English students in a classroomEOS English news bulletin in the hallway

"As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.

– Malcolm X, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Why is this program important?

E.O. Smith High School recognizes the importance of sound language preparation to meet the demands of college and vocational preparation, daily life, and leisure in a world dependent upon rapid and effective communication. The English program attaches primary importance to the development of sound study skills, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It also recognizes the responsibility of helping students develop into educated and mature human beings. Our department believes in the power of language, story, and the imagination to transform the self and society. We believe everyone’s story is important and valuable. We teach story through a range of novels, short stories, poems, plays, memoirs, and narratives to make connections to our lives, our communities, and the greater world.

Program Goals:

Students who have taken English courses will:
  • Be able to use written and oral language skills for lifelong learning, careers, and pleasure.
  • Understand how literature reflects cultural and historical perspectives.
  • Appreciate and respond to a variety of literary forms such as novels, plays, biographies, poetry, and short stories
  • Create a wide range of analytical, personal, research, and creative writing.
  • Effectively use the English language in clear oral and written communication.


Our program builds to coursework that earns college credit. Through our connection with the Manchester Community College Readiness Partnership and UConn’s Early College Experience Programs, we help to prepare students for the literacy and writing challenges they’ll face in the workplace and higher education. Courses offered in English include:

  • Survey of Literature and Composition
  • American Literature and Composition
  • British Literature and Composition
  • World Literature and Composition
  • Composition (Manchester Community College Credit)
  • Seminar in Academic Writing (UConn Credit)
  • Creative Writing
  • Drama: Writing and Performance

The English department features poets, writers, scholars, activists and other guest speakers.

Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities:

Students taking classes in English may also participate in these types of co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities:

  • Writing Center, Book Club, Poetry Club (Poetry Out Loud), Virtu (E.O. Smith’s literary magazine), The Panther Press/Oracle (E.O. Smith’s school newspaper), Academic Quiz Bowl, Drama Club, and the Comedy Club.
  • Trips to Connecticut Repertory Theater, The Hartford Stage, Benton Museum of Art, Mark Twain House. Collaboration with the Connecticut Writing Project in Storrs.
  • • Our students have won Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Poetry Out Loud State Championships, Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s Fresh Voices Competition, New England Young Writers Conference at Breadloaf, CWP Connecticut Student Writers Magazine, Brave New Voices, Tolland County Poetry Slam, WordXWord Poetry Slam, E.O. Smith READS Poetry Invitational, Hartford Stage Playwriting Contest, and more.

Career Opportunities:

  • Journalism
  • Theatre
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Politics/policy
  • Public relations
  • Law
  • Psychology
  • Teaching
  • Scholarship/research


Kris Nystrom, Director
Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-2:30 pm
860.487.0877 ext.4490
 [email protected]

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