February 2016

Wit's End...notes from the principal

Last month, my thoughts were on heroes. This month, it's all about angels. I am not completely sure why, but I am keenly aware that there is an emerging theme that has begun. I am focused on the need for assistance in our lives. There is so much that one can offer to remedy or improve an existing hardship for another, and I truly want to keep the light on examples of such where I see them happening.

So I am thinking today about angels. I want you, however, to narrow the visuals that come to mind. Not the wings, not the white flowing gowns; no heavenly setting - neither clouds nor beams of sunlight. Nix the orchestral music; yes, the harp has to go as well. Consider instead, angels on earth, the angels among us. Beyond the common definition of an angel as a purely spiritual being, there is the characteristic of one who acts as a guiding influence. Now, what about synonyms for guidance? There are many: aid, assistance, direction, support. Stay with me. A very large group of people that come to mind are those in the helping professions. We know them as those who address the problems of others, problems that could be physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional or spiritual. I hope that by now, you are thinking of people you know who fall into one of these categories. Think of the fields of medicine, nursing, therapy. How about counseling, social work, education and ministry? Add all of those we reference as first responders - police, fire fighters, and paramedics. Angels among us.

Since this is a month that we pay attention to love - to giving love and to receiving love - I think it appropriate to voice our gratitude. So as an example today, I write about an angel that I am lucky enough to know. Better yet, because she found and later fell in love with my brother many years ago, I call her sister-in-law.

Now, to be sure, she would never bring attention to herself or, even for a minute, consider herself extraordinary. Attach the phrase "angel among us," and she would loudly protest. She deserves the recognition, nonetheless, and I will explain why. She is a physical therapist assistant and her target population is the aged, the geriatric group. As most people might know, a PTA works closely with a physical therapist and provides a great deal of the "hands on" care that can return patients to their maximum level of physical function. She has worked in acute care, outpatient, nursing home and senior environments. She utilizes many techniques including therapeutic exercise, massage, balance training, motor development and also uses devices such as crutches, wheelchairs and even prosthetics. Her patients' needs may have originated from illness, falls, strokes, surgeries, or just aging in general. Keep in mind that what she asks of them when she sees them always involves increasing their level of distress, pain, and discomfort in order to produce what she knows can be the positive results. She works to maximize their functioning.

An angel among them . . . she most certainly is for the hundreds of patients she has treated for more than three decades. And she could not have chosen a better profession, or maybe I should say what I truly believe: the profession chose her. She has the disposition to do this work. She is relentlessly positive. She gets to know her patients on a very personal level. She notices the smallest of details - a change in a hair style, a new piece of clothing, maybe a trinket of jewelry or a watch. She compliments. She talks to them about family members, remembers to ask about a relative mentioned in recent weeks, or about an upcoming event. She nudges; she nurtures. She gets them thinking about something to distract them from the pain which will often accompany her manipulations. Most of all, she sees them, each one of them, as an individual. With each one, she forges a relationship and even though their challenges become her challenges, their accomplishments remain their own. She stands back and becomes a cheerleader. She is humble beyond measure.

So this month, I was thinking about angels. My sister-in-law is one. I know I have others. You too have angels around you. Do as I plan to do. Find them and tell them so. Let them know what you have seen, what you have noticed, and how grateful you are. Ask your children about their angels. They have them, so just begin the conversation. Do it today, maybe right now. In fact, I have a sister-in-law to phone.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

Meeting March 7th at 6:30pm

All Mercy Moms are invited and encouraged to attend our Mothers Club meeting Monday, March 7th at 6:30pm in the Media Center. Dinner provided by the Mercy moms.

Meeting Highlights and Activities

  • FOOD DRIVE - In support of the upcoming Alternative Spring Break Habitat for Humanity activities, we are collecting non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations for Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Beattyville, KY.
  • Sustainable Eating Presentation - Lisa McDowell
  • Awareness Through Movement Presentation - Katie Scarchilli

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

Meeting March 1st at 6:30pm

All Mercy Dads are invited to meet, greet and eat at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Plus...50/50 raffle and you won't want to miss your chance to win a gift certificate to the Marlin Shop for your daughter as part of our meeting giveaway. Must attend in order to win.

Stay in touch with MDC!

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

Student Successes!

Scholar Athlete

Allia McDowell, Newsprint's editor-in-chief, was recognized as a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) scholar-athlete of the year for the state of Michigan for 2016. This is awarded annually to just seven female high school athletes (in Class A) in the state, selected from more than 123,000 female high school athletes. Farm Bureau Insurance gives the $1,000 college scholarships to individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Allia was also honored as a Michigan State Premier Soccer Program (MSPSP) Scholarship recipient. This is awarded to four soccer players statewide for the best combination of soccer, academic and community service. Read more about Allia here.

