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Student News

An archive of Student News throughout the 2012-2013 school year can be found below.

Freshmen Placement Test

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:32 AM by

Freshmen Placement Test will be held on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

This test is for students who have not previously taken the placement test, or for those who would like to take it again.

To register or for more information, please call Mrs. Lyons at 412-751-2020 ext. 134 or email her at

Serra Jazz Ensemble in Full Swing

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:31 AM by

The Serra Jazz Ensemble started their season with a performance at the Christmas concert in December. The band received cheers from the crowd
for their performance of John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” and Nat Adderley’s “Work Song.” The band closed their portion of the Christmas Concert with “Dr. No-El” which was a combination of Ukrainian Bell Carol and the James Bond theme. On February 23rd the band gave a crowd-pleasing performance at the St. John the Baptist school auction. There is still time to catch the Serra Jazz Ensemble at Serra Catholic’s Juniper’s Journey charity auction benefiting tuition assistance on April 6th. The band will also be performing at the spring concert on May 15th at Serra Catholic High School.

Serra Swimmers Participate in WPIAL Swimming Championship

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:28 AM by

Congratulations to Jacob Alfer, Collin McSheehy, and Anita Onufer, members of Serra Catholic's Swim Team, who participated in the WPIAL Swimming Championship at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool on Thursday, February 28, 2013.  

Also congratulations to Anita Onufer, a senior at Serra Catholic, who qualified to complete in the state swimming championship!

Aspiring Actress Emerges!

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:23 AM by

Serra junior, Nicole Jezerski, has entered the 19th annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest sponsored by the Pittsburgh Public Theater. She may choose to memorize any monologue or scene from Shakespeare’s plays, not to exceed five minutes in length. Coaching sessions will be available and the preliminary round of competition will take place between March 14th and 22nd at the O’Reilly Theater in Pittsburgh.

Winners selected during the Showcase of Finalists on Monday, March 25th will each receive two season subscriptions to Pittsburgh Public Theater performances and a volume of Shakespeare’s plays.

Nicole, a student in Late British Literature, plans to major in Fashion Merchandising, a career with a dramatic flair to be sure. We wish her much success in the competition and in her future field of endeavor.

Serra Students Begin Stock Market Challenge

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:22 AM by

Students in Mr. Raible’s economics class are making good use of their Google Chromebooks as they compete in a stock market challenge. Students were separated into four teams and invested a fictitious $10,000 into five stocks of their choice. Each team must research each stock throughout the semester, follow growth trends, chart the progress of each stock, and present a summary of the stock’s performance to the rest of the class. They must also assess factors that contributed to the increase or decrease of each stock’s price for the duration of the project. The team whose stocks earn the most money will be recognized at the senior awards breakfast at the end of the school year.

Art Students Participate in "Doodle 4 Google" Drawing Contest

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:21 AM by

By: Heather Momich, Art Instructor 

Google has pretty much overtaken Serra this year! First with the Chromebooks, and now the Doodle 4 Google contest. Art students at Serra Catholic have been busy putting their creativity and imagination to good use by creating, what they hope to be, the next Google homepage logo. 

According to Google, "Doodle 4 Google is an annual program that invites K-12 students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign their homepage logo for millions to see. This year, they’re asking students to use the theme, “My Best Day Ever…” One talented student artist will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 technology grant for their school along with some other cool prizes!"

Natalie Condrac, an Art 2 student, just completed her incredible illustration of “Her Best Day Ever”, which she plans on experiencing this Summer when she goes on an once in a lifetime expedition through the Amazon Rainforest. Best of luck to Natalie and all of the other art students!

Keeping the "Snow" in Snow Day

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:21 AM by

By: Mrs. Sigg, Geometry Instructor

We knew the storm was coming. We reminded the students to take home their Chromebooks. We knew we were facing the potential of a cyber-snow-day. I got up especially early to shovel the driveway, so that I could get the car out. Then it hit me……this is the best “snowman” snow I had seen in a long time. As the delays came rolling in, and then the closures, I knew it was time to hunker down and get some assignments out to my students. So sheets filled with parallelograms, points of concurrency in triangles, symmetry, and anti-derivatives went flying through cyber-space. Attached to each assignment was a “PS: This part of your assignment is optional: Sometime today, go out and build a snowman, because this is the best snowman snow I have seen in a long time.” 
The first one came into my in-box at 11:12 AM.………………… 

And then….11:57 AM…the first triangle snowman I had ever seen. Cyber discussion ensued as to the type of triangle it was. Conclusion: acute and isosceles (although 
technically it is a triangular prism of sorts, but we haven’t studied them yet).

