Marshall Middle School (Pittsburgh)

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Marshall Middle School
5145 Wexford Run Road
Wexford, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 15090-7458
United States
Coordinates 40°38′38″N 80°05′41″W / 40.643756°N 80.094782°W / 40.643756; -80.094782Coordinates: 40°38′38″N 80°05′41″W / 40.643756°N 80.094782°W / 40.643756; -80.094782
Type Public
Motto Where I Make a Difference
Established 1993
School district North Allegheny School District
Superintendent Dr Raymond D Gualtieri, (contract 2011-July 2013) salary $174,942 (2012)[1]

Mr. Daniel Swoger(2015-present)

Former: Cynthia Kainaroi(retired 2015)
Faculty 53 teachers 2011
Grades 6–8
Number of students 620 Sixth- 191, Seventh- 212, Eighth- 217
Color(s) Black and Gold
Mascot Tiger

North Allegheny

Former: Tracie Michalowski(Principal of Ingomar Elementary School)

Marshall Middle School (MMS) is a large, suburban public middle school operated by North Allegheny School District. It is one of three middle schools (6-8th grades) in the North Allegheny School District. The school is on a 92.79-acre campus located in Marshall Township, Pennsylvania.[2] In 2013, Marshall Middle School reported an enrollment of 620 pupils, with 2% of pupil coming from low income homes. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[3] Marshall Middle School feeder schools are Bradford Woods Elementary and Marshall Elementary School.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 647 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 12 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 52 teachers, yielding a student teacher ratio of 12:1.[4] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[5]


The school has a two-story 'H' shape with two large wings for the auditorium and gymnasium on either side of the "H". The eighth grade classrooms are in the central bar of the H on the second floor, the sixth grade classrooms are on the east wing on the second floor, and the seventh grade classrooms are on the west wing on the second floor.. There is a football/multipurpose field off of the gymnasium to the east and a softball field adjacent to it. Past right field lies cross-country trails that are used for middle school cross country meets and gym classes. Farther east of the cross-country trails are two soccer fields used by local soccer leagues. The Marshall campus also includes a pond used for science purposes and projects. Marshall planned to have a pool in the design of the campus, but that plan was abandoned due to the lack of swimming classes in middle school physical education curriculum. The Marshall Middle School campus houses part of North Allegheny School District's bus fleet. The school was founded in 1993 and cost approximately 30 million USD to build. Marshall Middle School's campus also houses Marshall Elementary School.

The building underwent a massive renovation beginning in 2014 ranging from the removal of old carpeting and installation of commercial tile, to classroom expansion projects in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department and also in the music wing. Other improvements included the installation of occupancy sensors to automatically control new LED troffer fixtures in the hallways and all interior lighting fixtures outside the classrooms. and further installation of security cameras throughout the facility. General aesthetic improvements included painting and installation of new signage and a large MMS tile pattern is now a part of the floor at the main entrance. The library, gymnasium, and auditorium have all been updated as well with new HVAC, carpeting and flooring, and also technology. Many classrooms feature Active Whiteboards from Promethean that augment the district's Focus 2020 model implemented in 2015, where students in the middle and high schools will have access to personal devices in the classroom to be used for purposes of educational enrichments. Students in 6th grade will receive iPads which they will use up until they graduate in 8th grade. When the reach North Allegheny Intermediate High School students receive an HP ProBook Series laptop to provide more options for learning outside of the typical lecture and textbook style environment.


Mr. Daniel Swoger is the current principal of Marshall Middle School. He assumed the post of acting principal in August 2015 following the retirement of long standing principal Dr. Cynthia Kainaroi(see below). Mr. Swoger was the former assistant principal of Ingomar Middle School, one of three North Allegheny middle schools. Before his tenure at the North Allegheny School District, he served a variety of roles ranging Emotional Support Teacher to Assistant Principal of Allegheny Valley School District in Springdale, Pennsylvania.

The Assistant Principal, Mr. Matthew Buchak, served as the Assistant Principal of North Allegheny Senior High School prior to assuming his current post.

Mr. John Schwoebel was the school's original principal, serving until the 2005-2006 school year, when he retired his long standing post to Dr. Kathleen Roppa. Dr. Roppa left after the 2005-2006 school year to take the position of Assistant Superintendent of the Neshannock Township School District. The new principal is Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Kainaroi for the school years of 2006–2009 and (2011–present). The assistant-principal, Mrs. Tracie Michalowski, served the school from 2006–2017. In the 2010-2011 school year Dr. Cynthia Kainaroi took a 12-month sabbatical and Mrs. Michalowski assume the role of acting-principal. She left Marshall Middle School in 2017 to assume her new post as principal of Ingomar Elementary School.

Academic Achievement[edit]

In 1999-2000 it was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.[6] The award was accepted by the studeny body president, Andrew Michael Jones, who went to Washington, D.C. to accept the award.

Western Pennsylvania ranking

In 2012, the eighth grade was ranked 4th among 8th grades, in the Western Pennsylvania region out of 141 western Pennsylvania middle schools based on the last three years of student academic achievement in PSSAs in: reading, mathematics, writing and science.[7] The ranking (Includes schools in: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County).

  • 2012 - 3rd[8]
  • 2011 - 2nd
  • 2010 - 2nd[9]
  • 2009 - 2nd
Seventh grade ranking

In 2013, Marshall Middle School's seventh grade (7th) ranked 3rd among 150 seventh grades in local Western Pennsylvania schools. In 2012, Marshall Middle School's seventh grade ranked 2nd.[10]

Sixth grade ranking

In 2013, Marshall Middle School's sixth grade (6th) ranked 8th among 198 sixth grades in local Western Pennsylvania schools. In 2012, Marshall Middle School's sixth grade ranked 5th.[11]

2013 School Performance Profile[edit]

In 2013, Marshall Middle School achieved 94.7 out of 100. Reflects on-grade-level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 92.5% of the students were on grade level, with 71% advanced. In Mathematics, 92% of the students showed on-grade-level mathematics skills, with 70% achieved advanced. In Science, 90% of the 8th graders demonstrated on-grade-level understanding, with 52% being advanced. In writing, 91.9% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.[12] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.

Adequate Yearly Progress History[edit]

In 2012, Marshall Middle School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging achievement of its special education students in reading and mathematics.[13] In 2010 and 2011, Marshall Middle School achieved AYP status.[14]

PSSA Results History: Tests are given in the spring of each year to 6th grade (reading/math); 7th grade (reading/math); and 8th grade (reading/math/science/writing).

8th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 100% on grade level, 92% advanced (0% below basic). State - 79%[15]
  • 2011 - 98% on grade level (91% advanced). State - 81.8%[16]
  • 2010 – 96% (85% advanced) (2% below basic). State - 81%[17]
  • 2009 – 98%, 86% advanced (1% below basic), State – 80%[18]
8th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - % on grade level (% below basic). State - 76%[19]
  • 2011 - 94%, 74% advanced (3% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 – 96%, 78% advanced (1% below basic). State - 75%[20]
  • 2009 – 94%, 77% advanced (1% below basic), State – 71%[21]
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 90% on grade level, 50% advanced (1% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 90%, 50% advanced (4% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 85%, 49% advanced (4% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 – 92%, 54% advanced (3% below basic), State – 55%
7th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 96%, 73% advanced (1% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2011 - 99%, 78% advanced (0% advanced). State – 76%
  • 2010 – 96%, 75% advanced. State - 73%
  • 2009 – 93%, 69% advanced (3% below basic). State – 71%
7th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 93%, 75% advanced (1% below basic). State - 80%
  • 2011 - 98%, 84% advanced (0% advanced). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 – 94%, 78% advanced (1% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 – 91%, 66% advanced (2% below basic). State – 75%
6th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 90%, 63% advanced (2% below basic). State - 68%
  • 2011 - 91%, 69% advanced (2% below basic). State - 69.9%
  • 2010 – 95%, 71% advanced (1% below basic). State - 68%
  • 2009 – 91%, 59% advanced (2% below basic). State – 67%
6th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 92%, 66% advanced (2% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2011 - 95%, 78% advanced (3% below basic). State - 78.8%
  • 2010 – 95%, 81% advanced (2% below basic). State - 78%
  • 2009 – 92%, 73% advanced (0% below basic). State – 75%


Yearly Field Trips

Every year, grades have at least one field trip. Sixth graders normally visit Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, PA for a Pittsburgh Orchestra concert. Seventh graders take a trip to see "A Christmas Carol" every year during the holiday season since it ties in with the English curriculum. Eighth graders watch a Pittsburgh Pirates game every year. Also, for all grades there is Mini Course Day where students sign up to participate in fun activities.

Talent Show

During the spring, Marshall Middle conducts a talent show open to all students. Participants put on their acts for peers, teachers, and parents. Ms. Amy Baschnagel, eighth grade science teacher, and Mr. James Furlong, chorus instructor, coordinate the event. Christina Aguilera performed in the talent show as an 8th grade student.


Every winter and spring, each of the musical classes offered at the middle school hold a concert. They are headed by Mr. Wesley Taylor, Mr. James Furlong, and Mrs. Dana Leasure. One concert is performed during school hours for students and staff, and one is performed in the evening after school for parents and guests.

Civil War Day

Because it ties into their social studies curriculum, eighth graders participate in a day in which it is popular to dress up in fashions from the 1860s and as civil war veterans. Often, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator gives a speech, and the students have an outdoor parade around the front of the school. They then return to their classrooms for refreshments.

GOAL in MMS[edit]

GOAL is an acronym for Gifted Opportunities for Advanced Learners. This is a program in North Allegheny School District where advanced students who have done well on ITBS tests and/or CogAT tests or have an IQ of over 130, have a chance to take a specialized test to get into the program which enhances their learning experience. In Marshall Middle, the GOAL program is very prominent. GOAL has their own office in the eighth grade hall where GOAL students meet at times. The office is ruled by a student government consisting of a President, Vice President of the Upper Class-men, Vice President of the Under Class-men, treasurer, paperwork secretary, and errands secretary. The Marshall department is headed by Dan Williams, succeeding Pamela Ross in her retirement. Goal also goes on many different education based field trips, called IO's. Some of the IO's include the viewing of an open heart surgery, a weekend trip to the Chesapeake Bay, many different competitions, and more. There are many different IO's for each subject of learning, so all students find something that interests them. GOAL classes are held during reading for sixth and seventh graders twice a week and during English for eighth graders once a week.

