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English Literature

The English Department at CATS Academy offer classes which develop the language and academic skills expected for admission to an American college or university. The department’s team of dedicated, highly trained English teachers offer personalized help and differentiated instruction to fit individual learning needs

Be your best at:

Academic writing

Critical thinking

Public speaking

English Literature

English Literature electives

English Skills

The English Skills course introduces students to literary terms and practices, enabling them to succeed in their future study of English Literature. The class builds a foundation for approaching academic writing and the close reading of texts. Texts may include Brown Girl

Dreaming and Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as fables, folktales, various short stories and poetry from authors such as Neil Gaiman, Richard Connell, Annie Proulx, Ethel Rohan, Raymond Carver, and Shel Silverstein.

 

Society and the Individual, Journeys, Independence, and Critical Lenses are offered at both the College Prep and Honors levels. Honors sections assume more background knowledge, move at a quicker pace, cover additional material, and expect students to work at a higher level relative to College Prep sections

Literature 1: Society and the Individual

The course provides freshman students with a comprehensive introduction to academic writing and literary analysis, beginning with a full review of syntax and grammar rules. The literary component of the class examines texts and identifies themes, which address the role of individual responsibility; and how to use literature as a lens through which you may better understand society and your role within the global community. Possible texts may include The Giver, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Literature 2: Journeys

This course examines characters’ physical, emotional, and spiritual journeys in literature. The course begins with essential vocabulary and a review of grammatical rules, then progresses to comprehension and textual analysis. Public speaking assignments give students the opportunity to practice their English speaking skills and develop confidence in their ability to engage a crowd of peers. Texts for this course include Romeo and Juliet, the Odyssey, Things Fall Apart, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Persepolis, and various short stories and poems.

Literature 3: Independence

This course examines the theme of independence by looking at universal ideas which incited The American Revolution or inspired Transcendentalism. Students work to create their own independence in writing projects, while developing critical thinking and analytical skills. Texts studied in this course may include The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, and a variety of shorter works by authors such as Dickinson, Thoreau, Emerson, and Poe.

Literature 4: Critical Lenses

This course focuses on analyzing literature through the critical lenses of feminism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. Students work on identifying and analyzing the reasons for an author’s choices and the effectiveness of various means of persuasion and on understanding how critical lenses are employed to interpret texts. Students work towards mastering the critical reading and writing skills necessary for university. Texts studied in this course may include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and shorter works by authors such as Keats, Shelley, Blake, and Orwell.

Creative Writing

We read poems and stories to find something in them that startles us, makes us more aware of the world we live in, makes us more aware of who we are, makes us more alive.  In Creative Writing, we read notable poems and stories from the 20th and 21st Centuries so we can learn from great writers’ examples and so we can enter this conversation with the world around us that has been going on for hundreds, even thousands of years.  We learn how to craft deeper poems than we have been able to write before by learning elements of form, image, voice, line, music, and mystery.  By learning such elements of fiction as character development, plot arc, conflict, and symbolism, we will shape stories that move us, surprise us, and transform us into different people than we were before we read them.  By the end of the course, students will have built a good-sized portfolio of works that shows their progress as writers, thinkers, and creators—works they’re proud of—so they can see where they’re going as artists and where they’ve been.  We will write poems and stories that shape the way we and others see the world. 

Social Justice Literature

Literature has long been used as a way of exploring and discussing issues of injustice and inequality. From the classic Of Mice and Men to the more modern The Hate U Give, literature gives voice to the voiceless and forces the reader to confront challenging issues of racism, sexism, classism, and how the issues that divide us are, all too frequently, the issues that matter most. In this class, students explore specific issues of social justice and diversity linked to Young Adult Novels that explore those topics in a meaningful way. Texts may include The Hate U Give, Turtles All the Way Down, and All American Boys. This course should leave students with the language to discuss these issues and the tools to question and confront their own preconceived notions and prejudices. 

Advanced Placement electives

AP Language and Composition

Prerequisites: Returning students: A- or higher in previous Honors British or Honors American Literature; a sample of analytical writing submitted to the English Department Chair; completion of significant summer assignment; approval of the previous instructor. New students: approval of English Department Chair based upon placement test scores and previous English grades.

The Advanced Placement (AP) course in English Language and Composition teaches students to become skilled readers of prose and skilled writers, who compose literature for a variety of purposes. They develop an awareness of a writer’s purpose, audience expectations, and genre conventions.

Faculty

Mallory Karlicek
English Department Chair
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Mallory Karlicek

English Department Chair

MA, English, Northern Arizona University
BS, Secondary Education English & Spanish

Mallory is an English literature teacher, working hard to foster students’ communication and critical thinking skills to prepare them for university. Prior to joining CATS Academy and moving to Boston, she taught multiple levels of English at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, AZ. Mallory has a BS in Secondary Education English and a minor in Spanish from Northern Arizona University. Inspired by her love of literature and desire to become the most effective teacher possible, she returned to NAU to earn a Master’s Degree in English.

