December 2015

Wit's End...notes from the principal

choice to be hopeful. That's what I am thinking of today. There are probably countless reasons for it: an end to a calendar year approaches; losses, both big and small, have occurred; hundreds upon hundreds of good deeds have been done, and yet too many events of human suffering around the world are witnessed and reported.
And yet, because of that, or possibly despite all that, I can make the choice to be hopeful. So, I remind myself and I offer you the reminder as well. Hopefulness is within your control, within your reach. It always has been so, and yet, like you, I need to be reminded. A brief conversation did just that.
He is a friend of mine, a man I have known for many years. A husband and father himself, he has become newly devoted in recent years to his grandchildren. A few weeks ago in a passing conversation we shared, he was telling me how his daughter and son-in-law had recently acquired a dog and how their very young children were enjoying all the excitement and change that had come as a by-product. His three and a half year old granddaughter who, truth be told, can charm the socks off this man, frequently amazes him with one or more things that come out of her mouth. One of her more recent declarations, announced to her mother, was this: "When I'm done being me, I'm gonna be a puppy."
Now, think about that for a moment. Consider the knowledge, the reasoning, the intelligence, and the higher order skills, all of these complex and detailed thought processes that had to precede such a decision. And what a decision it was! As we know, long before a baby utters its first words, it has been learning the rules of language and how adults communicate. What some think are just meaningless babbles are actually demonstrations of the many mental, emotional, and behavioral leaps made by the baby in learning words and meanings. Between about 18 months and two years, children can begin to form two to four word sentences and these sentences actually integrate a number of language skills. As a child extends her arms while saying "Me up" with an inflection in her voice, she is actually
asking a question, showing that she understands the notion of
making a request,
showing that subject and verb have meaning,
expecting that her words will initiate a response, and
using language skills to impact her environment.
And we think kids don't understand? Now back to Grandpa and his granddaughter. Consider again what she said. "When I'm done being me, I'm gonna be a puppy." Her mother was a bit stunned but delighted, and asked only one question. "Well, do you like puppies?" Her daughter grinned and exclaimed "Yes!"
For me, herein lies the wonder, and as I said at the beginning, my thought about the choice to be hopeful. What this little girl said, and came up with completely on her own, is quite remarkable. At her very young age, she has already internalized that being who she is now is a temporary status. Human beings have a shelf life, as it were. Long before that understanding gets complicated with notions of aging, life as it is known now, death, belief in an afterlife, and even reincarnation, . . . she has taken the reins and made her decision. She knows exactly what she is going to do: "I'm gonna be a puppy." Hopeful? Yes. Determined? Yes. Insightful? Yes. How is that for succession planning?
While so many of us, older and wiser beings, mourn our current status, wishing we could alter this or manipulate that, spending too much time in any given day, complaining about what hasn't happened, or bemoaning some silly oversight, this wee little girl has just mapped out a very positive future for herself. She knows what she's going to be or, at least, her next act.
So at this wonderful time of year, the holidays, when so often the joy, the splendor, and the gratitude gets too gummed up with the stress, the demands, and the upset, so much of it unnecessary, I'm considering some future options for myself. I can't quite put my finger on how to finish my own sentence, "When I'm done being me. . ." but right now, I'm having a boatload of fun with the possibilities.
And I am also going to try and adopt this thinking on frequent occasions. Why stop with one goal? Something tells me the three and a half year old already has the sentence completion for "When I'm done being a puppy, I'm gonna be. . ."
Keep the smile on your face. It's quite becoming.
Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal


Mothers Club

The Mercy Mothers Club is proud to present a Star-Studded Fashion Show Saturday, January 9, 2016 held at Burton Manor Banquet & Conference Center in Livonia.
Show starts at 11:00am. Tickets are $50 per person and available by calling 313-218-1055. Please join us for this fun-filled day!

Click here for ticket information.

  • Strolling Lunch, Beverages, Desserts
  • Giveaways and Raffles
  • Sales from Bella Mia, Posh by Tori, The Little Black Heart, All About Woman's Boutique & Spa
  • Special Guest Emcees Diana Lewis and Glenda Lewis
  • Click here for event updates - Event will be taped by Detroit Reality TV. Waivers on-site.

There is no January meeting. Be sure to check out the Mothers Club home page and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes. 


Dads Club

Liturgy and Breakfast

Mark your calendar! Please join the Mercy Dads Club for our annual Liturgy and Breakfast on Sunday, January 10. We'll start with Mass in the Mercy Chapel at 10:00 AM followed by breakfast and socializing in the school cafeteria. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Mercy life and to give thanks for the many blessings we have received this year.
Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who supported the Dads Club Grand Raffle and new Scholarship initiative. This was the first year funding the Scholarship and we were able to raise over $2,000 towards our $25,000 goal.

Congratulations to these Grand Raffle Winners:
First Prize: $5,000 won by Clifford Owhor

Second Prize: $1,000 won by Jon Klemczak

Third Prize: $300 won by Frank Konja

Fourth Prize: $300 won by Paul Rzepecki

Fifth Prize: $300 won by Brenda Ellens

Sixth Prize: $150 won by The Hembree Family

Seventh Prize: $150 won by Tim Wheeler

Eighth Prize: $100 won by Kurt Lilley

Ninth Prize: $100 won by Stephanie Bellisario

Tenth Prize: $100 won by Al Vaitas

Dads Club Meeting

Meet, greet and eat with Mercy Dads at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30pm in the cafeteria.

Ethnic Bazaar 2015 - OHANA Means Family

Human Relations Council proudly presented Ethnic Bazaar 2015 "OHANA Means Family" on December 3rd. 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.


Youth Mercy Associates

God Bless the new members Sarah Pegler, Madison Reckker, Brooke O'Brien, Benicia Booker, Lauren Foley, Lauren Lytle, Sarah Kurpiers, Gloria Nuemann, Sydney Van Acker of the Youth Mercy Associate USA Program and the 7 current members Claire Johnston, Josephine Wenson, Meaghan Fortney (Charter Member), Katherine Colleran, Rochelle Chezick, Molly Lyons and Nicole Belans who made their re-commitment at Mass held December 8th. Joining them in the commissioning ceremony were Pastoral Minister Judi Dennis, Sr. Nancy Thompson, President Dr. Cheryl Kreger, Associate Principal Colleen Rozman and Social Studies Teacher Cindy Richter.

Along 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 upholding Catherine McAuley's joy in the love of the gospel, her vision of faith, and mercy
  • 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.

Important End of the Semester Information
Important Dates
Tuesday, December 8
This was the last day to test/quiz/formal assessment for ANY course.
Tuesday, December 15
All class assignments, except for Final Exams/Essays/Projects/Presentations, should be graded and posted by midnight for ALL Courses.
Wednesday, December 16
First and Second Hour Exams
Thursday, December 17
Third, Fourth and Fifth Hour Exams
Friday, December 18
Sixth and Seventh Hour Exams
Sunday, December 20 - Saturday, January 2
PowerSchool will be turned off at midnight Sunday, December 20 and turned back on at midnight Saturday, January 2 to allow for a true break.
Monday, January 11
First semester grades will be reviewed, double-checked and posted by 9am.
The dates were created to give students and staff a true break over the holidays. Please note: Staff are not expected to answer emails over the Christmas Holiday. Emails can be sent but staff are not expected to respond until we return to school on Monday, January 4, 2016.
Final Exam/Essays/Project/Presentation Policy
Final Exams/Essays/Projects/Presentations will be weighted 20% of the final grade in ALL classes except for some courses in Performing Arts and Art departments. All Final Exams/Essays/Project/Presentations will be a common final assessment (exam, project, paper). This will be implemented in ALL courses. Exams need to be at least 75% the same for all students taking the course. The other 25% can be determined by each individual teacher.
Please note a change in the Mercy School Life Calendar
Friday, January 29 is an In-Service Day scheduled for all staff. There will be no school for students on that day.
Proposed New Schedule Committee
A New Schedule Committee has been formed to look closely at the data gathered after the three-cycle trial period. The goal of the committee is to propose a new schedule to be implemented in the 2016-17 school year. Please note: Unscheduled hours, known as the "modular schedule off hours," will not go away and will be a part of any schedule proposed.
Wishing all of our Mercy students success in the final weeks of the semester and a blessed and relaxing holiday season!

