October 2015

Wit's End...notes from the principal
Today, I am thinking about kindness. Seems simple enough. We all need it. We all give it. We all receive it. Probably, it is oftentimes ignored. Hopefully, its expression is commonplace in your life, but recent months have focused my attention on the power of kindness.
 
Think about its meaning, or better yet, some synonyms: generosity, friendliness, compassion, favor. Others include care, affection, warmth, or concern. One might think that given what it means to provide or be the recipient of kindness, we might pay great attention to it. Sadly, much of the time, it goes unnoticed. We operate at such break neck speed, moments of consideration fall off our radar. We are just too busy. We get distracted. Well, at least for today, my thoughts are about kindness and the sheer power it holds. That clarity is due, in part, to what I consider an unusually large number of specific life events that I recently tallied.
 
In a school such as ours with a total staff of about 90, one would expect that circumstances of difficulty might regularly occur on a weekly basis with one or more of the adults. Car troubles, sick children home from school, needs from extended family, etc. As an employer, I try and make accommodations, offer some understanding and also some expression of good will. Kindness. Easy enough to make the little hardships each of us experience appear a bit less daunting.
 
But something quite different has occurred this year. In the past four months, since the last school year ended, there has been what I characterize as an onslaught of difficulties that the staff has faced. No prior year comes close. Ten staff members have suffered the death of a parent. Five others are coping with a seriously ill immediate family member. Add to that another six, who are or have just finished recovering from an illness, personal injury, or surgery. Do the math. Twenty-one adults, nearly one-quarter of the staff, have experienced an unusually trying event in the last 16 weeks. As you can readily figure, coping with such events extends far beyond the individual. Job responsibilities shift. Calls for assistance go out. Who can cover an extra class and for how long? Who can pick up the work of an advisor? Who can take on an extra job title? How can the work load be spread over fewer adults? Who can show up at an extra-curricular activity? Keep in mind, we are a relatively small group of people.
  
So what have I seen? An overabundance of charity, offers of assistance, generosity, and kindness. Many, many staff members have responded each and every time I have communicated yet another circumstance that requires help. Responses have come within minutes of my emails. This is noteworthy and here's why. People are not required to do the unnecessary, demonstrating care, concern, affection, and mercy. All of these are niceties, courtesies, favors if you will, and although deeply appreciated by the recipients, are not required of any of us. These are random acts of kindness and I have been deeply touched of late by the volume of their expression.
 
Some might say kindness is just something we do. It's inherent in us as human beings. Others would say it comes naturally. Others would argue that it is no longer as common as one might hope. Whatever your view, kindness is an important concept to retain and one to teach our kids, so much so, that a non-profit organization called Random Acts of Kindness Foundation originated in 1995 in Denver, Co. and is dedicated to providing resources, testimonials, and stories about the transformative power of kindness. There are specific dates designated as Random Acts of Kindness days: November 13, 2015 as worldwide and February 17, 2016 for those who live in the U.S. Actually, the February date falls within an entire week, the 14th through the 20th that is designated for acts of kindness. Just imagine for a moment if those individual dates could begin to change a mindset. Imagine that businesses, churches, parishes, schools, households might begin to identify a day each month, and then one day per week, and then (call me optimistic) once each and every day when we were reminded to do something kind for another person. The operative word to remember is that an act of kindness requires one thing and one thing only: a choice made by an individual.
 
Every one of us not only has the capability, but also the opportunity to act. A little known French woman, Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, who became the first female novelist to gain recognition in the 19th century (and wrote under a male pseudonym of George Sand) is credited with a profound comment.
 
"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to
give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire
without meanness."
 
What a goal I might aspire to and a standard that I can meet, at least on some days and at some moments. Change happens whether or not we are engaged. Positive engagement will indeed change the present and contribute then to an improved future. A caring, kinder world? Not a bad picture.
 
Sincerely,
Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal
Mothers Club
A TIME FOR PRESENCE - REFLECT and RECONNECT with your daughter at the Mother Daughter Evening of Spiritual Reflection on Sunday, December 6th at St. Edith Catholic Church. Mass is at 5:00pm with dinner immediately following. Reservations are limited so please register early. Forms and payment must be received by November 30th. Click here for invitation and registration form.

