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School board lauds Steel Valley's Pink Power Mom

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:17 a.m.
Maria Heddleston

Park Elementary reading specialist Maria Heddleston was lauded by Steel Valley school board on Tuesday night for being named a Pink Power Mom by Kids II Inc.

Heddleston is one of eight mothers in the country to receive the honor for her inspirational fight against breast cancer.

“Pink Power Moms are moms who have persevered through their battles with breast cancer and continue to be role models in their families and communities,” Steel Valley Superintendent Ed Wehrer said.

As part of her reward, Heddleston spent a weekend in Atlanta being pampered with the other honorees.

Heddleston, a Munhall resident, is battling Stage 4 breast cancer. She has taught in the district for 15 years.

“Maria focuses on touching the lives of children through literacy events,” Wehrer said. “It's become a goal for her to put books in as many homes as she can to foster a bond between parent and child.”

He said Heddleston partnered with ReadAloud.org to twice host Box of Books for children age 5 and younger.

She assists with the annual literacy fair, Dr. Seuss Week and One Family Night.

Wehrer said Heddleston received the most nominations in the award's history.

“I have learned that even former students of mine filled out a nomination,” Heddleston said. “The representative from Pink Power Moms said that my husband Brian's nomination is the one they read and decided that I was deserving, and that they received so many other nominations that they stopped counting at 20.”

She donated her $5,000 prize to Gilda's Club Western Pennsylvania.

About 400 women were nominated for the 2012 awards.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

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