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Middle School Leaders Make a Difference, Take Top Title
Posted 07/03/2012 08:34AM

Sara F. ’17 and Taylor T. ’17 were recently named 2012 Teens of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Pittsburgh (LLS) for their fundraising efforts on behalf of blood cancer research and patient financial aid. Competing against other area teens for the title, the girls accumulated a grand total of $2083.75 during a ten-week campaign that began in March and culminated on Friday, May 18, at the Man, Woman, and Teen Grand Finale at the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group in Wexford, PA.

“The most rewarding thing was just doing it,” says Sara. “We signed up because we thought it was right.” Affirms Taylor, “It helped me realize that I can’t always be… doing my own thing, that I sometimes have to stand up and reach out for other people who really need help.”

The girls mobilized a team of classmates eager to join their effort. During twice-weekly planning meetings, they crafted a strategy that included selling cookies, cookbooks, raffle tickets, soliciting online donations and, with assistance from Director of Athletics Kevin Miller, organized a Red Out. “It started off as Own Clothes Day, where people paid three dollars to wear jeans,” explains Sara. “We sold t-shirts for $10 and bracelets for $1. After that, we had a (boys and girls) lacrosse game, and…a huge bake sale. By the end of that day alone, we made $822.”

“To me, this proved their excitement about the campaign was contagious,” notes Lower School City and Middle School dance teacher Kristin McClintock LeBeau, who provided guidance and served as liaison to LLS, and whose personal involvement with LLS inspired the students’ participation. “It proved they were strong leaders by exhibiting the ability to get others behind their cause.”

Five years ago, LeBeau lost her 26-year-old brother Todd to leukemia. “As soon as this started, (my family) tried to find ways to get involved,” she says. “I volunteered to get involved with the (society’s) Man, Woman, and Teen of the Year campaign about two years ago because of my family's ongoing involvement in the organization. As a faculty member at WT, I had the ability to inform students about the campaign and recruit students to get involved.”

Sara, too, has a personal connection to the cause: her grandfather, internationally renowned cancer researcher Dr. John E. Ultmann, died of complications from lymphoma when she was three, and his widow—Sara’s grandmother—was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. “To me it was a no-brainer that I should (participate),” declares Sara.

“Despite heavy course loads and extracurricular activities, (Sara and Taylor) made the campaign a priority,” remarks LeBeau.

Taylor and Sara’s achievement marks the second straight year that WT students claimed the title: Andrea Ortiz ’11, Isabella Ortiz ’12, and Benjamin Chait ‘12 were crowned 2011 Teens of the Year.

“It’s just great that we were able to…experience the rewards of serving the community,” says Taylor.   Adds Sara, “It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’ll never forget it.”

“This opportunity…proved to be both a fantastic leadership opportunity for students (and) an opportunity for them to make a difference in the community and in the lives of others--a perfect extension of the WT motto ‘Think also of the comfort and rights of others,’” reflects LeBeau. “The efforts of the students over the last two years have been very touching (and)…I love to see their leadership efforts benefit such a worthy cause that is personally close to my heart.”

WT in the News -- links to features in local and national publications:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 16: Winchester Thurston remains perfect

Tribune Review, September 16: Serra boys soccer preps for early-season clash

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 9, 2014: Boys Soccer: Winchester Thurston off to fine start

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 26, 2014: Boys Soccer: 2014 East Season Preview

TABLE Magazine, Fall 2014: Higher Learning

Tribune Review, July 30, 2014: Steel City rowers shine at USRowing Club nationals

New Pittsburgh Courier, June 13, 2014: Jazz on the Water: Humphries boat ride raises thousands for scholarships

food-management.com, June 3, 2014: Kinder-Gardeners

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 22, 2014: Winchester Thurston pair advance

WESA, May 16, 2014: High Schoolers Build Drones To Detect Gas Leaks, Measure Air Quality

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 1, 2014: Boys Tennis: Winchester Thurston doubles teams claims WPIAL silver

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 23, 2014: Track: Several Winchester Thurston athletes shining

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 13, 2014: Rachel Carson's silence

NEXTpittsburgh, March 10, 2014: Chatham U and WT Students working on design of Oakland sites

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC), February 19, 2014: Oakland development opportunities attract burgeoning architects, young urbanists

Oakland development opportunities attract burgeoning architects, young urbanists - See more at: http://www.opdc.org/news/oakland-potential-attracts-burgeoning-architects-young-urbanists/#sthash.mhLnwnHG.dpuf

Pittsburgh City Paper BLOGH, January 23, 2014: Local student weigh in on Hazelwood development

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 9, 2014: Winchester Thurston emerges as challenger for section title

