Karen mercer

Second Grade Teacher

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

I started in 2022

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

When I step foot on the grounds of OGS, I feel a sense of calm and awe. It is a beautiful outdoor space filled with people who genuinely care about each other. Oak Grove honors children and childhood. I was drawn to the philosophy of the art of living and learning because it resonates with my beliefs about children and teaching. We are all on a lifelong path of learning and growing and Oak Grove creates spaces for everyone to learn and grow together.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  —Maya Angelou

Where is your special spot on campus?

Well, I haven’t been on campus long, but right now my special spot is the second grade classroom. I think magical things happen there.

Coffee or Tea?


What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

This is a hard one! I have been an outdoor educator and taken many students on camping trips as a teacher, but my most influential trip was in my 20s. I was a student at UCSC and spent one quarter backpacking through California for college credit. It was transformative on many levels. I am still friends with several of the students from that trip and I have a lifelong love of backpacking which has led me to many more adventures and connections since then.

The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …

Ani DiFranco!

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

Mrs. Mar, my 2nd and 3rd grade teacher taught me the importance of knowing your community and celebrating diversity. She took us on field trips and had guest speakers come to the class to cook, do art, and read with us. She also had the best large cardboard boxes in the shape of spaceships, castles, etc. for us to play and read in.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I secretly dream of being a back up singer for a great funk/motown type band.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

Fred Rogers and/or LeVar Burton

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.