ones to watch
Altadena Drive resident Matthew Cheran, a social studies teacher at Peters Township Middle School, received 2014’s Dr. Howard Jack Outstanding Public Educator Award from the Washington County Community Foundation. Cheran has taught in Peters since 2004.
The award criteria include inspiring students of all abilities, earning the respect of colleagues, students and parents and being active in the community. The application says his classes are not about memorizing dates, events or figures, but instead are opportunities to discuss themes, concepts and current events, and even re-enact such historical events as the immigration process at Ellis Island or the Oklahoma Land Rush.
In addition to teaching, Cheran makes guest appearances in the school musicals and emcees special events. He is a tutor, coach of the forensics team and president of the Peters Township Education Foundation, which will receive a $1,000 grant in his honor.
Dr. Bruce Wright has received St. Clair Hospital’s 2014 Physician Recognition Award. Wright is chair of the hospital’s department of psychiatry. He is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Wright earned his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He practices with Associates in Clinical Psychiatry, PC.
On June 4, Bob Moore, formerly of Mt. Lebanon and current Providence Point resident, celebrated his 90th birthday and achieved another major milestone. Moore has managed to play golf every month since his retirement 25 years ago and made June 4 the date of his 300th consecutive month of playing at least one round of golf. He teed off at Valley Brook Country Club, where he has been a member since its founding. Family, friends and colleagues joined him on the course and a celebratory luncheon.
Ruby Kang, James Place, was honored by the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America at its annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon. Kang was this year’s Honoree in Philanthropy, in recognition of her work with the Mt. Lebanon Community Endowment, the PTSA and the Ladies Hospital Aid Society.
The University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has named Baywood Avenue resident Lindsey Gilkes senior management consultant. Gilkes, who has been with the Institute since 2007, was previously consultant manager. She provides business consulting services to a diverse range of new and existing closely held businesses. Gilkes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Washington & Jefferson College and an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.
Angela Urban, a senior at Mt. Lebanon High School, received one of 10 Stream of Learning Scholarships from Pennsylvania American Water. A panel of judges selected Urban from more than 120 applicants for the $2,000 scholarship, which is awarded according to academic excellence, recommendation letters, community service, and an essay. “I’m passionate about conservation, and it’s definitely something I want to pursue in the future,” says Urban, who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh this fall. She wrote her essay about her experience as member of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and her desire to protect the environment. “I’m currently interested in renewable resources in terms of energy and buildings,” she says, “but each component about conservation has its own thing that’s interesting and valuable.” Urban plans to continue being an active member of SCA and hopes to one day aid environmental efforts with the Peace Corps.
Last fall, the fourth grade at Markham School began work on a collection for 25 soldiers—including Lt. Jack Manning, cousin of fourth-grader Christian Mallon—who were serving in the U.S. Army in a remote outpost in Afghanistan. By the time they were done, the call for creature comforts like magazines, toiletries, hard candy and snacks topped out at 200 pounds, with packing materials donated by Hometown Mail Center on Cochran Road.
The package made its way overseas with letters from the children after help from teachers Julie Howe, Patti McAuley and Brittany Cardillo.
This spring, Manning, now promoted to captain, came to Markham to thank the students, who peppered him with questions about his childhood and the cool Army vehicles he gets to drive.
Celeste LeJeune is an assistant vice president at Ecolab, is a regular on the golf course and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House, but according to her, she grew up as a misfit.
LeJeune, an Austin Avenue resident, is featured in the book Inspire: Women’s Stories of Accomplishment, Encouragement and Influence. Her chapter “The Janitor’s Girl,” details her humble childhood as daughter of her elementary school janitor and how she overcame adversity. “Although we didn’t have a lot, we learned to appreciate what we had,” says LeJeune. She hopes to inspire anyone who experienced “the awkwardness of growing up different.”
Inspire, released in June, includes the stories of 25 women who conquered professional and personal challenges. Inspire author Beth Caldwell says, “Celeste is an example of what women accomplish when they work hard. She grew up in a situation of minimal means, but of love.”
“With so many wonderful women in the book, readers can find a story they relate to and encourages them to fulfill their dreams,” LeJeune says.
Inspire, published by Pennsylvania Family Publishing, is available at amazon.com and bookstores nationwide.