Educational Services and Support Division
Career Development Program
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120
A publication of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Career Development Program
Susan L. Grant – Supervisor, Career Development
(412) 394-5966 or (412) 779-4262
Transition Consultants
Charlynne Donovan.................................... (412) 689-9094
Districts Collaborating
n April 11, 2012, Ms. Sue Navarro took students
from the Mt. Lebanon School District’s Mellon
Middle School Best Buddies group to South Fayette
for the UPMC Center for Inclusion’s 8th Grade Initiative: 8th
Grade Make Me Whole – Body, Mind, and Soul Nutritional
Fair. South Fayette School District hosted the event, which
included guest speaker Franco Harris. Mr. Harris, a retired
Hall of Fame football player, is now involved with food
services in the city of Pittsburgh. The students attending
had a sweet time! After listening to Mr. Harris speak about
healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, students walked
around sampling various healthy foods from different vendors
in the area. The field trip was highlighted with increased
opportunities for students to interact positively and learn
about healthy living.
Sue Graham................................................. (412) 491-8041
Christine Martin............................ (412) 461-2551, ext. 24
Dan Morgan................................................ (412) 779-0137
Walt Zofcin................................................. (412) 398-7431
Erin Grimm – County-wide Transition Coordinator
(412) 394-5818
Districts and interested persons are welcome to submit
articles. Please send to Susan Grant at [email protected]
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the
basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or limited English
proficiency in its educational programs, services, facilities, activities, or employment practices as required by
Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 Regulations of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, Section 204 Regulations of the 1984 Carl D. Perkins Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or any other applicable federal or state laws. Any person who believes that s/he has been subjected to discrimination shall report
all incidents of such conduct to Patricia Connolly, Title VII/IX Compliance Officer, Allegheny Intermediate Unit,
475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 394-5951 or Dr. Michael Brinkos, Director of Human
Resources, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 394-5957.
AIU Program Teaches
Students How to ‘Ace’
By Margaret Smykla
s mistress of ceremonies of the fashion show during
the Allegheny Intermediate Unit program on job
interviewing, Haley Gerdes, 16, said she got a real
education. “I learned that you can’t dress like you’re going
out with friends, and you don’t wear jean shorts, track suits
or tight dresses,” she said, referring to interview apparel.
Such know-how will come in handy as the Carrick High
School student, who interns at Allegheny General Hospital’s
ultrasound services, plans for a career in the medical field.
Besides fashion do’s and don’ts, the Monday event,
First Impressions: Tips and Practice for Acing an Interview,
included a presentation on workplace etiquette and mock
interviews with employers and human resources personnel. The first-time program for 70 special needs students
in their last two years of high school was sponsored by
the Allegheny County/City of Pittsburgh Transition
Coordinating Council at the AIU in Homestead. Statewide
transition coordinating councils are consortiums of educators
and agencies that work with youngsters with disabilities.
May, 2012
The mission is
to develop activities to
improve independent
living skills and chances
for employment and
secondary training.
Students -- some
of whom have jobs or
internships or are enrolled
in vocational programs -came with their resumes
and were dressed for
After interviewing,
they received critiques of
their performances. The
15 students who agreed
to model then took to
the “runway” in two
outfits they selected at
Macy’s on the Waterfront,
sponsors of the show. Some of the clothing was appropriate
for interviewing; some were outfits that would make
an interviewer cringe. “They have been attentive, wellbehaved, and taking this very seriously,” teacher LeeAnn
Wagner Cica said of students. Among the participants was
Maggie Mackin, 18, of Sheraden, who will begin studies to
become an occupational therapist assistant at Community
College of Allegheny County. The Langley High School
student learned that she increases the likelihood of landing
a job if she looks the interviewer in the eyes, firmly shakes
hands and asks about benefits and scheduling. Antonio
Hardin, 18, of East Liberty, who interns as a barber, has
his long-term sights set on that as a career. Watching the
fashion show, the Westinghouse High School student said
he learned suits are best in interviews -- and never sneakers
as footwear. Ebony Johnson, 18, who works at a sandwich
shop at the University of Pittsburgh, said her future “dream
job” would be one that “gives back.” Monday, in her
critique, she learned that while she has strengths -- good
work experience and motivation -- her body piercings may
be a problem. Still, she is determined to succeed. “I want
to help kids who never had the chances I had,” the Langley
High School student said.
Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: [email protected]
First Published May 10, 2012 5:22 am on
Providing current information to promote effective practices in the area of transition.
Gateway School
disABILITY Mentoring Day October 17, 2012
ew technology has arrived!
Gateway’s Special Education
teachers received a huge
surprise on their first day of in-service
for the 2011-12 school year. Mrs.
Heather Bungard, Director of Special
Education, purchased iPads for each
Special Education teacher as well as some
classroom sets. The teachers were excited
to explore the multitude of apps that
could be used in the classroom. Student
learning and motivation had just gone up
a notch. In the Life Skills classroom, we see Mrs. Kristi Dietrick working with Christian, using an app called “iReconcile” that
has the student practicing electronic banking skills. Another app Mrs. Dietrick uses for transition purposes is “K12 Counting
Bills and Coins”, to help students prepare for spending their paychecks. In conjunction with Mrs. Sue Matcuk, Transition
Coordinator, a new app is being introduced to the students called, “Public Transportation Signs and Words”. Check them out!
Volunteering at Moon Area
he Life Skills Support (LSS) class at Moon Area
High School has been thoroughly enjoying a series of
volunteer work experiences. The local food pantry
welcomed the assistance of four students in late February,
and four more students offered a hand in food distribution
in mid-March. One student collected plastic grocery bags
to be donated to the food pantry as part of her senior
project. The class has also been involved doing a volunteer
experience at Christ Alliance Church in Hopewell Township.
The students travel to the church and spend two hours a
week doing general cleaning. A few months ago, volunteers
helped with a large-volume mailing at the American Cancer
Society offices in Kennedy Township. The students worked
hard, completed their task accurately, and much faster than
any of the adults expected. They have been invited back to
assist with wrapping vases in bubble wrap to be shipped out
and used for the Daffodil Days fundraiser. The LSS class is
scheduled for another new experience as they will be folding
and sorting clothes to ready them for shipping to overseas
and domestic disaster sites, at World Vision in Sewickley.
One date is scheduled so far, and they plan to coordinate
more work dates in the future. By participating in the
experiences, the students learn soft job skills including things
like coming back from a break on time, proper on-the-job
behavior and voice control, starting to work immediately
upon arrival to the worksite, as well as keeping track of what
work has been done and what needs to be done. They are
also honing their clerical and custodial skills in these great
Parkway West Career
Exploration Summer Camp
his summer Parkway West CTC is hosting their third
annual career exploration summer camp. Students in
grades seven and eight have the opportunity to try out
two of the following programs: Automotive Technology, Auto
Body Repair, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Digital Multimedia, Health Assistant, Public Safety Technology and Welding. Additionally, a student interested in Robotics Technology
can spend the full program exploring robotics. Information
including an application is available at Space is limited; students will be selected on a first come first
serve basis. Parkway West CTC is also pleased to announce
the results of the recent Skills USA State Competition held in
Hershey PA. The school’s first place winners were from the
following program areas: Collision Repair Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Health Portfolio. Students from these programs will be representing Pennsylvania at the National Skills
USA Competition in Kansas. The school is proud of its first
place winners and all of its Skills USA competitors. Anyone
wishing to make a financial contribution to offset the cost of
the trip for these students to attend Nationals is asked to contact Lisa Love or Todd Kieffer at 412-923-1772.
isability Mentoring Day (DMD) is an excellent
opportunity for students of transition age that
have competitive employment goals to begin to
understand the world of work and explore career options
through hands-on experiences. If you are unfamiliar with
the event, please check the website:
Employers in our area, including Bayer, Highmark, FedEx,
UPMC, Mellon, Glaxo Smith Kline, Nova Chemical,
MedRad, Leeds, Phillips Respironics, PNC, and the
Penguins, to name a few, have set aside time and resources
to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities
both at the secondary and post-secondary level. They are
dedicated to promote career development through handson career exploration and one-on-one job shadowing at
their sites. Pittsburgh was the first city in the nation to
participate in DMD in 1999 because employers in the area
were excited about the opportunity to share with young
people. Take advantage of the resources being offering and
get involved with DMD by sending students; last year 300+
students from Allegheny County participated in the event.
DMD usually begins at 9:15 with arrival between 8:45 and
9:00 AM. At most sites the format of the day includes a
continental breakfast, opening remarks, career exploration
experiences, lunch, and closing remarks with departure
around 1:00. Additional information about this year’s
event will be sent to districts as details become finalized.
Our business partners are putting forth great efforts for our
benefit, they want to support schools and make a difference
in student lives; get excited about this event, bring your
students to Disability Mentoring Day! Please register your
interest in participating ASAP by contacting: Susan Lynn
Grant - Transition
Coordinator, Allegheny
Intermediate Unit,
his spring the Green Thumb Growers of Pine Richland High School sold seedlings of various plants, which they grew
from seeds, to the public. Included were spinach, kale, lettuce, snow peas, sweet basil and tomatoes. Three inch
seedling pots sold for the bargain price of one to two dollars each. After the sale at the high school, remaining plants
were available for purchase at Soergel Orchards in Wexford.

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