January 2015

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

Choose one. OK, be honest. Did those two words cause you even a moment of anxiety? An immediate Uh,Uh. Don’t want to. Don’t make me. Was your first thought one of excitement? Hooray. Can’t wait. Even a fist pumping, Yes!

Choose. Decide. Select. Synonyms for the same notion. One gets to choose. Consider again how that strikes you. Is it an opportunity or a most dreaded necessity? I can certainly appreciate that at this moment, many of you are already ahead of me, thinking that you need to know the circumstance, what the specific choice entails. What are the options? The choice, as it were, is probably the easiest when the options are limited to two and neither one includes anything significantly negative. Two desserts. You like them both. Choose one. No heart palpitations here. Still easy if one option is clearly better than the other. Agreed. Such a choice might fall under the “no brainer” variety. Choice becomes harder, however, when neither option is better overall. Now I have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Increase the number of options and it may throw some people into emotional upheaval:

“You mean to tell me there are five or six or even ten possible options, and I have to first identify the pros and cons of each, then consider the potential outcomes, weigh the gains to be made versus the losses that could occur, prioritize that info, re-order the list from first to last, maybe ask others for their counsel, even sleep on it . . . and finally, choose one.”

Are you kidding me? Are you sweating yet?

Choose. Decide. Select. Have we lost our way, now thinking that such activity is burdensome? I think maybe so. A circumstance presents itself where I get to choose. The outcome is not completely out of my control. I have a say, a point of view. I can exercise some free will here, and although I may not be able to avoid any and all hardship, I still maintain my position as active participant, not passive recipient. Have I cheered you up at all?

Choice is a luxury. Choice is a gift. Choice activates some of the best parts of one’s humanity. At times, I get to use my intuition, my gut feelings, and my instincts. I get to apply thoughtful reasoning. I am even required to evaluate how the decision I am about to make reconciles with my moral code and my values. I get to dig, and dig deep, to uncover what might be hidden motivations and, daresay, even squirm a bit in answering the whys behind my actions. Ultimately, I choose. At least some of the time, that choice is followed by a sense of pride.

So here’s the suggestion and it might be worth a conversation with your children. When given a choice, how do they react? Ask them. Talk about specific examples. Start easy. You might be surprised at what they consider “easy” choices. Up the ante. Have them identify choices they consider a bit harder. Talk about the what. Talk about the why. Once they get going, see what they identify as the most serious of choices facing them. It’s important to let them name these tough decision-making moments. Do they speak of these as agonizing, or do they seem able to articulate that the process of making a choice is truly a privilege? Are they at least open to consider their view point as being the variable that can change it all?

My fear for many of our young people is that they have already succumbed to the idea that life happens to them, that they are most often powerless, that they are relegated to a position of wait and see, and possibly most devastating of all, that they see their lives as happening by chance rather than by design. Our kids need to experience making tough choices and come away with an increased sense of their own capability. They need some ownership for much of what occurs. They have to believe they can do it. They have to hear it from us, that we believe they are strong enough and wise enough and tough enough to do it. And do it, they will. And when they encounter failure, they will recover and reposition themselves and continue to move forward.

I think such conversations are worth our time. Unlike most other people on the planet, we have daily freedoms we fail to recognize. We over analyze much that is trivial. We complain about life annoyances. We elevate the most simple of choices to positions of grave importance. And we fail to celebrate the countless hundreds of little, daily victories. If we can pay attention to even a portion of those, we will move through our days with a measurably higher personal satisfaction.

Crafting a future for oneself . . . or . . . settling for whatever shows up? Choose one.

Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal


Hurry, hurry, hurry the Auction is right around the corner and there are lots of ways to support this year's largest parent led fundraiser!

Tuition Raffle Tickets - Odds of winning are about 1 in 1,000 and first prize is 2015 -2016 Tuition or $8,000 cash! Turn in all five ticket stubs before February 6th and be entered into a drawing to win two free tickets (a $250 value) to attend the auction. Make checks payable to Mercy High School. Please return all tickets, sold or unsold, to Mercy by February 16, 2015.

Auction Donations - Donations are still being accepted and can be delivered to school Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 3:30pm. All donations received by February 13th will appear in the auction catalog.

