March 2015

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

What is a Mercy Girl? As a parent, reading this column, you have either first-hand experience in answering this question because one resides in your home (or did in earlier years) or second hand observational knowledge because you know of one. Either way, the list of characteristics would be long and varied. The list would also be gratifying. It is from this vantage point that I look today.

Earlier this week, I spent two full days (accompanied by Colleen Rozman, Associate Principal of Academic Affairs) conducting brief personal interviews with 26 of Mercy’s current students. All were seniors. All had qualified as finalists for selection as either Valedictorian or Salutatorian of the Class of 2015. All had completed an application process that included both written responses to a few questions, as well as a cataloging summary of the many things each had done during her years of high school - academic, leadership, service, and extra-curricular. Each girl presented a snapshot of who she was and what her journey had entailed. As you might imagine, each student’s packet was quite impressive. The individual interviews, however, presented a collective composite that I believe is worth sharing. Remember, I said that there were 26 such candidates this year. First of all, that number is astounding. Eligible candidates have usually totaled somewhere between 10 and 18 students. One might guess that the criteria has changed. Not so. Strength of academic program and a minimum GPA of 3.95 (after seven full semesters of classes) are still required. The conversation held with each girl revealed individual details, some shared with others, and some singularly unique. Each girl presented herself, but what was evident very quickly was that each girl added brushstrokes to the artistic product I offer as the answer to the question: What is a Mercy Girl?

She is smart, ambitious, and a student for these times. She is excited by her own voice, heard speaking in a foreign tongue, curious looking through a microscope, and fearless standing before an audience, whether speaking, singing or dancing. She is a reader, historian, mathematician, and writer. She challenges herself physically, sacrificing sleep for grueling workouts. She is a doer, not a spectator. She can operate alone, but also contribute to a team. She values the insight of others, can be self-critical, and also self-aware. She holds herself accountable, can forgive her own shortcomings and celebrate her achievements.

She is student leader, elected to offices of student government. She is a problem solver in the Human Relations Council, a keeper of records, a counter of funds. She builds robots, conducts scientific experiments, demonstrates intellectual prowess at quiz competitions. She is a journalist, an artist, an actor, a musician, and a forensics competitor. She tutors, mentors, and mimes. She link crews, stage crews and clean-up crews. An athlete, committed to training and performance, she handles a volleyball, basketball, soccer ball and softball. She swings the golf club and the tennis racket, plays lacrosse and field hockey. She figure skates and hockey skates, swims, and runs the track. She can downhill or thread the gates, execute gymnastic precision and strength in Pom, and hold her own astride a horse.

What is a Mercy girl? She is spiritual. She has deepened her understanding of herself, her faith, and her relationship with God. She has taken time to participate in retreats, and has done the reflection and preparation to lead her classmates. She is a woman who acts on behalf of the less fortunate. She travels out of state, and even out of the country, on mission trips. She volunteers to assist at-risk children. She works at summer camps as teacher, coach, or counselor. This Mercy girl visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She works at shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens. She logs hundreds of hours as a hospital volunteer. She dons work gloves and closed toed boots to fight blight, and builds habitats for people she will never meet. She walks, and marches, and runs to raise both funds and awareness for charitable causes close to her heart. She has been a founder of non-profits collecting resources for the underprivileged and the underserved.

This girl is tenacious. She has struggled with illness, injuries, and setbacks, learned from the unfair tragedies that have affected others in her family, suffered loss, and adapted to the difficulties she could not change. Her spirit moves her forward, ever optimistic and hopeful as she looks with excitement to an unknown future that is ripe with possibilities.

What does she have to say to the administrators at Mercy? We asked.

“Keep the rigor and the challenge here. Nice that you ask students for their opinions. It is good to hear our voices. The many different kinds of assemblies and speakers bring us closer together. They make us one. The community here is real. It is unique. There is a definite ‘feel’ of Mercy. Keep the joy.”
What final thoughts did she want to share?
“I am so honored that you spoke to me. I am grateful. Thank you. Mercy gave me so many opportunities and I came out of my shell. I would not be where I am today, if not for this school. I am so appreciative of all the support I received. I was changed here.”

