Journey Down Memory Lane - Part III

Paul K. Fox, TODAY Steering Committee Member, School District Representative

One only has to view past magazine editions and travel back “through the looking glass” to revisit the history of Upper St. Clair Township. Since 1994, moments in time were shared quarterly each year in print about, by, and for USC residents in UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY, the “award-winning, official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair.” Part III shares various segments reminiscing the period from Spring 2011 through Winter 2018.

In a snapshot, TODAY has captured the events in our community and recognized “the gifts and contributions of the people who live and work here.” We are “Panther Proud” when it comes to documenting the achievements and celebrations that occurred over the past 25 years, and we look forward to capturing the heart and spirit of USC for the next 25 years!

TODAY Milestones Continue - Spring 2011–Winter 2018

• The Spring 2011 issue was devoted to everything from local government budget preparations to home improvements, and also highlighted the amazing six-episode winning streak of Kara Spak (Class of 1992) as Jeopardy television game show champion.

• The Gilfillan heritage and history, restoration, and ownership of the 1830 Log House were revisited in the Summer 2011 issue.

• In Fall 2011, the magazine celebrated the 50-year anniversary of St. Louise de Marillac parish, groundbreaking of the Miracle League field, kickoff plans for the Veterans Monument Park project, local filming of Perks of Being a Wallflower movie by its now-famous producer/author and USC alum Stephen Chbosky, and the accomplishments and commencement speeches of the graduates from the Class of 2011.

• Partnering with the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, the School District reported the success of the first annual Homecoming Gala, raising more than $55,000 towards assistive technology to benefit students with special needs, components of the 21 st Century Schools initiative, wireless microphones for the Boyce and high school theaters, and assistance to various sports programs (Winter 2011).

• With an invitation to the “Celebrate the Schools Gala” in the Fall 2012 issue, the achievements of the Upper St. Clair High School Varsity Football 1988 and 1989 championship teams were recognized, especially honoring the 1989 team’s induction into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

• With a focus on momentous alumni crossroads, the Winter 2012 article “Renewing Old Friendships” celebrated the 20th , 35th , and 40th USC graduate reunions of the Classes of 1992, 1977, and 1972, respectively, followed by special attention to the Class of 1962, earmarking their 50th reunion in September 2012 in the Spring 2013 issue.

Summer 2013 edition of TODAY celebrated Armed Forces Day (coinciding with USC Community Day on Saturday, May 18, 2013) with a four-page feature article on the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, National Guard, and Navy, as well as a front cover portraying the completed USC Veterans Monument Park.

• In the Fall 2013 issue, the residents bid a fond farewell to USC Township Chief of Police Ronald Pardini and saluted his almost 45 years of serving and protecting the citizens of Upper St. Clair Township.

• Since 2000, a regular feature of each winter issue of the magazine, the Upper St. Clair School District announced the inductees to the three Upper St. Clair High School Halls of Fame—the academics, arts, and athletics. Also in the Winter 2013 edition, the Township launched its 2013 Quality of Life Survey to request feedback from residents and business in an attempt to update its Comprehensive Plan, and we celebrated the USCHS boys’ golf team accomplishments for capturing gold at PIAA state team championships, as well as Grant Engel’s winning the PIAA state individual golf championship.

• In the Spring 2014 issue, the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair summarized many of its collaborations and contributions to the community, including funding the installation of the Pennsylvania flagpole ($10K) at the USC Veterans Monument Park, providing a grant to assist the completion of handicapped facilities at Casey’s Clubhouse Miracle Field ($10K), and fundraising the purchase of the acoustic shell ($90K) and Steinway Concert Grand piano ($80K) for the Upper St. Clair High School theater.

• The magazine is always eclectic and diverse in its feature articles, but you better know your acronyms! For example, in Summer 2014, there was a review and history of the USCHS “Pride of Upper St. Clair” (high school marching band), 60+ years of USCAA (Upper St. Clair Athletic Association) and Little League Sports in our community, and “Sewers 101”– ALCOSAN (Allegheny County Sanitary Authority).

• In the Winter 2014 issue, we welcomed the introduction of our newest District Judge, Ronald Arnoni, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department (featured front cover), and commemorated the achievements of two decades of the TODAY magazine.

• The Spring 2015 issue highlighted the 30-year anniversary of the Boyce Earthwarden Program, an award-winning cross-curriculum extended field trip of three-days and two-nights combining the learning in science, math, social studies, art, family and consumer sciences, English language, physical education, and music at the Somerset county Deer Valley YMCA.

