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Mt. Lebanon High School

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Mt. Lebanon High School

Mt. Lebanon School District
To Provide the Best Education
Possible for Each and Every Student
Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania
United States
Type public school district
Established July 1912
Superintendent Dr. Timothy Steinhauer
Staff 224[1]
Grades K-12
Number of students 5,300[2]
Grade 1 335
Grade 2 372
Grade 3 396
Grade 4 396
Grade 5 384
Grade 6 365
Grade 7 409
Grade 8 421
Grade 9 427
Grade 10 410
Grade 11 434
Grade 12 479
Other Enrollment is projected by Pennsylvania Department of Education to decline to 4600 by 2019
Color(s) blue and gold
Athletics conference WPIAL
Rival Upper Saint Clair
Budget $80.6 million 2012–13[3]

Mt. Lebanon School District is the public school system in Allegheny County for residents of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mission statement

The school district's mission is, "To provide the best education possible for each and every student."[4] The district explains this mission with the following statement: Template:Cquote


All enrollment figures are for the beginning of the 2007–2008 school year.[1]

  • High school: Mt. Lebanon High School – 1,912
  • Middle schools:
    • Middle School (Students from the Foster, Markham^, Washington and Howe Elementary School districts) – 700
    • Middle School (Students from the Jefferson, Lincoln, Markham^ and Hoover districts) – 565
  • Elementary schools:
    • Elementary School – 296
    • Elementary School – 256
    • Elementary School – 334
    • Elementary School – 240
    • Elementary School – 413
    • Elementary School – 350
    • Elementary School – 350

Note: Keystone Oaks High School is physically located in Mt. Lebanon, but it serves the youth of the adjacent communities of Greentree, Dormont and Castle Shannon.

^Markham Elementary School is a feeder school into Jefferson Middle School. Based on School District guidelines and proceures, a limited number of 5th graders will be allowed to request to attend Mellon Middle School for 6th grade.

Academic achievement

In 2012, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) ranked Mt. Lebanon High School 6th (out of the 676 public high schools in the State of Pennsylvania) in regards to their combined math and reading test scores. Mt. Lebanon subsequently was ranked #1 in the Pittsburgh region.[5]

Mt. Lebanon School District was ranked 2nd out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs on: math, reading, writing and one year of science.[6] The school district ranked 2nd out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts and 3rd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2008 in the Pittsburgh Business Times rating. In 2007, the district ranked 3rd of 500 Pennsylvania school districts for student achievement.[7]

The district has won multiple National Blue Ribbon School awards.[8] The high school was rated as one of the Top 500 high schools in the United States by Newsweek in 2000 and rated No. 1 in Western Pennsylvania by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2005.[9]

Graduation Rate
2009 – 99%[10]
2008 – 99%
2007 – 100%[11]

Mt. Lebanon High School

Mt. Lebanon High School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education each of the three times it requested certification: 1983–84, 1990–91, and 1997–98.[12] Newsweek (March 8, 2000) also rated the high school as one of the Top 500 high schools in the United States. It is one of only 24 non-Private secondary schools in the United States (and the only non-Private school in Pennsylvania) that is a chapter of the prestigious Cum Laude Society.

The high school ranked second out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2009, for academic achievement as reflected by three years of 11th grade results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.[13]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
2009 – 89% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 65% of 11th graders on grade level.[14]
2008 – 88%, State – 65%
2007 – 90%, State – 65%

11th Grade Math:
2009 – 81% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.[15]
2008 – 86%, State – 56%
2007 – 83%, State – 53%

11th Grade Science:
2009 – 69% on grade level. State: 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2008 – 71% [16]


The Class of 2007 graduated 411 students, 96% of whom went on to pursue a full-time or Armed-Service education. Similarly, the Class of 2006 graduated 461 students, 96% of whom went on to some form of full-time college or armed services education (89% four-year college or higher) and 93% of whom took the SAT. Their cumulative mean score of 1168 is 147 points higher than the national mean and 175 points more than the Pennsylvania mean score.[12] In the new writing assessment, the cumulative mean score of 573 was 76 points higher than the national mean and 90 points higher than the Pennsylvania mean score.

Based on national test results, Mt. Lebanon students rank among the highest-achieving in the nation. Students have consistently scored above the national mean average in both the Critical Reading and Mathematics sections of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

Mt. Lebanon students were top performers on the College Board SAT at the end of 2006. Of the 630 public schools in the state, Mt. Lebanon students posted a combined score of 1741 which ranks 4th in Pennsylvania and 1st in the county among public schools, catapulting Mt. Lebanon ahead of all public schools in Western Pennsylvania. In addition, the critical reading and math scores were the highest ever received by Mt. Lebanon students.[17]


The school district reports spending $7,669/student, about 25% over the national average of $6,058/student.[18]

In 2007, the district employed 389 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $60,908 for 180 days worked. The district ranked eleventh in Allegheny County for average teacher salary in 2007. The average teacher salary in Pennsylvania was $54,977.[19] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[20] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.[21]