Winter Open House
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 Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Mercy Alumnae and their families are invited to an early open house legacy tour from 6:00pm - 6:30pm. Arrive at the Chapel entrance. General Open House is from 6:30pm - 8:00pm beginning at the Lobby entrance.

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

Broadcasting Surprise!
Ten students from the Broadcasting and Video Production classes "Skyped" last Friday with Gayle King, co-anchor of CBS This Morning and an editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine. Through this wonderful opportunity, students gained authentic feedback and advice on how to "make it big" in the communications industry.

The students asked Ms. King questions about her work in the fields of print, radio, and television media and had a wonderful time laughing and chatting with her. A Skype representative later complimented the "engaged and eloquent group of girls" on their thoughtful questions and answers.

The Performing Arts Department and students are grateful to Ms. King, Skype, Mercy President Dr. Cheryl Kreger and Mercy Board of Trustees Member Nancy Auffenberg for the wonderful opportunity.

Auction 2016
The 37th Annual Mercy Auction is right around the corner and there are lots of exciting things happening to make this a successful event!

Tuition Raffle tickets are in the mail. These raffle tickets are $25 each and for each ticket sold you are entered into a drawing for FREE TUITION for 2016-17 OR $8,000 cash for first prize,$1,500 cash for second prize, and $500 cash for third prize

Auction acquisitions are in full swing! Check out the auction wish list of suggested donation ideas. If every family obtained one gift for the auction, we would have more items than ever before! Please feel free to bring donations to the school by January 31st.
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? Re-gift it to the auction! Have extra baskets from holiday gifts that you are not using? Re-purpose 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.
Join Mercy family and friends at upcoming gift gathering parties. Gift parties are a great way to connect with Mercy families and are located across Metro Detroit. Click here for a list of this year's parties.
Do you have a product or service not conducive for bidding? Advertise! From business card to full page color sizes we have a spot for all. Where do you GO? Who do you KNOW? Advertising contracts are available online here.
Click here for all things auction and save the date of Saturday, February 20th for a night of fun, food and friends! Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay Weismiller in the Special Events Office at 248-893-3535 or with any questions, suggestions or to volunteer.

Journey to Ireland with Mercy
In celebration of Mercy High School's 70th Anniversary, alumnae, parents and friends are invited to accompany President Dr. Cheryl Kreger on a pilgrimage to Ireland May 9 - 18, 2016. Spend 10 days and 8 nights traveling through Galway, Sneem and Dublin. Take the Catherine McAuley Walking Tour in Dublin and see the sites of Mercy associated with her life, including the first House of Mercy on Baggot Street. This trip will be a unique opportunity to take in some of Ireland's most important religious sites and attend mass in historic churches as well as learn about life, tradition and music with members of a small Irish village. The inclusive travel package is offered through Corporate Travel Service.


Go Marlins!
Senior Athlete Event

Are you signing a National Letter of Intent or committing to play a sport in college? The Mercy Athletics Department will be hosting a group signing day to celebrate all athletes committing to play a sport next year at the college level.

