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2012-2013 News:

Summer 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012/ January 2013

November 2012

September/October 2012


Sixth Graders Get a Visit from a Holocaust Survivor
On Monday, May 6th, Northgate School District’s 6th grade students had a once in a lifetime educational opportunity.  Students met 88-year-old Pittsburgh resident, Fritz Ottenheimer, who fled Hitler’s Nazi Germany in 1939 with his family.  This educational opportunity is part of a series of scholarly events and experiences that immerse Northgate students in the topic of the Holocaust during their 6th grade year.
Immersion began in Mrs. Smith’s and Mr. Majerac’s 6th grade reading class, when students read Lois Lowry’s moving novel Number the Stars about a family in Nazi-occupied Denmark seen through the eyes of a ten year old child.

Next, students received a classroom visit from Mrs. Majerac to explore vocabulary related to a Holocaust movie they view, and to review background information about the Nazis and the Holocaust to prepare for the class visit from Fritz.

Shortly after the vocabulary and background classroom visit, Avalon’s 6th grade students traveled to join Bellevue’s 6th grade to listen to Fritz Ottenheimer detail his story.  Fritz   told our students about his life as a young teen in Nazi Germany, and his two year wait to flee to the United States with his family.  Once he was in the U.S., Fritz learned English, joined the U.S. Army and liberated Germany as an American G.I.

 At the end of his presentation, Fritz took thought provoking and reflective questions from our students.  Fritz has told his remarkable story in a memoir titled, Escape and Return.

The next phase of immersion was traveling to the Southside Works theaters to see a free screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz.  The film told the story of 16-year-old Petr, an artistic and literary prodigy, who was largely unknown until the 2003 Columbia space shuttle tragedy.  Students watched the film and enjoyed a talkback with JFilm volunteers and educators.

The final step of the process was experienced on the optional class trip to Washington, D.C. when the students go through the Holocaust Museum as part of their 6th grade trip.

These educational opportunities were provided through collaboration between the JFilm Pittsburgh organization, Northgate’s gifted program, and the sixth grade teachers:  Ms. Roberts and Mrs. Smith at Avalon and Mrs. Caldwell, Mr. Ewing and Mr. Majerac at Bellevue.  Thanks to all who contributed to a great experience for Northgate’s 6th grade.

Northgate Girls Shine in Girls on the Run
Two Bellevue Elementary girls recently received very special honors at the end of another successful Girls on the Run season.  Zofia Gallick, a fifth grader at Bellevue Elementary was one of two girls selected from throughout Western Pennsylvania to meet Girls on the Run founder Molly Barker at a reception hosted on Saturday May 18th.  Participants in the program were asked to create a poster, essay or video around the theme “Why I’m grateful for Girls on the Run” Zofia’s video was selected from nominated entries that came from about 50 local chapters throughout the Pittsburgh region.  Molly Barker, who created this developmental program in 1996, liked the video so much that she even posted Zofia’s entry on her own Facebook page. 

Destiny Douglass, a sixth grader also from Bellevue Elementary, was asked to sing the national anthem at the final event – a 5K Girls on the Run race which was held on Sunday May 19th.   Her stirring, a capella rendition brought huge applause and cheers from the thousands of people who attended. 
This is the 8th year that Northgate has been hosting this program in both Avalon and Bellevue Elementary for 4th, 5th and 6th grade girls.  Girls on the Run is an activity based youth development program that teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event.   Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC is the primarily local sponsor of this national program in the Pittsburgh region.
This spring, Avalon Elementary’s chapter included 18 girls and was coached by Ann Press and Sue Kinger.  Bellevue Elementary’s team included 17 girls and was coached by Sharon Trimber, Abby Anderson and Adia Effiong. 

The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. The program was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Molly Barker. The Girls on the Run® curricula, the heart of the program, provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences.   Nationwide and with the help of over 55,000 volunteers, the Girls on the Run program is now serving over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America each year.  In 2012, Girls on the Run hosted 253 end-of-season 5k events.

Locally our Northgate girls – joined by family and friends – faced the grueling 5K (3.1 mile)  hilly race course at Hartwood Acres on Sunday May 19th.

Congratulations to all the Northgate girls who completed Girls on the Run and a very special thank you to the Coaches from both teams who dedicated time, effort and passion to this enriching program that teaches invaluable life lessons to our Northgate girls.


NMS Announce Classroom Stars and Students of the Month
Each month the middle school teachers recognize a student from one of their classes who represents outstanding work ethic, effort, attitude, courtesy, helpfulness, kindness or other positive attribute and awards him/her with a Star Student Certificate.  From the list of classroom stars, teachers vote to select one Student of the Month.  Congratulations to the following students for their commitment to excellence at NMS:
7th Grade Student of the Month
Rayan Abedin 

7th Grade Classroom Stars

Brien Antkiewicz
Anthony Bartos
Dej  ah Clark
Sam Dougherty
Tyler Grey
Gerald Harrison
Elijah Peterson
Conner Powers
Cierra Tadda

8th Grade Student of the Month
Andrew Motta
8th Grade Classroom Stars

Myles Dietrich
Eric Eames
Gillian Elliott
James Harris
Emily Jones
Alyssa Lambo
Ray Mangone
Treshaunna Moore
Maia Morris
Kayla Tomlinson
Wilson Townes

In addition to receiving the Star Student Certificate, students’ names are also displayed around the teacher’s classroom doors and added to the Classroom Stars and Student of the Month banners that hang in the Middle/High School’s main lobby.


In early April, observant Northgaters noticed there was an addition to Northgate High School's football field.  Actually, a couple of additions.  Since 2009, Northgate Math teacher Mike Somerville has been holding dances and selling food items to raise $1,200 for Northgate's soccer club.  Right after Easter, the sales paid off when Mr. Somerville put together and setup the soccer goals.  The club was able to purchase two full sized soccer goals, corner flags, nets, balls and pinnies. 

Approximately 15-20 students in grades 7-12 participate in after school soccer club.  When asked why he was so committed to fund raising for the club, Mr. Somerville said he wanted a team for the students and quoted the film Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."

Have fun playing soccer Northgate students, and don't forget to respect your hard earned property.


Be Our Guest at Tea with Belle and Friends!
The members of Northgate’s production of Beauty and the Beast created a magical night for the children of the community. Children were invited to enjoy beverages donated by Sodexo, Northgate’s food service provider, and cookies prior to the special early curtain performance. The children also collected autographs as they posed for photos with the characters in costume before the show. The audience was spellbound as the timeless tale of love unfolded, complete with the enchanted costumes. During the closing moments of the show the darkened auditorium sparkled with hundreds of illuminated roses, raised by the children to help break the spell cast over the Beast.

Northgate Produces Beauty and the Beast
The curtain opened on Northgate's production of Beauty and the Beast during the early weeks of April.The enthusiastic response of the audiences resulted in record breaking attendance for the 5 performances.For each cast member seen on stage there was a corresponding student behind the scenes building and painting sets, helping  with costumes and  props, moving set pieces, running the lights and sound, or playing in the orchestra. These students were supported by the professional production personnel, as well as by parents, alumni, and community volunteers. This team of performers, crews, orchestra, and supportive adults worked for 5 months from the audition process which began in late November to saying farewell to the seniors at the cast party in April. 

Mancala Tournament
Northgate had another respectable showing this Friday at the Mancala Tournament at North Allegheny's Baierl Center.  Bellevue Elementary sixth grader Aiden Harrison had an outstanding performance, placing 3rd overall in the Tournament.  Anthony Barbarino also had several wins. Great job to everyone who participated!

Music Educator of the Year Award
Mrs. Kelly Winovich, Music/Choral teacher, was selected as a finalist for the Grammy Awards 1st Ever Music Educator of the Year Award.  If chosen, Mrs. Winovich would receive a free all-expenses paid trip to the 2014 Grammy Awards to receive an award presented by Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake, and a prize of $10,000 for the Choral program.

Caplan-Lieber Human Relations Award Nominee
On April 24th, 2013, Evan Sweeney and Mrs. Hartzell attended a luncheon hosted by the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, in which Evan was recognized as a Caplan-Lieber Human Relations Award Nominee. The PAJC works to strengthen communities in the Pittsburgh area by fostering inter-group dialogue, by nurturing mutual respect and cooperation between diverse religious, racial, and ethnic groups and by advancing human rights and democratic principles.

