Mr. Merritt: Teacher, Coach, Mentor


James Polo, Staff Writer

In what seems like a normal school year, I sat down with Victor Senior High’s Mr. Merritt about his life and teaching here at Victor.

Mr. Merritt’s first choice was not teaching out of high school; his original plan was to go into industrial manufacturing engineering and test new projects before they came into the market.

As it turned out, he stayed close to home and attended SUNY Brockport where he started off as an engineering major and later switched to a math major. 

His first teaching job was at Victor in the 2001- 2002 school year Mr. Merritt, Mr. Schlueter and Mr. Siesto would all arrive on the scene at the same time.

 “The close group of us kind of struggled through being first year teachers together and felt very welcomed”. However, he wouldn’t struggle for long as he’s going on to his 22nd year teaching at Victor and is not the new kid on the block anymore.

 Mr. Merrit was my math teacher the year after Covid. We all lost out on learning during the Covid year. Mr Merritt lost out on contact time with students.

“It was definitely more difficult having half the contact time with my students which made it a huge issue.” 

  Even though we met once a week Mr. Merritt doesn’t hide the fact that he loves to talk to everyone that walks past his classroom and always has a smile on his face.

You will usually find him standing outside his class wearing a Josh Allen jersey while talking with teachers or students. 

The school size at victor has been rapidly increasing throughout the years.  

“It’s improved first and foremost with size. It’s huge when I first started the class of 2002 was somewhere in the low 200s. I was a 2006 class advisor and we were at 234 and I think graduation last year was at 340.” 

He also said that we are offering more and higher courses for students that want extra classes or want to take a harder class. 

Aside from teaching, Mr. Merritt started coaching at the Varsity level as a football, wrestling and track assistant coach. He later found that he wanted to go down to a modified level and be a modified wrestling coach “wrestling is a sport that is one of the ultimate sports of accountability. You are the only person out there you are head to head against another person and if you are successful it is solely due to what you did”.