PT honors 14 for character
Fourteen Peters Township residents were honored during a ceremony for the 2013 fall Character Counts recognition awards. Those selected were chosen for their contributions to the community and for exemplifying the committee’s motto of respect, honesty and responsibility. Additional chairs were needed to accommodate the overflow audience in the Peters Township Council Chambers.
Character Counts, in its 15th year, is a venture among the school district, the township and the municipality.
Of the 14 honored, 13 are students or staff members of the various schools in the district. The other honoree was nominated by the middle school principal.
Recognized for their commitment to the ideals of respect, honesty and responsibility were:
• Bette Cunningham, who was nominated by members of the staff at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, for her time spent as a member of the school’s PTA, and for organizing the Playground Pals program.
• Meghan McGee, 14, was honored for her numerous hours as a volunteer at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, helping children gain knowledge about the benefits of the library.
• Louise Ratay, nominated by Sandy McWilliams on behalf of the Pleasant Valley staff for her works as a graphic artist. Ratay has produced celebration banners for numerous events and awards.
• Christian Phelps, nominated by Jamison Hardy, traveled to South Africa in May as part of a church program.
• Lukas Cervenak, also nominated by Jamison Hardy, traveled, along with Phelps, to South Africa in May. Both students were coached by Hardy in wrestling for two years.
• Gloria Laux, nominated by Christian Lesnett, assistant high school principal, for her dedication to the high school students.
• Gail Kowalczyk, also nominated by Christian Lesnett, for her service and care as a school nurse, and for developing the district’s protocols on concussions.
• Cecelia Allison, a high school senior, for her many hours of community service, including organizing blood drives, and for constructing a garden at Bower Hill Elementary School as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award.
• Samuel Hazo, nominated by Peters Township Middle School principal Robert Freado, for his musical composition tribute for the victims and their families following the tragic deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December.
• Rachel Cowler, nominated by Judith Alexander, for her participation in the high school’s Interact Club and for her work providing for homeless veterans, including a clothing drive, the memorial wall at the high school and cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner for the vets.
• Casey Kirwan, also nominated by Alexander, for her participation in the high school’s Interact Club and for her countless hours dedicated to the Autism Awareness Walk project and to bring awareness of autism to her fellow high school students.
• Kenna Kuehn, also nominated by Alexander, who told the committee that Kuehn was a natural leader. Kuehn has given hours to those less fortunate including conducting programs on how to escape poverty, and purchasing holiday gifts for needy kids.
• Steve Lo, nominated by Alexander, who, like Kuehn, has dedicated hours to helping those in poverty and less fortunate by purchasing holidays gifts for children and for working on programs on how to get out of poverty.
• Madison Fritz, an eighth- grader, was nominated by Denise Abraham, mother-in-law of wounded Marine veteran Doug Vitale. Abraham told the committee that Fritz raised more than $4,000 that was donated to VFW Post 764 for the Vitale Fund.
The Character Counts Committee meets the first Tuesday of the month at various locations in the township. Those wishing to attend a meeting should contact the township at 724-941-4180, or the school district at 724-941-6251.