Slam Dunk: Meet Mr. Mercado

Slam Dunk: Mr. Mercado, Ivy Academia’s PE Teacher and Athletic Director

Want to know the secret to our school success? Look no further than our fabulous teachers. They are the champions at our tuition-free Woodland Hills TK-8 school, Ivy Academia. Our teachers are accredited, sure, but they are also dedicated, engaged, and committed to your child’s education. Take Mr. Mercado, our PE teacher and Athletic Director. He plans his classes to align with sports seasons so students are introduced to the sports before the season begins. Slam dunk in thoughtfulness!

Please tell us about your background and how you came to be at Ivy Academia.

I have always had a fascination for everything sports-related. I like to stay active, and I'm always on the lookout for new games I can use with my students. I was fortunate enough to be a student teacher at Ivy Academia while pursuing my teaching certification, and as soon as I finished my coursework at California State University Northridge (CSUN), a position for a P.E. teacher opened up here, which I applied for and have enjoyed immensely. 

What do you love about Ivy Academia?

The TK-8 student body and staff is what I love about Ivy Academia and it is definitely what sets it apart from other schools. 

What's the best part about your role as PE teacher?

I get to share my love of sports with our student athletes. I like to keep kids interested in traditional sports by offering them in my P.E. classes before the start of our official team sport seasons, because it introduces our students to a new sport or rekindles a love for these sports.  Hopefully, they can continue to participate at a higher level against other schools.

ivy academia students enjoying physical education

Are you involved in other activities at Ivy Academia? 

I have the privilege of being a part of all Ivy Academia sport related activities that happen at our school, like volleyball, basketball, soccer, football, and esports.

There are great Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities at Ivy Academia- when have you seen this in action?

I always get a smile on my face when any of our students show encouragement and good sportsmanship during our sporting events. 

In your opinion, what makes a great leader? 

The qualities of a successful leader include being a hard worker and having a strong resolve.

It’s safe to say you love basketball. Will you share a basketball story with us?

One of my many fond memories of the game was during my 9th grade year when I dislocated my right elbow by trying to dunk in my school's gym. My friends and I –all loving the sport as much as we did– looked up to NBA players and the amazing feats of athleticism that they were able to accomplish. In our naivety, we tried to imitate what the professionals were doing on the court by any means possible. For us this meant moving benches towards the basketball hoops and using them as platforms to jump off of in order to dunk the basketball. 


Needless to say, this was a bad idea. I ended up hanging on the rim, and upon letting go, fell on my side; my elbow taking most of the impact. 


The reason this is a fond memory for me is because it taught me a valuable life lesson: there is no good way to bypass the hard work needed to accomplish a difficult task. A few years later, when I was finally able to dunk (without the use of a bench), I was able to look back and appreciate the process and training that got me there.



Thank you Mr. Mercado, for sharing a little about yourself and your enthusiasm for our great TK-8 school! Join Mr. Mercado and our entire Ivy Academia Puma family and enroll today


About Ivy Academia

Ivy Academia is a tuition-free public charter elementary & middle school serving transitional kindergarten through eighth graders in Woodland Hills, California. At Ivy Academia, we empower our students to realize their fullest potential through meaningful and innovative educational opportunities. We use a cross-curricular approach, focusing on an entrepreneurial mindset. We believe in a high-quality, customized education, setting high expectations and offering robust academic support. Our small, TK-8 program partners with families and the surrounding community in preparing students to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century. Join our growing school, enroll today!