The English Department is dedicated to helping all students improve their reading, composition, speaking, listening and thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting various types of literary genres, along with placing a heavy emphasis on grammatical and vocabulary development. Our approach is faith-based so that students may reflect on moral and ethical issues while making relevant connections to their lives. 

Each year, Holy Name participates in the Great Lakes Theater Festival’s High School Residency Program. For one week, two professional actor-teachers from GLTF will collaborate with American Literature classes in discussions, improvisations and performances to lead them to a better understanding of classic American drama.

When an appropriate play is performed at one of the theaters in Cleveland, we will take our students on a field trip to see it. Cleveland is a city alive with history and culture, and we are lucky to share in this community resource, especially with our students. 


Policies, Requirements and Standards

All students will receive a writing portfolio freshmen year. Throughout their time at Holy Name, students will revise and edit their portfolio as well as document their improvements. All essays must be typed using the MLA format found in the HN Writing Handbook. Essays submitted past the deadline will be deducted 20% for each day late.

At the end of each year, students will take a comprehensive vocabulary test on the Princeton Review Hit Parade. You can use this list with the words and their definitions, or an alternative list using the words in sentences, to practice. These are the most frequently tested words on the SAT.


Department Requirements

Four credits of English and .5 credits of speech are needed for graduation. Students must complete assigned summer reading that is evaluated at the start of the school year and is counted as 20% of the first quarter grade. Students will write at least one essay per quarter, and all students are required to complete a grade-level appropriate research paper during third quarter. 


Department Standards

Students are required to participate in class actively and constructively. This involves outside preparation (completing reading and writing assignments), paying attention during lectures and presentations, contributing in class discussions, and participating in small and large group activities. Writing should be grammatically correct, following the rules of standard written English, and all work must be the student’s own work.

Students will be assessed on a variety of levels:

  • Objective Tests and Quizzes
  • Written Tests and Quizzes
  • Essays
  • Research Paper
  • Oral Presentations / Debates
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects
  • Alternative Forms of Expression

To view a copy of the HN Writing Handbook, please click here.

  • The Name (school newspaper)
  • Splash (school literary magazine)
  • Writing Club
  • Book Club
  • Yearbook
  • Film Club
  • PenOhio
  • Rotary Club of Parma 4-Way Speech Contest
  • Drama Club
  • Fall Drama Production
  • English Speaking Union’s Shakespeare Monologue Competition
  • Cleveland Theater Conference One-Act Play Festival
  • Spring Musical

English Department: Summer Reading Program

The primary purpose of Holy Name High School’s Summer Reading Program is to lead students to an appreciation of good literature and let them discover that reading is enjoyable. Other benefits include a development of reading comprehension skills, a building of vocabulary, a better understanding of interactions between people, and a broadening of knowledge about various cultures represented in the books read.

During the first two weeks of the new school year, English teachers will give objective tests on all of the assigned books. Following class discussion on the books, students will also be assigned an essay.

We require that you take notes on your summer reading books so that you will remember what you have read. These notes will help lead class discussions during the first two weeks of school. English teachers will check your notes for completion. The format of your notes is up to you. You are welcome to take notes in a notebook or on the computer. However, you could also use post-it notes to annotate the text. This means you would use a post-it to flag passages of the text that are significant, powerful, etc. On each post-it you would then explain why you marked that passage. The content for your note taking is up to you, but we offer suggestions that you can find on the English Department Summer Reading Sheet.

Reading lists for the 2020-2021 School Year, as well as the assignments accompanying the summer reading program, are now available. The documents below indicate the appropriate grade level reading lists and assignments. Please keep in mind that students should be reading/completing assignments that correspond to their 2020-2021 course level.

2020 Advanced Placement (AP) Senior Summer Reading List

2020 Advanced Placement (AP) Senior Summer Reading Assignment

2020 Advanced Placement (AP) Senior Summer Reading – How to Read Literature Like a Professor Outline/Notes Assignment

2020 Senior Summer Reading List

2020 College Credit Plus (CCP) Junior Summer Reading List

2020 College Credit Plus (CCP) Junior Summer Reading Assignment

2020 Junior Summer Reading List

2020 Honors Sophomore Summer Reading List

2020 Honors Sophomore Summer Reading Assignment

2020 Sophomore Summer Reading List

2020 Honors Freshman and Freshman Summer Reading List

Department Faculty


Mrs. Denise (Golubski) Humphrey |
Department Chairperson
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 410
Degree: B.A., John Carroll University


Mrs. Jackie Rizk ’03
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 427
Degree: B.A., Ohio University

Mrs. Amy Hirzel
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 434
Degree: B.S., Ashland University

Website: Mrs. Hirzel’s English IV and AP English Website

Mrs. Holly White
Phone: 440-886-0300
Degree: B.A., Baldwin-Wallace College
Degree: M.A., Cleveland State University

Ms. Molly Halligan
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 405
Degree: B.A., Miami University

Mr. David Blue
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 427
Degree: B.A., Baldwin Wallace University

Upcoming Events

Mon 23

Thanksgiving Break

November 23 - November 27
Mon 30

Team Shop Open

November 30 @ 11:00 am - 2:45 pm
Dec 03

Virtual Junior Parent Meetings: Appointment Only

December 3 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm