ALL YOU ENGLISH majors out there who never did well in math might have an excuse: You probably never had Michelle Switala as a teacher. Ms. Switala, 40, of Cranberry teaches Algebra 2 and two types of Advanced Placement calculus at Pine-Richland High School. She does it so well that at an event Tuesday in Harrisburg state Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak announced that Ms. Switala was the 2010 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, the fourth consecutive state teacher of the year from Western Pennsylvania. Congratulations to her from the English-focused and math-challenged newspaper community.
GOOD SCHOOLS are building blocks of good communities and this past week some of the others - including the Carnegie Library, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - received a creative boost from the Pittsburgh Foundation, which held its first Match Day Wednesday, promising a 50 percent match for donations to non-profits. The foundation's funds for the match were quickly exhausted. In all, more than $1.2 million was raised for regional groups.