April 2016

Wit's End...Notes from the Principal
Hurry up. There's an expression for this in every language. I am quite sure it dates back to pre-historic times. Imagine cave man days, when a weary cave dad or cave mom was trying to light a fire (no pun intended) under their somewhat slow to move cave child. Hurry up. Get a move on. Speed it up.
As much as this mantra might increase productivity, it bespeaks an attitude in our culture that is worrisome. We exist in a fast paced world; we operate at breakneck speed. We quite often get ahead of the here and now. If you doubt your own guilt, consider how many times on a Monday morning, you talk about the "can't wait until Friday" that looms in the distance. I remind myself that my own focus would be far different on a Monday if I knew that my time on Earth would end on Friday.
This hurry up culture infects development, earned rites of passage, hard won maturity and increased privileges. To some degree we have lost our way. We don't want our children to wait for much of anything. We dress little kids like grown-ups. We leave them alone to take care of themselves at younger and younger ages. We deceive ourselves by believing that as long as the child has a cell phone, we can count ourselves among the parents who maintain real communication. Kids don't often have any curfew. Many are allowed to come and go as they please. Some have very few expectations placed on them at home.
To what end? If even a portion of these choices made children more self-directed as they came closer to their late teens, there might be a debate worth having. Instead, our hurry up, grow up, get-ahead mind set has been accompanied by a second, somewhat damaging, reality. Too many teens graduate high school and find themselves quite crippled when it comes to personal independence. We have not paired age with increased privilege and increased decision making responsibility. The kids have gained the privileges, but the adults in their lives (namely, their parents) have taken on all the responsibilities. And yet . . . and yet . . . these very parents would tell you that they fully expect their children will be ready for the "real world" when they finish high school.
You love your children. I love my children. I do, however, do some regular analysis of what I could have done differently and what things I would never have changed. Here is one solid conclusion: Independent thinking and independent decision making are not learned by being told of such things. They are learned by doing, and the doing (of whatever the task at hand) should start as soon as the child is capable of surviving the consequence. Independence is learned over time. Confidence evolves as a result of both successful and unsuccessful actions. Your job is to foster that learning in your children. Foster doesn't mean you do and the child watches you do. Bluntly put, it means get out of the way. The child must do for herself.
All of you have daughters in high school. Those who are parents of seniors are looking at what may be the first separation, moving away, as many of these daughters will soon leave home for college. That experience of moving away will require her to operate more independently than she's used to doing. It will force some growth. It will create some understandable fears. She will feel doubt. She will be apprehensive. She will make mistakes. She will get lost on campus, but she will learn to find her way. She will have conflicts with a roommate(s), but she will learn to compromise. She will be late and miss out at times, but she will learn to set an alarm. She will do the assignment wrong or even better, she will do the wrong assignment altogether, but she will learn to speak to her professor. She may learn to take different notes. She will spend time alone, but she will learn to distinguish that from loneliness. She will miss meals, but she will learn the exact hours when food service is available. She will fall ill, but she will manage to navigate the student health center. She will run out of money, but she will learn to keep track of her account. She will learn to operate washers and dryers, where to dispose of her trash, and which products to use to clean her bathroom. None of these will be life threatening experiences, but each one will be life changing, especially if she has had few personal encounters to date. Maybe most importantly, she will not get along with some people, but she will learn how to manage when she doesn't.
So parents, get a move on. Hurry up with whatever time you have left, three more years in high school or only weeks. Begin today with each of your children. Give them the personal experiences they need. It is the one area where speed matters. Whatever you do now will further accelerate your daughter's independence. She may not like it, but you will absolutely love the outcome.
For now, just tell her "You're welcome." And when she looks at you in confusion, just say "The thank you is coming, and I can be patient."


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Senior All Night Party

The Mothers Club is busy working on the Senior All Night Party. Parent volunteers are needed from all classes! Please contact Event Chair April Jackson at ajackson2@bcbsm.com or Parent Volunteer Committee Chair Joanie Forfinski at thefinskis@gmail.com. More SANP info coming soon.

Be sure to check out the Mothers Club home page and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes.

