Scholar Information: Meals Drive, Debate Match, Mock Trial and Extra

The Shady Side Academy’s Senior School Service Learning Club sponsored a virtual food drive and twice exceeded its fundraising goal, first $ 500 and then $ 1,000, to raise a total of $ 2,686 for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The proceeds will provide up to 13,432 meals to those in western Pennsylvania who are food insecure.

The Faculty Advisor for the Service Learning Club is Lindsey Myers.

Speech, debate laurels

The Shady Side Academy Senior School’s speech and debate team hosted a virtual tournament on January 16 with more than 180 participants from 23 high schools including schools in California and North Carolina.

SSA fielded 16 student competitors.

Senior Jack Thornton and Junior Anish Kusumanchi took first place and newcomers Hari Viswanathan and Deven Nahata took fifth place in the parliamentary debate. Junior Crystal Ma took third place in prose interpretation and Junior Riley Doyle took sixth place in poetry.

The SSA speech and debate team has participated in eight tournaments in Pennsylvania since October 31st. The local season ends in late March with qualification for state, national and global competitions. Sophomore Maya Leyzarovich qualified for the PHSSL State Tournament in the Congress Super Session earlier this month. Sophomore Nichole Poltinnikov continues to compete in virtual tournaments in the US and currently ranks ninth in Pennsylvania in the Lincoln Douglas Debate.

SSA teams give back

The Shady Side Academy Senior School’s basketball programs for boys and girls joined other high schools in the area to provide the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank with a virtual food drive for WPIAL / City Basketball for the first time.

Organized by several regional coaches in December, the promotion initially attempted to raise $ 4,000 for the grocery bank through January 15 through online donations from WPIAL coaches, players, parents, refresher clubs, and fans. This goal was met in just one day, so it has been revised up several times with an end goal of $ 65,000.

The event raised more than $ 66,000 in donations from 46 different schools.

SSA was ranked fourth in the school rankings with a total of $ 3,261.50 in donations.

The trip will ultimately fund more than 330,000 meals.

Fox Chapel Area students praised it

Two Fox Chapel Area High School seniors, Ryan Kenyon and Vivian Shao, have been named candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program 2021.

You are among the more than 4,500 US students who are candidates for this year’s program and 172 are from Pennsylvania.

Admission to the Presidential Scholars Program, begun in 1964, is one of the highest honors in the country for graduating high school graduates.

Students are selected based on their academic performance and are also assessed for their character, leadership skills, and service activities.

The sham experiment becomes virtual

The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) statewide mock trial competition is held virtually. 233 teams from 199 high schools across the state will compete.

These include Fox Chapel Area, Shaler Area, and Shady Side Academy.

The Pennsylvania Mock Trials program, sponsored by the PBA Young Lawyers Division, has been in existence for 38 years and is one of the largest in the country.

During the competition, teams of eight students have the opportunity to discuss both sides of the case in front of a judge. The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, are assisted by teacher trainers and legal advisors as they prepare for the competition.

Lawyers and community leaders act as jurors and sometimes as judges for the mock trials. The juries determine the winners in each process based on the teams’ ability to prepare their cases, present arguments, and follow court rules.

The district and regional levels of the competition will continue in February and March.

On March 26th and 27th, mock trial teams from 16 high schools will advance to the PBA Statewide Mock Trial Championships.

Walkathon a success

Shady Side Academy’s sixth grade students ran a walkathon to raise money for Water for South Sudan, a nonprofit, for $ 2,803.

Students in Pam Onest’s English classes sponsored the fundraiser after reading Linda Sue Park’s book A Long Road To Water, which featured a boy’s struggle to provide clean water for his family in South Sudan.

FCA shines in forensic tournaments

Three students from Fox Chapel Area High School recently took part in virtual forensic tournaments.

• Shady Side Invitational Forensic Tournament – Junior Patrick Alexander won first place in the Student Congress and received his second bid for the Pennsylvania State Championship tournament. The competition practically took place on January 16 with a total of 212 students from 23 high schools in three states.

• University of Houston Cougar Classic Tournament – A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students was named the Policy Debate winner. The team of Senior Jackson Romero and Junior Ian Mackey-Piccolo advanced to double octofinalists. The virtual competition took place January 15-17 and was hosted by the University of Houston with 552 students from 91 high schools in 17 states.

Tawnya Panizzi is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512,, or on Twitter.

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