English Department Mission Statement

By pursuing three main goals, we strive to create students who will thrive in college and beyond. Our first goal is to develop critical thinking skills required for students to understand and evaluate fiction and nonfiction. The second goal is to enable all students to write clearly, analytically, and creatively. Our third goal is developing students’ values by synthesizing course content with students’ experiences using Ignatian pedagogy (context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation). By achieving these goals, students will become intellectual, independent, and just leaders for our community.

John Damaso ’97, Department Chair

Honors English II, AP English Language & Composition
Mr. Damaso earned a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University where he studied Linguistics and English (Writing Concentration). He taught English and Latin at Brophy from 2001-2004 before pursuing a Master of Arts in Linguistics from Queen Mary University of London. Mr. Damaso then taught English as a Second Language at ASU and subsequently served as Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the American English and Culture Program at ASU until 2007, when he returned to Brophy. He teaches Honors English II and AP English Language & Composition. He serves as an adviser to the Brophy Literary & Arts Magazine (BLAM), to Brophy’s satire newspaper, The Wrangler, and to the Peer Editing Network (PEN). He coordinates Poetry Out Loud and captains Brophy's Movember campaign. Mr. Damaso writes about educational technology on his blog.  

Classroom: Brophy 202  ||  Tel: 602-264-5291 ext. 6284  ||  jdamaso@brophyprep.org

Wayne Catan

English I
Mr. Catan earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from Syracuse University and then pursued a career in public relations and marketing. While in the public relations field he also coached wrestling at the high school and collegiate levels. After a successful career in the public relations industry, he became a teacher and taught in schools on the East Coast. He earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from Mercy College and a Master of Education from the University of Arizona. Mr. Catan teaches English and coaches wrestling.

Classroom: Brophy 208  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  wcatan@brophyprep.org

Tom Danforth ’78

Advanced Placement English III, Honors English II
Mr. Danforth earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Santa Clara University and in 2001, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from ASU. He spent two years in the Peace Corps in Kenya as a high school teacher in English, math and science before joining the Brophy faculty. Mr. Danforth has been a member of the Brophy faculty since 1985 and was chairman of the English department for seven years. Mr. Danforth co-moderates the yearly service trip to Puebla, Mexico.

Classroom: Eller 216  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  tdanforth@brophyprep.org

Dorothy Dunnion

English III, Contemporary Humanities
Ms. Dunnion holds a Bachelor of Science dual degree in Speech Education and Television Production from Syracuse University with a minor in English, as well as a Master of Science in Secondary English Education (concentration in Linguistics) from Iona College. Ms. Dunnion has been teaching English since 1968 and became a member of the Brophy faculty in 1991. She has been honored with the Flinn Scholarship’s Outstanding Educator Award. Ms. Dunnion moderates the Knowledge Masters, Brophy’s only competitive academic team that is open to all interested students.

Classroom: Brophy 210  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  ddunnion@brophyprep.org

Debbie Kauffman

Advanced Placement English IV
Ms. Kauffman earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts at the University of North Dakota and has taught for 30 years. Prior to joining Brophy in 1997, she taught at Xavier, Deer Valley High School, and Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School, where she was part of its first teaching staff. She also worked for two years as a curriculum specialist in the Deer Valley Unified School District. Before her work in secondary education, she taught for eight years at the university level.

Classroom: Brophy 110  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  dkauffman@brophyprep.org
 

Susan Maynard

English III, Advanced Placement English III, Advanced Placement English IV
Ms. Maynard earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama and a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, supplemented by master's level classes in curriculum development from ASU. She joined the Brophy English Department in 2002 after working in Brophy's admissions office for two years, and never ceases to appreciate the joys and challenges of the Brophy classroom.
 
Classroom: Brophy 203  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291 x6284  ||  smaynard@brophyprep.org

Lane McShane ’82

English II, English III
Mr. McShane earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from ASU West. He has been a member of the Brophy faculty since 1994. Mr. McShane has taught in the English, Social Studies, and Religion Departments. He is the moderator of the Covert American Politics Club, Monty Python Club, Musicians Exchange Club, and moderator of the hockey team. He knows who killed JFK and is still protesting the Vietnam police action.
 
Classroom: Brophy 201  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  lmcshane@brophyprep.org
 

Scott Middlemist ’87

Honors English I
Mr. Middlemist earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Santa Clara University and a Master of Arts in Education from Northern Arizona University. He has been a member of the Brophy faculty since 1994 and coaches cross country and track.
 
Classroom: Eller 211  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6438  ||  smiddlemist@brophyprep.org

Matthew Munhall ’12

English II
After graduating from Brophy in 2012, Mr. Munhall earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame. He returns to Brophy as a member of the Alumni Service Corps. Mr. Munhall teaches a section of English II and works in the Office of Faith and Justice. 

Office: OFJ  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284   ||  mmunhall@brophyprep.org

Austin Pidgeon ’08

Honors English II, English IV Writers and Current Issues
Mr. Pidgeon earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Santa Clara University and his Master of Arts in Literature from San Francisco State University. He has returned to Brophy as an alumnus, class of 2008, to teach English and guitar, coach basketball, and assist with the Brophy Literary & Arts Magazine (BLAM). He also moderates the Ukulele Club, Club Surf, and Brophy Production Masters (bpm) club.

Classroom: Brophy 206  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  apidgeon@brophyprep.org

Steve Smith ’96

English I
Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education from ASU. He also earned a Master of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University. He joined the Brophy faculty in 2006. He currently teaches English I and coaches cross country and track. He also coordinates the SAT test at Brophy, co-moderates The Wrangler, Brophy’s satire publication, and manages the Work Opportunity Grant Program.
 
Classroom: Brophy 203  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6398  ||  ssmith@brophyprep.org
 

Chad Unrein

English IV Hero's Journey, English IV Creative Writing
Mr. Unrein is from Phoenix and attended ASU where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He joined the Brophy community in 2008. He coaches freshman football and JV baseball.
 
Classroom:  Brophy 201  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6284  ||  cunrein@brophyprep.org
 

Seamus Walsh

Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs, English IV Modern Fiction
Mr. Walsh earned a Bachelor of Arts from Santa Clara University, a Master of Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and a Master of Curriculum and Instruction from ASU. Mr. Walsh first came to Brophy as a Jesuit volunteer for the 1995-1996 academic year and has been a member of the Brophy faculty since 1995. In addition to administrative duties, Mr. Walsh teaches one senior English elective each year.
 
Office: Romley Hall  ||  Tel: (602) 264-5291, ext. 6293  ||  swalsh@brophyprep.org