Senior Samantha Wilczynski, a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, gathered a team, Sami's Strength, and participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk last Thursday at Heinz Field.
An honor student, varsity cheerleader, senior class president and student council president, Samantha and her team members carried illuminated balloons -- white ones for survivors, red ones for supporters and gold ones to signify the loss of a loved one to blood cancer.
Samantha was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma when she was 15 years old. She invited everyone to walk with her because everyone was so supportive and gave her the strength she needed to win her fight.
For the first time, homecoming activities on Friday will feature a carnival on the front lawn/upper field of the high school campus, 611 Field Club Road in O'Hara.
The carnival will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and most activities are free. The event will involve all of the elementary schools, PTO/PTA groups, the Dorseyville Middle School and some high school clubs.
There will be face painting, pumpkin decorating, a giant slide, an obstacle course, an inflatable bounce house and a free petting zoo (including a baby zebra). Pony rides will be available for a fee. Live music from the students and faculty also will be featured.
Parking will be available at O'Hara Elementary School. The carnival will conclude with a parade on the high school campus.
In conjunction with the homecoming theme, "Let's Go to the Movies," the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes will continue the tradition of performing their annual skits in the stadium prior to the 7 p.m. game versus Baldwin High School.
• The Dorseyville Middle School Sinfonia Orchestra is one of only 16 orchestras from across the nation to be selected to participate in the 2013 American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival Feb. 27-March 2 in Providence, R.I.
The DMS Sinfonia -- the only orchestra from Pennsylvania -- will be among 16 orchestras from across the United States competing at the festival in divisions that cover middle schools, high schools, private schools and youth orchestras.
It consists of 31 students in grades 6-8.
Jeff Kline, director of administrative services, told school directors Oct. 1 that earned income and real estate tax revenues are up.
He made his comments at a work session where he also discussed the district's new Act I Index and how it would affect next year's budget.
The district cannot raise taxes more than 2 percent (after applying for a three-fourths percent exception from the state) without a voter referendum.
Mr. Kline said he would have to have a preliminary budget prepared by Jan. 31 to meet state guidelines.
The board will hold a special meeting, said Lawrence Vasko, finance chairperson for the board. He said there would be a voting meeting on Jan. 28 to decide if the district needs to take an exception and notify the state.
Superintendent John Hoover said Hampton has applied for an exception only once since Act I was instituted.
• The registration deadline is Oct. 19 for an anti-bullying awareness and cyber security awareness seminar Oct. 24 in the high school.
A continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., with the conference beginning at 8.
The event is part of the InfraGard 2012 Safe Schools Statewide Conference -- a program that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement, schools and non-profit organizations to discuss trends relating to cyber, physical and human security issues affecting students in K-12.
There will be professional presentations and an interactive forum.
The program is recommended for school administrators, educators, counselors (pre K-12), university instruct
For more information, or to register: http://infragard-2012-safeschools.eventbrite.com.
Brian R. Miller, assistant superintendent of K-12 education, has received the Frank S. Manchester Excellence in Journalism Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals.
The award is presented to an individual who has been published in the Pennsylvania Administrator magazine and it recognizes authors who "demonstrate the commitment to quality informational services to PAESSP members and who reflect the standards established by Dr. Frank S. Manchester during his tenure as Executive Director of PAESSP."
The award will be presented Tuesday at the Sheraton Station Square.
• The North Allegheny Hall of Fame Committee has named the Induction Class of 2012: Mike Arnold, 1982; Jeff Casten, 1979; Sara Krastek, 2003; Heinz Pak, 1985; Tommy Parks, 2002; Mimi Patchen, 1987; Jessica Siegele, 2011; Carrie Goheen Wagner, 1993; John Woffington, coach.
The Hall of Fame Association will honor Bob Caldwell with the Joseph Drazenovich Award for Legendary Service, and James Beierle will be honored posthumously with the Bob Miller Award for outstanding support of North Allegheny athletics. Don Greenaway will receive the Distinguished Coaching Service Award.
• The high school student council has been recognized by the National Association of Student Councils in its National Student Council Awards program for "exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community."
Only six Pennsylvania high schools achieved this level of recognition in the 2012 program.
The district has met the PSSA Reading AYP benchmark of 81 percent required by the state Department of Education, in every grade except for grades 5 and 11, which scored 75 percent and 79 percent respectively.
The PSSA Math AYP Benchmark was set at 78 percent. Except for grade 11, which scored a 74 percent, all other district grades met the benchmark.
Overall, North Hills students in each grade scored a higher average than the overall statewide average in reading and math.
North Hills met the AYP attendance target of 90 percent, reporting 95.43 percent. The district did not meet AYP for the graduation rate of a specific subgroup of students in special education, reporting a graduating rate of 83.3 percent, while the benchmark required 85 percent.
The AYP of every public school and school district in the country has been tracked by the U.S. Department of Education since the inception of the federally legislated No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The district is currently working on adopting and implementing corrective action measures to address the deficiencies in the 2012 AYP.
• The high school jazz band and assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and special programs Jeff Taylor will participate in the annual Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania School Boards Association Conference, Tuesday to Oct. 19 in Hershey.
Students will perform Tuesday for more than 600 school administrators. Mr. Taylor will speak next Thursday about North Hills' Online Academy @ North Hills in a session entitled "How to Create a Successful District-Created Virtual School."
The middle school will host its Permanent Art Collection ceremony at 2:45 p.m. today. Students Ethan Mooney, Charlie Spirk, Savana Sippel and Hannah Swartz will have their artwork inducted into the school's permanent art collection.
The film "Otter 501" will be presented free at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Rea Auditorium.
"Otter 501" chronicles the true story of an orphaned baby otter washed ashore on the Northern California coast when she was less than a week old and rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program.neigh_north