The mission of the English Department is to develop in every student, every year, in every lesson, the ability to read, write, and speak about what matters — to her — and to the world.
We believe in teaching our students to write creatively, personally, and analytically with brilliance and authenticity, to read for wisdom, strength, and moral citizenship, and to be able to speak truth to power. Our reading, writing, and public speaking curriculum supports that mission every day. Our assignments in these three areas of focus are all designed to hone rhetorical capabilities, and to stimulate the full joy of learning.
Earlier this year, Walker’s juniors participated in the Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment annual essay contest which invites students to think critically about the status and rights of women. Students…
Publishing student work here at school, and in other venues is a top priority for us; the best way to understand the power of one’s voice is to use it in the wider world. Our literary magazine, Daemon, regular participation in national and international writing contests such as the Scholastic Writing Awards and The New York Times student contests, and our very own press, The Ethel Walker Every Woman Press, create a literary environment in which student voices are not just heard, but honored and celebrated.
The English Department faculty pledge to help students to become published authors and to be recognized for their excellent writing well beyond the school’s walls. A few of the writing and performance contests our students will participate in this year:
*Contest Walker’s students have won in the past
Prior to joining Walker’s, Megan (Danyliw) Mulhern taught several English courses at Westminster School and the YK Pao Secondary School in Shanghai, China. While at the YK Pao Secondary School she developed a school wide reading program. She also taught at The Lawrenceville School, The Emma Willard School and worked for the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Megan earned her B.A. in English from Brown University and her M.A. in Literature from Middlebury College.Read Full Profile
Carol Clark-Flanagan P'93, '97
Growing up within sight and sound of the ocean on the South Shore of Massachusetts, Carol spent many hours racing sailboats where she learned to read and respond to wind shifts and current – capabilities she has relied on as equivalent experience teaching and advising students. She has taught and designed many courses in her 30+ years at Walker’s. Most of her time has been spent in the History Department, where she has taught every grade except seventh. Curriculum design and collaboration in the classroom stand out as the most rewarding parts of Carol’s job. She was part of a team of teachers from across four disciplines who envisioned and taught the innovative Environmental Studies course. She led the team that designed 9th Grade Seminar, the flagship of the seminar program that grew to encompass grades 9-12, and has recently been retooled for the Capabilities Approach curriculum. She is helping to break new ground in this endeavor with the design of the newest of these courses, Sustenance and Sustainability. After teaching 10th grade English for a decade, Carol is now taking on senior electives in that department. Increasingly, she believes in the power of student choice within as well as among courses. Carol has been a member of many task forces and is a recipient of the Natalie Galbraith Chair in the Humanities. She has served in a variety of administrative roles that include Chair of the History Department and Dean of Faculty. She was also a class advisor for twelve years.
Carol and her husband live off-campus. Two of their four children are Walker’s alumnae: Nan ’93 and Kate ’97. Carol is also active in town politics where she is a member of the SPIRIT Council formed to promote diversity and inclusion in Simsbury.Read Full Profile
Scott joined The Ethel Walker School community in 2012 after more than a decade of teaching English at the Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching English, he coached basketball, worked as a dorm parent, designed new courses in creative writing and film studies, and taught in the school’s summer outreach program. While working at Landmark, Scott also earned a Master of Science in Education from Simmons College. Most importantly, he was truly amazed at the kindness and support of the Landmark community during his tenure there.
At Walker’s, Scott feels he has found another such community. Like so many of his colleagues, he is quite simply thrilled to learn and to teach. Scott is currently working on a second graduate degree in English at Trinity College, yet his greatest lessons come from the students and colleagues he works with each day. Their energy and brilliance continually energize him and renew his love for teaching.Read Full Profile
Erin joins Walker’s English Department as a fall semester substitute teacher for English faculty department chair Megan Mulhern. She is an adjunct professor of English at Hartford’s Capital Community College and a writing instructor at Goodwin University. Erin has worked extensively with students on composition and literature, and she has assisted students with honing their skills to write at the college level. Erin holds a Master of Arts in English Literature and Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hofstra University.Read Full Profile
Jae Kirkland Rice
Jae joins Walker’s from Yale University where he is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and an acting instructor for the Freshman Writing Seminar. Jae has also served as an invited lecturer and instructor, has published articles in peer reviewed publications and presented at conferences on topics including race, gender and identity. Jae has a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Jae is a member of the Cluett dorm faculty and is coaching the Middle School Debate Club. He also is working with Walker’s Athletic Director Kati Eggert to develop an advanced strength and conditioning program for our college-bound athletes.Read Full Profile
Dr. David Thacker P'24, '27
Dave joined Walker’s in 2018 from Florida State University where he was completing his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and teaching English. He has enjoyed teaching for the past 11 years at the university level but was thrilled to join Walker’s where he spends more time focused on teaching and getting to know his students. A published poet, Dave earned a B.S. in English, summa cum laude, from Weber State University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Idaho. Dave is passionate about community partnerships and is the director of Walker’s Community Partnerships program.Read Full Profile
Kimberly Thacker P'24, '27
Kim Harris Thacker teaches 6th and 7th grade English at The Ethel Walker School and is the school’s archivist. She is a well-published magazine writer and essayist with a keen interest in history and community, and in connecting the past and the present through the medium of story. Born and raised in Wyoming, Kim has retained a love of the outdoors, which she shares with her husband, Walker’s Upper School English teacher Dr. David Thacker, and their two daughters, Molly and Liesel, who attend Walker’s as students.