Bethel Park

• Bethel Park School District is one of 250 school districts in the United States and Canada, and one of 26 in Pennsylvania, to be honored by the College Board with placement on its 10th annual AP District Honor Roll.

To be included on the honor roll, Bethel Park had to increase the number of students participating in Advanced Placement classes compared with 2017, while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. According to the College Board, reaching the goals shows that Bethel Park is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“With more students participating and succeeding in AP in Bethel Park, more students are getting a head start on college by earning college credit during high school,” Bethel Park Superintendent Joseph Pasquerilla said. “We are pleased to be honored with this distinction and thank the teachers and administrators who have worked hard to encourage more of our students to advance through AP.”

Bethel Park High School offers 19 Advanced Placement classes. In 2019, 36 students were recognized for their high scores on AP Exams, including one National AP Scholar, 10 AP Scholars with Distinction, eight AP Scholars with Honor and 17 AP Scholars.

• Forty-one Bethel Park High School students earned 34 awards at the 2019 Pennsylvania DECA District III Career and Development Conference on Dec. 3.

Earning first-place awards were seniors Sarah Gilliam (retail merchandising), Caleb Shook (human resources management) and Mark Vighetti (sports and entertainment marketing), and juniors Ethan Donovan and Grant Eckert (financial services team), Summer Lewis and Lexi Seese (buying and merchandising team) and Christian McClaine (restaurant and food service management).

Also earning first place were sophomores Michael Dudjak (automotive services marketing) and Sadie Fedor (business services marketing), and freshmen Gavin Barzan and Jack Hartman (business law and ethics team), Mia Coccagno (principles of business administration and management), Ethan Drahusz (logistics), Merris Gabel (hotel and lodging management), Addison Hill and Olivia Massari (entrepreneurship team), Marquise Ross (principles of hospitality and tourism), and Forrest Shaw (principles of marketing).

Receiving second-place awards were senior Hunter Dorfner (food services marketing); sophomores Keelan Donovan (personal financial literacy) and Fred Schein (principles of business administration and management); and freshmen Dom DePasquale (marketing communications), Thomas Donihi (automotive services marketing), Natalie Engel and Amanda Lincoln (marketing management team), Nick Gasper (hotel and lodging management), Luke Henderson and Darien Palombia (entrepreneurship team), Tim Jones (logistics), Mason Miller and Anthony Moreno (buying and merchandising team) and Yin Zhi Lu (principles of hospitality and tourism).

Third-place awards were given to senior Jacob Marzina (personal financial literacy); sophomores Megan Cunningham (human resources management) and Sarah Marip (apparel and accessories marketing); and freshmen Kelsey Caldwell (entrepreneurship), Leah Hartman (principles of business administration and management), Cam Kent (principles of marketing), Meghan Krapp (retail merchandising) and Martina Tatalias (principles of finance).

All now are qualified to compete in the Pennsylvania DECA Career and Development Conference, scheduled for February in Hershey.

Mark Vighetti presided over the conference as the 2019-2020 PA DECA District III Representative. Lucia Coccagno was elected to serve as the 2020-2021 representative.

The students were prepared for the competition by Bethel Park High School marketing teachers Emily Smoller and Maria Christenson.

Upper St. Clair

• Boyce and Fort Couch middle schools have been named Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools to Watch 2020. This marks the fifth time that the two Upper St. Clair schools have earned the honor, an accomplishment reached by only two other schools in Pennsylvania.

“The Schools to Watch designation is among the highest honors that a middle school can achieve in the commonwealth,” Superintendent John Rozzo said. “To have two schools that have reached that pinnacle for the fifth time is simply outstanding and a resounding testament to our students, faculty, staff and families who share a deep commitment to high quality public education.”

Schools to Watch is an initiative of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Boyce and Fort Couch are among 12 schools to earn the designation or redesignation for 2020. Only 42 middle schools have earned Pennsylvania Schools to Watch designation since the program’s inception in 1999.

Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be redesignated. Unlike the Blue Ribbon recognition program, “Schools to Watch” requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas for continuous improvement. The redesignation process is based on the schools’ continued growth since their last recognition.

Boyce and Fort Couch first earned Schools to Watch honors in 2008. The schools were redesignated as Schools To Watch in 2011, 2014, 2017 and now for 2020.

In addition to being named Schools to Watch, Boyce and Fort Couch are National Blue Ribbon Schools. Boyce was recognized with the 1991-92 Blue Ribbon Award. Fort Couch has earned four Blue Ribbon Awards: 1986-87, 1992-93, 2001-02 and 2012-13.

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