Marshall resident receives Service to Children Award

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Maureen Grosheider's decades of service in the North Allegheny School District have earned her a state award.

Grosheider, a longtime resident of Marshall Township, has served on the school board for the past 18 years, including 10 as president.

Prior to that, she was president of the Special Education Parent Support Group, a volunteer organization of NA parents that helped with the transition of responsibilities for the district's gifted and special-needs services from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to North Allegheny back in the late 1980s.

In recognition of her efforts, Grosheider has been named the recipient of the 2013 Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals' Service to Children Award.

“She is a tireless worker and probably puts in almost 50 hours of school-board work each week. It's more than a full-time job for her,” said Libby Blackburn, 49, of McCandless, who has been a board member for the past two years. “She puts in all that work to achieve her primary goal, which is, first and foremost, to serve the students of NA.”

The principals association, or PAESSP, presents the Service to Children Award to a volunteer who has had a broad and positive impact on children in elementary, middle-level and high schools.

Tammy A. Andreyko, assistant superintendent of academic advancement at North Allegheny, nominated Grosheider for the PAESSP award.

“Whether she is visiting classrooms, reviewing textbooks prior to their adoption, making difficult fiscal decisions, cheering on a team at an athletic event or attending a play, one thing is for certain: Mrs. Grosheider is informed, focused and enthusiastic,” Andreyko, 44, of Franklin Park said in an email.

Joshua Doll, 39, of York is a former PAESSP board member who currently oversees the award's selection committee. He commended Grosheider's continuous service.

“We value the importance of her board participation. It's a thankless job. She represents the great volunteers who put in countless hours for no pay to help kids.”

The award — a commemorative plaque — will be presented at the 2013 PAESSP Conference, which will be Oct. 27 to 29 in State College.

It isn't the only award Grosheider is receiving this month.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, she was scheduled to receive the NA Hall of Fame's 2013 Joseph Drazenovich Award for Legendary Service during the hall's induction banquet at The Chadwick in McCandless.

The award — named after NA's longest-serving athletic director who unofficially is regarded as the ‘founding father' of the district's legendary athletic department — is given to individuals who have served the athletic department and school district with exemplary service, according to Bob Bozzuto, NA athletic director and co-chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

“Maureen attends numerous interscholastic contests along with her husband, Jim,” Bozzuto said.

“In addition, she has served this district for a number of years as a board member and board president and has been very instrumental in the continued success of the program.”

What drives Grosheider to advocate so strongly for children?

“I believe that education is the great equalizer,” she said. “It opens opportunities for everyone. It's the foundation for whatever you choose to accomplish in life.”

Grosheider said she was shocked to learn she had won the awards and that it is difficult to pinpoint any single accomplishment for which she is the proudest.

“As a school board member, it's more about looking at the whole gamut of time in which you've served,” she explained. “When these kids compete for state and national awards for academic, artistic and athletic achievements, they deserve our support. And when they graduate and go on to do outstanding things, we, as a board, can say we're doing a good job.”

Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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