April 2013

Mercy High School Monthly Parent E-Newsletter - April 2013

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

“Upset, are ya?”

Take just a moment and confess, if only to yourself, your immediate reaction upon reading my opening question. Did you think of something at once? Was your instinctive response along the lines of . . . “Well, yes I am, now that I think of it?” Is the word I used, “upset”, the correct term or is another word a better fit: annoyed, bothered, unnerved?

You might wonder why I am making such a detailed distinction. Truth be told, it is not what you might think. This is not entrapment. First, I get you to admit that indeed you are upset about something at this moment, and then I quickly transition to chiding you in some obscure way. My word distinction here is for another purpose altogether. Much of the time, I admit to myself (whether asked to do so or not) that I am mildly upset. Probably the word upset could be replaced by any of the other synonyms I offered. Yes, I get annoyed, bothered, unnerved - generally off kilter . . . about the little realities of my life. Things like the weather (too much rain), the papers sitting on my desk, the “scheduled” tasks on my calendar, the unplanned interruptions in my day, the junk mail at home, the small font used in so many things I need to read, a toothache, foot pain, car repair………. Dear Lord, have I bored you yet to tears?

“Upset, are ya?” It’s quite OK to be so, and I cop to it often. What I do not agree with, and what I hope to convince you of as well, is a pattern of response to life’s little upsets that is inappropriate and quite frankly over the top. The idea was brought to my attention by my adult son. He enjoys reading my monthly column and has told me as much for many years now. The bonus for me is that he now is on the lookout for topics or themes that I might use for future writing. In a recent email to me, he offered the following observation:

It has become quite trendy to become outraged.”

On this particular day, April 3rd, he had noticed a number of news items that included the word outrage in their coverage. On a whim of curiosity, he did a Google-news search of that word and it produced 88,000 results. Think about that for just a moment. News stories on a single day included that one word! Could there possibly be that many valid instances for such a reaction or description or emotional effect?

Words we use make a difference. Words we say or write leave a mark of one sort or another on the listener or the reader. I recall another column that grew from that sentiment. Prior to today, I would have said it was a column I had written recently, certainly thinking it was one from the last full school year. Time has a way of getting away from me. When I found the specific column, I was surprised to see that it was written more than two years ago, January of 2011! At that time, I was dismayed (another option to being “upset”) at the overuse of the word “amazing.” I heard it used ad nauseam! It was the word of choice to describe just about anything. I had hoped it was a fad. 27 months later, I don’t see any progress. The use of that single word now is like “fingernails on a chalkboard” for me. It passes for description of both the truly sublime and the utterly ridiculous.

Today, I’m on another mission. I want to bring you to the awareness of a second word, “outrage.” Was April 3rd, 2013 an anomaly? Were that many places, 88,000, deserving of its use? I think not. Has that become our default description for every little less than perfect moment in time? If indeed, we accept being outraged so much of the time, might we be culpable of teaching the younger generation to look for the next incident that fits? If so, is their focus narrowed? Are they missing the sights of the wonderful, the gentle, the pleasurable? Maybe so. Do we lose something in our culture? I do believe. Can we change this cycle? Oh yes, we can.

It happens over time. It happens by choice. It happens by carefully monitoring what comes out of our mouths, what we model in our temperament, in our emotional and visceral reaction to everything and everyone around us. If a moment deserves mention as an outrage, so be it. But let us teach our children the range of response, a vast range that allows them to temper overreaction to every little life moment. I think they will be better off.

Just to note, today’s search of the news produced the following results: the use of outrage was a mere 79,900 times and the word “delight” appeared a close second at 78,900 times. Maybe we are not completely losing this battle. I close, however, with a depressing find: the word “amazing” appeared 102,000,000 times. (Yes, millions.) I have decided to make that specific word search my last.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

Please note the last Mothers Club meeting of the school year will take place on Monday, May 6 at 6:30pm for social and meeting will start at 7:00pm. Please join us as we are getting ready to close out another successful Mothers Club year!

