They made the news in 2012

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Our weekly feature of "newsmakers you should know" highlighted achievements by many North residents whose accomplishments were noteworthy. And others had noteworthy achievements, too. Here's a recap of our North newsmakers:

Zack Abel, 13, of Franklin Park, a Make-A-Wish recipient and cancer survivor, organized a Make-A-Wish 5K bike/walk in North Park to make a lasting memory for another child.

Joella Baker of Harmony has suffered from lupus since 2000, but she never lost her passion for running. She represented Team USA in the International Triathlon Union World Long Course Triathlon Competition in Spain.

Cindy Banzula-Yates of Franklin Park loves music, so she annually sponsors a "house concert" in which musicians perform for smaller audiences while they're in town for a larger concert. In eight years, she has raised more than $60,000 for her nonprofit organization, Yates Fund for Cancer Hope.

Michael Bestwick, a 1986 Knoch High School graduate and mixed media artist, was among the artists featured at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Josh Billings, a Quaker Valley High School student, organized a benefit Freeze Your Lymphs Off 5K Run for Lymphoma to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of his father, who was diagnosed with lymphoma.

The Rev. Thomas Burke was transferred from Good Shepherd Catholic parish in Braddock to become pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Sewickley.

John Buzzatto, an orthodontist from Hampton, was elected president of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Dan Cardone of Ross, athletic director of the North Hills School District since 1992, was inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Dan Connolly, Hampton police chief since 1998, retired and handed over the reins to Capt. Michael Pecora.

Oliver Choo, 9, of Fox Chapel won a gold medal in the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati in the Level 9 Concerto.

C.J. Coyne, an 11-year-old from McCandless sang the National Anthem before the football game scene filmed at Heinz Field for the new Batman movie, "The Dark Night Rises," that premiered in the summer.

Chelynne Curci was hired as the Main Street manager to lead Butler Downtown, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the city's revitalization.

Florin Cureau, a Romanian national and head coach for the Pittsburgh Rowing Club and the Pine-Richland High School crew team, rowed for his country in the summer Olympics in London.

Cheryl Dee, a school crossing guard in Ross, and her husband, Paul, hosted their 35th wedding anniversary party and requested guests to send a donation to North Hills Community Outreach in lieu of gifts for them.

Casey Dill has experience in opening grocery stores. He came to Pittsburgh when the first Whole Foods store opened 10 years ago in East Liberty and he is the store team leader of the Whole Foods that opened May 2 in Wexford Plaza in McCandless

Frances Kralosky Dice of Hampton, who enrolled in the Community College of Allegheny County in its first year and worked 37 years at CCAC, was honored by Allegheny County Council with a Proclamation for CCAC graduates that commended her for service to the county through her work at the college.

Andrew Duerig of Ross, a North Hills High School student, was selected to receive the Zulama Online Video Game Academy Scholarship from Waterfront Learning.

Megan Foradori of Fox Chapel wanted to do something special on her birthday on 12/12/12. She reached out to 12 nonprofit organizations and asked what 12 items she could buy to help their causes. She delivered the items on Dec. 12.

Jordan Foley of Butler was named spring brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy. It's the highest-ranking midshipman in the brigade responsible for 4,500 students.

Shawn Funk of McCandless, a general music teacher at O'Hara Elementary School in the Fox Chapel Area School District, received a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Citation of Excellence Award.

Peter Gaus, 17, of Ross received the Celebration of Caring Award from Northside Common Ministries for his three years of service to Pleasant Valley Shelter through his work with the youth group at Highland Presbyterian Church.

Michael Hall, an assistant principal in the Canon McMillan School District, became principal of Avonworth Middle School.

Cecelia Hard of O'Hara who discovered she had breast cancer in 1999, is a volunteer with Casting for Recovery, a program that enables breast cancer survivors to go on a fishing retreat free.

Richard Herko, who presided over A.W. Beattie Career Center during a $20 million renovation project, resigned to become assistant professor of strategy at Pepperdine University in California.

Thomas Hughes of Alabama moved to Pittsburgh to become head of school for Eden Christian Academy.

James Kirk of Plum moved to Valencia to become pastor of Valencia Presbyterian Church.

Sister Antoinette Kostelnik of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (formerly Vincentian Sisters of Charity) convent in McCandless retired after 67 years of teaching.