For the past 57 years, high schools in Allegheny County have been invited to nominate a Senior student who has worked to build bridges between diverse groups in his/her school and community. The special recognition is named after Louis Caplan and Jerome B. Lieber who were civic, communal and philanthropic leaders in Pittsburgh. Evan Sweeney has displayed leadership qualities that the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee wants to nurture and reward in our society.   Congratulations Evan!


Sixth Grade Equations Tournament
Congratulations to the eleven Northgate sixth grade students who attended the Northern Area Gifted Consortium Equations Tournament on Tuesday, April 16th.  Students competed against Ingomar Middle, Marshall Middle and Carson Middle schools, all in the North Allegheny School District. 
Attending from Avalon were Anna Ungarino and Ellie Smart.  Attending from Bellevue were Anthony Barbarino, Claire Ishiyama, Aiden Harrison, Camilla Senvisky, John Amick, Samantha Spade, Draven Wilson, Kira Blenk and Madelyn Traub.

Northgate dominated the first round of the tournament, with 8 of the 11 Northgate 6th graders placing first in their first round matches.  Bellevue 6th grader, Claire Ishiyama, took 3rd place overall and was the 2nd placed girl in the tournament.  Way to go Claire!  Special thanks to Bellevue's 6th grade math teacher, Mr. Ewing, for his help in preparing the students for this tournament.  Thank you to Avalon's 6th grade math teacher, Ms. Roberts, for her assistance in preparing the Avalon students

NMS Announces March Classroom Stars and Students of the Month
Each month the middle school teachers recognize a student from one of their classes who represents outstanding work ethic, effort, attitude, courtesy, helpfulness, kindness or other positive attribute and awards him/her with a Star Student Certificate.  From the list of classroom stars, teachers vote to select one Student of the Month.  Congratulations to the following students for their commitment to excellence at NMS:
7th Grade Student of the Month
Connor Roose

7th Grade Classroom Stars
Shane Atkins
Emma Brandt
Zech Boyce
Markie Kamdar
Bobby Paieski
Nick Rizzo
Ian Thompson
Tyonna Turner

8th Grade Student of the Month
Emily Reed

8th Grade Classroom Stars
Adam Bistrican
Jacob Burns
Spencer Morris
Jake Uccellini
Nick Ungarino
Lauren Wanat

In addition to receiving the Star Student Certificate, students’ names are also displayed around the teacher’s classroom doors and added to the Classroom Stars and Student of the Month banners that hang in the Middle/High School’s main lobby.


In 2011, the SWPBS Core Team began rewarding Student of the Quarter in order to recognize a specific trait, along with the displayed school wide expectations.  This year's identified traits are Leadership, Responsibility, Character, and Respect.  Students are nominated by their teachers, counselors, and administrators for displaying these traits.  Other stipulations include zero tardies and zero discipline referrals. Students were awarded a certificate, and these certificates were hung on the banners outside the auditorium.
Quarter 1 Students:
Freshman: Chad Kolarik
Sophomore:  Matt Dombrowski and Emily Leung
Junior:  Rachael Banyas
Senior:  Evan Sweeney

Quarter 2 Students:
 Freshman:Sydney Winnter
Sophomore: Jessica Packard
Junior: Paige Baierl
Senior: Jordan Papale

Quarter 3 Students:
 Freshman: Chad Kolarik
Sophomore: Jessica Packard
Junior: Eric Forkin
Senior: Josh Braxton

Forensics Team
The Northgate Forensics Team concluded their tournaments on March 9th and March 16th at Butler Catholic.  The Finals Tournament, held March 9th, had 12 students participate.  Each student earned a ribbon for either First, Second or Third Place in their category!  We had 2 First Place ribbons, 3 Second Place ribbons, and 2 Third Place ribbons.

During the All-Star Tournament, held on March 16th, only one student or team from each category is allowed to participate.  Northgate had 9 students attend.  Two students advanced to the Second Round.  Everyone received a certificate for going to the All-Star’s Tournament.  We were very proud of everyone’s performance.

Overall Northgate had a very successful Forensics year.  All students were able to receive at least one ribbon.   Any 5th through 8th grade student is invited to participate next year.  Look for information at the beginning of next school year for meeting dates and times. 
We want to thank all the parents that drove the students and spent their Saturday mornings at tournaments, as well as the parents who helped prepare their children for them. 


Kean Quest
Talent CompetitionHigh School Concert Choir Member Sara Hopkins recently won both the Preliminary and Semi-Final Rounds of the Kean Quest Talent Competition. This is the 2nd consecutive year that she has been awarded this prestigious honor. Sara will be competing in the Finals to be held on Friday, April 5th at 7:00 PM at the Kean Theatre in Gibsonia. Tickets will sell-out and may be purchased in advance at the Box Office. She will again sing and be accompanied on piano by Choral Director Mrs. Kelly Winovich. "Break A Leg" Sara and way to represent Northgate!


Future Chef Contest
On March 21, 2013 Sodexo, Northgate’s food service provider, held a future chef contest for third – sixth grade Avalon students. Twelve students submitted healthy salad recipes and from the twelve, 5 finalists were chosen to prepare their recipes in front of family, friends, administration and teachers. The three bronze winners were, Mason Edmunds, Corrine Pasko, and Paige Butler. The silver winner was Emily Haller and the Gold prize went to Emma DeSimone for her delicious chicken salad recipe. Emma has the chance to move on to the regional competition April 4th. Congratulations to all those that participated in this exciting event.

13th Annual Arts Odyssey
The Northgate School District welcomed the community to our 13th Annual Arts Odyssey to celebrate the arts in our schools.  Everyone in attendance was treated to displays of student artwork, face painting, and crafts.  They also enjoyed live performances by our NRG winter guard, Jazz Band, chorus; as well as, a preview of the spring musical “Beauty and the Beast”.  Along with great performances, our guests enjoyed fine food and prize baskets provided by a variety of school, community organizations and local businesses.  We thank everyone that donated their time and came out to enjoy the sights and sounds of the evening. 


Elementary French Club
For the second year Mrs. Cromer sponsored the elementary French club at Avalon and Bellevue elementary schools.  Mrs. Cromer was assisted this year by high school senior Shaiquil Knight.  The students enjoyed their exploration into French language and culture as they learned a little bit about the language and where French is spoken world-wide.  As part of their lessons they learned alphabet, numbers, colors, and common greetings along with some common activities.

High School Chess
Congratulations to Northgate’s high school chess players who took second overall in the Northern Area Gifted Consortium Chess Tournament on Friday, March 15, at Fox Chapel Area High School.  Northgate’s team beat out Moon, Shaler, Avonworth and Riverview who also fielded teams.  Seniors Jordan Thompson and Jordan Cervone lead their team at 3-1.  Jordan Thompson played a nationally ranked player from Fox Chapel and gave him a game that no earlier players could.  Seniors Josh Anthony and Dakota Stepp and Freshman Danny Bonnett rounded out the team that placed second. 
Northgate fielded a second chess team that included Lizzie Booth, TJ Robertson, Jarod Boles, Owen Kolsosky, Ben Somerville and Tyler Boston.  This team was a close runner up for third place. 

Special thanks to Mr. Mike McKay and Mr. Frank Nesko, who have been playing students all year long to improve their games --  and engaging in a little friendly trash talk. 


Jump Rope 4 Heart 
The Bellevue Elementary Jump Rope for Heart Event was held on February 15th in the Bellevue Gymnasium.  Jump Rope for Heart is a school wide all day event for grades k through 6.  By incorporating a Jump Rope for Heart event into the Physical Education curriculum, our student were able to learn jump rope skills along with how to be “Heart Healthy” in their daily lives.  They had lots of fun on the day of the event and the money the student body raised will go to the American Heart Association to help other children with heart problems. Having fun, learning how to stay healthy and making a difference in the lives of others were a few of the main goals of this event. 

The students raised $2000.00 beating last year’s total by $272.00.  The Teachers and Staff raised an additional $140.00 by participating in the Jump Rope for Heart Jeans day.  Mrs. Emery’s First Grade Class was the top fundraising homeroom. They raised $293.00.  Mrs. Emery’s class earned an extra Physical Education Class with Ms. McGinnis for their fund raising efforts.  All three 1st grade homerooms combined raised $539.00 and were the top fundraising grade level.  The top individual fundraisers were first grader Logan Reed, first grader Jeannie Juracko and fifth grader Christian Davin.  These students will receive tickets to the May 19th Pirate game and will be invited onto the field before the game to be recognized by the American Heart Association and the Pittsburgh Pirates.        

