December 2013

Wit's End . . . Notes from the Principal

Aging. It happens to all of us. Every 12 months, we grow one year older and that occasion is marked as one’s birthday. Seems simple enough, and yet the perceptions about that annual phenomenon differ, quite dramatically, from one person to the next.

When was the last time you responded to the question “How old are you?” First of all, do you even remember? Did you answer? Did you tell the truth? Were you excited to share the information or were you a bit insulted? How the inquiry was made, and more importantly received, is of far greater significance than the actual question itself. As I said, every person has a birthday once a year, but one’s attitude about that reality determines the response.

So I follow with a few more questions. How old were you when you last responded to the question by adding some fraction to the whole number? It wasn’t enough to give the correct age; you felt compelled to more closely approximate the actual distance until your next birthday! My hunch is that you might have been of an age that you could write in a single digit. 8 ½ is sooooo much clearer (and cooler) than just 8. 4 ¾ deserves considerable more respect than 4 alone. If the mathematic notation was not given, a descriptive word was most certainly added to the whole number. “I’m almost six!” satisfies the necessary discernment required so as not to be confused with the “very little sister who is a ‘baby’ at age three (here, the fraction is never added). If you were a bit older, might I guess that you were awaiting a birthday earmarked as more important than some of the others because of an earned privilege attached to the number? Think 15 ½ because of that all-important driving privilege to come; 17 ½, not because of any REAL change that happened at 18, but because somehow you just stood up taller. Or how about “I’ll be 21 in a few weeks” wherein the word “few” actually covered months?

More questions. When was the first birthday where you reverted back to whole numbers only? How far past 21 was that birthday? 29? Somehow most people don’t keep adding fractions beyond that one. “When will you turn 30?”  “Shortly” might be sufficient. I have never yet heard someone respond that they were 53 ½ or 61 ¼? Why is that? How many birthdays after # 21 held excitement for you? Was 40 one at which you partied? If so, were black balloons and streamers part of the event? Ouch. Birthdays after 40 usually get lost in some abyss. For some, it might get a bit interesting again when the upcoming birthday number comes with a free coffee? Maybe a discounted movie ticket? An extra 10 % off on the total grocery bill? As each of these birthdays gets ignored to a larger degree, at least there is a remuneration of sorts.

My thoughts today about the process of aging are not intended to bum you out. They are, however, designed to give you pause to consider how you choose to look at aging. It is a choice you know. What does aging represent, and if you believe that with age comes experience, wisdom, achievement, pride . . . why don’t we promote that with those around us? Why don’t we preserve the notion that every birthday should have the cake and the candles and the presents? Every person’s celebration of yet another year should get some attention and the attention should be genuine and positive.

My considerations here are very much connected to the time of year. In a few short days, a mere dozen or so, we close yet another calendar year. We are surrounded by celebrations, family gatherings, the giving and receiving of gifts and countless expressions of love. Might I offer the suggestion of a gift that you can give yourself? Sometime in the next 12 months you may be fortunate to mark another year of life. If your special day has lost its luster and the impending approach has caused you some distress in past years, make a conscious choice that your 2014 birthday will begin a new tradition. Expect to honor the day with positive, life-affirming activities. Make it happen.

May this holiest of seasons bring unforeseen blessings and may the new year be one of health and prosperity for you and for your loved ones.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mercy MOMENT of the Month

UBUNTU - I am because WE ARE!


Human Relations Council proudly presented "UBUNTU, I am because WE ARE" Ethnic Bazaar on December 4th with over 100 student participants. The Drama Studio was packed with cheering students and proud parents watching the wonderful performances. ETHNIC BAZAAR has been a favorite Mercy tradition which highlights the diversity of Mercy through song, dance, poetry, prayer, food, and fashion. It brings the Mercy community together to experience and embrace our uniqueness. Everyone at Mercy takes pleasure in this special day to honor, educate, and incorporate different ethnicities.

Mothers Club

The Mothers Club held its annual Christmas party on Monday, December 2nd. Thank you to all of the Mercy moms who attended the party. On Sunday, December 8th, The Mothers Club held the Mother-Daughter Evening of Spiritual Reflection at St. Edith Catholic Church in Livonia. It was such a beautiful event for mothers and daughters alike. Huge thanks go out to Julie Abeska and Susan Hiser for co-chairing the event, and for providing a warm and wonderful environment for Mercy mothers and daughters to celebrate the holiday season together!

Save the date for the Mother Daughter Banquet on Wednesday, March 19. The Mothers Club does not meet in January, so the next Mothers Club meeting will take place on Monday, February 3rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center. Click here to read notes from President Jill Purtan.