What is a Mercy girl? You have heard her. You have met her. You have seen her. You have spoken to her. She is your daughter, and she is mine. She is every young woman who walks our halls now or did in years past. These 26 embody every aspect of this school and the hopes we have for young women who emerge. Hug your own Mercy girl tonight, and tell her how lucky you are.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

There will be no Mothers Club meeting in April due to the Ice Hockey State Championship day off on April 13. Please join us at our last general Mothers Club meeting of the school year on Monday, May 4 at 6:30pm. We will be saying “Farewell” to the Senior Moms and “Thank You” to ALL of the wonderful volunteers that supported the various events during the 2014-15 school year. We are so proud of all the service that the MMC has provided this year. Come and help us celebrate. The Executive Board for the 2015-16 will be introduced! RSVP is requested for this final meeting as it is a catered meal! CLICK HERE FOR MEETING FLYER and RSVP INFO.

The Senior All-Night Party Committee is looking for help in a lot of ways. Please click the Sign Up Genius link for areas of “help” being requested. Moms and Dads, there are plenty of way to attain service hours needed.

The MMC representatives will be selling graduation signs at the following Athletic events:

  • Tennis: Monday, April 13 from 4:00PM-5:00PM
  • Soccer: Tuesday, April 14 from 5:30PM-7:00PM
  • Lacrosse: Wed., April 15 from 4:30-6:00PM
  • Track & Field: Tuesday, April 21 from 4PM-7PM
  • Softball: Tuesday, April 21 from 4:00PM-6:00PM

The Mothers Club is offering a gorgeous set of freshwater pearl earrings, with sterling silver posts and bracelet to match your graduate’s pearl necklace. Click here for more information and order form. The deadline to order is April 30th.

Finally, don’t forget to show your Mercy spirit! We are still selling Mercy hats and stadium chairs! Please contact Catherine McFarland at: if you are interested!

Dads Club

Let's bowl! The Mercy Dads Club invites you to Father Daughter BOWLING Night on Friday, April 24, 2015 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm at Langan’s Nor-West Lanes. Cost is $12 per bowler and includes bowling, shoes, pizza, salad, soft drinks, and snacks. CLICK HERE FOR EVENT FLYER AND REGISTRATION FORM. For questions and to confirm your spot, email Mark Lebednick at

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME on Friday, May 8th! Dads and Daughters will be heading to Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals at 7:00pm. $25 per ticket. There are limited seats available, first paid receive tickets! Respond to Michael Dunleavy at and include the following: Student Name and Grade; Parent Name, Phone # and Email; Quantity of Tickets. Please make all checks payable to Mercy Dads Club.

Calling ALL MERCY DADS! Come mix and mingle at our next meeting April 14 at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.

Heart of Mercy

If the love of God really reigns in your heart, it will quickly show itself in the exterior. ~ The Venerable Catherine McAuley

Mercy High School rejoices for 2015 Heart of Mercy Award recipients Ms. Fran Mika, Kailey Savona '15 and Mr. Jim Skellett who live out the values of Human Dignity, Service, Justice, Mercy, and Option for the Poor. Thank you for being faithful and compassionate people of God who make a difference to everyone in our Mercy family.

Here is just some of what students had to say about these inspirational school leaders: "Ms. Mika is

a 21st century example of Catherine McAuley’s legacy. She is an excellent teacher, role model and treats everyone with dignity. She lifts me up and shows me how important I am." "Kailey only has nice things to say about everyone. She is encouraging and treats everyone with importance. She picks people up when they are down. Kailey keeps the Heart of Mercy beating." "Mr. Skellett's door is always open and he is a good listener. He will always go out of his way to help someone in need. He is visible proof of God's love and compassion."

Class of 2015 Valedictorian and Salutatorians

CONGRATULATIONS to Valedictorian Emily Crowley and Salutatorians Rachel Belans and Molly Murphy who will take the stage to speak at graduation. This distinction considers not only academic record but also leadership, service, and extracurricular involvement. Staff and the senior class provided valuable input and each candidate responded to a series of questions and was interviewed by members of Administration. The Mercy Administrative Team will be holding a Catherine McAuley Tea celebration in honor of all the finalists on April 30.

