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Celebrate great teaching:

On tradition, innovation, and passion Winchester Thurston School

Spring 2014



Winchester Thurston School



Heather Arnet CEO, Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania Carol R. Brown Founding President and CEO, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Douglas A. Campbell President

Esther L. Bush President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Douglas H. Ostrow Vice President

Andrew Butcher CEO and Co-Founder, gtech

Deesha Philyaw

Ronald Cole-Turner H. Parker Sharp Chair of Theology and Ethics, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Vice President Ilana Diamond Treasurer

Patrick Dowd Executive Director, Allies for Children

Kathleen L. Metinko ’91 Assistant Treasurer

Nathaniel Doyno ‘01 Assistant Program Manager, Small Business Energy Efficiency, Con Edison

Dusty Elias Kirk

John Fetterman Mayor of Braddock

Secretary Elsa Limbach

Lee B. Foster Former President and CEO, Chairman of the Board, L.B. Foster Company

Assistant Secretary Gary J. Niels

Judith Hallinen Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Outreach; Director, Leonard Gelfand Center for Outreach and Service Learning, Carnegie Mellon University

Head of School Deborah L. Acklin ’80

Tori Haring-Smith President, Washington and Jefferson College

Ralph L. Bangs Kerry Bron ’84

Melanie Harrington CEO, Vibrant Pittsburgh

Kathleen W. Buechel Manny Cahouet-Rotondi

Gerald Holder Dean, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis

Lynn Johnson ’71 Internationally Renowned Photojournalist

Paul Dobson Cindy Akers Gerber

John T.S. Keeler Dean and Professor, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Robert I. Glimcher Rosanne Isay Harrison ’56 ◊ Terrance A. Hayes

Gaea Leinhardt Professor Emerita and Senior Scientist at LRDC, University of Pittsburgh

Neal H. Holmes Elizabeth S. Hurtt ’74

Tom Murphy Senior Resident Fellow, Urban Land Institute, Washington, D.C., former Mayor of Pittsburgh

Vincent O. Johnson Janet Harrison-Kuzmishin ’87

Aradhna Oliphant President and CEO, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

Carole Oswald Markus ’57 ◊ Jennifer Gonzalez McComb ’89 David L. Porges Henry Posner III ◊

Alan J. Russell Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Martin E. Powell Kelly Hanna Riley ’91

Audrey Russo President and CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council

Paul Rosenblatt

Lisa Schroeder President and CEO, Riverlife Task Force

Susan Santa-Cruz ’60 Sharon Semenza Philip T. Sweeney Jane Arensberg Thompson ’57 ◊

Jim Roddey Chairman, Allegheny County Republican Committee, Former Chief Executive, Allegheny County

Emeritus Trustee

Steven Sokol President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh Tom Sokolowski Arts Innovator Janera Solomon Executive Director, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater Jane Werner Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Thistletalk Spring 2014



Winchester Thurston School


Volume 41 • Number 1 Spring 2014 Thistletalk is published two times per year by Winchester Thurston School for alumnae/i, parents, students, and friends of the school. Letters and suggestions are welcome. Please contact the Director of Communications, Winchester Thurston School, 555 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Editorial Team

Maura Farrell, Associate Head for External Affairs Lee Moses A'98, Director of Digital Communications Linsey McDaniel A’96, Director of Alumnae/i Relations


Shannon Anglero Kathleen Bishop Dionne Brelsford Terry Clark Jason Cohn Linsey McDaniel A’96 Kristen Maser Michaels ‘01 Jane Schilling Stacie Schmidt MacLachlan Cornelius & Filoni


Blender, Inc.


Broudy Printing

School Mission

Winchester Thurston School actively engages each student in a challenging and inspiring learning process that develops the mind, motivates the passion to achieve, and cultivates the character to serve.

Core Values

We activate our Mission by creating a learning envir onment that pr omotes and instills appreciation for these five Core Values: Critical Thinking, Integrity, Empathy, Community, and Diversity.

Winchester Thurston School 555 Morewood Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Telephone: (412) 578-7500 Thistletalk content represents opinions, ideas, and perspectives of the authors that are not necessarily those of the Trustees or Administration of Winchester Thurston School. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject, or edit any content submitted for publication in Thistletalk. Winchester Thurston School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Winchester Thurston School is accredited by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools. Winchester Thurston School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid programs, and athletics or other schooladministered programs. Copyright © 2014 Winchester Thurston School. All Rights Reserved.

VOL. 41 • NO.1


Spring 2014

Witness to a Revolution FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

An Exciting Time to Be an Educator


Gary J. Niels


By Marsha Lovett, Ph.D.

Features Winchester Thurston Teachers Driving Innovation


Graig Marx Taps Co-Educator to Power

Learning in Research Science

wt smart


Middle School

wt sports


Urban Research and Design

wt community


Tradition Meets Technology From Ideas to Action Computer Science

The Future Is Here At the North Hills Campus

Nature Is the Teacher Lower School Faculty Foster

Systems Thinking

Why I Teach

alums return to wt

reunion 2013


home from college


class notes


wt on the road



Patrice Alexander ’06 Barbara Holmes Kathryn Gaertner Stephen Miller Brock Perkins Amy Skelly About the cover

History teacher and Department Chair Dr. Michael Naragon still inspires his former student and current WT’s Associate Director of College Counseling and English teacher Patrice Alexander ’06. And he says, she inspires him.

THISTLETALK GOES DIGITAL Get more news, photos, and fun at


J .

N i e l s

from the head of school

G a r y

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this issue of Thistletalk, we celebrate great teaching and its impact on student learning. All around us, debates rage on about teacher quality, standards, testing, and the future of schools in an online, flat world. We asked Gary Niels and WT parent Marsha Lovett, Ph.D., Director of the Eberly Center on Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, to reflect on the current educational revolution and what it means for Winchester Thurston School.

Witness to a Revolution Standing in my school’s newly installed computer lab, I marveled at the shiny Apple IIe computers lining the walls. Bill Skillcorn, who was transitioning from experienced mathematics teacher to novice computer teacher, prophetically announced, “Someday you are going to order your new refrigerator or TV from one of these.” We stared, bewildered. At that time, no one really knew what computers would eventually mean for education. At first the most visible change was computer applications courses that taught word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. The graphing calculator proved to be a novel tool in mathematics, generating graphs from formulas entered on a small keyboard. Academic research became a fascinating exploration in cyberspace thanks to the Web. Finally, managing school became speedier and more efficient. Reports, grades, and class lists were more easily integrated, produced, and mailed. Students, teachers, administrators, even parents were enjoying the benefits of this early phase of technology. The explosion of knowledge and easy access to information on the Internet yielded questions regarding the emphasis on content coverage. An article by Grant Wiggins, entitled “The Futility of Trying to Teach Everything of Importance,” reflected this new perspective. “Why spend so much time teaching mathematical tables when students can calculate any logarithm in an instant with a handheld device?” said the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The same was said of memorizing lines from Shakespeare, Ancient Greek characters, or the periodic table of elements. Emphasis shifted from coverage to developing skills such as analytical thinking, collaboration, reasoning,


Thistletalk Spring 2014

and “real-world” application of knowledge. The impact of technology on education was deepening. Surprisingly, the typical K-12 classroom experience remained largely unchanged until recently. In 2010, a young bond trader began videotaping simple, unpolished lessons to help his niece with her math. He posted them on YouTube. Thousands began to benefit from this tutoring, and Khan Academy was born. Its success led to new thinking about the classroom experience. Self-paced lessons meant students could accelerate when they achieved mastery, or decelerate to secure foundational knowledge. Watching lessons at home on a computer and coming to class to work through math problems was a flipped model. Then the arrival of massive open online courses (MOOCs) broadened the awareness that students could acquire content in their own time, away from the classroom, from the most prestigious colleges and professors in the world, thus allowing teachers to devote class time to discussion or applications. A learning revolution was emerging. In hi s k ey n o t e addre ss at a re c ent Nat i on a l Association of Independent School conference, Bill Gates said, “For thousands of years education has undergone very little change. In the next 10 years, technology will cause dramatic changes in education.” Visit WT’s classrooms today, and they will look quite different from how they looked even just a year or two ago. You’ll see “blended classrooms,” in which academic content is delivered by teachers and through online resources deployed both within and outside the classroom. You’ll see teachers and students using software that vividly brings maps, graphs, and charts to life. You’ll see young students

Visit WT’s classrooms today, and they will look quite different from how they looked even just a year or two ago. in robotics class and on robotics teams, programming robots to perform explicit functions. You’ll see students inventing and programming their own applications for mobile devices and teaching students from local public schools to do the same. You’ll see teachers exploring the use of e-readers, online textbooks with embedded video of exciting phenomena, such as whale or monarch butterfly migration, once only demonstrated through flat textbook photos. You’ll see WT preparing for next year’s integration of online courses through our membership in the Malone Schools Online Consortium, which will enable WT students to enroll in courses that are taught by teachers from great independent schools all over the nation, and enables WT to expand its course offerings. Finally, you’ll see our computer science curriculum emerge from our newly established Computer Science Department. There is a growing realization that computer

programming, the ability to compose one’s own software, is no longer a skill only for the “tech geek,” but rather a form of literacy that all students should possess. In this issue of Thistletalk, you’ll read about teachers who are driving innovation at WT. In many cases, they’ve done so by thoughtfully integrating technology into the dynamic and inspiring City as Our Campus program, which engages our students in relevant, hands-on learning and real-world applications. In the second grade Urban Communities unit (page 9), students use ScribbleMaps to identify all of the places they visit in Pittsburgh, and discuss land features, distances, and other elements of the local community in an interactive and captivating manner. Eighth graders are using iMovie to create digital stories about survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, then posting them in the virtual museum they are creating with the web editor Weebly (page 5). Through the online museum, t h e y c a n sha re t h e i r f i n d i n g s a n d messages to the wider world, and develop their skills in documenting history for future generations to see. In the Upper School, students in the Research Science course (page 4) are using CAD software to design wind turbines, and using 3D printers to manufacture models which they then wire electrically to test their designs. The tools for learning in more engaging and exciting ways are exploding thanks to the technology revolution. Nonetheless, as you will see in the pages of this issue, teaching and learning is a relational experience. Intellectual growth is an interactive experience human to human, teacher to student. From time to time I hear people pose the future of the classroom as either teacher or technology. This is a false dichotomy. Although foundational knowledge can and will be derived from online learning, the teacher will always be the guide and the resource for students. At WT, we are expanding our resources for student engagement as well as our students’ opportunities to expand their thinking through the addition of technology as another tool for teachers.

