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Past News:

2015-2016 NEWS:

PIAA Track and Field State Championships
by: Mr. Veshioby:

Championship meet at Shippensburg University. As a testament to their hard work and talent, every single one of them was great enough to walk away with a top-8 medal. That’s top-8 IN THE STATE. Here's a recap of the historic weekend.

The girls 2-mile relay team roared out of the gates Saturday morning to capture 3rd place bronze medals. The team, with members Jenna Gobrecht, Rachel Gaugler, Megan Wisniewski and Kayley Wisniewski, broke a school record with a time that ranks 3rd fastest in WPIAL AA history!

Hunter Robinson of Avonworth staked her claim as one of the toughest sprinters in the state by medaling in three individual events. She brought home the program’s first state championship in the past 2 decades by winning the 400 meter dash, lowering her own school record with a time that ranks as the 3rd fastest in WPIAL AA history. She showed her range as a sprinter by capturing two 3rd place bronze medals in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, lowering her own school record in the 200 in the process. Sister Hayden Robinson’s freshman year ended with an individual silver medal. She blasted to 2nd place in the finals of the 100 meter dash with a wicked jump out of the blocks.

Megan and Kayley also tag-teamed with Avonworth’s Robinson sisters and wowed the many thousands in attendance at Shippensburg to grab 2nd place silver medals in the mile relay, running the 2nd fastest time in WPIAL AA history!

Megan earned a 3rd medal to cap a stellar freshman campaign, battling a very fast field to snag an individual 6th place medal in the half-mile.

Most impressively, the girls team together placed in so many events at such a high level that they scored the second most points in the state and were awarded the PIAA State Championship team runner-up trophy, the first team trophy a Northgate team has been awarded in over 30 years!

For the boys, the 2-mile relay team consisting of Kenny Azzarello, Danny Bonnett, Tyler Wisniewski and Kenny Baurle matched the girls team with 3rd place bronze medals, shattering a legendary 35 year-old school record in the process. Kenny Azzarello and Rodney Burrow, along with Avonworth students Noah Clickett and Kenny Baurle also grabbed 6th place medals as members of the mile relay team, which also lowered their own school record. Kenny Baurle became the most decorated athlete in the program’s history, earning a 6th place medal in the 400 meter dash.

To be one of the best 8 in the state and earn a state medal is an unbelievably difficult accomplishment to achieve, having to prove yourself in multiple races over the course of two days. Yet every one of these athletes did so, and represented our school incredibly well. 22 total medals, 6 school records, an individual state championship and a team runner-up trophy – hard proof that the Avonworth/Northgate track & field teams are some of the best in the state. Please congratulate all of these athletes for a stellar finish to their season!

Elementary Career Day
By: Miss Trimber

On May 4, a Career Day was held for Avalon and Bellevue 5th and 6th grade students. The morning activities were at Bellevue Elementary and presentations were given by Northgate High School students and Bettie Technical Career Center staff. The purpose of Career Day was to expose students to possible career options offered at Bettie Technical Center and to spark up interests in a possible career paths. Clifton Bossong, coordinator of the program at Beattie, devised a schedule so the students could rotate through different stations throughout the school.

Mr. Bossong started off the morning with a Power Point presentation titled: “Your Pathway to Your Future by Stepping Up to Success” The students got to listen and participate in demonstrations on Health Science, Auto Body Repair, Emergency Response Technology and Robotics/Programming. Many students enjoyed the Robotics/Programming demonstration where a robot was programmed to dance and speak to the audience. The Emergency Response Technology presentation was also a hit, allowing students to dress up as firefighters and use the equipment.

In the afternoon, the 5th and 6th graders were back in their respective buildings. They had the opportunity to listen to speakers: Amanda Laichak Director of Education at Junior Achievement and Jason Fincke from The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania. Ms Laichak’s Power Point presentation was titled: “A Long and Winding Journey Home: Landing a Career Path of Passion”. Mr. Fincke talked about all the trades that deal with building and construction. Overall the students had an enlightening and positive experience that will build their enthusiasm for picking a future career.

Student Testimonials:
Kirsten Abbott 6th grade Avalon: "The most interesting part about today was when the robot was dancing, it was really funny. I liked the part where you got to paint."

Andrew Heeter 6th grade Bellevue: "What I liked most about Career Day was the robot presentation, because it wasn't something you see every day. It was something new and interesting. I already wanted to be a mechanical engineer and now I want to be one even more and to be able to construct such an advanced machine. That is what I liked most about Career Day."

Isabella Uccellini 6th Grade Bellevue: I liked Career Day a lot because the Beattie people had a lot to offer. I especially liked the virtual reality headset, I had only experienced that once. I also liked the pharmacy tech, with the sugar crush, the nursing was awesome, and the three D heart was just unreal. That is what I liked about Career Day.

Middle School Students Participate in a Science Olympiad
by: Stephanie Francis
The Northgate Middle School participated in the Science Olympiad this spring. The Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving K-12 science education by increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.

Students participated in a team-building afternoon on April 28, 2016. Students worked with assigned teammates, signed up for events and participated in team-building activities. The Science Olympiad event day took place on May 13 and was a day full of STEM and STEAM activities facilitated by the middle school teaching staff and high school student volunteers. At the end of the day, there was a presentation and awards ceremony to recognize the best performances of the day.

This event was made possible by a grant from the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Society of approximately $400.