NHS Makes a Difference for Flint!

The National Honor Society, along with Mrs. Salvia, Mr. Skellett and Mrs. Tarplin, spearheaded a water bottle drive to benefit the people of Flint. Thank you to everyone in the Mercy community who helped make a difference for those struggling and in need of clean water! NHS worked together to load a U-Haul truck and deliver donations to Charity United Methodist Church. The people receiving the water were all very grateful, and told stories of how they are coping with the hardship.

AP Government Visits Court

On February 16th and 17th Mrs. Richter took both of her AP Government classes to visit the United States District Court in Detroit. The tours were coordinated by Regina McCullough (Kaitlyn Brown '16) who is an Assistant United States Attorney. The students were able to sit in on court proceedings, talk to judges and visit the US Marshals' control center. All of this was very valuable to the lessons that are being learned in AP Government.

National Merit Scholarship Finalist

Congratulations to Alana Sullivan who was announced as a National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2016.


The 3rd annual Lucky Lunch occurred in February. As part of Catholic Schools Week, the students purchased $1 tickets to win special lunches raffled off by Mercy staff members. 23 staff members raffled off lunches which were delivered to the students on February 16th. A total of $853 was raised by the students and was donated to the Catholic Charities of Flint to help support the Flint Water Crisis.

Fab Forensics

On Saturday, February 20th, 38 Mercy students competed in the fourth Forensics tournament of the season. The team did extremely well and won the overall sweepstakes award. Individually, the team earned 26 top scores as listed below. We look forward to the rest of our 2016 season!

Original Oratory

  • Blair Cha - 5th
  • Meg McCarren - 4th
  • Thersea Benton - 2nd
  • Katie Johnstone - 1st

Oratorical Declamation

  • Isha Ganguli - 6th
  • Laurie Clayton - 5th
  • Emma Tomich - 4th
  • Ana Warner - 3rd
  • Abbey Hembree - 1st

Extemporaneous Speaking

  • Megan Hutter - 6th
  • Catherine Best - 6th
  • Dani McClain - 5th
  • Saveri Nandigama - 2nd

Oral Interpretation

  • Reena Jankowski - 5th
  • Maureen McGough - 1st

Dramatic Performance

  • Audrey Ledermann - 6th
  • Regan Castle - 5th
  • Astrid Lopus - 3rd
  • Alana O'Donnell - 2nd
  • Bryanna Lee - 1st

Dramatic Duo

  • Ellie Gouvia/Ava Zaremski - 6th
  • Summit Dempster/ Vivienne Greenleaf - 5th
  • Phil Engel/ Katie Johnstone - 4th
  • Annie Acho Tartoni/ Amelia Carlson - 3rd
  • Cara Forfinski/ Ryann Rapson - 2nd
  • Mallory Demeter/Sophie Lamphier - 1st

Quiz Bowl

Mercy's Quiz Bowl Teams (Novice, JV, and Varsity), have had a team building year and also have been part of the creation of a Detroit Catholic Quiz Bowl League! A stellar achievement by Alana Sullivan '16 during the first tournament of the league held at Detroit Catholic Central in November is shared by Coach Katy Koskela, and Assistant Coach Ken Wolffe (Emily, '14). Alana scored enough points personally against tough competition to rank 7th in a field of 63 participants. The 14 participating teams were fielded from 8 local Catholic schools. The spring match between schools will take place in April.

UPromise Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Rochelle Chezick '17 who received a "GoEnnounce Yourself" Scholarship provided by Upromise. Read more about Rochelle and the scholarship here.

District Solo & Ensemble

The vocal music students had a very successful District Solo and Ensemble Festival. The Mercyaires and Advanced Glee both advanced to State along with soloists Kylie Kreucher '19, Phil Engel '16 and Alana O'Donnell '18. These students will perform at State Solo & Ensemble Festival in March. Congratulations and good luck!

HONOR ROLL Fall 2015

Click here to view/download honor roll students for fall semester 2015.

NEW! Online Sign-Up for Parent Teacher Conferences

Conferences are scheduled to take place next Thursday, March 3, 2016 from 4-7pm in the gym and cafeteria. Five minute conferences will be scheduled using an online registration tool PTCFast.com. In order to schedule a parent-teacher conference, parents will need to do the following:

  • 1) Go to https://ptcfast.com/schools/Mercy_High_School
  • 2) Select all of the teachers and/or counselor with whom you would like to schedule a conference. Click submit.
  • 3) Register your name and contact information. Click submit. This creates a registration for each conference and sends you a confirmation email with a link to choose appointment times. On that same page, you are able to add and change both registrations and appointments. Submit your selections.
  • 4) An additional email will be sent with your final appointment times. Information will be available on how to change or delete appointment times. If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please remember to cancel.