Dads Club

Irish Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Sharon Sanderson lucky winner of the Dads Club Irish Raffle!

Meeting May 3 at 6:30pm

All Mercy Dads are invited to meet, greet and eat at the last Dads Club meeting of the school year Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Don't miss out on a wonderful steak dinner and presentation by President Dr. Kreger. Please RSVP by April 27th to tpegler@sbcglobal.net. More details here.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Mercy Dads Club invites Dads and Daughters to Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers vs Texas Rangers on Friday, May 6 at 7:10pm. Tickets are $25 per person. We are also planning a tailgate from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Send your ticket request to Michael Dunleavy at Michael.dunleavy@astrazeneca.com. Please include the number of tickets requested, your daughter's name and grade. Send payment to "Mercy Dads Club" care of: Michael Dunleavy 36337 Old Homestead Dr. Farmington Hills, MI 48335.

Dads & Daughters Golf Outing

Come join Mercy dads and daughters for an afternoon of golf and fun at the Strategic Fox Par 3 Golf Course in Plymouth on Sunday, May 15th at 1:00pm. Event will be a 9-hole scramble and promises to be a wonderful afternoon. Cost $20 per 2-person walking team and $30 per 2-person riding cart team. Any questions, please contact Scott Marzolino at marz28@att.net. More details and golf outing registration info here.

Stay in touch with MDC!

Please be sure to join the Mercy Dads Google Group and follow us on Twitter.
  • Click here for Google Group

Heart of Mercy 2016

Mercy High School rejoices for 2016 Heart of Mercy Award recipients Olivia Collins '16 and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Gary Morris who live out the values of Human Dignity, Service, Justice, Mercy, and Option for the Poor. Thank you for being faithful and compassionate people of God who make a difference to everyone in our Mercy family!


Here is just some of what students had to say about these inspirational school leaders: Olivia makes everyone feel welcome and important. She believes in people more than they believe in themselves. She has no idea of the impact she makes on students each and every day. Mr. Morris participates in all aspects of Mercy and volunteers his time and effort to support his students. He wants everyone to succeed. Mr. Morris has a huge heart. God's compassion is in everything he does.

Ice Hockey State Champions!

Congratulations Mercy High School ICE HOCKEY Division 1 2016 STATE CHAMPIONS!
Photo by StudentandAthlete.org / Oakland Press
Farmington Hills Mercy 3, Grosse Pointe South 2
Emmie McCann, Makena Duval, and Sophie VanAcker scored for Mercy in the victory. Caitlin Somerville earned the victory in goal.

Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

CONGRATULATIONS to Valedictorian Taylor Lombard and Salutatorian Lucy Devine 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 Monday, April 25.
Hats off to the following seniors who were selected as Valedictorian and Salutatorian Finalists: 
Cydney Ayad
Theresa Benton
Elizabeth Blake
Carly Camp
Marie Camp
Natalie Cieslak
Bridgette Conniff
Caitlin Delevie
Lucy Devine
Colleen Hadley
Lauryn Hauncher
Hannah Hembree
Audrey Jones
Erin Judd
Taylor Lombard
Hannah Lunsford
Maureen McGough
Christina Schira
Alana Sullivan
Brianna Woodbeck
Sabrina Yancey

National Honor Society Inductees

Congratulations to the over 100 new members who were inducted into Mercy's Chapter of the National Honor Society on April 6th. Special recognition to newly installed officers for the Class of 2017:

President: Edith Jones; Council: Saveri Nandigama, Hannah Hamilton, Julie Lilley, Nicole Belans, Hanaa Saleh. Click here to see all the outstanding juniors who are now a part of NHS.

Orchestra State Solo & Ensemble

Congratulations to the Mercy High School orchestra students who achieved great success at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival last month. Lydia Gier and Madison Reckker received a Division II rating on their duet. Shannon Sheridan and Caitlin Ryan received a Division I rating on their duet. Lydia Gier, Elise Scarchilli, and Samantha Schubert received a Division 1 rating on their trio. Cinya Hou, Hannah Blakey, Mackenzie Farrow and Sophie Vanderweele received a Division I rating on their quartet.

