• Christopher Harrington

    Vassiliadis Family Chair in English
    858-569-7900 x 4409
  • Nancy Anderson-Bruno

    Teacher & Grade 10 Dean
    858-569-7900 x4159
  • Jared D'Onofrio

    858-569-7900 x 4197
  • Chris Glover

    858-569-7900 x 4209
  • Kristy Keith

    858-569-7900 x 4208
  • Rachel Krause

    858-569-7900 x 4214
  • Christopher McGrath

    Teacher, Assistant Coach - Sailing
    858-569-7900 x4202
  • Jeffrey Mezzocchi

    858-569-7900 x 4335
  • Ben Miller-Callihan

    858-569-7900 x 4162
  • Carol Obermeier

    858-569-7900 x 4200
  • Ninamarie Ochoa

    858-569-7900 x 4200
  • Katie Rosin

    858-569-7900 x 4165
  • Gretchen Taylor

    858-569-7900 x 4175

Select A Department


  • Advanced Journalistic Writing

    Advanced Journalistic Writing (10-12)
    Does not fulfill English graduation requirement Prerequisite: Departmental Approval
    This course will build on students' understanding of journalism basics ? journalistic ethics, interviewing, simple news and feature writing ? to move on to more advanced forms of reportage. Evaluation methodology includes peer evaluation of presentations and writing, as well as teacher assessment. Students may join The Scribe as a staff writer without having taken Introduction to Journalism, Photojournalism and Design. However, only students who have completed the intro course or attended a summer journalism program approved by the adviser will be eligible for editorial positions.
  • AP Language & Composition

    AP Language and Composition (11) - Weighted Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria
    This survey course examines representative poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction of all the main periods of American literature, from the Colonial period to the present day. Students will consider the broadest themes of the American experience, keeping a close eye on the how the chosen texts are reflective of the historical moments in which they are written. Many perspectives will be considered, from the traditional voices of American letters (such as Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Fitzgerald) to less well known voices speaking for entirely different perspectives (such as Zora Neale Hurston, Olaudah Equiano, Kate Chopin, Toni Morrison). The course will utilize a rich variety of texts to prepare students for the AP Language and Composition exam. Writing Emphasis: The writing component of this course builds on the strong analytical base of English 10. Students will continue to write analytical essays about literature, but they will also be introduced and reintroduced to modes of written expression that are specific to the exam: persuasion, synthesis, and stylistic analysis. One of the most important goals of the class is to help students increase their stylistic range as writers. The writing tasks of the course will send them in a number of directions, from analyzing the great works of American Literature to breaking down the dynamics of a particular prose style to imitating the style of a chosen author. Additionally, reflective works and practice college essays will push students toward finding and embracing their own voices as writers.
  • AP Literature & Composition

    AP Literature and Composition (12) - Weighted Prerequisite: Departmental approval
    AP Literature and Composition focuses on specific authors and movements within British literature, with the goal being to study major pieces of literature in significant depth. Within this study there will be intensive coverage of the Elizabethan theater and the changing nature of British literature from epic poetry to the Victorian novel and beyond. During the first trimester, the focus is on developing the voice of each individual student through personal writing drawn from the discussions of the literature. During the second trimester, the writing shifts towards more formal essays as the students focus more closely on literary analysis. This course is taught in a seminar format. The students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the texts with the instructor and hold conflicting views in an effort to explore the ideas of their classmates. Evaluation is based upon participation in seminar, presentations, essays, and respect for the views of others.
  • Creative Writing

    Creative Writing (9-12)
    Does not fulfill English graduation requirement
    In this full-year workshop students will write a good deal of fiction, poetry, and drama, and critique that of their peers. Reading in each of the genres will provide a guide for student work, but will be far less extensive than in a traditional English course. The emphasis will remain always on the students' own work and revision, culminating in public readings and submission to various literary magazines and contests.
  • English 10

