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English & Language Arts

PHS English Department

Sarah Walls - Co. Dept Head Senior English and AP Literature

Jenna Jewell - Co. Dept Head AP Language  Freshman English

Debra Morrow - Freshman, Freshman Honors

Karen Coster - Sophomore Honors 

Dawn Neufiled - ALD, Sophomore English

Maria Rios - Ethnic Studies English

Hollie Retzinger ALD, Ethinc Studies English

Jennifer Griffiths -Ethnic Studies  English, Newcomers English

Meet the Piner English Teachers

English Dept pic

Hollie Retzinger has been teaching Secondary English for six years and has a passion for getting to know her students and helping them realize the power of education to change lives. Hollie is a Bay Area native who attended San Francisco City College and received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley and her Single Subject English Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. She has experience working with English Learners at all proficiency levels and has taught English Literature classes for 9th through 12th graders, including Journalism and Expository Reading and Writing. She enjoys adapting her curriculum to meet the particular needs and interests of her students. Hollie recently relocated to Santa Rosa from San Francisco with her family and she enjoys hiking, cooking and going to see live music with her family and friends. Hollie is thrilled to be a part of the Piner community and looks forward to getting to know her students each year. 

Ms. Coster and Bob Ross

Karen Coster and Bob Ross

Karen Coster currently teaches English and oversees the Early College Program at Piner. She has taught English for 20+ years, served as the ECM Coordinator for 8+ years, and was a school librarian for 10 years. She loves books, is a life-long learner and is a fan of Bob Ross.

Ms. Jewell and Ben

Ms. Jewell is a native Santa Rosan and a proud prospector. She attended Santa Rosa Junior College for her AA, and then Sonoma State University for her BA along with her single subject teaching credential. She has been teaching at Piner since 2012 and has taught various classes, though predominantly Honors and Academic English 9. Ms. Jewell enjoys spending her free time with her son, hanging with her family and friends, cooking, reading, and enjoying Sonoma County. She is an advocate for her students and works diligently to support them in reaching their academic and personal goals.

newcomers english class

newcomers english class

Jennifer Griffiths joins Piner High School’s English department with over a decade of teaching experience.  She holds a Masters Degree in Education and both Multiple Subjects and Single Subject Credential authorizations. Additionally, she brings over a decade of skilled instruction working with the Newcomer students in Marin County.  She is an avid reader, enjoys time with family and friends, and teaching at Piner! “Piner is like a big family. The environment here is rich with support and the academic rigor offers challenges to all. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to meet their goals and the staff is caring and supportive.” Jennifer has one grown son, loves to travel and enjoys keeping the curriculum fresh and relevant.  Ms. Griffiths looks forward to many more years with the Piner Family!