Merida said he feels serving as assistant, then interim principal has prepared him for the position.
"I finally got to realize what it took to do the job," he said. "I was left in great shape by Mrs. Rogers."
Along the way, Merida said Rogers showed him the ropes in case he wanted to pursue a principal's position in the future. As assistant principal he dealt mainly with disciplinary and athletic aspects of the school. His new responsibilities include working with budgets, teacher evaluations and keeping up with paperwork.
Merida's new position as principal now can be added to his experience in Garrard County's school system, which he's been a part of for 14 years. He has worn many hats in that time. He instructed a school-to-work program in both the middle and high schools and was a physical education and migrant teacher at the middle school. He also coached high school athletics, which included a nine-year stint as head baseball coach, five years as the cross country coach, four years as assistant basketball coach and three years as girls golf coach.
Merida said he is ready for the new challenges he faces as principal, as well as continuing to work with the students, whom he said have become accustomed to him.
"I don't think some of them even know there was a change," Merida said of the students. "I've been a fixture here for so long." A memo was sent home with students to inform parents of his new position, he said.