On December 5, New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout visited the Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School and spoke with students as part of the Woodland Hills Interaction Series. Ms. Strout is the author of Olive Kitteridge, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. This work was later adapted for television as a miniseries on HBO. She is also the author of The Burgess Boys and My Name is Lucy Barton.
This visit was the culminating event for a project in junior English classes. The students read, discussed, and analyzed Ms. Strout's books in preparation for this event. During the event, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Executive Director Stephanie Flom conducted an interview based on questions that the students developed in their English classes. Ms. Strout thoughtfully engaged with our students as she discussed her work and her life as a writer.
Special thanks to Woodland Hills teachers who worked hard to make this project a success: Lauren Baier, Christyn Coles, John Danchisko, Nathan Johnson, Tom Maloney, and Erin Wall. And thank you for our friends at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures for providing this opportunity for our students and for their continued support. Visit them at http://pittsburghlectures.org/.
The Woodland Hills Interaction Series (WHIS) started in 2013. The WHIS was created by library media specialist Kevin McGuire and instructional technology coach Jason Coleman with the goal of providing first-class interaction opportunities for students at Woodland Hills Jr/Sr High School.
During its first three years, the WHIS has hosted such notable guests as Colum McCann (National Book Award Winner/Academy Award nominated writer), Dr. Sheri Fink (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Terrance Hayes (National Book Award winner/MacArthur Fellow), Jesse Andrews (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Dr. Cyril Wecht, and Robert Bilheimer (Academy Award nominated director). Additionally, the WHIS has also hosted local writer Dave Newman, poet Jim Daniels, EPA Director Barnes Johnson and U.S. Ambassador Bryant Salter.