August, 2012

The Pennsylvania Alliance For Safe and Drug Free Children
Executive Director’s Year End Report
Year # 9 501 (c) (3)

“A Year of Opportunity”

During the 2011-2012 school year, the Alliance had the opportunity to work with many of our member schools and faith based institutions to address additional concerns regarding youth safety.  The inclusion of a segment on child predators/mandated reporting and cyber bullying was incorporated into our in service programs.  A newly piloted Student Alliance program and high school transition program will be instrumental in the programs we offer for the 2012-2013 school year. A new educational video will be premiered at a special fund raising event on September 20th and will be the key component in our new parent/student transition program and general meeting to be held in October. The Alliance is excited with the opportunity to offer our new and revised programs to hundreds of our families. The Alliance website also plays a significant role in reaching families that search for where to turn services.  In addition, our educational video series is detrimental in raising awareness of youth safety concerns for anyone who visits our site and views our video/multimedia links.

Alliance Board of Directors

The current Board of Directors for the 2011-2012 fiscal year

Nicole Kurash, President
Elaine Surma, Vice President
Leslie Quatrini, Secretary
Gail Korn, Treasurer
Jeff Bennett
Candace Kantz
Dr. Pat Mannarino
Jim Miller

Dr. Al Wille will continue to serve as a part time outreach assistant.

Operating Revenue Sources

22 Member Schools.
7 Faith Based Institutions
Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office
Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Grant
Auto Dealers Campaign Drive

Member Schools and Faith Based Institutions Roster for 2011-2012

Ambridge School District
Avonworth School District
Beattie Career Center
Carlynton School District
Cornell School District
Fox Chapel Area School District
Mars Area School District
North Allegheny School District
North Hills School District
Northgate School District
Pine-Richalnd School District
Quaker Valley School District
Shaler Area School District
Sewickley Academy
South Fayette School District
Bishop Canevin High School
Central Catholic High School
North Catholic High School
Serra Catholic High School
St. Alexis Parochial School
St Joseph High School
Calvin Presbyterian
Fountain Park Church
Memorial Park Church
Northway Christian Community
Sts John and Paul Parish
St John Neumann Parish
Victory Family


Alliance Web Site

In 2011, the Alliance website had over 14,433 unique visitors and increases every year. It is important to note that statistics are also kept on how long visitors remain on the site, e.g., viewing multimedia, special bulletins, school and resource directory information. In July 2011, 15.1% of 1184 visitors (#179), stayed 30 minutes or longer on the website. In July 2012, this number was 166 visitors, i.e., 17% of 977 visitors.


Alliance Program Guide of Member Services for 2012-2013 

5th Grade PTO/PTA Partnership Program for Parents and Students

  • Evening program designed for parents and their children grades 5 (Districts may wish to expand to grades 6 – 12 if school auditorium can support large group. We do not recommend gymnasium programs.)
  • Evening event generally starting at 7 PM and concluding by 8:30 PM
  • Alliance staff will meet with district staff and PTO/PTA leaders to plan if it is a new program for the district.
  • The school district superintendent will promote the program to parents and district staff using Alliance designed letters.
  • The school district will follow the prescribed format including content and sequence.
  • The program includes viewing the “Listen II” video (new video), student breakout sessions and panel discussion with parents.
  • District provides AV coordination and student breakout facilitators
  • Programs are offered Monday through Thursday evenings only

8th Grade Transition Program to Address Drugs and Bullying (New Program)

  • Spring Evening program designed for parents and their children grades 8 who are transitioning to the high school in the fall. 
  • Evening event generally starting at 7 PM and concluding by 8:30 PM
  • Alliance staff will meet with district staff to plan if it is a new program for the district.
  • The school district superintendent will promote the program to parents and district staff using Alliance designed letters.
  • The school district will follow the prescribed format including content and sequence.
  • The program includes viewing the “Listen II” video (new video), young male recovering drug addicts and an expert panel. 
  • District provides facility and AV coordination, i.e., completes all required permits.
  • Programs are offered Monday through Thursday evenings only.

Evening Town Hall Meeting

  • Program designed for school district faculty, parents and community agencies
  • This Alliance hosted program will feature viewing the “Listen” video followed by a panel discussion. Other Alliance prevention videos may also be considered.
  • The audience will have an opportunity to hear from community experts and young adults in recovery
  • The school district will help coordinate and promote the program.

District In-Service Program (90 minutes) on Drugs, Bullying and Child Neglect/Predator Laws (New Program)

  • Secondary (6 – 12) Teacher Faculty In-Service
  • Primary (K-6) Teacher Faculty In-Service
  • Other Faculty In-Service, e.g., K-8  

Regional Administrator/Support Staff Workshop

  • School districts send a representative(s) from their administrative staff and support services leadership staff to a luncheon and training program to review current child safety trends, Alliance programs and the features/resources on the Alliance web site, e.g., streaming video programs.
    • This training will be scheduled fall 2012 at The Chadwick, Wexford from 11:00 to 2:00 PM. 