Dads Club

The Father Daughter Mass and Breakfast will be held Sunday, January 12th. Mass begins at 11:00am in the MHS Chapel, followed by breakfast in the cafeteria hosted by the Dads Club. There are limited seats available, so please make a reservation by e-mailing Tom Rzepecki at

The next Dads Club meeting is scheduled for Tuesday January 7th. Dinner starts at 6:30pm and the meeting begins at 7:00pm. We will take the Christmas decorations down after the meeting and have sign-ups for the January and February events, including the Father-Daughter Liturgy.

Give Me a M, Give Me an E, Give Me a R, Give Me a C, Give Me a Y!


Mercy won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 Girls Swimming Championship with an outstanding State meet November 23 at Oakland University. In celebration, we will have a day off of school, taken on Monday January 6th, 2014. Way to go, Marlins!

Seniors Sign Sports Scholarships

Congratulations to these Mercy High senior athletes who signed scholarships to play a sport in college: Ellie Schinella - Swimming, University of Michigan; Sierra LeGrande - Basketball, St. Mary's University; Katie Erdman - Soccer, Bowling Green State University; Candice Leatherwood - Basketball, Liberty University; Paige Roberts - Soccer, University of Detroit Mercy; Lexi Kahler - Lacrosse, Newberry College; Jordan Ewald - Softball, University of Michigan Dearborn; Tori Sullivan - Ice Hockey, Boston College.

Mercy athletes are always making headlines! CLICK HERE to read some of the recent sports stories featured in the news. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Basketball, Bowling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Skiing and Pompon, everywhere you go. Check out the winter sports schedule available online and support your Mercy teams! There are even directions. Please help fill the stands with Mercy cheer and come by the Marlin Shop to score some Mercy gear. If you know of more sport honors, please send to Kate Scalzi at

Youth Mercy Associates

The blessing of unity still dwells amongst us and oh what a blessing, it should make all else pass into nothing. This is the spirit of the Order, indeed the true spirit of Mercy flowing on us. ~ Catherine McAuley

The Youth Mercy Associate program was originally formed in England in March of 2000 by Sr. Teresa McCarthy, RSM and Sr. Patricia Bell, RSM. In December of 2012, Pastoral Minister and Mercy Associate Judi Griggs-Dennis introduced the program in the U.S. and the Mercy Charter Chapter began work shortly thereafter. During Foundation Day Mass held last week, 17 Mercy girls made their commitment as Charter Members of the Youth Mercy Associates of the Americas. Congratulations to Lauren Battle, Rachel Belans, Mikayla Benton, Teagan Dillon, Mackenzie Elkow, Kelly Eusebi, Madison Flyte, Meaghan Fortney, Lana Grasser, Sydney Hembree, Lindsay Hiser, Elizabeth Lilley, Molly Murphy, Alexis Ponder, Amy Vlachos, Theresa Walle and Emily Wolffe.

By upholding Catherine McAuley’s joy in the love of the gospel, her vision of faith, and mercyAlong with bringing the girls closer to Catherine McAuley and to the community of the Sisters of Mercy, the Youth Mercy Associates wish to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

  • By praying, reflecting and sharing together
  • By letting God’s light shine through everything we do especially in the sharing of our gifts and talents in the service of others
  • By working with the Adult Associates and Sisters in addressing the Critical Concerns: Women’s Issues; Care for the Earth; Non-Violence; Racism; Immigration.

During the Program of Preparation, the Youth Mercy Associate members accomplished the following during their year of orientation:

  • Read the book Daring to be Different by Anne Reid (Associate /Dublin)
  • Attended the Local Chapter Youth Mercy Associate Retreat
  • Wrote and led a prayer service
  • Organized and led a community service project
  • Attended a special event
  • Attended regular Youth Mercy Associate meetings

More program information can be found here.


Mercy is Focus: HOPE's #1!

Mercy has been proud to partner with Focus: HOPE to give thanks, give food, and give hope and joy to those in need every holiday season. Mercy students and staff joined hands and hearts to fill half a semi-truck with food for senior citizens as well as donated over $4,500 during last month's Thanksgiving food drive. Mercy is proud to be Focus: Hope's #1 contributor!

THANK YOU to all students and staff for living out our Mercy values to serve those in need. "God knows I would rather be poor and hungry than that the poor should be deprived of any consolation within our power," Catherine McAuley.






