February 2015

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

“Allow me.” What a nice phrase to hear. So often it precedes an offer of some generosity. Usually it accompanies a polite request that might need no other word because the circumstance precludes explanation: I can open that door for you. I can assist you with something cumbersome. I can take care of that detail. I can relieve you of a burden. It might be followed by an introduction, first and last name, if the person is a stranger to you, thus eliminating an awkward moment.

Regardless of the context, “Allow me” is genuinely accepted and unchallenged.

Far be it from me to mess with such a nicety. My comments at this juncture, however, ask that you consider how and when such an offer might be inappropriate because of what it assumes. The speaker who begins with “Allow me” normally need not wait for a reply. The permission to proceed is almost self-evident because a courtesy will likely follow. The permission is tacit and automatic. Who repels any such offer?

May I suggest that as parents, and loving parents at that, this phrase seems deeply imbedded in our DNA from the moment our babies can walk and exercise some ability to reason. Early on, the child relies completely on us for every aspect of her care and physical protection. Therein resides the massive and, at times, daunting responsibilities of parenthood. Somehow, we measure up and take pride in the work we do. As the child grows and begins to find and use her own voice, we suffer the bruises to our egos. We brace ourselves for the stomped foot and the well-articulated “I do it myself” from this tiny creature. Our generosity that springs from the same well - the “Allow me” within us - is now flatly refused.

As we know, this is as it should be. Each and every year that passes, we accept, sometimes with a bit of regret, that our daughter does not wish to allow us much of anything. Yes, she will still allow us to complete the less than glamorous chores of life. She may offer no objections to meals cooked, laundry done, or rooms cleaned. She may gladly continue to welcome gifts given to her, celebrations attended, and accolades showered upon her. That gratitude will end harshly, however, if she sees our assistance in any area where she wishes to exercise her own will. We call it the move to independence and as parents, we know we can’t have it both ways. We want her independence to blossom, but truth be told, we would like to control the timeline if we could.

So let us agree that parents occupy this treacherous middle ground. We absolutely love the child enough to put all else aside and walk through a firewall if a situation calls for it. We want to protect her enough and for as long as we might, before we deliver her to the land of adulthood. The problem is that we don’t have a clear marker as to when that adulthood actually begins. Think about it. We use phrases like pre-teen, teen ager, and then young adult but at what birthday are you required to call your daughter a woman (or your son, a man, lest I forget our wonderful boys)?

Here are what I hope are some non-negotiable beliefs. We want to raise each of our daughters to have self-determination, to know who she is, to know what she wants, and to identify what she needs to do to attain it. To that end, during these precious and very fleeting high school years, we need to edit our use of “Allow me.” We need to give fewer directions, offer our opinions but less immediate assistance, help her identify possible outcomes, but withhold saying what we think she must do. Just as we encouraged her to play and explore her world as a child, we need to foster the same exploration of the bigger world she inhabits now. That means she must meet frustration in order to know how to control it. She must wrestle with conflict in order to develop worthwhile problem solving. She must learn when to advocate for herself, when to speak up, and when to remain silent. She must hear opposing ideas and viewpoints to secure her own beliefs. And maybe most of all, she needs to know she is equipped to figure it out. She must be told she is capable because she is, and she deserves to be taken seriously.

That means our burden as parents, just got a bit more difficult but I believe the reward is potentially much greater. Instead of satisfying our own personal need to be needed, we might alter our internal voice. Instead of “Allow me”, why not Allow her. . .Expect her. . . Require her. . .Permit her. . .Empower her and most importantly, Tell her so.

She is of you, but she is not you. The magnificent payoff will occur many times over and when it does, each time she surprises you with her grit, her perseverance, her mettle, and her resilience, you will have the earned privilege to Praise her. I dearly hope you will. It never gets any better than that.

Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

SANP - The Senior All Night Party committee is hard at work planning the details of the June 7 event. We need all Moms and Dads from the Mercy community to support this event in any way that you can. Click here for the Sign-Up Genius so that you can let us know how you want to donate your time/talents to the SANP event.

EUCHRE NIGHT - The first Euchre Night will be hosted by the Mothers Club and Dads Clubs of Mercy on Saturday, March 21. Registration begins at 6:30 PM and includes food, beer/wine and 7 rounds of Euchre for $15.00/person. As you can see, it is a FUN raiser and not a FUNDRAISER! We hope you can join us. Current and past Moms & Dads of Mercy, Alumnae, and extended friends and family members of Mercy are all invited to attend. CLICK HERE FOR EUCHRE NIGHT at MERCY FLYER!

OPEN POSITIONS - Vice-President (President elect), Catherine McFarland made an appeal for moms to consider stepping forward to play a more active role in the Mothers Club by becoming a MMC Board member or a Committee Chairperson for the 2015-16 school year. CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF OPEN POSITIONS for the next school year. Please feel free to contact any current Board member or current committee chairperson for more information regarding any open position. WE NEED YOU!

The Counseling Department has agreed to attend the March 2nd Mothers Club meeting. We are so happy they are willing to give us some time at our meeting. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending the Monday, March 2nd meeting. Our Freshwoman Moms will be providing our light meal. We look forward to seeing you there!

