Nov. 8, 2019
High school program honors veterans
Upper St. Clair High School honored its school community veterans with a program titled, “Freedom Isn’t Free,” on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in the high school theater.
Organized by Assistant Principal Dan Zelenski, the program included artwork created by students in the school’s Art Club, a student-produced video as well as performances by the Chanteclairs, the Men's Ensemble and the USCHS Marching Band. The Marine Corps League Inc., Souths Hills Detachment 726 Pittsburgh Color Guard led the presentation of colors.
Navy veteran Ed Callahan, former Upper St. Clair High School science teacher and curriculum leader, shared his experiences while enlisted in the Navy and offered a special remembrance for Army Pfc. Wayne K. Sippey, a 1965 Upper St. Clair High School alumnus and the only known USC graduate killed in military action. Pfc. Sippey lost his life in battle on Feb. 26, 1967, during the Vietnam War and was later awarded the Bronze Star posthumously. Technology Education Teacher Fred Peskorski, an Army veteran, manufactured a plaque in Pfc. Sippey’s honor, which will be placed in the high school.
The program also paid tribute to WWII veteran Ronald O. Hadley, who passed away on Oct. 11, 2019. A former lieutenant in the Navy, Mr. Hadley is the father of Cindy Osbourne, a life skills aide at the high school.
As the daughter of a veteran, Upper St. Clair High School junior Ariana Lusi shared her family’s personal story. Ariana’s mother, Melissa Lynn Lusi, served 13 ½ years – including two combat deployments to Iraq – in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard before being medically retired due to injuries.
Current and retired members of Upper St. Clair faculty and staff who are veterans or serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces were recognized for their service.
- Lee Altman, school bus driver, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1966 before being honorably discharged at the rank of senior airman.
- Michael Belak, school police officer, served in the Army National Guard from 1988 to 2001.
- Ed Callahan,former high school science teacher and curriculum leader, served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1969.
- Tom Dailey, school bus driver, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from April 1963 through January 1969. Mr. Dailey served overseas in the Philippines and Vietnam. Interestingly, Sgt. Dailey extended his deployment in Vietnam for six months so he could save his recently drafted brother from serving a year there.
- Bill Jordan, district custodian, served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an aircraft recovery technician from 1980 to 1984.
- Robert Marshall, school bus driver, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-1967.
- Gary McCullough, Boyce Middle School science teacher, is still serving as a pilot for the Air National Guard and served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Glenn Pawloski, high school custodian, served in the U.S. Navy (submarines) from 1974 to 1979. As an electrician mate second class, he completed submarine training in New London, Conn., and was stationed at the submarine base in San Diego.
- Fred Peskorski,high school technology education teacher, served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1992 to 1998.
- Tom Smedley, former high school math and physics teacher and curriculum leader, served on active duty and in the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1974 to 2004.
- Kevin Stretavskl, high school nutrition center employee, served in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1976, honorably discharged as a specialist fourth class. He received the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
- First Lt. Rob Sully,Boyce Middle School social studies teacher, is serving in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and was recently deployed with the Air Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
- John Trainor, Fort Couch Middle School custodian, served in the U.S. Navy from 1981 to 1986. Mr. Trainor was a cryptologist technician interpreter and interrogator. In addition, he was a qualified Navy diver stationed in Rota, Spain and served on five surface ships and five submarines. He was also a Farsi linguist, graduating from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.
- Gregory L. Wagner,assistant athletic director and assistant girls soccer and track coach, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 through 1970.
- David Walk, former Upper St. Clair School District supervisor consultant, served on active duty in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy from 1965 through 1967. Mr. Walk also served in the Navy Reserves from 1967 through 1971.
- Peter Wray, high school security officer, served in the U.S. Army Reserves.