey Tree & Lawn Care ........................................................................ 73 * Deckmasters Technologies Incorporated ............................................... 73 Extended Day Services .......................................................................... 41 Farmers Insurance–Tom DiPasquale ..................................................... 74 Historical Society of Upper St. Clair ...................................................... 55 * Howard Hanna USC Office ............................................Front inside cover * Howard Hanna–Maureen Cavanaugh .................................................... 81 * Howard Hanna–Susan Highley .............................................................. 35 * Howard Hanna–Diane Horvath .............................................................. 67 JB’s Lawn Maintenance ......................................................................... 87 Jade Grille ............................................................................................. 48 * Keller Williams–Sandy and Marshall Goldstein .................................... 83 Keller Williams–The Jim Roman Group ................................................ 41 * Kerr Family and Cosmetic Dentistry ...................................................... 44

* Scott Bros. Windows and Doors ............................................................ 73 * Sesame Inn ........................................................................................... 48 Simple Sol ............................................................................................. 77 South Hills Endoscopy Center ................................................................. 1 * State Farm Insurance–Cindy Brophy ..................................................... 44 Sydney B. Moore Estate Sales ............................................................... 87 The Children’s Institute ............................................................................ 7 The Orthopedic Group ..................................................................... 19, 79 * The Thomas Studio of Performing Arts ................................................. 35 Torrente at Upper St. Clair–Luxury Apartments ............Front cover, 12, 13 UBS Financial Services, Inc. ................................................................. 72 Washington Health System .................................................................... 21 * Wellington Real Estate–Patty Thomas & Rebecca Lutz .......................... 33

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY thanks our wonderful advertisers who have supported our publication for 21 years.

We couldn’t do it without you!

*The above advertisers, who are advertising in this issue, have contributed their support for a minimum of 40 issues. Thank you.

Upcoming guides for the Summer 2015 issue include Dining, Home & Garden, and Summer Activities. 88

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Spring 2015

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Global Connections, Local Traditions Hope Bassichis

Noel Bliman

Anita Crago

Barbara Cusick

Lynn Dempsey

Janine Dillon

John Geisler

Elaine Goldblum

Genie Gooding

Andrew Guillot

Leigh Harkreader

Nancy Heffernan

Judy Hlister

Sydnie Jones

Sue Kelso

Kathi Kernan

Jane Krauth

Hedy Krenn

Maria & Joe Lane

Julie Leslie

Ron Loncharich

Nancy Morgan

Arlene Murray

Tulla Rakoczy

Kathy Sekeras

Diane Snyder

Mary Torchia

Carmela Viviano

Mary Ann Wellener

Jane York

Marian McGinley Manager

Faith Williard

Jim Walsh

The South Hills Office 412-833-5405 • 1630 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15241

© 2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

SPRING 2015 UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY  

Spring 2015 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY Magazine, the official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair, Pennsy...