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Summer 2019

In the heart of Siena, a new location for quality orthopedic care and physical therapy, offered by South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab www.15241.TODAY

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

Upper St. Clair Office • 180 Fort Couch Rd, Upper St. Clair, Pa 15241 412-833-3600 • Whether you’re in need of a local neighborhood expert to help you buy or sell a home, or are looking to join the most successful team of real estate professionals in the industry, there’s never been a better time to Go Green.

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Let us help you find your way home! Call one of our award-winning Mt. Lebanon Regional & Upper St. Clair sales associates * Barbara Baker Realtor®, Stephanie Spahn, Dan Colaizzi, Kim Kocher, Ciarra Higgins, Terry Abbott, Kristen Shaw, Lindsey Schafer, Doug Craig, Fabienne Palu-Benson (not pictured), Nathan Pazsint (not pictured), and Judy Gelman (not pictured), Maggie Thomas (not pictured).- All licensed assistants ** Brian and Karen Cummings Team, Thomas Purcell (not pictured) - licensed assistant *** Lori Maffeo Team, Jonathan Kraus & Dinesh Gupta - licensed assistants ©2019 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.® Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not a solicitation.

e rter-C Q ua


nection Con

a Generation of Giving Summer 2019

Volume 25

Issue 2 • www.15241.TODAY •


Features & Around the Township

Panther Land— Community Day 2019

36 Turkish Marbling


Are You a Leader?

Saturday, May 18 Schedule and Activities

USCSD’s Leadership Academy Celebrates Ten Years

Journey Down Memory Lane—Part II

Staff Recognitions



Following TODAY’s Silver Brick Road



Twenty-Five Years Ago

Art and Writing Awards

Remember When?


Let’s Take Care of Our Pets


22 82

A Flight to Remember


Door Signs—Tradition of Recognition Pawprints

A USC PTC Feature

Guides/ Directories

Views From Above

Stories from the Historical Society

65 Organized Chaos



TCS Encourages to Keep Patient Information Handy


47 Pinebridge Commons 48 Summer Activities 73 Home & Garden 96 Advertiser Index

C&RC Celebrates Tenth Anniversary


Keep Your Yard Up to Code


See You at the Park

89 Scoutmaster Extraordinaire




40 60 64

Photo Ops Township Egg Hunt Spring Musical—Hello Dolly! Mini-THON

Boyce Mayview Park Map


91 Life in the Water

School District

The summer cover of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is sponsored by South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab, a part of South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates. See pages 14 and 15 for a feature article about this healthcare organization, with its new home in Siena at St. Clair, intent on helping you stay injury-free and getting you back to your best health. Summer 2019

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Publishers Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager Dr. John T. Rozzo Superintendent of Schools

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 dedicated to promoting the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair by recognizing the gifts and contributions of the people who live and work here. This year marks 25 years of our publication.

The 98th 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.

Fall 2019 edition deadlines:

Articles—June 20

Advertising—June 24

Steering Committee Mark S. Mansfield, Assistant Township Manager Paul K. Fox, School District Representative Editors and Staff Linda M. Dudzinski, Editor-in-Chief Terry Kish, Associate Editor Colleen DeMarco, Office Manager, Advertising Executive Lynn Dempsey, Advertising Executive Alison Hess, Marketing and Advertising Executive Kerry Turner, Advertising Executive and Social Media Dorothy Clark, Graphic Designer

Mark Mansfield, Paul Fox, Linda Dudzinski, Terry Kish, Colleen DeMarco, Lynn Dempsey, Alison Hess, Kerry Turner, and Dorothy Clark. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a non-partisan

Township, School District, and community magazine. Political advertising and political commentary are not accepted. The publishers of this magazine reserve the right to reject advertising or articles inconsistent with the objectives, image, and aesthetic standards of the magazine.

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is published and mailed quarterly to residents and businesses in Upper St. Clair Township. 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, 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 check, payable to UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, to cover mailing and handling for the next four issues, with their name and address, including zip code, to UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, USC, PA 15241. Add $10 to cover international mailing.

The next issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY will be the Fall 2019 issue and will be published in August 2019. 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


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

Article Information

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

Advertising Information

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

Amy L. Billerbeck, President Barbara L. Bolas, Vice President Jennifer L. Bowen Phillip J. Elias Dr. Daphna Gans Patrick A. Hewitt Angela B. Petersen Louis P. Mafrice, Jr. Dante R. Plutko



Young Writers Guild (YWG) promotes and encourages young writers in the Upper St. Clair School District to provide articles and artwork of interest for our community magazine. Email to find out how your student can contribute. The 98th issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a joint publication of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair. © Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in print or web version, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of the Editor, is strictly prohibited.

Website: Email: New! Online magazine:

Board of School Directors

Thank you to our volunteer contributors this issue: Lou Angelo, Judge Ronald Arnoni, Becky Brindle, Cindy Brophy, Dr. Bradley Cipriani, Isabela Couoh (YWG), John D’Angelo, Lynn Dempsey, Chet Dudzinski, Paul Fox, George Girty, Sandy Goldstein, Chantel Hitchman, Heather Holtschlag, Jessica Kester, Jacqueline LaKachman (YWG), Jay Lynch, Ron Morosky, Jim O’Brien, Kevin O’Laughlin, Helen Palascak, Christine Palmer, Colleen Pikras, Steven Piper, Jim Render, Haley Roberts, Dora Rudick, Gary Schafer, Andrew Seay, Lauren Teresi (intern), Alicia Massinople-Scott, Jill Thurston, Kerry Turner, and Marilyn Walsh.

@usctoday @usctmag

Township Board of Commissioners

Mark D. Christie, President, Ward 4 Nicholas J. Seitanakis, Vice President, Ward 1 C. Elise Logan, Ward 2 Robert W. Orchowski, Ward 3 Ronald J. Pardini, Ward 5 Russell R. Del Re, At Large Daniel R. Paoly, At Large

Summer 2019

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY 1820 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 Phone: 412-833-1600, extension 2284 Fax: 412-851-2592 Email: Township­: 412-831-9000 School District: 412-833-1600 Printed by Knepper Press 2251 Sweeney Drive, Clinton, PA 15026-1818 724-899-4274 Design by DMC Design 412-824-7844 •

Southwest Gastroenterology Associates

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Southwest Gastroenterology Associates is a Private Practice Physician Group specializing in the evaluation and treatment of all digestive diseases, composed of Richard Panicco DO, Mohan Phanse MD, Philip Joson MD, Richard Kenney DO, Jennifer Totten MD, Manhal Tannous, MD, Theresa Meldon, CRNP and Heather Beta, CRNP. This dedicated group of physicians has been taking care of patients in Southwest Pennsylvania for over 30 years. In addition to the wealth of experience, each of our doctors is Board Certified in Gastroenterology. Together we strive to provide outstanding care and service to our patients and fellow health providers.


Tri-State Surgery Center 80 Landings Drive Washington, PA

Washington Health System 155 Wilson Ave, Washington, PA

St. Clair Memorial Hospital 1050 Bower Hill Rd, Pittsburgh, PA

A Summer Note from the Publishers Matthew R. Serakowski

Dr. John T. Rozzo

Welcome to the summer issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, our second of four anniversary editions, and one that includes information spanning the years 2004–2010 of the magazine’s 25-year history. That account can be found on pages 16–17. A genuine partnership and collaboration produced the model that the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair have used to publish this community magazine since originating in 1994. Each year, we especially enjoy sharing our summer edition, including information and the schedule of events surrounding a most cherished day of fun—USC Community Day! Refer to pages 10–13 to see what activities interest you, and then come on out to gather with family, neighbors, and friends for a day of camaraderie. In its 19-page section, pages 28 to 46, the Township shares various stories regarding community development and public works (including road repaving projects for 2019), as well as summer programs at the library and through the Recreation Department to keep residents engaged. The C&RC celebrates its ten-year anniversary this summer and the Township invites all residents to stop by and partake in the weeklong special activities. Check out the Township website for updates. Among school-related features included in the School District section on pages 54–71, there’s a wonderful story about the Leadership Academy that also shares personal reflections. The academy, which has grown to four levels and enrolls students in grades four through 12, is also celebrating ten years in the making and begs the question “Are you a leader?” Results about the Arts and Writing awards for Fort Couch and high school students (page 61), as well as many other articles about the arts, academics, and athletics can be found in the District’s pages. If there’s a Township or School District-related topic you are passionate about or one that you would like to see covered, let us know. We’d be happy to consider your topic for this publication. For those of you with school-age children, we hope you and your kids enjoy the remaining school year. Soon enough, we’ll all be in summer mode. Working our flower and vegetable gardens, exercising and playing in our community parks, and partaking of all kinds of outdoor activities are what the season is about. Take advantage of this time of year. It’s the best! Enjoy summer, and we’ll see you again in the fall.

Volunteers get ready for the Community Day Duck Race. Did you adopt your duck?



Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager

Dr. John T. Rozzo Superintendent of Schools

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


Summer 2019



Internationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon Andy C. Kiser, M.D., FACS, FACC, FCCP, brings his accomplished career to St. Clair Hospital as the new Chief of Cardiac Surgery. Dr. Kiser has pioneered innovative minimally invasive approaches to heart surgery that are transforming the treatment of certain heart conditions, including atrial fibrillation, a disorder of the heart’s rhythm, as well as valve and coronary disease. As the latest addition to St. Clair, Dr. Kiser’s appointment affirms our commitment to continually provide exceptional patient safety, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and value to our patients. Dr. Kiser earned a medical degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He subsequently completed a residency in general surgery there, as well as fellowships in cardiac and thoracic surgery. From 2011 to 2016, he served as the Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was also the Byah Thomason-Sanford Doxey Distinguished Professor of Surgery. Later, Dr. Kiser served as the J. Mark Williams Distinguished Professor in Cardiac Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and the Director of Cardiovascular Surgical Services at East Carolina Heart Institute, which is affiliated with East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina. In May, 2018, Dr. Kiser earned an MBA degree from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, also part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Kiser is employed by St. Clair Cardiovascular Surgery Associates, part of St. Clair Medical Services.


USC Community Day Panther Land

Community Day Schedule Saturday, May 18, 2019

Planned Activity Descriptions: The Color Run /Walk for Fun will begin at 9 a.m. Complete the registration form found on page 11 to make registration quick and easy. The 3.1 mile non-sanctioned race, complete with color, will begin in the parking lot at the Upper St. Clair High School stadium. The race is open to runners and walkers of all ages. Awards will be presented after the race at the race tent. At 10:30 a.m. at the USC Veterans Park, help kick-off Community Day and acknowledge Armed Forces Day. Clair’s Kennel will be open 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Talk with an animal control officer, and get information regarding your pet’s care and licensing. See where runaway pets are temporarily held. The annual Community Day Parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. The parade will follow the route from Truxton Drive, along McLaughlin Run Road to Panther Pass, and up to the high school. USCHS student council will host a continual Scavenger Hunt, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Additional information is posted on the School District website. On the day of the event, stop at the Student Council information station for more details. The 1830 Log House will be open for a baked goods and herb sale at noon. Tours of the house will be held noon–3 p.m., along with pioneer games and Knapp’s Battery re-enactors. The 1857 Gilfillan Farm House will be open noon–3 p.m. for tours. The barnyard will be open noon–4 p.m. Activities will include wagon rides, cow milking, sheep shearing, and baby farm animals to see. Pony Rides will be offered near the batting cages, noon–3 p.m. The Petting Zoo, Inflatable Attraction, and Trackless Train will be operating in the library parking lot, noon–4 p.m. Thanks to patron donations, these activities will be offered free of charge, other than a minimal fee for food and milk for the animals. The Duck Race, sponsored by the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, will start at 3 p.m. Adopt your duck at the Foundation’s pre-sale or stop by their booth before the race. Community Day After Party, hosted by the Community Foundation of USC, will be held at the USCHS Main Lobby and begins at the end of events until 7 p.m. Stop by for local food trucks, games, and live music! 

Shuttle Bus Parking Shuttle bus service will be available to the Municipal Building every half-hour starting at 10 a.m. from the following locations: • Boyce Middle School • Fort Couch Middle School • Gilfillan Farm • USC High School • Westminster Church South Lot • Fire Station Please be advised that permit parking only will be allowed in the Public Works parking lot on Truxton Drive. 10


Summer 2019

7:30–9:30 a.m. ...................................Community Fair Setup McLaughlin Run Activity Center (MAC) Parking Lot 7:45–8:15 a.m. ..........Color Run /Walk for Fun Registration High School Stadium—Registration form on page 11 9 a.m. ............................................. Color Run /Walk for Fun High School Stadium Entrance (Truxton Drive) 9:30–10:30 a.m. ..................................... Hottest Dog Contest Stage Area—Pre–registration form on page 12 10:30–11 a.m.............................................Kick-off Ceremony and recognition of Armed Forces Day USC Veterans Park 10:15 a.m. (approx.).........Color Run /Walk for Fun Awards Race Site 11 a.m.–3 p.m. ........................... Clair’s Kennel Open House 11 a.m.–4 p.m......................................Community Fair Area Entertainment Stage Area Scavenger Hunt Student Council Panther Land Information Station 11:30 a.m.......................................................................Parade Noon (after parade)...................................... Bake-Off Awards MAC (See page 12) Noon–3 p.m......................................Log House Open House and Herb Sale Gilfillan Farm House Tours Pony Rides Grassy area near batting cages Noon–4 p.m...........................Inflatable and Trackless Train Petting Zoo Library Parking Lot Gilfillan Farm Barnyard Activities Gilfillan Farm area Volunteer Fire Department Tours Main Station, Route 19 (See page 13) 12:30–1 p.m..Float contest and Fun Run winners announced 2 p.m....................................................................Toddler Trot Founders’ Field (See page 12) 3 p.m....................................................................... Duck Race McLaughlin Run 4–7 p.m........................ Community Foundation After Party USCHS Main Lobby (See page 12)

PANTHER LAND 2019 Volunteers Upper St. Clair School District: Danny Holzer, Director of Student Activities Brooke Tarcson, Assistant Director of Student Activities Student Volunteer Chairs: Overall: Nikki Gibbons Fair Area: Sam Ding, Matt Hornak, Vivek Babu Run/Walk for Fun: Colleen Cassady, Juli Tarcson, Jocelyn Millorino Entertainment: Gabi Spina, Haley Beardsley, Jami Stout Information Station: Taylor Quinn, Peyton Ciesco Parade: Lexi Feldman, Marly McClintock, Megan Starr Parking Lots: Paarth Shankar, Evan Heilman, Ben Burlovic, Joey Ioli, Yash Jajoo Publicity: Mary Groninger, Lauren Hart Scavenger Hunt: Jules Gianni, Gavin Genter T-shirts: Olivia Schlichting, Jen Vighetti, Nandita Mahesh Toddler Trot: Jules Gianni, Ian Rankin Township of Upper St. Clair: Paul Besterman, Director of Recreation and Leisure Services Ryan McCleaster, Assistant Director of Recreation and Leisure Services Lynn Walcoff, Community Programs Coordinator Amanda Sekanic, Assistant Community Programs Coordinator George Kostelich, Director of Public Works Rich Botz, Superintendent of Operations Dave Kutschbach, Superintendent of Projects Jonathan Wharton, Chief of Police Glenn Ward, Upper St. Clair Public Access Television USC VFD Other USC Groups: Tri-Community South EMS Upper St. Clair Historical Society, Gilfillan Homestead and Farm–Rachel Carlson, Roger Heins 1830 Log House Association–Kim Guzzi Community-at-Large–Karen East, Bill Findle, Paula and William Henderson, Shari Leckenby and family, Susan Rosati

A Community Day wrap-up, including a complete list of all patrons, will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY. We thank our kind and generous patrons for their financial and in-kind support of Community Day 2019!

Community Day Color Run/Walk for Fun When: Saturday, May 18, 2019. Race begins at 9 a.m. sharp! Where: Upper St. Clair High School. A 3.1-mile route, start-

ing and finishing at Panther Stadium. A map is available at the Community & Recreation Center (C&RC).

Advance Registration (by May 12):

Pre-registered runners should pick up their race packets between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. on the day of the race at the high school track parking lot on Truxton Drive. Day of Registration: $14 day-of registration. Registration will be held at the high school parking lot on Truxton Drive the morning of the race from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. Please arrive no later than 8 a.m. to allow sufficient time for registration and bring your completed “Day Of” registration form found below for a quicker registration process. No registrations accepted after 8:15 a.m. Awards will be presented at approximately 10:15 a.m. at the Race Tent. Awards for first, second, and third place finishers in each category will be given and times will be posted at Community Day. Full results and times will be posted when available. Check the Township website for future posting. Come run or walk for fun and exercise. Bring the whole family! No pets, please. Wear your sunglasses and prepare to get color on your clothing! (Note, this is a non-sanctioned race.) FEMALE MALE • 8 & under • 9 to 11 • 12 to 14 • 15 to 19

• 20 to 29 • 30 to 39 • 40 to 49 • 50 & over

• 8 & under • 9 to 11 • 12 to 14 • 15 to 19

• 20 to 29 • 30 to 39 • 40 to 49 • 50 & over

USC Community Day Color Run/Walk For Fun Registration Form No registrations accepted after 8:15 a.m. Name_____________________________________________ Age as of May 18, 2019_____________


Address___________________________________________ Phone number (preferred)____________________________ Email_____________________________________________ Registration (through May 12), race entry: $9, T-shirt: $6 (sizes: Child __M __L, Adult __S __M __L __XL) Register online or at the C&RC, or to register by mail, send form(s) and a check made payable to USC Recreation to the Community & Recreation Center, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, USC, PA 15241. From May 13–18, race entry: $14, cash or check only for on-site registration. There will be a limited number of shirts for sale for $8 on race day. 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 Color Run /Walk for Fun.

_________________________________ _______ Signature

(Parent/Guardian if Under 18 Years of Age)

Summer 2019




USC Community Day Toddler Trot

Upper St Clair Community Day 22nd Annual “Hottest Dog” Contest! Proceeds benefit

The Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund

Ages: Twelve months to four years (races grouped by age) Location: Founders’ Field (grassy area, look for the balloons)

5 Fun Contests: * Cutest Puppy (up to 4 months)


* Best Pet Trick Contest Time:

Race Course: (age-appropriate, short distances) Race time begins: 2 p.m. Register by: 1 p.m.

Pre-registration/Waiver forms available at the Student Council Information Station on Community Day.

This activity is free, but pre-registration is required. Register, then come cheer on your favorite toddler! A USCHS Student Council-sponsored event

* Best Tail Wag Contest * Best Costume Contest

Rules: All contestants must be residents of USC. Owners must provide proof of up-to-date shots record with entry. Entries should be received by 5/15/2019 You may also register at the event if you miss the deadline. $5 entry fee.

Mail, or drop off your registration form w/entry fee : Hottest Dog Contest Attn: Janet Kaufman 180 Ft. Couch Rd, Ste 100 Pittsburgh, PA 15241

Dog’s Name _____________________________________ Owner’s Name Address

Dog’s Breed _____________________________________ Please choose competition categories: Cutest Puppy ___ Best Trick ___ Best Tail Wag ___ Best Costume ___ Dog-owner Lookalike ___

Phone_____________________________ Email:__________________________



Signature of parent or guardian if under 18


Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2019 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. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.


Summer 2019

Pet & Owner Look-a-like Contest

For information or emailing in your registration contact: Beth Thomas 412-865-9865 You can also register at The Dog Stop at 1377 McLaughlin Run

** All Dogs get a treat just for participating! **



PANTHER LAND Community Day Open House Join members of the Upper St. Clair VFD on Saturday, May 18 at the main fire station located at 2001 Washington Road for the annual open house during Upper St. Clair’s Community Day celebration. Starting at noon and running until 4 p.m., doors will be open to the public. Shuttle buses will run between the McLaughlin Run Activity Center (MAC) and the fire department. Kids can enjoy time in the Sparky Bouncy House, visit with Sparky the Fire Dog, watch demonstrations of the equipment, and observe fire extinguisher demonstrations. Firefighters will be on hand to answer all questions that kids and adults might have. On display will be videos and pictures of the fire department’s history. Stop in to have a look around, enjoy some fresh popcorn, and get acquainted with the facility and the VFD members. We look forward to seeing you! n

Join us at Gilfillan Farm for a ROCKING good time

Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department invites you to visit the main station on Washington Road on Community Day from noon to 4 p.m. Shuttle bus service from the municipal building on McLaughlin Run Road will be provided.

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Thursday, June 13 Wine Dinner Sunday, August 4 Summer High Tea

Community Day Saturday, May 18

House Tours 12-3 Barnyard 12-4

Thursday, October 3 Oktoberfest Sunday, December 1 Holiday High Tea

For more information, email

Concessions available for purchase from Atria’s

Summer 2019



South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates Opens New Sports Medicine and Rehab Location at Siena Dr. Bradley Cipriani, DPT, OCS South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates is a practice that is well known to many in the South Hills of Pittsburgh for exceptional surgeons who provide care for patients of all ages and in all areas of orthopedics, including total joint replacement, arthroscopic surgery, surgery of the hand, foot, and ankle, surgery of the spine, and sports medicine. Established in 1979, their physicians have a wealth of combined experience in delivering quality orthopedic patient care in a convenient and timely manner that demonstrates compassion and respect for each individual Dr. Cipriani works to make sure Jackie Cisko’s form is correct. patient. The practice has historically consisted of four orthopedic surgeons—Derrick Fluhme MD, Christopher Manning, MD, Brett Perricelli, MD, and Carmen Petraglia, MD— physician assistants Kristina Gifford, MPA, PA-C, Lauren Kirsch, PA-C, and Aaron Dean, PA-C, and podiatrist Damon Combs, DPM. The practice values the advantages of a multidisciplinary approach to medical care, and now offers specialists in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation, along with physical therapy. The team has expanded to include three physical medicine and rehabilitation providers—Justin Petrolla, MD, Jose Ramirez-Del Toro, MD, and Rachel Bovalina, PA-C—along with the establishment of a physical therapy division directed by Bradley Cipriani, DPT, OCS, and John Duffy, PT, OCS. These individuals, who specialize in a variety of non-surgical treatment options, will provide patient care at the new facility, South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab, set to open in June at Siena at St. Clair, a complex off Route 19 and Fort Couch Road. Independently, these particular orthopedic professions have proven valuable and effective, but their impact strengthens when the combined effort can be coordinated to address patient concerns and limitations. The group’s accomplished individuals in these fields will maintain a high quality of care needed to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. With physicians and therapists working side-by-side, thorough communication is maintained and patient concerns are quickly addressed. South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates providers are known experts in their respective fields. Both Dr. Justin Petrolla and Dr. Jose Ramirez-Del Toro have exceptional reputations for their standard of care and their ability to successfully assess and treat difficult orthopedic cases. Having known one another for over a decade, their desire to together establish a practice in non-operative care for sports and spine-related conditions is now realized. Dr. Petrolla completed his residency in PMR at UPMC where he served as chief resident. He then completed an ACGME accredited pain fellowship and, due to the unique nature of his fellowship, he sat for the sports medicine boards, as well. This allowed him to achieve three board certifications. Dr. Petrolla has a special interest in non-operative treatment of spine-related pain, and treats “head to toe” spinal pain. Along with treating spine-related conditions, Dr. Petrolla uses botox for migraines and has an interest in regenerative medicine. While he maintains heavier interventional focus in his practice, he is keenly aware of the need for hands-on physical therapy. Dr. Petrolla is an avid lifter and has the expertise of working with Dr. Cipriani not only as a colleague, but also as a patient. Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro is a board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician, with a sub-specialty certification in Sports Medicine. Born in Puerto Rico, 14


Summer 2019

he moved to North Carolina in his youth. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University, where he played basketball for legendary coach Pete Carril. He attended medical school in North Carolina and conducted his internship at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He went on to complete a Sports Medicine fellowship after his residency at The New Jersey Sports Medicine Institute, with a focus on non-surgical musculoskeletal care of athletes and non-athletes alike. After his fellowship, Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro moved back to Pittsburgh with his wife and joined The Orthopedic Group, a private practice orthopedic group, working there for ten years prior to joining South Hills Orthopaedic. During his tenure at The Orthopedic Group, he served for nine years as the head team physician and director of Sports Medicine for California University of Pennsylvania. He incorporated teaching into his professional duties and became one of a few area physicians to integrate his private practice with an academic practice. For four years he was an assistant professor and the director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro has a special focus in non-surgical orthopedics and treats all manner of musculoskeletal pain, both spine and peripheral joint related. He treats soft tissue muscular, tendon, and ligamentous injuries, as well as joint problems stemming from injuries and arthritis. His treatment approach focuses on the whole person and maximizes all non-surgical options for musculoskeletal pain, from very conservative to very aggressive, and everything in between. Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro performs spine and joint image-guided procedures, using both fluoroscopy and ultrasound guidance. He also uses regenerative medicine, including platelet rich plasma, as well as bone marrow aspiration and lipid aspirations for the isolation of stem cells, in order to enhance the body’s natural

tissue healing properties, following evidence-based guidelines. Additionally, he specializes in devising rehabilitation protocols after any acute, traumatic, overuse, or chronic injury. Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro has published several articles in peer reviewed journals, as well as numerous book chapters, including a chapter in the book Regenerative Treatment in Sports and Orthopedic Medicine, the first comprehensive textbook devoted to orthobiologic treatments for orthopedic conditions. He has lectured locally, regionally, and nationally in the field of Sports Medicine. Focused on clean living, he believes that a healthy mind, body, and spirit are key to intentional joyful living. Married with two school-age daughters, Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro resides in Upper St. Clair. Rachel Bovalina, MSPAS, PA-C, is a board-certified Physician Assistant, practicing for six years. Rachel received her BS in biobehavioral health from Penn State in 2009. She then went on to obtain her MS of Physician Assistant Studies from Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Rachel currently practices physiatry alongside Dr. Petrolla, and has previous clinical experience in neurosurgery, spine surgery, and orthopedic surgery. She lives in Cecil with her husband and their dog, Benny. Rachel enjoys exploring Pittsburgh cuisine, boating, and yoga. Dr. Bradley Cipriani is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist with undergraduate degrees in biology and health sciences. He completed his undergraduate training at Duquesne University where he was on scholarship as a member of the wrestling team. He continued as a graduate assistant wrestling coach while working towards his doctorate degree. Working in the outpatient orthopedic setting since 2010, he managed two offices prior to coming to South Hills Orthopaedic Associates. Dr. Cipriani is the creator/co-founder of, a website that provides a video library of home exercises for patients, including nearly 800 videos that he has created. Through this, patients can learn about the purpose of each aspect of their recovery program and have unlimited access to his personal instruction for all movements. Dr. Cipriani has strong ties to the community. He is an assistant wrestling coach at Mt. Lebanon High School and also works closely with many organizations in the South Hills, including the Ballet

Academy of Pittsburgh, Indio Dojo Martial Arts, and many other fitness and yoga studios. Along with being credentialed as a board certified orthopedic specialist, Dr. Cipriani has a strong background in manual therapy and specialized approaches to exercise based in Germany (Schroth Method for the Treatment of Scoliosis) and Prague (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization). Residing in Baldwin with his wife and two children (soon to be three!), he enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his children’s sports teams, and staying involved in wrestling and jujitsu. Practicing for 28 years, John Duffy obtained board certification as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in 1997. John began his career at Allegheny General Hospital and moved to South Hills Orthopaedic to become the director of their clinic on Vanadium Road, the original location of South Hills Sports Medicine. John practiced at that clinic for 17 years while also managing a large region of other clinics after that practice was sold to a private PT company. John managed many start-ups as well as a hospital-based physical therapy department at Nason Hospital, near Altoona. For nine years, John owned a PT website that provided daily information to PTs and MDs from around the world. Taking that educational idea to Facebook, he helped educate the community about what the profession is all about. In 1998, John moved to Phoenix Physical Therapy and practiced there for 11 years before joining South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab. Growing up in Scott Township, John attended Chartiers Valley High School. He went on to Pitt for his undergraduate degree in biology and then obtained his physical therapy degree from Pitt in 1991. A resident of USC with his wife, three children, and a new puppy, John’s home is a half mile from the new office. Semi-retired, John enjoys weight training, spending time with family, and continuing to learn about the evolving and improving field of physical therapy. “Duffy,” as he prefers to be called, owns and maintains a massage therapy business that his wife (a massage therapist and esthetician) manages and provides expert legal opinions for legal cases. Dr. Cipriani and Duffy have collaborated with Dr. Petrolla and Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro, as well as the rest of the South Hills Orthopaedic physicians, for many years. Since 2012, Dr. Cipriani worked in the same office as Dr. Petrolla and Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro, growing accustomed to daily conversations that coordinated care in the best interest of their shared patients. John Duffy worked alongside the South Hills Orthopaedic physicians at their Vanadium Road location and has continued to treat many of their patients over the years. The team at the new facility, South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab, shares a similar philosophy in regards to patient care. It is simply not good enough to look at an image of an X-ray or MRI and base a patient’s care solely on those findings. What is needed is a Duffy works on Kim Freeman’s neck. thorough investigation, observation, and examination of a patient to understand the true Shown on the front cover of TODAY and representing South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates and South Hills Sports nature of the problem. Medicine and Rehab, left to right, are John Duffy, PT, OCS; Our team believes our viBrad Cipriani, DPT, OCS; Justin Petrolla, MD; Rachel Bovalina, PA-C; and Jose Ramirez-Del Toro, MD sion and the patient’s best care and treatment can be South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab accomplished through our 100 Siena Drive, Suite 165, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 combined healthcare approach Phone: 412-409-2600 developed between our estab- Physical therapy hours 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. lished South Hills Orthopaedic South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates Surgery Associates, P.C and 2000 Oxford Drive Suite 211, Bethel Park, PA, 15102 the newly formed South Hills Phone: 412-283-0260 Sports Medicine and Rehab. n Physician offices for Dr. Petrolla and Dr. Ramirez Del-Toro: 412-283-0260

Summer 2019



Journey Down Memory Lane—Part II A Pathway of Riches… Following TODAY’s Silver Brick Road

e rter-C Qua


nection Con

a Generation of Giving

Paul K. Fox, TODAY Steering Committee Member, School District Representative col·lab·o·ra·tion (noun) The process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal.—Wikipedia The action of working with someone to produce or create something.—Google Have you ever heard of two governmental entities harmoniously working together? Really working together? Well, in USC, this really happens! The governments of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair model a high standard of collaboration, fostering partnerships and alliances whenever possible, and embracing common goals to benefit our local residents and businesses. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a prime example of this give-and-take relationship, with the municipal and school governance joining forces to provide the necessary resources to publish this quarterly community keepsake. All one has to do is to read an issue of the magazine to confirm the commitment of our USC leaders, staff, volunteers, and groups who plan successful joint programs and projects throughout the community. Other examples of this ongoing administrative collaboration include the shared use of local ballfields, buildings, and park facilities as well as contributions of the Upper St. Clair Athletic Association, USC Youth Steering Committee, USC annual Community Day, the Upper St. Clair Veterans Monument Committee, and the coordinated resources of the C&RC, the library, and the police. This genuine partnership may look easy, but it is not by accident. Most noticeable is the combined teamwork, cooperation, and guidance inspired for a community magazine from the very top—beginning with the original visionaries, Township manager

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TODAY Milestones Continue

Winter 2003–Winter 2010

• Winter 2003 issue unveiled several new staff changes in the magazine that remain current today: Linda Dudzinski–editorin-chief, Terry Kish–School District associate editor, and Colleen DeMarco–office manager, and featured the inaugural “USCene” photo collage. • Spring 2004 introduced the popular and long-running Senior Savvy column, gave a special tribute and thanks to retiring 20-year Board of School director Dina Fulmer and 22-year Township commissioner Ed Long. • Fall 2004 celebrated the tenth-year anniversary of the magazine and hosted a community art contest. The winning entry was “The Spirit of Upper St. Clair” log house rendering by Bennett Wallender, which was featured on the front cover of that issue.



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Douglas Watkins and School District superintendent Dr. William Pope, to the current publishers, superintendent Dr. John Rozzo and Township manager Matthew Serakowski. Receiving full support for 25 years from those who served as Township Commissioner or School Director board members, all enthusiastically embraced the mission and goals of TODAY. And, it’s truly all about volunteer spirit! Did you know that TODAY relies on a small part-time staff that manages its operations, designs, writes, illustrates, edits, photographs, and sells ads, not to mention an army of regular volunteers who collaborate on this project, sharing their interests, talents, and experiences because of a desire to contribute to our Township? The bottom line is this: Bringing everyone together, “the official award-winning publication of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair,” TODAY is all about trust, presenting a non-political, non-sectarian, and non-biased view of our community. You can count on many features in each edition, including current event bulletin boards, calendars, program schedules, and “happenings;” art and cultural expositions; information about USC neighborhoods, generations, and history; highlights from PTA groups; School District and Board of Commissioners meeting minutes, and other official meetings; announcements and profiles about student, staff, and resident awards, achievements, and activities; news and contact information for churches, child and senior care centers, clubs and organizations; official bulletins from the School District and Township governments; a senior citizen column; budget reports; various business guides; a complete advertiser index; and seasonal sections on health and wellness, gift giving, summer activities, home improvements, life planning, and educational resource.


Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.—Henry Ford

• Spring 2005 showcased the St. Clair Hospital emergency department expansion and the hospital’s celebration of its 50th year anniversary serving the healthcare needs of Pittsburgh’s South Hills residents. • Winter 2005 cover was underwritten by the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, marketing its fall fundraiser “A Night of Cool Jazz” by Kenny Blake. The issue also shared updates on the grand opening of the new volunteer fire station on Washington Road, reconstruction of the Upper St. Clair High School stadium turf, proposals for the Boyce Mayview Park Community & Recreation Center, and work on the Boyce Mayview Park interior walking trails, including the printing of a two-page full-color map of the park.

Fall 2004, highlighting the winning adult entry of TODAY’s tenth anniversary amateur front cover artwork competition

Spring 2006, underwritten by EDS and showing campers

Summer 2007, Summer 2009, showcasing Winter 2009, showcasing Summer 2010, showcasing celebrating TODAY’s an artistic rendering of the the tenth anniversary of TODAY’s school-inspired the USCHS Halls of Fame C&RC 50th edition with USC 16th birthday cake art Community Day activities project

• Fall 2006 said goodbye to social studies curriculum leader and TODAY steering committee school representative Thomas Labanc, who provided 12 years of leadership to the publication, beginning with its inception in 1994. • Winter 2006 bid a fond farewell and best wishes to outgoing School District superintendent Dr. James Lombardo. • Summer 2007, the 50th edition of the magazine, welcomed newly appointed School District superintendent Dr. Patrick O’Toole, and published the Boyce Mayview Park community recreation site plan.

Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined mission and vision, and based on transparency and constant communication.—Dinesh Paliwal • Fall 2007 cover, which was sponsored by the Township and School District publishers, was a computer-enhanced faux pointillism of a USC fall seasonal photograph taken by editor Linda Dudzinski, sponsoring the contest, “Where Was This Cover Shot Taken?” • Winter 2007 shared information about the retirement of District Justice Sally Elkins (after three decades of dedicated service) and that the Upper St Clair Athletic Association celebrated its 50th anniversary. • Spring 2008 unveiled the magazine’s first full-color publication. • Summer 2008 paid tribute to retired Township manager Douglas Watkins. The first Township publisher of TODAY, Doug was recognized and thanked for his 26 years of outstanding service to the community and the strong support of 14 years at the helm of TODAY he provided. • Summer 2009 cover depicted an artistic rendering of the anticipated opening of the C&RC, the newly constructed state-of-art health and wellness facility and Boyce Mayview Park. The issue also provided details on the School District’s new strategic plan, including a review of the mission and vision statements and six-year goals and plans. • Fall 2009 included several accolades about various bragging rights! The magazine shared the news that the Township was voted as one of the “Brainiest Places to Retire in 2008” and placement on the top ten list of “Best Places to Live 2009” by U.S. News & World Report. The School District was informed that it was “number 1” out of 501 school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times, ranking first regionally on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exam scores, and Upper St. Clair High School earned the special recognition as a

“Silver Medal” contender out of 21,000 schools nationally that were reviewed and assessed by the U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the inaugural “Traveling with TODAY” column, initiated by volunteer Mary Lynne Spazok, introduced photos of USC readers showcasing their copy of the magazine on trips across the country and around the world. • Winter 2009 (as well as later in 2015), behind-the-scenes, a near-miss of losing household addresses was averted. The U.S. post office’s unannounced changing of local mail carrier routes required a full street-address analysis and update of the magazine’s standard mail distribution (reduced-price automation) to its residents. Details about the plans for the renovations of Boyce and Fort Couch middle schools were shared and the front cover celebrated USCHS’s Halls of Fame tenth anniversary. • Spring 2010 edition was a good news/sad news edition: a “Sweet 16” anniversary celebration of the magazine’s success and moments of silence in reflection of the passings of former Township manager Douglas Watkins and former director of USC Township library (1993–2008) Louis Lemmert Hoop. • Fall 2010 announced that the TODAY staff won first place in the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair’s Community Day Parade float contest, a six-layer cake displaying all 61 covers and commemorating the magazine’s 16-year history, created by Eisenhower art students under the direction of Michele Scureman, and the model used for the Summer 2010 front cover. The fall magazine also featured the biennial residential guide and the article “A Tour of Upper St. Clair Schools.” • Winter 2010 presented the historic “Timeline of Schools in Upper St. Clair,” updates on the middle school building renovation projects, and programs of the Township’s Recreation and Leisure Services and The Outdoor Classroom.

Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.—Andrew Carnegie Our next stop for TODAY’s silver anniversary celebration will showcase the year 2011 to present day and also include student art projects and a trivia contest. Check it out in the fall edition, due out in August. n To search past editions of TODAY (2001–2019), visit us online at For copies of magazines prior to winter 2001, call TODAY at 412-833-1600, ext. 2284. Summer 2019



Twenty-Five Years Ago Remember When? Chet Dudzinski

The students from the Upper St. Clair High School Class of 2013 are well on their way to establishing careers and families and making their mark. In 1994, as the publishers of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY birthed their own baby, this class had yet to enter the world. What was happening around us as they became our future? Let’s take a look. For mothers of the Class of 2013, January births were a chilling There were cold days in January 2019, but not cold enough to be experience. The Polar Vortex of 2019 was the little baby brother to record-setting. the historical weather in January 1994. A cold wave impacted the entire midwestern and eastern U.S. and southern Canada, with two notable cold air events occurring from January 18 to 22. While in January 2019 the lowest recorded temperature was minus five degrees Fahrenheit over a two-day span, the high temperature in Pittsburgh in 1994 was negative three degrees, with a record-setting negative 22 degrees, which remains a record low in the region. Tragedy struck the Pittsburgh area. On September 8, 1994, USAir Flight 427 from Chicago to Pittsburgh crashed, when attempting to maneuver a landing after experiencing a wake from another craft. All 132 people aboard perished, including, sadly, ten Upper St. Clair residents—Robert Connelly, Bernard Koch, Paul McSherry, Davick Musick, Lee Weaver, and the entire Earl and Kathleen Weaver family, including their children Bryan (16), Lindsey (11), and Scott (7). Strangely, Tranquilly situated alongside the Weavers were returning home from a family funeral. Chartiers Creek behind the USC How do you keep a Millennial away from an iPhone? In 1994, municipal building is the memorial to residents who perished on it was easy; it was not yet invented! The iPhone would not be those USCUSAir Flight 427. introduced until 2008, when the Class of 2013 was entering their budding teenage years. In fact, in 1994, there were only 24 million cell phone subscribers in the U.S., compared to today’s estimated 265 million subscribers that represent approximately 75% of the By today’s standards, the first cordless telephone was quite clumsy, quite large, entire country’s population. The gadget itself, with its extended and had limited capabilities of only antenna and weighing about a pound, featured little to no functionmaking phone calls and sending faxes. ality, other than to make a phone call. And you’d better talk fast; a one-minute call cost about a dollar! Emailing was an emerging thing in 1994, while texting, or short messaging service (SMS), was still on the drawing board and invented a year later. Also in 1994, the World Wide Web was born, known today as the Internet. Pop culture presented compelling stories in 1994 and included the names Tanya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and OJ Simpson. At the U.S. figure skating championships, Harding’s ex-husband and others attacked Kerrigan, preventing her from skating, effectively giving the title (later rescinded) to Harding. Perhaps nothing tops the Simpson 60-mile “slow-speed chase” down Los Angeles The 1994 animated movie The Lion with musical composers Elton highways and the following murder charges lodged against the King, John and Hans Zimmer, shares the Heisman Trophy-winning football running back. In 1994, the mar- story of Simba, Mafusa, and Scar riage of Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson occurred, which and their power struggles to rule the land. lasted two years. Hollywood offered some memorable movie classics, including The Shawshank Redemption, Forest Gump, The Lion King, and for those with different tastes, Dumb and Dumber. Certain political events captured our attention. President Bill Clinton began his Nelson Mandela (1918–2013), an activist who was arrested, imprisoned, and then first full year in office in 1994 and was welelected the president of South Africa comed by the Republicans’ “Contract with 1994–1999, led the beginning of that county’s multicultural democracy and an America.” In other notable elections, Rudy end to apartheid minority rule. Giuliani became mayor of New York, and in the first multi-racial election in the history of South Africa, Nelson Mandela Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh’s multi-purpose stadium, pledged full racial integration as the first non-white president of that country. Cont. on page 94



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was used from 1970 to 2000 and home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers. After its closing, the stadium was imploded in 2001, and the Pirates and Steelers moved into newly built stadiums, PNC Park and Heinz Field, respectively, where the teams continue to play today.

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Summer 2019



It All Started (for Me) with USC Community Day Article and photos by Jim O’Brien

My timing has somehow always been quite good. I moved to the right cities at the right times, especially for a sports writer. I went to Miami in 1969, to New York in 1970, and back home to Pittsburgh in 1979. In 1979, my wife, Kathie, and I bought a home in the Trotwood Hills section of Upper St. Clair, living there for well over 35 years. I recall that upon our arrival, Rebecca, our youngest daughter, at age two, tilted backwards and fell on her behind when she got out of the car and tried to make her way up the steep driveway. There were no steep-hilled driveways in Long Island. Life in Pittsburgh would be different. Our daughter, Sarah, then nearly 6, made it up the driveway without incident. Sarah was a tough act to follow, but Rebecca righted herself and became equally successful at navigating life. The year 1979 was a good year to move to Pittsburgh and, particularly, to Upper St. Clair. We had the best schools, the best teachers, and the best playgrounds. I remember that Tom Harshman, then principal at Fort Couch Middle School, promoted the idea of “catch a kid doing something right” that continues in similar fashion to this day. The Pirates won the World Series that year, and I covered the Pittsburgh Steelers that season when they won their fourth Super Bowl in six years. How could it get any better? Also in 1979, Jim Render came to Upper St. Clair and, as a result, we had a great football program for the next 40 years! Jim recently retired as head USC football coach after the completion of the 2018 season. I saw him twice this past February at funeral viewings in McMurray and Canonsburg. The most recent was for Pat Schipani, Sr., whose three sons played football for USC under Jim. Pat played basketball at Duquesne University, on a team whose star was All-America Willie Somerset. A team photo hung on the wall at the viewing at Beinhauer Funeral Home. Looking at it, I recognized most of the players, especially Jimmy Smith from Mt. Lebanon. Young Pat Schipani played on Pitt’s football team during the time I served as the assistant athletic director for public relations in the mid-80s. To this day, he refers to me as Mr. O’Brien. Pam Render, who also retired from the USC School District in 2018, reminded me that Pat Schipani, Sr. was 76, the same age as her husband, Jim, and me. Quietly, I’d already thought about that. It was a wake-up call, for sure. I was 36 when I first took up residence in Upper St. Clair, and five months later, I participated in USC’s first Community Day. Soon after settling in, I received a phone call from Tom

Kent Tekulve and Elroy Face, two of the finest firemen in baseball history 20


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Harshman asking me if I would serve as emcee for the “Anything Goes” portion of the program that he was coordinating. This series of sports-related games was a precursor to the “Survivor” series currently on television. There were teams from different neighborhoods made up of both men and women. I remember that a couple of former major league baseball stars, Dave Giusti and Steve Blass, were part of the action, and they were competing as if they were in the World Series once again. George and Diane Morris, Ginny Giusti, Bill Haines, and Nick Cullen participated, as well. George fondly remembers that his team won the competition “because we had the best women on our team.” Steve used to boast that he had been living the dream for a long time: one team, one house, and one wife. But last year, he and his wife, Karen, upset the 1-1-1 scenario and moved to an apartment on Grandview Avenue in Mt. Washington and spend half the year in Bradenton, Florida, also the home of the Pirates’ spring training complex. Steve announced his plans to retire as a broadcaster for Pirates’ home games after the 2019 season, a role that started in 1983. He will stay on as a Pirates’ ambassador and continue to host Fantasy Camp with Kent Tekulve. Steve is best known for pitching two complete game victories in the 1979 World Series, including the deciding seventh game against the Baltimore Orioles. He gave up seven hits and two runs in a total of 18 innings. It is unlikely that anyone will match that record. He finished second in the MVP voting to outfielder Roberto Clemente, who matched his own 1960 World Series performance with a hit in all seven games. Steve was not the only sports star who resided in Upper St. Clair. Steelers coach Chuck Noll and his wife, Marianne, lived on Warwick Drive, just across the street from Eisenhower Elementary. His home was located behind the Consolidated Coal headquarters, which has since given way to a shopping complex, Siena at St. Clair. Several of Noll’s assistant coaches from those Super Bowl-winning teams also lived in USC, namely Tom Moore, George Perles, and Dick Walker. There were several coaches and sports executives within two blocks of my Trotwood Hills house, including Frank Lauterbur, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Maulers; Chris Wright, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Spirit indoor soccer team; and Eddie Johnston, the former head coach and general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his wife, Diane. The Johnstons, who I first met at a block party on USC’s Tragone Drive, continue to reside in the USC community.

Steve Blass and Sean Casey represent USC quite well; photo taken in 2005 when Sean was playing for the Reds

Kent Tekulve, the former Pirates’ ace relief pitcher, lived in Upper St. Clair, too. He is now in charge of the Pirates’ alumni and is the Fantasy Camp coordinator, replacing the late Nellie Briles. Steve and Kent were frequent participants in USC’s Community Day parade. In about a dozen of those parades, I rode in a fun, classic convertible along McLaughlin Run Road, proud to be recognized by a community that had replaced Hazelwood as my hometown. Grant Jackson, now age 76, who pitched in the World Series for the Orioles, Yankees, and Pirates (1979), still lives in USC, as does Sean Casey. Sean was known as “the most likable player” in baseball when he played for the Pirates and Reds. Sean was a classmate of our daughter, Sarah, and he continues to ask me how she’s doing when we see one another. Sarah said Sean was the rare athlete who was nice to the nerds. “That wasn’t the case with all the jocks,” she said. In addition to Sean making it big on the college scene on his way to the major league, USC High School also sent two stars to Pitt: Joey David in basketball and Doug Whaley in football. Joey was a two-year starter in Big East action and Doug was a terrific defensive back who later became a scout for the Steelers and Seahawks, eventually attaining the general manager position for the Buffalo Bills. Joey now coaches the boys’ high school basketball team for Mt. Lebanon, where he also owns and operates a physical therapy complex. Both Joey and Doug were college Academic All-America selections. Bob Junko, an assistant football coach under several head coaches—Foge Fazio to Pat Narduzzi—at Pitt, has lived in USC since the early ’80s. Bob’s son, Mike, succeeds Jim Render as the head football coach of the USC Panthers, with his first season beginning in fall 2019. Suzie McConnell-Serio, a two-time Olympic medalist and a WNBA standout player and coach, grew up in Brookline, but has been a long-time resident of Upper St. Clair, where she and her husband, Pete (Boyce Middle School physical education teacher), raised their family. Over the years, she’s coached the women’s basketball teams at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. Jaromir Jagr lived in USC with his mom while he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now back in his Czech Republic hometown, the winger and 13-time NHL All Star is playing for the HC Kladno, that country’s first hockey league team. I suspect he will be selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame someday. Steelers Mike Wagner, Steve Furness, and Edmund Nelson all lived in USC, too. Edmond, a State Farm® Suzie McConnell-Serio, in 2002 agent, has an office on Fort Couch Road, near South while coaching at Oakland Catholic Hills Village. There were many television and radio celebrities who also called Upper St. Clair home, including Bob Prince, Myron Cope, Dave Kelly, Tom Hritz, Al McDowell, Jack Bogut, Don Cannon, Craig Wolfley, Tunch Ilkin, Shannon Perrine, and Stan Savran. It’s really something when you think about it. The little town of Upper St. Clair, with its total ten-mile radius, claims two of the greatest relief pitchers in the history of major league baseball: Steve Tekulve and Dave Giusti, the latter who won the Fireman of the Year award in 1971. USC also claims two of the best football coaches in Pennsylvania: Chuck Noll and Jim Render. By the way, Jim mentioned he might write his memoire. I suggested calling it Render Unto Caesar, but Jim, in his humor, resisted that suggestion. n

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Grant Jackson and Steve Blass starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1979 and 1971 World Series, respectively; photo taken in 2003.


Sports author Jim O’Brien’s 30th book, Franco, Rocky & Friends—It Pays to be a Good Guy, is near completion and will be available in time for Father’s Day. Check it out!


Summer 2019




RONALD A. ARNONI, DISTRICT JUDGE District Court 05-2-20 Office: 412-835-1661 Fax: 412-835-4060

Hiras Professional Building 2414 Lytle Rd #200 Bethel Park, PA 15102

We love our pets and consider them part of our family. That is why we need to make sure they are taken care of. The following is some helpful information related to taking care of your pets and some new information regarding Pennsylvania law. Always review your local rules and regulations, since some of the regulations and provisions may be unique to USC as it relates to the care of your best friend. Puppy Mill Forum What do the advertising director of the Pittsburgh PostGazette, executive director of Humane Animal Rescue, and State Representatives Harry Readshaw and Jason Ortitay have in common? They have all joined together in the fight to end puppy mill misery in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is currently the fourth worst state for commercial puppy breeders in the country. Humane Action Pittsburgh, a coalition of citizen lobbyists dedicated to animal protection through legislation, policy, and education, has put together a forum in partnership with Spring Point Partners, of influential individuals, including representatives from the Attorney General’s office, Allegheny County District Attorney’s office, Director of the Western Pennsylvania office of the Lieutenant Governor, shelter and rescue directors from across the region, and Allegheny County Treasurer to tackle and solve this important issue. The goals of the foPuppy Mill Forum hopes to redefine rum include redefining minimum breeding standards. minimal breeding standards of dogs, cats, and rabbits, while also creating the most humane model that other states can replicate across the country. This isn’t the first time Pittsburgh has led the way. Humane Action Pittsburgh helped pass Pennsylvania’s first two puppy mill laws in December 2015. Spearheaded by City Council president Bruce Kraus, the spirit of the bill was soon passed in Los Angeles and then the state of California. Now, legislation has come back home where State Representatives Readshaw and Ortitay are championing the bill in the House, while State Senators Tom Killion and Andy Dinniman lead the bill in the Senate. The bill was dubbed “Victoria’s Law” in honor of Victoria, a German shepherd who as a result of overbreeding has a genetic neurological disorder that now leaves her paralyzed. It’s believed she passed this gene along to 150–200 puppies sold in pet stores. Unfortunately, Victoria is by no means an isolated case. The bill would require commercial establishments to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits sourced only from shelters and rescues. The bill would also place restrictions on advertising animals for sale. Inclement Weather With the cold weather behind us, but hot weather soon to come, it’s important for residents to understand dog law as it relates to inclement weather. The following are some facts to consider: 22


Summer 2019

Let’s Take Care of Our Pets • No dog should be tethered outside for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees. Owners who violate this statute can be cited for neglect. In certain municipalities, like the city of Pittsburgh, Sharpsburg, North Versailles, and Wilkinsburg, this law applies to dogs tethered or untethered. • Regardless of weather, dogs cannot be tethered for more than nine cumulative hours in a 24-hour period. • Tethered dogs must not be surrounded by excess waste or have open sores and they must have access to water and shade. Their tether cannot be a tow or logging chain, and must be at least ten feet long and attached to a well-fitting collar with a swivel (no choke/prong/chain collars allowed). • All dogs must have access to adequate shelter, which is defined as “sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.” An officer can cite the owner if they find a dilapidated, damp, and/or uninsulated structure, and/or the dog appears to be in distress. • If a dog lacks appropriate shelter or is exposed in extreme weather, a humane or police officer can cite the owner and seize the dog. • Public safety professionals can remove a dog or cat from an unattended motor vehicle if they believe the animal is in imminent danger, without fear of liability for damages to the vehicle or its contents. A reasonable search for the owner must first take place and the public safety professional must leave behind a note telling the owner where the pet can be picked up. If you are aware of violations, phone your local humane officer or dial 911. Remember to lawfully document the situation as best you can. Photographs with recorded dates and times are very helpful to law enforcement. If your local police department is unfamiliar with any of these laws, have them contact Humane Action Pittsburgh, who can help facilitate training free of charge to the department on the area’s animal cruelty codes. Licensing As a dog owner, it’s important to license your dogs. Not only is it the law to license every dog you own, but if your pet goes missing, having it licensed will drastically improve your chances of having it returned safely. In fact, Allegheny County sells more licenses than any other county in Pennsylvania and has reunited thousands of lost dogs with their families as a result of this effective program. When County Treasurer John Weinstein first took office in 1999, only about 44,000 dogs in the county had licenses (not including the City of Pittsburgh, which licenses dogs separately). Today, that number has grown to 120,000. As citizens of Allegheny County, we are fortunate to have a County Treasurer’s office that makes licensing easy. Go to the Allegheny County website, where you can find an online application and even apply for a lifetime license. Leash Laws Pennsylvania is one of only two states that requires a dog to be under the control of his or her owner when not on the owner’s premises. Pennsylvania law declares that it is unlawful for a dog

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owner to fail to keep his/her dog: 1) confined within the premises of the owner; 2) firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or 3) under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, or field training. (See 3 P.S. § 459-305.) In other words, as long as a dog is not engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, or field training, a dog owner must keep his or her dog confined, on a leash or other similar device, or otherwise under his or her control. Failure to comply with this law may result in a dog owner being liable if his or her dog causes harm to a person while off-leash in a public area. Pittsburgh has additional regulations in place, including that dogs may not run unleashed on public streets, sidewalks, other public places, or other people’s property. Furthermore, all leashes used must not be more than six feet in length. Cleaning Up After Your Pet In Allegheny County, you can be cited for a nuisance violation if you do not clean up after your dog on school grounds, a city park, or other public or private property. However, it is not considered to be a nuisance violation if you immediately clean up after your dog. While cleaning up after your dog is courteous to your neighbors and community members, it is also essential for the community as a whole. Dog waste contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that can harm our land, water systems, and wildlife. Additionally, dog waste is full of bacteria and parasites that can harm humans and spread disease to other dogs. If left alone, dog waste can take as long as one year to break down naturally, and the bacteria and parasites can linger in the soil for years to come. Therefore, it is important for all dog owners to clean up after their dogs in public and in their own backyards.

Vaccines Under Pennsylvania law, a dog or cat owner must have his or her dog or cat vaccinated against rabies within four weeks after the date the dog or cat attains 12 weeks of age. (See 3 P.S. § 455.8.) All dog and cat owners must be able to produce proof of vaccination within 48 hours after a police officer, state dog warden, department official, or designated municipal animal control officer requests proof. Further, unless otherwise indicated by the directions of the vaccine manufacturer, a booster vaccination shall be administered between 12 and 14 months from the date of the initial vaccination, and the animal revaccinated on an ongoing basis in accordance with the directions of the vaccine manufacturer. Failure to comply with this law enables a police officer, state dog warden, or designated municipal animal control officer to issue a citation. The only exception is for rare cases when a licensed veterinarian examines a dog or cat and determines that it would be medically contraindicated to vaccinate. While Pennsylvania law only requires rabies vaccinations, most veterinarians require additional vaccines that are considered vital to the health of your pet. For dogs, these include vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, and canine hepatitis. For cats, these vaccines include panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, and feline herpesvirus type I. For cats and dogs, additional vaccinations may be required depending on your pet’s risk of exposure to certain diseases and viruses. A veterinarian will help you determine what vaccines are best for your pet. I am hopeful this information has been helpful regarding the care of your pets, and encourages you to be a responsible pet owner. Check for updates to the law, and do your best to treat your pets with respect and kindness. n Summer 2019



Coach’s Corner

Mark Gentile Crossing Bridges Jim Render

Perhaps a few faithful UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY readers noticed that I took a

short hiatus from writing for the magazine. Much transpired during those months, including my retirement as USCHS head football coach. But enough about me, as I’m sure many of you have read more than you probably care to about the football life of ole JTR. I will, however, remind you that my football life would not have existed without the many marvelous and talented young men who excelled at Upper St. Clair High School. Many of them have gone from high school football field to collegiate honors and then on to very productive and successful careers. Their stories need to be shared and glorified, which is the reason I began writing these articles a number of years ago. I hope that my pride and respect for these boys explodes off the pages. Mark Gentile moved from Bethel Park to Upper St. Clair when he was in the third grade. At that time, he played youth football for St. Thomas Moore. By the fifth grade, he was playing for the USC Athletic Association until he reached his freshman year at the high school in 1987. He played a grand total of one play on the freshman football team. Have you ever seen a youngster try to jump up and grab the rim of a basketball hoop when he wasn’t ready for this athletic maneuver? Sometimes they fall backward. Sometimes they shatter their wrist. Mark managed to accomplish all of the above. Did I mention that he was a quarterback? By 1988, he was a 6'6", 145-pound sophomore ready to make his varsity debut. The word “speed” would not be used to describe his readiness. On our depth chart, he ascended to fourth team. He received quality playing time on our scout team, a team that runs the plays of our opponents so our defensive guys are well-prepared for Friday night games. In that regard, he did his job very well as we went on to win our first outright WPIAL championship. Sometime during the winter of 1989, Mark and I had a conversation about his lack of speed. I strongly suggested that he 24


Mark Gentile Mark Gentile

join the track team that upcoming spring if, in fact, he wanted to be a quarterback at our level of competition. For those of you who follow speed levels of football players, the 40-yard dash is the universal common denominator. Not only did Mark heed my advice regarding joining the track team, but he worked hard enough that his time improved from a 5.7 seconds (slow) to a 4.8 (respectable among quarterbacks). Coupled with the fact that he lived on the hill above the stadium, Mark had easy access to running on the track as well as throwing footballs on the turf. Not too bad of a neighborhood “playground,” if you ask me. As we began practice for the 1989 season, Mark put on 30 pounds of muscle and was in a four-way battle for the starting quarterback position. Each guy had unique talents, and in our scrimmages, each had different levels of success. As I recall, Mark received the fewest number of reps or play opportunities. Understandably, this team had a lot of good returning starters coming back from a WPIAL championship the year before. Our running backs Doug Whaley and Pete Habib were both explosive, fast, and experienced. Could we find a quarterback who could keep the linebackers and defensive backs from crowding the running lanes? Shortly before the team’s opening game, I determined that what we needed was a guy with long arms who had the capabilities of throwing deep and keeping the defense from stopping our ability to run the ball. When the evaluation period was over and the final decisions made, our offensive team consisted of ten seniors and one junior quarterback—Mark Gentile. This was a very talented team that became the first team in Pennsylvania history to win 15 consecutive games, including a WPIAL and a PIAA championship. The team was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2012. We had a group of very talented senior stars on this team, but it was Mark who was the glue that kept the team on track. He didn’t turn the ball over Summer 2019

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Woodrow Wilson Bridge

and he completed enough passes that the defense could not key on any one dimension of our offense. One memorable pass was against North Allegheny late in the season. With the score tied 14–14 and time running out, we had the ball on about the 40-yard line, heading toward the high school building. We put Whaley in motion to the right, which drew the defensive safety with him. After the fake into the line, Mark used his height to throw over the linebackers to our great tight end and captain, Phil Dunn, who took it to the end zone. Without that play, our record could have included a tie as there were no overtime tie breakers in those days. Big games are won by the abilities of outstanding players. In his senior year, 1990, Mark led us to our third consecutive football conference championship. He was also a starter on USC’s basketball team for two years and was voted “Athlete of the Year” by the coaches and the athletic director at the conclusion of his high school career in spring 1991. When football season was over, I introduced Mark to Upper St. Clair graduate Mike O’Connor, who was an assistant football coach at Bucknell University. Coach O’Connor consistently and faithfully came to our high school every year looking for student-athletes who were interested in both academics and athletics at the collegiate level. Things fell into place, and Mark enrolled at Bucknell that fall. He said he was looking for a school where he could get

Mark throws the game-winning touchdown during the North Allegheny game.

playing time as well as a great education. As a freshman, he again was on the scout team as a part-time quarterback and sometimes as a wide receiver. As often happens at this level, athletes grow and are moved to new positions based on the needs of the team. Not being slow and skinny anymore, Mark became a tight end who blocked and caught just under 100 passes in his final three years and was voted to an All Patriot League 2nd team position. Mark graduated from Bucknell in spring 1995 with a degree in civil engineering. Two weeks after graduation he began working for PJ Dick and Trumbull Corporation. Many readers of TODAY know that PJ Dick has been the construction manager for several USC School District renovation projects, including the new construction at the stadium that will house central administration offices as well as press box facilities for games and events. Mark is on the Trumbull side, which builds highways, tunnels, and bridges. When you ride the trolley (subway) from the North Shore to downtown Pittsburgh, you can be confident that it works because of labor by Pittsburgh proud men and women who were supervised by Mark Gentile and his co-workers at Trumbull. And, when you Ohio natives are in Columbus, note that the Olentangy River is cleaner because of a deep storage sewage tank that was constructed by the Trumbull Corporation. Yes, Mark was the supervising engineer on that project, too. How about the magnificent freeways around State College, Pennsylvania? Mark supervised that. And, the next time you are in Northern Virginia and cross the beautiful Woodrow Wilson Bridge on I-95 that takes you across the Potomac River, please smile with pride that Mark Gentile spent four years of his life engineering that construction.

Mark and his sister, Erin, during USC years in the ’80s

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Mark is in his 24th year with the first and only company he has served in his career. Very good to their employees, Mark said loyalty works both ways. While temporarily moving to various locations to be on the projects’ sites, Mark and his family make Pine Richland their home base. Now as vice president of Trumbull, his travel is more limited. There are still some long hours and his wife, Vicki, stays home to be in charge of daughters Caroline, a 13-year-old eight grader, and Cate, a, 11-year-old fifth grader. Mark makes time to coach lacrosse and basketball for his tall, athletic girls. He sometimes calls his old high school football coach to come

Mark and his mother, Lois, at Bucknell’s Senior Day

Summer 2019

watch his girls play when they travel to Upper St. Clair for games. Mark’s dad, Dr. Tony Gentile, is a proud and emotional father and grandfather. My wife, Pam, rode home on the parent bus with Tony after the 1989 nationally-televised game against North Hills, where we came from a 0–26 deficit to win the game late in the fourth quarter. Dr. Gentile beamed and cried with pride most of the way home. Mark’s mother, Lois, lives in San Antonio near Mark’s youngest sister, Erin, who works with nuclear missiles while serving in the Air Force. Oldest sister, Kristen, is a lawyer, and middle sister, Carlyn, works for a pharmaceutical company. A half-sister, Natalie, is a medical doctor. Intelligence certainly helps during conversations at the Gentile family dinner table. Mark Gentile has crossed a lot of “bridges” in his lifetime. As he moves down the “highway” of life, I predict his star will continue to rise. Mark is a great example of where ability combined with patience, determination, and hard work equals success, both on the various athletic fields and in a chosen profession. n



Try Out Retirement Living

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Baptist Homes Society their transition. This future residency program allows an individual (or couple) to plan a few years out and provides the opportunity to learn if a community fits the lifestyle and environment a person wants. Another change in senior living is the inclusion of pets. People want to live somewhere their pets are welcome, as well. A “fur baby” provides a sense of comfort, continuity, and security. Sections of Providence Point’s community and all of its patio homes are pet-friendly. There are also selected areas that are off limit to pets to accommodate everyone’s preferences and needs. If you’re getting ready to retire, make sure the places you are considering give you choices and flexible programs. The more you know, the better your choice will be in making your senior years the best they can be. n See ad for Providence Point, a Baptist Homes Society community, on page 27.

Leaving the Nest Alicia Massinople-Scott

In early spring 2017, my family noticed a place in nature, gave me food for thought. In little sparrow that had taken up residence in the a few short months, my eldest child would far corner of a shelf in our garage. Among the be leaving for college. How could we be at cords and small tools was a cozy nest of twigs, this stage already? The memory of returning straw, and some pink fluff (maybe insulation). home solo on the first day of preschool was Without getting too close, we noticed three tiny too vivid for 18 years to have passed! But pass 2018 USCHS graduation, left to right: Rick, Cam, Mia, Natalie, and Alicia Scott eggs nestled inside. Somewhere outside a mama they did, and now I began to feel the pangs of bird was patiently waiting for the day her eggs would be replaced that day when she would start her daily routine in a dorm room by fledglings, dependent solely upon her for survival. Often, she and not her bedroom in our home. would be sitting patiently on her precious parcels. One graduation party (and numerous visits to Bed, Bath and One day, the silence of the nest was broken by the sound of har- Beyond) later, we found ourselves in a chaotic university parking monious peeping. The duties of motherhood were upon our sparrow. lot. The nervous excitement of our daughter and the formidable The demands were high, but our mama was blessed with energy task of unloading a myriad of college essentials put my brain and devotion to provide for her babies for the next several weeks. into overload. Were we really going to drive away without her? One afternoon, my younger daughter and I were heading to Were her father and I now going to stand by while she navigated her soccer practice when she noticed that the nest was empty. Just through her “new normal” without us? On that sticky August like that, the fledglings were gone! We could hear peeping coming morning, my mind drifted back to nearly 40 years earlier when from a nearby bush. We spotted two of them. At the same time, my I was standing in a parking lot with my parents after a four-hour daughter noticed a third baby bird underneath my vehicle, with trek from my beloved home. Nearly every detail of that day was mama trying to coax it out. My daughter shimmied underneath transported to the present, as we prepared to leave our daughter the car to try and shoo out the baby bird, but it jumped up and to begin her next chapter. But today, I was watching the scenario into the guts of our SUV. Mama began chirping more frantically. play out from the eyes and hearts of my parents. Times have We had done more harm than good. I suggested that we go back changed, but some life experiences simply don’t. into the house and give the two distressed birds a few minutes to Naturally, we left the campus that day. I’m sure my husband work this out. Shortly after, we peeked outside and saw all four was in a state of shock despite the knowledge that this day was sparrows near the bush, happily chirping about their reunion. written on the calendar since 1998. I thought of our mama bird. I The wayward bird had found its way out! Mama was there, too, thought of my parents. The passage of time can bend some memobut now only as a spectator as her offspring were soon heading ries into a different light, yet some are as crystal clear as the day to new horizons. Her job was complete. they were formed. As graduation 2019 looms in the near future, As spring 2017 travelled at mach speed into summer, I often many of us are beginning to feel the pangs of letting go, either thought about this scenario. The time between discovering the for the first time or once again. We may not always be ready, but eggs and seeing the birds healthy and ready to take their rightful we can trust that it’s all in the Plan, and that is a good thing. n 26


Summer 2019

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Summer 2019

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Township Commissioners

Township Administration

Mark D. Christie President Ward 4

Day 412-831-9000 2021*

Nicholas J. Seitanakis

Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager

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

Jonathan Wharton Chief of Police

Vice President Ward 1

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

C. Elise Logan Ward 2

Mark P. Romito Director of Finance

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-206-5130 2021*

Adam A. Benigni Director of Planning & Community Development

Robert W. Orchowski Ward 3

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

George Kostelich, Jr. Director of Public Works

Helen M. Palascak Director of Library

Copyright © M&M Photography

Ronald J. Pardini Ward 5

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

Russell R. Del Re At-Large

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

Daniel R. Paoly At-Large

Day 412-831-9000 Evening 412-862-5995 2021*

To reach Township personnel, call 412-831-9000 and follow the automated directions. Administrator Extension Matthew R. Serakowski........................... 216 Township Manager Mark S. Mansfield.................................... 219 Asst. Township Manager & Director of Administration Jonathan Wharton.................................... 238 Chief of Police Mark P. Romito......................................... 218 Director of Finance Adam A. Benigni....................................... 501 Director of Planning & Community Development George Kostelich, Jr.................................. 271 Director of Public Works Helen M. Palascak.................................... 247 Director of Library Paul Besterman......................................... 656 Director of Recreation & Leisure Services

*Date indicates expiration of term. All business regarding the operation of the Township is conducted at the regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners. Citizens are invited to comment on any Township matter. Complete Board minutes can be found at the Upper St. Clair Township Library or on the website at For more information, call 412-831-9000. 28


Paul Besterman Director of Recreation & Leisure Services

Other Services Police–Administration...............412-833-1113 Tri-Community South EMS Administration...........................412-831-3710 USC Volunteer Fire Department Administration...........................412-835-0660 Animal Control.........................412-833-7500 Community & Recreation Center.....................412-221-1099 Cable 7.......................................412-831-1030 Emergency– Police, Fire, EMS.......................412-833-7500

2019 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. Summer 2019

Highlights of the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings January 7, 2019

Approximately 5 people attended.

The Board • Adopted Bill No. 1-19 to amend Chapter 99 of the Code of the Township, entitled “Public and Private Improvements” to update requirements for Stormwater Management. • Adopted Bill No. 2-19 Re. PLC13-0015–Acceptance of Public Improvements–Willowbrooke Estates PRD. • Adopted Resolution No. 1664 to appoint Steven Gibbs, Alternate to the Zoning Hearing Board. • Approved the Appointment of Matthew Weaver to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Approval of Contracts • Robinson Pipe Cleaning Co. Year 2019 $206,250 Pittsburgh, PA Year 2020 $206,250 Sanitary Sewer Video Inspection Year 2021 $206,250 For fiscal years 2019 through 2023 Option#1 Year 2022 $214,500 Option#2 Year 2023 $222,750 $1,056,000

February 4, 2019

Approximately 9 people attended.

Recognitions • C ommissioner Paoly presented the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, to Mark Romito, Director of Finance. • Commissioner Paoly presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2018 Budget to Mark Romito, Director of Finance. The Board • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC18-1301–Amendment to Chapter 130 of the Township Code entitled “Zoning” to add Conditional Uses in the SB–Special Business Zoning District to the March 4, 2019, Regular Board Meeting. • Adopted Resolution No. 1665 authorizing the appropriate Township Officials to execute the Reimbursement and Maintenance Agreement for road and utility improvements for State Route 19. • Adopted Resolution No. 1666 authorizing the appropriate Township Officials to execute the Reimbursement and Maintenance Agreement for road and utility improvements for McMillan Road.

• Adopted Resolution No. 1667 Re. Approval for a grant application through the Department of Community and Economic Development to be used for the Morton Complex/Community Gardens Connection Phase IIB Perimeter Trail Project. • Adopted Resolution No. 1668 Re. Approval for a grant application through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Program for Morton Complex/Community Gardens Connection Phase IIB Perimeter Trail Project. • Approved the following appointments to various Boards and Commissions: Building Fire Codes Appeals and Advisory Board Glenn Avick, full member (to fulfill the unexpired term ending December 31, 2019) Denis Flaherty, alternate member (term to expire December 31, 2021) Library Board of Trustees Joann Hockenberry (term to expire December 31, 2021)

March 4, 2019

Approximately 17 people attended.

