Traveling the world, now teaching AP World


Photo by Sofia Ruefli

During lunch, AP Human Geography and AP World teacher Chris Merrill helps students get work done and answers questions in room 117. He is almost always willing and available at lunch with a quick heads up.

AP Human Geography teacher and AP World Teacher Christopher Merrill has had his share of traveling around the world. Merrill lived in Chevy Chase where he attended BCC High School, but that is just one of the many places he has lived.

“Before that time, I lived in the Philippines, Manila and Bangkok, Thailand while I was in elementary school,” Merrill said.

Living in all these countries impacted his childhood in positive ways; he was moving around so much at such a young age and got to see many views of the world and different types of people.

“As a kid you just have to go where your parents tell you to go, but it definitely gave me a different perspective on the world seeing things at such a young age,” Merrill said.

Merrill’s experiences have led him to inspire and build great relationships with students. One of his students, senior Caroline Williams, took his class her junior year and loved it.

“World was so fun. Mr. Merrill has been one of my all time favorite teachers and bonding with him over Bollywood was so fun,” Williams said.

Merrill not only makes sure students get a good understanding of the class, but also makes sure that students enjoy the class. He ensures that some of his assignments are fun and entertaining.

“Human Geography was my favorite class last year. I love maps and everything that Mr. Merrill taught me,” junior Marina Thorn said.

Merrill misses moving around and visiting the world like when he did when he was younger. When he was in college, the rest of his family lived in Lagos, Nigeria. His favorite place that he has lived was Thailand because of the food.

“Thai food is delicious and we just have really good friends there and really good memories,” Merrill said.

Moving around has heavily influenced his teaching and why he first became interested in AP World and Human Geography. It gave him a very different perspective on the world and he continues to inspire and his different perspective on the world is shown through his teaching.

One thing he regrets is not giving his kids the same perspective that he was lucky enough to have. He also wishes to go back to places like Thailand and visit the places he has been to.

“My wife and I talk about going back all the time and seeing how nice it would be to travel and visit,” Merrill said.

Junior Nick Zayas currently takes AP Human Geography with Merrill and enjoys how he connects his class to his travels.

“It’s actually my favorite class and I’m excited to step into his class and learn,” Zayas said.

Merrill has extensive world knowledge and staff and students feel lucky to have him as a teacher, coworker and friend.