An Exciting Time to Be an Educator By Marsha Lovett, Ph.D.

Director of the Eberly Center on Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University How many decisions does a teacher make in a day’s work? Several probably come to mind: Which textbook or other resources to use? How to assess students’ learning? Whether to incorporate a group project (and if so, how)? But this is just the beginning. There are many other decisions that are less tangible, but just as important: What do I want my students to be able to do by the end of this unit? How will I motivate tomorrow’s lesson to be meaningful to X-year-olds? When will my students get enough practice and feedback to develop mastery? And then, there are the decisions that don’t even feel like decisions; they are made in the midst of teaching, often on the fly, and they represent dynamic adjustments to the specific context: How to respond to a particular student’s question while accounting for her experience, history, and perspective … with an answer, an explanation, or perhaps a related question posed back to the student? When I think about what it takes to be an effective teacher, the number of decisions involved is astounding. One could argue it makes a stock trader’s job look easy! And being a teacher today only adds to the complexity. Changes in the educational landscape have added new dimensions to teaching: How can I best use technology? How do I properly assess my students’ learning and performance? What have researchers discovered about learning that I can leverage? Educational technology offers so many tantalizing options, it seems like the big

decision is choosing which tool, platform, or interface to use. Far more important, however, is incorporating technology in a way that enables students to practice the skills and ideas they need to learn. As renowned cognitive scientist Herbert Simon was fond of saying, “Learning results from what the student does and thinks and only from what the student does and thinks.” Technology opens new ways for students to engage with material, but no matter how alluring, if it is going to be effective for student learning, it must be judged on this standard. When most of us were going through school, we thought of assessments as a means to grading students’ work. Traditional tests and term papers were the norm. In recent years, educators have moved toward authentic assessments, where students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge in tasks and contexts that represent how they need to use that knowledge in practice. This can be motivating when a student sees herself as writing for a real audience or applying her knowledge to a real-world problem. The key to making authentic assessments meaningful is twofold: aligning assessments with instructional goals and communicating clear expectations to students. The former requires particular attention because it can be difficult to clearly define instructional goals and to obtain valid and reliable measurements that reflect their achievement. Assessments designed in this way are useful not just for assigning grades, but for guiding improvements in teaching and learning. There is a vibrant community of researchers investigating how students learn and how to improve that learning. This work promises to revolutionize teaching practice. For a variety of reasons, it can be difficult for teachers to keep abreast of these developments. So it’s particularly important for schools to provide support and professional development so that teachers — and hence their students — can benefit from these advances. Teachers are also an important part of this community and can contribute in many ways, by sharing their experiences, observations, and innovative strategies. With all these changes, it is an exciting time to be an educator, and it’s heartening to see our children learn in today’s environment. For all the tremendous possibilities, it still takes effort to get the most benefit — effort from schools, teachers, parents, and students. It’s clear that WT cares about these issues and is working to take leadership in this area.



Teachers Driving Innovation

Graig Marx Taps Co-Educator to Power Learning in Research Science In 2012, Science Department Chair technical expertise, but as curricular pressing their creativity, they couldn’t use Graig Marx introduced Research Science, designers as well. The opportunity for the program enough.” a post-AP, project-based class where teachers to collaborate with someone Kroh also developed an assessment “students get to do science, not just learn working in the field is extraordinary, to measure how well students were about it.” The course challenges students and what the two of them can achieve in learning necessary skills, collaborating who have completed physics, chemistry, terms of curriculum is pretty exciting.” with Marx to determine point values and biology to apply their knowledge to Kroh’s input, says Marx, was vital. and categories. high-level, technical, integrated science “Bryan made a custom SolidWorks tutorial “In critiquing their comprehension projects, such as wind turbine design. for my class, then spent more than a week of CAD theories, we quantitatively graded So how does an already innovative teaching the students via the tutorial.” them on their ability to capture ‘design incourse ramp up to the next level? “After the second day, Graig and I tent’ and use diverse features, things that “Just as we analyze designs to make couldn’t get the students to stop clicking indicated their knowledge was far beyond improvements from iteration to iteration their mouses all throughout SolidWorks, basic,” shares Kroh. “If I had read the during the project, we take that approach sometimes to our frustration!” recalls rubric to students on the first day, they to the entire class itself,” Marx says. Last Kroh. “Once they were shown even on would have sworn I was speaking a difyear, students spent more time learn- a small scale what understanding CAD ferent language. Phrases like fully defined ing the Computer Aided Design (CAD) would open up for them in terms of ex- splines, unmerged extrude bosses, and software SolidWorks to converted entities were design turbines for 3D things we required in the printing than they did final models — and by designing, testing, and then the students knew redesigning their models. exactly what we meant.” This year, Marx wanted “The final projects to ensure ample time for were impressive largely multiple design iterations, because of Bryan’s help,” and he wanted to better proclaims Marx. “Having assess students’ learning. Bryan there allowed me to Consulting with mechanifocus on my strengths as cal designer Bryan Kroh a science educator, withfrom the industrial deout having to become an sign firm Daedalus, Inc., expert in CAD modeling. who guided last year’s Bryan has spent years destudents through design veloping skills and experiand production, Marx not ence. He was able to utionly found solutions—he lize those strengths in the found a co-educator. project. The combination “Outside professionworked quite well. The als bring a wealth of insum of our strengths was formation,” explains City more meaningful than as Our Campus Director our individual abilities.” Teresa DeFlitch. “ They Sonu Bae ’14 (R) discusses his wind turbine design with Bryan Kroh (L) come to us not only with from Daedalus, Inc. while science teacher Graig Marx (C) looks on.


Thistletalk Spring 2014



Tradition Meets Technology


even years ago, WT’s inaugural eighth grade Holocaust Museum brought home the horrors and heartbreak of the Holocaust. The student-designed museum relocated to the WT Art Gallery as it expanded over the years, and today, it evolves yet again as eighth graders launch WT’s first virtual Holocaust Museum, welcoming visitors through a door that is digital. “The students are creating a website that will house all of the content, the bulk of which remains the same,” says Language Arts teacher Kathryn Gaertner. “We held on to the initial idea of looking at genocide from the lens of an individual impacted by it. Each student chose an individual whose life was impacted by genocide and wrote a biographical essay, made a digital story, and created artifacts that the person would have owned. The difference is that we photographed the artifacts rather than displaying them in a physical place.” A trip to Poland in 2007 inspired Gaertner’s vision for the Holocaust Museum. The interdisciplinary project is a cornerstone of the eighth grade curriculum, commencing each fall with a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and culminating in a fullblown multimedia exhibit conceived, designed, created, and built by students that incorporates Language Arts, Visual Arts, Social Studies, and now Technology. Because media production enables

students to demonstrate their learning in new and more public ways, Gaertner and her collaborators — Social Studies teacher Kira Senedak and Educational Technology Director David Piemme — have increasingly integrated technology into student work. “Last year the students created digital stories and digital poems which were displayed via iPods and monitors in the physical museum,” says Gaertner. The videos, inspired by Elie Wiesel’s Night, embellished the poems with visuals, music, and voice-over. “It was a short hop to creating an all-digital display. Students, who are digital natives, react well to digital content and truly enjoy creating it. Also, experiencing things like photographs and podcasts, and actually seeing and hearing the victims, helped the students to identify and connect with their honorees.” Besides affording students different ways of demonstrating their learning, the virtual museum enables a wider audience to view students’ work. Through technology, student expression continues to evolve, but the heart of the Holocaust Museum experience, and its focus on humanity, remains unchanged. “The new museum will certainly be different,” reflects Gaertner, “[but] it will still have a powerful emotional punch. I feel that student-created content for other students has a special, powerful impact.”




