Welcome to the Lincoln Academy English Department.  The purpose of the English curriculum at Lincoln Academy is to develop every student’s ability to think, read, write, speak, and listen to the best of his or her ability. We use language in a variety of ways (writing units, discussion groups, reading of individually selected books, group and individual presentations). We encourage each student to discover the power of language to shape ideas, to describe, to convey thought, to express personal insight, to persuade, to promote cooperation, to work in groups, to solve problems and to make decisions. We are committed to the goal of increasing the vocabulary skills of students by presenting a sequence of Greek and Latin roots each year. The English department treats each student individually and provides a series of courses to meet differing needs.

There are six full members of the department and a shared faculty member from ESOL:  Seth Anderson, Thomas Kothe, Bryan Manahan (chairperson), Brian Smalley, Brenda Sawyer, Patti Sims, and Heather Miller.

The English Department serves all students at Lincoln Academy in meeting the required four years of English in order to graduate. Within each of these years, the department has core English courses that are heterogeneously grouped and focused on preparing students to meet the needs and challenges of post graduation, whether it be work or college. Having four years of English before graduation is a National requirement. There is a regular course at each level of schooling that serves to provide a solid foundation of all the aspects of English.

There are also pre-accelerated English courses freshman and sophomore years (Honors I and Honors II) that prepare students for Advanced Placement English courses junior and senior years.  There is an application process for both Honors and AP courses, and candidates who are accepted are expected to complete summer reading assignments.

The Department tries to accommodate the needs of all students and encourages open communication with not only students but parents as well.

Contact Information

John Cannon : English Faculty
John Cannon

John Cannon joined LA in 2019 after being the 7th and 8th grade Reading teacher at Great Salt Bay School. For six years in the mid-90’s John worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, where he was a member of the Screenwriters Guild and was optioned by Walt Disney to adapt the novel Jennie into a feature film. A National Board Certified teacher, John earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently working on his Masters in Education at Orono.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. English Literature, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bryan Manahan : English Department Head—Outing Club Co-Advisor—
Bryan Manahan

Mr. Manahan came to Lincoln Academy in 1999 from a background in experiential education particularly aboard sail training vessels on the coast of Maine.  He hoped to bring the same excitement for learning nautical science and maritime studies on the sea to the study of reading and writing in the English classroom.  When not growing with students in the classroom, his preference is still to be outside in the woods or on the water with his family and a good book.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. English and Textual studies - Syracuse University
MAT - Ursuline College
M.Ed. Educational Policy and Management - Harvard University

(207) 563-3596 ext. 206
Lauren Crosby : ESOL Faculty
Lauren Crosby

Lauren Crosby is a native of the fishing community of Georgetown, Maine. She has taught in South Korea, Alaska, and most recently, Thailand. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, skiff riding, off-the-beaten-path traveling, and white water rafting. Lauren is also a recording singer-songwriter and has two albums of original music out.

Academic Affiliations:

University of Maine at Farmington-- Secondary Education: concentration in English

2017-2018 United States Fulbright Scholar - Thailand

Patricia Sims : English Faculty—Governance Committee Co-Chair
Patricia Sims


Patti Sims has worked at the Academy in the English Department since 1987, where she was English Department head for 11 years. During that time she has taught English at all levels, including AP Language and Pre-AP English I (now Honors English I).  She has directed numerous plays, acted, taught multiple drama courses, competed in speech competitions, advised speech and debate clubs, and taught related courses. This background of loving the interpretation of literature was a natural springboard into teaching English, a language with power in words and expression. Her interests in the global community led to a MS in Literacy with a Concentration in ESL from University Southern Maine, where she worked teaching English to newcomer refugees and immigrants. She also taught ESOL English several years at Lincoln, where her strong commitment to and love for embracing those from other cultures has been to help them gain knowledge and facility with the English language.  Ms. Sims is currently Governance Committee Co-Chairperson and Study Abroad English Coordinator/Instructor. For 25 years she was a sign language interpreter for the deaf community. She is active in the lives of her two children who are alumni of the Academy. Love of travel motivated a colleague and her to take 40 students to Italy, Greece, and England, in addition to her own personal sojourns.

Academic Affiliations:

BA Speech/Drama, Monmouth College (now known as Monmouth University)
MS Literacy with a Concentration in ESL, University Southern Maine

(207) 563-3596 ext. 142
Brian Smalley : English Faculty
Brian Smalley

Raised by wolves in an Indian jungle, Brian Smalley grew up determined to be the best man cub of them all.  After slaying his nemesis, Shere Kahn, he traveled to London to learn English in order to pursue his true passion: education, as jungle life lost its appeal to him. He joined Lincoln Academy’s faculty in 2012. In his spare time he can be found stretched out on a tiger-skin rug in the company of Hemingway and Alexi.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. English Literature, University of Maine, Augusta

(207) 563-3596 ext. 143
Brenda Sawyer : English Faculty
Brenda Sawyer

A lifelong Mainer, Brenda grew up in nearby Wiscasset. While earning her BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in English from the University of Maine at Farmington, she fell in love with Western Maine and decided to stay, teaching English at Mt. Blue High School. Marriage and family pulled her back to the midcoast, where she taught at her alma mater, Wiscasset High School, and discovered a passion for adolescent literacy.  She returned to school in 2013 and completed a Master’s degree in Literacy Education in 2015.  Brenda lives in Dresden with her husband, Jon, and two children, Maggie and Eben.

Academic Affiliations:

B.S. Secondary Education, University of Maine, Farmington
M.S. Literacy Education, University of Southern Maine