BHS English Student of the Month (October): Joe Barbieri

Starting this year, the BHS English Department will highlight a student of the month to recognize a student’s efforts and accomplishments in his or her English class. We are pleased to announce our October winner, Joe Barbieri.


Congratulations, Joe!

Joe is a sophomore in an honors Introduction to Literature class, and he is also enrolled in Journalism II. We asked both of his English teachers to weigh in on his performance.

From Mrs. McKee (sophomore English): One of Joe’s many strengths in Sophomore English is his versatility; he approaches all assignments (seminar, writing, quizzes) with the same degree of sedulousness.  Joe began the year with an A in his summer reading assignments, and has sustained this level of achievement throughout term one.   He has strong convictions and isn’t afraid to take a stand for what he believes in.  Joe accomplishes all this while being consistently affable and maintaining a serene demeanor.

From Ms. Graham (Journalism): This year is Joe Barbieri’s second year serving as a staff writer on the school newspaper The Devil’s Advocate. He will also be taking on the role of editor of the opinion section this year. His work ethic and thoughtfulness made him an excellent candidate for the position.

Congratulations, Joe!

Paul Beatty becomes first American author to win the Booker Prize

Paul Beatty today was awarded the 2016 Man Booker Prize for his novel, “The Sellout,” a satire about race relations in the 21st century. With this prize, Beatty becomes the first American author to win the prestigious award. Up until 2014, this award was only eligible to authors from the UK, or former British colonial nations (Australia, Ireland, Canada, much of southeast Africa, India, etc).

Beatty’s novel follows the life of a protagonist who is only ever named as “Me” who is nearly broken by the confines of his hometown of Dickens, a Los Angeles suburb that has become a sort of forgotten shantytown for black Americans. After witnessing an act of violence perpetrated by the LAPD, he begins his quest to save his town by reintroducing segregation and slavery. His mission takes him all the way to the United Stated Supreme Court (who has to hold a hearing on a trial absurdly named “Me v. The United States of America”) The book is a viciously funny commentary on the weighty and contemporary issues of racial unrest and injustice in America. Highly recommended!

The 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature is… Bob Dylan?

In a surprising announcement today, the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Bob Dylan, American singer and songwriter. The selection is unusual and controversial both because this is the first time a songwriter has ever earned this award, and because of how relatively rare it is for an American to win this award. Until today, there had been only eight American winners:

US Nobel laureates in literature

Sinclair Lewis, 1930
Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, 1936
Pearl Buck, 1938
TS Eliot, 1948
William Faulkner, 1949
Ernest Miller Hemingway, 1954
John Steinbeck, 1962
Toni Morrison, 1993

For more details of this surprising announcement, including responses from within the literary world, CLICK HERE

Helen Creeley Poetry Contest for H.S. Students: Top Prize = $100

Another local poetry competition for high school students is calling for submissions; the Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize is calling for students to submit their own original poems for consideration. Students need to submit THREE original poems, and the top prize will win $100 and will be the opening speaker at a poetry event in March. For details on how to submit, see the flyer below, which is also posted in the English hallway.

The deadline for submissions is JANUARY 15. GOOD LUCK POETS!

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BHS English Student of the Month (September): Jessica Sarver

Starting this year, the BHS English Department will highlight a student of the month to recognize a student’s efforts and accomplishments in his or her English class. We are pleased to announce our first recipient of this honor, senior Jessica Sarver.

Senior year is off to a good start for Jessica, a senior in Mrs. Lee’s period 7 English class. She is a hardworking, outgoing, and highly motivated senior. This year started off a little bumpy for Jessica, but she’s managed to maintain an A+ in spite of some small setbacks.  She started the year off strong with her outstanding Summer Reading essay and annotations. “The level of detail in those annotations blew me away!” said Mrs. Lee. “I am extremely impressed with Jessica even though I’ve only known her for a month. She’s definitely going to amount to great things.” Congrats, Jessica!