English department welcomes new teacher

Putting the Lit in Literature


Photo by Katelyn Pan

World Literature and Lit/Writ Teacher Mrs.Barton instructs her class

By Katelyn Pan

This school year, HHS welcomes a new addition. Literature and Writing teacher Surna Barton to its English Department. She has been teaching English for several years, but HHS is her first time teaching at a high school.

Barton teaches freshman as well as World Literature.  

“I really like [HHS],” Barton said, “and I think the students are wonderful and very motivated, and I love the school spirit they have here. The teachers have really made me feel like a part of the family,” she said.

Barton is excited to teach creative writing and poetry, which were subjects that she enjoyed in high school, she said.  

She is passionate about reading and has a library in her classroom, aimed at students with the goal of getting them interested in literature.

“I’m a firm believer that a good book can change your life… I didn’t initially like to read, but when I got books that really spoke to me, they changed the direction my life was going in,” Barton said.  “I think that if we can interest students in literature and get them a book in their hands that has that impact on them, it can really change their view on education, their life, and so much more…I wanted to spark that interest for students and hopefully get the right book in the right hands,” she said.  

Barton’s favorite genre of book at the moment is dystopian.

“It’s dark, it’s moody, and it tells us something about our own society right now.”  

Barton would describe herself as someone who is patient, caring and smiley. These traits are prominent in her classroom at all times to ensure a learning environment that provides students with room for growth.  

In her free time, she enjoys doing Pilates, cooking and relaxing at home. Barton is thrilled to be teaching at Homestead. Having recently moved into the Bay Area, she has turned over many new leaves.

“When I saw the first rally [at Homestead] I was so impressed with the amount of school spirit and school pride. It’s is definitely very special about this school,” she said.