January/February 2014

Mercy High School Monthly Parent E-Newsletter - January/February 2014

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal 

Thirty one days in January and “what a long strange trip it’s been” (homage to The Grateful Dead). 

As Michigan residents, we are mindful of the weather and usually prepared for the winter blasts. The past few weeks have, however, given us clear evidence that we don’t always have as much control as we might think. The additional days off school (the most in any single month that I can recall) provoked squeals of delight for many and probably also a few sighs of dismay and difficulty for parents who had to shift gears and make considerable adjustments. Just when you thought the worst of it was over, there was yet again another problem.

Words like polar vortex have already been added to the vocabulary of the very young. Cold temperatures alone no longer get our attention. We have the wind chill readings which offer greater assistance by reporting how cold it feels. Roads get and stay icy. Salt doesn’t work its miracle when the thermometer dips too low and even when one attempts to be creative, there are only so many places to stack the snowfall.  We both know that the complaints and the hardships have been voiced by too many of us who, in reality, might have been inconvenienced at best.

Consider the plight of the homeless. How increasingly desperate does their daily situation become when exposure to the air itself is life threatening? Add to these the people who depend upon others for their care: the sick, the elderly, the homebound. Think of the many citizens who work outside, and all of the first responders: police, firefighters, EMS, utility workers,  . . .  the road crews, the towing companies. As bad as things might have seemed for you, consider those who found themselves stranded across the country or who suffered serious accidents. The breadth of this unusual weather covered more than two thirds of the nation.  States were scrambling to assist their own residents and could not offer the customary help to surrounding communities.

All of this, and we completed only a single month of the 2014 year! On this then the very last day of January, I think about some remedy for the malaise. I offer an exercise that you might try, and if you do, you might even consider making it a regular event. I call it an Alphabet Affirmation. It is quite simple. You go through the entire alphabet and for each letter, you identify a word. The word selected must, however, be a word that in some way acts as a positive descriptor. Most likely an adjective or an adverb, each word would be a compliment to the person described. Here’s my most recent attempt.

A - alluring I strongly advise that you not settle for “amazing” or “awesome”, two words that now are palpably repugnant to me only because we have exhausted their legitimate use and reduced them to fillers that pass as apt description for almost anything! B - beguiling; C - chipper; D - delicate; E - exquisite; F - feisty; G - generous, and H - hearty.

Some of the letters are a bit harder. My mind is already being taxed in a new way. I - inspirational; J - jazzyK - kindly; L - lovely; M - magnetic; N - noteworthy; O - obliging and P - passionate.

Are any people you know coming to mind as you read each word? Do any of these words fit one of your kids, as you recently observed them in action? When was the last time you felt that one or more of these words described you?

Home stretch; last portion of the alphabet . . . here goes. Q - quirky; R - remarkable -; S - selfless; T - thankful; U - uplifting; V - victorious; W - winsome. Now I acknowledge a partial defeat. I was absolutely stumped by the letter X. I even admit that I consulted a dictionary, somewhat in disbelief, to find that there was no word beginning with an “x” to express some positive attribute. I settle here for  X - x o x o; Y - youthful and Z - zippy.

26 words. As I selected each one, and moved on to the next letter, I did indeed find myself thinking about all things positive and complimentary. What a change of spirit this change of thought had produced. What I came away with was a momentary lifting of attitude.

Try it. Better yet, try it with your kids. Make it a frequent ritual. See which letters are the stumpers. Press on and don’t give up. Younger children may not offer incredibly complex words, but they’ll enter into the game. If you adjust the rules, and you may, the end game remains the same. Take a few moments to actively and positively impact your attitude by voicing words that change how you think and feel, words that put a smile on your face.

Human nature certainly responds quite readily to bemoaning everything from the smallest of problems to the largest of calamities. When things seem dark, or uncomfortable, or disappointing, we can choose to alter our outlook, and at least some of the times, such a choice can really make a difference. If we model that for our children, we help them develop greater mastery of their lives.

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 1000 and first prize is 2014-15 Tuition or $8,000 cash! Turn in all five ticket stubs before February 7th 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, 2014.

