Avonworth School District News

October - November 2021

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We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families! Before the Thanksgiving break, students in the high school foods courses worked collaboratively to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the students and staff to share on November 10. The feast included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham, corn, and fresh-baked rolls. The students learned many valuable skills that we hope they put to use at home to help prepare their family's Thanksgiving meal.

Homecoming 2021

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Congratulations to the Avonworth High School 2021 Homecoming Court and to the 2021 Homecoming Queen Amonti Thomas!

What is Homecoming and Why Was Our 2021 Homecoming Extra Special?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines homecoming as a celebration that usually includes a football game and a dance when students from an earlier time return to visit. This year, homecoming was exactly what it is supposed to be, with a huge contingent of the Class of 1971 returning for homecoming weekend. The Class of '71 was the first class to graduate from our current high school building.

Organized by '71 graduate Jennie Knox, the group came back together to celebrate their 50th Class Reunion. Before the football game on Friday, the group was given a tour of their old high school. After the tour, the group made their way to Lenzner Stadium for the crowning of this year's homecoming queen and the parade that followed. Included in the attendees from the Class of '71 was the 1971 Homecoming Queen who participated in the crowning of this year's Homecoming Queen. During halftime, the Class of 1971 was brought out onto the sideline to be recognized. On Saturday evening, they had their reunion celebration.

What a special weekend for all of our current and former Antelopes!

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Homecoming Floats!

A new addition to this year's Homecoming festivities was a parade of floats after the crowning of the Homecoming Queen. Each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior) created a float for the parade. The floats looked amazing!

Fall Play 2021

Hello, friends of Avonworth Theater! It was so wonderful to be back in person to present this year's fall play, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's award-winning You Can't Take It With You, one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times!

The family of Martin Vanderhof lives “just around the corner from Columbia University — but don’t go looking for it.” Grandpa, as Martin is more commonly known, is the paterfamilias of a large and extended family of charming eccentrics. His granddaughter, Alice, is an attractive and loving girl who is still embarrassed by her family’s idiosyncrasies. When Alice falls for her boss, Tony, a handsome scion of Wall Street, she fears that their two families – so unlike in manner, politics, and finances – will never come together. But why be obsessed with money? After all, you can’t take it with you!

Thank you to those that came out to see You Can't Take it With You this fall! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Avonworth Musicians Selected to PMEA Honors Band

Each year, the Avonworth music program has talent that rises to the top! Congratulations to Vanessa Amayo and Jessica Reed on auditioning and being selected for the PMEA Honors Band. Vanessa made third chair flute, and Jessica made first chair Tuba.

Congratulations, Vanessa and Jessica!

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Sam Veleke - 2022 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

At the October School Board Meeting, Sam Veleke was recognized for being a 2022 Nation Merit Scholarship semifinalist. High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

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A.W. Beattie Students of the Month

Congratulations to the following Avonworth students for being recognized as Students of the Month at A.W. Beattie Career Center!


  • Keifer Carroll - Carpentry/Building
  • Anna Boothby - Cosmetology


  • Sophia Quigley - Pastry Arts
  • Sean Glinski - Carpentry/Building
  • Olivia Penfield - Cosmetology
  • Magdalene Johnson - Emergency Response Technician

Bus Driver Appreciation Day

National School Bus Safety Week occurs each October. The purpose of the week is to remind everyone that school buses are back on the roads and to follow bus stop safety laws. Please be sure to stop when you see a school bus with its yellow or red lights flashing. These lights indicate that the bus is stopping to let students onto or off of the bus.

Avonworth School District took this week to say a huge thank you to our outstanding bus drivers! Our bus drivers are an essential component of our education system as they safely transport our students to and from school each day. This year has presented new challenges due to the shortage of bus drivers. We sincerely appreciate our bus company, First Student, for their adjustments when short on drivers to ensure our students get to and from school. We also appreciate the patience, flexibility, and understanding our families have shown when bus stop times are adjusted.

