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Welcome to QV Strong! We are a volunteer group dedicated to supporting robust community understanding, involvement and transparency into all district planning, programs, and projects. 

It's QV School Board Election Season!

With mail and absentee ballots now in hand and the May 16 primary fast approaching, we are sharing our recommendations with you for the Quaker Valley School Board races.


Please be sure to send in your mail ballot as soon as possible. It must be received by the Allegheny Board of Elections by 8:00pm on Tuesday, May 16.


Members of the QV Strong steering committee have had an opportunity to meet with candidates for school board and review their public statements.


We are fortunate to have many outstanding candidates running in all three regions. 


Below are QV Strong’s recommendations for each of the seats up for election in this year’s Republican and Democratic primaries. (Voters registered as Independents or in third parties cannot participate in the May 16 primary election. You may change your party registration until May 1 to vote in this primary. You can easily switch your party registration HERE.)


Region 1: Bell Acres, Leet, Leetsdale, Fair Oaks


Recommended: Gianni Floro

Region 2: Sewickley Borough

Recommended: Geoff Barnes (Seat 1)

Recommended: Corinna Garcia-Skorpenske, Angela Hawes, Juliane Mazzarella (Seat 2)

Region 3: Aleppo, Edgeworth, Haysville, Glenfield, Glen Osborne, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills


Recommended: Melissa “Missy” Walls & Jessica Webster



Rationale for Recommendations:


Region 1: Bell Acres, Leet, Leetsdale

Recommended: Gianni Floro


There is a stark contrast in Region 1. While two candidates have filed, only one is worthy of support this year: Gianni Floro. A QV grad with deep roots in this community, Floro, 51, is fully invested in making Quaker Valley the outstanding school district it is today. 


He has concrete ideas on how to build on that excellence. Floro believes the school district must continue to provide multiple pathways for QV kids to succeed after graduation—whether they decide to pursue a college degree, a career in the skilled trades, nursing, or other professions.


Floro is also committed to identifying cost savings across the school district’s budget. Conscious of the tax burden on seniors and families, Floro is working with the administration to cap the cost of the high school project currently underway to ensure it does not exceed the budget.


As chair of the Facilities and Operations Committee, Floro brings an irreplaceable depth of project-based knowledge that the board cannot afford to lose at this critical juncture in the final stages of the high school’s development.


Floro and his wife have two children who have attended Quaker Valley schools. Their daughter is a high school freshman, and their son is enrolled at Allegheny College.


Bill Jasper, 75, is also running. Jasper is best known as one of the two plaintiffs currently in litigation on the high school project—which has cost QV taxpayers dearly in legal fees. His actions have forced expensive delays, driving up the cost of the project and depriving kids of a quality high school. Jasper, a part-time resident of Leetsdale, already has one foot out the door as he spends a good portion of the year living out of state. He touts his leadership as President of his Florida condominium association as a reason for electing him to the Quaker Valley School Board.


Gianni Floro is 100% committed to Quaker Valley and, through years of thankless volunteer service on behalf of our community’s kids, earned our vote in Region 1.



Region 2: Sewickley Borough

With two seats up for election on the school board in Region 2, voters have the opportunity to choose two representatives on the board this year.


Recommended: Geoff Barnes (Seat 1)


Geoff Barnes, 50, is one of the most humble--but hardest working and effective--public servants in Quaker Valley. He is the parent of 3 Quaker Valley grads and one Osborne Elementary first grader. Barnes has proven to be one of the most thoughtful and conscientious members of the school board.


Barnes listens to parents and area residents and understands the strengths and weaknesses of our school district. He strives for continuous improvement within Quaker Valley schools and works in a collaborative manner with people of different points of view to push for positive change.


In his words, Barnes is committed to a new high school project that is completed in “a fiscally and environmentally responsible manner befitting the needs of our community and the world into which we send our graduates.” He is also "proud that our work now will mean my youngest and her peers will finish their education in the modern, state-of-the-art high school this community deserves."


In both his professional and school board work, Barnes is an innovator. He knows our educational system needs to adapt to ensure our kids meet the demands of a rapidly changing world and job market.


We enthusiastically recommend Geoff Barnes for re-election.


Recommended: Corinna Garcia- Skorpenske, Angela Hawes, Juliane Mazzarella (Seat 2)


We are fortunate to have three exceptional candidates running to represent the open seat in Region 2. Because all of these candidates have expressed their unequivocal support for the successful completion of the high school project at the Leet site, QV Strong refrains from making a specific endorsement among them and sets forth their candidacies in alphabetical order for your consideration. 


