• Two Abraham Lincoln Elementary School faculty members received the Apple Award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National State Teachers of the Year: instructional support teacher Rose DeGregorio and reading specialist Rebekah Seewald.
Both were nominated by Katherine Meucci, 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year finalist and Franklin Elementary School fourth-grade teacher.
Apple Awards are presented to educators in recognition of their exceptional efforts in teaching, coaching and other efforts to support educational excellence. Honorees are selected because they have made a positive difference in the lives of students, school districts and communities.
In her nomination letter for DeGregorio, Meucci wrote:
“I am continually inspired by Mrs. DeGregorio’s passion for education and attention to detail. She strives to create a welcoming classroom where students are excited and engaged in meaningful learning. They are eager to learn and obviously respect their teacher a great deal.”
About the other honoree, Meucci wrote:
“Mrs. Seewald’s love for teaching is evident in all that she does. She continually puts her students first, and strongly believes that all students can learn. She enjoys being able to provide students with an environment where they feel comfortable to participate and enjoy learning, even when they have to work hard.”
• Bethel Park High School hosted its annual Awards and Recognition Night to present scholarships to members of the Class of 2019 and to recognize students for academic achievement.
Awards and scholarships were presented to:
Tiger Burkes – John Deans Memorial Scholarship; Alexa Sepesky – Kramer Family Scholarship; Jared Yantek – One of Us Scholarship; Randon Allsopp – Michael J. Furey Memorial Scholarship; Desiree Saether – Frank L.P. Edwards Scholarship; Tanya Holbert – Bethel Park Volunteer Scholarship; Alexa Barrett and Alexa Will – Abraham Lincoln PTO Scholarship; Regan Gray – Bethel Park Woman’s Club Scholarship; Eliza Albenze – Upper St. Clair/Bethel Park Rotary Club “Service Above Self” Award; Jerry Varghese – American Legion Post 760 Son’s Scholarship; Emma Petrick and Anton Yanovich – American Legion Post 760 Rider’s Senior Essay.
William Martin-Farmer, Caleb Shook, Toby Roule and Lily Wilson – Hometown Hi-Q Team Recognition; Jillian Sullivan and Jerry Varghese – Speech and Debate Team Recognition; Regan Gray, Patra Hsu and Julianne Stein – Blue Sky Closing Services Scholarship; Anthony Lucchitti and Ryan Tischler – Rotary Club of Bethel Park Robert Brindley Memorial Scholarship; Anna Richard – Horatio Alger Scholarship; Tyler Andreis – Bethel Park Lions Club Scholarship; Lauren Wandel – Bethel Bakery Scholarship; Jessica Hoppe – Rosemary Gainar Memorial Scholarship; Tiger Burkes – Black Association of South Hills for Women Scholarship
Tiger Burkes – Mitch Hakeem Memorial Scholarship; Kelly Shelpman – Ken Waldie Memorial Scholarship; Sarah Thompson – Army ROTC Scholarship; Blake Hagerty – Angel F. Miranda Achievement Award; Victoria Slawinski – Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies; Lindsay Pfab and Desiree Saether – Seton Hill University Scholarships; Ian Materkowski, Emily Blum, Riley Gloeckl, Isaac Wittkopp, Zachary Janus, Julie Brooks and Anna Miklos – California University of Pennsylvania Scholarships; Macey McKinney – Edinboro University Scholarship; Angeline Lorenz and Alexa Sepesky – Bethel Park Federation of Teachers Scholarship
Isabella Sciullo and Jerry Varghese – National Honor Society Scholarships; Rosie Dailey, Anthony Lucchitti, Jerry Varghese, Alexa Barrett, Nicholas Guimond, Patra Hsu, Abigail Kauric, Blake McGee and Julianne Stein – Student Council Recognition; Joseph Bilski, Julia Herrman and Jerry Varghese – National Merit Scholarship Commended Students; Molly Hoffman – Brown University Book Award; Lily Wilson – Princeton Book Award; Lily Wilson – Harvard Book Award; Alexander Mullen and Victoria Slawinski – Benjamin Franklin PTO Scholarship; Maggie Fertal – Bethel Park Kiwanis Scholarship
Tanya Holbert – Lois Johnson Learning and Childcare Scholarship; Maria Cerro and Jake Dowell – WPIAL Scholar/Athlete Recognition; Gavin Julian-Behr and Michaella Crum – South Hills Area School District Association Award; Lauryn Fusca, Kiersten Schultz and Ryan Tischler – Principals Advisory Council for Students Scholarship; Eliza Albenze – Jennifer A. Morgan Memorial Scholarship; Jenelle Wu – Sydney Romanus Memorial Scholarship; Kelly Shelpman and Sarah Thompson – Dr. Thomas A. Knight Memorial Scholarship; Lauryn Fusca and Brooke Waldo – Irene Uhrik Boone Memorial Scholarship; Sarah Thompson – Dr. James B. Johnston Scholarship; Anthony Lucchitti – Spirit Award
Will Coplan was honored as valedictorian and Jerry Varghese, salutatorian.
Additionally, 198 Honor Cords were distributed to the students who will be graduating with a minimum 3.5 QPA. Certificates were also presented to students who earned college scholarships that were not formally presented during the Awards Program.
Upper St. Clair
• Fort Couch Middle School eighth-grader Mahesh Lakshminarayanan recently placed first in the Alice Challenge, Middle School Good Neighbor category.
The Alice Challenge is a computer programming competition for students in sixth through 12th grades in the Pittsburgh region, inviting them to create 3D animations, engaging games or immersive experiences using the Alice programming environment. The challenge was comprised of three competition categories: Animation, Game and Good Neighbor.
Inspired by the legacy of Fred Rogers, the Good Neighbor category is about creating experiences for social good. The title of Mahesh’s project is “Mr. Hatter, please love children.” According the Mahesh, it tells the story of how Mr. Hatter bullies children and makes fun of them, and a lion sees what is happening and decides to teach him a lesson.
Submissions were judged by professional game designers and industry experts on creativity, visual presentation and technical implementation. Good Neighbor entries are also rated on impact potential.
Mahesh, along with the other winners of each category, will be recognized at the Finalists Showcase and award ceremony on June 12 at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center.
• Upper St. Clair High School senior Paarth Shankar placed 14th in Extemporaneous Speaking at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament held May 25-26 in Milwaukee. Last year, Paarth placed ninth in the same event.
A total of 30 Upper St. Clair students qualified to compete at the national tournament. In addition to Paarth, four others finished among the top 50 in their respective events.
Annika Chaves placed 25th in Oral Interpretation of Literature. In Dramatic Performance, Mayka Chaves finished 32nd; Hashim Durrani, 33rd; and Riwk Sen, 34th.
Also competing at the tournament were Upper St. Clair students:
Student Congress – Caroline Wolfe
Oral Interpretation of Literature – Charlize Goff
Duo Interpretation – Amelia White and Ellen Duff; Sammy Levy and Marlena Bononi; and Shivani Jajoo and Felipe Mola Curi
Original Oratory – Vivek Babu, Aya Dakroub, Shanthi Krishnaswamy and Neha Patel
Extemporaneous Speaking – Meghan Joon
Declamation – Atharva Barve and Patrick Joyce
Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Matt Hornak and Anusha Neupane
Public Forum Debate – Yash Jajoo and Devan Ekbote, and Arushi Khaitan and Mallika Matharu
Policy Debate – Will Bacdayan and Shreya Golakiya, and Ashley Eichberg and Rhea Punjabi
Next up for the team is the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament, which is set for June 16-21 in Dallas, Texas.