On the Community

photo by Tony Armstrong
Diane Williams ’85

“I started at Charles Wright in my junior year of high school, and I found that while it was a unique experience with a rigorous curriculum, there was room to think outside of a linear format in some of the classes. The faculty not only embraced core academia, but also supported the creative talents and outlets for us as students. CWA planted not only the seed of dedication to the consistent hard work of learning, but also the freedom to explore. This helped prepare me for being an entrepreneur, which demands not only analytical thinking but also creative and nonlinear exploration, because quite clearly there are numerous ways to learn and to make a difference in the world.” – Diane Williams ’85, entrepreneur, New York City


photo by Scott Lewis
Andrew Evans ’05

“Teachers were incredibly supportive of outside passions and would help me find ways of bringing them into the classroom—or, at the very least, if not finding ways to help me bring them in, sure as heck not stopping me from bringing them in when I wanted to. I remember doing presentations in French class on French magicians, and I remember in eighth grade doing the mythology project with Tony Chursky—I was Hermes and he was the god of trickery, and I got to integrate magic into that presentation. Then, doing theater in high school, John Forier always managed to find ways to let me bring a little magic into the show. I remember we were doing Romeo and Juliet my senior year, and he let me have all these big explosions. I definitely set off multiple smoke alarms. That was kind of my legacy. If I was in a show, there was a smoke alarm that went off at some point. Charles Wright’s a place where tactical things, like small class sizes, but also more human things, like passionate teachers driven to give good experiences to students, combine to allow for a highly customized educational experience. I’m sure that sounds really good on paper, but I believe it to be true.” – Andrew Evans ’05, product designer and magician, San Francisco


photo by Briar Burt
Peter Schilling ’12

“My first day at CWA was November 6, 2000, as a first grader. The 16 years since then have seen my spending, on average, one out of every six hours of my life on campus. That factors in time away for college, summer vacations, weekends, and holidays. As I grew up here, the school itself also developed both tangibly and intangibly: I was one of the last students in the old Lower School as my dad and I gathered landscaping rocks over the summer before the building’s demolition, and I was one of the first students in the RACLAPAC during a TYC concert given for major donors before some of the walls were even put in. My life is inextricably affected by this institution and by many of you who will read this. Maybe I will return again in a capacity other than an alum and former employee, but for now I simply look forward to visiting on occasion. When I do, I will remember fondly the buildings, grounds, and those employees who remain from my tenure. And I will do my best to spread into the world the values and traits that make the CWA community what it is and have made me who I am.” – Peter Schilling ’12, engineer, Seattle