Celebrating 50 Years!

In 1971, Shirley Windward and Carl Parsons opened Windward School in a small converted hotel in Santa Monica to give local kids a better education.
 
50 years later, Windward has become one of the most prestigious independent schools in Los Angeles. Founded on the mission of challenging each student to achieve excellence in a nurturing, inclusive community, these ideals are still the cornerstone of a Windward education today.  
 
The 2021-22 School year marks Windward School’s 50th Anniversary. In celebration of this special milestone, we welcome the community to reflect on some of the remarkable achievements of the past and join us for events throughout the year as we inspire the future.

Community 50th Anniversary Celebrations

  • Tales at the Table - October 6, 2021
  • Fall Coffeehouse - November 12, 2021
  • WIT Alumni Match - December 16, 2021
  • Young Alumni Luncheon - December 17, 2021
  • Music Extravaganza Concert - January 22, 2022
  • Founders’ Day - January 28, 2022
  • An Evening of Dance - February 18, 2022
  • Spring Coffeehouse - March 18, 2022
  • Spring Music Concert - April 30, 2022 and May 1, 2022
  • 50th Anniversary Spring Soiree - May 7, 2022
  • 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunions - June 4, 2022
  • 50th Anniversary Alumni Festival - June 5, 2022

*Event dates are subject to change and dependent on COVID-19 developments.

50 Years of Alumni 
 
Windward’s first graduating class was the Class of 1972. This year, we celebrate 50 years of Graduating classes. We have asked alums from throughout the years to share their fondest Windward memories.

Zan Dubin-Scott '75

“I attended Windward the first year it opened. The original campus, on Wilshire and Berkeley, was tiny and wonderful. I recall Jane Fonda visiting and talking to us about the Vietnam War on the roof patio. It's well known among us "originals" that the tiny structure around the corner, where I took math with Peggy Free, was called "Siberia," because it was detached from the main campus, thus so far away.” 
 
Zan Dubin-Scott ‘75 
Public Relations
 

The Rosenthal Family

To be able to be a part of this campaign and contribute to Windward’s future is so important.
 
If people can pay it forward, it's a great thing to do. To have other students be able to benefit from our contribution the way our children have benefited from contributions made by others brings everything full circle.
 
Allison and Bennett Rosenthal

Parents of Brooke '15, Miles '18, and Tess '19

Mark Polland '81

“When I attended Windward it was located in a small converted office building on 21st Street, with big dreams inside. It was twice as big as the converted motel on Wilshire where it all started. It's a parking lot now, but the memories live on.
 
My favorite Windward memory was camping on Santa Barbara Island for a week during block week.  Carrying all our water and bringing 12 scuba tanks each so that we could get certified to scuba dive.  Floating underwater over a school of bat rays that made the seafloor look like it was moving all around us.  Finding an antique anchor and bringing it back to the dock, only to have our instructor tell us to take it back again. We hauled it around a corner and then goofed off until the tanks were dry so he thought we worked really hard.”
 
Mark Polland ‘81
Lawyer and Artist

 

The Schwartzberg Family

When Andrew Schwartzberg was a high school student in Potomac, Md., his father made a generous donation to help advance the independent school’s goals. As an adult, Andrew has returned to the school’s campus and seen firsthand the lasting impact of that gift. “It’s nice to go back and see, wow, what he did was pretty amazing,” Andrew says. Andrew has internalized that example in his own life as he and his wife, Jaime, instill a culture of philanthropy in their family, which includes daughters Sophie ’22, Ava ’24, and Kate ‘26. Andrew and Jaime have made a significant financial commitment to the Innovation Campaign, which Andrew also gives to with his time as a member of the Campaign Steering Committee.
 
“We are trying to show our girls that you have to be committed in every way to the causes you believe in—a give till it hurts mentality,” he says. Andrew and Jaime hope that their own daughters will have the same good feeling when they visit Windward’s campus after they have graduated. “It’s going to be great for our girls to come back in 10 years to see what that commitment has turned into,” he says. “You’re constantly paying it forward.”
 
