The Life of Mrs. Haener

By Clara Frank 

March 11, 2024

Meredith Haener is a beloved teacher at Morro Bay High School who has a riveting history. Her life has been centered around making the most out of what she has no matter where she is. She grew up in Morro Bay and attended Monarch Grove Elementary, Los Osos Middle School, and Morro Bay High. She's been here almost her whole life, just like many other students attending Morro Bay High. Her mom worked as a teacher here while she attended high school, this left her feeling almost as if her high school wasn’t hers, but rather her mother’s. 

After living on the Central Coast for her whole life, she decided that she wanted something new. She first studied abroad in Costa Rica right after high school, but then came back to California to San Diego State University to complete her bachelor's degree in graphic design. 

She was involved with different films that didn’t become popular like Fashion House and Almost Perfect. During  college she became friends with someone who got her connected to an old hippie who was in the sound business for the film industry. He became intrigued by her when she was doing all the work no one else wanted to do in an indie film that she was working on for free. She then became connected with Trevor Black who was working for Veronica Mars, a teen tv series starring Kristen Bell. She attempted to intern with the graphic designer on set, but she enjoyed being more hands on and actually being on set then being holed up in a room with a computer. She says, “I was really afraid of the way that graphic designers work behind the scenes so much, they're really isolated, focused and detail oriented on a computer, and I was like, that's not me. I know that that's not me.”

She worked on this show for all 3 of the original seasons and mainly worked as a boom operator after realizing she preferred being on set. The show was filmed in the Stu Seagall productions studio in San Diego. 

During her time working for the show she experienced the “summer camp energy for adults” that comes with being on a movie set. She and her coworkers would have dress up days and have shenanigans on set. They explored a vast amount of San Diego while filming, possibly even entering Mexico when filming the season 3 finale. While being on the show she met most of the cast and even received a yearbook of the show after filming was over. She still has this yearbook and it has signatures from many of the cast members. 

While she loved being on set and working in the film industry, she began to question whether this was the path for her after a writers’ strike caused the fourth season of the show to be canceled. She started doing small jobs with one of her coworkers from the sound department for Veronica Mars in Los Angeles. However, they were not consistent enough for a career in the film industry. 

She called her mom and tried to figure out what was next for her. She started thinking about seriously becoming an English teacher. Although she didn’t major in education and had no connections in San Diego, she knew where she could find some connections. 

After deciding to pursue an education career, Haener moved back home in order to get in contact with educators from her mothers career. As she thought more about being a teacher, she realized that she would love to teach art because of her background. She attended Chapman college to get her art teaching credentials. She worked as a swim and water polo coach for a few years in order to buff up her resume. She also volunteered in the English Learners classroom. After volunteering for Morro Bay High for so long, she decided that she wanted to work here permanently. She realized that her old high school was a place where she wanted to be. 

Upon returning home, she realized how much she loves the Central Coast. “There are so many stars here. Growing up here, you don’t take advantage of it.” Being home made her realize how amazing her hometown is. She no longer has the itching feeling to get out of here. 

Now that she's been settled back home for a while, she is very happy to be raising her daughter here. She is able to relate to things her daughter does for school because she went to the same school. Returning to the Central Coast made Haener realize that you have to appreciate where you come from. “No matter what stage of life you are in, if you just appreciate what you have around you, especially nature.”