We hope this new system will decrease the long lines and help plan your time better the day of conferences. Since this is our first time using this system, there may be some kinks we need to work out. Please email Colleen Rozman (cmrozman@mhsmi.org) with any questions or issues.

If conference time slots fill up for a particular teacher, and you are unable to see that teacher on March 3rd, please communicate to that teacher via e-mail or phone if you wish to discuss your daughter's progress.

Class of 2016 Memory DVD

Attention Class of 2016! Be sure to turn in your photos and order your senior MEMORY DVD. The following deadlines apply to the requirements for the DVD:

PAST DUE: Selfie photos

Monday, March 7: Baby photos

Friday, April 1: All photos (labeled by year taken) for the slideshow. Only seniors from Mercy's Class of 2016 may be featured.

Any photographs can be emailed seniorofficers@mhsmi.org, the senior class officer's email. If you would like to submit a baby photograph of your daughter, hard copies will also be accepted and can be placed in an envelope labeled with your daughter's name and dropped off at reception for a senior moderator. All hard copies of photographs will be returned to you.

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.

Passport to France

The Mercy French Department, Members and Officers of the French Honor Society and French Club jointly hosted the 6th annual French Immersion Experience, Passport to France on Saturday, February 20th for 7th and 8th grade girls from neighboring middle schools. These 37 girls participated in a fun and educational 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 with Mme Campbell and Monsieur Gerardi followed by a day trip to Paris with Kathryn Dunleavy, Anne Marie Giroux, Emma Kruse, Elise Cooper and Sarah Kurpiers. These students went to France summer 2015 with Mme Campbell and they shared all their exciting adventures with the "trip participants" as they took flight with their virtual Air France flight. This segment was followed by an exploration of traditional and contemporary French music and dance presented by Allie Lapinski and Hannah Hamilton! The students also took a stroll through the Musée d'Orsay to learn about French Impressionism with Olivia Warner and Natalie Wilson and ended the morning with a cooking demonstration by Indya Hood on making French crêpes while eating a French luncheon of salad, quiche and of course les crêpes which the students prepared themselves with their favorite fillings.

We even had a French photo booth to remember the day at Mercy! We were joined by a wonderful team of faculty and parents who helped to make the day run smoothly: Mme Joyce Campbell, M. Joseph Gerardi, Mme Cheryl Corte, Mme Gretchen Bourbeau, M. and Mme Michael Dunleavy, Mme. Natalie Wilson, and Mme Enza Sleva. A grand "merci beaucoup" to M. and Mme Dunleavy who donated all the immersion tee shirts for the students and faculty to wear. However, the day was most successful due to the hard work and organization of the officers of the French Honor Society Board: Taylor Lombard, Carmela Sleva, Jordyn Kreucher and Jillian DeWitt. This collaborative effort of Mercy administration, staff, parents and students made it one of our best immersion experiences ever here at Mercy High School. The "connection française" is alive and strong "chez Mercy"!

Click here to check out this wonderful video Kristen Hiser '16 created highlighting the Passport to France event!

Counseling Corner

College Information Night - The College Information Night is going to be rescheduled and all students and parents will be notified of the new date and time.

Junior Parents: College Planning Meeting - We would like to extend a thank you to junior students and their parents for giving us the opportunity over the past several months to meet with families to discuss the college planning process. We value this individual time spent with each family and getting to personally know your daughter's needs, wishes, and goals. We look forward to continuing our work with the girls as they move through the college search and application process.

Course Registration for the 2016-2017 school year - Each student in current grades 9-11 will attend an all-class presentation that explains the course selection/registration process; including how to make course selections online in Powerschool.

Students will also be informed of changes in the curriculum and of new course offerings for the upcoming school year. The class meetings about course registration will take place at 8:10 am in Mercy's Auditorium on the following dates:

  • The presentation for juniors was held on Tuesday, February 23rd.
  • The presentation for freshwomen originally scheduled for Thursday, February 25th will now be held Monday, February 29th.
  • The presentation for sophomores will be on Tuesday, March 1st.

Your daughter will then be assigned an appointment time to meet with her counselor some time between Feb. 29 and March 16. At this meeting, the counselor will discuss the student's initial course selections with her and make adjustments as needed, ensure that alternate course choices were selected where required, and review your daughter's graduation progress. It is expected that your daughter be prepared for this appointment. Please review the Course Catalog to get more information about a specific course. Each student will be given a Course Registration Form 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. Please review the Course Registration Announcement that was emailed to families on 2/22 for more details about the scheduling process.

