We believe all students should be challenged, regardless of their ability, and smaller class sizes allow for more attention paid to individual needs of students. Regardless of the specific assignments in the English classes, the curriculum is centered upon and driven by the needs of the students, thus increasing interest and assuring that all students are challenged by their work. This individualization is achieved through a variety of activities such as cooperative learning, authentic experiences, and independent learning activities.
All members of the department consistently juxtapose themes of morality and basic human decency from classic literature to the lives of our students so as to promote the idea that all people, especially those who have the means, must be responsible for and help those who do not have the basic necessities of life.
A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Call of the Wild/White Fang by Jack London
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Animal Farm by George Orwell
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Legends of King Arthur
An additional outside reading novel is required each quarter.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Oedipal Trilogy
Antigone by Anouilh
Night by Elie Weisel
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Stranger by Camus
Other Selections from the Literature Book
Elective Course Work:
Introduction to Journalism, Newspaper, Yearbook
Speech, Debate, Forensics
Developmental Reading, Library Science
Mrs. Kathy Pfeifer teaches primarily English I and Advanced English I. She has also taught The Bible as Literature, Study Skills and a couple of ESL courses at TMP. In her entire teaching career, she has covered the gamut from English II to AP Literature to Study Skills to being the Secondary Instructional Facilitator. She has been a classroom teacher for more than 20 years–in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. Mrs. Pfeifer received her Bachelor’s Degree from K-State in Journalism and Mass Communications, education hours and Master’s Degree in Education from Pittsburg State University. Other than teaching in the classroom, Kathy Pfeifer is the sponsor for Multicultural Club and Book Club. Her hobbies include traveling to see her children; cheering for K-State, Kansas University and the Kansas City Chiefs; cooking and cat-keeping, and READING as many books as possible in a week.
Mrs. Stacie Rupp, TMP alum class of ’03, primarily teaches Sophomore English. Mrs. Rupp earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Fort Hays State University in 2008. She has taught a variety of classes in her 7 years here including Reading Enrichment, all sections of English, Yearbook, Speech, Drama, Forensics, and Debate. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Rupp is the Advisor for the Sophomore Class, Peer Tutoring Coordinator, a member of the CARE team, a member of the Climate Team, and serves as a School Improvement Faith Leader. When she is not teaching, tutoring, or in a meeting, Mrs. Rupp can be found assisting her husband at Sake2Me Sushi, watching a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, baking sweets, or reading every spare second she can.
Mr. Joseph Hertel has been teaching English for over 35 years. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, and his Master’s Degree in 1992 from Fort Hays State University. Mr. Hertel began his teaching career in 1980 at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Five years later he accepted a job from TMP and has been here ever since. Mr. Hertel teaches Junior English and serves as a Study Hall teacher. He is also the Head Boys Basketball Coach. Mr. Hertel has many hobbies including hunting, fishing, mechanics and building, watching college basketball and the Pittsburg Steelers on TV.
Mrs. Heather Sramek earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 1997 at Fort Hays State University. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree at Baker University in 2004. Mrs. Sramek has taught at both the University and High School level. With over 16 years teaching experience, she has taught Career Explorations, English Composition I & II, Newspaper, Introduction to Journalism, English I, II, & IV, and Advanced Placement and Composition. Other extra-curricular activities Mrs. Sramek is involved in include Student Council Sponsor, School Improvement Steering Committee Chair, Academic Coucil Chair, English Department Chair, and Climate Team member. When Mrs. Sramek gets a few moments to herself she can be found reading, traveling, cooking, enjoying her kids, and watching college baseball.
Mrs. Vanessa Schumacher is in her 3rd year of teaching here at TMP. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Fort Hays State University and is pursuing her Master’s Degree. Previously she taught 7th grade English and Social Studies at the Junior High level. Currently she teaches Yearbook, Speech, Intro to Journalism, as well as some Social Studies classes. She is the Head Cheerleading Coach and loves to watch her daughter compete in competitive dance competitions. She also enjoys a long run and a good book.