From Ideas to Action O

nce an industrial hotbed, the 178-acre Hazelwood brownfield that is Almono— named after Pittsburgh’s three rivers—is today prime riverfront real estate. From 1884-1997, the site was home to J&L, then LTV, steel and coke manufacturing; since 2002, its proposed redevelopment has been the focus of philanthropists, community leaders, and more. Last fall, 15 WT students also began scrutinizing

fairly rigorously…to teach students to be discerning consumers of information,” explains Naragon); and deep discussions about issues such as race, class, poverty, urban planning, sustainability, economics, and the environment. Students grappled with these issues while researching Almono— including field visits and meetings with key stakeholders like the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pittsburgh

go and sketch different designs—and presented a diagramming workshop. He also critiqued their designs.” The proj e c t c ulminat e s in a community forum in which students presented designs ranging from one centered around schools, green spaces, and accessibility, to one based on a tall high-rise, multi-use building intended to become an urban international economic hub. This spring, a second Guided

Cecily Milligan ’14 (L) responds to Paul Rosenblatt (R), WT parent and architect, and history teacher Michael Naragon (C) as they discuss her group’s proposal for the Almono site redevelopment.

Almono’s development through Urban Research and Design, an Upper School course that plunges WT students into opportunities to address systemic problems and even effect change. “Students, and the exploration of their ideas, is really the course objective,” says Dr. Michael Naragon, history teacher and Department Chair, who co-teaches the course with City as Our Campus Director Teresa DeFlitch. “It’s what I always call ‘informed doing.’” A Guided Design Challenge drives the seminar-style course layered with “chewy ” readings about urban rehabilitation and key theories like the broken-window and creative class theories; articles ripped from the news (“I cull at least five newspapers


Thistletalk Spring 2014

History and Landmarks, RiverLife, and Hazelwood residents; their exploration led to identifying needs, formulating design criteria, and creating threedimensional models. Courtney Southard, Design Specialist at the industrial design firm Daedalus, Inc., and WT parent and architect Paul Rosenblatt, helped design the course and worked closely with students throughout. “Courtney led a workshop using the design thinking process to help students come up with and categorize design criteria based on their notes from different speakers and site visits,” says DeFlitch. “Paul presented the idea of a design notebook—students are required to take one wherever they

Design Challenge—in partnership with the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation—will move students from ideas to action through physical implementation, instilling further the message of Urban Research and Design. “[Students] really do have the power, the agency, to alter the way a city functions or works, whether it’s through aesthetic design decisions or social or economic issues,” asserts DeFlitch. “To realize that agency is huge, and it’s something they can apply to many different areas even beyond the ideas of urban planning.” “I want them to recognize that their ideas matter,” adds Naragon, “but it’s what they do with their ideas that matters more.”



The Future is Here T

heir small hands clutching iPads, P re - Ki n d e rg a r t e n e r s w a t c h gleefully as Daisy the Dinosaur obeys their commands to jump, spin, roll, and repeat. An observer sees young students palpably thrilled about learning; David Nassar,

Chair of WT’s Computer Science Department, sees the future. “These four- and five-year-old students are the programmers and innovators of tomorrow,” he beams. “Technology is very much a part of life for today’s student. But computer science education enables students to go beyond passive use of technology; it enables them to be active commanders of how technology can be used.” In his five years as Upper School Computer Science, Physics, and Math teacher, Nassar has developed rigorous courses in which students invented software that teaches foreign language by immersing users in a virtual world, and a chess game designed with artificial intelligence to be unbeatable. Now, as Department Chair, Nassar is developing a

school-wide computer science curriculum. “The heart of computer science education is learning how to problem solve. Every WT student will be able to abstract a complex process into smaller processes, learn how to clearly give instructions to a programmable digital device to take a complex process to task, and understand how others have done the same.” The new curriculum will build upon the current program and roll out in stages. The Lower School curriculum debuts in 20152016 with a strong focus on algorithm design, featuring work with robots, programming constructs, and coding skills to prepare students for Middle School. In 2014-2015, the Middle School curriculum unfolds with heavy emphasis on algorithm design, increased development of coding skills, and investigation into physical computing and robotic design. By eighth grade’s end, all students will possess programming experience and the confidence to use more than one computer language to accomplish a task. In the Upper School, an established comprehensive computer science program— including AP and post-AP courses—expands next year with such classes as Computer Science for Humanities, for Art and Music, and for Mathematics and Science; Physical Computing; and Programming Structures. “I want our students to see computer science in its true light; as a discipline that can help them model biological reactions in the body, visualize how government decisions in history have impacted the economy, or enable them to create musical synthesizers with sounds they have created,” asserts Nassar. “Just as writing and language are key to a wide variety of academic disciplines, computer science is applicable in any discipline. WT realizes this is the world we live in, and our students should be prepared to enter this world leading the way.”

The Hour of Code

is a national campaign during Computer Science Education Week [December 9-13, 2013], to teach students what computer science and computer programming is all about,” explains David Nassar. Nassar and colleagues Jonathan Ringer, and David Piemme introduced Lower and Middle School students to WT’s computer s c i enc e depa r t ment t hrough special activities giving students a tantalizing peek into the wonders of computer science. Lower School activities were largely “unplugged” to tangibly illustrate concepts that are the building block s of computer science.Embodying robots, Pre-K students learned how they, like computers, act or don’t act when given commands. Middle School students plunged right into programming u s i n g P ro c e s s i n g , a p o p u l a r language aimed at teaching the fundamentals of programming in a visual way. “We wrote a small mobile app that enabled them to make a fish move across the screen,” shares Nassar. Students quickly learned how to create a tank and a fish, and how to position, enlarge, and color them. They wrote commands to steer their fish from right to left and back again. Many students left eager for more. Sixth grader Eva Boeglin carefully saved her work onto her jump drive, inspired to continue at home. “I hope to make future progress on the file. I love the programming application.”





Nature is the Teacher

t the far end of the Northbound Trail, fourth graders are so engrossed in constructing shelters and searching for signs of animal activity— inspired by their reading of Sign of the Beaver, a novel about early settlers in the wild—that they lose track of time and place. “I announced that it was time to return to the classroom,” recalls Physical E ducation teacher Steve Cooper. “A student looked up with surprise and said, ‘I completely forgot that we were at school.’” Such is the power of nature at WT’s North Hills Campus, where an interactive trail, natural woodlands, a spring-fed pond, and more, are purposefully integrated across the curriculum. “We have seven idyllic acres as our cla ssro om,” remark s Laurie Vennes, Director of the North Hills Campus at WT. “Experiencing nature in its raw form provides our students with rare opportunities for learning, in all disciplines.” Two teachers are driving this dynamic campus/ curriculum connection. Cooper and his colleague, Heather Capezzuti, who teaches science, are leading efforts to support students’ mastery of critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills through innovative learning strategies and information technology. For example, hand-held smart devices are important resources on the Northbound Trail, where students access digital guidebooks to identify, say, unfamiliar flowers. Tech club members record trail videos and learn editing techniques with help from Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Second graders consult websites to determine whether mystery caterpillars will become butterflies or moths. Students researching water quality follow minnow-scooping sessions and pond weed


Thistletalk Spring 2014

exploration with a trip to the pond house to input data and create Excel spreadsheets on Mac Minis. On the Northbound Trail, challenge courses like the Blindfold Maze and the Spider Web inspire students to “problem solve in a collaborative process through a physical obstacle; this promotes critical thinking, positive risk-taking, and communication within a supportive environment,” explains Cooper, who completed an advanced Adventure Program Management course last fall. The Maze, “an interwoven network of climbing cord…threaded among the trees,” develops communication and trust as students guide blindfolded partners within the labyrinth. They practice spotting and lifting procedures before navigating the upright Spider Web, which they must do without touching the webbing —or risk becoming a hungry spider’s meal. This spring, Capezzuti debuts “Science Sacks” selfguided, grab-and-go nature activity kits that she designed and created to foster outdoor science experiences on the campus. Available to parents and teachers alike, the sacks feature inviting themes like Nature Spots, Color Chip Bingo, and Inspection Section. “The beauty of the activities I have chosen is that they are applicable to all ages and can be repeated during different seasons and different grades,” says Capezzuti, noting that they can also be integrated with art and language arts. “These cross-curricular connections have inspired a wealth of opportunities to get students outside,” reflects Cooper. “Their learning takes on a new perspective that is vibrant, visceral, engaging, innovative, and exciting. Winchester Thurston students are offered greater insight into their core subjects that are missed by classroom study alone.”


Lower School Faculty Foster

SYSTEMS THINKING In a complex world, it’s imperative “As the children add new elements for children to understand how it works— to their ramp structures, such as turns, and to realize their power to effect corners, hills, and stops, they begin to positive change. In the Lower School, this discover how adding or removing one understanding takes root in Pre-K and piece can affect whether a ball travels builds through fifth grade with Systems through the ramp successfully,” explains Thinking, a problem solving method Kindergarten teacher Kimberly Blaney, that examines the interconnectedness who has designed several units for The of systems. Workshop. “Their ramps are essentially “ There is a growing need for the system, and through adding and students to understand how to break a removing new parts, they can determine problem down into its many parts and the output.” to understand how the inputs, outputs, and constraints on a system affect it,” explains Ashley H a r p e r, D i r e c t o r of Lower School. “Exploring systems at the elementar y school level allows our students to study and understand concepts that in the past weren’t introduced until Middle School o r Up p e r S c h o o l , Kimberly Blaney engages her Kindergarten students in The Workshop and helps them see as they build ramps to experiment with slope and gravity. themselves as active participants in The Second Grade Communities creating both problems and solutions.” Systems Thinking is an especially unit illuminates students’ understanding powerful approach for teaching science of communities as interdependent and social studies, and several faculty systems, through classroom visits members have embraced it in their and field trips involving a variety of curricula. The concept was integral to community organizations like Alcosan the creation of The Workshop, a space and Churchview Farms. Afterward, in the Early Childhood wing, designed in students build their own “happy and partnership with the Children’s Museum healthy” communities. When teachers of Pittsburgh. In The Workshop, WT’s introduce unforeseen problems, the youngest learners engage in hands-on students must grapple with far-reaching activities that link play with scientific ramifications as they seek solutions. “In one community, the power grid principles. For example, they study was destroyed by a storm; in another, arts physics while constructing ramps with funding was taken away; in another, poor crown molding and blocks, and observing drinking water was found,” shares Harper. how marbles move along the ramps.

