is a seasoned independent school administrator whose career spans more than 25 years. She joined Sage Hill as Assistant Head of School in 2007 and, based on her successful and inspirational leadership, was appointed Head of School in 2014.
Among her many accomplishments since joining the administration are:
- Developing and refining Sage Hill's innovative and dynamic college preparatory curriculum
- Introducing Spring at Sage in the 2010-11 school year and overseeing its on- and off-campus programming
- Instrumental in developing the vision and guiding the completion of the Lisa Argyros and Family Science Center
- Launching Sage Connected, Sage Hill’s hybrid online courses and digital library, which has received national recognition
- Instrumental in Sage Hill receiving the 2014 E.E. Ford Foundation Grant to fund the Sage Connected initiative
- Enhancing and expanding Summer at Sage, including credit course offerings, Sage Connected, workshops, and camps
- Bringing middle school programming to Summer at Sage
- Expanding funding and opportunities for professional development for faculty
- Creating new leadership opportunities for faculty
- Developing and securing funding for the Sage Center, which houses Sage Hill’s signature programs
- Overseeing the completion of the physical plant, including the Brett Connor Jordan Family Tennis Courts and Aquatics Center
A native of Minnesota, Ms. Merz has worked as a teacher, coach and administrator. She came to Sage Hill from the Nichols School in Buffalo, New York, where she was Head of the Upper School. She also held positions at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California; the Breck School in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota. A graduate of Kenyon College with a bachelor’s degree in English, Ms. Merz also earned a master's degree in English from Middlebury College, and a master’s degree in education administration with a focus in private school leadership from Columbia University's Teachers College, Klingenstein Center.
While at Columbia University, Ms. Merz was the recipient of the Barnes Fellowship, the Mentoring Scholarship and the Teachers College Scholarship, each in recognition of academic excellence. Ms. Merz has also been awarded the E. E. Ford Fellowship for aspiring school leaders from the National Association of Independent Schools. Among her many professional pursuits, Ms. Merz participated in the S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project, dedicated to developing inclusive curricula, and has presented at educational technology conferences, CAIS and NAIS. In June of 2021, she was selected to serve a four-year term on the CAIS Board of Directors. Ms. Merz currently serves on the El Sol Foundation Board of Directors.
A mother of three young children, Ms. Merz resides with her partner, also an educator, in South Orange County.