The Board • Tabled PLC18-1301–Zoning Text Amendment to Chapter 130 of the Township Code Entitled “Zoning” to add Conditional Uses in the SB Zoning District. • Forwarded the application to the Planning Commission for further analysis of the proposed amendment Re. PLC18-1301–Zoning Text Amendment to Chapter 130 of the Township Code entitled “Zoning” to add Conditional Uses in the SB Zoning District. • Accepted the withdrawal of PLC18-0014–Tuscany Pointe– Planned Residential Development–Amended Tentative Approval. • Continued Public Hearing Re. PLC18-0015–South Hills Village Mall Redevelopment–Amended Tentative Approval to the April 1, 2019, Regular Board Meeting. • Approved 2019-2020 Township Engineer Fee Schedule. Approval of Contracts Russell Standard Corporation ............................... $44,000 Valenica, PA 2019 Street Crack Sealing Mele & Mele & Sons, Inc............................. $1,739,564.85 Rankin, PA 2019 Annual Street Resurfacing

w/Alternate #1–Community Development parking lot w/Alternate #2–base repair/mechanized patching–Morton Road w/Alternate #3–Municipal Tennis facility Public Works Vehicles Kenny Ross Chevrolet....................................... $29,790.27 North Huntingdon, PA One 2019 Chevy Colorado 4WD Extended Cab Pickup Truck Tri-Star Motors....................................................... $29,870 Blairsville, PA One 2019 Ford F-350 4x4 Cab & Chassis Hunter Truck Sales............................................ $88,941.14 Butler, PA One 2020 International Model HV507 4x2 Cab & Chassis Public Works Equipment E. H. Griffith, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA One Toro Groundsmaster 3280-D..................... $26,029.04 One Toro Groundsmaster 3500-D..................... $33,507.18 One Toro MH-400 Turf Topdresser................... $28,906.10 Total E. H. Griffith, Inc. contract................... $88,442.32 Cleveland Brothers Murrysville, PA One 2018 Toyota Forklift Model 8FD35U............. $49,412 Stephenson Equipment, Inc. Butler, PA One 10'6" Aluminum Dump Body Upfit w/ stainless salt spreader, Muncie Advantage Plus Salt/Liquid dispensing system and liquid tanks (for 2020 International Cab & Chassis).............................................................. $68,588 One 2018 Massey Ferguson Tractor w/ Boom & Flail Mower......................................... $83,887 Total Stephenson Equipment, Inc. contract.... $152,475 Police Vehicles Woltz & Wind Ford, Inc. Heidelberg, PA One 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility AWD..... $36,814 One 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility AWD..... $37,124 Total Woltz & Wind Ford, Inc. contract............ $73,938

Township Recognized for Financial Reporting

The Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA) awarded the Township of Upper St. Clair with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Township’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Township also earned the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2018 budget document. During the Board of Commissioners’ February meeting, Commissioner Daniel Paoly formally recognized the Finance Department for both achievements. The CAFR award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a

government and its management. The CAFR is judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR. The budget award reflects the Township’s commitment to meeting the highest principles of government budgeting. The budget is judged on its proficiency in serving as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications device. Upper St. Clair was one of only four municipalities in Pennsylvania to receive both awards. n

Recognized at a Township Commissioners’ meeting are, left to right, front row: finance department employees Marlene Peck, Bonnie Antonelli, Taylor Sullivan; back row: Township Commissioner Daniel Paoly, Director of Finance Mark Romito

To view the Township’s annual financial reports and budgets, visit

Summer 2019



VFD Citizens’ Fire Academy

Are you ready for five sessions of excitement and knowledge about the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department? Then come join the free Citizens’ Fire Academy offered this June. The five-session curriculum is designed to increase understanding of fire and emergency operations and to promote citizen interaction with the men and women of the USC VFD. The training program will consist of both classroom and practical instruction. Participants will attend four three-hour sessions on Wednesday evenings, 7–10 p.m., and an additional Saturday session, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m., to complete CPR/AED certification. Upon completion of the academy, participants will have a hands-on experience and a deeper appreciation of the job that firefighters do on a daily basis.

CFA Course Outline • Session 1: Wednesday, June 5, 7–10 p.m. Welcome/Department History Overview/Distribution of Protective Equipment • Session 2: Wednesday, June 12, 7–10 p.m. SCBA (Breathing Apparatus)/Fire Extinguishers • Session 3: Wednesday, June 19, 7–10 p.m. Vehicle Rescue/Extrication • Session 4: Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Medical Rescue CPR/AED • Session 5: Wednesday, June 26, 7–10 p.m. Truck OPS/Thermal Imaging/Aerial Ladder All sessions will be held at the USC Fire Station 1, 2001 Washington Road. Apply by completing an application form available at or in person any Wednesday evening between 7:30–9:30 p.m. at the fire station, 2001 Washington Road. If your personal calendar conflicts with this session, complete an application and request to be put on the contact list for the next scheduled session. n For more information on the academy or the fire department in general, email or call 412-835-0660. Interested in becoming a firefighter volunteer? Email

John Lekse

Firefighter, Life Member Remembered

It is with great sadness that the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department announces the passing of lifetime member John Lekse. John joined the fire department in 1996, serving the community for the past 22 years. During his tenure with the fire department, John served as a lieutenant and captain and on its board of directors. John also served on the building committee during the planning and design phase of the Route 19 fire station. Prior to his tenure with Upper St. Clair, John was a volunteer with the Broughton Volunteer Fire Department, which he joined at the age of 18 and where he served for 11 years. A memorial service was held at the USC VFD this past March, where family and friends joined together to share their memories of John. To carry on John’s love of teaching, learning, and helping others, the John M. Lekse Scholarship Fund, in care of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department, has been created. It is the family’s hope to provide scholarships to firefighters who want to continue their education. n Donations to the John M. Lekse Scholarship Fund can be sent in care of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department, 2001 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241.

Grilling Fire Safety Stay fire safe this summer! Follow these grilling safety tips: • Only use your grill outside. Keep it at least three feet from your home’s siding, deck rails, and eaves. • Clean your grill after each use to remove grease that can start a fire. • Open your gas grill before lighting. • Keep a three-foot safe zone around your grill to help keep kids and pets safe. • Once cooled, place used coals from your grill in a metal can with a secure lid. • When lit, keep an eye on your grill, fire pit, or patio torches at all times. 30


Summer 2019

Keep Patient Information Handy A Call for “Freezer-Keeping”

John D’Angelo, Tri-Community South, EMS Left to right, at St. Clair Hospital’s EMS Service Awards dinner: St. Clair Hospital president and CEO James Collins, TCS director Nora Helfrich, Chuck Bryan

TSC Supervisor Retires

Tri-Community South EMS (TCS) supervisor Chuck Bryan is retiring in July, after 41 years of service to the residents of Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, and South Park. Chuck worked the very first shift that TCS was in service, starting at 11 p.m. on December 31, 1977. Prior to joining TCS, he’d volunteered with Medical Rescue Team South, a service in Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon, Dormont, and Baldwin Township, and worked for Wolf Ambulance service. Wolf had a contract to provide ambulance service in Bethel Park, South Park, and Upper St. Clair in 1977, prior to the founding of TCS. Chuck was a state-certified paramedic prior to starting with TCS and was already a preceptor in St. Clair Memorial Hospital’s (now St. Clair Hospital) medical command system and trained every paramedic trainee who has ever served with TCS. He became a supervisor, originally called “Charge Paramedic,” in 1980, when the system changed from a one-supervisor model to having a supervisor on duty for each shift. He has been responsible for the specification of the system’s vehicles and overseeing their maintenance ever since. He served on the Ethics Committee at St. Clair Hospital for more than a decade. Chuck entered the medical field as an orderly at St. Clair Hospital, and it was while he was working there that he entered the EMS field. His introduction to emergency services came from his family. His father was a volunteer firefighter with Glendale Hose Company No. 1 in Scott Township. Chuck grew up in Green Tree and is a graduate of Keystone Oaks High School. He attended Robert Morris College (now Robert Morris University) prior to becoming a paramedic. A resident of Bethel Park, Chuck is married and has four children and six grandchildren. Tri-Community South EMS wishes Chuck all the best in his retirement. His presence and leadership will surely be missed. n

You’ve called for an ambulance, and help is on the way. But, is there anything else that you should do to prepare for help’s arrival? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” There’s plenty that can be done to help ensure an ambulance crew can care for the patient in the most efficient and timely manner. Information gathering is one of the most important tasks that people can do while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. A good deal of time is lost when people wait until the ambulance arrives before beginning to gather patient information. This loss of time is especially critical in cases of apparent heart attacks and strokes, when every minute counts. Some of the information—the patient’s full name (correctly spelled), address, phone number, and date of birth—is, most likely, readily available. However, some other information might not be quite so apparent, but is, nonetheless, very important. For instance, the personal physician’s (PCP’s) name and phone number, while not essential at the site of the emergency, become increasingly important for both the ambulance crew and the hospital’s emergency room personnel. Of vital importance, however, is a list of the patient’s prescribed medications along with a list of the patient’s allergies. Another important piece of information is a list of the patient’s present illnesses for which he or she is currently being treated. Thirdly, a list of the patient’s major surgeries and/or hospital stays in the past three to five years is important. Lastly, a patient’s insurance information, although not critical to have at the site of the emergency, is also important and should be included. Ideally, all of this information should be filled out in advance of an emergency situation and placed together somewhere that is easily accessible. Several years ago, Tri-Community South EMS (TCS) began a campaign asking residents to complete a medical information packet and place it in the family’s freezer compartment of their refrigerator. Since most everyone has a freezer, the whereabouts of medical information is easily identifiable. TCS is renewing this effort so that access to vital medical information is handy in case of an emergency. Below is necessary information that first responders need in order to take action in an emergency medical situation. Simply cut out the information section, make copies for all family members, fill in the information, place the information in a specially-marked plastic zip-lock freezer bag, and place the bag in the freezer section of your refrigerator in an area that can easily be seen. Completing this pre-planned task will take a bit of effort, but will pay big dividends when, in an emergency situation, your mind is on the patient’s wellbeing or if someone unfamiliar with the patient’s history is remedying the situation. n

Patient Name: _______________________________________________________ Patient Date of Birth: __________________________________________________ Address / Phone Number: ______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Family Physician Name / Phone Number: __________________________________ Medical History: _____________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Current Medications:__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Allergies: ___________________________________________________________

Chuck Bryan’s (right) first shift; December 31, 1977

Hospital Stays/Surgeries (Past Five Years): _________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________ Health Insurance:_____________________________________________________ (Insurer’s Name / Insured’s ID#) Summer 2019




From the Director’s Desk Libby @ the Library

Helen Palascak, Library Director It’s extremely easy for me to find new books to read.

• I’m surrounded by books every day. • I read reviews and make selections for the library collection, so I know what will be published. • I walk through the library and see books on display that attract my attention. • Patrons share suggestions with me of titles they have enjoyed and recommend. I love print books! So why do I find myself transitioning to digital library books? It’s all due to “Libby.” Have you met Libby? Libby is a free app and works on mobile devices. After downloading the app, you are prompted to find your library (by name or zip code) and sign in with your library card number. You can either browse the online book collection or search for a specific author or title. Next, you can borrow an item and it will automatically download to your device so you can open it to begin reading. Font size options are available, books open where you left off, and there are never any overdue fees! You can even read samples of books before you choose to download them. That’s it! Reading (or listening to) library books on your mobile device has never been easier. Let library staff introduce you to Libby. Bring your mobile device to the library or schedule a class with one of our librarians to help you get started. n

New! Board Game Collection Did you know the library offers a collection of more than 35 tabletop board games that you can check out? We’re in a golden age of board game design. There’s something for everyone, whether you like strategy or storytelling, competition or cooperation. Board games circulate for three weeks. There’s never been a better time to try a new game. Check one out today! n

New! Register Online for Library Services You can now sign up online, at your convenience, for library services. Go to and register for the following services: 1. Digital Literacy Classes. Connect with the digital world with free digital literacy classes. Learn how to create and use a free email account, navigate an eReader, learn iPad basics, explore the web, or learn the basics of Word and Excel. One-on-one classes are available at various hours throughout the week. Sign up online for a class that is convenient for you. 2. Job Seekers Class. Get one-on-one help with resume writing, online job searching, applications, and interview preparation. Classes are available Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning. Use the easy sign-up form to register. 3. Test Proctoring. The library offers test proctoring as a public service and as part of its effort to support lifelong learning. Proctoring is available to students of distance learning centers, colleges and universities, and licensing agencies. Testing is by appointment only and available Monday through Saturday during library hours. Sign up online and complete the test proctoring form. There is a $15 fee for this service. 4. Reserve the Library Multi-Purpose Room. The multi-purpose room can be used for programs sponsored by the library, Friends of the Library, and other library and USC Township-related organizations. When library activities are not taking place, other groups may use the room. Submit your request to use the multi-purpose room from the library’s homepage. n 32


Summer 2019

Recurring Adult Programs Adult Gaming Night Come game with others in our community! The power of games brings together people of diverse ages, backgrounds, and worldviews. Bring your own favorite game to share or explore something new from the library’s game collection. Anyone can play, and all are welcome. Second Mondays, 7 p.m.—June 10, July 8, August 12 Bring-Your-Own-Book Group No special preparation needed for this newest book group; just stop by and chat about whatever you happen to be reading! Third Fridays, 2 p.m.—June 21, July 19, August 16 Yarn Works Join this knitters and crocheters group. Underprivileged folks in the Pittsburgh area and around the world need hats, mittens, blankets, and more. Yarn Works meets at the library to build friendships, learn from each other, and create much-needed items to donate. Second and fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m.— June 11, 25; July 9, 23; August 13, 27 Creativity Cafe Makers of every kind, join in for a monthly exploration of the creative process. Support each other’s efforts and experiment with tools to spark creativity. First Fridays, 2 p.m.—June 7, July 5, August 2 Vintage Radio Players This group meets biweekly to read classic scripts and will perform at local personal care homes and in the library. With the help of an experienced group leader, reenact shows as they were originally broadcast. Second and fourth Tuesdays, 2 p.m.— June 11, 25; July 9, 23; August 13, 27 Plant-Based Pittsburgh Plant-Based Pittsburgh is open to anyone interested in learning and sharing information about healthy, plant-based food choices. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.—June 11, July 9, August 13


Adult Programs

Register for scheduled adult programs online or call 412-835-5540. Organize Your Printed and Digital Photos Thursday, June 6, 7 p.m. Come for an educational presentation on how to calm the chaos and have greater peace of mind and joy with your photo collections. Don’t leave a mess of your printed and digital assets for your family to declutter. Topics will include scanning, media conversion, temporary backups, cloud services, and celebrating your memories. Lisa Webster of Grand Scale Video Productions will help you create a photo plan for generations.

Music in the Stacks: The Boilermaker Jazz Band Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. The hot sounds of the jazz age come alive with the Boilermaker Jazz Band! Led by Paul Cosentino on clarinet, this acclaimed group serves up swinging renditions of jazz classics and rarities through superb instrumentals and heartfelt vocals. With their unique brand of musical Americana and hot jazz revelry, the Boilermakers bring the party to you! This fun, professional band has been making music and memories for more than 25 years. The concert will be in the adult nonfiction area on the second floor.

Worldwide Knit in Public Day Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. A special session of Yarn Works will celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day. Meet other local knitters and crocheters, share your favorite techniques, and get inspired for your next project! Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Drinks and snacks will be provided. The Secret History of KGB Spy Cameras Monday, June 17, 7 p.m. Join Upper St. Clair historian Michael Hasco as he explores the fascinating world of Cold War-era KGB spy cameras. Learn all about the devices, techniques, and concealments used by Soviet intelligence to perform surveillance and collect secrets and compromising material. Come to examine genuine vintage spy cameras and discuss the clandestine operations of spycraft agencies at a precarious time in world history.

Childcare in Black and White Monday, June 24, 7 p.m. Chatham University professor Jessie Ramey tells the story of two Pittsburgh orphanages at the turn of the 20th century: one all black and one all white. Learn about how segregated childcare influenced the lives of thousands of children— and ultimately the fabric of society—as it perpetuated social inequality in our country.

USC Township Library Hours

Music in the Stacks: The Allegheny Drifters Thursday, July 18, 7 p.m. From the western foothills of the Alleghenies, the Allegheny Drifters have presented their exciting style of bluegrass for more than a decade! Now they bring it to USC for a free summer concert. Their engaging, fast-paced show appeals to all ages with fine bluegrass classics, strong soulful vocals, and blazing instrumentals.

Monday–Thursday, 9:30 a.m–9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m–5 p.m. Sunday, 1–5 p.m. Outside book and video return available 24/7 Holiday and Sunday Closures: Saturday, May 18, Community Day Monday, May 27, Memorial Day Thursday, July 4, Independence Day Summer Sundays: May 26–September 1

Reel to Real: A Film Screening and Discussion Wednesday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.) Attention film buffs! Join the Denis Theater at the library for a movie screening and group discussion. Film selection TBD. Refreshments provided.


Summer 2019

Music in the Stacks: The Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Orchestra Thursday, July 25, 7 p.m. Join the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Orchestra for a tour through some of the most exquisite classical repertoire for guitar. Come enjoy works from Baroque, Romantic, and contemporary composers. The Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society has been entertaining audiences and building community among classical guitarists in western Pennsylvania since 2011. To the Moon: Spaceflight in Pittsburgh Monday, August 5, 7 p.m. Pittsburgh-based spaceflight startup Astrobotic is going to the Moon! Developed under a contract with NASA, the company’s Peregrine lander and CubeRover are scheduled to land on the Moon in 2020. Come hear Mission Team engineer Pete Cunningham talk about Astrobotic’s journey, what it takes to build a Moon lander, and the future of American spaceflight. Digital Privacy in the Age of Facebook Monday, August 26, 7 p.m. Facebook privacy violations have appeared in the news repeatedly in the past few years. CMU professor of Information Technology and Public Policy Alessandro Acquisti will explore the thorny issues of digital privacy in an age of online sharing and social media. Don’t miss this eye-opening lecture from an expert in the field. Appalachia North: A Visit with Author Matthew Ferrence Thursday, August 29, 7 p.m. Author Matthew Ferrence “learns that his birthplace in western Pennsylvania is technically not a mountain but, instead, a dissected plateau shaped by the slow, deep cuts of erosion. That discovery is followed by the diagnosis of a brain tumor, setting Ferrence on a journey that is part memoir and part exploration of geology and place. Appalachia North is an investigation of how the labels of Appalachia have been drawn and written, and also a reckoning with how a body always in recovery can, like a region viewed always as a site of extraction, find new territories of growth.”—West Virginia University Press Visit with the author of this remarkably thoughtful, personal memoir!




A Universe of Stories 2019 Summer Reading & Learning Programs at USC Township Library Important Dates: • Wednesday, June 5–Registration for weekly summer classes begins. Register online (, in person at the library, or by phone (412-835-5540) • Monday, June 17–Summer Reading Desk opens • Wednesday, July 31–Last day of Summer Reading • Thursday, August 1–Summer Reading grand prize raffle

The library is pleased to offer a variety of classes, programs, and events for kids and teens this summer. Read about some of them here. A full brochure will be available mid-May online and at the library. Registration for special programs and events is ongoing. Visit www.twpusc.libcal. com to sign up and to find out more about what the library is offering this summer. Summer activities are made possible through generous funding from the Friends of the Library of Upper St. Clair and through donations by area residents and businesses.

2019 Summer Reading and Learning Programs at USC Township Library Little Kids Learn Kids who have not yet completed Kindergarten with a caregiver You and your child are invited to have fun with books, rhymes, and fun educational activities. Visit the library to pick up your activity booklet. The 12 activity sets focus on fun things you can do with your child at home and at the library. When you and your child have completed one or more of the activity sets, return to the library with your booklet and your registration form. Your child will receive a special sticker (one for each set completed), a piece of candy, and one ticket for the grand prize drawing on July 31. The last day to visit the summer desk is July 31.

on our summer readers’ votes. The last day to visit the summer reading desk is July 31. The grand prize drawing is August 1. Book and Activity Bingo School-aged children who have completed Kindergarten–4th grade Read library books on designated subjects and complete learning activities listed on the bingo card. Follow the directions to successfully complete each square. Make sure those books and activities form a bingo which is five across, down, or diagonally. When you have completed a bingo, return to the library with your bingo sheet and your registration form to receive your reward.

Kids Learn School-aged children who have completed Kindergarten–4th grade Visit the library to check out books and to pick up a summer reading log. Kids use the log to keep track of all the library books they read. Return to the library with the log and your registration form to receive some fun rewards, one ticket for our grand prize drawing, and one token to vote for your favorite local charity. We’ll be making donations to three charities based

Teen Read Tweens and Teens who have completed 5th–11th grades Teen Read is a way to read for fun and get rewarded over the summer months. Participation in Teen Read is mandatory for all student volunteers. Your tween or teen should sign up and read books for enjoyment. They’ll complete a short book questionnaire for each book read. Return the questionnaire to the library to get one ticket for the grand prize drawing on August 1.

Summer Classes for Children and Families

Twos & Threes Storytime Children ages 2–3 ½ with a caregiver Twos & Threes Storytime features books and stories, action rhymes and songs, and puppets and play. Tuesdays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 10 or 11 a.m.

Pre-registration is required for library classes and events. Registration for weekly classes begins Wednesday, June 5. • Register online: • Register by phone: 412-835-5540 • Register in person at the library Kids and families are invited to the library to participate in summer classes, learning through play, special performances, and more. Classes scheduled Monday, June 17–Thursday, July 25. Babies & Toddlers Storytime Children ages 4–24 months with a caregiver Babies & Toddlers Storytime combines interactive play, action rhymes, songs, and books all designed to hold the attention of our youngest participants. Mondays, 10 or 11 a.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. 34


Preschool Storytime Children ages 3 ½, 4, and 5 who are ready to spend a half-hour on their own Stories, songs, finger plays, and book-related activities are featured in Preschool Storytime, which concludes with an ending activity for participants and includes their caregivers. Thursdays, 10 or 11 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Family Storytime Families with children ages 2–7 Come to this fun storytime to share stories, songs, and games. Wednesdays, 2:15 p.m. Thursdays, 7 p.m.

Summer 2019

Summer Learning Programs for Kids

Registration information for all Summer Learning programs can be found at Learn through play and fun at the library this summer! Daily and weekly programs will feature activities to combat the “summer slide.” Maker & More Time Children going into Kindergarten– 5th grade This come-and-go maker program will feature a sensory table, activities to experience at the library, and a make-and-take activity. No registration necessary. Dates: June 17–July 30 Days/Times: Mondays–Fridays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Summer Reading Skills Program for Rising 1st Graders Come to reinforce and practice reading skills learned during the school year in this small-group program. Dates: June 19, 26; July 10 Day/Time: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. Summer Reading Skills Program for Rising 2nd Graders Come to reinforce and practice reading skills learned during the school year in this small-group program. Dates: July 17, 24, 31 Day/Time: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.

KIDS & TEENS Paws for Reading Any Kids Learn participant Come to the library and read to dogs licensed through Therapy Dogs International! These dogs love to listen to stories read by boys and girls. Dates: June 18–July 23 Day/Time: Tuesdays, 3–4 p.m.

Father’s Day Crafts Kids of all ages with a caregiver Get ready for Father’s Day by making some great crafts and decorations at the library. Pre-registration not required. Monday, June 10–Saturday, June 15 (during library hours)

Carnegie Science Center Presents Space as Home Base Children going into 1st–3rd grades Explore space, gravity, and distance between objects in space. This class is offered twice. Friday, June 21 or 28, 11 a.m.

July 4th Crafts Patriots of all ages with a caregiver Get ready for Independence Day by making some great crafts and decorations at the library. Pre-registration not required. Monday, June 24–Wednesday, July 3 (during Maker & More Time)

Carnegie Science Center Presents Rockets Children going into 1st–3rd grades Reach for the stars by shooting off stomp and Alka-Seltzer rockets, and hit your target every time! This class is offered twice. Friday, July 12 or Monday, July 22, 11 a.m. Carnegie Science Center Presents Rockets Children going into 4th–6th grades Reach for the stars by shooting off stomp and AlkaSeltzer rockets, and hit your target every time! Monday, June 24, 11 a.m. Carnegie Science Center Presents Spacewalking: Do You Have What It Takes? Children going into 4th–6th grades Discover the effects of pressure, high-speed impacts, and more. Friday, July 19, 11 a.m. Summer STEAM @ the Library Any Kids Learn participant STEAM into the library this summer! Special classes will feature maker challenges, edible architecture, and more. Dates/Times: TBD

Special Events for Kids and Families

Enjoy a variety of special events at the library this summer! Visit the library website or in person at the library to pick up a program guide for more information. Registration information for all special events can be found at Art in the Park Children up to age 6 with a caregiver Join the library staff at the playground for some fun art experiences. Dress for a mess and wish for sun! In the event of inclement weather, this program will move indoors to the kids library. Friday, June 7, 10 a.m.–noon

Family Science: Secrets of Sun and Space Families with children ages 3–6 years old The Carnegie Science Center will present this Science on the Road program. Secrets of Sun and Space is a come-and-go, hands-on STEAM program. A variety of activity tables will enrich your knowledge of outer space. Wednesday, June 26, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Fun and Games Day All Little Kids Learn and Kids Learn participants with a caregiver Celebrate the end of summer reading by playing some great carnival-type games at the library. Wednesday, July 31, 2–3:30 p.m. An Evening of Theater Kids of all ages with a caregiver Enjoy a night at the theater! The library’s Teen Readers Theater troupe will develop and perform short plays featuring favorite fairy tales set in outer space. Thursday, August 1, 7 p.m.

Coming in August: Activities at the Library

The library will be offering some special programs during the month of August. Full information will be available on the library’s website or events calendar. Fabulous Fishes Storytime Families with children ages 2–7 Enjoy a storytime that will feature the book Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale, followed by songs, rhymes, and activities. Date: TBD Day/Time: Thursday, 7 p.m. Back to School Storytime Miss Laurie will help celebrate going back to school with this special storytime, followed by songs, rhymes, and activities. Date: TBD Days/Times: Wednesday, 7 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. Summer 2019

3D Printing Series For children going into 5th–6th grades Curious about 3D modeling and printing? Come learn to use free, simple Tinkercad software to build your own 3D models. Design unique objects to print out at the library. Bring a laptop and mouse, if you have them. There is a maximum of 15 registrants for this series. Day 1: Cover the basics of Tinkercad and look at examples of models you might build. Day 2: Hands-on help provided with your 3D modeling projects. Dates: August 9, 16 Day/Time: Fridays, 10 a.m.

Student Library Volunteering and Teen Read

All student volunteers must sign up for, participate in, and complete summer Teen Read to be eligible to volunteer. Any student who does not complete Teen Read will not be eligible for volunteering at the library until June 2020. Volunteer information can be found at Students going into 6th–12th grades who are required to volunteer for school can find opportunities at the USC Township Library. Volunteer hours are offered throughout the summer for students going into 7th–12th grades. Students going into 6th grade who complete Teen Read will be eligible for hours beginning in August. Going away or abroad this summer? You can still participate! Contact Miss Colleen at the library for more information. Tweens and Teens who participate in Teen Read will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs and Teen Fun Nights at the library. Pick up a Teen Read brochure or check out the Teen page on the library’s website for more information.

Summertime Programs and Events for Tweens and Teens at the Library

All Teen Read participants who are going into 6th– 12th grades are invited to participate in programs and events designed especially for this age group. Summer Reader’s Theater Participants will perform adapted fairy tales and create scenery for the end-of-summer reading theater program. Dates: June 20–July 25 Day/Time: Thursdays, 3 p.m. Teen Battle of the Books: A Universe of Stories Compete in the ultimate challenge of book knowledge at the annual Battle of the Books. Thursday, August 8, 6 p.m. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


Turkish Marbling at the Library Kerry Turner

On a Thursday evening in February, I attended the Ebru: Turkish Marbling program at the Upper St. Clair Township Library. For a third time since January, USC resident Gulay Bultali came to teach this form of art to library patrons. New to USC, Gulay moved here in summer 2018 with her husband, daughter, and newborn son. Prior to teaching Ebru, Gulay studied this form of art for several years. This particular class included ten participants of varying ages who were excited to learn this ethnic art form. Gulay, who has been practicing the art of Ebru since learning it in Istanbul over a decade ago, was warm, welcoming, and patient. Realizing the class was scheduled for only two hours, she was also quite punctual—there was so much to learn in so little time! Gulay Bultali demonstrates Gulay introduced the event by explaining the how to create a heart tools and setup. The special brushes that were laid out before us were made from rose stems and horse hair. The wetting agent in the pan was a mixture of water and powdered seaweed, and was quite slimy. The paints, also all natural, were mixed with ox gall. No oils or chemicals were used in the process. Gulay first demonstrated the basic process, after which we tried it ourselves. We dipped our Brushes made from rose stems and brushes into the colored paint one at a time and stirred. Then, between our fingers, we squeezed horse hair out the extra liquid before gently tapping the brush on our forefinger, which splattered the color into the pan containing the water solution. We repeated this stir-squeeze-splatter method for each color we used. It was interesting that the colors didn’t mix together, but rather, layered themselves on top of one another and on top of the water solution. As instruction continued, Gulay showed us different techniques to mix the colors and create the designs we desired. We learned how to create a background using freeform or the give-andgo technique using a pin. We then learned how to create hearts, leaves, and flowers on top of the background colors. Once our panful of colors had the desired design, it was paper time! Gulay encouraged us to play around with different movements to see what they would create, but she moved us along quickly, suggesting that there are no mistakes and you shouldn’t spend too much time trying to get it perfect. “Paper time,” Gulay would say as our cue. Writing our name on the paper was first. Then we took the paper and laid it inside the pan on top of the solution. Carefully removing any air bubbles by gently smoothing out the paper with our hands, we were instructed not to push the paper below the surface of the water solution. The next step was to pull the paper out, using the edge of the pan as a squeegee to remove excess liquid Admiring her new creation from the paper. We were amazed that the process didn’t remove the color from the paper and how the paper picked up all the coloring from the solution. Even though we had the same color choices to pick from, each of the ten creations was unique because of how we layered the colors differently. By the end of the evening, the room was filled with beautiful artwork, laid out to dry. The next morning, they were ready to be taken home. Gulay suggested a few projects that we could create from our art: bookmarks to greeting cards. She also shared with us a framed picture of her art. Welcome to the community, Gulay, and thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge with us. We are also grateful to the library for offering this opportunity. Readers who find this article interesting should Gulay talks a participant through creating a flower sign up the next time this class is offered. You won’t Finished products laying be disappointed! n out to dry



Summer 2019

USC Recreation and Leisure Services


C&RC Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

The Community & Recreation Center (C&RC) at Boyce Mayview Park is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. “We are very excited and we’re going to celebrate with a weeklong commemoration so that everyone has a chance to come up and experience the C&RC! We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during these C&RC building under ten years,” said Melissa Lindberg, marketing construction and membership services supervisor. Since the grand opening on June 13, 2009, the C&RC has become a natural oasis and personal playground that extends fun and excitement beyond the backyard for Basketball courts families in Upper St. Clair. “It has become a corner stone for the Township. We see all populations and ages at the C&RC,” said Melissa. “It’s a gathering point. You don’t necessarily need to be a member or be into fitness or swimming Indoor pool under to enjoy it. We have a variety of programs going on every day.” construction The C&RC’s first floor includes a large community gathering area, two full-size gymnasiums, a 3600-square-foot community room, two group exercise studios, and locker rooms. The second floor contains a state-of-the-art fitness center and a low-impact 1/8-mile walking/jogging track. The indoor aquatics center hosts an interactive water structure and gadgets, slides, tots’ area, handicap lift, four-lane lap pool, large whirlpool, and two poolside party rooms. Especially attractive to the indoor pool users is the pool’s zero-depth entry and resistance current channel. The zero-depth entry outdoor aquatics facility hosts 6000 square feet of water, an interactive water structure and gadgets, including a 600-gallon bucket that teeters over and splashes the crowd, tot and teen slides, lily pads, and a handicap lift. Surrounding the outdoor aquatics area are lounge chairs, grassy areas, covered pavilions, vending machines, and separate outdoor changing rooms. “If you’ve yet to visit the C&RC, come on up! Plenty to do, there’s something for everyone,” said Melissa. “Our location is perfectly situated in the 475+ acres of Boyce Mayview Park. The park features the Miracle Field, The Clubhouse Playground, two baseball/softball fields, a multi-purpose field, concessions stand, pavilions, hiking Indoor leisure pool trails, and community gardens. “We encourage all residents to come check out the current programs happening at the C&RC. It’s a great time to get involved,” encouraged Melissa. n

Celebrating MLK Day of Service The Upper St. Clair Recreation Department once again sponsored an annual Day of Service on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, where school-aged youth spent the “day on, and not a day off.” Children in grades K–8, together with high school, college, and adult volunteers, worked to complete a variety of service projects for members of the greater comOne big “thank you” card munity. They also had a little time to play cooperative games and enjoy lunch and an end-of-day snack. In just five hours, the participants: • Baked cookies that were delivered the same evening to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in the city of Pittsburgh. • Assembled 20+ no-sew blankets and decorated pillow cases that were delivered to children in Head Start programs and others in the Clairton area.

• Crafted snuffle mats and fleece pull toys for dogs and catnip-scented toys for animals in need on behalf of Senior Pet and Animal Rescue (SPAAR) organization. • Wrote and decorated valentine messages that were handdelivered by one of the adult volunteers to the patients at the Pittsburgh area VA hospital and assembled “going home” trip treat bags for veterans. • Expressed their appreciation on large greeting cards created for our area’s first responders. A special thank you goes out to Jessica Gombar of The Pie Place, resident Reginia Zelik, volunteer and former Boys with dog mats Coast Guard member Carly Beer, volunteer Kathy McKeever, volunteer college students from PittServes, and USC’s C&RC staff members for their dedication and commitment to making the day productive and meaningful. n Making no sew blankets

Summer 2019



USC Recreation and

Aquatics Events and Specialty Programs at the C&RC

Outdoor Pool Opening Saturday, May 25 The C&RC’s outdoor pool opens for the season on Saturday, May 25 (weather permitting) at 11 a.m. Daily operating hours are 11 a.m.–7 p.m. everyday throughout the summer. Holiday hours (11 a.m.–5 p.m.) will be in force on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Water Safety Days Saturday, May 25 It’s never too early to teach children how to stay safe in and around water. Join in for a fun, interactive water safety class for both parents and children ages 3–13. Remember your swimsuit! Free for all participants. Extended Outdoor Pool Hours Fridays, June 7–August 23 The outdoor pool will remain open until 8 p.m. (weather permitting) every Friday, June 7–August 23. Summer Splash into Water Exercise Tuesdays; June 11, July 9, August 13 Experience the outdoor pool in a completely new way with water exercise. Held once a month, classes are free for C&RC members age 16 and up. Junior Lifeguarding Summer Camp Tuesday, June 18–Friday, June 28 This two-week summer camp is designed to give 11- to 14-year-olds a fun sneak peek into what it takes to become a great lifeguard. The class covers all the basics and gets participants ready to enter the American Red Cross Lifeguarding program when they turn age 15. Monday–Friday, 1–4 p.m. $60 member/$65 non-member World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) Thursday, June 20, 12:15 p.m. The C&RC will host a local WLSL event in an attempt to help break the Guinness World Record. Free for children ages 3–13 years old. 38


Summer 2019

Camps for Kids

Camp St. Clair Tuesday, June 18–Friday, July 19 (no camp July 4, 5) Weekdays, 8:45–11:45 a.m., with optional extended days until 2:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. New name, same tradition, bright future. Create new memories at this long-cherished day camp now known as Camp St. Clair. Formerly Summer Playground, this camp provides USC resident children entering grades 1–7 an opportunity to learn, achieve new things, and have fun while in a safe and supportive environment at Baker Elementary School and Baker Park. Panther Paws Tuesday, June 18–Friday, July 19 Weekdays, 8:45–11:45 a.m., with optional extended day until 2:45 p.m. on Fridays. The Panther Paws Program, a special part of Camp St. Clair, is specifically designed for children ages 3–6. The weekly themes feature fun songs, stories, crafts, and activities. Paws campers will be introduced to a structured schedule and routine to encourage various opportunities to learn, explore, and engage with their peers. Space is limited each week; register early.* *Program runs for six weeks, with the option to choose which weeks and the number of weeks to attend. Counselor-In-Training (CIT) Session I: Tuesday, June 18–Wednesday, July 3 Session II: Monday, July 8–Friday, July 19 Weekdays, 8:45–11:45 a.m., with the possibility of extended days until 2:45 p.m. The CIT program is designed to mentor youth between the ages of 13–16

Boyce Mayview Triathlon Training Camp (BMTTC)

The BMTTC allows for complete immersion in triathlon training for every triathlete who attends. This camp will offer a four-week training program leading up to actual participation in an untimed triathlon. Every athlete will Supervised training at the BMTTC benefit from supported training, instruction, community building, and fun. Ages: 7–12 Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30–2:30 p.m. Dates: June 18, 25; July 2, 9 Saturday, July 13 is the untimed youth triathlon* *There will be no awards or official timing for the triathlon event. $30 members/$35 non-members

Family Art in the Park

After a day of work for you and a day of camp or the pool for the kids, take an hour to relax and gather at the Boyce Mayview Park pavilion to enjoy nature’s surroundings and spend quality time with one another. Each evening will feature a different art project in which families can express their creativity together. Mondays, 7–8 p.m. June 3, 17; July 1, 15, 29; August 12 $90 per family for all six dates/$20 per family for each individual date

Leisure Services 412-221-1099

on how to become knowledgeable, responsible counselors. CITs will be responsible for assisting campers, administering games and activities, and creating a fun and engaging environment for all campers. This program is competitive, and requires each candidate to apply, interview, and, if selected, attend a training session prior to the start of camp. Only 30 applicants will be accepted. To be considered, complete an application at the C&RC prior to May 15.

