Armstrong School District Newsletter 2Q24

JUNE 2024

Google Visits West Hills Intermediate School as it Launches 2024 Statewide Online Safety Roadshow Tour

In collaboration with PA State Senator Joe Pittman, Google recently visited West Hills Intermediate School as part of its 2024 Statewide Online Safety Roadshow Tour. These lively assembly-style events aim to teach students how to be smart and stay safe online by focusing on essential skills such as creating a safe password, avoiding talking to strangers, and prioritizing digital well-being.

The Online Safety Roadshow is based on the Be Internet Awesome curriculum, which provides valuable tips for staying safe and being smart online. The tour is part of Google's initiative to empower young people with the tools and training they need to explore the internet safely.

During the visit to West Hills Intermediate School, local officials and Google representatives emphasized the local impact that internet safety has on everyone. They highlighted the importance of teaching students how to use the internet appropriately and safely, as it is a shared responsibility between the school, parents, and the community.

Senator Pittman, who was present at the event, expressed his thoughts on the choice of West Hills for the Online Safety Roadshow. He stated, "We wanted to find schools that we thought would be welcoming to the conversation, but also an age range that this is very important for, and we felt that West Hills was a perfect fit."

Mandy Toy, West Hills Intermediate School Principal, emphasized teaching students digital literacy and citizenship, "the internet is a great tool for anyone if appropriately utilized. Our students face unique challenges that older generations did not have to navigate. Teaching students how to appropriately and safely use the internet is a shared responsibility between the school, parents, and the community. The Armstrong School District strategic plan communicates that digital literacy and citizenship are two goals for all of our ASD graduates. Today's lessons from Google are one of many opportunities for students to learn these valuable lifelong skills during their time at West Hills Intermediate School."

The visit from Google and the Online Safety Roadshow were undoubtedly valuable experiences for the West Hills Intermediate School students and staff. By equipping students with essential internet safety skills and knowledge, they are better poised to navigate the digital world responsibly and safely. The collaboration between Google, local officials, and educational institutions highlights the significance of collective efforts in promoting online safety and digital well-being.

ASD Students Triumph in Quiz Bowl Competition as WSHS Team Place 3rd

The Academic Quiz Bowl program at ASD has once again showcased its exceptional talent and intellectual prowess. This year, the program boasted a total of 24 students who participated in the highly competitive Indiana County Academic League championships. Capturing both the Varsity and JV divisions, the ASD team emerged victorious, bringing home the well-deserved championship.

Led by the outstanding leadership of Captain Wyatt Prunty in the Varsity division and Captain Brody Stover in the JV division, the ASD team displayed remarkable knowledge and quick thinking throughout the competition. Other notable team members included Max Petrosky, Leah Hogamier, Nathan Ramer, Jack Salsgiver, Kiefer Riskosky, Harper Volk, Everett Walker, and Conner Lipovsik.

In the semifinals, the Varsity team faced off against Homer-Center, prevailing with a score of 10-6. Their exceptional performance carried them to the finals, where they defeated Indiana HS. The JV team exhibited similar tenacity, triumphing over Homer-Center in the semifinals with a score of 9-3. In the championship match, they continued to dominate, emerging victorious against Indiana 10-1. The dedication and hard work displayed by both teams throughout the competition were truly commendable.

The success of the ASD Quiz Bowl teams would not have been possible without the guidance and support of Mr. Coil, the team's coach. Mr. Coil expressed his pride in the team's achievements: "I am very proud of how deep our team is this year. To win both the Varsity and JV divisions is an amazing accomplishment." 

The ASD Quiz Bowl teams will now set their sights on the national playoffs, to be held in Atlanta, GA, from May 24th to 26th. They are eager to take on the best teams from across the country, armed with their extensive knowledge and unparalleled determination. The ASD students are poised to continue their winning streak and make their mark on the national stage.

West Shamokin Also Finds Success 

In addition to the ASD team's success, the WSHS Academic Quiz Bowl Teams also experienced a notable victory during the Indiana County Academic League Championship.  WSHS JV finished 3rd in the competition - AHS JV won the championship.  The team, comprised of Alaina Horgan, Allyson Tutek, Justin Toy, Peyton Henderson-Meyer, and Hannah Barker, demonstrated exceptional knowledge in their hard-fought matches. Their well-rounded performance earned them the well-deserved title.

The WSHS Varsity team, consisting of Braden, Jace, Gage, Megan, and Rocko, also put forth a commendable effort, finishing in 4th place. Their participation and commitment to the competition have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the entire WSHS Quiz Bowl program.

Both the ASD and WSHS teams deserve recognition for their achievements, as they have proven that hard work, dedication, and a passion for knowledge can yield remarkable results. The victories attained by these talented students are a testament to their intelligence and commitment to academic excellence.

As the ASD Quiz Bowl teams gear up for the upcoming national playoffs, the anticipation and excitement continue to mount. The students, along with their supportive coaches and fellow teammates, are ready to demonstrate their intellectual prowess and bring further glory to their respective schools. With their exceptional abilities and relentless determination, the ASD teams are poised for success as they prepare to represent their school and state nationally.

Congratulations to Our AJSH Success at The 2024 Sea Air and Land Challenge

The Sea Air and Land Challenge is more than just a competition for high school and middle school students - it is a STEM initiative that aims to inspire and educate the next generation of engineers and innovators. This year, at the Penn State Sea, Air, and Land Robotics Competition held at Seneca Valley High School, teams of students showcased their skills and creativity in designing and building robotic systems for the Air Division.

