Humanities monte del sol students


John Przyborowski, Humanities Department Chair
High School English Language Arts
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The Humanities Department consists of the History and English departments. As a department, we strive to make our classes rigorous, relevant and mission-specific. Monte’s pillars are:

  • Community
  • Sustainability
  • Global Literacy, and
  • Arts Integration

Throughout the school you will find our courses reflect the different pillars of Monte’s mission.

We use a combination of classic fiction, informational texts, memoir, and a fair amount of contemporary writing to disrupt the typical textbook canon in history and English. Our English and history classes aim to establish global awareness — how we understand ourselves as we learn about the larger world.


Ninth graders, for example, have been working with the question: “How can we come together despite our differences?” Middle school English students ask themselves: “What do we mean when we say we?” Both of these questions help students to imagine themselves as citizens of the world.

We highlight our understanding of community in the humanities department by looking at different communities and their connections to ourselves. History classes teach students about norms and traditions that govern our society today and about social justice and injustice, while highlighting each student’s role and responsibility for making change. We visit Chaco Canyon and Pecos National Monument to learn about ancient cultures, while also acknowledging and celebrating the different languages, voices and cultures in our classrooms today.

Our third pillar is sustainability, and some teachers use Monte del Sol’s gardens as a hands-on way to integrate sustainability while also connecting to traditions of the past. The seventh grade Native American studies class plants a three-sisters garden

Many of us use non-fiction readings, nature literature and journal entries to open dialogues about climate change and human’s connection to the natural world.

Humanities Courses

  • Core Classes - Middle School

    English 7
    English 8
    English 8 Honors
    History 7: Native American History
    History 8: American History

  • Middle School Enrichment

    Creative Writing
    Global Languages

  • Core Classes - High School

    English 9
    English 9 Honors
    English 10
    English 10 Honors
    English 11
    English 11 Honors
    English 12
    AP English Literature

    NM History (9th grade)
    World History (10th grade)
    World History Honors
    US History (11th grade)
    AP US History
    Government/Economics (12th grade)

We often integrate art into the curriculum, which engages our pillar of arts integration. One example is students creating a sonnet in the tradition of an illuminated manuscript. Other classes make masks, dioramas, maps and illustrated notebooksTeachers use creative and narrative writing, comics and graphic novels, music and artwork to help students connect their experiences with the literature and history that they are studying. Art allows students to gain and express understanding, tell a story, and engage with the wider world.Our goal is to prepare our students for college or other post-secondary paths. We want to arm our students with critical thinking and writing skills so they can engage as powerful, compassionate, active citizens, ready for the challenges of the future.

Distinguished visiting artists in every artistic discipline have collaborated with Monte del Sol or have been guest teachers, including poets Martin Espada, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Vince Kadlubek, John Brandi, Joan Logghe, Miriam Sagan, Ann Valley Fox and Keith Gilyard.  Visiting authors include Greg Mortenson and Pat Mora, plus several of our History students were selected to read portions of A People’s History of the United States at the Lensic theater in a special evening with Howard Zinn. Visiting performance artists include the Pilobolus Dance Theater, Lumbre de Sol, The Santa Fe Jazz Festival and members of the Santa Fe Opera. Documentary filmmakers Cynthia Lukas and Kell Kearns spent three days in our Creative Writing classes filming students as they composed and read poems on peace for a film connecting young people in the USA with students in Iran.

Monte del Sol humnaities students with Delores Huerta
Monte del Sol Students with Dolores Huerta at the State Capitol.

Humanities Department

John Przyborowski, Humanities Department Chair
High School English Language Arts
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Alfredo Celedón Luján
Middle School English Language Arts
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Alle Kirkland
Middle/High School ELD/ESL
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Amy Schroth
High School English Language Arts
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Dayni Staddon
High School World History
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Elizabeth Tidrick
High School English Language Arts
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Margarita Blanco
Middle School English Language Arts and History
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Mica Chavez
High School History
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Will Rushing
High School History
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Wendy Leighton
Middle School History
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