About The Dunmorean

The local monthly newspaper of Dunmore, PA.

Dunmorean of the Month: Maria MacDonald

Maria MacDonald 1By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore’s Maria Pane MacDonald, program director for interior architecture at Marywood University School of Architecture, was named executive director of the national nonprofit, Center for the Living City.

The Center for the Living City was founded 15 years ago by friends of urban journalist and community activist Jane Jacobs who grew up in Dunmore.

Daughter of Michaelene and the late Francis Pane, MacDonald is a lifelong Dunmore resident and very proud of her roots in the borough.

“I see a lot of great architecture in Dunmore,” she said. “We have some great buildings and homes. But it is the community of Dunmore and the people in it who stand apart. All of the great things that are said about Dunmore and its citizens are true. This a borough I grew up in and never left.” 

MacDonald, who grew up in the same block in Dunmore as Jacobs, will become only the second director for the Center for the Living City organization. 

She replaces the center’s founding executive director, Stephen Goldsmith, who is stepping aside to focus his time on advancing the Center’s global Observation and Action Network. Goldsmith will remain on the center’s board of directors.

MacDonald is the founder of the Marywood University School of Architecture.

She continues to work as a practicing architect and specializes in adaptive reuse, preservation and restoration projects.

The Center for the Living City is a United States based nonprofit launched in 2005 by a group of activists, practitioners and teachers. It holds the distinction of being the only urbanist organization founded in collaboration with Jacobs.

The center’s governing board selected MacDonald from a strong field of more than 70 applicants.

Well versed and thought provoking, MacDonald received bachelor of arts degrees in both architecture and interior architecture from the University of Rhode Island School of Design, where she received the Excellence in Design award for her work on the “Reclamation of Forgotten Spaces.”

She utilizes a holistic, integrative design approach that aims to strengthen the relationships between the allied design disciplines and people and and the environments in which they live.

“I am thrilled to have been selected to work with the center’s board and staff to advance the mission,” MacDonald said. “This is an exciting time for Dunmore and Scranton and all of the universites and nonprofits.” 

MacDonald throughout her career has been team leader for many significant community projects. As an educator, her intense focus is on service and community outreach, providing community-based, experiential learning opportunities for her students and the people in the communities where they work.

She served for the past 15 years as Interior Architecture Program Director at Marywood University. She steered the program successfully through two full NASAD accreditations. 

“I am very proud to be a Dunmorean,” she said. “Jane Jacobs grew up on Monroe Avenue in Dunmore and I grew up and still live on Clay Avenue in Dunmore. She is an internationally known Urbanist and I am grateful to follow in her legacy.”

MacDonald has two sons. Her older son Neil MacDonald, 26, is a chemical engineer. Her younger son Ethan, 21, is a senior aerospace engineering major at the University of Maryland. Both are Scranton Prep graduates.

Her mom is a lifelong and proud Dunmore native. Her late dad died when she was young.

“We have a lot of great buildings in Dunmore,” MacDonald said. “that we can renovate and live in.

“We are now recognized both locally and on the international level. I think that is pretty great. We should be proud to maintain our identity. I am very proud to be a part of the Dunmore community my entire life.

“It is not a myth that we all know each other and you look out for your neighbors in Dunmore. We in Dunmore give back. There is a reason I never left Dunmore.”

The Marywood University School of Architecture is accredited with over 350 current enrolled students, MacDonald said.

MacDonald is a 1985 graduate of Dunmore High School. 

Steve Borgia Named Scholar-Athlete of Year by LIAA

Steve BorgiaBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School graduating senior Steve Borgia is the male recipient of the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association (LIAA) scholar-athlete of the year award. 

“This is a great honor that goes far beyond athletics,” the Dunmore quarterback said. “This is about my teachers, coaches, teammates and my parents. They all took part in it. Everyone in Dunmore High School is a part of this. I could not have received this award without all of these great people who took part in it.”

Son of Steve and Terry Borgia, Dunmore, the scholar-athlete was a key member of Dunmore’s football, baseball and basketball teams. 

He was quarterback and defensive back on the football team, center fielder on the baseball team and a guard on the basketball team. Steve had a 3.8 academic average at Dunmore. He said his best subject is math and will study architectural engineering at Penn State University in the fall. 