    English 10
    The course will emphasize works from other cultures and other worlds in order to help broaden students? perspectives and cultivate an appreciation for the global human experience. The texts of the course — a wide selection of novels, drama, and poetry — will be studied for their internal value as works of art and as windows into the larger historical circumstances in which they were created. Ultimately, the course is designed to help students foster a lifelong love of literature and embrace the rich powers that stem from reading and writing. The discussion-based format of the class will emphasize informed listening and respectful engagement, as students will be strongly encouraged to develop and articulate their own unique points of view. Writing Emphasis: The writing component of the course is directed principally toward thesis-driven argumentation and academic scholarship. As they engage a wide variety of challenging texts, students are asked to develop, articulate, support and sustain original and analytical interpretations of the text. Special emphasis is placed on structure, organization, and appropriate use of textual support. As they investigate specific works in depth, students are encouraged to explore the world of ideas and search for deeper and more nuanced structures of meaning. In addition to academic writing, students will also engage the rich texts of the course through creative works, imitative assignments, and a variety of reflective essays.
  • English 11

    English 11
    Students in this survey course will read a wide variety of representative poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction of all the main periods of American literature. Special emphasis will be placed on inclusiveness, as a wide variety of voices and perspectives will be encountered, from Native American storytelling to classic novels to contemporary poetry. The breadth of the curriculum will lead students to view literature as a window into the larger ideas and themes that are unique to the American experience. This discussion-based course is designed to build on the independent thinking skills honed in 9th and 10th grade, and help students build on their skills as informed listeners, independent thinkers, and effective writers. Writing Emphasis: Students will continue to write analytical essays about literature, but they will also be introduced and reintroduced to other modes of written expression: persuasion, synthesis, comparison and reflection. Assignments will vary, but all will push students toward thinking independently, reading the text closely and carefully, and writing with passion and purpose. Additionally, reflective works and practice college essays will push students toward finding and embracing their own voices as writers.
  • English 12

    English 12
    The focus of this course is to connect the themes and meanings of contemporary and classic literature to life as we know it. The year will start off with a heavy focus on writing the college essay and encouraging each student to find his/her voice. Portfolio work will be the crux of the class; the students will graduate in June with a year?s worth of writing as a ?file? to have as they embark upon writing in college. Reading will include anything from nonfiction to memoir to fiction to the latest New York Times best seller. The reading workshop will follow a seminar format with an emphasis on theme and personal connections, with students leading the discussion as a way to embrace and reflect upon the works at hand. The writer?s workshop will follow suit; there will be writing groups and peer analysis and all will contribute to the writing portfolio. Ultimately, this course is geared to challenge and excite even the most reluctant readers and writers all the while building confidence and promoting a passion for lifelong reading, writing, and learning.
  • English 9

    English 9
    This course serves as an introduction to the study of literature and high school writing. Utilizing a wide variety of representative, age-appropriate texts, from classical works to Shakespearean plays to contemporary fiction and poetry, the English 9 curriculum takes freshman on a journey toward growth, confidence, maturity, and increased self-knowledge. The core texts, and the additional works chosen by the specific instructor, are used as catalysts for both class discussion and written reflection. As the year progresses, the course targets specific skills in areas that will be valuable to students not only in future English courses but also in a variety of courses across the curriculum: critical reading, informed listening, analytical thinking, oral communication and clear and elegant writing. In a broader sense, the course is designed to encourage and inspire students to take the first steps toward intellectual independence. Writing Emphasis: The overarching goal of the writing component for English 9 is preparation for high school writing. As a result writing tasks are many and various. Students write both formally and informally: personal narratives or poems, analytical or persuasive essays, short journal entries, casual notes, memos, tweets, and everything in between. In addition to preparing freshmen for future writing challenges, the wide variety of assignments serves to push them away from the security of formulaic writing and toward written expression that demonstrates independence, creativity, originality, and a true personal voice. The course also covers and reviews the fundamentals of proper citation form, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and usage.
  • Honors English 12 - Literature on Cultural Turn