National Scholastic Art Award Winners

We are pleased to announce that Mercy High School seniors Miranda Stano, Jinghan Hu and their teacher, Ms. Susan Smith, have earned national recognition in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2016. Miranda won a gold medal and an American Visions Medal for her drawing titled "Grandmother". Jinghan won a silver medal for her drawing titled "My Grandmother" and a silver medal for her portfolio titled "People In My Eyes". These students have been identified by panels of creative professionals as the most talented young artists in the nation. This year, nearly 320,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1% were recognized at the national level. Miranda and Ms. Smith have been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 2.

The Art.Write.Now.2016 National Exhibition will be open at the Sheila C. Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design (66 5th Avenue at 13th Street) and at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery (144 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor) from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. National Medalist art and writing will be on display June 2-12. Come see the best work created by teens across the country!

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center High School Contest
Congratulations to the following Mercy students who won awards in the 2016 High School Art Competition sponsored by the BBAC.
Jinghan (Molane) Hu - My Grandmother - Drawing
Jinghan (Molane) Hu - Mr. Sill - Drawing
Miranda Stano - Cousin - Drawing
Winning artworks will be displayed in a special exhibition at the BBAC April 1-29.

Congratulations to the following Mercy students who won awards in the 2016 High School Art Competition sponsored by the Farmington Area Arts Commission. Winning artworks will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Festival of the Arts (April 14th - 16th) and will remain at the City Gallery through May 13th.

Photography Category
1st Place - $100 - MaKayla Jennings - Blue Feathers
2nd Place - $75 - Cleopatra Weeks - Eyeglasses
Honorable Mention - $25 - Elizabeth Bartels - Tools
2-D Category
1st Place - $100 - Jinghan (Molane) Hu - Self-Portrait
3rd Place - $50 - Bianca Seely - Color Pencil Flower
Honorable Mention - $25 - Miranda Stano - Fixation
Honorable Mention - $25 - Jenna Bratke - Mushroom
Honorable Mention - $25 - Olivia Gibaratz - Leaf Drawing
3-D Category
1st Place - $100 - Hannah Pascual - Riveted Pendant
2nd Place - $75 - Taylor Lombard - Silver Hollow Ring
Honorable Mention - $25 - Hannah Pascual - Silver Ring with Pink Stone

Robotics Headed to States!

Mercy's robotics team, the Riveters, is advancing to the State Championship of the FIRST Robotics Competition, held in Grand Rapids from Wednesday, April 13 to Saturday, April 16.
The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams to build a robot in six weeks before competing with other teams at district, state, and world events. This year, the theme of the competition was Stronghold,
in which teams built robots to climb obstacles, shoot balls into tower goals, and climb the tower during matches.
The Riveters competed at Southfield High School and at Centerline in district events to earn qualification points for states. At Southfield, the team was ranked 10 of 40 after qualification matches and then became the first pick of the second-ranked alliance captain. The alliance advanced to the semifinals of playoffs. Additionally, the Riveters won the Industrial Design Award.
At Centerline, the Riveters were ranked 1 out of 40 teams after qualification rounds, They became the captain of the first alliance, who made it to semifinals. At this competition, the Riveters were honored to win two awards: the Quality Award, for overall quality of robot design and performance, and the Industrial Safety Award.

Overall, the team is currently ranked 52 out of 411 teams in the state of Michigan. Competitions, both district and state level, consist of qualification matches, where teams are randomly matched with two others to form a temporary alliance and set against a second alliance to play a two-and-a-half minute game. Many rounds of qualifications with different alliances ensure that a team's composite score is a good representation of their ability. After a day and a half of qualifications, the top teams pick their alliances to advance to the playoffs. At district events, teams earn points based on their performance to qualify for the State Championship. The top 102 teams from Michigan attend states.

Mercy students Clarisa Russenberger, Bianca Seely, Cinya Hou, Lexi Ripke, and Olivia Warner form the Business sub-team of the Riveters, with Lilian Lebednick as Business Lead and Marie Camp as Project
Manager. The Programming, Electrical, and Pneumatics sub-team members are Sydney Puda, Kerti Zhao, Anastasia Warner, Bianca Seely, Mackenzie Farrow, and Carly Camp. The Mechanical sub-team members are Grace Drukker, Elise Scarchilli, Iza Marrical, with Mary Marquette as the Mechanical Lead.
Carly Camp, Iza Marrical, and Kerti Zhao are also The Riveters' amazing Drive Team.

