Special education paraprofessional
Reason for selection:
As a Special Education Paraprofessional, Mrs. Merriman is truly a superstar on staff. She works every day to address the unique needs of her students. Whether it is helping a student to learn their letters, finish an art project or help them eat their lunch, Mrs. Merriman gives each student the same loving care she would give her own. She is very passionate about seeing her students overcome any obstacle they face and always has a smile for anyone who needs it.
1. What do you love about working at Dalton Local Schools?
I grew up a Dalton Bulldog as did my husband Alan, and our kids Micajah and Morgan. When I got hired I had a feeling of being home. Some of my high school friends and classmates were teachers here, and some teachers I had were still here. I love the dedication and kindness of our staff and I have had the privilege of working in all the buildings of our district and have worked with many of our staff. I am thankful for our community and all our parent support as well. I believe this combination is what has made our district unique for so many years. I am blessed to be here!
2. How did you get to where you are today?
After I graduated I went to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for a year and a half and majored in Social Work. I then changed my major to Child Life Specialist and transferred to Akron University Wayne College for a year and a half. I wanted to work with kids and their families.
During summers when I attended college I worked at Wooster Brush Company in Wooster and ended up taking a full time job there and didn’t finish my education. I worked with many people in many different departments and trained many people throughout my 15 years there. When I look back now, I believe working there gave me many of my job skills I still use today. I left Wooster Brush in 1998 and stayed home with my kids.
In 2000, I became a sub for the district as an aide and cafeteria worker. In February 2002, I applied for a position as a one-on-one with a student with Aspergers syndrome. Principal Pam Domer hired me for the position and I worked under Ann Stutz, the special intervention teacher at that time. They gave me such wonderful support. They hold a special place in my heart for believing in me and giving me the chance to take on this new position because It was new to Dalton’s district to have one-on-ones. I had the backing to attend many seminars on Autism, I went to the library and got out many books on autism, and read online to learn all I could for this job. It brought me back to working with kids and their families, I love what I do! I have gotten to work with so many kids and just always want to help them be the best them. I want them to know they are cared for, they are important, and in some small way I want to be a blessing to them. I believe they teach me more than I can ever teach them and for that they have all been a blessing to me! I have now been here for 20 years!
3. Tell us one interesting little fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.
I worked at Cedar Point in Frontier Land the summer after graduating high school. Eye opening experience coming from the little town of Dalton, but much fun! Also, I have worked summer help for the school since 2008, and sub custodial throughout the school year.