“When the inputs and constraints of their systems were compromised, the students began reaching out globally to nearby communities for help. They borrowed resources from each other’s communities and learned how to support one another. One student reached out to the WT Advancement office for guidance on how to increase arts funding. It was truly amazing to see seven- and eight-year olds internalizing the lessons and using the resources around them to impact positive change.” Academic Enrichment and Challenge teacher Rachel Cunningham Ewart works closely with second grade t e a c h e r s Vi c k i Katrencik and K i r s t e n Fa a s t o en sure st udent s’ understanding of specialized vocabulary— like inputs and constraints— and to weave Systems Thinking throughout the second grade curriculum. Fo r e x a m p l e , re l ay s Ewa r t , “ We incorporated Systems Thinking in math when the students built their own business district and practiced running the businesses.” Lessons gleaned from Systems Think ing are manifold—and immeasurable. “Ideally, students will possess the knowledge, ability, and fortitude to use Systems Thinking in their learning and doing,” predicts Harper. “Students who leave Lower School should not only understand systems, but see themselves as integral and vital members of our ‘global system.’”



When I was a student at WT,

my teachers truly cared about my peers and me. Their passion for teaching was undeniable, and their ability to pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses was extraordinary. Three teachers in particular helped shape integral aspects of my individuality and identity. I rushed into the chemistry lab during free periods for help on balancing equations, and also received the wisdom to balance my life from Dr. Finseth, who consistently reminded me to “breathe, calm down, and relax.” I got my start as an improvisationalist when Mr. Maione encouraged me to join the jazz band as the only female member. During my time as a student, and ever since, I have found comfort, solace, freedom, and expression in music. During senior year, I planned to study the physical sciences in college, which most of my teachers knew. Yet, Dr. Naragon stopped me after history class one day and said, “You belong in academia.” I laugh when I think about this now, and how it speaks to WT teachers’ ability to observe qualities students do not even realize they have. I teach high school students because these years are fundamental in developing one’s individuality and identity; it was a critical time of growth for me, and I greatly enjoy being on the other side of the desk now, assisting my students as they discover who they are. In June, my first set of students, whom I taught as ninth graders, will graduate. It is remarkable how they’ve grown, matured, and become well-rounded individuals in four years. In years to come, I look forward to their returning to WT and finding out who they “become.”

[ 10


Upper School English

Thistletalk Spring 2014



I think I always knew I would be a teacher.

As a little girl, my make-believe games were taken up with playing school. I dressed up as my teacher, lining up my dolls and stuffed animals as my captive audience. As I grew up, my interest turned to the theater. I set off to study acting in college, but thoughts of teaching never really left my mind, so I did my student teaching and got my certification. It would be very dramatic if I could say that my student teaching experience was life-changing and sealed my conviction to pursue a teaching career. Quite frankly the opposite was true. I thought it was way too much work and very stressful, and I couldn’t understand why anyone would ever want to be a teacher! Nevertheless, upon graduation I accepted a job teaching at Winchester Thurston. My plan was to work for a few years and save money to fund my acting career. But after a few years my perspective changed. Most of my friends who went to New York as actors spent their days auditioning and waiting tables. I, on the other hand, was engaged in the theater all day long, every day! I began to see that I had a true impact on other people’s lives, and that Winchester Thurston was having a tremendous impact on me. Rather than being tedious, teaching at Winchester Thurston was a challenge and a delight. I never wanted to leave.


BARBARA HOLMES Upper School Performing Arts




“Wow, I didn’t think I could do that.” Those words are why I teach. Whether it’s an eighth grader handing in a crisp, six-page paper complete with MLA citations or a reluctant reader telling me that he or she kept reading past the required number of pages because the book was so good, those moments when students discover their own capabilities and surprise themselves are my motivation as a teacher, when I know that the dance of teacher and student that is the learning process is working. Teaching is a strange profession in that success is judged not by what I can do, but by what they accomplish. And the role of teacher and student fluctuates; I’ve learned far more from my students than they have learned from me. As a young person I was forbidden to go on to higher education because I was a girl. My working class parents could not see the benefit of education; in fact, my father gave me the want-ads and a magnifying glass for my high school graduation. Since, or maybe because of, that denial, I’ve had a voracious appetite for learning of all kinds, and my students have been my teachers through much of it. My love of science fiction, pursuit of new computer skills, and interest in graphic novels all came from students. So, in some ways,

I teach to learn.

I encourage them to learn, to try new things, to push just past what they think they can accomplish, and my students do the same for me.



KATHRYN GAERTNER Middle School Language Arts

Thistletalk Spring 2014



when my students are on the edges of their seats, eager to analyze the data or anticipate the next conclusion, or when I’m flowing as a teacher

they are able to tie together several results that don’t seem to be at all connected. I realize, though, that engagement with and excitement about mathematics varies from student to student. What gets one student excited might not work for others, and I’ve got to help some of them discover how the topic is relevant to them. Consider, for example, a disengaged and not particularly excited student in statistics several years ago. He was sleepy during class, and didn’t seem to care about what we were discussing. I knew he was passionate about social justice and human rights, so I asked him to read the article, “Speaking Stats to Justice: Expert Testimony in a Guatemalan Human Rights Trial Based on Statistical Sampling” in the journal Chance (Volume 24, Issue 3). When we discussed the reading, I could tell from his excitement that he was hooked! For the remainder of the year, he was active, engaged, and a frequent classroom contributor. This was a teaching moment I will not soon forget.


STEPHEN MILLER Upper School Mathematics




Teaching is in my blood. My great-grandfather taught in a one-room school. My grandfather was the teacher, principal, and bus driver for a one-room school, and taught three of his own children. My mom took up the baton, becoming a teacher and then a principal. In addition to being surrounded by a family of teachers, I was taught by great teachers. My mom taught my brothers and me about the world as we walked through the woods and fields surrounding our home. My fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teachers, my eighth grade English teacher, and my high school math teacher all were intriguing and amazing folks who genuinely cared about me and motivated me to learn. Yet I didn’t head to college to become a teacher. I did take some education classes those first few semesters and was required to observe and volunteer in local classrooms. Through these experiences, I became fascinated by teaching and learning, especially those grand moments of discovery when a student came to a realization or acquired a new skill. These moments keep me teaching. Determining the methods that will best reach each student—piquing interest and keeping eager minds engaged—and devising the strategies that will help students make the connections that are crucial for them to reach the discovery moments make teaching a thrilling adventure. It is truly amazing to watch them stretch, grow, and become more independent throughout the year. My goal for each student is best stated in the following anonymous quote: “The object of teaching a child is to enable the child to get along without the teacher.” My hope is that I get better at accomplishing this goal each year as I continue my teaching and learning adventure with my students.



BROCK PERKINS Fifth Grade, North Hills Campus

T T hh ii ss tt ll ee tt aa ll kk SS pp rr ii n n gg 22 00 11 44



Throughout my teaching career my answer to the simple question, “Why do you teach?” has grown more complex. It cannot be answered simply because the reason I teach is comprised of hundreds of moments that occur in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. These moments are the tangible elements that make teaching not just a profession, but a way of life. Ever y year a new group of students enters my third grade classroom and transfor ms it into a communit y for lea r ning , connecting , ca r ing , creating , and sha r ing. Teachers a re sa id to be lifelong learners and I believe this to be true because in

each little moment of connection, mastery, inquiry, and joyful realization,

I am learning from my students.

While the topics I teach are the same each year, they come alive with each new class. A famous author once said, “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When this moment occurs, the journey of learning for the teacher and student begins. I live for those moments when a child figures out a problem or understands a new concept. The realization that I chose the right career path did not happen magically or overnight, but over the course of many years. The small moments occur in the classroom and that is when I know I am in the right place.


AMY SKELLY Third Grade, City Campus



wt smart

SECOND PLACE IN HEINZ HISTORY BOWL Congratulations to North Hills Campus fifth graders Anna Mott, Nora Navid, Raj Reddy, and Nick Zana for their second place finish in the Heinz History Center History Bowl! The WT team competed against 19 teams, missing first place by only a single point. The competition challenged teams with a variety of activities centered around The Heinz History Center Exhibits including the Civil War and Pittsburgh Innovations exhibits, the Pittsburgh Sports Museum, and the Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris exhibit.


