May/June 2013

Wit's End . . . Notes from the Principal

Good memories. Most would agree that long term contentment probably includes a significant number of good memories. As we hover near the end of yet another school year, we are caught in a whirlwind of activity and each event brings with it dozens of memories. Just last week, we celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass with the graduating seniors, the Honors Convocation, the “moving out” of the 12th grade students, the “moving up” of grades nine, ten and eleven, the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2013, and the all night senior party. All that in less than 60 hours! Good memories. This year, like so many others, will offer us many smiles as we reflect on all that occurred.

Summer, however, looms large right now. That is as it should be. My hope for each of you is that the next couple of months give you many chances to gather as family, to relax and unwind a bit, and to share more face time with those you love. Schedule such time. Yes, I am being serious. So much of one’s life is scheduled and so much of the time, that schedule is imposed on us by outside forces: one’s job, one’s environment, one’s responsibilities . . . you can fill in from here. So, I say again, schedule the moments for the most important interactions, those that involve face time with your loved ones. By giving prominence to these things, by making the time for them, you exercise control over your world and therefore, over your future. I was reminded of this fact recently.

Our son, Scott, came home to visit for the Memorial Day weekend. He brought with him his girlfriend, Kailin, whom we had met just after Christmas. They traveled from Cincinnati and planned to spend time with my husband and me but also see friends. Since he lives out of state, we looked forward to our time together, and to the chance to get to know them a bit as a couple. Rather than establish a schedule of exactly what we hoped to do, we waited until we had time to visit, Saturday morning, and then carved out possibilities for both Saturday and Sunday. Kailin had never been to Michigan, so the possibilities were endless as to what we might do and where we might go. She was open to anything! Day one, we covered some ground, heading downtown to see everything from the sight of the old Tiger stadium, to a stop at one of the city’s oldest watering holes, a trip to Belle Isle which included a tour of the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, then a sightseeing drive down the length of Woodward Avenue (highlighting the city’s history) ending up at Southfield’s, Beans and Cornbread, for an authentic soul food dinner. Made it home to watch the Wings take on Chicago as we all share a love for ice hockey. Sunday, we changed direction and took on Ann Arbor, this time doing a walking tour of streets and shops, which included rummaging through both a rare book store and an outstanding record shop that carried vintage vinyl. Nothing was planned in advance, but we had taken the first important step: we had scheduled the time together.

Here’s my lesson learned. We set up the days and the time and then we let it happen. The two days could not have been better. Lots of talk. Lots of laughs. Lots of face time. We uncovered new things about our son, his life, and this lovely gal. We showed her some of home, both our home and our city. My husband and I had not been to Belle Isle in a couple of years and never to the Great Lakes Museum. We hadn’t eaten at Beans and Cornbread for years as well. The occasion of our son’s visit took us back to places and sights and introduced us to some new ones. For whatever reasons, we waited for this visit to do and see some great things that are here in our backyard and accessible to us all the time. Until we had this specific reason, we hadn’t visited these places.

So as you approach the months ahead, this summer, here is one humble suggestion. Pretend that you have a visitor coming, a visitor from a foreign land. What would you like them to see? What places and experiences would give them a true sense of you, your family, your life? What gems are here within your sights that you haven’t enjoyed for a while or maybe never at all? Have you missed many of the landmarks that make this area great? Why not put some of these on your calendar? Don’t forget all the ones that are free (or those that just ask for a donation) such as the museums, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the parks, recreation areas, and concerts. Check out some of the hole-in-the-wall eateries that you’ve missed. Do a walking tour of nearby communities. When was the last time that you saw your own neighborhood, street level, and all its hidden treasures? Street level means you’re not gazing at things through a car window as they whirl by. Tie up a good pair of walking shoes and hit the road. Be at leisure. Stop for ice cream and if ice cream ends up being dinner that day, smile at the thought of your own naughtiness.

The by-product of all of this? You may learn more about your family members than you ever thought possible. You may alter some past perceptions. You may uncover some untapped opportunities. Certainly, you will add to the cache of memories worth keeping. And maybe, just maybe, something will replace what currently sits on top for you as “Best Day Ever”.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mercy Moment of the Month


Scholarship. Leadership. Service. Character. Excellence. The entire Mercy school community convened on May 29th for the annual HONORS CONVOCATION to recognize all the stellar students of 2013. From math and science, service and scholarships, Newsprint and Lore yearbook, all were honored for their awesome achievements and a standing ovation to the seniors for a fabulous four years. Visit these links to see the full list of student awards: grades 9 - 11 and grade 12.

