Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Educator's Graduate-level Studies Take Her to Oxford University 

Demarest, NJ:  As part of her graduate studies though the Bread Loaf School of English, Academy of the Holy Angels English teacher Diana Rankin spent the summer studying 19th century British and American literature at England’s esteemed Oxford University.

Bread Loaf is a master’s program offered at Vermont’s Middlebury College. Participants immerse themselves in six weeks of intensive study each summer, and generally earn their degrees after five years. Courses are presented in three locations: the campus in the Green Mountains; Saint John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Oxford. Rankin spent her first two summers in Vermont, and her third in England.

“Most of the students in the program are high school English teachers, which is one of the reasons the program appealed to me when I started investigating graduate school options,” Rankin explained. “For me, attending Bread Loaf is the best kind of professional development. When I come back to school in September after spending time reading, discussing, and writing alongside other English teachers from across the globe, I always find that my teaching has changed. While (Bread Loaf) classroom discussions usually begin by analyzing the literature in an academic way with our professors, the conversation always comes back to questions of pedagogy; we work together to build lesson plans and brainstorm the best ways to bring the texts to our students.”

While Rankin was in England, she had an opportunity to meet with AHA English Department Chair Nancy Schneberger, who spent part of her summer at Oxford studying “The Age of Lincoln” through a Teachers Seminars grant provided by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Raised in Turnersville, New Jersey, Rankin is currently a resident of Englewood. She is now in her third year of teaching at the Academy of the Holy Angels.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and giving service to others.



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