After earning a degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kristin Thompson Poelker ‘07 became a financial advisor and joined Renaissance Financial in the fall of 2011. In 2017, she became a certified financial planner. In addition to her work at Renaissance, Kristin has been recognized multiple times for her leadership and contributions to the St. Louis community. In 2013, she was inducted as a member of the Regional Business Council’s Young Professionals Network Leadership 100 and was selected to join the 2015-2016 class of the FOCUS Leadership St. Louis Program, where she joined other civic-minded business and nonprofit leaders from across the region in exploring issues such as economic development, education, social services, and the arts. In 2018, Kristin was recognized as a future leader in the area by being named a St. Louis Business Journal 30 Under 30 honoree.
Recognized locally and nationally for its exceptional college counseling, Whitfield's college counseling team mirrors the school's student-centered approach. We focus on students finding the collegiate experiences that will continue to challenge and support their academic and personal growth. Just as importantly, we help them navigate the application process.
Our process is the culmination of the Habits of Mind & Heart. Through a multi-year, individualized advising model, students are guided towards the collegiate experiences that will continue to challenge and support their academic and personal growth.
Like all departments at Whitfield, the college counseling program uses a spiraling curriculum. This curriculum introduces and develops the skills central to higher level executive function and decision-making. Skill development includes: self-awareness, planning, problem-solving, analysis of like entities, prioritization, organization, time management and effective communication.
Our goal is to make our students' college searches as smooth and stress-free as possible. Communication is crucial; we strive to maintain balanced communication between students, parents, and counselors. Our focus is on our students — helping them learn more about themselves so they can conduct thoughtful, thorough college searches.
The college process starts informally in sixth grade, becomes more detailed and strategic in the ninth and tenth grades, and evolves into a one-on-one student/parent/counselor partnership in eleventh and twelfth grades. Whitfield's two full-time college counselors typically work with 30-40 students each year.
Click here to learn more about the College Counseling program.
Shane joined Whitfield in 7th grade and graduated in 2011. At Washington University in St. Louis, he studied chemical engineering, computer science, and nanotechnology in the McKelvey School of Engineering. He graduated in 2015 with two Bachelor of Science degrees, summa cum laude, and a Master of Science in Computer Science. Shane's research in computational chemistry was published at the International Conference on Machine Learning and in the Journal of Chemical Physics. After interning at Microsoft in Seattle for two summers, Shane joined Google in early 2016, where he now works as a Senior Software Engineer in Internationalization Engineering. His work focuses on scaling technology to the next billion users. His team at Google is based in Mountain View, California and Zürich, Switzerland.
After Whitfield, Ryan Mango ‘09 attended Stanford University where he earned a B.S. in Human Biology in 2013. A decorated wrestler, while at Stanford, he was a two-time NCAA Div. 1 All-American, two-time Pac12 Champion, and four-time NCAA Div. 1 Qualifier. Currently, he is a Sergeant in the United States Army World Class Athlete Program. Ryan’s wrestling accomplishments are vast: he was a U.S. World Team Member in 2019, finishing 7th as the World Wrestling Championships, five-time National Team Member, Military World Silver Medalist (2017), two-time U.S. Open National Champion (2018, 2019), and Pan-American Games Champion (2018). He is also a Board Member of the Black Wrestling Association
Madison Walsh began attending Whitfield in 6th grade and graduated in 2017. She is currently a senior at the University of Louisville majoring in Political Science with a track in Law and Public Policy. Madison is also a member of Louisville’s fifth ranked Division 1 Field Hockey team.
After graduating from Whitfield in 2008, Shaun Vaid attended The George Washington University where he double-majored in economics and religion and minored in statistics. In the twelve years since graduation, he has held several roles in the medical field, in both St. Louis and Florida. Additionally, he has flexed his entrepreneurial muscles as an app designer and founder of CommuniCare+, a project that engages patient social circles to enhance chronic disease management. While earning an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis Shaun interned with Google and was offered a full-time finance position, which he accepted. He lives in St. Louis and works remotely.
Tim transferred to Whitfield as a sophomore and graduated in 1994. In addition to owning and managing his own construction company, Wright 11 located in Los Angeles, California, he is currently enrolled at Pepperdine University where he is working on a BSM and an MBA. His sister also attended Whitfield before the family moved to Colorado.
After graduating from Whitfield in 2004, Amanda attended St. Louis University and graduated with a bachelor’s of exercise science with a certificate in visual communications in 2008. In 2010, she earned her doctorate of physical therapy. After graduating from SLU, she joined St. Luke’s Hospital and has been an outpatient physical therapist there for almost ten years. She treats mostly general orthopedic diagnoses but also specialize in treating the oncology population. Eight years ago she helped to implement and develop a physical therapy-based oncology rehab program to help people during cancer treatments.
Amrita Nanda graduated from Whitfield in 2007. She went to the University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Medicine six-year combined undergraduate and medical school and graduated in 2013. She then did her residency in Emergency Medicine at Baylor Scott & White and Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine. Today, she is an Emergency Medicine physician in Dallas, Texas.
Amit Nanda graduated from Whitfield in 2011. He also attended the six-year combined undergraduate and medical school program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Medicine and graduated in 2017. Currently, he is a third year Internal Medicine resident at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, and is in the process of applying for a cardiology fellowships
Andrew Foglia graduated from Whitfield in 2005 with his triplet brothers Matt and Stephen. He majored in political science while at Davidson College (’09) and then attended Duke Law School (’13) on a full academic scholarship. After law school he clerked for a federal judge in the Southern District of New York and then for a judge on the Third Circuit. He currently works in New York City specializing in copyright litigation, defending tech and media companies.
Nick Funke graduated Whitfield in 2004, attended Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematical Economics in 2008. He currently owns and operates Stone Turtle Restaurant and Whiskey Bar in Dogtown, St. Louis (stoneturtlestl.com).
Jaspal Ricky Singh graduated from Whitfield in 1998. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at The George Washington University. Ricky was recently named Vice Chair and Director of Interventional Spine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
After graduating from Whitfield, Danielle attended Stanford University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in Organizations, Business and Sociology. She is a female futurist and serial entrepreneur who works on projects at the intersection of women, tech and social impact.
Caroline graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with a B.S. focused in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a minor in Psychology.
Kegan Fisher graduated from Whitfield in 2003 and went on to earn a Bachelors of Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute (New York, NY).
David Pepose graduated from Whitfield in 2004, followed by triplet younger siblings, Max, Sam, and Morissa Pepose, who graduated from Whitfield in 2013. After Whitfield, David attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., where he studied American history, creative writing, and theater.
Raj Bhuyan '86, our guest speaker at Commencement for the Class of 2018, has been active and engaged in the life of the school since his graduation. He served on Whitfield’s Board of Trustees from 2011-2017 and was the recipient of the Elizabeth Woods Bradbury Outstanding Alumni Award in 2015.
Scott ’98 and Kristen Deffaa ’99 Rhodes are one of our newest legacy families—their oldest child, J.R., is Whitfield Class of 2024.
Katie Harris '14 graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development. She accepted a job offer from Google and join the company as a Human Resources Associate.
Jay Gard ’08 graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Tulane University where he double majored in English and Film Studies. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, CA where he pursues his life-long passion for filmmaking.
Bis earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, an M.S. in clinical and health services research from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and B.S. in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College.