Meet the Board

Meet the Board

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Allison Mathis, President

Allison Mathis

Chief Board Liaison - Education
President serves as liaison on all committees

Allison "Ali" Mathis joined the North Hills School District Board of Education in 2017 and has served as President since December of 2019.

A former PTO president, she is an active parent volunteer who has served as chair of the district’s education committee for the last three years.

Mrs. Mathis is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and her professional background is in Communications and Project Management. Her daughter is in sixth grade at North Hills Middle School and her son is in ninth grade at the high school.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
"It's hard to pick a favorite! I love that we are a close knit community. I love the people; I love meeting community members and students and talking to them. I am so proud to live in North Hills. Our students, teachers and administrators are amazing and are what really make NHSD what it is."

Why did you decide to run for school board?
"One of the reasons I ran for board was because I wanted to help bridge the gap between parents and the district.”

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
"2020 was an incredibly difficult year on many levels. First and foremost, I’m a mom. Like most moms, I have had to discover untapped energy and personal resources to help my kids navigate virtual school while balancing work and my commitment to our district. I’ve always been a planner. This past year I have had to learn to be more adaptable and alert to change, particularly in regulations from the state and Health Department, which impacted our school operations immeasurably. I have found that my role has shifted from that of a traditional board president to one of crisis manager. In the face of a rapid transition to virtual learning last spring, I’m proud I could use my professional experience to help. With the cooperation of my colleagues, our board meetings and school district business have remained professional, well-run and accessible to the public. I’m proud of our entire North Hills community — our amazing teachers, parents and students. They have remained flexible and adaptable in the face of extraordinarily difficult and unforeseen challenges."

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
"It will take a lot of work to rebound from 2020, both emotionally and educationally. One thing I am committed to is redoubling our emphasis on the mental well-being of our entire community. Not just our students, but our teachers, school staff, parents, and siblings need to be part of this project. I know unfortunately too well about the struggles our community has faced. And the crisis is far from over. We need to work hard in identifying the methods available to us, and as a district we need to frankly discuss our shared mental health. I look forward to working tirelessly in search of solutions. Kindness matters, words matter, and how we chose to interact with each other matters. I hope that we all come out of this an even stronger community of interlocking goals. I look forward to carrying these shared values into 2021."

Email Mrs. Mathis

Helen Spade, Vice President

Helen "Dee" Spade

Chief Board Liaison - Personnel
Board Liaison - Policy, Support Services
A.W. Beattie Career Center Appointed Member

Helen "Dee" Spade has lived in the North Hills School District for 50 years and has been a member of the North Hills School District Board of Education since 2015.

Mrs. Spade worked in North Hills’ Facilities Department for 40 years, served as an officer of the SEIU Union for many years, and continues to serve as a member of the Allegheny County Schools Health Insurance Consortium.

Her two sons graduated from North Hills High School in the 1980s (1982 and 1987) and she and her husband of more than 55 years own a local catering business.

Mrs. Spade has served as school board Vice President since 2018.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
"I love our North Hills mascot and everything it stands for. I love and appreciate all the people I have met during my time at North Hills.  From the first day I started working for the district, I have loved this place. It is a school district that really cares about the kids, the employees and the community. We are North Hills!"

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
"I am most proud that our district’s administration, teachers and staff were able to give our students a quality education while keeping everyone -- including our community members, safe. It wasn’t ideal, but we did it and we’re going to make it through. The pandemic also forced us all to slow down a little bit and enjoy life’s little moments, which I appreciate.”

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
"Getting our lives and the lives of our students, staff and families back to normal! But I hope that we can do so without forgetting the lessons learned and the silver linings of the pandemic such as the kindness and unity shown to one another despite being apart."

Email Mrs. Spade

Sandra Kozera

Sandra Kozera

Chief Board Liaison - Policy
Board Liaison - Community & Intergovernmental Relations, Support Services
Appointed Legislative Chairperson

Sandra "Sandy" Kozera has served on the North Hills School District Board of Education since 2017.

Mrs. Kozera grew up in North Hills and graduated from North Hills High School. She attended the College of Wooster in Ohio and lived in Washington D.C., Wheeling, West Virginia, and the city of Pittsburgh before returning to Ross Township in 2011. Mrs. Kozera is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and enjoys serving on the board's Policy Committee.

Her two daughters, Elena and Zoe, are in fifth and first grades, respectively, at Ross Elementary School.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
"Anyone from Pittsburgh was born with a sense of hometown pride and anyone from outside Pittsburgh picks it up pretty quickly. North Hills has great school spirit and hometown pride."

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
"The pandemic has forced us to focus on what is most important, and it has also forced us to be more flexible. Since we have been so extremely limited, it's been necessary to identify what we absolutely need to retain. Being a board member during this time has been a huge challenge, and certainly hindsight has and will continue to make me wonder if we have made the right choices, but I have tried to focus on making sure that the most important elements of the school experience continue to be available for our students in this time that looks so different from a year ago."

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
"Now that we know more about the virus and how it works, I am hopeful that we can use that knowledge to make things a little more pleasant for our school district family. Even with the understanding that 2021 is not going to look like 2019, I hope we can make it look a little less like 2020 and a little more like something we can enjoy."

Email Ms. Kozera

Phil Little

Phil Little

Chief Board Liaison - Community & Intergovernmental Relations
Board Liaison - Education, Finance

Phil Little was elected to the North Hills School District Board of Education in November 2019. In 2020, he was elected to the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of Directors.

