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From Pen to Power: Revealing the Importance of Women’s literature at MHS

Discover the Empowering Journey of Women’s literature at Muscatine High School!

With March being Women’s History Month,  many people may be surprised to know that Muscatine High School offers a Women and Literature class! In prior years, the class was taught on and off by Mrs. Cantrell. The course sometimes struggles to run because not enough students have shown interest in the elective. 

However, Ms. Lukavsky jumped at the opportunity this semester when MHS asked if she wanted to teach Women and Lit. Lukavsky stated, “I think it’s a really cool thing to do electives. But people are so focused on their core classes it gets kind of swept aside, and to some people, it’s not the most interesting title.”

She takes a different approach when teaching her elective classes since she isn’t tied to a curriculum with other teachers. She asked herself when she plans, what does she want her students to learn and take away each day? Through this question over her planning, she kept coming back to the concept of, surrounding the ‘What was life like for women that it’s not today?’ And this is what she bases her students’ reading experience around.

To read how far we’ve [society has] come, I think it just gives people hope that there is change made and women are important.

— Ms. Lukavsky

Lukavsky also brought up the fact that traditional English classes are taught through the books of men. When reading books written by women, you start to see things from a very different perspective. 

Although Lukavsky was warned about the struggle of finding students, she took into her responsibility to spread awareness about Women and Lit. Engaging students whom she thought would enjoy the curriculum. Having a connection with the group of students in her class is one of Lukavsky’s favorite parts that comes with teaching the course.

Having a time during the day that is dedicated to hearing a woman’s perspective, and being able to conclude it in a “Yap session” is something that as a woman, makes this class all the more important.

Despite the relevance to the actual curriculum of the class, the conversation always circles back to ‘What does this mean for women?’

“When we get to have the discussions we do with the group we have, it’s a really open place and I feel like everybody feels welcome to say something,” said Lukavsky.

Lukavsky’s biggest goal for next year is to be able to continue teaching this class, along with gathering more male students. Another goal of hers is to get more literature read as a whole. 

“If you like reading take it, if you like yapping take it!” – Lukavsky!

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Kelsy Esmoil, Writer
MHS / 2026'
Vanessa Garcia, Writer
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