We want to share special news, announce reunions, or perhaps even call upon you, our former students, as speakers and mentors. We hope you’ll join our registry and stay connected with us.
Help us celebrate and share our tradition of excellence. We invite you to nominate an alumnus who you believe exemplifies who we are and who continues to serve as an outstanding example to today’s rising generation.
View the profiles of our previously showcased alumni of the month.
We are proud of our alumni legacy. Over the past 180 years, many remarkable individuals have walked through the halls of Port Allegany schools. We think these people have fascinating stories to tell, and we want to share some those stories here with you. May all of our alumni know how honored we are to know you; you are always welcome here at “home.”
Leaving a Legacy
We are very pleased to showcase noteworthy individuals who have left a fine legacy and defined the very essence of what and who we are - those who have made us better simply because they were here.
Alumni of the Month - Dr. Andrea (Wilson) Heller
Year of Graduation
What have you done since graduating from Port Allegany High School?
After graduation I attended Hiram College in Ohio, graduating in 2006 with a bachelor of arts in both biomedical humanities and music history/theory.
I took two years off from formal education to be educated informally in the world of compassion as a bartender and police/EMS/ fire dispatcher. I later graduated from A.T. Still University in 2012 after earning my medical degree. I completed a family medicine residency in 2015 and hospice/palliative medicine fellowship in 2016.
I’ve been employed at UPMC Cole since 2016 as a family medicine physician, and more recently, as medical director of the home health, hospice, and palliative care program. My husband, Joe (from the Cleveland, Ohio area) has been supporting me on this journey since 2006. In 2015, our family grew with the birth of our son, Alex.
Where do you currently live?
Who was your favorite teacher in high school? Why were they your favorite?
The school staff that cultivated my passions most were Mr. Potter, Mrs. Murphy, and Mr. Berrettini.
Mr. Potter saw my love of science and critical thinking and fostered it allowing me to work on independent projects and learn through hands-on experiments.
Mrs. Murphy was the compassionate ear that let me vent and gently guided me in the direction of my dreams.
Mr. Berrettini allowed me to spend one period each day with him as a “nurse assistant” and spent that time exploring options in medicine, at one point telling me “if you don’t get into a United States medical school, go to Poland!” He had the utmost faith that I would become a doctor, and I truly believe his faith in me gave me the faith to believe in myself.
What is your fondest memory of Port Allegany High School?
I loved my time as a cheerleader for the football/basketball/wrestling teams. I often joke with palliative care patients/families that my role on their medical team is to be their cheerleader, treating their symptoms so they can continue with chemo or other treatments and battle their disease while rooting for them from the sidelines.