Auction Donations - Donations are still being accepted and can be delivered to school Monday - Friday 7:30am - 3:30pm. All donations received by February 3rd 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 7th. 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! Love those Tigers? We have tickets to games in the 2014 season! 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

ALL MERCY MOMS are invited to join us for our next meeting Monday, February 3 starting at 6:30 pm. The Mothers Club Board has been hard at work to implement some exciting changes to our meetings that we can't wait to share with you! At our February 3rd meeting, the Mothers Club Board and the Mercy Auction Committee will be accepting donations. Any gifts are greatly appreciated, and anyone who brings a donation for the auction will automatically be placed into a drawing for a free ticket to Mercy's auction!

Plus we are reformatting our meetings to benefit all Mercy moms:

  • You will be given the contact info of a “Link Leader” mom for future contact
  • Meet new Mercy moms and learn from them
  • Enjoy a meal and socialize with us beginning at 6:30pm
  • Listen briefly to guest speakers on various school related topics, starting at 7pm
  • Have the opportunity to branch off into grade specific groups for time related discussions (ie, PROM, graduation, Spirit events, community service, etc…)

Save the date for the the Mother Daughter Banquet Wednesday, March 19 at St. Mary's Cultural Center. We will be unveiling details about the banquet at our February 3rd Mothers Club meeting. More information to come.

Dads Club 

Luck of the Irish! Irish Raffle is going on now for $5 per ticket or a book of 5 for $20.  The prize is a trip for two to Ireland with lodging in an Irish castle. The drawing will be held at John Cowley and Son’s in Farmington Hills on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. 

Calling ALL MERCY DADS! Be sure to bring a donation for the Mercy Auction and come mix and mingle at our next meeting February 4th at 7:00pm in the Cafeteria. The Dads Club will also be discussing upcoming events.

Scholastic Art Awards

 Katherine Chmielewski '14  Kate Anderson '14

 Katelyn Halash '14  Madison Macarthur '14

Congratulations to the 16 students from Mercy’s Art Department who won 27 awards in this year’s Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition.

Special congratulations to Katherine Chmielewski. Her portfolio made finalist status and will compete in New York City for talent scholarships. Kate Anderson, Katherine Chmielewski, and Katelyn Halash also won six gold keys (first place) in the individual mixed media, fashion, drawing and painting contests. Their pieces will also compete in New York for national awards.

The College for Creative Studies sponsors the Southeastern Michigan Art Region, which, this year, received over 5,500 works of art and 291 portfolios from students in Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. Jurors selected 302 Gold Keys, 375 Silver Keys and 426 Honorable Mentions. Ninety Gold Key Portfolios were selected from 291 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 June 6 at Carnegie Hall and will also be live-streamed for students and teachers who are unable to attend.

Regional winning entries will be on display in the exhibit at the College for Creative Studies, Walter B. Ford II Building from Monday, February 10 – Friday, March 7. Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday, noon – 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. The regional ceremony for Oakland County schools will Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 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. Make sure to scroll down and click on "2014 Winners" in Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.

Kate Anderson '14 Mixed Media Gold Key

Katherine Chmielewski '14

Art Portfolio

Gold Key
Gold Key
Gold Key
Gold Key
Gold Key
Silver Key
Silver Key
Silver Key
Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention

Emma Easson '17 Painting Honorable Mention
Alicia Finnorn '14 Sculpture Silver Key
Tasia Gabriel '15 Film & Animation Honorable Mention
Katelyn Halash '14 Fashion Gold Key
Morgan Haller '15 Drawing Honorable Mention
Madison Macarthur '14 Ceramics & Glass Silver Key
Alyssa Naimi '14


Silver Key
Silver Key

Hannah Pascual '16 Fashion Silver Key
Maria Pulice '15 Painting Silver Key
Lindsay Seashore '16 Sculpture Honorable Mention

Marisa Siwicki '16

Photography Honorable Mention
Katelynn Smith '17 Painting Silver Key
Amanda Trojniak '15 Painting Honorable Mention
Moranda Yaldo '15 Film & Animation Honorable Mention

Archbishop Vigneron Mass and Visit

You are invited to Mercy for our special Mass with Archbishop Vigneron Wednesday, February 5 at 10:20am in the Auditorium. He will lead us in liturgy and speak to the senior class.

March For Life


Last week, Mercy students, family, and staff braved the cold to attend the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, DC. The March for Life is a peaceful protest of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states for any reason. Students joined hundreds of thousands from across the country in the largest pro-life march.