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 10, 2013: Photo Journal: PIAA Girls Cross Country - 2013 Top A Finishers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 10, 2013: Photo Journal: PIAA Boys Cross Country - 2013 Top A Finishers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 10, 2013: Field Hockey: Parity likely to continue in Class AA

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 3, 2013: Field Hockey: Winchester Thurston hope to build on success

MSA Sports Network, Ocotber 29, 2013: North Allegheny & Shady Side Academy Back on Top in WPIAL Girls Field Hockey

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 29, 2013: WPIAL girls field hockey championships: North Allegheny, Shady Side slip by

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 27, 2013: Winchester Thurston looks for sweep against Shady Side Academy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 25, 2013: Photo Journal: WPIAL A Boys Soccer Playoffs - Winchester Thurston vs. Carlynton

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 20, 2013: Field Hockey: Winchester Thurston top seed in WPIAL Class AA tournament

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 13, 2013: Field Hockey: Winchester Thurston having outstanding season

Tribune Review, October 10, 2013: Fox Chapel resident shines in goal for Winchester Thurston field hockey, lacrosse

Pop City, October 9, 2013: Students all over Pittsburgh design mobile apps at Winchester Thurston's App Lab

Tribune Review, October 8, 2013: Students provide sunshine on rainy Kane carnival day in McKeesport

Tribune Review, October 4, 2013: Winchester Thurston boys edge GCC in double OT

North Hills Monthly, October 2013: Joyful, Active Learning Environments Build 21st Century Skills

UrbanMediaToday.com, September 6, 2013: Using Hip Hop to Educate

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 29, 2013: A newsmaker you should know: Winchester Thurston's North Hills campus director is up for a challenge

Tribune Review, August 26, 2013: McCandless native gets big break with prison show

Pop City, August 7, 2013: Thinking of the city as your campus

The Jewish Chronicle, June 27, 2013: Winchester Thurston School's Hometown High Q Team

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 11, 2013: Photo journal: The Winchester Thurston girls' lacrosse team

The Jewish Chronicle, May 9, 2013: Winchester Thurston School's Hometown High Q Team

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2, 2013: Winchester Thurston boy's tennis pair loses touch match at WPIALs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 11, 2013: Winchester Thurston's tennis program flowers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29, 2013: Girls Basketball All-Section Teams

Pop City, March 27, 2013: Taking computer science outside the lab

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 14, 2013: NAACP chief to Pittsburgh youth: Principled people hold the power

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 9, 2013: Saturday Poem The Exorcism of Laura Briggs By Carrie Mannino

North Hills Monthly, March 2013: Summer Language Camps Make Learning FUN

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 4, 2013: Winchester Thurston was rooting for Vincentian; sophomore LoNero passed 600 points

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 4, 2013: 4 middle school make Science Bowl finals

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 2013: WPIAL Quarterfinals Preview: Boys and Girls Playoffs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 21, 2013: CISV International gives 11-year-old chance to experience life in other cultures

MSAsports.net, February 21, 2013: WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 7, 2013: Northbound Trail project moving ahead at Winchester Thurston North

Pittsburghiskidsburgh.com, January 31 2013: Taking computer science outside the lab

Tribune Review, January 31, 2013: Winchester Thurston Elementary students help plan, construct outdoor learning area

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 20, 2013: The Next Page: The 14th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards

Tribune Review, January 17, 2013: Winchester Thurston routs Geibel

North Hills Patch, January 15, 2013: Winchester Thurston North’s Student-Forged “Northbound Trail” Provides Cross-curricular Education Experience

Video: WQED's Horizons, November 6, 2012

Cerise Press, Fall/Winter 2012-12: The Music of Coping -- Bitter Acoustic by Sharon Fagan McDermott

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 25, 2012: Photo journal: Winchester Thurston soccer, in WPIAL first round upset of Seton-LaSalle

Independent School, Fall 2012: Summative Evaluation, Formative Development: A New Look at Developing (and Paying) Great Teachers by Gary J. Niels

Tribune Review, October 23, 2012: Serra Catholic to face Winchester Thurston team riding major momentum

Video: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 23, 2012: Winchester Thurston soccer upsets Seton-LaSalle 1-0 in overtime

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 23, 2012: High school highlights: Winchester Thurston pulls off Class A boys soccer upset

Tribune Review, October 17, 2012: Fox Chapel teen puts design background to good use

North Hills Monthly, October 2012: Winchester Thurston: A World of Language Learning

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 16, 2012: Field Hockey: East Feature Athlete - Winchester Thurston's Sabrina Burke

Pittsburgh Business Times, September 7, 2012: Mobile App Lab expanding reach into Pittsburgh-area high schools

    Download a PDF of the full article.