A former teacher, Mr. Little currently works as a community and government affairs liaison for the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

He lives in Ross Township with his wife and three sons, Theodore, a kindergarten student at Highcliff Elementary School, August, age 3, and Charles, who was born last summer.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
 "I love the district’s proud history and its desire to honor that history as it continues to move forward. I also love its proximity to the city of Pittsburgh."

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
 "I'm proud that the board has made it a top priority to be transparent, and continue to stay in communication with the public, regardless if the news was positive or not. What I'm even more proud of is our students, and families. By no means has it been easy, but our community continues to persevere."

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
"I'm looking forward to focusing on educating the community on issues surrounding the district, with the archaic charter school funding formula being paramount. I'm eager to begin educating the community how we must challenge our state legislators to have the courage to do what is right, and reform this unfair formula that allows over $1,000,000 leave our district on an annual basis, which leaves less opportunities to invest in our communities greatest asset - our children."

Email Mr. Little

Dr. Annette Giovengo Nolish

Dr. Annette Giovengo Nolish

Chief Board Liaison - Finance
Board Liaison - Policy, Personnel

Dr. Annette Giovengo Nolish joined the North Hills School District Board of Education in 2013 and is currently the chief liaison of the board’s Finance Committee.

She is a lifelong resident of North Hills and graduate of North Hills High School. Her son Andrew graduated from North Hills High School in 2015.

Dr. Nolish previously served as president of the North Hills Instrumental Parents Association and was an active parent volunteer in the district.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills? 
"I love that North Hills offers something for everyone, with a great variety of classes and co-curricular activities to prepare students for life after high school no matter the path they choose."

Why did you decide to run for school board?
"I wanted to help support our students and our community with educational excellence and fiscal responsibility. I'm proud of our district and its national, state, and regional recognition for educational quality and student accomplishments in and out of the classroom."

Email Dr. Nolish

Deanna Philpott

Deanna Philpott

Chief Board Liaison - Support Services
Board Liaison - Education, Policy

Deanna Philpott was elected to the North Hills School District Board of Education in November 2019 and chairs the Support Services Committee.

Ms. Philpott works as a School Wellness Consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She is a North Hills graduate and has a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State and a master's degree in Sociology from American.

Her two sons, Miles and Noah, attend second and first grades, respectively, at McIntyre Elementary.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
“My favorite thing about North Hills is how connected our community is and how everyone knows each other. I love how many alumni have chosen to raise their kids here, and now our kids are in class together!”

Why did you decide to run for school board?
"I ran for the school board to be a voice for my kids and for all of the kids, parents and community members in our district."

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
"Following one of the toughest years in public education, I am most proud that our School Board and district administration and staff were able to communicate so well with our community and that our community responded with such a high level of engagement. I really feel like we have all been in this together."

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
"In 2021, as a board member, I am most looking forward to focusing on tackling the various impacts of the pandemic on our district- academics, social and emotional health, and finances. I am also looking forward to the day when we can all regularly get our families together again at school events!"

Email Ms. Philpott

Kathryn Poniatowski

Kathryn Poniatowski

Chief Board Liaison - Athletics & Activities
Board Liaison - Education, Finance

Kathryn “Katie” Poniatowski was elected to the North Hills School District Board of Education in November 2019.

She has been a member of the North Hills community for 14 years and her daughter, Shelby, attends North Hills Middle School.

Mrs. Poniatowski has worked in education for 17 years and is currently a high school special education teacher.

"What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
"My favorite thing about the North Hills School District is its sense of "family.'"

Why did you decide to run for school board?
“North Hills School District is an amazing school district and I look forward to continuing to be a part of its continued growth.”

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
“The past year has taught me to be thankful -- The people we see and the activities we participate in should not be taken for granted. I’ve also learned to enjoy not only the big things in life but the small things too."

Kathy Reid

Kathy Reid

Board Liaison - Athletics & Activities, Personnel

Kathy Reid joined the North Hills School District Board of Education in 2008.

Mrs. Reid has been a part of the North Hills community for more than 40 years. Her three children, Melissa, Aimee and Robert, all attended and graduated from North Hills.

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
"I love that everyone is friendly and the teachers and administrators always support the students."

Why did you decide to run for school board?
"North Hills is a wonderful school district and I love serving on the school board and love that I’m doing my part to help keep our district great. North Hills has always been a part of who I am and I will always be most loyal to North Hills.”

Email Mrs. Reid

Rachael Rennebeck

Rachael Rennebeck

Board Liaison - Athletics & Activities, Community & Intergovernmental Relations
A.W. Beattie Career Center Appointed Member

Rachael Rennebeck was elected to the North Hills School District Board of Education in November 2019.

She has been a member of the North Hills community for more than 20 years and has three children in the district: Adeline (Grade 6), Domenic (Grade 8) and Roman (Grade 12).

What is your favorite thing about North Hills?
“My favorite thing about North Hills is the support and camaraderie in the community.” 

Why did you decide to run for school board?
"I hope to bring a positive voice to all discussions and contribute more ideas to build a solid and prosperous future for the district."

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed you and/or what are you most proud of in 2020?
 "The pandemic forced me to practice what I preach, family is the core. But I was able to truly appreciate time and find silver linings." 

What are you most looking forward to focusing on in 2021?
 "Positivity. Being kind. Getting back to basics."

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