Check out the New 2014-15 English Electives!

For the 2014-15 school year, the English Department is unveiling two new electives:

Introduction to Film and Media Studies – which is a course that explores how we can read and better understand movies, television, and print advertising.
Writing and Reading Lab – which is a course that students can take to help improve their writing and reading skills, regardless of the grade or the level of the student

For more information, check out their course descriptions!

NB: The Intro to Film class will replace our Media Production classes at BHS, which we will no longer be offering. Students who have taken the Media Production course are eligible to take the Intro to Film class next year.


Congratulations, Pranav Menon! 2014 Poetry Out Loud Champion!

Congratulations to Pranav Menon whose two excellent poetry recitations today earned him the right to represent Burlington in the Massachusetts State Semifinals in Poetry Out Loud! This is Pranav’s second time winning the Poetry Out Loud title at BHS, which he also won in 2012. That, combined with his second-place performance in the 2013 competition, makes him the most successful performer in the eight-year history of our program!

Congratulations also to Kylie Scott, for earning the runner-up position, and to Michael Seleman and Timmy Sullivan, who came in tied for third place this year. Great job!

And here are some photographs from the final round today – congratulations to all of our finalists!

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2014 Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Choice Awards

2014 Teachers ChoiceFor the past 4 years, as a part of our Poetry Out Loud competition, we have offered the Teacher’s Choice Awards in the semifinal round. With this award, each English teacher selects one performance that did not advance to the finals that stood out for whatever reason – perseverance, unacknowledged greatness, stepping up big, or breaking through a personal barrier. This allows us to bring a little more attention to the numerous other successes that we see every year in our semifinals. Please see our write-ups in the English hall (pictured above) for a brief explanation from each teacher. Winners receive a $10 gift card to True North Coffee.

And now, CONGRATULATIONS to our winners!

2014 Recipients
From Mrs. Bernard – Lenny Thelusma
From Ms. Bularzik – Sana Rana
From Ms. Coppola – Erin Savage
From Mrs. Crossman – Rosemary Nabukeera
From Mr. Feinsilver – Ashwini Kulkarni
From Mrs. Ford – Chenaniah Errisson-Johnson
From Ms. Graham – Dan Pais
From Mrs. Janovitz – Laura Frustaci
From Mr. Lally – Fiona Maxwell
From Mrs. McKee – Ryan Murphy
From Ms. Netishen – Tyler Gaffey
From Ms. Roberts – Crystal Curran
From Mrs. Rose – Angel Vargas
From Ms. Stuart – Laura Schissler
2014 Departmental – Joseph Kim

Sneak Preview of Cover Art for 2014-15 Textbooks

With the Collab Art Contest completed, we’re very pleased to offer this advanced look at the covers for our British Literature and American Literature textbooks, featuring the artwork of Anne Zhang and Elise Cimino, respectively. Next year’s textbooks look to feature some new stories and units that we’ve never included in these texts before. But more on that later… Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 7.27.00 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 7.27.29 PM

Good Luck with Midterms!

Good luck to BHS students as they begin midterm week! Just a reminder, if the winter weather causes a cancellation, our exam schedule gets bumped back a day – we still go through the midterms in the same order, and Monday would become an exam day for period 7, and the second half electives would begin on Tuesday.

Full List of Top-Three Performances Per Period in POL Semifinals

Top Performers in the 2014 Poetry Out Loud Competition


Michael Seleman
Advice to a Prophet
by Richard Wilbur

2nd Place
Nikhil Thakkar
The Pomegranate and the Big Crowd

3rd Place
Isha Mehta
To an Athlete Dying Young


Brooke Hindle
For the young who want to
by Marge Piercy

2nd Place
Erin Hardy

3rd Place
Kevin McGrath


Pranav Menon
Ode to the Midwest
by Kevin Young

2nd Place
Dora Kadish
Adam’s Curse

3rd Place
Mikenna Mattson
every single day


Alex Heisler
by Paisley Rekdal

2nd Place 
Havanah Becker
Through a Glass Eye, Lightly

3rd Place
Joseph Kim
Abandoned Farmhouse


Tim Sullivan
The Legend
by Garrett Hongo

2nd Place 
Sam Kakullavarapu

3rd Place 
Shabina Wigneswaran
Amor Mundi


Praveen Menon
After working sixty hours again for what reason
by Bob Hicok

2nd Place 
Brianna LoRusso
More Lies

3rd Place
Emma Saltsman
I am the People, the Mob


Sarah Horwitz
And Soul
by Eavan Boland

2nd Place
Sestina: Like
by A.E. Stallings

3rd Place
Erin Savage
A History Without Suffering

2014 Poetry Out Loud Finalists – Congratulations!

After a long day, and over 100 poems recited on our stage during another impressive semifinal round, we now have our top 8 performers, who will compete on January 29th to become the 2014 Poetry Out Loud winner:

(In alphabetical order)
Alex Heisler
Brooke Hindle
Sarah Horwitz
Pranav Menon
Praveen Menon
Kylie Scott
Michael Seleman
Tim Sullivan

This year’s finals mark the first time two siblings will be competing against one another in our finals. It also marks only the second time in our eight years that we’ve had a three-time finalist – Pranav Menon has made it to the finals for the third straight year.

Congratulations to our eight finalists! You did a great job!

Stay tuned for a complete list of the top three poems per period, as well as the list of our Teacher’s Choice Awards.