When Emilie Merrill first stepped foot into her business management class, she thought she knew exactly what she wanted in life. But she soon found out that wasn’t the case.
“I absolutely love teaching,” Merrill said. “It is a passion for me. [But] originally, my major was business management, which is a pretty far cry from what I’m currently doing. I took a class and realized that it just wasn’t something that I loved. In all my spare time I was volunteering in tutoring centers, helping students do various extracurricular [activities], and I decided that that was the way and the direction I wanted to go.”
Once she entered the English classroom for the first time, Merrill knew it was meant to be.
“The second I got in the classroom, I knew that was it,” Merrill said.
Merrill is new to the state of Virginia. Having just moved across the country from Northglenn, Colorado, Merrill came to the area when her husband was accepted into Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine.
Merrill has been teaching English classes for several years now, but that is not all she teaches. She will teach a speech class at PGHS, as well.
“I’m really excited about [teaching the speech class],” said Merrill. “I think that’s such a tangible skill for students to be able to learn and take into the world and see immediately … so I’m excited to be doing that.”
Merrill is also very athletic. In her free time, she spends a lot of time working out.
“Being from Colorado, I’m into the outdoors, do a lot of hiking, that type of thing,” Merrill said. “When I was in California … I did a lot of singing in choirs, and as well dancing, and I keep up with those. Swing dancing is one that I particularly love.”
Merrill also continues to pursue her love of English outside of class.
“I’m an English teacher, so it would be a crime if I said I didn’t read, so I read all the time,” said Merrill.
“Additionally, I love stories of any form, so, you’ve got to have Netflix in there as well.”
Merrill says that the students themselves helped inspire her to teach.
“I think that teenagers have such an amazing spirit, I think that they are going to be the ones that are our future, so that’s where I wanted to invest all of my time.”