This page contains press releases about events and news within the Ambridge Area School District.
The Ambridge Area School District is pleased to announce it will make financial contributions to community libraries within the District’s coverage area for the 2019-2020 School Year.
For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the District plans to donate $5,250 to Laughlin Memorial Library and $4,250 to Baden Memorial Library for a total of $9,500.
“This is an annual tradition in the District to offer financial support to our two community libraries,” said Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter. “Community libraries are a valuable tool for our families. They provide access to services, programs and materials that encourage a love for reading and literacy, which mirror our own goals in the Ambridge Area School District.”
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the District donated a total of $13,500 to the two community libraries - $7,250 to Laughlin Memorial and $6,250 to Baden Memorial. The amount dedicated in annual support to the two libraries is dependent on the budgeted needs of the District from year to year, said Mr. Doug McCausland, AASD Director of District Operations. “Our budget was a bit tighter this year than in previous years, so we unfortunately were not able to make as large of a contribution as we have in the past.”
Laughlin Memorial Library is located at 99 Eleventh Street in Ambridge. It first opened its doors to the community on July 6, 1929. Baden Memorial Library is located at 385 State Street in Baden. It has been serving the Baden community since 1941. Information about programming for both locations, including hours of operation, is available here.
The Ambridge Area School District is pleased to announce its participation in the Community Eligibility Provision program for the 2019-2020 School Year.
“Effective Aug. 27, 2019, all students enrolled in the Ambridge Area School District are eligible to receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch every day at the school at no charge to families,” said Mrs. Janet Gaffney, AASD Food Services Director. “This is wonderful news for AASD families.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Community Eligibility Provision is a non-pricing meal service option for school districts in low-income areas. By meeting certain eligibility requirements of the provision, AASD students will now automatically receive free breakfast and lunch daily. Previously, the District was required to collect applications from families for the Free-and-Reduced Breakfast/Lunch Program before students were eligible for the benefit.
The provision only covers the cost of breakfast and lunch meals. A la carte items such as milk and snack bar items are not included and will continue to be sold a la carte.
The Ambridge Area School District is offering a free Pre-K Counts class for children ages 3 and 4 for the 2019-2020 School Year. The program is open to students across Beaver County. Children living within the Ambridge Area School District are eligible for free transportation to the program.
Pre-K Counts is designed to prepare children for reading and math, improving attention , following directions and getting along with others in preparation for Kindergarten enrollment in their home school districts.
All Pre-K Counts classrooms:
Have teachers who possess the education and expertise to instruct young children;
Use a curriculum designed to help children grow academically and socially;
Regularly review children’s progress and choose teaching and learning activities that are tailored to each child’s individual needs;
Offer small class sizes so children receive plenty of 1:1 time with teachers.
Children between the ages of 3 and 4 who live in families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to enroll in this free program. Breakfast and lunch are served to all children enrolled in the program.
Ambridge Area School District offers two PreK classrooms at Highland Elementary School and one at both State Street and Economy elementary schools for a total of four Pre-K classrooms.
Ambridge Area School Board of Directors approved the transfer of Mr. David Turk to the newly-created 10-month position of Middle School Assistant Principal at the July 17 meeting. Mr. Turk previously served as a health and physical education teacher at Ambridge Area High School since 2011. He will begin his duties immediately at an annual salary of $70,000.
Mr. Turk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University (Pa.) and earned his Pennsylvania Teaching Certification in Health and Physical Education. He also holds a Master of Education degree in School Administration (Principal K-12) from California University (Pa.).
He began his professional career in the Pittsburgh Public Schools in January 2010, where he served as a substitute teacher at Perry High School. He later became a building substitute with Pittsburgh Public Schools, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant to the Administration and Assistant Technology Technician. He was hired by Ambridge Area School District to work as a health and physical education teacher, a position he held from 2011 to present.
Mr. Turk said he is looking forward to serving in his new role at the Middle School, and thanked the School Board for providing him with the opportunity. “I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given, and I look forward to working with all of the Middle School staff and most important of all, I look forward to working with the students,” he said.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter said Mr. Turk will be an incredible asset to the Middle School. “His focus is on a mentorship program for the Middle School students so that our students have guidance and mentorship from the minute they enter the school until the time they leave, and so parents have a dedicated liaison. I’m very excited to have him working with us.”
The Ambridge Area School District is accepting applications for the 2019 Hall of Honor. Nominees for the honor will be inducted into the Hall of Honor during the 2019 Graduation Ceremony, scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 6, 2019 in the High School Gymnasium.
The Hall of Honor was established to commend outstanding Ambridge Area School District alumni for their accomplishments, successes, service to others and state or national awards.