Danielle Brown
English Teacher
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Danielle Brown

English Teacher

BA, English Adolescence Education, SUNY New Paltz
MA, English Literature,

As an English Literature teacher at CATS Academy Boston, Danielle passes on her passion for literature to students every day. She teaches Grade 11 Honors American Literature and Grade 12 British Literature. She is also a part-time dorm parent. Before coming to CATS, Danielle graduated as valedictorian from SUNY New Paltz, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in English Adolescence Education and a minor in Psychology. She went on to work in a wide-variety of education-related jobs such as college-level Composition Instructor, Writing Assistant for business undergraduates and graduates, content writer and researcher, and Communications and Data Coordinator for WISE Services while pursuing her Masters in English Literature. Her diverse experiences at the secondary and post-secondary level have prepared her to work with domestic and international students today.

Cheryl Gardner
English Literature Teacher
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Cheryl Gardner

English Literature Teacher

BA, English Literature, Stonehill College
MA, English Literature, Boston College

Prior to joining CATS Academy, Cheryl Gardner worked as a private tutor at The Fluency Factory in Cohasset, Massachusetts, specializing in literature, composition and test preparation. Before her role as a private tutor Cheryl taught Literature and Composition at Boston College. Cheryl has over twenty years’ experience as an educator, working with students to improve their comprehension and ability to respond to complex texts. Cheryl received her BA in English Literature from Stonehill College and her MA in English Literature from Boston College.

Sarah Leigh
English Literature Teacher
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Sarah Leigh

English Literature Teacher

BA, Theater, Pennsylvania State University
MAT, English Education, Boston University

Through the English Skills and World Literature courses, Sarah supports students as they explore important themes in literature, building their reading and writing skills and helping them master the intricacies of the English language. Prior to joining CATS, Sarah completed her Masters of Arts in Teaching with a dual license in English and ESL. She worked at Fenway High School, Boston, teaching 12th grade Humanities and 11th grade Advisory. Sarah received her BA in Theatre with honors from Pennsylvania State University, and her MAT in English Education from Boston University.

James O’Brien
Test Preparation &
English Teacher
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James O’Brien

Test Preparation &
English Teacher

BA, English Literature, Middlebury College

James O’Brien holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing from Middlebury College. Before returning to his home state of Massachusetts, James worked in both finance and test preparation in San Francisco, California. After working as an English teacher and Assistant Director of Communications at his high school alma mater, St. Sebastian’s, James joined CATS Academy in 2013. James teaches Test Prep, English Literature, and Creative Writing at CATS. He also coaches the boys varsity basketball team.

Jeremy Adams
English Teacher
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Jeremy Adams

English Teacher

BA, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University MAT, English Education, Boston University Jeremy Adams teaches World Literature for sophomores, ACT/SAT Prep. for juniors and seniors, and assists with the Global Scholars Program.   Prior to joining CATS Academy, Jeremy taught English for 10 years in Florida, Nevada, and his home state of Massachusetts. He gained his TEFL certification in 2017 so that he could teach ESL at several language schools. Jeremy received his B.A. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and worked as a freelance music critic from 2005-2014, writing for publications such as RollingStone.com, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, and Las Vegas Weekly. In time, however, he realized teaching and working with kids were his true callings, and he earned his M.A.T. in English Education from Boston University in 2012.

Michael Levine
English literature teacher
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Michael Levine

English literature teacher

MA in Creative Writing from Boston University
MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis
BA in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield
BA in Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Michael Levine brings 18 years of experience teaching English and Creative Writing to CATS Academy, where he is also Purple House Dean, a dorm parent, and the faculty advisor for The Griffin Review—the CATS Academy student literary magazine. Previously, he served as English faculty and 10th Grade Dean at Community School of Naples in Naples, Florida, of all places, and as English and Arts faculty at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA. Michael holds a BA in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, a BA in English from the University of Illinois—Springfield, an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, where he won an Academy of American Poets Prize. Michael has poems published in several notable journals, and was the 1997 Springfield, Illinois Poet of the Year. He is passionate about poetry and enjoys reading, writing, playing and listening to music, puns, going to museums, walking, and cooking and eating amazing food.

Mazen Makkouk
English literature teacher
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Mazen Makkouk

English literature teacher

PhD, Literature, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Mazen Makkouk is an English Literature teacher at CATS Academy. He has worked as an educator in many capacities and is passionate about helping young people discover and actualize their potential. He encourages his students to use their imagination to think about themselves and the world through reading literature. He has a PhD in Literature from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, as well as a BA and MA in English Literature and a Teaching Diploma from the American University of Beirut. Prior to his graduate studies at Notre Dame, Mazen worked as an English teacher at International College, Beirut, Lebanon.

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