Keystone Oaks High School graduate Ben O’Connor has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award. O’Connor has been involved in athletics both as a player and a coach since his days at Keystone Oaks High School. In the early 2000s, he coached the varsity boys’ basketball team, leading it to some of its most successful seasons. Since then, he has coached high school basketball at Fox Chapel and Bethel Park and collegiate basketball at Westminster College. Today, O’Connor coaches youth sports in Dormont, where he has worked with hundreds of children over the past three years, volunteering his time and giving back to the community. “It is an honor to be able to recognize the accomplishments of these graduates and commend them for the pride that they bring to the Keystone Oaks School District,” Keystone Oaks School District Superintendent William Stropkaj said. “Their personal and professional accomplishments are truly remarkable and will undoubtedly serve as a source of inspiration for the class of 2018.”
Upper St. Clair High School English teacher Elizabeth Cecelia was recognized by the Duquesne University School of Education, honored with the Alumni Leading Teacher Program Excellence Award. “This is a great accomplishment, and reflects highly on all that Liz has done for our students and for our school community over nearly two decades,” said Timothy Wagner, associate principal for program planning and innovation.According to the University’s website, “the award is given to an alumnus whose performance demonstrates excellence in one of the three themes of the Leading Teacher Program: leadership, diversity and technology, and is framed in the Spiritan tradition of caring.” To be eligible, candidates must be graduates of the Duquesne University teacher education program and have five years of continuous teaching experience. Cecelia has taught Advanced Placement English 12 for the past 16 years and Honors English 11 for the past seven years. In addition, she served as sponsor of the school’s literary arts magazine, “Montage,” from 2004-2014. A Duquesne University graduate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in English. She joined the Upper St. Clair High School teaching staff in 2001 after completing her student teaching at the high school. Cecelia was honored with a plaque and will be featured in the Duquesne University School of Education’s magazine.
Gabrielle Boulis, a student at Chartiers Valley High School, was selected as a State Finalist in the National American Miss pageant to be held Aug. 12-13 at the Hilton Hotel & Towers in Harrisburg. The National American Miss pageants are held for girls ages 4-18 and have five different divisions. Gabrielle, 17, will be participating in the Teen 16-18 age division, along with other young ladies from the state of Pennsylvania. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses, and air transportation to compete in the National Pageant in California where she will receive a complimentary tour of Hollywood and a V.I.P. ticket to Disneyland. Gabrielle’s activities include singing, dancing, acting, theater, painting, and track & field. She excels academically with high honors. She is the daughter of Angel Skulos-Boulis and Markell Boulis.
Emily Ankrom, daughter of Debbie and Patrick Ankrom and a 2014 graduate of Chartiers Valley High School, was honored by the Society for Analytical Chemistry of Pittsburgh with the College Chemistry Award. A senior biochemistry major at Waynesburg Univeristy, she is a member of the American Chemical Society, Biology Club and Gamma Sigma Epsilon Honorary.The award was presented at SACP’s annual awards dinner on May 14 at Duquesne University. The award includes both a monetary prize and a framed certificate of accomplishment. In addition, Emily will be recognized through a monetary award presented to the Waynesburg University Library in her honor, along with an engraved nameplate, which will be added to the plaque in the Chemistry Department listing prior SACP winners.