Jaime and Andrew Schwartzberg
Parents of Sophie ’22, Ava ’24, and Kate ‘26

Judith (Daniel) Hogan '83

"The Santa Monica campus was like being in one big family!  The parking lot was the place to be because it was the only outdoor space we had.  There was a gazebo tucked nicely into the corner where some classes met when the weather was too nice to be indoors.  It felt like a home because it was an old apartment building."
 
Judith (Daniel) Hogan '83 
Religious Education & Visual Arts

The Kaplan Family

"Your gift to the Innovation Campaign will be a source of pride as you consider the ways in which you have made the world better."
 
As the CEO and President of Douglas Emmett Inc., a REIT traded on the New York Stock Exchange, Jordan Kaplan knows a thing or two about getting good value from an investment. 
 
When making charitable gifts to an organization, there are two important ingredients, Jordan says: stable, effective leadership and a track record of efficiently and successfully deploying the donations. The fact that both elements were firmly in place at Windward led Jordan and his wife, Christine—parents of Claire ’19 and Jace ‘25—to make an early gift to the School’s Innovation Campaign.  “This is not an act of blind trust,” Jordan explains. “It is trust that we have in the cultural incubator Windward provides to shepherd our children to young adulthood.” The campaign will comprise two parts: Part 1 will include an Academic Hub and Student Support Center, along with a renovated Performing Arts Wing; Part 2 will feature an Arts & Innovation Center that will offer presentation and performance spaces that are on-par with university and professional venues.
 
The fact that Claire, as an Alumni, will not be able to make full use of the new program-driven facilities is not only irrelevant, Jordan says, but a motivating factor in making their gift. “What we have at Windward is the result of parents, who almost 50 years ago made a commitment to create a valuable community asset that can be passed on for the benefit of others,” he says. “They made substantial contributions to an extended capital campaign that transformed the School. What makes that so remarkable is that their kids would never benefit from the transformation. That is the kind of selfless act that establishes the culture of a society and sets an example for our children.”
 
Jordan and Christine’s own children— sons Skyler and Jace and daughter Claire—have seen their parents make philanthropy a focus of their life. The Kaplans have given generously to many local causes, including Palisades High School, the UCLA Foundation, St. John’s Health Center, LA Waterkeeper, and Sound Mind Sound Body, a UCLA charity dedicated to fighting childhood obesity. Jordan encourages others to make a campaign gift and support what he calls “the best-run school in the Los Angeles metro area.” He says: “Your gift to the Innovation Campaign will be a source of pride as you consider the ways in which you have made the world better.” 
 
Christine and Jordan Kaplan
Parents of Claire '19 and Jace '25

Scott Gordon '84

“My first year was 1982, the FIRST year on the Palms campus! We had one building - the 100 building . The campus was intimate!  Approximately 28 people in our graduating class,  no ball fields,  all sports were in Mar Vista Park. Graduation was on a tennis court at a family home.  All parking was in the palms lot.”
 
Scott Gordon ‘84
Real Estate Developer

The Factor Family

There is no finer educational institute than Windward, so it is our honor to be a part of its continued growth, expansion, and success.
 

Our family has chosen to invest in Windward because it is likewise an investment in our family. The relationship we are building with the school by donating towards its future is a legacy we hope to foster in many generations to come. There is no finer educational institute than Windward, so it is our honor to be a part of its continued growth, expansion, and success. We are inspired by and passionate about the Innovation Campaign that will allow Windward to provide many new modern and exciting curriculums, projects, and facilities that will incubate, nurture and launch students' creativity, performance and ideas. Thank you, Windward!

Shannon and Dean Factor
Parents of Claire '22 and Alex '25

Rafe Furst '86

"Windward has really transformed and shaped my life. I was joyous every single day to go to school, and I didn’t want to leave. I’d be the last person there. Windward gave me a sense of love, support, and confidence that I could be and do anything that I wanted to in life."
 