Sr. Emily George Award ~ Maggie Blake
Principal's Leadership Award ~ Chloe Henderson
Garn Griffin Athletics Award ~ Maddie McClain
Salutatorians ~ Christina Hadley
Valedictorian ~ Katie Coerdt
Teacher of the Year ~ Mr. Steve Morgan

Mothers Club

We need you, MOMS! Visit the Mercy Moms web page to stay tuned to what's ahead for next school year. THANK YOU, Margaret Anne Crowley, for your leadership this year! Welcome to the 2013-2014 Mothers Club Board: Jill Purtan Stone - President; Denise Iaquinta - Vice President; Martha Williams - Secretary; Renee Lesko - Treasurer.

SAVE THE DATES: Used book and used uniform sale will be held August 6-9, please check the Mercy web site for turn-in and sale schedule and info which will be posted soon. If you are interested in volunteering please contact April Jackson at or First Mothers Club meeting Monday, September 9 with social time at 6:30 and the meeting at 7:00. Please join us in the media center.

Dads Club

THANKS for all the support this year in all of our Dads and Daughters events! Be sure to check out the Mercy Dads Club web pages throughout the summer for events and updates and mark your calendar to attend our first meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:30pm.

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to the 2013 Teacher of the Year Mr. Steve Morgan! For the past 9 years, Mr. Morgan has devoted himself to Mercy teaching multiple English courses as well as AP American History. He wants every student to learn, every student to participate, every student to honor the thoughts and viewpoints of others. Some nomination comments included: "Incredibly enthusiastic about the books he teaches. He makes sure you understand, investing his time offering study sessions. He recognizes individual accomplishments in and out of the classroom. His classes have helped transform my writing and my reading abilities." Thank you, Mr. Morgan, for your commitment to Mercy.

Let's Hear It for the STAFF!

This year we say goodbye to Spanish Teacher Mrs. Vita Sinutko. While at Mercy, she has taught every level of high school Spanish from Spanish 1 to the Advanced fourth and even fifth year levels. We thank you, Senora Sinutko, for such a gift of dedication and love these past 37 years. May God bless you in your future adventures.

Here's to these super staff who achieved a milestone in serving Mercy High School!

35 Years

Vicky Kowalski, Math

Fran Mika, English

Jan Mordenski, English

15 Years

Carol Baron, Math

Angela Hayes, Business Office

Arpna Hessler, Counseling

10 Years

Nicole Schreiber, Athletics

Linda Wade, Business Office

5 Years

Trish Brown, Counseling

Amy Malaney, Performing Arts

Tom Sklut, Advancement

Hallie Smith, English & Yearbook

Kudos to Associate Principal, Mr. Larry Baker who has been invited to speak about Mercy's iPad professional development at the nation's largest educational technology conference, ISTE 2013, San Antonio TX. He will also attend the 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in July.

Student Successes ~ APPLAUSE!! APPLAUSE!!

The Forensics Team advanced 17 students to the Grand National Tournament in Philadelphia over Memorial Day Weekend. Senior Sarah Kmiecik broke at the tournament from hundreds of competitors in her category to become a medalist in the Octofinals in Oral Interpretation.

The International Thespian Society announces the appointments of its officers for the 2013-2014 school year - President: Lana Grasser, Vice-President: Amelia Fanelli, Secretary: Dani Abboud, and Treasurer: Kate Soave.

QUIZ BOWL - Mercy's Quiz Bowl season and the award of academic letters to two key players was celebrated earlier this month at BD's Mongolian BBQ in Novi. Senior Christina Hadley and Junior Emily Wolffe received accolades for their accumulation of varsity points during their tenure in Quiz Bowl and as their picture states, they "Rule!" Christina, this year's Salutatorian, is a great representative of the caliber of players currently on the team as well as those we hope to encourage to compete in the future. Emily's achievement of her varsity letter as a junior demonstrates her dedication to her team and her great ability to recall the minutiae many of us forget! Congratulations to all of the players this year: Christina Hadley, Rachel Belans ('15,), Emily Crowley ('15), Emily Dulzo ('15), Amelia Fanelli ('14), Morgan Mitchell ('14), Emily Wolffe, Shelbi Hines ('14) and Jamie Jeffries ('13). Quiz Bowl Coach and Media Center Specialist Mrs. Katy Koskela thanked the girls by saying, "I appreciate your willingness to support your teams by attending practice, giving your "all" at games and representing Mercy valiantly! We've adopted BD's motto encouraging players to "Think outside the Bowl"....Quiz Bowl that is!"

