Mary Merkel was born and raised in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. She does not miss shoveling snow. As a teen, she spent a year as an exchange student, studying music in Hungary. She earned her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins, where she majored in Anthropology. Mary started teaching English at Essex County College in New Jersey, a little over a decade ago. In 2015, she moved to Arizona and started teaching at the Secondary school level. Mary earned her certification through Rio Salado’s Teacher in Residence program; these days she teaches a little bit of everything, from coding Minecraft add-ons to analyzing Russian literature.
When she’s not teaching, Mary has been known to moonlight as a river guide. Her favorite pastimes include: snorkeling with leopard sharks, reading books, and playing video games.