March 2014

Mercy High School Monthly Parent E-Newsletter - March 2014

Wit's End . . . Notes from the Principal

Dressing up. There’s a concept that might sound a bit dated. When was the last time you were asked to do so? Who asked it of you? What was the occasion? As a parent, have you asked it lately of your children? If so, what was their reaction? Did anyone get an eye roll that was to serve as the non-verbal reply?

Stay with me a few moments as this segue is going to be a stretch. One of the benefits of growing up in the Detroit area is that I have always had access to the CBC. For those of you who may not know the frame of reference, the CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Company. It has been a mainstay of mine for many, many years and it has opened a world of great television programming. Some favorites include The National with Peter Mansbridge, Dragon’s Den, The Fifth Estate, Doc Zone (documentaries, not doctors) and George Tonight with host, George Stroumboulopoulos….Say that name fast). Last, but certainly not least, is the CBC coverage of sports! They do it widely and they do it well, and an icon in the world of the CBC is one Don Cherry from Hockey Night in Canada. You either know Coach’s Corner or you don’t! Don Cherry, a colorful fixture in the hockey world, sports wide ties, wider lapels and Technicolor sports coats. As a sports commentator, he has always entertained.

If you are still reading, you get points for maintaining focus. Don Cherry and his equally well known, but less flamboyant, fellow broadcaster and straight man, Ron MacLean, teamed up during the recent Olympic competition. Their televised commentary on all things hockey was spot on. Before the elimination rounds had even begun, I watched one night as they were doing a breakdown of the teams and complimenting the level of players. They were talking about individual talent, and how magical it is when talent and team chemistry align. As they spoke, the picture cut away to the arrival of the Canadians at the venue. Every player was dressed in coat and tie. Almost immediately, and almost instinctively, my husband and I commented on how the players looked. Each of these men was dressed up. They looked quite different from the other teams that had been shown. And they looked better, measurably better.

Did it matter, especially in the grand scheme of things? Well, here’s my point. This was the Olympics. This was an event on the world stage, one that happens once every four years. Whether or not you like winter sports or enjoy watching any of the teams from around the world, this was THE OLYMPICS! Professional athletes train, compete, train some more and few get selected to their country’s Olympic team. The Canadian hockey players looked the part. They had dressed up. I remarked about their appearance. One couldn’t help but notice. At that moment, separated by thousands of miles and visible only on a flat screen television, these professional athletes commanded respect. This event was worth dressing up for, and wasn’t that nice?

Might there be a lesson in this for all of us? I think so, and as you may have surmised, my life as an educator is rich with teachable moments. Today, I share this singular idea. I think there are many moments in our lives that are worth our attention and moments that require some intention in the choices we make. Have we dismissed some of those moments because the culture seems far less concerned with ritual and tradition? Have we flat lined the importance of certain occasions? Do we sit up and take notice of special events in our lives or have most things been relegated to the mundane or common? If so, I would invite you to re-think. Consider how you feel when you stand before an audience. If you are giving a presentation, and you have made some very conscious decisions about how you have dressed, you carry yourself differently. You stand and speak and move differently. Even if you are not the speaker at a gathering, but instead are in a group celebrating some event or achievement, your appearance, and every choice you made that day about that look, affects your demeanor. You move and respond differently in your own body.

Why not share those thoughts with your children? Have a conversation with your daughter. I trust, if nothing else, it will be interesting. When and why does she choose to dress up? Does she look at herself differently, than when her appearance has not really mattered to her? Does she understand that her feelings about herself convey the self-respect she desires from others?

Life moves at break neck speed. I would offer that we can and should pay more attention, and the attention should be on things that really matter. We set the bar too low if all we require of ourselves is that we just show up, as expected. Instead, we should do all we can to leave those around us gratified in some way for having been in our presence. Our appearance is the first step.

Dress for success, an old fashioned notion? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t suggest a direct cause and effect, but those particular hockey players, left an indelible impression that extended beyond their initial appearance. Each of them returned home further accessorized with a gold medal around the neck. Nice touch!


Carolyn Witte, Principal



Basketball CHSL CHAMPS



Mothers Club

Mother Daughter Banquet - The Mother Daughter Banquet will be held Wednesday, March 19 at St. Mary's Cultural Center in Livonia. It is sure to be a fun and memorable evening Mercy moms and daughers will not want to miss! A photographer will be at the banquet to capture silly and heartwarming images of mothers and daughters in a "photo-booth" style photography experience called "Mercy Mugs." Tickets are $20 per person. Click here for more information and reservation form.

The next Mothers Club meeting is on Monday, April 7. Please join us for dinner, and get to know other Mercy moms, especially moms of girls in your daughter's class! We look forward to seeing you.

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 Sons in Farmington Hills on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Calling ALL MERCY DADS! Join us at our next meeting Tuesday, April 1 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.

Spring Musical - "Mame"

Mame, the award-winning musical, spans a generation from 1928 to 1946. Mame is awarded her orphaned nephew at the height of the Roaring Twenties. Young Patrick arrives at Mame’s apartment with his nanny Agnes Gooch while Mame is hosting an outrageous party. Mame believes that life is a banquet and encourages Patrick to feast on it. Mame raises the boy in an unconventional way while battling the conservative banker who wants Patrick to conform to his view of life. The show boasts such tunes as We Need a Little Christmas, Open a New Window, If He Walked into My Life and the show-stopping Mame

Mercy High School Auditorium

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 8pm
Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 8pm
Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2pm
Tickets $12 Adults; $8 students/children

Based on the novel by Patrick Dennis and the play Autie Mame by Lawrence and Lee.


The 35th Annual Auction was a huge success raising over $175,000 for Mercy! THANK YOU to the entire auction team of honorary chairs, co-chairs, committee chairs and volunteers who worked extremely hard to create such a memorable event.

