Avonworth District News

Summer 2016

Class of 2016 Graduates with Pomp & Circumstance

The commencement ceremony for the Class of 2016 was held June 3, 2016, in the Avonworth High School Gymnasium. Avonworth High School Principal, Mrs. Emily Clare, presided over the ceremony, which featured speakers Ben Pietrusinski, Senior Class President; Natalie Simmons, Senior Address Representative; Lauren Robinet, Salutatorian; Rebecca Volk, Valedictorian; Mr. David Oberdick, President of the Board of Directors; and Dr. Thomas Ralston, Superintendent. Christina Tuccillo, Student Council President, read the names of the graduations during the presentation of diplomas.
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Graduating Students Celebrated in Senior Walk of District

Leading up to the June 3 commencement ceremony, Avonworth High School seniors donned their caps and gowns and walked the halls of all the school buildings one last time. The soon-to-be-graduates were greeted by adoring fans of students, teachers, and staff members as they marched in this processional.

Music Department Swings Into Spring

The Avonworth Music Department kept a busy schedule with Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) adjudications and spring concerts. Concerts included Middle/High School Band, Middle/High School Chorus, and Elementary Music and Jazz Band Concert. The Avonworth Primary Center & Avonworth Elementary music program is led by Mrs. Janet Harris. Mr. William Guess heads up the elementary and secondary band programs, and Mr. Regis Vrana directs the middle and high music and chorus classes.

8th Graders Pitch Ideas to Inventionland Executives

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. White's 8th grade Inventionland class developed prototypes of inventions to address or solve problems that affect them. Examples of their inventions included a device to keep broken public bathroom doors closed and an extension to a golf club to keep one's swing from going too far. The course culminated in a "Shark Tank" like exhibition to George Davidson, Inventionland CEO, and Clay Carlino, Inventionland Senior Design Manager, and to Dr. Thomas Ralston, Avonworth Superintendent, and Dr. Ken Lockette, Avonworth Assistant Superintendent. The winning team included Megan Kantenwein, Riley North, and Emma Rind for their prototype of a Polaroid Camera container.
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Avonworth's Musical Cast Performs at Gene Kelly Awards

Avonworth School District's production of Into The Woods was nominated in nine categories at the 26th Annual Gene Kelly Awards. The ceremony was held at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts and celebrates high school musicals in Allegheny County. As a "Best Musical" nominee, the Avonworth cast earned the opportunity to perform a song on the Benedum stage.
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Middle School Students Combat Bullying at KDKA

Middle School Counselor Aaron Pellicano led a group of 7th grade students to a KDKA broadcast event with professional journalist Marty Griffin in May. The event was an anti-bullying summit and brought together ideas and students from Avonworth, South Fayette, Sto-Rox, and Woodland Hills to discuss how to combat bullying in middle and high school.

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World Affairs Students Curate Exhibits for Holocaust Museum

Mrs. Long's 10th grade World Affairs students learned about various aspects of the Holocaust through curating exhibits for their own Holocaust Museum in the Jeffrey Boggess Collaboration Center on the secondary campus. The students worked with a curator from the Holocaust Center of PIttsburgh, as well as heard from a local Holocaust survivor.

APC Takes Care to Acclimate Next Year's Kindergartners

The Avonworth Primary Center has and will continue to offer a series of events to introduce next year's kindergarten class to the school. Activities included Kindergarten Team Community Night and MAKESHOP Madness Night at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, both hosted in April. During the summer, youngsters and their families can participate in a Scavenger Hunt & Ice Cream Social (June 22), Family Movie Night (July 27), and Kindergarten Welcome Party. All events are sponsored by the Avonworth PTA. For updated event details, visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Avonworth_Primary_Center.
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Avonworth Plays Major Role with Remake Learning Week

The Pittsburgh region and the country got to see why our city is considered to be an innovative learning hub during Remake Days, May 9-15. Led by Remake Learning, a network of entrepreneurs, foundations, museums, non-profits, schools, and other institutions and individuals, Remake Days featured over 250 connected learning events to celebrate 10 years of the beginning of the network. Avonworth hosted three of those events, including a Pre-K Maker Night, the Ohio River Consortium Maker Faire, and the Antelope Film Festival. Avonworth primary and middle school students also led active exhibits at the culminating Remake Learning Network Rally, May 13, held at PNC park. Primary students led guests through a making activity while middle school students demonstrated how they programmed different drones. Avonworth School District has been an active member of the Remake Learning Network.

