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School Board reelects leadership for 2019

Dec. 5, 2018

School Board reelects leadership for 2019

District leadership Members of the Upper St. Clair School Board unanimously reelected Amy Billerbeck as president and Barbara Bolas as vice-president during its annual reorganization meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Both offices are one-year appointments.

Mrs. Billerbeck is beginning her 12th year on the school board. This marks her fourth time serving as school board president – with previous terms in 2009, 2010 and 2018. Mrs. Bolas is a 30-year board member who has served leadership roles locally as well as with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the National School Boards Association.

Mrs. Billerbeck recognized Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent, and Dr. Sharon Suritsky, deputy superintendent, and the administrative team for the success of the school district during 2018. She stated that the leadership transition following Dr. Patrick O’Toole’s retirement in June has been seamless.

A compilation of many of district’s accomplishments from 2018 is provided below.

2018 Year in Review

Academic Approvals

  • MAP Assessment Pilot Contract
  • Memorandum of Agreement for Dual Enrollment with Community College of
  • Allegheny County
  • Special Education Plan Report for 7/1/18 through 6/30/21
  • Pantheon Choir to Perform at Carnegie Hall in January 2019
  • Dual Enrollment/High School Academies Agreement with Community College of Beaver County
  • Step-By-Step Learning Contract for Title II Non-Public School Students
  • Comprehensive Plan for 7/1/19 Through 6/30/22
  • Contract for Academic Progress Monitoring Software Integration into Canvas

Academic Presentations

  • USC Poster Sessions at PDE Conference (Emotional Support – An Innovative and Collaborative Approach for Effective Programming and SHOP@USC – A Bold, Unique Student-Run Business for All Students
  • Presentation at Board Meeting Regarding Parkway West Career & Technology Center
  • Workshop Session Presented at PA Educational Leadership Summit “Hearing and Listening: The Role of Student Voice Initiatives in Secondary Schools”
  • Two Proposals Accepted by NSBA for Presentations at Conference in March 2019: “From Surviving to Thriving: How to Structure and Support an Innovative Emotional Support Program” and “SHOP@USC: Showing How Opportunity Pays at Upper St. Clair”
  • Presentation at Board Meeting Regarding Peer Tutoring: Promoting Success and Relationships Between Middle and High School Students
  • Educational Session Presented at PSBA Conference, “Private Funding: Engage Supporters, Raise Money and Transform Your District”
  • Booth Participation at PSBA Educational Excellence Fair on “Peer Tutoring: Promoting Success and Relationships Between Middle and High School Students”
  • Workshop Presented at Pennsylvania Association of Middle Level Education Summer Institute and Leadership Academy “Providing Clear Reporting of Student Growth: One District's Approach”

Administrative Leadership Approvals

  • Election of Dr. John Rozzo as Superintendent of Schools (7/1/18 through 6/30/23)
  • Election of Ray Carson as Director of Human Resources
  • Recognition of Dr. Patrick O’Toole as Superintendent of Schools from February 2007 through June 2018 and Approval of Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole Leadership Library 

Awards & Recognitions – District

  • Boyce Middle School Designated as 2018-19 Distinguished Title I School by PDE
  • Upper St. Clair Ranked #1 in Allegheny County and #4 in Pennsylvania on Keystone Exams
  • USC High School Named One of Only 25 Schools Nationwide Selected as a National Model of Innovative Successful Practices by the Successful Practices Network and AASA
  • Upper St. Clair Named a 2018 NAMM Foundation Best Community for Music Education
  • USC High School Ranked Among Top High Schools in Nation According to U.S. News & World Report’s List of 2018 Best High Schools Ranking 16th in Pennsylvania and 4th in Allegheny County

Awards & Recognitions – Students

  • Boyce Middle School student Louis Gargani named a semifinalist in the 2018 Pennsylvania National Geographic State Bee scoring among the top 100 on the qualifying exam that was administered to school-level champs throughout Pennsylvania
  • Ten Upper St. Clair High School seniors named Finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Steven D. Cheung, Ariana Chiu, Nadith A. Dharmasena, Sahil B. Doshi, Jagadeesh R. Gummadi, Michael R. Hrehocik, Caroline C. LeKachman, Spencer C. Miller, Daniel R. Speer and Abigail E. Wagner were selected on the basis of their SAT scores, grades, essays and letters of recommendation
  • Freshman Josh Matheny claimed gold during the PIAA state championships in the 100-yard breaststroke and became the first freshman since 2008 to win an individual state title at the Class AAA level
  • Senior Sahil B. Doshi named a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship recipient – one of only 2,500 in the country
  • Senior Jonah Auslander awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship participating in the summer NSLI-Y program, administered by American Cultural Exchange Service, in Moscow, Russia
  • A team of seventh graders from Fort Couch Middle School earned first place honors at the statewide 2018 STEM Design Challenge for developing and building a robotic arm that could help around the house by doing dishes, cooking, and many other things while being powered by a piezoelectric floor throughout the house.
  • Boyce Middle School sixth grader Luke Bishop achieved a perfect score of 25 in the international Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle School program. Within Luke’s division, there were 79,280 participants with only 196 of whom achieved a perfect score.
  • Sophomore Josh Matheny captured the gold for the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 200-meter breaststroke at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals. Josh’s first and second place finishes were the third-fastest all time in the USA’s 15-16 age group.
  • Seniors Reese Benonis, Samuel Ding, Serena Luo and Grace Wagner named Semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition scoring in the top one percent of all juniors completing the PSAT in October 2017.
  • Seniors Brooke Christiansen, Nicholas Devlin, Miles Friedman, Mattigan Fultineer, Arushi Khaitan, Jacqueline LeKachman, Mallika Matharu, Caroline McDonough, Anh-Duy Nguyen, Ritik Parmar, Neha Patel, Hridhay Reddy, Vikram Reddy, Tushar Roy, Lauren Wholey, and Aochen Zhang named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition.
  • 129 High School students earned designation of AP Scholar – including nine National AP Scholars for their exceptional achievement in the college-level Advanced Placement Program in 2018.

