Huntington UFSD's English lanugage arts program is on the move.

Huntington English Language Arts Program on the Move

Huntington UFSD's English lanugage arts program is on the move.

October 3, 2019

When there’s work to do, these teachers embrace it, roll up their sleeves and dive right in. Huntington UFSD English department members are busy planning and preparing for implementation of the state’s Next Generation Learning Standards, which consist of revisions, deletions, additions, vertical movement and clarifications to earlier standards.

Plans are afoot to enrich Huntington English language arts learning experiences at J. Taylor Finley Middle School and Huntington High School through “focused vocabulary instruction, engaging reading of high quality texts and motivating and guiding expressive language for students in their growth as writers,” said Joseph Leavy, chairman of humanities.

 Chairman of Humanities, 7-12 Joseph Leavy.
Chairman of Humanities, 7-12 Joseph Leavy.

At Finley, English teachers are “working to make literature interesting and relatable while addressing skills and standards,” Mr. Leavy said.

The Finley teachers are pursuing constant growth in practices. “They are progressive educators who are in the vanguard in implementation of data driven instruction, Google platforms and digital portfolios,” Mr. Leavy said.

The Finley faculty members are benefitting from “Consistent professional trainings from national experts in language arts learning and a team approach to improving instruction for all students,” Mr. Leavy said. “There’s a high level of collegiality.”

Huntington High School English teachers are also moving forward with rich experiences for students, including enhanced senior elective English classes based upon interest in science fiction, journalism, sports literature, theater arts, fantasy literature, Bible as literature and multicultural literature.

There is also an opportunity for “deep learning” in research skills through Advanced Placement Capstone courses, including AP Seminar and AP Research.

Longtime educator Brendan McGowan is once again serving the district as a secondary grade level English and social studies teacher-coach. “He has been in this position for several years now and has worked tirelessly to guide, mentor and collaborate with new, seasoned and veteran English, reading and social studies teachers alike at both the high school and Finley to have a laser-like focus on effective instruction, curriculum and formative assessment,” Mr. Leavy said. “Professional development has been an area of concentration as well for him.”

Contact Mr. Leavy ( for more information about Huntington UFSD’s English language arts program.