At the first part of the meet, an invite letter was delivered to coaches and guardians.
Letter to call participants to the new All-City Aquatics All-Star Team
Coach Mark Rauterkus
Head Boys Varsity Coach at PPS Obama
Executive Director, SKWIM USA
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226
412-298-3432 = cell
January 24, 2018
Delivery to participants and spectators at PPS Middle School Championships
Dear Swimmers, Guardians and Coaches:
Three cheers to you for completing the middle-school season and competing in today’s championships. Hopefully, you choose to continue swimming, as we’d love to see you at 11:30 am on Saturday at PPS Oliver High School on the Northside.
You are invited to sign-up for a brand-new,
All-City, Aquatics All-Star Team!
First meeting and swim clinic is this Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm on the Northside at PPS Oliver High School, 2323 Brighton Road, 15212.
Second meeting and clinic is next Saturday, February 3, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm at PPS Oliver.
If interested, call, text or email.
Or, sign-up in advance at Play.CLOH.org/rsvp.
We are seeking 25 or more middle-school athletes, boys and girls, of any swimming ability, for this low/no cost program. It is a labor of love from the coach(es). We hope to organize the swimmers, guardians and boosters for an All-Star experience with specialized practices, coaching, training, and lots of play and competitions. We’ll swim, exercise, use technology tools. We’ll also learn, practice and play water polo and SKWIM, a water-disk game. We stress sportsmanship, teamwork, and conditioning with help of digital badges. Playing well with others happens with in-house meets and game-days — if we get your support and your participation.
Expect more information at the first clinics. Other practice opportunities in other city neighborhoods are possible too. Call with questions. See Swim.CLOH.org.
Boost your fitness, swim knowledge, circle-of-friends, swim speed and aquatic game-play so that you can become a future lifeguard and a stronger varsity athlete, in any sport.
Thanks for the consideration.
Coach Mark Rauterkus
Back of letter
Attention aquatic enthusiasts, professionals, associations and organizations:
The Board of Directors at SKWIM International are very pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Pittsburgh aquatics coach Mark Rauterkus as 2018 SKWIM USA Executive Director.
Coach Mark’s duties will include SKWIM Certification and #playskwim education with U.S. aquatic facilities and local communities, partnerships with USA aquatic sports associations and organizations, and educational sponsorships with key commercial entities.
In addition to building SKWIM programming throughout the Pittsburgh community, Mark is a veteran youth and collegiate swim and water polo coach, and currently holds leadership positions with Obama Academy Aquatics, Summer Dreamers Aquatic Camps, the Pittsburgh Project, Saturday Swim School, Pittsburgh Citiparks Aquatic Safety Education and several summer water-sport events in the greater Pittsburgh area. Coach Rauterkus is a beloved aquatic ambassador on the central east coast, and proven to be invaluable in building SKWIM community and goodwill.
Mark is a sought-after aquatics expert/speaker and currently presenting at the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, CA, January 6th 2018.
Mark continues his duties as swim coach at Obama Academy of Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Ellis School, as well as The Pittsburgh Project’s summer camp.
Please join us in wishing Mark the best of success in the coming year!
Coach Mark Rauterkus becomes Executive Director of nonprofit, SKWIM USA.
Alterntive URL, https://tinyurl.com/SKWIMUSA-executiveSKWIM Press Release Rauterkus 010618r
Pittsburgh Public Schools Sci-Tech is a city-wide magnet that serves grades 6 to 12 and is the former Frick Middle School.
The swim pool is 3-lanes wide and 25-yards long. It is located next to the gym on the bottom floor and below the cafeteria / auditorium.
Sci-Tech is in the heart of Oakland and Pitt right off of Fifth Avenue, the one-way, main street that heads to Downtown. It is across the street from Pitt’s three dorm towers, next to a church and close to where the former Childrens’ Hospital location.
The one-way driving trick: Both of the side streets on either side of Sci-Tech, Thackeray and N. Bouquet Streets, are ONE WAY in the same direction, going down the hill onto Fifth Ave. So, to drive into the parking lot, one must go around the block from above from O’Hara Street and then drive down to the school.
In the day, while the faculty is present, it is hard to find a spot in the parking lot. In the evenings, nights and weekends, there is plenty of free parking.
PAT (bus) Transit
For a swim practice in the evening, weekends and on holidays, do not use the front door. Enter the building from the door in the parking lot that is closer to the swim pool and to the right of the tall smoke-stack.
