Dr. Cottingham was appointed Interim Upper School Director in July 2021, and her Pingry experience includes three years as Upper School Academic Dean and a semester as Interim English Department Chair.
The goal of the Middle School English program is to help students become independent and effective readers and writers. By exploring a variety of literature--from Shakespeare to contemporary writers--students decipher both explicit and implicit meanings, hone their comprehension skills, and delve into abstract concepts. Several times throughout the year, students write in a variety of modes, but the main focus is on essay writing. They engage in all stages of the writing process--brainstorming ideas, organizing them, drafting an essay, revising it, and editing for mechanics. Grammar lessons are reinforced by having students deliberately apply specific grammatical concepts to their own writing.