January 2016

Wit's End...notes from the principal

Holding Out for a Hero. Yep, that's what I'm doing. If some of you are of a certain age, you might remember the reference. It's a song title, one written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford, names that very likely don't ring any bells. The song was recorded by Bonnie Tyler in 1984 for the soundtrack of the movie Footloose. Still unfamiliar? Well you can, if interested, consult the internet. If you like music, like rock n' roll, and especially if you like the loud, raucous rock anthems, you are in for a treat. I'll give you a taste by sharing the opening verse and chorus.

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and I dream of what I need


I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

We have always been attracted to the idea of a hero. The attraction feeds our need as human beings to be rescued, to be assisted, to have another - bigger and better and more capable than we see ourselves - someone who has our back. Each of us needs allies and when we can hold the belief that a hero is out there and will show up at the opportune moment, it secures our resolve. All we really need to do is just hold on, hold on for some indeterminate amount of time, until the hero reveals itself. Heroes make us more brave.

So, back to my opening premise. I'm Holding Out for a Hero. And more than that. I'm looking for a superhero. Hey why just go, if you can go BIG? Superheroes have been fictionalized in the American comic books nearly 100 years. Current parents and grandparents can most certainly tell you about their favorites. Such characters have become popular all over again in recent decades, in comic books, on television, and in films. Consider the action figure industry alone and add to that all the merchandising that immortalizes these figures. I would suggest to you that this resurgence is a good thing in many ways. If they are out there, metropolis is safe. At least a bit more safe. Superheroes fight evil, fight crime; they restore calm and sanity. They possess extraordinary, often magical powers.

So why are they so important at this point in time? Look around. We are inundated with examples of strife. Crises - local, statewide, nationally, and around the world - there can seem to be no end to it. So many are suffering. Add to that the 24/7 cycle of information we receive, much of it unnecessarily negative. Greed seems to get a great deal of attention. So does dysfunction. We can become numb, and consciously or unconsciously just throw our hands in the air and give up. I would suggest that we make a different choice and here is why.

Our children live in this world with us. They are surrounded by the same things that you and I see. And they must see us and hear us offer them a positive alternative to despair. Despite all the existing hardship, the heroes and superheroes are still around. They appear in the men and women who offer assistance, not criticism. They are the ones who build, not destroy. They are the ones who create solutions rather than just identify problems. They are you and they are me. Remember why, as a child, you first believed in heroes. Did you ever dress up as one? Did you wear the outfit? Did you heed the call? Did you rescue the weak? Did you save the day?

Sure you did. So did I. That little kid still resides within you. The one I know is still inside me. I just haven't called on her very recently. Instead, I keep hoping, waiting, and holding out for a hero. As the kids would say, "My bad." The world needs heroes. Well, the world already has them, and they are not in short supply.

So today, I want to leave you with what I hope will be a musical inspiration. It comes from a man by the name of Guy Clark, a 74 year old, very gifted, Texas country singer-songwriter. This particular tune was written in 1995 and pleases me as much today as it did when I first heard it more than 20 years ago. Take a listen. It may just turn out to be the best four minutes of your day. I choose to think that Guy Clark and I are on the same page, when it comes to heroes and many, many other things.



Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

Meeting February 1st at 6:30pm  

All Mercy Moms are invited and encouraged to attend our upcoming Mothers Club meeting on Monday, February 1st at 6:30pm in the Media Center. Dinner provided by the Class of 2018 moms. 

Meeting Highlights and Activities

  • Auction Family Fun Gift Basket Collection
  • Mercy Counseling Department Video
  • MMC Board and Chair Opportunities
  • Class Breakout Chat Sessions


The Mothers Club will be helping to support the Mercy Auction. Please bring an item to fill a family fun gift basket - board games; gift certificate(s) to family themed activities, etc. . . Or bring an item of your choosing! Every donation enters you in a raffle to win 2 tickets to attend the Mercy Annual Auction being held February 20th. Hope to see you there!

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

Dads Club Meeting

All Mercy Dads are invited to meet, greet and eat at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, February 2 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Plus . . . 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.

Robotics Help Needed!

The Mercy Robotics Team is a great organization and is in need of some help from a few key Mercy Dads! Among the many activities involved in robotics, there is a business and marketing group. At this time, there is a need for a mentor to help the kids with their graphic art skills.

The girls have access to art software, but it would be great if a Dad - who is a professional graphic artist or similar, could teach them how to make a more professional looking product. The time commitment from a Dad would only need to be an hour or so in order to give them some tips. Almost all the work on the team is done by students with the mentor providing guidance. If interested or have any questions, please contact Michael Warner at mdw73@chrysler.com or (248) 462-1813.

Regional Scholastic Art Award Winners

Miranda Stano, Drawing

Jinghan Hu, Drawing

Erin Tisdel, Mixed Media

Bianca Seeley, Sculpture

Congratulations to the 12 students from Mercy's Art Department who won 39 awards in this year's Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition.

Special congratulations to Jinghan (Molane) Hu, Miranda Stano, and Erin Tisdel. Their portfolios made finalist status and will compete in New York City for talent scholarships. These three seniors also won thirteen gold keys (first place) in the individual photography, drawing, painting, and mixed media contests. Their pieces will also compete in New York for national awards.