CUM LAUDE, NATIONAL MERIT RECOGNITION, AND EARLY COLLEGE NEWS “Your curiosity brought our classrooms and subjects alive,” history teacher and Department Chair Michael Naragon said in celebration of this year’s Cum Laude inductees, “and drove the intellectual achievements we celebrate today.” “Intellectual achievement carries with it more than Cum Laude glory,” he challenged the Upper School

intellectual abilities to tackle complex problems, and to act on behalf of the public good.” Thirteen students, all in the top 20% of their class, were inducted into the Cum Laude Society in a ceremony that highlighted their outstanding academic achievements, as well as involvement in activities at WT and the community.

only about five percent of U.S. high school seniors. Honored as National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists are Nathaniel Brodsky, Tristan Hull, Robert Lincoln, and Scott Rohrer. Commended Scholars are Sonu Bae, William Fox, Nathan Hurrell, and Sarah Ryan. Sarah Ryan was also named a National Achievement Scholar and Najiv Edwards was recognized for NASP Outstanding Achievement. About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. College News

2014 Cum Laude Ceremony: Dr. David Seward, Mrs. Kristen Klein, Sarah Ryan, Sonu Bae, William Fox, Kun Yuan, Tristan Hull, Madeline Schmiedeknecht, Zachary Ettensohn, Nathaniel Brodsky, Sophia Miller, Dr. Michael Naragon, Mr. Gary Niels (back row), Rachel Dubner, Robert Lincoln, Colin Crowley, Sarah Waters (front row)

community in a standing-room only ceremony in WT’s Hilda Willis Room, “Intellectual achievement brings in its wake certain social responsibilities that, I assert, obligate you to act as community leaders, to use your


Thistletalk Spring 2014

Recognition Fifteen percent of the Class of 2014 is also being recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an honor representing

WT’s Class of 2014 is also beginning to receive good news on early college acceptances, including recent admission to Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, Harvard College, Reed College, Tulane University, and the University of Chicago, among others.

CARNEGIE INTERNATIONAL INSPIRES WT COMMUNITY This year, WT’s Visual Arts faculty embarked on a massive undertaking: to give every one of WT’s 662 students the opportunity to experience the Carnegie International, and then contribute to a school-wide art exhibition inspired by their visit. The 2013 Carnegie International is one of the preeminent exhibitions of new international art in the United States, bringing together 35 artists from 19 countries, and presenting a broad spectrum of work. In October, Visual Arts faculty members Sally Allan, Michele Farrell, Steph Flati, Mary Martin ’88, and Tina Plaks attended a day-long, behind-the-scenes workshop at the International — Engaging Teachers

and Students in Visual Arts Learning (ETSVAL). They toured the International and crafted the specialized routes that each grade and visiting student group will take through the exhibit. “It is a very unique experience to be able to bring students from such a broad age range to the same exhibit. The International will mean something different, not just to each age and grade level, but to each student,” said Allan. “We hope that they will discover that art is a legitimate way to affect change in the world today.” The all-school exhibit “WT Reacts to the Carnegie International” is now open at WT’s City Campus, through April 16.

MIDDLE SCHOOL LAUNCHES THREE-YEAR MISSION SKILLS ASSESSMENT PROJECT Once upon a time, a child’s success in school—and in life—hinged largely upon good grades and high test scores. Today, the calculus is more complex. Research shows that character strengths like teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity, and time management are equally important to a student’s overall success. Not only are these skills prized by colleges and employers, they are proven predictors of happiness, health, and more. This year, to help students master these key traits to the best of their potential, WT’s Middle School has launched the Mission Skills Assessment, a groundbreaking three-year program designed to assess WT’s effectiveness in teaching these essential 21st century skills. “These skills are embedded in our mission,” declares Director of Middle School Daniel Sadowski. “We as a school have always believed our students cannot be successful without these skills, but until now, we’ve been unable to assess how well we are guiding our students. Now we can.” The Mission Skills Assessment, or MSA, is a scientifically based assessment

measuring proficiency in the six mission skills. The MSA was developed by INDEX, a nonprofit research consortium of independent schools including WT, and Educational Testing Services (ETS), the organization responsible for standardized tests like the ERBs, APs, and SATs. “This program, which enables us to measure WT’s effectiveness in fostering vital life skills in our students, is one of the many benefits that we derive from our membership in INDEX, a benchmarking consortium that serves to enable us to evaluate every facet of WT’s program and finances against many other outstanding independent schools all over the nation,” says Head of School Gary Niels. Middle School students took the first of three annual tests. Consisting of two 30-minute online assessments, the exam

includes prompts to assess the Mission Skills. ETS will interpret all responses and formulate results based on overall school performance; no student’s personal results will be tracked. Sadowski is eager for April, when leaders from participating schools receive results at a Character Summit in Chicago. As soon as he returns to campus, he plans to hit the ground running. “I want to go into next year with affirmation of what we are doing well, and also with a plan for what we are going to do better. I want students to be as successful at [these skills] as they are at using new vocabulary, mastering mathematical concepts, and speaking a second language. The MSA has the potential to give us the tools to build a specific program. It’s one thing to say, ‘This is what we are already doing in our classrooms.’ It’s another thing to say you’ve got a program directed right at mastery of these critical life skills, and that you are measuring it intentionally so you can improve, expand, and really meet the kids where they are.”


wt sports


“It’s amazing watching this athletics program grow over the years,” reflected Director of Athletics Kevin Miller as the remarkable fall 2013 season wound down. “It used to be WT’s fall athletics season was over by the second week of October. Now, breaking .500 isn’t enough. Making playoffs isn’t enough. I am so glad to see the kids’ hard work pay off.” Miller isn’t exaggerating when he calls it “a great season all the way around.” Four teams advanced to the WPIAL playoffs, eight athletes were recognized by the WPIAL for their outstanding performance, and for the second time, Upper School soccer Head Coach Adam Brownold was named WPIAL Class A Section I Coach of the Year. And this fall, more students participated in sports than ever before.


“I am at games all the time,” Miller offered. “I see the kids, the coaches. But now you look across the field, and you see teachers and classmates. You see the support of the whole community. We pack the sidelines. And this is an experience these kids will have forever. You may not remember the final score, but you’ll remember that feeling…We’re always going to look back and remember this fall.”

The Varsity Field Hockey team was crowned WPIAL Section Champs, beating out Greensburg Central Catholic 3-1. The team advanced to the WPIAL Finals, falling to Shady Side Academy, in overtime, 1-2. Senior Laurie Thompson and freshman Caroline Benec were named to the WPIAL Field Hockey All-Section team, and junior Alexa Zytnick was recognized as a WPIAL honorable mention.

GOLF TEAM MAKES HISTORY The Varsity Golf team made school history by becoming WPIAL Section Champs. The team was undefeated for the season in section play. Junior Will Robinson took fifth place at the WPIAL AA boys golf individual championship, advancing him to the PIAA Western Regional Tournament.

RUNNERS MAKE STATES…AGAIN! The Boys Varsity Cross Country team qualified for the PIAA Cross-Country State Championship. The team tied for eighth place out of 19 teams. Senior Maddie Schmiedeknecht placed fourth in the WPIAL finals, advancing to States where she came in sixth out of 206 runners. This was Maddie’s third appearance at States.


Thistletalk Spring 2014

SECOND CONSECUTIVE WPIAL PLAYOFF FOR BOYS SOCCER Finishing the season 12-3, the Bears advanced to the WPIAL Playoffs for the second year in a row. The team faced Carlynton High School in the first round and lost the hard-fought match, 1-3. Senior Quinn Charney and junior Mathieu Lebiere were nominated to the All-WPIAL team. The team also celebrates the nomination of the following players for WPIAL All-Section: seniors Manoli Epitropoulous and Quinn Charney and juniors Lucas Rosenblatt and Mathieu Lebiere. Junior Adrian Bayemi received honorable mention. Varsity Soccer Coach Adam Brownold received WPIAL Class A Section I Coach of the Year for the second time in three years.

wt community


A quintessential September Saturday. More than 800 friends from the WT community and beyond. Hayrides, carnival games, blacksmith and spinning demonstrations, crafts, and, of course, apples! Applefest has become a North Hills community tradition, and the 2013 festival was another rousing success thanks to event chair Sabrina Wojnaroski and her committee of Parents Association volunteers.

Mark your calendars for Spring Fling, WT’s annual spring carnival – Friday, May 9, 2014, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the City Campus. This long-standing WT tradition, organized by the Parents Association, celebrates spring with a fun day of midway games, inflatables, karaoke, slot-car racing, and so much more!

