Above & Beyond

After 40 years of operation, the Center for Theater Arts (CTA) has reached well over 15,000 students. This year’s virtual fundraiser will be a special program at Heinz Hall, 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, March 20, featuring socially distant performances with kids of all ability levels. Details at www.centerfortheaterarts.org. Pictured is Emily Ciranni applying makeup to Anastasia Rudolph at last year’s CTA National High School premier of Lucky Guy—A New Musical. /Photo: Chandler Crowell

Chad Hunter, Sunset Drive, has taken the reins of Video Trust, a nonprofit that aims to strengthen film collections at libraries nationwide.

Chad Hunter

Hunter, who moved with his family to Mt. Lebanon in 2015, joined Video Trust as its executive director at the start of 2021 after spending more than 20 years in the archival and film exhibition industries. His most recent role was senior director of The Rangos Giant Cinema at Carnegie Science Center. Hunter holds a master’s of art management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

He called the move to Video Trust “an exciting opportunity to put to use my experience in archiving, my connections with film distributors, and my nonprofit experience and education.” Hunter plans to transition the organization from a 501(c)6 to a 501(c)3 nonprofit status that will allow for tax-deductible contributions and the pursuit of much-needed grant funding.

“Many libraries lack the funding or technology to adequately build and preserve their film collections. Our goal is to remove those barriers and to empower libraries to better share the powerful stories that the cinema
has to tell.”


Jackie Fulton, librarian at Markham Elementary School, has been chosen by the  Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) to be a member of the 2020-21 PSLA Leadership Institute for School Librarians (LISL).

The institute provides professional development and training in diversity, equity and inclusion for school librarians who aspire to leadership positions. Fulton took part in several initial training sessions in November, and will serve as a mentor to other school librarians while taking one of two online courses on building diversity and anti-racist culture.


St. Clair Hospital has once again received a top safety grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care rating organization. For the 17th consecutive year, St. Clair received the award for its work in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

“At a time when high quality, patient-focused health care has never been more important, St. Clair is proud of the men and women who’ve made our health care system one of the nation’s finest,” said Dr. John T. Sullivan, senior vice president and chief medical officer.  “St. Clair’s most recent ‘A’ grade is the Hospital’s 17th consecutive ‘A’, placing St. Clair amongst the top hospitals in the country and the leader in the region for patient safety. In fact, St. Clair is one of only 41 hospitals across the country with 17 consecutive As and the only hospital in Pennsylvania with that achievement.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, developed under the guidance of the Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign a letter grade to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice a year.

Chiropractor Ian Wagner, pictured with his wife, Natalie, is celebrating 20 years in his practice, Wagner Chiropractor Associates, on Cochran Road.

When Ian Wagner goes to work each day, he knows that he’s making a difference in the lives of his patients—from Mt. Lebanon and beyond. In December 2020, Wagner, of Bethany Drive, celebrated 20 years of operating his Cochran Road practice, Wagner Chiropractic Associates.

“I’ll have people who will literally crawl in here and they’ll be doing cartwheels out the door … To see a smile on their faces when they walk out the door, it’s one of the most rewarding things. I love what I do,” he said.

Wagner, who grew up in Washington, Pennsylvania, dreamed of going to medical school until a visit to a chiropractor as an injured high school senior made him feel like “a new person.” He has degrees from Washington & Jefferson and New York Chiropractic College. When he married his wife, Natalie, they were looking for a good community and school system to settle in. Mt. Lebanon checked all of the boxes, and more.

Wagner describes his job as “diagnosing and treating a broad range of physical conditions. … Chiropractors also emphasize the body’s ability to heal itself. We remove any interference from the spine and nervous system that might be causing problems.” His goal is to help as many people as possible and he’s done just that, seeing roughly 125 people a week and performing 6,000-7,000 adjustments a year for people from Mt. Lebanon all the way to Ohio. In the last two years, a naturopath joined the practice to offer nutritional counseling and address people’s health concerns.

Wagner spends his spare time involved in Mt. Lebanon sports, coaching youth baseball, basketball and football for his three children, Zachary, Carter and Brady.

“The people here in Mt. Lebanon are fantastic. We’ve grown to love this community,” Wagner said.


South Hills Catholic Academy, serving students from preschool to eighth grade, will open its doors in Mt. Lebanon for the 2021-22 school year.

Touted by school leaders as a unique opportunity for students to learn through a traditional Catholic curriculum, South Hills Catholic Academy is independent of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

“South Hills Catholic Academy is creating the opportunity for every child to receive a traditional classical education grounded in faith and values which forms hearts and minds regardless of financial situations,” said Harmony Steward, head of school.

The school follows a classical curriculum, which consists of a three-step liberal arts approach, focusing on grammar, logic and rhetoric.

The academy will be located in the former St. Winifred school building. Tuition schedules are currently being set. Visit
www.shcacademy.com for more details.


COVID RELIEF Have you lost a job or had your hours reduced as a result of the pandemic? If the pandemic has impacted your household financially, you may qualify for one of South Hills Interfaith Movement’s COVID relief programs. Eligible candidates could receive help with rent, utilities or emergency expenses. Call 412-854-9120, extension 7 or email covidrelief@shimcares.org for more information.


HELP WITH HEATING BILLS Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is taking applications until April 9, or until money for the program runs out. The federally funded program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, helps low-income consumers pay winter home heating costs. The program provides a one-time grant, applied directly to the customer’s utility bill. Grants are also available for residents without heat or in danger of being without heat. The income eligibility limit for the 2020-2021 program is 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. This means individuals with an annual income of up to $19,140 are eligible to apply. A family of four can earn an annual income of up to $39,300.


SUMMIT MOVES TO APRIL State Rep. Dan Miller’s annual Disability and Mental Health Summit is tentatively scheduled to take place  April 12-13. More details will be available in our April issue.

Apply online through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Service website (COMPASS) or by calling 1-866-827-1281.


SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ARTISTS The Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market is October 2 and 3 in the Academy Avenue parking lot. One of the highlights of the festival, presented by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership, is the scholarship, which provides $1,000 to a deserving young artist who will attend an accredited higher education program in the fall.

Apply online at www.mtlebanonartistsmarket.com by April 15.

The market, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, is also looking for sponsors in the hope of gaining some of the financial ground it lost by not having the event. Sponsorship not only makes the event possible, it also provides for the scholarships. Details are on the website.