High School Spanish Annual Piñata Contest
by: Senor Bichko
The month of May marks an annual tradition for the Northgate high school upper-level Spanish class. In conjunction with the celebration of the Mexican holiday known as "Cinco de Mayo", the Spanish III and IV students design and create piñatas. Piñatas are a traditional decoration for all types of Mexican celebrations. The students spend time in class learning about the steps to construct a piñata from Señor Bichko, who has over 18 years of experience in piñata making. From the first strips of old newspaper dipped in glue to the construction paper sourced finishing details, the students become enthralled with a traditional aspect of Mexican culture for a few weeks. When the last piñata is hung from the classroom ceiling, the other classes of Spanish students vote for their favorite piñata with hopes that it will be awarded the blue ribbon in the annual piñata making competition. The 2016 winner is "Stitch" by Alyssa Lambo. This years' entries were all very well done and demonstrated mastery of the piñata making techniques. Other entries included: "Deadpool" by Joe Walsh, "Shadow" by Alex DiCaprio, "House Cat" by Luisa Valeriano, "Emoji" by Caleb Turner, "Yoda" by Cassady Thornton, and "Hog Rider/Mr. T" by Owyn Kolsosky.


WPIAL Track Individual Finals
"At the WPIAL Individual Championships, the Avonworth/Northgate track & field teams put on a show and delivered some all time performances on the track, proving once again why they are still one of the best squads in Western PA.

The boy’s team had some legendary races. The 2-mile relay consisting of Kenny Azzarello, Tyler Wisniewski, Danny Bonnett and Kenny Baurle, ran to a 1st place WPIAL championship! Kenny Baurle then ran the 400 meter dash and blew away the field by more than a second with a huge season best time to win his 2nd WPIAL championship! Tyler and Kenny Azzarello also grabbed 6th and 7th place medals in the open 800 meter. In the last race of the night, the mile relay, even with a great start by Noah Clickett and a strong second leg by Kenny Azzarello, the team found itself at the back of the pack when Kenny Baurle got the baton. He turned on the afterburners and flagged down all 7 other teams on his leg of the relay in heroic fashion, with Rodney Burrow sealing the deal and getting the team to a 3rd place finish and setting an all-time team record!

The girls, though, had the crowd at Baldwin at their feet throughout the day. Jenna Gobrecht, Megan Wisniewski, Kayley Wisniewski and Rachel Gaugler powered the girls’ 2-mile relay to 2nd place medals and a spot at states. Megan, Kayley and Rachel all grabbed medals in the 800 meter run, placing 3rd, 7th and 8th respectively. The gold medals, though, came in the sprints. In the 100 meter dash, Hayden Robinson just edged sister Hunter at the line for the WPIAL Championship win; with both girls running fantastic times that rank in the WPIAL all-time top 5! Hunter got revenge in the 200, smashing her own school record and the previous WPIAL record coming in 2nd and Hayden in 3rd. Hunter finally found gold in the 400, destroying the WPIAL record by more than a second and will be the odds-on favorite going into the state meet. The sister act of Wisniewski and Robinson saved the real drama for last. In the mile relay, Hunter's lead off leg blasted the team to a commanding lead ahead of 2nd place Beaver, with Megan and Kayley running excellent 2nd and 3rd legs. But the team from Beaver fought its way back, with their anchor leg finally pulling up next to Hayden with 80 meters to go. Hayden wowed the crowd by pulling away and getting her and Hunter another 1st place gold medal, coming within 2 tenths of a second from the WPIAL record! All-in-all, it was a meet for the ages, but these athletes aren't done yet - they will all compete in the State Championship at Shippensburg University - wish them luck!"


Avalon Fourth Grade Goes to Inventionland
by: Miss Trimber
On May 2 the fourth grade students at Avalon Elementary School took a field trip to Inventionland in RIDC Park. Inventionland is America’s largest invention factory, where corporations, retailers and inventors come for their innovative new products. Creationeers at Inventionland work in 16 unique themed sets, such as shipwrecked pirate ship, faux cave, tree house, pet shack, giant shoe, cupcake kitchen, giant robot and a castle complete with turrets and drawbridge. The inspiring setting includes three running waterfalls, life-like trees, butterflies and grass lined sidewalks. The students learned about some great inventors, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and the creator of the company, George Davison. After learning about these inventors a secret sliding bookcase revealed the wonderful world of Inventionland. They then proceeded to take a tour of the facility which included learning about all the products that had been developed at Inventionland. At one stop on the tour the students viewed a video of the inventor of the Bike Board. At the conclusion of the tour the students were enriched by what they had learned and ready to take back to school their enthusiasm for inventing and creating new ideas in the classroom!

Inventionland Virtual Tour Click Here


Senior Auction and Prom Court
by: Mrs. Schwemmer
On Tuesday, May 10 the annual Senior Auction and Prom Court Skits took place in the High School Auditorium. The Senior Auction, which is one of Northgate’s most beloved traditions, took in $914 to help fundraise for the Prom. Mrs. Smith, Mr. Hogle, Mrs. Francis, Ms. Dohl, Mr. Craycraft, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Kyle stepped up to the plate to get a pie in the face. Grades 7-12 also enjoyed the Disney themed skits performed by the Homecoming Court to select the 2016 Prom Court. Court members are Danny Bonnett, Tyler Boston, Rodney Burron, Jacob Fisher, Jarred Jackson, Chad Kolarik, Justin Langston, Peter Lossing, Ryan McNeil, Xavier Rowsey, and Joe Walsh. Grades 9-12 voted for the Prom King and the gentlemen will find out on Friday night at the Prom who the King and Prince are. The Senior Student Council wants to express an extra thank you to Mr. Berwick and Mrs. Smith for being the auctioneers and to the AV crew for their spectacular work led by Mr. Smith and senior Lizzy Booth.


Accelerated Reader Contest Winners!!
by: Mrs. Schwemmer
The top 40 students reading for the Accelerated Reader contest in grade 7th and 8th will attend a fun day at the Carnegie Science Center on May 9. The top reader in 7th grade is Maura Dougherty (27 books read this school year) and the top reader in 8th grade is Luke Vangenewitt (22 books read this school year). Each winner will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to Best Buy. Individual Reading and English teachers in the middle school support this program and they provide additional classroom incentives.