District-Wide Art Show Held with Maker Faire

Avonworth held its annual District-Wide Art Show in conjunction with the Ohio River Consortium School Maker Faire. Over 300 parents, children, and community members were in attendance. The art show featured work from all students in the primary and elementary, as well as work from the middle and high school art classes. Art work and biographies of graduates were on display as well. The day also featured the premiere of this year's Pittsburgh Galleries Project exhibits that included installments from Avonworth students with the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, the Mattress Factory, and the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Avonworth Elementary Students Shine During Genius Hour

Avonworth 3rd and 4th graders researched a topic of their own interest and presented their new found knowledge in creative ways and through various mediums. Some students created completely digital products while others built or made physical models, using technology tools or no-tech in sharing their findings. The project culminated in a student exhibition that was held May 18-20. Some students also exhibited their Genius Hour projects during the May 10 Ohio River Consortium School Maker Faire held on the Avonworth secondary campus.
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Avonworth Maker Spaces Featured on WESA 90.5 FM

Abraham Lincoln Visits Elementary School for Novel Study

An Abraham Lincoln impersonator (RIck Miller) came to celebrate the 4th grade's study of Behind Rebel Lines, a book based on a true story about a young girl, who is a female spy for the Union army during the Civil War. The protagonist uses many different personas to get information for the Union generals and faces many dangers as a spy and as a female during her time "behind rebel lines!"
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Fourth Graders Pitch Ideas to Enhance C.A.R.E. Space

Fourth grade students were engaged in a project-based learning activity to respond to the question "How can we enhance the C.A.R.E. Space?" The C.A.R.E. Space is an outdoor learning area, and the students collaborated in teams and researched and developed plans to add to and improve the space. Projects included building a bat box, installing a solar powered pond, and creating a butterfly garden. The student teams pitched their ideas to representatives from DECO Resources, an environmental consulting firm, and to Dr. Cheryl Griffith, Substitute Elementary Principal; Dr. Ken Lockette, Assistant Superintendent, and Mr. Brad Waters, Director of Finance. Some of the projects will be realized in the fall.
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District's Partnership with DECO Resources Bears...Lettuce!

Through an Ed-Tech Refinery Grant from The Sprout Fund, Avonworth has partnered with DECO Resources to incorporate environmental education into the school day at the elementary building and after-school with the Avonworth Middle School Environmental Club. Both programs included creating aquaponic systems, and at the elementary, students also learned about the uses of storm water with two storm water barrels being installed at the elementary school.

Avonworth High School Awarded STEAM Grant

Avonworth High School was awarded a STEAM grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity for the 2016-2017 STEAM proposal "Earth, Wind & Fire - Exploring Renewable Energy & Sustainability Through Alternate Learning Spaces/Avonworth High School."

Avonworth High School's proposal was selected from over 80 grant submissions and will be funded in the amount of $20,000. STEAM Grants are supported by Chevron and the Benedum and Grable Foundations.

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8th Graders Work with Local Engineers to Build Bridges

Eighth grade science students used human-centered design strategies to design plans and prototypes of bridges. The designs and bridges were put to the test not only by holding weight but also by guidance and feedback from area engineers.

University of Pittsburgh's SimMan Visits AHS

Avonworth High School students welcomed the University of Pittsburgh's Pharmacy Program's SimMan, a "hands-on" simulation advancement that allows students to practice working with a patient. Through SimMan students were able to administer medications to a "patient" and see the realistic clinical effect of the therapies. Avonworth science students, including those in the Career Academy of Health and Medicine, participated in the simulations.
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Avonworth/Northgate Track Breaks Records & Wins Medals

Avonworth/Northgate track & field team competed in the PIAA State Championship meet. Hunter Robinson medaled in four events. She brought home Avonworth’s first state championship in more than 20 years by winning the 400 meter dash, lowering her own school record with a time that ranks as the 3rd fastest in WPIAL AA history. She also captured two 3rd place bronze medals in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, lowering her own school record in the 200 in the process. She also earned a 2nd place silver medal as the leadoff leg on the mile relay, with the team lowering its own school record and also running the 3rd fastest time in WPIAL AA history.