Rafe Furst ’86
Dad

The Cayton Family

We recognize the benevolence of others before us that created Windward School and its unique programs.
 
Our son Derek has been the beneficiary of generous donors and we want to provide the same opportunities to future students. We wanted to be part of this transformative campaign which will be an asset to the Windward Community.
 
Andrea and Barry Cayton
Parents of Derek '21

Ben Austin '87 

“I loved learning poetry from Shirley Windward, learning Latin from Daniele. I loved (very occasionally) beating Oakwood in soccer. And I loved the crazy prom limo treasure hunt!”

Ben Austin ‘87 
Founding Partner (Education Civil Rights Now)

The Crotty Family

crotty family

Our charitable giving begins with contributing to organizations that directly touch our family—and it doesn't get any closer to home than supporting our children’s education.  

Our charitable giving begins with contributing to organizations that directly touch our family—and it doesn't get any closer to home than supporting our children’s education.  

As a family at the beginning of our Windward journey, we are thrilled to support the School’s mission of “achieving excellence in a nurturing and inclusive community.”  This ideal reflects our values as parents and sets all of our children up for lifelong academic, social, and professional success. 

With the spotlight on the Innovation Campaign, we feel now is the time to support Windward and its promise of excellence long into the future.  This commitment to educational innovations in STEAM, Visual and Media Arts, and Entrepreneurship is critical in preparing the next generation of job creators and leaders, and its integration of the arts and technology into more traditional education is on the forefront of creative thinking in today’s classrooms.
 
We are so fortunate to join the Windward community in supporting our wonderful School.
 

Phyllis and Kevin Crotty
Parents of Elle ‘24 and Luke ‘26

Laurence Donohue-Greene '88

First page of the PDF file: GreeneLaurencestudent-LaurenceDonohue-Greene1
“When I started 7th grade in 1982 as I recall, we had our first classes across the street in the park as finishing touches were being done on the building's construction! A true small school with a big personality - and big personalities. Hopefully students are still on a first name basis with their teachers."
 
Laurence Donohue-Greene ‘88
Co-Founder and Managing Editor (The NYC Jazz Record)
 

The Asher/Fikre Family

Windward has established itself as a premier independent school in the Los Angeles area and the institution continues to grow and evolve in ways that make it an increasingly valuable asset for the community in which we live.
 
We are thankful for the great experiences our children were afforded during their years at Windward and we have enjoyed being a part of the school community for almost a decade. Windward has established itself as a premier independent school in the Los Angeles area and the institution continues to grow and evolve in ways that make it an increasingly valuable asset for the community in which we live.
 
We look forward to seeing Windward continue to impact the lives of children and families that come through the school and we are particularly eager to see the reach of the school expand into the broader community with ongoing efforts to achieve greater diversity. We are pleased to help Windward continue to flourish in any way we can, whether that be by supporting initiatives like the Innovation Campaign, giving to the Windward Fund annually, or volunteering our time in service of the school. 
 
Angela Asher and Ted Fikre
Parents of Asher '18 and Serafina '20

Taos Huskey '93

"My memories of Windward are about how small and connected the campus felt, and how frequent and friendly interactions were across the student body and the faculty. The campus, with development really only on the North side of the bridge, was expansive and full of nooks & crannies to explore. Our graduating class of 36 just added to a sense of closeness in a wide open world."
 
Taos Huskey ’93
Investment Management
 

The Trilling Family

We feel extremely fortunate to be able to support the Innovation Campaign, which will help create a great future for today’s Windward students and for generations of students and families who will experience their own joy and pride at joining this one-of-a-kind community.

Our family joined the Windward community in the Fall of 2018, and when we say “our family,” we definitely mean all of us. Max ('24) has grown as a student, built many close friendships, and the thing he’s most proud of in his athletics is that his jersey says “Windward.” And it’s not just Max whose life has been shaped by the school. We’ve developed terrific new friendships with other parents, built our own warm connections with Windward staff and faculty, and Max’s grandfather has loved coming to sporting events and the Grandparents' Brunch.
 
