2021-22 Academic Accomplishments

2021-22 Academic Accomplishments

Awards, Recognitions & Milestones: The 2021-2022 School Year in Review

Golden Oaks Designs Student-Run Business
A project of the EdCorp program, Golden Oaks Designs is a student-run business that operates out of Keystone Oaks High School. With support from Real World Scholars and Harbor Freight Tools, EdCorps works to teach students the fundamentals of starting and maintaining a business. The business was launched in 2018 and has grown tremendously over the past four years. Students now make and sell 10 different products, including customized pen and pencil sets, Free Little Libraries, corn hole sets, reindeer puzzles and geometric night lights. 

In 2019 and 2021, Golden Oaks Designs was selected to participate in the Youth Pop-Up Maker Event as part of the Handmade Arcade at Pittsburgh's Convention Center. This year's participation led to Golden Oaks Designs being selected to fulfill two large orders, including more than 60 pen and case sets and two Free Little Libraries for the Heritage Library in McDonald. 


Golden Oaks Designs Free Little Libraries

Global Seal of Biliteracy
In the first year of Keystone Oaks High School’s Advanced Placement French and Spanish courses, three students earned a Global Seal of Biliteracy by earning  a score of three or higher on the AP Exam. Class of 2022 graduates Taylor Knavish and Abriana Lyda both earth Functional Fluency in French and Class of 2021 graduate Ethan VonHedemann earned Functional Fluency in Spanish. 

The Global Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who score a three or above on the Advanced Placement exam, demonstrating proficiency in that language. It is a credential that celebrates language skills and expands future opportunities for its recipients. 

According to the Global Seal of Biliteracy, individuals who meet the criteria of Functional Fluency "can function in the certified language when completing familiar routines and tasks in predictable situations. They can describe products, services, policies or procedures, take orders, complete formulaic documents and payment transactions, provide scripted presentations and answer expected, frequently asked questions."

Global Seal of Biliteracy


2020-2021 AP Scholars
Thirty-four Keystone Oaks High School students received an AP Scholar Award, which recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on Advanced Placement Exams during the 2020-2021 school year. Students are recognized at one of three levels: AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor, or AP Scholar with Distinction. 

Five students were named an AP Scholar with Distinction, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Nine students were named an AP Scholar with Honor, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

Twenty students were named AP Scholars, which is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

2021-2022 AP Scholars

2021 AP Scholars


AP Computer Science Female Diversity Awards
Keystone Oaks High School has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A (CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP). Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in an AP Computer Science Course.

In 2021, Keystone Oaks High School was one of only 61 schools nationwide, and one of only 3 Pennsylvania schools, to be recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses. Across the United States, more than 1,000 institutions achieved either 50% or higher female representation in AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2020-2021 school year.

In 2017, when Keystone Oaks High School first added computer science courses to its curriculum, 25 students enrolled in courses, with only 5 students in AP CSP.  Since then, nearly 200 students have taken either AP CSP or AP CSA. In addition, a computer science course is now a graduation requirement for every KOHS student. Over the past 5 years, enrollment has reached as high as 75 AP Computer Science students in a single year, including 50% female in AP CSA during the 2020-2021 school year and again this year in AP CSP.  The percentage of minority students in AP Classes has increased significantly from 0%  in 2017 to a high of 33% this school year.


AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award


2022 FCS Teacher of the Year
Keystone Oaks High School Family and Consumer Science Teacher Mrs. Emily Brill was named the 2022 Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Inc.

This award identifies and recognizes outstanding educational program methods, techniques, and activities that provide the stimulus for, and give visibility to, FCS education. At Keystone Oaks High School, Mrs. Brill oversees the child development courses, which include a hands-on nursery school program, while also teaching various culinary arts, nutrition and personal finance courses.

"Mrs. Brill is a dedicated teacher who works to ensure that her students are engaged in real-world experiences through family and consumer science courses," said High School Principal Mr. Linnert. "Whether she's leading students through a new recipe or baking technique, overseeing their role as instructors in the nursery school program, or teaching students financial literacy skills, Mrs. Brill strives to provide her students with a foundation that will benefit them now and in the future. She is certainly deserving of this award and we thank PAFCS for recognizing her hard work and commitment to her students and to FCS education."

Mrs. Brill was recognized at the PAFCS 2022 Annual Conference Awards event in April.

