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Three Hierarchs in Heidelberg expands with addition of fifth grade

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Third-graders Anastasia Troth and Katarina Popov enjoy the Apple Festival held at the school earlier this year.

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By Charlotte Smith
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Three Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox School will expand with the addition of a fifth grade for the 2013-2014 school year. The independent Pan-Orthodox Christian school began in 1998 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mt. Lebanon and in 2007 relocated to the larger quarters of a former elementary school on Ellsworth Avenue in Heidelberg.

Begun by Christal Chaney, the school was established so that children could be exposed to academic excellence in a nurturing Orthodox Christian environment.

“We have created a unique educational experience that not only focuses on academic excellence but also on the spiritual formation of children. We have chosen educational practices that are consistent with the best schools as defined by current research and we have woven this tapestry within the framework of our Orthodox faith,” said Chaney, principal/director.

While THEOS is an Orthodox school, it is open to children of all faiths. Classes are child-centered and hands-on. Preschool is held in the morning or a full day with two-, three- or five-day options.

Kindergarten also is offered as a three- or five-full day or five-half day program. A program exists for first through fourth grades and a fifth grade will be added in September. It is hoped that a new grade will be added each coming year as enrollment increases.

Last year, 87 percent of all students tested performed at the proficient or advanced level in the mathematics portion of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests. The students also scored 93 percent in reading and 100 percent in writing.

Last week, the students and staff held a Welcome Home Prayer Service and celebration for Sgt. John Howe, U.S. Army Reserve and the parent of one of the students. He was returning from Kuwait. He presented a flag to the school that he arranged to be flown over Camp Arafjan, Kuwait, on Jan. 30, 2013, the Feast of the Three Hierarchs (the school's feast day).

On May 9 and 10, the students will hold a special “chocolate menu-filled” Mother's Day Tea and on May 19.

The students, under the direction of Elaine Frost, will perform “100 Percent Chance of Rain,” the story of Noah and the Ark.

For more information, call 412-278-3333 or visit

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or

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