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Learning About Ourselves to Create a Better World

Our rich program of reading and writing draws on history’s greatest thinkers. With a focus on the humanities, students engage with a broad range of texts that address the challenges of modern life - from poetry and prose, to fiction and nonfiction, as well as classic and contemporary works. Students can also participate in academic co-curriculars, including the student newspaper, our literary & art magazine, and yearbook.


The liberal arts broaden perspectives, develop critical thinking, and equip students to make a difference in their communities.

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Eng121: 9th Grade English

This course guides students to grapple with thought-provoking texts that all ask the same question: how do I stand up for what I believe?

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Eng525: Identity and Literature

Students examine articulation of the “self,” or one’s own voice, inclusion, and the social and political issues and moral responsibilities associated with identity.

ENG454: Writing II: Argument and Persuasion

Students read influential, contemporary nonfiction essays and learn to use rhetoric - the art of persuasion - to make social and cultural change.


Academic Co-Curriculars


AP English Pass Rate


Increase In AP English Students Since 2017

English 1 at O’Dowd:
Foundations for College Success


Our English Department has designed an introductory 9th grade curriculum with the goal of encouraging more students to pursue Honors and AP courses. With a focus on our Charism call to Strength of Character, students begin a journey of becoming lifelong readers, writers and thinkers.

English 1 at O'Dowd
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English Faculty
Kate Cunnane, Department Chair

Originally from Massachusetts, Kate has been with O’Dowd since 2016. She earned her BA in English from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and her MA Education from UC Berkeley. She believes the books we read as young people make the strongest impact, giving students the opportunity to engage with important issues and discover who they want to be. 

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