here & now

PTA Council comprises presidents from our 10 local PTA units. Pictured are the outgoing and incoming presidents. (Front) Sue Galeone, Moira Aulbach, outgoing council president; Katie Caste, incoming council president; Jamie Freeman, Mary Ellen Donato  (Rear) Melissa Bailey, Cara Wetzel, Kristin Archbold, Julie Maselko, Cristina Battaglia, Natalie Kukla. Not pictured: Julie Smith, Christine Neavin, Joyce Divine,  Wendy Liberty. /photography: john schisler

“Promoting our local units and making sure our voices are heard,” is how 2017-18 PTA Council President Maura Aulbach sums up the role of the council.

PTA Council coordinates the efforts of 10 local PTA units, one at each Mt. Lebanon  school. Council ensures  all schools receive unified communications about
important issues. It  promotes the schools’ diverse enrichment projects such as cultural arts performances, book fairs, read-a-thons and international nights. At monthly  meetings, members get updates from the school superintendent and school board president, the municipal public information office  and public safety agencies, the library and Outreach Teen & Family Services.

Council polls PTA units to determine  concerns or priorities and shares that information in regular meetings with the school board and the Mt. Lebanon Education Association. “They’re receptive to us meeting with them and want to hear what we have to say,” says Aulbach, who lives on Woodhaven Drive and has one son, Tommy, in fifth grade at Markham.  Among Council’s current priorities are school safety, maintaining manageable class sizes and the protocol for filling positions as teachers retire. 

Having passed the gavel to incoming president Katie Caste, Aulbach will remain on council next year as a non-voting member and trusted advisor.


Damian Gallaut, 9, lines up with Olympic silver medalist John-Henry Krueger to race once around the ice rink during a public meet-and-greet with the Olympian on April14th. /photography: john schisler

OUR OLYMPIAN We’re claiming John-Henry Krueger as ours because  he learned his skill at our rink, beginning at age 5, when his mom,  Mt. Lebanon skating pro Heidi Krueger, would bring him to work. Now, 17 years later, he parlayed his love of speed into a silver medal in the 1,000 meter short track speedskating event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. He brought the hardware back where it all began, the Mt. Lebanon Ice Center, and spent some time with fans and budding Olympic hopefuls. Krueger ended his time on Team USA and now will represent Hungary in competitions.


FREE STUFF FOR SENIORS! Mt. Lebanon residents 62 and older are eligible for a Gold Card from the Mt. Lebanon School District. Membership in the Gold Card program offers the following benefits:

Free general admission to any school district-sponsored home athletic event (WPIAL playoffs and other postseason games do not qualify).

Free general admission to one performance of any school district- sponsored dramatic or musical production

Discounted tuition on adult education courses offered by Mt. Lebanon School District

Membership is free and proof of residency is required at the time of application. Acceptable proof of residency includes: valid PA driver’s license or identification card with a Mt. Lebanon address, lease, or utility bill. Application must be made in-person at the school district business office at Entrance A-1 of the administrative offices from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or the office of continuing education at the A-2 auditorium entrance off Cochran Road, 5 to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, September through May.


Homemade gyros are only one of the specialties to savor at the annual Holy Cross Greek Food Festival beginning June 12.

GREEK GRUB This summer’s Holy Cross Greek Food Festival runs Tuesday, June 12, through Friday, June 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Park at the church or take the free shuttle from The Galleria, across the street.  Outside tent area features gyros, lamb souvlaki and a selection of Greek pastries. Inside are Greek delicacies such as oregano chicken, pastitsio, moussaka, lamb shank, tiropita, spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves and more. Enjoy music, folk dancing, church tours and a Greek marketplace. Eat-in and take-out service are available. Order online.


FATAL FORAYS Why do people trek off into the wilderness in search of fame, fortune, satisfaction and self? And what happens when everything goes wrong? In the Osher Institute’s Doomed Explorers course at Mt. Lebanon Library, 10 a.m., Wednesdays, from June 27 to August 1, instructor and local author Abby Mendelson will discuss star-crossed adventurers who sailed the open seas, hiked deep into treacherous jungles and climbed impossible peaks, and will explore the warped ideas, growing terror, and eventual destruction of people who thought they could beat the odds. The class ends with a look at Ernest Shackleton, who did everything wrong on his voyage to the South Pole… and lived! Registration required online or call 412-531-1912.

Watch for a story about the upcoming library garden tour in our July/August issue. /photography: julie o’hara

LIBRARY GARDEN TOUR Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s 28th Annual Garden Tour will take place the first weekend in July. The pre-tour party is from 7 to 9 p.m., on Saturday, July 7 with live entertainment, light fare and cocktails in the library garden courtyard. Tickets are $30. The self-guided garden tour is on Sunday, July 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and pre-registration is not required, although there is a $5 discount off the $20 ticket price for registering ahead of time in person or online at the events calendar page of the library’s website, Perennials will be on sale at the library during tour hours. All plants are donated from local gardens, appropriate for our growing conditions and offered at discount prices. Also included are free consultations with Penn State Master Gardeners and a Pittsburgh Rose Society Consulting Rosarian and special promotional offers at The Book Cellar. Look for a story on the garden tour in next month’s issue.


Gordon Robertson, new president of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation

ONES TO WATCH Altadena Drive resident Gordon Robertson has been named president of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation. Robertson, founder of the Hullabaloo Agency, was formerly vice president and creative director at Brunner, and executive creative director and senior vice president at Marc USA.

Dr. Benjamin Lawner has been awarded the John P. Pryor Street Medicine Society Award from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services. The award is presented each year to a physician who has come up through the ranks as an EMS provider and constantly has demonstrated a sincere and on-going dedication to the betterment of EMS. It is named for John P. Pryor, a trauma physician who was killed while serving in Iraq. Lawner, medical director of prehospital care services, LifeFlight and EMS at Allegheny General Hospital, worked for several years as a paramedic and firefighter with Alachua County, Florida, Fire Rescue before receiving a medical degree from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to working at AGH, Lawner was deputy medical director for the Baltimore City Fire Department.