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Woodland Hills Interaction Series

Last Updated: 2/18/2022 12:11 PM

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.


Click below to see event flyers:


  WHIS - Jesmyn Ward  
WHIS - Douglas Stuart WHIS - Deesha Philyaw WHIS:  Briane Broome
Cameron Barnett Lily King Column McCann
WHIS - Pat DeMarco Rick Sebak - WHIS Rachael Lippincott
Jewell Parker Damon Young WHIS - Maxwell King
WHIS - Yona Harvey WHIS - Tayari Jones WHIS:  Anjali Sachdeva
Shepard Wos Jennifer Egan
SL Price Esper WHIS KG


2021-2022 season:

Jesmyn Ward - author National Book Award WinnerNational Book Award Winner
Douglas Stuart - author National Book Award Finalist The Booker Proze
Deesha Philyaw - author National Book Award Finalist
Brian Broome - author Kirkus Prize Winner

2020-2021 season:

Cameron Barnett - poet
Lily King - author NYT Bestseller

2019-2020 season:

Michael Ondaatje - author NYT Bestseller  The Booker Proze *cancelled due to Covid-19
Colum McCann - author National Book Award Winner Academy Award Nominee NYT Bestseller
Patricia Demarco - author/environmentalist
Rick Sebak - filmmaker/documentarian
Rachael Lippincott - author NYT Bestseller
Jewell Parker Rhodes– author NYT Bestseller

2018-2019 season:

Anjali Sachdeva - author
Tayari Jones – author NYT Bestseller
Yona Harvey – poet
Maxwell King – author  NYT Bestseller
Damon Young - author

2017-2018 season:

Sara Shepard - author NYT Bestseller
Joe Wos - professional cartoonist/artist
Jennifer Egan - authorPulitzer Prize Winner NYT Bestseller
S.L. Price - author/columnist

2016-2017 season:

Stephen Esper - physician
Ken Gormley - president of Duquesne UniversityNYT Bestseller
Elizabeth Strout - author Pulitzer Prize Winner NYT Bestseller
Jim Daniels - poet/writer/screenwriter/professor

2015-2016 season:

Jesse Andrews - author/screenwriter  NYT Bestseller
Barnes Johnson - director at the EPA
Cyril Wecht - forensic pathologist
David Preston - author/historian

2014-2015 season:

Sheri Fink - journalist/author Pulitzer Prize Winner NYT Bestseller
Terrance Hayes - poet  National Book Award Winner  
Dave Newman - poet/author
Bryant Salter - diplomat

2013-2014 season:

Colum McCann - author National Book Award Winner Academy Award Nominee NYT Bestseller
Robert Bilheimer - director Academy Award Nominee

Follow us:



Novelist McCann engages students (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Galaxies Inside His Head (New York Times Magazine)

Woodland Hills students learn about Braddock's defeat in battle (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

ACLA press release on Sheri Fink visit

President Gormley's Visit to Woodland Hills High School, Feb. 27, 2017


Director:  Kevin McGuire
Director:  Jason Coleman

Literacy Liaison:  Christyn Coles

Woodland Hills Interaction Series
2550 Greensburg Pike
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

412.244.1100 x 5194