Don't Delay, Get Your Early Bird Pricing Today! - Early bird pricing is available on Auction tickets until February 6th. Save $25 per attendee with this special discounted pricing. Grab your friends and enjoy the social event of the year. Misplaced your invite? Click here for the full invitation and RSVP form.

Sneak Peek of Items at the Auction - Want to travel? Visit Vail in the winter! Love wine? How about a VIP Wine Tasting for 6 at one of Grand Traverse's premier wineries? Play golf? We have packages for you! Need a new handbag for spring? We have a variety of designers, colors and sizes! This is just a brief list of some incredible items and more gifts come in daily.

There are so many ways to support the Mercy Annual Auction, which is vital to our school and our girls. Click here for all things Auction. We are Mercy!

Mothers Club

Thank you to the Mercy Moms who joined us for lunch and prayer on January 12. There are so many requests for those in need of our prayers, so please join Debbie Tisdel on Mondays at 1:30 in the Mercy chapel.

Our next Mothers Club meeting is on Monday, February 2. Meal and social time begins at 6:30PM in the Media Center. The meeting will begin at 7 PM. Please join us in celebrating our one-year anniversary of the formation of the Mercy Mentor Moms. If you haven’t been to a meeting yet, come join us! CLICK HERE FOR MEETING FLYER. Lindsay Weismiller will be there to accept any donations for the Auction. There will be a raffle drawing for a free ticket to attend the Auction for any donation brought to the meeting! Remember: The Senior All-Night party committee will meet directly after our regular meeting.

Two important events that the MMC support are fast approaching: The Open House on February 15 and the Auction on February 21. Please attend, volunteer and support these events in any way you can!

Dads Club

Calling ALL MERCY DADS! Be sure to bring a donation for the Mercy Auction and come mix and mingle at our next meeting February 3rd at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.

Scholastic Art AWARDS

Congratulations to the 10 students from Mercy’s Art Department who won 17 awards in this year’s Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition.

by Hannah McInnisby Miranda Stano

by Jaya Jankowskiby Darby Home

The College for Creative Studies sponsors the Southeastern Michigan Art Region, which, this year, received over 6200 individual entries and 250 senior portfolios from students in Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. This year was even more competitive since the Scholastic Art region received 700 more entries than last year. Jurors selected 300 Gold Keys, 375 Silver Keys and 426 Honorable Mentions. 83 Gold Key Portfolios were selected from 250 submitted, seven were selected “Best of Show” and five Gold Key works were selected as American Vision Nominees. All Gold Key work will be judged at the national level in March. The national ceremony will be on Thursday, June 11 at Carnegie Hall and will also be live-streamed for students and teachers who are unable to attend.Special congratulations to Jackie Golias and Jaya Jankowski. Their portfolios made finalist status and will compete in New York City for talent scholarships. Jaya Jankowski, Hannah McInnis, and Miranda Stano also won five gold keys (first place) in the individual photography, drawing and ceramics contests. Their pieces will also compete in New York for national awards.

Regional winning entries will be on display in the exhibit at the College for Creative Studies, Walter B. Ford II Building from Tuesday, February 10 – Friday, March 6. Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday, noon – 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. The regional ceremony for Oakland County Private schools will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in the Detroit Film Theater of the Detroit Institute of Arts. To see a list of all winners, click here: Lists of winners.

Student Grade Entry Award
Rita Erickson 12 Digital Art Honorable Mention
Jacqueline Golias 12 Art Portfolio Gold Key
Darby Horne 12 Mixed Media Silver Key
Jinghan Hu 11 Painting Honorable Mention
Jaya Jankowski 12 Art Portfolio Gold Key
    Photography 2 Gold Keys, Honorable Mention
    Fashion Silver Key
    Jewelry Honorable Mention
Hannah McInnis 12 Photography Gold Key, Silver Key
Caitlin Ryan 10 Painting Honorable Mention
Catherine Sawicky 10 Painting Honorable Mention
Alaina Skellet 10 Fashion Honorable Mention
Miranda Stano 11 Drawing and Illustration Gold Key
    Ceramics and Glass Gold Key

Calling All Engineers - The Mercy Robotics Team Needs YOU!