New Summer Camps

Ecosystems Science Camp Grades 1–6 Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–noon August 12–16 During an epic week of lab and outdoor environmental adventures, discover which animals call our local area “home,” edible and medicinal plants, wilderness survival skills, important “macros” like crayfish, geology and ancient fossils, secrets of Pennsylvania soil, lots of cool crafts, and solutions to challenges like creating an anti-venom for a mock snakebite!

Red Hot Robots Camp Grades 1–5 Monday–Friday, 1–4 p.m. July 8–12 Experiment with all types of robots: sound sensing, line-tracking, amphibious, and even ones that play soccer! Discover the science of circuits and how robots use sensors to explore things around them. Use your skills to build your very own working robot to take home with you. Fizz, Boom, Bang! Camp Grades 1–5 Monday–Friday, 1–4 p.m. August 5–9 This hands-on, interactive program of chemistry from Mad Science is packed solid with cool reactions. Students put on goggles and change liquid to solid and back again. They handle laboratory tools, build and break molecules, and pick up some tricks on chemical changes. SiLLy SCienCE Camp Ages 3–6 Monday–Friday Session I: June 10–14, 9–11:30 a.m. Session II: August 12–16, 1–3:30 p.m. Each day will bring age-appropriate opportunities to learn about and explore the world of

2019 Pickleball Tournament Results

The fourth annual C&RC picklball tournament was held this past

February. Under tournament directors Lou and Sally Sherfinski, the event was coordinated by C&RC staff member Lynn Walcoff. Also helping were volunteers Molly Brown, Marge Berner, Laurel Heilman, and Jack Samuels. Twenty teams entered this year’s tournament, playing in three skill levels. After a great day of competition, gold, silver, and bronze medal team winners were: Beginners Division Gold: Jolynn Iskey and Bill Hindman Silver: Logan Busch and Shashank Kokkula Intermediate Division Gold: John West and Dale Porter Silver: Lynn Perri and Abby Perri Bronze: Dottie Delancy and Jim Ellis Advanced Division Left to right: Shashank Gold: Scott Hedrick and Bill Marinelli (again!) Kokkula, Jolynn Iskey, Silver: Bill McMahon and Ken Meehan Logan Busch, Bill Hindman Bronze: Tim Hartman and Fernando Esquival

Senior Information Gold Card Offered by the USC School District to residents age 62 and older. Proof of age and residency required at time of application. 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.

science. Depending on the session, topics range from ice cream making to rockets, volcanoes to kaleidoscopes, and more. Gemini Theater Camps Dates TBD Ages 4–6 Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–noon In this action-packed camp, our youngest actors rehearse and perform a short play that they help create from their own imaginations! This highly structured workshop geared for young attention spans includes a variety of exciting, fun-filled activities: puppet, costume, scenery and propmaking, theater games, music, and movement. Ages 7–11 Monday–Friday, 1–4 p.m. This moderately structured camp will unlock a child’s creativity and take him or her on a week-long adventure into the imagination! Young actors choose their own characters and put them together in an original story, which they write, rehearse, and perform as a mini play on the last day of the workshop.

Other participating teams included Karen Dunn and Sandy Murphy, Mark Krysevig and Rich Fisher, Bob Snyder and Laurie Lawrence, Rich Van Camp and John Eckroate, Charlene Zeleznock and Joanne Schreiber, Dale Charochak and Ray Bamrick, Abby Paladino and Dick Lawrence, Eileen Devaty and Peggy Lawrence, Dan Lebak and Jason Mosesso, Ingrid Meenan and Liz Allen, Rich Neill and Heather Hric, and Nancy Zupancic and Mark Andrews. n

Left to right: Tim Hartman, Fernando Esquival

Left to right: John West, Dale Porter

Left to right, front row: Scott Hedrick, Bill Marinelli; back row: Bill McMahon, Ken Meehan

For more information about any Older Adult programming, contact the C&RC at 412-221-1099. Silver Card Offered by USC Township to residents age 62 or older. Proof of age and residency required at time of application. Card admits holder to the Municipal three-hole golf course, outdoor tennis facilities, specified Community & Recreation Center programs, and other activities designated and sponsored by the Township of Upper St. Clair. Applications are available at the Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park. Summer 2019

ACCESS 65 PLUS is a shared-ride transportation service program for senior citizens age 65 and older. Contact Lynn Walcoff, community programs coordinator, at 412-221-1099, ext. 655, for information about this program and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Senior Citizen identification card for the Port Authority Transit (PAT) system. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


USC’s Egg Hunt

It was an “egg-citing” morning as hundreds of youngsters scurried about collecting eggs during the Township’s traditional Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the Bethel Park/ Upper St. Clair Evening Rotary and the USCHS Interact Club. Held this year on April 6, the event featured spring crafts, an opportunity to visit with the Easter Bunny, and of course, hunt for eggs on the grounds of the three-hole golf course! n

—Photo credit: Terry Kish 40


Summer 2019

Diane Horvath and Howard Hanna is your key to finding the perfect home!

Calabro Tire & Auto Service

1476 Bower Hill Rd.

Family Owned Since 1941

(412) 221-4300

25+ Years as a Proven Professional Over 300 Million in Sales Results Diane Horvath, GRI, CRS 412-491-3984 or 412-833-3601 x 219

Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm; Sat. 8am - noon

Summer 2019

Real Estate

• Mortgage • Title • Insurance



Keep Your Yards Up to Code and Eco-Friendly Upper St. Clair ordinances are in place for the safety and wellbeing of the Township and its residents. “When residents follow the codes, it helps the community look more appealing and it positively impacts property values,” said Adam Benigni, director of Planning and Community Development. Upper St. Clair code enforcement follows a process to help remind residents of the ordinances. “Sometimes we need to remind residents to cut their grass and trim overgrown shrubs, especially if they’re closer to the roads, so that drivers have good visibility,” said Adam. “When you’re cutting your grass, don’t allow the grass clippings to go out in the roadway. It can build up over time and potentially clog storm drains, which can lead to flooding issues. Grass in the street doesn’t look great, either. Sometimes it’s the residents’ landscapers who need to be reminded.” Upper St. Clair has a monthly yard waste drop-off collection on the second Saturday of each month between April and December from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is held at the Boyce compost site on Boyce Road, by the community gardens. As an alternative, director of Public Works George Kostelich recommends residents recycle their grass clippings by leaving them in the lawn or use them for mulch in gardens. He says residents should not send grass clippings and yard waste to the landfill. While residents work in their yards this summer, here are some other environmentally-friendly options to incorporate. Use Mulch Grass lawns are water guzzlers. Incorporating mulch throughout landscapes can reduce outdoor water usage. Mulch can help keep plants alive and healthy and inhibit weeds in flowerbeds. As mulch breaks down, it can add nutrients to soil. “Wood mulch and leaf compost are available to USC residents. Located at the Boyce community gardens, there are bins near the cell tower that are filled with mulch materials year round,” said Gary Schafer, Parks and Forestry administrator. Dedicate to Composting “I recommend that residents compost if they are up for the challenge and dedication,” said Gary. Build a compost bin and include vegetable

scraps, saw dust, small branches, office paper, and newspaper (shredded is best). Do not compost animal bones, meats, oils, or thick paper products. Harvest Rainwater Rain barrels are storage vessels that collect and store rooftop runoff from a downspout for later use. Use the harvested rainwater to water plants and flowers to reduce the amount of outdoor water usage. “Keep an eye out for mosquito larva breeding in the water,” said Gary. Mosquito dunks that contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis can be placed in the rain barrel. Other options are to add a screen over the openings or a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to the water to deter mosquitos. Plant Rain Gardens “If you have the space, plant rain gardens,” said Gary. Planted where rainwater habitually pools, rain gardens are landscaping elements that capture and filter stormwater. They absorb large amounts of rainwater and filter out pollutants. Reliable online sources for your reference are and Choose the Right Plant for the Right Space “Native plants are great to incorporate into your landscape; however, it is often difficult to find a true native plant. The horticulture industry has created so many cultivars of various plants that it is difficult to find the parent variety of specific plants. That being said, finding the right plant for the right space is the goal. Sometimes it may be a specific variety of a tree that may not be native to our area; however, it could be native to the U.S.,” said Gary. It’s also important to remind residents to take care of the areas around creeks. George said residents should protect streams from the use of herbicides and fertilizers, and also from silt and runoff. Remove debris from blocking a stream and do not deposit grass clippings or yard debris in or near a creek. Adam concluded, “It is evident that USC residents take pride in our Township’s appearance. Our primary goal is for everyone to be safe, and all of us appreciate when everything looks nice, too.” n

Community Development

Be Aware of the Rules

According to the Township of Upper St. Clair Codes: • Lawns need to be maintained at a maximum height of six inches from April through October. • Vehicles without current inspection or registration must be stored in a completely enclosed structure. • Waste receptacles and recycling containers should be placed at the curb line after 6 p.m. the day before collection with removal before midnight the day of collection. • Boats, trailers, campers, and other types of recreational vehicles must be stored in completely enclosed structures. • Garage sale signs are permitted, provided the following regulations are met: » Signs are located only on the lot where the sale takes place. » Signs are displayed only on the day of the sale. » Signs do not exceed nine square feet combined. » Signs are set back a minimum of ten feet from any side lot line. » Signs are to be placed outside the Township right-of-way. Typically, the right-of-way extends a minimum of 13 feet back from the edge of the street or curb. » Signs may not obstruct sidewalks. • No structure may be placed within the Township right-of-way except for a driveway or mailbox. A structure is any object having a stationary location on or in lots. The Township right-of-way typically extends back 13 feet from the edge of the road.

• A newspaper tube is permitted provided it is attached to the existing mailbox post. The newspaper tube may not be supported by a separate structure such as a post or column. • Realtor open house signs are permitted provided the following regulations are met: » One tent- or easel-type sign, not to exceed four square feet. » Sign permitted to be displayed Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. » Sign must be located a minimum of 13 feet back from the edge of the street or curb. » With permission of property owner, open house signs may be placed on a lot other than the one for sale with the same restrictions above. » No open house signs are allowed on Township-owned property. • Building permits are required for most construction and remodeling projects. Typical projects that require a building permit include, but are not limited to, sheds, garages, swimming pools, decks, additions, retaining walls, driveway pillars, and patio enclosures. Some projects such as patios and driveways require only zoning approval. In all cases, when a building permit or zoning approval is required, a land survey of the property must be submitted as a part of the permit application process. The Township may have a copy of the property survey on file. Please check the Township website at for types of projects requiring a permit and the application process. Questions concerning permit requirements can also be directed to the Community Development Department at 412-831-9000, extension 501.

Questions? Call 412-831-9000, ext. 501, or visit 42


Summer 2019

USC Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (Pre-registration Required)

USC Partners for Glass Recycling Collection Events

The Township is sponsoring a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., at the municipal parking lot along McLaughlin Run Road. Online pre-registration is required. Among items you can drop off include paints, cleaners/ thinners, oils, anti-freeze, flammables, batteries, and pesticides, many of which contain potentially hazardous ingredients requiring special disposal care. There is a minimal cost of $1.50 per pound for hazardous materials and propane tanks are $8 each. Cash, check, and major credit cards are accepted for payment. Not accepted at the event are the following list of items: explosives, ammunition, radioactive materials, large appliances, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, pharmaceuticals, syringes, medical waste, items containing mercury, and automobile tires. The next hazardous waste collection (same time, same location) will be Saturday, October 12, along with other recycling events to be held the same day. See the fall issue of TODAY for further information on USC’s ongoing recycling initiatives. n

In March of this year, the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) introduced a series of “pop-up” glass recycling collection events in response to the sudden removal of glass from many of the region’s residential curbside recycling programs. “Based on overwhelming demand from residents, local governments, and the glass industry, PRC is announcing an alternative for glass recycling,” according to PRC co-executive director Justin Stockdale. “This exciting new program will ensure that glass is not trash, even if it can no longer be put out for curbside recycling in numerous Visit ECSR site at to pre-register. municipalities due to recent changes in waste haulers’ contracts.” The first pop-up recycling collection event, held March 9 in the Village Square Mall parking lot, netted over ten tons of glass from 2019 Street Resurfacing Program over 700 households! All colors of glass bottles, jars, and jugs are With the return of warmer weather, it’s time for road repairs! accepted at no cost. PRC staff and volunteers are onsite to assist See the list of roads USC Township will be working on this summer. recyclers. “PRC is excited to introduce this new opportunity for Questions pertaining to scheduled dates or other matters? Contact glass recycling in the Pittsburgh area that will not only provide a Public Work’s RaAnne Gingrich at 412-831-9000, extension 271. solution for residents, but also keeps the supply of recycled glass flowing to the mills that consume it as a raw material,” said Justin. Street Name Termini From/To The pop-up glass recycling network is sponsored by CAP Glass, Alamo Drive Monterrey to #283 Owens Illinois, and Straub Brewery in conjunction with several Allison Drive Taper to cul de sac local municipalities impacted by recent changes in curbside recyCasa Drive Carmell to Carmell cling regulations. “We commend the municipal governments that Ewing Circle Mill Grove to cul de sac helped PRC develop this network and for their strong commitment Fernridge Drive Old Meadow to Rolling Meadow to recycling and leadership. PRC hopes to expand this service Fieldgate Drive #132 to #176 by partnering with additional municipalities that also recognize Fieldmont Drive Springmeadow to #1897 glass remains a valuable commodity with vibrant demand in the Firston Circle Old Meadow to cul de sac regional and national recycled materials marketplace,” said Justin. Hays Road Old Washington to Hays Park Upper St. Clair, along with a number of other Allegheny County Larch Circle Thorntree to terminus municipalities, is partnering with PRC to sponsor glass collection Mesa Circle Casa to cul de sac events throughout the region. n Monterrey Drive Hays to terminus To get updated schedule information, visit or Moon Ridge Drive Star Ridge to Sky Ridge email Partridge Run Road Chapelwood to Chapelwood Ridgewood Road Hastings Mill to cul de sac Local Glass Recycling Collection Event Schedule Rolling Meadow Road Fernridge to Montclair Day/Time: Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Rolling Meadow Road Old Meadow to cul de sac Dates: May 11 Village Square Mall Rossmoor Drive Hays to Forestbrook (sponsored by the Township of Upper St. Clair) Springmeadow Drive #172 to cul de sac May 18 Collier Township Municipal Building Star Ridge Drive Sky Ridge to Sun Ridge (sponsored by Collier Township) Swanson Lane Mill Grove to cul de sac June 1 Avonworth Park (sponsored by Kilbuck Township) Thorntree Drive Boyce to Pinetree June 8 Mt. Lebanon High School Truxton Drive McLaughlin Run to Blairmont (sponsored by the Municipality of Mt. Lebanon) Wiltshire Drive McMurray to Lambeth June 22 South Fayette Municipal Complex Municipal Tennis Courts #7 & #8 McLaughlin Run Road (sponsored by South Fayette Township)

Summer 2019



See You at the Park

One of the amenities that sets Upper St. Clair apart from neighboring communities is our wonderful park system. From Wiltshire to Municipal to Boyce Mayview Park, the green space available in the Township’s 18 parks has something for all residents. Trying to choose a favorite among them is probably an impossible task, but for those with small children, the parks with play equipment are especially popular. Driving by Wiltshire or Municipal parks on a sunny day lends proof to that statement, as both draw young families like magnets. Wiltshire’s newer playground, which includes a horizontal net climber, cable bridges, roller slide, and double deck tower with slides, is extremely popular, as is the Omni spinner, sand play area, and frog splash pool. At Municipal, kids enjoy the play structures, mega-tower with twist tube slides, climbing wall, swings, and Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing rock. Another popular place to play is The Clubhouse at Boyce Mayview, an all-inclusive, custom-themed playground near Miracle Field, which features tower slides, ball glove tube slides, a replica of the Clemente Bridge, a water misting tree and misting fountain, a piano, and a NEOS 360 electronic aerobic game. In addition to the Township’s three larger parks, residents are fortunate to have wonderful neighborhood parklets. Located in less traveled areas, these smaller parks are hidden gems. Byrnwick, Clair, Hays, Johnston, Trotwood, and Tustin Parks all have play units, swing sets, and basketball courts; many also have a tennis court. No kids? No problem! Work on your tennis game at Baker, Byrnwick, Hays, Johnston, Trotwood, and, of course, Municipal Park. If your golf swing is a little rusty, stop by the three-hole golf course at Municipal Park during the week to work on your swing before heading out for your weekend round. Looking for ways to connect with others while enjoying the great outdoors? Bocce might be the sport for you, and Baker Park is the place to be. With two lighted bocce courts, group fun awaits! Baker Park also has two pickleball courts and a sand volleyball court, all

good ways to connect with friends and improve your health! Need some alone time or looking for a new place to run? The 1.25-mile outer loop wood-chip trail at Gilfillan Farm is a beautiful place to walk or run, and the elevation changes on the path provide a good cardio workout. Enter the trail at the trail opening at the intersection of Route 19 and Orr Road, across from the main fire station. Parking at Westminster’s northern lot across from the trail on Orr Road is a good choice. Another tranquil place to commune with nature is Boyce Mayview Park. With more than 475 acres of natural surroundings, the park has an extensive trail network that traverses the meadows and valleys. A section of the trail off Boyce Road (near Ardolino’s Pizza) is handicap accessible. Parts of the park are dog friendly, so if you have a four-legged companion, make their day and take them on an adventure with you. (Please remember to clean up after them.) Use the Boyce Mayview Park map on page 46 to help you explore. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and memorable parks in the Township is Veterans Park, located near the municipal building off McLaughlin Run Road. With the visual presentation of the five branches of the U.S. military, the park is a place to quietly reflect on the sacrifice many have made so that we can enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted. How many of Upper St. Clair’s parks have you visited? Why not challenge yourself to visit each of them this summer? Refer to our parks guide found on page 45 that shows various fields, courts, and playground equipment. Check off each park on your list until you’ve visited them all, and then rate them, letting us know which one you liked best! Or make it your goal this summer to hike every interior trail in Boyce Mayview Park. While you’re enjoying the great outdoors, snap a photo and send it to TODAY @usctoday. We’ll post it on our Facebook page. Chosen photos will then be presented in a collage in TODAY’s fall edition. See you at the park! n

Perimeter Trail Update

Gary Schafer, Parks and Forestry Administrator The Boyce Mayview Park perimeter trail is nearing its final design stage. The last section of the trail to connect the northern and southern section of Boyce Mayview Park is being engineered. This is considered the most challenging section of the perimeter trail to design; however, it can be accomplished! The segment will start at the intersection of Morton Road and Rostron Drive. From there, the trail will follow along Morton Road and end at the Morton sports complex. The trail will be consistent with the rest of the perimeter trail as a ten-foot-wide paved hiker/ biker trail, and it will be approximately one-half mile long. A retaining wall will be constructed to tie into the existing trail at the Morton and Rostron intersection. Trail users will be protected from motor vehicle traffic by the guiderail along Morton Road, which will continue adjacent to the trail all the way to the Morton complex. A raised boardwalk (bridge) is proposed to cross the extremely steep slope near the Morton complex. This bridge will provide for majestic views along the once difficult area to traverse on foot. A stormwater detention pond will be constructed near the Morton complex to detain stormwater and allow for sediment to settle before the water is released to the tributary to Chartiers Creek. Trash and recycling stations will be provided along the trail. Keep in mind the new, more restricted recycling changes instituted this year to help avoid contamination in the recycling containers. 44


This final connection to close the perimeter trail gap has been a long time coming. It was 20 years ago (1999) when the Boyce Mayview Park Master Plan was implemented, and clear direction was given to the Township on the development of the park. The original idea to travel the perimeter of the park will provide approximately 5.5 miles of a paved trail for hikers and bikers. The next design step will be to devise a spur connection from the perimeter trail to the Montour Trail in Cecil. Funding for the trail has been provided from grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), with supplemental funding from the Township. The Township is currently exploring additional funding opportunities for this section of the trail and also for the spur connection. Stay tuned! n

Photos show location at the intersection of Morton Road and Rostron Drive where the BMP perimeter trail will be continued. Summer 2019

Stay and Play in the Park!

The Clubhouse at Boyce Mayview Park

The Township of Upper St. Clair can fill your summer days with fun and laughter as you and your family visit its many parks and parklets. Go for an early morning stroll or pack a lunch and stay to play. Feel the evening’s cool breeze as you enjoy the swings, climbing bars, a ball field, or a welcoming bench. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy green space and summer activity. Our Township’s 18 parks welcome you to come and play! Visit for park location information. 



Playground Equipment

Baker Park 13.82 acres

1 small baseball field, 1 large baseball Play unit and swing set field, 2 lighted basketball courts, 1 lighted sand surface volleyball court, 2 tennis courts, 2 lighted bocce courts

Beadling Soccer Field 3.36 acres

soccer field

Boyce Field 1 acre

baseball field

Boyce Mayview Park 475+ acres

1 baseball field (rentable), 1 softball field (rentable), Multi-purpose field (rentable), 1 Miracle League baseball field, All fields have sports lighting

Miscellaneous Small shelter, water fountain, picnic tables, grass play area, large covered sand play area, natural surface trail head, perimeter trail, extra pickleball courts at the basketball courts (must bring your own net)

Dugouts, batting cage, bleachers The Clubhouse at Boyce Mayview is the allinclusive, custom-themed playground adjacent to the Miracle League Field for kids of all ages and abilities, featuring tower slides, ball glove tube slides, replica Clemete Bridge, water misting tree and misting fountain, piano, and a NEOS 360 electronic aerobic game

Natural area

Brookside Park 3.7 acres Byrnwick Park 7.05 acres

1 lighted basketball court, 1 tennis/pickleball court

Play unit and swing set

Walking track, water fountain, walkway lighting, grass play area

Clair Park 2.2 acres

1 basketball court

Play unit with slide and swing set

Splash pad, cozy dome climber w/rubber safety surface, shelter, water fountain, LED walkway lighting 1.25 mile outer loop wood chip trail with interior trail through meadow

Gilfillan Park 59.57 acres Hays Park 4.21 acres

1 basketball court, 1 tennis/pickleball court

Play unit and swing set

Asphalt walking trail, splash pad, small shelter, water fountain, grass multi-purpose area

Johnston Park 2.48 acres

1 lighted basketball court, 1 tennis/pickleball court, 1 lighted hockey court with goals

Play unit and swing set

Walking path, water fountain, walkway lighting

Marmion Field 11.32 acres

1 soccer field, 1 lighted baseball field

Morton Complex 7.5 acres

3 soccer fields, 1 lighted field, 2 lighted baseball fields

Play unit above Morton 2 area

2 batting cages, concession building, shelter, dugouts, announcer’s booth, natural surface trail head, perimeter trail

Municipal Park 29.75 acres

10 lighted tennis courts with 6 courts under air structures for winter season, 2 lighted paddle courts, 1 lighted little league baseball field with dugouts, concession stand, picnic shelter, 2 lighted basketball courts, 1 sand volleyball court

Swing set, separate play structures for 2–5 and 5–12 year-olds, with synthetic turf safety surface, mega-tower w/two ten-foot twist tube slides, climbing wall, tot and traditional swings, and Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing rock

McLaughlin Run Activity Center (MAC) (rentable facility) building with meeting facilities, kitchen, pool table, and restrooms, fire circle, large picnic shelter, 3-hole golf course, water fountain, batting cages, rain garden educational/picnic site

Shelter and bleachers, 2 water fountains

Natural area

Ravine Park 10.51 acres Trotwood Park 8 acres

1 basketball court, 1 tennis/pickleball court, multi-purpose field

Play unit and swing set

2 water fountains, shelter, splash pad, walkway lighting

Tustin Park 6.52 acres

1 basketball court

Play unit and swing set

Asphalt/wood chip walking trail around park Visual presentation of military history, benches, lighting

Veterans Park Wiltshire Park 11.2 acres

Natural area and wetlands, ten miles of natural surface walking trails, expanding perimeter trail currently connecting Morton Complex to Baker Park to the active area of Boyce Mayview Park, including a pavilion (rentable facility), open space, Community & Recreation Center, with its 90,000-square-foot facility featuring indoor/ outdoor aquatics, state-of-the-art fitness, group fitness rooms, 1/8 mile walking track, 2 full-size basketball courts, rentable community rooms, rest rooms at the Miracle League/Clubhouse playground, shelter at Miracle League field, baseball field concession building, Boyce Gardens (rentable through Boyce Road Garden Club)

2 lighted basketball courts, 1 lighted street hockey court with goals

Poured-in-place rubber and synthetic turf Restrooms, pavilion, seating area, grass play safety surface playground built in the hillarea, walkway lighting, water fountain side, which includes horizontal net climber, cable bridges, roller slide, double deck tower with slides, Omni spinner, swings with infant seats, a sand play area, and frog splash pad Summer 2019



Tear out this page which shows the Boyce Mayview Park map and the USC parks directory (reverse side), taking it with you on your next venture to a USC park.

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Summer 2019

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Pinebridge Commons Pinebridge Commons


Let us make you smile!


••••••••••••••••• Cardinal Endocrinology Design Image Salon, Joe Ruffalo

Mike’s Italian Creekside Diner Pediatric Alliance

Emerick Financial Planning

Pediatric Dentistry South

Emma’s Market & Deli, Inc.

Pinebridge Commons


Questa Petroleum Co.

Ethical Intruder

Richardson Family

Peter Gialames & Associates

Gloria Sayut, MS LPC, NCC

Interior Designs/Furnishings

Cindy Brophy, State Farm Ins.

by Mary Kay Chaffee Jennings & Co., CPA Timothy Kerr, DMD & Romana Pautler Kerr, DMD Larry E. Manalo, DMD

Suburban Dry Cleaners Travel Leaders, Kiernan Ent. Troy Orthodontics Beth Troy, DMD

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

KK 412-257-4250

Whole Plants Health

Melissa D. Michel, LPC Wininsky Law Offices Xcoal Energy Resources


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

Pinebridge Commons Suite 207

“Quality Dentistry with a Gentle Touch & the Personalized Service that YOU Deserve!”

Chairside Whitening System

Troy Orthodontics provides care for the communities of Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, and the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Dr. Beth Troy takes 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 • Individualized care in a friendly and patient-focused environment

NEWLY RENOVATED • STATE-OF-THE-ART Pinebridge Dental • Upper St. Clair

88 Dental • Castle Shannon

Larry E. Manalo, D.M.D.

Cassandra Casto-Molina, D.D.S.


General Dentist & Prosthodontic Specialist

412-343-4100 General Dentist

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

Summer 2019

• Convenient appointment hours, including Saturday mornings • 24-hour emergency services • Most major insurance plans accepted



Summer Activities A Healthier U(SC) Taking Exercise Outdoors Heather Holtschlag With spring in our midst and summer approaching, taking our exercise program outdoors seems a lot more appealing, not to mention, invigorating. And while exercising outdoors does have its share of benefits, it also comes with risks. “The summer months of July and August are usually the hottest days of the year. Temperatures and humidity levels rise, often making these months stressful on the body when exercising outdoors,” said Cari Del Greco, fitness coordinator at Upper St. Clair’s C&RC. According to the World Health Organization, 75 is the key number to remember when determining the safest, most comfortable temperature for outdoor exercise. But even more important than the temperature is the humidity level. “Humidity is a greater threat because it affects our body’s ability to cool itself down,” Cari explained. “In dry heat, sweat will evaporate; but on a humid day, our sweat is more likely to remain on our skin and drip. When that happens, it’s harder for our bodies to maintain a safe temperature.” Cari said that when the forecast calls for high humidity, you should be more aware of how your body feels and know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and then decide for yourself how much you can endure. Everyone will have different tolerances for heat and cold. “Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on our bodies and increases our core body temperature,” Cari explained. “To help our bodies cool down, more blood must circulate through the skin. This, then, leaves less blood for the muscles, which increases the heart rate. High humidity causes the sweat to fail to evaporate quickly from the skin and that pushes the body temperature even higher.” There are two serious conditions that can arise from becoming overheated while exercising outdoors: heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is when the body loses fluids or key nutrients due to exposure to heat. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, rapid pulse, pale skin, confusion, dizziness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, and fainting. “If you experience any of these symptoms, get out of the heat, drink plenty of fluids, and try taking a cool shower or bath,” Cari advised. Heat stroke is much more serious and can cause damage to the brain and other organs, and can be fatal. It often affects older adults and occurs when the internal body temperature reaches 105 degrees. Symptoms include lack of sweating, rapid pulse, muscle cramps or weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and unconsciousness. Immediate medical attention is required. There are a number of precautions exercisers can take before heading outdoors. “Take time to acclimate to the heat by gradually increasing the length and intensity of your workouts,” said Cari. “Know your fitness level. If you are new to working out, be extra careful and take frequent breaks. Hydrate often before, during, and after workouts. Do not wait until you are thirsty. Sports drinks may be a good choice as they replace sodium, chloride, and potassium that you lose through sweating.” Other tips to consider before heading outdoors include: • Avoid midday sun when heat is at its highest. Instead, opt for morning or evening exercise when it’s likely to be cooler. • Wear sunscreen. Did you know that a sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself? • Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothes that help sweat evaporate. • Avoid wearing dark colors that will absorb heat. For kids who come home from school and want to run right back out to play or for kids who attend summer camps who spend a lot of time outside, there are precautions to take. “Most kids will try to compete with their peers, which is why it is so important to have coaches or trainers watching them to make sure they are not experiencing symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” said Cari. “Symptoms that a child may have had too much outdoor activity include excessive sweating that will not stop, headache, a change in skin color, and nausea.” Cari advises to get the affected child indoors or in the shade where it’s cooler, place a wet towel on his forehead or neck, and have him consume water or a sports drink. There are some great family-friendly ways to exercise outside, including bike riding, trail hiking, walking the family dog, swimming, kickball, wiffleball, tag, and playing catch or kicking a soccer ball. But, for those who opt for something a bit more regimented, Cari suggests heading to the playground! “Playground equipment can be used for various exercises, including push-ups, step-ups, jumps, squats, lunges, and planks,” she said. “Each exercise can be timed—perhaps for 30 seconds—or can be counted, say, in reps Ballet classes for children Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh of ten.” ages 18 months & up, 4100 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234 In any event, outdoor exercise in the sumbeginner through pre-professional. mer, if performed with precautions in mind, can 412-343-9333 provide opportunities to mix it up and abandon As low as $40! the regimen that indoor exercise necessitates. n

Summer Fun!



Summer 2019

Summer Activities

summer 2019 | june 3 - august 16

register today: • 412-430-3300 • cdg champs

ultimate sports

golf academy

The Benefits of Ballet

Steven Piper, Director, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh For children and adults alike, there are many benefits to ballet. As a form of exercise, ballet encourages both strength and flexibility. A dancer’s legs and feet are the instruments of their craft, and the constant repetition builds a strength which belies their often diminutive appearance. Flexibility is a key component of ballet, allowing for greater range of movement and fluidity. Ballet also challenges the core muscles of the body—the abdominals and lower back—and can be compared to a Pilates regimen in that respect. Ballet is also a form of cardio training. While certain movements are executed in a slower, more controlled fashion, others require great speed and precision. A typical ballet class begins at the barre, and after the muscles are sufficiently warm, the class moves to the center of the studio. This is where the combinations become more intricate and complex, much like you would see on the stage, where it is not uncommon for a dancer to travel from one side of the studio to the other in a series of turns and jumps.

For athletes, ballet can be especially useful. The footwork and body control learned as a dancer are skills that translate to the football field, basketball court, and others. Posture and poise are two other great examples of the many benefits of classical ballet. When a child begins ballet training, the first thing he or she will learn is how to stand like a dancer—stomach lifted, chest up, chin up, etc. There’s an old saying that you can spot a dancer in a crowd by virtue of how he or she holds their posture. Along with posture comes poise, and the grace with which a dancer moves is synonymous with ballet. For dancers of other genres, including jazz and contemporary, or for the competitive dancer, a strong background in classical ballet enhances the quality of movement. Many college programs require students to continue their ballet training as part of the curriculum, and as they continue on as aspiring professionals, the audition process can often include a section in ballet. Summer 2019

To learn these many aspects of ballet technique, however, a certain amount of discipline is required. Much like the academic classroom, in ballet class, children learn to listen, follow instructions, and interact with other children. Because ballet requires great focus and attention to detail, dancers are often accomplished students in the academic realm and able to transition easily from one subject to the next. But beyond the above-mentioned benefits, there is an unmistakable element of enjoyment that one experiences as a dancer. There is a feeling of exhilaration when moving through space to music that can be felt at any age. Moreover, for children, the friendships encouraged at an early age can last a lifetime. Dancing in the studio and onstage with one’s peers fosters a camaraderie that carries on long after the curtain has closed and the lights have dimmed. n See ad for Ballet Academy on page 48; photo credit Katie Ging Photography. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


Summer Activities

Little Lake Theatre Presents Its 2019 Looking Glass Season Andrew Seay, Managing Director, Little Lake Theatre Summer is fast approaching, which means another wonderful season of Looking Glass plays for young audiences at Little Lake. This year’s shows feature memorable characters from books and the silver screen, brought to life on stage! The season opens with our children’s theatre production of Disney’s The Lion King Jr. (June 19–July 6), featuring Simba’s journey to become the king of the jungle. See this popular musical live at the Lake before the new movie opens this summer. Junie B. Jones returns to our stage in July for Junie B. Jones is NOT a crook! (July 10–27). The last Junie B. play sold out before it opened, so don’t wait to buy tickets for this one! Journey to the Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie-the-Pooh

(July 31–August 17) with Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, and many more of your friends in this adventurous play. Performances are held Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., and are perfect for the entire family! The Looking Glass season also features two special performances for each show. The popular Ice Cream Socials return this summer. Enjoy an ice cream sundae and meet your favorite character after the shows on the following Saturdays: June 22, July 13, and August 3. Little Lake is also pleased to offer sensory-friendly performances of each play specifically designed for children and families with autism or other sensory disorders at 11 a.m. on the following Saturdays:

Photo from last year’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., featuring Martha McElligott (USC student), Leila Landis, Sam Martin, and Zachary Hoppe

June 29, July 20, and August 10. The best way to enjoy the entire Looking Glass season is to buy a Kidcard. See all three shows for just $27 per person. To order, call 724-745-6300 or visit See you at the Lake! n See ad for Little Lake Theatre on page 51.

Water Safety—It’s Never Too Early to Start Christine Palmer, Regional Manager, Goldfish Swim School

At swim school teaching facilities, learning to be safer in and around the water should always be the number one goal. Here’s a startling fact to consider: according to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds. What’s more, statistics show that thousands of children are hospitalized each year for nonfatal drowning incidents, with a significant number sustaining lifelong, profound permanent brain damage. Scary, I know. But these statistics are preventable, and it all starts with swim lessons. The earlier you start, the better. Yes, even infants can take lessons! There are lots of benefits to getting your baby comfortable and confident in the water at an early age, from working on cognitive development skills to helping foster a lifelong love of swimming. And don’t forget all the bonding time you’ll get while at lessons in the water! Some of the best early memories with my boys happened in the pool! Research shows that putting your child in early swim lessons has many benefits, including: • Reducing the risk of drowning by up to 88% • Boosting overall development of the child • Improving motor development • Increasing memory capacity • Expanding cerebral communication • Strengthening social confidence • Enhancing neurological development • Deepening the parent-infant bond While swim lessons for your baby may not be on the top of your mind when your child is born, studies have shown that getting your infant confident and comfortable in the water can begin when he or she is as early as three months old. A study at the German Sports College showed that early water stimulation had lasting effects on children not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. 50


Summer 2019

When tested, perpetual infant swimmers were stronger and more coordinated, had excellent problem-solving skills, and were more self-disciplined with an increased desire to succeed. Can you imagine? All of that came from getting babies in the water at three months! What if your kids are older? Not a problem. Just as it’s never too early, it’s also never too late to take the plunge. In addition to formal lessons, there are several everyday skills that should be taught that parents can practice with their kids at home before and while attending lessons. Below are some practical water safety tips that all parents and caregivers need to know: • Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines, and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children every single second. After all, most children who drown are, in fact, supervised. • The American Red Cross says that the number one thing parents can do to keep kids safer around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental, and intellectual benefits. • Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of the water. • Realize that floaties, noodles, and plastic inner tubes do not protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Instead, use life jackets that are designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved. • Know that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t overestimate their skills and that they understand the importance of staying hydrated at all times. The water can (and should) be a place for family fun. But keep in mind that accidents can happen quickly. Constant supervision and basic water safety skills will make for a safer summer for everyone. n See ad for Goldfish Swim School on page 51.

