Merriam-Webster defines education as “the action or process of teaching someone, especially in a school, college, or university.” But that definition falls far short of what transpires at WT, says Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech.
An oft-quoted African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child. Winchester Thurston—driven by its commitment to progressive education—embodies a parallel belief: that it takes a whole school community to nurture learners into active, engaged citizens who challenge inequities, address real problems, and make an impact on their school and their city.
As WT expands and deepens its commitment to wellness, equity, inclusion, and justice, each community member plays a part in helping students to feel safe, seen, supported, and included. Middle School Counselor Sara Leone and Upper School Counselor Asia Shannon know that more than most.
A transformational practice of grading and assessment is beginning to take root at WT. Known as Grading for Equity, it is accurate, growth-focused, bias-resistant, and motivational—and it nurtures and supports WT’s dedication to progressive education and its commitment to equitable practices.
Over the past year, WT has engaged with The Glasgow Group in an audit of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. Constituent groups (employees, parents, students, alumnae/i, and Trustees) were encouraged to participate through surveys and focus groups. Following are the high-level findings and recommendations.
Inside the Cover
In just its fifth year as a WPIAL contender, the Girls Soccer team qualified for the WPIAL playoffs. The team, led by head coach Parus Nischal ’13 and assistant coaches Jivak Nischal ’18 and WT Science Teacher Dr. Lynn Horton, started as a club sport in 2015. Through the determination of a strong group of students, and the encouragement of Horton, their mentor, the team debuted as an independent varsity sport in 2016 and earned entry into the WPIAL in the 2017 season.
WT Science Department Chair Graig Marx and Middle School Math and Computer Science Teacher Dave Piemme were named the 2021 recipients of the Champion for STEM Equity award by the Carnegie Science Awards for their program, Design to Make a Difference. The program combines Maker Education with altruism in a product-based learning format and helps fellow Pittsburgh-area middle and high school teachers improve their own Maker Education practice through an array of free resources.