The Northgate Class of 2019 received diplomas this week, with 72 students from Avalon and Bellevue graduating. At the very top of the Class of 2019 in terms of academic achievement were, pictured at right, Claire Ishiyama, salutatorian, Owen King, valedictorian, and Madalyn Abramowicz, valedictorian at A.W. Beattie Career Center.

Owen is the son of Christine and John King of Bellevue. He is headed to Temple University in the fall where he plans to study computer science.


The Avonworth High School Class of 2019 is expected to graduate 125 seniors during commencement ceremonies at Lenzner Field Friday evening. The class is led by (pictured at left) salutatorian Owen North and valedictorian Patrick Wiley Bozada.

Owen, the son of Ray and Pam North, will attend Grove City College where he will pursue a business degree.

Wiley, as he is known to classmates, is the son of Patti Bozada. He will attend Case-Western Reserve to major in math and computer science.

Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


The Bellevue Community Herb Garden is here for the community. As you enter the garden in front of the YMCA on Lincoln Avenue you are invited to “Pinch what you need. Use what you pinch.” From the inception of the garden four years ago, that philosophy of taking just what you need and leaving the rest for others has worked. If you haven’t yet used any of the herbs, do try it this year.



The phenomenon has many names, and none of them is favorable: brain drain, summer slide and summer learning loss, to list a few. It is the decline of skills and academic achievement that typically occurs while children are out of school during summer vacation. Basically, it is evidence of the “use it or lose it” cliche. The good news is that not only can it be prevented, but with some planning and effort on both the part of the parents and the children, a student can begin his or her next school year academically ahead of where they were at the end of the previous term.


The Northgate Class of 2019 received diplomas this week, with 72 students from Avalon and Bellevue graduating. At the very top of the Class of 2019 in terms of academic achievement were, pictured here, Claire Ishiyama, salutatorian, Owen King, valedictorian, and Madalyn Abramowicz, valedictorian at A.W. Beattie Career Center.

Owen is the son of Christine and John King of Bellevue. He is headed to Temple University in the fall where he plans to study computer science.


Maria Meyer of Bellevue, a member of the Boston College Class of 2019, was presented with the University’s most prestigious graduation honor at Commencement on May 20: the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award, given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Boston College’s motto, “Ever to Excel.” She was chosen for this honor out of a class of some 2,200 students. Meyer is a 2015 graduate of North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township.


It started as an observation one day last year as Jake Sommers and his mom, Kelli, were walking along the North Shore of Pittsburgh where they saw the beautiful and meaningful memorials commemorating the service and sacrifice of so many men and women of the Armed Services. World War II, Korea, Vietnam.

But as Jake and his mom noticed, few people were giving much attention to the memorials. Bikers rolled by; walkers strolled by. Nobody stopped to ponder the significance of the memorials.



Last Saturday, May 18, the public was invited to Lock Fest at the Emsworth locks and dam, located at 0 Western Ave. along the Ohio River. The locks and dam are north of and downstream from Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to create the Ohio River. The Emsworth locks and dam is one of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District’s six major river facilities on the Ohio River.


If Avonworth High School had a course titled “Fund-raising for Good Causes,” Emma Ronk, a Class of '20 student, could write the course curriculum. She also might be teaching it.

Emma, 17, the daughter of Robert and the late Melissa Ronk (2008), took part in this year's drive by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise funds and awareness for that organization's mission to find a cure for blood cancers.



The Avon Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with an Open House May 11 at the Ben Avon Borough Hall from 1 to 4 p.m. Presentations that capture Avonworth history and the impact the Avon Club has had in the community will be displayed; local representatives will be on hand to offer a tribute; and light refreshments will be served.

Looking back over the history of the Avon Club, it's difficult to decide what is the more amazing accomplishment: the work members have done or the fact that the club has lasted so long.


In her 20th year of teaching at Northgate Middle/Senior High School, Choral Director Kelly Winovich has entertained the community while teaching countless students the happiness and value of knowing and performing good music, from standards to contemporary, from show tunes to serious selections.


