In the spotlight | Andrew Mericle voted 2019 Best Teacher
Teaching is Andrew Mericle’s second career, but his first calling.
He wanted to be a teacher when he was in college, but ended up in insurance instead. He spent several years there and in the pastoral ministry before making the move to education.
“One day I just thought, I really want to be in teaching,” Mericle said. “I jumped over and I’m glad I did. Insurance can be rewarding, but not like teaching. Teaching you can leave your mark on the next generation. That’s the special part for me.”
This is Mericle’s fourth year at West Grand Middle School. He teaches seventh grade English, social studies, and civics and debate electives. When he heard he had been voted best teacher in Grand County, he said he was surprised.
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“That’s awesome,” Mericle said. “A little bit unexpected, but awesome. I must have a lot of crickets out there voting for me.”
Before coming to West Grand, Mericle taught in Oklahoma for nine years, for a total of 13 years in teaching.
Mericle is deeply involved in school activities, calling himself “too busy for my own good.” He takes the eighth-graders to Washington, D.C., every year; coaches model U.N.; and much more.
“The great thing about teaching is, there is never a dull moment,” Mericle said. “Every day is a different class, a different experience. The variety of the day to day makes it the most satisfying. It’s never the same old thing.”
Mericle really enjoys his time with students because of the impact it can have. Hearing prior students talk about how he has helped them to succeed is something that Mericle said he wouldn’t trade for the world.
“Somebody said one time that teachers aren’t doctors or lawyers or astronauts, but in a way we sort of are,” Mericle said. “Because the next generation becomes those things.”
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