Heidenreich nominated for Trib Total Media Outstanding Young Citizen award

Jack Pockl


Assistant Editor

  Senior student Joshua Heidenreich was nominated by teacher Ms. Joelene Hester for the 2019 Trib Total Media Outstanding Young Citizen award and is now in the Elite Top 100 category of students nominated.

  The Outstanding Young Citizen award recognizes the achievements of a junior or senior high school student that “shows exemplary character and leadership, goes above and beyond within their community, and excels in the classroom.”

  Heidenreich is enrolled in AP and CHS courses, is the president of Stand Together, and manages the Speak to Me room.

  Hester nominated Heidenreich for the award for numerous reasons, but her main reason is his dedication.

  “I knew in advance from last year that I was going to nominate Josh.  His leadership is the main reason why I nominated him. Through his work in Stand Together and in the Speak to Me room, he has matured and taken the clubs to the next level.”

  Heidenreich’s self-discipline was another contribution towards his nomination.

  “In Stand Together, we have committees where each group is in charge of a task.  At first, Josh was involved in several committees and I knew he would be spreading himself too thin -- I did not say anything because I wanted him to figure it out himself.  One day, Josh came to me and said that I need to take myself off of these committees. I just need to stand back and manage them.”

  Heidenreich believes he was nominated because of the extracurricular activities he is involved in.

  “The most recognizable reasons why I probably earned this nomination was leading Stand Together and managing the Change Agents in the Speak to Me room.  I really wanted to make it my mission to destigmatize mental health in the high school by being involved with these organizations.”

  Heidenreich will be joined by Hester on April 17 where he will be recognized for his nomination and have the opportunity to earn a scholarship.

Montour students awarded first place in the Skills USA District Competition

Delaney Broad



  Parkway West students competed in the Skills USA competition on January 21.

  Four Montour students, Kyle Lizanich, Allora Santucci, Kirk Mchugh, and Nicholas Dreger, achieved first place in their specific fields of study and two students placed second in the competition.

  All the competitions took place at the Steel Center or at Rosedale Tech.

  Junior, Kyle Lizanich, competed in the Public Safety competition.

  For the competition, Lizanich had to demonstrate basic fire fighter skills, such as SCBA donning, operation checks, placing ladders, and hose loads.

  The month leading up to the competition, Lizanich practiced every week so he could achieve his goal of taking first place. He memorized new terms so he would seem more well-versed in his field.

  “I wanted to be in the public safety field because I have been around fire fighting my whole life,” says Lizanich.

  Lizanich will be moving on to compete in the next round of competition.

  “There will be a larger scale of a competition and there will be harder items added, so I will begin more practice,” says Lizanich.  

  Senior, Allora Santucci, competed in the Health Knowledge Bowl.

  Santucci competed in a jeopardy style game with her team that featured questions about first aid and life-saving techniques and they only missed one question.

  “The competition was overall simple, but some questions were designed to throw you off a bit. I luckily had my team there to talk everything out with.”  

  Going into this competition, Santucci was not sure what to expect.

  “I was a little nervous, but I knew I had a very great instructor who has taught me everything I know about public safety.”

  Growing up Santucci wanted to be able to help people and it was always something she strove to do. She enjoys the thrill of putting her knowledge and skills to work. She also wanted to be like her brother, who became an EMT at 16. At the age of 17, she took the National Registry EMT test and is now working on an ambulance at White Oak EMS.

  Senior, Nicholas Dreger, competed in the Auto Tech Competition.

  At the competition, he took a written test on automotive questions, as well as machine break a motor, and do a mock interview.

  The hardest part for Dreger was the mock interview because it had to seem real.

  Dreger did not know what his expectations for the competition were due to changes every year.  

  Dreger wanted to be in the auto tech field because he grew up working on cars with his dad and he really enjoyed it.    

  Sophomore, Kirk Mchugh, competed in the culinary competition.

  At the competition, Mchugh had to bake different things and present it in an hour and a half.

  Going into the competition, Mchugh strived to do his best and make the best thing he could.

  Mchugh found that he struggled with the time the most.

  The first place winners will be moving on to the next round of competition at Hershey in April.

  Student Erica Mulvihill placed second in the cosmetology competition and Justin McGee competed in auto tech.

Mock Trial Team nearly wins first playoff competition

Jack Pockl


Assistant Editor

  The Montour Law Team nearly defeated Sewickley at the first playoff trial of the season, but the team fell short by a total of nine points.

  The team’s fate of the trial is based-off of three jurors’ opinions and views of the advocates’ and witnesses’ performances.

  To advisor Michael Phillips, the score of the trial is not a reflection of the team as a whole.

  “Last night, the students put their heart into the case and the courtroom.  Their skills were truly put on display and they worked as a team they have grown to be.  My expectations were completely met in that regard.”

  Phillips says that some the team’s best performances were displayed at the trial.

  “Eliza Zwikl’s opening statement and Caroline Dischner’s closing statement were some of the best statements said over the course of the season.”  

  Though the team’s season was cut short, Phillips does have plans for the team to improve.

  “Next year, we have talked about meeting in the summer to work on courtroom procedure and objections.”  

  Since this is the last year on the law team for many students, Phillips says he has everlasting memories of this season in particular.

  “I made memories of that I will never forget of people I will never forget.  The passion of Caroline Dischner; the calm and cool collectiveness of Abby Minzer; the knowledge of Manny Athwal; the heat-of-the-moment responses by Josh Heidenreich; and the smiles and light-heartedness of Janelle Randolph will live for years to come.”

Duquesne University presents to students about the opioid epidemic

Jaden Nelson



Students and doctors from Duquesne University visited Montour High School to inform them on the use of Opioid drugs. An opioid use disorder is defined as a problematic pattern of opioid use that leads to serious impairment or distress.