We are also happy to have community support from McDonald’s and Wendy’s by providing food gift certificates for our students.

Congratulations students!
• Maura Dougherty -
       27 books read this school year (442.6 points)
• Adam Barrett
• Isabella Kirk
• Hayden Marous
• Allison Blenk
• Kenny Legler
• Michael Zieger
• Callia Barie
• Adelynn Weaver
• Brayden Dorsch
• Caroline Michalow
• Sara Thomas
• Kevin Blenk
• Gage Watson
• Haylee Oravitz
• Anthony Gold
• Peyton Abramowicz
• Grace Amick
• Sean Fedosick
• Luke Vangenewitt -
       22 books read this school year for a total of (330.7 points)
• Paul Baldauff
• Dana Beattie
• Alec Likens
• Lucas Antkiewicz
• Zoe Halpate
• Kassandra Streb
• Olivia Wanat
• Angelina Lawhead
• Jared Fedosick
• Evelyn Biber
• Alexander Sawicki
• Lugracia Manibusan
• Autumn Annan
• Ryan McFarland
• Joe Popendieker
• Nate O’Mara
• Deja Thomas-Dickerson
• Hailey McClain
• Vincent Froehlich
• Depsika Darji


Food Bank Collection Challenge
by: Miss Trimber

Avalon and Bellevue Elementary School students were challenged to collect food items for the North Hills Community Outreach Food Pantry. There were ten laundry baskets filled with non perishable foods worth around $400. The baskets were delivered to NHCO at the AGH Suburban Campus in Bellevue. The floors that collected the most food items were given a reward of “ Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae”. At Avalon, the classrooms on the first floor: Mrs. Nusskern, Miss Anderson, Mrs. Persson, Mrs. McCarthy, Mr. Hurley, Mrs. Borza, Mrs. Maxwell, and Miss Auth, were the winners. At Bellevue, the classrooms on the third floor: Mr. Hoffman, Mrs. Knable, Mr. Ewing and Mr. McDevitt were the winners. In the end, all of the students were winners because they learned how to practice kindness for others in their community. Congratulations and thank-you to all the students who brought in donations.

Juniors take advantage  of 20Time

The 20Time Project as described by Laura Randazzo:

In today’s business world, we need innovative thinkers who have a passionate drive to solve some incredibly complex problems. Forward-thinking companies know the value of encouraging workers to pursue personally meaningful projects as they exercise their critical thinking skills and create exciting new products to improve life (and the bottom line). At 3M, for instance, workers are given 15 percent of their time to pursue personal projects. One result of this program? Post-It Notes, one of the company’s best-selling items. At Google, engineers are given 20 percent release time and encouragement to pursue fresh ideas that will benefit the company. One impressive result? Gmail.

The value of intrinsic motivation in learning and achievement cannot be overstated. During 20Time, though, I will guide, model, and hopefully inspire your student to find joy in wrangling with a challenge where there is no single “right” answer.”

During Ms. Wells’ English 11 classes, students have embarked on 20Time projects of their own design. Currently in week two, students have begun to write motivational short stories about hope, create business designs for fly fishing and quick henna parties, investigate and create after high school plans, write resumes and put together art portfolios, and address environmental concerns in our own back yard.
Students will spend every Thursday working on their projects. The final presentation of the project will be on May 26th, but the value of the self-directed and paced work is in the progress toward completion. Some projects might not work or ever be completed, but that is true of all endeavors. Throughout this project, students will be tasked with interviewing, filming, approaching businesses and leaders, and working with individuals from outside the district. I am anxious to see them flourish, persevere, and step outside their comfort zone as we prepare them for life after high school.

Please check back for updates. Thank you for your support of our students and our school!


High School Concert Choir and Middle School Chorus News
by Mrs. Winovich
Sarah Reid performed The National Anthem for select WPIAL Soccer and Basketball Tournaments throughout the year. She represented our School District with great pride and the positive feedback received was tremendous. These were incredible opportunities for Sarah and she thanks Jim Collins from the WPIAL, Mr. Kyle, and Mrs. Winovich for vocal coaching her to success.

Gillian Elliott and Jessie Roos were selected as Junior Rotarians for the 2015-2016 School Year. Gillian, Jessie, Lauren Kennelly, and Mrs. Winovich all attended the Ethics Symposium at Duquesne University (sponsored by Rotary International). It was an informative day and overall rewarding experience for everyone. We look forward to Northgate attending this special event next year. We would like to thank The North Borough's Rotary Club for their continued support of our Choral Program.

The Combined Choirs performed beautifully at the Music In Our Schools/Arts Odyssey Event. The students sang various music from the wonderful world of Walt Disney. By the audience's response, they enjoyed hearing favorite songs from the favorite classic movies that inspire the child in all of us!

Our Annual Spring Performance, The Power of Song, will be held on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 PM in the High School Auditorium. We will be performing a variety of styles of music for your listening enjoyment. (Admission is free to the public.) We hope you may attend this "must-see" Event!

Conner Powers successfully competed in The Cheerleading World Championships held at Walt Disney World on April 23rd-25th. He proudly represented Fire and Ice Hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Northgate Concert Choir, One Voice Member, and Soloist, Laela Lumsden recently experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. Laela was fortunate to perform in front of Academy Award-Winning Actor, Denzel Washington, while in Pittsburgh filming the movie, "Fences." Denzel was complimentary and engaged in conversation with Laela and additional young people, graciously taking a photo to capture this special moment.

Mrs. Winovich has been selected for the 4th consecutive year as a quarterfinalist for The Grammy Awards Music Educator of the Year. This year, she has also received the prestigious honor of being chosen as "Grammy Legacy." Mrs. Winovich is grateful to The Grammy Foundation for promoting the significance of Arts Education in schools across the nation, and for this special recognition.


