Courtney Wickham is in her third year at Merrill Middle School. After receiving her Language Arts teaching degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ms. Wickham served in the United States Peace Corps in western Ukraine. This was an amazing experience for her and nudged her to see more of the world—53 countries to be exact. After she completed her service, she took a job as a middle school English teacher in Istanbul, Turkey. She spent four tremendous years there and tried her hand at leading a drama troupe, making dolmas, and buying many many carpets. After Turkey, she returned to the United States and completed her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English Language Acquisition. She then began her work in Denver Public Schools as an English language and literature teacher at Montbello High School. During her five years there, she had the opportunity to work with newcomers from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. She left behind many wonderful students, colleagues, and friends in Denver to begin her next adventure in Medellin, Colombia where she was tasked with developing a middle school oral fluency program. While in Medellin, Ms. Wickham hit “high novice” status with her Spanish speaking and salsa dance moves. She also completed a principal licensure program. Upon her return to Denver Public Schools, she joined the Denver for International Studies-Baker (DCIS-Baker) staff as a facilitator and teacher leader. During her time at DCIS, she built the school’s first-ever ELA program and coordinated poetry slams and parent involvement initiatives. Ms. Wickham joined the Merrill staff in 2014 as an administrative assistant. She did intensive work with the 6th grade class, coached teachers, and began after school programs. In her spare time, Ms. Wickham enjoys circuit training, hiking, and comedy shows. She often visits Kansas City where her five nephews and nieces reside. During the summer months, however, she is eagerly collecting more passport stamps and looks forward to her next open-air market or overnight bus. She is humbled and proud to be the new assistant principal at Merrill.