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Benjamin Edwards, social studies teacher at Upper St. Clair High School, has earned the distinction as a second diamond coach in the National Forensic League. The league is the honor society for middle and high school speech and debate. Mr. Edwards will receive recognition at the league's June 19 tournament in Overland Park, Kan. The event draws more than 5,000 students, coaches and parents.

A diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity. The league provides diamond awards based on coach points received. Coaches receive one-tenth of the points earned by their students and one-tenth of the points earned as a student member of the league. After a minimum of five years as a league member, a coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond; he or she receives a second diamond for 3,000 points, a third for 6,000 points, and so on. Five years must pass between each diamond award.

Mr. Edwards has been a teacher at Upper St. Clair High School since September 2011.

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Mt. Lebanon High School seniors Katie Brown, Lani Cupo, Daphne Schlesinger, Darren Samuels, Annalise Tolley, Abbu Xie, along with social studies teacher Peter DiNardo, have been honored for their work on a U.S. history project. They were awarded the Future Leaders Award by the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies at a conference in Harrisburg last month.

Last spring, Mr. DiNardo changed the traditional final research paper for his classes into a series of programs where students focused on an event or issue that occurred between 1954 and 1989. The students presented their final projects in three different formats: team-teaching, oral history-based documentary or research paper panel presentation. Mr. DiNardo wanted the students to share their work with the community so the 38 class presentations took place at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

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Mt. Lebanon High School students Martin Guild, Vincent Liu, Alex Rice, Andrew Vogel and Mong Zhang successfully auditioned for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 1 Honors String Orchestra. These students joined other top musicians from high schools throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania for a festival earlier this month at North Allegheny School District.


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