10th & 11th Grade - Understanding Your PSAT Scores - 10th and 11th grade students took the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2015. Student score reports became available online in late January 2016. Students were notified by email that they can visit studentscores.collegeboard.org to create a College Board account and get their full PSAT/NMSQT score report. For information to assist you with understanding the PSAT results, please view the following:

THANK YOU from the Auction Office

The 37th 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.

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

"The Sound of Music"

Mercy High School is proud to present the 2016 spring musical "The Sound of Music."

  • Friday, March 11 at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, March 12 at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 13 at 2:00pm

Tickets: $15 Adults; $13 Students and Children

This award-winning musical, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, is the best-known and most beloved of all musicals for family entertainment. Maria, the young postulant from Nonnberg Abbey, tries to discover her path in life prior to the start of World War II. Unable to fit into the life of the religious, Maria is sent to Captain Von Trapp's household to care for his seven children. She encounters the pranks of the children and eventually wins them over with song as she discovers her love for the captain. Set in Austria the 1930s, Maria and family must flee to the mountains to escape the Nazis. The show boasts such songs as The Sound of Music, Do a Deer, Edelweiss, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and the show-stopping Climb Every Mountain.


Congratulations Mercy Basketball Catholic League Central Division Champions!

Congratulations Mercy Ice Hockey Catholic League Champions!

Spring Sports Registration

If your daughter has any interest in trying out for any of the following spring sports: Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, or Track & Field then she must email Ms. Kate Scalzi at kmscalzi@mhsmi.org by February 26, 2016. She will then receive an email of confirmation registration and what forms you may need to submit. Spring sport start date is March 15, 2016.

Important Notes:

  • Students must register to be able to try-out, but don't have to try-out just because they register.
  • Students need valid MHSAA physical and Mercy Athletic Forms. A valid physical will have been performed on or after 4/15/2015 and dated by the medical professional.
  • Physical and Mercy Athletic Forms are available here: mhsmi.org/athletics.
  • If a student has already participated in a sport at Mercy during the 2015-16 school year, your physical and forms are already on file. There is no need to resubmit.

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.

2016 - 2017 Scholarship and Tuition Assistance 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 2016-2017 school year is now in progress. For details and forms, please visit mhsmi.org/admissions/financial-aid-program. The deadline for submitting applications is April 7, 2016. The Archdiocese of Detroit also offers a tuition assistance program. Visit aodonline.org for details.

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

12th Annual TEA for Tuition

Sunday, April 17, 2016 • 2:00pm - 4:30pm at Mercy

All Mercy moms are invited to Tea for Tuition.

Event Highlights

  • Several courses of delicious tea party food and dessert - along with enticing hot and cold teas - all served by Mercy students.
  • Visiting with friends, making new connections, hearing from remarkable women of Mercy, and browsing the lovely table settings. The gym is transformed into a tea parlor!
  • Of special note will be the Distinguished Alumna Award Presentation to Sommer Woods '95.
  • And since the event is a fundraiser to support the Alumnae Association Tuition Assistance Fund, the afternoon features silent auction and raffle items, as well as an opportunity to make a gift to Mercy.
  • Over the past 11 years, the event has raised over $150,000 to help more than 100 Mercy girls in need of financial assistance.
  • New this year: For a total upfront payment of $500, the Alumnae Board will set and decorate your table for 10 guests. This offer has limited availability - contact the Alumnae Office if interested to know more about this option. (Tax-deductible donation is $250.)

Ways to Participate

For more information, visit mhsmi.org/alumnae/tea-tuition or contact alumnaeoffice@mhsmi.org or 248-476-3270.

MNotes...Miscellaneous Info You Need to Know

Business Professionals of America: Beautiful flowers in time for Easter! Purchase your lilies and other spring flowers and help BPA members attend conferences on the state and national level. This order form can be e-mailed to hlsmith@mhsmi.org or turned in at the reception desk. Flowers will be available for pickup on March 12.

Lore - Have you purchased your daughter's 2016 yearbook yet? There's still time to purchase it and guarantee your daughter a copy. Cost is $70 and checks made out to Mercy or cash may be given to Mrs. Smith or left at the reception desk. The book always sells out, so don't wait until the end of the year to try and get a copy.

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/.

Service Hour and Volunteer Opportunity - The Lennon Pregnancy Center (LPC) in Dearborn is looking to find several volunteers to help sort baby clothes and do light cleaning at the office. The goal is to find regular volunteers, but even if someone only volunteers once, they are happy to accept the help. This is a great service-hour opportunity! Please contact Katherine Lennon at kqlennoncenter@gmail.com.