Awards & Recognitions – Staff

  • Sharon Suritsky Named a 2018 AASA Women in School Leadership Award Honoree
  • Boyce Middle School teachers Amy Homer and Morgan Olsen honored with Promising Practitioners Awards from the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education
  • High School Science Teacher Douglas Petrick selected as a 2018 WileyPLUS Nexty Award Winner in the category of Best Overall Course
  • Pennsylvania Principals Association appointed Daniel Beck to its newly established Assistant Principal at Large board position.

Budget/Operations Approvals

  • ACA Tax Track Software License Agreement
  • Contract & License Agreement for Transportation Software
  • Participation in PowerPay Program with NRG Curtailment Solutions for 2018-19 School Year
  • Bids for School Buses (6 – 72 Passenger Buses and 1 – 48 Passenger Bus)
  • Bid Award for Band Uniforms
  • Accept Proposal for Professional Appraisal Services
  • Leases for Technology Equipment and School Buses
  • Contract and Lease for Copiers
  • Subdivision Plan to Address Westminster Parking Lot Matter
  • Athletic Trainer Contract
  • Change in School Lunch Tier Categories
  • Contract for District Phone Communications
  • Ratify Engagement Letter to Provide Special Counsel Relative to Special Education and Other Matters
  • Ratify Silver Support Agreement to Provide Maintenance for Equipment at SHOP@USC
  • Ratify Transportation Contracts with First Student
  • Re-Appointments to Youth Steering Committee
  • Agreement for TalentEd Recruiting Software
  • Lease Agreement with CCAC and AIU
  • Snow and Ice Removal Agreement with Township
  • Ratify Purchase of Security-Related Equipment from PCCD Grant 

Capital Projects

  • Presentation Regarding Considerations for High School Pool Options
  • Discussion Regarding Results of Bid Opening for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Bid Awards for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Geotechnical Services and On-Site Inspection for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Resolution for Incurrence of Non-Electoral Indebtendess Not to Exceed $21 Million for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Bid Award for Boyce Floor Slab Replacement
  • Appointment of Board Representatives to Attend Owner/Architect Meetings for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Change Order Process for Capital Projects
  • Approval of Bid Paving Replacement for High School
  • Approval of Letter of Understanding to Provide Planning and Design Services for Construction Project at High School Stadium
  • Approvals of Change Orders for Capital Projects Including Credit Received from Insurance Claim for Data and Electric Line Change Order Totaling $240,934.24 

Collective Bargaining Agreement

  • Approval of Collective Bargaining Agreement with USC Special Service Federation (2018-19 and 2019-20)


  • Approval of Reaffirmation of PSBA Principles for Governance and Leadership


  • Approval of Resolution Regarding Senate Bill 2

Safety and Security

  • Election of Sean Bryson as Chief of School Police
  • Presentation to Board Regarding Safety and Security Update – Strategic Plan Goal Including Statements from School Board President and Superintendent
  • School Police Officers Increased to Six
  • Approval for School Police Officers to Carry Firearms
  • Designation of School Safety & Security Coordinator
  • Designation of Safe2Say Contact Person for Anonymous Tip Program
  • $40,000 Safe Schools Targeted Grant Received for School Police Officer Salaries
  • $25,000 of Security-Related Equipment Purchased from Funds Received from PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Meritorious Safety & Security Grant

School Board Policies

  • Adoption of Policy #3031 – GASB #34 Capitalization
  • Adoption of Policy #3032 – Food Services
  • Adoption of Policy #3033 – Federal Fiscal Compliance and Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG) Federal Procurement Requirements
  • Approval of Revisions to Policy #4006.1 – English as a Second Language
  • Approval of Revisions to Policy #6011 – Child-Student Abuse Policy
  • Approval of Revisions to Policy #6020 – Student Wellness


  • Approval of Proposal for Technology Infrastructure Upgrades at the Middle Schools


  • Board Breakfast Workshop – February 1 (Strategic Plan Goal Regarding Reimaging the High School)
  • Legal Update/Board Orientation – April 23
  • Board Breakfast Workshop – May 16 (Safety and Security)
  • Board Dinner Workshop – December 3 (Safety and Security)