How English Class Saved my Future


Photo by Justin Storrs

English teacher Corrie Myers helps a student revise his college application.

Justin Storrs, Staff Writer

Without English class, I would have been lost. Apart from not knowing how to use a semicolon in a complex sentence, nor what the conch shell represented in the Lord of the Flies, I wouldn’t know how give myself the best chances at success in life after high school. Yes, this seems hyperbolic and extreme, but there is  truth to this statement. I would have been lost in life after senior year, having no knowledge of crafting a college application,  writing a professional email, nor landing that dream job. Yes, I would have survived, but I wouldn’t have thrived. The English department taught me how to be successful in the modern world for whichever path I chose in life, whether it be college, career, or whatever else may be thrown at me. I wrote this article to not only show thanks for Sage Creek’s English teachers, but to praise them for their outstanding dedication and ingenious curriculum, both geared toward giving students the best opportunities possible after high school.

The department does an amazing job integrating the already-essential lessons of grammar, vocab, and analysis with a new college-and-career-oriented curriculum. Traditional English language and conventions are emphasized in the first three years of school; however, during the senior year, the new curriculum takes center stage in the lives of Sage Creek students. The teachers who teach AP Literature and English 4 understand the hardships of transitioning into the adult world and work to help alleviate these growing pains. They understand the difficulty of getting into college, so they set aside copious amounts of both personal and class time to help students craft their applications, answer their questions, and sometimes just be a shoulder to cry on. They understand the difficulty of landing that dream job, so they design lessons centered around success in the working world. From sending businesslike emails, making polished phone calls, to even maintaining a professional website, the English department is avidly preparing students for life outside of high school.

Finally, there is the famous (or infamous, depending on one’s point of view) Genius Project, possibly the most underappreciated aspect of the curriculum. When it was first introduced to the senior class about a year ago, I remember a unanimous groan throughout the class. However, we stuck with it (for the most part). For those who don’t know what the Genius Project is, it’s a way for students to think of creative ways to better their community, showcase their passions, and challenge themselves and their ways of thinking. Some hate it, some love it; I for one believe that it can be a godsend for students who properly utilize it.  Some  examples you might have heard about on social media or the local newspaper are Emily Kvitek’s STEM symposium, Cameron Yenche’s 3D printed guitar, or Sean Cooke’s “Club” club. Those who complete their Genius Project, and hit the three requirements of passion, challenge, and impact, find themselves with a massive advantage in the adult world, whether it be in applying for college or being interviewed for a job. Imagine what a college admissions counselor would think about you if they read that your Genius Project was to build an orphanage in a developing nation or organize a clothing drive that helped out the community’s less fortunate. The Genius Project also addresses writing a professional blog, which students can use to showcase themselves and their projects. This “positive digital footprint” is essential in the 21st century, where jobs and colleges are now often centered around the internet and social media. Students also give a TED-Talk style speech at the end of the year that summarizes their projects. This serves to prepare students for public speaking and bolsters their confidence, again, both of which are necessary in the modern world.

Overall, working in unison with the Genius Project and the valuable lessons taught by the English department give students an edge when finding their dream schools, when applying to their dream jobs, and when setting out to conquer any other challenge they might face. As a student getting ready to transition into college and as a person moving out into the world on my own, I am extremely grateful for the care and commitment these teachers have given to prepare me in the next step of life.