Minnesota Wild February 2024 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

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Minnesota Wild February 2024 Teacher of the Month


Nicholas Merges


OH Anderson

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

I grew up in Rochester, MN and became a hockey fan late in life (as in 6th grade) after moving to a new school and meeting friends who played. I quickly grew to love the sport and spent time playing outdoors and watching the Minnesota Wild. After attending Winona State University and graduating with my Elementary Ed degree, I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where I started my career teaching 5th grade. While living in Utah I began to play organized hockey for the first time through an adult rookie league and have been playing ever since.

3 years ago we decided to move back home to Minnesota where I have been since. I try to show students how our curriculum is present in their real lives. The NHL hockey scholars program is perfect for this as we have a rich hockey history in Mahtomedi.

Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?

My favorite NHL player is Kirill Kaprizov. Growing up in Minnesota I have always cheered for the Wild where we have been more known as a defensive and checking team. Kirill has brought a level of skill and excitement to the team that I have not seen before. The Xcel holds its breath when he has the puck waiting to see what he will do next.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

My favorite part of the Future Goals program is the way it helps bring our math curriculum to life for our students. Students who are hockey players love seeing how it affects the game, and even students with no background in hockey find it entertaining and insightful while learning about a new sport!

One of my favorite comments from a student was how they were thinking of the angle of their pass off the boards during their hockey game over the weekend!

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

I do play hockey once a week and am a defensemen! I enjoy being able to see the whole ice and working with another defensemen and the goaltender to stifle the other teams attack. Scoring goals is definitely fun but there is a satisfying feeling of shutting down the other teams best player and starting a rush with a crisp pass.