Future Chef Contest
by Mrs. Julianne Griffin-Food Services

Elementary students from Avalon and Bellevue learned the importance of healthy eating while honing in on their culinary skills thanks to student nutrition provider Sodexo and their Future Chefs: Healthy Breakfast Challenge. The national program, which is in its fifth year and part of Sodexo’s commitment to promoting well-being in support of achievement, was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices. Students took on the challenge by submitting thirty-eight healthy breakfast recipes that were judged on: Originality, kid friendly, ease of preparation and healthy attributes. Of the thirty-eight students, five challengers were chosen; Faith Boyce making her Fruity Fortress, Bella Hankinson making her Breakfast Lasagna, Olivia Rajakovic and her O’s Bagelos, Kaylee Stewart and her Breakfast Rap, and Lily Weaver and her Healthy Fruit and Oat Smoothie. The five finalists had to prepare and present their creations before a panel of celebrity judges that included Mrs. Nancy Silay, and Chefs Sean Conley and Mike Cope owners of Tallulah’s Catering in Etna.

Judges talked with each finalist and tasted samples of their healthy breakfast recipe. Once all the judging was completed one winner remained; Bella and her Breakfast Lasagna. Bella received a Fit Bit and a basket of cooking utensils donated by Sodexo. Bella’s recipe was submitted to the regional competition. All five finalists received a chef hat, medals and a cookbook. Congratulations to all those who participated and many thanks to those who made this event a success.


Be There Award Winner – Miss Trimber!!!!! 
Miss Trimber, Avalon and Bellevue Guidance Counselor, was chosen as one of the very selective Be There Award winners for her incredible work with the attendance program in the elementary school buildings. There were over 45 incredible nominations but Miss Trimber’s hard work stood out and she was a quick choice to be recognized and chosen for her unwavering dedication to the program. The Northgate family is incredibly proud of Miss Trimber for earning this reward and for her devotion to all of the elementary students.

February Attendance Challenge Reward Day
by: Miss Trimber

On March 3rd at Bellevue and March 4that Avalon Elementary Schools, students who met the February Attendance Challenge of not missing school, were rewarded with a video game day in the gymnasium. This reward was made available by the company GameOn , which provided race car driving, Mario Cart and Just Dance for the students enjoyment. The reward was made possible by the financial support of Mrs. Janice Miller Stein, owner of Miller Funeral Home, and District Magistrate Tara Smith. They have supported attendance initiatives at Avalon and Bellevue Elementary schools the last two years. The students and staff are very appreciative of their support!

Many elementary students have been working hard this year to get perfect attendance every month. Each month that is not an attendance challenge, students are rewarded by having their names announced and also receive a small prize. Overall homeroom attendance counts too, each month the homeroom with the overall best attendance earns the traveling trophy and each student receives a small treat.
Attendance awareness has risen dramatically with the elementary student body. Many students are very enthusiastic about the recognition they receive when they achieve perfect attendance for the month. We would like to again thank Mrs. Janice Miller Stein and District Magistrate Tara Smith for their ongoing support.


Pi Day
by Mr. Ewing
The sixth graders celebrated "pi day" Monday, 3/14 by reading the "Sir Cumference" book series, measuring circular objects to calculate pi, ate circular foods, and competed in our memorization challenge. This year's sixth grade memorized an amazing grand total of 1,577 digits of pi, showing that memorizing digits is as easy as pi. Our individual school record was broken. Twice! Sanjit Darji first broke the previous record by reciting 250 digits! Brendan King broke that record an hour later by reciting an unheard of 318 digits! Congratulations to all the students that participated!

Northgate Forensics Sponsored Their First Tournament
by Mrs. Gusew
The Northgate Forensics Team hosted their first tournament on February 20th, at the Middle/High School. A total of sixteen teams from the surrounding area, about 300 students and staff, came and competed. Northgate did very well receiving a total of five 1st place ribbons, seven 2nd place ribbons, and eight 3rd place ribbons. We have so many people to thank for making this event possible; the PTOs from both elementary schools for selling food at the event, the custodial staff who prepared the building and cleaned up after, Sodexo for donating a portion of the food that was provided for the judges, numerous Middle/High School students that volunteered their Saturday morning to act as hall runners, and our forensic parents that helped with countless tasks throughout the morning. Everyone did a great job representing Northgate and making this event a tremendous success.

Swim Teams Post Top-10 Finishes at WPIAL Championships, Earn Spots at States
by Rick Wagner (Avonworth Parent)
The Boys and Girls Swim Teams continued their record setting season by finishing in Top-10 at last week’s WPIAL Championships held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Hall. Overall, the Girls finished 8th out of 34 teams and the Boys finished 10th out of 35 teams.

The Girls team was led by Freshman Karen Siddoway who finished 3rd overall in the 100 Freestyle and 4th overall in the 50 Freestyle, posting Team Record times in both events. Junior Anna Wagner finished 11th in the 200 Freestyle and 18th in the 500 Freestyle and Junior Maura Scrabis finished 14th in 100 Freestyle and 17th in the 50 Freestyle. Siddoway, Wagner and Scrabis teamed up with Freshman Bri Nowka to take 4th place in the 400 Freestyle Relay. In the 200 Medley Relay, Siddoway, Wagner, Scrabis and Sophomore Ava Groll took 6th Place. Both Relays set new team record times. In the 200 Freestyle Relay Nowka along with Senior Becca Volk, Sophomore Ava Groll and Freshman Marion Haney finished in 15th place.

