When I Was 17: Ms. Merlini


When I was 17: Ms. Merlini

Set the scene:

I was living in Gilford, New Hampshire and going to Gilford High School. It was a pretty small high school, but bigger than this. There were about 150 to 160 kids in my graduating class. This was 1979.

Sports and extracurricular activities:

I played field hockey in the fall, cross-country skiing in the winter, and track and field in the spring. I was a captain on the field hockey team and my nickname was “the Artful Dodger” because I played the right wing, and I could get by any opponent. In track, I was a member of the 4 x 40 relay (this was when it was yards, not meters). Our team held the record for 15 years! I hated every minute of cross-country skiing. I was a sprinter, not a distance runner, and I tortured myself every day for a year.

Did you ever see yourself working here?

At a school, no, because I loved business. Education was not one of my things. I was very social. I loved teaching, but not in the traditional way. But with horses… I was horse-crazy. I was someone, even in high school, who would ask my parents for a horse. When we landed here, I could not have been happier.

First love/relationships:

So I was a new sophomore at this new school and I had a crush on Mr. Fagan. We went to the same high school, but he dated my friend. So my first love was a guy by the name of Doug Hook and we dated junior and senior year. Then we went off to college and broke up.

Advice for current students:

Explore all options. There’s so much to do here other than just study. Live more than just by the books.


I really don’t have any regrets. Looking back on my life, of course there are things I would change, but I’m happy that I’ve lived my life in a way where I don’t have any major regrets.


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