Humans of Calvert County, Sarah Merranko & Anita Santoyo

“Weird, true fact. If I don’t smile, I will get a sore throat.

Another fun fact, I grunt in the morning while I’m getting my coffee. We grunt to each other, my husband and I….to the point where the German Shepherd would do it too! And then after the coffee, by the time it hits school, I’m like heeeeyyy….it’s on! Who wants a grumpy person when you’re getting off the bus and you’re already hating life knowing you’ve got school, you don’t want a grumpy person! It’s God. It’s the only thing it can be! Cuz caffeine is not enough, just a cup!

27 years this October! We got married at 21 because ya gotta be legal to drink! I’m such a hillbilly!

I met him when I was here attending Calvert but he went to private school. So I got me a private school kid, which never happens! I got a high-end boy from Dunkirk and I lived in the ranch club. Talk about opposites attract! We’re best friends!

I’m an instructional assistant….for about ten years now. 5th grade and 3rd grade this year. The kids are never bad with me because I pass out gummy bears. And the kids that are seniors, still they see me and they ask me if I have any gummy bears!

You’d be surprised how much a kid will work for ONE gummy bear! They will work 45 minutes to complete a workshop for ONE gummy bear! And if you were bad, I’d eat them right in front of you! And the kids would say, please stop eating them?! And I would say, are you going to stop?

So that’s what I do all day! I feed small children and I educate them so they know how to read. Which is funny because I had a hard time when I was in school reading. I know all the tricks, all of them. Yeah, that whole fake it till you make it….that’s not a good thing when you’re trying to read! When you’re learning how to read, that’s awful!

I have the best job! And you get the little hugs and they think I’m the nicest lady ever! And they think I’m like a hundred!

I’m a sucker for a cause! Connection with the kids. And then you see these babies, and they just get taller. They have the same sweet face. And you’re like, I remember you! Let me put some love on you!

It was funny when I first started going to Grace Brethren, I was real quiet because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, you don’t want everyone to know you don’t know everything about the Bible, because everybody knows everything about God, except you, right? And my pastor said, listen I need you to bring that same girl that’s out the door, bring that girl in this door, so don’t be somebody different. And I thought ‘Are yooooooou sure you want that? You might want to think and pray on that!’ He was like I Want That!! So he got it!

I started out in 2s and 3s because I thought, I know way more than them! Cuz the only thing they know is ‘God is Love.’ And every answer, ‘Jesus.’ Sweeet, I got that!

I still remember their prayer requests at church! And praying for people’s cats. I just love the little people. It’s nice. The world is so crazy, ya gotta have a little bit of goodness!

I do try to be happy! I don’t really know. I can be miserable but I choose to be this way! I could be really miserable and sucked up in my own crazy, but that doesn’t get you anywhere, right? I really don’t know why I’m like this other than God giving it to me.

There’s so much sadness and hurt in the world, that I want to put a little happiness wherever I can. And it’s easier to be nice than mean!”


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...