English

Graduation Requirement: Four years of Upper School study.

We value critical and appreciative reading, lucid and beautiful writing, logical and imaginative thinking. In the English department, we hope to develop reverence for, and understanding of, literature as a direct path to these skills and habits.

By leading a thoughtful exploration of engaging works of literature, we help students begin to ponder human nature, the world around them and their place in it.

The study of literature also prompts questions related to craft and composition. To communicate their insights, ideas and questions, students need a clear sense of sentence, paragraph and essay structure, and they need to be aware of the many choices available to them as writers and speakers. To that end, the English faculty teach a wide range of writing, reading and speaking skills at all levels, designed to foster precision and elegance in composition and in thought.


girl reading

Meet Our English Faculty

1 2 3 4 > showing 1 - 4 of 15 constituents
Danny Barocas

Danny Barocas

Titles: Dean of the Class of 2026, English Teacher
Biography:

B.A. - English
M.A. - Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Graduate Certificate — Native American Studies

"Kent Denver has a rich tradition of both academic excellence and real-world preparation for its students. I look forward to immersing myself in the Sun Devil community and to fostering impactful and lasting relationships with students and faculty members alike."

Mr. Barocas joined Kent Denver after 12 years at Overland High School, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2017. At Overland, he served as an English teacher, yearbook advisor, boys' lacrosse coach and Student Council sponsor among other duties.

Loni DesJardin

Loni DesJardin

Titles: Chair, English Department
Biography:

B.A. - English Education
M.A. - English Education
Burges M. Green Distinguished Teaching Chair

"I want my professional legacy to be that of a kind, fun-loving teacher who helped students become comfortable and confident in speaking and writing...a good joke teller."

Prior to joining Kent Denver, Ms. DesJardin worked in a girls' school in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys Kent Denver because, she says, "the community is THE BEST!"

"The kids energize me. I love every aspect of teaching high schoolers—academically, socially and emotionally," Ms. DesJardin says. "I get to know them on a personal level and show them how much I care."

Andrew Dranginis

Andrew Dranginis

Titles: English Teacher, Yearbook Advisor
Biography:

M.A.T. - Secondary English
B.A. - English and American Literature

Mr. Dranginis joined Kent Denver in 2017 from The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.

Christina Fakharzadeh

Christina Fakharzadeh

Class of 1994
Titles: English Teacher, History Teacher
Biography:

B.A. - English and Sociology/Anthropology
M.A. - Educational Psychology
Donald Merry Excellence in Teaching Award
Steven L. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Chair

"I love nurturing young minds and inspiring kids to expand their perspectives in an attempt to develop culturally-competent leaders of tomorrow."

Prior to teaching at Kent Denver, Ms. Fakharzadeh '94 traveled the world with her husband. She lived in London for two years, and during this time she explored eastern and western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and southeast Asia and Oceania.

1 2 3 4 > showing 1 - 4 of 15 constituents