Above & Beyond

HACKATHON Mt. Lebanon High School hosted its inaugural Hackathon on March 27. Coding Club officers and members created an event plan, then developed instructional materials and a website hub. The coding and design sessions included lessons on Python, Edison Robots and game design, all led by high school students. Twelve Jefferson Middle School students participated in the Hackathon, organized at the beginning of the school year by founding members of the Coding Club. Caleb Campanaro won first place in game design. The team of Chaitanya Kale and Grigory Parkhitko won first place in the robotics category. Claire Raff and Annelise Mayer also won awards in the robotics category.

Fourteen Mellon Middle School students also participated. Bryce Spieler won third place in game design, and the team of Peter Atwood, Eli Lasus, and Matthew Burton won second place in game design.


DISABILITY SUMMIT State Rep. Dan Miller presents the 10th annual Disability & Mental Health Summit, beginning at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 11, at Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road. The morning sessions will focus on mental health and the afternoon will target disability issues. A slate of 14 speakers include Valerie Arkoosh, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Dr. Dale Adair, medical director for the state Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Learn more and register at disabilitysummit.com.


The Eagle Scout rank is the pinnacle of the Boy Scout experience, requiring the scout to have held leadership positions in the troop, earned at least 21 merit badges, and finally, completed a service project to help their community, church or school. Below is a listing of recent Eagle Scout projects completed by Mt. Lebanon scouts.

Ian Dawson’s project expanded and enhanced the outdoor picnic area near the children’s playground at Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills. The project took approximately 430 work hours, and Dawson supervised 28 people.

Tyler Hartlep’s project involved more than 20 scouts and adults to create and install a large wooden sign at the Twin Hills Park trailhead, remove weeds and shrubs at the park entrance to open up the space and improve the trails leading to the parks’s bird-watching blind.

Alex Kitzinger completed his project on the corner of Washington Road and Castle Shannon Boulevard, across from Southminster Presbyterian Church. The project included work to remove ivy and other invasive plants from the 170-foot yard running alongside Castle Shannon Boulevard and reconstruct an ivy-covered stone wall. Kitzinger also planted a variety of native and other plants.

Elijah Ober led an Eagle Scout service project to replant conifer trees in Pinecone Park.  He is currently a senior at Mt. Lebanon Senior High School and plans to attend college in the fall of 2023, majoring in environmental science.

Tanner Pardi built two foot bridges and re-sloped parts of the walking trail at Bird Park. He is currently attending Universal Technical Institute for Auto Mechanics, with a plan to attend the Porsche specialty program next.

Jesse McElhattan led a service project to refurbish an after-school music instruction room for Urban Impact on the North Side of Pittsburgh. He is currently a freshman at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Zachary O’Connor installed a flagpole, two benches, and a 25-foot-long stone walkway at the Carrick Sportsmen’s Club campgrounds, in South Park Township.

O’Connor’s project adds to the aesthetic value and useability of the campgrounds as it allows scouts to practice flag ceremonies when they camp, and it also allows for community members and club members a place to gather and congregate on the benches around the fire circle.

Installation of the new benches, building the walkway, and erecting the flagpole were all completed in six weeks. O’Connor’s project was extensive and entailed more than 300 work hours by all who were involved.