Winchester Thurston announces the appointment of Teresa DeFlitch as Director of City as Our Campus, a key strategic role and a new position developed to expand and enhance Winchester Thurston’s unique City as Our Campus initiative. Singled out by the Edward E. Ford Foundation as a national model of educational innovation in 2009, City as Our Campus connects WT’s dynamic, experiential learning environment with the impressive cultural, research, and educational resources surrounding its campuses.
As Director, DeFlitch will serve as an ambassador for WT to the community at large, developing connections for authentic experiential learning programs and initiatives in partnership with the resources of the region, PK-12. A key focus of the role will be helping other schools replicate the City as Our Campus model. She will also oversee the WT student internship program, track and monitor the progress of the program and develop evaluation systems, and cultivate resources for City as Our Campus.
DeFlitch says, “I am excited to build on the excellent work that WT has done to establish City as Our Campus. Throughout my career, I have watched students gain confidence and have impact on their communities through experiential learning. Anchored in Winchester Thurston’s rigorous curriculum, City as Our Campus benefits WT students and Pittsburgh by providing hands-on experiences that empower students to grow into engaged citizens and lifelong learners. The program exemplifies the best in education practice, encouraging students to become young entrepreneurs, ready to solve the problems that we face locally and globally.”
DeFlitch was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates who applied for the position. She distinguished herself process by demonstrating her abilities to bridge the needs of the school with the Pittsburgh community, through her understanding of participatory pedagogy and civic engagement, and with her innovative ideas on ways to showcase to a regional and national audience how City as Our Campus enhances the school’s academically rigorous program.
“We had nearly 100 applications for this position, which we narrowed down to eight highly qualified finalists; each of them brought unique strengths and talents,” says Gary Niels, Head of School. “I was anxious about whether a single individual could fulfill my expectations for this important position in WT’s development. Teresa convinced all of us that she has the energy, intelligence, creativity, and knowledge to lead our school in this exciting educational venture.”
DeFlitch comes to WT after serving as Project Manager at that National History Education Clearinghouse of George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media in Fairfax, Virginia, where she managed a major national history project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Other career highlights include co-founding and co-directing Citizens All, a transatlantic summer school project that connects students vie new media; serving as a trainer for the Congressional Historic Interpretive Program at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC; and serving as Associate Director of Education at the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich (CT) Bush-Holley Historic Site, where she collaborated with PK-12 teachers to develop research projects and experiential learning programs. She has held several fellowships, including a Public Humanities Fellowship at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization, Brown University. She has also presented at numerous national and regional conferences and university seminars on history and social studies education, museum program design, and the incorporation of digital media into teaching and learning practices, among others. A scholar of history, DeFlitch’s research focuses on African American history and slavery. A native of Western Pennsylvania, DeFlitch holds a Master of Arts in American History from Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. Vincent College.