Homestead Council honors heroic Barrett Elementary teachers
Homestead officials honored three Steel Valley School District teachers for their bravery in responding to a fire at a Barrett Elementary School second-grader's home last month.
Councilors presented plaques commemorating their actions to fifth-grade math teacher Carole Policastro, second-grade teacher Jonette Bost and autistic life skills teacher Sue Wilder at Thursday night's meeting.
Policastro and Wilder were finishing their work with students at their after-school tutoring program on April 2 when they smelled smoke and noticed a fire coming from a student's home across from the school along E. Twelfth Avenue.
They rushed over to the burning house to see if anyone was inside. They later found out the family was attending a volleyball game at the high school at the time.
Bost is the second-grader's teacher. She helped obtain donated gift cards and financial assistance for the family to purchase food and other goods. American Red Cross also assisted them.
Bost said her student is back in school.
“He's been a trouper through all this,” she said. “His biggest worries the day of the fire were his Easter bunnies melting, and that he wasn't going to have my homework the next day because it burned up in the fire. Those were his biggest concerns.”
Policastro thanked council for the recognition, and talked about positive work being done at the elementary school.
“We offer this free tutoring for the children because we believe in Barrett,” Policastro said. “It is a wonderful school. I want you to know there are a lot of teachers that work very hard. We're dedicated because we want to make (students) the best in the next century. We want them to represent us and themselves for a better life in the coming years.”
“I love my kids at Barrett. I treat them like they're my own,” Wilder said. “There's a difference between being nice just for the sake of being nice, and tough love. These kids need tough love, and believe me I give it to them ... What I've seen through my kids is truly phenomenal. We need to believe in them ... They make my day as much as I make theirs. It's a great school. It's a great community.”
Homestead fire captain and safety officer Ron Carr lauded the teachers, and offered words of caution when dealing with a fire.
“As a firefighter, we are trained to do what they did do,” Carr said. “There are a lot of hidden dangers with the things that they've done. They don't know what's behind that door. Things can get worse. You can open the door, and there can be fire behind that door. All it needs is a little bit of oxygen and the fire will flash. There's not too many people that live to talk about a flash. I would just like to caution everybody about that, but when you got a loved one behind the door or something, it's hard to hold somebody back. I know I would do the same thing in your position. I do commend you.”
In other matters, council unanimously accepted the resignation of Milton Williams as part-time public works employee, and terminated the employment of part-time parking enforcement officer Crystal Coleman. Council approved advertising the two positions.
The polling place for Ward 2 District 1 has been moved from the former police station along Ninth Avenue to the new fire hall along the 200 block of Ninth Avenue.
Council introduced recently hired full-time code enforcement officer Keith Evers to residents on Thursday night.
Evers was appointed to the position at last month's council meeting, and officially started working on April 29.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Special events planned as part of Kennywood’s 2015 season
- McKeesport Area Pre-K Counts program to expand because of Tender Care Learning Center closure
- Liberty asks diocese not to close church
- Elizabeth Forward honors 6 for state Special Olympics medals
- No apology coming for Steel Valley teachers
- Some ONE Homestead housing units almost ready for occupancy
- Allegheny County reiterates support for Pangburn Hollow overhaul
- West Mifflin Area to sue for tuition reimbursement
- TreeVitalize spruces up McKeesport’s Seventh Ward
- Political signs line Mon-Yough streets at election time
- Steel Valley board OKs no-tax-hike spend plan