Spotlight on Teachers

“I feel honored to work at this school and so fortunate that my children have this education. I cannot express how much this school has supported my family while Adam has been away. ‘Together We Thrive’ is not just a catch phrase for this year’s Annual Fund — community support is a significant part of WSP.”

-Jill Zihar, WSP Faculty

Jill Zihar came to the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh after graduating from Carnegie Mellon with a master’s degree in Literary and Cultural Studies. On graduation day, a woman she’d never met before told her, “You should teach in a Waldorf school.” That night, Jill researched Waldorf Education and applied to work at our school.

Even though Jill has been a teacher for fourteen years, she sees herself as still being on the journey to becoming the teacher she wants to be. “I am always striving to meet the children in my class, to work in the most respectful way with parents and colleagues, to look inside of myself to see where I can grow and stretch and therefore, be ‘worthy of imitation’ for the children in my care…”

In January 2016, Jill’s husband Adam was deployed with the National Guard to Kosovo for a year. Jill and Adam have two children who attend the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. Having Adam away for a long period is daunting for the Zihar family. However, our school community has made a difference. “Dinner has been provided for my family every Thursday (our faculty meeting night) since January. Every once in a while someone will let me know that they are praying for Adam or holding us in their thoughts. I have amazing colleagues and friends at the school that I can talk to and if I need extra support, I know that there is no hesitation to give it. Bailey and Tyler see and feel that they are in a school that will lift us up, surround us in love, prepare our meals, and offer kindness.”

Teachers like Jill Zihar deserve our best. They deserve a competitive salary and benefits, so they can continue to take care of themselves and their families. We want our teachers to be confident in our community’s support when they want to gain new skills as educators through continuing education.

Jill is committed to continuing her education. Two years ago, she began HANDLE (Holistic Approach to Neuro-Development and Learning Efficiency) training. The HANDLE approach addresses a wide range of learning, behavior, and developmental issues. Jill says her wish is to continue to “seek the knowledge to meet every child in my care and to know what they are asking for.” You can help Jill Zihar provide the very best Waldorf Education for our children. Donate to this year’s Annual Fund, and let Jill know that you believe in her and every teacher at our school.

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