English Department


English Department

Department Goals

The goals of a Jesuit High School education are expressed in its “Profile of a Jesuit High School Graduate at Graduation,” which identifies five essential qualities—becoming Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice—in the formation of “leaders of competence, conscience, compassion, and commitment to God in service who will work for justice and quality of life for all.”  The English Department addresses each of these qualities in its curriculum.

In addition, the English Department curriculum is designed to meet the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA), which have been established “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life” (CCSS Initiative), and to address the elements of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, a method of instruction derived from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola that that engages the student at a personal level and encourages subsequent application in the student’s life. 

Scope and Sequence

Placement for freshman English is based on a ranking system that takes into account previous student performance in ELA courses and standardized objective and essay tests.  The top-ranked students are placed in English 1 XL, an accelerated course of freshman English.  These students have demonstrated special proficiency in the skills identified in the Common Core State Standard ( for reading literature and informational texts, writing in argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative modes, and “the conventions of standard English grammar and usage.  

Subsequent enrollment in accelerated and advanced placement courses is contingent upon students meeting minimum grade requirements as an initial eligibility criterion.  Students currently enrolled in an XL or AP course must earn a minimum grade of B+ for the fall semester in order to enroll and must maintain that level of performance throughout the spring term to remain eligible.  Students in a regular English course must earn a minimum grade of A and maintain that level of performance throughout the spring term.  With exceptions for extraordinary circumstances, students meeting these requirements who request an XL or AP course will be admitted.

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
English 1 English 1XL English 2
English 2XL
English 3

AP English 3: Language and Composition
English 4 Electives: two one-semester courses

AP English 4: Literature and Composition

Ted Hornback, ‘83

“Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage is good.” Or so I have learned. I graduated from Jesuit High School in 1983, grateful to my teachers, coaches, and schoolmates for all they had taught me and for the care they had shown me but eager to move on to the next phase of my education. Still, I maintained contact with a number of my former teachers, among them my Latin teacher Fr. John Kelly, SJ, who would often suggest that I might one day teach at Jesuit, something I did not initially consider seriously.


Nick Luppino, ‘98
English, Theology

Mr. Nick Luppino (class of 1998) received an undergraduate degree in English from Saint Mary’s College, a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of San Francisco, and a Master’s degree and teaching credential from the University of Phoenix. He has been a member of Jesuit’s faculty since 2005. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Mr. Luppino is also the moderator of the Philosophy club, and the Sacramento King’s club, and co-moderator of Student’s for Life.


Colin O’Connor, ‘04
English & Department Chair

I graduated from Jesuit in 2004, and returned in 2009 for my first full-time teaching assignment. It is an honor to teach with peers who were some of my greatest teachers, and to work with such compassionate, enthusiastic students. I especially love watching students discover their voice as writers and thinkers in English class. For many years I helped as an assistant coach in the aquatics program, with both water polo and swimming. Now, my time after school is devoted to my family and my own continuing education.


Ed Trafton, ‘84
Jesuit Drama Artistic Director, Campus Ministry, English

Joining the faculty in the fall of 1990, Ed Trafton works in Campus Ministry as a liturgical musician and teaches senior English (Detective Fiction and Hero’s Journey).

Off campus he works as a teaching artist at California Musical Theatre/Music Circus, an accompanist/arranger/composer at St. Ignatius and St. Mary’s Church, and as a freelance arranger/composer/conductor/designer/director/pianist/playwright.

He considers it an honor to be working alongside some of his former teachers and former students.

“Go, Big Red!”  A.M.D.G.


Jon Witucki
Latin, English


  • B.A. Major in Latin, Minor in Ancient Greek from University of California at Davis 1989 
  • M.A. in Classics: Latin and Greek Language and Literature from University of California at Santa Barbara 1992


  • National Honor Society 
  • Latin Club 
  • Holy Rollers Bowling Club

First year working at Jesuit: 2000

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