Good Talk: Ms. Uhernik

Abby Pingpank, Staff Writer

How long have you been teaching? Has all of your time teaching been at North Allegheny?

13 years.  Yes.

What is your favorite thing about teaching chemistry? 

The subject matter and my students!

When you were younger, did you know you wanted to be a teacher? 


If you could not teach chemistry what science or other subjects would you teach?

I would teach math. 

What was it like playing basketball in college? Especially for a school known for producing one of the world’s best basketball players?

It was amazing.  I was able to travel all over the country, and we even went to Europe to play in several countries and tour those cities and countries as well.  It was an incredible time in my life.  Academically, though, it was very difficult. At the time, I was the only basketball player to ever major in chemistry in the school’s history.  In fact, of all the schools that offered me a scholarship, Davidson was the only one that would allow me to major in chemistry. That is ultimately why I decided to go there. They acknowledged that academics was the #1 priority.  Yes, Steph Curry has brought a lot of attention to Davidson, but it has always been known for being one of the best liberal arts schools in the country. I am very proud to say that I graduated from Davidson and that I’m a Wildcat!

You told us in class that you have had many knee surgeries. Were they during your college career? How much influence did they have during your career? 

I’ve had a total of nine knee surgeries.  Two of them were in high school and four of them were in college.  They greatly impacted my playing career because each of those was and ACL reconstruction, which required 6-9 months of rehab each time.  I did a red-shirt a season, but in total, I think I played around 15 games in five years. It was very disappointing. However, I stayed positive and focused on my education.  I remained part of the team for all five years and was a captain for my final year. Since graduating from college, I’ve had three more major knee surgeries and one ankle surgery. I don’t regret playing at all, but it took a toll on my body.  So if anyone sees me limping around, they’ll know why.     

What was it like from transitioning from playing basketball to coaching? What are your favorite aspects of coaching?

My injuries in college allowed me to gained a new perspective of the game from the sidelines.  Therefore, transitioning to coaching was very natural. Coaching allows me to still be involved with a game that I love, and gives me an opportunity to have a positive impact on the NA community beyond the classroom.  Being a coach is such an important role in the lives of young people. I think it is an honor to have the opportunity to be an exceptional role model for the girls on my team.

Favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh?

Aviva Brick Oven.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am very involved in my church.  I attend weekly small group sessions, and I serve in the café as a barista during weekend services.  I also like to read, spend time with my family, and travel as much as possible.    

What is your favorite thing about NASH? 

The people here. The students, faculty, and staff.