Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a joyous time to remember those who have passed away. In Mexico, ancient Aztec traditions were combined with Christianity during the Spanish conquest. As a result, each year families construct colorful altars or ofrendas in their homes that essentially welcome the spirit of their loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.
Senior Successes: Katie Hughes Makes a Joyful Noise in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir
For the fifth year in a row, senior Katie Hughes auditioned and was selected to be a part of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. This one-of-a-kind choir showcases some of the finest young singers in the Pittsburgh region.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation Names Six Seniors as Commended Students
The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized six seniors for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Middle School Student Wins First Place in Pennsylvania at the National History Day Competition
Grade 8 student Roshni Thakkar won first place in the Junior Individual Website Category of the National History Day (NHD) Competition for Pennsylvania. Her project was called “Nelson Mandela: A Conflicting Journey to Justice.”
Roshni learned about competition when she became a student at Sewickley Academy. “I learned about National History Day last year when I joined this school. I decided to participate in the competition, and wanted to do it again this year,” she said. Middle School history teacher Ms. Kate Lukaszewicz sponsored her project.
The theme of this year’s competition was conflict and compromise in history. “While I was looking for a topic, my family and I decided we were going to South Africa,” she explained. “We watched Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, to get a sense about the South African culture. I fell in love with Mandela's story and knew that that was what I wanted to do for the competition.”
With a topic in mind, Roshni decided to enter the website portion of the competition. “The due date for the website was a month before all of the other entries (except paper). After regionals, I had about a month to make changes before submitting it for states,” she said. According the organization’s website, “The website category is the most interactive of all NHD categories. A website should reflect your ability to use website design software and computer technology to communicate your topic’s significance in history.”
“At the ceremony, they announced the third place winner (who would go to nationals if first or second place could not attend), and then second and first were announced,” Roshni recalled. With great anticipation, she heard her name called for first place. “Winning this contest means a lot to me. I worked really hard on it, and it paid off,” she said.
Ms. Lukaszewicz is very proud of her student. “Roshni went to South Africa and interviewed of people who knew Mandela in prison! She crushed it!” she said. “She will compete at the national contest the week of June 10, in College Park, Maryland. The judges were impressed with her work, writing in her evaluations: ‘Your research is excellent, particularly the oral history interviews’ and that she was ‘very passionate.’”