Matthew Kraemer, resident conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, was named the new maestro of the Butler Symphony Orchestra.

Shane Krhovsky, 13, a Boy Scout from O'Hara, received a National Heroism Award from the Boy Scouts of America for his quick thinking to save his father's life during a fishing trip in July 2011.

Patti Jo Lambert, the media relations specialist for the Butler County Tourism Bureau, also serves as director of the Bantam Jeep Festival, which attracted more than 30,000 visitors from throughout the U.S.

Robert Long, a former student council member, is eighth-grade social studies teacher at Quaker Valley Middle School. He was awarded the Middle Level 2012 Adviser of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils.

Douglas Macphail of Franklin Park, past president and board member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, raised donations by running the Pittsburgh Marathon (26.2 miles) and hiking the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge (35 miles).

Christine Marty of Sarver received a Good Samaritan Hero award from the American Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania region for her role in rescuing a woman's life in the flash flood on Washington Boulevard on Aug. 21, 2011, when four people died.

Sean McCarty, principal of Seneca Valley Middle School, was promoted to assistant superintendent in charge of kindergarten-through-sixth-grade instruction.

Ellen McConnell of New Orleans was named head of the Shady Side Academy Junior School.

Harry McLaughlin, who stepped down after serving as Fox Chapel mayor for 27 years, was honored with ceremonies renaming the conference room in his honor in the Cooper-Siegel Community Library.

Brian McWilliams of Pine, who finished high school in three years, founded a nonprofit Team Alex Fund to raise money for the son of Eric Brown, his first running coach. The fund has grown from helping the Brown family to serving other families by helping them purchase mobility equipment and specialized treatment devices.

Kenneth Minton III was the top male winner in the Pittsburgh area in the seventh- and eighth-grade category among students across the country for his poem, "Do the Write Thing," in a contest sponsored by the National Campaign to Stop Violence.

Sandy Niekum of Shaler was honored for her dedication as tutoring program manager for Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, formerly North Hills Youth Ministry Counseling Center.

Brothers Josh and Nathanael Nulph captured lead roles in their separate spring musicals in the Highland School District.

Sally O'Leary of New Sewickley, former public relations assistant for the Pittsburgh Pirates, now serves as the alumni liaison for the team.

Patrick O'Toole of Penn, who is former superintendent of the South Butler County School District, was named Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. He is superintendent of the Upper St. Clair School District.

Debra D. Panei of Butler County, who has worked with St. Barnabas for 13 years, was promoted to executive director of St. Barnabas Charities, the fundraising arm of the St. Barnabas Health System in Richland.

The Rev. Jon Panner, who had never planned on becoming a pastor, changed his mind in college and is the new senior pastor and rector of Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township.

Joseph W. Pasquerilla of Ohio Township, assistant to the superintendent in the Ambridge Area School District, became superintendent of Northgate School District.

Andrea Peck of Adams was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Seneca Valley Middle School.

John Pippy, R-Moon, who had served eight years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate, resigned to head the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.

Thomas Ralston, who came to the Avonworth School District in 2006, became the district's superintendent, taking over for Valerie McDonald, who retired after nine years.

Megan Rosenberger of Harrison, a student at St. Joseph High School, won the President's Environmental Youth Award for Region 3. She visited the White House with her mother to accept the honor.

Rich Simmen of Shaler is president of the Allison Park Sportsmen's Club, which sponsored a spring cleanup day and stocked Pine Creek with fish for the season.

Scott Stickney of Penn, who teaches Latin at Hampton High School, was a winner of the Creative Ideas From Our Teachers Contest by the A & E television network.

Kelley Streib, a Butler County Common Pleas Court judge, was named a Woman of the Year by The Legal Intelligencer, a Pennsylvania-based law journal.

Michael Sutton, a freshman at Duke University, was honored among the winners of Racial Justice Awards by the YWCA of Pittsburgh.

Paige Vanerstrom, 17, of McCandless, who works as a field hockey coach, was recognized by Zonta International, Three Rivers North division, with the Young Women in Public Affairs Award.

Alexis Werner, a junior at Shaler Area High School, was honored among the winners of Racial Justice Awards by the YWCA of Pittsburgh.



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