Students and Teachers in Pittsburgh Schools Receive Year End Honors and Awards

Written by Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

Six Pittsburgh Schools’ Teachers Honored for Excellence

Each year teachers across the state of Pennsylvania have the chance to win educational grants. Only teachers of excellence are considered then the best are chosen to receive the grants. The two thousand five hundred dollar grants are awarded by the Teacher Excellence Center. This year’s grant recipients include six Pittsburgh Schools’ teachers: Jennifer Ernsthausen, a third-grade teacher at Burgwin Elementary School in Glen Hazel; Karen M. Lewis, a first-grade teacher at Allard Elementary in the Moon Area School District; Sandra McWilliams, a second-grade teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Peters; Ron Sakolsky, a seventh-grade history teacher at A.E. Oblock Junior High School in Plum; George Savarese, a 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade history teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School; and Jeffrey Schilling, a seventh-grade English teacher at Independence Middle School in Bethel Park. These teachers were not just chosen at random but had to submit essays and were judged in a variety of categories by peers, parents and students. The final decisions were made by a panel of top educators who had to choose from more than three thousand nominees and then interviewing over one hundred finalist. In addition to the $2,500 grant, each teacher was awarded a field trip for their classes to the Carnegie Science Center, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium or the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

Ten Pittsburgh Schools’ Teachers Gain National Certification

In the teaching profession the highest teaching certification that a teacher can hold is that of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. This is a much more rigorous process than that of state certification. Ten Pittsburgh School teachers have succeeded in gaining National Board Certification at the end of this school year. Many teachers and administrators consider this to be the profession's top honor. In the purely volunteer process set by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certification is achieved by participating in performance-based assessment that often takes up to three years to complete and examines the teacher’s or school counselor’s knowledge and accomplishments. The current number of National Board Certified teachers in the Pittsburgh Schools has risen to twenty-five.

Pittsburgh Women’s Service Club Announces Scholarships
The Zonta Club of Pittsburgh, a professional women’s
service organization, in cooperation with Pittsburgh Schools will award thirteen female students with scholarships. The Zonta Club is a group that aims to promote and unite successful women in fields such as business, academia, healthcare, government, social services and the arts through a commitment to service. The Pittsburgh chapter was chartered in 1934. Zonta International was founded in 1919 and now has over 35,000 members in seventy countries. The Pittsburgh area Zonta Club with the Pittsburgh Schools awarded three seniors and ten juniors with Amelia Earhart Awards and Scholarships. The ten juniors received Amelia Earhart Awards for exhibiting the ideals of Zonta by persevering to become contributing members of their schools and communities. Three seniors pursuing postsecondary education will receive two Amelia Earhart Scholarships and one Duquesne Light Amelia Earhart Scholarship of $2,500 each.