The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 4, 2012

In Brief | Brockway English teacher honored as state’s best

HERSHEY — An 11th-grade English teacher from Jefferson County is the state’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.

Ryan Devlin of Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School was presented the award Tuesday by state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis in a ceremony to recognize excellence in education.

Devlin, 27, said in a brief acceptance speech that teachers must continually adapt to change, but the goal of producing well-educated, motivated students remains constant.

“We want to create students that are as innovative as Steve Jobs, as determined as Michael Jordan, as brave as Rosa Parks, as creative as Walt Whitman, as efficient as Henry Ford, as passionate as Oprah Winfrey and as kind as Mister Rogers,” he said.

He said helping students discover and pursue “their passion” in life is the most important role a teacher can have.

Pitt trustees give top administrators raises

PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh trustees on Tuesday approved raises for seven top administrators that range from 3.3 percent to 15 percent for the coming year.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg’s salary will increase 3.3 percent, to $580,000. He didn’t accept a raise last year.

Amy Marsh, the chief investment officer, got a 15 percent raise, bringing her salary to $405,000.

Provost Patricia Beeson got a 10 percent raise, bringing her salary to $374,000, while general counsel Jerome Cochran, chief financial officer Arthur Ramicone, and trustees secretary Jean Ferketish all received 3.8 percent raises. Their salaries now range from $493,000 to $216,000.

Arthur Levine, dean of the School of Medicine, got a 3.3 percent raise, bringing his salary to $787,500.

Death phase delayed for man in hitchhiker case

UNIONTOWN – A sentencing hearing for a death row inmate convicted of killing a hitchhiker for $13 in gas money nearly three decades ago has been delayed.

The Herald-Standard of Uniontown reported Tuesday that jury selection will begin in October for 56-year-old Scott Wayne Blystone of Fairchance, Fayette County. He was convicted in the 1983 murder of Dalton Charles Smithburger Jr., a mentally disabled man.

A federal appeals court in January upheld a lower court decision that Blystone’s attorney should have called mental health specialists as witnesses, who might have convinced jurors to sentence him to life.

The new jury will decide only whether Blystone remains on death row or gets life in prison without parole.

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