GRANDPARENTS AND SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY Just before Thanksgiving, Lower and Middle School students at both campuses enthusiastically welcomed Grandparents and Special Friends to WT for fun-filled sing-a-longs, student-led tours, classroom activities, games, and projects. Middle Schoolers wowed their guests with encore presentations of excerpts from their production of Seussical the Musical. At North, students donned boots and treated their guests to sledding and snowman building on the snow-covered campus. Lunch capped off the festivities, and a number of Grandparents and Special Friends created new friendships among themselves!


wt community

GET READY FOR SUMMER CAMP 2014 The WT Summer Camp crew is eager to share another season of learning, growth, and fun with campers ages 3-18 at our City and North Hills Campuses. A dedicated and creative team of 30 faculty, 15 M i dd l e an d U p p e r S c h o o l counselors, 10 WT alum instructors, and staff are preparing for one of the best summers in WT history! Last year, WT was honored to host more than 1,700 campers from 109 different schools including some in Florida, Maryland, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and even China and Ghana in addition to WT. “We are so proud of the quality and originality of WT’s camp programs. Our teachers and staff do so much to make e ac h c amp e r ’s day — ever y day! We hope that every camper and family will leave our campus each day with a smile, new knowledge, new talent, and a great new memor y,” states Dionne Brelsford, Director of Programs. Three-year-old campers have the opportunity to come to WT for the 3 Little Bears programs. Pre-school and early childhood campers experience the magic of Teddy Bear, Dr. Seuss, Super WHY, Curious George, and Dinosaur Train camp. Lower School students can learn to be a Jedi Master, graduate from Harry Potter Academy, create in WT’s Mini-Chefs Global Kitchen, explore explosive chemistry in Kaboom Jr. and Sr. camps, design original works of art, and learn archery, kayaking, cycling, golf, and riding in Saddle Club Camp. Older campers can improve soccer and golf skills, form a band


Thistletalk Spring 2014

and play at the Hard Rock Café, learn to parkour, cycle more than 100 miles, participate in scale modeling, skateboard, learn Latin, and perform monologues. Partnerships with WQED/PBS (, Venture Outdoors, C-Mites, Mad Science, Bruster’s Ice Cream, and Cedar Run Farms (just to name a few) allowed WT’s faculty to bring the best “wow factor” to our camp ers while maintaining quality, creative instruction to enhance the experience.

WT offers more than 200 unique and challenging themes (60 are NEW!) to campers between June 10 and August 8, 2014. Check out the amazing options and register at summercamp!

wt alumnae/i news

ALUMS COMING BACK TO WT Last fall, WT was honored to welcome a number of alums who lent their expertise and shared their talents with our students and faculty.

Ida Posner ‘08 visited with seventh and eighth graders to share her experiences working for a renewable energy company in Kenya. Her global perspective and experience tied in to the students’ studies of energy and the environment. After graduating from Princeton, she participated in a one-year program in Kenya where she worked for access:energy – a small company that is developing remote, villagescale, renewable energy micro-grids.

Kate Tunney ’95, an architect with urban design firm Rothschild and Doyno Collaborative, brought her expertise in urban planning to advise students on their designs for the ALMONO project, a brownfield site in Hazelwood.

Kat Bovbjerg ‘11 (L) and her A Capella group from The University of Chicago made a stop at WT during a multi-city tour, treating Upper School students and faculty to a live performance of original, contemporary arrangements.

MAKING CAREER CONNECTIONS Help WT alums make career connections. Simply add Winchester Thurston School to your education in your LinkedIn profile and our WT professional network will grow. WT alums in your field may be interested in connecting with you and will be able to reach out by viewing their LinkedIn alumni network. If you’d like to facilitate networking opportunities or if we can profile your experience, contact Linsey McDaniel A’96 at 412-578-7511 or

Tiffany Sizemore ‘95 (pictured third from right) visited the Middle School to talk with students about her role as Allegheny County Deputy Director for the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Public Defender. She spoke candidly about stepping up to new challenges and making tough decisions. Her visit was part of the Middle School Leadership Academy.


wt alumnae/i news alums return to WT

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to the students. Hopefully, some of them will be our reform champions of tomorrow. WT is structured to aid in their launch.” —Karen Wolk Feinstein ’63

REUNION2013 Fun and fellowship flowed for alums who came on out to Reunion 2013. Alums from all over North America, representing the Classes of 1947 to 2013, enjoyed reconnecting with each other and with dear old WT.

A highlight of the weekend: A provocative keynote address to Upper School students and fellow alums by Karen Wolk Feinstein ’63, whose message focused on contributing to society by making bold moves and commitments to movements. Members of the 50th Reunion Class of 1963 recalled their days at WT’s former Fifth Avenue building, and caught up on the years since, at the All-Alum Luncheon held in their honor.

Gary Niels thanks Karen Wolk Feinstein ’63 for her address to the Upper School students.

On Saturday, alums spanning the Classes of 1980 to 2013 claimed victory in both the field hockey and soccer matches against the students. Reunion classes gathered throughout the weekend at festive dinners and parties. Loretta Lobes Benec and Amy Simons Vanella hosted the Class of 1988’s 25th Reunion dinner, at the Tin Angel on Mount Washington, where classmates caught up with each other on 25 years of life after WT. Callie Gropp, Meg Campbell, Malcolm Smith, and Beth Hoffman brought their 2003 classmates together for an evening of memories and martinis at Sunnyledge.

Members of the Class of 1963 reuniting with each other and WT on Friday, participating in the Keynote, class tours, and the All-Alum Luncheon. Pictured L-R (front row)  Margaret (Peggy) Swan Lewis, Renee Silberman,  Annette Moser Hodess, (back row) Ann Zener Edwards, Kathy Haberstick Cypher, Karen Wolk Feinstein, Nan Finegold Tynberg

Class of 1993: (L-R) Maureen Staley Szabo, Jennifer Ames, and Ann Stanton Adams catching up at the Cocktail party.

Upper School students greet attendees of the All-Alum Luncheon with a moving rendition of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Pictured: (L-R) Carly Heywood ’14, Danny Wittig ’15, and Alberto Sewald ’15


Thistletalk Spring 2014

The Class of 1978 celebrated their 35th reunion at a number of spirited gatherings, including a Saturday evening class party hosted by Caprice Pierucci and Sunday morning brunch hosted by Susan Marcus Jacobson. Pictured (L-R) here at the Friday night cocktail party: (front row) Susan Gillinger Kersey, Felicia Williams, Lisa Posvar Rossi, Myra Roth Faust, (middle rows) Susan Klein Mondry, Janice Birrell French, Karen Haabestad, Susan Labriola Livingston, Lorraine Nogrady, Susan Marcus Jacobson, (back row) Anna Marie Pollice Caulkins, Jennifer Hetzel Gear, Laura Jean Ketchum, Randi Coffey

THISTLETALK GOES DIGITAL Missed reunion? Get more of the fun, friendships, and photos:

Save the Date: May 10, 2014 for the Fourth Annual Young Alum Lacrosse Game

The tradition continues! Who will be this year’s MVP? Join WT alumnae/i on Garland Field for the Fourth Annual Young Alum Lacrosse Game on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Get in gear or cheer on fellow alums as they take on the Upper School Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams.

Alums donning gray Reunion 2013 t-shirts cheer on a field hockey play by Jeannie Kirk ’13 (R)

Top scorers Randon Bopp ’13 and Peter Curtis ’08 were named alum MVPs and marked the occasion with inaugural signatures of the Reunion soccer and field hockey awards. Pictured: Coach Adam Brownold and Curtis


Save the Date

October 10-11, Have ideas for reunion or want to help plan a special gathering of your class? Contact Linsey McDaniel A’96, Director of Alumnae/i Relations at or 412-578-7511.

2 0 1 4

L-R, seniors Kevin Oury, Eli Naragon, and Elijah Dumaine-Schutz welcome back Letti Campo ’13, Alexandria Taylor ’13, Noa Wolff-Fineout ’13, Jason Cohen ’13, Anna Petek ’13, and Sabrina Burke ’13

The classes ending in 4 and 9

2009, 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979, 1974, 1969, 1964, 1959, 1954, 1949, 1944 & 1939 will celebrate special milestones with reunion gatherings.

Seniors Kayla Goldstein (L) and Sarah Waters (C) sharing a laugh with Noa Wolff-Fineout ’13 (R)

Welcome Bat:

Home from College Lunch (L-R)

Randon Bopp ’13 and Dr. Michael Naragon

Michael Curry ’12 and Mrs. Barbara Holmes

L-R, Brea Allen ’10, Mr. Matthew Bachner, and Danielle Trauth-Jurman ’10

Young Alums on break from college visited with teachers and friends at the annual Home from College Lunch. There was plenty of catching up, and plenty of everyone’s favorite WT treats.


class notes 1934: Reunion Year

1954: Reunion Year Sarah Buchanan Braun writes, “We have reached 55 years in our house and had a good, healthy year.”

Alice McKnight Mackroth ’34 of Jacksonville, Florida, (with Gaylen Westfall) sharing her pride for how WT has developed, and recalling her days when Miss Mitchell was Head of School. 194 5 Shirley Kerr Kennard’s husband Hunter is recuperating from a broken leg. His memory loss is a challenge, but they are otherwise well.

19 5 2

Cynthia Hill Smith moved from New Mexico to Maryland and enjoys being a few blocks from her two grandchildren. She had a wonderful trip to London and Paris in September before the move. She writes, “I am looking forward to being closer to Pittsburgh to attend WT events.”

Brenda Wise Moffitt ’54 and Selma Erving Jansen ’56 had dinner with Gaylen Westfall in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and discovered several mutual acquaintances and friends. 19 5 5

19 6 3

Mary Minor Evans reports, “I am enjoying being president of the Duluth Women’s Club. We have just built a first-floor bathroom in the over-100-yearold club house.”

Renee Silberman writes about Reunion 2013, “It was a great joy to visit with those who shared the day. I think we are all in good shape for the shape we are in. Let’s not wait another 50 years to see each other once again.”

