SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – There’s no question about it. Carlos Merlino bleeds Seminole High School’s black and orange.
"I have gone 1,994 consecutive days without missing a day," Carlos says.
With pictures to prove it, his support for students has been constant. His enthusiasm for Seminole's teams: contagious.
Carlos has been a coach, phys-ed teacher, assistant athletic director at the school for decades. His first day on the job was in 1985. Since then, he’s been a mentor and friend to hundreds.
"I've attended every Senior Night for the last couple years," said Merlino, "The sooner you get to know the kids, the better off you're going to be. There's a big correlation between liking the teacher and doing well."
After 35 years of teaching, Carlos just retired. This was his last semester. It was a semester turned upside down because of coronavirus concerns.
I sat down with Carlos in his office one what was his last day on the job. He told me this:
“I’m very fortunate to take some of the memories with me because there are people that teach for a long time and have none of these things, like state championships,” said Carlos, “How many people out there can say they enjoyed waking up 45 years and enjoyed driving to work? How many people can say that? I can say that.”