SAVE THE DATE FOR FASHION! "A Star-Studded Fashion Event" will be held Saturday, January 9 at 11:00am at Burton Manor. Fashion and sales by Bella Mia, All About Health and Women's Boutique. Strolling lunch, beverages, giveaways and more! Click here for event flyer. Watch your mail for invitation. 

Please join us at our next meeting on Monday, November 2 at 6:30pm. Be sure to check out the Mothers Club home page and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes.

Dads Club
Father Daughter Service Event
  
Spend time with your daughter and serve people in need at the Sunday, November 22nd Mercy Father Daughter Service Event held at the Volunteer Food Bank at Christ our Sheppard Lutheran Church (8212 N. Telegraph Newport, MI 48166). Volunteers will unpack, sort and display items as well as assist in distribution and loading in vehicles. Arrival is at 12:15pm and work should be complete around 3:00pm or 4:00pm after cleanup. Dress in work clothes and be prepared to load vehicles outside regardless of the weather conditions. Please consider helping out and RSVP to Andy Lytle at andy@golytle.com or 248-444-6616.

 

Grand Raffle

  

The Dads Club biggest fundraiser (and largest payout - including scholarships) is available now. Now is your chance to take advantage of this great opportunity. For only $100 you can get 6 chances at the Grand Prize of $5,000 and 9 other prizes. The drawing is on November 24th. This Dads Club raffle benefits all Mercy girls. Donations are made to fund various school functions, clubs, activities and needs. This year we have added a Scholarship award. Please join us in celebrating the Mercy experience with your daughters by purchasing the Grand Raffle tickets today!
Christmas Wreath Sale
 
WHEN: Noon - 3:00PM * Tues, Nov 24 & Wed, Nov 25
WHERE: Pick up items at Mercy Flagpole Entrance
Wreaths are a base of Fraser fir with boxwood, juniper berry, concolor fir and decorated with pine cones and a red ribbon.

Plus! English Gardens Gift Cards help support MHS by getting an early start on Holiday shopping with the gift of choice by purchasing an English Gardens Gift Card, great for any occasion! (Available in $25, $50 and $100 amounts).
 

PREORDER ONLINE HERE - To reserve your items, please fill in desired quantities in the online form and click submit. (Or fill out this document and email to kgibbons09@hotmail.com.)
Pay for your items when you pick them up at MHS * We accept Cash/Check/VISA/MC.
Liturgy and Breakfast
 
Save the date for the Dads Club 2016 Liturgy and Breakfast scheduled for Sunday, January 10. More info coming soon.
Dads Club Meeting
 
Meet, greet and eat with Mercy Dads at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, November 3 at 6:30pm in the cafeteria.
Mercy Named Apple Distinguished School
Mercy High School is pleased to announce that we have been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2015 to 2017 for our integration of technology across the curriculum and school life.

The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple's vision of exemplary learning environments.

The selection of Mercy High School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.
  
We are proud that at Mercy, students have the opportunity to be technology teachers and program innovators. The multi-touch book submitted with our application will soon be available for all to enjoy through iTunes. Stay tuned for more Apple Distinguished school developments!
Apple Distinguished School
Apple Distinguished Schools are K-20 schools that provide 24/7, schoolwide, one-to-one access to Apple notebook computers and/or mobile devices to all students, teachers, and administrators. They demonstrate an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.
Fall Play "Night of January 16th"

Mercy High School Presents
"Night of January 16th"
November 6 and 7 at 7:30pm
November 8 at 2:00pm
Tickets $10
This murder mystery, set in a New York City courtroom, focuses on Karen Andre who is accused of murdering her boss Bjorn Faulkner. The twist of the play is that the jury is selected from the audience at the start of the play. The selected jurors witness the play from the jury box on stage. They hear the evenly-balanced testimonies and must decide the fate of Karen Andre. Two endings are written for the play, depending on her guilt or innocence. The actors do not know how to end the play until the verdict is read.

Tickets are on sale now at school or may be purchased at the Box Office the evening of the performance. The Box Office will open 30 minutes before curtain and seating is by general admission. We promise you a fun-filled, suspenseful evening.