    Literature on the Cultural Turn in America:  from the 1950s to the 1960s  (12) - Weighted
    Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria 
    Literature on the Cultural Turn in America: from the 1950s to the 1960s The idea for this class came from the realization that a number of culturally significant books were written in the same year: 1961. One Flew Over the Cuckoo?s Nest, The Bell Jar, Revolutionary Road, Travels With Charley? all were being written in the same cultural and social environment, all were imagined and created at a volatile transition point in the cultural history of the United States, and all wrestle with the changes that were occurring in political, social, cultural, and deeply personal ways. When Chief Bromden hurls the control panel through the window of the mental hospital at the end of Cuckoo?s Nest, one world crashes loudly and violently into another: freedom vs. control, rebellion vs. authority, the individual vs. the machine, all of the great conflicts that define this era. The goal of the class is to freeze Chief mid hurl -- and investigate the various aspects of the scene. What makes up the ?machine?? Why does it work so efficiently? What are the human costs of its efficient operation? Who is challenging the machine and why? What does it take to stand up to its unrelenting power? How is the challenge different if we change Chief into an African American? Or a woman instead of a man? A rallying cry of the 1960s was ?Down with the Man!? -- but who was this Man? why did he need to be brought down? What did it take to bring him down? The class is about neither the 50s nor the 60s, but, rather, the space between the two, the crossroads between the the homogeneity of one era and the radical challenges of another. Some texts include Goodbye, Columbus (Philip Roth), The Beat Reader, The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath), Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates), Going to Meet the Man (James Baldwin), and a wide array of shorter works.
  • Honors English 12 - Literature Through the Looking Glass

    Literature Through the Looking Glass: Adaptation and Other Kinds of Fan Fiction  (12) - Weighted
    Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria 
    Leo Tolstoy allegedly said that “all great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” In this class, we'll explore the ways in which writers both ancient and modern have taken these journeys and strangers and made them their own. As we look at “core” stories like the hero/heroine’s journey and a wide range of other texts, we’ll explore how writers co-opt and remix other narratives, as well as how and why they create fan fiction and other adaptations. Course themes will include feminism, colonialism and post-colonialism, as well as religion, myth, and morality. We'll spend time with questions such as: why do some stories (like Pride and Prejudice or Romeo and Juliet) become cultural touchstones that are told and retold? What does it mean for a writer with less cultural/socioeconomic power to reframe and retell a “canonical” story about a less-privileged person? How far afield can a "fanfic" get from the source material before it's a wholly original work? And what's with all the Shakespeare updates? Texts may include: Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, Milton’s Paradise Lost (Books 1-4), Celtic fairy tales, selected readings from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Virgil’s The Aeneid, multiple tellings of the Orpheus myth, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Media resources will include sites like tvtropes.org, as well as film, television, and vlog interpretations of key texts. We will also revisit texts from your Parker English career in order to place them in a larger cultural framework. In addition to critical responses to the readings, there will also be a substantial creative writing component in which students will workshop techniques such as canon extension, divergent timelines, POV shifts, and alternate universes.
  • Honors English 12 - Philosophy & Literature

    Philosophy & Literature  (12) - Weighted
    Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria
    In the preface to the second edition of Birth of Tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche writes about the question mark placed upon the value of existence. In the face of suffering and the human experience, how do human beings respond in ways that are meaningful? His book is an attempt to answer that question in a particular way, but the true answers linger on the pages of great literature. This course will explore some of the classics of Western philosophy: writings from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. We will explore how many of the fundamental questions of philosophy (reality, knowledge, meaningful living, beauty, and love) emerge in the works of literature as well as in contemporary film. Texts will include Shakespeare’s King Lear, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground and Crime and Punishment (and other texts from 19th century Russian literature), Sartre’s No Exit, as well as shorter works by Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, and Ursula LeGuin, among others. In addition to the readings, students will engage in creative and philosophical writing of their own from personal philosophical investigations to original short stories. Lastly, we will explore how many of these philosophical questions emerge in modern cinema, both documentary and feature films.
  • Honors English 12 - Serious Laughter: Parody & Satire

