A Forever Commitment to Greenhill

Mayer Sidikaro

For a longtime, Upper School English teacher and Greenhill legend Andrew Mercurio’s  tattoos have evolved into more than just a stylistic choice. They represent who he is, where he’s been and what he stands for. 

“I’m an English teacher, so I tell stories through words,” Mercurio said. “[My tattoos] are a way for me to share the story of my life interpreted by someone else through images.” 

Mercurio attended Bowdoin College and got his first tattoo inked during his freshman year. This tattoo represented his heritage, showing the Irish and Italian flags with his parents’ last names. 

Mercurio, fondly known as Mr. Merc, has gotten over 20 tattoos, and he wears them proudly. They hold incredible symbolic meaning and are a topic of high emotion, linking together different facets of his life. 

“That’s what I love about this whole thing, that Greenhill and Boston are all worn together,” Mercurio said.  

For Mercurio, getting a tattoo is a big deal. The relationship that he has built with his longtime friend and tattoo artist, Carlos Maldonado, has played a large role in his decision to get so many in the past year. 

“We talk about everything; it’s therapy,” Mercurio said. “I refer to him as my tattoo therapist.” 

Maldonado has inked Mercurio’s last 13 tattoos, and most recently, his tattoo symbolizing his 25-year legend status at Greenhill. Maldonado wasn’t the only one behind the vision for Mercurio’s tattoo.

Senior Mackenzie Bannigan gave Mercurio the inspiration to put a peacock feather selected by Ron Ivory on his shoulder. Bannigan designed the tattoo for Mercurio. It is a long peacock feather turned into a quill writing “This I believe” on Mercurio’s right shoulder. 

“It just sort of popped into my head,” Bannigan said. “I thought about how he teaches English at Greenhill, and to me those things remind me of writing and peacocks, so why not make a quill as a peacock feather? And when I told him that, he just sort of looked at me in awe.” 

The next part of the tattoo was going to be what the quill was writing: Isabel Garcia ’22 inspired Mercurio to take his most powerful assignment and make it permanent. 

“I cannot think of anything that that would fit in the space that would be powerful enough to encapsulate this, and [Isabel] thought about it for a little bit, and then she stopped and said, “I got it, okay: This I Believe,’” Mercurio said. 

“This I believe” is the final assignment and speech in his Narrative Nonfiction class and he says is his favorite and most emotional assignment. 

“Literally the most powerful assignment that I do,” Mercurio said. “I mean, I wish people could just be in the room when this happens. It’s amazing.”