Marlene Accola, Newcomer Program Teacher
Room Number 206
Ms. Accola was born and raised in Brazil. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Education, grades K-12 with a minor in Bilingual Education from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She earned her Master’s in Reading/Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado University-Denver. She has been with Denver Public Schools since 1990 at both elementary and middle school levels. She enjoys working at Merrill because of the diverse population of students, their uniqueness and culture they bring to her classroom. She is so impressed to see how quickly they learn in a new environment. She enjoys hiking, gardening, spending time with her beautiful grandchildren and friends, and relaxing with a great cup of cafe!
Patricia L Engler, Newcomer Program Teacher
Ms. Engler has found her dream job which is teaching in the Newcomer Program at Merrill Middle School. It is very rewarding working with these international students, watching them grow academically, and their acculturation into America. In return, she gets to learn about new cultures and languages. Just being at Merrill is like traveling the world without leaving Denver. Between the Cory/Merrill neighborhood students and our ELA students, we here at Merrill are able to witness what the world would be like with more people living side by side in harmony.
Ms. Engler has spent 22 years as a DPS educator in elementary schools and seven years as an educator in the Newcomer Program at Merrill Middle School. She holds a BA in Elementary Education, Reading Minor with 60 hours master’s equivalent, 150 hours English Language Acquisition. Her hobbies include showing her dogs in conformation and hunting competitions, snow shoeing, collecting Native American art, and living in the mountains.
Joanie Graber, ELA Teacher, Language Arts and Social Studies
Room Number 118
Ms. Graber has spent over 25 years as an educator teaching Title One reading and writing to upper elementary grades and middles school language arts and social studies. This is her 4th year teaching at Merrill Middle School. She holds BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado and MA in elementary education, teaching license secondary social studies and language arts, and also elementary education from the University of Northern Cololrado. Her favorite part of teaching at Merrill Middle School is the international student population. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, hiking, skiing, and traveling.