Teri Merrill

Winchester City Council

First Ward

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About tERI

I moved to Winchester with my husband in 2009, and we have made this our home. I love the community, people, energy and desire of so many to “give back.” I’m also driven to serve this beautiful city, and during my time here, I’ve been a writer, volunteer, Master Gardener, donor, mother and homeowner.

My priorities are focusing on affordable housing, expanding educational programs for preschoolers to high schoolers, and improving the quality of life for all residents. Winchester must keep those who live here now in the forefront of every decision.

If I am fortunate to serve, I will work diligently so that all residents can partake in the beauty, economic growth and opportunities that Winchester offers.


  • President of the Winchester Education Foundation, 2015-2017, and board member since 2011;
  • Tutor at Quarles Elementary School for children who are behind in their reading levels, since 2015;
  • Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association, County Coordinator 2011-2012, and member 2010-2015;
  • Freelance writer for The Winchester Star, focusing on gardening, religion and life articles, 2010-2015.


  • Former health care writer for various trade publications in Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; and Dallas, TX, both full time and freelance;
  • Former contributing writer to Texas Catholic and Dallas Child;
  • Contributing writer to Senior Correspondent, a website for writers who are 55 years and older, since 2015;
  • Bachelor of Arts in English from Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 1982.

Days until election


Teri's Platform

Winchester has a dearth of affordable housing options in our city limits, and we are constrained in our ability to increase our land mass. We must think creatively in order to develop affordable housing options, so teachers, firefighters, police and middle-income families, seniors and individuals can live, work and thrive here.

The City must start discussions with developers, investors, state legislators and other key players to find ways to focus on this important market. And the City should consider whether tax credits or other incentives can encourage development in this area.

Education is the great leveling field for our children in a world that’s becoming less equal. That’s why it’s critical that the City continue to fund our schools as robustly as possible.

The City should support the pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds who, due to poverty or other family circumstances, face risks for academic failure if there is no intervention. This early intervention program has already shown it can help our most vulnerable children with school readiness. This is the type of innovative program that our tax dollars fund to ensure that all students are prepared to succeed throughout their academic careers.

The Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center also deserves the City’s support and funding. This important initiative will give high school students the opportunity to learn a valuable trade. These valuable skills can translate into good-paying jobs and lifelong careers for students. The Center also indicates to employers that Winchester is serious about workforce training, which can serve to retain businesses and attract new companies to the area.

The Douglas Community Learning Center needs to be renovated and become the headquarters of the Winchester Public Schools. This facility can be a vital investment for the neighborhood and surrounding area, and can serve to highlight the opportunities for further development.

Winchester needs a grocery store or market downtown, because this area is currently a food desert. The downtown lot where the intended convention center was to be located could be a perfect spot for a grocery store/market to serve residents with no transportation, those who live in the area, and those who work there.

Finally, Valley Avenue and Meadow Branch Road are essential traffic corridors for our City, but residents who live near these busy streets battle high-speed traffic each day. Crosswalks on both these busy roads should have lighting and sound mechanisms that can be activated by pedestrians and bikers who want to cross safely. There are too many walkers, bikers, children and seniors who are active and enjoying our City to put lives at risk.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.

Aristotle 384 – 322 B.C.

Contact Teri & Donate

Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on, pass it on!

Henry Burton 1840-1930

Endorsements for Teri

"I found Teri to be a very capable leader...I know her desire is to continue in public service to our community and I'm confident in her abilities. Based on my experience with Teri as an Extension volunteer, she will devote her all to the task at hand. Teri has a passion for the Winchester community and loves to assist those around her. I greatly respect her as an individual, a volunteer, a journalist, and a community leader."
Mark E. Sutphin
Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Frederick County and Winchester
"Teri Merrill has been a dedicated volunteer with elementary students for three years. She works with children who are beginning to learn to read and need a little extra attention. She treats each child as if they are her own, and she strives to develop a love of reading in them that will last throughout their lives. As a mentor, Teri is outstanding, because of her compassion, kindness, and dedication to students."
Joanie Hovatter
Educator, Winchester