Most excitingly, Jinghan Hu and Miranda Stano won two of the five elusive American Vision award nominations. The American Vision Award winners are chosen as the "Best of Show" from all of the artwork entered in this year's Southeastern Michigan Regional competition. Each regional program across the country selects the five most outstanding works of art from their gold key recipients. These five young artists represent the region on the national level as American Vision nominees. In spring, a national panel will select one of the nominated works from each region as the American Vision Award Recipient for 2016.

Jinghan's portfolio is also one of seven "best of show" portfolios that will be displayed as a whole at this year's exhibit at the College for Creative Studies.

The College for Creative Studies sponsors the Southeastern Michigan Art Region, which, this year, received nearly 6000 individual entries and more than 300 senior portfolios from students in Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. Jurors selected 1093 individual category works to receive gold key, silver key, and honorable mention awards. 90 gold key portfolios were selected from 300 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.

Regional winning entries will be on display in the exhibit at the College for Creative Studies, Walter B. Ford II Building from Monday, February 8th - Friday, March 4th. 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 Tuesday, February 9, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in the Detroit Film Theater of the Detroit Institute of Arts. To see the full list of all winners, click here: lists of winners.

Name Grade Art Award
Isabella Bartlett 9 Photography Honorable Mention
Julia Bonfiglio 12 Ceramics and Glass Honorable Mention
Olivia Gibaratz 10 Drawing Silver Key
    Drawing Honorable Mention
Jinghan Hu 12 Drawing American Vision Award
    Art Portfolio Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Jewelry Silver Key
    Painting Silver Key
    Photography Silver Key
    Painting  Honorable Mention
    Drawing Honorable Mention
    Drawing Honorable Mention
    Drawing Honorable Mention
Elizabeth Meconi 11 Sculpture Honorable Mention
Monique Ross 12 Drawing Silver Key
Bianca Seely 11 Sculpture Silver Key
    Sculpture Silver Key
Sarah Smolinski 9 Sculpture Honorable Mention
Miranda Stano 12 Drawing American Vision Award
    Art Portfolio Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Drawing Gold Key
    Painting Gold Key
    Painting Silver Key
Erin Tisdel 12 Art Portfolio Gold Key
    Mixed Media Gold Key
    Mixed Media Silver Key
    Mixed Media Honorable Mention
Katherine Wildern 9 Painting Honorable Mention
Keting Zhao 12 Sculpture Honorable Mention

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 at mhsmi.org/admissions.

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 and arrange a day to shadow a student.

Auction 2016

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 1000 and first prize is 2016-17 Tuition or $8,000 cash! Turn in all five ticket stubs before January 31st 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 20, 2016.

Auction Donations Donations are still being accepted and can be delivered to school Monday - Friday 7:30am - 3:30pm.

Don't Delay, Get Your Early Bird Pricing Today! - Early bird pricing is available on Auction tickets until January 31st. Save $25 per attendee with this special discounted pricing. Grab your friends and enjoy the social event of the year. Click here for RSVP card or online registration is available here: cbo.io/tickets/mercyhs.

Click here for all things auction and hope to see you 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 lmweismiller@mhsmi.org with any questions, suggestions or to volunteer.


Student Successes!

Orchestra District Solo & Ensemble

The following students received medals for their performances at District Solo and Ensemble held January 15th: Cinya Hou received a II rating on her violin solo; Alia Fuqua and Sophie Vanderweele received a II rating on their cello duet; Shannon Sheridan and Caitlin Ryan received a I rating on their violin duet; Lilian Lebednick received a I rating on her trombone solo; Sophie Vanderweele received a I rating on her cello solo; Kathryn Wolf received a I rating on her violin solo;  Sarah Maxey received a I rating on her clarinet solo; Madison Reckker and Lilian Lebednick received a II rating on their duet; Sarah Maxey, Carly Camp, and Madison Reckker received a II rating on their clarinet trio; Lydia Gier, Elise Scarchilli, and Samantha Schubert received a I on their flute trio; Lydia Gier and Madison Received a I rating on their flute, clarinet duet; Cinya Hou, Hannah Blakey, Mackenzie Farrow and Sophie Vanderweele received a I rating on their quartet. Those receiving a rating of I on their performance will go on to State Solo and Ensemble at Harrison High School on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Congratulations to all medal winners!

Book Drive

The British Literature classes of Ms. Moore, Ms. Youngerman, and Mrs. Schultheis participated in a Book Battle and collected a total of 3,755 books ranging from elementary to high school classics! 

These books will be donated to various schools around Metro Detroit to help create classroom and school libraries. Clarenceville Middle School, Clarenceville Elementary Schools, Brownstown High School and Ellen Thompson Elementary School are just some of the schools who will benefit from our successful Book Battle donations!