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2011, the Marshall Middle School received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. Marshall Middle School received $8,543 which was used to purchase gym equipment.[22] Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5-year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.

Academic Competitions[edit]

Calcu-Solve Mathematics Competition

National Academic League
  • Regional Champion 2011, 2010, 2015
  • National Final Four 2011, 2014
  • Elite Eight 2012, 2010, 2015.[23]
National Middle School Science Bowl
  • Regional 3rd Place 2009
  • Regional Champions 2014, 2011, 2010, 2015[24]
  • National 4th place 2012, 2010, 5th place 2011
  • National Civility Award 2010

TSA in MMS[edit]

The Technology Student Association at MMS is one of the finest in the district, as the Technology Department offers many different opportunities to the students. They have won many awards at regionals, states, and nationals. The teacher coordinator of this group is Mr. Nick Vorassi.

Notable Awards


  • Regional: 1st Place, Tech Bowl
  • State
  • 1st Place, Robot TOBOR
  • 2nd Place, Manufacturing
  • National: 9th Place, Robot TOBOR


  • Regional
  • 2nd Place, PA CAD
  • 3rd Place, PA CAD
  • 1st place Robot TOBOR
  • 3rd place Engineering Design
  • State
  • 1st Place, Technical Drawing
  • 1st Place, Tech Bowl
  • 2nd Place, Technical Writing
  • 2nd Place, Transportation Challenge


  • Regional: 1st Place, Tech Bowl

2014 Regional 2nd and 4th, Career Prep 1st and 4th, Challenging Tech Issues 1st, Community Service Video 2nd, Digital Photography 7th, Dragster 2nd, Flight 1st and 2nd, Go Green Manufacturing 6th and 7th, Problem Solving 10th, Structural Model 3rd, Tech Bowl 2nd and 3rd, PA CAD State 5th and 10th, Challenging Tech Issues 2nd, Community Service 4th, Digital Photography 9th Essays on Technology 7th, Go Green Manufacturing 6th, Tech Bowl 8th, Technical Design 4th and 6th, PA CAD 8th, Tech Bowl - Written


The Marshall Middle School offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[25]


  • After School Achievement Program (ASAP)
  • American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8)
  • Calcu-Solve Mathematics Competition
  • Civil War Week
  • Junior Classical League (JCL)
  • Knowledge Master Open
  • National Academic League (NAL)
  • National French Exam
  • National Geographic Bee
  • National Latin Exam
  • National Middle School Science Bowl
  • Pennsylvania Mathematics League (PAML)
  • Scripps National Spelling Bee


  • Central Board Room Display


  • Book Club
  • Student Newspaper @ Marshall Middle (SP@MM)
  • Technology Student Association (TSA)
  • Media Club (video and animation)

Club Sports[edit]

Interscholastic Sports[edit]

According to PIAA directory July 2013[26]

Intramural Sports[edit]

  • Intramural Volleyball
  • Intramural Basketball- 7/8 Grades
  • Intramural Flag Football—6th Grade
  • Intramural Street Hockey
  • Intramural Tennis
  • Intramural Weight Training


  • Band
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Orchestra
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • General Music
  • Choral Ensemble
  • Chorus

Service Jobs[edit]

  • Counselor Aides
  • P.A. Announcers
  • Peer Mediation
  • Stage Crew

Notable alumni[edit]

Popular music artist Christina Aguilera is a graduate of Marshall Middle School. Surprisingly, Christina Aguilera was never accepted into the school's choral ensemble.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "EDNA - Education Names and Addresses PA". 
  2. ^ North Allegheny School District Administration (2007). "NORTH ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT Facilities Overview" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Marshall Middle School School Fast Facts, October 4, 2013
  4. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Care Data – Marshall Middle School, 2010
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Marshall Middle School, September 29, 2011
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  7. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2013). "The Rankings: Eighth grade". 
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 6, 2012). "The Rankings: Eighth grade". [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (2010). "Eighth Grade Rankings". 
  10. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2013). "Western Pennsylvania School ranking - 7th Grade School Information". 
  11. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2013). "Western Pennsylvania School ranking - 6th Grade School Information". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "Marshall Middle School Academic Performance Data 2013,". 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, (September 21, 2013). "Marshall Middle School AYP Overview 2013". Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Marshall Middle School AYP Overview 2013 |date=September 29, 2013
  15. ^ "How is your school doing?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Marshall Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011, September 29, 2011
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Marshall Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, October 20, 2010
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Marshall Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009, September 14, 2009
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Marshall Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2012" (PDF). [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (September 14, 2010). "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 14, 2009). "2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  22. ^ Highmark Foundation, 2011 School Challenge Grants, 2011
  23. ^ "National Academic League". National Academic League. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  24. ^ [1] Archived April 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities". 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (2013). "PIAA School Directory".