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Two MAHS Seniors Selected to Elite Top 100, Attend Outstanding Young Citizens Banquet

5/4/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Moon Area High School (MAHS) seniors Ian Tilton and Amber Wesoloski attended the Outstanding Young Citizens Banquet hosted by Trib Total Media at the Monroeville Convention Center. 

A judging panel chose an Elite Top 100 of all 548 applicants from 97 school districts and from there, the Top 10 and scholarship winners were chosen.

Juniors and seniors who were selected to attend the awards banquet, were nominated by community or family members. Banquet attendees met criteria based on outstanding academics, character, and leadership in their community. 

Tilton and Wesoloski have a deep investment in activities and organizations that extend from the classroom to the community.

In just his senior year, Tilton is the varsity cross country team captain; Speech and Debate Club president; and a member of the varsity track and field team. Within the community, he is a member of St. Margaret Mary parish and has also assisted with Samaritan Sunday through the church, which benefits the mentally disabled. Tilton has also participated in a mission trip through the parish and traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, where he worked in a homeless shelter. 

Ian Tilton will be attending Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) this fall and plans to major in either chemical engineering or materials science and engineering. Tilton was awarded the Carnegie Scholarship from CMU and has also received the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal/Scholarship. Tilton currently ranks first in his graduating class at MAHS.

Similarly, Wesoloski is engaged with both her school and community alike. In her senior year alone, Wesoloski is president of the MAHS chapter of the National Honor Society; treasurer of Drama Club, in which she also participates in school musicals; president of Shakespeare Club; participant in Western Pennsylvania Academic Games League where she proceeded to the national competition; member of the varsity cross country team; and currently ranks second in her graduating class.

Within the community, Wesoloski volunteers with her youth group and is a preschool teacher at Impact Christian Church. As part of her senior project, she assisted in collecting donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

Amber Wesoloski will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall and will be majoring in biology, with an emphasis on pre-medicine, and has received the Presidential Scholarship from the university.

MAMS Student Wins Big at Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair

5/4/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


Moon Area Middle School seventh grade student, Chancharik Mitra, received three awards at the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair (PRSEF).

The PRSEF was established in 1940 and celebrated its 77th year of competition on April 1, 2016. The event welcomes all students in Western Pennsylvania from grades 6-12. The competition is also open to students in Garrett County, Maryland. 

Mitra's project was titled "Electricity from Falling Water" and hypothesized that by using copper and salt water, we are able to produce a renewable energy source and maximize efficiency using these materials as opposed to aluminum and water.

The project applied Kelvin's Thunderstorm. "Kelvin's Thunderstorm is a phenomenon that uses metal cylinders and fluid to produce sparks of high-voltage electricity," said Mitra. "My goal was to maximize the efficiency of Kelvin's Thunderstorm."

At the PRSEF, Mitra secured the following certificates at the awards ceremony held at Heinz Field on April 2, 2016:

  • 4th Place in Engineering and Robotics (Intermediate Division)
  • Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Creativity
  • Honorable Mention for Electrical Engineering from Pittsburgh Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

IEEE globally produces a large portion technical books in a variety of subjects, including electrical engineering, and has more than 430,000 members in its organization.

It has been a number of years since a Moon Area School District student has placed in the PRSEF. Congratulations, Chancharik!

Covestro Visits Allard for STEM Activity

5/3/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


On Friday, April 29, 2016, representatives from Covestro, a company that produces polymer materials, shared their knowledge and excitement for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with the 4th graders at Allard Intermediate.

The team of Covestro representatives included Rebecca Greggs, Ben Renwick, and Lucinette Alvarado. The scientists conducted hands-on experiments with students that explored polymers and monomers.

During the first experiment, students learned about the chemical makeup of balloons. Following their discussion, students hypothesized whether they could penetrate a balloon with a wooden skewer without popping it. The students accepted the challenge and worked carefully to accomplish the task.

Another experiment involved cross-linking polymers to form a "worm-like" bond. The students combined sodium alginate and calcium chloride to create a gummy masterpiece!

Covestro provided students with take-home instructions for the experiments as well as a recipe to make sidewalk chalk using household items. Representatives also shared a Covestro initiative where an airplane is making a trip around the world solely powered by the sun. The kids were given information on how to track the Solar Impulse journey @solarimpulse on social media.

Thank you to Covestro for providing a wonderful treat to our 4th graders at Allard!


RMU President, Dr. Christopher Howard, Tours Moon Area High School Campus

5/2/2016. Filed under Press Releases.

On Friday, April 29, 2016, newly-hired, Robert Morris University (RMU) president, Dr. Christopher Howard, toured the Moon Area High School (MAHS) campus with District administrators, school board members, and township officials.

The tour of the high school was conducted by interim superintendent, Dr. Donna K. Milanovich, board president Jerry Testa, board vice-president Michael Hauser, and high school principal, Barry Balaski.

As neighboring learning institutions, Moon Area School District and Robert Morris University have a longstanding educational partnership. The District and RMU's School of Education and Social Sciences collaborate on numerous initiatives such as the Ohio River Consortium, funded by the Grable Foundation, which aims to increase student project-based learning; the adoption of First Semester of College in the High School courses into the high school curriculum; and the presence of RMU pre-service teachers in our classrooms. 

"As a Board, we encourage our administration to seek ways to build upon our partnership," said Mr. Testa. "Both institutions benefit tremendously from this collaboration."

During the tour, administrators highlighted the building's state-of-the-art classrooms, facilities, and programs that not only enhance learning, but prepare students for life after high school. 

The day of the tour coincided with the high school's "College Signing Day" event. President Howard had the opportunity to interact with seniors who will be attending Robert Morris University this fall. Before posing for a picture with the future Colonials, Dr. Howard was able to offer advice to the incoming students on making the transition to college.