For the Boys, Freshman Aidan Sommers finished in 5th in the 100 Backstroke and 11th in the 200 Individual Medley setting Team Records in both events. Senior Brach Herzig finished 12th in the 50 Freestyle and 16th in the 100 Backstroke. Sophomore Zech Boyce finished 12 in the 100 Butterfly and 19th in the 100 Freestyle. Sophomore Nick Madey took 13th in the 100 Butterfly and 17th in the 200 Individual Medley. Senior Stephen McClain finished 31st in the 100 Butterfly and Junior Quinn Theobald took 32nd in the 200 Freestyle. In the Relay events Sommers, Herzig, Boyce and Madey teamed-up to take 6th in the 400 Freestyle Relay and 7th in the 200 Medley Relay setting Team Records in both events. In the 200 Freestyle Relay the team of Theobald, Senior Chad Kolarik and Juniors Anders Ove and Tucker Yovetich finished 22nd.

Based on these performances several members of the team have qualified to participate in the PIAA State Championships Meet that will be held on March 16-19 at Bucknell University. In the individual events, Karen Siddoway qualified in the 50 Freestyle and 100 Freestyle and Aidan Sommers qualified in the 100 Backstroke and 200 Individual Medley. The Girls 400 Freestyle Relay team of Karen Siddoway, Anna Wagner, Maura Scrabis and Bri Nowka also qualified for the PIAA meet. Two additional Relays, the Boys 400 Freestyle Relay of Aidan Sommers, Nick Madey, Zech Boyce and Brach Herzig and the Girls 200 Medley Relay of Ava Groll, Maura Scrabis, Karen Siddoway and Anna Wagner, are listed as Alternates for the State Meet and will compete if other teams are unable to participate.

Congratulations to all of our swimmers and good luck at States!

Past Swim Stories:

Swim Team Prepares for WPIAL Championships


Swimmers Post WPIAL Times, Set Team Records at Qualifying Meets


Senior Swimmers Shine In Final Home Victory Against Cornell

Forensics Team 2015-2016
by: Miss Trimber
The Forensics team attended a forensics tournament at Eastside Catholic. The students who participated from all of the schools are: Elisabeth Scanlon, Simon Tracy, Kevin Carroll, Cheyenne Benner, Marqee Taylor, Molly Heeter, Keifer Carroll, Riley Carroll, Cheyenne Gregor, Nadia McLellan, Bella Kirk, Teltexte Manibusan, Mia Rucker, Ally Blenk, Lucy Ishiyama, and Melanie Reese. Our students did an incredible job of being both professional and respectful during their time at Eastside Catholic. Their performance was excellent and it shows in the number of ribbons received. We received a total of eighteen ribbons: four 1st place, six 2nd place, and eight 3rd place. A special thank you goes to the parents that provided breakfast for the team before the tournament, it was delicious.

Pittsburgh Penguins Visit Avalon Elementary to Support STEM project
by: Avalon Staff Memebers
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 was an exciting day at Avalon Elementary when the K-6 students received a visit from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The big surprise was when Penguin forwards Beau Bennett, Eric Fehr and Nick Bonino stepped out amid a cheering Avalon Elementary Auditorium to support the Future Goals STEM project. This project has been introduced into the 6th grade science curriculum by Mrs.Sherrill Farmer. “Future Goals” is a joint effort of the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association, established in 2014. The program’s “Hockey Scholar” course uses hockey-related themes to help students learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Players interacted with students in the computer lab, discussing what kind of lesson(modules) they were working on and how the “Hockey Scholar” program was helping them learn. The players offered several students assistance in answering hockey questions. Penguin Eric Fehr could be heard commenting, “I learned some things about hockey today.” “It was a great experience,” Fehr said. “There were some tricky questions and every kid was working on something different. Some of the kids weren’t trusting me on the multiple choice questions. They weren't quite sure if I was right.”

Following the computer lab visit, the players joined the entire Avalon student body, K-6, in the auditorium for an assembly. A video, produced by the Pittsburgh Penguins, about the relationships of STEM to hockey began the assembly. Following the video, Iceberg warmed up the crowd for the surprise entrance of Fehr, Bennett and Bonino. Once on stage, the 6th grade students peppered the players with variety of questions related topics in the “Hockey Scholar” program.

Sixth grader Lamiaya Fields asked forward Nick Bonino, “How do you fuel your body differently for practice than for a game? What is your favorite pre-game meal?” Bonino responded, “The players are well fed, for morning practices the Penguins have a chef on staff that will prepare them eggs, pancakes and other breakfast treats.” Bonino also responded about his favorite pre-game meal saying, “Most hockey players are very superstitious and will eat the same thing prior to every game.” His favorite pregame meal is a pasta dish with chicken and Alfredo sauce.
Marissa McCalister asked Beau Bennett “What’s your favorite hockey memory, both growing up and in the NHL?” Bennett responded that his favorite NHL hockey memory is scoring on his first shift and first shot in a 2013 playoff game against the New York Islanders.

Following the question section of the assembly, the Penguins hosted a hockey trivia game. The emcee had Iceberg randomly select students, from virtually every grade level in the crowd. Students were given an autographed hockey puck when they were able to answer correctly, which they all did. The assembly concluded with a group photo and a “LET’S GO PENS” chant to send off the players.

Thank you to the Pittsburgh Penguins, EverFi and Mrs. Sherrill Farmer for sponsoring this wonderful assembly for Avalon’s K-6 students.

CLICK HERE to see what the Penguins have on their websites about their trips to Avalon!



Mrs. Francis' Science Class Gets A Visitor
by: Mrs. Francis
Amy Gross, a representative from ALCOSAN visited Mrs. Francis' seventh grade science class on Monday, February 22nd to kick off National Engineers Week. Ms. Gross discussed the engineering design process and how it is similar to the scientific method. She also discussed the different types of engineers that ALCOSAN employs and the benefits of choosing engineering as a profession. Students then participated in a building challenge complete with engineering constraints representative of those engineers face on a daily basis.

