Avonworth grants, Pine-Richland Substitute Teacher of the Year, Shady Side Academy middle school science olympiad team

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The elementary school has received a $20,000 grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity to create an outdoor learning space for students in grades 3-5.

The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) grant, which is funded through the Grable and Benedum Foundations, will enable children to Connect, Apply, Repurpose and Engage with STEAM curricular projects.

The CARE space location for the project covers a half acre now occupied by the kindergarten playground. With the opening of the new Avonworth Primary Center, the playground no longer is needed.

The plan for the outdoor space includes outdoor gallery to showcase student-made installation art projects; pollinator, sensory area and vegetable gardens; pond water feature; seating for a learning and presentation area; pergola to hang bird feeders, wind chimes and spinner projects; workspaces for projects involving dirt, concrete, paint and messier materials; composting area; rain collection system; greenhouse and space for student-created niches for local wildlife.

The space will have several community partners such as Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Beechwood Farms, Avonworth Fund for Excellence, the Avon Club, Burgh Bees, Waste Management, and A.W. Beattie Career Center. 


Eden Hall Upper Elementary substitute teacher Diane Durst of Sarver has been named the 2014 PA Substitute Teacher of the Year by Kelly Educational Staffing.

She was nominated by the Eden Hall staff. The award comes with $100 and a certificate of achievement.

Ms. Durst has been working at all the primary schools and at Eden Hall in Pine-Richland for more than a year and a half. The majority of her days have been at Eden Hall. She completed her student teaching at Hance Elementary and Eden Hall. She also taught at the Goddard School in Cranberry.

Shady Side Academy

For the third year, the middle school science olympiad team won the Pennsylvania State Tournament. The team placed first in Division B (grades 6-9) out of 36 teams.

t marks the middle school's fifth state title in 11 years (2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014), and its ninth trip to nationals in the past 12 years (the top two teams at the state tournament advance to nationals).

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