Congratulations are in order for the 1st place winners, Sage Gould, Gianna Dobransky, and Ava Schrecengost, as well as the close second, Everett Walker, Austin Bruner, and Max Petrosky. The Air teams truly impressed the judges with their innovative designs, with only a half point separating them. Additionally, the Sea team put up a strong showing with their unique design.

The Sea Air and Land Challenge is not just a competition. It's a gateway to real-world engineering experience. Students collaborate to tackle complex problems and compete in missions that mirror those faced by the military, national security agencies, and first responders. These challenges, crafted by engineers at the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory and special operations forces, expose students to cutting-edge technologies and techniques in the field.

Participating in the Sea Air and Land Challenge is not just about showcasing technical skills. It's about fostering critical thinking, peer collaboration, and the ability to perform under pressure. These are invaluable skills that will shape their future, regardless of whether they choose a STEM-related career or not.

Overall, the Sea Air and Land Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn, grow, and be inspired by the world of engineering and robotics. It is initiatives like this that help to shape the innovators of tomorrow, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for these talented young individuals.

AHS AP Government Class Learn About the U.S. Government in the Heart of Washington, D.C.

The AHS Advanced Placement Government class recently adventured on a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience in Washington, D.C. The trip was filled with exciting and enlightening activities that significantly deepened students' understanding of American history and government.

The trip started with a visit to the White House, where students got a firsthand look at the iconic residence of the President of the United States. Following this, students were treated to a VIP tour of the U.S. Capitol Building, where they had access to the U.S. House Gallery thanks to Congressman G.T. Thompson, as well as Senate Gallery passes provided by Senator John Fetterman.

One of the trip's highlights was visiting the Supreme Court Building, where students learned about the judicial branch of government and witnessed a live session. The day ended on a high note with a visit to the Marine Corps Barracks Washington, where students attended the Evening Parade featuring the Marine Corps Band, Drum and Bugle Corps, and Silent Drill Team.

The next day began with a visit to the National Archives, where students had the incredible and unique opportunity to view original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. This was followed by visits to the Smithsonian Museums of American History and African American History, allowing students to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of American culture and heritage.

A poignant moment of the trip was a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where students paid their respects at the JFK gravesite and witnessed the solemn Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The day also included visits to memorials honoring veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War, and WWII, as well as monuments dedicated to Jefferson, King, and FDR.

Overall, the trip was a resounding success and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Inaugural AP Government class. The students truly made the most of this educational opportunity, setting a high standard for future classes. This experience was not only informative but also inspirational, leaving a lasting impression on all who participated.

A message from the ASD Transportation Department

In an effort to assist us in making a smooth transition into the 2024-2025 school year, we are asking you to submit any bus changes including:

  • Address changes (if you have moved or are planning on moving before the start of school. Also inform your child's school of the new address)

  • Split custody arrangements

  • Childcare stop requests

Also, please inform us if your child does not need transportation.

Please submit these changes to the Transportation Department before July 12, 2024.

All information is listed on the ASD website located under the Departments tab under Transportation.

Busing Request Form and Child Care and Custody

Transportation Request paperwork

Please be aware that transportation for split custody must be renewed yearly at the start of every school year, even if arrangements have not changed.

If you have any questions, please call the Transportation Department at 724-548-6014.

Thank You!!!

2023-2024 Armstrong Retirees

As the 2023-2024 academic year comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the dedicated educators who will be retiring from ASD. Your years of service and commitment to the students and community have not gone unnoticed. Your hard work and passion have made a lasting impact on the lives of so many individuals. We thank you for your dedication and wish you all the best in your well-deserved retirement.

Deborah S. Snyder  

Armstrong Jr/Sr High School 

Mathematics and Physics Teacher

Donald E McGaughey 

West Shamokin Jr/Sr High School

Health & Physical Education Teacher

Eric V. Gromley

West Shamokin Jr/Sr High School 

Technology Education/Driver’s Education Teacher

Brenda L. Lucas 

Armstrong Jr/Sr High School 

Mathematics Teacher

Karen L. Zeigler

West Hills Intermediate School

6th Grade Teacher

Patti A. Burford 

West Shamokin Jr/Sr High School 

Developmental Reading Teacher

Kelly J. Hirshka 

Lenape Elementary

Title I Reading Teacher

Jill Meyer

Armstrong Jr/Sr. High School 


Sharon Febinger 

Armstrong Jr/Sr. High School 


Jane Nagy 

West Shamokin Jr/Sr. High School 


Toni Knight

Shannock Valley Elementary School 24.68

Administrative Assistant

Beth Hepler

Armstrong Jr/Sr. High School 

Administrative Assistant

Evan Punchard 

Shannock Valley Elementary

Head Custodian

ASD’s Mental Health & Community Resource Guide

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are described as serious changes in how children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day. It is estimated that approximately 30% of school-aged children will experience a behavioral, mental, or developmental condition in any given year.

Our Mental Health & Community Resource Guide contains resources for parents, educators, and professionals serving children and youth in school and community settings. 

Source PA Department of Education


181 Heritage Park Drive, Suite 2

Kittanning, PA 16201

Phone: (724) 548-7200