The fundraiser was organized by Ms. McGinnis and the Bellevue PTO Jump Rope for Heart Committee chaired by Mrs. Christine Kubicky. Through the efforts of the students, faculty, staff and the Bellevue PTO, the Bellevue Elementary Physical Education Department will receive a $100.00 coupon for Physical Education equipment.  Ms. McGinnis plans to use the money to buy additional jump ropes, cones and other daily use Physical Education equipment for the school.


World Affairs Council’s National Security Briefing:  Eisenhower Series College Program
On Wednesday, February 13th, 2013, nine Northgate students attended a National Security Briefing at Upper St. Clair High School presented by the Pittsburgh World Affairs Council.  Eight graduate students from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle PA presented various topics related to National Security Challenges to high school students.

Students listed to brief panel presentations of various military and national security topics and then met with three individuals for breakout sessions to complete their day.Highlights of the program included lectures on the following diverse topics: U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan, post drawdown; U.S. policy of holding 166 detainees indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay;  the effects of discretionary budget cuts on the U.S. Military; challenges in U.S.-Iranian relations, a stalemate of mistrust; and cyber-attacks as the next generation threat to the U.S.


Westinghouse EnVision STEM Workshop Presented to Northgate Juniors
In February, engineers from Westinghouse Electric visited NHS for the day to conduct an interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshop with eighteen Northgate juniors. Students participated in hands on activities and in discussions regarding science related careers and alternative energy sources.

Carson Scholar Award
Congratulations to Sam Sesti, as he is the 2013 recipient of the Carson Scholar Award. Sam will be recognized on Sunday , April 21, 2013 at Heinz Field, at the Carson Scholars Fund Annual Pittsburgh Awards Banquet for his displayed academic excellence and for his dedication to serving his Community.

NMS Announces February Classroom Stars and Students of the Month
Each month the middle school teachers recognize a student from one of their classes who represents outstanding work ethic, effort, attitude, courtesy, helpfulness, kindness or other positive attribute and awards him/her with a Star Student Certificate.  From the list of classroom stars, teachers vote to select one Student of the Month.  Congratulations to the following students for their commitment to excellence at NMS:
7th Grade Student of the Month -- Sundas Sohail
7th Grade Classroom Stars
Brien Antkiewicz
Isaiah Boyce
Julianna Eyer
Adriana Jordan
Samantha Parsons
Elijah Peterson
Luke Robertson
Wyatt Stiger
Tyler Wright

8th Grade Student of the Month -- Myles Dietrich
8th Grade Classroom Stars
Jacob Burns
Alex DiCaprio
Jamie Eggers
Paige LaMantia
James Rudolph
Jessie Roos
Ryan Sentner
Nick Ungarino

In addition to receiving the Star Student Certificate, students’ names are also displayed around the teacher’s classroom doors and added to the Classroom Stars and Student of the Month banners that hang in the Middle/High School’s main lobby.

Jump Rope 4 Heart Assembly
The Kick off Assembly for Bellevue Elementary Jump Rope for Heart Event was held on February 1st.  Our 5th and 6th grade Bellevue Jump Team performed numerous jump roping tricks in front of a very enthusiastic student body. The assembly culminated with a Teacher Student Jump off Competition.  The assembly was held to prepare the Student Body for The school’s Jump Rope for Heart Event to be held on February15. Jump Rope for Heart is a school wide event for grades k through 6.  This event helps students learn jump rope skills and develop better fitness levels.

Bellevue SWPBS
Reward DayOn January 31 the students at Bellevue Elementary enjoyed a SWPBS Reward Day. It was PizzaDay and they had to earn fifteen Paw Power Coupons for the month of January to attend. They ate pizza, drank up tropical punch and got talk to their friends.  The students also practiced our School Wide Expectations : Be Safe, Be Respectful,Be Positve,Be Here Be Ready. Finally to top it off all the students learned the poem:

     Here at Bellevue we practice each day the 4 expectations to help us on our way.
     Be here, be ready - get to school and be prepared
     Be positive - use kind words to show you care
     Be respectful - treat others with kindness, that is our pact
     Be safe - think ahead before you act
     If we do these we will show our community how we learn and grow!

The poem was written by Mrs. Slate and will be read each morning on the announcements and practiced by all the students in their homeroom.


Mock Trial
On Tuesday, February 5th, five Northgate Freshmen including Sydney Winner, Adam Blenk, Josie Freeman, Cassidy King and Danny Bonnett took part in the Young Lawyers Division Statewide Mock Trial.  Our Northgate students learned invaluable lessons through their experience.
One of the largest in the nation, the Pennsylvania Bar Association/Young Lawyer Division Mock Trial Competition gives more than 290 high school student teams from across the state the opportunity to act as lawyers and witnesses in simulated civil trials before actual judges and panels of juries.  Each year, the winning team goes on to represent Pennsylvania in the national competition.

Under the sponsorship of Mrs. Jane Majerac, when “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Tatum Zillias” was released by the PBA/YLD in November 2012, the Northgate students began meeting together to study the case.  The case’s issues and problems involve higher order thinking and complexity.  Students draft arguments and questions for witnesses that will defend or prove their arguments.  Students met in school weekly and also on their own time to discuss the facts of the case, strategy and concepts.  In roughly eight weeks, by early January, our students prepared for and participated in a 9th and 10th grade Mock Trial at Duquesne Law School.  Northgate Freshman Isaac Eames participated in this trial as the defendant Tatum Zillias.

Our team came away from the Duquesne experience energized to continue to prepare diligently for the PA Bar Association’s trial.  Students met twice with Mrs. Vicki Mortimer, a Bellevue parent, resident and attorney, where they learned and discussed trial procedures and strategies. 

As students made their final preparations, one team member fell ill and was unable to attend the trial.  The ninth graders overcame this unexpected setback, reassigning parts and still competing in their trial. 

On the evening of February 5th, students found themselves up against a full team of 11th and 12th grade students from Pittsburgh’s SciTech High School.  Our Northgate students performed very well and left feeling disappointed not to have won, but exhilarated and inspired by their rich experience.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the long process of Mock Trial, a truly Herculean task.  The team thanks Mrs. Vicki Mortimer for the generous donation of her time, flexibility and interest and Mrs. Andrea Blenk, who helped transport our team to the event.  We couldn’t compete without the support of our Northgate community.

If you are interested in learning more about Mock Trial, you can find more information at this link: 


Special Olympics Winter Games
On February 12, 2013, the Student Council and the National Honor Society travelled to Hidden Valley to volunteer at the Special Olympics Winter Games. This year 15 students volunteered as ski escorts and 5 students ran the awards ceremony. The event went very well and the students and athletes had a great time. A few athletes escorted by Northgate students even won Gold medals!

Women in Sports
Chatham University’s 18th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Luncheon was held on Friday, February 8, 2013. Each year, Chatham invites high schools to nominate female athletes who make positive contributions in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community. Additionally, nominees must possess at least a 3.0 G.P.A. and demonstrate academic and athletic achievement, competitive spirit, and integrity. Northgate's nominees included Sophomore Jessica Packard, Junior Paige Baierl, and Senior Erika Hill. Mr. Kyle and Mrs. Hartzell accompanied the girls and their families to the awards luncheon, where WTAE 4 News Anchor Andrew Stockey, was the Hoorary Event Chair. The girls have demonstrated a strong commitment to Northgate. Congratulations to each of the girls and their families!

Northgate Teacher Named to Executive Board
Miss Katie Hepner, a second grade teacher at Bellevue Elementary, has been named to the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC). Miss Hepner was officially voted onto the board on January 12, 2013. For the past six years she has staffed at the PASC Blue Middle Level Workshop where she has served as an advisor, leadership instructor, and now Assistant Director. PASC offers programs grades six to twelve along with district, regional, state, and national conferences. PASC focuses on students learning and experiencing leadership, diversity, communication, public speaking, friendship, team work, bullying, school spirit, philanthropy, stereotyping, and service learning projects.
PASC’s Mission Statement reads, “The Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils will offer year-round opportunities for middle level and high school students and their advisors to develop and apply leadership and life skills in order to improve themselves, their school and communities.” Northgate School District has been a prominent member of the organization and has a retired teacher and other Northgate alumni serving within the organization.
Hepner will attend various meetings throughout the year to voice opinions with fellow members which include student, advisor, and newly added principal representatives ranging from middle level to senior high. Miss Hepner is proud to represent Northgate and is excited about getting the word out about Northgate’s hard working student councils.

