• Twelfth Annual USC High School Halls of Fame

    Upper St. Clair School District
    Friday, September 30, 2011

    The purpose of the Halls of Fame is to identify and to honor those who have distinguished themselves in academics, the arts or athletics at the high school, crestcollegiate or professional level and who, in so doing, have contributed to the pride and prestige of Upper St. Clair High School.

    The Arts Hall of Fame inductee for 2011 is Matthew Mehaffey.

    The Academics Hall of Fame inductees for 2011 are Alicia Avick, Michael Barnard, Nicholas Beck, and Michelle Boss Catucci.
    The Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for 2011 are Amy Balsinger, Daniel Cafaro, and Robert MacWhinnie.  

    See below to enjoy some of the "digital memories" of that day!

    Listed below are brief bios about all of our inductees.

    The Arts Hall of Fame inductee for 2011 is Matthew Mehaffey.

    Dr. Matthew Mehaffey
    Matthew Mehaffey, Class of 1993, was actively involved in various music programs offered by USC. He was a member of the marching band for four years and ultimately a field captain. He was in the musicals for four years, in Honor Band, and in District and Regional Choruses. Matt also won varsity letters in volleyball and winter track. For all of his achievements, he was recognized as a member of the National Honor Society. Matt went on to Bucknell University where he became the student conductor of the Rooke Chapel Choir and was graduated with honors. He attended Westminster Choir College where he was a Bruno Walter Scholar and was graduated with distinction. He earned his PhD. with highest honors from the University of Arizona. From 2001-2005 Matt was the Director of Choirs at George Washington University.   Then he became an Associate Professor of Music with Tenure at the University of Minnesota and also the Artistic Director of the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. Matt is the Director of Music at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul.  During the 2011-2012 school year, Matt will be a visiting Professor at Macalaster College. On the basis of his teaching, Matt has edited three volumes of Teaching Music through Performance in Choir and Choral Ensemble Intonation: Method, Procedures, and Exercises. He recently had an essay, “A Multiplicity of Voices,” published by the Cambridge University Press. Matt and his wife Libby live in Minnesota with their two daughters.