He simply excelled on the football team earning first team all-star selections on offense and defense and first team All-Region for defense as a sophomore, first-team all-star for defense as a junior and first-team All-Region for defense and first-team All-State on offense as a senior. 

The senior stalwart passed for 1,294 yards this past season under Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale. He combined for over 20 touchdowns passing or running. 

His career totals include 2.007 passing yards, 21 touchdown passes, 1,110 rushing yards for 16 touchdowns, 368 receiving yards for four touchdowns, four touchdowns returning punts and kicks and eight interceptions as a defensive back. 

Football was more than his forte as he demonstrated versatility from numerous positions on the field.

He talked about what it takes to excel as a high school quarterback. “You need to know what is going on in your surroundings and how to read defenses. It really slows the game down. It makes the game a lot easier.”

Steve said he has spent time fishing, golfing and working during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I missed baseball,” he said. “It was not a good feeling to not have a baseball season.”

The three-sport standout said he has learned a lot from his parents. 

“They teach me to express myself in a good manner on the field and in the classroom and be appreciative to those around me.”

Confident and team-oriented, the talented senior said he owes a lot to Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale. “I learned perseverance from him. He teaches you to persevere and never give up. It kept us in a lot of games and won some games for us.”

Steve said he enjoys listening to music and is a big fan of country singer Chris Stapleton.

He credits his high grade point average in school to learning how to manage time. “When you are playing a lot of sports,” he said, “managing your time for the classroom is so important. It sets you up in the classroom.”

Steve said he is looking forward to studying at Penn State and becoming an engineer. 

He leaves Dunmore High School with great memories.

“Dunmore was awesome,” he said. “I had so many great mentors. The teachers and coaches set us up for success both for high school and after graduation. There are so many great people in the Dunmore community.” 

Mia Chiaro Named Scholar-Athlete of the Year by LIAA

Mia Chiaro2By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School graduating senior Mia Chiaro is the recipient of the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association (LIAA) female scholar-athlete of the year award.

“I was really excited when I heard about this,” Mia said. “It was a big moment for me and everyone else because of all the disappointments we had in sports this year due to COVID-19. It was nice to be recognized for something after going through all of that.”

Daughter of Alyssa and Nick Chiaro, Dunmore, the scholar-athlete was a key participant at Dunmore for soccer, swimming and track and field. She was also a football cheerleader. She had a 3.8 grade point average, including a 99 average in her final two quarters.

Mia was first-team all-star for track and field in her sophomore and junior years. She was a first-team all-star for soccer once and second-team twice. 

She ran the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles and participated in the 4 by 1 and 4 by 4 for the Dunmore track and field team.

She credits her swimming coach John Andreoli for being a strong mentor. “He really cares about us,” Mia said. “He inspired us to be better. He had a talk with us that really gave us confidence and got us motivated. We became highly competitive and we kept improving to become an excellent swimming team. We had a great team bond. I will never forget the lessons learned and the spirit of our team.”

Mia, well spoken and articulate, said she will attend the University of Pittsburgh and study political science in the fall. She wants to attend law school in the future.

“I want to become a lawyer and possibly become a politician in the future,” she said. “I hope to play some club soccer at Pitt.” 

Mia enjoys listening to music and is a big fan of Kanye West. 

Mia Chiaro1As a three-sport athlete and cheerleader, she proved to be highly versatile. “I like to be involved and active,” she said. “So that is a no brainer for me. I like being a part of something special. And as most know, being a part of any sport at Dunmore usually results in something special. The coaches here teach you so much about sports and life. And the teammates you have result in lifetime friendships. You develop a great bond with your teammates.”

Mia said she gets her competitive spirit from her parents.

“My parents always tell me nothing gets handed to you. You need to work hard to develop a competitive work ethic.”

The aspiring law student and politician lit up when speaking of her experience at Dunmore High School. “You get a lot of opportunities to express yourself and get involved at Dunmore,” she said. “You develop lifelong friendships and you are a part of something special. All of the sports you participate in at Dunmore are special. 

“Our coaches and teachers at Dunmore teach us to be competitive on and off the field and in life. And this all translates to life as you transition beyond high school. It is such a great experience at Dunmore.”