The Cardinal O’Hara English Department understands the vital role language arts plays in all subject areas, as well as in the pursuit of a well-rounded life. 

About the English Department

The Cardinal O’Hara English Department understands the vital role language arts plays in all subject areas, as well as in the pursuit of a well-rounded life.  We recognize the need to prepare students for pivotal testing that allows them to pursue higher learning.  We also know that an effective program, today, must teach students how to practice the 21st century skills needed to process information in order to navigate their lives successfully.

Our results with Common Core standards speak for themselves, with an average of more than 50% scoring mastery on the New York State exam for the last 15 years.  

Additionally, O’Hara students may begin earning college credit for their classes, as early as Sophomore year.  (See course listing below.)

Our coursework is current and designed to develop students’ higher order critical thinking skills and equip them to command the ever increasing volume of information they must process daily.  A strong foundation of comprehension, interpretation, analysis and synthesis supports a varied curriculum in:

  • Creative, Analytical and Professional Writing

  • Classic & Modern Literature 

  • Drama & Film

  • Non-Fiction and Current Media 

Our assessments and independent work foster students’ use of:

  • Advanced Research Skills

  • Listening and Interpersonal Communication 

  • Creative Collaboration and Team Building

  • Time Management and Organizational Skills

  • Public Speaking and Professional Communication

Our purpose is to nurture freedom of expression in an atmosphere of tolerance and compassion.  We are dedicated to helping students find their own voice and path through art and information that engages them and helps them understand their own, as well as other cultures in order to become conscious world citizens and, ultimately, the best version of themselves.

Summer Reading Requirements

This year all incoming freshman will be assigned the same book, “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green.  There are a limited number of copies available in the school bookstore.  

All upperclassmen will have a choice of books sponsored by various faculty and available online in bookstores. Students will receive their summer reading catalog in English class.  This year we will use a digital sign up method and Google Classroom to facilitate the program.  

MLA Style Booklet: Student Resource Booklet for Research Papers

English Class Information

Mr. John Dunne

  • Creative Writing (Grades 10-12) – Advanced Credit (3 college credits through SUNY ECC)
  • College Writing/British Literature (Grade 12)- (3 college credits through SUNY ECC)
  • Regents British Literature (Grade 12)
  • Mystery Literature & Film (Grades 11-12)

Mr. Christopher Cummings

  • English 10
  • Advanced Placement Literature (12)
  • English 10 Honors

Ms. Joanne Pera – Department Chair

  • Regents American Literature-(Grade 11)
  • Advanced Desktop Publishing (Grades 10-12)
  • Advanced Credit American Literature 1 & 2 (Grade 11) – 6 college credits

Mrs. Lori Panaro

  • English 9 Regents
  • English 9 Honors
  • English 10 Honor