Middle School Open House Program

  • Parents are invited to an Alliance program on the same night as the scheduled Open House program.  This program will start 1 hour before the school open house agenda and cover drugs and bullying/cyber bullying.  

Internet Based Prevention Video Program

  • The district’s webmaster and newsletter staff post/send a notice to parents regarding the “streamed” prevention videos on the Alliance website. The notice has a link to the Alliance “Multimedia Page.”  This is an easy to implement program!
  • District will complete a very short on-line survey detailing an estimated number of parents who will receive notice of the video program.

7th Grade Poster Contest (Art and Essay)

  • Participating schools will require their entire 7th grade class to participate and send contest promotional materials, guidelines and “talking points” to all 7th grade parents.
  • The contest will start in February 2013.
  • A team of school faculty will judge the entries and submit their top 5 entries to the Alliance office no later than April 15. 2013.
  • Poster finalists and parents along with school sponsors and superintendents will be invited to the Alliance’s annual award luncheon held in June, 2013.

Student Alliance Program”  Workshop (New Program)

  • Schools will select a delegation of five students representing grades 9through 12.  Students will present results of the program they developed and initiated across their school community.
  • Date for this event (spring 2013) to be determined.

Regional Act 48 Training for School Nurses/Counselors (New Program)

  • Special Agent Elaine Surma will be the key presenter.
  • Training will include an update on current drug trends, internet safety concerns, signs/symptoms of depression, suicide and drug use.
  • Date for this event to be determined.

Educational Video Program

The video program remains open and available to everyone 24/7 and includes videos produced by both the Alliance and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. A variety of these videos are also used as a key component in Alliance presentations.  The Alliance’s newest video: “Listen II” will be premiered at a special event to be held on September 20th at the Sewickley Heights Golf Club.   The addition of this video will be the main focus for the Alliance’s newest program targeting parents and students transitioning into high school.  It captures the stories of families who have suffered loss of their children to drugs while also providing parents with an important “check daily” list to keep their children drug free.

“A Message of Hope”

On September 20th, the Alliance will premier the newest addition to their video library at the “Message of Hope” Charity Event.  This event is a significant fund raising opportunity that the Alliance is extremely grateful for.  The committee members that have been a key factor in helping to assure the success of this event are:

Jeff Bennett and Patti Bennett
Gail Korn
Michael and Jody Doherty
Candace Kantz
Tony and Leslie Quatrini
Maureen Rooney
Barb Thaw
Terri Tunick
Michael and Susan Weinzierl
Robert Wright


The PA Alliance For Safe & Drug Free Children & the Attorney General’s Office

Video Educational Series


“Breaking the Code of Silence”

Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for middle and high school students and parents. Community leaders, parents, and teens describe the current status of the drug culture with emphasis on responsible reporting.


Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for parents/guardian viewing.

“Deception” details the extent to which teens will go to support their addiction and hide it from parents; provides suggestions for parents on effective vigilance and intervention and addresses issues of deceit, denial and enabling.


Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for 5th grade through high school students and their parents.  “Listen” details the traumatic effects of drug use and overdose as seen through the eyes of mothers who suffered the loss of their children, and  encourages parents/guardians and community members to address the real dangers and threats of drugs in our region.

“Listen II” new for 2012

Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for students transitioning into high school and their parents.  The traumatic effects of the progression of drug use and overdose as seen through the eyes of parents who have suffered the tragic loss of their children.  This video also provides a list of what every parent should look for and be aware of in dealing with youth drug use and prevention.

“Operation Safe Surf”

Produced by the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, this video is suitable for parent/guardian viewing.  Provides detailed explanations on how sexual predators target and gain access to minors; also provides suggestions for parents on how to better protect their children.

“Signs of Trouble”

Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is intended for parent/guardian viewing (not children).  Specific description and demonstration of materials used to contain and use drugs; provides parents with knowledge about where and how to look for signs of usage.

“Sticks and Stones: Cyberbullying”

Produced by the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, this video is suitable for middle and high school students and parents.  Addresses the realities of cyber-bullying and provides suggestions and resources on how to effectively protect students from being bullied. 

“Teen’s Talking: Sexting, Drinking, Drugs”

Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for middle and high school students and parents.  Local professional experts and students 8th through 10th grade discuss the safety concerns of sexting, drinking and drugs. 

 “Truth & Choices: Drug & Alcohol Abuse”

Produced by the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, this video is suitable for middle and high school students and parents.  Shane is the student who shares his story about drug addiction along with its effects through the views of his family, law enforcement and medical professionals.

