On November 19, New York Times bestselling author Tayari Jones visited Woodland Hills to discuss her books and career with our students as part of the Woodland Hills Interaction Series. Ms. Jones is the author of four books and her latest novel, An American Marriage, was selected for Oprah's Book Club. This visit was the culminating event for students in 11th grade English classes who each read one of her novels: An American Marriage, Silver Sparrow, or Leaving Atlanta. The students were prepared by Ms. Annie Brandt, Mrs. Christyn Coles, and Ms. Erin Wall. The students got the chance to speak with Ms. Jones and ask her insightful questions about her books. Ms. Jones gave the students advice on success, post secondary education, and the writing life.
Ms. Jones' visit was made possible by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, a local organization that brings authors to Pittsburgh area schools.
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 our first five years, the WHIS has hosted such notable guests as Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Sara Shepard (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Colum McCann (National Book Award Winner/Academy Award nominated writer), Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer Prize Winner), 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, and U.S. Ambassador Bryant Salter.