Inside and to the swim pool
Pool is 25-yards long and three lanes wide with deep end and starting blocks and shallow end too.
The pool is a nice venue for SKWIM games and practices. Coach Picciafoco is a retired physical education teacher and long-time coach at Frick and then at Obama. The teams back in the day had a dynasty of devoted swimmers, always winning the city league and often beating the combined score from all the other schools.
The students at Sci-Tech have their own swim team for the middle-school grades, 6, 7 and 8. When the Sci-Tech students are in the high school grades ( 9, 10, 11 and 12) they join with the athletes at Obama Academy. The Obama Varsity swim teams have students from Sci-Tech, U-Prep and Obama, as well as some home-school families if they reside in the U-Prep feeder pattern.
Dr. K has been the head coach of the Sci-Tech middle school swim teams since 2015.
See you here.
Thanksgiving break with Pittsburgh Public Schools means five days without swimming. Sadly, the swimmers can not get into the swim pool. And the day before the vacation begins, many were already checked out.
When without a swim pool, we often turn to joint practices or else the stairs of the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt. Climbing the steps is a great, timeless workout. Often, the swimmers at Obama go a couple of times each year.
In 2017, our goal was to hold a swim scrimmage with The Ellis School as they had class on Monday after Thanksgiving. But sadly, they didn’t get the okay from Chatham University for our squad to join them for the practice. Next year, perhaps.
Those that attended got Jetpack stickers and a Milestone Pod too.
School web page: http://discoverpps.org/obama
Pittsbugh Public Schools’ Obama Academy 6-12 is located at 515 N. Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216.
Obama is at the corner of Highland Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard at the edge of the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Highland Park and East Liberty.
Obama Academy is where Peabody used to be. In reality, Obama used to be Schenley.
2. Building and parking
There is a modest sized parking lot at the front of the school that is generally filled to capacity on school days. In the evenings the parking lot most often has spaces for visitors to park.
Street parking around the school happens on East Liberty Blvd and along Highland Avenue. Avoid parking in areas needed for school buses at the end of the school days. School dismissal times extend from 2:30 to about 5:30 pm.
Visiting teams should park along Highland Ave, on the street, heading to East Liberty Blvd. If necessary, drive around the block to face in that direction for curb-side drop-offs. The school parking lot is suited for bus traffic.
3. Front doors
Visitors enter the school’s front doors that face Highland Ave. Go to the middle of the building and walk up the steps or the ramp to the left.
6. Final steps
7. From the pool deck, more steps to the locker areas
Since the move of Obama from Schenley to Reizenstein to the former Peabody building, a number of basic building modifications have been suggested. We hope that the accessibility can be improved so that the school and its pool can a better community resource and eventually comply with the ADA law passed in 1990.
The swim pool needs an accessible family changing room / rest room somewhere on the same level as the pool deck. Presently, if anyone wants to go swimming, expect to go down and up two flights of steps to reach the pool’s showers, bathrooms and locker areas.
Restroom upgrades were made in other parts of the building in the summers of 2016 and 2017. In the summer of 2018, the school is going to be used as a site for PPS’ Summer Dreamers Academy. We want to keep the pool opened in the summer of 2018.
A proposed new entry to the swim pool could serve as a conduit for entry and exit from the street and sidewalk to not only the swim pool but also to the athletic field.
- Wed. Oct 18, 7:30 to 9 pm at Obama.
- Mon. Oct 30, 7:30 to 9 pm at Obama
- Mon. Nov 6, 7:30 to 9 pm at Obama
- Mon. Nov 20, 7:30 to 9 pm at Obama
Obama is at the corner of Highland Ave and East Liberty Blvd. Enter school’s front doors and turn right. Walk past the gym to the pool. If front door is locked, call the coach’s cell: 412-298-3432.
Bring swim suit and if you have them, fins, snorkle, mask. But, we’ve got some loaner equipment too.
Additional insights and other dates and community aquatic activities with Coach Mark Rauterkus can be found at the Google calendar at CLOH.org.
Once again, another fall sports season comes and the city kids don’t have a seat in the fall water polo tournaments. School and district administrators don’t care to support the program by simply approving the submitted pool permit requests so that the team can hold practices. Get this: Pool permits were put into the school in mid-August, and as of September 8, there is still no news.
Avoidance rules in some sectors of PPS.
Frustration mounts, even with the new principal and new superintendent.