BATH — You could easily say that Mark Merry has teaching in his blood.

Merry’s grandfather was a teacher, his father was a teacher, and he’s currently finishing out his 36th year as a teacher at Morse High School. For the past eight years he has taught welding at Bath Regional Career and Technical Center, and for 28 years before that he was the industrial arts teacher at Morse. In addition, he’s been teaching drivers education for 18 years.

Another fun fact: He’s the only teacher at Morse to ever have five children attending school at the same time (thanks to one set of twins in the mix).
Literally thousands of students have left Morse knowing Merry, many of them with pieces of furniture they’ve made in his class.

“They remember what they made, they still have their projects,” said Merry. “I still see parents on the street now that I had in school that say ‘I still have the coffee table I made in your class.’”

He started teaching in 1981, right out of college, and has been teaching ever since. Many of his former students have gone on to become carpenters or get involved in the trades thanks to his industrial arts class.

“It was a great class, there are a lot of kids out there doing carpentry right now, I was the one that taught them how to read a tape measure and use a table saw,” said Merry. “A lot of my students have gone on to teach. There are teachers at Morse High School that I had as students.”

Hundreds of people in the city recognize Merry, but not as many recognize the things that he and his classes have created. Flower boxes used by the city, the plant holders on lanterns downtown, pieces of decoration on the trolley, and more were all created by his class.

Seeing those tangible pieces of his teaching legacy are part of the reward of being a teacher. “That’s what makes me feel complete in my teaching career,” said Merry. “It’s very satisfying.”

After seeing generations of students, Merry can definitively say that today’s youth are no different than they were when he first started.
“People always ask me that,” said Merry. “Kids are still great. Society has changed, technology has changed, but kids are still kids.”

After teaching both at the school and within the driver’s education program for decades, (and typically working at least six days a week) Merry said he’s looking forward to retiring and having time to do the things he wants. After awhile, he and his wife plan to hook up their airstream trailer and travel across the country.

“I’ll do what I want to do when I want to do it, and take my time doing it,” he said.