Stadium Chairs - The Mothers Club will be selling Mercy stadium chairs at meetings. They are $40 each and perfect for all Mercy sports, especially those that spectators watch from bleacher seats.

Senior All Night Party – Volunteers are needed for this important event. Please contact Committee Chair, Daena Nicholas at daenakn@msn.com to provide your support.

Dads Club

Golf with your gal! Please plan to join us for this year’s Father Daughter Golf Outing on Thursday, May 9th at the beautiful Bay Pointe Golf Club in West Bloomfield.The day begins with registration from 12:00pm to 12:30pm, a shotgun start at 1:00pm, followed by a buffet dinner and prize raffle around 4:30pm. All Mercy students who participate in the outing will be dismissed early. They grow up so fast. Don’t miss this chance to spend time with your baby. CLICK HERE for sign up sheet. Shine the shoes and clean the clubs, Bay Pointe here we come. Questions? Contact Mark Horn via email at horncapital@yahoo.com.

ALL DADS are welcome at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.

Mothers & Dads New Parent PICNIC - You're invited to the Mothers Club and Dads Club new parent picnic for all 2013 - 14 Mercy parents on Tuesday, June 4 at 6:00pm in the Mercy Cafe. Dinner, door prizes, and beverages. Come to mix, mingle and welcome the parents of incoming freshwomen.

Class of 2013 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

CONGRATULATIONS to Valedictorian Katie Coerdt and Salutatorian Christina Hadley who will take the stage to speak at graduation. This distinction considers not only academic record but also leadership, service, and extracurricular involvement. Staff and the senior class provided valuable input and each candidate responded to a series of questions and was interviewed by members of Administration. The Mercy Administrative Team will be holding a Catherine McAuley Tea celebration in honor of all the finalists on May 1.

Sparty Material - By Christina Hadley, newsprintnow.net

Newsprint staff celebrates their first Sparty in three years. Photo credit: Lore staff

For the first time in three years, Newsprint won the Spartan (the highest) Award from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA), and Lore Yearbook, which was moved from the 4th division to the 2nd division this year, earned a silver. Newsprintnow.net won the gold award. Students on both the Lore and Newsprint staff attended the MIPA awards ceremony on April 15, and were thrilled to take home many individual awards as well; including three 1st place awards, seven 2nd place awards, six 3rd place awards, and 25 honorable mentions for a total of 41 individual awards for writing, photography and design.

The Spartan Award, affectionately known as the Sparty, is the highest award that a school newspaper, yearbook, or website can receive in the state of Michigan. Publications submitted to MIPA for judging will receive either bronze, silver, gold, or a Sparty, depending on their quality. Newsprint staffers were excited that their recent change from broadsheet newspaper to tabloid paid off. Lore’s change to being judged in the division 4 category also proved successful.

“This year, the Lore was judged as a division 2 book, which was a big change compared to division 4 where we used to be,” said Laura Hatty, editor in chief of the Lore. “This meant tougher competition. When I heard about our division change, I was even more proud of the awards we received.”

MIPA also judges individual contests in many different categories from news story to illustration. Members of the Newsprint staff won, in total, 3 first place awards, 5 seconds, 4 thirds, and 19 honorable mentions. The 2012 Lore (last year’s yearbook) received one 1st place award, one 2nd place award, four 3rd place awards and five honorable mentions.

Newsprintnow.net also won several awards in the New Media competition. Newsprint was proud to accept one 2nd place and six honorable mentions in the following categories: follow-up news coverage, breaking news, enhanced story package, and photo slideshow.

Both Lore and Newsprint celebrated another successful year at the MIPA awards, and look forward to keep up their standards of excellence in the coming years. “It was a fantastic experience for the four of us who attended as well as our adviser, Mrs. Smith,” said Hatty. “Seeing Mercy Newsprint bring home the Spartan award was an experience we were so proud to witness. We are proud of our publication ‘sisters!’“

A complete list of MIPA winners can be found at the following link: http://mipamsu.org/2013-contest-results/.