The new 2015 Mercy Robotics Team is preparing for their FIRST Robotics competition - Recycle Rush. And...they are making headlines. Check our their Observer feature here.
The goal of First Robotics Competition is to be "The varsity Sport for the MindTM, FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to "real-world engineering" as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team."
If you are an engineer, CAD designer, or love robotics and are a Mercy parent or alumna, your assistance would be very valuable. If you are interested, please contact the team leader, Dan Riehl at driehlmi@gmail.com or Colleen Rozman at cmrozman@mhsmi.org.

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, February 15. Mercy Alumnae and their families are invited to an early open house legacy tour from 12:30pm - 1:00pm. Arrive at the Chapel entrance. General Open House is from 1:00pm - 3:00pm 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 admissions@mhsmi.org or 248-476-2484 and arrange a day to shadow a student.

Students Teaching Students at iCreate Workshop

The MHS iWizards conducted an iCreate Workshop for seventh and eighth grade prospective students on Saturday, January 17. The iWizards consist of 9th-11th grade Mercy girls who share an enthusiasm for the iPad. Through a collaboration with the Art Department, they designed two one-hour sessions. Read all about it and see some of the finished projects here.

PASSPORT to FRANCE for Prospective Students

7th and 8th grade prospective Mercy girls are invited to come to Mercy for the ultimate French immersion experience! You will learn basic French vocabulary and conversation and learn about regional French cuisine, customs, music, and art. The day includes a typical French breakfast upon arrival and students will have hands–on experience making their own crepes for lunch. Participants will also receive a special French souvenir.

Saturday, February 21, 2015
9:00am - 1:00pm
Cost: $30

The day will be hosted by the Mercy High School French Department, French Honor Society, and French Club. Space is limited! Contact Madame Joyce Campbell, Language Department Chair, at jacampbell@mhsmi.org or 248-476-8020 with any questions. Click here for more info and registration form.

Student Successess . . . Applause!! Applause!!

Way to go, Sammy! Sammy Kleedtke was the first girl in the 2017 graduating class to commit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to play soccer. Even though she is just a sophomore, she has already had many offers to play at Big 10 schools. Read all about her amazing soccer accomplishments here!

POWERFUL POETS -Congratulations to the following students whose poetry has been accepted for publication by Creative Communications writing contest: Hannah Hembree; Kaitlin Johnstone; Jensen Pecora; Tiv Phull; Katelyn Sullivan; Haley Schultz. More congratulations to the many juniors and seniors whose creative efforts have qualified them for inclusion in the annual Anthology of Poetry: Taylor Babcock; Kathryn Dunleavy; Ihechi Ezunionye; Taylor Gibney; Megan Haase; Julia Kirby; Amelia Kravutske; Maddy Loniewski; Jensen Pecora; Maria Pulice; Cleopatra Weeks; Logan Wilczewski; Alexis Verderbar; Morando Yaldo; Julianna Ruggirello; Amy Vlacos; Sierra Wangler; Tiv Phull.

POM PERFORMERS! Some of the Mercy Varsity Pompon team members performed at the Citrus Bowl on New Years Day. The students who went on this trip are part of Mid American Pompon's ALL-STAR TEAM: Stephanie Hosko, Natalie Forster, Addie Powell, Alex Powell, Sarah Turner, Kaitlyn Yaldo, and Mikayla Kempf.

Books! Books! Books! Mrs. Harris-Schultheis and Ms. Youngerman challenged their students to bring in books to be donated to local charities. Mercy girls rose to the occasion and between five classes brought in more than 4,500 books! Mercy Works in Detroit received 500 books; Lafayette Elementary School in Lincoln Park received several boxes of books; Detroit Community Schools received nearly 4,000 of the books for their classrooms; and Clarenceville Public Schools received 365 books which were split between the high school, Grandview Elementary School, and Botsford Elementary School. At the Detroit Community Schools, each student in K-8 was able to take a book to take home--many do not have books of their own--and students in grades K-2 were able to choose 3. Many of the rest of the books created classroom libraries and at the high school, they now have class sets of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Of Mice and Men."

State Solo and Ensemble - Bravo to the following students who achieved stellar ratings and will be advancing to the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in March! Kathryn Wolf received a division I on her violin solo. Katie Schubert, Elise Scarchilli and Lydia Gier received a division I on their flute and clarinet trio. Kaela Brown, Elise Scarchilli, Lydia Gier, and Samantha Schubert received a division I on their flute quartet.