Corinna Garcia- Skorpenske, 57, is a former teacher and the mother of a Quaker Valley graduate, who understands the value a new school will bring to this area. In her words, "not only will our children benefit, but so will our community by bringing in more students and more teachers and hopefully more jobs to our local people." Garcia- Skorpenske has run an energetic campaign spending considerable time canvassing neighborhoods, gathering input from Sewickley residents. Her experience as a teacher has shaped the perspective she would bring to the board. “I have taught in many states and economic demographics. I want to be a part of preparing students for a very successful life no matter the demographics.”


Angela Hawes, 50, is the parent of two QV Middle School students who have attended Quaker Valley schools since kindergarten. As a QV parent she has dedicated many volunteer hours to the Osborne HSA and was instrumental in the creation and maintenance of an indoor garden at the school. As a school board director, she would be "committed to continuing the transparent process begun by the current members" while "avoiding overspending." Hawes prioritizes school finances as an area she would like to focus on. In her words, “We need to be smart with how we spend our budgets and smart with ways to save money.”


Juliane Mazzarella, 43, supports the timely construction of the new high school at the Leet site because, as the mother of two Osborne Elementary students, she wants her children to be able to attend the new school. Mazzarella believes her professional background in interior design and architecture could "assist in navigating the construction process and provide oversight" while "keeping the project on schedule and budget.” Mazzarella’s experience would prove valuable during the construction phase of the project. “I was a high school student during a construction project growing up, I’ve also worked on educational construction projects in a professional capacity.”


In Region 2, voters are fortunate to have such a talented bench from which to choose their second representative to the school board.



Region 3: Aleppo, Edgeworth, Haysville, Glenfield, Glen Osborne, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills

With two seats open for election on the school board in Region 3, voters have the opportunity to choose two new representatives on the board this year.


Recommended: Melissa “Missy” Walls & Jessica Webster          


While four residents are running in Region 3, we can recommend only two of the candidates—and they are both extremely well-qualified for service.


Both Missy Walls, 59, and Jessica Webster, 46, are deeply involved in Quaker Valley schools as volunteers and passionate advocates for kids. As non-incumbents, they will bring new ideas and energy to the school board. 


Walls and Webster both seek to build on Quaker Valley students’ high academic performance, also recognizing the importance of meeting the needs of kids who learn differently, children with disabilities, and those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Webster will bring years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal, and head of school to the board. She leads a growing group of parents who advocate for Quaker Valley’s music education programs. She is active in all three QV schools where her children attend.


Walls, a QV Sports Hall of Fame inductee, she is an attorney and former nonprofit executive. A QV Alum and parent, Walls serves as the Chair of Teacher Appreciation Week for Edgeworth Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association where she devotes countless volunteer hours to support Quaker Valley students. 


On the high school project, Webster and Walls are both realists, knowing the district several years ago voted to build on the new Leet Township site purchased in 2017. With zoning approval granted, final school designs nearing completion, and construction on the horizon, their focus is on containing costs and ensuring a safe, technology-rich high school building is completed to serve many generations of future QV students. They know that further delays will only drive up costs and increase the tax burden on homeowners.


Two other candidates are running in Region 3. George Smith, 85, and John English, 73, both declined an invitation to meet with QV Strong parents and volunteers and share their vision for the school district and positions on issues important to voters. Smith also failed to answer the Sewickley Herald’s candidate questionnaire. We believe school board members should be willing to engage with residents and taxpayers to hear their concerns if they hope to represent them in elected office. 


In his limited public statements, English has signaled his desire to root out “indoctrination” in Quaker Valley schools. It is unclear what he means by that, but we are eager to prevent Quaker Valley from veering into the types of divisive political battles that have plunged so many other school districts into chaos. 


Jessica Webster and Missy Walls both want to maintain Quaker Valley’s apolitical, non-partisan school board and focus on ensuring schools prepare QV kids for success. We highly recommend both of these thoughtful and dedicated QV parents to represent voters in Region 3.

Land use approved for new QV High School

In a ruling issued Monday, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County granted Quaker Valley School District's zoning request to build a school in Leet Township.


The court decision clears the way for QV to build a state-of-the-art high school on 108 acres off of Camp Meeting Road. 


The ruling overturned a March decision by the Leet Zoning Hearing Board, which denied the district's application based on a lack of an additional emergency access road. In ruling on the case, Judge Joseph M. James noted, "The Board’s finding regarding emergency access was based on speculation with no foundation in the record."


Judge James recognized an emergency plan as a legitimate concern for the community, but affirmed that an emergency access road was not a matter to be addressed as part of zoning approval. QVSD has committed to putting an emergency plan in place, working with local emergency responders and township officials. Any access road, as well as other details, will be worked out collaboratively with Leet Township's Planning Commission during the development process. 