The students that visited and spoke to the kids at Montour High School were Deidra Smith, Jeff Strange, and Christian Thomas.    The students and doctors from Duquesne University came to visit the students of Montour High School on January 28.

  These students are in the Duquesne University Pharmaceutical program. At Duquesne University during the last week of pharmacy school they go on a five week rotation with current employed pharmacist and doctors. These college students were here on observation of Dr. Mapel and Dr. Dibridge, who are currently employed at the Presbyterian Hospital. Students from Duquesne University are aligned with nurses and doctors where they are designated to a service line and have specific requirements that need to be meet.

  There are different topics and studies that come from these programs. The students go to medical places such as the hospital where they identify and talk to patients that are currently on five or more medications. The students requirements at this point is to talk to the patient about the medication and learning how to identify the proper medication for the patient. The students are tested and graded based off of their meeting before and after with the patients.   “Addiction” does not have a simple meaning and current doctors are trying to break away from the word addiction. Addictions to different drugs, or “substances,” are called substance abuse disorders. When these opioid drugs are taken they are very addictive and activate the brain's reward system producing feelings of pleasure. The body's reward system typically reinforces behavior and produces a sense of memory to the brain. Once these drugs have entered the body and activated the brain the body continues to want more of these substances.

  Dr. Julie Dibridge stated , “The range of people getting addicted ranges from almost every age group. The largest group is where it becomes a true problem in their 20s. This use at a young age is leading to more of an opiod addiction later on in life.” Pharmacist are on the front line for the opioid problems that have been occurring over time. There is a major push for pharmacist in today's society as many people continue to lose their jobs or quit due to the pressure their job requires.

  When asked about what is being done and part of the pharmacists job to prevent opioid addiction Dr. Julie Dibridge said, “Making sure that patients have a great understanding about the use of their medication and educating their family members on the use of the medication. Also Informing the family members and patients on how to properly store it and to make sure they are not sharing these medications. There is now current technology being developed to help with drug monitoring.

 This was an educational assembly where the students took the role of informing students on how to prevent certain addictions and giving them a good understanding of everything going on with drug use in today's world. The students broke down the body describing how each part of the body is affected by the overuse of these drugs and they also discussed certain types of drugs and stimulants. Every part of the assembly was for educational purposes and to help inform the youth about the severity of these drugs to help prevent use later on in their lives.

  Dr. Julie Dibridge stated, “ Any questions or concerns please reach out..a group that is all confidential and gives guidance to help patients and kids is at your disposal. This is a top secret conversation where we are looking to do nothing but help with whatever situation you are going through and to help inform/answer any questions you have. Thank you!”

  Dr. Julie Dibridge can be reached at dibridgejn20upmcedu .

Mock Trial Team performance excels at Allegheny cases

Jack Pockl


Assistant Editor

  The Montour Law Team presented their prosecution and defense case at the Allegheny County Courthouse on January 29 and February 4, winning all six judging ballots and earning a spot in the play-offs.

  Against Pine Richland and Quaker Valley schools, Montour earned the highest scores at the two cases because of their notable opening statements and cross-examinations.

  Student attorneys Eliza Zwikl, Caroline Dischner, and Manny Athwal represented the defense.  Students Abby Minzer, Josh Heidenreich, and Caroline Dischner represented the prosecution team.

  The team was able to reach being the tenth district in the region to compete in the play-off competitions.

  “I can not say enough about the team this year and their dedication,” says advisor Mr. Michael Phillips.

  This year’s mock trial case was about medical malpractice of medical professional Dr. Rae Shafer and his over-prescribing tendencies of opioid medications.

  On January 29, Manveer Athwal earned the Best Advocate award for his performance and Abby Minzer earned the Best Witness award for her role as Dr. Shafer in the case.

  “Manny’s knowledge of the case has been a key to our success in the courtroom; Abby is calm, cool, and collected and is sharp like a knife whether as a witness or attorney,” comments Phillips.

  On February 4, Abby Minzer earned the Best Advocate award for her performance and Susan Betten earned the Best Witness award for her telling of her account with Dr. Shafer.

  “Susan has given life to our witnesses.  She shows emotion and displays her knowledge that wins over the jury members.”

  The defense team will be representing Montour on February 13 at 7:00 pm at the Allegheny County Courthouse in a nearly final attempt to protect their client, Dr. Rae Shafer.

Stand Together hosts free popcorn event

Harleigh Wiesenbach


Features Editor

  Stand Together will be hosting Popcorn Stand Together, in which they will be giving away free popcorn in exchange for answering one myth or fact question regarding mental health during all PLT sessions February 1. Both correct and incorrect answers will result in free popcorn.

  The goal of Stand Together is to educate and destigmatize mental health and substance use disorders at Montour High School, so along with answering a myth or fact question. If participants have more questions regarding mental health or Stand Together, they can visit a seperate table that will be set up to give them more information. Participants can also sign a pledge that says they will destigmatize mental health at Montour.

  This is only the first step for Stand Together. This event is the first establishment that mental health and substance use disorders are a problem at Montour as well as every other school. Stand Together plans on having three events before the school ends and will be rolling out this same event in another two weeks.

  “We want to not only start the conversation but maintain the conversation,” says Josh Heidenreich, president of Stand Together. “This isn’t just a one and done thing.”

  Mental health affects every one in four people, and Stand Together hopes to break the stigma that people have surrounding it and substance use disorders. They hope to make Montour more accepting and welcoming towards these issues.

  Heidenreich comments, “I think that this is going to be successful in its purpose, which is just creating conversation.”