The Lore staff was recently recognized with Herff Jones' Early Bird Award for submitting its yearbook pages early. This means that Mercy is mere weeks away from receiving the 2013 edition of Lore. Books will be distributed in mid-May. Any additional books will be sold for $75 on a cash only basis.

The Lore staff was also recognized for its work on the 2012 Lore "The One and Only" at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association's Spring Conference on April 15th. This year Mercy was placed in a division with some of the largest schools in the state, so we were extremely proud of the awards we received. Taking home awards were:

Alternative Coverage: 3rd Place - Michaela Mazur (2012 graduate)
Graphics: 2nd Place - Olivia Cholewa (2012 graduate)
Portrait/Personality Photo: 3rd Place - Clarissa LeVasseur (2012 graduate)
Photo Illustration: 1st Place - Laura Hatty, 3rd Place - Erica Canavan
Academic Photo: Honorable Mention - Lilliana Haddad
Club/Performance Photo: 3rd Place - Mary Fredendall, Honorable Mention - Laura Hatty
Theme Development: Honorable Mention - Staff
Feature Presentation: Honorable Mention - Olivia Cholewa (2012 graduate)
Index: Honorable Mention - Staff

Student Successes . . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

Student Council - The students have spoken, the ballots have been counted, and the 'vote for me' posters pulled down. Time to congratulate the new Student Council Officers for the 2013 - 14 school year - President: Bridget Carlson; Vice President: Sarah Hoffman; Secretary: Allie Gorcyca; Treasurer: Lauren Jackson.

Fab FORENSICS - The Forensics Team competed in the National Qualifier at St. Mary's Prep Sat., March 23 and the following girls will advance to nationals over Memorial Day weekend. These girls will compete with over 3,000 students from 63 dioceses across the country in Philadelphia in the two-day Grand National Tournament of the National Catholic Forensic League:

Oral Interpretation:
3rd Place: Alicia Finnorn
2nd Place: Sarah Kmiecik
Dramatic Duo:
3rd Place: Dani Abboud and Piper Matlock
1st Place: Jaclyn Godwin and Maggie Malaney
Dramatic Performance:
3rd Place: Abrail Neely
2nd Place: Amelia Dahmer
1st Place: Amelia Fanelli
Oratorical Declamation:
3rd Place: Mackenzie Zierau
2nd Place: Phoenix Dempster
1st Place: Kaela Brown
Original Oratory:
3rd Place: Allie Atsalis
2nd Place: Katie Baird
1st Place: Gabriella D'Agostini
Extemporaneous Speaking:
3rd Place: Kelsey Ellis
1st Place: Lana Grasser
Just Peace - Just Peace Club member Alise Wenner '14 and club moderator Ann Lusch were participants in the opening and closing prayer services at the annual Pax Christi Michigan state conference held April 20 at Mercy Center. Pax Christi is an organization that works for peace locally, nationally and globally.

JCL - On Saturday, April 13, Mercy Latin students participated in the Michigan Junior Classical League State Convention, held at East Grand Rapids High School. We would like to congratulate and celebrate the following students who excelled in the JCL state academic competitions. GRATUAMUR VOBIS! You all continue to make Mercy proud!