Dads Club

Calling ALL MERCY DADS! Come mix and mingle at our next meeting March 3rd at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.

Spring Musical "Anything Goes"

"Anything Goes"

Mercy High School Auditorium
Friday, March 13, 2015 at 8pm
Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8pm
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 2pm
Tickets: $15 adult and $13 students and children

This Cole Porter classic is set on an ocean liner “America,” sailing from New York to London. Billy Crocker, a stowaway, is in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, a passenger, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeny and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin help Billy to win Hope’s heart. This high-energy, tap-dancing show boasts such tunes as “It’s De-Lovely,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” and the show-stopping title song “Anything Goes.”

Thank You from the Auction Office

The 36th Annual Auction was a huge success! THANK YOU to the entire auction team of co-chairs, committee chairs and volunteers who worked extremely hard to create such a memorable event.

Congratulations to the winners of the Mercy Tuition Raffle: 3rd Place with a prize of $500: Rekker Family , 2nd Place with a prize of $1500: Brenda Ellens; 1st Place with a prize of one year tuition: Pawlusiak Family.

Evening photos and more Auction post-event info will be posted on the Mercy web site soon. We are Mercy!

Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimmage Dublin, Ireland

It's not too late to sign up! Spots still open!

We are pleased to be able to offer our students the opportunity to experience the Summer 2015 Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage in Dublin, Ireland. In 2015, the Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage for secondary school students will be held again in Dublin, Ireland at Mercy International Centre Tuesday, July 14th through Friday, July 17th 2015. Click here for more info.

In the week prior to the Pilgrimage itself we will explore the beautiful country of Ireland. Our tour will be guided by Irish Catholic tour escort and storyteller Batt Burns and will include stops in Knock, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Sneem, Killarney and many more of Ireland’s most treasured places. While in Batt’s hometown of Sneem we will work with their local Youth Ministry Group on a service project and will spend the evening with the locals enjoying traditional Irish music and dancing. Batt may even have a story or two to share.

When we make our way back to Dublin we will spend the Monday prior to the Pilgrimage enjoying the Catherine McAuley Walking Tour of Dublin. We will experience more richly the Mercy story by exploring many landmarks of importance in the life of Catherine and the history of the Sisters of Mercy.

Below is a link to the Mercy International Centre web-site Young Mercy Leaders’ Pilgrimage page. In it you will find information and videos from the summer 2013 Pilgrimage.


We are very excited to be able to offer this experience to our students!

Passport to France 2015

The Mercy French Department, French Honor Society and French Club hosted the 5th annual French Immersion experience, Passport to France, on Saturday, February 21st for 7th and 8th grade girls from neighboring middle schools. These 36 girls participated in a fun morning of French conversation and culture with current Mercy French students as they embarked on a virtual tour of La France. Students engaged in basic conversational French, took a day trip to Paris, explored contemporary French music and danced “le zouk” from Martinique! The students also took a stroll through the Musée d’Orsay to learn about French Impressionism and learned to make French crêpes while eating a French luncheon. We were joined by Dr. Daniel Noren and Madame Cottrell who assisted with our music and dance sessions. The day was a success due to the collaborative effort of Mercy administration, staff, parents and students. The “connection française “ is alive “chez Mercy”!

Student Successess . . . Applause!! Applause!!

T'yara McMillan '15 has been named one of the Distinguished Finalists in the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Service Award for the State of Michigan. The Prudential Spirit of Service Award represents the United States largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. Award recipients are chosen from State-Wide nominations from public and private High Schools, Middle Schools, Girl Scout Councils, 4-H Organizations, American Red Cross Chapters, YMCAs, and HandsOn affiliates. The State nominees were reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected the State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists.
T'yara founded "Young People of Purpose," a mentoring and tutoring program that pairs mentors from local schools with students between 5th and 10th grade who lack self-esteem and need a positive role model. She conducted research and developed a plan for the program, pitched it to the local middle school, received approval and has been coordinating the program ever since.
T'yara also received the President's Volunteer Service Award! This award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country. With that she will also be receiving a personal recognition letter from President Barrack Obama. Congratulations T'yara!
Mary Girjis '15 and Julia McAree '15 were notified personally by University of Detroit Mercy representatives of their acceptance to the exceptional UDM Physician Assistant Program. The application process is rigorous and they were 2 of 15 accepted out of hundreds of applicants. Way to go, Mary and Julia!

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

The Mercy Figure Skating "C" Team will be heading to the State Championships the weekend ofMarch 21st in Midland. All skaters will be competing individually as well.

Pompon Clinic - 13th Annual Mercy Varsity Pompon Clinic will be held Sunday, April 19, 2015 for girls in grades K-11th Grades. Grades K thru 7th is from 10am-12pm and Grades 8 - 11 is from 11:45am-2:30pm. There will be a special performance by the Mercy Varsity Pom Team at 11:45am. Click here for the registration form and more information.

