Curriculum and Instruction

The English Honors Society celebrated their new inductees in the Tappan Zee High School Library. The Honor Society Officers each presented on their favorite book and how each inspired them to develop a love of reading and the book or authors effect on their lives.

Fiona Donovan spoke about the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Mystery Series and how it inspired her to become a reader. She shared, “Every night before bed, my mother would allow me one hour to read, one hour to transport myself into a world where I was not myself. I was a cursed girl, or an annoyed middle schooler, or a third grade detective with strawberry blonde hair. The last one, was always my favorite.”

Sarah Cunningham shared the story, Bossypants, by Tina Fey and how the book re-inspired her to read. Sarah said, “I have a new found determination and excitement I felt once as a child. Just like any show, it had anecdotes from her adolescents. I realized that reading has always been fun, but that reading can also be funny. I forgot how entertaining reading can be.”

Alexa Cinque shared the book, Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman, a story about an orthodox child’s own life story of her leaving an orthodox community. Alexa wrote, “Her silent protests helped me appreciate my education. The oppression she faced because of her gender and her father’s disability demonstrated her strength which radiates throughout the book. Books and education are still feared today because they hold so much power. I learned that things don’t change until one person starts a reaction.”

Tara Mercer talked about the book, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. She shared, “Stargirl is about an authentic individual and one that wants to conform to others. She (The main character) is singled out and shunned for being different. Stargirl then faces the dilemma of being with the person she likes to be herself or to sacrifice her individuality to be with someone. Through Spinelli’s writing, the author antagonizes one of the main characters. The author makes the reader wants to be Stargirl and to strangle the other main character, Leo. You just have to choose, do you want to be a Stargirl or a Leo.”

Cassandra Bartels spoke about the book, How Green Was My Valley by Richard Liewellyn. She shared, “This is a story about a mining family during the 1800s. I thought, why does my modern British favorite band care about mining in the 1800’s. So, I went to the palisades library and pulled out a book from 1980 off of a very high shelf. I remember the librarian wondering if I really wanted to check out this book. I read the book, cover to cover. Immersed myself in Welch minors. I never expected to see such a beautiful world in Welch. The book is slow moving because it follows the day to day life of minors in Whales. The book taught me to see the wonder in my surroundings, and glitter in the songs that we listen to on a daily basis. Encourage you to seek out the hidden literary wonders.”

Ms. McMane, the advisor for the English Honors Society, concluded the ceremony by giving the students certificates and thanking them for their contributions to the English Honors Society and for their dedication to reading. Ms. McMane shared, “One of the things that I love so much about this event is that you always leave with a list of new books to read.”





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