 Andy Warhol Field Trip
On January 23rd, the Northgate Art Club visited the Andy Warhol Museum to participate in a museum tour and two studio workshops.  The students were able to attend the field trip courtesy of a grant written by Miss Wilt.  The grant was given by the Andy Warhol Museum and covered all costs of the trip.  After touring the museum, students learned about the screen printing process along with a blotted line technique.  They then spent the afternoon creating artwork inspired by the great Andy Warhol with the guidance of the Warhol’s art educators. 

The Northgate Forensics Team
The Northgate Forensics Team had two tournaments recently. The first tournament was held at St. Maurice/Eastside Catholic on January 12th and the second at Assumption School on February 9th.  Both tournaments were very successful.  All students that participated received at least one ribbon.  During the January 12th tournament the Forensics team had seventeen participants reading in a variety of categories from Poetry, Prose, Drama, Impromptu, and one group from Multiple Reading.  The team earned 7 First place ribbons, 6 Second place ribbons, and 10 third place ribbons.  On February 9th, the team had fifteen participants reading from the same categories.  These participants received 7 First place ribbons, 5 Second place ribbons, and 7 Third place ribbons.  Our students are continuing to improve their pieces and getting more comfortable reading in front of audiences with every tournament and practice they attend.  Our next two tournaments are Finals on March 9th and All Stars on March 16th which are both held at Butler Catholic.  Congratulations to these wonderful speakers!

Third Grade "Rocks" at Avalon Elementary
For the past twelve years, Avalon has been very lucky to have geologist Jeff Smith present his hands - on interactive program to the Avalon Third Grade students. This program enhances our students' experience with the completion of their ASSET module on Rocks and Minerals. The children learn about rocks, fossils, minerals, and geodes. Mr. Smith includes a slide show and video sharing his experiences mining and collecting geodes in the state of Indiana and as far away as Mexico. They also have the opportunity to see and touch various geodes and minerals. We look forward to this experience each and every year and we would also like to extend our special thanks to the Avalon PTO for their continuing support with this program throughout the years.

We had a special treat this year of our third grade students, James Smart, is an official member of the Allegheny Rockhounds. He was able to share his knowledge and expertise with the classes.


Project Mosquito Net 

The students, staff, student council, and NHS donated 540.36 to Project Mosquito Net.  Thank you for your participation in this event!


Rachael Robertson Recognized for Volunteer Service
Rachael Robertson, a Senior at Northgate High School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President's Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time to serve their communities and their country, was presented by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program recognizes young people across American for outstanding community service activities. More than 370,000 young people across America have been considered for these awards since the program began in 1995.


HS Student of the Quarter 
In 2011, the SWPBS Core Team began rewarding Student of the Quarter in order to recognize a specific trait, along with the displayed school wide expectations. This year’s identified traits are Leadership, Responsibility, Character, and Respect. Students are nominated by their teachers, counselors, and administrators for displaying these traits. Other stipulations include zero tardies and zero discipline referrals. Students were awarded a certificate, and these certificates were hung on the banners outside the auditorium.
Quarter 1 Students of the Quarter include:
Freshman: Chad Kolarik
Sophomore: Matt Dombrowski and Emily Leung
Junior: Rachael Banyas
Senior: Evan Sweeney

Quarter 2 Students of the Quarter include:
Freshman: Sydney Winner
Sophomore: Jessica Packard
Junior: Paige Baierl
Senior: Jordan Papale


100th Day of School
Mrs. Gusew's first grade celebrated the 100th day of school on February  7th.  The students were greeted at the door with a special celebratory look. Each student brought in 100 "something" in a baggie and we compared how different 100  can look.   For Math class, we made hats with one hundred stickers on them.  The students each counted 10 strips of paper and on each strip the students put 10 stickers.  We joined 100 paper clips and measured our room to see if it was more or less than 100 paper clips ( it was almost 200).  To finish off our morning, we ate "100", a special snack of a pretzel and two oval crackers and Mrs. Gusew read a poem with 100 words in it.  We are definitely 100 days smarter.

Composer/Musician Sean Forbes Assembly
Mrs. Winovich booked Composer/Musician Sean Forbes for a Northgate Assembly on Monday, February 25, 2013. Despite having hearing loss, he still pursued his dreams of being a performer. His CD Perfect Imperfection has motivational songs that teach everyone never to give up and to have a bright outlook on life. Sean is currently touring the Country inspiring young people with his positive message. We were very fortunate to have Sean Forbes as a Special Guest at our School.

Gifts of Cheer
Mrs. Borza's Second grade class spent much of December collecting small "gifts of cheer" for 19 residents of Metowers. Students brought small items such as coffee mugs, lotion, soap, toothpaste, etc. to fill shoe boxes for several residents who needed a little "cheer" around the holiday season! Students also practiced several carols to sing to all of the residents. Songs included were, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Deck the Halls, Here Comes Santa Claus, and many more! Many residents enjoyed seeing the young, smiling faces of the students and enjoyed singing along with the popular Christmas Carols! The students received the gift of understanding that the holidays are not only about receiving gifts, but there is a special feeling when you give gifts to others, as well!

High School Students of the Quarter
In 2011, the SWPBS Core Team began rewarding Student of the Quarter in order to recognize a specific trait, along with the displayed school wide expectations.  This year’s identified traits are Leadership, Responsibility, Character, and Respect.  Students are nominated by their teachers, counselors, and administrators for displaying these traits.  Other stipulations include zero tardies and zero discipline referrals. Students were awarded a certificate, and these certificates were hung on the banners outside the auditorium.
Quarter 1 Students of the Quarter include:
Freshman: Chad Kolarik
Sophomore:  Matt Dombrowski, Emily Leung
Junior:  Rachael Banyas
Senior:  Evan Sweeney

Northgate Forensics Team
The Northgate Forensics team had its first tournament of the school year at Saint Mary’s School on November 17th.  Fourteen students attended the tournament reading pieces from various categories including Prose, Poetry, Impromptu and one group participating in the Multiple Reading category.  Northgate students brought home a total of eighteen ribbons.  We had 10 Third place ribbons, 5 Second place ribbons, and 3 First place ribbons overall!  Congratulations to the students that participated in the first tournament of this year!  Our next tournament is on January 12th at St. Maurice/Eastside Catholic.

Accelerated Reader News
The Northgate School District offers a new and improved Accelerated Reader Program.   All three buildings now use the Accelerated Reader program to supplement and enhance the reading curriculum.  Students in grades 1-12 have the opportunity to read a wide range of books and novels from various genres and then take a quiz on them.
To date there are over 141,317 tests available and more are added every week.  Our students now have access to more tests than there are books in our library!!
Students are not able to take tests from home. Accelerated Reader tests may only be taken from NSD computers. 
If you are unsure if a book has an Accelerated Reader test, click on the AR BOOK Find link found on both the Student Resources Page and Library Links Page

Library News
At the start of the 2012-13 school year, Northgate has upgraded to a new web based card catalog system.   This will allow you to provide greater access and visibility to our library print resources by having online 24/7 access to the books in Northgate School District libraries for student, parents, staff, and administration. 
To access the catalog from the Northgate web page Choose Student Resources from the Schools Menu, you will find the Destiny Catalog Link on the left.
As a reading incentive, the top AR point earners in grade 7th and 8th will be awarded a field trip to the Carnegie Science Center .   Northgate was awarded a grant for 30 students to attend this field trip to the Carnegie Science Center.  The contest requires the student to earn a minimum of fifty points. 
The winners of this years Accelerated Readers Contest are:
Mara Lossing - 44 books read this school yearSammantha ParsonsAysha WilliamsIsaiah BoyceSamuel DoughertyAbigail DoughertyCali McWilliamsDejah ClarkAdriana JordanJordan AndersonConnor RooseZechariah BoyceLuke RobertsonSophia ZugaiTOP 8th GRADERS –
Aaron Meyer – 16 books read this school yearEric EamesKarson LoreyAlex SklyarMajesty KingNick CosentinoNick UngarinoJacob UccelliniEmily ReedJessie RoosGillian ElliottNoah StewartAlexis RuhlJacob BurnsDevin Sneed


Elementary Band and Choir Concerts
The Elementary Band and Choir directed by Mr. Jason Dilliott and Ms. Kristan Mancini performed their Winter concert on December 5th at Bellevue and at Avalon on December 6th.  The Chorus and Band students worked very hard to prepare for the performance.  The Chorus performed Angels Lullaby, where two melodies are sung at the same time. They also sang one of their favorites, the Hawaiian Christmas song, Mele Kalikimake.  The Elementary Beginning Band played Merrily We Roll Along, Good King Wenceslas and Jolly Old St. Nicholas with Alto Sax Solo by Braiden Marks and Trumpet Solo by Nathaniel Fal.  The Elementary Advanced Band played Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow, Rudolph, First Rockin' Christmas and Holly Jolly Christmas. In the grand finale, the band and chorus performed together the song Jingle Bells, that brought the concert to a spectacular end that was enjoyed by all who attended!


