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Northgate's top graduates are valedictorian Sam Sesti III (right) and salutatorian Thane Bonnett.

Sam is the son of Janet and Sam Sesti Jr. of Avalon. He plans to attend Thiel College in the fall to study early childhood special education.

Thane is the son of Lynn and Tom Bonnett of Bellevue. He is on his way to West Point, where he will study electrical engineering.

Penguin fans have all sorts of ways of showing their team support, from lawn signs to clothing to bumper stickers. Sarah Willoughby goes beyond all of that, though, by taking her loyalty to the streets -- quite literally. Anyone driving Norwood Avenue in Avalon cannot help but see her message artfully drawn on the street prior to games, especially playoff games.

Northgate Middle and High School students recently represented the district in regional band competitions. Representing the middle school were Kathleen King (flute) and Myles Dietrich (trombone). Representing the high school at the PMEA District I West concert were Cassidy King (clarinet), Sam Sesti (percussion), and Ben Somerville (baritone sax). Ben went on to represent Northgate at the PMEA Region I concert last week. One of six regional concerts across the state, the event featured 133 students/musician from 63 school districts .

The perfect marriage of fire and ice has resulted in new educational opportunities for students at three local elementary schools. The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation has presented 20 Kindle Fire tablets, as well as all the necessary apps, to each of the three local schools: Avalon and Bellevue elemnentary in the Northgate School District, and Avonworth Elementary in the Avonworth School District. Avalon Elementary students received their new Fires directly from the foundation Thursday morning.

Three members of the Avonworth-Northgate wrestling team have advanced to the Southwest individual wrestling championship competition, which will be held today and tomorrow in Johnstown. From left in photo: Brandon Wasko (195), Ka’Dale Coles (heavyweight) and Darion Trimmer (132) qualified to advance, based upon their performances in the WPIAL individual championship tournament held last weekend at Char Valley High School.

Several Northgate/Avonworth swimmers have qualified for WPIAL competition on Thursday, Feb. 27 and Friday, Feb. 28 at the University of Pittsburgh.

Carrie Haney, Anna Wagner, Rebecca Volk and Maura Scrabis qualified in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays for the girls, and Chad Kolarik, Brach Herzig, Colton Fritts, and Anthony McGaha qualified in that event for the boys.

Rebecca Volk, Clair Danylo, Anna Wagner and Maura Scrabis qualified in the 200 medley relay for the girls, and Brach Herzig, Wes Bartholomew, Colton Fritts and Anthony McGaha qualified in that event for the boys.

Avonworth seniors Anthony McGaha, Sean Cooper and Chris Morrison turned a major profit ser-ving up hundreds of deep-fried Oreos during the school district’s 26th annual auction benefitting the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. This year’s auction raised more than $21,000, making Avonworth the top school of any in Western Pennsylvania raising money for the charity. It also brings the total to well over $250,000 raised by students over the years.

United States Congressman Mike Doyle (pictured above at center with local veterans) joined students at Bellevue Elementary School on Monday to honor more than 30 current and former members of the military who attended the special Veterans Day program. The program was organized by teacher Lynn Tennant-Heffley, and also attended by school and borough officials. A similar program was held at Avalon Elementary later that morning. Bellevue Borough held its annual salute to veterans on the prior Saturday.

The Avonworth boys’ cross country team celebrates winning the WPIAL champuionship last week. Pictured from left are Colton Fritts (sophomore), Kenny Baurle (sophomore), Shane Pentland(senior) Michael Noethiger (freshman), Adam Joyce (junior), Andrew Domencic (junior), Kyle Crilley (junior), Alex Domencic (freshman).

Finishing places and times for the boys are: 5th overall Adam Joyce, 17:29 8th overall Andrew Domencic, 17:39 22nd overall Colton Fritts,18:13 45th overall Kenny Baurle, 18:49 53rd overall Kyle Crilley,19:05 56th overall Alex Domencic,19:09

Avonworth’s 2013 homecoming queen, crowned at last Friday’s football game, is Erika Thomas.Pictured above from left are homecoming court members Olivia London, Breanna Lipchak, Sarah Kelly, 2012 queen Hannah Slenska, Erika, and court members Hannah Croft, Ashely Abernathy,

The Community Theatre Players will stage Peter Gordon’s “Murdered to Death,” a murder-mystery-comedy that spoofs the best of Agatha Christie traditions of theater. Set in a country manor house, the play introduces the inept and bungling Inspector Pratt, who battles against the odds to solve the murder of the house’s owner. Cast members pictured above are: standing -- Joe Stitman, Ellen Kalik, Joan Dawson, John Ewart, Susan Abramowich, Larry Lubin, Lauren Barber; seated -- Barbara Trehar, Mace Porac, Gary Weiss. Show dates are Oct. 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26, with all performances at 8 p.m.