FORENSICS - The first Forensics tournament of the season was held at U of D Jesuit High School January 17 with the following results:

In Oral Interpretation:

  • First Place: Maureen McGough
  • Second Place: Katie Johnstone
  • Third Place: Jacqueline Welday
  • Fourth Place: Summit Dempster
  • Sixth Place: Phil Engel

In Dramatic Duo:

  • First Place: Jacqueline Welday and Lucy Devine
  • Second Place: Amelia Dahmer and Evie Dahmer
  • Fourth Place: Astrid Lopus and Audrey Ledermann
  • Fifth Place: Annie Leuker and Asha McElroy
  • Sixth Place: Phil Engel and Libby Lee

In Dramatic Performance:

  • First Place: Amelia Dahmer
  • Second Place: Bryanna Lee
  • Third Place: Regan Castle
  • Fourth Place Tie: Evie Dahmer, Caitlin Delevie and Maureen McGough

In Oratorical Declamation:

  • First Place: Rochelle Chezick
  • Second Place: Megan McCarren
  • Third Place: Vivienne Greenleaf
  • Fifth Place Tie: Reena Jankowski and Maddie Jones

In Original Oratory:

  • First Place: Theresa Benton
  • Second Place Tie: Phoenix Dempster and Edie Jones
  • Fourth Place: Nadia Hakim
  • Fifth Place: Blair Cha

In Extemporaneous Speaking:

  • First Place: Catherine Best
  • Second Place: Saveri Nandigama
  • Third Place: Meaghan Fortney
  • Fourth Place: Taylor Lombard
  • Fifth Place: Emma Kruse

TECH TALK Conference for Educators

Spread the word! Mercy High School will host the educational technology forum “Tech Talk for Educators” on Friday, February 27, 2015 from 8am – 3pm. Keynote speaker Karen Bosch will kick-of fthe conference with her presentation. "The Power of TLC: Technology + Learning + Creativity." Teachers and faculty from area school systems will attend specific breakout sessions featuring presenters from a wide range of schools and technology discplines. Attendees can save $10 if they register by February 1! For more information, visit techtalkmercy.weebly.com/index.html.

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

Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Information for 2015 – 2016 School Year

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 Mercy's website. 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.

Sisters of Mercy Open House

The Sisters of Mercy invite you to an Open House in Celebration of World Day of Consecrated Life.

Mercy Center “D” Wing

28650 W. Eleven Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48366

Sunday, February 8th

3:00 to 4:30 pm - Tours and Visiting

4:30 pm - Vespers in Mercy Chapel

Kindly RSVP by February 4th to 248.536.3212 or cabretz@mercywmw.org.

Counseling Corner

College Information Night - SAVE THE DATE for Tuesday, February 24th at 7:00 PM in the Mercy Auditorium. Please note this date is a change from what was previously listed on the School Calendar and posted on 1st semester report cards. More details will be sent via email to sophomore and junior families and posted on the current announcements web page.

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.

Connect to the Counseling Office web pages at mhsmi.org/counseling.

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.

Father-Daughter DANCE - The annual Father-Daughter Dance will be held Saturday, January 31 from 8pm - 11pm in the Mercy Gym. Tickets are on sale through January 30th in N11 before and after school as well as 1st, 5th and 6th hours in the science office. $20 per Mercy Dad.

Proposed New Bus Routes for 2015 - 2016 School Year - Mercy transportation may be coming to a city near you! CLICK HERE to view some NEW PROPOSED BUS ROUTES for next 2015 - 2016 school year. We welcome your feedback and look for your guidance in the creation of stops.

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.

Catholic Schools Week Mass Jan 28 / 9:55am Auditorium
Father Daughter Dance Jan 31 / 8pm Gymnasium
Mercy MOMS Meeting Feb 2 / 6:30pm Media Center
Mercy DADS Meeting
Feb 3 / 6:30pm
Winter Break - No School Feb 6, 13, 27  
OPEN HOUSE Feb 15 / 1pm - 3pm MHS
Ash Wednesday Mass Feb 18 Auditorium
Black History Month Assembly Feb 19 Auditorium
New Student Information Meeting
Feb 23 / 7p
College Information Night Feb 24 / 7p Auditorium

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.