• Both the Summer 2015 and Summer 2016 issues devoted articles on the history and accomplishments of Arthur St. Clair, details of his life and service before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War, as well as an updated listing of the Township’s 18 parks and a site/trail map of the Boyce Mayview Park.

• Quoting from the report, “Upper St. Clair is a community brimming with both tradition and innovation,” the highly anticipated ten-year Township Comprehensive Plan adopted on November 2, 2015, was summarized in the Fall 2015 issue and identified the “significant influences and goals associated with land use, infrastructure, connectivity, and resources” within USC until the year 2025. In the same edition, the School District revealed many of the details of its five-year Strategic Plan focusing on future plans in these areas: Professional Learning Communities, safety and security, STEAM, technology, and “The High School Experience.”

• Awards continue to “pile on,” including boasts in the Fall 2016 issue that Upper St. Clair Township was named a “2016 Banner Community” by the Allegheny League of Municipalities, Upper St. Clair High School ranked 11th in Pennsylvania as among the top high schools in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report, and the Upper St. Clair School District was given the distinction of being among the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the NAMM Foundation, “one of only ten school districts in Allegheny County, 63 in Pennsylvania, and 476 from across the country.”

• The School District shared its 2016 Annual Report with sections on its Strategic Plan, Goals, Budget and Finances, and Student Achievement, and Year in Review in the Spring 2017 issue.

• As in every issue, the Summer 2017 edition featured numerous student awards, including SHOP@USC winning the Magna Award grand prize of $5000 sponsored by the National School Board Association, the USCHS Dance Team earning first place honors in the Large School Varsity Jazz Division at the JAMfest Dance Super Nationals in Covington, Kentucky, the Boyce Orchestra being invited to perform at the American String Teachers Association national convention, Fort Couch students capturing second place at the Future City Competition sponsored by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Science Center, and 19 USCHS student athletes signing their “letters of intent” to compete in their respective sports at the collegiate level on the National Signing Day on February 1, 2017, just to name a few of the published accomplishments.

• Along with forms to nominate the Outstanding Citizen Award and sign up for the Citizens’ Police Academy, a special centerfold in Fall 2017 showcased the USC Public Works Coloring Contest, focusing on issues of environmental sustainability, including pages on “Keep the storm drain water clean” and “Truck with recycling bins.” The issue also highlighted the 70-year anniversary of Westminster Presbyterian Church in an article about its founder “Meeting (and Remembering) John Galbraith.”

• The 25th anniversary of the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair was celebrated in the Winter 2017 issue, including a special “tree of giving” cover and commemorative centerfold. In addition, readers submitted several amazing photos of the full solar eclipse which occurred on August 21, 2017, and more than 80 alumni and their spouses of the USCHS Classes of 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963—the first to graduate from Upper St. Clair High School—gathered together and reminisced during a four-day joint reunion Pittsburgh celebration.

• In Spring 2018, photos and accompanying articles, including “High School Honors Veterans” (November 9, 2017) and “Veterans Day Observance” at The Upper St. Clair Veterans Monument Park (November 10, 2017) honored our school and Township veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, along with the regular eight-page colorful spreads of the magazine, showcasing the news and activities of the USC Library and Recreation and Leisure Services.

• We read the retirement announcement of Dr. Patrick O’Toole in the Summer 2018 issue and thanked and congratulated him for 11 stellar years as superintendent of schools and co-publisher of TODAY.

• Printed in the Winter 2018 edition, history was made when varsity head football coach Jim Render won his 400th career football game on August 31, 2018, when Upper St. Clair defeated Peters Township with the score of 16 to 14 in the Panther Stadium.

We began our journey down memory lane with a picturesque, historical celebration of the first decade of the 25-year anniversary of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY magazine in Spring 2019 (Part I). We continued reminiscing through the year 2010 in our Summer 2019 edition (Part II), and rolled up to the end of 2018 in our Fall 2019 edition (Part III).

Stay tuned for the Winter 2019 edition of TODAY that comes out in November. Our next stop (Part IV) will span the current year and launch us into the future as we share our continued mission and goals for the next 25 years! We will also share answers to the trivia contest found on pages 14–15 of this issue. Play along and send in your answers by the September 26 due date. You just might win!

To search past editions of TODAY (2001–2019), visit us online at Do you need a hard copy? Give us a call at 412-833-1600, ext. 2284. For copies of magazines prior to winter 2001, please call.

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