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Robotics team on course for a first at Chartiers Valley

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The intelligence is getting artificial at Chartiers Valley.

The district board of directors approved the district's First Robotics team at its regular voting meeting Aug. 27.

The team will be part of the high school's engineering academy and compete in the First Robotics competition next year.

“We had several girls in the engineering program compete in this, but it wasn't a school team,” said district public relations director Chuck McCartney. “As we're moving along with the engineering academy and robotics class, this was the natural outlet to see how their skills match up.”

The regional competition is held at the Petersen Events Center, and last year included more than 40 teams from the area. McCartney said the end-goal for the team will be the competition.

The robots must be able to navigate a course with certain obstacles, like inclines and declines. Teams do not see the course until the day of the competition.

McCartney said the team and engineering academy in general help students prepare for secondary education.

“It's not too long before they're going to be in college and have to choose a major and profession,” he said. “This gives students a chance to face the course load they're going to face in college.”

It also gives them a head start, he said.

“If they focus and know early on what they want to do in life, they get a head start on what they're going to do in college,” he said.

In other business, the district business office received a letter of commendation from the secretary of education for receiving a clean audit for the third consecutive year.

The board approved Robert Butts as assistant high school principal. He will have an annual salary of $80,000, which is prorated from his first day, Sept. 1.

The board also approved the following positions: Freshman class sponsor, Mike Leonard, with a stipend of $2,055; Kristen Steen, Interact Club sponsor, with a stipend of $2,305; Scott Vaughan, after-school detention monitor, with a stipend of $948; Jaime Hick, Saturday detention monitor, with a stipend of $1,896 a semester; Samantha Fischer, middle school yearbook sponsor, with a stipend of $1,194; Joanne McClellan, associate band director, with a stipend of $5,683; and Tony Vercek, assistant band director, with a stipend of $4,306.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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