19 5 7 19 5 3 Elisabeth Riddle Ruderfer writes, “We had a great time at our 60th Reunion. Although there weren’t many of us from 1953, it was just grand to see each other again and to be back on campus at Dear Old WT!”

Barbara Brown McFarland ’52 and Barbara Abney Bolger ’52 on a trip to Portland Oregon on August 30. Barbara Abney Bolger met with Barbara Brown McFarland ’52 in Portland Oregon where they had coffee and shared memories and their current lives after not seeing each other in at least 50 years. Barbara writes, “Hope she’ll come to our 65th!”


Thistletalk Spring 2014

Elisabeth Riddle Ruderfer ’53 singing with John Maione at the Reunion cocktail party.

After 35 years of teaching, Nann Hegmann Cooke writes that she “finally retired in June and is loving retirement!”

1959: Reunion Year Mary Lowenthal Felstiner writes, “I recently visited the marvelous Building Museum in Washington, D.C., of which Cynthia Rosenburg Field ’59 was a founding curator, and also had a grand talk with Jennifer Chinlund ’59, a terrific film editor. We were a class that learned to contribute to our world.”

Renee Silberman ’63 shares one memory among many from the Reunion in October.

class notes 1964: Reunion Year Jennifer Davies had a busy year exhibiting her work in several galleries, including ARTSPACE in New Haven, and Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. In March, she will be exhibiting handmade paper pieces at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City, New York.

19 6 5 Since retiring in 2008 as a School Psychologist and Director of Special Services for the Rahway New Jersey Public Schools, Eleanor Levinson Peris has been on the board of two wonderful organizations, I Have a Dream-Plainfield, which supports urban kids so that they graduate high school and attend college or a vocational program, and Imagine a Center for Coping with Loss, a free year-round grief support program for kids who have lost a parent or a sibling. She is also in a Master Gardener program through Rutgers University. She and her husband of 46 years are enjoying traveling and have recently been to Eastern Europe and South Africa. They enjoy being with their children and seven grandchildren.

Eleanor Peris ’65 and husband Jeffrey on a trip to South Africa.

19 6 7 Pat Kinney Gross writes, “After retiring from Merrill Lynch two years ago, Ron and I have been spending time traveling in our motor coach. We took three months to enjoy New England and do some ‘leaf peeping.’ We’re still living in the panhandle of Florida. We also like to spend the winters in South Florida, where it’s warmer! Happy New Year to my 1967 classmates.”

Members of the Class of 1978: (front row, L-R) Myra Roth Faust, Julie Jubelirer Gelman, Lisa Posvar Rossi, Karen Haabestad, (back rows, L-R) Randi Coffey, Carol Deaktor Mirsky, Wendy Werner Leiti, Susan Labriola Livingston, Felicia Williams, Susan Marcus Jacobson, Joan Tauberg Gurrentz, Janet Irvin Steitz, Susan Gillinger Kersey, Susan Klein Mondry, Jennifer Hetzel Gear, Robin Levine Lebovitz, Caprice Pierucci, Ellen Binstock Segal, Anne Marie Pollice Caulkins, Janice Birrell French

1969: Reunion Year Pat Kinney Gross ’67 and husband Ron travelling in Cape Cod. 19 7 8 The Class of 1978 had an awesome turnout for their 35th reunion. Myra Roth Faust writes, “Many thanks to our hosts and hostesses for the cocktail reception Friday night, our class party Saturday night, and the brunch Sunday morning. We still have a very special group of women and it was fantastic and thrilling to visit with everyone. You simply must attend in 2018 if you missed this one!”

Lucinda “Cindy” Cyert Steffes saw Susan Brownlee, her eighth grade history teacher and one of her favorites, at CMU Inauguration. Ms. Brownlee is now the Executive Director at the Fine Foundation.

19 8 0 Samara Schaffer Hutman became the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) in September 2013. Ms. Hutman joined LAMOTH after serving as Executive Director of the Remember Us organization since 2011. As a recipient of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles’s Cutting Edge Grant, she developed innovative film-making and social action workshops, survivor-teen arts partnerships, and school and community engagements. Founded in 1961, LAMOTH is the oldest survivor-founded Holocaust museum in the United States.

Samara Schaffer Hutman ’80, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust 19 8 2 Erika Rapport Kolod writes, “My oldest daughter, Brittny, is a teacher in the Castle Rock school system in Colorado and is engaged to be married May 24, 2014. My middle daughter, Lauren, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in May 2013 with two bachelor degrees and a minor in German. She is now in Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. My youngest child, JB, is in his third year at the University


class notes of Virginia. He is a top-ten ranked NCAA diver and an Academic All-American. My personal news: I summited Mount Kilimanjaro on October 11, 2013.” Sharon Reidbord is enjoying the job that she started in October 2012, as the Assistant Director of the Massachusetts SNAP Program (formerly Food Stamps). Sharon writes, “It’s very interesting and political. My older daughter, Eliza, is starting college at Boston University, and the rest of the brood includes my spouse, Minnie; step-son, Johnny, 24; step-son, Kyle, 18; step-son, Cameron, 15; and daughter, Sarah, 14.”

19 8 5 Two years ago, Bobbie Woods Rhoads launched FunBites, a new business which has now been reviewed by more than 1,200 mommy bloggers and is in 120 stores all over the world.

Bobbie Woods Rhoads ’85 is the innovator behind FunBites, a cool new kitchen tool that cuts kids’ food into fun, bite-sized shapes. Learn more about FunBites by visiting 1994: Reunion Year Jennifer Deklewa Gabler gave birth to Beckett Reilly Gabler on October 2, 2013.


19 9 5 Sarah McLaughlin Lee and husband Adam Lee are excited to announce the adoption of their daughter, Julia McLaughlin Lee. Julia

was placed with Sarah and Adam at four weeks of age on December 14, 2012 and was legally adopted on November 13, 2013. Congratulations to WT grandfather, Sherman McLaughlin Honorary Alumnus ’93 and aunts Mattie McLaughlin Schloetzer ’95 and Dorothy McLaughlin ’91. Tiffany Sizemore moved back to Pittsburgh after eight years as a Public Defender in Washington, D.C., to take on the role of Deputy Director for the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Public Defender. Tiffany visited WT to talk with Middle School students as part of the Leadership Academy. She shared with students her role as a leader for the 11 attorneys in her department and the training she does with new attorneys. Katherine “Kate” Tunney is bringing expertise gained through her work at architecture and urban design firm Rothschild and Doyno Collaborative back to WT through the City as Our Campus program. Kate was part of the team developing the current site plans for ALMONO, a brownfield site in Hazelwood. WT students were challenged with designing and presenting their own plans for the site. Kate discussed

Thistletalk Spring 2014

the process they used to come up with the current plans and then met with each group to critique their work.

19 9 6 In September, Tiffany Baxendell Bridge and her husband Tom welcomed their first child, Charlie. She enjoyed spending her maternity leave with him before returning in January to her job at the American Pharmacists Association. Sarah Gross Fife and her husband, Tim, visited family and friends in the U.S. before returning to their home in Sydney in January. One person they didn’t have to miss when they returned was Rachel Gross ’02 who went with them to Australia where she plans to spend a year working, studying, and enjoying life abroad. The three of them have lots of experiences and adventures planned and are looking forward to living in the same city together again after more than ten years apart.

Sarah Gross Fife ’96, husband Tim, and Rachel Gross ’02

Marty Kessler ’97 and Anjali Sachdeva ’96 got married in July. The ceremony and reception were held at WT North, and some of their old friends from Winchester were able to join them to celebrate. 19 9 7

Class of 1997 alumnae gathered together at WT for a candlelit memorial with classmates, friends, and family to mourn the loss and honor the life of Jenny Mercer A’97. Jenny was tragically struck by a vehicle near her Hilton Head home. She is remembered by many friends in the WT community.

class notes 1999: Reunion Year After completing a joint Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, Maya Gist Sanders returned to her college stomping grounds of North Carolina and started a successful practice as a family therapist. Maya writes, “Seeing a fragmented statewide mental and physical health system that could benefit from a change, I transitioned to the state level to share the voices of the underserved population with the policy makers who create the policies that outline children’s access to care. As a State Consultant, skills I developed at WT have served me well to conduct research, write concise statements, participate in a healthy debate, and perform critical thinking.”

2000 Claire Blaustein has been playing with bluegrass band By & By in Washington, D.C. for the last few years. The band just put out their first CD called Get It While You Can. It is almost all original music (with the exception of one traditional tune to keep the purists happy!). The album is available on iTunes and can be found by visiting

2004: Reunion Year Nathaniel Sherman married Ellie Walker in August.

2005 Katie Cwenar recently became engaged to Keith Herting. Their wedding is set for August 16, 2014 at the Chatham Village Clubhouse on Mount Washington. Katie currently works as an HIV Medical Case Manager at Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center and Keith is in his third and final year at The University of Pittsburgh School of Law concentrating on Immigration Law.

Maya Gist Sanders ’99 married William “Tre” Sanders III in May.

Katie Cwenar ’05 and fiancé Keith Herting 2006 Don Michael Mendoza is curating and hosting La-Ti-Do, a musical theater cabaret and spoken word series in Washington D.C.

After debuting in 2012, the series is being played weekly in D.C. and is now showing in New York too. Visit http:// to find out more.

