I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Robert Merkler as the Director of Athletics and Special Programs for the Verona Public School District. Mr. Merkler comes to Verona with a passion and commitment to both academic and athletic excellence. He believes a strong mind and body can enable our children to grow and develop into contributing, well-respected citizens.

Mr. Merkler has dedicated himself for the past ten years to the Edison Public School District. He has served on various committees and programs within Edison High School to improve instruction, curriculum, and facilities. He has encouraged the use of technology in the classroom, serving on a Google Leadership team that is supporting a 1:1 wireless device initiative in the Edison Public Schools. He has also worked on curriculum revision committees that have analyzed how to provide students with a 21st Century learning environment and improve instruction that supports higher order thinking both inside and outside the classroom. He has also served as an administrative liaison at Edison High School which enabled him to work closely with school administration on various administrative issues.

Mr. Merkler began his teaching career in 2006 at Edison High School where he taught Health, Physical Education and Driver Education in grades 9-12. He piloted a physical education program that sought to improve fitness education inside his classroom and helped to develop and implement student growth objectives as part of the McRel Evaluation System. In addition to teaching, Mr. Merkler has coached football, basketball, and baseball at both Edison High School and JFK-Iselin High school. His coaching and attention to detail has supported various All-County and All-State student athletes who are currently enjoying productive careers at the collegiate level.

Mr. Merkler earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health & Physical Education from The College of New Jersey. He earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Supervision & Administration from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Merkler resides in Edison, NJ with his wife, Billie Jean, and son, Nolan.

I would like to thank the interview committee comprised of teachers, coaches and administrators who provided valuable insight during the competitive search process. I would also like to thank Mr. Cesa and Mr. Farishian for their many years of leadership and contributions to Verona High School students and programs. Mr. Merkler is beyond excited to join the Verona Public Schools team and is looking forward to working closely with everyone who makes the Verona community such a wonderful place. He will be transitioning with Mr. Cesa over the summer and begin coordinating meetings with students, staff, and parents. Mr Merkler officially begins in the Verona Public Schools on September 1st.