To thank our bus drivers, students made signs, #bethekindkid shirts were given to our drivers, and students cheered for our drivers as they pulled up to pick up students in the afternoon. Thank you to our students and administrators for thanking our bus drivers!

A Look at What's Been Happening in Our Schools

High School Math Students Learn About Careers in Mathematics

On October 22, students in the College in High School Intermediate Java Programming class had a virtual call with Dr. Craig Lindberg, an algorithm developer with a long career in mathematics. He explained his career path, including his work at Bell Labs, MIT, and starting his own company. This call took place using Nepris, a service that connects industry professionals to classrooms.
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Collaborative Mural for the new Wexford Hospital

At the end of last school year, Avonworth Primary Center and Avonworth Middle & High School artists designed a tile to be part of the Caring for our Community Mural at the new Wexford Hospital.

You can type in your student's first and last name and select AHN Wexford Hospital as the program! Enjoy!

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Recognizing Children's Grief Awareness Day

Each year, Avonworth Middle School teacher, Miss Potter, organizes Children's Grief Awareness Day. Students and staff wear blue to recognize and support this important day which is designed to help us be more aware of grieving children and the benefits they receive from the support of others.

The butterfly is the universal symbol of hope. The blue butterfly symbolizes the hope we share with children that are grieving a loved one. Each year, the students and staff create the butterfly in the gym. This butterfly has been growing each year, and so does our hope for the children who are grieving.

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Fifth Grade Honors Veterans

On Thursday, November 11th, the fifth grade celebrated Veterans Day by inviting veterans' families and friends to speak in classrooms. Students developed an understanding of the extraordinary work performed by our servicemen and women. Fifth-graders wrote letters to military and first responders thanking them for their service to our country to show their appreciation. This service project was sponsored by Operation Gratitude.

Avonworth Elementary Art Room Happenings

In preparation for their ELA unit on Space, third-grade artists learned to shade spheres with chalk pastel. The spheres were then added to a splatter painting background to make some out-of-this-world artworks!

Warhol inspired the color-tinted selfies from fourth grade. Artists enjoyed exploring a range of materials and experimenting with applying color to achieve the desired results.

More selfies came from fifth grade as they practiced their printing skills. After taking a selfie and some minor editing on the computer, students transferred the images to a piece of foam for printing.

Sixth-grade artists were inspired by Australian Aboriginal dot paintings. After learning a little about Aboriginal creation narratives and cultural beliefs, known as the Dreamtime, students chose a native Australian animal and incorporated characteristics of these amazing indigenous people’s art style, including repetition of dots.

Whole School Storybook

Each year, the primary center chooses one book for all of the classrooms to read. This year our book was The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi. Through the story, the students learned the importance of a growth mindset and the value of being resilient. Mrs. Bauer, our school counselor, teaches our students about resilience as one of our 3R’s. After listening to the story in library and art class, the students drew a picture of one thing they hadn’t been able to do YET. As you can see, there are many things we are working on!

Fire Safety for 1st Graders

Our first graders got to experience the fire safety demonstration from our wonderful local first responders. The students enjoyed getting a close-up view of the trucks and ambulance. They learned helpful tips to stay safe in the event of an emergency.

What's Happening in College Counseling?

Between September and November, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to visit with admission representatives, both in-person and virtually, from 97 schools across the country. The interaction is an excellent way for students to learn more about the school and create a relationship with the admission representative, who will most likely be reading their application should the student apply for admission. These types of visits happen each fall and sometimes in the spring.

On November 17th, seniors had the opportunity to learn about Edmit. This free platform enables students and parents to learn about financial fit with the post-secondary schools they've applied for admission to. Families can create accounts at https://www.edmit.me/AvonworthHs if interested.

Artist Residency Takes Animation in Media Arts to a New Level

Animator Jayla Patton has been working with Mrs. James and her Media Arts 2 & Media Arts 3 classes to enrich the curriculum with new techniques and applications for animation. This is through the Artist Residency Program with the Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M). The students enjoyed learning about new tools and techniques to create animations in their own unique styles.

