On Monday, January 24, author Douglas Stuart visited as a guest of the Woodland Hills Interaction Series to discuss his debut novel, "Shuggie Bain." Mr. Stuart's novel won the prestigious Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His visit was sponsored by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and their Authors to Schools program.
Our students joined the Q&A with Mr. Stuart both in person and virtually. Students in Mrs. Silverman's English 12 classes and the book club studied the novel and asked Mr. Stuart insightful questions about his work and life as a writer. Many thanks to Mrs. Silverman for preparing the students and to Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures for making author school visits part of their mission.
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 High School.
Starting in 2016, with a partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, the WHIS began an immersive literacy program to provide our students with access to contemporary literature in the classroom, thoughtful discussions, and a culminating interaction with the author. These projects have included Pulitzer Prize winners Jennifer Egan and Elizabeth Strout, National Book Award winner Colum McCann, and best-selling authors Tommy Orange, Tayari Jones, Lily King, Douglas Stuart and Valeria Luiselli. Woodland Hills High School instructional coach Christyn Coles provides the final connection to these classroom extension events as the WHIS Literacy Liaison.
During our first eight seasons, the WHIS has personally hosted such notable guests as Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Sara Shepard (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Tayari Jones (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Colum McCann (National Book Award Winner/Academy Award nominated writer), Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Rachael Lippincott (N.Y. Times Bestseller), (Dr. Sheri Fink (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Terrance Hayes (National Book Award winner/MacArthur Fellow), Jesse Andrews (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Dr. Cyril Wecht, S.L. Price (Sports Illustrated Senior Writer), and Robert Bilheimer (Academy Award nominated director). Additionally, the WHIS has also hosted local writer Dave Newman, poet Jim Daniels, EPA Director Barnes Johnson, nationally syndicated cartoonist Joe Wos, Pittsburgh icon Rick Sebak, and U.S. Ambassador Bryant Salter.