Brianna Abbo ’14, Mary Abbo ’14, Alyse Adolf ’14, Samantha Atty ’14, Taylor Babcock ’15, Caroline Bartes ’15, Rachel Belans ’15, Coley Brown ’17, Olivia Brown ’15, Bridget Carlson ’14, Jamey Cattran ’14, Genevieve Chiara ’14, Natalie Cieslak ’16, Hannah Cohen ’16, Emily Crowley ’15, Dana DeFrain ’14, Carly Demkowicz ‘9, C.J. Dillon ’16, Teagan Dillon ’14, Emily Dulzo ’15, Allysen Eads ’15, Bridget Eusebi ’17, Kelly Eusebi ’15, Hannah Fanning ’17, Alicia Finnorn ’14, Maddy Flyte ’15, Taylor Gibney ’15, Mary Girjis ’15, Sarah Hoffman ’14, Stephanie Hosko ’17, Alexis Hurley ’15, Amy Jeaneraux ’14, Anna Kiafoulis ’15, Kendyl Kirkland ’16, Christen Konja ’15, Hannah Larkin ’14, Mary Lisieki ’14, Mira Mansuetti ’15, Julia McAree ’15, Megan McCarren ’17, Hannah McKay ’15, Lauren Melanson ’14, Meghan Meyers ’14, Margaret Michaels ’17, Molly Murphy ’15, Cari Padula ’16, Clara Pilchak ’15, Sarah Posa ’16, Abby Rosler ’15, Liliana Sartori ’15, Julian Slavsky ’14, Skylar Tisko ’15, Amanda Trojniak ’15, Amy Vlachos ’15, Moranda Yaldo ’15, Sabrina Yancey ’16, Alexa Yonan ’15, Maxine Yono ’14.

A special thank you to Mr. Joseph & Mrs. Barbara Larkin and Mrs. Judith Jeneraux, who joined Mercy staff Mrs. Carol MacLennan, Mrs. Lauren Marquard, Mr. Jim Skellett, and Mrs. Hallie Smith as chaperones on the trip.

PASSPORT to FRANCE for Prospective Students

All 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 8, 2014
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.

Student Successess . . . Applause!! Applause!!

POETS - Four Mercy upperclasswomen have been named winners in the Fall Poetry Contest sponsored by CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS. They will have their poems published in the quarterly anthology produced by that company: KATIE BAIRD for "Sunset" ALLYCIA BELLINO for "Toothpaste", PAIGE ROBERTS for "Our Love" KRISTIN SWAD for "Fear".

MERCYAIRES - The Mercyaires performed at District Solo & Ensemble last month at Howell High School. They performed the traditional Spiritual "Witness" arranged by Kirby Shaw and "Psalm of Hope" by Andrea Ramsey. They earned an "Excellent" rating which advances them to perform at the State level. Out of 55 large ensembles that performed, The Mercyaires were one of 25 to receive an "Excellent" rating. Theresa Walle '15 and Marisa Maino '15 performed solos which both qualified for State. These students will all compete on the State level on March 21 at Walled Lake Central High School.

FORENSICS - The Mercy Forensics Team competed in the second tournament of the Detroit Catholic Forensic League at St. Mary’s Prep January 25th with the following results: 

Oral Interpretation                                                               

First Place Tie: Maureen McGough and Cassidy Connolly                                       

Fourth Place: Bryanna Lee                                                                                   

Sixth Place: Cassidy Connolly


Oratorical Declamation

First Place: Maddi Boji

Second Place Tie: Caitlin Delevie and Katie Johnstone

Fourth Place Tie: Theresa Benton and Meaghan Fortney 

Sixth Place: Madison Tarchala

Dramatic Duo                                                                         

First Place: Amelia Dahmer and Phoenix Dempster            

Third Place: Lucy Devine and Taylor Lombard                     

Fourth Place: Annie Leuker and Asha McElroy                    

Fifth Place: Nneka Iroha and Ogechi Nwaropara                   

Sixth Place Tie: Danni Abboud and Piper Matlock and Kate Soave and Jacqueline Welday