Bellevue SWPBS Breakfast With Santa
On Thursday December 20 the Bellevue School Wide Positive Behavior Program hosted A Breakfast With Santa.  Bellevue students could get their picture taken with Santa for a $2.00 fee, as a memento they received their photograph in a Santa postcard holder.
The money collected went towards SWPBS.  There were about 100 students and parents combined that attended. Bellevue staff was also invited.  A menu of juice, water and coffee along with fruit and muffins were served.  A Power Point Presentation, pamphlet, and stickers were given out with the School Wide Expectations of: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Positive, Be Here, Be Ready.  Santa, along with his elf, enjoyed meeting all the good boys and girls at Bellevue Elementary.


Seven Students Accepted into Jr. High District I Chorus
Seven of Mrs. Winovich's students from the Middle and High School Choirs (Grades 7-9) were accepted into Jr. High District I Chorus to be held at Upper St. Clair April 12th and 13th. Katlyn Weiser, Gina Ungarino, Jessie Roos, Conner Powers, Luke Scioscia, Aaron Meyer, and Colin Hunt will all represent Northgate at the Festival. This is the first time in Northgate History that seven students have been selected so it is thrilling news for our District to receive this special recognition.

Bellevue Collects Money for North Hills Community Outreach Food Bank
At Bellevue Elementary the students brought in their spare change for the North Hills Community Outreach Food Bank for the week of December 10-14. The Food Bank is located in the basement of Bellevue Suburban Hospital.  A total of $555.84 was collected.  The top three classes with the heaviest cans of coins won a Pizza Party for their class. The winners were: Mrs. Caldwell class with 56.8 pounds, Mrs. Knable's class with 31 pounds and Mrs. Heffley's class with 14.6 pounds.  Since 2002, the Bellevue Elementary students have donated $7,688.89 to the Food Bank.

Library News
Attention Middle SchoolAs a reading incentive, the top AR point earners in grade 7th and 8th will be awarded a field trip to the Carnegie Science Center. Northgate was awarded a grant for 30 students to attend this field trip to the Carnegie Science Center. The contest requires the student to earn a minimum of fifty points.
Keep reading Northgate students as the contest ends February 5th and the field trip will take place on February 8th!!!


Miss Hepner’s Class is Spreading Holiday Joy!
Miss Hepner’s class has been talking a lot about respect and kindness this school year. The students decided to put their words into action and spread holiday joy around Bellevue and the 15202 area code.
Room 205 held a pajama drive for The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive sponsored by Scholastic Books. They collected 20 pairs of pajamas which were matched with books donated by Scholastic. At the pajama party the students read to one another and discussed the importance of reading and donating. Each student felt proud of their accomplishments.
The students also visited the Bellevue Senior Center across from Bellevue Elementary to sing holiday songs and share their favorite part of the season. The seniors shared their favorite part of the season too and sang along to some holiday favorites. Each student was full of spirit after leaving the center, but not near as much as they left behind.
Miss Hepner’s class would like to extend their sincerest appreciation for all that they have. They wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season full of joy and kindness.


Bellevue Elementary Celebrates Veterans Day
Many area veterans attended a school-wide Veterans Day Celebration held at Bellevue Elementary on Friday, November 9th.
Guest speaker was State Rep. Rob Matzie.  Former Bellevue Police Chief and Vietnam Veteran Mike Bookser spoke about the Bellevue’s Veterans registry.
The flag ceremony was conducted by Cub Scout Pack #257 whose members are Bellevue students.
Following a moment of silence, taps was played by Northgate junior Andy Ungarino.
The kindergarten class led everyone in the pledge and the fifth grade sang the national anthem.
Various patriotic songs were sung. The first grade sang Yankee Doodle; second grade presented America: third grade,  God Bless America; and the fourth grade performed Grand Old Flag.  The sixth grade performed a military salute of Anchors Aweigh, Caisson’s Song and the Marine Corp Hymn.
Many classes also presented poems and letters to our veterans. The fifth grade recited the preamble to the Constitution.
The auditorium was decorated with a large American flag made by the handprints of the students of Bellevue Elementary. Students and staff were invited to bring in pictures of family members who are veterans. These photos were proudly displayed under the heading “American Heroes.”
The grand finale featured the entire student body standing and signing “God Bless the USA”.


96.1 Kiss FM Stuff-A-Bus
For the second year in a row Northgate Middle/High School participated in a toy drive sponsored by the radio station 96.1 Kiss FM.  The toy drive is called “Stuff-A-Bus” because the object of the drive is to fill as many school buses with new or unwrapped toys as possible in a week.  KISS FM morning show hosts Mikey and Big Bob host the annual event and this is the 9th year in a row for it.  Toys collected in the buses go to “Toys for Tots” and are sent to needy children and families in the local Pittsburgh area.

On Thursday night Ms. Korbar and Mr. Hogle went out to Monroeville to drop the toys off on behalf of the Northgate Middle/High School.  This year Northgate collected close to $400.00 worth of toys.  After the toys were dropped off, KISS FM was already on their 21st school bus of the week.  Thank you to all of the students, teachers and staff who donated either money or toys to the “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive.


Avalon Students Honor Veterans
Local Veterans and their families were invited to Avalon Elementary on November 12th to be honored for their service to our country. Patriotic songs and readings were performed by all of the elementary classes and included a special performance from our HS choir led by Mrs. Winovich and captivating rendition of TAPS by Andrew Ungarino.  We would like to extend a special thanks to Mrs. Fosky for her wonderful singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

We were honored by two special guests that addressed our students Dr. Paul Kirsch U.S.M.C, former Avalon Principal and Staff Sergeant Hodge Lyons of the United States Army.  Dr. Kirsch spoke to our students of the origins of Veteran’s Day and what it means to serve your country.  Sergeant Lyons conveyed his admiration for those who have served and how proud he is to serve his country through his account of re-enlisting after 9/11.  After the ceremony our sixth graders welcomed Sergeant Lyons to a question and answer session.
We would like to thank all of the Veterans who attended, our teachers for preparing our students, the Cub Scouts led by Mr. Williams, the parents, family members, and the Avalon PTO for providing the refreshments for our guests.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!
Mr. Majerac’s sixth grade homeroom is participating in the 10th Annual Gingerbread House Display & Competition.  Many thanks go to our Art teacher, Mrs. Sharon Mayer and Mr. Majerac’s sixth grade homeroom for assisting in the development and completion of the Gingerbread House.  The house will be on display in the PPG Place Wintergarden in Downtown Pittsburgh for Light-Up Night on Friday, November 16th through January 7th.  Three judges will be selected from the local community to judge each Gingerbread House.

Concert Choir Student Selected
A senior member of Mrs. Winovich's High School Concert Choir was selected into PMEA District I Chorus.  Chase Dermond will represent Northgate School District at the Festival to be held at Quaker Valley High School February 6-8.  Congratulations Chase!

Cross Country Season Re-Cap
The Northgate Girls Cross Country team finished the regular season 13th out of 34 single-A schools in the WPIAL. The team had two girls finish high enough to qualify for the PIAA Cross Country Championship meet, with Lilly Hall placing 5th overall and Paige Baierl finishing 18th overall in the WPIAL. At the PIAA Championship meet in Hershey, out of 206 runners, Lilly placed 37th overall in the state single-A race, and Paige finished 126th.
The Northgate Boys Cross Country team finished the regular season 3rd out of 32 single-A schools in the WPIAL. Led by a 4th place finish by senior Jonathan Gusew, the team consisting of Justin Jones, Eric Forkin, Thane Bonnett, Tyler Wisniewski, Dominic Deramo and Sal Valeriano all qualified for the PIAA Cross Country Championship meet. At the PIAA Championship meet, the boys team finished as the 11th-best team in the state, with Jonathan Gusew placing 26th overall.
Congratulations to both the boys and girls cross country teams for yet another highly successful season and showing all of Pennsylvania that Northgate has some of the best runners in the state.