2007 The nanosatellite which Katharine “Kate” Bartlett conducted integration and testing on while she was a student participating in Saint Louis University’s CubeSatellite project was launched into orbit on November 19. The project’s mission was to use a commercial, off-theshelf, long-wave infrared imager to conduct in-orbit characterization of space systems and earth observation. It resulted in the development of the COPPER (Close Orbiting Propellant Plume and Elemental Recognition), a miniaturized satellite designed to operate in low earth orbit. The COPPER was entered into the University Nanosat-6 Competition and was selected for launch by NASA under its Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Program. Kate is currently enjoying her job as a Quality Engineer at Boeing Defense, Space and Security where she inspects detail parts and assemblies for the aircrafts on a daily basis, audits supplier quality systems, and performs source inspection at various suppliers in the greater St. Louis area. Kate writes, “This is my dream job because not only do I get to physically inspect major flight control surfaces (e.g. horizontal stabilators, leading edge flaps, wing skins, etc.) for fighter jets, but I ensure that high-quality product is being delivered to customers,

which include the U.S. Armed Forces, who keep our nation safe. I am not only excited to go to work every day, but also proud!” An article detailing more information about the launch can be found on www.

Katharine “Kate” Bartlett ’07 worked on the COPPER nanosatellite, selected by NASA to be launched into orbit. Moira Egler was featured in Atlantic Monthly’s spotlight on Millennials making it in Pittsburgh. Moira returned to Pittsburgh after living in New Orleans and has taken on a job as a community development liaison, working with a city councilman to help draft legislation on vacant and blighted properties. Find the article online at http://www.

2008 Alec Silberblatt wrote Room for One, a play that was presented in January by The Middle Voice Theater Company in a New York production for which Zoe Silberblatt ’11 was assistant director. Alec’s play, CORNERS, was a finalist in the Throughline Theatre Company’s New Play Competition in 2013.

2 010 Christopher Flaherty will graduate from West Virginia University in 2014. His interests lie in law and politics.


class notes Hayleigh Edmonds is majoring in accounting at Duquesne University. Brea Allen is graduating from West Chester with a B.A. in Psychology this May and plans to attend graduate school. Alema Heywood writes, “I had a wonderful time bringing in the New Year with fellow Class of 2010 alums Brea Allen, Rachel Woods, and Meta Hord.” Isabel “Izzy” Zehner graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Communications. She has returned to Pittsburgh to start her own interior design firm, Proper Design.

2 0 11 Brandon Canedy is in his third year at Rochester Institute of Technology studying Mircroelectronics engineering. Isaac Rudich is in his third year at Carnegie Mellon University’s theater program studying Technical Direction. He reports that college

is, “Going really well. My program only has three people in it this year, so our classes are very intimate. I have been working for Pittsburgh Opera Theater for the last two years and hope to work for Quantum Theater this summer.”

program geared towards providing highly soughtafter opportunities to work closely with notable film and television companies.

Nathan Siegel spent the last semester studying abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay. Next semester, he will be returning to Swarthmore College for the second semester of his junior year, pursuing a major in Theater and a minor in History and Latin American Studies.

Samuel Russell writes, “College is going swell for me up at Pennsylvania State University. I am a telecommunications major. I really wanted to get into producing television, but I’m also part of an improv troupe at school which is quickly taking over my life. In fact, many alums from our troupe are friends with the new “Saturday Night Live” cast member Sasheer. The comedy scene is a great place to be and I think I found that out at WT, particularly in Mrs. Holmes’s improv during the May term. Thanks so much!”

2 012 Michael Booker is a sophomore with an Engineering double major at Carnegie Mellon University. He joined Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and is working full-time. Michael Curry was accepted into the film Internship Experience of the Creative Minds Group in Cannes. The Creative Minds Internship Experience is a competitive

Elan Rosenfeld will intern with Microsoft in Washington this summer.

2 013 Charles “Chuck” Tuan writes, “I’ve had a great summer and settled into college life already. It’s cold up North in Worcester, but

IN MEMORIAM The following members of the WT community will be missed by their classmates, friends, students, and colleagues. We offer sincere condolences to their families. Gwendolin Schmid T’27 Katharine Bane Kennedy W’29 Helen Birmingham Keenan W‘31 Mary Louise Warrick Diven W‘34 Elizabeth Griffen Wilbert ‘35 Elizabeth Bindley Frankfurth ‘36 Irene Mandros Diamos ‘39 Ruth Ellen Blattner Harkness ‘40  Jocelyn Hulme MacConnell ‘43  Caroline Curtis Lucal ‘45 Ricarda Cross Spee ‘46 


Thistletalk Spring 2014

Eleanore Whitla Drury ‘47 Anne Curran Philipps ‘48  Nancy Rohrer Byrd ‘49 Margaret MacVean Finn ‘50 Rita Silver Pumphrey ‘53  Patricia Ruslander Deery ‘58  Julia Rollit Shumway ‘66  Janey Waldman ‘76 Nancy Packer ‘79  Jenny Mercer A‘97

it’s definitely worth it. Glad to be here.” Randon Bopp writes, “So far, I have been doing a lot of films during my first year at college. I worked on a kids’ TV show, a photo shoot with Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal, and acted in short films. I entered a few contests; one was a script contest with Sundance Film Festival. I didn’t win the Sundance contest and the other script contest is still being judged at the moment.” Lucine “Lucy” Gabriel has been hosting her own radio show on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus radio station WMBR FM, 88.1, and is enjoying the Massachusetts cold weather. Langston MacDiarmid writes that he is, “Doing pretty well in mechanical engineering college, but is missing small classes and warm cookies every Friday! There’s also a lot more walking around in college. Going up two flights of stairs is nothing compared to a fifteen minute walk in the freezing rain to get to class. I didn’t know how lucky I was.” Olivia Price rowed 100,000 meters for the Rescue foundation.

wt alumnae/i news

WT ON THE ROAD This winter and spring, alums enjoyed getting together and connecting with each other at WT On the Road receptions in Florida and New York City, and at social gatherings in Chautauqua and Washington, D.C. Gary Niels shared exciting WT developments with alums, spouses, and friends at a lovely cocktail reception hosted by Susan Criep Santa-Cruz ’60 at her home in Bonita Springs, and most recently at Rockefeller Center where Kathleen Metinko ’91 hosted alums for cocktails, canapes, and conversation. 

“Wasn’t going to go, but so glad I did! I’m such a proud alum of Winchester Thurston School and it’s always amazing to meet other ambitious and accomplished people in the area who share the experience of the school I owe so much to.” - Don Michael Mendoza ’06

Happy Hour get-together at Eatonville in Washington D.C.’s U-Street area. Pictured (bottom to top, left): Zakia Redd ’93, Don Michael Mendoza ’06, Linsey McDaniel A’96, Claire Blaustein ‘00, Alyssa Caroselli ‘94, Noah Raizman ‘95, (top to bottom, right) Moira Regan ‘92, Mollie Halpern ‘91, Pamela Scully ‘81, Alexander (Alec) Karakatsanis ‘01

WT Alumnae/i met at the Chautauqua Institute to enjoy a luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel, hosted by Susan (Sue) Hopkins Martin ’60. Pictured: (seated, left to right) Beverly Diebold Green ‘60, Dianne Diebold ‘64, (first row, left to right) Linsey McDaniel A’96, Gayle Shaw Camden ‘64, Kay Gerwig Bailey ‘48, Ginni Crawford ‘64, Sarah McDaniel, Sandy Hawkins Miller ’61, Donna Gow Taylor ‘59, Gaylen Westfall, Cecile Springer, Gary Niels, Carole Oswald Markus ‘57, (second row, left to right) Jennifer Scanlon, Margaret Minor ‘63, Josette Neubauer Rolley ‘58, Mary Minor Evans ‘55, Sue Hopkins Martin ‘60, Sharon Semenza, Polly Brandt Lechner ‘59, Tina Diebold Englert ‘59

Alumnae from classes spanning 1941 to 1971 enjoy lunch at DeCarlo’s Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C. Pictured: (L-R) Britta Ericson Chambers ‘41, Anna-Stina Ericson ‘44, Cynthia Rosenburg Field ‘59, Joanna Zawadzki ‘71, Constance Smith Franklin ‘51, Linda Lear ‘58, Jane Hooton Ince ‘56, Elisabeth Riddle Ruderfer ‘53, Valerie Roemer Lynn ‘44, Jean Clark Yount ‘45

Want to have a WT reception or event in your area? Contact Linsey McDaniel A’96 at 412-578-7511 or


Winchester Thurston School 555 Morewood Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213

ALUMNAE/I DIRECTORY Working with PCI, WT is publishing an alumnae/i directory. Directories help us to improve alumnae/i communications and help you connect with fellow alums regionally, professionally, and socially. We hope that everyone will participate and appreciate that you’ll provide our publishing partner, PCI, with your updated contact information. If you have not been in contact with PCI, please take a few moments to call 1-888821-7828. Visit PCI for more information about the project and to order your copy of the new print directory.

Members of the Class of 1964 will be among the many alumnae/i making their way back to the Pillared Portals.

WT Reunion 2014. Save the date: October 10-11, 2014. Learn more at


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Profile for Winchester Thurston School

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Thistletalk Spring 2014