Monica Johnson ’13: 1st Place in Latin I Derivatives

Jessica Ko ’15: 2nd Place in Latin I Oratory

Alise Wenner ’14: 1st Place in Latin III Dramatic Oratory; 3rd Place in Latin III Derivatives

Maria Walawender ’13: 1st Place in Latin IV Grammar


Isabelle Larson ’13: 3rd Place in Latin IV Grammar; 3rd Place in Latin IV Derivatives

Sophie Lemisch ’13: 1st Place in Latin IV Oratory; 2nd Place in Latin IV Mythology; 2nd Place in Latin IV Vocabulary; 2nd Place in Latin IV Derivatives; 3rd Place in Latin IV Roman Culture & History

Stephanie Luther ’13: 2nd Place in Latin IV Oratory; 2nd Place in Latin IV Derivatives; 2nd Place in Latin IV Grammar; 2nd Place in Latin IV Roman Culture & History; 3rd Place in Latin IV Vocabulary

STATE SOLO and ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL - Mercy orchestra students received a 1 rating at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival on March 23rd. Lucy Devine received a 1 on her flute solo. Cristina Petrella and Lauren Abrahamson received a 1 on their violin duet. Kaela Gordon received a 1 on her violin solo.
LEADERSHIP and SERVICE - Students from 8 different parishes were nominated by their own parish to be honored for Leadership and Service to the parish by the South Oakland Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Detroit on April 14. Six Mercy students received this honor.

Meghan Fortney, St. Regis
Meghan Meyers, Our Lady of Sorrows

Courtney Richards, Our Lady of Sorrows

Maggie Malaney, Our Lady of Sorrows

Haley Fox, St. Fabian
Mikayla Benton, St. Fabian

There was a reception in their honor and at the Award Ceremony each student was individually introduced and honored for her accomplishments. Meghan Meyers was awarded a special Award of Excellence.

Michigan Youth Arts Festival Poetry - The poetry work of four students has been recognized by the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Erin Hand for her poem, "Books" Sydney Hembree for her poem, "At the Immigration Office" Alexis Schultz for her poem, "Cyganie" (Sig -gawn-nyeh) and Monica Mackie for her poem, "A Fall Day". All these girls will be invited to the MICHIGAN YOUTH ARTS FESTIVAL to be held in Kalamazoo in May.

Let's Hear it for the STAFF!

Jan Mordenski wins MYSA 2013 Touchstone Award

The Michigan Council of Teachers of English announced that Mercy English Teacher Jan Mordenski is the 2013 recipient of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Touchstone Award. This teaching award honors "the best teachers and advocates in arts education who endow Michigan’s children with a lifelong capacity for innovation." Jan will be presented with this award in May at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, which is held annually on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Mrs. Mordenski has taught at Mercy for 35 years. CLICK HERE to read full article about all her extraordinary award and accomplishments!

Super Skier Lorrie Kusch

Life Skills and Business Teacher Lorrie Kusch raced in the Boyne Highlands Downhill Race in March. There were 240 participants and she placed 3rd in her age class and was clocked at 38 mph!

Counseling Corner

FREE ACT & SAT PRACTICE TEST - Princeton Review is offering free practice ACT and SAT sessions for 9th and 10th graders in May. Please click here for all the information. You can also visit PrincetonReview.com/FreePracticeTest to reserve your spot.

Tech Talk

Mercy iPad Package - We are now taking orders for the 2013 - 2014 Mercy iPad Package. Click here for details and to order your Mercy iPad package.

Stay up to date with the latest Mercy 2.0 details at it.mhsmi.org/.

Habitat for Humanity - By Laura Hatty

This year, many students from Mercy's senior class found themselves on the beaches of the west coast, east coast and even Mexico for Spring Break. 14 seniors, however, spent their final high school spring break much differently. On Easter Sunday, Pastoral Minister Mrs. Judi Griggs-Dennis accompanied this group of girls down to Berea, Kentucky along with her daughter Sara Dennis-Festerman and Social Studies teacher Mrs. Cindy Richter.

For several years, Dennis and her daughter have been traveling with students to Kentucky in order to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties. The folks at Habitat have always looked forward to the arrival of Mercy High School during Spring Break, and this year was no exception. "The whole town has been looking forward to ya'll comin' for months" said Wendy Metcalff, administrative assistant for HFHMCC. In a matter of 5 days, these fourteen girls built all of the interior and exterior walls of what will soon be a house for a local woman and her daughter.