"It was a great opportunity to meet Dr. Howard and welcome him to the Moon Area School District," said Dr. Milanovich. "Moon Area School District looks forward to strengthening and continuing an already outstanding partnership in the years to come."

Recap: 2015-2016 Speech and Debate Team

4/28/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


The Moon Area Speech and Debate team has found success this year with many of its members trying out new events.

Moon Area High School English teacher, James Mangan, and high school gifted coordinator, Tracey Spinelli, sponsor the team.

"The club officers, led by president Ian Tilton, have done a great job of leading the team and bringing about a renewed fervor for success on the speaking and debating circuit," said Mr. Mangan.

The year culminated with four students advancing to the state tournament at Susquehanna University April 8-9, 2016: Rushmin Khazanchi, Impromptu Speaking; Nikhil Maheshwari, Congress; Nick Ulven, Radio Announcing; and Rahul Ghai, Commentary.

After two long days of competition, three of those students advanced to semi-final rounds. Rushmin was able to secure second-place for Impromptu Speaking in the state of Pennsylvania.

The success of the team was also seen this year with Reetwan Bandyopadhyay, who advanced to nationals in Congress. The tournament took place at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on March 19, 2016, with over 100 students vying for positions in the national tournament.

After debating topics including abolishing the penny and the building of a wall between the United States and Mexico, Reetwan was able to place in the top five. His success has earned him a trip to Sacramento, California, May 27-29, 2016, for the national tournament where he will continue to pave the way for a new generation of the Moon Area High School Speech and Debate team. 

Freshman Team Places 2nd at Shaler Area High School Inaugural STEAM Competition

4/27/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Moon Area High School team, "Shoot for the Moon," placed second at the inaugural STEAM catapult competition held at Shaler Area High School and sponsored by PPG.

The freshman team was comprised of Colby Camardese, Claire Daugherty, Alex Estright, Rylan Sergi, and Samantha Truzzi.

Competing teams had to design and build a tennis ball catapult off-site with both distance and accuracy components. 

All Teams were limited to $150 in catapult supplies and were required to submit their calculations and the formula used to calculate maximum range, which is based on launch speed and angle.

In addition to operating their catapult, teams had to complete three additional on-site challenges. Moon's team placed second overall and received the award for best Aesthetics. Fox Chapel's team placed first and Chartiers Valley followed Moon Area in third place. 

Three Allard/McCormick Students Advance to Regional Spelling Bee at 7 Springs

4/25/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


On Friday, April 22, 2016, third-grade students from Allard and McCormick competed in the 2016 Rotary Spelling Bee.

The following students will be advancing to the regional spelling bee hosted at 7 Springs on Saturday, May 21, 2016:

     1st Place: Isaac Miller (McCormick)

     2nd Place: Rylee Gehrlein (Allard)

     3rd Place: Sajal Shetty (McCormick)


Congratulations to all contestants that participated in the spelling bee!

Photos provided by Ted Merklin.

School Board Meeting Agenda: Monday, April 25, 2016


 School Board Meeting Agenda for Monday, April 25, 2016.  (Agenda)

Over 60 Students Inducted to MAHS National Honor Society

4/20/2016. Filed under Press Releases.

Moon Area High School's chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) inducted 66 students from grades 10, 11, and 12 into the organization on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Prior to induction, the high school NHS had 95 juniors and seniors, bringing the new total to 161 students in the society.

The Candle Ceremony, which is present during each induction, highlights the four pillars of which NHS stands: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. NHS president Amber Wesoloski, vice-president Emily Bolen, secretary Angela Priola, and treasurer Madison Taylor each spoke on these areas after lighting one of the NHS candles.

New members were welcomed onstage during the certificate presentation by NHS sponsor Mrs. Beth Orlovsky; principal Mr. Barry Balaski; assistant principal Mr. Joe Johnson; interim superintendent Dr. Donna K. Milanovich; School Board president Mr. Jerry Testa; School Board vice-president Mr. Michael Hauser; and board members Mrs. Danielle Zieger and Mr. Mark Scappe. During the presentation, students were given a pin and certificate to mark their induction.

Students then recited the NHS pledge, led by Mrs. Beth Orlovsky, taking oath to be leaders in the community while continuing to be high scholars. 

The installation of new officers took place at the induction, as well. New officers are as follows: NHS president Isabella Montanaro; vice-president Sean Kennedy; secretary Max Hurley; and treasurer Nikhil Maheshwari. 

McCormick: Avery Swisher, Earth Day T-Shirt Design Winner

4/19/2016. Filed under Press Releases.


Avery Swisher, fourth-grader at McCormick Intermediate, is the winner of an Earth Day t-shirt design challenge for the Moon Parks & Recreation's Earth Day event this Sunday.

About 300-400 shirts featuring the design will make their debut at the event on Sunday, April 24, 2016, at Robin Hill Park from 1-3 p.m. Shirts are free to the public on a first-come first-serve basis and range from child to adult sizes.

The theme for this year's event is "Wildflower Power" with various activities and crafts featuring flowers and native species to the Moon Area. For this year's design, Swisher said she was inspired by the seventies along with the hippie movement.

Swisher said this is her second consecutive year winning the contest. Last year's theme was "It's Easy Being Green," and her drawing featured a frog hugging a tree. 

Swisher said she enjoys learning about science and the environment in school. "It interests me to help out the environment and make sure it stays safe and clean," she said. 

At the event, community members can participate in interactive activities focusing on the environment and sustainability. The activities will be hosted by local organizations.

There will be a special presentation for Swisher at the event on Sunday beginning sometime between 2-2:30 p.m.

The design competition was between students at Allard Intermediate, Bon Meade Elementary, Brooks Elementary, and McCormick Intermediate schools.

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