Teach students critical reading, writing, and thinking skills
Provide students with the skills necessary to excel in secondary education environments
Create effective communicators, readers, and writers
3 Advanced Placement courses, 6 college prep and gifted courses, and 8 electives offered
Department chair: Jillian Bowen
“There are some of us that feel like culture is really, really important, others who want [the students] to get life lessons,” Bowen said. “But I think it’s that diversity and that mix that really make it work because [it] … gives life to the department and makes things more interesting rather than we all share the exact same philosophy.”
In order to graduate, Starr’s Mill students must have four English credits by the end of their senior year. This includes college prep, gifted, or advanced placement English courses at Starr’s Mill and dual enrollment courses at Clayton State.
“The reason we all went into [English] is because we know literature can express things and find commonalities that you don’t ordinarily get,” Bowen said.
The Starr’s Mill English department also currently offers eight electives, including Advanced Placement Art History. Students have a variety of English electives to choose from such as journalism and creative writing courses, speech, debate, an SAT prep class, and/or a Literature and History of the Bible course.
“[Our goal is to show students English] is really [understanding] that great literature is great because it reflects life, the struggles, the joys, those are all timeless and placeless,” Bowen said. “People have been laughing and crying the same way since humankind began.”