The Marine Military Academy English department consists of five levels of core teaching with advanced courses in grades nine through twelve. By aligning our curriculum across every level, we allow for these subjects to be continuously reinforced, thereby thoroughly preparing cadets in the fundamentals of reading, writing and public speaking.
Addresses five subject areas within the English curriculum: literature, composition, grammar, vocabulary, and research. Literature study involves an overview of various literary genres and an introduction to the terminology associated with each. Composition instruction addresses paragraph and essay development as well as research writing using MLA guidelines. Students review and study the modes of discourse and are introduced to the basics of literary writing. Grammar study is thorough beginning with the parts of speech and extending through clauses, to mechanics, and to sentence structure. Vocabulary improvement, addressed throughout the year, is taught independently through workbook exercises and in context through assigned novels and anthology selections.
Prerequisite: Language Arts
Provides a study of various literary genres, the modes of discourse, research writing, grammar study, and vocabulary improvement. Literature, addressed thematically with emphasis on literary terminology, is reinforced through composition and research assignments and includes assigned novels in addition to weekly anthology selections. Grammar study is comprehensive as is vocabulary study, addressed through literary selections as well as workbook exercises.
Prerequisite: English I
Introduction to world literature through a study of various literary genres assigned through individual novels, poetry collections, plays, short story collections, and anthology selections. Composition instruction addresses basic modes of discourse and research writing and introduces students to literary writing including literary explications focusing on the application of literary terminology. Grammar mastery is assessed through diagramming practice, workbook exercises, and revision assignments. Vocabulary study is addressed weekly.
Prerequisite: English II
Provides a survey of American literature within its historical context from the Native American period to the present and extensive instruction in the basics of grammar, composition, vocabulary, and research. Students study a variety of genres in American literature through anthology selections and assigned novels, plays, and short stories.Composition instruction provides practice in the basic modes of discourse, literary writing, research writing, and technical writing with emphasis on the summary, letter of request, abstract, and college-application essay.
Prerequisite: English III
Includes a survey of British literature and the historical context in which it was written with additional emphasis on World literature. Students address grammar in review and study vocabulary weekly. Novels are assigned quarterly in addition to literary selections from the assigned anthology. Students are assigned various compositions including literary analyses, persuasive essays, and several research projects.
This is a one-semester course designed to complement instruction given in core English courses. Grammar skills, paragraph and essay development, and the research process are addressed; in addition, students read at least two novels as a basis for literary writing. Vocabulary is addressed weekly.
This course provides instruction and practice in speech preparation and delivery. Cadets are expected to deliver a variety of speeches and to acquire the necessary skills to develop a speech, including selecting a topic, drafting an outline, using visual aids and effective delivery techniques.
Honors courses focus on the development of effective communication through written and verbal discourse. Emphasis is placed on mechanical proficiency and organizational skills in writing essays, research papers and the analysis of style, tone and point of view in literature.
AP classes offer a rigorous program of reading, writing and discussion with the final challenge being placed on taking the advanced placement exam. Cadets must score a three, four or five on the exam in order to receive university credit, which is accepted at most institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Our dual enrollment courses are offered through an agreement with University of Texas at Brownsville. Cadets in an AP or dual enrollment course can earn up to six college credits in a year.
James “Phil” Senterfitt
TEL: 956.423.6006 ext. 736
Having been raised in the Rio Grande Valley, James “Phil” Senterfitt is at home at MMA. Mr. Senterfitt has over 30 years of teaching experience and has taught all levels of English from 6th through 12th grade, as well as college freshman composition, American history, world history, Texas history, speech, theatre arts, G.E.D. courses and adult basic English.
He holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin; a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas Pan American; Teacher Certification from the University of Houston; and Theatre Certification from the University of Texas Pan American. He has done graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University in Kingsville, the University of Texas in Brownsville, and has completed additional studies at Trinity University and Texas Southmost College.
Additionally, he has served as the University Interscholastic Coordinator for two valley school districts and has directed 45 plays in UIL competition. He is an active member of his church and serves as an elder and member of the choir. He has also worked with the U.S. Department of Interior Youth Programs and served as a senior class sponsor for over 20 years.
Diolanda J. Dye
TEL: 956.423.6006 ext. 771
Diolanda J. Dye earned a bachelor of science in communications from the University of Texas in Edinburg. She has taught numerous subjects at the secondary level including speech, journalism, English, and study skills. In high school, she began working at the local Boys and Girls Club where she soon discovered the joy of working with youth. She continued to work at the Club until graduation from college, and it was then that she decided to make teaching a career.
As a study skills and speech teacher at MMA, she enjoys the discipline and structure that allows her the freedom to teach. She has an opportunity to become acquainted with her students and tailor her teaching to their needs. She believes her colleagues are a wonderful source of inspiration and information when it comes to finding new ideas and methods for teaching. This support and structure makes teaching at MMA both fulfilling and promising.
Mrs. Dye is currently the sponsor for the National Honor Society and a co-sponsor for the Key Club.
Patricia Leon Flores
TEl: 956.423.6006 ext.745
A Texas resident for 15 years, Patricia Flores has taught English composition, English II and English I Honors at MMA for four years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Brownsville where she earned a lifetime membership to Phi Alpha Theta National Historical Honor Society. She also earned her master’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. Mrs. Flores fully appreciates the strict discipline and structure at MMA, which allows her the freedom to teach and bring out the best in each of her students. She strongly believes in finding and nurturing every one of her cadet’s individual learning styles.
Aside from teaching at the secondary level, she also teaches Sunday school at Global Resource Christian Center.
TEL: 956.423.6006 ext. 734
A 29-year MMA veteran, Michele Pickens holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas, and both her master’s in English and lifetime secondary teaching certification from Stephen F. Austin State University. Currently, she teaches SAT prep and language arts 8, but has experience teaching seventh grade through post-graduate English classes.
She was named MMA Teacher of the Year for 1984-1985, chaired the English department for six years, received two Certificates of Appreciation for longevity and loyal service to the Academy, and was designated an official “Alumni Mother” by the MMA Alumni Association.
Jacqueline P. Palamara
TEL: 956.423.6006 ext. 706
Jacqueline Palamara attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education with concentrations in English and history in 1982, and subsequently earned her special education endorsement in learning disabilities. In 1993, she returned to her alma mater and obtained her Master’s in Education as a reading specialist.
Outside of MMA, Mrs. Palamara has taught the English dual enrollment classes at the Teacher Academy, as well as college classes at South Texas Community College in the English and history departments. During this time, she also completed a mid-management certificate at the University of Texas at Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, in 1997 and became a certified master reading teacher in 2000.
Over the last two years, she earned 18 history graduate credits from the University of Texas at Pan Am to teach college history.