News Post

Mimi Cooper and Adam Brownold Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Each year, Winchester Thurston School teachers are recognized for teaching excellence. Congratulations to Mimi Cooper, North Hills Campus first grade teacher, the 2018 recipient of the Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education and Adam Brownold, Middle School history teacher and coach, the 2018 recipient of the Jane L. Scarborough Award for Teaching Excellence.

Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education: Mimi Cooper

Director of North Hills Campus Heather Capezzuti and the 2016 recipient of the Nathenson Award, WT Visual Arts Department Chair and North Hills Campus art teacher Sally Allan, presented the award to Cooper at the 2018 North Hills Campus Moving Up Ceremony.

Cooper, who has been teaching at WT for 18 years, is known for her humble presence, collaborative style, and for weaving her own creativity and imagination into her lessons. "Mimi is ... one of those unique individuals who inspires all who have the privilege to know her," shared Allan.

Cooper understands the value of a strong and vibrant school community – as a North Hills Campus faculty member, Zimi class instructor for parents and faculty, and WT parent. She is viewed as a guiding and reassuring presence for first grade parents and students, and sought after for her expertise in helping students learn to read.

"In the true spirit of Judy Apt Nathenson, Mimi enriches our community with her supportive, can-do spirit; always lending a hand to someone in need. She embodies WT's credo, 'Think Also of the Comfort and the Rights of Others,' leading her students, colleagues, family, and friends by example in all that she does," concluded Allan.

Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education was established in memory of Judy Apt Nathenson, a 1969 graduate of Winchester Thurston School and Kindergarten teacher who sadly passed away in 2000. Judy vigorously championed the importance of early childhood education at Winchester Thurston School and throughout the Pittsburgh community.


(L-R): Capezzuti, Niels, and Brownold at the presentation of the Jane L. Scarborough Award for Teaching Excellence.

Jane L. Scarborough Award for Teaching Excellence: Adam Brownold

Head of School Gary J. Niels and the 2017 recipient of the Scarborough Award, Capezzuti, presented the award to Brownold at the 2018 Commencement ceremony. Brownold was chosen by a committee comprised of faculty members, students, and two members of the Board of Trustees who received nomination letters from his colleagues, current and former students, and advisees.

Brownold, a WT teacher since 2002, is a highly respected Middle School history teacher, advisor, coach, mentor, and WT parent. He is known for diving head first into City as Our Campus experiences and supporting cross-divisional lessons with Upper School faculty. "In his student's words, 'He is kind funny, respectful, entertaining, and he makes learning really fun,'" shared Capezzuti.

Brownold is also celebrated for his contributions to the WT community beyond the classroom. In addition to supervising the Middle School Student Council and assisting the Admission team with visiting students, he also organizes and chaperones trips to Israel through City as Our Campus partner Classrooms Without Borders and teaches the importance of service through volunteer work. As a coach, he instills values in his players and ensures that they are "excellent stewards" for WT.

"'Adam Brownold lives the WT Mission to engage and challenge each student, [to] inspire them to achieve, and to build the character of service.' In the words of a former student, 'He has become someone I look up to and go to when I need help with anything in life,' " concluded Capezzuti

The Scarborough Award is given by the Board of Trustees to a returning member of the faculty who is making an exemplary contribution to teaching by demonstrating a strong professional commitment to the Winchester Thurston community, respects the uniqueness of the individual, values intellectual inquiry and mastery as well as intellectual honesty and humility, models for others the frustration and excitement of learning and the exhilaration of discovery, and views the experience of teaching as an opportunity to remain a lifelong learner.