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Meredith Mikell

SCIENCE TEACHER, CROSS COUNTRY COACH Hiking in Ecuador in 2003.

Snorkeling in Monterey Bay in 2011.

BY HEATHER LAMBIE Who has been the biggest influence in your life? Think about it for a moment. Did one of your parents come to mind? Or maybe a past mentor or co-worker? For upper school science teacher Meredith Mikell, the answer is easy: Carl Sagan.

bush pilot fly fishermen in Alaska, so she learned to fly in many different conditions, “landing on tundras, skis, floats, all that,” she says. Mikell followed suit in her sophomore year of college when she got her own private pilot license.

“He was a role model as a scientist, but also as a humanist,” Mikell says. “He had a passion and an almost spirituality about him. I wouldn’t call it religious, but his fascination and awe about how the universe works helped me as a kid want to learn more about science. Not just about the unknown, but an appreciation that we don’t have to have all the answers. Uncovering new things helps lead us to more questions. I found this fascinating as a kid and still today. He’s very intelligent, scientific, but also a visionary.”

Always looking beyond her current atmosphere, Mikell says when she was younger she wanted to be either a marine biologist or an astronaut. “I actually still apply sometimes when they open up applications,” she says of NASA. “No

Mikell has always been someone to appreciate scientific possibilities. As a young girl, she often flew in planes with her parents, who met when they worked for the same airline in Alaska. “In Alaska, it’s a common thing to own a plane. It’s like owning a car,” she says. Both her parents have a private pilot license, and her grandfather was one of the original

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luck yet, but it’s never going to happen if I don’t apply!” It may seem non-traditional to be attracted to things both below the sea and above the sky, but Mikell points to another one of her childhood heros, Scott Carpenter, was was an aeronautical engineer, astronaut, aquanaut, and one of NASA’s Mercury 7. “In addition to being an astronaut, he was also involved in oceanography and in NASA's underwater experiments on human physiology. Two of my passions: ocean, space. Love that guy,” she says. Here at Canterbury, she gets to explore those passions in depth in the classroom. Mikell is a teacher of advanced honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses like Biology and Chemistry. She is a Marine Studies faculty member, part of the school's SCUBA Venture Crew, and helps coach the cross country team.

Mikell with her sons and husband.

An avid marathoner--”I was very proud of myself when I qualified for Boston. It’s a special, cool race. There’s nothing like it. I’ve done it twice and will probably do it again.”--Mikell says she has stuck with running as a pastime

Profile for Canterbury School of Florida

CSFeatures 2017 Fall  

CSFeatures is a publication of Canterbury School of Florida, a PK3 - Grade 12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. CSFeatures covers th...

CSFeatures 2017 Fall  

CSFeatures is a publication of Canterbury School of Florida, a PK3 - Grade 12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. CSFeatures covers th...