As a reward for successfully performing his job, Ohio Township K-9 cop Rico, a Belgian Malinois, gets to play with his handler, Officer Eric Wallace, Rico’s favorite toy, a piece of PVC pipe.The two demonstrated how Rico locates narcotics at Bellevue's Health & Safety Day event on Sunday.

One of the many demonstrations at Bellevue’s Health & Safety Day on Sunday featured Ohio Township Police Officer Eric Wallace and the department’s K-9 cop, Rico. Pictured here, the Belgian Malinois indicates he has located narcotics by sitting still at the exact spot drugs were hidden in the 9-1-1 van for purposes of the demonstration.

Avonworth’s top grads are salutatorian George Liang and valedictorian Samuel Werley. George, the son of Wei Jun and Kiu Zhu Liang of Emsworth, will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Samuel, the son of Michael & Lynn Werley of Ben Avon, will attend Miami University of Ohio.

The A.W. Beattie Career Center has named Avonworth senior John Thomas Weingartner the Class of 2013 salutatorian for his achievement in computer systems technology classes over the past three years. The son of John and Sharon Weingartner of Kilbuck Township, John will study information systems at Robert Morris University, where he has been awarded a $40,000 scholarship.

Northgate High School’s top graduates are valedictorian Susie Byrd, daughter of Charlene and Edward Byrd of Bellevue, who will study economics at Marshall University next fall; and salutatorian Rachael Robertson, daughter of Jenn and Jim Robertson of Bellevue, who will study environmental science at Allegheny College.

Top Readers at Bellevue Elementary School helped the school score an amazing 20,580 points in the past year’s accelerated reading program run by teacher Lynn Tennant Heffley. Pictured above from left are the top readers in each class.

The Avonworth-Northgate track and field team continues to maintain its stride this season, again placing first in a tri-meet that saw both the girls' and the boys' teams winning against Rochester and Vincentian high schools earlier this week. Pictured above, Hasan Salih is on his way to first place in the boys' 300 meter intermediate hurdles. Despite a tumble on the final hurdle of the race, the Rochester runner took second, with AN’s Shaquil Knight in Lane 2 placing third and Tyler Boston coming on in the background.

Volunteers who helped haul trash and unload vehicles that arrived at the Dumpster Day collection site in Avalon included a large group from Northgate High School, both students and teachers, pictured above. Volunteers also included several elected officials, including Tom Lloyd, Josh Klicker and John Vetterly from Avalon Council, and Linda Woshner, Jane Braunlich, Lynn Tennant Heffley and Jim Viscusi from Bellevue Council.

A group of pets will be breathing a little easier in 2013 after being given another chance at adoption as part of Animal Friends’ New Year’s Eve rescue.

The annual event saves dozens of animals who had been housed in shelters throughout Western Pennsylvania that are not no-kill, as is the Animal Friends shelter on Camp Horne Road in Ohio Township.

Avonworth-Northgate wrestler Khalil Condron wins with a first period pin against his Central Valley opponent.

The Avonworth-Northgate wrestling team came close to upsetting a strong Central Valley High School squad, losing 39-37, due mainly to forfeitures in unfilled weight categories.

Northgate's middle school chorus and high school concert choir will present their holiday concert, "When Christmas Comes to Town," on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, with admission free to the public. Pictured above are: back row -- Raju Gurung, Briana Roman, Ron Manuel, Rachel Rieg, Colby Simpson, Jena Michael; middle row -- Devin Sbraccia, Amanda Woollard, Tommy Thomas, Jessica Obriot, Jacob DeWalt, Madison Conley, Sam Sesti, Sara Hopkins; front row -- Nicole Barton, Chase Dermond, Lauren McNeil, Jeremy McCawley, Sabrina Patak, D. J. Powers, Justine Barry.

Frazier Hoak of Bellevue ran into a vampire dog at the Fall Festival.

The Avonworth girls’ volleyball team’s post-season play season ended this past Wednesday with a loss to Serra Catholic, three sets to one. Despite playing without key senior Mariah Eck, sidelined with a concussion, the players put up a strong fight, posting close scores in all of the lost sets. Pictured at left is junior Katie Pendrak hitting in the middle, with back-up from Taylor Jenkins, Rachel Turnbull, Abby Turnbull and Olivia London.