 “What Help Looks Like”

Produced by Michael Bartley for The Alliance, this video is suitable for parents/guardian viewing.  “What Help Looks Like” provides information from multiple area agencies who can help.


Alliance Programs, Presentations and Special Events 2011-2012

Faculty In Service Programs:

8/30 Beattie Career Center
9/1 Cornell School District
9/23 Serra Catholic High School
10/7 North Catholic High School
10/10 St Alexis Parochial School
11/7 North Hills Senior High School
12/4 Avonworth School district
1/22 Northway Christian Community Youth Leaders
2/17 Shaler Area K-6 Faculty
2/21 Glenshaw Presbyterian Youth Leaders
2/29 Calvin Baptist Youth Leaders

Administrative Meetings:

9/9 Greenbriar Drug Impairment Training
9/12 Shaler Area School district
9/15 North Hills School district
9/19 St Alexis Parochial School
9/20 KDKA Shelly Duffy interview
9/26 South Fayette School District
9/27 Penn-Trafford School district
10/6 Michael Bartley
10/27 Dr. Frank Kunkel
10/27 South Fayette Board Presentation
3/27 Catholic Diocese meeting

Parent Partnership Programs:

9/27 North Hills School District Parent/5th Grade Program
11/16 Shaler Area School District Parent/5th Grade Program
4/24 Pine-Richland School District Parent/8th Grade Transition Program (pilot)
5/1 Pine-Richland School District Parent/5th Grade Program

Town Hall Meeting:

10/27 Sts John and Paul Parish


10/19 & 10/20 Drug Impairment Training
10/28 North Hills Student Alliance Program (pilot)
5/18 Student Alliance Leadership Workshop

Special Events:

3/19 North Hills School District Award Presentation “ Alliance School District of the Year”
4/1 – 4 5/31 Local Auto Dealer Campaign Drive
6/2 Alliance 7th Grade Student Poster contest Award Luncheon


Student Alliance Program

The Student Alliance Program was piloted this school year at the North Hills Jr/Sr High Schools.  Student leaders were selected by their counselors and/or teachers to participate.  This group of students had the opportunity to select a theme for their school community that would address their specific concerns impacting their peers.  “Be The One”, the North Hills theme was incorporated into the creation of district wide posters, member t-shirts, morning announcements, school newspaper and district web site as well as the production of a video: “What’s your Natural High?”

The North Hills theme was used for the annual 7th grade poster event and the NH students assisted with judging the poster finalists.  This program will be adapted by our member schools and should be rolled out in all of our schools within the next few years.  Meetings will be set up with member schools to review this new program throughout the fall months of 2012.

The Student Alliance Program


The Student Alliance is a student driven leadership program enabling students to identify and address specific concerns within their own school community. These student leaders, considered good will ambassadors and positive role models for their peers, will address important safety related concerns that impact themselves and others.  They will achieve this goal by developing pro-active student service messages that can be disseminated throughout the school community using a variety of mediums including art, technology and public speaking.

The success of this Alliance team will be dependent upon the commitment from the team’s school sponsor to oversee and provide direction as well as the commitment from the student’s themselves.

Student Selection

All students will have a passion for and commitment to making a difference within their school and community.  Likewise, all students will be respectful of diversity and be committed to living drug and alcohol free.

Student selection should be based upon recommendation by the sponsor, counselors, principals and teachers.

Students should possess leadership qualities or potential leadership qualities that can be nurtured and reinforced through their team membership.

Students should offer a wide range of talent or interest in a variety of areas including art, computer technology, photography, research, and strong oral and writing skills.

Meeting Schedule

Sponsors and students should determine how often they will meet.  It is recommended that the team make every effort to meet once every week and develop an agenda for the following week’s meeting.

Record Keeping

It will be important to track the progress of the project(s) from the beginning by assigning a recording secretary.  This student or students will be responsible for documenting the group’s progress and outcomes.  In addition, students who wish to record via artistic impression, photographs and video recording should also be considered. Keeping an accurate account of the team’s activities will be helpful when preparing an end of year presentation packet.

Monthly Report

The Alliance’s Executive Director will be in contact with each school’s sponsor on a monthly basis.  In addition, the director will also ask to attend at least one team meeting during the school year for an update on the group’s progress.

Topic and Slogan Selection

The topic that is selected by the student team can incorporate one or more message.

A slogan for the topic should also be created.

Topics or themes for the team to consider (but not limited to):

                * Living drug and alcohol free                                                             * Responsible reporting

                * Respect and tolerance for others (anti bullying message)            * Where to turn for help

One of the participating school’s slogan will be selected and used as the 7th grade poster contest theme for 2013

Promoting the Message

Student teams can determine how they will promote their message throughout their school community.  These student service announcements could include one or more of the following:

                * District wide poster campaign

                * Recorded video/audio messages that can be streamed in all school buildings

                * District newsletter/website submissions

                * Alliance website submissions

                * School Board presentation

                * Elementary and middle school presentations

Each student team will have an opportunity to create t-shirts for their group that incorporates their message’s slogan.

