• The annual Friends of Quaker Valley Schools Education Foundation Distinguished Staff Awards event honored these staff members at the Edgeworth Club in Sewickley:
Jessica Garavaglia, high school special education teacher; Samantha Hiller, middle school cafeteria and transportation support staff; Jenielle Johnson, Osborne School third-grade teacher; Corrie Nye, middle school music teacher; Laura Piatek, Edgeworth School grade 4 teacher; Thomas Pipkins, high school paraprofessional.
• Shaler Area High School senior Emily Pirt has won a $1,000 scholarship from the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association for her essay on how drilling companies can use Pennsylvania's "Rule of Capture" laws to bully residents who do not want to lease their land. The essay topic addressed property owners' rights in connection with a Marcellus Shale drilling operations.
Emily has been a member of her school's mock trial team for six years, and won the Moot International Criminal Court Competition at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. She will attend Pennsylvania State University to study public relations.
• North Hills High School senior Patrice Bailey was chosen to represent her school at a recent University of Pittsburgh forum. She was among the group attending the College in High School Argumentation Public Forum at North Allegheny Senior High School.
To be selected, Patrice submitted a videotaped debate featuring herself and fellow seniors Autumn Dzadovksy, Angela Kryl and Cameron Lawson debating the effects of reality television on adolescent development.
• These Fox Chapel Area High School students were recently named first-place winners in the Monroeville Iron Crafter's Competition: senior Casey Layton, sophomore Casey Ulanowicz and freshmen Elena Berg and Vaun Flotta.
• Seneca Valley student council advisers John Motyl from the middle school and Katherine Halliday of the high school have been named District 2 Advisers of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils. District 2 covers Lawrence, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Armstrong, Jefferson, Indiana, and Mercer.
• North Allegheny Intermediate High School sophomore Bernice Yu has been awarded an all-expense-paid summer study trip to Germany. She was selected as a national winner after scoring in the 93rd percentile on the 2013 National German Level 2 Exam for high school students sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German.
• Three Highlands High School students were recognized as Student of the Year in their respective programs at the recent Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Certificate Ceremony: J.J. Yaconis, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Zach Orvitz, machine tool/robotics; and Dee Dee Hronis-Pittman, health science technology.
• Several Fox Chapel Area High School students recently won awards at the Pennsylvania Technology Student Association State Leadership Conference. The first-place winners were juniors Charlie Connolly and David Lewis.
• Zachary J. Zeigler of Zelienople, a senior in the Palumbo-Donahue School of business, received the Eugene P. Beard Student Award for Leadership in Ethics at Duquesne University. The award is presented annually to an undergraduate senior who is evaluated on his or her dedication to the university's mission statement, service to others, academic achievements and leadership roles.
• North Allegheny High School seniors Ava Rae Mosbacher and Colleen Quisenberry have been selected to receive the 2013 North Allegheny Federation of Teachers Scholarship. The annual $2,500 award is presented to two seniors who have chosen to enter a career in elementary or secondary education.
• Several Mars Area High School students placed in recent Associated Artists of Butler County Butler County High School Art Exhibit.
Senior Hayley Esterline earned best in show for her piece, "Repulsive." In the photography category, sophomore Madalyn Michaels earned first place for her photo, "Coming Down to Earth;" junior Maddie Salapow, second place for "Ireland;" and senior Emily Thomas, third place for "Thee Well."
In the mixed media collage category, junior Taylor Zediker received first place for her piece, "Carrick-a-red;" senior Andy Grove, third place for "Innovation;" senior Olivia Laughlin, fourth place for "Self-Portrait;" and sophomore Madison Brooks, fifth place for "Scream."
In the sculpture 3D/fiber category, senior Rachel Rectenwald earned first place for her mosaic, "Sheila;" senior Alexa Titchen, second place for her packing tape piece, "Heroin;" and junior Henry Barron, third place for his plaster work, "Untitled."
In the drawing category, junior Dylan Evans earned first place for "Today You Disappoint" and Maddie Salapow received fifth place for "Untitled." In the printmaking category, junior Frankie Petrini took third place for his etching, "Invisible Box."
• These Seneca Valley students were juror's choice winners in the recent Very Special Arts Exhibit show at the Pew Fine Arts Gallery of Grove City College: Bruce Abramson of Haine Middle School; and Andrew Goad, Samuel Platt, Avinash Rao, Alexander Reams and Olivia Sayre -- all of Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School. Alex Reams, a third grader at Connoquenessing, had his artwork chosen to represent the event on T-shirts and program information.
• Hartwood Elementary School second-grader Mia Lynch was a winner in the local PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest. Mia received an Honorable Mention for her story, "Jamaica."