In order to be eligible for nomination, alumni must meet the following criteria:
Nominees for the Hall of Honor must have made significant community contributing and/or career-related accomplishments. One-time distinctions or awards may be appropriate if they were given at a state or national level.
Nominees also must have graduated from Ambridge Area School District at least 10 years prior.
“The primary goal of the Hall of Honor is to have our current students aspire to the greatness that other Ambridge Area graduates have achieved,” said Dr. Jo Welter, Superintendent of Schools. “Those successful graduates add to our greatness and allow us to encourage and motivate current students toward future aspirations.”
The 2019 Hall of Honor winner will be selected by a committee consisting of School Board members, District Administrators, teachers, students and community members. If available to participate in the ceremony, the 2019 Hall of Honor designee will be recognized during the 2019 Commencement Ceremony on June 6.
Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2019 and are available on the District website and the Ambridge Area Senior High School office.
During the 2018 Commencement Ceremony, held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Ambridge High School, four new members of the Ambridge Hall of Honor were inducted.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter introduced the four new inductees. They are:
Dr. Ken Cirka-1989 Graduate
Dr. Cirka is a 1989 graduate of the AASD. Dr. Cirka received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Grove City College and a Master of Arts degree from Slippery Rock University. He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine. Dr. Cirka is a cosmetic dentist who was named "Best of Philadelphia," America's Best Dentist,Life MagazineTop Dentist and a six-year recipient of Consumer Research Council's Top Dentist award he is the senior dentist and owner of Philadelphia Dentistry.
In addition, Dr. Cirka is a philanthropist and is active with the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Additional volunteerism and charity include Mom and PA dental, Purses Full of Hope, AIDSWalk, Have a Heart, Feeding America and Share Food Program.
Mrs. Karen Larrimer-1980 Graduate
Mrs. Karen (Petcash) Larrimer, a 1980 AASD graduate, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Point Park University. She is currently the executive vice president, head of retail banking and chief customer officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. Mrs. Larrimer is the first female chairwoman of the board for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and a board and executive committee member of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Larrimer has been recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking byAmerican BankerMagazine (2017, 2016, ,2015); was selected to receive a Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award by the National Diversity Council's Pennsylvania Awards Committee (2014); and was a finalist for the 2014 Athena Award. She received the Girl Scouts of America Award of Distinction in Business (2013) and was named "Mother of the Year" (2010) by the national publicationWorking Mother.She also was named a"Women Worth Watching"byDiversity Journalin 2009 and was one of the Best 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania in 2003.
Capt. Charles D. Rowley-1952 Graduate
Capt. Charles D. Rowley is receiving this honor posthumously. A 1952 graduate, Capt. Rowley retired after 30 years of service in the United States Navy. After graduating from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, he completed seven deployments, including two tours of duty and more than 160 missions during the Vietnam War. The Commanding Officer of the Naval Training Center from 1985 to 1990, Capt. Rowley was responsible for 1,300 people. He also was the Director of Computer Resources and Avionics with the Navy as well as the principal and chairman of the Joint Services Review Committee for Avionics.
Capt. Rowley's personal service awards include: the Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Medal; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross; Armed Services Expeditionary Medal; and 12 Air Medal Strike/Flight Awards.
Ms. Rhonda Wozniak-1979 Graduate
Ms. Rhonda Wozniak is a 1979 AASD graduate. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Colorado at Denver; her Master of Arts Degree in Art Conservation from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo; and her Certificate of Advanced Studies in the Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects at the Western Australian Maritime Museum. Ms. Wozniak was the objects conservator and only female crew member aboard the 1994 RMS Titanic expedition that recovered over 400 artifacts from the shipwreck under the direction of IFREMER, the French Oceanographic Institute. The expedition was featured as a National Geographic documentary. Ms. Wozniak lived and worked in France for two years as the primary conservator to prepare the Titanic objects for world-wide exhibit. Rhonda also held the post of Objects Conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh for ten years, and now owns and operates her own MWBE certified art conservation laboratory in Pittsburgh.
The Hall of Honor was established to commend outstanding Ambridge Area School District alumni for their accomplishments, successes, service to others and state or national awards. In order to be eligible for nomination, alumni must meet the following criteria: they must have made a significant community contribution and/or career-related accomplishment. One-time distinctions or awards may be appropriate if they were given at a state or national level. The primary goal of the Hall of Honor is to have our current students aspire to the greatness that other Ambridge Area graduates have achieved," said Dr. Welter. "Those successful graduates add to our greatness and allow us to encourage and motivate current students toward future aspirations."
Information about the Hall of Honor is available here.