8th Grade Students Meet with local Veterans

On Tuesday, November 16, 8th Grade Civics students spent the day learning from our Nation's Veterans by attending a Veterans Day Experience Workshop at the Heinz History Center. Twenty-four students developed questions to ask veterans before their field trip to gain eligibility for this unique experience.

At the History Center, local veterans from Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, and WWII answered students' questions, shared personal stories, and brought primary source artifacts from their time in the military. Students met in small groups to have more personal interactions with each veteran.

During each session, students learned about the remarkable first-hand accounts of the Invasion of Normandy, communication challenges in Korea, and dangerous encounters with the Iraqi armies. The heroic actions of these veterans were an inspiration to both students and teachers.

A huge thank you to our Veterans in attendance included Ryan Ahl (Iraq), Gordon Lam (Vietnam), Dave Borland (Korea), and Warren Goss (World War II).

5th & 6th Grade Focus Period

Students who chose to attend the most recent Art Focus Period session could create festive woodblock paintings. Students enjoyed using several materials, including wood, sandpaper, primer, paint, stenciling film, the Cricut machine, and some even added a touch of glitter for extra seasonal sparkle! Special thanks to our neighbors at Home Depot for courtesy cutting all the wood into 6" segments!
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Avonworth Primary's Annual Turkey Decorating Contest

Avonworth Primary Center held its annual Turkey Decorating contest. They were able to raise quite a bit of money this year and were able to make the following donations:

$ 350.00 to Mt. Nebo Presbyterian Church Food Bank

$ 368.00 to North Hill's Community Outreach - Food Pantry for North Borough's

Also, Natalie Hale from Mrs. Russell's first-grade classroom won the contest and received a $10 Target gift card! Congratulations Natalie!

Students Survivalist's Have Stories to Tell

This fall, seventh-graders took on the role of adventure novelists in ELA World Cultures. After an immersive experience within an “extreme biome,” students wrote collaborative novels grounded in research and showcasing their creativity. Each group included a lead writer, a copy editor, and a graphic designer. Then, a team of community members volunteered to serve as beta readers for each group’s novel. The readers prepared feedback on the novel’s content and style, and then they visited the seventh-grade class to dialogue with students about their work. Seventh graders had the chance to converse with authors, marketing and sales experts, physicians, entrepreneurs, former teachers, scientists, and high school students about the nuances of their writing. As one of the guest readers shared, our students do not need to wait until they are “grown-up” to be writers; they are writers today.

2nd Grade & Tree Pittsburgh

Students in second grade have been studying change throughout our first Module in Wit & Wisdom. This focused on how changes in season and weather might affect people and nature. To culminate this learning, members of Tree Pittsburgh joined our second-grade students to share some of the science behind tree behavior and the critical role they play in our lives. Students were able to act like a tree, determine what each part of the tree is used for, and even learn about trees' different seeds and fruit. Tree Pittsburgh also donated some materials to keep our learning going that students in 2nd grade will be able to use for years to come!

Thank you, Tree Pittsburgh, for sharing your time, generosity, and expertise with our students at APC!

2nd Grade Gives Back to Our Community

In October, students had the chance to participate in Community Day and learned about all the amazing things our community does for us here at the Primary Center. This inspired our second-grade team and students to do something to give back to our community. Students in second grade have been collecting pajamas to donate to the Scholastic Pajama Drive. Our students collected an amazing 48 sets of pajamas to donate to people in need.

We are continually humbled by how our community can rally and truly show what it means to "be the kind kid."

Thank you to everyone who helped make this donation possible!

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A Look at What's Been Happening in Athletics

Avonworth Golfers Compete in the PIAA Golf Championships

Congratulations to Kai Carlson and Ciara Anderson for making it to the PIAA Golf Championship! Kai finished as runner up at only two strokes back, finishing with a 74. Ciara finished in a very respectable 19th out of 36 golfers on her first time at States. Coach Goble was very proud. Unfortunately, Brandon Sapolsky was unable to compete due to illness. He was greatly missed by his teammates.

