Dr. Garon is absolutely delighted to join the GWCS community. He returns to teaching high school English after a lengthy hiatus during which he worked as a conflict resolution practitioner/consultant focused primarily on disputes concerning environmental and natural resource issues. Dr. Garon has taught persons aged five to 50+ in a range of learning environments, including elementary school reading, middle and high school English, and conflict resolution academic and training courses to college students (undergraduate and graduate level) and federal agency staff. In a previous life he worked as a Team Development Course facilitator/instructor at Hemlock Overlook.

Dr. Garon believes education should serve two primary purposes: 1) training students to become life-long learners, which means building their awareness of the cognitive processes used when engaged in learning, thus helping them become better self-teachers and learners, and 2) preparing students to be engaged participants in society by providing the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to/solve emerging challenges. Helping students become active, critical, and creative users (both consumers and producers) of written, spoken and visual language is critical to achieving both purposes.

Dr. Garon – much to his continuing surprise – has lived his entire life in the DC/Baltimore area (except for his junior year “abroad” in Montana). Nonetheless, he has traveled extensively, including leading high school-aged students on month-long bicycle tours in the U.S. and Europe. He received his BA in English (minor in Theatre Arts) from Towson University and his PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.


World Literature I: Ancient Literature

From the earliest of times, humans have told stories to inform, instruct, entertain, and generally to make sense of the world in which they lived.  As such, these stories reflect the people and times in which the stories originated and were told.  Yet, it wasn’t until the development of written language that these stories could be recorded and have a slim chance of surviving and therefore becoming “literature.”  In this course, students read, respond to, and analyze a sampling of literature from the earliest known recorded text (circa 2,000 B.C) through the end of the Classical World (circa A.D. 150) covering a variety of geographic regions, including the Middle East (Sumeria and Persia), India, Greece, Japan, China, and Italy (Rome).  Many of these works have influenced later works of literature, including contemporary literature (novels, plays, and poems), films, and music.  Old as they are and whether we realize it or not, these works are part of our cultural currency and continue to inform, entertain, and inspire.  They are worth the effort.

American Literature

Why study American literature?  In addition to being fun (seriously!), American literature reflects the history and cultural progress of our country and our development as a people (some might say peoples).  In this course, students will read both fiction and nonfiction texts and examine the nation’s voice as it develops from the early American settlers to present day modern Americans.  Through critically engaging with a variety of texts and literary genres, students will consider and reflect on the following themes:  what it means to be an American, the tension between individuality and conformity in American society, and what is meant by the “American dream.”