Ross Merrill Perry (1933 - 2018) was a school teacher in Oregon from 1961 to 1994, spending most of those years at Creswell High School (CHS). Following two years of service in the Korean War, he received his bachelor's degree from Western Oregon College (and later received a certificate that would be today's equivalent of a master's degree).
He valued the difference that the entire education experience was for each student. Merrill's teaching style was warm and friendly. He instinctively knew how to connect with each student in science and math. He often talked about his own struggle to learn and how certain teachers and coaches made all the difference for him. Using that paradigm he was successful, a favorite among students, and a trusted colleague among teachers and administrators.
When he wasn't teaching, he was heavily involved in the high school athletic program, coaching football and baseball for about 10 seasons, then moving up to become athletic director for about 20 years. He attended every home game of both girls and boys sporting events and was often the last leave and lockup the school.
He was tireless in efforts to help coaches and students build confidence and become successful. He was often quoted as saying, "If you want to become champions, you have to look like champions," and would set out to make sure uniforms, equipment, and sports facilities were sharp in appearance so that players would dig a little deeper in their practice and play. Among those achievements was construction of the school's baseball field, which he did almost single-handedly and voluntarily over the course of one Summer in the 1960s.
Merrill counseled with all students at school, setting aside his workload in order to reach each of them at whatever station they were in life. He elevated kids through encouragement and advice on academics, athletics, and moral character. He spent many hours building up the school's athletic awards and recognition programs to inspire excellence.
To continue that spirit and legacy of academics, activity, and moral character, his family has organized the Merrill and Peggy Perry Memorial Scholarship Fund for students of CHS. Each year, a scholarship of $1000 will be awarded to a student who best exemplifies those things Merrill Perry stood for.
Contributions can also be made directly to Creswell High School:
R. Merrill and Peggy Perry Memorial Scholarship
%Creswell High School
33390 Nieblock Lane
Creswell, OR 97426
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