Our weekly feature called “A Newsmaker You Should Know” highlights achievements by just some of the many West residents whose accomplishments are noteworthy. Here’s a recap of our West newsmakers for 2013:
Jason Adkins, a Heidelberg volunteer firefighter, fought a fire that destroyed his own home on First Street. Friends and neighbors pitched in to help his family.
Nick Andrews was recognized for his business success with the Penn State Beaver Outstanding Alumni Award. In 1977, he formed Andrews Industrial Controls Inc. in Carnegie.
Scott Baker, president of 5 Generation Bakers in McKees Rocks, presented a $300 check and a certificate for a one-year supply of Jenny Lee cinnamon swirl bread to Ada Fiscus of McKees Rocks, who purchased the 1 millionth loaf from the bakery.
Faith Beegle of Beaver Falls, a registered nurse at Heritage Valley Sewickley, was named a Heritage Valley Health System Cameo of Caring Awardee for her exceptional work in health care.
Steve Beuter, who had worked three years as an administrative assistant in Carnegie, was named the borough's manager in August. He followed Jeff Harbin, who retired in June.
Aaron Bibro, Robinson manager for four years, stepped down in April to accept a job as township manager of Hatfield, Montgomery County. He had been assistant manager for one year before becoming manager.
The Rev. Ed Bowen, former pastor of Crafton United Presbyterian Church, established a charitable fund as a permanent endowment to improve the playground at Crafton Elementary School.
Rhonda Brightwell, a registered nurse on the Level 2 Medical Unit at Heritage Valley Beaver, was honored for her passion for her profession at the 15th Cameo of Caring Awards. She has been at the Beaver facility since November 2006.
Sharon Loughran Brown, a career educator with about 30 years of experience as a teacher and principal, became principal of Our Lady of Grace School in Scott.
Veronica Burnsworth of Center was named Service Woman of the Year by the Women's Business Network Inc. for her work in furthering the organization's mission and goals.
Jamie Chlystek became assistant principal at Propel Montour in Kennedy in June. She began her career with Propel at McKeesport before that school was up and running.
Trent Clayton of Crescent, 10, won 12 gold medals at the National Junior Disability Championships in July. He has cerebral palsy.
Jonathan A. Crawford, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, was honored for his service by having his name entered on the Cornell School District Wall of Fame. He is a 1995 Cornell High School graduate.
The Rev. Tom Cummins blazed many trails as a minister and counselor during his life, and one of his most lasting legacies may be the trail network he helped to establish in Scott through his work with the Scott Conservancy. He died Sept. 17.
Barbianne Davis of Ambridge, a registered nurse for the Progressive Care Unit at Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital, helped victims of an apartment fire and was presented with the 10th annual Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award in the RN category.
Geneva College alumna Joy Doyle has always enjoyed training, developing and coaching students. She has landed the perfect job — director of career development at Geneva.
Greg DeFeo, president of Pittsburgh Technical Institute in North Fayette, was among the dignitaries at the groundbreaking for a $3.5 million energy technology center at the school to house courses in oil and gas electronics.
Mason DePetro, a senior at Cornell High School, scored 1,145 points for the Lady Raiders basketball team -- a record for a female student at the high school in Coraopolis.
John DiSanti, West Allegheny superintendent, received the Distinguished Educator Award from the University of Pittsburgh’s Tri-State Area School Study Council.
Robert Downey Jr., a police officer for more than three decades, was named Green Tree police chief. He was chosen from a field of more than 40 candidates.
Rutledge E. Etheridge III became Geneva College's first chaplain in nine years. He had been an adjunct professor at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Point Breeze and pastor of Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church in Brookline.
The Rev. Donald Fisher, a founder of the Focus on Renewal Center in McKees Rocks, has become a pottery teacher at the Father Ryan Arts Center. The Rev. Regis Ryan was Father Fisher's successor at F.O.R.
Maggie Forbes once again is the executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall. She had held the post from 2005 until 2011.
Jeffrey Harbin, who joined the Carnegie police department as a patrolman in 1976 and became its chief in 1992, retired. He also had served as the borough's manager since February 2011.
Kevin Haggerty, a full-time patrolman in North Fayette, wears two silver cross lapel pins on his uniform. He doubles as police chaplain, offering aid, comfort and resources to people experiencing a crisis or difficult situation.
Jeffrey M. Hinds, a certified public accountant, began work Feb. 18 in the newly created position of finance officer for Collier.
Sister M. Francine Horos of the Felician order from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Moon tossed out the ceremonial first pitch at a Pirates baseball game in July at PNC Park.
Matt Hostetter of Chippewa was the Pennsylvania State Bid Calling Champion at the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Conference in Harrisburg. He works for the family business, Sherman Hostetter Auctioneers in Chippewa.
Maggie Johnson, who has more than a decade of experience working with arts programs, was named interim director of the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks.
Dorothy Kennedy, a native of Ambridge, a 1930 graduate of Ambridge High School and a lifetime member of Ambridge United Presbyterian Church, celebrated her 101st birthday in March. She has crocheted more than 1,000 caps for cancer patients.
In August, Jeffrey Kennedy became Carnegie's first new police chief in more than two decades. He followed Jeffery Harbin, who had been chief since 1992.
Piper Kilpatrick, a sports medicine doctor, was named medical director of Heritage Valley SportsCare, a collaboration between Heritage Valley Health System and Associates of Specialty Physicians Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
Wood carver Jeff Kowal of Patterson has been serious about woodcarving for about 10 years, and he’s become quite successful. The Beaver County artist has won numerous awards for his sculptures.
