English Department


The goal of the English Language Arts program is to create literate, thoughtful communicators, capable of controlling language effectively as they negotiate an increasingly complex and information-rich world. Students will refine specific skills and strategies in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing and will use these skills and strategies widely as tools for learning and reflection. Exploring a variety of texts, students will understand and appreciate language and literature as catalysts for deep thought and emotion.

 Leslie Appino,Resource Teacher

Phone: 301-388-9966.


English 9 TV Production
English 10 Radio
English 11 Journalism - Newspaper
English 12 Yearbook
AP English Language and Composition Theatre 1 and Theatre 2
AP English Literature and Composition Advanced Acting
Stage Design Directing






 E-mail Address 

 Dana Birdin 
 Dana Birdin received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. 
 English 10, 

 Honors English 10 &

 AVID Elective (10th Grade)

Tom De Groff 

 Thomas DeGroff teaches English 10. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with Master’s Degree in Underwater Basket Weaving with a minor in Left-Handed Armenian Poets of the 13th Century. He has always rooted for the Yankees despite the social stigma.

 English 10 & 

 Honors English 10

Keri Beswick


 Keri Beswick is originally from West Chester, PA. She received her BA in English and Secondary Education from Towson University, and her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Loyola University. 
English 9 & 12




David Ritzer








 Shelby Flippen

Ms. Flippen teaches English 12 and Yearbook. She holds a Bachelors of Science in English from Towson University and will begin a master's program within a few years. Ms. Flippen enjoys reading, hiking, and rock climbing

English 12





 Leslie Appino


 Leslie Appino has an MAT from Johns Hopkins and sponsors the Lit Mag and Equestrian Club. She’s a Triathlete and has three dogs and two cats. She loves animals.


 TV Production &

 Honors English 12




 Daphne Hardin


 Ms. Hardin teaches English 10 and English 11.  She holds a B.A. in secondary education from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s in Special Education from Kennesaw State University. Ms. Hardin’s favorite thing to do is have fun!


 Special Education Co-Teacher for English 10 & English 11







 Yoo Kim-Miles teaches English 10. She has a BA in English and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education, both from University of Maryland. She enjoys cooking, eating, and spending time with her family.


 English 10 &

 Honors English 10



  Geordie Keagle






 Audrey King


 Teaches English in the Bridge Program.  Attended Jackson State University, Jackson Ms earned a B.S. in Special Education, Texas Woman’s University, Denton Texas, earned a MA in Educational Diagnostician and a  MA from Bowie State University in Reading Education.


 English 9 &

 English 10




 Chris Ellis






 Samantha Millman


 Samantha Millman teaches 9th and 11th grade English. This is her 9th year teaching. She has a BS in English Literature and a Masters degree in Education from Frostburg State University. Coaches Swimming and is the SGA Sponsor. Loves Disney, snow, and movies!


 English 9 &

 Honors English 9



 Elizabeth Dodds

Elizabeth Dodds teaches English 10. She has a BA in English from Messiah College in PA and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Maryland. She is happily married and a proud mother to her toddler son. Additionally, she is a competitive runner and one day hopes to run the Boston Marathon
English 10



 Arjunia Oakley


 Arjunia Oakley has an MS in Education from Johns Hopkins and is a certified Reading Specialist. She loves to travel, hike, cook, and bake. She reads a book a week every week during the summer.


 Read 180 &

 Digital Literacy




 Amber Perkins


 Amber Clair Perkins started teaching at Paint Branch in 2004. She has taught every grade level in English and teaches all of the Theatre classes. Miss Perkins graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Theatre Arts and completed her Master of Theatre Production and Design at Southern Oregon University in July of 2015. Miss Perkins directs Paint Branch Perspectives, the school’s drama club, coaches the Forensics Team (Public Speaking, not CSI), and is a member of the Maryland Thespian Board of Directors. She hopes to finish her teaching career here at Paint Branch!


 Theatre &

 Honors English 9




 Kathy Pettigrew


 Kathy Pettigrew graduated from York College of PA in 19… with a degree in Secondary Education and attended the University of Maryland CP to study Curriculum and Instruction. She loves Start Trek in any way, shape, or form and reads as much as she possibly can in between karaoke and playing Mah Jongg. The only school she’s ever taught at is Paint Branch, and she hopes it stays that way.


 English 11 &

 Honors English 11




 Cambrian Powell


 Degrees in English and Secondary Education, both from University of Maryland College Park; lived in 5 different states and attended three different high schools; have been teaching since August 1999; have taught every grade in high school and 6th grade in middle school; am currently teaching AP Lang and 12; have 2 boys that keep me on my toes!


 AP Language,

 English 12, &

 Connections: Emerging Scholars




 Kelley Adams


Ms. Adams teaches English 10 and 11. Originally from Pennsylvania, she got her B.A in Secondary English Education with a minor in English from Penn State and her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University. She loves animals, food, the water, and Penn State football.


English 10
English 11



 Karl Schiffgens


 Mr. Schiffgens teaches English 9 and is Co-Coordinator of the Grade 9 Transitions Program. He earned his undergraduate degree from Providence and has done his post-graduate work at Bowie State University and Johns Hopkins University.


 English 9 &

 Career Awareness






 Special Education Co-Teacher for 12th Grade




 Smith II


 Chuck Smith has a B.A. (English) from Howard University, Washington, D.C., an MAT (Secondary English) from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA. While he no longer practices law, he is still licensed to practice in MA, MD, and DC. He’s an Assistant Coach for PBHS’ Varsity Football team. His four children graduated from PBHS. He is a lifelong, devoted Cleveland Browns fan.


 English 12,

 Honors English 12 &

 AP Literature








 Rashemah Stridiron


 Rashemah Stridiron teaches English 11 and AP Language and Composition. She holds a BA in Sociology and an MA in Adolescent Education- both from Adelphi University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, shopping and traveling.


 English 11,

 Honors English 11 &

 AP Language




 Brian Woodward


 Brian Woodward, who has been teaching at Paint Branch since 2002, teaches English 9, Journalism and Advanced Journalism. A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Woodward enjoys following the championship exploits of his hometown teams as well as spending time with his family, traveling, and playing hockey.


 Journalism &

 English 9