Room Number 214
Ms. Smith has been working in education for 20 years. She holds a BA in English and Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies from Indiana University and a MA in Special Education Mild-moderate from the University of Northern Colorado. The last 15 years have been at the middle school level in Denver Public Schools. She loves the cultural diversity of Merrill Middle School and being in a building where her fellow teachers are dedicated to helping each student reach their potential. She enjoys spending time with her family and pets, cycling, gardening and reading. Merrill is one of the best places she has ever worked.
Room Number 216
This is Ms. Pachan 2nd year as a teacher. She enjoys being a teacher at Merrill because of the respectful students and diverse population. She holds a Bachelor’s in History, Minor in Secondary Education and English. Her hobbies include soccer, swimming, golf and spending time with friends and family.
Jennifer Neeley, Language Arts Teacher
Room Number 109
Mrs. Neeley holds a BA in English and Secondary Education from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and an MAEd in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. She has 17 years experience in education, at both the elementary and secondary levels, and in three different states. She loves working with middle school kids and feels it is her calling to work with young adolescents. She has taught at Merrill for three years. She thinks the kids at Merrill are rock stars and is continually impressed by their respect for diversity, their intellectual curiosity, and their passion for their school. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, travel, cooking, exploring the beauty of Colorado with her husband and three kids, and watching sports—especially baseball—and cooking. Did you know she loves to cook?
Room Number 215
Ruth Rhodes, 8th Grade English Teacher
Room Number 203
In addition to being an 8th Grade English Teacher, Ms. Rhodes is also the National Junior Honor Society Advisor and Advisor to the after-school Homework Club. She counts these activities as well as the diverse international population as the things she most enjoys about working at Merrill Middle School. She has been a middle and high school English and Social Studies teacher for 13 years. She is also a Psychology Professor at night. She has a Bachelor of Arts English/ Honors in Humanities, Bachelor of Arts Psychology/ Minor in Language and Linguistics and a Master of Science School Counseling and Human Services. She is Licensed School Counselor and All But Dissertation (ABD) Educational Psychology; dissertation in progress
Ms. Rhodes is married with two adult children. Her hobbies include Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking, Film and Hiking.
Ernestina Masias, 6th grade teacher (Language Arts, Earth Science, and Geography)
Room Number: 115
Hello, my name is Ernestina Masias and I am one of the sixth grade teachers here at Merrill. I have worked in education for over 16 years in some form or fashion, 13 of which has been with Denver Public Schools. As a classroom teacher, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some fantastic students in various grade levels. Although I have lived in Florida and Hawaii, I am a native to Colorado and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to receive my schooling here. I received my B.A. in Behavioral Science from the University of Colorado at Denver, my Elementary Education Licensure through Metropolitan State College of Denver, and my Masters in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver. I am a proud mother of two, wonderful daughters; one is a sophomore in college and the other is a junior in high school. My hobbies and interests are many but almost always include spending time with family and friends.