As of the beginning of the 2007–2008 school year, the school employed 460 professionals.[1] Teachers are paid on an 18-step schedule, from $39,955 (minimum with bachelor's degree) to $89,520 (maximum with master's degree plus credits).[1] Currently 68% of teachers have a master's degree or higher.[1]

Mt Lebanon School District administrative costs per pupil were $782.18 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[22] The Pennsylvania School Board Association tracks salaries for Pennsylvania public school employees. It reports that in 2008 the average superintendent salary in Pennsylvania was $122,165.[23]

In 2005, Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner conducted an audit of the school district. The report faulted the school board for a confidentiality clause which held much of a termination agreement from public disclosure. Auditors found that the Mt Lebanon School District terminated Margery Sable, superintendent in October 2005 at 16 months into a five year contract with a payment of $500,000. The reason for the termination was not released to the public.[24]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a local real property tax, a real estate transfer tax, and a per capita tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[25] Grants provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the income level.[26]

State basic education funding

In the 2009–2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $5,695,775. This was the lowest percentage point increase, in Basic Education Funding, for the school districts in Allegheny County and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Four county school districts received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2008–10. Chartiers Valley School District received an 8.17% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The state's Basic Education Funding to the North Allegheny School District in 2008–09 was $5,584,093.23.[27] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the budget proposal made in February each year.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 92 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[28]

Race to the Top

School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[29] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[30] Pennsylvania was not approved in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. A second round of state RTTT application judging will occur in June 2010.[31]

Former Governor Edward Rendell had proposed that consolidation with adjacent school districts, in each county, would achieve substantial cost savings. The savings could be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.[32]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[33] This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[34] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[35]


The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[36]


Mt. Lebanon has won numerous PIAA State Titles in many sports. Those include Boys Cross Country team (11 state team titles), Boys Swimming (4 state titles), Girls Basketball (3 state titles consecutively in 2010, 2011, 2012), Volleyball (2 state titles), Hockey (2 state titles), Wrestling (1 state team title and 13 individual state champions), Girls Soccer (1 state title), Baseball (1 state title), Girls Swimming (1 state team title), Girls Tennis (0 state team titles, but 6 Doubles state titles and 4 Singles state titles), Boys Tennis (0 state team titles, but 1 Doubles state title and 1 Singles state title). Mt. Lebanon has not yet achieved a State Title (PIAA-team/individual) in Softball, Track & Field (individuals unknown), Football, Boys Soccer or Boys Basketball (Swimming is unknown).[37]

They have also produced many professional athletes such as Kurt Angle. School Colors are Royal Blue and Gold.

The Mount Lebanon Boys' Cross Country team was won 11 PIAA State titles and 19 WPIAL titles.[38]

The Mount Lebanon Boys' Swimming team has won 4 PIAA State titles (years unknown).[39] They have at least one individual state champion (Nappi-2011). They have won the WPIAL Championship nine times. The Blue Devils' have back-to-back WPIAL Team Runner-Up in 2008 and 2009. They also won the section title in 2008 and 2009. The Blue Devils had a perfect 13–0 regular season record during the 2007–2008 season.

The Mt. Lebanon Girls Basketball team breaks a record (2009, 2010, 2011) for being the first team (boys or girls) to win the Pennsylvania (PIAA) state AAAA basketball championship three years in a row (North Catholic, PA girls won AAA three years in a row in 1993, 1994, 1995) under the head coach Dori Oldaker.[40] They also won WPIAL AAAA championships in 2009 and 2010.

The Mt. Lebanon Girls' Volleyball team has won the PIAA State Title 2 times (1997,2000).[41] They have won the WPIAL championship in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2009, and 2012.

The Mt. Lebanon Hockey team won the PIHL State Championship twice (1976,2006).[42][43] A few Blue Devil players were selected by Division I collegiate and professional teams throughout North America (Shane Ferguson, pro debut: October 2009, Matt Bartkowski pro debut: September 2010, Tyler Murovich pro debut: March 2009, and Jesse Root (taft prep school) ). Mount Lebanon was the 2005–2006 State Champions setting both scoring records and defensive records.

The Mt. Lebanon Wrestling team has won a PIAA state championship (1965). They also have 13 PIAA individual state champions. They have also won a total of 23 section championships, from 1963–1985, along with many WPIAL championships in 1965, 1968, 1969, 1971–1975, 1978, 1980, and 1981 for a total of 11 titles. The program has 27 individual WPIAL champions, and 16 state placewinners.

The Mt. Lebanon Girls Soccer team has one PIAA state championship under its belt (1992).

The Mt. Lebanon Baseball team has won the PIAA state championship once (1998), its section title dozens of times, and WPIAL 5 times,. Their most recent WPIAL championship came in 2006.

The Mt. Lebanon Girls' Swimming team has won the PIAA State title once (year unknown). They have won the WPIAL Championship three times.

The Mt. Lebanon Rifle team won the "state shoot" once (1958), and WPIAL Championship[44] for the 2006–07 year, and tied for first place in WPIAL Section One with their team record. They went on to place third in the state-level competition. They have also won the WPIAL Championship in: 2007,2003,1987,1971.

