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An elementary school boy sits in front of a computer in his special education school while holding up a page of autographs.



Meet the Teacher: Lauren Mercado

Meet the Teacher: Lauren Mercado

It’s Back to School season at New Story Schools! We’re inviting you to get a glimpse into the lives of some of our incredible team members who are heading back into the classroom and school building to support our students throughout the 2023-2024 school year. Thank you to all our amazing team members who make an incredible impact on the lives of our students each and every day!

Team member: Lauren Mercado

Title: High School Special Education Teacher

Campus: Carlisle, PA

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your family? 

I come from a military family, so I have lived all over. I was born in Kentucky and mostly raised in Georgia and the south, so my accent is all over the place. Oddly enough, I met my husband in a gift shop in a hotel! I was going to the University of Georgia at the time for my teaching degree and I ended up getting a modeling contract with an agency in New York. My husband was from Pennsylvania, so I moved in the same town as he lived coincidentally far of a commute. We became closer-cut to--we got married and have three beautiful children!

Q: Do you have any hobbies? 

I love to read. We go hiking a lot and we also go kayaking. I am a huge equestrian, so I love riding horses. We also go camping all the time, but it is RV camping. We like to take a couple of weeks off during the summer and drive through the country and see all the silly things like the world’s largest bottle of ketchup.

Q: What was your favorite subject in school? 

Science and reading. But also math because it is the same in every language.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job? 

I love being the person that turns the light bulb on. I love being the one that hangs out with the students and does all these fun activities with them. I just love being here with them. Ninety percent of my job is just showing up. If I show up in their lives, then I’ve done most of my job.

Q: What are you most excited about for back to school?

Because of my STEM curriculum background, I am given a lot of leeway to making my own curricula and teaching the students certain things. For example, the other day we tried to make a light bulb light up with a lemon. So, anything that we’re doing that is STEM or STEAM related, they give me agency to hone in on the fact that understanding is doing and doing is understanding. In a lot of subjects, I say something, and the students say it back to me. But being able to apply it is very different.

Q: Can you tell me about an achievement that you have seen from your position? 

I received the New Teacher of the Year award in my first year of teaching. I was a keynote speaker at two different graduations. I’ve been able to get grants for STEM and English. When I apply for the grants, I don’t just promote autism, but I show people all of the incredible things our students are doing and are capable of and convince them to help us do more of it.

Q: Do you have any future goals? 

I’m going to start my doctorate in curriculum and STEM in October. It is a lot about the science of reading, including breaking down words and helping students who have trouble reading. It’s always been my dream to be a professor and to teach others how to teach special education. I would also love to write curriculum for children with autism who are high on the academic mark.

Q: Tell me a surprising fun fact or something that no one knows about you  

I danced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade two years in a row. This was in 1995 and 1996. I went to dance camp and we went up to dance in the parade. We spent Thanksgiving in New York in a really nice hotel and it was incredible, but very cold.

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