Hayden Robinson’s freshman year ended with double silver medals as well. She finished 2nd place in the finals of the 100 meter dash and ran the anchor leg of the 2nd place mile relay team. Rachel Gaugler ended her 4-year-career on a high note. She was a member of the girls two-mile relay team that took home 3rd place bronze medals, the relay’s highest finish at the state level. The team ran a time that broke the school record and was the 2nd fastest time in WPIAL AA history.


For the boys, Kenny Baurle finished off a historic career with three state medals, becoming the most decorated track & field athlete in the program’s history. He placed 6th in the 400 meter dash and was part of the 6th place mile relay team. Baurle also ran the anchor leg of the two-mile relay that took home 3rd place bronze medals and broke a 35-year old school record.

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Avonworth Student-Athletes Sign to Play Sports in College

To add to earlier signings in football and bowling, Cole Pappas and Hannah Bouvy join their peers with signing to play soccer and softball respectively. Cole will be attending Marietta College to play soccer. Marietta competes in NCAA Division III and the Ohio Athletic Conference. Hannah will be joining LaRoche College's softball program. LaRoche is a charter member of the Allegheny Mountain College Conference.
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Lenzner Field to Receive New Turf and Additional Stands

Lenzner Field, home to the Avonworth Antelopes, will undergo renovations this summer, including a brand new turf and additional stands. Due to the construction, the Lenzner Field Athletic Complex (field house, football field, track & field) will be closed to the public. The Avonworth School District appreciates your patience while this work is being done. The anticipated completion date is August 1, 2016.

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Avonworth to Host Regional Project-Based Summer Institute

Avonworth School District, in conjunction with LUMA Institute and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, will host Studio A: Developing Creative K-12 PBL, a three-day, peer learning experience that combines Project-Based Learning (PBL), Design Thinking and Arts Integration--July 19-21. Participants will bring an initial project idea and leave with a developed idea for a PBL solution. The workshop will equip teachers across the region to scale innovative practices that do not require a large budget to implement. Teachers will build skills and knowledge to develop interdisciplinary, project-based lessons/units to engage students in meaningful learning and in applying 21st century skills. Participants will learn about LUMA’s modular approach to Design Thinking as a driver of PBL. They will also learn how to integrate the Arts in the context of PBL. Studio A is supported by a grant from the Grable Foundation.
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Summer Movie Guide for Kids Through Common Sense Media

As school ends and summer begins, parents can use Common Sense Media's guide to summer movies. Common Sense Media provides free resources concerning digital citizenship, including family guides for apps, books, movies and TV. Common Sense is an active partner with the Avonworth School District.
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Counselors In All Avonworth Buildings to Hold Summer Hours

In order to serve families, all school buildings will have summer counseling office hours. Dates are subject to change. See the schedule below:


Avonworth Primary Center, Mrs. Barb Bauer, Counselor (bbauer@avonworth.12.pa.us)

August 8, August 15--7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Avonworth Elementary School, Ms. Melissa Kleiner, Counselor (mkleiner@avonworth.k12.pa.us)

August 2, 16--9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. (New Student Orientation)

Avonworth Middle School, Mr. Aaron Pellicano, Counselor (apellicano@avonworth.k12.pa.us)

June 7-9--8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

June 10--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

June 21-23, 28-30--10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.

July 12-14, 19-21--10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

August 2-4, 9-11--10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.


Avonworth High School, Mr. Dave Como, Counselor (Last names L-Z) (comod@avonworth.k12.pa.us)

June 7, 13, 16--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

June 21, 22--9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

June 23, 28, 29, 30--8:00 -12:00 p.m.

July 25, 27--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

August 3, 9, 10--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Avonworth High School, Mrs. Nicole Levis, Counselor (Last names A-K) (nlevis@avonworth.k12.pa.us)

June 6-8, 14, 21-- 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

July 11, 18, 25--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

August 2--8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Avonworth High School, Mrs. Patty Clark, Counseling Office Secretary (pclark@avonworth.k12.pa.us)

June 16, 30--7:00-11:00 a.m.

July 7, 14, 21, 28--7:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

August 4, 11--7:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

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