December 2015

December 2015 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High School


Nine members of the AEO gifted program traveled to Woodland Hills High School for the fifth annual K’Nex tournament on December 2, 2015. Students were challenged to build a farm with a working piece of farm equipment, a grain silo, and 3 species of animals. Congratulations to Julia DeFabio, Olivia Rivett, Zoe Sallinger, Erica Taylor, and Khyliah Horne for being the top ranking Plum team with a fifth overall ranking! Special honorable mention went to the second Plum team of Jacob Trusky, Aidan Doyle, Alex Vidas, and Evan Smith. Great job to everyone who participated.

Pittsburgh Glass Center

On December 5, five flute players in the Oblock Junior High band played at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, under the direction of band teacher, Mrs. Erin Marion. The young ladies (Melanie Schultz, Jen Taylor, Kelly Kvortek, Lily Klucinec, and Emily Zangrilli) took advantage of the opportunity to entertain the crowd visiting the center with holiday music.

Art Field Trip

On December 8, Art Club sponsors, Mrs. Amanda Durick, Mr. Bill Depew, and technology integrator, Mr. Dave Dziewulski, took art club members to the Apple Store. To prepare for the field trip, students did illustrations for the book, The Polor Express. The students took the illustrations to the Apple Store and created an iMovie using those illustrations. The students also narrated the iMovie. Employees at the Apple store assisted the students in creating the iMovie, showing them how to add sound, narrate, and import the illustrations. The employees also gave students the opportunity to explore the new products, while providing them a USB band with the iMovie loaded on the band along with an Apple tshirt. Members of the art club attending the field trip were the following students: Nathan DeLuce, Jenna Bell, Gianna Marasco, Natalie Norcera, Cheyenne Copeland, Phoenix Olsavsky, Ellie Jenkins, Priscilla Jones, Cameron Corrigan, Sydney Damico, Riley Agate, Emily Stetzer, Audrey Lawrence, Makayla Jackson, Paige Harris, Chloe Brown, Brooke Pistella, Sarah Tamuschy, Amber Scott, and Sarah love.

AEO Snow Club

Thirty-Five students and several faculty members at Oblock are gearing up for some fun in the snow at Hidden Valley this winter. Under the direction of Ryan Silvis, a five-week ski program beginning in January has been planned for students who enjoy skiing and/or snowboarding. The trips take place on Friday evenings immediately after school. Lessons will be available for both beginners and more advanced participants. Officers for this year are as follows: Alex Anderson, President; Olivia Pernice, Vice-President; Christian Jones, Treasurer; and Nick Rende, Secretary. Faculty chaperoning the trips include Mr. Ryan Silvis, Mr. Joseph Miller, Mr. Nick Oto, Mrs. Rose Miller, Mr. Robert Kalanja, Mr. Mike Evans, Mr. Phil Beatty, Mr. Dave Mischen, Mrs. Jen Parachos, and Mr. Joseph Fishell.

Internet Safety

On December 10, Philip Little, from the Office of the Attorney General came to speak to the students of Oblock about online safety. Mr. Little discussed many important items about online contacts and postings on social medias. He gave a specific example of a teenager who was abducted from a child predator because she wasn’t aware of potential Internet dangers. This teenager thought she was communicating with another peer. By showing Oblock students how closely Internet dangers relate to their own lives, the students were encouraged to evaluate their current social media accounts. The assembly ended with a quality and thought provoking question and answer period that gave the students an important message to take with them.

Oblock Cares Read-A-Thon

Again this year the students of Oblock read for a cause. Every year the AEO students raise money for local charities, MAW Plum Food Pantry and UPCI university of Pgh cancer institute. The goal again for this year’s Read-a-Thon was to read 500 books in 2 weeks. Before the Read-a-Thon started the students got pledges from sponsors and set goals for the number of books they planned to read. From November 17 through December 1, they kept track of the books they read and then collected their pledges. The students read nearly 600 in that two-week period, and raised an astounding $3600, and donations are still coming in! Over 175 students and staff participated. The prize winners who earned gift cards to Game Stop, Target and Starbucks were the following students: Richie Hrivinak, Brooke Kundla, Joe Miller, Andrew Kiehl, and Katelyn Bevacqua. A big thank you goes out to the ELA teachers for organizing and planning this event for the eleventh year.

AEO's Light Up the Night With Music, Concert Series

The season of music events will begin on December 9th with the AEO Orchestra playing at Chick-Fil-A in the Miracle Mile for patrons from 6-8pm. Twelve members of the orchestra will play holiday tunes to get people in the seasonal spirit. This has been a big hit in the past and the place will surely be full. Music events will continue into the following week.

On December 14th, The AEO music department will present a 7th Grade Concert at Plum High School at 7pm. This concert will consist of seasonal music played by the orchestra and band. All singing will be provided by the chorus. There will even be an opportunity for the audience to sing along!

The concerts will conclude the next day, December 15th, with an 8th Grade Concert at Plum High School. This concert will also take place at 7pm. The chorus, band, and orchestra will entertain and the music will surely get hearts singing and toes tapping!

Chorus Concert

The 7th and 8th grade chorus presented their Holiday Concert at the high school on December 14th and 15th. Directed by Kailey Remaley, the ensembles performed in front of more than 1400 guests. The 7th grade Select Chorus performed "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" while the 7th grade band and the 8th grade Select Chorus performed "Sleigh Bells!" Songs performed by the 8th grade chorus included "We Sing Feliz Navidad,” “Happy Hanukkah, My Friend,” and "Believe” from the film The Polar Express. The 7th grade selections included "We Need a Little Christmas,” "Candle in the Window,” and "The First Noel/Pachelbel’s Canon.” Beverly Rubright was the accompanist for the two evenings, and was formerly the choral director at Penn-Trafford High School.

Team Read Update

Oblock had 80 kids in the Reading Hall of Fame (v. 65 last year) with 126 points/hours by the holiday break. Three of them have 500 points (v. 1 last year) and 11 have over 300 points each (v. 4 last year). At the All Star level are 77 students (76 points), 262 at the Varsity level (26 points), and 136 at the junior varsity level. That's 555 students total at one of the levels.

Library Field Trip

Students from the Battle of the Books, 300 Point Club, and Hall of Fame raffle winners were invited on a field trip to the South Side Works Theatre to view the documentary, Hana's Suitcase. This Holocaust film describes the story of Hana Brady, whose suitcase was put on display in a museum, and which led to a search for her story before she was sent to the death camp. It is based on the biography, Hana’s Suitcase, which many of the students read in the Oblock library. It was a very powerful experience for the students and one that we hope to repeat in future years.

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