David Lorenzini had to wait nearly three weeks to learn that he had won a seat on Green Tree council in the Nov. 5 election. The Republican and his Democratic opponent Kristina Pusateri both received 497 votes. The election was decided by pulling numbered wooden pellets from a leather bottle in the Allegheny County Elections Division office.
Bridgeville Councilman Santo Magliocca was recognized in November for his military service during World War II. He had served as a ball-turret gunner on a B-24 bomber, flying missions out of bases in Italy. He received the Air Medal with Two Clusters, the European Service Medal and four Battle Stars.
Ashley Makarevich joined the Moon Area School District as its assistant high school principal. She had been elementary and middle school teacher in the Mercer Area School District.
Ed Maritz, a 20-year veteran of the Sto-Rox school board, resigned in July because of what he said were misinformed and insulting comments about him over the board's decision to eliminate the baseball and softball teams.
Lana Meyer, who graduated from Carlynton High School in June, won the 2013 Scholastic Writing Award from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a national competition for teens in grades 7-12.
Nathan Michaux, a 2009 graduate of Beaver Area High School, graduated in May as valedictorian from Washington & Jefferson College.
Moon Area School District superintendent Donna K. Milanovich retired June 28 after serving since 2007 as chief administrator. She came to Moon Area in 1975 as a second-grade teacher at Bon Meade Elementary School and served as an administrator in other districts before returning to Moon Area.
Robert Motte of Oakdale has worn many hats in education, and on July 1 he began wearing the newest — principal of Cornell High School in Coraopolis.
Mark O’Donnell, an Oakdale native, West Allegheny graduate and longtime North Fayette resident, became North Fayette police chief. He has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement.
Betty Pander, who spent 29 years with the Moon Area School District and 33 years advising the Distributive Education Clubs of America, retired. She also was named the Pennsylvania DECA Advisor of the Year.
With more than three years remaining on his five-year contract with Sto-Rox School District, superintendent Michael Panza resigned to become superintendent of the West Jefferson Hills School District.
Sgt. Matt Podsiadly, a 10-year veteran of the Scott police department, was honored as the Officer of the Year.
Tracy Post of Crafton is a social studies teacher in the Carlynton School District who was named one of the 40 Most Influential Teachers Under 40 in America by Veritas Prep, one of the nation’s largest SAT preparation providers. It publishes the list to recognize innovative and passionate young teachers.
Sister Barbara Anne Quinn, principal of Holy Child Catholic School in Bridgeville for 30 years, was honored with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Very Important Principal Award.
Kelly Rohrich of Collier, a co-founder of Operation Backpack, a nonprofit that collects and distributes new items for displaced children and families, received the Priddy Award for her service.
Christopher Rolinson of Coraopolis, a professor of photojournalism and photography at Point Park University, visited Nigeria to train residents to make water filters that could provide potable water to thousands.
Christine Rose, a teacher at Holy Child Catholic School in Bridgeville, was one of eight instructors in the Pittsburgh region to receive a Golden Apple Award for her excellence in the classroom, church and community.
The Rev. Regis Ryan, who retired late in 2012 as executive director of Focus on Renewal, a nonprofit agency that provides social services in the Sto-Rox area, was honored at F.O.R.'s 44th anniversary.
George Scarborough of Moon retired after serving as the first and only executive director of the Char-West Council of Governments, which was formed in 1981.
John Scott has stepped down after 20 years and 480 meetings with the West Allegheny school board, during which he has supported student sports, band shows and especially stage productions. He had built sets and provided props for the high school musicals.
For 27 years, Sharon Shipley of Oakdale has been giving her time, love and energy to her kindergarten students at St. Philip Catholic School in Crafton. For her efforts, she won a Golden Apple Award.
Jeff Silka, former Monroeville manager, was hired in March as the new Robinson manager. He has more than a decade of experience as a municiipal manager.
Noah Sims of Chippewa wanted to help families affected by the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, so he collaborated with his mother and a printing company to produce T-shirts to benefit the Newtown, Conn., community. He raised more than $1,000.
Shawntaye Sledge of Crafton Heights won the “Too Big for the Stocking” contest sponsored North HIlls Community Outreach. She received a 2003 Chrysler Town and Country minivan for herself and her three children.
Lisa Story, a spiritual and bereavement counselor in the hospice care field, is founder and executive director of Hope Grows, which provides counseling, support and retreats for those going through bereavement.
The Rev. Aaron Teter, who had served as an associate pastor of youth and family ministries at a church in Long Island, N.Y., became head pastor in April at United Presbyterian Church in Ingram.
Erin Tipping, who had been library director at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie since May 2012, left to begin working in a county library in north Florida.
Miles H. "Butch" Triutt Jr., who has worked in the parks and recreation field for nearly 40 years, joined North Fayette in April as the township's parks and recreation director.
When Lou Trombetta responded to a request for volunteers at the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club in the mid-1980s, little did he know that it would be the start of a new career. He retired as assistant executive director of the club.
Jack Wise, a former Moon supervisor and founding member of the Moon Transportation Authority and Thorn Run Interchange group, was honored with the dedication in his name of the Ewing Road interchange on Business Loop 376 in Moon.
Nancy Woods of Monaca, executive director of the Penn State Beaver Adult Literacy Action program and instructor in education since 1984, retired after 29 years of service to the campus and the community.
Rhonda Yost of New Brighton lost 22.8 percent of her body weight to earn top honor for individuals in a contest held by her employer, PGT Trucking Inc. She won $2,500 in the company's second Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown.
Cynthia Zurchin, assistant superintendent of the Moon Area School District, was hired July 1 as superintendent of the Ambridge Area School District.