Read The Best of this year's ART & POETRY Compilation Image Is 2013!

Outstanding poets! These students' poems will be included in Creative Communications Spring Anthology: Lana Grasser, Krstina Lyons, Jordan Zuerke. Congratulations to these poetry award winners from the Farmington Community Libraries annual contest: Olivia Harlan - 2nd place; Emily Aaron - 3rd place; Teagan Dillon - Honorable Mention. In the Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest sponsored by Albion College, the poems of the following Mercy students (out of a total of 900 entries) were commended: Alicia Finnorn, Mackenzie Elkow and Emma Rust. Special congrats to Claire Bouret who won 3rd place and a $100 award.

The Women Mean Business Symposium Committee offered a $750 scholarship award to the girl who attended the event and then wrote the best essay about how the evening impacted her life. Congratulations to Jordan Ewald '14 who is the winner of the Women Mean Business Essay Contest.

Carte de FEED - The French Honor Society participated in a fundraising effort for the "Feed Project" of Haiti. FHS raised enough funds to pay for the 2012-2013 tuition fees of 100 children in Paulette, Haiti. In addition to the tuition, they also funded books and uniforms for these 100 children. The uniforms were made in Haiti so that greatly benefited the local Haitian economy. These students are 100 of the poorest children in the village of Paulette and wouldn't have been able to attend school without this support. What wonderful fundraising efforts to enable these children to benefit from an education. UN TRÉS GRAND MERCI!

Mercy Latin students participated in SCRIBO, an international Latin composition contest. Congratulations to Stephanie Luther '13 and Kelsie Arlin '14, who were awarded medals for their top compositions. Gratulamur celebramusque vobis!

The 2013-2014 Student Council

The students have spoken, the ballots have been counted, and the 'vote for me' posters pulled down. Time to congratulate these elected officers for the 2013 - 14 school year.

Student Council Officers

President - Bridget Carlson
Vice President - Sarah Hoffman
Secretary - Allie Gorcyca

Treasurer - Lauren Jackson

Class of 2014

President - Rosie Arthur
Vice President - Nia Boone
Secretary - Gabby Garmo
Treasurer - Mackenzie Elkow
Class Rep - Kari Cieslak

Class of 2015

President - Taylor Babcock
Vice President - Sierra Wangler
Secretary - Brooke Ottaway
Treasurer - Julia McAree
Class Rep - Darby Horne

Class of 2016

President -Kristen Hiser
Vice President - Arin Bell
Secretary - Miranda Konja
Treasurer - Erin Gormley
Class Rep - Sloan Horejsi

HRC - Anjali Alangaden, Teagan Dillon, Lindsay Hiser, Nemi Iroha

HRC -Nicole Di Ponio, Jillian Jennings, Ann Mark, Molly Murphy

HRC -Anne Marie Giroux, Hailey Goran, Sarah Posa, Neth Rybski

Tech Talk

Class of 2013 - Now that you will no longer be attending school here at Mercy, CLICK HERE for instructions on how to uninstall all of the Mercy related software on your tablet that you will no longer need. Of course, make sure you do this after you no longer need your tablet here at school. It is not required that you remove this software, but it may make it easier to use your tablet in other environments if you plan to do so. Also, please keep in mind that your Google, Moodle, and network login accounts, as well as the contents of your H: drive will be deleted after August 1st, 2013. If you want to keep the contents of your H: drive please back it up to either your laptop hard drive or other external device. Any email you want to keep you will have to forward to an outside account. Any sites that you may be registered to with your Mercy email should be updated with a different outside email account.

Mercy iPad Package - We are now taking orders for the 2013 - 2014 Mercy iPad Package. Click here for details and to order your Mercy iPad package.

IT Summer Hours - The IT Department is staffed from 8:30 - 2:00 during the summer. Please contact or 248-893-3522 to schedule an appointment. Keep up with our blog at

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

300 guests gathered at Mercy on Sunday, April 28 for the 9th Annual Tea for Tuition. Our largest event to-date raised $24,500 for the Alumnae Association Tuition Assistance Fund. Many individuals in the Mercy community - alumnae, staff, students, parents and friends - once again turned the gym into a tea parlor! Guests enjoyed a lovely afternoon while helping girls achieve a Mercy education. Click here for photos and a list of event donors.

Do you have an alumna-daughter who is graduating from college? She can update her email address and other contact information online at It's the easiest way to stay informed of reunions and other opportunities for keeping her Mercy connections strong. And don't forget to let her know about our alumnae Facebook and LinkedIn pages!

