The MERIT Academy has a total of seven MERIT Academy cohort teachers for next year.

Freshman year:

william.trude copyEngineering IED (Introduction to Engineering Design) – B. Trude: Experience – NAVY, Nuclear Submarine Engineer, CTE




Math 1 – J. Brennan: Experience – Wells Fargo, Sr. Financial Analyst, Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology emphasis


ingrid.brennanEng.1 – I. Brennan: Experience – Harvard Educated, Charles Schwab, Project Manager, IB Teacher

Sophomore year:

Engineering POE (Principles of Engineering) – B. Trude: Experience – NAVY, Nuclear Submarine Engineer, CTE

Bio – B. Espinoza: Experience – California Lutheran University – Masters in Teaching Leadership, UC Los Angeles – B.S. in Biology, MESA Club adviser

nikki.wallerMath 2 – N. Waller: Experience – Brigham Young University – B.A. Math Education, JSA Advisor

Junior year:

Engineering CIM (Computer Integrated Mfg.)  – B. Trude: Experience – NAVY, Nuclear Submarine Engineer, CTE

cathy.hewsonMath 3 –C. Hewson: Experience Northern Arizona University- BS in Math Education and California Lutheran University -MA in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology.





Eng. 3 – J. O’Reilly: Experience – B.A. U of Arizona, in English/Secondary Education, Masters in English at CSU, 38 years of teaching English, IB English teacher, English Chair

Senior year:

Since the National Academy Foundation (NAF) requires 3 years for the Academy, Seniors will only be required to take Bill Trude’s 12th grade Engineering “EED” course. Seniors will spearhead MERIT’s entry for First Robotics – FRC International Competition http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc.

The MERIT Academy is recruiting for our third freshman class. Jim Rose has approved funding for one bus of Rio Vista students and one bus of RDV students; as we did last year, we are bringing the 8th grade students over to tour Rio Mesa and showcase some of our projects and classrooms. Also, on May 27th , the MERIT Academy will be taking a tour of the CSUCI campus; specifically, this campus tour will emphasize the STEM labs at CSCUI. The MERIT Academy strives to increase STEM and career skills for Rio Mesa’s best.