Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Small Private School Celebrates

Winchester Thurston School celebrates it's 125th Anniversary this school year.  In 1887, Alice Maud Thurston founded Thurston School and Mary Graham Mitchell founded Winchester School in 1902.  The two schools merged in 1935 and was named Winchester Thurston School.  Winchester Thurston is located on Morewood Ave in Shadyside and provides education to 650 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.  There is also a North Hills campus that houses 100 pre-k - fifth grade students.  Winchester Thurston's annual tuition ranges from $7,200 for pre-kindergarten to $24,600 for high school
Namesakes? No, but...M*A*S*H's Major Charles Emerson Winchester III and Gilligan's Island's Thurston B. Howell, III
Why is the Blast Furnace writing about Winchester Thurston School you ask?  Well it all goes back to the spring of 1999 when BF members were late-night dining in the South Park Eat'n Park when a high school acquaintance walked in dressed in a tuxedo.  Anyone who walks into an Eat'n Park dressed this formally deserves immediate attention so naturally we ask this gentleman why he is so dressed up.  In his best WASPy Boston Brahmin accent he tells us, "I just came from the prom at Winchester Thurston, it's a small private school.  You've probably never heard of it."  Well, excuse us!  He was right that we had never heard of it; we obviously were not a part of Pittsburgh's high society in his mind.  And here we thought our school district was pretty good, but we were obviously mistaken.  Whatever happened to this WASP, you wonder?  He apparently spews conservative rhetoric on facebook.  I'm not sure where he works but I'm sure he is in the upper crust laughing at all the rest of us.  He did give us a good laugh and fond memories because every time we drive by the Winchester Thurston campus we do our best impression of the conversation from that memorable night.

Disclaimer:  This article has no intention of denigrating Winchester Thurston School, students or donors.  It is a very fine school with a rich tradition of academic excellence that Pittsburgh is lucky to have.  The gentleman described above was never a student and had no affiliation with the school.


  1. I think that the Family Guy video says it all.

  2. I don't have anything against Winchester Thurston, it is a fine school. But it is fun to say "Winnnnchester Thurrrrrrston" in that WASP-y accent. I hope they can take a joke.

  3. I played soccer with a kid who was coming through the Bethel Park system like the rest of us, but then transferred to Winchester Thurston. I'd still play with him from time to time on club teams and rec leagues, but he was real uppity about how he went to Winchester Thurston.

  4. Love this post Rob. The video is a great addition.


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