11:57 was followed by 12:09 PM. She made it during her lunch period.

12:09 was followed by 1:29 PM, complete with celery, potatoes, and a carrot nose, and the bragging rights of building a larger snowman than 11:12’s. If you need the snow removed from your yard, these are the guys you want to call. They told me they are thinking of starting an ice-sculpting business.

Before I knew it, the day had flown by. It was approaching 5 PM and the temperature was climbing. I knew I didn’t have much time. So I left my computer and raced outside so that I could make my own contribution to my student’s fabulous collection. I ended the day, as we end our proofs in geometry with the Latin phrase “quod erat demonstrandum”, or Q.E.D. There was no doubt…we had demonstrated a successful cyber, SNOW day.

Serra Students Celebrate the Chinese New Year

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:20 AM by

Students used to ask: “Why does China have a different New Year?” “What do people usually do during this most important Chinese festival?” Now they will never forget the answers, because a three-day celebration of the Chinese New Year was held right at Serra from February 13th to February 15th. Many students stopped in the Chinese room to find out their Chinese Zodiac, which consists of one of the twelve animals as the symbol of their birth year in Chinese culture. All the teachers and students were able to taste some dumplings during the lunch periods on February 14th in cafeteria. Some of the participants even enjoyed eating with chopsticks! All the dumplings were hand-made by the students in the Chinese classes, Serra’s international student Yutong Liu, and Ms. Du. Students in the Chinese classes also had a group competition of “Writing Spring Couplets” with Chinese brushes and making Chinese paper cutting. Teachers and the rest of the students were able to decide who was the winner. Many of them voted for their favorite group work and a Chinese candy or a fortune cookie was given as a New Year gift. At last, the 2nd group got a Chinese knot as the prize. Thank you to everyone who participated in celebrating the Chinese New Year!

Written by: Ms. Yun Du, Chinese Instructor

Serra Catholic Juniors Experience a Passover Seder Meal

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:18 AM by

On Thursday, December 6th, 2012, the Juniors of Serra Catholic had a taste of their religious roots. Through an
innovative program known as CJEEP (Catholic, Jewish Educational Experience Program) Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David Congregation in Monroeville visited us and led us through the Passover Seder meal. Because the Juniors at that time were studying the Sacraments, Rabbi Symons, Mr. Crossen and Mr. Stapleton planned this session in order to give our students a deeper sense of their religious identity. 

Since Jesus was a Jew, He celebrated the Passover. It was, in fact, at a Seder meal that Jesus instituted the Eucharist with His disciples. The students were led by Rabbi Symons to eat the traditional foods of bitter herbs dipped in salt water, horse radish on matza crackers, and choroset (a mixture of apples, grape juice, nuts and cinnamon). They said prayer responses in Hebrew and learned how their Jewish neighbors celebrate their freedom from Egypt and work for the freedom of anyone in slavery. Now, when the Juniors gather to celebrate the Mass, they will have a deeper appreciation of where the prayers and the actions come from.

Personal Financial Management Class Participates in Dave Ramsey's Teen Approach to Foundations in Personal Finance

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:18 AM by

Mrs. Koval's Personal Finance classes have had the privilege of participating in a program strictly geared towards teenagers about managing their money, credit card debt, and gaining personal wealth. In conjunction with Fifth Third Bank, financial guru Dave Ramsey has offered his highly motivational program to high school students. Every Personal Finance student received free workbooks that coincide with a set of DVD’s that are shown in class.

These lessons follow our current Personal Financial Management textbook and are used intermittently throughout the school year. So far, the students have completed chapters on saving and investing money based on their current incomes as high school students, the seven baby steps to financial freedom, and the dangers of debt. Students are tested on these concepts and real life examples are often used as classroom discussions.

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