Above & Beyond

Headshot of Janeen Peretin wearning glasses and a black green and blue top on a gray background.
Janeen Peretin

Lakemont Drive resident Janeen Peretin was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Duquesne University School of Education. Peretin is director of communication, innovation and advancement for the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and a 2002 graduate of Duquesne University, where she received her undergraduate degree in secondary education and teaching. Peretin later earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Gannon University, and a Ph.D. in instructional management and leadership at Robert Morris University. The committee cited Peretin’s depth of educational leadership, particularly her Fly Like a Girl aviation and drone piloting programs, and also esports programs. 


Mt Lebanon School District logoKate Mooney, Mt. Lebanon High School Class of 2024, is this year’s recipient of the  Lt. Terrence Mulkeen Memorial Award, an $8,000 scholarship presented each year to a student athlete, in memory of 1977 Mt. Lebanon graduate Terry Mulkeen, a U.S. Navy pilot who was killed in 1991.

Mooney, a two-year captain of the swim team and last year’s recipient of the  Coach Schreiner Award in cross country, given to an outstanding runner, is a member of the National Honor Society and graduated Cum Laude and has received awards for scholarship and writing.  This fall, she will attend Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College where she will major in nursing with a focus on pediatrics with the goal of becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Junior Sophiko Chumburidze was named the 2024 Richard J. Madden Foundation Scholarship winner. In 2003, Madden created a scholarship where a student may receive up to $12,500 per year as long as a minimum QPA is achieved, and the recipient remains a full-time student.

For a complete list of 2024 scholarship winners, visit the school district’s website.

Six Mt Lebanon School District students smiling and standing together wearing medals and holding a trophy
The high school Odyssey of the Mind team was one of two Mt. Lebanon teams that competed in the Odyssey World Championship. From left: Lizzie Divine, Alex Murray, Onyx Wagner, Ada Haywiser, Elsa Haywiser and Nikko Snyder.

ODYSSEY TEAMS COMPETE IN WORLD TOURNAMENT Two teams from Mt Lebanon competed in the Odyssey of the Mind World Tournament at Iowa State University. Hosting teams from the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore and Uzbekistan. Odyssey of the Mind is a platform where teams of up to seven collaborate to tackle one of five complex problems.

The Mt. Lebanon High School Team was tasked with designing a small vehicle equipped to perform several functions, including collecting a ticket and maneuvering into a parking space. The team finished 12th in a group of 25. Team members are Elsa Haywiser, Elizabeth Divine, Ada Haywiser, Onyx Wagner, Nikko Snyder and Alex Murray, coached by Leah Haywiser and Joyce Divine.

The Mellon Middle School Team finished 22nd in a group of 39 teams. Their challenge was to build a balsa wood structure capable of supporting more than 500 pounds. Team members are Ian and Anna Lee, Evan Snyder, Liam Furey, Linnea Engman, Sophia Lariviere and Taran Santoshi, coached by Chiu-Ching Lee and Sarada Sangameswaran

Lebo softball player running from third base on the field at PNC Park with others players in the background.
Sixth-grade softball players at PNC Park at last year’s WPISL Development Day.

SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL THRIVING IN LEBO Slow pitch softball in Mt. Lebanon is more popular than ever, thanks to the work of the Orelli family of Sunset Hills, known informally as the First Family of Lebo Softball.

The Orellis’ softball journey began in 2015 when their daughter, Lexi, wanted to play at a more competitive level. Within 30 days, her dad, Leo Orelli, became co-founder and president of Lebo Softball Club (LSC) and recruited enough girls to field two Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League (WPISL) teams.

As interest took off, Leo worked to make slow pitch softball a district-sponsored sport. Now, LSC teams are in the high school yearbook and varsity players can earn a letter.

Today, more than 600 softball players are making their own special memories on the field, including his youngest daughter, Hayden.

Leo helped create a culture where blue LSC hoodies fill school playgrounds and attracts girls to gather at the turf, even if they’re not playing. What’s unique about girls’ slow pitch is that no one is going to college for it; scholarships aren’t riding on it. These girls just love the game.

“We have so many dedicated board members, volunteers, coaches and players, who have all come together to make our club what it is today. LSC really has become a family, and none of this is possible without each and every one of them,” Leo added.

The season starts with tryouts in mid-August and wraps up by October 31. For more information about LSC, please go to lebosc.org or catch a home game in person this fall.

*Read more about the program as LeboLife blogger Lauren Cefalo Moore shares her experiences with Mt. Lebanon’s slow pitch softball, on lebomag.com.