Avalon and Bellevue Elementary February Attendance Challenge
by: Miss Trimber
Bellevue and Avalon Elementary Schools hosted a breakfast to kick off the February Attendance Challenge on January 28th (Bellevue) and 29th (Avalon). Parents, students and staff mingled as they enjoyed a light breakfast. Door prizes were also awarded to Hayden Cobbs in Mr. Hoffman’s 3rd grade class - Bellevue Elementary and Darius Fields in Mrs. Maxwell’s 3rd grade class - Avalon Elementary . Students are challenged to not miss a day of school in February. All eligible students will have the opportunity to attend a reward day that will be held on Wednesday, March 3rd (Bellevue) and Friday, March 4th (Avalon). The reward will be presented by Game On, a video game company. The elementary schools are collaborating with the United Way, learning that good attendance is essential to becoming successful a student.

Elementary Valentine's Dance
by: Julie Helbling (Parent)

On Thursday Feb 11th, the Bellevue Elementary 6th Grade Parent’s Committee hosted a Valentine's Day Dance as a fundraiser for the Bellevue Elementary 6th grade trip to Washington DC in May. Bellevue and Avalon 5th and 6th grade students were invited to the dance and had a blast. We would like to give a huge thank you to Kuhn's for donating the ice cream and cones and The Muddy Cup and Good L'Oven Cookies for donating prizes for the contests. This was an extremely successful event and we are elated that both schools supported the cause.


Pitt Mobile Science Lab Comes to Avalon and Bellevue Elementary Schools!
by: Miss Trimber

On January 21 at Bellevue Elementary School and January 22 at Avalon Elementary School, students welcomed the Pitt Mobile Science Lab. This University of Pittsburgh program brings educational science experiments to schools and community events throughout the Western Pennsylvania Region. Equipped with state-of-the-art features, the Mobile Science Lab contains twenty-six workstations and customized equipment. Students in grades fourth through sixth utilized their analytical skills in the Forensic Science Program, where they learned many scientific concepts including bone anatomy, finger print pattern classification, and memory skills. The students and teachers were appreciative of the opportunity and a good time was had by all!



Visiting Artist at Northgate!!!
Written by Senior Art Student Paul Boyce
Visiting Artist at Northgate!!! Ms. Zegarelli’s afternoon art classes were honored to be visited by the very skilled artist, Mr. Robert Huckestein earlier this week. Mr. Huckestein, a retired engineer, is a local Bellevue resident who always had a passion for the arts. His wonderfully realistic oil paintings have traveled internationally to be displayed and sold. He also has work on permanent display at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, as they purchased one of Mr. Huckestein's paintings.
The students were able to watch Mr. Huckestein on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as he painted a portrait of talented Northgate art student, Josie Freeman . They were able to view the extensive process involved in the creation of a masterpiece and watch the portrait come to life in front of them. Mr. Huckestein's positive, friendly attitude, along with his artistic skill enthralled the students. Urging the class to ask questions, Mr. Huckestein shared about his past, explained his techniques and his passion for art. During the demonstration, students also were able to view a few of Mr. Huckestein's finished works, including a pencil drawing, landscapes and portraits. Cailyn Sias, an advanced art student said of the experience; “It was great. Watching how he painted gave me new ideas. It has inspired me to keep at it.” We are so thankful that Mr. Huckestein shared his time and talent with us

Allegheny Rotary Club Donates Dictionaries to 3rd Graders
by: Mrs. Maxwell
What is the definition of the word “grateful?” In January, it means “Northgate Third Graders!” This month, the Northern Allegheny Rotary Club generously donated brand new dictionaries to each third grade student at both Avalon and Bellevue Elementary Schools. The Rotary Club has a long national and local history of performing valuable community services, focused on educational and developmental opportunities for America's youth. Part of this history includes donating dictionaries to school students. At ceremonies held at both schools on January 15, 2016, this proud tradition continued. Lead by Mr. Ted Meinert (husband of retired Northgate instructor Judy Meinert), the Northern Allegheny Rotary Club presented a new copy of “A Student's Dictionary” to each Avalon and Bellevue third grade student, while emphasizing the importance of service to our communities. Our third graders get to keep these dictionaries for their own, and will find them to be valuable resources for their weekly spelling assignments, which emphasize the use of challenging new words in sentences that they compose.

Alumni Basketball Fundraiser
by: Jen McWilliams (school board memeber)

An Alumni game was held and hosted by the Northgate Girls basketball team on Saturday, January 16th. Fans filled the stands to cheer on Northgate graduates ranging from 1990-2010 for an eventful game, which lead to overtime and finally a shootout. The "older" team won with a score of 72-71. Team coaches were Anthony Barron and assistant Tiffany with a total of 22 players. A total of $750 was raised during the event to support the Northgate Flames Girls Basketball Team. A rematch is certain in the future!

Dec/Jan A.W. Beattie Student of the Month
Four Northgate Students made the A.W. Beattie Career Center student of the month for Dec/Jan. They were

  *  Corey Muller in the Advanced Computer Programming Program
  *  Shane Atkins - in the Agile Robotics Program
  *  Michael Persia  in the Automotive Collision Technology Program
  *  Timothy Aubel in the Network Engineering Technology Program

Congratulations and keep up the hard work! You make Northgate proud!!!

Click Here for a complete list of students

French Club
by: Ms. Cromer

The French Club made REAL Macaron cookies in December. With the help of Mrs. Weryha, we made several batches of these delicious French treats.

In January, French club will be volunteering to teach French after school to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, and in February we will be teaching at Avalon.