There is an old cliché about Middle School being the hardest years of a child’s life. Thanks to Windward, Middle School was a time of joy and pride for Max, and we look forward to many happy adventures ahead as he continues on his journey through high school. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to support the Innovation Campaign, which will help create a great future for today’s Windward students and for generations of students and families who will experience their own joy and pride at joining this one-of-a-kind community.
 

Wendi and Stephen Trilling
Parents of Max ’24

Andrea Kahn '02

“Windward gave me the foundation to be successful both academically in college and socially. I believe that Windward was instrumental in shaping the person I am today and giving me the confidence to succeed.”
 
Andrea Kahn ‘02
Lawyer
 

Andrea Kahn '02

Investing in the school is investing in our children. It's not about growing bigger, it's about growing the inspiration and creativity of our children in a safe environment, with traditional, progressive, and innovative educators.

Windward has consistently shown ways to grow while bringing the Windward community closer. Investing in the school is investing in our children. It's not about growing bigger, it's about growing the inspiration and creativity of our children in a safe environment, with traditional, progressive and innovative educators. We value the school's foresight for creating the best possible space with new tools for our children, and our children's children, to grow and learn. We plan for the future, but as visionaries, one can see that the future is in the here and now.

Trina and Adam Venit
Parents of Olivia '20

Lauren Hoffman '05 

“Windward allowed me the space to see what it felt like to explore all my interests. If I wanted to play a sport, their response was, go for it. If I wanted to join the speech and debate team their response was, go for it. Being able to engage in so many opportunities allowed me to explore all of my creative passions!” 
 
Lauren Hoffman ‘05 
Piano Teacher

 

The Gersh Family

Giving generously of our time and resources to Windward, and specifically to the Innovation Campaign, has been a source of joy for our family.
 
Putting a high value on education is intrinsic for me, and is not something I was taught or was culturally conditioned to. When I was little, I built a pretend classroom in our basement and would spend hours there ’teaching’ imaginary students, making and grading assignments, organizing my desk, redecorating the space etc. I’ve been lucky to love school all my life, whether as a student, a parent of a student, or as a teacher. Learning communities ought to be magical, and Windward is the best secondary school we’ve known through our 29 years of raising our four children. It is ambitious and strategic in all planning and pursuit, but also conscious and caring and kind—a place where rigor and nurture live in perfect balance.

Giving generously of our time and resources to Windward, and specifically to the Innovation Campaign, has been a source of joy for our family. To align how we value education with our capacity to make a difference is not only a show of confidence in Windward’s true excellence, but also an investment in the vision for its future and for the future of every Windwardian.

Our children will never be direct beneficiaries of current plans for campus expansion, but Greta and James have each spent six formative years enjoying the forward thinking, generous support of the families that came before ours and, they, in turn, can be proud of the legacy a commitment to Windward ensures. We’ll be a part of this place forever!
 
Maria Mancuso Gersh and Gary Gersh
Parents of Greta '18 and James '20

Jasmine Blevins '17 

“My favorite Windward memory is from my Junior year when I hosted Shirley's Slams and Jams with Hannah Kanter. We told jokes, played music, I rapped Hamilton with the crowd and the girls basketball team and I recited poetry.  It was a blast and one of the most special days of my Windward career.”
 
Jasmine Blevins ‘17 
Production Assistant
 

The Brooks Family

We chose to invest in the Windward Innovation Campaign because our family is committed to education and continual growth and learning.  
 
Windward has embraced our children (Olivia, Sophie, Liam, and Estée) and given them myriad opportunities to expand their minds and hearts. We are honored to be able to support Windward in their dynamic efforts to grow and excel. We are grateful that our investment will help Windward offer these opportunities to the entire community.
 
Nicole and Brad Brooks
Parents of Olivia '20, Sophie '22, Liam '25, and Estée '27

 Share With Us!

Remember your Windward days? Whether they were 50 years ago or last year, your time at Windward is part of our history, and we want you to share it with us.
 
 
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