English Department


Samantha Ager - Resource Teacher, English
-- Phone: 240-740-1381 
-- Honors English 11, Honors English 12

Sarah Bastien - Honors English 9

Kathryn Buckley - Honors English 11

Dr. Omari Daniel- AP Language and Composition, Honors English 11, Creative Writing

Ms. Heather Emory-- Honors English 12, TV Production

Ms. Stephanie Goyne- Honors English 12

Mr. Jason Harlow- Honors English 11

Ms. Katherine Healy- Honors English 9, Honors English 12

Michael Kelley - Ap Lang and Composition, Myth and Modern Culture, Intro to Film Study, Speech and Debate

Ms. Sylvia Kim- Honors English 10, AP English Literature and Composition

Angela Lucey - Honors English 9, Yearbook

Mr. Matthew MacLeod- Honors English 10

Laura Manoukian - Honors English 9, Theater

Mr. Jeff O'Toole- Honors English 9, Journalism

Ms. Monica Saxton- Honors English 10, AP English Literature & Composition


English Composition Assistants:

Ms. Gail Viechnicki

Mr. Robel Bing


Academic Resource available at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room A103

Visit our website: https://tinyurl.com/mr3n6zuj

Follow us on Instagram: @blakewritingcenter  https://linktr.ee/blakewritingcenter


Summer Reading 2023

Grade 9        English 9 Summer Reading 2023.pdf  

Grade 10      English 10 Summer Reading 2023.pdf      

Grade 11      English 11 Summer Reading 2023.pdf

Grade 12      English 12 Summer Reading 2023.pdf

AP Lang       AP Lang Letter from Birmingham Jail.pdf

    AP Lang Summer Reading 2023.pdf

AP Lit          AP Lit summer reading - Poetry 2023.pdf

Kevin Keegan Excellence in Journalism Scholarship

Alumnus and Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko highlighted the Kevin Keegan Excellence in Journalism Scholarship to honor his mentor, retired Blake Journalism teacher Kevin Keegan. The award recognizes the outstanding members of the Blake Beat staff. This year Klemko was joined by several other Keegan alumni in funding this prize.
To learn more about the scholarship, or to donate, please click here.

Required Courses

Elective Courses


English 9

As students make the transition into high school, English 9 guides students as they continue to refine specific skills and strategies in writing, speaking, reading, viewing, and listening through the study of language and literature. Students can take English 9 at the honors level.

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English 10

English 10 steers students to the ways readers and writers use the power of language to tell stories and exchange ideas. Students read each text as an invitation to dialogue—and even argument—rather than the last word. Throughout the year, students write in different modes for different purposes, with opportunities to practice writing in the genres they study. Students can take English 10 at the honors level.

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English 11

The theme of English 11 is “Rhetoric in a Literate Society.” Students learn to write clearly, to read and view critically, to speak thoughtfully, and to listen carefully. Students use language and literature to gain insight and to engage meaningfully in the cultural conversation and in the conversations of their own lives. Students can take the course at the honors level.

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English 11 or English 12 Advance Placement Language and Composition

Advanced Placement Language and Composition is for highly motivated 11th or 12th grade students who wish to read complex texts with understanding, and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. At the end of the course students are prepared to take the annual Advanced Placement Examination, and may receive college English credit or advanced, preferential placement in college English.

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English 12

With a focus on world literature, both classic and contemporary, students study texts from different genres and discuss why literature continues to matter. Students study films, magazines, and newspapers, and complete mandatory common tasks. Common tasks focus primarily on developing practical and persuasive forms of communication, such as a college application essay. Instruction in reading and writing strategies, grammar and vocabulary are integrated in every unit. Students may take English 12 at the honors level.

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English 12 Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

Advance Placement Literature and Composition. Very motivated 12th-grade students may elect this freshman college-level course as their required 12th grade English course. Students deepen their understanding of how literature communicates meaning through form and content by reading and discussing work representative of dominant literary genres and themes. Students increase their precision in thought and expression by applying methods of literary analysis. At the end of the course students are prepared to take the annual Advanced Placement Examination and may receive college English credit or advanced preferential placement in college English.

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Creative Writing or Advanced Creative Writing

Students receive guided instruction in poetry, short stories, and drama, and learn the conventions of each of these three genres. Frequent teacher-student and peer conferences are a part of the class routine. As a culminating activity, students may elect one genre in which to refine their skills and to present a finished work to the class. Students will also have a chance to share and publish what they have written in a variety of forums, such as readers' theatre, the school literary magazine and web page, and opportunities outside the school setting.

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Film Studies

Students will analyze films that have received critical acclaim and those that have been popular with the American viewing audience. They will view clips and entire movies, analyzing genre, directorial style, and a film’s place within the history of American cinema as a whole.

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Modern Myth & Culture

This course introduces students to the mythological stories of Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, and the Americas. Students will explore the similarities and the differences among creation myths, gods and goddesses, the afterlife, and heroes. Students will use novels, plays, short stories, films, and poems as texts to analyze the purpose of mythology and the impact of mythology on art, literature, and culture. All students will have the opportunity to incorporate art, film, research, and creative writing into assignments. As a culminating assignment, students will write their own modern myths.

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College Test (SAT, ACT) Preparation

College Test Preparation is designed for juniors who wish to improve their verbal and math skills in preparation for taking the SAT or the ACT. Students review algebra and geometry concepts to enhance their mathematical problem-solving skills. Students learn to recognize and evaluate unique features of a variety of reading materials to increase their comprehension and reading efficiency. Students acquire strategies for improving, writing, and test-taking skills related to the SAT and ACT.

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Speech & Debate

Students interested in debate, argument, public speaking, or greater self-confidence will enjoy this course. Students will improve their communication and listening skills through a variety of creative projects and performances, including puppet shows, debate tournaments, award ceremonies, and mock court cases. Students with experience in public speaking and students who are nervous to stand in front of a class are encouraged to participate.

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Journalism 1

This basic journalism course is recommended for all students interested in working on school publications and is required for those seeking editorial positions. Students develop skills in gathering and reporting news, editing, copy reading, and headlining. Students also consider issues such as the responsibilities of the press, libel and slander laws, problems of censorship, and the role of the news media in shaping public opinion. Students study the principles of newspaper layout and makeup and are encouraged to contribute stories and apply layout principles to the school newspaper production.

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Journalism 2

This course emphasizes the interpretive nature of media. Students examine the similarities and differences of newspaper, news magazine, television, and radio; analyze the unique manner in which each explains and interprets current events; and consider the relative importance of each. Students learn research techniques essential to in-depth reporting and write investigative and interpretative stories. As students continue, they learn the techniques and knowledge needed to produce and manage school newspapers. The course provides instruction in all aspects and phases of publications planning, including editing, layout, advertising, and budget.

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Students address the techniques and knowledge needed to produce and manage the school yearbook. The course has five broad purposes: (1) to provide instruction and practice in all aspects and phases of publications planning; (2) to develop the skills and understanding required to edit the school yearbook; (3) to consider appropriate laws and guidelines for publications; (4) to explore the elements of yearbook layout; and (5) to provide training and practice in handling the budgeting, advertising, and sales aspects of publications management. Teacher recommendation/application required.
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