Saturday, December 12, 2009

Menallen Cards for Soldiers

Third graders at Menallen Elementary recently sent Christmas cards and letters to cheer veterans in military hospitals.

Third grade teacher Linda Bozick collects students' letters to mail.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Collection Opportunity for Soldiers

At a recent Rep Council meeting the suggestion to send packages to troops serving overseas arose. I have the perfect opportunity for anybody who's interested.

My cousin, Mike Rega, is serving with the 303rd Psychological Operations Company out of Pittsburgh. His unit is stationed at FOB Warrior, in the city of Kirkuk, in Northern Iraq. Their mission is to bridge the gap between locals and military personnel. They interact with people, trying to get a sense of what's going on in the community and trying to get a feel for changes of local sentiment. They also spend a lot of time in schools educating children about the hazards they face on a daily basis--land mines, roadside bombs and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

If anybody's interested in contributing, I'm collecting non-perishable, non-meltable items to send to him and his unit for Christmas. Beef jerky (no pork products) and cans of Chef Boyardee were requested directly, cans of nuts, Pringles, etc(No glass, please. It's permitted but too much of a hassle to send), candy, especially licorice, granola bars, cereal bars. He also requested over the counter cold medication and sleep aids, but I understand that some folks may not feel totally comfortable purchasing and shipping some of those items, so feel free to include cough drops with vitamin C, etc.

This collection isn't affiliated with any organizations, it's just something I wanted to do to help my boy out. Items can be delivered to 332 at the high school. If you donate, please write a small note so the guys know this was a community effort. I'd like them to know how many people contributed. Also, I'll take care of packaging and shipping items, so if anybody would like to donate a small cash donation for that part of it, it'd be greatly appreciated. I'd like to send it out by the week of December 16, so it arrives (hopefully) between Christmas and New Year's.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Ben Franklin students collected supplies for US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the month of October. Over 900 items were collected. Mrs. Miller's 7th grade homeroom collected the most with 303 items. All supplies will be sent to troops by way of the Uniontown War and Veterans Committee.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Menallen teachers and their families spent a recent Saturday volunteering to help construct the Menallen Outdoor Learning Environment (MOLE). Teachers donated hundreds of hours during the summer of 2009 to help pour concrete and to haul gravel and topsoil. Teachers are leading the project and working with parents and community members to convert Menallen's courtyard into an outdoor classroom.

Leslie Defino, fifth and sixth grade science teacher at Menallen, helps to spread recycled rubber mulch in the Menallen Outdoor Learning Environment on a recent Saturday.

Julie Capuzzi, learning support teacher at Menallen, pushes a heavy load of topsoil during a summer day spent volunteering at the MOLE project.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Uniontown Teachers Recieve National Board Certification

Michelle Komacek at National Board Certification Ceremony.

Carla Lowden at National Board Certification Ceremony.

From the Uniontown Herald Standard: "Uniontown Area School District teachers Michelle Komacek and Carla Lowden recently earned National Board Certification, recognized as a symbol of teaching excellence.
Nearly 74,000 teachers have earned the certification, offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, by meeting rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment, and peer review, according to the national board's Web site.

Dr. Charles Machesky, superintendent of the Uniontown Area School District, said less than 37 percent of the nation's teachers have achieved the certification. There are 496 NBCT's in Pennsylvania . Currently, Komacek and Lowden are the only NBCT's in Fayette county.

Komacek teaches third grade at Menallen School. Lowden teaches biology and physical science at the high school."

The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by

NBPTS Mission Statement:

  • Maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do
  • Providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards
  • Advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers
Learn more at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Uniontown Area High School students observe open-heart surgery

By Marilyn Forbes
Sunday, October 25, 2009

A group of students from Uniontown Area High School took a field trip to Pittsburgh to observe open-heart surgery.

Fifteen students in Jodie Wells' gifted student program made the journey to Allegheny General Hospital to observe a four-hour double-bypass surgery.

Sitting just above the operation in the observation room, the students were able to witness the entire procedure.

"It was a great experience," student Caileigh Carei said, "we got to see what it was really like."

Wells said she heard of the surgery trip opportunities from a fellow teacher and thought that the prospect of taking the students to observe an actual procedure would be an exciting opportunity to offer them.

"It was a wonderful experience for them," Wells said. "I had heard about this last year and I called in May to see if we could set something up."

The double bypass surgery was preformed by Stephen Bailey, who was assisted by a team of about 12 people.

The surgeon and his team removed a section of a vein from the patient's leg that was then used in the procedure.

"It was really interesting and it was way worth it," said student Joe Gentilcore, who hopes to one day become a surgeon. "I think that the experience added even more interest for me."

"I had heard about other schools that did this and I was excited that we were able to go," student Erik Klatt said, "it was pretty cool to see a surgery. It was very detailed and it was interesting to watch."

For some students, the experience hit closer to home, giving them a glimpse into what some of their loved ones have endured.

"I really wanted to go because I have family members who have had the surgery," said Cody Maust. "It was really interesting to experience."

Wells said that she was thrilled with the experience and hopes to make the trip an annual event for her students.

"I really thought that it would be a great opportunity," student Daniella Risha said. "Not many people get the chance to see something like that. We could see the heart pumping the entire time. It was really interesting to be able to see something like that firsthand and I think that it is amazing to see how far we have come in technology."

The trip was made possible by the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute.

Uniontown Area High School Donates to American Cancer Society.

On Friday, October 30, Uniontown Area High School Teachers, as part of their Casual Friday Fundraiser, sent a donation of $203 to the American Cancer Society.

To learn more about the American Cancer Society, or to make a donation, please visit

Uniontown Area School District Teachers Recieve Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant

Please give a well-deserved round of applause to Becky Gartley and Danielle Lancaster, teachers at Ben Franklin Middle School, who applied for and received a grant for the Ben Franklin Drama Club. The grant was awarded to, "...groups or individuals committed to bringing the arts to Fayette, Washington and Greene counties..."

The Ben Franklin Drama club is in its third year. Last year the club, which consists of students from grades 4 through 8, staged a performance of The Jungle Book. This year the club will perform School House Rocks.

Please follow the links below for more information:

Saturday, October 24, 2009


As part of Uniontown Area High School's weekly charity campaign, contributions totaling over $550 have been made to several local charities. Uniontown Area High School teachers and staff made a contiribution of $200 to the Steve Courson Humane Society, a contribution of $200 to the East End Community Center, and $155 to the American Heart Association.

Last year the high school made contributions to organizations representing osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis and juvenile diabetes. The high school staff also contributed to Uniontown's Domestic Violence Shelter, Fayette Friends of Animals, Animal Angels, Habitat for Humanity and the Flight 93 Memorial Fund.

For more information, or if you'd like to contribute, please visit the following organizations at their sites:

East End Community Center

American Heart Association

The Humane Society of the United States

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Uniontown Area Participates in 2009 Fayette County Start! Heart Walk

On Saturday, October 3, Uniontown Area Education Association Members walked in 2009's Fayette County Start! Heart Walk held at Penn State-Eberly Campus. Twenty five Uniontown Area School District teachers, along with spouses, siblings, children and other assorted family members, made three laps around the campus, helping the American Heart Association "...promote physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun family environment." The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's key fundraising event, and this year Uniontown Area Education Members helped to raise over $600 for the American Heart Association.

Read about the event at the Tribune Review

To learn more about the event, or to make a donation to the American Heart Association, please visit