Original Oratory

First Place: Katie Baird

Second Place: Phoenix Dempster

Fourth Place: Alise Wenner

Fifth Place: Blair Cha


Dramatic Performance                                                          

First Place: Amelia Dahmer                                                               

Second Place Tie: Madeline Flynn and Rosie Ashworth         

Fourth Place Tie: Libby Lee and Lindsay Webster                

Sixth Place: Amelia Fanelli    

Extemporaneous Speaking

First Place: Lana Grasser                   

Second Place: Kelsey Ellis

Fourth Place: Hadley Hrdlicka



Business Professionals of America

Mercy's chapter of Business Professionals of America competed against other area schools at the Region 6 Regional Leadership Conference on January 10 at Henry Ford Community College. Of the 27 girls who competed, 8 finished in the top 6 in their event and are eligible to compete at the State Leadership Conference on March 20-23 in Grand Rapids.

The following students received awards:

  • Saveri Nandigama '17 - 1st place in Extemporaneous Speech
  • Arin Bell '16, Jenise Williams '14, Jasmine Williams '17 and Paisley Sutton '16 - 1st place in Parliamentary Procedure Team 
  • Jenise Williams '14 - 3rd place in Parliamentary Procedure Concepts
  • Katelynn Smith '17 - 3rd place in Presentation Management-Individual
  • Erin Gormley '16 - 4th place in Integrated Office Applications
  • Claire Lachner '15 - 6th place in Prepared Speech
  • Kaley Timmony '15 - 6th place in Computer Programming Concepts

Registration Info for 2014 - 2015


Registration for courses for the 2014-2015 school year will begin this month. The 2014 - 2015 Course Catalog will be available soon on the Mercy website: mhsmi.org/curriculum/course_guide. Please review the courses your daughter is selecting and help her make a good plan for her course of study. Although it may seem early to be selecting classes this, students will have a chance to meet individually with their counselor, view course selections and make a final approval through April.

Here are some important dates for you to note:

February 12 (freshman), February 17 (juniors), February 25 (sophomores) - All class meetings will be held in the auditorium to review the registration process and highlight new courses.

February 13 - Online registration will open for freshmen.

February 18 - Online registration will open for juniors.

February 26 - Online registration will open for sophomores

February 19 - Online registration will close for freshmen.

February 25 - Online registration will close for juniors.

March 4 - Online registration will close for sophomores.

***Students should input their course selections prior to their designated counseling meeting. Counselors will meet with all of their students to discuss graduation progress, select alternate courses and guide students on appropriate course selections. Students need to have their registration sheet signed by a parent to meet with their counselor.

2014-2015 Financial Aid Program

Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Information for 2014 – 2015 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 Named Scholarship and Tuition Assistance application period for the 2014-2015 school year will begin on February 1, 2014. For complete descriptions, details and forms, please visit mhsmi.org/admissions/mercy_named_scholarship and mhsmi.org/admissions/tuition_assistance_fund.

The Archdiocese of Detroit also offers a tuition assistance program. Visit www.aodonline.org for details.

Counseling Corner

College Information Night - SAVE THE DATE for Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 PM in the Mercy Auditorium. More details will be sent via email to sophomore and junior families and posted on the current announcements web page.

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

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

Tea for Tuition

Celebrating 10 Years of Making a Difference

Sunday, April 13, 2014
2:00 pm at Mercy

The Alumnae Association’s annual afternoon of fun and fund raising will offer gourmet hot and cold teas, appetizers and desserts, a silent auction, and special drawings. Proceeds benefit the Alumnae Association Tuition Assistance Fund, which has provided more than  $120,000 to Mercy students over the past nine years.

This event is not limited to alumnae! Each year, many Mercy moms join us by hosting a table or donating an item. For details contact the Alumnae Office at 248-476-3270 or alumnaeoffice@mhsmi.org.

It’s Mercy CAFE Incentive Time!

Load $200* or more on your student ID card during the period listed below and get an extra 10% per $100 dollars!

DATES: Now through February 6th! Due to school closings, the last day to take advantage of the extra cafe money will be Thursday, February 6th, 2014.

How it Works:

Bring a check for $200 and get $220 loaded onto your card

Bring a check for $300 and get $330 loaded onto your card

And so on….

*The entire amount must be loaded in one transaction. Amounts must be loaded in $100 increments.

