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Baldwin-Whitehall School District's academic hall of fame to debut in May

| Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Some of Baldwin-Whitehall School District's most distinguished alumni will be recognized at an event in May as an academic hall of fame makes its debut.

The Baldwin-Whitehall Educational Foundation has partnered with the school district to create the Distinguished Highlander Alumni Hall of Fame, which will recognize the outstanding achievements of between five and 10 alumni during a gala at the South Hills Country Club on May 2.

“These people have done some really good things,” said foundation President Anthony Graham of Whitehall.

Members of the nonprofit Baldwin-Whitehall Educational Foundation have tossed around the idea of creating an academic hall of fame for years, Graham said.

“We were just waiting for the spark,” he said.

The educational foundation was formed in 2009 under former Baldwin-Whitehall Superintendent Lawrence Korchnak to bolster academics in the district.

“We're going to think of ourselves as the academic boosters,” Graham said.

The foundation aims to apply for grants from other foundations for district projects.

The foundation gave a teacher a grant to help finance a field trip to the now-closed Ridgepointe Assisted Living center in Baldwin Borough for a visit with the senior citizens.

Talks are under way with teachers on the awarding of more foundation grants for projects, Graham said.

Foundation leaders are looking for ways to engage alumni and connect them back to their roots in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, Graham said.

That connection can come through the new hall of fame.

The district already has an athletic hall of fame, where members are named every other year. The hall of fame for distinguished alumni also will name new members every other year — on opposite years from the athletic hall, Graham said.

Foundation leaders have coordinated with Superintendent Randal Lutz for the new hall of fame's debut during the district's 75th anniversary.

“We're moving forward and actually in the homestretch,” Lutz told board members last week.

So far, 22 nominations have been received.

“We have everything from well-known artists to researchers, civil-service people and business owners,” Graham said.

Foundation leaders will use a rubric they created to weigh the candidates for the introductory class of the hall of fame.

The hope is that the foundation will be a place to bring alumni together in the future.

“It seems like every time I read the paper, there's someone from Baldwin doing something. But there's really no cohesive place for everyone to come together,” Graham said. “We're just the connection to connect the community and alumni back to the district.”

Sponsors are being sought for the May 2 diamond-aniversary gala. More information is available at bwschools.net under the “75th Anniversary” tab.

For more details or to access an online nomination form, visit bwschools.net.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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