Second educator from Northwestern High School dies of coronavirus

A second educator from a Prince George’s County high school has died after contracting coronavirus.

Annis Creese, 72, died Sunday, according to her son.

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Michael Hyland said his mother taught Spanish for more than 20 years at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville. She was so well-loved, some students called her ‘Mom.’

“You couldn’t go to the mall, you couldn’t go to the grocery store, you couldn’t go anywhere without some kid saying, ‘Oh, Ms. Creese!’” Hyland said. “She was a true humanitarian and I think selfless to a fault.

He said his mother grew up in Trinidad and spent two decades teaching there before moving to Maryland.

He said her illness started with a persistent cough and she went to the hospital last Tuesday.

Hyland said despite a positive COVID-19 test, his mother was improving. Then on Sunday, she took a sudden turn and died soon after.

Annis Creese

He said while his mom had liver problems and hypertension, she was healthy enough to keep teaching.

“My mom was 72 and I’ve been asking her for like the last six years, ‘Why aren’t you retiring?” he said. “She said, ‘The job is so rewarding. Sometimes I just love being around the kids and seeing them kind of mature and transition.’”

Marques Brown graduated from Northwestern and remembers Ms. Creese as a standout teacher who truly cared.

“She was like a mom to me,” said Brown. “Someone I genuinely and truly had love for.”

He said the impact Creese left will last for years and years to come.

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Brown also knew Terrance Burke, a counselor and head basketball coach at the school who also died from the virus.

”Coach Burke’s funeral was yesterday and it was a virtual funeral,” said Brown.

Brown was among those who watched on Facebook, the service posted by the funeral home because only a few people could be there in person.

“With it being the second person at the school and considering the population the school has, it’s very serious,” said Brown. “This is something that should not be taken lightly.”

The Creese family may hold a memorial a year from now so they can have an inclusive gathering with all the current and former students who want to remember their teacher.