    The Academics Hall of Fame inductees for 2011 are Alicia Avick, Michael Barnard, Nicholas Beck, and Michelle Boss Catucci.
    Alicia Avick
    Alicia Avick, Class of 1997, was a member of various clubs, a yearbook senior editor, and played lacrosse for two years. She was a member of National Honor Society. As a senior she worked on the Changes Team and the Engineer Design Challenge when the team won the regional and attended the national competition. Alicia was recognized as the Student of the Year in both 1994 and 1997. A valedictorian of her class, Alicia was also a National Merit Semi-Finalist. She went to the University of Notre Dame and earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2001. Alicia began work at Carrier Corporation where she gained experience in HVAC designs and Automatic Temperature Control Systems. She became a Registered Professional Engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Certified Commissioning Authority. In 2004 Alicia founded Advantus Engineers to specialize in ATC and HVAC design and consulting. She assists architects and engineers on preparing commissioning specifications and on-site overseeing testing and maintaining project logs. Much of her work has been on GREEN buildings. As an Engineering and Construction Consultant, Alicia worked on the Consol Energy Center and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. As a Commissioning Authority, she has worked on a LEED Platinum daycare center, numerous government office buildings, and the Monroeville Convention Center. To encourage women and minorities to enter technical and engineering fields, Alicia is on the Pittsburgh Public Schools Career and Technical Education Executive Local Advisory Committee as well as an Educator in the Workplace. She frequently speaks to middle and high school students (especially girls) to interest them in entering the engineering field. She is also a Board Member of the Pittsburgh branch of the ACE Mentoring Program of America. In addition, Alicia was a co-captain of a project for Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh where she worked with Mark Miller of Eisenhower School to get volunteers to rebuild a house in Mt. Oliver. Each year Alicia participates in the Notre Dame Appalachia Project in western Pennsylvania. Alicia and her husband Mike Barnard live in Upper St. Clair with their two year old daughter Caroline. 
    Michael Barnard
    Mike Barnard, Class of 1997, was awarded eight varsity letters in three sports. He was the goalie for the soccer team; and as a senior captain, he led them to the WPIAL Championship game. In basketball he was on the WPIAL Championship team. In baseball he was the team’s MVP as a senior. In 1997 Mike was rewarded for all his efforts and voted the Male Athlete of the Year. He was also a fine student who was a member of the Changes Team and the Engineer Design Challenge Team which won the regional and went on to the national competition. Mike earned a baseball scholarship to Johns Hopkins University where he played on varsity for four years. He was on the first all-conference team and a statistical conference leader. In 2001 Mike earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins. He became a Registered Professional Engineer and a LEED Accredited Professional and serves on the United States GREEN Building Council. As an engineer for Oxford Development, Mike has worked for many GREEN projects throughout Pittsburgh including first Children’s Hospital and then Consol Energy Center. As a Project Manager for Oxford Development, he founded Oxford’s Sustainability Committee. He is a member of the Champions for the Sustainability Steering Committee and is a volunteer with GREEN Building Alliance. Because of his commitment to his fellowman and his environment, he is actively engaged in GREEN construction and encouraging young people to get involved. Mike founded and is currently president of the Pittsburgh ACE Mentor Program. In their first three years of existence, the ACE local chapter mentored over 120 individuals and led a number of seniors to related secondary programs. He also was a co-captain in a Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh project and works annually on the Notre Dame Appalachia Project. The USC Academic Hall of Fame was not alone in recognizing Michael Barnard for all of his accomplishments; Pittsburgh Magazine announced in August that he is one of the Forty Under Forty to be featured in the November issue. Mike and his wife Alicia live in USC with their daughter Caroline.
    Nicholas Beck
    Nick Beck came to USCHS in 1968 right after he earned a BS from California State College. He returned there in summer and evening programs to earn an MA in English. He taught English 9 and 10 for several years and then moved to other grade levels. Nick was instrumental in developing the Honors English 11 program. He also created a course in Literary Criticism which he taught for over ten years. The course was an English elective that was extremely popular with football players as well as literary scholars. In his early years Nick coached football under Joe Moore and soccer under Joe DePalma. After his two children arrived, Nick focused on teaching English. In 1981 he was appointed Middle School Curriculum Leader, a position that he held until 1993. In 2002 Nick returned to the high school where he taught Honors English 11 for three years until his retirement. Mr. Beck was the consummate teacher. Administrators and colleagues recognized his seemingly innate ability to get the students involved and to make them feel respected. His teaching style was a perfect fit for USC’s student-centered program. One administrator noted, “Enthusiasm pervades the classroom and it is obvious that the students enjoy him as much as he enjoys them.” At one time Nick wrote, “Teaching is my career. It, along with my family, defines my life. I believe my major role in the Upper St. Clair School District is that of a teacher; consequently, anything that might possibly affect that role concerns me.” The many students and colleagues who benefited from Nick Beck’s role as a teacher thank him for choosing this career. Nick and his wife Sandy live in Peters Township.
    Michelle Boss Catucci
