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2014 Distinguished Alumni
Gail Kowalski
North Hills School District graduates Gail Kowalski and William Newlin were the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Kowalski is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1973, and Newlin is a member of the West View High School Class of 1958.

Kowalski is the owner and president of Jewelry by Gail, Inc. based in Nags Head, N.C. She is well-known across the nation for her award-winning, custom jewelry designs worn by celebrities to some of the country’s most glamorous events and awards shows. Stars such as Eva Longoria, Minnie Driver and Vanessa Williams have worn Kowalski’s original and unique designs on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Her jewelry also frequently is featured in celebrity jewelry suites, where stylists selected her original designs for their clients to wear at every major award show. A collection of her designs has been placed in Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Kowalski has pioneered numerous metal-working techniques to manipulate platinum and gold and has patented the Slip earring design. Since 1977, she has been awarded some of the highest honors and awards of excellence in the industry while growing her business from a one-woman, one-room shop to a nationally recognized and successful, two-story stand-alone retail store and studio.
William NewlinNewlin is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who has played a vital role in keeping the local Pittsburgh economy growing throughout the last four decades. He is the chairman of Newlin Investment Company, which he founded in 2007. Newlin was the executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Dick’s Sporting Goods, chairman and chief executive officer for Buchanan Ingersoll, chairman for Kennametal and chairman of Plextronics.

He has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and named one of the Top 50 Business Leaders in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among the Most Influential Pittsburghers of the Century by Pittsburgh Magazine and twice honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal.

In his free time, he is active in many charitable organizations including The United Way of Allegheny County, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, The Watson Institute and many others. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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