NMS Announces October Classroom Stars and Students of the Month
Each month the middle school teachers recognize a student from one of their classes who represents outstanding work ethic, effort, attitude, courtesy, helpfulness, kindness or other positive attribute and awards him/her with a Star Student Certificate.  From the list of classroom stars, teachers vote to select one Student of the Month.  Congratulations to the following students for their commitment to excellence at NMS:
7th Grade Student of the Month -- Alexis Chulack
7th Grade Classroom Stars
Mitchell Denes
Julianna Eyer
Julia Geeting
Lyndsey James
Madeline Kubicky
Katherine McFarland
Cali McWilliams
Samantha Mouse
Jaquay Sears
Ian Thompson
8th Grade Student of the Month -- Gillian Elliott
8th Grade Classroom Stars
Kenny Azzarello
Amanda Becker
Alexis Coleman
Jamie Eggers
Kathleen King
Karson Lorey
Daisy Peterson
Jonathan Reinhardt
Cassady Thornton
Jacob Uccellini
Mason Young
In addition to receiving the Star Student Certificate, students’ names are also displayed around the teacher’s classroom doors and added to the Classroom Stars and Student of the Month banners that hang in the Middle/High School’s main lobby.


MS/HS Senior Citizen Luncheon 
One week before Thanksgiving, 65 local senior citizens were treated to a turkey lunch and concert at Northgate High School. The lunch was prepared by the high school lunch staff and was served by the Northgate Student Council. After, the guests were treated with a performance by both the band and chorus. This is an annual event and the students look forward to next years luncheon.

Elementary Drama Club - 101 Dalmatians
The Northgate Elementary Drama Club consisting of students from Bellevue and Avalon schools performed Disney's 101 Dalmatians Kids at Bellevue on November 13. The club is directed by Mrs. Karen Klicker, an Avalon Elementary teacher. The musical is the classical telling of the story of the villain Cruella De Vil who wants to steal the 101 Dalmatians to make a beautiful coat for herself. In the end her plot is foiled and the puppies are returned to their rightful owners. The performers entertained the audience with musical numbers such as Dalmatian Conga, Thunderbolt Adventure Hour, Twilight Bark, My Beautiful Coat and many others. The cast spent countless hours rehearsing and practicing Wednesday evenings and after school. As with a big production there are many people behind the scenes who helped make the musical a success: Northgate Middle/High school students, who served as coaches for the elementary students, Mr. Jeff Smith and the AV crew, and maintenance staff, elementary secretaries and maintenance staff, parent and community volunteers including Assistants to the Director, Ms Samantha Nelson, Ms Bekah Church, Vocal Coach Ms. Stephanie Adamczyk, Costumes Mrs. Barb Gusew and Scenic Arts Ms Morgan Nelson.

Officer Phil Program
The Officer Phil Program came to visit Bellevue Elementary on Tuesday October 23 for Kindergarten through 4th grade. The program deals with safety and what strategies students should use when encountering a stranger or other dangerous situations. The program also emphasizes how not to be a bully and to be able to identify one. A magician/ventriloquist preformed for the students in the auditorium. He did many magic tricks to the delight of the crowd. they were in awe of the light trick, magic blocks and a pipe that turned into ribbon. His puppet Cosmo entertained the students and then taught them how not to be a bully. The program was provided by the Bellevue and Avalon Police Departments.    Top

HS/MS Food Drive
The high school and middle school students collected non-perishable items during the month of November. They were able to collect over 450 items to donate to the local food bank. Mr. Bichko's home room collected the most items, followed closely by Mr. Somerville's home room.


Chess Club
For the past few years, Northgate High School has consistently placed at a team chess tournament at Fox Chapel Area High School.  This success could never have been achieved without a significant “farm” system of elementary chess clubs begun by Mrs. Jan Rogers, continued with Ms. Sara English, and currently under the sponsorship of Mrs. Jane Majerac.
Chess is thought to date back to India in the fifth century, A.D.  During the Middle Ages, traders brought the game back to Europe.  Although originally called the sport of Kings, with more modern forms of government, popularity of chess increased widely.
Chess Club has been meeting at Bellevue Elementary, Avalon Elementary and the Middle/High School since early October.  The Elementary chess clubs accept student in grades 3-6, although younger children who understand how to play and have received the proper permission are permitted.  The Middle/High School chess club takes any players who desire to play.  Observing the focus and concentration of Northgate’s chess players is truly inspiring. 
Avalon Elementary meets on Tuesdays in Avalon’s auditorium immediately after school and has over thirty participants.  Thank you to the Avalon custodians, Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Chaussinand, for setting up tables and chairs to let us play chess in comfort.  Thank you also to teacher aides, Mr. McGaha and Ms. Carville, for assisting in the teaching and supervision of Avalon’s Chess players. 
Bellevue’s chess club meets on Tuesdays immediately after school and has over fifty participants.  Thanks go to custodians, Mr. Conway and Mr. Cooper, for putting out tables and chairs in the auditorium for Bellevue’s chess players.  Thank you also to parents, Mr. King and Mrs. Szakelyhidi, for their assistance in monitoring Bellevue’s chess players.
The Middle/High school chess club has grown from a few players to fifteen, and meets immediately after school on Wednesdays in the library.  Thanks to Mrs. Schwemmer for permitting us to use the library.  Thanks also to Mr. McKay and Mr. Nesko for encouraging chess playing in our Northgate students.  Finally, a huge thank you to Northgate seniors, Dakota Stepp and Jordan Thompson; these two Northgate students not only play chess at the High School, but they also mentor our elementary players at Avalon and Bellevue. 
Northgate’s Elementary Chess Tournament will take place on Friday, December 7th, at Bellevue Elementary.


Fairchild Challenge
Northgate High School recently entered the Fairchild Challenge, a free, multidisciplinary, standards-based, environmental education outreach program designed to give high school students an opportunity to shine. By appealing to the students' sense of creativity and curiosity about the world around them, the Challenge invites students to learn, to investigate environmental issues, to devise imaginative and effective responses to these issues and to take action – at any level – to address them.
The first challenge was called "Pollinators in Pencil." Basing his design on a photograph Northgate's high school art teacher, Ms. Wilt, took at Phipps Conservatory, Kevin Zimmerman of Avalon used colored pencils to create this beautiful piece of artwork which earned Northgate an Honorable Mention in the Fairchild Challenge. Kevin's gaillardia and bumblebee is a cheerful drawing to enjoy as winter approaches. Congratulations to Kevin Zimmerman and Ms. Wilt!


Avalon Elementary kicks off its SWPBS Program with a Harvest Festival
On Friday, October 19th, Avalon Elementary kicked off its School Wide Positive Behavior Program with a Harvest Festival. The students were able to play games, enjoy refreshments and explore fire trucks and a police car. Special thanks to all of our parent volunteers, Northgate football players, high school face painters, the PTO, Avalon police officers, as well as, firemen from Avalon and Fairview fire departments and the Avalon Library. The Avalon students are ready to continue creating a positive learning environment through our school wide rules: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Here and Be Ready.

Junior Rotarians Selected 
Two of Mrs. Winovich's Members of High School Concert Choir were selected as Junior Rotarians for the 2012-2013 School Year. Jessica Obriot and Sabrina Patak submitted applications and went through an interview process. These young women demonstrated all the qualities that Rotary represents such as Respect, Responsibility, Goodwill, and Integrity. They will represent Northgate School District at various conferences and collaborate with business professionals in the Pittsburgh area. Many scholarship opportunities are available through the Rotary and this rewarding experience will help prepare them for their future. Congratulations to Jessica Obriot and Sabrina Patak.

 NMS Announces September Classroom Stars and Students of the Month
 Each month the middle school teachers recognize a student from one of their classes who represents outstanding work ethic, effort, attitude, courtesy, helpfulness, kindness or other positive attribute and awards him/her with a Star Student Certificate.  From the list of classroom stars, teachers vote to select one Student of the Month.  Congratulations to the following students for their commitment to excellence at NMS:
7th Grade Student of the Month
Samantha Mouse
7th Grade Classroom Stars
Jordan Anderson
Amanda Beining
Jonas Jason
Emma Miller
Conner Powers
Connor Roose
Cierra Tadda
8th Grade Student of the Month
Alexis Ruhl
8th Grade Classroom Stars
Nicholas Cosentino
Perry Dorsey
Austin Farmerie
Samantha Lundy
Aaron Meyer
Danny Miller
Maria Pagani
Daisy Peterson
Emily Reed

 In addition to receiving the Star Student Certificate, students’ names are also displayed around the teacher’s classroom doors and added to the Classroom Stars and Student of the Month banners that hang in the Middle/High School’s main lobby.
 Avalon Student Makes Connection with Dr. Archer  
Monday morning, October 1st, I entered my office to find a package postmarked from Portland, Oregon. It was addressed to Anna Ungarino, a sixth grade student at Avalon Elementary. There was no return name on the package, but I only know of one person from Oregon, Dr. Anita Archer. As I handed Anna the package I told her who I thought it was from. During Dr. Archer’s visit to our district, Anna had written her a letter and gave her Eat N’ Park Smiley cookies as a reminder of her visit to our school district. Dr. Archer was so moved by this gesture, that she sent Anna a copy of her favorite childhood book, the Secret Garden, with a warm personal message to her written inside the cover of the book. I’m sure this is an experience that Anna will never forget.

