News from the Director

Upcoming Dates and Information from Laurie Vennes


December 5, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m., Library
Contact: Laurie Vennes, 412-486-8341 or

Your feedback is important to us! Now that you have received a copy of our new report cards, we want to hear your impressions and ideas for improvement. Please join Laurie Vennes for coffee to discuss the new report cards and assessments at WT.



December 5, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Contact: Brock Perkins,
The fifth grade Medieval Festival includes a medieval feast, dance, and other merry-making.



December 6, 8:30 a.m., Multipurpose Room
Contact: Laurie Vennes, 412-486-8341 ext. 11 or
Students should show their WT pride by wearing their WT t-shirts accompanied by uniform bottoms on Spirit Day.


December 6, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., at the home of Amy and Larry Zana, 3284 Windstream Drive, Gibsonia, PA 15044
December 13, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., at the home of Marina and Kenneth Lehn, 5061 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Contact: Stacie Schmidt, 412-578-7512
To celebrate the season, all WT families are invited to brunch at the home of City and North Hills families. Please stop in for a quick coffee and pastry on your way to work, or stay for the morning!


– What Parents Are Saying, December 11, 8:15 a.m., Library
Contact: Laurie Vennes, 412-486-8341 ext. 11
We thank the approximately 45 parents and faculty members who attended two open forums about the future of the North Hills Campus, held on November 6 and 8. In dialogue with Gary Niels, Laurie Vennes, and other members of the administration, participants learned about and gave input to strategic directions for the campus. To give more parents the opportunity to participate in these important dialogues, a third session has been scheduled.

Here’s what some parents said after attending the sessions:

“…The meeting offered me great insight into the level of commitment that Winchester Thurston School has toward the North Hills Campus. The interactive nature of the meeting between Gary, the faculty, and the parents (all of the involved stakeholders) impresses me that my concerns, ideas, and feedback are both appreciated and will be taken into consideration as the school moves forward with its strategic plans. Ultimately, it is supportive of the notion that I have my child in the right place.”

“In particular it was great to see a combination of parents and teachers and administrators there trying to generate ideas to strengthen the North Hills Campus…I would encourage other current parents to attend so that they could hear more about the direction of the school and voice their input so that they might help guide the future at WT.”

“The parents of the North Hills Campus have a passion for their children’s learning and for the environment at North…They value the open, fresh air concept that North provides with all of the ‘outdoor classrooms’ that each teacher uses to excite their students into exploring and using their mind in many other ways, not just ‘book’ learning. Not only are the parents involved with their children in the learning process at home, they are involved almost daily with the teachers and administrators. They are consistently and actively engaged with the school itself by sharing their thoughts and giving their time and making suggestions that are met with an open mind. Thank you for that!!”

Light bulb moment: Seeing the breakdown of the costs associated per student for North vs City and what having a full enrollment means to North and how much the tuition actually covers. I had never seen this before and it gave me a much better understanding of the fiscal responsibility the school has and how it still manages to keep the excellent teachers we have at North.”

Topics for the discussion include:

1. How can we shape the educational and extra-curricular program to better differentiate WT’s North Hills Campus from other educational options in the area?

2. How can we more effectively engage the North Hills community to strengthen enrollment at North?

3. How will the Celebrate WT campaign impact North?

A supportive and engaged community is so important to the success of our school, and we thank you for your involvement and dedication. Please plan to attend this important session.


December 19, 2:00 in the Multipurpose Room.
Dress Code: 
Pre-k /k- dress clothes and soft soled shoes
4th Grade -fun hats for a funky dance, can be knit or hip hop type (bring in A.S.A.P. for teacher approval)
1st through 5th grade students-Tan uniform pants, White collared uniform shirts, soft soled shoes
All other costumes will be provided.

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