Hobbies and Scholarships: Two sides to Mrs. Merges


Mrs. Merges and her three sons. Photo Credit: Mrs. Merges

Catherine Benedetti, Staff Writer

Mrs. Merges, a math teacher at Victor Senior High, sat down with me to discuss her personal hobbies and the Dollars for Scholars scholarship program. I’ve been in her classes for two years now, so being able to learn a bit more about her was a fun opportunity. 

Mrs. Merges is co-president of the Dollars for Scholars scholarship program, a position she shares with Mrs. Fiorito. She manages the online application process, as well as teachers in the spring to make final decisions on who will receive a scholarship. She says that the program “gives away a lot of money, over 100,000 dollars every year.”

The scholarships are fundraised in part by the Dollars for Scholars organization, along with donations from individual organizations such as sports booster clubs. She says that usually 80 to 95 students receive a scholarship, or more than one, which can range from a couple hundred dollars to around $5,000. “There’s one to Clarkson that’s a 4-year scholarship, that’s a large one.”

Merges invites all seniors to apply for a scholarship, saying that the worst that could happen is not receiving anything.

Another part of her life is her hobbies, which include Candy Crush, quilting, and lawn care. Aside from math, one thing I learned in her class was how much she loves her hobbies. With a Candy Crush score of over 2,000, Merges says she plays for “10 minutes in the morning while I’m having my cup of coffee, and then usually about 20 minutes when I get home from school to clear my head before I start my home stuff.”

Photo Credit: Mrs. Merges

If you’ve had Mrs. Merges as a teacher before, you’ve probably also heard about her love for her lawnmower.

“A couple of years ago for my birthday I got a zero-turn John Deere lawn mower,” she says. “I love, love, love to mow the lawn, and I think it’s because it’s mathematical, and I have my schedule of vertical, horizontal, diagonal to the right, diagonal to the left. So each time I mow, I do a different direction so that the grass stays healthy.”

Another hobby of hers is quilting, which she was trained in at a quilt shop in New York City. “I just bought a quilting machine, it’s about 12 feet long and weighs about 100 pounds, and now I will be able to take people’s quilts in and put the stitching on the top of them. It’s very artistic, it’s like I’m drawing with a sewing machine, drawing with thread, and I do a lot of it freehand, so I don’t use a laser light or a computer to do it, I just grab onto the handlebars and let ‘er go.”

Photo Credit: Mrs. Merges
Photo Credit: Mrs. Merges

Mrs. Merges recommends picking up a hobby, saying that they help to clear your mind and provide a break from day-to-day stress.