Student Successes. . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

Congratulations Sammy Kleedtke '17 and Caitie Baron '17 who were selected to represent the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region II team in the girls Thanksgiving Interregional soccer event held in Boca Raton, Florida last month. They made it through various state association and regional level evaluations to be selected from over 500 girls! Their Region II team was comprised of 18 elite soccer players born in 1999 selected from 14 different Midwest states. They spent the week in Florida training with their team and playing games against the other regional teams from the east coast, west coast and southern states. They played in front of national staff and collegiate coaches in hopes of maximizing their exposure for selection to the next level of play, which would be the U.S. Youth Soccer National Team.

WOW! Danielle Thomas '17 competed in Novice Ice Dancing with her partner Alexander Martin and took 1st place at the U.S. Midwestern Sectionals. This qualifies them to compete at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Boston held January 5-12!


Take a look at this great video montage highlighting Mercy's school wide


The 35th Annual Mercy Auction is right around the corner and there are lots of exciting things happening to make this a successful event!

Gift gathering parties are starting after the holidays. Save the dates of Saturday, January 11th for a party in Plymouth and Saturday, January 25th for a party in Grosse Pointe! Complete details about times and locations can be found here.

Tuition Raffle tickets were mailed the beginning of November. For every 5 tickets you sell & turn in by January 31st, you are entered into a raffle for two free raffle tickets (a $250 value). Your odds are around 1 in 1000 of winning, so sell your tickets today!

Advertising opportunities are still available for the auction and there are ads for both Mercy families as well as businesses. Advertising contracts are available here and ads are due by January 15th.

Auction acquisitions are in full swing and we are accepting items through January 31st. Remember, no item too big, no item too small, we are Mercy High School, we take it all!

During the holiday season there are additional opportunities to support the auction as well. Receive a gift that is great but not great for you? Regift it to the auction! Have extra baskets from holiday gifts that you are not using? Repurpose by donating it to the auction and we will use to display items the night of the event. All auction donations will be accepted at the reception desk during school hours.

For more information contact Mercy's Special Events Coordinator, Lindsay Weismiller, at and CLICK HERE for all things AUCTION.

iMercy is now available through the iTunes Store!

Download for free with iBooks on your Mac or iPad, and with iTunes on your computer. Please share it with friends and family over the holidays.iMercy is a 27 page Multi-Touch book packed with movies, photos and other multimedia highlighting Mercy's integration of technology across the curriculum and school life. The authors began working on the book last spring and continued through the end of September for submission to Apple. The Apple Distinguished School award was achieved on the basis of this book.

iMercy is designed for the iPad using the latest version of iBooks. The book may also be read with iBooks on a Mac running OS X Mavericks. (Some interactive features may not work with a mouse or trackpad.) Search "iMercy" at the iTunes store, download, and enjoy.

Admissions Anecdotes


Mercy students, parents, staff and alumnae: your word of mouth is Mercy's best advertising! Help us spread the word about the benefit of a Mercy education by simply referring a prospective 7th or 8th grader to our upcoming Winter OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Open House is a great opportunity for prospective families to learn more about Mercy. Families will receive a student-guided tour and meet administrators, teachers, parents and alumnae. More information about the admissions process can be found on our website at

If you know of a future Mercy girl in your parish or neighborhood, please encourage her to contact the Admissions Office at or 248-476-2484 and arrange a day to shadow a student.




Lore to be featured in national curriculum: The Lore staff was recently notified that seven of their photos will be featured in the journalism curriculum being developed by the Journalism Education Association. Journalism staffs were contacted for photography and writing submissions to accompany lessons and units in the curriculum. The curriculum will serve as a teaching and resource tool for journalism classes as well as newspaper and yearbook staffs The JEA is the largest scholastic journalism association for educators.Yearbook:  Presentations given, papers written, costumes worn, stories shared - through it all the Lore staff has been there taking thousands of pictures and recording the thoughts and opinions of Mercy students. It's all in the 2014 Lore. While your daughter is in the book, will she have a book? Only a small amount of extras are ordered so if you don't order by January 12, your daughter could leave school empty-handed. Head to today and use code 13826 to be directed to Mercy's site.

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office


Mercy moms, alumnae, staff and friends are invited to play Bunco on Friday, January 24 from 7:00 -9:00pm in the cafeteria. If you can throw dice, you know how to play Bunco! Join us even if you’ve never played the game. We’ll teach you in no time.

Pizza and snacks ~ Drinks (wine, beer, pop & coffee) ~ Prizes ~ Chances to win

$15 per person. Proceeds support tuition assistance

Click here to register or contact or 248.476.3270. Hosted by the Alumnae Association.

A Time of Giving

We know two distinct things about charitable giving: 1) People tend to give to organizations that are important to them and 2) People often choose to give in the month of December.

