• Welcome to Mr. Wesley Phillipson's webpage.

    Mr. Wesley Phillipson
    English Teacher / Grades 10, 11 Honors & Words + Images   
    Contact Information: wphillipson@scarsdaleschools.org

    Assignments and HW are posted on Google Classroom. 


    You can book office hours with me here: https://wphillipson.youcanbook.me/

    CLASSROOM: 207


    OFFICE: 301 - B    {in the alcove off the 3rd floor elevator}


    If you have a question, please email me. If you need a different meeting time than what's offered on my "YouCanBookMe" page, then contact me for an alternate time and we'll make something work. 


    Always speak well of yourself, each other, and - as much as humanly possible - me. I promise to do the same.


    Wes Phillipson {wp}


    Classroom & Philosophy



    Ever since Zoom came into general use, I’ve taken full advantage of the technology, bringing Oscar winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and future Nobel Prize winners into my classes to enrich my curriculum, and to give students the chance to “test out their thinking” with some of the greatest minds working in Arts and Letters today. 

    Where else could students pose questions to Faulkner/PEN winner Don DeLillo (whose book White Noise was adapted to the screen)? Under what other circumstances could public high school students engage in a lively discussion with Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Maverick, Edge of Tomorrow)? 

    World-class journalists for The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker Magazine, and The Atlantic have given my students the chance to see how “working writers” shape their stories, work with their editors, and reflect on their practice. 

    Pulitzer winners Dave Barry (social commentary and humor), and Emily Nussbaum (TV criticism), and number-one songwriters Richard Rudolph and Mario Winans all had something invaluable to offer my English classes when they met with us: 

    1.  How to add something to the culture

    2.  How to find your voice as a writer 

    3.  How to produce - and bring to market - your narrative, your argument, your conversation

    So, whether it’s been spending an hour with writer-director Jonathan Mostow (the man entrusted with helming the first movie to cost more than 200 millions dollars — The Terminator 3 — after taking the reins from James Cameron), or spending an hour with the most remarkable color-commentator in tennis history, NYT Bestselling Author, and coach to TWO number one players (Brad Gilbert), or spending a class period with the founders of the Advertising Agency that created the “Got Milk” campaign (Goodby Silverstein & Partners), this time with artists, creatives, and - above all else- WRITERS - is time well spent, time that enriches students’ lives, and makes the possibility of working in creative fields a real consideration. 



    The study of English is a means to improve all forms of communication. To that end, at all levels of English, I emphasize rhetorical structures, performance, presentation, and activities that develop students as "speakers" and performers in myriad ways. 





    My classes are geared towards refining the argument. The noted trial lawyer Gerry Spense once said that "everything is an argument." Whether working with sophomores, students in my Junior Honors class or my senior Words and Images media studies elective, I emphasize how to use a variety of rhetorical frames with which to write, debate, and persuade. 


    The goal is uniform across the board: whether a written, oral or visual argument, one must understand how to curate, how to add something new to the conversation, and how to "win the attention game." 




    No great work of art exists without the presence of ambiguity. At all levels, I work hard to push students to engage challenging works of literature (especially non-fiction and long-form journalism), poetry, film, and fine art. The goal is to make students comfortable with the uncertainty that great art will inevitably bring, and to help students make meaningful observations and conclusions about the great narratives of our time, and beyond.