Haven’t been using your ID?

Click here for Mercy Café Cash Card information sheet or contact

Anne Hallberg, RD



Let Us Pray

Mercy High School wants to join you in prayer. If you have a special prayer request, please use the online prayer intention submission form. It will be added to the Mercy Mothers Prayer Circle as well as copied to the Alumnae Office and Mercy Pastoral Minister.

The Mercy Mothers Prayer Group is an informal group which meets every Monday from 1:30 - 2:30 in the Mercy High Chapel, excluding days off and early dismissal. The Prayer Group recites the Rosary and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we lift in prayer specific intentions submitted online and those placed in the prayer box located at the reception area of the school. Please join the Mercy Mothers as they facilitate prayers for blessings and protection upon the faculty and staff of the school, students, the Sisters of Mercy, as well as all Mercy families and alumnae. If you have any questions please contact: Debbie Tisdel cdtisdel@yahoo.com

Book Notes

When resources beyond our print and digital offerings are needed, another advantage of being a Mercy student is clear!  The Farmington Community Library system, with their in-house collection, inter-library loan access, and eBook collection through Metro-Net Library Consortium puts thousands of options at one’s fingertips.

“The Library will issue a card at no charge to anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Farmington or Farmington Hills, or owns property in either of the two cities. You may apply online for a Library Card by filling out the online form, and then coming to either Branch of the Library, bringing acceptable proof of eligibility valid student ID card. Applications for minors under 18 years of age require the signature of a parent or legal guardian. Reciprocal borrowing privileges are extended to residents in any community whose library is a member of The Library Network, our Cooperative. The Library also participates in Michicard, the statewide library card program. See our flyer describing this program and the list of over 500 participating libraries.” Farmington Community Library, http://www.farmlib.org/library/borrowing.htm. An eBook fan? Let your fingers do the walking. View their ebook collection and check out a favorite!

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!    

Flu Vaccination - This has been an unusually bad flu season and many families have been affected. As you know, the virus strains are quite dangerous and for some, have meant hospitalization and even death. We ask that you continue to be vigilant in doing everything to protect yourself and your children. It is not too late to be vaccinated. Please contact your health care provider for more information.

2014 Christmas Card Design Contest - We are looking for a captivating Mercy holiday image to grace the cover of next year’s Christmas card to Mercy supporters. It can be a painting, drawing, photograph, digital graphic creation, whatever you think embraces the spirit of Mercy and the spirit of Christmas. The winning artist’s piece will be featured on the 2014 Christmas card along with recognition and a $250 gift. All entries can either be dropped off at the Advancement Office or sent via email to jhearle@gmail.com. Submissions must be received by February 13, 2014.

YearbookWe've placed our order. Have you? The yearbooks will be shipped in April so make sure your daughter is guaranteed a record of this year. Yearbooks can still be ordered at www.yearbookordercenter.com. Type in the code 13826 to be directed to Mercy's site. Cost is $70. If there are any extra books, they will be sold for $75 at distribution.

AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING - The National Honor Sociey offers after school tutoring on Wednesdays from 2:45pm - 3:30pm throughout second semester. Tutoring sessions have four to five NHS members in the Media Center to tutor in all subject areas.

Pompon Clinic - 12th Annual Mercy High School Pom Clinic for girls in grades K - 11 will be held Saturday, April 5. Click here for session information and registration form.

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.

Look who is a Sweepstakes Drive winner!

Snapshot of Mercy


Jan 21: Mercy 40, Marian 38

Photo in Detroit News Photo Gallery by Bryan Mitchell

If you have a snapshot of Mercy, please send to jhearle@mhsmi.org.

Mercy Month Ahead

Mercy MOMS Meeting Feb 3 / 6:30pm Media Center
Mercy DADS Meeting
Feb 4 / 7p
Mass with Archbishop Vigneron Feb 5 / 10:20am Auditorium
Winter Break - No School Feb 7, 14, 28  
Parent - Teacher Conferences Feb 13 / 4p - 7p MHS
New Student Information Meeting 
Feb 17 / 7p
College Information Night Feb 19 / 7p Auditorium
Black History Month Assembly Feb 20 Auditorium

Recognized by Apple as a distinguished school for innovation, leadership,and educational excellence.

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.