Well, we know that Mercy High School is important to you because you receive this Mercy MEMO and, here we are in the month of December. Will you consider a gift to Mercy High School?

Help us continue this important work by sending your gift today. The Annual Fund helps provide tuition assistance as well as support for operating and program budgets. It plays a key role in keeping Mercy High School the premier all girl high school in Michigan, offering a Catholic education that is second to none.

Visit our secure online giving site or send your check to Mercy before the end of the 2013 tax year. Your generosity allows us to continue to offer The Gift of a Mercy Education to nearly 850 current students and to generations of young women to come. Send your gift today.

Let Us Pray

Mercy High School wants to join you in prayer. If you have a special prayer request, please use the online prayer intention submission form. It will be added to the Mercy Mothers Prayer Circle as well as copied to the Alumnae Office and Mercy Pastoral Minister.

The Mercy Mothers Prayer Group is an informal group which meets every Monday from 1:30 - 2:30 in the Mercy High Chapel, excluding days off and early dismissal. The Prayer Group recites the Rosary and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we lift in prayer specific intentions submitted online and those placed in the prayer box located at the reception area of the school. Please join the Mercy Mothers as they facilitate prayers for blessings and protection upon the faculty and staff of the school, students, the Sisters of Mercy, as well as all Mercy families and alumnae. If you have any questions please contact: Debbie Tisdel



MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Mercy Mobile APP - Stay up to date with Mercy on the go! The Mercy High School mobile App is ready for download to your smartphone or mobile device. Simply search "Mercy High School" in your App store. 

Home Stay Program Opportunity for Mercy Families - Green Planet's home stay program has partnered with Mercy High School and is offering an incredible opportunity to families in Farmington Hills and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in making a positive impact on the life of an international student and live within 30 minutes of Farmington Hills, you may want to consider becoming a host family. Host families will receive a monthly stipend of $800 and have access to 24/7 support from local Residential Coordinators who can help with coordinating meeting your student upon arrival, keeping you connected with the school community, and mediating issues if they arise. Students come with their own insurance and spending money and stay for the academic year. Do you know someone who might be interested in hosting a student? For every approved host family that lists you as a reference on their application, you will be rewarded a $150 referral bonus.

2013-2014 MERCY STUDENT DIRECTORY IS ONLINE! The student directory is accessible to all parents and students online through PowerSchool. Login to PowerSchool and click on the STUDENT DIRECTORY icon. You can look at individual listings or the whole school. Please note if your daughter's entry is not displayed, a request was completed for address or phone number information to NOT be included in the student directory. The program used to post the directory pulls directly from the database and does not allow for individual record modification.

Subscribe to NEWSPRINT, the student voice of Mercy High School! It is a complete 24-page tabloid-format newspaper filled with everything from school news to world events, exciting features, sports, and entertainment. Newsprint is the source that links the Mercy community to the rest of the world. Support the staff of talented young Mercy women and enjoy informative and entertaining features by purchasing a subscription to this award-winning, student produced paper. Newsprint is distributed to students at school but it can also be delivered directly to your home or place of work. The price is $12 for the year (6 issues). Please send your name, preferred mailing address and email, along with a check payable to Mercy High School to Ms. Lynn WaldsmithNewsprint Advisor Mercy High School, 29300 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48336-1409. Visit to view past issues. Don't forget to click NEWSPRINT online website where you can stay up to date on Marlin news and read work by Mercy students 24/7.

Snapshot of Mercy

A Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Mercy staff gave a memorable "12 Days of Christmas" performance for the students at the annual Christmas Assembly.

"May God preserve and bless you and grant you all the graces and precious gifts reserved for this holy season." - Venerable Catherine McAuley. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Mercy High School.

Mercy Month Ahead

Event Date / Time Location
Christmas Holiday Break
December 20 after last exam
January 7 / Classes Resume
NO SCHOOL January 6 thanks to swim state championship!
Mercy DADS Meeting
Jan 7 / 6:30pm
Father Daughter Mass & Breakfast Jan 12 / 11:00am Chapel
NO SCHOOL Jan 20  
OPEN HOUSE Jan 26 / 1pm - 3pm MHS
NO SCHOOL Jan 27  

Catholic Schools Week

Jan 28 - Jan 31 MHS
MASS Jan 31 Auditorium
Father Daughter Dance Feb 1 Gymnasium

Recognized by Apple as a distinguished school for innovation, leadership,and educational excellence.

If you have any questions or want to submit information contact Want even more? Click the school life calendar and the Mercy web site. 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.