High School Art Club Window Painting 
The annual Bellevue business district fall window painting took place on Thursday, October 11th this year.  As in years past, the art club gathered bright and early at the YMCA on Lincoln Avenue to set off on a day long painting extravaganza.  Approximating 20 students were in attendance, accompanied by Miss Wilt and Mr. Berwick.  Throughout the day, over 27 windows were painted with a decorative fall theme.  Please take a moment and visit Lincoln Avenue to check out the windows!  You can view more photos at
Students in attendance:
Kate Ishiyama
Tre Turner
Sydney Winner
Rachael Robertson
Emily Reese
Sabrina Patak
Maria Pagani
Sarah Hopkins
Josie Freeman
Emma Werley
Jessie Roos
Beth Miller
Jena Michael
Jesron Hall
Chelsea Dungan
Amanda Lewan
Jared Bollman
Kevin Zimmerman
Julian Morgan      

Northgate Kicks Off Early Literacy Program 
On Monday, October 1st, fourteen families were welcomed with their youngsters to Avalon Elementary school as the first class of the Northgate Early Childhood Literacy Classroom. The Northgate School District is proud to be partnering with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to provide an Early Literacy Program for children ages three to five. This initiative is made possible by the Keystones to Opportunity Grant the school district was awarded this past spring. An important component of this literacy program is to provide early learning opportunities to our students to increase their readiness and success in school. The school district is proud to welcome the preschoolers and looks forward toward the rewarding experience it will provide for the children of Avalon and Bellevue.

Open Heart Surgery Observation
On Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012, eleven Northgate students with Ms. Crapis and Mrs. Majerac attended an Open Heart Surgery observation at the Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny General Hospital. A critical care nurse and physician’s assistant joined our group with the Observation Program coordinator to help us understand what we were seeing. Students learned about common heart problems, including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and heart valve disease. The patient we observed was in her seventies and had a valve replacement and bypass. Although the surgery got started early we were able to see the valve replacement, bypass and the closing. Students commented they enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the sciences in action.

National Walk to School Day
Bellevue Elementary School participated in the National Walk to School Day on October 3rd. Mrs. Cooper, the Bellevue PTO Vice President, organized the event with the help of Physical Education Teacher, Miss McGinnis. Students, teachers, teacher aids, parents and high school volunteers gathered at the YMCA and Kuhn’s Parking lot for the start of the walk. The PTO provided healthy breakfast snacks and water from 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Mayor Dosher kicked of the walk at 7:45 a.m. Bellevue police, fire and EMS were on hand to promote side walk and street safety in our community for our children.

The walk to school was led by Mr. Dilliott’s Northgate High School Band, Mr. Primrose and Dr. Pasquerilla. Mrs. Smith’s High School Student Council and Ms. Cromer’s National Honor Society students volunteered at several Lincoln Avenue intersections promoting and ensuring safety as the elementary students walked to school. Several Northgate High School Football players also joined the walk. Mrs. Winovich’s High School Choir greeted the students at the school entrance with songs of celebration. Every student that participated in the walk received a walk to school token provided by the PTO.

The purpose of the National Walk to School Day is to promote daily physical activity for our children and to celebrate our District’s walking community. In addition, walking to school helps decrease the amount of exhaust pollution in the air, which is great for our community environment. Please mark your calendar for next year’s walk, October 9, 2013. Hope to see you there!

National Night Out
On August 7, the Northgate Education Association participated in the National Night Out organized by Bellevue Police Officer Hudson. The NEA provided free games for the children of Bellevue. They had a great time playing Basketball, Ring Toss and a Coin Toss game on a beautiful sunny day at Bayne Park from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. The teachers were there along with Northgate High School students doing face painting and crafts, the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society booth of rescue animals, a dunking booth to benefit the dog park in Bellevue, Northgate Football Team eating competition, and hot dogs and hamburgers were cooked for the citizens of Bellevue. All the teachers had a great time manning the games and handing out lollipops to the children.

On Friday, September 28, 2012, nine Northgate High School students participated in an educational field trip called Eco-Challenge at Phipps Conservatory. Our students were in two teams for three challenges.

The first challenge was to interview a visiting botanist and create an introductory visual aid for that scientist. Northgate students interviewed two scientists whose research is based in Nepal. One scientist was a botanical pharmacologist researching local Nepalese botanical treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The other scientist was an ethnobotanist researching sustainable plant use in the Himalayas.

The second challenge was a scavenger hunt to learn about LEED certification. The certification verifies a building project is environmentally responsible, profitable and provides a healthy place to live or work. Students observed green roofs, the use of green building and construction materials and other sustainable solutions to building problems. One example of a green solution at Phipps is the piping of vented and recycled hot air underneath sidewalks to warm them as an alternative to throwing down salt during the winter.

The final challenge was to design and create an outfit made completely from newspaper. The Northgate teams worked together beautifully to create surprisingly attractive outfits.

We await the judges’ determinations of the Challenge’s standings, but everyone who participated in the Challenge learned something to bring back to our community.

Northgate students won a poster-contest challenge as part of the Eco-Challenge.  The poster will be displayed at Phipps Conservatory!


Athlete Player of the Week
One of our Northgate Seniors, Cody Walter, was honored as WTAE’s Athlete of the Week during an assembly on October 11th. He was presented with a trophy. Highlights of the trophy presentation should be shown on WTAE’s website under the playbook page. As a result of one of our students being named Athlete of the Week, Clearview Federal Credit made a donation of $250 to the school district.

Northgate School District Secures $710,000 Grant
The Northgate School District recently was awarded a Keystones to Opportunity (Striving Readers) grant in the amount of $710,746.  This grant was part of a competition initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the United States Department of Education’s Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program.  Pennsylvania received $38 million to improve literacy outcomes for all children from birth through grade 12.  Over 550 educational agencies statewide were eligible to submit for this grant.  The application process was divided into two stages, pre-application and full-application.  The State received 329 pre-applications of which 148 schools/charter schools were invited to submit a full-application.  Of that number, 58 received funding and only 39 received full funding.  The Northgate School District received full funding for its application.

As a result of receiving this grant, the District will be able to provide a six-week summer school this year for elementary students.  It will also provide over 1,000 hours of tutoring for Northgate students before and after school.  The District will again revive its full-day kindergarten program for all students by adding 1 ½ teachers through the grant.  The District will develop a Local Literacy Plan and Building Action Plans, including a Transition Plan for students as they move from grade to grade and level to level.  Teachers will receive 10 days of professional training and two one-half time Literacy Coaches will be implemented at the Middle/High School.  All new literacy curriculum books and materials will be purchased for the elementary grades through this grant.  An additional Head Start class will be added to serve the communities of Avalon and Bellevue.

The District has submitted and been awarded over $9 million of federal and state grant allocations over the last six years.  “The District has worked very hard to offset the burden on our local taxpayers through procuring grants,” reported Dr. Reggie Bonfield, Superintendent of the Northgate School District.  “This was one of the most challenging and rigorous grants that we have written over the past 12 years,” stated Dr. Bonfield.  Mrs. Kathleen Gallagher, Assistant to the Superintendent, stressed that “it is wonderful to be able to bring back full-day kindergarten to our communities. The additional literacy materials, along with summer school and tutoring, will be very beneficial to our students.”

“We are very proud of our record in securing additional funding in supporting our school district,” stated Dr. Bonfield.  “It is something I’m sure will continue to be fostered in the future.”  “This grant is the first of a five-year grant and, if the District meets its required documentation, could result in a total of $3.5 million to the District over the next five years,” stated Dr. Bonfield.

