The district is soliciting Internet votes in a national competition sponsored by Big Lots that will award up to $20,000 in its Lots2Give program.
More than 180 schools are competing for funds, which will be awarded based on the highest number of votes. Voting continues through July 7. For a link to vote, visit www.goldenrams.com.
The money would be used for a new playground and fitness area at Grandview Upper Elementary School in Tarentum. Grandview has posted a video, "Braving the Playground," on the Big Lots website. Filmed in May, students convey how badly they need a new playground and fitness area for students and the community.
Also, Highlands Middle School has posted "Help Pack Our Bags," in which students and the district's Positive Behavior Support team explains how being [Highlands] Rams helps prepare them for the future and achieve their goals.
Individuals can vote up to three times per day per device, meaning voting can be done three times daily on a laptop, three times on a smartphone and three times on an iPad. Last year's winner had more than 40,000 votes.
The administration offices and all school buildings will be closed Fridays for nine weeks starting this week. Summer hours are from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
The full-week schedule resumes the week of Aug. 12. Information: 724-625-1518.
• Jennifer Kennedy, an instrumental music teacher who directs the Sixth Grade Band and the Jazz Band at Mars Area Centennial School, was selected for a 2013 Red Apple Education Award.
She also is a sponsor of the school's Instrumental Club, Running Club and Spanish Club and she leads the school's "Academic Support" program, which offers large group tutoring after school.
Mrs. Kennedy began her career at Mars in 2004 as an instrumental music teacher and marching band director at the high school.
In the community, she participates in the music outreach program at First Baptist Church in Butler and she has performed with Musicians Concert Band, North Suburban Big Band and the Pittsburgh Philharmonic.
Mrs. Kennedy also was a blocker on the Steel Hurtin' team for Steel City Roller Derby.
She will be among the Red Apple Award winners recognized at the United Way of Butler County's annual meeting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Butler County Community College's Founders Hall.
A representative of Kansas City Life Insurance, Howard Utz, will present Mrs. Kennedy with her award and a $500 cash grant to benefit the music curriculum at Centennial School.
Five individuals have been selected for induction in the North Hills School District Sports Hall of Fame: Lulu Braun, class of 1977; Jenielle Hunt, class of 2006; Jack McCurry, former varsity football coach; Andrew Richardson, class of 2001; and Morrow "Woody" Woodburn, community contributor.
Created in 1995, the hall of fame honors individuals who have "distinguished themselves in athletics during and/or beyond their years at North Hills High School or the former West View High School."
Inductees will be honored at the annual dinner Sept. 5 at Rico's Restaurant in Ross. They also will be recognized at the football game Sept. 6 at Martorelli Stadium.
This year marks the 18th anniversary of the Sports Hall of Fame.
Information: 412-318-1438 or email@example.com.
More than 370 seniors will participate in commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school stadium.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on PR-TV via Armstrong digital cable 211, cable channel 50 and Consolidated cable channel 404 or via the internet at pinerichland.tv.
• The middle school choirs earned top awards at the "Music in the Parks" choral competition May 10-11 in Hershey among 15 choirs from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York.
Superior ratings were earned by the 7th-grade choir, which finished first in the mixed choir 1 category; the 8th-grade choir, which finished first in the mixed choir 2 category; and the women's ensemble, which finished first in the women's choir category.
The Women's Ensemble earned the highest score of any middle school/junior high choir in the competition and won the "Best Overall Middle School/Junior High Choir" trophy.
Admission applications are being accepted for all grade levels at Portersville Christian School, 343 E. Portersville Road.
The Christian school offers its program for children in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
It is the only fully accredited Christian school in the Butler-Lawrence-Mercer counties area that offers comprehensive education through the high school level.
Juniors and seniors can earn up to 21 hours of college credit during their last two years of high school with dual credit and AP courses.
For an information/application packet, or to arrange to meet with school representatives and tour the school most mornings in the summer, contact the school office, 724-368-8787, ext. 10.
Jill Brumbaugh, a former NCAA Division I women's basketball player who was a four-year starter for the University of Connecticut, is the new girls' basketball coach for the varsity and middle school programs.
Serving as the girls' basketball coach for Claysburg-Kimmel High School in Blair County from 2010-2012, Ms. Brumbaugh's teams qualified for the playoffs two consecutive years after a four-year drought.
Ms. Brumbaugh of Center succeeds Jim Dudas who resigned at the end of the 2012-13 season.
School board members have started implementing some of the cuts in the 2013-14 budget.
On Monday, board members voted to eliminate or curtail three teaching positions as part the new budget plan.
The cuts were one full-time teaching position in the English department and a half-time teaching position in the gifted program, and one full-time teaching position was changed to a half-time position in the theater arts program.
According to the school board agenda, the positions were eliminated to "conform to standards of organization and due to a substantial decline in course enrollments."
Linda Andreassi, district spokeswoman, said the teachers in the English and gift programs were furloughed.
The teacher working in the theater arts program will now be working part time, she said.
These cuts were necessary when balancing the $101 million budget expected to be voted on during next week's school board meeting, according to school officials.
The proposed budget also includes a 2.75 mill tax increase.
Other cost-saving measures in the budget include replacing 17 retirees with lower-paid employees, a four-day work week during the summer months and a 10 percent cut to all discretionary accounts in the budget.