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

Check out the winter sports schedule available online and support your Mercy teams! Spring sports are right around the corner. 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 kmscalzi@mhsmi.org

Counseling Corner

Course Registration for the 2015-2016 school year - February 18th through mid-March, Counselors will be meeting with students individually to review and discuss student course selections for the 2015-2016 school year. Prior to the individual meeting, each class will attend an all-class informational meeting giving directions about the process and a detailed walk through that shows the students how to select their courses online through Powerschool. Students will also be informed of changes in the curriculum and of new course offerings for the upcoming school year. Please review the Course Catalog to get more information about a specific course. Each student will be given a Course Selection Sheet that needs to be reviewed and signed by a parent. The Counselor will not meet with an individual student for her appointment if she is not prepared. Students will be notified well in advance of their appointment time and will be sent a reminder email the day before her scheduled appointment.
Sophomores - All 10th grade students will be taking the practice ACT (PLAN) test on Wednesday, April 15th during the school day. More information will be shared with students and parents via email as we get closer to the testing day.

Latin II Project

Mercy Latin II students completed a project on the human body. Students researched the Latin names of parts of the body and then determined their English derivatives. Students learned how to decode medical terms based off of Latin root words, and it was a great project for many of our aspiring medical professionals! Sophomores Ellie Janitz, Vayda Suleiman, and Alaina Skellett pose with their model of Pluto (Hades), Roman god of the underworld. Junior Emma Reck and sophomore Bianca Seely show off their model of Star Wars favorite, Chewbacca.

Time to Celebrate!

It’s a Reunion Weekend and an Anniversary Celebration all in one! We invite all in the Mercy community to join us.


For more information, visit mhsmi.org/70thanniversary.

2015-2016 Financial Aid Program

Mercy High School is grateful to the donors who have generously created a legacy that will enable us to continue to offer learning opportunities to students who are in need of financial help through the Circle of Mercy, Named Scholarship and Tuition Assistance programs.

The Financial Aid application period for the 2015-2016 school year is now in progress. For details and forms, please visit mhsmi.org/admissions/financial-aid-program. The deadline for submitting applications is March 31, 2015. The Archdiocese of Detroit also offers a tuition assistance program. Visit www.aodonline.org for details.

Lucky Lunch

As part of Catholic Schools Week, the lucky lunch raffle returned for the second year. Thirty-seven staff members donated lunches packed with goodies for 37 students who won the raffle. The entire student body purchased tickets for a dollar a piece for a chance to win a lunch and support a Mercy sister in need. Lucky lunch raised $1,712 which was donated to the Donaldson family who suffered a house fire. We are proud that lucky lunch has become a tradition at Mercy and even more proud of the generosity of our Mercy girls to help someone in need.

Parent Teacher Conferences

This is a reminder that the Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, March 5th from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Please enter through the lobby doors and bring the names of your daughter's teachers. You may choose to see as many teachers as you wish and in any order.

Teachers will be seated alphabetically in the gym and in the cafeteria. Counselors will be seated in the lobby. We ask that you access your daughter's current grades in PowerSchool in advance so that your time with each teacher can be productive. Since this conference time with each teacher is limited to 3-4 minutes, you are encouraged to set up a separate appointment if further conversation is needed.

We look forward to seeing you.

Snapshot of Mercy

Photos by Dan Fenner, MIPrepZone

The Mercy Varsity Basketball team ended their regular season not just with a victory at home last night, but with two extra reasons to celebrate - Taylor Jones '15 scored her 1,000th point and Bridget Lyons '15 returned to the floor after surgery. Their record is now 15-4 going into MHSAA play-offs. Click here for the fantastic story by Dan Fenner, complete with pictures!

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Host Family Needed - Families who are interested in hosting a current Mercy student for a one-year commitment should please contact the Admissions Office admissions@mhsmi.org.

2015 - 2016 Tuition Information - We are grateful to each of you for valuing the educational opportunities and programs that Mercy offers. Visit https://mhsmi.org/admissions/tuition-information for updated tuition cost for next school year. Click here to read email notice sent to parents.

THE 2014-2015 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.

Physical and Athletic Forms - The MHSAA Physical & Athletic Forms must be turned in to Mercy before or during the registration periods. You cannot try-out on the first day of the season unless your physical and forms were turned in before or during the registration period. Athletic Code of Conduct is available online.

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.


Mercy MOMS Meeting Mar 2 / 6:30pm Media Center
Mercy DADS Meeting
Mar 3 / 6:30pm
No School Winter Break Days Off Feb 27 / Mar 6 / Mar 20  
Parent Teacher Conferences Mar 5 / 4:00pm - 7:00pm MHS
New Student Registration Mar 9 - 10 / 3:00pm - 6:00pm Media Center
Spring Musical "Anything Goes"

Mar 13 - 14 / 8:00pm
Mar 15 / 2:00pm

Euchre Night Hosted by Mothers & Dads Clubs Mar 21 / 7:00pm Cafeteria

Mercy Month Ahead

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 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.

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Mercy High School Mission

Mercy High School, a Catholic college preparatory school immersed in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, educates and inspires young women of diverse backgrounds to lead and serve with compassion.