Avalon French Club Information

Bellevue French Club Information

Looking ahead to March, Mme Cromer is traveling to France with a small group of students and parents. The NEXT French trip is already scheduled for November 2017--email if you are interested in the details!

Chemistry Fun For Christmas
by: Mrs. Boring

Mrs. Boring and the Academic Chemistry students have been learning about certain metals and their oxidation process. On December 16 and 17 they used this knowledge to design and handcraft Christmas ornaments. They oxidized the desired metals and decorated with ribbon, tulle, jingle bells, etc to ring in the holiday. Check out the pictures to see the awesome creations that our Northgate students made.


3rd Grade Sings for Avalon Tree Lighting
by: Mrs. Maxwell

The third grade classes at Avalon Elementary sang at the Avalon Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 12th. They practiced a variety of songs for several weeks, before lending their voices to celebrate the holidays. Many parents attended the event, as well as Avalon leadership and Santa Claus! Under the direction of Mrs. Maxwell, the children performed many, lively numbers. Miss Auth assisted with this joyous occasion. We hope to make this an annual event!

7th Grade Science
by: Mrs. Francis

Tara Prince from ALCOSAN presented “Eureka! It’s Buoyancy” to Mrs. Francis’ seventh grade science class on November 23, 2015. Archimedes’ Principle states that when something is immersed or surrounded by fluid, it is acted upon by an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid that has been displaced. In this activity, the students utilized Archimedes’ Principle and force sensors to determine how buoyancy affects the weight of objects in water.


Northgate Forensics
by: Mrs. Monohan
The Northgate Forensics team had its first tournament of the school year at Saint Kilian’s School on November 21st. Fifteen students attended the tournament reading pieces from various categories including Prose, Poetry, Impromptu, Declamation, Drama, and one group participated in the Multiple Reading category. Northgate students brought home a total of thirteen ribbons. We had 10 Third place ribbons, 2 Second place ribbons, and 2 First place ribbons overall! Congratulations to the students that participated in the first tournament of this year! Our next tournament is on January 16th at St. Maurice/Eastside Catholic.

Avalon and Bellevue Elementary October Attendance Challenge
by: Miss Trimber

The Avalon and Bellevue Elementary Schools October Attendance Challenge was a huge success! Students who achieved perfect attendance for the month of October were rewarded by attending a Dance Party on November 5th at Bellevue and November 6th at Avalon. Many students enjoyed dancing to the tunes of the Cha Cha Slide, Limbo, The Chicken Dance and many more. There to help out with the Dance Party was Shauna McMillan from the United Way’s “Be There Campaign” to encourage students along with parents that good attendance matters! She raffled off gift certificates from Subway, ITunes, and McDonalds and each student was able to choose a pass to the Pittsburgh Zoo or an Applebee’s Kids Meal certificate to take home with them. The data shows that the Attendance Challenge really worked. Absences for Avalon in October 2014 compared to October 2015 went down by a total of 86 days for that month. Absences for Bellevue in October 2014 compared to October 2015 went down by a total of 130 days for that month. The total enrollment for Avalon in 2014 was 321 students and in 2015 it is 331 students. The total enrollment for Bellevue in 2014 was 329 students and in 2015 it is 322 students.

The following tables break down each school by grade level:
Avalon October 2014 Absences Avalon October 2015 Absences Change
Kindergarten 59 1st Grade 58 Decrease of 1
1st Grade 80 2nd Grade 52 Decrease of 28
2nd Grade 65 3rd Grade 70 Increase of 5
3rd Grade 69 4th Grade 47 Decrease of 22
4th Grade 80 5th Grade 48 Decrease of 32
5th Grade 83 6th Grade 75 Decrease of 8
*This data does not show last year’s 6th grade classes or this year’s kindergarten classes.

Bellevue October 2014 Absences Bellevue October 2015 Absences Change
Kindergarten 47 1st Grade 18 Decrease of 29
1st Grade 79 2nd Grade 38 Decrease of 41
2nd Grade 53 3rd Grade 26 Decrease of 27
3rd Grade 61 4th Grade 34 Decrease of 27
4th Grade 39 5th Grade 30 Decrease of 9
5th Grade 41 6th Grade 55 Increase of 14
*This data does not show last year’s 6th grade classes or this year’s kindergarten classes.

United Way - Be There Bulletin


New To You
By: Mrs. Bernauer
While studying Land and Water in our Science Modules the fourth grade classes created some “Tremendous Trash”. This project was a Fourth Grade Challenge to help reduce waste. The students gathered empty containers such as egg cartons, milk jugs, cans, bottles, food containers, and other materials to reuse. Fourth Grade did an incredible job designing and decorating items to use in a new way. They also wrote a paragraph that described their products in order to convince others to reuse materials in a similar way. Please consider this project our way of reminding us all to
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

French Club
By: Mme Cromer
The French Club is enjoying a busy fall: we recently made "macaron magnets" to look like the famous French macaron cookie. We also volunteered helping with children's games at Bayne Library after the Halloween Parade on October 31. Several members were wearing their new French Club tshirts! French Club meets every other Wednesday at 3 pm in room 214--everyone is welcome, even if they are not currently taking French.

Also, Mme Cromer will be traveling to France and England in the spring with 7 students and 2 parents.

1st Grade -  Big Bad Hair Dryer
Submitted by Mrs. Gusew
After reading stories about the Big Bad Wolf, Mrs. Gusew’s first grade class at Bellevue decided to try to create a house that the “Big Bad Hair Dryer” could not blow down. Students were given a choice of materials with which to build. Working with a partner, students attempted to build a house that could be transported to the “blowing station”. Out of the 8 groups, 2 were unable to complete their houses due to technical issues, 4 “beat” the hair dryer and remained standing and only 2 fell down.