BOOK PURCHASING INFO for the 2013-2014 School Year

In an effort to minimize the weight of our student backpacks, Mercy’s staff has worked hard to provide a comprehensive list of books that are needed for the 2013-2014 school year. Since we have a dual learning environment (Mac & PC), you’ll notice options for books that can also be purchased digitally reflected on Mercy's MMBL. Follett continues to partner with Mercy offering free delivery for traditional texts through Follett's Virtual Bookstore (FVB) from August 2 - 16th. Once your daughter has received her 2013-2014 school schedule (late July), go to Mercy's website under Book Purchasing and locate Mercy’s Digital Book List (MMBL) for your daughter's complete book purchasing needs. If you have any questions on new books, please contact Cheryl Corte.

Give me an M, give me an E, give me an R, give me a C, give me a Y

More Mercy Seniors Sign Sports Scholarships!

Congrats to these senior athletes who signed scholarships to play a sport in college (listed back row, left to right): Lauren Vandenberg – Gymnastics, Western Michigan University; Brenna Hammond – Golf; Eastern Michigan University; Catherine Morgan – Volleyball, St. Anselm College; Taylor Shrader – Soccer, Albion College; Logan Horejsi – Volleyball, Kalamazoo College; Mackenzie Higgins – Soccer, University of Louisiana; Maya Flores – Softball, Macomb College; Jacquelyn Murphy – Softball, Loyola University Chicago; Mary Dulzo – Volleyball, Alma College.

SCORE! Softball has been hitting it big and are Catholic League and District Champions! Tennis served their way to State Runners-Up! Track finished a strong season with 2 state qualifers. Soccer are District Runners-Up and Lacrosse are Regional Runners-Up. Check out for plenty of Marlin sports coverage and Mercy In The News web page for a ton of athletics articles.
It's PHYSICAL TIME! Go to the Athletic Department News web page for your MHSAA Physical and other forms. Physicals must be performed and dated on or after April 15, 2013 to be valid for the 2013-14 school year. Fall sports registration is Monday, August 12, 2013, 9 am- 1 pm. Register in person and bring your COMPLETED MHSAA Physical & forms.

Counseling Corner

CLASS of 2014 MANDATORY MEETING - The Counseling Office suggests your daughter begin over this summer familiarizing herself with college applications that she plans to complete. From our experience, we know that students will have many questions about the application process once they start looking at the actual forms. A separate informational email will be sent to junior students regarding the Common Application Essay Questions for the Class of 2014 and things to consider when asking a teacher for a letter of recommendation. Every year we hold a mandatory meeting with seniors to walk them through the "how to's" of completing their applications. We will also be explaining how students will use Naviance to make application and transcript requests. Please save the date for the mandatory senior college information meeting Friday, August 16th. Last names A - K, 9am - 11am; Last names L - Z, 1pm - 3pm in the Mercy Auditorium. Parents are invited to attend the daytime presentation. An alternate parent presentation of this information will be held in the evening on Wednesday, August 28th at 7pm.

Naviance: Family Connection - The Counseling Office is pleased to introduce Family Connection from Naviance, a Web-based college planning resource designed especially for students and families. Family Connection is a comprehensive resource that you and your daughter can use to help in making post-secondary plans. At present, students in the classes of 2014 and 2015 have registered and logged on to this resource. Counselors met with sophomore students in early May and introduced the girls to a number of the key college planning features of the site.

To access Family Connection go to or go to the Counseling pages at We are excited to be able to bring families this comprehensive and user friendly resource and we hope you find it meets your needs.

INVEST IN MERCY GIRLS at the 23rd Annual Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing!

Monday, September 23, 2013 8:00 am Registration ~ 9:00 am Shotgun Start ~ 2:00 pm Lunch
Western Golf and Country Club ~ Redford, MI

There are several ways to support this event:

Sponsor! Sponsorship opportunities range from $200 to $5,000.

Donate! Donations of golfer prizes or gifts are welcome.

Golf! Registration is $150 per golfer and includes breakfast, cart & green fees, two drink tickets, lunch and invaluable networking with the Mercy community.

Proceeds support Tuition Assistance and Athletics. Last year 136 Mercy supporters golfed to benefit Tuition Assistance and Athletics at Mercy! Don't miss your chance to connect with other Mercy families - reserve your spot today!