Avonworth’s Third Annual Chase the Antelopes 5K and 1 Mile Walk will take place in the Ohio Township area on Saturday, April 27, beginning at 9 a.m., with runners and walkers meeting at Lenzner Field across from the high school on Josephs Lane and following routes through nearby neighborhoods.

All of the proceeds and donations will benefit the Hannah Milbert Memorial Fund, which was established to provide students with scholarships that may be used for college expenses and to help them attend school-sponsored trips.


The idea of getting people together to discuss issues that are of importance to their community, as well as to the country, is not a new one. In May, 1986, for example, millions of Americans joined in “Hands Across America” to bring attention to poverty in our nation.

Fast forward to a few weeks from now, when Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. invites the Pittsburgh region to connect with each other “…in self-organized small groups to have meaningful conversations, over food, to deepen our understanding of shared values as a community of caring residents, businesses and organizations.”


Last week marked the seventh year for Northgate elementary students to display their cooking skills in the annual Young Chefs Cooking Contest sponsored by Sodexo Food Services.

Under the direction of Julianne Griffin, general manager for Sodexo at Northgate, the event began in January when students in grades 3-6 were encouraged to fill out recipe cards for this year's “Healthy Mexican Food” theme. Griffin received 29 recipes, from which seven finalists were chosen.


Avonworth High School senior Wiley Bozada has been named a 2019 Coca-Cola Scholar.

Each year, Coca-Cola recognizes the most outstanding high school student leaders in the United States based on their academic excellence, leadership, and service demonstrated in school and community activities. As a member of the 31st class of Coca-Cola Scholars, Bozada exemplifies superior leadership, service, and academics as well as positively affecting others in his community.


Northgate artists, craftsmen, and techies, along with cast members of this year’s musical, “Freaky Friday” teamed up to showcase their talents in the annual Arts Odyssey, open to the public at the high school last Friday evening.

Avalon Elementary School Principal Joseph Peacock noted, “Aside from the musical preview and performances, this year's Arts Odyssey featured over 1,000 pieces of student art and featured works across all the levels of our school district.”


Avonworth eighth graders had the opportunity to reverse their roles when they visited the Heinz History Center on the evening of Feb. 22, with 118 students becoming the teachers, and serving as docents to explain aspects of displays that are part of the Center's current exhibition, “From Slavery to Freedom, Western Pennsylvania Sports, Innovators and Special Collections.”

Students visited the museum in mid-December to select pieces that they wanted to research with more depth.


Aidan Sommers, 17, of Kilbuck Township, was promoted last month to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, the highest rank a cadet can achieve within the national U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC). His rank was marked by a ceremony in Pittsburgh, presided over by U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Commanding Officer Guy Mignogna.


When Avonworth freshman Jay Foster first heard of plans for a week-long series of Fund-raising activities to support an illness that has afflicted him for the past four years, he was, at first, a bit reluctant about some of the plans.

The fund-raising will be a focal point to acknowledge Rare Disease Week, Feb. 25-28 when schools and other organizations plan events and awareness activities that can support individuals and medical teams working to find cures.

Jay's mom, Nikki Wallace, understands his reluctance.


Fish can provide a host of flavors and make for a healthy addition to one’s diet. Alaskan cod, for example, is easy to find and, because it’s high in certain omega-3 fatty acids, packs quite a heart-healthy punch. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that wild Alaskan cod contains the same levels of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, as salmon.


Heart disease might be seen as something that predominantly affects men, but women are not immune to this potentially deadly condition. In fact, doctors and healthcare professionals advise women to take serious heed of heart disease, which claims more female lives than breast cancer, other cancers, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s disease combined.


The annual student art show at the Hermann Museum on Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue opened on the evening of Jan. 11, with displays that ranged from abstract works to realistic nature scenes. The show continues through Jan. 27

The show includes works from nearly 40 Northgate and St. James students. The pictured student-artist is Avalon Elementary third grader Olivia Bach, whose artwork blends her original ideas with those of a Russian abstract artist, Wassily Kandinsky.


Reading, writing, arithmetic -- and then on up to Shakespeare, advanced composition and calculus. All lessons taught in schools to prep students for moving on and earning a living. But what about another form of education: the education for life?