English Department Faculty Feature

Challenging students to not just read and write about literature but to immerse themselves in their work.

By Mrs. Laura Cunningham
English Teacher
September 2021

Saint Joseph's is an incredible destination for students seeking to ready themselves for the rigors of college academics. The English Department at Saint Joe's prides itself on challenging students to not just read and write about literature but to immerse themselves in their work. To apply it on a personal level so that it resonates beyond just the superficial level.

The English department adheres to enduring understandings that serve as the foundation of their courses which allows students to create meaningful connections among course concepts. They are the joining threads that run throughout the courses and revisiting them and applying them in a variety of contexts helps students to develop deeper conceptual understanding. And the department rocks!

Advanced Placement Courses
Students in their junior and senior years have the opportunity to enroll in an Advanced Placement English course. Mrs. Cunningham offered AP Language and Composition for the first time in the 2020-2021 school year. Students were tasked with taking a rigorous AP exam at the end of the school year consisting of three hand-written essays and a number of multiple choice questions aimed at assessing their ability to analyze Literature. In order to potentially earn college credit for the course, students needed to earn a minimum of a 3 as a qualifying score on the AP exam. 57% of students around the globe that took the AP Language and Composition exam earned a qualifying score. 100% of the Saint Joseph's AP Language and Composition students that took the 2020-2021 exam earned a qualifying score. Five students earned the highest score possible on the exam. These statistics are a direct reflection to the hard work and dedication Saint Joseph's students put into the AP Language and Composition course!

Writing Portfolios
Freshmen and sophomores will begin compiling a writing portfolio from coursework completed in their English class. This collection of writing will help demonstrate a writer’s development through improvement and achievements. Throughout the school year, students will reflect on their work and be able to measure progress, which may improve their ability to evaluate their own work. Artifacts will include essays, projects, and journals from each of their freshman and sophomore year, and ideally continue to grow with them throughout their junior and senior year.


Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118