For Liz Milch, Crossroads was an inspiring, exuberant literary adventure, punctuated by Great Books and film classes, “where I learned most of what I know even now,” she says.
Liz, who calls herself “nearly a lifer,” came to Crossroads in first grade and immediately took to its open, encouraging atmosphere. She wrote for the Middle School newspaper and, in ninth grade, joined the staff of Crossfire. “That became my passion,” she says. “I loved it.” By senior year, she was editor-in-chief.
Liz found her writing voice at Crossroads. She fondly recalls one creative writing assignment that asked students to invent an “extra” chapter for “Catcher in the Rye,” which taught her both “how to be in my own voice and shift my voice.”
Liz earned her bachelor’s in English literature and language at Yale University, then joined the staff of HarperCollins Publishers in New York City. But a memory of all the Crossroads teachers “who put time into me” stuck with her. “They totally influenced my desire to be a teacher,” she says.
She went back to school at New York University for a master’s in secondary English education. One of her first jobs: developing innovative middle school curricula based largely on the Great Books. “I have a soft spot for the canon,” she says.
In 2014, Liz’s career took another intriguing turn when she became “curriculum guru” at Genius, an online knowledge platform that invites users to provide annotations and interpretation of song lyrics, news, poetry and other forms of text. Initially charged with curriculum development and teacher support, Liz quickly became the site’s community manager, and is now director of content across all Genius media channels.
She’s involved in managing a full range of content, from videos to literary essays, as well as brainstorming how to appeal to readers. “I’m calling back on skills I learned at Crossfire,” she explains.
Genius’ company culture encourages people to talk about issues. “We call it, ‘feel it to my face,’” says Liz. “That can be hard for some, but for me, it’s like Life Skills at Crossroads. It feels great!”