CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE Two Mt. Lebanon educators have been recognized for using technology to enhance their students’ learning experience. Jefferson Elementary kindergarten teacher Casey Lewis and Jefferson Middle School eighth-grade English teacher Mike Hladiao (above, center) were named Champions of Change by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity and Common Sense Media.
Lewis has taught her kindergarteners that “technology is not only for the big kids.” With a SMARTboard, which acts as an interactive board, students can move letters to build words and roll a virtual die to create number sentences. Students in Lewis’ classroom also have access to iPads, which they use to practice reading and listen to stories.
The most recent technological addition to Lewis’ classroom is a green screen. “We have recorded videos starring the kindergarten students reading their favorite books with the background set to the pages of the story,” says Lewis. “I have also published e-News reports instead of a traditional newsletter, where my students act as the news anchors reporting on all that they are learning in kindergarten.”
Hladiao has made technology a large presence in his classroom. “Google Classroom has allowed us to go paperless. Google apps like Sheets and Slides have allowed us to collaborate consistently, while providing an avenue for even the quietest student to contribute and participate meaningfully to literature discussion.”
NEW DEAN OF STUDENTS Carlene McGinty, Roycroft Avenue, has been named dean of students at Mt. Lebanon High School. McGinty returns to Mt. Lebanon High School, where she formerly served as director of student activities, from Upper St. Clair School District, where she has served as a school counselor at Upper St. Clair High School. Additional work experience includes 10 years at Calgon Carbon Corporation where she was director of investor relations and planning. McGinty holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University and a master’s degree in education from California University of Pennsylvania. When she receives the requisite certification, she will become a unit principal.
EDUCATION OPEN HOUSE The Mt. Lebanon School District invites the community to attend a Celebration of Education on Sunday, April 3, from noon to 5 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon High School. This community open house will showcase the innovative and creative work of our students K-12 along with fine arts performances scheduled throughout the afternoon. The Celebration of Education welcomes the community to experience the outstanding education offered in our schools.
CLUB LEBO: NEW SPOT FOR TEENS Middle school: One local principal calls it “baby teeth and mustaches.” It’s the years when kids are trying to find out who they are and where they fit in while their bodies are growing oddly. And while they’re doing that, they’re trying to find fun things to do with their friends to stay active and keep out of trouble.
Enter Club Lebo, a low-cost but fun-packed Friday night for Mt. Lebanon students in grades six through eight, run by the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Department in fun venues like the high school pool, outdoor pool, ice rink and middle school gyms.
Club Lebo picks up after the nonprofit Teen Center closed up shop last year. Teen program coordinator Tara Bell will be running the show, selecting fun things like live entertainment, inflatables to climb on and lots of games, music, movies, sports, dancing and other activities.
“It’s a nice addition to our program to provide some leisure activities to this age group,” says Recreation Director David Donnellan. While the Rec Department does have lots of activities for middle schoolers, such as swimming, tennis, golf and ski trips, this is a way to bring them together and offer multiple choices for having fun.
Club Lebo is on Friday evenings once a month during the school year, with the next one scheduled for Jefferson Middle School on March 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is $6, payable online or at the door.
The program is unstructured, and kids don’t have to participate in the activities if they’d rather just hang out and talk. But it is supervised…and it’s a lock-in program, which means once the kids arrive, they can’t leave until it’s over unless signed out by a parent. That means Club Lebo needs lots of volunteers with proper background checks. Please consider helping.
Parents of attendees must sign a waiver. For dates, registration and information on volunteering: www.mtlebanon.org/index.aspx?NID=515