Summer Activities Mt. Lebanon RecReation centeR TOP GIRLS MAY 16 - JUNE 1 By Caryl Churchill


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 *Individual & Family Season Swim Passes Available Pool Open Noon – 8 P.M. Daily beginning June 15, 2019

Top Girls is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Coming this summer, Electra, Boeing Boeing, and Cabaret. Plus, 3 exciting Looking Glass plays for kids. Check out article on page 50 to learn more. Visit for the complete season listings!

Call the Recreation Center at 412-561-4363 for times and rates Or visit us online at

Celebrate Summer!

“When I dance I get to express all of my feelings and emotions. I have felt passionate about dancing ever since I started and knew it was always right for me!” -Meghan, 7th Grader @ Fort Couch Middle School

Join Us

Call 412-257-2000 or Visit to register today!

Summer 2019



Summer Activities Your Neighbor of 40 Years Since 1979, South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates’ team of highly trained medical professionals has provided a wide variety of orthopaedic care to patients of all ages. All of our physicians are fellowship trained and provide state of the art care in total joint replacement, arthroscopic surgery, surgery of the shoulder, knee, hand, foot and ankle, spine surgery and sports medicine.

South Hills Orthopaedic SURGERY ASSOCIATES, P.C.

For an appointment call 412-283-0260 2000 Oxford Drive, Suite 211, Bethel Park, PA 15102 Free wireless internet access and valet parking available Coming Soon To Siena At St Clair

South Hills Sports Medicine & Rehab 100 Siena Dr, Suite 165, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

Incorporating SEL into Your Summer Fun Haley Roberts, Administrative Coordinator, Extended Day Services

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is this year’s hot new buzzword in education—and for good reason! In brief, SEL is the process through which children acquire the skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain relationships, and make responsible decisions. Decades of research shows that SEL leads to increased academic achievement and better behavior. As a parent, how can you build and maintain your child’s social emotional skills at home this summer? Here are some ideas to help you get started. Read books with them. The books you already have in your house contain examples of friendship, conflict, and dialogue. These can serve as visual models for social experiences. When reading to your child, talk about the characters and what is happening in the story to give your children access to the words and language used to describe various feelings. Consult online resources. Add these two popular resources to your parenting toolkit: a. Mind Yeti—A mindfulness app with guided sessions that help youth destress, focus, get along with others, and relax. b. Confident Parents, Confident Kids—A site with parent and child resources that support social-emotional development. Ask your child to teach you something. Kids love to play video games. Why not turn your Xbox or PlayStation into a SEL opportunity? Ask your child to teach you how to play a popular video game, like Fortnite. This exercise will allow them to practice patience and effective communication skills. Verbalize your feelings aloud. When, for example, you’re feeling frustrated in the grocery check-out line, talk aloud about your feelings. You could say to your child, “We are in a hurry, 52


Summer 2019

and this line is not moving very fast. I’m feeling frustrated, so I am going to take some deep breaths.” This exchange teaches your child words to describe feelings and strategies for keeping calm, like taking deep breaths. Take a step back when conflicts arise. As a parent, it’s second-nature to jump right in when children are fighting and resolve the conflict yourself. However, letting your children attempt to settle their own disputes will strengthen their social-emotional skills. If things don’t resolve themselves after a few minutes, then moderate the discussion with open-ended questions and facilitate a resolution. Reflect each day at the dinner table. When your children come home from summer activities or play dates, ask open-ended questions that will allow them to reflect on their social-emotional learning experiences. “How did you help someone today?” “What challenged you and how did you work through it?” Your children can also pose these questions to you to extend conversation and provide you an opportunity to model good responses. Encourage socialization. Taking your child to a park, swimming pool, or other public place is a great opportunity to encourage socialization with other children. Facilitate play dates with children from school, as well, to help maintain friendships throughout the summer. Participate in community service as a family. Volunteering as a family with an organization that serves underprivileged communities will strengthen your child’s empathetic response, allowing him to better put himself in someone else’s shoes when trying to resolve conflicts or collaborate with different people. This skill is a cornerstone to social-emotional learning principles. n See ad for Extended Day Services on this page.

Need to see a doctor?

Get in line, online. When you need to see a St. Clair Urgent Care physician, why sit in the waiting room when you can wait in your own home or office? Reserve your check-in time, in advance, online at

1. Visit 2. Click the link to get in line. 3. Choose your check-in time. a text message when 4. Receive it’s time to arrive. It’s urgent care from a hospital known as a national leader in quality, patient safety, patient satisfaction and value.


ST. CLAIR HOSPITAL OUTPATIENT CENTER—VILLAGE SQUARE 2000 Oxford Drive • Bethel Park, PA 15102 • 412.942.8800


Upper St. Clair School District

Board of School Directors

Amy L. Billerbeck President 412-833-2712 2019*

Barbara L. Bolas Vice President 412-833-9841 2019*

Jennifer L. Bowen 412-660-5846 2021*

Phillip J. Elias 412-257-1198 2019*


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


Secretary/Email Address


Dr. John Rozzo...........................................................Mary Ann Stabile..................................... 2201 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sharon Suritsky...................................................Sarah MacDonald.................................... 2218 Assistant/Deputy Superintendent Ray 2059 Director of Technology Sean 2560 Chief of School Police Dr. Judy Bulazo..........................................................Sarah MacDonald.................................... 2218 Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Scott Burchill..............................................................Dawn Machi.............................................. 2220 Director of Business and Finance Ray Carson, Jr............................................................Mary Ann Stabile..................................... 2201 Director of Human Resources Sheila 2826 Director of Advancement Jonn 3450 Director of Transportation Amy Pfender...............................................................Terri Lott................................................... 2283 Director of Student Support Services Tina 2215 Communications Specialist Bradley Wilson .......................................................... 3318 Supervisor of Customized and Online Learning

School District Building Administration

Dr. Daphna Gans 412-851-18250 2021*

Patrick A. Hewitt 412-831-0178 2019*

Louis P. Mafrice, Jr. 412-851-0622 2021*

Angela B. Petersen 412-833-4873 2019*

Dante R. Plutko, Jr. 412-389-5187 2021*

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

School District Central Office Administration

The 2019 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.

Dr. John Rozzo Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Sharon Suritsky Assistant/Deputy Superintendent

Ray Berrott Dr. Judy Bulazo Director of Technology Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

Scott Burchill Director of Business and Finance

*Date indicates expiration of term.

Upper St. Clair School District Annual Notices

The required annual notices to parents of children who reside in the Upper St. Clair School District are available online. Visit the District website at Click on Information and then select Compliance Notifications to view required state and federal notices and information. 54


Ray Carson, Jr. Director of Human Resources

Summer 2019

Sheila Gorgonio Director of Advancement

Amy Pfender Director of Student Support Services

Bradley Wilson Supervisor of Customized and Online Learning

Are You a Leader?

Leadership Academy Celebrates Ten Years Lou Angelo, USCHS Principal Are you a leader? I love asking that question and watching as people grapple with an answer. The question seems to invoke a degree of uncertainty in some, while others undoubtedly snapback, “Yes!” Why is that? Why do some see themselves as leaders, while others do not? I think the answer is simple, really. Some believe they have to serve in a position of leadership in order to be a leader, and this is where the breakdown occurs for adults and students. The Upper St. Clair Leadership Academy (leadership academy) warmly welcomes all students. We believe all students are leaders because at the very least, they lead their own lives (Fertman & Van Linden, 1999), so it is important to teach our students how to lead well and positively influence others. The leadership academies are one-week summer workshops offering students grades 4–12 exposure to leadership concepts and practices. Students identify their leadership strengths and learn how these skills can be used to make them successful in all stages of life. Through experiential learning strategies, group projects, and hands-on activities, students experience the application of leadership skills, building confidence in their abilities and enhancing their capacity to serve in leadership roles. Students leave the academy with a personalized leadership plan to assist with future development of their leadership skills. The leadership academy began in 2010 with 20 students grades 9–12. The workshop was co-facilitated by Doug Kirchner, USCHS social studies curriculum leader, and me. I distinctly remember the last day of the leadership academy feeling uncertain about how well the week went. It wasn’t until we began reading the student evaluations that we realized maybe it wasn’t so bad. In fact, it went better than expected. Since that time, the leadership academy has grown significantly. Over the next three years, the leadership academy expanded to provide leadership training to students in grades 4–12. Additionally, the high school programming continued to expand to four phases of leadership training, culminating in an international experience. Phase IV Leadership Academy Belize (LAB) was launched in 2013 thanks, in large part, to the monetary contributions of Jim and Becky Berquist. The Berquists,

who have business interests in Plancencia, Belize, were looking for an opportunity to give back to a community that had given them so much. After considering several options, the Berquists decided education was the greatest gift they could give to the community of Placencia. According to Becky, “The disparity in education that was provided to the students at St. John’s Anglican versus the education provided to the students at Upper St. Clair was significant and discouraging. Due to my connections at Upper St. Clair, I felt that USCSD could provide input and services to help the students in Placencia.” The Berquist’s generosity has paid big dividends to all involved with LAB since 2013. The students, teachers, and principal from Belize were positively impacted. Stephen Whyte, principal of St. John’s Anglican school notes, “The leadership Phase I students test their courage and students from Upper St. Clair have been such a risk-taking at a ropes course blessing to our children. They are a positive influence on the children, and their leadership skills are very important. We look forward to the camp every year and are very pleased with what they teach our students.” The positive experiences for all involved has led to an ongoing relationship with continued success. “The result has been a six-year collaborative program that has enabled the St. John’s students and staff to observe and enrich their educational experience at the school. We have seen remarkable increases in leadership application, resulting in increased graduation rates, enrollment in higher level education, and overall improvement in grades and attitude,” said Becky. LAB was the culminating learning experience for leadership academy students. Phase IV students were charged with creating a leadership academy from scratch by using the knowledge gained over the past three phases of training. The difficulty for students was amplified because they were creating an academy for students in grades 4–8 who attended a private school in Placencia. Creating the academy was one challenge, but executing the academy was an experience unlike any other. Phase IV operates from the theme “Leave your legacy,” but the motto is “Figure it out.” Time and time again, the students were placed at the center of all decision making and expected to lead the effort. Ownership over the success or failure of LAB belonged ultimately to the Phase IV students. Today the leadership academy is serving more than 400 Upper St. Clair students annually in grades 4–12, and Phase IV has expanded to offer a local and regional experience as well as the international experience. The local experience enlists students to co-facilitate with the teachers during Phases I and II. To prepare, students and teachers take a retreat for team building and lesson planning. The teachers work hard to empower the students to take active roles as facilitators. Ultimately, the Phase IV students become well prepared to facilitate the Phase I and II experiences and operate as leaders in the classroom. The regional experience invites students to work at Camp Soles. Similar to LAB, Phase IV students create and facilitate leadership experiences with Camp Soles attendees. Phase IV students are also provided the opportunity to co-facilitate with Camp Soles leaders during the week. Through the Phase IV design, students create a positive impact on the local, regional, and international levels. Cont. on page 56

Summer 2019

Phase IV leaders reflect on their leadership academy experience.



Leadership cont. from page 55

USCHS Leadership Academy and Total Leaders Model: The Big Picture Source: Charles Schwahn and William Spady’s Total Leaders 2.0: Leading in the Age of Empowerment USCHS Leadership Academy Phases Phase

Leadership Domain(s)




Who You Are Is How You Lead.


Visionary & Relational

What’s Your Tagline?


Quality & Service

Make it Happen!


Leadership Challenge: Develop & Implement Leadership Academy Belize (LAB)

Leave Your Legacy.

The Total Leaders Model Authentic leaders define a conscious and ethical purpose. Visionary leaders frame a creative and cutting edge vision. Relational leaders develop collaborative and collegial ownership. Quality leaders build competent and expert capacity. Service leaders ensure compassionate and dedicated support. The Five Pillars of Change 1. Purpose (Authentic Leadership): The deep and compelling reason an entity exists. 2. Vision (Visionary Leadership): A clear, detailed picture of what the organization will be doing when operating at its ideal best to accomplish its purpose. 3. Ownership (Relational Leadership): The emotional and motivational investment personnel make to fully implement the organization’s vision and accomplish its purpose. 4. Capacity (Quality Leadership): Having the knowledge, skills, abilities, and tools to get the job done well, with expertise, facility, and quality. 5. Support (Service Leadership): The direct, tangible assistance that the organization provides to its members to make the change happen successfully. Necessary Core Values and Principles of Professionalism, organized by Leadership Domain Leadership Domain

Core Values

Principles of Professionalism


Integrity Honesty Reflection Openness

Inquiry Contribution Clarity Connection


Openness Courage

Future Focusing Clarity


Integrity Commitment

Inclusiveness Win-Win


Excellence Productivity

Accountability Improvement


Risk Taking Teamwork

Alignment Contribution

Parent Perceptions In 2014, a program evaluation was completed to assess the implementation of the curriculum while assessing the learner outcomes in relation to youth development and leadership standards. As part of the research, parents of students who attended Phase I completed a survey. The perceptions parents had about their child’s behaviors as a result of the leadership academy were quite positive. Parents observed a positive change in behaviors toward friends and family. Parents observed their children take greater personal responsibility for behaviors and display an increased commitment to learning. Consistent with what was reported by the students, the parents observed their children improve the ability to serve as a role model for others. Parents also observed many leadership skills, including their child’s display of an increased sense of life purpose, use of goal setting, increased effort to improve upon leadership skills, improved ability to cope with adversity, and increased resilience for problem solving. Denise Lehman found the academy impactful for her son not only during his high school years, but also in college. “The academy had a positive impact on my son, Eric. It inspired him to pursue leadership roles in sports, clubs, and Mini-THON during high school. I believe this strong foundation gave him the courage to embark on similar endeavors during his college experience.”

An example of leadership in a Belizean classroom 56


Summer 2019

Mountain top team building at Seven Springs

Enduring Impact

Leadership Graduates Perspectives

Embarking on one’s college journey at the age of 18 can be frightening, but after completing four years of the USCHS Leadership Academy, I felt like I was well-equipped to tackle the next few years of my life at Duquesne University. Through the academy’s structured lessons, hands-on group activities, and the immersive experience of teaching leadership skills to children in Belize, I felt like I had a leg-up on my peers in leadership skill development when starting as a college freshman. While it was still nonetheless frightening, I had to trust that my training would pay off. And it certainly did; not just in my freshman year, but throughout all five years of my occupational therapy program. The academy helped instill in me a sense of confidence that I needed to tackle my challenging coursework. Having confidence became even more important when I began my clinical fieldwork when treating clients in various settings. After my fieldwork, I realized that being an OT means being a leader; not just in the role of a healthcare worker, but a leader for the clients I serve, too. I am forever thankful for the experiences and knowledge I acquired through the academy as it has helped me prepare for my profession.—Mackenzie Rodgers, Class of 2014 and inaugural Phase IV team member Mostly, the conversations about authentic and personal leadership have influenced most (if not all) of the decisions I make every day in the classroom. Identifying, recognizing, and reflecting on the “why” (sense of purpose) of my teaching and practice has steered so much of my planning and instruction. Kids can often be the toughest critics and they easily see through facades or misled energy. Having brainstormed about my personal mission and vision during my LA experience, I hone in on the type of teacher I want to be, in addition to influencing my approach and perspective toward community experience, both personally and professionally. Truly, I have always wanted to be in an education-based and learning-centered sphere. Above all else, though, my deciding factor came during my time in Belize. After just a few hours with the kiddos at St. John’s Memorial, I was hooked—watching students connect with one another and seeing their curiosity and empathy grow throughout the conversations they had was inspiring. I remember the exact moment. We were outside as an entire school, leading our LA

“cheer” and mantra, when I heard and observed their excitement and enthusiasm... that was it! As it did then, and still does now, being a teacher has allowed me to create a sense of community in and for children. Now being in a first-grade classroom, the sheer eagerness and hunger my students have to understand and make meaning of the world around them is exhilarating. Surrounding myself with people (no matter if they’re six years old or 60!) who are constantly testing and pushing our boundaries for “normal” refreshes my perspective and my “why” of being an educator.—Hannah Harris, Class of 2013 and inaugural Phase IV team member One of the most tangible ways I have used my leadership academy training is pioneering a leadership program for my service fraternity at Miami University of Ohio. Our three cardinal principles are leadership, friendship, and service, but we lacked a defined leadership development program. Along with another member, I planned a new position aimed to foster leadership development. Soon elected as the first VP of Leadership for our chapter, I was given flexibility to design a program for leadership development. Using the principles and values I learned from the academy, I designed a program where people could learn essential skills, as well as learn more about one’s own style of leadership. As I reflect upon my experience with the leadership academy, one of the best things I’ve carried with me in life is discovering my passion to help and serve others. During my years at the leadership academy, I enjoyed the various lessons we learned, but Phase III and service learning were the most satisfying and rewarding. For that reason, the most influential and memorable experience was the trip to Belize. I now return each summer to teach and share my experiences with the current students. I continue to write and talk about it often.—Ricky Alfera, Class of 2015 I use many of the tools I learned at the academy. SMART goals, in particular, resonated with me. I have found myself approaching each new situation by setting SMART goals. They allow me to focus on the bigger picture in small, achievable steps. While in law school, I use SMART goals to help me complete my final exam outlines and study guides, which take the full semester to develop. These plans allow me to manage reasonable expectations and, in turn, reach higher goals. Little wins along the way make reaching my ultimate goal much more likely. The most enduring principle to me is leading my own life and placing my authentic self into my leadership style. Put simply by leadership Summer 2019

expert Dr. Schwahn, “Who you are is how you lead.” This notion sits squarely in the front of my mind as each new phase of my life begins. For example, during my freshman year of college, and now again as a first-year law student, I had to carve out my own path without a set of specific instructions: make new friends, join new clubs, make important decisions. I considered not only the long-standing implications of major decisions I would make, but also how my seemingly menial everyday interactions affected others. Every decision is an opportunity for personal growth and an opportunity to show the world who you are, even if in the slightest manner. Once situated in my environment, I transfer that into an effective leadership style. For me, this has played out multiple times since first learning of the principle. I’ve acted as a student leader in a variety of clubs and activities throughout my academic career, and I have found that I cannot be truly effective until I have established myself as an individual team member. I find myself returning to a few values that I prioritize, including teamwork and integrity, and seeking to determine how to ensure these components are carried out through a project. I have found it is easier to situate myself in a leadership position and make decisions confidently once I represent my authentic self.—Jordan Ryan, Class of 2014 and inaugural Phase IV team member Joining the leadership academy the summer before my freshman high school year was a decision I am truly thankful for. In each phase of the academy, I developed various types of leadership skills, and ten years later, I often use these skills in my career as a teacher. During Phase IV of the academy, I facilitated a leadership camp for young students in Belize. Throughout that week, I ran various activities and lessons that taught my ten-year-old students about the importance of authentic leadership. From the day I started teaching the camp, I knew what I was meant to study in college—education! Six years after that experience and upon graduating with an early childhood and special education degree from Mercyhurst University, I am in my first year as a Kindergarten teacher. I absolutely love what I do, and I am thankful for the experiences gained in the academy for introducing me to my profession. As a teacher, I continue to use many of the skills I learned from my time in the academy. One of the biggest lessons I learned and carry with me was that of authentic leadership: “Who you are is how you lead.” Being authentic and understanding my leadership style is extremely important for me in my role as a teacher. I have used the skills and knowledge gained in the Cont. on page 58



2019-2020 USCSD School Calendar

Summer School

Aug 26 ����������������First Day of School for Students Sep 2 ������������������No School–Labor Day Oct 11 �����������������Half Day (Early Dismissal for Students) Oct 31-Nov 1 ������No School–Teacher-in-service Nov 11 ����������������No School–Teacher-in-service Nov 27-29 �����������No School–Thanksgiving Recess Dec 23–Jan 1 ������No School–Winter Recess

To customize learning for all students, Upper St. Clair School District’s Summer School program provides students with choices in learning related to content, time, interest, and academic need. There is a wide variety of offerings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. High school electives are available to students entering grades nine through 11. Upon successful course completion, students will be granted one general elective credit towards graduation requirements for those courses specifically advertised as credited options. Registration is underway. Most courses have limits on the number of students who can be served. Courses will be filled in the order that student registrations are received. If course capacity is not exceeded, registration will remain open up to one week before the course is scheduled to begin. Additionally, all courses are subject to cancellation if adequate enrollment is not achieved. n

Jan 20 �����������������No School–Teacher-in-service

Visit the District’s website at and click on the “Summer School” under Quick Links, located on the left side of the home page, to find a description of courses and to register online.

Feb 14 �����������������Half Day (Early Dismissal for Students) Mar 23 ����������������No School–Teacher-in-service Apr 13 �����������������No School–Teacher-in-service (Snow Make-Up Day) May 25 ����������������No School–Memorial Day Jun 4 �������������������High School Commencement Jun 9 �������������������Last Day of School for Students (Pending Snow Make-Up Days) Jun 10-11 �����������Teacher-in-service (Snow Make-Up Days) Jun 15 �����������������Kennywood Day

Kennywood Day­—Monday, June 17 Hope to see you there!



Apr 6-10 �������������No School (Spring Recess)




Purchase your tickets at USC’s Kennywood website, Tickets are available for purchase up until your school picnic date. Additional processing fee will apply.

Leadership cont. from page 57

academy during college and in my profession, and I know that I will continue to use them as I progress in my career.—Morgan Wangler, Class of 2014 and inaugural Phase IV team member What’s the Future of SLA? Now under the leadership of USCHS assistant principal Dan Beck, the leadership academy continues striving to fulfill the vision of cultivating student leadership. Dan has worked with his colleagues to intentionally incorporate and develop student facilitators as an intentional part of the academy’s development plan. This evolution involves multiple learning opportunities for the teachers, students, and administrators to collaborate. The collective group of educators are grounded in the process of Unleashing the Genius of Each Student (DiMartino & Midwood, 2017). 58


Through the leadership academy, teachers embrace the idea of creating a set of conditions in which Phase IV students are empowered to become key partners in the decision-making process about issues that affect their experience in the leadership academy itself. We believe this experience allows for students to have an opportunity to develop and express personal voice. Students have the chance to express their ideas as they gradually form and engage in dialogue that connects different perspectives and facilitates new solutions to challenge past practices of Phases I and II. This process, in turn, helps students form genuine relationships with everchanging adult advocates. This is critical as students grow in their sense of personal competence and agency through these interactions. Through this process, teachers focus on cultivating the intrinsic behaviors Summer 2019

that sustain change and continue developing relationships over time in preparation of a self-sustaining student-led leadership academy. Teachers begin meeting with students each March. Meetings continue throughout the months leading up to the leadership academy that is held in July, where they reflect and plan. The vision of the student-led leadership academy is to evolve to an ecosystem of student modeling and learning, as young men and women develop academically and socially. Thanks to the support of our students, parents, teachers, and District leadership, the USC Leadership Academy celebrates its tenth year of student leadership development and takes another step closer to fully answering the question, “Are you a leader?” n

due to a sprinkler malfunction and games were scheduled elsewhere. Beck Named to Student Councils Board Daniel Beck, USCHS assistant principal, was named to the board of Replacement of the high school gym floors was completed this spring. directors for the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC). Dan was one of two principals affiliated with the Pennsylvania Principals Pascarella Honored Boyce sixth grade English language arts teacher Kelly Pascarella Association (PPA) who were tapped to represent high school principals throughout the commonwealth. He serves as the representative for west- was recently honored with the Promising Practitioners Award from the ern Pennsylvania and previously served as the assistant principal-at-large Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE) this past February. According to PAMLE’s website, the award “is presented board member since July 2018. The mission of PASC is to engage and recognize student leaders and to teachers who are just beginning their middle school careers. These advisors in leadership training, networking, community service, school beginning teachers have made a positive impact on both their school improvement, personal development opportunities, and civic engage- and community.” Kelly was nominated for the award by Dan O’Rourke, Boyce Middle ment in the 21st century. “I am honored to work in a district and serve in a role as assistant principal that also aspires to meet these goals,” said School principal. “One of the most important jobs principals have is to Dan. “Serving on the PASC board allows me to grow as a leader through hire outstanding staff members,” said Dan. “Our goal is to continue to learning from the many teachers who support student councils across bring in staff members who are positive, student-centered, innovative, the commonwealth. Additionally, I’ll be able to help coordinate efforts collaborative, hard-working, and who exemplify the middle school philosophy. Kelly certainly checks all of these boxes.” with PPA in advocating on behalf of public educators.” Kelly, a member of Team Predator, previously served as the elementary Dan is looking forward to working with and learning from other educators in order to better support Upper St. Clair students. “USC gifted coordinator and elementary teacher in the Mt. Lebanon School District for eight years before joining the Boyce students are already doing amazing things. faculty in August 2018. She holds a bachMy hope is to continue helping their efforts elor’s degree in elementary education from the of uniting voices, serving the community, and Pennsylvania State University and her graduate committing to progress,” said Dan. “I believe degree in educational leadership from that other districts from across the commonCalifornia University of Pennsylvania. wealth are doing this in various ways, so I’ll Kelly will begin a doctoral program in learn from their experiences and bring education leadership and administration perspective back to our outstanding this fall at Point Park University. sponsors.” “We’re proud of what Kelly has acDan joined the high school leadercomplished at Boyce in less than one ship staff in 2013. Previously, he taught year,” Dan said. “She is a very driven secondary English in the Greensburg educator, has work that has been pubSalem and the Berlin Brothers Valley lished, and has started her own education School Districts. He holds a bachelor’s business. She’s a wonderful addition to degree in secondary English education Left to right: Boyce principal Dan the Boyce staff and the District.” from Duquesne University, a master O’Rourke, Kelly Pascarella, Boyce assistant principal Christine Mussomeli Dan Beck A published author, Kelly wrote the of education from the University of children’s book The Climbing Tree and Pittsburgh, and is currently a docfounded www.ElementaryBlueprint. toral and Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility com, a website that provides teachers and candidate at Duquesne University. families with resources and guidance for elementary learners. Coach Holzer Reaches 400 Wins USCHS boys’ basketball coach Danny Holzer College Board Honors Kirk earned his 400th career win in spectacular fashion on Jennifer (Jen) Kirk, USCHS counhome court against Bethel Park this past February. The selor and curriculum leader, was honored hard-fought 75–64 win was achieved in overtime. by the College Board through the 2019 Coach Holzer, who just completed his 24th season at College Board Counselor recognition Upper St. Clair, is the 12th active WPIAL coach to reach Danny Holzer Jen Kirk program. Selection criteria included the 400-win mark. Under his leadership, the Panthers leadership and advocacy in school councaptured two WPIAL championships, one WPIAL runner-up finish, and seven section titles. His teams have advanced to the seling practices and building collaborative partnerships, development of playoffs 20 out of the past 24 years. His overall record is now 401–200. strategies and programs that encourage family involvement in college “Reaching that 400-win milestone is a great accomplishment for our and career readiness, proficient use of data, and consistent professional entire program,” said Coach Holzer. “I am proud and honored to have development that focuses on college and career readiness. Jen, who has served as a USCHS school counselor for 18 years, earned had the opportunity to work with so many great people along the way, including our players, assistant coaches, parents, administrators, and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently enrolled in Northeastern University’s Doctor of Education our student fans.” Prior to taking the helm at USC, Coach Holzer served as an assistant program with a concentration in curriculum, teaching, learning, and coach at Duquesne University, California University of Pennsylvania, and leadership. In April 2018, Jen was honored with the 2018 Chi Sigma Iota, Delta his alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School. In high school, he was a three-year starter at TJ and then continued his athletic career at Alliance Upsilon Chapter Outstanding Site Supervisor Award from the Duquesne College before earning his teaching degree from Edinboro University University counseling program. In addition, she was named the 2014 of Pennsylvania. Coach Holzer has served as a social studies teacher at Pennsylvania High School Counselor of Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association, where she currently serves as the organization’s USCHS for 22 years. Coach Holzer’s 400th win also marked the final game of the season in secretary. Jen resides in Upper St. Clair with her husband, George, and their the Panther’s home gymnasium. The following morning—on February 2 —the school’s two gymnasium floors suffered significant water damage two children, Tyler and Annabelle. n



Summer 2019



March came in like a lion with the roar of applause and standing ovations received from the audiences after the performances of this year’s high school spring musical, Hello, Dolly! The two lead casts, singers and dancers, pit, and other technical help and stage crew came together night after night to display their wonderful talents. A blockbuster Broadway hit, Hello, Dolly! bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” have been entertaining audiences since the show’s professional debut. The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment,” and our students performed with enthusiasm, poise, and talent beyond their years. n

Photo credit: Isabela Couoh, USCHS junior 60


Summer 2019

Art and Writing Awards Four USCHS students were named 2019 Gold Key recipients in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Juniors Isabela Couoh and Eden Auslander, sophomore Manjiri Palayekar, and freshman Judy Wang moved on to national judging in New York City and were considered for national gold and silver medals and special achievement awards. Isabela Couoh, grade 11 • Three Gold–Art for “Fading Away” (Photography), “Building a Wall” (Photography), “The Light in the Darkness” (Photography) Manjiri Palayekar, grade 10 • Gold–Art for “Awakening” (Drawing and Illustration) Judy Wang, grade 9 • Gold–Art for “I” (Painting) Eden Auslander, grade 11 • Gold–Writing for “Analyzation of Procrastination” (Poetry) The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, open to students in grades 7–12, recognize student achievement in the visual and literary arts in 29 categories, including editorial cartoon, poetry, graphic design, fashion, science fiction, video game design, and more. All works are evaluated through blind adjudication, first on a regional level by more Manjiri Palayekar’s “Awakening” than 100 local affiliates of the alliance and then nationally by an impressive panel of creative industry experts. At each level of judging, all works are reviewed based on the same criteria that have represented the program since its founding in 1923: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision, or voice. USC students earning regional recognition, in grade level order, include: Markella Jahn, grade 8 • HM–Writing for “The Quiet Café” (Short Story) Julia Roeschenthanler, grade 9 Some say procrastination Is an abomination • Silver–Writing for “The Bricks That Bondage Built” (Poetry) Emotional taxation Progress in stagnation • HM–Writing for “Lies” (Poetry) Early bird violation Failure flirtation Antara Cleetus, grade 10 Parental agitation Causing endless oration • HM–Art for “Birth of T-Rubix” (Painting) Teacher induced frustration From student desensitization Eileen Guo, grade 10 Fear of ruination Resulting in damnation • HM–Art for “Different Personalities” (Painting) Guilt infestation Remorse formation Katherine Li, grade 10 Work ethic on probation Productivity desecration • Silver–Art for “Kindred Spirits” (Painting) No relaxation Heart palpitation • Three HMs–Art for “Oil Spill” (Digital Art), “Love in Kazakhstan” Credibility cessation Increasing humiliation (Digital Art), “Oh, What a Shame” (Digital Art) Limbo fixation Anxiety inflation Manjiri Palayekar, grade 10 Ease of task exaggeration Equals time miscalculation • Two Silver–Art for “The Story of Xoxhiquetzal and Hyacinth” (Digital Perceived misinterpretation Of utter disorganization Art), Art for “Trees” (Drawing and Illustration) Full of desperation To complete each obligation • HM–Art for “Ascension” (Digital Art) Accomplishment deprivation Needing behavior modification Claire Chen, grade 11 Others say procrastination Leads to inspiration • HM–Art for “Sunset at Kitty Hawk” (Painting) Providing stimulation Like a standing ovation Lauren Teresi, grade 11 Leisure augmentation Temporary vacation • Two Silver–Art for “Smoke and Mirrors” (Printmaking), Art for “Fields Focus Intensification Brain synchronization of Yellow” (Photography) Boosting innovation Concept incubation • HM–Art for “Self Portrait” (Photography) Time manipulation Schedule emancipation The District’s Parent Teacher Allowing for contemplation And serious deliberation Organization (PTC) promotes Adding to negotiation Extending collaboration participation through its Arts Deadline activation Enhancing motivation in USC initiative. The PTC, Duty Prioritization Importance elevation along with the high school and Rushing sensation Brews intoxication Fort Couch PTSOs, generously Life skill formation Solution modification underwrites the registration Efficiency optimization In critical situation cost of 40 student submissions. Upon job summation Conquering sensation (* HM denotes honorable menGenius rejuvenation Bestowing self-gratification tion. Judged category listed in parenthesis.) n —Eden Auslanader

Analyzation of Procrastination

Isabela Couoh’s “The Light in the Darkness”

Summer 2019



Upper St. Clair High School Halls Of Fame Mission Statement

To identify and to honor those who have distinguished themselves in academics, the arts, or athletics at the high school, collegiate, or professional level and who, in so doing, have contributed to the pride and prestige of Upper St. Clair High School. A former student must meet the following criteria to be considered for any of the three Halls of Fame: the individual must be a graduate of Upper St. Clair High School, must be away from the high school for at least five years, and must have made a positive contribution during high school as well as significant achievements after leaving USCHS. Students are nominated by members of the high school staff, an Upper St. Clair alumnus, or the Upper St. Clair community. Administrative staff, teachers, and coaches are also eligible. Each Hall of Fame committee will include representatives from the high school staff, alumni, and the community. Nominees must earn a 75% vote of a quorum of the committee. During and after high school, the student could have excelled in one or more of the following:

Arts • School and Local Awards • District and Regional Awards • • State and National Recognition • Contributions in the Field • • Post Graduate Recognition • Collegiate Recognition • • Professional Accomplishments • • School Service and/or Leadership in Field • • Benefactor of the Arts • Contributions to Society • • Excellent Citizenship •


Athletics • High School Awards and Records • • WPIAL or PIAA Champion • Post Season Recognition • • National Recognition • Multiple Sport Consideration • • Post Graduate Recognition • • Collegiate Accomplishments • • Professional Accomplishments • • Leadership Accomplishments •  • Other Hall of Fame Honors • Media Recognition • • Excellent Citizenship •

• Academic Honors • National Merit Recognition • • National Honor Society • Valedictorian •  • Student of the Year • Scholarship Awards • • School Service and/or Leadership •  • Post Graduate Recognition • Collegiate Recognition • • Publication of Work • Professional Accomplishments • • Contributions to Society • Excellent Citizenship •

2019 Halls of Fame Inductee Nomination

Support Our 2019 High School Varsity Football Team

To nominate a candidate for the 2019 Upper St. Clair High School Halls of Fame, use the nomination form found on the Upper St. Clair School District website at Click “Alumni” and then click on “Halls of Fame.” Submit your name, address, and phone number, along with your completed nomination via email to: Nancy Dunn at For more information, contact Nancy at 412-833-1600, ext. 2236.

Kick-offs Fridays, 7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium for five home games

Nominations Due May 31, 2019. Nomination forms can also be mailed to: Nancy Dunn Halls of Fame Committee Upper St. Clair High School 1825 McLaughlin Run Road Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 62


Summer 2019

Cheer on our Panthers!

October 4

Halls of Fame USC tackles Mt. Lebanon

September 6

Youth Night USC challenges Baldwin

September 11

USC takes on Woodland Hills

October 25 Senior Recognition Night (band, cheerleader, football) USC battles Bethel Park

September 27

Homecoming USC faces Fox Chapel

For additional information regarding the schedule, call the USCHS Athletic Office at 412-833-1600, extension 2260 or 2261.

Pantheon Choir Performs at Carnegie Hall

Jacqueline LeKachman, USCHS Senior This past January, the high school’s Pantheon Choir performed in the Every Life Shall Be a Song choral concert in New York City’s Carnegie Hall alongside several other high school and college choirs. The choir is an audition-only mixed ensemble of students in grades ten through 12, under the direction of USCHS choral teacher Lorraine Milovac. Members of the choir spent four days enjoying performing arts experiences, as well as performing at Carnegie Hall. The concert, which featured the works of women composers, poets, and lyricists, took place on January 20. The choir performed three pieces, including Sarah Quartel’s “Sing, My Child,” René Clausen’s “Prayer,” and Carol Barnett’s “By and By,” as well as two additional songs with the combined choirs. Simply performing in such a beautiful hall with such a rich history was, for all the students, a highlight of the trip. Listening to and learning from the other choirs participating in the concert was also an amazing opportunity to appreciate the works of other young musicians. Moreover, working together as a choir to achieve such a successful performance and create beautiful music was a truly meaningful accomplishment. When we were not performing, we participated in a Broadway rehearsal workshop. The workshop, led by cast members of Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, allowed students the chance to learn authentic music and choreography from the iconic production as well as closely interact with successful Broadway performers. Especially for those pursuing the performing arts path upon high school graduation, listening to stories about the performers’ careers and personal tidbits about how the shows run was very interesting.