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

More evening photos will be posted on the Mercy web site soon. We cannot thank the Mercy community enough for the continued support of our young Mercy women. We are Mercy!

French Immersion

The French Club and French Honor Society welcomed 25 middle school students to Mercy High School for the 3rd annual Passport to France French Immersion experience on February 8th. Mercy French students of all levels were their “amies francaises” for the day accompanying their guests through the day. The program included engaging them in French conversation, helping them to identify French artists, listening and dancing to all types of French music and finally guiding them on a day in Paris! The well prepared and expert guides for Mercy were: Dani Abboud, Piper Matlock, Lindsey Hiser, Elyse Baron, Cassidy Connolly, Mikayla Benton, Abigail Kuplicki and Emily Garchow. They finished the day with a cooking lesson and crepe demonstration. Madame Elizabeth Hartjen came back to Mercy and was a guest teacher in the French conversation segment along with Madame Campbell, French Honor Society Moderator. Madame Cheryl Corte, French Club Moderator played a major role in registration, photography and all-around helper! Mrs. Brenda Ellens volunteered her morning taking beautiful photographs of the girls during our “virtual” trip to Paris. The girls enjoyed a French “dejeuner magnifique” beautifully prepared by Monsieur and Madame Dunleavy, Madame Haddad, Madame Forfinski and Madame Wilson. Mercy’s French Department extends a “grand merci beaucoup” to everyone who contributed to another successful French Immersion experience.

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

Alumnae Lenten Service Project

The Alumnae Association is partnering with Humble Design in a Household Goods Drive, Saturday, March 15 from 9-11am. Mercy parents are invited to participate. Humble Design provides families in need with dignified, clean and welcoming home interiors. It's a nice opportunity to clean out your closets/basement and make a difference!

Click here for a list of acceptable items – no food, clothing, large furniture, used toys or used stuffed animals, please. For questions, contact or 248.476.3270.

Tea for Tuition 10th Anniversary
Celebrating a DECADE of making a difference for Mercy students!

The Alumnae Board invites all Mercy moms to host a table at Tea for Tuition. As a hostess, you set and decorate a table for 6-10 of your guests. Joining a Mix & Mingle table is another great option!

Sunday, April 13, 2014
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Mercy Gymnasium

$25 per person includes gourmet hot and cold teas, light fare and desserts.

Silent auction and drawings, with proceeds supporting the Alumnae Association Tuition Assistance Fund.
Host a table
Register for a Mix & Mingle table


For more information contact or 248.476.3270.

Student Successes . . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

Congratulations to National Merit Scholarship Finalists Cassidy Connolly and Alise Wenner and National Achievement Scholarship Finalists Jasmine Hunt and Tyler Parlor.

Lucky Lunch

To celebrate Catholic Schools Week, 38 staff members raffled off lunches for the students. The 38 lucky students filled out a survey on their favorite items and the staff members created a lunch and other goodies just for that student. All the money that was raised from the raffle ticket sales went to Gleaner's Food Bank.

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 and

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

Latin II Project

Latin II students recently completed a project on the human body. Students researched the Latin names of parts of the body and then determined their English derivatives. Students learned how to decode medical terms based off of Latin root words, and it was a great project for many of our aspiring medical professionals!

Sophomores Kiera Smith, Alia Fuqua, Phil Engel, and Miranda Stano pose with their life-sized model of actor Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston studied Latin & Greek at Cambridge University.

Michigan Child Protection Registry

All school principals were asked to make parents aware of this valuable resource called the Michigan Child Protection Registry. The Michigan Child Protection Registry is a free state program for families that allows them to register their family and children’s emails, mobile phones, and messenger IDs to restrict adult product advertisements like alcohol, tobacco, pornography, online gambling and illegal drugs from reaching inboxes. It is administered by the Michigan Public Service Commission and enforced in conjunction with the State Attorney General’s Office. You can check it out and register at

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Yearbook - We've placed our order. Have you? We have 125 books remaining from our order and more than 350 students who have not yet purchased a book.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 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.

Home Stay Program Opportunity for Mercy Families - Green Planet's home stay program has partnered with Mercy High School and is offering an incredible opportunity to families in Farmington Hills and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in making a positive impact on the life of an international student and live within 30 minutes of Farmington Hills, you may want to consider becoming a host family. Host families will receive a monthly stipend of $800 and have access to 24/7 support from local Residential Coordinators who can help with coordinating meeting your student upon arrival, keeping you connected with the school community, and mediating issues if they arise. Students come with their own insurance and spending money and stay for the academic year. Do you know someone who might be interested in hosting a student? For every approved host family that lists you as a reference on their application, you will be rewarded a $150 referral bonus.

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.

Link Leader Applications - 2014-2015 Link Leader Application info will be available March 24th and applications are due April 4th.

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.

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Snapshot of Mercy

Thanks for visiting, Archbishop Vigneron!

Mercy was blessed to have Archbishop Vigneron celebrate Mass with the Mercy Community last month. He spoke to the Class of 2014 and is pictured above with some of the seniors. He also toured the building and had lunch with the Youth Mercy Associates.

Mercy Month Ahead

Date / Time
New Student Registration Mar 10 -11 / 3:00pm - 6:00pm Media Center
Spring Musical, "Mame"

Mar 14 - 15 / 8:00pm

Mar 16 / 2:00pm

Heart of Mercy Mass Mar 19 / 9:05am Auditorium
Dads Club Meeting Apr 1 / 6:30pm Cafe
Mothers Club Meeting Apr 7 / 6:30pm Media Center
TEA for TUITION Apr 13 / 2:00pm - 4:30pm Gymnasium

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

If you have any questions or want to submit information contact Want even more? Click the school life calendar and the Mercy website. 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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