    Serious Laughter: Parody, Satire, & Other Forms of Literary Humor From Aesop to Austen, from Voltaire to Vonnegut, from Jonathan Swift to George Saunders, through every age and in every culture writers have used humor to explore some of the most serious and important themes and questions we face. This course will examine the various modes and degrees of humor authors have employed, the trouble they've gotten into (and in some cases avoided) by employing it, and the reasons some of it is still hilarious while some of it seemed dated within a single generation. We'll read plays, poems, short stories and novels, and even consider how and where television and the movies fit in the tradition by watching some obvious, riotous descendants of our texts. Along the way we'll be looking at some "serious" literature that was the basis for parody and satire. Texts will range from short Native American legends all the way to substantial portions of Don Quixote, from essays by Dorothy Parker to songs by Randy Newman, from a Moliˆre play to sketches from Key & Peele. No sense of humor required?you'll have one by the end of the course, and you'll also know how to take it all quite seriously. Likely texts: Aristophanes, Lysistrata; Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Voltaire, Candide; Moliˆre, The Bourgeois Gentleman; Heller, Catch-22; Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; Austen, Sense and Sensibility; Allen, Bananas; Beatty, Bulworth, and many more.
  • Honors English 12 - The Literature of War

    The Literature of War (12) - Weighted
    Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria
    The Literature of War In 1932, the League of Nations asked Albert Einstein to choose a problem of interest to him and to exchange views with someone about it. Einstein chose ?Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war?? as his problem and Sigmund Freud as his correspondent. In The Literature of War course, we shall begin with their exchange of letters on ?Why War?? Topics covered included the following: Was everyone susceptible to feelings of hate? Must right always be supported by might? Why are men eager to go to war and sacrifice their lives? If you think about it, The Literature of War is a counterintuitive concept in that beauty and truth emerge from atrocity and barbarism. This course examines the way heroism and morality can sometimes be confused and not readily apparent. It is also about the resilience of the human spirit, but also the unfathomable human tendency towards evil. Students will examine works from the Peloponnesian War to the Thirty Years? War of 1618-1648 to the Civil War to World War II narratives to a Gulag in what used to be called The Soviet Union to the Vietnam Conflict (police action) to the Islamic Revolution and, finally, to the Iraqi ?not-ever-declared? war. Poetry, art, and film will provide further understanding of what constitutes destruction of life and spirit. Sometimes the course will seem to be about horror; other times, intense sadness but, at bottom, it is a course about survival and salvation.
  • Honors English 12 - Utopias and Dystopias

    Utopias and Dystopias: Literature of Power and Possibility  (12) - Weighted
    Prerequisite: Satisfaction of Departmental Criteria
    In 1516, Sir Thomas More offered up a “perfect” society governed completely by reason and free of greed: his Utopia took its name from the Greek prefix ou meaning “no” and the word topos meaning “place.”  It seems that even the author of this imagined universe had little hope that real people would ever achieve such an existence.  Five hundred years after Utopia, authors, artists, and activists continue to use imagined worlds to offer up criticisms and dire warnings about their own societies.  In the modern era, most of these worlds are distinctly uninviting, distinctly dystopian.  From Tolkien to Huxley, Orwell to Atwood, fiction and fantasy somehow manage to be our most accurate mirrors, and, in some cases, our most prophetic parables. In this course, we will confront questions of identity, oppression and power.  What is the difference between having freedom to and freedom from? What does it mean to be a hero in a dystopian world, and who gets to play that role?  Who gets left out of a “perfect” society and what does this perfection cost?  Why are titles like 1984 and Brave New World selling out on Amazon well into the 21st century?  We will also examine the ever-evolving sub-genres of dystopian fiction, including environmental and digitized dystopias as well as the philosophies that underpin these authors’ visions.  Because dystopian novels exist to challenge cultural norms, trends and values, this course will do the same.  Possible texts include Utopia by Thomas More, 1984 by George Orwell, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, California by Edan Lepuki, The Circle by Dave Eggers, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, as well as an array of short fiction and contemporary issue informational texts.
  • Intro to Journalistic Writing

    Intro to Journalistic Writing (9-12) Does not fulfill English graduation requirement This course will develop students' understanding of journalism basics ? journalistic ethics, interviewing, simple news and feature writing ? to move on to more advanced forms of reportage. Evaluation methodology includes peer evaluation of presentations and writing, as well as teacher assessment.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900