• Oct. 25, 2023

    Leadership Academy recognized for excellence

    Program of Excellence AwardThe Leadership Academy at Upper St. Clair High School was honored with the Program of Excellence Award from the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies. The award was presented during the 69th annual PCSS conference on Oct. 20, 2023, at the Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh.

    The USCHS Leadership Academy is a one-week summer workshop offering students exposure to leadership concepts and practices. Students identify their leadership strengths and learn how these skills may be used to make them successful in all stages of life. Through experiential learning strategies, group projects and hands-on activities, students apply and practice their leadership skills – building confidence in their abilities and enhancing their capacity to serve in leadership roles. The USCHS program offers four sequential phases that can be completed over the course of a student’s high school experience.

    “PCSS believes that students learning to be strong leaders in their schools and communities is civic education at its finest and we are proud to honor the Leadership Academy with the PCSS Program of Excellence Award,” David Trevaskis, executive secretary for the PCSS, said.

    Dr. Steve Torquato, an USCHS social studies teacher and PCSS board member, serves as an USCHS Leadership Academy Phase One instructor. He and his USC colleagues are currently collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh to develop a six-week course to expand the leadership program and enable students to earn college credits for their work. 

    USCHS students from the Leadership Academy were on hand throughout the two-day PCSS conference. In addition to being honored at the awards ceremony on Friday, students assisted with registration and event management at the University of Pittsburgh’s Posvar Hall and Soldiers and Sailors Museum on Saturday, Oct. 21. Dr. Torquato served as the local host for the conference.

    The PCSS promotes quality social studies education from kindergarten to higher learning by advocating the social studies at all levels of education in Pennsylvania; promoting the analysis, dissemination and evaluation of social studies materials; examining and recommending certification requirements for teachers; assisting educators in organizing local social studies councils for professional development; and cooperating with schools, districts, intermediate units and other interested parties on social studies projects.