“Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it’s far removed from your situation. This is what I try to tell my students: this is one great thing that literature can do — it can make us identify with situations and people far away. If it does that, it’s a miracle.” Chinua Achebe
“Literature is at once the cause and the effect of social progress. It deepens our natural sensibilities, and strengthens by exercise our intellectual capacities. It stores up the accumulated experience of the race, connecting Past and Present into a conscious unity; and with this store it feeds successive generations, to be fed in turn by them.” George Henry Lewes
The Western Branch High School English Department consists of 19 highly educated and dedicated professionals. The chair of the department, Deb Yarow, is also the co-sponsor of the NEHS, Yarow, has 25 years of teaching experience both in Chesapeake and York County, Virginia. For the 2018-19 school year the department has 4 male and 15 female teachers. The department offers a variety of courses and electives. Students may take standard English courses in honors and non-honors from grades 9-12, however, we also offer AP Language and Composition, AP Literature and Composition, dual enrollment in partnership with Tidewater Community College (ENG 111 and 112) as well as Yearbook, photojournalism, journalism, creative writing, public speaking, drama, and acting technique. As educators, we are dedicated to the success of all our students, therefore, we offer an after school writing lab an exceptional instructional lab, Foundations nine, and Bruin Academy. We know these building block classes are essential in reaching all learners as we bridge the gap in academic achievement. Our department also prides itself as the only department where over half of our staff sponsors, co-sponsors or coaches one or more activities at WBHS. We find importance in curricular and extracurricular involvement. The WBHS English Department is truly a group of professional, hardworking, and school spirited people who are excited to teach your children. Welcome!