Emily Brill - Family & Consumer Science Teacher of the Year

High School teacher selected to participate in CMU Physics Teachers Program
Keystone Oaks High School physics teacher Rebecca Hritz was one of 20 local teachers who have been selected to participate in the second annual CMU Physics Teachers Program. The goal of the program is to build connections between CMU’s Department of Physics and high school physics teachers in Pennsylvania to engage students and expose them to career opportunities in physics.

Ms. Hritz will participate in a week-long professional development program during the summer, where she will receive resources to utilize in her classroom, network with CMU physicists, learn about career opportunities and education pathways, tour the university’s laboratories, and learn about ongoing physics research being conducted by CMU faculty.

“I am very excited to participate in this program and to expose my students to work that is being conducted at the university level," Ms. Hritz said. "My hope is that by experiencing the connections between their classroom learning and the real world, my students' eyes will be opened to all of the career possibilities in this field."

Ms. Hritz participated in the inaugural program in 2021, which was held virtually, and was intended for teachers to provide input as to how the program should be designed to support teachers and the needs in their classrooms.

“We are proud of Ms. Hritz’s leadership in developing this program and in providing this opportunity for Keystone Oaks students,” High School Principal Mr. Linnert said. “I am looking forward to seeing how the resources are utilized in the classroom as well as to how this program inspires our students.”

Rebecca Hritz - Physics Teacher

Allegheny Intermediate Unit names two Keystone Oaks educators to inaugural transformED Teaching Fellowship
Keystone Oaks School District elementary STEAM teachers Aaron Colf and Rachael Ragen were selected to participate in the inaugural transformED Teaching Fellowship. The Allegheny County Intermediate Unit launched the fellowship as its latest vehicle for providing transformational professional development opportunities. Colf & Ragen, who teach STEAM to grades K-5 in the Keystone Oaks School District, are two of 17 teachers representing 15 school districts across the region to be awarded a 2021-2022 transformED Teaching Fellowship.

“This fellowship was developed in response to districts looking to innovate and a demand for opportunities for teachers to learn from and alongside one another,” says Tyler Samstag, director of Instructional Innovation at the AIU. “The pandemic has forced schools to think innovatively and creatively about teaching and learning. Overnight, our conception of school changed. Teachers took charge and adapted.”

The transformED Teacher Fellowship aims to convene teacher leaders interested in instructional innovation to incubate new approaches to teaching and learning. As part of this small community of practice, fellows will learn collectively with their peers in sessions held throughout the remainder of the school year. In addition, each fellow receives a $1,500 classroom mini-grant and the fellow’s school district receives a $1,000 stipend. This fellowship was made possible through grant funding provided by the Grable and Henry L. Hillman foundations.

transformED Teaching Fellowships

Two KOHS seniors advance to national FBLA competition
Keystone Oaks seniors Greyson Barsotti and Owen Finucan will be traveling to the national FBLA-PBL National Center competition in Chicago after receiving second place in the Business and Information Systems category at the state competition in April. Greyson and Owen had to role play their topic against the top 15 teams in the state. 

Greyson and Own were among seven students who qualified for the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference after earning top spots at the Region 10 Leadership Conference. The students competed against their peers from across the state in Hershey in April. Grace Gardner and Sydney Brooks took 2nd place in the Hospitality and Event Management category. Julia Samarin, Cole Lugaila, and Jake Loper took 3rd place in the International Business category. 

FBLA State 1st Place Winners

Keystone Oaks senior advances to national SkillsUSA competition
Keystone Oaks senior Dylan Kickler, who is also a student at Parkway West CTC, earned first place in the photography category at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Competition and earned a spot at the national competition! Dylan will travel to Atlanta, Georgia in late June for the National Leadership & Skills Conference, where he will participate in leadership training in addition to industry skills and competency evaluations. 

Dylan has taken photos for NHL teams, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the WPIAL football championships, and for the KOHS Torch Yearbook. He plans to pursue a career in photography after graduation.

Dylan was one of two Keystone Oaks seniors to compete at the SkillsUSA state competition. Hunter Hussak, who is also a student at Parkway West Career & Technology Center, earned placed first in the regional First Aid/CPR Competition, where he was judged on his ability to perform procedures or take appropriate action based on different scenarios related to CPR and first aid medical emergencies, as well as a written exam.

Dylan Kickler - SkillsUSA National Competition
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