Like most previous years, Mercy girls worked hard and accomplished more than expected. "There's really nothing better than knowing your time and effort gave someone a stable home," said senior Sophie Lemisch. "And doing something so amazing with your best friends: I can't imagine a better way to spend spring break." When they weren't at the job site, these girls were at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore affiliate organizing, cleaning, and even adding a touch of themselves through projects with Mrs. Cindy Richter.

All fourteen girls and 3 adults stayed in the house above the Habitat for Humanity office building, making for a cozy experience. "There was a chore chart, and each day you'd rotate around chores so everybody had each job once," explained Lemisch. "This wasn't our house, it belonged to Habitat, so we wanted to do our best to keep it clean." For every bit of work there was an equal amount of fun during this trip. Between hiking the Kentucky Natural Bridge State Park, meeting Mercy Girls from Kentucky, shopping in downtown Richmond, tye dying t-shirts, dance lessons, and even learning to make pasta for homemade chicken noodle soup, each day was packed with endless memories. For many, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. "It was the perfect way to end my senior year," said Lemisch. "Doing good with good people."

The seniors who participated this year were: Alex Pinson, Racheal Colbert, Stephanie Luther, Grace Martin, Anna Mondrusov, Maria Walawender, Lauren Ayoub, Mary Fredendall, Sophie Lemish, Monica Mackie, Anne Conley, Haley Fox, Jackie LePres and Laura Hatty.


Fantastique Francais

The French Honor Society welcomes 27 new members who were inducted on April 24 at St. Mary’s Cultural Center at a beautiful French banquet. In addition to the participation requirement, the students completed a French cooking project from an area of France which included a cultural presentation in French and information about the dish that they had prepared. A reception followed the projects attended by current members of the French Honor Society members and candidates. Felicitations tout le monde!

Mariam Aoun

Natalie Apollinari

Emily Binienda

Caroline Bland

Ashlei Brooks

Chloe Churukian

Phoenix Dempster

Denali Drake

Emily Dulzo

Rita Erickson

Michaela Goguen

Maille Guerin

Abigail Kuplicki

Dana LaBuda

Jillian Law

Taylor Lombard

Maddie Loniewski

Sanan Malkadjian

Christina Miracle

Annie O'Connell

Morgan Pfaff

Clara Pilchak

Abby Rosler

Analise Sala

Alex Sobczak

Chanze Stuckey

Catherine Vaitas

The French Honor Society members hosted a community service event at Halsted Place, an assisted living/independent living facility in Farmington Hills, which was called "April in Paris." Members prepared a Powerpoint presentation for the residents on April in Paris which consisted of slides on Paris, traditional French music and French cooking. The highlight was a French crepe cooking demonstration followed by "a crepe social hour" with the residents. The members donated French pastries, cookies and chocolates to accompany the warm crepes served to the residents! It was a great success and we were invited back next year. Bravo!

Class of 2013 Activities

Senior Banquet - Monday, May 20 - Senior Banquet at Laurel Manor

Please arrive at 6:30pm and dinner is at 7:00pm. Senior tickets are FREE but a ticket must be picked up between May 9th and May 16th. Family member tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased beween May 9th and May 16th. (This is not really an event for children.) Please try to get your tickets early in the week rather than later! Don’t come on Monday, May 20 asking for tickets!!! Where and when to get tickets: Before school in N-9 Periods 2 and 4 in the Science Office. After school in N-9 look for Mrs. Schrimscher! Note: Each senior will receive a letter through her adviser with all of these details!

SENIOR PARENTS - Events, deadlines, details, and forms. Check out the Class of 2013 Senior Class Activities web page for all you need to know!