Hats off to the following seniors who were selected as Valedictorian and Salutatorian Finalists: Amanda Allessio, Mariam Aoun, Taylor Babcock, Gabrielle Barthel, Mackenzie Cahill, Madeline George, Megan Haase, Sarah Hughes, Mikayla Kempf, Claire Lachner, Jenna Lerg, Hannah Madill, Megan Makarewicz, Emily Mallon, Julia McAree, Jordyn Puccio, Alexandria Sobczak, Julia Swoish, Rachel Wagner, Jacqueline Welday, Jessica Williams, Danya Ziazadeh, Mackenzie Zierau.

Sweepstakes 2015

BUY! BUY! BUY! SELL! SELL! SELL! The Mercy Student Sweepstakes Drive is underway and runs through April 21st. Students were given selling information and tickets. Each student is responsible to sell 6 books of tickets. $5 per ticket or $25 per book. Way to go, Mercy! We reached our first goal to get the day off on Wednesday, April 1!

All drawings will be held at Mercy on May 15, 2015 and the grand prize is $10,000! Be sure to take a look at the tickets with the prize information. Get your Mercy Sweepstakes ticket for your chance to win big! Purchase from a Mercy student, stop by the Mercy Reception Area, or contact Lindsay Weismiller at or 248-893-3535. Thank you for supporting Mercy High School.


Art Accolades

National Scholastic Art Award Winners

Jaya Jankowski Hannah McInnis

Congratulations to senior art students, Jaya Jankowski and Hannah McInnis, and their teacher, Ms. Susan Smith, who received national recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. Jaya won a national gold medal for her photograph titled, “Reflection” and Hannah received a silver medal for her photograph titled, “Longing for Love." These students have been identified by panels of creative professionals as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation. This year, 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1% were recognized at the national level. The National Exhibition will be open from June 5 – 14 at the Sheila C. Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design and at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York. Jaya and Hannah have also been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 11.

Farmington Area Arts Commission High School Contest

Rita Erickson Jackie Golias

More congratulations to the following Mercy students who won awards in the 2015 High School Art Competition sponsored by the Farmington Area Arts Commission.

Photography Category

1st Place - $100 – Jaya Jankowski - Hidden

2nd Place - $75 – Rita Erickson – Head On

3rd Place - $50 - Hannah McInnis – Longing For Love

Honorable Mention - $25 – Jackie Golias - Reflection

2-D Category

2nd Place - $75 – Jinghan (Molane) Hu – Blair

3rd Place - $50 – Miranda Stano – Perception

3-D Category

2nd Place - $75 – Sydney Akin – Glazed Stoneware Coil Construction

3rd Place - $50 – Miranda Stano – Glazed Stoneware Slab Construction

Winning artworks will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Festival of the Arts (April 16th – 18th) and will remain at the City Gallery through May 15th. Awards will be presented on Friday, April 17th, at the Costick Center, beginning at 6:00 PM. Winners (or a representative) are required to be present to receive awards. Their families, friends, teachers and administrators are invited to attend the award ceremony. Ticket are $5 each. Awardees will be given one ticket, plus one guest ticket.


Model United Nations

The Mercy Model United Nations team traveled to Washington, D.C. last month for an International MUN Conference. In the conference, called North American Invitational Model United Nations, the team attended and participated in simulations of United Nations assemblies, representing countries and their interests while debating issues that the UN considers in committee. The team took senior Kelly Eusebi, juniors Lucy Devine, Carmela Sleva, Kara Wallace, and Olivia and Julia Bonfiglio, and freshmen Isha Ganguli and Ana Warner to the conference, and Lucy Devine won Best Delegate in her committee.

