A Trojan at Heart

Merz is going to take more time to be with her family and to travel more with her husband. “I will definitely miss Alisal,” said Merz.


Most students and staff here at Alisal know Crystal Merz as the earth science teacher, but there is more to her than meets the eye. While she has been teaching at Alisal for the past eight years, she started teaching Biology at Pajaro Valley for her first year of teaching. She did not like the atmosphere of the school and was hired sight unseen by Mr. Burns here at Alisal and has taught Earth Science ever since. “I’ve felt so fortunate to teach here. I love the atmosphere of the school, the students,” said Merz.

She was born and raised in Michigan and Indiana, and she decided to attend Purdue University in Indiana to get her Bachelor’s in agriculture, before deciding on becoming a teacher. “I had a background in earth and biology when I studied agriculture, which helped speed the process to get my teaching credentials in Biology and Earth Science,” said Merz.

Her decision to become a full-time Earth Science high school teacher was when she was supervising kids playing at a playground in an elementary school in California One of her colleagues asked if she has a bachelor’s, Ms. Merz said yes and her colleague said she should become a substitute teacher. “Before I went back to school to get my credentials, I was a substitute teacher for about seven years,” she said. Merz has worked in Texas and Chicago before coming to California. After studying agriculture in Indiana, She worked in exterior landscaping in Texas with her ag degree, moved to California and did exterior and interior landscaping. Merz came to California for new job opportunities and because she had family here, “I came back because I wanted to be with my brothers and sister as well,” said Merz. After that, she started substitute teaching in California. She eventually got her Teaching Credentials at CSUMB and taught at Pájaro Valley for her first year and then came to Alisal.

Merz has felt at home teaching at Alisal. “I am definitely going to miss it here. The thought about not coming back is hard and thinking about not being there for the next crop of students is really tough,” said Merz.

She decided to retire because she has a grandchild that will be born in August and wants to be there for the baby. “It was just time, I want to spend time with my kids and be a grandma.” Merz and her husband will be staying in California for a while after the baby is born, after he/she gets older, they will start their travel journey.

Merz will definitely be taking on the world when she embarks new travel adventures with her husband. “My husband bought a camper van recently and we will definitely be traveling in that. We like to go overseas. We have family in Europe, so we will definitely be spending some time over there,” said Merz

All good things in life must eventually come to an end. This is Crystal Merz’s great ending to a wonderful experience in her teaching career.