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Kate Cunnane

Job Title:

English Department Chair & Teacher




Phone: (510) 577-9100



Started at O'Dowd:



BA in English from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN<br /><br />MA in Education from University of California, Berkeley, in the Multicultural Urban Secondary English (MUSE) Program

Originally from:

Stoughton, MA

Why I Teach:

I love the energy of the classroom, and it's an honor to introduce students to excellent books and to help them dig into the big ideas. Because reading and writing are such personal endeavors, being an English teacher is a wonderful job because I get to know who my students are through their papers and conversations. Plus, I love working with young people-- the humor, the surprises, the fun.

Most powerful teaching technique:

I put a strong emphasis on writing revision and writing conferences, seeing each student as having unique gifts in writing and also unique places to develop.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

I think the books we read as teenagers have a stronger impact on us than at any other time in life. What an opportunity to read about important issues and to find ourselves, or who we want to be, in literature.

Favorite quotes:

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." -Zora Neale Hurston, from Their Eyes Were Watching God<br /><br />"And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us, but which we cherish. And what we see is our life moving like that...believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things." -Mary Oliver, "Coming Home"

Favorite trivia:

Recommended visual media:

Recommended reads:

Sula by Toni Morrison The Collected Poetry of Stanley Kunitz

Hobbies or outside interests:

Reading (of course!), baking too many cookies, and hanging out with my family and neighbors

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