The parents, grandparents, and community members of QV Strong expressed their strong support of the decision.


"As the parent of a recent Quaker Valley graduate and a current junior, I am relieved the high school project can finally move forward at the new location," said Hadley Haas, a member of the QV Strong Steering Committee. "Many generations of students will benefit from a safe, modern, healthy learning environment with the technology to prepare our kids to succeed in the future." 


Leet residents, in particular, will benefit from having a top-rated high school built in their township.


"This long-overdue decision opens the door to the creation of a 21st century high school right here in Leet Township," said Don Birnie, a longtime Leet resident, who also serves on the QV Strong Steering Committee. "This will be a huge asset to Leet residents and everyone in the Quaker Valley community."


"The individuals and families who make up QV Strong encourage the Leet Planning Commission to work collaboratively with Quaker Valley School District to ensure the school satisfies the needs of students, teachers and nearby residents," said Leet resident John Stunda. "We urge Planning Commission members to move at a more deliberate pace to ensure the new school is completed in a timely manner. Further delays only harm Quaker Valley students who deserve a far superior learning environment than the current facility."

Our First Peek at the Future QV High School!


Rendering provided by the Architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson


Renderings provided by the Architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson


Renderings provided by the Architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Want to See More?
Check out this video to see 3D renderings and discussion of the future Quaker Valley High School

What the Leet Zoning Board Means for the New QV High School

The Quaker Valley School District has revealed their intention to appeal the Leet Township zoning decision regarding the new high school, opting to expedite the decision to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. This is a logical and procedural decision that prevents further delays and unnecessary costs, while continuing to keep safety and the best interests of our students at the forefront. QV Strong supports the district in this decision. 


The Background


On Feb. 9 the Leet Township Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) voted to tentatively deny QV’s application to build a new high school on Camp Meeting Road. However, in their statements, zoning board members made it clear they support building the school at this site. In fact, board members pointedly rejected the arguments made by detractors who sought to portray plans as a detriment to the health, welfare and safety of the community. The initial application was denied because it did not include a third access road separate from the school district’s two planned driveways off Camp Meeting Road. The ZHB encouraged QVSD to amend their application to include a third access. This was unexpected and highly unusual. After thoughtful deliberation, QVSD decided not to amend their application and the ZHB issued their final denial on March 28.


Further delays will hurt our kids and drive up costs 


The Quaker Valley School District has made it clear they will work with police and fire officials to provide multiple access roads to the school to ensure the safety of students in the event of an emergency. 

However, amending the application would have further prolonged what has already been an unnecessarily lengthy hearing and zoning approval process. Quaker Valley originally submitted their application to the ZHB one year ago. According to the zoning ordinance, the ZHB should have rendered its decision within 90 days. Instead, the hearings were prolonged with hours of testimony on topics far outside the jurisdiction of the zoning board. The members of the ZHB were extremely patient and thoughtful throughout these unusual proceedings. 

Nonetheless, if QVSD had amended their application, a new round of hearings would be initiated, further prolonging the approval process at significant cost to taxpayers.

Opponents of the new school had already promised to appeal any approval by the ZHB to the same court. Rather than put the community and taxpayers through another round of costly hearings, as well as an appeal, QVSD has chosen to expedite the process, preventing further delays for a desperately needed high school. 

Safety will not be sacrificed

We are confident the school district is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the entire community. QVSD leaders have expressed their commitment to working with local first responders to develop an emergency access plan with the Leet Township Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners. 

QV Strong remains committed to ensuring the children of our community can attend a safe, modern high school in the shortest time frame possible. QVSD’s chosen path in this matter supports that goal. We are pleased Quaker Valley plans to appeal this decision to the Court of Common Pleas, and we are hopeful it will be resolved swiftly. We remain grateful to the members of the Leet Zoning Hearing Board for their service to our community and this important mission. 

It’s Time to Build!  

Learn More about the NEW
Quaker Valley High School!
Why Not Beaver?
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The QVHS current site on Beaver Street does not have the space or land conditions to adequately support a modern building.

The New Quaker Valley High School
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The best learning environment for our children.

Cost Per Student Analysis

The best value for taxpayers.

Referendum Details

Learn about the Pennsylvania state law requirements for a referendum. 

Rumor vs Fact
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Dispell the myths and provide accurate information about the project. 

Site Plan
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Get more info on the site and review site plan conceptual drawings.

"The district spent several years gathering input from parents, students, and teachers on a new facility. It's time to end the delays and build a new Quaker Valley High School!"

 - Kirk Fordham


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