October 2015

October 2015 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High School

Student Council

Student Council members, under the leadership of Mrs. Jenna Romanelli, are busy planning fun and charitable activities for Oblock students to participate in this year. The mission of Student Council is to cultivate leadership, to provide opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills in the school and the community, and to instill the value of service through charitable acts. Activities for this year include planning and decorating for the Welcome Back Dance, Zombie Walk, Harvest Dance, Holiday Dance, and Spring Dance, along with sponsoring Hat Days, organizing a coat drive, and fundraising for the Make a Wish foundation.


Oblock’s award-winning yearbook is already being planned and subscriptions are being taken by a dedicated staff of 7th and 8th graders under the leadership of Mrs. Amanda Durick, AEO Art teacher. The 24-page soft cover book will include colored pictures of all students and faculty. Additionaly there will a video link that will include sports, clubs, and activities. It is on sale now for $12. To order, submit cash or a check made payable to

Oblock Junior High School to Mrs. Durick. All orders must be received by Nov. 3.

Girls’ Basketball

The Oblock eighth grade girls’ basketball is having a successful season! The following athletes are members of the eighth grade team: Amari Bunch, Ana Boyle, Ashley Sullivan, Chloe Fabio, Danielle Taylor, Emily Coughlin, Mackenzie Lake, Patricia Fratangelo, Gianna Trombetta, and Jamie Simboli.

The 7th grade girls’ basketball team is enjoying a very positive season as well. Members of the team include: Kennedie Montue, Khyliah Horne, Amoni Blackwell, Jillian Durst, Brooke Kundla, Gabbi Walkup, Jamie Seneca, Mia Pampena, Gina Proviano, Jennifer Taylor, Carly O'Connell, and Sydney Horvatic. Nice job girls!

Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team finished their season with a record of six wins, four losses, and four ties. According to Coach Mendenhall, the captains for the 7th and 8th grade girls’ soccer team were Kaitlyn Patton (8th grade), Laura Pearlman (8th grade), and Abby Lewis (7th grade). The players with the most goals and assists were Hannah Odom (11 goals, 2 assists), Emily Kirkpatrick (5 goals, 4 assists), Sierra Linhart (3 goals), and Gina Proviano (3 assists). Congratulations to the girls’ soccer team for their great season!

Boys’ Soccer

The AEO Boys’ Soccer Team finished with a record of 6 wins, 4 losses, and 2 ties this year. Coach Paradise said the team worked extremely hard and worked well as a team. Coach Paradise stated that it was a great team effort throughout the season.

Cross Country

A total of 35 boys and girls participated in cross country this year at Oblock. According to Coaches Mr. Wade Campbell and Mr. Joe Fishell, the team worked extremely hard. For the girls, Angela Valotta placed 11th in the Fox Chapel invitational, as well as Robert Hankinson placing 14th overall. In their final WAADA meet, the team ran very hard. Most of the runners ran their best times of the year. Angela Valotta placed 5th overall, and Miles Tush placed 14th. Robert Hankinson won 6 of the 8 meets and Angela Valotta won 5 of the 8 meets. All of the athletes had a great season, and every single one of the runners improved their times from the beginning of the year to the end. Both teams ended the season with winning records. Their coaches couldn't be more proud of them.

Fall Fest

On Wednesday, October 14 a Fall Fest took place outside the Art and French rooms during all lunches. Apple cider and s’mores were on sale, along with a fire pit and music. Good times and fun were had by all. The proceeds benefited Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Thanks to all those who participated.

Zombie Walk

On October 30, PTSA sponsored a Zombie Run/Walk and dance at Oblock Jr. High to benefit the students. Students dressed in costumes and were awarded gift cards for best costumes and participation. The photo booth was back to capture all the action and refreshments were provided to all those in attendance. All the students and staff enjoyed the event.


Fourteen 7th and thirty-three 8th grade boys learned football fundamentals this year under the guidance of head coach, Ryan Silvis and his assistants, Phil Beatty, Nathan Rebovich, and Steve Stremple. Over the course of the season they learned the game of football and became a better team ready to move on to the next level.

