Above and Beyond

Mt. Lebanon’s Pumpkin Patch Parade kicks off at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 29. The recreation department is looking for participants and volunteers. If you want to help out, or strut down Washington Road all scary-like, call 412-343-3409. Reminder: Trick or Treat is from 6 to 8 p.m. on October 31. /Photo: George Mendel
Jocelyn Artinger

The State of Black Learning, an educational advocacy and resource organization, has listed Markham Elementary School principal Jocelyn Artinger as one of its Black Excellence in Education awardees. The award recognizes educators whose service has been outstanding in its contribution to the overall positive educational climate of Black students in Pittsburgh and beyond.


Hoover Elementary School teacher Valerie Brown, and Dawn Davenport, secondary English and Library department chair, have been selected for Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship’s Teach Plus program. Over the next year, they will engage in monthly training to develop their policy, advocacy, research and communications skills. Focus areas for this year’s fellows include adequate and equitable school funding, culturally affirming schools and expanding and diversifying the teacher pipeline.

In the 2021-2022 school year, the foreign language department in Mt. Lebanon’s elementary schools brought in $8,550 through their annual fifth-grade service project to raise funds for alpacas through Heifer International, an organization that focuses on promoting sustainability and ending poverty and hunger worldwide. Heifer offered a triple matching program that enabled the group to purchase 57 alpacas.

Melanie Rayl

Melanie Rayl, Oak Park Place, received a James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $10,000. Rayl, a freshman English major at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, was one of 92 recipients of a Hoffa Scholarship, awarded to children of members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. Melanie’s mother, Mary, is a member of Teamsters Local 250. “I’m honored to be a recipient of the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship,” said Rayl. “I’m a strong supporter of unions as they serve a crucial role in providing safety, security and fairness in the workplace.” After graduation, Rayl hopes to either attend law school or pursue a career in teaching.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan is Mt. Lebanon’s junior commissioner for the fall semester. Each year, the municipality selects two high school students to serve as junior commissioners, attending Commission meetings, where they report on school activities. The junior commissioners also report on municipal activities to the student council.

Tan, a Mt. Lebanon High School senior and Vanderbilt Drive resident, is a member of the swim team, a violinist in the high school orchestra and also a member of the Three Rivers Young
People’s Orchestra.

She also has won several awards as an entrant in Mock Trial competitions, and has received book awards from the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon and from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karen Gottschall

Karen Gottschall is the public information office’s new administrative assistant, and she feels that her life has come full circle. Her first job out of college was at the Washingtonian Magazine in Washington DC. After a brief 17-year stint as a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Ethan and Erin, now 27 and 25, she spent seven years at the circulation desk of the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, followed by several administrative positions. She is happy that she found her way back to the municipality and to Mt Lebanon Magazine. A South Hills native, Karen has also lived in Northern Virginia and Philadelphia. She currently resides in Dormont, with her cat, Kayleigh, and enjoys visiting her adult children, live music, exercise, microbrews and traveling. On Wednesday nights, you can find her at trivia night at Primanti’s with her boyfriend, David.


MOG MILE The Mogadishu Mile is back at Jefferson Middle School on Friday, October 7, at 5 p.m. In 1993, following a long-fought battle, beleaguered U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators ran a final mile to safety under fire through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia. The Mogadishu Mile commemorates the battle, which claimed the lives of 18 soldiers. You can participate! Run a 5K on the track or join a team of four in the CrossFit inspired challenge. Get all the details and register online.


GOLD CARD  Mt. Lebanon residents 62 and older are eligible for a Gold Card from the Mt. Lebanon School District. A Gold Card will get you free general admission to all regular season home sporting events; free general admission to one performance of any school district sponsored dramatic or musical production; and a discount on adult education courses. Learn more and download an application.