The USC alumni network is growing! There is much to be excited about and to look forward to. Some of the alumni expansion includes the alumni speakers bureau, Halls of Fame nominations, Halls of Fame ceremony, Homecoming 5th Quarter, upcoming reunions, and calls for Alumni Spotlight. The speakers bureau will consist of USC alumni who are interested in sharing their professional and personal experiences with USC students. Interested alumni will be matched with teachers who have similar classroom disciplines to the alumni’s career paths, and alumni will then be scheduled to come in and speak to students about their experiences. USC teachers and students are very eager to welcome alumni into their classrooms and hear their perspectives. USC Halls of Fame honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of three areas: academics, arts, or athletics. Recipients include former students, teachers, and community members, all of whom have made unique and lasting contributions to our school and community. The next Halls of Fame ceremony will be held on Friday, October 4. (Nomination information for 2019 can be found at and has a deadline

USCHS’s Pantheon Choir, performing at Carnegie Hall

Attending Frozen and The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway was another enjoyable part of the trip. These shows were inspiring, and elevated the students’ appreciation for the performing arts, no matter our potential careers or previous experience with musicals. Shortly after The Phantom of the Opera concluded, students participated in a talkback with cast members. During this session, students learned about the cast members’ personal histories and experiences of being Broadway performers and could directly ask them questions. As a member of the Pantheon Choir, this trip was an experience I will always treasure. Those who attended this trip not only developed musically, but strengthened their bonds of friendship. Especially at a time when music programs nationwide are being removed or cutback due to financial constraints, I am forever grateful for having been given this incredible Members of the Pantheon Choir opportunity. n enjoy NYC

Jacqueline, a senior at USCHS and the daughter of James and Collette LeKachman, plans to study English in college and casually pursue music.

Alumni News

date of May 31.) All student nominees must be graduates of USC High School and must be distanced from the high school for at least five years. All staff member or volunteer nominees must no longer be employed by the District. The Halls of Fame is a great way to recognize and praise the District’s exemplary individuals. Over the next few months, there are a number of exciting programs planned to bring alumni together. The Class of 1969 will hold its 50th reunion on Saturday, July 27 at St. Clair Country Club, and the Class of 1979 will hold its 40th reunion weekend beginning Saturday, September 14. To gather all alumni, present to past, the District will hold the 5th Quarter event after the high school’s homecoming football game on Friday, September 27. Continue to check the website at for new events. Fun, innovative opportunities are being planned for summer and fall and, as they are confirmed, information will be posted on the website’s “Events” page. Presently, there is a call out to all alumni to become part of the Alumni Spotlight. We love to show the community, and other alumni, what USC graduates are doing, both professionally and personally. We invite all Summer 2019

alumni to participate in this feature. As a participant, your information and photo will be displayed on the alumni website and in the Connect2USCSD electronic newsletter. Lastly, the inaugural alumni electronic newsletter was emailed this past winter. Electronic newsletters will be sent out on a quarterly basis, so keep an eye on your email in-box for coming editions! If you would like to add information to the newsletter, become part of the Alumni Spotlight and/or speakers bureau, or just get in touch, email If you’ve not already done so, join the alumni network at Stay connected! n

Upcoming Events Class of 1969 50th reunion– Saturday, July 27 Class of 1979 40th reunion– Saturday, September 14 Homecoming and 5th Quarter event– Friday, September 27 Halls of Fame ceremony– Friday, October 4 (Nominations due May 31)



Mini-THON Maxes Out

Once again, USCHS’s Mini-THON was a smashing success, raising $58,476.69 to help support childhood cancer research! Held this past April at Fort Couch Middle School, the event offered opportunities for the entire community to get involved. During “Community Time,” 6:30–9 p.m., residents of all ages participated in games, purchased refreshments, danced, and had a great time. Following Community Time, participating high schoolers were “locked-in” until 6 a.m. Saturday for a night full of dancing, food, games, and more! According to the Four Diamonds Organization, “Mini-THONs are interactive events for students of all ages that inspire teamwork, leadership, and creativity, while empowering youth and young adults through philanthropy and community service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) and have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families since 1993.” “Last year, we raised more than $41,000,” said Rachel Harris, a USCHS senior and Mini-THON public relations school and community executive board member. To reach and surpass this year’s $50,000 goal, students organized several fundraising initiatives leading up to the Mini-THON, including launching an online donor page. In January, the students hosted the second annual “Itty Bitty Mini-THON,” a babysitting night for children around the community. In addition, they held fundraisers at Duck Donuts, Moe’s, and Chipotle. n

—Photo credit: Lauren Teresi, TODAY intern, and Tina Vojkto 64


Summer 2019

Congressional Award Gold Medalist

Ayush Sharma, a USCHS senior was selected as a 2019 Gold Medalist in the Congressional Awards program, representing Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District. He will be recognized at Ayush Sharma the annual Gold Medal Ceremony in Washington, DC, this summer. According to the program’s website, “The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.” Some of the requirements of the Gold Medal Award include 400 hours of volunteer service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and a five-day expedition, all accomplished over a two-year period. “Each of my four domains of the award were focused on only one or two activities, since the award strives for continuity throughout two years,” said Ayush. “All of these goals were written in September of my sophomore year.”

Ayush completed his volunteer service at St. Clair Hospital and his temple. His professional development goal focused on preparing for the competitive workforce and was fulfilled by his involvement in the high school’s speech and debate team and his part-time job at Kumon Math and Reading Center. As a member of the high school’s varsity tennis team, Ayush focused his physical fitness goals on improving his performance on the court. For Ayush, the most impactful of the four goals was the expedition/exploration. “My expedition experience was one of everlasting impact as I traveled to Bulandshahr, India, which is three hours east of New Delhi, with my father, Dr. Vijaya Kumar, of Wayne State University, and his pre-medical students to teach public and general health to rural and impoverished areas,” he said. “My trip lasted a week and consisted of teaching simple, yet unknown, concepts of wound care, hand washing, and CPR.” When in college, Ayush plans to major in biomedical engineering with the intent of applying to medical school. At USCHS, he participates in several activities, including the speech and debate team, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, and varsity boys’ tennis team. n

Organized Chaos Wins Battle of the Bots!

Upper St. Clair and Peters Township students united to form a new middle/high school robotics team, Organized Chaos (#15241-A). This team won the tournament championship and the “Robot Skills” award at the regional 2018–19 VEX VRC competition and, as a result, advanced to state competition. The team consists of nine students in eighth through 11th grade: Brandon Beerel, Matthew Earley, Rachel Hardy, Connor Hyatt, Matthew Hyatt, Aleksa Rodic, Eric Stricker, Jill Wilson, and Landon York. The VEX VRC game, Turning Point, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is played on a 12' x 12' field with alliance partners, two red robots vs. two blue robots. They compete in matches consisting of a 15-second autonomous program, followed by a oneminute-and-45-second driver-controlled program. The object of the game is for one alliance to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring caps on high and low posts, flipping caps, toggling

Organized Chaos “15241-A” is King of the Hill.

Aleksa Rodic, Matthew Hyatt, and Brandon Beerel work on a chassis design.

flags by picking up and shooting balls, and parking on platforms. Think of it like the game “King of the Hill,” with robots battling for the final position and slamming into one another while trying to push an opposing robot off the center platform. In the teamwork competition, alliance partners strategize prior to the match to determine how to use their programming and driving skills to maximize points. Alliance partners are randomly paired for each match and compete against various teams throughout the day. After a long day of qualifying matches, Organized Chaos was undefeated and in the first place position. As a result, the team earned the honor of selecting an alliance partner for the final round. Organized Chaos went on to win first place in the tournament with their alliance partner, SHARP, from Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh. In addition, Organized Chaos also won first place by excelling in the individual event “Robot Skills.” The team posted the highest overall scores in programming (autonomous) and driving (teleop). This part of the competition included a 60-second autonomous program, where the robot moves itself on the field and carries out tasks without driver interaction. This score was then combined with the team’s teleop score, where human operators have 60 seconds to control the movements of the robot from a distance after it has been programmed to understand commands.




S T.

Robot drivers Connor Hyatt and Matthew Earley prepare for the next match.

After regionals, the team attended the Pennsylvania competition and won second place and the “Amaze” award, which is recognition for an “amazing, well rounded, and top performing robot.” Organized Chaos is part of Team RobotiX, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Upper St. Clair. Team RobotiX engages professionals from the Pittsburgh community to provide robotics education that inspires life-long learning in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) for K–12 students and teachers. Team RobotiX seeks volunteers to host community outreach events, give tours at local STEM-related companies, and sponsor the organization. The team is coached by volunteers Jay Clayton, Matt Wilson, Andrew Butler, and Kim Hyatt. n For more information, visit CLAIR



Door Signs— Tradition of Recognition As a form of encouragement for many years, Upper St. Clair has enjoyed a fun tradition of decorating the font doors of our high school student-athletes’ houses as they prepare for WPIAL and, possibly, PIAA competitions. Accomplished through the help of the teams’ booster club parents who gather on artisticallyinspired weekday evenings or weekend mornings, they use rolls and rolls of paper, paint, and brushes to create door signs that don the athlete’s name, sport, and the school’s well-recognized Panther paw symbol. USC residents enjoy seeing the temporarily decorated doors when driving around the Township’s neighborhoods during the different sports seasons. We love seeing all the signs! We invite you to continIt’s a great tradition! ue sharing your signs with UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, —USC resident Erin Madson so that in addition to your front door inspiration, your athlete can also be recognized on TODAY’s Facebook page or in our published quarterly magazine. As the sports seasons continue through this and upcoming school years, we look forward to receiving and sharing the door signs of USC’s future student-athletes. We applaud them all for their continued commitment to their sport and accomplishments on the fields, courts, and event facilities in which they play. n

How do I submit a door photo for print publication? Email your originally-sized, high resolution image to, placing the word “doors” in the subject line. 66


Summer 2019

Germ Symposium

While we are enjoying the spring season and soon heading into warmer months, the thought of winter and the onset of the cold and flu season (along with reminders to wash your hands to stop the spread of germs) looms on the horizon. This past February, while in the midst of the winter season, seventh graders at Fort Couch hosted a Germ Symposium to share their knowledge of germs with the District’s fourth grade students. Fort Couch held its first symposium five years ago, but only included Eisenhower Elementary students. In its return this year, the event expanded to include fourth graders from all three elementary schools: Baker, Eisenhower, and Streams. Each school’s fourth grade class spent one morning at the middle school learning about germs. During the winter months, Fort Couch’s seventh graders learn about bacteria in their science curriculum. “For these students, it relates to our cell unit on bacteria and prokaryotic cells,” said Patrick Corr, seventh grade science teacher. “It also focuses on the MYP global contexts and learner profiles. The students will spend a science class reflecting on these goals.” Fort Couch students led the fourth graders through several hands-on learning activities that provided information about different viruses and bacteria, the spread of germs, how germs affect the body, diseases that are caused by bacteria and viruses, and how to prevent the spreading of germs. In addition to fourth graders gaining knowledge of germs and germ transmission, Patrick hopes that the symposium strengthens

ties between and among the schools, as well as provides an opportunity for seventh graders to play a leadership role within their school. “These types of activities are important because they help build leadership skills and create relationships within the school Evan Kingseed (grade 7), Edward community,” said Patrick. Copenhaver (grade 4, Eisenhower) For teachers of the fourth graders, it’s an enjoyable day to watch their current students gain knowledge from some of their former students. “Our elementary school students get the opportunity to learn about viruses, bacteria, and illness and do some Jackson Angelici (grade 7), Matthew creative STEM-related activities Beitler (grade 4, Baker), Anthony that enhance their learning,” said DiPiazza (grade 4, Baker), Asha Segall (grade 7) Christopher George, Eisenhower fourth grade teacher. “It’s also great to see the seventh graders share their knowledge at the end of their science unit as well as take on leadership roles in the field of teaching.” This year’s symposium was supported by Fort Couch’s seventh grade science teachers Patrick Corr, Jen Cramer, and Mike Barringer. n

Two groups of Upper St. Clair middle school students advanced to the finals and 11 students earned honorable mention in the 25th annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Among the finalists was a team of Boyce sixth graders—Armen Pettit, Ishaan Sharma, and Tyler McClintock-Comeaux—who portrayed the roles of Quince, Bottom, and Flute from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The other team of finalists included Fort Couch eighth graders Rebecca Lang, Eleanor Alford, and Ella Elkoni who performed a scene as Clown, Charmian, and Cleopatra from Antony & Cleopatra. In the final round of competition, Anushka Patil substituted for Ella Elkoni, as Ella was in Washington, DC, for the Future City competition. Eleven students earned honorable mention for their performances: sixth graders Meredith Huzjak and Ben Seewald for King Lear and fool from King Lear; sixth graders Elliott Bruno, Sydney Montgomery, Bryan Deep, Kristen Albertini, Sydney Waldron, and Anna Engleman for Macbeth witches, Hecate, and apparitions from Macbeth; seventh graders Katie Kucherawy and Janelle Knierim for Julia and Lucetta from Two Gentlemen of Verona; and eighth grader Rebecca Lang for her Hermione monologue from A Winter’s Tale. In total, 39 USC students competed in the contest: 22 from Boyce, 13 from Fort Couch, and four from the high school. In addition to the finalists and honorable mentions, other Boyce students who participated include Jamie Barrett, Esha Lathia,

Rohan Mehta, Elise Parrish, Madison Kovacs, Opal Miller, Carlee Santel, Sara Gillespie, Logan Campbell, Isabella Donnelly, and Pritika Gupta. From Fort Couch, other student participants were Ipsita Singh, Irene Yap, Libby Eannarino, Emily Whiteford, Lauren Welch, Priyasha Itani, and Sydney Zottola. High school participants were Anoushka Sinha, Nora Barker, Kaitlyn Clougherty, and Aditri Thakur. “It was an exciting and special year for the Shakespeare contest on its 25-year anniversary, and Upper St. Clair was well represented in every performance, from the initial competition to finalists,” said Diane Ecker, Boyce Middle School gifted education teacher. More than 1000 students in grades 4–12 from 80 area schools competed in the preliminary rounds in early February. Students could enter the monologue, scene, or both portions of the contest in either the upper division (grades 8–12) or the lower division (grades 4–7). Coaching sessions are conducted in January and February in the schools and at the O’Reilly Theater. Contestants present their pieces in front of a panel of judges, and those who advance to the final round of the contest have the opportunity to perform at the Showcase of Finalists. Judging criteria include understanding of the text, emotional connectedness, character development, physical and vocal performance, and pacing and the interaction amongst the actors in a scene. n

USC Students Reach Shakespeare Finals

USC Shakespeare participants

Summer 2019







Council Suzanne Wynne, President This past year, the USC Parent Teacher Council focused on promoting wellness and inclusion. Upper St. Clair is a special place, because the people who live here celebrate family. Many of us dedicate our time and energy to supporting organizations that not only lift up our own kids, but lift up all kids in USC. It is this basic intention that drives much of what our community organizations do. Between our parent-teacher organizations, our sports association/boosters, our public library, our Community Foundation, our Youth Steering Committee, and our District staff, we have an army of citizens dedicated to making USC a great place to live. How do we reach out to make sure everyone feels heard and supported? How do we increase transparency of our meetings so that everyone can be informed? How do we support all K–12 students and their families? These are not new questions. These questions have always driven the efforts of the PTC. Yet, this year, we focused on these questions in new ways. As a result, we worked closely with the District to enhance our in-school activities promoting wellness and kindness. We also created new partnerships with South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) and the USC Township Library to create opportunities for our families to support and learn about each other. The PTC Wellness Committee is working with the Youth Steering Committee and St. Paul’s Nursery School and to bring internationally-renowned educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba to USC to speak with our community and District staff. Dr. Borba’s work specializes in character and social-emotional development in children, bullying prevention, promoting compassion, and strengthening families. As we continue to parent in this evolving digital age, we hope this event will encourage us. 68




It’s been my honor to serve as PTC president this year. As some of you may know, I’ve been inspired by Pittsburgh’s 50 th anniversary of “Mister Rodgers Neighborhood” and celebrated his legacy of “being a good neighbor.” So, in the spirit of the year, I’d like to share this quote. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” If you have a student(s) who is anxious about the end of summer and the start of the new year, reach out to your school’s principal or counselor, reach out to a neighbor with older kids, or reach out to me at, and know that we are surround by people who care about the families of Upper St. Clair. High School PTSO Shannon Gallagher, President This year has been met with many changes and new additions, both structural and personnel. Head football coach Jim Render retired, leaving behind an amazing career and legacy. He paved the way for Mike Junko to lead the USC Panthers into the next chapter. Our Mini-THON was once again a huge hit and raised funds for children’s cancer research. This year, student council will introduce a scavenger hunt game at Community Day, where kids will hunt for hidden “gems” that are scattered around the grounds. Inside each “gem,” a note will instruct the finder to bring the gem to the student council booth to claim the prize. So clever and so much fun! This past March, the High School presented the Broadway musical Hello Dolly! The performances were amazing and the theater was filled to the brim with excited audiences. This year, the District participated in the SHIM food drive, and sophomore Jordyn Ruffner organized the high school’s participation. Collectively, the District provided more than 4000 pounds of food to SHIM. Being a part of the PTSO these past two Summer 2019

Fort Couch


years has been a great way for me to keep up with my high schoolers, meet amazing administrators, teachers, and students that my children mention in passing, and learn a lot about what’s going on. The teaching staff does rely on the PTSO’s feedback and insight throughout the year, and we’ve helped to make positive changes to our students’ school experiences based on what we’ve communicated. We look forward to seeing you in the fall! Fort Couch PTSO Katy Loomis, President The Fort Couch PTSO is an integral part of our school community, and through student activities, educational support, and informational meetings helps bring the different elements of the school together. The Fort Couch PTSO bylaws state that its purpose is “to bring into closer relation the home and the school, so that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth. These purposes are promoted through advocacy and educational programs directed toward parents, teachers, and the general public.” Having served in the PTSO for a total of four years (Boyce and Fort Couch), I realize that our schools are fortunate to have an organization so focused on promoting community involvement. Spring PTSO activities include the school social, Field Day, eighth grade farewell, and staff appreciation day. These activities require coordination between the PTSO executive board, committee chairs, teachers, staff, students, and administration. The PTSO provides the funding through the activity/membership fees paid early in the school year. The school social provides a perfect example of how we work together as a community to make this a long-standing tradition of fun and cooperation. It truly takes a village! The social also supports local businesses. Pizza, ice cream, a photo booth, and Kona Ice are all provided by


... a USC Parent Teacher Council Feature

families involved in the USC community. The DJ has been playing at Fort Couch dances for as long as he can remember, as did his father, before him. Many programs driven by the PTSO are less visible, but equally as important. Many focus on educational support. The PTSO works closely with Principal Joe DeMar to assure all students are positively impacted by these programs. Examples include support for the arts/music, spelling bee, photography club, Red Ribbon week, school clubs, and test snacks. The Sharing and Caring Committee works with the school to assist Fort Couch families in times of crisis, hardship, or need. Academic and Team Enhancements provide teachers and staff financial support for special projects, field trips, and events that might otherwise not take place. The Gift to School, funded by money raised during the school year by students and the Fort Couch community, is also an exciting opportunity to support education. The gift is chosen by Principal Demar and the PTSO board and membership to benefit the students of Fort Couch. PTSO meetings are held monthly in the Fort Couch LGI, where the board and committee chairs report on activities, Principal DeMar discusses happenings at Fort Couch, school board president Amy Billerbeck shares District news, and Katie Gibson, Fort Couch teacher representative, reports on student life. Additionally, each meeting this year included a teacher guest speaker and a security officer who shared information and answered questions. I am quite passionate about the PTSO and its purpose. I am fortunate to be involved in this great group, and it’s been a wonderful way for me to get to know teachers, students, parents, and staff. If you have time to participate in any way, from being a chaperone to serving on the board, I encourage you to do so. Boyce PTO Jennifer Schnore, President Parents often get the opportunity to meet teachers and staff at our school’s open house or at other activities. But, I would like to highlight a Boyce employee who parents often don’t get to meet: Ken Suchan, Boyce’s head custodian. It was

my pleasure to speak with Ken. He is a great guy who works hard for our kids and our District! JS: What is your favorite part of the job? KS: I have worked for USCSD for 27 years and I love running into former Boyce students as they make their way through Fort Couch and the high school. JS: What is your favorite restaurant? KS: Pasta, Too in South Park. JS: What do you like to do in your spare time? KS: My son and I purchased a farm property with a camp and pond in Crawford County that borders the Erie National Wildlife Refuge. I go there with my family and dogs to fish, hunt, and enjoy nature. JS: What is your favorite sports team? KS: I follow all local sports teams, including the professional Pittsburgh teams, Pitt, Penn State, USC High School, and Chartiers Valley High School. (Ken attended Chartiers Valley schools and lives in Bridgeville.) JS: Do you have pets? KS: I have a German Shorthaired Pointer named Shelly and two cats named Muffin and Mitten. I also have a granddog, my son’s dog, a German Wired Hair Pointer named Mic. JS: What is your dream vacation? KS: My wife and I would love to take an Alaskan cruise. JS: Are you reading any good books? KS: I have a “retirement collection” of books that I hope to read when I get the time. I love reading the local newspaper and enjoy reading local author Jim O’Brien’s books and articles. JS: What would people find interesting about you? KS: Before I came to the District, I worked at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office for 25 years, becoming a chief investigator at the coroner’s office. It was like CSI, but not as glamorous.

Baker tallying over 194,000 total minutes read over the course of the ten-day event. Every year, we set the goal higher, and our kids continue to exceed the goal! Our school was thrilled to participate in the month-long, District-wide food drive to support SHIM. The rest of spring kept us busy with Houlihan’s and Chik-Fil-A spirit nights, the spring book fair, and, of course, Baker Bingo. Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen at Baker has been the introduction of our afterschool Kids of Steel program. Baker parent Melissa DePuy has been working tirelessly to bring this program to our school since her daughter, Teagan, was in Kindergarten. Two and a half years later, we are thrilled to have it finally underway. For those who aren’t familiar, Kids of Steel is an award-winning, free after-school program that teaches kids good health and fitness habits. The end of the tenweek training program culminates with an optional race at the Kids’ Marathon in downtown Pittsburgh the first weekend in May. Baker currently has more than 80 kids enrolled in the program, training twice a week after school, led by Melissa and school nurse Holly Fisher, along with many other Baker staff members and parent volunteers. Melissa shared her passion about the program. “The feedback we’ve received so far is wonderful! The kids are asking their parents to go on family runs and kids who would otherwise enjoy sedentary video games are asking to join the program and run with their friends. We’re teaching them an important lesson of how exercise benefits their lives. Holly and I are runners ourselves, and we are thrilled to share this experience with our Baker family,” she said. From all of us at Baker, we wish everyone a great remainder of the school year and hope you have a wonderful summer!

Baker PTA Lindsay Beck, President I blinked and the 2018–19 school year is almost over! It has been a privilege to serve the parents and staff at Baker Elementary this school year, and our PTA is quite proud of what we’ve accomplished. Our third annual Read-A-Thon was a smashing success, with the kids of

Eisenhower PTO Heather Grote, President It’s hard to believe Community Day is right around the corner and the school year is coming to an end. It seems like yesterday that I was writing my first article and staring at a daunting to-do list, wondering how it was all going to get done. But it did get done, and with each Cont. on page 70

Summer 2019



PawPrints... a USC Parent Teacher Council Feature Pawprints cont. from page 69

passing month I shared fun memories and publicly recognize many people for their selfless efforts at the PTC meetings. Eisenhower Elementary prides itself on the longstanding tradition of building a strong and safe community by working together as parents, teachers, students, and staff to deliver a fun, educational, and well-rounded calendar of events for the school year. This year, Eisenhower focused on empathy and kindness. The culture resulted in a greater sense of safety and stressed through monthly counseling sessions, Ike Buddies activities, small group programs, Motivation Monday videos, and through the responsive services that worked to serve the day-to-day individual needs of our students. Eisenhower school counselor Amy Miller’s role was impactful for the students. She monitored bullying reports and worked with students to problem solve their own friendship issues by teaching them a variety of conflict resolution strategies. “Peace Talks” were a helpful tool to aide in the mediation of peer conflicts. Amy emphasized self-reflection with the students and the importance of being honest with themselves and about the situation. To visualize school spirit and our sense of community, parent volunteers created a Spirit T-shirt that displayed Eisenhower’s two-year theme of GRIT. The T-shirts were worn on Spirit Days and major event days, including Field Day. This year, each grade level was given a specific neon color. It was extra fun to be in the school during these very colorful days! Speaking of fun, the month of May is a blast and includes the fourth grade farewell party, school staff appreciation day, and Field Day. Thank you to everyone for a great year! Streams PTO Kerstin Goodworth, President It’s hard to believe we are at the end of another school year. It’s been a blessing to work with so many wonderful people at Streams and throughout the District. This year has been another lesson in the power of community. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have made my tenure 70


as Streams PTO president such a positive experience. Let me begin by thanking my executive board at Streams. Amy Hollingsworth, this year’s vice president and next year’s president, has stepped up every time we needed a helping hand. Amy’s commitment to giving our kids the best experience possible is motivating and infectious. Amy may do it quietly, but she’s a fierce advocate for our kids. To our treasurer, Shanna Caplan, thank you for taking on such a big and important job. Shanna’s attention to detail, her willingness to take on tough projects and see them through, and her kind heart made all the difference. It was a tough year in many regards and Shanna spent countless hours checking and re-checking our numbers, implementing new systems, and improving existing ones. It’s thanks to Shanna and her work that we can fund exciting new additions to the school that will last for years to come. Thanks to our secretary, Andrea Amorose. Not only was Andrea great at her position, she helped on almost every single PTO committee. From chairing the holiday shop to coordinating homeroom parents and holiday parties, Andrea helped create some of our kids’ fondest elementary school memories. She is an absolute joy to work with! To our principal, Dr. Claire Miller, thank you for all you do for our kids, our teachers, and our Streams families. You are a wonderful guiding force in everything we do. Your care for our students and your focus on developing them as kind global citizens, as well as your compassion for families in times of hardship are just a few of the reasons we are fortunate to have you as part of our community. And, finally, to all the teachers, administrators, fellow parents, and fellow volunteers I’ve got to know better this year, thank you for inspiring me to stay involved! Thank you PTC and Suzanne Wynne for everything you do for our kids. I look forward to what next year will bring. In the meantime, have a wonderful summer and see you in the fall! n

Summer 2019

#TheyDidWhat #The Robotics Team Advances to World Championship #TheyDidWhat #The A team of Boyce Middle School students, The Gear Grinders, was crowned tournament #TheyDidWhat #The champions at the 2019 Vex IQ Pennsylvania Robotics championship this past March. In #TheyDidWhat #The addition to winning the tournament, the team earned the Teamwork Champion award and the #TheyDidWhat #The Excellence award, the competition’s highest honor. Sixth graders Owen Bell, Ian Dvorin, Ryan #The Hyatt, #TheyDidWhat Rohan Mehta, and Carlee Santel advanced to the Vex IQ World championship in April in Louisville, #TheyDidWhat #The Kentucky, competing against 400 middle school teams from throughout the world. #TheyDidWhat #The In addition to their robot, the team participated in#TheyDidWhat a STEM research project, with a focus on #The math. Using Fortnite as an example, the team demonstrated how math is used in artificial #TheyDidWhat #The intelligence and machine learning. At their station, they had demonstrations of AI robots, Cozmo and #TheyDidWhat #The Vector, along with math lessons for tournament participants. (See related article on page 65.) #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The Left to right: Rohan Mehta, Ian Dvorin, Ryan Hyatt, Owen Bell, Carlee Santel #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The Eisenhower Art at South Hills Village An art display created by Eisenhower students #TheyDidWhat #The has been installed in South Hills Village Mall. The artwork, located on the lower level near the former #TheyDidWhat #The Sears store, features 280 brightly colored canvas tiles. “We are delighted at the way this turned #TheyDidWhat #The out!” said Jennifer Carroll, director of marketing and business development for South Hills Village. #TheyDidWhat #The South Hills Village approached Eisenhower Elementary with a potential location for an art #TheyDidWhat #The display to cover the temporary wall surrounding the center court escalator renovation. The project #TheyDidWhat #The was coordinated through Matthew Cosgrove, Eisenhower Elementary art teacher. #TheyDidWhat #The South Hills Village requested something colorful and unique, and worked with Matthew to #TheyDidWhat develop a “symbols of learning” theme that #The would inspire students to be creative. Each grade level #TheyDidWhat #The had a different theme: Kindergarten, handprints; first grade, shapes; second grade, numbers; third #TheyDidWhat #The grade, letters; and fourth grade, three dimensional objects. Monochromatic colors were used for all of#TheyDidWhat the tiles. The students studied the work #The of pop artist Jasper Johns to gain inspiration on repetition #TheyDidWhat #The and paint application. The art installation will remain through the #TheyDidWhat #The end of May. The installation may be relocated to another part of the mall when the escalator project #The is#TheyDidWhat complete. #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The Eisenhower artwork display at South Hills Village #TheyDidWhat #The #TheyDidWhat #The


eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Odyssey of the Mind Teams Advance to States eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Seven USC teams representing Odyssey of the Mind divisions 1#TheyDidWhat (elementary), 2 (middle eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Top Honors at Japanese Contest school), and 3 (high school) qualified to compete Three USCHS students—senior Michaela Kauffelt, poster; sophomore Caroline Knizner, at the Pennsylvania Odyssey state tournament eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat beginner speech; and senior Marty Bryant, intermediate speech—placed first in the annual this April and include: High School Japanese Speech Contest this past March. Also finishing in the top three in their First Place eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat respective categories were senior Kathleen Knizner, #TheyDidWhat second place in intermediate speech; and • Boyce Middle School–Technical Problem, sophomore Stephanie Lu, third place for her poster. Division 1: Ellie Simons, Collin Rosenberg, eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat More than 100 high school Japanese language students of all levels from the tri-state area Addie Young, Lily Simons, Kurt Baran, Lauren competed in the regional speech and poster competition. Students participate in one of four Ginsburg, Geneva#TheyDidWhat Eisinger; coaches: Nate eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat speech levels according to their level of instruction. #TheyDidWhat Eisinger, Artie Baran, Simon Rosenberg In addition to those who placed, Sara Edkins, Xavier Hlavsa, Kymahni Vidale, and David • Baker Elementary School–Performance eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Wang entered the poster category, and Hunter Bench and Madelyn Lebedda competed in the Problem, Division 1: Grace McDonough, beginner speech category. “All of our USCHS students worked very hard to prepare for this Catalina Ramirez, #TheyDidWhat Emme Ciccolella, Molly eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat event, and #TheyDidWhat they did a wonderful job,” said Chie Ramsey, USCHS world language teacher. Biedrzycki, Max Urban, Milena Casciani, The event is a contest for high school Japanese language students in the western Pennsylvania, Franco Liberatore; #TheyDidWhat coach: Katie Talarico eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat eastern Ohio, and West Virginia region to learn how to#TheyDidWhat deliver a memorized speech at a language • Boyce Middle School–Performance Problem, level appropriate for their level of learning. The poster contest is for students to study a topic Division 2: Esha #TheyDidWhat Lathia, Ben Murtough, eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat on Japan and demonstrate their ability to share what they learned through the presentation Anastasia Gzikowski, John Tripodes, Ben of a poster. The competition is hosted by the Asian Studies Center, the University Center Seewald, Owen Mucho, Peter Markovitz; eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Japan-America Society of coaches: Meridith Markovitz, Stacey Seewald, Pennsylvania. Laura Murtough #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat eyDidWhat • USCHS–Performance Problem, Division 3: Gold at Future City Competition Eric Wang, Constantine Tripodes, Victoria Fort Couch Middle School students placed first in#TheyDidWhat the 2019 Pittsburgh Regional Future City eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Cuba, Sammie Seewald, Brianna Lin, Max Competition, punching their ticket to compete at the national competition in Washington, DC. Murtough, Joseph Markovitz; coaches: This year marked Fort Couch’s 19 year in the competition and the first-time to take home gold. eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Laura Murtough, Stacey Seewald, Meridith The regional event was held mid-January at the Carnegie Science Center. The team’s Markovitz presentation was led by eighth graders Carter Chui and Ella Elkoni and seventh grader Reese eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Second Place Copenhaver. • Fort Couch Middle#TheyDidWhat School–Vehicle Problem, The team also earned three special awards, including eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Division 2: Harrison Barker, Anushka Sharma, Best Essay, sponsored by the Carnegie Science Center; George Abdel-Messih, Lindsay Ross, Neha Protecting#TheyDidWhat the Public’s Safety and Welfare Through eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Sriram, Ben Ross, Michael Conte; coaches: Competent and Ethical Engineering Practices, sponsored Stephanie Ross, Neelum Sharma by the American Society of Civil Engineers; and 19-Year eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat • Fort Couch Middle School–Classics Problem, Anniversary School, presented by the Carnegie Science Division 2: Alex #TheyDidWhat Sun, Cameron Coller, Center and#TheyDidWhat Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Cameron Weber, Rosemary Ramirez, Reese and the Carnegie Science Center. Future city competitors, left to right: Copenhaver, Josilyn#TheyDidWhat Seftchick, Jack Lowden; Future#TheyDidWhat City is a national, project-based learning eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Alex Todd, Carter Chui, Priyasha coaches: Rachel Lowden, Katie Talarico experience where students in grades 6, 7, and 8 imagine, Itani, Reese Copenhaver, Ella Elkoni, • USCHS–Classics #TheyDidWhat Problem, Division 3: Libby Eannarino design, and#TheyDidWhat build cities of the future that offer solutions eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Anoushka Sinha, Gracie Lowden, Jacob Conte, to sustainability issues. Previous issues included storm water management, urban agriculture, Isabella Putorti, Christina Conte, Maggie and green energy. This year’s theme, Powering the Future, focused on creating a resilient power eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Lowden; coaches: Rachel Lowden, Beatrice grid so that the city could withstand natural disasters. Conte eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat “Each team worked hard from October through March to creatively solve one of five eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Hot Shots problems from Odyssey’s STEAM-based program, Congratulations to which requires that students work independently eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Cara Chiocca, who placed with no outside assistance from teachers, parents, tenth as a WPIAL finisher or friends,” said Laura Murtough, coach and eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat in rifle. Cara, a USCHS Odyssey of the Mind program co-coordinator. senior, qualified to move “At competition, they#TheyDidWhat are judged on creativity eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat USCHS rifle team, left to right: Grace Elwood, on to #TheyDidWhat states. Cara is the and risk-taking in their solutions and held to a assistant coach Rebecca Kinzel, Aria Dietrich, first USC rifle participant modest budget of between $125 and $145.” Olivia Noto, Cara Chiocca, Jonah Seymour, coach eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat to place in the WPIALs Tom Dietrich, Paige Tudi and advance to the states eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat since#TheyDidWhat Marissa Rionda in the 2007–08 season. eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Spectacular Spellers Other#TheyDidWhat rifle members Five USC students advanced to the 69 annual Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee held participating at WPIALs eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat this past March at Robert Morris University. To qualify for the regional competition, Avantika included Grace Elwood Palayekar, Baker Elementary; Siddharth Kumar, Eisenhower Elementary; Ava Liu, Streams (28 ), Paige Tudi (41 ), eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Elementary; Shriya Narasimhan, Boyce Middle School; and Priyanka Palayekar, Fort Couch Jonah#TheyDidWhat Seymour (51 ), and Cara Chiocca Middle School, each finished first in his or her school’s spelling bee. The school-level spelling Aria Dietrich (52 ). eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat bees, open to students#TheyDidWhat in grades 4–8, were sponsored by the USC PTC. eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat Summer 2019 UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY 71 eyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat #TheyDidWhat th






Four Named National Merit Finalists

Reese Benonis

Samuel Ding

Four USCHS seniors—Reese Benonis,

Samuel Ding, Serena Luo, and Grace Wagner —were recently named finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program. Selected this past September based on their SAT scores, grades, essays, and letters of recommendation, these students were previously named Semifinalists in the competition for scoring in the top one percent of all juniors completing the PSAT in October 2017. “We are proud of these seniors who advanced from Semifinalist to National Merit

Serena Luo

Grace Wagner

Finalists. This is an enormous accomplishment for them,” said Dr. Louis Angelo, USCHS principal. “Their achievements within and beyond the classroom have positioned them for great success after high school.” Founded in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Students enter the program by taking the PSAT (the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test) during the fall of their junior year. Of the nearly 1.6 million entrants, the top one percent

(approximately 16,000 students) qualify as Semifinalists. As finalists, the seniors now compete for National Merit Scholarships that will be offered and announced this spring. The program awards three types of scholarships: National Merit $2500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships, and college-sponsored Merit Scholarships. All Merit Scholarship award winners are chosen from the finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments. A variety of information is available for selectors to evaluate, including the finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, a school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the finalist’s own essay. n For more information, visit:

Outstanding Orators

Stellar season for the high school’s Speech & Debate Team!