Business Professionals of America

Saveri Nandigama, Katherine Perlman, Katelynn Smith and Bridget Eusebi were recognized on stage for receiving their Statesman award. To receive the award, students must record activities equaling 70 points in each of the seven categories.
Fourteen members of Mercy's chapter of Business Professionals of America attended the State Leadership in Grand Rapids March 20-22, 2015. The members attended workshops, competed in events, and met students from across the state of Michigan. More than 2,500 students and their advisors from across the state attend the annual conference. Junior Katherine Perlman and sophomores Bridget Eusebi, Katelynn Smith, Saveri Nandigama and Hannah Fanning (unable to attend) all received their Statesman pin, an award given for participation in activities which feature the BPA torches of service, knowledge, leadership, patriotism, friendship, cooperation and love, hope and faith. In addition, Nandigama, a two-time Region 6 champion in Extemporaneous Speech, finished fourth in the state in that event. The following students attended:
  • Juniors Nia Adams, Arin Bell, Briana McCary, Katherine Perlman, Paisley Sutton, Gillian Toler and sophomore Jasmine Williams - Parliamentary Procedure Team
  • Junior Ally Coklow - voting delegate
  • Sophomore Bridget Eusebi - Statesman award
  • Sophomore Saveri Nandigama - 4th place in Extemporaneous Speech and Statesman award
  • Seniors Ann Mark and Ogechi Nwaopara - Broadcast News Production Team
  • Junior Asha McElroy - Prepared Speech
  • Junior Katherine Perlman - Statesman award
  • Sophomore Katelynn Smith - Statesman award and voting delegate

Student Successess . . . Applause!! Applause!!

Congratulations to the fine musicians for an outstanding job at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival! Flute quartet Kaela Brown, Elise Scarchilli, Samantha Schubert and and Lydia Gier received a II division rating. The flute and clarinet trio Elise Scarchilli, Lydia Gier, and Katie Schubert received a division II rating. Violin soloist Kathryn Wolf received a division I rating for her violin solo.
Bravo to these Forensics team members who are advancing to the Grand National Tournament in Ft. Launderdale over Memorial Day weekend.
Front Row: Katie Johnstone 2nd Place Oral Interpretation, Blair Cha: 1st Place Oratory, Rochelle Chezick: 2nd Place Declamation, Saveri Nadagama: 1st Place Extemporaneous Speaking, Madeline Flynn: 1st Place Dramatic Performance

Second Row: Catherine Best: 2nd Place Extemporaneous Speaking, Evelyn Dahmer: 2nd Place Dramatic Performance, Edie Jones: 3rd Place Oratory, Vivienne Greenleaf: 1st Place Declamation
Back Row: Phoenix Dempster: 2nd Place Oratory, Maureen McGough: 1st Place Oral Interpretation, Amelia Dahmer: 2nd Place Dramatic Duo, Jacqueline Welday and Lucy Devine: 1st Place Dramatic Duo

International Women's Day Celebration

On March 8th AP Government and Politics teacher Cindy Richter took ten of her students to the International Women’s Day celebration at the Italian American Banquet Center in Livonia, Michigan. This annual event is put on by the International Women’s Forum and is coordinated by Marisa Petrella, mother of Cristina Petrella ’13. The keynote speaker was U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell. She spoke of empowering women through networking, leadership and representation at the government level. Also present were State House representative Christine Greig, photojournalist Linda Soloman and women’s rights advocates Anne Doyle and Ruth Holmes. Present from the class were: Rachel Wagner, Megan Haase, Sara Henning, Julia Petroff, Hallie Mohr, Katelyn Toloff, Morgan Pfaff, Kelly Eusebi, Chrissie Clayton and Eleanor Keurejian. Their attendance was sponsored by Marisa Petrella.

Spanish Honor Society Pulsera Project

The Spanish Honor Society held a fundraiser for The Pulsera Project. The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization whose "mission is to make the world a more colorful and just place by educating and empowering Nicaraguan and U.S. youth." SHS worked with this organization to help Mercy students live out the Mercy values and work towards becoming better global citizens. During the fundraiser, held on March 9th-12th, they sold handwoven bracelets made by Nicaraguan artisans. Mercy staff and students bought over 400 bracelets and raised $2,200 to help ensure over 100 Nicaraguans will have a better, brighter future, through employment opportunities, educational programs, scholarships, micro-loans and other community projects. To learn more information about the project or to find ways they can help, people can visit their website:

ICE HOCKEY STATE CHAMPIONS!Give Me a M, Give Me an E, Give Me a R, Give Me a C, Give Me a Y!

Mercy Marlins Ice Hockey Team are Division 2 STATE CHAMPIONS! Read all about it here and thank them for the day off on April 13, 2015.