THANKS to all students, staff, and parents for your support of the Mercy Sweepstakes Drive which has raised over $163,000! The students also earned Fridays off on May 17 and May 24. The auditorium rocked at the closing assembly with a teacher dance off and top sellers were applauded for all their ticket sales. Elizabeth Schmitt '14 reigns as the top school seller by selling 290 tickets; she is followed by Kaitlin Bayer '16 who sold 250 tickets. Top class sellers were senior Bianca Aprilliano, junior Erika Rimelspach, sophomore Alexis Ferency and freshwoman Hannah Lesko. The class of 2015 is the super top selling class and will enjoy a day off.

Mrs. Marquard and Mrs. Ewald adviser groups were the first to have 100% turn in. Mr Meloche's group was the first to have everyone turn in 6 books and Mrs. Kusch's advisees will enjoy a lunch party for being the top selling group. Special recognition to top staff sellers Mrs. Kusch, Mrs. Ewald, and Sr. Marianne.

THANK YOU to all the parent volunteers for taking time out of your days to coordinate, count, and organize. More THANK YOU's to the spirited sweepstakes student committee for their outstanding energy. Way to sell, Mercy! Every dollar makes a difference.

Give me an M, give me an E, give me an R, give me a C, give me a Y

Senior Athletes and Parents - Are you signing a National Letter of Intent or committing to play a sport in college? The Mercy Athletics Department will be hosting another group signing day to celebrate all athletes committing to play a sport next year at the college level. (If you already attended the fall signing event, you don't need to be present.)

Friday, May 10, 2013

2:45pm - 3:45pm

Mercy Gymnasium

You’re welcome and encouraged to invite your family and coaches. Please wear your college shirt. We will take individual and group photos. Light refreshments will be served. Notify Kate Scalzi at kmscalzi@mhsmi.org if you will attend. Include your name, sport, and college.

Check out studentandathlete.com for plenty of Marlin sports coverage and Mercy In The News web page for articles. Spring sports are in action so show your Mercy pride and cheer on our Marlins! Link to the athletics schedule and even get driving directions.
MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

SAVE THE DATE - Save the date for the 2013 Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing! Last year’s event sold out so be sure to get a foursome together and take a swing for Mercy. For more information regarding sponsoring or attending the outing contact Lindsay Weismiller at lmweismiller@mhsmi.org or call 248.893.3535. Interested in volunteering on the committee? We can use your help! Contact Lindsay today and be a part of making this great event a reality.

CAR POOL - The Mercy Car Pool List is emailed to all families in June. If you wish to remove your family's information from the listing, please e-mail Maureen Weiss at mpweiss@mhsmi.org.

AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING - The National Honor Sociey offers after school tutoring on Wednesdays from 2:45pm - 3:30pm throughout second semester. Tutoring sessions have four to five NHS members in the Media Center to tutor in all subject areas.

MATH TUTORING - A volunteer math tutor is available every Tuesday and Thursday 3rd-6th hour in the Math Department. Mrs Carol Garibaldi would prefer students to sign-up ahead of time (on Math Office #3), but will take drop-ins as well. Have your daughter check the list of classes she is available to tutor at this time.

Look who is a Sweepstakes Drive winner!

Mercy Month Ahead

Date / Time
Alumnae Tea for Tuition April 28 / 2:00pm Gymnasium
Class of 2017 Fiesta May 3 / 6pm Gymnasium
Mercy MOTHERS Meeting May 7 / 6:30pm Media Center
Mercy DADS Meeting
May 6 / 7:00pm
Father / Daughter Golf Outing May 9 Baypointe
Evening of Acting May 15 / 7:00pm Drama Studio
Senior Prom May 16 Roostertail Detroit
Senior Banquet May 20 / 6:30pm Laurel Manor
Baccalaureate Mass May 28 Auditorium
Honors Convocation / Senior Parties / Moving Up May 29 MHS
Graduation May 30 Compuware
If you have any questions or want to submit information contact jhearle@mhsmi.org. Want even more? Click the school life calendar and the Mercy website. And don't miss all of the latest Mercy In The News articles. Check out the current announcements and browse the home page links to see what's happening at Mercy.

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