From shaping students to shaping clay: Math teacher Creighton retires


courtesy of Barbara Creighton

The staff surprised Creighton with a retirement party in early January.

by Kendall Martin and Sydney Henry

“I knew it was time to retire about three years ago. Things in my personal life were starting to fall into place,” said math teacher Ms. Barbara Creighton.

Although she is retiring from the math department, Creighton enjoys pottery and has more plans for expanding her art after retirement. 

Creighton has been working at LHS for 15 years, but has been teaching for 31. 

“I would not change or do anything differently. I am who I am today because of my experiences and the relationships I have developed,” Creighton said.

She decided to be a math teacher because she likes the subject. She also likes the planning part, like organizing the lessons so they make sense to students. “The best part of teaching is when students start to understand the relationships between the concepts. The sort of ‘aha’ moments some students have,” Creighton said. 

Creighton started pottery in the summer of 2012. She took her first week-long workshop and knew she wanted to create more. When she first started, everything she made fell apart and wasn’t going right, but she wanted to get better and keep trying.

She spent the first two years learning how to throw on the wheel and the last seven developing a personal style. Her favorite pieces to make are big bowls and vases. She enjoys carving decorations into clay and seeing what the wood kiln can do to the surfaces. 

A large pottery piece takes about a half an hour to an hour to throw on the wheel but then there is trimming and decorating which can be another 2-3 hours, depending on details. 

“My pottery has greatly improved. I keep a piece from every phase of my learning and once in a while I look back at my progress. I made a couple of wide rimmed bowls that were just fabulous. I had them juried into two different shows,” Creighton said.

“My immediate retirement plans are not too exciting. Clean my house from top to bottom. Then on to some pottery wood firing, workshops, and museum visits,” Creighton said.