Alan Ruiz

Dejanae Sharp looks at senior Justice Harper’s response to a text in their Period 1 English class on Sept. 2. Sharp joined the faculty this year, replacing English teacher Cynthia Barry. “I’m just excited to be at a school where I can focus on that passion for teaching writing. I can work with older kids and see their growth,” Sharp said.

Sharpening students’ writing skills

English teacher Dejanae Sharp brings her passion for writing to DPMHS.

English teacher Dejanae Sharp has arrived at her new school excited and ready to impact students’ lives through teaching the subject she loves.

“I’m just excited to be at a school where I can focus on that passion for teaching writing.  I can work with older kids and see their growth,” Sharp said.

After studying English literature and getting both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UCLA,  Sharp worked at elementary schools and middle schools for 10 years.  She moved to Daniel Pearl Magnet High School looking forward to taking on another challenge and enjoying the more mature conversations with students that were lacking in elementary school interactions.  She replaces English teacher Cynthia Barry who moved to Colorado. One of Sharp’s top goals is to help students realize their academic and intellectual potential and gain confidence in their abilities.

“The role of a teacher is so much more than to educate on a curriculum, but we’re also gatekeepers, in a sense, meaning that we can help young people have access to things to improve their own lives,” said Sharp, who is teaching Advanced Placement English Language and 12th grade English classes.

Just within her first week at DPMHS, Sharp feels like she knows most of the seniors.  She has worked in small schools throughout her career, so she already feels comfortable with working in close-knit communities like the one found at DPMHS.  She appreciates the size of the school because it allows her to take time reading each individual’s work and getting to identify students’ strengths.  

“I was definitely impressed by their ability to analyze a text already and write about it and articulate their ideas,” Sharp said.  

Sharp has a passion for hiking and biking and she exercises on a Peloton at home.  She also enjoys traveling.  Her past travel destinations include several states in this country, England, France and the Dominican Republic.  

Since childhood, Sharp has developed a passion for writing and reading.  Although she didn’t have a clear direction when entering college, she was certain that her career would involve English.  Now she has the opportunity to share that passion with all of her students at DPMHS, a school that has welcomed her as well as her work experience and strong passion with open arms. 

“She’s a lover of the written word,” English teacher Ron Baer said.  “She’s a lover of reading.  What matters to her is student achievement and she comes from a strong writing background, so we’re excited to have her here.” 

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