 Middle/High School SWPBS
SWPBS is the school-wide version of Behavioral Support Plans (BSP) which places emphasis on teaching, modeling, and rewarding desired behaviors rather than focusing on the disruptive behaviors. The school uses “TorchTickets”, Classroom Stars, Student of the Quarter awards, and other incentives to recognize when the students meet our school wide expectations: Respect Yourself and Others, Respect Learning, and Respect Our School Environment.  SWPBS can easily extend into the community. Ask a child about his day, praise a child for being responsible and respectful-this can include getting up on time, completing homework, helping some, etc-, model appropriate behaviors at home and in the community, and last but not least, take an interest in a child—talk and discuss his day. It is easy to hurry up and correct; take a moment to stop and notice a student who is doing right. Top Bringing the World of

Learning Alive!!
I am excited to inform you that our colleague, Mrs. Kritiotis, recently earned support at for a classroom project called “Tomorrow’s Learners.  Mrs. Kritiotis is receiving a Epson Powerlite S11 LCD Projector as well as a Luxor Mobile Computer Workstation.  Mrs. Kritiotis goal is to provide the students an opportunity to visualize the places and things they read about, and provide an extra medium from which they can discuss important lesson topics. The projector would introduce students to public speaking in front of their peers, through oral presentations via PowerPoint.
Mrs. Kritiotis hope is to and inspire her students in learning everyday as they excite and inspire her. Mrs. Kritiotis wants to prepare her students for “tomorrow, not yesterday!”

Northgate Teacher Attends SMART Conference
Gretchen Monahan, a Title I teacher at Avalon Elementary School, had the distinct privilege of being one of 51 distinguished educators from all over the world selected to the Annual SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) Summit, developed by SMART technologies, creator of the SMART board, the well-known interactive white board.  The SEE Summit was held from July 15-21, 2012, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
During the SEE Summit, she was involved in daily collaborative workshops and sessions that were held at the SMART headquarters.  The week’s sessions began with a meeting with Tom Hodson, interim President and CEO of SMART to discuss SMART‘s vision.  He asked for feedback as to how to improve their product as well as how SMART can be part of the classroom of the future.  Several SMART management staff asked for input during the week for improvement ideas and feedback on Notebook 11 and the SMART Response System.  The days were jam-packed with information, learning, and excitement.  Throughout the week teachers were connected with products, resources and thoughts on how to incorporate SMART into their learning environment.  SMART provided information on free trainings, new and upcoming innovative resources and ideas, and lessons and activities on the SMART exchange website.  Discussions were conducted about how to assist students with technology to increase student achievement by implementing the Common Core Standards. 

SMART introduced sessions on Content Creation, grant writing, and differentiated instruction.  On Tuesday, Mrs. Monahan was able to identify a mystery SMART person during a game to win a K-1 reading and math software program called SMART Core Focus, worth over $2000.  The SMART work week concluded with an official “White Hat” ceremony where everyone became official “Calgarians” and received white cowboy hats to wear to a western evening celebration.  On Friday the SEE group was taken to Banff, Canada for some relaxing sightseeing.  They were able to enjoy the sights of the quaint town before returning home on Saturday ready to share all the knowledge of the absolute wonderful experience with administrators, colleagues, and anyone who would listen!

Northgate School District Names New Superintendent

At the March 31, 2012 meeting, the board appointed Dr. Joseph W. Pasquerilla to succeed Dr. Bonfield as the leader of the Northgate School District, effective July 1, 2012. Dr. Pasquerilla comes to Northgate from Ambridge Area School District, where he has most recently served as the Assistant to the Superintendent. Dr. Pasquerilla offers an extensive background in curriculum and instruction, conveys a passion for integrating the arts into education and places an emphasis on parental involvement and community relations. Welcome Dr. Pasquerilla!

An Evening With Anita Archer
On September 10th Northgate School District “kicked-off” a two day community wide extravaganza of literacy to the Keystones to Opportunity Grant as we welcomed Dr. Anita Archer. Staff was in-serviced on “Active Participation and Building Background Knowledge”. Focus was on Getting Students Engaged – through Inclusive Active Participation and Building Background Knowledge & Vocabulary as the Key to Reading Comprehension and Learning.

An evening celebration of literacy began with a community pasta dinner held prior to Dr. Archer’s community presentation, “What Everyone Needs to Do to Improve Literacy. Parents, students, district employees, residents, and business stakeholders attended the event. Dr. Pasquerilla, Superintendent of Schools welcomed those in attendance and State Representative Robert Matzie, 16th Legislative District, Allegheny and Beaver Counties, gave opening remarks, with keynote speaker introductions provided by Dyann Panepinto – Keystones to Opportunity Western Regional Director, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3. Dr. Archer highlighted, “The Five Big Reading Components” - Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, Fluency, Vocabulary Knowledge and Comprehension Strategies, and what parents/guardians can do to assist this process. Emphasis was placed on practice – to make it positive and permanent!
On September 11th, Dr. Archer visited classrooms at the primary, intermediate, middle/high school level and at all of the buildings within the school district, demonstrating lessons and providing feedback in debriefing sessions, for implementing strategies learned.

Dr. Anita Archer, a nationally renowned teacher, researcher, and author, serves as an educational consultant to school districts on effective instruction, classroom management, reading and writing instruction, and design of effective literacy programs. She has taught elementary and middle school students and is the recipient of ten Outstanding Educator awards honoring her excellence in teaching and contributions to the field of education. She is nationally known for her presentations and publications on instructional procedures and literacy instruction. She co-authored Skills for School Success, a study skills program for elementary and middle school students, Advanced Skills for School Success,  REWARDS, a program that teaches students advanced decoding and fluency skills, and REWARDS PLUS and REWARDS Writing. She also co-authored Phonics for Reading and has authored many other curriculum materials, chapters, books, and training materials.

Student Chosen as a Student Media Delegate to an International Youth Summit
Thirteen years ago, Evan Sweeney entered Kindergarten at Bellevue Elementary School; this summer before his senior year, Evan worked on a Presidential campaign and was chosen as a student media delegate to an international youth summit.

One Young World Summit 2012 will take place this fall in Pittsburgh from October 18th to October 22nd.  One Young World was founded as a non-profit that gathers together young people from around the world, helping them make lasting connections to create positive change.  Approximately 1,500 delegates from 196 countries are expected to attend, and Evan will be there to conduct interviews, publish stories online and/or create video presentations. 

In the spring of his junior year Evan work at a voter registration booth in Bellevue.  That experience led him to pursue an internship with the Obama for America campaign.  He was accepted as an intern to the campaign and all summer he worked as the only current high school student in his district office.
Evan is a member of the Northgate band, a member of the spring musical cast and is the 2012 Senior Class President.  Evan Sweeney is an example of Northgate’s home grown excellence. 


Student Selected by the National Society of High School Scholars

Sam Sesti who was selected by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) for membership and was recognized for his hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Sam has demonstrated to achieve this level of academic excellence. The Society recognizes top scholars and invites only those students who have achieved academic excellence. The announcement was made by NSHSS Founder and Chairman, Claes Nobel, a senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes.

Bellevue's Second Grade Stars
Mrs. Maiette’s Second Grade Stars performed their Respect poem that they wrote as a class at Open House!
Respect everyone
Everyone needs to be nice
Say nice things to each other
Play and share with others
Everybody needs to use their manners
Care for others
Treat people like you want to be treated
We show respect for Mr. Primrose by trying our best.
We show respect for Mrs. Nedwidek by being nice to her.
We show respect for Mrs. Brunner by sticking up for ourselves and others.
We show respect for the nurses by talking nicely when we go to the nurses’ office.
We show respect for our classmates by taking turns and using kind words.
We show respect for the cafeteria staff by listening and using good manners.
We show respect for parent volunteers by saying please and thank you.
We show respect for the custodians by not making a big mess and keeping our school clean.
We show respect for teacher assistants by listening to them.
We show respect for teachers by not talking when they are talking

Seventh Grade Students Adjust to Middle School  
Transitioning to middle school can be exciting yet stressful for students.  Seventh graders find that with their newfound freedom and independence come additional responsibilities.  In Integrating Technology with Strategies for Academic Success class, students are learning and practicing skills to help them organize their materials, manage their time, and set goals.  Class time is also used to help students master the operation of their lockers.  “When we think of the causes of anxiety during the first few weeks of middle school, we think of the more obvious situations like finding their way around the building, getting used to changing classes every forty-two minutes, adjusting to each teacher’s way of doing things, and more homework,” says Mrs.  Galupi, Business Education teacher.  “But, we often forget that not being able to open a locker can cause just as much worry.”

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