CLASS of 2014 Portraits - Seniors must have their yearbook photo taken at Prestige Portraits to be pictured in the yearbook and the class composite. CLICK HERE for more portrait details and deadlines. Also, please plan ahead if you wish to purchase a senior ad and use a senior picture. Senior ads will be due November 1, and all materials must be turned in with ad purchase. Online purchase and design of the senior ad as well as packages including the yearbook and senior ad will be available shortly via Please select Order Number 13826.

2013-2014 YEARBOOKS - Mark your calendars now! The recent 2013 Lore was sold out in minutes and unfortunately many students went home empty-handed. Guarantee your daughter's copy by ordering the yearbook early and saving money as well. Staff will be taking orders at the Used Book Sale in August as well as the first full week of October for $60. The price will increase in November as well as December. Online purchase of the yearbook as well as additional accessories via will be available shortly. Please select Order Number 13826.

GOD BLESS the CLASS of 2013!

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the 179 extraordinary young women who received diplomas May 30th at Compuware Arena for the 68th Commencement of Mercy High School. Did you know the Class of 2013 earned over $14 million in college scholarships and logged almost 26,000 service hours? You'll be able to see more grads, white dresses, roses, smiles, speeches, and tears captured on film. Just click here to view and order LIFETOUCH professional graduation photographs. Password is mercyfarmingtonmi13. Check out the Newsprint senior supplement here.

Senior Parents - The entire ceremony, including processional and presentation of diplomas, will be video-taped by a professional video company. A DVD will be mailed to each graduate 4-6 weeks after graduation, around mid-July. If you're wondering about a graduation gift and want something unique and personalized, how about adopting an auditorium seat in your daughter's name, with her graduation year. A perfect gift for your young Thespian, Mercyaire, Spirit Choir or Tri-M Music Honor Society Member. CLICK HERE for more information.

Mercy Mobile APP is Here!

Stay up to date with Mercy on the go! The new Mercy High School mobile App is ready for download to your smartphone or mobile device. You can scan the Android, Apple or HTML 5 QR code below for your respective device or simply search "Mercy High School" in your App store.

The Mercy High School App allows students, staff, parents, alumnae and supporters quick access to the latest Mercy news, events, activities and announcements. Receive push notifications, sign up for e-newsletters, upload a photo, submit a prayer request, view calendars and connect to Mercy social media. If you have any questions, please email Connect to Mercy!

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Bus Request Form - It's time to start planning transportation for the 2013 - 2014 school year. Visit TRANSPORTATION web page for route request form, schedule, rules for bus service. Please note that the request forms must be returned by July 9th.

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

Summer Shopping - Click and shop at ONECAUSE. Hundreds of online merchants like Nordstrom, Lands End, Amazon, and more will give MERCY a nice percentage from every item you purchase. Simply register your information and select Mercy High School (ID 130214). If you are out and about at Target or picking up some tasty BBQ fare at Gordon Foods or Meijer, please be sure to designate MERCY. Click to register at,, or click here for more rewards program information.

Looking Ahead to the 2013 - 2014 School Year

Please note the fall semester will end with exams in December 2013 and the new semester will begin immediately following the Christmas break. For the convenience of your vacation planning, the fall semester exam days will be December 18,19 and 20. This change was the overwhelming preference of parents and will provide a true break for students. However, for obvious reasons it necessitates your daughter's presence on those days for her scheduled exams and we will not be able to accommodate requests for changes. The second semester will begin on Monday, January 6, 2014. The second semester will end no later than Thursday, May 29, 2014 and it will include all exams.

Mark your calendar for these important start dates and meetings for next school year. Be sure to visit often to browse the entire academic school life calendar.

Date / Time
Used Book Sale August 7 Cafe
New Student and Transfer Student Tech Intro August 16 MHS
Senior College Information Meeting

August 16 / 9a and 12p

Ninth Grade Orientation August 19 MHS

Classes Begin All Students

Opening School Mass

August 20 MHS
Student Picture Days August 28 - 29 MHS
NO SCHOOL August 30 -Sept 2
Mercy DADS Club Meeting Sept 3 / 6:30pm Cafe
Parent Night Sept 5
Mercy MOTHERS Club Meeting Sept 9 / 6:30pm Media Center
Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing Sept 23 Western Golf & Country Club
Spirit Week Sept 23-27 MHS
Mercy Day Mass Sept 24 Auditorium

The MEMO will return to your inbox in September. If you have any questions or want to submit information contact 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, view past issues of the MEMO newsletter, and browse the home page links to see what's happening at Mercy.

Your Giving Story

Help a girl develop her faith, acquire leadership skills, and find her voice in an academically superior environment. Please consider making a donation to Mercy. Then share your giving story using this link. Your gift always makes a difference.