Staff and Student Spotlights

  • The transition from Tucker to Reid comes natural for Duquesne school board

    Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 1/24/2023

    A picture of the Duquesne school board

     

    When talking about their years on the Duquesne City school board, DeWayne Tucker and Rosia Reid speak about similar values. When it comes down to it, Tucker and Reid care deeply about the Duquesne kids.

     

    “After I got on the school board, I got to know the kids, and it made it a whole lot easier to try to communicate with them and try to make a difference,” Tucker said. 

     

    Reid echoed those thoughts.

     

    “I’m on the school board because I love the kids and the kids love me,” Reid said. “When I see a kid I introduce myself to them not as the president of the school board, but Ms. Rosia. I make sure they know me as a person.”

     

    Tucker has been on the school board for 36 years, while Reid has been a member for 16 years. Both have lived in the district for all of their lives. Tucker had been the longstanding school board president, but Reid took over recently. Tucker will still stay on the board, and said that passing the torch to Reid was a natural transition.

     

    “We go to the same church and we’re active in the community,” Tucker said. “You can see the sincerity in her.”

     

    Tucker is proud of what he and his fellow school board members have been able to achieve over the years in helping push forward the school district. He said he’s most proud of how the school district’s education has continued to improve and change.

     

    “We’ve managed to get quite a few things done over the years,” Tucker said.

     

    Reid, too, is proud of Duquesne’s continually improving curriculum, pointing to the school’s focus on technology and innovation as things she’s especially proud of. She’s proud, too, that Duquesne was able to get its athletics back, and has recognized the impact that return has had on the community.

     

    “They’re happy about it. The people are proud and glad athletics are back,” Reid said. “We need sports in Duquesne. We’ve always been a sports-oriented place. It’s a great outlet for the kids.”

     

    In speaking of what she hopes to accomplish as school board president, Reid talks mostly about pride. Her love for the school and the city is apparent, and she’s hoping to continuously foster that connection between the school and the community.

     

    “I care about the school and these children,” Reid said. “I really care and I really want to make a difference for them. I want them to feel the same Duquesne pride that I feel.”

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  • Duquesne Art Students Paint Graffiti Mural

    Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 1/18/2023

    At Duquesne we are always looking to stretch the boundaries of learning and find new ways to engage with our students. So when Dr. Jamie Schmidt, our Director of Curriculum, saw a graffiti mural at another school, she saw a new opportunity for our art students to express themselves.

     

    On Wednesday January 18, 7th and 8th grade art classes finished a graffiti mural outside of the auditorium. The mural was a multi-week collaboration with Max Gonzales and Shane Pilster, two artists with Rivers of Steel, a wide-ranging non-profit organization.

     

    “They’re the first group of middle schoolers that we’ve had in a really long time, so we thought it would be a cool experience for them to have an opportunity to really leave a part of themselves here once they leave the school,” said Rebecca Grubbs, the art teacher at Duquesne.

     

    The mural encompasses two sides around the auditorium doors. The middle of the mural reads “ONCE A DUKE, ALWAYS A DUKE.” Around that phrase are some words of affirmation like happy, strong, great, unique and beautiful, as well as some other drawings and phrases. The mural also features two of the 7th grade students' names in arabic. 

     

    “That gives them a real sense of belonging,” Mrs. Grubbs said. “When I said that they could do that they were super excited about that.”

     

    The process of constructing the mural started with the students, Gonzales and Pilster spray painting the background, and then painting bricks, adding words of affirmation and then finally putting some finishing touches on the mural with paint pens. Along the way, the students were able to learn about the art of graffiti, along with fine touches like drop-shadowing. 

     

    “I think to actually show them from what it went from to actually seeing what it has turned into has been an amazing process. I always tell them, ‘you have to trust the process,’” Mrs. Grubbs said.

     

    “It’s been a really cool experience for them and I think they’ve really taken to it because this is something that’s different than just, ‘here’s a piece of paper, here’s a pencil.’ This is giving them a whole different idea of what art can be. It’s a different canvas and a different medium, which is really amazing.”

     

    Mrs. Grubbs has been a teacher at Duquesne for 10 years, and along the way has seen the progression of the district. Specifically over the last few years, there’s been a heavy focus on being innovative and finding new ways for the students to learn. With the construction of the mural,  Mrs. Grubbs is excited to continue being part of that process

     

    “I think that’s incredibly important, because all students learn in different ways. Just letting them actually know that they can learn in different forms is so incredibly powerful and impactful,” Mrs. Grubbs said.

     

    “It’s a whole big connection with everything we do in school. I think giving the kids an opportunity to do something outside of the box really might ignite those interests and those abilities inside our students, which is really, really important. We try to let them shine, and let their abilities shine.”

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  • Duquesne Staff Members Present at TRETC

    Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 1/18/2023

    On January 16 and 17, some of our staff members presented at the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC). Ashli Detweiler, our World of Work Coordinator, along with Erica Slobodnik and Emily Johns, teachers at the Duquesne School District, spoke about World of Work and its implementation at Duquesne.

    World of Work, a career initiative that started in Cajon Valley San Diego, provides early exposure and self awareness to career paths starting at our youngest grade levels. At Duquesne, we teach World of Work to our 2nd graders. Beyond Duquesne, only South Fayette, Elizabeth Forward and Avonworth teach World of Work in Allegheny County.

    At Duquesne, we strive to be unique and forward-thinking. World of Work is just another part of that initiative. Find below a video of some of our students talking about World of Work, and their favorite parts of it.

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