AMSTATNEWS, September 1, 2012: On Being a Statistics Educator and Loving It

Pop City, August 29, 2012: Students and STEM careers: a one-day guide to making it happen

Upper St. Clair Patch, June 18, 2012: Winchester Thurston School's Hometown High Q Team Wins Big -- Two Years in a Row

Tribune Review, May 27, 2012: Sewickley Academy pair claims 3rd st state tennis tourney

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 26, 2012: Winchester Thurston doubles team advances to PIAA boys tennis semifinals

The Patriot-News, May 20, 2012: PIAA track & field: Class AA girls' state seeds

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 18, 2012: WPIAL Girls Class AA Track and Field Championships

Tribune Review, May 17: Volunteers breathe new life into North Braddock ballfield

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 17, 2012: Winchester Thurston loses in PIAA team tournament

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 16, 2012: Winchester Thurston, Allderdice bow out of PIAA boys tennis tournaments

New Pittsburgh Courier, May 16, 2012: Winchester Thurston raises an esteemed culture

Pop City, May 16, 2012: pop star: Lynn Johnson, global photographer

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 9, 2012: Nominees for the 2012 Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater

A Day In the Life: John Fetterman, May 2012

WPXI, April 26, 2012: Go behind the scenes of Winchester Thurston's 'Avenue Q'

Global Solutions Pittsburgh, Winchester Thurston Genocide Project (Video)

Tribune Review, April 13, 2012: 'Best and brightest' young citizens honored

Pittsburgh Business Times, April 6, 2012: Pittsburgh private schools: Real-world applications key for curriculum

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 4, 2012: Three students advance in August Wilson Monologue Competition

Tribune Review, March 1, 2012: Four area schools' students learn 'There's an app for that!'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 14, 2012: Winners selected in Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2012: Shakespeare finalists named

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 6, 2012: Winchester Thurston girls' basketball team is a strong contender, ready for playoffs

Tribune Review, February 3, 2012: Young Achiever: Connor U.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 15, 2012: The Next Page: Two searingly honest essays from the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards

WPXI.com, January 13, 2012: Winchester Thurston will be one of first schools to perform 'Avenue Q: School Edition'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 9, 2012: Winchester Thurston team learns to move its feet, play defense, draw fouls, and get the ‘and 1’

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 8. 2011: 125 years: Winchester Thurston has survived the test of time

North Hills Monthly Magazine, September 2011: Winchester Thurston: Nationally Recognized Excellence in Allison Park

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 3, 2011: Winchester Thurston celebrates 125 years

Pittsburgh Today Live on CBS Pittsburgh, September 2, 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 20, 2011: Performances brim with emotion at 'August in August' showcase

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 23, 2011: Newsmaker: Jared Rashford

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 29, 2011: PIAA Tennis: Winchester Thurston's Goldblum finishes second

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 29, 2011: Winchester Thurston standout's rally is short

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 28, 2011: PIAA Tennis: Winchester Thurston's Goldblum advances

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 17, 2011: Around Town: For the Girls of Steel, building robots is just the beginning

this i believe, May 18, 2011: Biking Bonds by Isaac Rudich '11

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 10, 2011: Pittsburgh high school freshman places third in national August Wilson Monologue contest

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 28, 2011: Winchester Thurston's first boys tennis squad a success

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 21, 2011: Winchester Thurston has its day in the sun

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 20, 2011: 3 win August Wilson monologue contest; NYC competition next

Pittsburgh Business Times, April 8, 2011: Private schools  innovate to meet challenges

Duquense University Newsroom, April 5, 2011: How Do You Run an AP Class Experiment in 40 Minutes? Ask Duquesne University’s School of Education and the Bayer School

SustainableCitiesCollective.com, March 6, 2011: Levi's Jeans and Braddock, PA

The Jewish Chronicle, March 3, 2011: Pittsburgh effort takes teachers, students to Poland, Israel

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2011: Student essayists still find injustices, even in a snowstorm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 16, 2011: The Next Page: Tearing down walls, with words -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Awards

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 13, 2011: It's all about the future at Winchester Thurston

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 6, 2011: Guitarist Daniel Marcus comes home with a heartland sound

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 16, 2010: Dr. Lane is in a position to continue district's progress (Letter to the Editor from Gary J. Niels)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 10, 2010: 2010 Post-Gazette East Xtra Boys' and Girls' Soccer All-Stars

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 25, 2010: Pittsburgh students targeting social ills

Pop City, October 6, 2010: Winchester Thurston creating a national model for urban learning

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 17, 2010: Field hockey slowly gaining a foothold in WPIAL

New York Times, September 8, 2010: Capturing the First Day of School (photo #127)

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