Class of 2016

Memory DVD - Be sure to order your senior MEMORY DVD. The deadline to order a DVD is April 25, 2016 and all orders can be given to reception in an envelope for a senior moderator. Click here for Memory DVD order form.

REPORTING SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION - If your daughter receives a scholarship (from a college or another source), she must provide a copy of any letters/notifications received regarding scholarships to the counseling office. If counseling does not receive a copy of the information, it will not be recognized at Honors Convocation. Deadline is April 29th. Also, seniors are asked to update college admissions decisions in Naviance and complete mandatory senior survey by April 25th.

FINAL EXAM INFO - Seniors and parents were sent an email detailing all final exam info and dates. It is also posted on announcements here.

Please be sure to continually check the Class of 2016 web site for important updates: http://mhsmi.org/mercy-life/student-activities/class-2016

Coffee with the Principal and Pizza with the President


Mercy girls are chatting it up with Principal Mrs. Witte and President Dr. Kreger! Students have been invited to take part in Coffee with the Principal and also invited to Pizza with the Presidentl. These are events that take place before and after school once a month and are limited to about 15 girls. Students can get to know Mrs. Witte and Dr. Kreger on a more personal level, asking questions, sharing concerns and just hanging out. More events are planned for the rest of the year. We are Mercy!

Sweepstakes Success!

The Mercy Student Sweepstakes Drive was a success earning over $155,000 for Mercy and a day off Friday, May 20th for reaching our final goal. All prize drawings will be held at Mercy on May 15, 2016 and the grand prize is $10,000!

Congratulations to the following for being top sellers:

First Advisee Group with 100% Turn In - Mrs. Harris
Top Selling Advisee Group - Ms. Moore and Mrs. Richter
Top Staff Sellers - S. Marianne Bennett, Mrs. Marquard, Mrs. Witte
School Top Seller - Allison Lobbia, 2nd School Top Seller Kaitlyn Bayer
Top Seller by Grade - 12th Grade Bridget Furlong, 11th Grade Marissa Lobbia, 10th Grade Sarah Pegler, 9th Grade Angelina Rinaldi


The Juniors were the top selling class and will earn an additional day off of school.


International Women's Day

On March 8, 2016, a group of girls from AP Government and Politics attended an International Women's Day celebration sponsored by our local International Women's Forum. The invitation was extended to these Mercy girls by Marisa Petrella '77 and Cristina Petrella '13. The guest speaker was Gisela Becker, founder of SPANCO, a non-profit operating in Ghana. Mercy girls were able to speak with and learn from strong, powerful women who work to make positive changes in the world.

Senior Athlete Signing Event

Attention 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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 
2:45pm - 3:30pm
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.

Spring Sports Action 

Be sure to check out the latest Marlins making headlines here and the athletics calendar here.

Summer Camps

The 2016 summer athletics program information is available at mhsmi.org/athletics

The Marlin Adult Chorus is beginning its second session next week! This choir is open to Mercy staff, alumnae, parents, and friends of Mercy and meets on Monday evenings from 6:00-7:30 starting Monday, April 11. There will be only 6 rehearsals prior to the Spring Concert on May 17 where we will perform. Musical background is not necessary! Please consider joining your Mercy family in song this spring. Contact rjferguson@mhsmi.org to sign-up or click here to use google doc.

Spring Swing - Any high school students want to learn to swing dance? The Mercy Music Department is hosting Spring Swing on Friday, April 22 and free dance lessons are provided! Check out all the event info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/240370756303936/

Athletics Summer Camps - Please be sure to visit mhsmi.org/athletics for the most up to date summer camp and sports date information for Mercy teams.

Mercy Bus Routes - New Mercy bus routes are now posted for the 2016 - 2017 school year. Visit mhsmi.org/contact/transportation.