Students learned that the materials to build something strong need to be connected by something (string, play dough, connecting cubes need to be connected). They also found that partner working is a give and take effort. At the end of the day, the students were proud of each other and what they had accomplished.


A.W. Beattie Career Center  Student of the Month
Four Northgate Students made the A.W. Beattie Career Center student of the month for Sept/Oct. They were

  *  Daisy Peterson in the Automotive Technology Program
  *  Samantha Lundy - in the Emergency Response Technology Program
  *  Jean Lynch  in the HVAC Program
  *  Imani Roberts in the Pastry Arts Program

Congratulations and keep up the hard work! You make Northgate proud!!!

Click Here for a complete list of students


National Walk to School Day
Submitted by Mr. Peacock

For the third consecutive year, Avalon and Bellevue Elementary Schools teamed up to participate in the National Walk to School Day to promote pedestrian safety in our community. This year we partnered with Safe Kids, Representative Adam Ravenstal’s office, Dr. Jonathon Kohler, Sodexo, Dietz Floral, and the North Boroughs YMCA.

We started the morning at the YMCA with a healthy breakfast. Each school was led by the High School Band or Chorus and walked to school with their parents and teachers. Once we arrived at the school the band or chorus entertained everyone with great performances.

We would like to thank our community fire and police departments, volunteers and local businesses for their generous donations, as well as, the countless number of students, parents and teachers that participated to make this great event possible and a tremendous success.

Avalon Students Prepare for the Pittsburgh Maker Faire – October 10 & 11
Submitted by Mrs. Klicker, Design Build Team Coach
The Avalon Elementary Design and Build Team has been meeting after school to create “Water Works” projects to exhibit at Maker Faire Pittsburgh. In addition to designing and building their own projects, which will be on display, these fifth and sixth grade students will be facilitating a hands-on exploration station for guests at the Faire.

Maker Faire Pittsburgh is an all-ages festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness – part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! It’s a weekend of exploration, inspiration and fun with more than 200 workshops, performances, speakers and opportunities to learn from exhibitors.

“This is an exciting event and we hope many Northgate families will come visit us at the Faire.” Check it out at
To view details about the Avalon Team, select the ‘Makers’ tab and scroll down to “Water Works”.


Be There- Elementary Attendance
by: Miss Trimber
At Avalon and Bellevue Elementary Schools the students will be participating in an attendance awareness program titled “Be There” an initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County. United Way of Allegheny County and key partners have launched a countywide community school attendance program. The campaign is a partnership effort that focuses on mobilizing school and community providers to meaningfully “Be There” for students and actively support improved school attendance by utilizing positive messages to motivate students and better communicate with families. This program will enhance the Attendance Incentive Program already in place at each elementary building.

On September 15 at Bellevue Elementary and on September 17 at Avalon Elementary there was a kick off assembly to promote “Be There”. An Attendance Pep Rally was held to get the students excited about the Attendance Challenge for the month of October. Attendance skits were performed by the fifth and sixth graders and attendance music videos were shown. At Avalon Elementary a special guest, Iceburgh from Pittsburgh Penguins and college students from Robert Morris University came to cheer the students on!

Any student who does not miss a day of school in October will be able to attend a dance party and we will raffle prizes for the lucky attendees. At the assembly it was announced that there will be two attendance challenges, one for the month of October and one for the month of February.

The students at Avalon and Bellevue Elementary signed an attendance pledge to “Be There” which was hung in and around the school.

At Open House on September 10 parents were encouraged to sign a Parent Pledge to “Be There”. The pledge forms were then entered into a raffle. The prize was gift card for four tickets to the movies along with a bucket of popcorn. At Avalon Elementary the winner was Parent: Christina Gold and child, Jaelyn Gold. At Bellevue Elementary the winner was Parent: Jennifer Melvin and child, Mirielle Haas. Congratulations to these winners!

Ten Ways You Can Support School Attendance and Be There For Your Child!
     • Make attendance a priority for your whole family.
     • Set a regular bed time.
     • Create a morning routine and stick with it.
     • Set out clothes and backpacks the night before.
     • Make back-up plans for getting to school when things come up. Call on a friend, neighbor or family member.
     • Don’t let your child stay home unless he or she is truly sick. Keep in mind that a tummy ache can be a sign
       of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
     • If your child seems anxious talk to teachers, counselors or other parents for advice on how to make them
       feel comfortable and excited about school.
     • Be involved, talk about school every day.
     • Schedule medical appointments and trips around the school day.
     • Join your school’s attendance activities. It shows your child that attendance is important to you too.


Going the Extra Mile!
On Thursday, September 3rd, on behalf of Bellevue Chiropractic Centre, new associate Dr. Bill Walsh and Ms. Bridget Ryan, presented to Dr. Pasquerilla an abundance of back-to-school supplies for students in the Northgate School District. Among the numerous donations, were backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils to prepare students as they begin a new school year.
Throughout the month of August, Dr. Walsh and the Bellevue Chiropractic Centre held a “Fill-the-Bus” event drive requesting donations. New and established patients were sought for assistance, and accepted through August 31st.
Northgate School District extends a heartfelt thank you and commends Dr. Walsh and the Bellevue Chiropractic Centre for their efforts in getting Northgate students off to a great start!
Best wishes for a successful year!


National Night Out

by Sgt. Hudson:

Students, parents and staff members from Northgate School District participated in the Fourth Annual Bellevue/Avalon National Night Out Event on August 4th, 2015. The community event promotes partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie in an effort to make our communiti es a safer, better place to live.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between community members while providing a great opportunity for police officers to positively interact with residents and raise awareness of crime prevention programs.

Neighborhoods across the nation host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.

Generous donations and enthusiastic volunteers made the Bellevue/Avalon National Night Out event a tremendous success.

Mark your calendars for next year…….August 2nd, 2016!





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