• Aug. 18, 2023

    USC staff kicks-off the 2023-24 school year

    Opening DayStaff members in the Upper St. Clair School District kicked off the 2023-24 school year with the annual Opening Day celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2023, in the high school theater. Opening Day marks the first day back for teachers, teacher aides, school counselors, school nurses and psychologists.

    Parent Teacher Council volunteers greeted staff members as they arrived. The PTC provided a festive photo booth in the district’s colors as well as packaged treats with the message, “You’re the Star of our District.”

    The event began with a performance by the Upper St. Clair High School Marching Band and was followed by remarks from Dr. Judy Bulazo, director of curriculum and professional development; Dr. Dan Zelenski, teachers’ union president; Pamela Scureman, Parent Teacher Council president; Dr. Daphna Gans, school board president; and Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools.

    Dr. Rozzo commended the entire staff for helping to make Upper St. Clair Pennsylvania’s No. 1 school district for the second year in a row.

    “I’m frequently asked, what’s the secret to our success. Without hesitation, I tell everyone, it’s our people,” he said. “We have great students, engaged families, a community that supports and values education, and a staff that is second to none.”

    Throughout the summer, district administrators invested countless hours interviewing for numerous teacher positions. In total, the district hired 17 contracted teachers as well as several long-term substitute teachers.

    “Hiring high quality teachers is one of our most important jobs,” Dr. Rozzo said. “I am confident that these 17 new teachers are superstars who will not only maintain our culture of excellence but elevate it.”   

    New teachersNewly contracted teachers include:

    • Elizabeth DelGreco, Grade 4 Teacher, Baker Elementary School
    • Kate Colebert, Grade 4 Teacher, Baker Elementary School
    • Kristen Stash, Physical Education Teacher, Baker Elementary School
    • Aiko Bosbach, Grade 2 Teacher, Streams Elementary School
    • Kaitlin Vavrek, Kindergarten Teacher, Eisenhower Elementary School
    • Jamie Houck, Grade 5 Math, Boyce Middle School
    • Erin Lee, Grade 5 Math, Boyce Middle School
    • Stephanie Joyce, Grade 5 English Language Arts, Boyce Middle School
    • Lydia Herman, Grade 6 English Language Arts, Boyce Middle School
    • Erin Bruce, Grade 7 English Language Arts, Fort Couch Middle School
    • Conan Rooney, Grade 7 Science, Fort Couch Middle School
    • Karen Chisholm, Orchestra Teacher, Fort Couch Middle School and USCHS
    • Rebecca Maley, Librarian, Fort Couch Middle School
    • Laura Surguine, Choir & Drama Teacher, USCHS
    • Chris Watkinson, Chemistry & Physics Teacher, USCHS
    • Courtney Wregget, School Counselor, USCHS
    • Jessica Kotula, Emotional Support Teacher, USCHS

    In addition, 10 staff members were honored for completing 25 years of service to the Upper St. Clair School District. Dr. Amy Pfender, deputy superintendent, presented each honoree with a 25-year pin in recognition of the silver anniversary. Honorees include:

    • 25 years of serviceAmy Antonio, School Counselor, Boyce Middle School
    • Kevin Clark, Teacher & Deer Valley Coordinator, Boyce Middle School
    • Amy Cornali, Teacher, Streams Elementary School
    • Samuel David, Custodian, USCHS
    • Kristie Dawson, Confidential Administrative Assistant, USCHS
    • Louise Fidler, Teacher Aide, USCHS
    • Helga Gilbert, Spanish Teacher, Baker & Eisenhower Elementary Schools
    • Dee Kelly, Head Secretary, Boyce Middle School
    • David Kyle, Social Studies Teacher, Fort Couch Middle School
    • Melissa Tungate, English Teacher & Curriculum Leader, USCHS

    All students in grades 1-12 will begin the 2023-24 school year on Wednesday, Aug. 23. For kindergarten families, Wednesday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Aug. 24 will be used to conduct welcome events and orientation. The first regular day of kindergarten will occur on Friday, Aug. 25.