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Girls' Cross Country Team Competes at the PIAA State Championships

Congratulations to the Avonworth Girls' Cross Country Team on making it to the PIAA State Championships. The team finished 15th out of 23 teams. Lindsay Hartle finished 51st out of 251 runners!

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Girls' Soccer Team Earns WPIAL Championship and Trip to Hershey

The Avonworth Girls' Soccer Team had some pretty awesome firsts that took place this season. The girls won the WPIAL 2A Championship game against North Catholic. This game was a nail-biter that went into a second overtime before freshman Fiona Mahan scored the final goal for a 2-1 victory. This is the first WPIAL title for Girls’ Soccer in school history!

The girls had to beat North Catholic again in the semifinals to advance to the PIAA State Championship Game. This time around, the girls won by a score of 3-0 to earn a trip to Hershey to take on Allentown Central Catholic. The girls finished as the 2A runners-up losing to Allentown by a score of 2-1. This is the first PIAA Runner-Up for Girls’ Soccer in school history!

Congratulations on a fantastic season!

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Girls' Volleyball Earns WPIAL 2A Runner-Up

The Avonworth Girls' Volleyball Team finished their fantastic season with an overall record of 16-4-2 and a conference record of 13-4. The team advanced to the WPIAL 2A Championship game against North Catholic and finished as runner-up. The girls advanced to the PIAA State Tournament, where they lost their first-round game to the eventual PIAA Start Runner-Up, Philipsburg-Osceola. Congratulations on a great season!

Congratulations to the following girls who were recognized as 2021 2A Section 2 All-Stars!

First Team:

  • Maggie Colenbrander
  • Sophie Culley
  • Abby Holjes

Second Team:

  • Nora Kate Gavin
  • Maggie Goetz

Third Team:

  • Sam Blose
  • Marry Gannon
  • Victoria Huffmyer
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Another Winning Season for Avonworth Football

The Avonworth Football Team continued their winning ways this season with an overall record of 9-3 and a conference record of 4-1. The team advanced to the WPIAL 3A Semi-Final game against North Catholic. The teams battled until late in the 3rd quarter before North Catholic took a 7-0 lead that stood up for the victory. Congratulations to the team on another successful season!

Congratulations to the following boys for being recognized as an All-Conference selection!


First Team:

  • Kevin Felter
  • Neo Miller
  • Brandon Biagiarelli

Second Team:

  • Ian Syam
  • Erik Studebaker
  • Jermaine Woods
  • Peyton Faulkner

Honorable Mention:

  • Garrett Bouvy
  • Nate Harper


First Team:

  • Erik Studebaker
  • Kevin Felter
  • Brandon Biagiarelli

Second Team:

  • Ian Syam
  • Ezra Tomko
  • Ashton Naviliat
  • Peyton Faulkner

Honorable Mention:

  • Neo Miller
  • Gabe Bonnet
  • Andrew Kuban
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Upcoming Event

Hi Neighbor!

On Wednesday, December 8th, Avonworth Primary Center will host Hi Neighbor! This event is a family-friendly interactive evening to learn about our neighbors' cultures through literature and art activities. The event will feature activities from Lunar New year, Day of the Dead, and Ramadan.

This is the first of several "Hi Neighbor!" cultural events planned for this school year!

The event will take place at Avonwroth Primary Center from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm on 12/8/2021.

Spots are limited! If you are interested in attending, please RSVP HERE!

Upcoming Dates to Remember!

12/6 - School Board Meeting, 7:30 PM

12/7 - 5th & 6th Grade Band & Choir Winter Concert, 7:00 PM

12/8 - 2-Hour Delay

12/8 - Hi Neighbor! at APC, 6:30 PM EVENT FLYER

12/16 - Middle & High School Choir Concert, 7:00 PM

12/23 to 12/31 - Winter Vacation, Schools Closed

1/3 - School in Session