The Mt. Lebanon Girls Tennis team has not yet won a PIAA team title. However, 6 Doubles state championships and 4 singles state championships have been earned to date.

The Mt. Lebanon Boys Tennis team has not yet won a PIAA team title. However, 1 Doubles state championship and 1 singles state championship have been earned to date.

The Mt. Lebanon Lacrosse team advanced to the state finals 3 times (2002,2003,2007),[45] have won 7 boys' lacrosse WPSLA Championships since 2000 and are nationally known for their excellence. The Blue Devils also advanced to the Midwest League Finals (2003), losing to nationally ranked Detroit Brother Rice 10-6.[46] The boys' lacrosse team advanced to the Pennsylvania state championship 3 times since the late 1990s, most recently in the 2008 season.

Mt. Lebanon's Mens soccer team has won 10 WPIAL championships, including their latest in 2009 against rival Upper St. Clair High School on a double overtime freekick goal.

Since 1965 Mt. Lebanon Football has won 7 WPIAL Football championships and the last coming in 2000 with an offensive line that had every player go to a Division-1A school. Since 2000, Mt. Lebanon has made the playoffs in 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2009–10. Mt. Lebanon has had 2 losing seasons in the last 14 years (2006–07) and (2007–08). Some of the most notable athletes consisted of Alex Bookser and Luke Hagy.

The Mount Lebanon Girls' Cross Country team has won 5 WPIAL titles in 1982, 1983, 2002, 2006, and 2012.

The Mt Lebanon Boy's Basketball team has won two recent AAAA WPIAL basketball championships – in 2006 against the McKeesport Tigers, and in 2010 against Gateway Gators. In 2011, the team made it to the PIAA AAAA Championship but lost in overtime to Eastern PA powerhouse Chester. The Mount Lebanon Boys' Tennis Team has won 18 WPIAL titles, including their latest in 2011 against Shady Side Academy.

The Mt Lebanon Girls' Field Hockey team won the WPIAL Championship Title in 2005, beating out long-term rival and title-holder North Allegheny High School, on October 27, 2005.


Mt. Lebanon has an ongoing rivalry with Upper St. Clair High School, highlighted by spirited taunts about the communities rather than individual athletes.[47] This rivalry goes back to the days before the establishment of Upper St. Clair High School, when St. Clair students enrolled at Mt. Lebanon High School following ninth grade. When in 1957, Mt. Lebanon schools decided not to admit Upper St. Clair students, and Upper St. Clair then created its own high school, the rivalry further intensified. It is among WPIAL's most natural rivalries due to the close proximity of the two communities, which are adjacent.

Other less notable rivalries include nearby towns Bethel Park, North Hills, Baldwin and Canon McMillan

Fine arts

The Fine Arts Department was rated one of eight finest nation-wide by the United States Department of Education.[12]


In the 2002–03 school year, the high school received one of six Outstanding School Awards from the Educational Theatre Association.[12] The school's theater program began in 1930 and has produced a number of notable actors.[48]


In 2007, the American Music Conference listed Mt. Lebanon High school as one of the "Best 100 Communities for Music Education."[49]

Mount Lebanon Percussion ensemble, under the direction of Richard T. Minnotte, has been selected to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference 4 times(2002, 2005, 2008, 2010), the National Music Educators National Conference (MENC) in Salt Lake City in 2006, the 2009 and 2011 National Percussion Festival, as well as the 2010 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy in Oklahoma. Most recently they were invited by the NHL to perform at the 2011 NHL Winter Classic on live TV for the country.[50]

The high school's chamber string orchestra, string orchestra and symphony orchestra, all under the direction of Robert J. Vogel, have played twice at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City, in 1998 and 2004. They also comprised three of only six ensembles chosen nationwide for the 2006 Orchestra America National Festival.[51]

The high school's Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jason Cheskawich performed at the 2012 Music for All National Festival as an add-on group to the Mount Lebanon Percussion[52]


The Mt. Lebanon Forensic Team won the Western Pennsylvania District Forensic Championship four years in a row (2001–2004). In 2004, the team won the state championship in dramatic interpretation and extemporaneous speaking and then earned a second-place title in extemporaneous speaking at the national competition in Salt Lake City.[53] George Savarese is the coach of the team and has been since the late 1990s. During Savarese's tenure Mt. Lebanon has become the dominant school in Western Pennsylvania winning the district championship five of the last six years, and in 2003, 2004, and 2005 sending record numbers of students to National Forensic League national tournament.

In 2006, the team captured the Pennsylvania High School Speech League championship,[54] Events included extemp, dramatic interpretation, humorous interpretation, duo, and original oratory.


The Mt. Lebanon student newspaper, The Devil's Advocate, is an award-winning student publication that is distributed each month to students. The paper's topics range from serious issues, such as drinking and drug use in the community, as well as lighter topics, such as local activities and performances. The paper is written and edited by the students of the high school and draws its funding from local advertisers.


Mt. Lebanon is the Alma Mater of, among others:


External links

  • Mt. Lebanon School District website

Coordinates: 40°22′30″N 80°03′04″W / 40.375°N 80.051°W / 40.375; -80.051

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