    Michelle Boss Catucci, Class of 1998, was extremely active during at USC. She played varsity lacrosse; she sang in the Chorus, in Chanteclairs, and in the musicals. Michelle was a Pantherette who became the captain and who won an Auxiliary Award. She was a Young Life Leader, a Natural Helper, a Joan of Arc Medallion recipient for her 350 hours of community service and a member of National Honor Society. As a member of student government, Michelle was the Senior Class President. In 2002 Michelle was graduated cum laude from Villanova with a BA in psychology. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the psychology honor society Psi Chi. In 2005 Michelle earned an MS in Counseling Psychology and was inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, the counseling honor society. She became certified in K-12 School Counseling. Michelle did her graduate school internship at USCHS and at Eisenhower. She worked with Dr. William Rullo and the Youth Steering Committee concerning the impact that the internet has on students today. She continues to develop programs to deal with internet safety. Since 2007 Michelle has been a middle school counselor for Madison Public Schools in Connecticut where she is the only counselor for over 600 fifth and sixth graders. In the 2010- 2011 school year, she created a program to foster positive connections between students and Brown School adults that involved 100% of the student body and faculty. When several students approached her in January after a series of suicides by gay teens, Michelle and the students organized a “No Name Calling Week” during which they made daily announcements, sponsored a poster contest, and got 75% of the student body to sign a pledge not to use hurtful names. Michelle has been active in the CT School Counselor Association and recently spoke successfully against plans to change state certification. Michelle and her husband currently live in Wallingford, CT. 
    The Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for 2011 are Amy Balsinger, Daniel Cafaro, and Robert MacWhinnie.
    Amy Balsinger
    Amy Balsinger, Class of 1996, earned a total of 11 letters a member of the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams. In soccer in 1995 she was voted the top WPIAL Midfielder and to the Almanac “Elite Eleven.” Five times she was named to the All-WPIAL team and the All-Section team. In basketball Amy was a captain of the 1995-1996 team that earned the best overall record in school history with a 29-2 record and became WPIAL Champions. In Track and Field she was also a captain who participated in seven different events and still holds the USC Long Jump Record. Amy won the Long Jump Medal 11 times in the Baldwin Invitational, the Mt. Lebanon Invitational, and at WPIALs. In 1993 she went to States in Long Jump. It is no wonder that in 1995-1996 Amy was the Almanac/Advertiser Athlete of the Year and USCHS Co-Female Athlete of the Year. Amy also found time to be in student government, Pantherettes, and National Honor Society. Amy went on to play Division I Soccer at Davidson College. She was a four year starter and letter winner and partial athletic scholarship recipient. Her team was the Southern Conference Champion Team in 1996 and Amy was named to the All-Conference Tournament Team. As a senior she was named Head Captain and selected to the First Team All-Conference. Amy was also a Davidson College Sports Medicine Trainer for two years. After earning her BS with a concentration in Medical Humanities, Amy began work for Pfizer as a professional Healthcare Representative. In 2004 she moved to Florida to become a Cardiovascular Specialty Representative. In 2007 Amy left Pfizer and joined Biomet Orthopedics as a Medical Device Sales Representative in the Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC districts. Amy continues to play in coed-soccer leagues in her area.
    Daniel Cafaro
    Daniel Cafaro, Class of 2005, excelled in both baseball and football. In baseball he was an All State and All Conference performer and earned three letters. As a senior he was voted team captain and MVP. In football Daniel was a three year letterman and a three-time all-section honoree. He was selected captain in his senior year. During his three years on varsity, he made 16 interceptions and blocked 12 kicks. Dan made the Pittsburgh Tribune Review “Terrific 25” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22.” He was twice selected to the First Team All-Conference and was named the All-Almanac Special Teams Player of the Year. Dan played in the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game. After high school Dan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and began treatment. In 2007 he was a walk-on for the football team at the University of Pittsburgh. He won the respect and admiration of his teammates as he continued undergoing treatment. Dan was awarded the Demale Stanley Award for being the member of the 2007 Pittsburgh Panther Football Team that best exhibits the courage and inspiration of Demale Stanley and exemplifies the character that is expected of a member of the Pittsburgh Panther Football Program. He went on to win three football letters and was a Rudy Award National Finalist, which recognizes an athlete who has overcome adversity and exhibits Commitment, Character, Courage, and Contribution. Dan plans to become a motivational speaker and to open a non-profit organization to provide transportation for children with cancer to doctor appointments and chemo treatments. Daniel Cafaro has already been an inspiration for a long time. 
    Robert MacWhinnie
    Bobby MacWhinnie, Class of 2001, was an exceptional hockey player and golfer. He was a member of the SHIHL team from 1999 through 2001. He was named an Ice Hockey All Star. From 1998 through 2000 Bobby led the USC golf team to become WPIAL Champions. In 1999 and 2000 he was the Western Pennsylvania Junior Champion. When he was the Pennsylvania State High School Golf Champion in 2000, Bobby broke Jim Furyk’s scoring record. He was twice the Observer Reporter Golfer of the Year. In 2001 he earned the Scholar Athlete Award and was nominated as USC Athlete of the Year. After being highly recruited by prominent universities, Bobby chose the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in Communications. He played on the golf team for four years. In 2002 Bobby became an NCAA District All American. During all four years he was on the University of Maryland Athletic Honor Roll and the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Since his graduation Bobby has been playing professional golf. He has two victories on the circuit. In 2010 he was a member of the nationwide tour. Bobby currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he enjoys working out, reading, and traveling. During the summer Bobby was married. 

Last Modified on December 16, 2013