Business Professionals of America

Chapter members traveled to Henry Ford Community College on Friday, January 8, 2016 to compete at the Region 6 Regional Leadership Conference. Grace Rogers, Bridget Eusebi, Katelynn Smith and Saveri Nandigama were recognized with the Diplomat Award for their leadership and service activities. Also receiving awards were:

  • Katelynn Smith - 2nd place in Presentation Management Individual
  • Jill Yassay - 3rd place in Human Resource Management
  • Grace Rogers - 6th place in Human Resource Management
  • Bridget Eusebi - 7th place in Human Resource Management
  • Ally Coklow and Asha McElroy - 7th place in Video Production Team
  • Lauren Jackson and Taylor Jackson - 9th in Small Business Management Team

Fab Forensics

On Saturday, January 23rd, 38 Mercy students competed in the first 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
  • Elizabeth Brousseau - 6th
  • Rochelle Chezick - 5th
  • Blair Cha - 3rd
  • Theresa Benton - 1st
  • Oratorical Declamation
  • Luma Qashou - 5th
  • Laurie Clayton - 4th
  • Emma Tomsich - 3rd
  • Abbey Hembree - 1st
  • Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Megan Hutter - 6th
  • Dani McClain - 3rd
  • Catherine Best - 2nd
  • Saveri Nandigama - 1st
  • Oral Interpretation
  • Reena Jankowski - 6th
  • Summit Dempster - 4th
  • Madison Leake - 3rd
  • Maureen McGough - 2nd
  • Lucy Devine - 1st
  • Dramatic Performance
  • Annie Acho Tartoni - 6th
  • Regan Castle - 5th
  • Astrid Lopus - 3rd
  • Audrey Ledermann - 3rd
  • Bryanna Lee - 2nd
  • Dramatic Duo
  • Ellie Gouvia/Ava Zaremski - 4th
  • Summit Dempster/ Vivienne Greenleaf - 3rd
  • Mallory Demeter/Sophia Lamphier - 2nd
  • Cara Forfinski/ Ryann Rapson - 1st

2015-2016 MHSAA Scholar Athlete Award Finalists

Congratulations to Allia Marie McDowell who was announced as one of 32 Finalists in the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards. To honor the Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 26, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale), and previously have won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students also were asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

Stephanie Hosko '17, Natalie Forster '17, Emma Jakowinicz '17, Kaitlin Yaldo '16, and Maddie McSweeney '19, members of MidAmerican Pom, took part in the 2015 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, and the inclusive events, which marked the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII. They had the opportunity to tour the USS Bowfin, a fleet attack submarine that fought in the Pacific during WWII, and even got to ring the Freedom Bell. The Freedom Bell is an exact replica of the original Liberty Bell, and was presented to Hawaii by the US Treasury Department on July 4, 1950. 

These Mercy girls were selected to perform for 39 Pearl Harbor survivors and their families at the Opening Ceremonies. Their group marked the start of the parade with a show in historic Fort DeRussy, and continued their Pompon routine throughout the parade route on the scenic streets of Waikiki.

Catholic Schools Week Mass

You're invited to Mercy High School for our Catholic Schools Week Mass Wednesday, February 3 at 9:55am in the Auditorium.

Worship with us as we celebrate being a Catholic school. National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service."

We hope you will join us for this special liturgy. We are Mercy High School! 

NHS Bottled Water Drive

The National Honor Society is sponsoring a BOTTLED WATER DRIVE in order to help residents of Flint. Imagine what it must be like to not shower, bathe, cook or drink the water that comes out of your faucet. Thousands of Flint residents are experiencing these very things. As a Mercy Community, we can make a difference by bringing in packs of bottled water.

The Bottled Water Drive will run until Thursday, February 4. Please drop off bottled water to these classrooms: Ms. Salvia; Mr. Skellett; Mrs. McGavin. Flint will be needing water for a very long time. Thank you for your support!

Women in Engineering Event

Wayne State University's Society of Women Engineers is putting on their annual FutureSWE event on February 27, 2016 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. This is meant to introduce middle and high school girls to various engineering fields they can purse after graduation. It is free to students and includes breakfast, lunch, hands-on engineering activities, and freebies.

More information can be found here in this flyer, and on the website at http://tinyurl.com/guzcdvd. There are 210 spots available to students. There are also spots available to parents and faculty for $5. If you have any questions about this event, please feel free to contact FutureSWE@gmail.com.

Society of Women Engineers
Wayne State University

iWizards Awesome iCreate Event

The Mercy iWizards provided some wonderful instruction to 25 prospective 7th and 8th grade students at their annual iCreate event held Saturday, January 23rd.

Hands-on experience in photo composition, photo editing, iMovie, ArtRage and animation were some of the topics covered in this worthwhile morning. iWarriors from Brother Rice also attended to observe and participate with three staff members.

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.

MNotes...Miscellaneous Info You Need to Know

Ireland Trip - Please note this trip scheduled for May 2016 is now cancelled.

March for Life - Due to historical snow fall, life threatening conditions, white outs, and winter storm Jonas hitting the East coast, Mercy cancelled the trip to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life, the largest pro-life rally in the world. In solidarity with the March for Life, Eucharistic Adoration was held all day in the chapel, to pray for end to abortion and all other offenses against human dignity.

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.

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.

If you have any questions or want to submit information for the Mercy MEMO, please contact jhearle@mhsmi.org. 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.