I am thrilled to welcome Ariel Merritt to the sixth grade team as our new English teacher. Ariel is a graduate of Penn State University. She also has a Masters of Arts in Art History from Duke, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from North Carolina State. Ariel has taught a variety of grade-levels, Middle School and Upper School, in various private schools in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. However, Ariel considers sixth grade “her first love,” and she is excited to embrace that curriculum. She’s especially excited about teaching sixth graders the basic Greek Myths, building on their summer reading, and then making connections to the new Young Adult bestseller, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which she has added to the curriculum. Ariel understands how to help young students comprehend grammar and writing techniques, and her bubbly personality and enthusiasm will motivate her students to improve their skills and experiment with new talents. Ariel is already connected to the Newman family since she is married to Chris Merritt, class of 2000. We welcome her, Chris, and their two-year old son Jude back to Newman and New Orleans.