Thursday, December 10, 2015
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 Ms. Kate Scalzi at if you will attend. Include your name, sport, and college.
Congratulations to ALL Mercy Swimmers & Divers on a fantastic season!
A special shout-out to the Swimmers & Divers who represented Mercy at the MHSAA State Championships on November 20 & 21: Jackie Baldus, Ellyse Conn, Annette Dombkowski, Kendall Goit, Megan Hutter, Morgan Jones, Katie Kouvaris, Allie Lobia, Mya Loniewski, Katie Minnich, Emma Noonan, Caroline Reamer, Alexa Rybicki (diving), Francesca Schena, & Alaina Skellett.
Mercy got Third Place in the Division I Meet!
Some highlights:
200 Medley Relay - 1st Place
    • Relay members were Annette Dombrowski, Allie Lobbia, Katie Minnich, and Alaina Skellett. Their winning time of 144.44 set a new Division 1 record and earned the girls All-American honors.
100 Yard Butterfly - 2nd Place- Alaina Skellett, 55.20
500 Yard Freestyle
    • 3rd Place - Ellyse Conn, 4:56.96
    • 6th Place - Annette Dombkowski, 5:03.70
100 Yard Backstroke
    • 1st Place - Katie Minnich, 54.67
    • 3rd Place - Alaina Skellett, 56.30
400 Yard Freestyle Relay - 3rd Place - Conn, Goit, Minnich, & Skellett, 3:29.88
Cheer on all your Marlins sports teams

It's beginning to look a lot like Basketball, Bowling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Skiing and Pompon, everywhere you go! Check the athletics calendar and even get driving directions. Our athletes are always making headlines. Read some sports features here.

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office
All Mercy mothers are invited to join the Alumnae Association at their annual Bunco Ladies Night Out.
Friday, January 22, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Mercy Cafeteria - student/flagpole entrance
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Game begins at 7:15 pm. Please arrive by 7:00 pm
Enjoy sandwiches, snacks, wine, beer & pop. Chances to win fun prizes! $15 per person. Proceeds support tuition assistance.


Contact the Alumnae Office for more information: or (248) 476-3270.

The Alumnae Association is proud to support Global Health Charities' Clean Birth Kit program. Get a FREE prize ticket for bringing any of the following NEW items to Bunco: Hotel size rectangular wrapped soaps; box of latex free disposable gloves; cotton receiving blankets; or gallon size Ziploc brand bags.Items will be assembled into clean birth kits that can save the life of a mother and her infant.
According to Mercy alumna Susan Smith McAdams '81, Executive Director of GHC, over 4.5 million infants and 292,000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, the majority in under-resourced countries. Infection is a leading cause. Visit for more information.
Save the Date: Tea for Tuition is Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tea for Tuition is the Alumnae Association's signature event, and it continues to increase in popularity from year to year. The event is truly a community effort, with alumnae, mothers. Sisters of Mercy, staff members, and students all coming together to transform the gym into a tea parlor and raise funds for tuition assistance. Stay tuned to for more information.

Alums Visit Classrooms

Alumnae Mary Gillis Stokosa '70 and Danielle Young '05 spoke with Mercy art and social studies classes, respectively. Mary has made her career in the art world, in New York and Michigan, and shared her experiences with our ceramics and sculpture students. More about Mary can be found Danielle studied and worked in England and now attends Harvard Law School. She shared her perspective on Harvard and her human rights consulting work with the Contemporary Issues and AP Government and Politics classes. Thank you, Mary and Danielle, for giving so generously of your time.

Christmas Concert this Sunday!
The Performing Arts Department would like to invite you to put the stresses of the semester end and holiday season on pause to enjoy an afternoon of uplifting Christmas music.

This Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 PM is the annualChristmas Concert Sing We Now of Christmas. Students from Glee I, The Mercyaires, and the Mercy Orchestra will perform and the newly formed Marlin Adult Chorus made up of staff, alumnae and friends of Mercy will present their first concert performance. Admission is $5.

For more information, contact Rebekah Ferguson or (248) 893-3575.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
"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.

If you have any questions or want to submit information for the Mercy MEMO, please contact Want even more? Click the school year 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.