The Williamsburg native is the new principal at MS 582 in East Williamsburg. His first day on the job was September 12, and he has loved every moment.
“It’s phenomenal, it’s an awesome experience,” he said. “I come to a very well-established education facility. The staff is phenomenal.”
Merced attended PS 16 and MS 126 in the district. In 1996, he began his teaching career at MS 50, where he taught current Councilman Antonio Reynoso.
He moved to Grand Street Campus High School for a year and served as an assistant principal at MS 126 for six years before arriving at MS 582. Merced said he has so much he wants to accomplish.
“The idea is to establish a learning community with the actual outside community, not just within the building,” he said.
Merced believes there are three components to educating a child: school, community and parents, and the child themselves.
He said the biggest challenges students face today are lack of resources and not being able to see beyond their neighborhood. That’s why he wants to broaden their horizons beyond their community.
“That comes through experiences, opportunity and exposure,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to try to do here at MS 582.”
The new principal said he also hopes to sustain the gains students have made, including improvements in ELA and math scores.
Merced has been adjusting to his new team and school community, including parents, whom he wants to involve more at the middle school.
“I want parents to feel like this is a place where they can come and learn as well,” he said, “and develop lifelong learners with the staff, myself and kids.”