State Champs The team claimed its ninth consecutive Pennsylvania High School Speech and Language (PHSSL) District 3 championship this February, qualifying the team to compete at the state tournament. The team set a PHSSL record with 33 individual qualifiers, topping USC’s previous mark of 31. Qualifying for states were: Poetry–Annika Chaves, Anoushka Sinh; Prose–Richa Mahajan, Charlize Goff; Humorous Interpretation–Riwk Sen, Maddie Nolen; Dramatic Interpretation–Mayka Chaves, Hashim Durrani; Commentary–Antara Cleetus; Original Oratory Informative–Neha Patel, Brooke Christiansen; Original Oratory Persuasive–Shanthi Krishnaswamy; Extemporaneous Speaking–Atharva Barve, Paarth Shankar; Public Forum Debate–Mallika Matharu and Arushi Khaitan (undefeated), Meghan Joon and Dina Leyzarovich; Lincoln-Douglas Debate–Eshita Chhajlani (undefeated), Claire Chen; Parliamentary Debate (all undefeated)–Sunny Chai, Vivek Babu, Jami Stout, Yash Jajoo, Ayush Sharma, Basir Khan, Devan Ekbote, Mathena Jencka, Anika Sinha; House–Caroline Wolfe; Impromptu–Hridhay Reddy; and Broadcasting–Matt Hornak and Suemin Lee. National Qualifiers At the beginning of March, the team scored a tournament-high 29 qualifiers to compete in the 2019 National Catholic Forensics League (NCFL) grand national tournament. At 29, the team achieved the second highest number of qualifiers in school history. The USC record was previously set in 2016, with 33. The top six students in each event qualify to advance to the 2019 NCFLs, which will be held at the end of May in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Qualifying are: USC is the Pennsylvania High School Speech and Policy Debate–Will Bacdayan and Shreya Golakiya, Language District 3 champion for a ninth consecutive year. Rhea Punjabi and Ashley Eichberg; Public Forum Debate–Yash Jajoo and Devan Ekbote, Mallika Matharu and Arushi Khaitan; Lincoln-Douglas Debate–Matt Hornak, Anusha Neupane; Declamation–Patrick Joyce, Atharva Barve; Dramatic Performance–Hashim Durrani, Riwk Sen, Mayka Chaves; Duo Interpretation–Ellen Duff and Amelia White, Felipe Mola Curi and Shivani Jajoo, Sammy Levy and Marlena Bononi; Extemporaneous Speaking–Paarth Shankar, Meghan Joon; Oral Interpretation of Literature–Annika Chaves, Charlize Goff; and Original Oratory–Vivek Babu, Shanthi Krishnaswamy, Aya Dakroub, Neha Patel. The team placed second overall, with first and second place finishes in speech and debate, respectively, at the Pittsburgh District tournament in March. As a result of the Pittsburgh tournament, seven USC students qualified to compete at nationals, the second most in team history. Advancement to the national competition, which will be held in June in Dallas, Texas, is limited to two students from each event. Qualifying are: Lincoln-Douglas Debate–Claire Chen, Dramatic Interpretation–Hashim Durrani (Pittsburgh District champion), Humorous Interpretation–Maddie Nolen (Pittsburgh District champion), International Extemporaneous–Rushikesh Kulkarni (Pittsburgh District champion), Domestic Extemporaneous–Chand Vadalia, (Pittsburgh District champion), Program Oral Interpretation–Charlize Goff (Pittsburgh District champion), and World Schools Debate–Yash Jajoo. n 72


Summer 2019

Safe2Say Something

This past February, the District hosted two parent information sessions regarding the Safe2Say Something (S2SS) anonymous reporting system that launched in January. S2SS is an anonymous reporting system used by Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts in coordination with local law enforcement and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. S2SS teaches middle and high school youth and the adults around them how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others, and then “Say Something” to a trusted adult, call 911, or use the S2SS anonymous reporting system. As part of its comprehensive safety and security efforts, the District has developed a Safety and Security webpage. The information, including how to report a concern, is easily accessible from the top navigation bar of the District’s website. In addition to providing information for reporting a concern, the site offers resources for families on a range of safety and wellness topics, including media and technology, bullying prevention, suicide and crisis prevention, and more. n

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Insurance: Replacement Cost Vs. Market Value Before you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, you’ll need to make a number of decisions. One of the most important is the amount of coverage that best meets your needs. Understanding your options will help you make an informed choice that safeguards your home and your family’s financial future. Replacement cost is the cost necessary to repair or replace your entire house. When you insure your house for its replacement cost, your insurer will reimburse you for the cost to rebuild or repair based on the size and structure of the house that was lost or damaged. The best way to determine the replacement cost of your house is to hire a building contractor or other building professional to produce a detailed replacement cost estimate. Insurance agents might also have estimating tools to assist you. Only the cost of the property’s structure and its associated systems, fixtures, and finishes are included in the estimate. Land value is included in a home’s market value, but not included in the amount of insurance you purchase. Benefits. In the event of a loss, replacement cost coverage will help your family return to the house and normal quality of life with minimal financial interruption. For the best protection, experts recommend that you insure your house for at least 100% of its estimated replacement cost. Risks. Replacement costs can change over time. Review your policy annually to make sure its coverage meets your needs. Inform your insurer if you’ve upgraded or improved your house. Alterations may increase the estimated replacement cost. Also, stay informed about changing market conditions in your area. Rising labor, materials, and transportation costs can directly affect your home’s estimated replacement cost. For maximum protection, consider a policy that includes an inflation clause that automatically adjusts to account for changes 74


Summer 2019

in construction costs. Market value is the amount a buyer would pay to purchase a house and its land in its current condition. Unlike estimated replacement cost, market value is influenced by factors beyond the material and labor costs of repairs or reconstruction and includes proximity to good schools, local crime statistics, and the availability of similar houses. The land is included in the market value, although it will not be covered by the homeowners insurance policy. Benefits. In some cases, market value coverage may be the most practical option. Take the example of an ornate older house. In today’s market, the cost to rebuild or restore artisanal woodwork, masonry, and plastering to its original condition may be higher than the purchase price. Therefore, replacement policy premiums for the house would be high. (Special policies are available for some historic houses, but these also come at a higher price.) For a cash-strapped homeowner, buying an insurance policy based on market value offers the best chance to recoup at least partial expenses after a loss. Risks. When you insure a typical house for its market value, you are at risk of having incomplete coverage. For example, imagine that a family buys a house for $175,000 and takes out a homeowner’s policy for the same amount. The replacement cost for the house, though, is $225,000. If a fire or other insured event destroys the house, the insurance settlement would be $50,000 less than the actual replacement cost. The family would either have to make up the difference themselves or build a new, less expensive house. Check with your insurer to determine which strategy works best for you. n This article was provided by Cindy Brophy, State Farm® agent. See ad on this page.

Home & Garden


Dora Rudick



Kevin O’Laughlin MOVEMENT MORTGAGE MARKET LEADER NMLS#: 1289348 direct: 412.600.1527 1630 Wahington Rd. Pittsburgh. PA 15241

Office: 412-833-5405 Cell: 412-506-2394 Email: Facebook/Instagram:


110 For t Couch Rd., Suite 303, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania 15102 I PA-53158, IN-28226, Ml-1289348, VA-ML0-25546VA, OH-ML0.048081.000, OH-L0.048081.000, TX, Fl-L031566 I Movement Mor tgage, LLC suppor ts Equal Housing Oppor tunity. NMLS ID# 39179 (www. I 877-314-1499. Movement Mor tgage, LLC is licensed by PA # 34374, IN # 18121, Ml # FR0018717 & SR0020189, VA # MC-5112 and OH # SM.501922.000 & MB.804187.000, TX, FL# MLD200 & MLD1360. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. Borrowers must qualify at closing for all benefits. “Movement Mor tgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mor tgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. 8024 Calvin Hall Rd, Indian Land, SC 29707. CPID 5238 I Exp. 7/2018

© 2019 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.

Surviving Summer’s Real Estate Market Dora Rudick, Realtor®, and Kevin O’Laughlin As the temperature heats up, buyers are ready to purchase houses and sellers are ready to put theirs on the market. Whether you’re thinking about selling or buying, be prepared to keep up with the increased competition that comes with the season. Here are a few proven strategies to help give you a leg up on your competition. Seller Strategies In the summer’s real estate market, most families’ goal is to be settled into their new home prior to the start of the new school year. The clock is ticking, and having a clear game plan to get your house ready to sell is very important. Tackling home repairs, including servicing the mechanicals, such as HVACs, hot water heaters, and appliances is crucial. Since most buyers will get a home inspection that will point out items needing repair, correcting deficits found through a pre-inspection will save you from giving the potential buyer a closing credit or a sales price reduction, which, in most cases, is an overinflated request. Avoid surprises and undertake potential repairs ahead of time. Showing potential home buyers that your house is pre-inspected and you have addressed major repairs will give reassurance to buyers. Curb appeal is also important. We all know that first impressions are everything! Focus on the exterior of your house as much as the interior. Landscaping, fresh paint, and addressing exterior repairs become as important as interior repairs. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression! Buyer Strategies We are in a market with limited inventory, which often leads to multiple offer situations. Don’t rely on Zillow and (and the like) at the point when you are seriously searching for houses. Home-search sites pull information from the local multi-list, so there

is a delay in posting information. This delay could be the difference in getting an opportunity to place an offer on your dream home (or not), since some houses receive several offers within a few hours after they’re listed. Rather, consult with a local real estate agent who can give you access to the local multi-list that has the most updated listings and price changes on the houses you are looking at. Financing Strategies Secure your mortgage pre-approval and financing prior to making an offer. Some home buyers wait until they have a house picked out before they begin the pre-approval process, which, depending on your situation, could take a few minutes or a few weeks. Once you’re preapproved, your loan officer can prepare specific monthly payment and closing cost estimates for each house you’re considering. Knowing your estimated purchase cost before you view a particular house will help to ensure you don’t fall in love with one that might be out of your reach. Not all pre-approvals and pre-qualifications are created equal. Certain mortgage companies provide underwritten pre-approvals, which makes your offer almost as good as cash. Since loan officers cannot technically approve a loan, having an underwriter (the only qualified person who can approve a loan) review your pre-approval request ahead of time will make your offer stand out. Undertaking the pre-approval process will enable you to close fast and give you assurance that your loan will proceed without issues. This alone could be the difference of getting the home of your dreams. Get a head start on your road to success during this competitive summer real estate season; consult with a real estate agent. n See ads for Dora Rudick and Kevin O’Laughlin on this page. Summer 2019



Home & Garden

Who Do I Choose?

Chantel Hitchman, Scott Bros. Windows and Doors Are you preparing to sell your house, giving an older house a fresh facelift, or simply needing to replace your windows and doors? Window and door replacement can play an essential part of updating your home’s appearance by increasing curb appeal and enhancing its architectural design. New windows and doors can be a major investment. When it comes to making such an important decision, part of the course of action should entail finding a good contractor. Shopping for a contractor can be trying for homeowners, especially considering the vast number of choices and sales pitches. The following is a list of criteria to help simplify the search process: • Find a specialty window and door contractor who does this type of work on a daily basis and who can assist you in making the best decisions on product and installation for your house. Make sure they will give your project their undivided attention. • Choose a contractor that hires their own employees and does not use subcontractors to complete the installations. By doing this, the chain of accountability remains intact from start to finish. • Use a contractor who is local to the area, works in your neighborhood, and has good customer references. Most reputable contractors have a list of local references who will provide you with

insight about the company. Additionally, ask family and friends for references; word-of-mouth is a valuable resource in finding a good contractor. • Select a contractor who is an accredited member in great standing with the Better Business Bureau. • Contractors are required to be registered under the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Act. Make sure yours is. • Select a window and door contractor who has full liability insurance coverage. • Consider a contractor who is certified by the manufacturing company that fabricates the products you are considering. • Ask the contractor about their longevity in the business. Choose a contractor who has been established in the window and door industry for many years. Ask for the type of warranty provided on the workmanship. Quality windows and doors not only significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency, but when chosen carefully and installed properly, they also increase your home’s value. Remember, an important part of your project is finding the right contractor who will do the job right the first time. n See ad for Scott Bros. Windows and Doors on page 73.

Ground Covers— Pachysandra

Getting Ready to Move

I get a little tired of bark mulch, or rather, I get a little tired of bark mulch as a design element in landscape architecture. The unnatural dyed mulches in red, black, and brown tend to hold their color longer, but look almost painful when tucked around plants in the garden. The natural bark mulches certainly afford some real benefits, but they should not be considered an artistic expression. If the attractiveness of a planting design relies on how fresh the mulch is, then we’re missing something. A good planting design should grow and evolve into less work and become more beautiful over time. Our homes should not need a delivery of mulch every year to look its best. That is where ground covers come in and lend themselves to a grand appearance. Ground covers help establish a more vibrant, easier-to-care-for landscape. Pachysandra is one of my favorites. Pachysandra, or Japanese Spurge, can often be dismissed as boring or over used, when, in fact, used correctly, it is vibrant and effective. Pachysandra is deer proof, winter hardy, and while it prefers shade, will tolerate some sun. Pachysandra is most effective in large planting beds. As a free form planting, it is stately and elegant, vastly preferable to acres of lifeless mulch. As I look out on the grey landscape during the winter and early spring seasons, Pachysandra is alive and well and holds the promise of warmer temperatures and seasons to match. n

For most people, their largest investment is their house. Here are tips on what you can do to get the most value for your house when you decide to put it on the market. The exterior of the property is what people see first when driving up to your house, so it’s important to have the landscaping fresh and updated. This can be accomplished simply by replacing older bushes with new ones and adding mulch to the flower beds. Adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door will do wonders, and replacing older exterior lights with new ones will update the look immeasurably. Cleaning the glass in the lighting fixtures and washing the windows are simple tasks that can also make a big difference. The kitchen and bathrooms are important. Of all house projects, did you know that an updated kitchen and bathrooms provide the most return value? Adding new counter tops, flooring, appliances, light fixtures, drawer pulls, and a fresh, stylish coat of paint can do the kitchen trick. Bathrooms can be updated by adding a new paint color, new counters, faucets, and light fixtures. At a minimal, buy new bath mats and towels for a fresh look. Paneling in family rooms dates back to the 1970s. How about painting it for a less expensive way to update the room? Beams, too, can be painted or even removed if they are non-load bearing. Adding new interior light fixtures and door knobs and removing old wall papers will give your house a newer look. If wall-to-wall carpets are worn or just old, it’s best to remove them and expose beautiful wood floors. Staging the bedrooms with new bed spreads, removing old window treatments, and arranging furniture can give the bedrooms an appealing makeover. Don’t forget to organize the basement’s game room and garage so they look inviting and useable. All closets should be cleared out and organized so they appear spacious. Go ahead and donate those items that are not being used. As a seller, getting the most money for your house is your number one priority. I recommend using a “to do” list. Tackling items on the list when given time will get you ready to put your house on the market when the day comes that you decide to sell. n

Sandy Goldstein, ABR, e-Pro, Keller Williams Real Estate Professional

George Girty

See ad for George Girty Landscape Design on page 77. 76


Summer 2019

See ad for Sandy and Marshall Goldstein, Keller Williams Real Estate, on page 77.

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“Good landscaping doesn’t just happen, it’s designed” Summer 2019



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Maximize Your Real Estate Experience Lynn Dempsey, Realtor®

To maximize your real estate experience, select a real estate agent who uses online tools and social media to promote home sales. In this day and age of technology—where home buyers and sellers have increasing access to information through online tools and social media—make sure that your real estate agent is using these same tools. Regardless of today’s online and social media tools, approximately 90% of all home buyers and sellers still use a qualified real estate agent to help them in the buying or selling process. In most cases, the work of buying or selling a house truly begins when the deal is struck through detailed negotiations, when completing the complex paperwork, and when a home inspection and survey are performed. Some buyers believe they can find their dream home on their own by using online tools and social media and do not need a sales agent. There is so much more involved besides showing the house: the ability to manage and fill out the paperwork, submitting the offer, negotiating the list of home inspection items that needs to be addressed, working with the mortgage company and title company… and the list goes on and on. We all know that the weeks or months between the signed contract and closing can be stressful for both buyers and sellers. Having a qualified real estate agent there to answer questions that inevitably pop up and keeping everyone informed help keep the stress levels down. There are differences between agents who perform the basic necessary functions and agents who elevate the real estate experience that builds relationships and buyer/seller/agent loyalty. Choose an agent who remains relevant in today’s digital world and understands how to: 1. Stay “on top of the market.” Engage agents who understand 78


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current property values and local market conditions by knowing the listing and sales data of the homes of interest and comparable homes. 2. Go the “extra mile.” Find a real estate agent who takes the time to know the clients, understands their goals, and helps them make the best decisions while navigating the buying or selling process. 3. Use social media. Use an agent who is comfortable with social media. In the ever-evolving world of real estate, marketing strategies and carefully-designed marketing promotions can help sell houses in a timely manner for the highest price. 4. Embrace technology. Find an agent who promotes using a video tour for a home’s first look. Is your house being shown through the technology-based notification system to interested buyers? Is it listed on mobile apps? Does the agent use e-signatures to keep the process simple? Your agent should embrace available technology to keep things organized and forward moving. 5. Know the community. Find an agent who is skilled in networking with other agents and brokerage firms in the community in which you are looking to buy or sell. In today’s savvy real estate market and to help you in your home search and get the best deal, find a real estate agent who fully embraces today’s technology. There are some great online tools to help you navigate through the entire process, from beginning to end. Is your agent equipped with the knowledge it takes to maximize your real estate experience as well as get the deal done? n See ad for Lynn Dempsey, Coldwell Banker Realtor®, on page 93.

Around the Township Continuing to Enrich Our Community

2019-2020 Lecture Series Held on Tuesday Mornings Lou Holtz, Legendary Football Coach and Analyst, ESPN (2004–2015) October 1, 2019 Lou Holtz is one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Holtz, an Ohio Valley native, is the only coach in college football history to take six different teams to a bowl game, win five bowl games with different teams, and have four different college teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll. As head coach at Notre Dame, Holtz took the Fighting Irish back to the ranks of college football’s elite and earned a sterling reputation for taking football programs and elevating them a level or two on their way to the Top 20. He has been a college football analyst for ESPN and CBS Sports and is considered one of the greatest motivational speakers in America today. Beth Macy, Journalist, Best-Selling Author November 5, 2019 Reporting from America’s Economic Margins, Beth Macy discusses the unraveling of rural America. Her most recent book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, unpacks the most intractable social problems of our time: the opioid crisis. This book is set against a landscape of job loss, corporate greed and stigma, along with the families and the first responders who are heroically fighting back. A longtime reporter who specializes in outsiders and underdogs, Macy has won more than a dozen national journalism awards. Alan Zweibel, Comedy Writer, Best-Selling Author December 3, 2019 Alan Zweibel is an original Saturday Night Live writer who has won multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards for his work in television, which includes Curb Your Enthusiasm, Monk, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which he co-created and produced), and PBS’s Great Performances. The New York Times says Zweibel has “earned a place in the pantheon of American pop culture.” Zweibel’s career success has transcended television to film, theater, and literature. He is an executive producer on Showtime’s documentary series Inside Comedy, and is writing a script for a Broadway musical version of Field of Dreams.

Lou Holtz October 1

Beth Macy November 5

Alan Zweibel December 3

Vijay Gupta photo courtesy for the MacArthur Foundation

February 4

Lynsey Addario photo courtesy of Penguin Press

Vijay Gupta, Violinist, Educator, Advocate February 4, 2020 Vijay Gupta is a violinist and educator whose efforts to merge music with mental health are changing the world. As a professional violinist with a background in neurobiology, Gupta sees music as a transformative form of outreach that can truly change the lives of those afflicted with adverse circumstances, such as mental illness, homelessness, and addiction. Gupta is the founder of Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging underserved communities experiencing homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles through musical performance and dialogue. He was named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, hailed by the MacArthur Foundation for “bringing beauty, respite, and purpose to those all too often ignored by society.” Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist March 17, 2020 Lynsey Addario is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who covers conflict zones across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. She photographs feature stories on humanitarian and human rights issues with a specific focus on women. In 2015, American Photo magazine named Addario as one of the five most influential photographers of the past 25 years, saying she changed the way we saw the world’s conflicts. She was part of the New York Times team to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for her photographs in “Talibanistan.” Addario recently released Of Love and War, a book that includes a personally curated collection of her work and provides a compelling visual record of war, injustice, resilience, and humanity. Town Hall South was conceived and organized in 1969 by Westminster Presbyterian Church members Edna Brown and Ruth Bayley, with the encouragement of Pastor John Galbreath, as an outreach of the church. From its inception, it has been led and managed by an all-volunteer board of approximately six to 12 members. Town Hall South board members work throughout the year, volunteering their time and talents to investigate, secure funding, and contract each season’s speakers. In addition, the group works together to plan and execute the operations behind the lecture series, including logistics, ticket sales, marketing, publishing, customer service, and community outreach. Town Hall South is very proud of the fact that, to date, it has been 100% funded through subscribers and that proceeds are distributed to local charities. Since its 50-year existence, Town Hall South has contributed more than $600,000 to various charities. While lectures, attendance, ticket prices, board size, and members continually change and evolve, the mission, high standards, and lecture format of Town Hall South remain constant and continues to enrich our community. n

March 17

Lectures are held in the Upper St. Clair High School theater on Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

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Get to Know the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair


Board of Trustees 2019 Seated Trustees: Vice President Daphna Gans, President Alison Hess, Secretary Jennifer Dempsey. Standing Trustees: Business Manager Donna Fox, Michael S. Barnett, Tammy Singleton-English, Theresa Kish, James Bennett (Retired Trustee), Glen Sandusky, CFO John Tarcson, Paul Fox, David Jones.

C2CF Club at USC High School We are excited to announce a new opportunity for students to Connect to the Community Foundation (C2CF). The club meets after school and volunteers at our events, creates their own programs, and interacts with our Trustees. @c2cf19

Trustees We are always looking for more USC residents to join our Board of Trustees. If you are interested in becoming a part of our Foundation, please email us at or visit our website at

Events Book Club - May, September, November Community Day Duck Race & After Party - May 18 4th Annual Golf Invitational September 23

2528 Washington Road, Suite 131 80


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Pittsburgh, PA 15241

Donations The grants we provide are available because of the donations we receive from residents and companies through the years. If you are interested in supporting our Foundation with a taxdeductible donation, please visit


Community Day May 18, 2019 The Great Community Day Duck Race The Great USC Duck Race begins at 3:00 PM on Community Day in McLaughlin Run Creek behind the USC Municipal Building. The Race is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair in partnership with Duck Donuts. With each adoption, a numbered plastic duck will be entered into the Great Duck Race. Prizes include electronics, dining certificates, entertainment/sport tickets and more. Winners need not be present. Certificates available online:

Community Day After Party

End of Events Until 7pm USC High School Main Entrance


Local Food Trucks Live Music Games Fun for All Ages


Hosted by the Community Foundation of USC, C2CF High School Club and Duck Donuts

4th Annual Golf Invitational

Golf Sponsors and Foursomes Wanted The 4th Annual Charity Golf Invitational will be held on September 23, 2019 at St. Clair Country Club. The schedule is as follows: • • •

Registration/luncheon at noon Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Dinner following immediately after

The 2019 co-sponsor of the golf invitational is the Gallagher Foundation, the Gold “Title” sponsor from the 2018 CFUSC benefit golf outing. The mission of the Gallagher Foundation is to support end-of-life care in the South Hills communities. The Trustees are reaching out to all residents (especially golf enthusiasts) to participate in the golf invitational and sign-up for foursomes and sponsorships. Visit for more information.

Summer 2019



A Flight to Remember Jay Lynch

If you’ve visited USC Veterans Park, you know that many members of our community have answered the call to military service, and that many sacrificed their youth, health, or lives for our common good. As Memorial Day approaches, the park is a wonderful place to reflect on their bravery and dedication. My father, Jack Lynch, enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1944, at age 18, and performed well enough to be selected for a pilot training program. However, on his train ride to flight training school, he suffered severe abdominal pain. The brass thought he was faking the pain, since everyone knew pilots were being killed at a rapid rate in 1944. So, they refused to stop the train, which resulted in a ruptured appendix and a long stay in an Army hospital. As a result, he avoided the “front seat” but ended up in the “back seat” as a tail gunner on a Boeing B-17 bomber, better known as the “Flying Fortress.” Jack Lynch (front center) and his fellow actors reading their performance reviews in Yank magazine By the time he got to England, in 1945, he flew on bombing runs over Germany, but said the resistance was light. Of course, most of us would consider even a small amount of flack or a single Nazi “bandit” as anything but light for a gunner wedged into a tiny compartment in the tail of a B-17. After V-E Day, he remained in Europe as an actor in the Army Air Force Theater Company that toured bases to provide entertaining relief for troops weary of battle who were engaged in the immense effort to rebuild Europe. One of his fellow airmen and theatrical friends was James Best, also a former B-17 gunner. When they both were discharged in 1947, James asked my father to join him in “risking it all” by moving to Los Angeles to pursue a Hollywood career. My dad declined the offer and enrolled in college at Holy Cross. He graduated in 1951 with a degree in sociology and criminal justice, which led to a 35-year career as a federal probation and parole officer, based in the Pittsburgh regional office. James Best never became an Oscar-winning leading man, but achieved fame, fortune, and honors as a TV and movie actor in Hollywood. You may remember him as Sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane in the popular TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. His career also included roles in many popular TV shows of the 1960’s, including Rawhide, The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Combat!, The Mod Squad, I Spy, and The Fugitive. Who knows if my dad would have enjoyed the same success? He was happy for James, and proudly identified him when he appeared on TV or in movies. He was never remorseful about his decision to forego Hollywood, get a college degree, and pursue happiness in a more conventional way. In 1957, he and my mother bought a quaint, wood-frame home (8 Mitchell Drive) in Upper St. Clair, for $15,700, a whopping sum for a government employee and a teacher. My sister and I enjoyed wonderful lives in the great Washington Terrace neighborhood and broader USC community. My father was active in little league James Best, former B-17 gunner and Air Force Theater Company actor, shown here in The Andy Griffith Show and as Sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane in baseball and was one of the “founders” honored by the naming Dukes of Hazard of Founders Field, along with many other dedicated fathers who helped USC kids enjoy the benefits of athletic competition. While listening to a KDKA radio segment on WWII, I heard about a non-profit organization that restores vintage airplanes to their original condition. They fly them to regional airports around the country for viewing, including nearby Washington County airport. When I heard that one of the planes was a B-17, I knew I’d been given a bucket list opportunity. Even better, in exchange for a donation, I would be able to take a 30-minute flight! I had to do it. I wanted to see what the flight experience might have been like for my father, James Best, and thousands of other airmen participating in bombing runs over Germany. Of course, it wouldn’t be quite the same. I wasn’t likely to experience antiaircraft flack, freezing temperatures, oxygen masks, or attacks from Messerschmitts (German fighter planes). The flight was a more authentic experience than I had anticipated. When I climbed aboard through a rear hatch (with the help of a step ladder), I discovered that, although restored and repainted on the outside, the interior was utilitarian, as it likely was in 1944—a steel skeleton covered with sheet metal. If you’ve watched movies like Memphis Belle or remember the TV show Twelve O’Clock High, you’ve seen a romanticized view of the interior of a B-17. It’s much smaller than I had imagined, as it was built for a crew of only ten. We had six passengers during our flight, but it still felt cramped, even without the ammunition and other supplies it would have carried on a bombing run. We strapped ourselves to makeshift plywood seats bolted to the fuselage floor and braced for takeoff. Most of us are accustomed



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to powerful jets whisking us into the blue yonder in seconds. Not so with the B-17. It took seemingly forever to slowly rumble down the runway and gather enough speed to leave the ground. And, we weren’t even carrying 8000 pounds of bombs, its typical load. Once airborne, we were allowed to move throughout the plane. Flying over the Monongahela River, east of Washington, My anxiety level increased when I made my way to the cockpit and Pennsylvania (left), and over I-79, heading west (right) talked with one of the pilots, who said, “We really would have liked a longer runway,” and told me the plane had “a little trouble” landing at an airshow in Butler County in 1988. Then, he gave me what today’s kids call TMI: “It was quite an event. She rolled off the end of the runway, crashed through a chain link fence, sheared off a power pole and roared down a 100-foot ravine. The landing gear sheared off, the chin turret was smashed and pushed into the nose, the Plexiglas housing was shattered, and the engines and propellers were torn from their mounts. No fatalities, but there were injuries to the crew and riders.” My blood pressure started to climb, along with the plane. Then, he warned me against grabbing any of the metal cables running along the fuselage, as they control the rudders, and advised me to avoid leaning against hatch covers. “If you weigh more than 45 pounds, you’ll fall out of the plane. And, you look like you weigh more than 45 pounds, pal.” In an awkward attempt to reassure me, he said, “No worries, buddy. I’m the best B-17 pilot in the world. Of course, I’m the only B-17 pilot in the world.” A panel had been removed from the top of the fuselage, so we could stick our heads out of the top of the plane. You’d think a 150 mph wind would be bearable, but my sun glasses Instrument panel in the cockpit were blown off my head and into the bomb bay. Luckily, its doors were closed, but significant gaps remained, so my shades were likely gone forever. We were allowed to crawl under the pilot’s cockpit into the bombardier’s nose cone. It was just like you’ve seen in movies. I looked through the eyesight of a targeting device, which was high-tech at the time, to see tranquil Washington County farms and homes in the crosshairs. I also got to examine the tail gunner’s turret. It was just as intimidating as I had feared, as the gunner was alone, trapped in a tiny compartment with his machine gun and ammunition, trying to shoot down German interceptors. He sat on a modified bicycle seat in a kneeling position for the majority of each mission. The tail was drafty and the gunner had to constantly fight off frostbite and clear frost from the windows, all while wearing a clumsy oxygen mask. Witnessing the turret made me even more proud of my father and the other brave gunners, View from the open hatch in the fuselage pilots, and crew members who fought for our country aboard a Flying Fortress. It’s easy to see why he was so grateful that his combat experience was much shorter than his Theater Company assignment. He said you could always tell which actors had survived muzzle flashes and tracer bullets headed their way—they never suffered from stage fright. Possibly enhancing James Best’s Bombardier’s instruments career! To be sure, it was quite an experince and you might want to consider a future flight. But, beware, there’s no first class cabin! n

Duke Marmion (for which USC’s Marmion Field was named) and Jack Lynch in the early days of the USCAA (circa 1963)

For more information, contact If you’re looking for a more holistic gathering of WWII memories, you may want to attend the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s WWII weekend June 7–9 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Check it out at Your comments or questions are welcome. Contact Jay Lynch at

Summer 2019

Placed on the tail gunner’s turret is a picture of Jack Lynch, a 19-year-old Air Force recruit, along with his college pennant



Heart Attack Q&A’s John D’Angelo, Tri-Community South EMS What is a heart attack?

A heart attack, medically known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted or completely blocked. In this condition, the heart muscle begins to die because it does not get the nourishment that the blood normally provides. At what age do most heart attacks occur? Although heart attacks can occur at any age, most heart attacks occur to a person who is beyond the age of 60. What are the typical signs of a heart attack? Typical signs include chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, indigestion, and heavy sweating. However, not everyone has typical signs and not everyone experiences all signs. Are the signs for females the same as they are for males? While the signs for a female having a heart attack can be the same as males, more frequently, the signs differ. Instead of chest pain or discomfort, females often feel pain in the jaw, neck, or upper back regions. Also, women having heart attacks may experience nausea and vomiting symptoms much more often than men. Is a heart attack the same thing as a cardiac arrest? No. Heart attacks are a circulation problem and a cardiac arrest is an electrical issue. Both, however, are classified as medical emergencies. Should I give aspirin to someone I suspect is having a heart attack? Yes. Aspirin is recommended for people suspected of having a heart attack except for a person who has an allergy to aspirin or a person who is taking a blood thinner (such as Coumadin) on a regular basis. If given, how should the aspirin be administered? Give one 325 mg (non-coated) tablet or up to four 81 mg (non-coated) tablets to the patient and have him or her chew the aspirin while you count to ten. Then have the patient swallow without water. In this way, the aspirin will enter the blood stream more quickly and at full strength. Do most heart attacks begin suddenly and with a good deal of intensity? While some heart attacks begin suddenly, most heart attacks begin as mild discomfort that gradually intensifies. What treatment is usually prescribed by cardiologists for heart attacks? Treatment options usually include surgery, medications, rehab, and lifestyle changes. Individual options are almost always dependent on the extent of damage the heart attack did to the heart muscle. And, the extent of damage is almost always dependent on the amount of time between symptom recognition and arrival to the hospital’s cardiac care unit. As the time between recognition and arrival lengthens, the more damage occurs. Should I do CPR on a person who I suspect is having a heart attack? Never! CPR is done only on those in cardiac arrest. CPR is never an option for heart attack patients. n

Light Tales A guiding beacon A light in the darkness that so deeply surrounds. To warn of nearby shallows, Avoiding piers and crashing surf that abounds. For that is my purpose o’er the waves that roll. To warn and protect, An alarm that I give without toll. Vessels of all sizes have gone and set sail As I blinked and turned to captain and crew. Many waved or so it seemed Floating in silence on waters so blue. But do you know how much I have Heard from those passing by? Amazed by all I’ve seen Of those who would climb and leap and fly. Still they come near and gather ’round To whom I whisper all my memories. Found in the waves or afar on shore Light tales and stories, they would come to believe. My light shines bright, my senses attuned To see and hear of victories And of failures and lost fortunes. Life tossed and turned, smiling then weep. A beacon of light may be all that is needed To see calm and peace to keep. Oh, the tales I can tell, sounds still to play. All the names and faces and places Still so clear to me today. Please listen, if only a minute or two. For my mission still stands And my light will shine, also for you. —Ron Morosky

Members at Tri-Community South EMS believe that the more we know about heart attacks and their recognition and treatment, the more lives we can save.

No USC Flea Market in 2019 Due to the ongoing construction at the high school, the annual USC community-wide flea market has been cancelled for this summer. Collect and store your items and see you next year!



Summer 2019

According to Ron, “My dad is very paternal and quite a storyteller. He recalls swimming out to a lighthouse on Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania, as a youngster. This poem is a tribute to that story and to all the stories he passionately shares, similar to a lighthouse, if it could speak to those who gather ’round.”

Assisted living & memory care coming to South Hills in summer 2019 Our commitment to exceptional care will now include assisted living and memory care. Discover sincere support alongside a variety of floor plans and a full suite of enticing amenities in a comfortable, modern setting.

Now accepting reservations. Call 1.888.708.2985. Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care • Short-Term Rehab • Long-Term Care

Going Full Circle

Woman Resides Where She Once Worked For years, Linda McCaig made the case that Friendship Village of South Hills was the place to go if you wanted to live out your retirement dreams. It turns out she was more than just an excellent salesperson. Linda wholeheartedly believed in what she was selling, and now finds herself living the lifestyle she spent so long convincing others was the way to go. From director of sales and marketing, Linda has made the full circle journey to the role of resident. “There was never any question that I’d eventually move here,” said Linda. “I suppose there are sales jobs where you aren’t enthusiastic about what you’re selling, Linda McCaig but Friendship Village was never one of those. I always knew this would become home because, in many ways, it already was.” Linda cited Life Care as the reason she believes so strongly in the Friendship Village model. “From day one you have peace of mind,” she said. “You can enjoy the residential living experience—all the friends, food, and amenities—while knowing you’ve got care if you need it down the road, all under one roof.” Earlier this year, Linda celebrated two years as a resident and says the experience has been even better than she’d imagined. “My husband and I have made so many friends, many of whom I once convinced to move here while I was sales director,” she said. “We love every minute here and wouldn’t change a thing.” n See ad for Friendship Village of South Hills on this page.

