Room 214

About Mrs. Creasey

I began teaching at Colonial Heights High School in the fall of 2006, just a few weeks after graduating with honors from Michigan State University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in German with a minor in English. I also spent a semester abroad, studying German at Friedrich Schiller Universitaet in Jena, Germany. In 2013, I finished my Master of Arts and Liberal Studies with a major in Creative Writing from University of Denver. 

In addition to teaching English, I wear a lot of other hats here at the high school:

Lead Teacher/Department Head
German Club advisor
Co-advisor of The Spotlight, our school's literary magazine
Co-advisor of the National English Honor Society (NEHS)
Faculty Wellness Representative.

While I am very active in our school, I also remain very active in "the field" (i.e., the real world of writing). Several of my poems have been published by national literary magazine, Cicada, as well as in Vermont Magazine, Our Virginia, and Nine Lives: A Life in 10 Minutes Anthology. In April 2018, my poem "Salem's Indifferent Ox," inspired by my teaching of The Crucible, won second place in the Nancy Byrd category of the Poetry Society of Virginia's Annual Contest. This year, my poem "Running Eulogy" won second place in the Miriam Rachimi category of the contest.

In addition, my essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Author interviews I have conducted and articles I have written have appeared in writeHackr, as well as on League Blog and The Extra Mile, powered by The Hartford. Essays of mine can be found on richmond.com, lifein10minutes.com, and sweatpantsandcoffee.com. My work has also appeared in Mother Earth Living and Turtle Island Quarterly, and I am a regular contributor at ScoutKnows.com and Everyday Dog Magazine, websites for the dog-obsessed (like me), and The Village News. Recently,  my writing has even appear in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

I also regularly participate in writing workshops around Richmond, and am an active member of James River Writers. In fact, in 2019, I co-chaired the Writing Show. Another writing organization in which I participate is the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association, where I serve as a board member, as well as chair the VOWA Collegiate Undergraduate Writing and Photo Contest. If you're interested in writing or photography, check out their website, VOWA.org, for high school contest information! In 2018, my essay "Fly Away Home" won second place column in the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Excellence-in-Craft contest, and in 2019, my article "In the Alaskan Bush" won first place.

Our Goals

I say "our" because I view the classroom experience as a collective, cooperative, and collaborative one. It's not just about me and it's not just about the students--it's about what we can do together. 

A lyric in a song by one of my favorite bands (Brand New) goes like this:

Back in school they never taught us what we needed to know,
like how to deal with despair, or someone breaking your heart.

Well, I love Brand New, but either they didn't pay enough attention in school, or their teachers missed the boat on practical teaching goals. In my view, learning how to "deal with despair, or someone breaking your heart" is just as important in English class as learning to write a formal, academic paper or using proper grammar. This class is as much about preparing you for the SOL as it is about preparing you for college, career, and adult life.  Yes, we will practice grammar. Yes, we will learn vocabulary. Yes, we will write papers. And, yes, we will read books. 

Lots of them. 

But there is an overreaching goal to all of these small tasks, and that is to help you become your best selves. Through the books we read and the papers we write, we will be learning not only how to write well and read critically, but also how to deal with complicated emotions, complex situations, and challenging people. We can learn from the characters in all the literature we read, and we can learn from the themes the authors convey in their books.

My hope is that when you leave English 11, you will be better readers, better writers--and better prepared, for whatever lies ahead.

Did you know...?

English 11 is American Literature, so all the books, poems, and plays we read were written by American writers. They come from various backgrounds. Some are men. Some are women. Some are white. Some are black. Some are young. Some are old. They come from various time periods, too--going as far back as the 1600s and running right up through the 2010s. But there is one thing that they all share: a common national identity.

Oh, and one more thing...

No matter what class you are taking, I do not accept late work in any of them. Make sure to meet all of your deadlines. Work handed in after the deadline will not be graded and will be awarded a "0." I promise, I am not trying to be mean here. Remember up above when I said our main goal for this class is to prepare you for adult life and the real world? Well, adult life and the real world run on deadlines (your taxes will be due April 15, your college applications will be due next fall, your credit card bills will have set due dates); so does room 214.