Welcome to WT

Gary J. Niels

Over the course of WT's history, much has changed in education, in Pittsburgh, and in our school. Yet our essential qualities remain: talented teachers dedicated to their students' intellectual, ethical, and social development; innovative and challenging programs; and intelligent and articulate, confident and curious students and alumnae/i.

Ours is a multifaceted community bound by the strength of our 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.

In addition, a rare ethos -- over a century old -- comes to life each day in our classrooms, as students learn to think also of the comfort and the rights of others; this mandate from our visionary founder is at the core of our intentional ethical development, our academic approaches, and our student life programs. Our students and our alumnae/i point to this credo as seminal to their development as human beings and citizens.

We activate the Mission and the credo by creating a learning environment that promotes and instills appreciation for five core values: critical thinking, integrity, empathy, community, and diversity. Thus, with a solid academic foundation, we not only build minds, but develop people who are prepared to actively engage in their learning, their lives, and their communities.

You'll find active engagement everywhere at WT. One of the most dynamic and interesting ways that active engagement occurs is through the City as Our Campus initiative, an experiential learning approach that brings learning alive by connecting curriculum with the cultural, educational, and research resources in our surrounding community. Through this initiative, our students have conducted behavioral studies at the Pittsburgh Zoo, primary research at the Archives of the Industrial Society and the Heinz History Center, participated in academic research at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC, and pursued internships at the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Hillman Cancer Center, and others.

I welcome you to join us on our campuses to get a true feel for the energy, spirit, and warmth of our community. Whether you are interested in our City Campus, located in the heart of Pittsburgh's educational and cultural center, or our idyllic North Hills Campus, nestled on seven acres of rolling farmland in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, please contact our Admission Office and arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely yours,

Gary J. Niels
Head of School

Read Gary's Blog: Headlines

Read Gary's paper, Academic Practices, School Culture and Cheating Behavior

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 3, 2006
Why education 'reform' isn't working: Today's culture stunts the inner qualities that good students need: concentration, patience, persistence

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 04, 2002
Corporate Cheating: Lessons from the Classroom: Looking at the scandals in corporate America