Summer 2019

DeMarillac Guild Flea Market “Timeless Treasures”

DeMarillac Guild annual flea market* Location: LeGras Parish Center (lower level), 320 McMurray Road Dates/Times: Thursday, July 18; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday, July 19; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, July 20; 9 a.m.–1 p.m. *Sale items include gently used children’s clothing to size 6, toys, jewelry, decorative items, knick-knacks, kitchen items, holiday decorations, linens, tools, books, some furniture, and a boutique, offering better items. UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


Views From Above

Aerial view of USC heading west along Fort Couch Road from a plane (circa 1947) Aerial view of current day Route 19, looking south. Photo taken from N. Highland Road and courtesy of Caroline Barrett Douglass of Aerial Photography Pittsburgh, LLC. See article about this photography company on page 87.

Gilfillan During the ’90s and ’00s

In honor of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY’s 25-year anniversary, the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair shares two photos that were taken during the era when the magazine went from idea to origination. One is of Margaret Gilfillan and her nurse on the back porch of the Gilfillan house in April 1994. The other photo is of sheep on the Gilfillan farm property taken in the early ’90s. The Historical Society had an exciting decade of new beginnings from 2004 through 2014. With the passing of Margaret Gilfillan in 2001, the Historical Society took on the restoration and preservation of the Gilfillan farm house and property on Washington Road. Over the course of several years, the house was transformed to reflect its Victorian era roots. Every USC Community Day since 2003, the Historical Society has hosted tours of the house for visitors. In the farm yard, demonstrations brought common farm sights, including milking a cow or horseMargaret Gilfillan, with her nurse, at the Gilfillan homestead drawn transportation, back to life. More (circa 1994) than a decade later, the Historical Society continues the tradition of opening the doors at Gilfillan to all who like to imagine what life was like in USC over a century ago. These photos help remind us to enjoy life and our surroundings, no matter the era! n Many sheep lived at the Gilfillan farm in the early ’90s. 86


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Removing wallpaper at the Gilfillan house to find the original pattern

Children visiting Gilfillan often try their hand at pumping water, once an everyday task (Community Day 2005).

Check out this aerial view of Upper St. Clair in 1947 that features the intersections of Route 19 and Fort Couch Road. The white building was Hansen’s Restaurant, which later changed to Gammon’s Restaurant. In 1987, it became the Revco and Co-Go stores. The farmland across the street on the right-hand side of Fort Couch was the Gilfillan property. In 1987, Consolidated Coal (Consol) erected a building there to operate its headquarters. When Consol moved its headquarters away from USC and vacated the building, it was eventually demolished. Now in that space is Whole Foods and Siena at St. Clair (which shows midway in the 2019 photo, going south). The area of homes to the left of Fort Couch Road (not including Fort Couch Road) was known as English Village. Shorty’s Diner was across the road from Hansen’s and the Green Lantern can be seen on North Highland Road (upper left of photo). How nostalgic it is to compare the “then” and “now” areas of USC Township. n

Up, Up, and Away

Horse-drawn wagons give visitors a taste of how USC residents used to travel (Community Day 2007).

Photos (other than the drone photo) and information was provided by the Historical Society of USC. If you have genealogy questions or would like to share information and old photos of Upper St. Clair or surrounding areas, email HSUSC at Check out HSUSC on Facebook and Instagram.

How exciting to view Upper St. Clair from a bird’s perspective! Aerial Photography Caroline Barrett Pittsburgh, LLC is a loDouglass, holding cally owned company a drone that provides aerial photos and video and regular photography for real estate, new development, and construction. Caroline Barrett Douglass, owner, is a Part 107 FAA Certified drone pilot who delivers marketing media and project updates for realtors and construction companies in the South Hills and greater Pittsburgh area. Aerial photos have become a popular, attractive way to show a property in the context of the neighborhood or retail community that surrounds. School districts, universities, industrial properties, car dealerships, clubs and golf courses, and residential homes all benefit from providing a sky-high view. Construction projects in all phases of development or upon completion also benefit from this technology as it gives perspective and scope of the project for progress meetings, social media, and portfolios. Many real estate agents contract for Summer 2019

aerial photos and video clips for effective and attractive advertising for their clients, providing residential, commercial, new development, and land listings aerial and ground photography to market and sell property and services efficiently. Caroline welcomes clients’ requests, and packages are tailored to highlight the customer’s focus and goal. Aerial Photography Pittsburgh, LLC is insured and committed to safety and FAA compliance. Scheduling with weather and site specifics in mind produces optimal image results for clients.Panoramic aerials, point of interest video, edited video and music clips, basic aerial photos for home or roof inspections, and traditional ground photography are common requests. n For information, visit www.aerialphotographypittsburgh.

Example of an aerial view taken from a drone UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY


Prof iles

and Rememberances of People with a USC Connection

Know of a resident to profile?

Send information to: Editor,

UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or Streams third grade teacher Emily LaSalle and her sister and business partner, Libby Pasquale Hall, are local Pittsburgh teachers, artists, and owners of Wings, Strings, and Shiny Things. They are passionate about butterflies and making real butterfly wing jewelry. The jewelry is made from ethically sourced butterflies and then preserved into beautiful pieces of art. Each piece of jewelry comes with butterfly species information. A portion of each sale goes toward expanding their Monarch habitat restoration projects. Last year, waystations were established in three locations, with plans for two more this year. Recently, the pair A sampling of butterfly wing jewelry joined with Phipps Conservatory, which opened its annual butterfly forest on April 20. Emily and Libby’s jewelry is featured in the gift shop and includes butterfly species you can see in the garden, including the Monarch as well as other species from across the globe.

Alexis Feldman, a USCHS senior, went gold and earned the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award this past February. This award, presented to Lexi by Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, recognizes girls in grades nine through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important comLexi Feldman munity needs. The primary goal of Lexi’s project, which spanned one year, January 2018–January 2019, was to help create a space within the high school that focuses on personal wellness. “Stress can be beneficial, almost like a motivating force, but too much of it can quickly become overwhelming,” said Lexi. “By implementing wellness practices early on in life, students can be better equipped to lead healthy lifestyles down the road.” Through Lexi’s efforts, two in-school yoga classes were offered and a monthly schedule of yoga classes has been developed. While her goal to create a designated wellness space within the high school has not yet come to fruition, a committee of students, parents, community members, and District officials is exploring options for moving forward. As an inaugural member of the Student Wellness Steering Committee, Lexi, along with student representatives from each grade, provided valuable input. Lexi serves in several leadership roles within the school, including vice president of student council, sponsorship executive for the USC Mini-THON, co-president of Multicultural Club, co-president of Tri-M Honors Music Society, as well as the treasurer for the Pantheon Choir and Girls Reaching Out Worldwide. In addition, she had a lead role and served as a dance captain for this year’s high school spring musical, Hello, Dolly! As a Girl Scout member for 13 years, Lexi is a Girl Scout ambassador.



Summer 2019

South Hills Country Club got a Mardi Gras-inspired makeover for the record-breaking Seton LaSalle Catholic High School (SLS) gala this past February. The event’s success is due in large part to the help of its volunteers, including event co-chair Mia Moran-Cooper. More than 250 guests packed the venue for the school’s annual fundraising event, enjoying Mardi Gras beads, creole-inspired food, King Cake, and two rooms full of auction items. The event raised over $175,000 for the school and in addition to many great auction items, guests also had an opportunity to bid on an authentic sixcourse Italian meal for ten, prepared by Fr. James Farnan, a 1982 graduate of SLS and current pastor at St. James Parish in Sewickley. As for live entertainment, guests entered the dining room to live music provided by the school’s jazz ensemble, and during dinner, the Trebels, a student-run a cappella group, performed. Mia, who resides in Upper St. Clair with her family, is the mother of Cana, a current Seton LaSalle freshman.

Left to right: Mia Moran-Cooper, Mardi Gras gala co-chair, with daughter, Cana Cooper, Seton LaSalle freshman and event volunteer. Photo by MW Photography of McMurray; visit

Clark Nicklas, at the age of 69, passed away at his home this past February. He was a leader in the Upper St. Clair community, serving on the Board of School Directors from November 2001 through December 2005, where he was chairperson of the Budget Committee (2003) and Finance, Law & Operations Committee (2002). A successful businessman, Clark owned Clark Nicklas a local oil and gas company and co-founded an energy company. He was a graduate of Clarkson University, earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and later earning his MBA. “The Upper St. Clair School District and the community were enriched by Clark’s service on the school board,” said Barbara Bolas, long-time board member. “His technical and business backgrounds provided a goal-focused perspective when considering proposals to enhance teaching and learning in the District.” The USC School District and community appreciate Clark’s willingness to always lend a hand, and thank the Nicklas family for his role in helping to shape the District.

Scoutmaster Extraordinaire Flag retirement ceremony

Colleen Pikras, Scoutmaster, Troop 366

I am Scoutmaster Colleen Pikras of Troop 366. Yes, a Boy in Scouts. Sam receiving the Gold Scout Troop. No, it is not an issue that I am a woman leading a Award and Jake the Eagle Award. Boy Scout Troop. Honestly, the biggest shock to everyone involved My youngest son, Alex, is currently was that I wanted to volunteer my time to go through the vigorous striving to obtain his Eagle Award. Colleen Pikras training and dedication to become a scout leader. I’ve been involved And, while the awards are nice, it’s in some form of Scouts for more than 30 years, and it has the been the dedication and work they put in as members of the community one of the greatest pleasures of my life. If I had to sum my experi- that is most important. As a mother, I am moved by my children ence up in a few words, it would be, “It’s all about the action.” and their passion for volunteering and doing good. I first became active as a Brownie in 1974 at the age of seven. Everyone I talk to about my children and my tenure in Scouts I was one of eight sisters in my family and was exposed to the asks whether there is a difference between boys and girls. While abundance of what Girls Scouts had to offer, including social I can’t really speak on that topic, I can discuss it from my own connection, volunteer work, and outdoor activities. It was an point of view. When I started being a den leader of boys, I quickly absolute no brainer for me to join! I love nature and being out learned a few things. First, all boys get rowdy. I knew this from in the wilds. The camping element of Scouts was too sweet for having two of my own. Of the eight young men in my den, there me to pass up. In the beginning, it was making crafts like a bird wasn’t a “follow the leader” mentality. I had to engage each boy, feeder out of a milk container and macaroni noodles and cooking one-by-one, and I had to get creative. Each had his own interests, over an open fire that intrigued me. Girl Scout day camps were which varied from individual to individual, and each was quite some of my fondest memories. I remained a Girl Scout all the rambunctious. This made doing activities that involved patience way through and until the end of high school. My experience and skills (i.e., learning how to sew a button on to a jacket) a was so important and personally impactful that I hoped to get an rather painstaking task. Over time, I witnessed the boys advancopportunity to give back to the organization that had given me ing, and soon my responsibilities changed, too. It became less so much. Twelves years later, I would get my chance. about molding these boys and more about simply guiding them. In 1998, my daughter, Samantha, voiced to me in her special The troop’s vim truly inspired me, and I started thinking about my strong-willed way that she had a desire to be a Daisy. (Daisies are young days as a Girl Scout. I wished I would’ve been led with the Brownies, but younger.) I was ecstatic, and all the excitement I same attitudes. I might’ve taken better to a teaching style that alhad as a seven-year-old returned in a wave of joy! I leapt at the lowed more freedom to explore my own personal interests. When opportunity to be more than just a supportive parent, and decided my first year as a Cub Scout den leader ended, I was hooked. to take a direct role. I wanted more for her than what I had, so Afterwards, I threw myself in full bore and never looked back. I volunteered to be a leader. Samantha remained in Girl Scouts I have been asked by my most intimate friends, “Now that your for the next 13 years and topped out earning the highest honor children are grown and out of Scouts, what keeps you going?” in the organization. Through Scouts, Sam and I participated in Mine is a profound answer, but a simple one: I have so much volunteering events in the Upper St. Clair community, went more work to do. Volunteer work is never done. I enjoy giving horseback riding, camping, and swimming, and did workshops back to Scouts for how much it has enriched my life; and once a and took a trip to New York City. Scout, always a Scout. As if all of this wasn’t enough, I had two other children, Jacob Recently, I’ve been working with this young man from my curand Alexander. When Jake entered first grade, I took on another rent troop. I’ve witness him grow up through the ranks. He told role and started volunteering with his Cub Scout den. At my me not too long ago, “I’m not that annoying little kid anymore.” most involved, I was volunteering in four positions. In addiI asked him what he meant. He replied, “You know… when tion to being the leader of two Cub Scout dens and a Girl Scout you are young, you just run around and scream. Now, my older troop, I was the Girl Scout community manager, a role which I peers are more accepting of me. I feel I belong.” held for about eight years. I was touched by his As community manager, my sentiments and is a main responsibilities included rereason why I continue in my cruiting girls, organizing, role. I love watching these event planning, schedulboys mature into fine young ing leadership training, and men. I want to continue holding monthly leadership encouraging the growth of meetings. Throughout my all young people, simultaneown personal growth and ously urging parents and the duties, I never lost sight of community to volunteer and Members of Troop 366 my truest prize: watching play an active role in young both Sam and Jake reach To learn more about how your child can join Scouts or how you can support the people’s lives, too. n community, contact me, Colleen Pikras, via email at their highest achievements

Summer 2019



USC Represents USA

Jill Thurston Her success August very fit. She was pretty fearless in and adding indoor and outdoor track to her story continues. our longer workouts in September and it repertoire. She was hooked. “I found that I Upper St. Clair’s became obvious that she could contribute liked individual sports because what I put own Savannah as part of our top group. She was very close into it I, more or less, got out of it. I like Shaw represent- to being All-ACC and All-Region, and I the cause-and-effect relationship.” Savannah sporting her ed the United think she’ll make huge strides during the Savannah said her road to running in U.S. team gear States in the next year,” said Coach Henes. college was paved by support from her famJunior Women’s Division of the 2019 IAAF She nearly didn’t compete in the quali- ily and high school coach Doug Petrick. World cross country championships on fying race after coming off an ankle injury Her finish at the Foot Locker Nationals March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark. in December. “I had a really rough meet. in December 2017 and a personal best of “It’s a dream come true to represent I had a sprained ankle and was very tired 4:49 in the 1600 meters in track opened the United States at a world competition,” from a long season and finished near the doors for her to be scouted by top colleges. said Savannah about the race. “Because I back of the pack in the NCAA D1 cross As she began her college search, have been blessed to live all over the U.S., I country championships,” Savanah recalls. Savannah was immediately attracted to NC feel such a strong connection to the whole “But that especially got me focused for the State. “I really like how supportive they country.” USATF qualifier.” were, so much like family. We run together, A 2018 Upper St. Clair graduate and Contacted before the race, Coach Henes we train together, and everyone is really freshman North Carolina State Cross said, “It’s such an amazing opportunity to positive,” said Savannah. Country Wolfpack member, Savannah was represent the U.S. in an international comEntering her first year in college, she one of six women who qualified for the petition, and I’m very excited to see what remained both humble and hopeful. “I World Championships in Tallahassee dur- Savanah can do in Denmark.” One of the came into freshman year trying not to have ing the USA Track and Field junior cross most challenging variables is the course too many expectations because a lot of first country championships held in February. itself. “The Denmark course is closer to year athletes redshirt or get injured. I had Finishing fifth, she was one of the four col- a traditional cross-country course with dreams, but I tried not to push my expectalege women and two high school women obstacles like mud pits and hay barrels, tions too high because I knew it was quite running in Denmark. With a time of 21:29 so your race time is essentially meaning- possible I might not run much.” in the 6K race, Savannah was the only less,” Savannah explained. “In Europe, it’s She continues to surprise herself. “I run member of the Wolfpack to qualify. very traditional, almost like an all-terrain a race and look back and think, ‘I literally “Trying on my USA uniform was an course.” would never have been able to run that in emotional moment for me as I put on a Accustomed to training on manicured high school.’ The training that we do has uniform that elite runners (and many other courses and fields, Savannah prepared for prepared me,” she believes. Her training at athletes) have worn for centuries. I am a demanding race. “There’s not much I can the collegiate level involves two workout honored to wear red, white, and blue, and do physically other than know it’s going days with long runs and then lighter days to be challenging and just prepare for the in between. She lifts weights twice a week. represent this country,” she said. Savannah developed as a strong con- distance. Mentally, I need to be ready to In addition to a full class schedule, she attender in cross country during high school, tackle some unique challenges while hold- tends Young Life and a weekly Bible study. Although she is pleased with her indifinishing 16th at the Foot Locker Nationals ing a fast pace—being prepared to jump in 2017. She earned a bronze medal at the over things and not slip… that is always vidual accomplishments, Savannah said 2017 PIAA cross country championships, challenging.” she is most proud of helping her NC State qualified for the mile in the 2017 New Savannah began running cross coun- team. “I was a team scorer, which helped Balance outdoor nationals, captured the try in middle school, like many students, us win the Atlantic Coast Conference. Be2017 and 2018 WPIAL District 7 AAA because her friend group did. At the time, ing able to contribute after NC State took a championship in the outdoor 1600 meter, her family lived in Bellevue, Washington. chance on me is so cool,” said Savannah. n and posted six top ten finishes at state “I was running pretty well and my mom championship meets during her high suggested I go really hard in the last race school career. and see what happens. She even offered While first year college students are to buy me a cute outfit from Lululemon often “redshirted” and sit out the first year Athletica. I won the race, and I still have of competition in order to prepare for the the outfit.” higher level of competition, NC State head Her middle school’s coach convinced coach Laurie Henes believed Savannah was Savanah to run in high school, and she had ready to compete as a freshman. a successful freshman cross country season. “Savannah was already quite an ac- In 2015, the Shaw family moved across the complished cross country runner when she country to Upper St. Clair where initially Savannah Shaw (in the lead) racing for NC State signed with NC State, but she worked really Savannah played spring lacrosse. But her At the March 30 Denmark world championship, hard over the summer after her high school successful sophomore year in cross counSavannah placed first for USA’s women U20 senior year and showed up in Raleigh in try led her to focus on running fulltime team and 53rd out of 111 overall. 90


Summer 2019

Life in the Water

Jessica Kester, VP of Education, Allegheny Land Trust

Come on, admit it. How many of you are dreaming right now about dipping your toes in the sand and frolicking in the surf? The unpredictable spring weather has you dreaming of a different type of watery environment. It’s ok; I’m there with you! My first passion was the ocean. My first memories of family vacations are of fishing with the family and digging up mole crabs in the swash along the edge of the ocean. I would sleep on the deck of our hotel room, lulled to sleep by the waves. It’s no wonder that I went into marine biology as my first career. But there’s no need to leave the Pittsburgh region to find the soothing sounds of water or the unusual Jessica’s daughter, Fae, taking after her creatures that call the water their home. mama, looking for critters Despite what many vacationers may think, the health of a water system is not determined by the number of swimmers found on the shore, but instead by the number and diversity of the creatures found beneath its surface. I’m talking about the Aquatic firefly larva macroinvertebrates that make the streambed their home. Macroinvertebrates are the small creatures that you can see without a microscope that lack a backbone. The most commonly recognized freshwater macroinvertebrate is the crayfish, but there are countless others, like early forms of dragonflies and damselflies (called nymphs), clams, and even sponges! You do not need to be a scientist to use these creatures to determine the health of a waterway like Chartiers Creek or McLaughlin Run. You simply need to know how to sort, identify, and count them, and with a little math, you can determine the water quality in that area. That’s exactly what the Girl Scouts who attended the STREAM Girls workshop in early May at the Big Sewickley Creek Watershed learned. STREAM Girls (science, technology, recreation, engineering, art, math) is an educational initiative of Trout Unlimited and was brought to western Pennsylvania for the first time this spring, thanks to funding from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. When we look at water quality, what we’re really looking at is the species’ tolerance of pollution. For Freshwater limpet high quality water, you want to find species that are sensitive to pollution, or intolerant species. These speStonefly nymph cies will not survive in polluted water and include the Orders Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies) and Trichoptera (caddisflies). If Calendar of Events at Wingfield Pines* you’re a fly fisher, these creatures should sound familiar as they are indicators May Twitter in the Trees, 8–10 a.m. of good trout waters, as well! Moving 11 into slightly polluted waters, you’ll find 11 Spring Migratory Bird Count, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. somewhat sensitive creatures like drag(and at Boyce Mayview Park) onflies, backswimmers (like you might 18 Spring Steward Training: Spring Flower and see in your swimming pool), water Bird ID, 9 a.m.–noon striders, clams/mussels, and crayfish. In 18 Starlight Stroll: Extra Credit Night, 9–10 p.m. areas with high pollution levels, you’re likely to find the most pollution toler- June ant species like mosquito larvae and 20 Summer Steward Training: Trails and leeches. The tolerant species can move Cautionary Tales, 5:30–8 p.m. into cleaner water, but the intolerant/ 29 Creek Critters, 10 a.m.–noon sensitive species cannot move into more polluted waters. You’ll be happy to hear July Crayfish found at Wingfield Pines that at Wingfield Pines we have found 27 Creek Critters, 10 a.m.–noon mayflies and caddisflies! August Learn more about water quality by joining our Creek Critters programs Creek Critters, 10 a.m.–noon this summer. The programs are great for families, adults, and groups and 31 will have participants picking up rocks, collecting critters, analyzing water * All events are held at Wingfield Pines, unless otherwise indicated. chemistry, and learning about the wonderful life under the water! n

Summer 2019



Traveling with TODAY Totem pole exhibit in Stanley Park

Coal Harbor, with snow-capped Whistler in the distance

Peace Arch, border of U.S. and Canada, reached by U.S. Route 5

Vancouver aerial view from a sea plane; Stanley Park, top center of photo

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Vancouver, BC, in the western part of Canada and known as the “glass city” for its glass-infused skyscraper appearance, is a destination for seekers of all kinds. A very compact city, there’s lots to investigate. Walking or using public transportation by passenger ferries and the city’s Skyline underground trains are great modes 2010 Winter Olympic caldron of getting around. (Note that Uber and Lyft are temporarily banned as a result of taxi service interference, like Pittsburgh was a few years ago.) Flying into Seattle, TODAY maneuvered to the train station and climbed aboard Amtrak to enjoy a four-hour scenic ride up the northwestern coast of the U.S. and Puget Sound to Vancouver. Once there, Stanley Park, the second largest park in North America (behind NYC’s Central Park), held adventure of all sorts. Bikers and joggers especially like the terrain and views, and the totem pole exhibit near the center of the park was magnificent. Heading to Granville Island for abundant local fare was followed by daytrips to the city’s Yaletown, Chinatown, and Gastown areas for food Vancouver skyline and fun. In the center of the city, the Vancouver Lookout at 553 feet high allows for a full 360-degree moving vista of the city, day or night, and a view of the domed Roger’s Arena, home to the Vancouver Canucks. Canada Place, which houses the 2010 Winter Games Olympic caldron initially lit by hockey player Wayne Gretsky for that event, was busy with action and where cruise ships dock when the season dictates. A sea plane terminal serves those who want the thrill of sea-to-air in a matter of seconds, displaying breathtaking views of the harbor and the Cypress Mountain range immediately upon takeoff. A 450-foot span suspension bridge, Capilano, is not for the faint of heart, nor is the gondola ride up Grouse Mountain, but both are spectacular and might help conquer your fear of heights or be a bucket list item for some. From the city, cross the Lions Gate Bridge to find these adventures. Enjoying Vancouver in the summer offers plenty of whale-watching opportunities, and in the winter, nearby Whistler ski resort offers opportunities of a more athletic endeavor. So, climb on board and visit Vancouver, eh! (pronounced “aye”) n Gastown steam clock, the world’s first steam powered clock



Summer 2019

Bunc-off of the Buncos

Rather than spending a usual fun night of bunco in two

separately formed groups, some USC moms from our Township’s elementary schools donned plaid and gathered to enjoy an evening of axe throwing as part of a self-described “bunc-off” competition. While camaraderie was the reason for the event, the evening was complemented by a number of bullseyes and an athletic endeavor of a different sort. n

DELIVERING RESULTS Selling or purchasing a home is a major life investment... Choose wisely.

Lynn Dempsey, Realtor


O: (412) 833-5405 x255 C: (412) 445-6264


USC moms enjoyed an activity unrelated to their usual monthly social dice game.

© 2016 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.

On the steps of the Heroes of the Restoration monument in the heart of Santiago

In the village of Henequen

International Travels

Members of Kids Helping Kids from USC High School traveled to the Dominican Republic (DR) this past February. TODAY was privileged to

travel and accompany the group. While most of the students’ time was spent in the greater Santiago area, the group traveled and stayed overnight with host families in the village of Henequen, where they spent the day painting a community church and interacting with kids in the community school. They also visited a village near Jarabacoa where, last year, the KHK group dug an aqueduct. This year’s group revisited to see the aqueduct in action and to reconnect with the community. Kids Helping Kids is a youth directed organization geared to educating children at an early age about the importance of giving back and helping other children. The group focuses on community outreach around Pittsburgh and in the DR and enhancing educational opportunities. n

Traveling with TODAY

Read the following criteria to find out how to submit information. • Clear, close-up digital photo of USC resident(s) holding his or her TODAY magazine. • Attach jpg (at least 300 dpi) and send via email, including required information (see below) in the body of the email. • List name(s) of resident(s), group, and specific photo location, and objective of visit—leisure, volunteer, career, etc. • Include email address or phone number should further contact be necessary. • Email information to, with “TODAY” listed in subject line. Note: Submitted photos and information for this feature section will remain on file for upcoming editions until published.

Summer 2019



e rter-C Q ua


nection Con

a Generation of Giving

Happy 25!

I am pleased for the opportunity to share information and thoughts relative to important topics that affect our community. TODAY gives me and many others the chance to provide worthy articles to the Township’s residents and promote USC in many ways! Thanks to the hard work and effort of those who make up the staff and organization of this award-winning publication. Congratulations and keep up the great work!—Ronald A. Arnoni, District Judge

Ronald Arnoni

Mark Christie

Amy Billerbeck

I look forward to each issue of TODAY to stay in touch with the happenings in our Township. There is no better resource for current and upcoming events. TODAY, along with the Township website, provides timely and accurate information on Township activities and projects; and TODAY supplements those with lifestyle stories of our friends and neighbors. As a longtime resident of USC, I’ve had the privilege of reading TODAY for all 25 years. Congratulations on your years of service to the residents of Upper St. Clair. Thank you for keeping us informed.—Mark Christie, President, Township Board of Commissioners Four times a year for the past 25 years, my family and I have looked forward to receiving TODAY in our mailbox. Through its stories and photos, TODAY celebrates life in the Upper St. Clair community. We have learned fascinating things about our neighbors, often through stories penned by them or others. We have enjoyed seeing USC’s adults, kids, and families participating in activities and being recognized for their achievements. And we’ve been able to further appreciate the community through the informative articles about our Township and School District. I’d like to congratulate the staff of and contributors to TODAY on 25 great years; Upper St. Clair would not be the same without you! We look forward to many more years of opening our mail box to discover TODAY and learn more about the community we love!—Amy Billerbeck, President, Board of School Directors When my family and I first moved to USC five years ago, we knew no one. I remember pouring over the

TODAY magazines that first year, trying to get a sense of what USC was all about. It’s quite a thing to move

Suzanne Wynne

somewhere completely unknown and initially rely on a magazine to learn about the culture of a place. As the issues continued to roll in, I got a sense that USC was proud of its legacy as a great place to live and learn. This hometown pride that was first introduced to me through TODAY is renewed each and every day when I work with our school’s PTC volunteers. If fact, volunteering at the schools has made me a part of a bigger family, a chosen family filled with people who support all the children of Upper St. Clair.—Suzanne Wynne, PTC President (2018–2019)

Twenty-Five Years cont. from page 18

While the Pittsburgh sports scene offered promise, no championships resulted as TODAY became the “official publication of the Township and School District of Upper St. Clair.” The Penguins had a successful regular season, finishing with the second best record in the Eastern Conference. Mario Lemieux was limited to playing only 22 games that year due to recovery from injury, surgery, and cancer. The Penguins were eliminated by the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Pirates hosted the All-Star Game at old Three Rivers Stadium, but that was the highlight of their season. As the Pirates achieved a 53-61 record, a players’ strike cancelled the rest of the season, which remains the longest work stoppage in baseball history. The 94


Summer 2019

Steelers rode high in the regular season and had the best record in the American Football Conference at 12–4. San Diego denied the Steelers a trip to the Super Bowl that year, as the Chargers won 37–34 at Three Rivers Stadium. In the 25 years since the inception of TODAY, thousands of students have graduated from USC, and residents have been informed and entertained by the publication. And while the magazine’s main focus is on our own community, these local, national, and international experiences have impacted all of us and are reminders of where we have been. In another 25 years, perhaps, stories of today will continue to impact the Upper St. Clair High School Class of 2037. n

St. Clair Hospital Receives 100 Top Hospitals® Designation Hard on the heels of a 5-star quality rating (see article below) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), St. Clair Hospital was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® for 2019. This marks the second consecutive year and fourth time since 2012 that the hospital has won this prestigious honor. The 100 Top Hospitals award is the culmination of an annual study by IBM Watson Health that identifies top performing hospitals in the country based on overall organizational performance. This study spotlights the best performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction metrics and data. To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated short-term, acute care, nonfederal U.S. hospitals. Hospitals do not apply or pay for this honor; all acute care hospitals in the U.S. are evaluated for potential inclusion. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. The 100 Top Hospitals showed the most significant outperformance versus non-winning peer group hospitals within clinical and operational performance benchmarks evaluated in the study. “At a time when research shows that the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, yet has less effective population health outcomes, the 100 Top Hospitals are setting a different example by delivering consistently better care at a lower cost,” said Ekta Punwani, 100 Top Hospitals program leader at IBM Watson Health. “This prestigious award affirms St. Clair Hospital’s commitment to providing world-class healthcare to our patients and is a reflection of how dedicated our board, medical staff, employees, and volunteers are to serving the community,” said John T. Sullivan, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of St. Clair Hospital. IBM Watson Health noted that if all Medicare patients received the same level of care as those treated at the 100 Top Hospitals: • More than 103,000 additional lives could be saved in-hospital. • More than 38,000 additional patients could be complication free. • More than $8.2 billion in inpatient costs could be saved. • Approximately 155,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days. If the same standards were applied to all in-patients, not just Medicare patients, the impact would be even greater. This announcement continues a period in which St. Clair Hospital has garnered multiple national recognitions, including: • Awarded a 5-star quality rating, the highest rating available, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It was the only 5-star rating awarded in western Pennsylvania and places St. Clair Hospital among the top 6.4% in the nation to receive CMS’s highest rating for quality. • Awarded an “A” grade for patient safety by the Leapfrog Group for six plus consecutive years, thereby placing St. Clair in the top two percent of hospitals nationwide. • Rated Best for medical, surgical, and overall hospital care in western Pennsylvania by Quantros CareChex. • Recognized as a national leader in patient satisfaction by multiple independent third-party evaluators. • Winner of the HIMSS Davies Award, the nation’s highest honor for the use of information technology to improve patient outcomes and value. • Winner of the Innovator Award from the American Hospital Association for St. Clair Hospital’s co-development of “Patient Estimates,” the nation’s first interactive cost transparency tool. • Selected for inclusion in the prestigious Mayo Clinic Care Network, exclusive in western Pennsylvania. n

5-Star Rating

Since 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published ratings of more than 4000 Medicare-certified hospitals on the Hospital Compare website to help patients choose a provider based on documented performance in areas including quality and patient satisfaction and safety. CMS calculates an overall rating using a composite of 57 metrics. CMS uses a one- to five-star scale, with five stars being the highest rating. The scores are based on hospital performance in seven categories: mortality, readmission, safety of care, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of imaging. The Hospital Compare website and stars rating system are valuable consumer tools that provide helpful and important information on the safety and quality of our nation’s hospitals. “This achievement adds to the hospital’s growing list of awards for patient safety, quality, satisfaction, and value,” says John T. Sullivan, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of St. Clair Hospital. “It’s a testament to the overall excellence of the organization.” n

See ads for St. Clair Hospital on pages 9 and 53.

Summer 2019



Advertiser Index

Summer 2019

American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning ..................................... 41

* Keller Williams–Sandy and Marshall Goldstein ...................................... 77

Asbury Heights ....................................................................................... 19

Kittridge Dermatology ............................................................................ 25

Arbor Tree Specialists, Inc......................................................................... 77 Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh .................................................................. 48

* Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty, Rt. 19 South ....3 Brookside Lumber ................................................................................... 73 * Calabro Tire & Auto Service ..................................................................... 41 Chinese Acupuncture & Herbs Center, LLC .............................................. 95 Cirigliano Plumbing ............................................................................... 74

* Coldwell Banker–The South Hills Office .........................Outside back cover Coldwell Banker–Lynn Dempsey ............................................................. 93 Coldwell Banker–Dora Rudick ................................................................. 75 Cool Springs ............................................................................................ 49 * Cupelli & Cupelli, Drs. ............................................................................. 95 Davey Tree and Lawn Care ....................................................................... 78 Extended Day Services ............................................................................ 52 Friendship Village of South Hills ............................................................ 85

* Kerr Family and Cosmetic Dentistry ........................................................ 47 Little Lake Theatre Company ................................................................... 51 * Manalo, Larry E., D.M.D. .......................................................................... 47 Mister Sewer ..............................................................................................5 Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating .................................................... 19 Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center .............................................................. 51 Movement Mortgage–Kevin O’Laughlin ................................................. 75 * Pinebridge Commons Associates ............................................................ 47 * Providence Point, a Baptist Homes Society community .......................... 27 * Rusmur Floors .................................................................. Inside back cover

* St. Clair Hospital ..................................................................................9, 53 St. Clair Plastic Surgery Associates .......................................................... 27 * Scott Bros. Windows and Doors .............................................................. 73 * Sesame Inn ............................................................................................. 87 South Hills Endoscopy Center ....................................................................1

As a longtime resident and business owner in Upper St. Clair, I feel very fortunate to have a publication like USC TODAY. There are so many great things happening in our community, and TODAY does a great job showcasing all of it. I am honored to support TODAY. Thank you for all you do!—Kristy Cupelli DMD, Cupelli & Cupelli Dentistry G’s Landscaping ...................................................................................... 73

South Hills Sports Medicine and Rehab, a part of

George Girty Landscape Design .............................................................. 77

Southwest Gastroenterology Associates.....................................................7

G’s Window and Gutter Cleaning ............................................................ 78 Goldfish Swim School ............................................................................. 51

Hastings South Fayette–Charter Homes & Neighborhoods .......................2 Historical Society of Upper St. Clair ........................................................ 13 * Howard Hanna–USC Office .............................................. Inside front cover

* Howard Hanna–Diane Horvath ............................................................... 41 Jacksons Restaurant + Bar ..................................................................... 48

South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates ......... Front cover, 14, 15, 52

* State Farm Insurance–Cindy Brophy ....................................................... 74 * Thomas Dance Studio ............................................................................. 51 Troy Orthodontics .................................................................................... 47 Washington Health System .................................................................... 23 * Wellington Real Estate–Patty Thomas & Rebecca Lutz ............................ 21

The Summer 2019 edition of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY is a great opportunity to advertise in USC’s Community Day edition! Our advertisers know this and have responded wonderfully by placing their ads in our publication!

Let guide you with great ad placement.

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*The above advertisers, who are advertising in this issue, have contributed their financial support for a minimum of 49 issues. Thank you.

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UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, the award-winning, official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair 96


Summer 2019

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This magazine was printed on recycled paper.


Hope Bassichis

Noel Bliman

Nancy Heffernan

Judy Hlister

Kathi Kernan

Sandi Lamar

Mary Lou Borchert

Barbara Cusick

Lynn Dempsey

Janine Dillon

Leanne Dresmich

John Geisler


Elaine Goldblum

Leigh Harkreader

Michael Hornick

Florine Kelly

Maria Lane

Kim Lanphear

Dora Rudick

Kathy Sekeras

Jane York

Milo Hindman Manager

Where too many cooks make the cookies that much sweeter. This is home, and it starts with Coldwell Banker . ÂŽ

Julie Leslie

Ron Loncharich

Diane Snyder

Brad Templeton

Let us help you find your way home.

Mary Torchia

Carmela Viviano

Jim Walsh

Mary Ann Wellener

Julie Welter

Faith Williard South Hills | 1630 Washington Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15241 | 412.833.5405 Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. Š2019 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. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. 604147PIT_3/19

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