The Mercy Figure Skating Team will be competing in the State Championships in Midland. Skaters will compete individually on Saturday, March 28th and the "C" Team will be competing on Sunday, March 29th. Good luck!

Pompon Clinic - 13th Annual Mercy Varsity Pompon Clinic will be held Sunday, April 19, 2015 for girls in grades K-11th Grades. Grades K thru 7th is from 10am-12pm and Grades 8 - 11 is from 11:45am-2:30pm. There will be a special performance by the Mercy Varsity Pom Team at 11:45am. Click here for the registration form and more information.

Mercy athletes are always making headlines! CLICK HERE to read some of the recent sports stories featured in the news.

Check out the spring sports schedule available online and support your Mercy teams! Please help fill the stands with Mercy cheer and come by the Marlin Shop to score some Mercy gear. If you know of more sport honors, please send to Kate Scalzi at

Counseling Corner

Sophomores - All 10th grade students will be taking the practice ACT (PLAN) test on Wednesday, April 15th during the school day. More information will be shared with students and parents via email as we get closer to the testing day.

Class of 2015 Activities

SENIOR PARENTS - Events, deadlines, details, and forms. Check out the Class of 2015 school activities web page for plenty of senior class activity information. Click back often for updates. Prom info coming soon!

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

11th Annual Tea for Tuition


Sunday, April 26, 2015

2:00pm - 4:30pm

Mercy Gymnasium

Tea, light fare and dessert

$25 per person

Highlights include:

Distinguished Alumna Award Presentation: Celeste Allen Novak '69

Silent auction and drawings. Items from Lululemon, Vera Bradley, Coach and more! Household and gardening items to spruce up for spring! Gift cards from Barnes & Noble, PF Chang's Target and more! We will offfer TWO drawings for a $250 Visa gift card. Ony 52 tickets will be sold for each drawing. Tickets will be on sale at Tea for Tuition on April 26. $20 per ticket.

There are many ways to support Tea for Tuition:

Host a table. Invite 8 - 10 guests to a table you set and decorate. We provide the food and tea. Put your own special touch on your table and welcome your guests to a Mercy Tea Party.

Register as an individual. We will be pleased to seat you with a gracious hostess who has offered to host a "Mix & Mingle" table.

Can't attend? Your participation is still very valuable. Help us give scholarships to Mercy girls by making an AbsenTea donation.

For more information, visit or contact or 248-476-3270.

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

2015-2016 Financial Aid 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 2015-2016 school year is now in progress. For details and forms, please visit The deadline for submitting applications is March 31, 2015. The Archdiocese of Detroit also offers a tuition assistance program. Visit for details.

Snapshot of Mercy

"iPad Tips & Tricks by MHS iWizards" is now available on iTunes and is a course on Mercy Schoology. Thanks, iWizards, and Mr. Baker too! If you have a snapshot of Mercy to share, please send to

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Yearbook - If you haven't purchased a yearbook yet, don't delay. We only have 75 books remaining. There is no guarantee that our publisher will send extras when the book is delivered in May. Students on this list have a book reserved for them. While supplies last, you can purchase a book for $70 at and type in 13826 to be directed to Mercy's page. Any remaining or extra books will be sold at distribution for $75 cash.

Host Family Needed - Families who are interested in hosting a current Mercy student for a one-year commitment should please contact the Admissions Office at

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.

CAR POOL - The Mercy Car Pool List is emailed to all families in June. If you wish to remove your family's information from the listing, please email Maureen Weiss at

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.

Mercy Month Ahead

New Student Information Night (Make-Up) Mar 30 / 7:00pm - 8:00pm Media Center
Easter Break No School Apr 1 - Apr 13 / School Resumes Apr 14  
Dads Club Meeting Apr 14 / 6:30pm Cafeteria
Sophomore PLAN Testing
Apr 15 MHS
Fine Arts Assembly Apr 16 Auditorium
Pompon Clinic for Grades K-11 Apr 19 / 10:00am - 2:30pm Gymnasium
SWEEPSTAKES DRIVE Closing Assembly Apr 21 Auditorium
Tea for Tuition Apr 26 / 2:00pm - 4:30pm Gymnasium

If you have any questions or want to submit information contact 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.