The 7th grade team did not have a large team, but had an amazing season considering. They started the season by outscoring Fox Chapel in their scrimmage 5 touchdowns to none. They then pulled off 3 late 4th quarters victories defeating Hempfield 12-6, Latrobe 20-14, and Indiana 22-14. The team also tied Belle Vernon again on a late 4th quarter score to avoid another loss. The team ended up with a 3-2-1 record. The team was led by leading scorer and tackler, Ryan Hubner. Also contributing to the teams success were Colton Lowman, Evan Azzara, Jacob Koontz, Nate McMasters, Christian Brown, and Preston Sunday.

The 8th grade team had a very interesting season. The team is loaded with talented individuals, but it took them a few weeks, and some bumps and bruises to figure out how to play as a team and with their heart. Once they figured it out they were a tough team to stop. Their final record was 2-6, but that does not represent their growth and amount of knowledge they learned throughout the season. The season started slow going 0-4, but it started to turn around at Franklin Regional. On both sides of the ball the team dominated the entire 1st half of the game. This however led to a 2nd half let down and ended in another loss. After that they reeled off 2 straight victories against Connellsville and Penn Trafford. The latter victory came at night on the high school field with a large crowd in attendance. The team’s last game of the season came against an undefeated Belle Vernon team. Even in defeat it was one of their better games played as they fought for the entire game against a very good team. This team has a bright future as they head on to the high school. This team was led by Anthony Little, Nick Stitt, Larry Scafuri, Nick Sluka, Dante Singleton, Akil Washington, Nick Rende, Braeden Koehler, Ryan Billings, Aidan Wetmore, and Nick Nardo.

Creative Convention

On October 27, two teams of GATE students from Oblock traveled to Springdale Junior-Senior High School to compete in the Creative Convention with GATE advisor, Mrs. Yorkshire. Of the twelve teams from school districts in the eastern suburbs, Plum A team made up of 8th graders placed first. Congratulations to the following students: Abigail Casey, Cheyenne Copeland, Liza Loebig, Christian Jones, and Jacob Trusky. Also congratulations to the 7th grade team who placed 4th.

History Bowl

Twelve GATE students traveled from AEO to the Heinz History Center on October 28th to participate in the History Bowl, an academic event designed to engage students in problem solving and creative thinking. Accompanied by Mrs. Mienke, GATE Advisor, and Mr. Miller, GATE Coordinator, the students had to complete challenges in four exhibits in the History Center: Pittsburgh's Special Collections, Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat, Sports Museum, and Heinz. Over 200 students from area schools took part.

The purpose of the event is to promote interest in American history and the heritage of Western Pennsylvania through the interactive exhibits. AEO students did an excellent job in the competition and had fun, while learning about local history. Attending the event were the following students: Jarrod Citrano, Aidan Doyle, Gabe Esposto, Lily Klucinec, Liza Loebig, Cheyenne Copeland, Erica Taylor, Jack Troy, Alex, Vidas, Mark Zarroli,
and Aidan Wetmore.

Library News

Oblock is working hard again with reading this year as more incentives and programs challenge the students to read more than they ever have. Students are listening to excerpts from books during their lunch periods, they are already being rewarded by getting in the lunch line first when they reach the Reading Hall of Fame, and teams are preparing for the Battle of the Books competition.

Many students have already earned numerous AR points to guarantee their place in the Reading Hall of Fame as part of the library’s Team Read competition. All students may participate in Team Read by accumulating Accelerated Reader points in order to reach one of the four levels of the program: Junior Varsity, Varsity, All-Star, or Hall of Fame. There are 43 (v. 24 last year) at the Hall of Fame level already, including 7 in the 300 Point Club (v. only 1 last year at this time). At the All-Star level there are 34, 244 at Varsity level, and 176 have made it into the JV reader level! That’s a total of 497 students who have made it into one of the levels.

There are 35 (v. 30) students comprising 7 (v. 5) teams preparing for the annual AEO Battle of the Books competition. Books from the Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice list are circulating among the team members as they prepare for the first day of competition on November 6. Teams will compete during activity periods with the winners being declared after the final competition on November 13.

The October book challenge was to read and pass an AR tests from a pre-approved list of (long) scary books by Lois Duncan. Congrats to the following students who met Mr. Fishell's October book challenge: Jamaal Wright, Krista Hydock, and Shawn Donnelly.

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