Student Summit

In the spring of 2013, Student Alliance teams will be invited to a special summit to share with each other what they have accomplished throughout the school year. Schools will have an opportunity to share their presentation packets that include a “journal of their journey”, posters, video and any other media they incorporated in promoting their message.

In addition, the school team whose slogan is selected for the 7th grade poster contest theme will be invited to assist with developing talking points for parents, judging the semi finalist posters and be invited to send a delegation to the Alliance’s annual award luncheon.


The ultimate goal for this program is to create a resource library of student driven ideas that can be adapted by each other in years to come. Presentation packets will be shared with each other during the student summit held spring, 2013.

7th Grade Student Poster Contest and Award Luncheon

The theme for this year’s poster contest was selected by the North Hills Student Alliance:“Be The One”.  Seventh grade students from 19 schools participated by creating posters in art or written expression. The 5 finalists from each school were invited to attend the Alliance’s annual award luncheon on June 2nd held at the Chadwick, Wexford.  Both Alliance Board of Directors and North Hills Student Alliance members helped to judge the grand finalists. Our honorary chairperson for the second year was Mr. Phil Bourque. 

The grand finalists in the art category: 

                                           1st place Sarah Nil, Marshall Middle School                                                                   
                                            2nd place Helen Hu, Marshall Middle School
                                            3rd place Carli Sicher, Mars Area
                                            3rd place Maddie Evans, North Hills

The grand finalists in the written expression category:               

                                           1st place Darian Wagstaff-Hermansen, Cornell
                                            2nd place Sarah Losco, Ingomar Middle
                                            3rd place Lyndsey Garber, Quaker Valley

The Executive Director’s Award: Julia Maruca, Marshall Middle School

Honorable Mention: Noah Gengler, Mars Area

                                    Amber Lisman, Mars Area
                                     Matt Maier, Ambridge
                                     Paige Gillespie, Shaler Area
                                     Isabelle Ramey, Ingomar Middle School


*All finalists’ posters will be showcased in the Alliance’s 2012-2013 Resource Calendar.

Alliance Resource Calendar

The second annual Alliance Resource Calendar is now available.  If you are interested in receiving a copy, please send a written request to the Alliance office.  A contribution to help pay for shipping would be appreciated. Checks can be made out to: The Alliance and sent to: The Alliance @ 2607 Nicholson Road Suite 2300 Sewickley, PA  15243

Auto Dealer Campaign Drive

It is with great appreciation that I acknowledge our local auto dealers who participated in the May Auto Campaign Drive.  Under the direction of Mr. Robert Wright, participating local dealers donated $10 for every new and/or used vehicle sold throughout May.  Their contribution amounted to a total of $30,000.  This special contribution is vital for the ongoing programs and services that the Alliance provides to all of our member schools and faith based institutions.

Please note the Dealer’s who participated and consider them for your next auto purchase!

May 2012:  $30,000

Baierl Automotive Group

Billco Motors

Bowser Pontiac

Day Automotive Group

Mike Kelly Automotive Group

Lexus of North Hills

Shults Ford

West Hills/East Hills Nissan

Wright Automotive

Special Thanks and Appreciation

The Alliance could not exist without the ongoing support from our school and faith based members, our community sponsors and auto dealers, the community members who believe in our work and have been so helpful in organizing our upcoming fund raising event, Michael Bartley who is always committed to excellence when producing our educational videos and our Allegheny County District Attorney, Mr. Stephen Zappala. I am eternally grateful to all of you for what you do not only for this Alliance but for your community and all of our children.  God bless you all, always.

The upcoming school year will provide new opportunities to enhance our message; through our new video and parent/student transition program, our Alliance Student Program and our in-service program that includes important segments from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and the PA Attorney Generals.  We know that youth safety concerns not only pertain to youth drug use, but also with bullying/cyber bullying and child predator issues.  Throughout the coming year, it will be our goal to reach as many Alliance member schools and faith based institutions that we can to provide in-service training that addresses these serious concerns.  Why is this so important?  Our schools and our churches ARE the eyes and the ears for their institutions and can potentially make a difference in saving a child’s life.  Raising awareness and providing education across the entire community therefore is our ongoing goal.  Parents, schools, churches, businesses, and every facet of the community share this responsibility.

We’re all in this battle together so please, continue to help us to make that very significant difference. Your commitment to our efforts is always deeply appreciated.


I remain respectfully yours,

Debra Kehoe