Judy Apt Nathenson Award


The Judy Apt Nathenson Endowment Fund was established to benefit, enhance, and promote excellence and innovation in early childhood education at Winchester Thurston School. The Fund began with a generous bequest from Judy Apt Nathenson, WT alumna, parent, and teacher, who sadly passed away in 2000.

The Fund has grown and continues to grow each year with contributions from her family, friends, students, and members of the Winchester Thurston community. Her many admirers continue to honor and remember Judy by echoing her professional devotion to Winchester Thurston and to early childhood education at the school.

Judy Apt Nathenson was a 1969 graduate of Winchester Thurston School. She served as kindergarten teacher at the School from 1975-79 and from 1993-2000. In 1998, Judy was honored with the Mary Houston Griffin Teaching Excellence Award and in 2000 was named as the Winchester Thurston Alumna of the Year. Judy and husband Richard Nathenson had four sons, all alumni of Winchester Thurston -- David '97, Robert '01, Michael '01, and Steven '01.

Judy Apt Nathenson was a talented, creative, and caring teacher who devoted her professional career to improving WT's early childhood education program, introducing new teaching methodologies, and enhancing the early childhood curriculum. Judy introduced Winchester Thurston's faculty to the Reggio EmiliaProgram through the grant she received as the recipient of the Mary Houston Griffin Teaching Excellence Award, which had a dramatic impact on the program at WT. Judy vigorously championed the importance of early childhood education at Winchester Thurston School and throughout the Pittsburgh community.

In April of 2001, The Board of Trustees of Winchester Thurston School passed a resolution to establish the Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

Each year, a Lower School teacher who demonstrates imaginative and innovative teaching is named as the Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Utilizing the proceeds from the Fund, The Chair has the privilege and responsibility for shaping professional development for a special activity or group of teachers in the coming year.

School YearRecipient
2001-2002Kitty Whordley
2002-2003Kitty Whordley
2003-2004Joan Flechtner
2004-2005Betsy Gianakas
2005-2006Vicki Katrencik
2006-2007Connie Martin
2007-2008Kelly Vignale
2008-2009Lynne Raphael
2009-2010Karen Gaul
2010-2011Kylie Malack
2011-2012Amy Skelly
2012-2013Susan Ferguson
2013-2014Janna Lettan
2014-2015Steve Cooper
Theresa Fox
2017-2018Brian Swauger
2018-2019Mimi Cooper
2019-2020Kimberly Blaney

Winchester Thurston continues to accept gifts to the fund and invites you to donate in honor of Judy's life and work. For more information about this, or other awards, please contact: Monica Manes Gay, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, at 412-578-3746 or gaym@winchesterthurston.org.