Student & Staff Successes
Congratulations Mercy Swim Coach Shannon Dunworth on receiving the prestigious Matt Mann Award!

Way to go, Ellyse Conn '16! Ellyse was named the Observer & Eccentric's Athlete of the Week for September 28 - October 4.

Congrats to the newly elected Class of 2019 officers: Maddy Ballard; Alexis Dickie; Olivia Fras; Alley Neary; Isabelle Reeber; Christina Thomas. Human Relations Council: Sophia Bellisario; Haley Dishman; Priyanka John; Ava Ruggirello.

Invitation from St. James
Speaker Catherine Lanni 
Founder of The Divine Mercy Center
Author of "A Call to Trust"

An invitation was extended to all members of the Mercy community to hear Catherine Lanni, inspirational speaker and author. Ms. Lanni's presentation will follow the 7:00 pm Mass on November 4th.

Details are provided in the flyer you can view and download here. If you have questions, contact Wendy Wilber at 248-231-1742. Ms. Wilber is a Mercy graduate. 

Lore Yearbook
First Amendment Law Clinic - students in Yearbook Design and Yearbook Production have been enjoying sessions on the First Amendment courtesy of law students from Michigan State University. As part of the law clinic, MSU students annually visit Michigan high schools to help students understand the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
 
YEARBOOK ADS - It's not too late to have your parent ad in the yearbook. Ads are due November 6 and all materials must be turned in with payment. Click here to download the order form. Online purchase and design of the senior ad is also available now via yearbookordercenter.com. Please select Order Number 13826.  If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Smith at 248-893-3579 or hlsmith@mhsmi.org.
 
2016 LORE YEARBOOK - There's still time to guarantee your daughter's copy. Get the book that records all things Mercy. Staff will be taking orders Nov. 2-6 before and after school for $65. Online purchase of the yearbook as well as additional accessories are available via yearbookordercenter.com. Please select Order Number 13826. The price will increase in December to $70 so be a "smart cookie" and secure a copy now.
Happy 70th Mercy!

 
The Mercy community came together for a very special anniversary celebration the weekend of September 24 - 28, 2015. Thank you to everyone who participated - Sisters of Mercy, alumnae, staff, parents, benefactors, and friends. It was a memorable occasion and a wonderful opportunity to rekindle connections and share Mercy spirit. Kathy Hattam Wisne '71 summed it up perfectly, "The energy was amazing... what a feel-good weekend!"
See press coverage and event photos online!
$70 for 70 Years - Commemorate Mercy's 70th Anniversary with a $70 donation!
ACT and SAT Testing
Mercy is a testing center for both the ACT and SAT on selected national testing dates. 
  • SAT - November 7, 2015 and June 4, 2016
  • ACT - June 11, 2016 

Although some school staff may work at these administrations, all registration and payment is done through College Board and ACT. Please use links below.

https://sat.collegeboard.org/home

http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html

Business Professionals of America
Student officers recently attended the Fall Leadership Conference to meet with fellow officers from schools across Michigan. In addition to local activities, members are setting their sights on making it to the National Leadership Conference in Boston. The first half of dues ($30) collected Oct. 28, with the remaining $30 due Nov. 9. Checks are made payable to Mercy. If you would be interested in sharing your business experience and speaking at one of our meetings, please contact Mrs. Smith at 248-893-3579 or hlsmith@mhsmi.org.
Auction 2016

 
We need you! We are still in need of volunteers to make this year's auction a success! CLICK HERE to see our Auction committee descriptions and sign up today. Contact Lindsay Weismiller at 248.893.3535 or email lmweismiller@mhsmi.org for any questions regarding committees or how you can volunteer with the auction.
 
Successful auctions always depend on fabulous gifts. Now is the time to start thinking about acquisitions and the ideas are endless from air miles to gift certificates. Check out the auction wish list of suggested donation ideas. If every family obtained one gift for the auction, we would have more items than ever before! Please feel free to bring donations to the school by January 31st.
 
Join Mercy family and friends at upcoming gift gathering parties. There are gift parties Monday, November 2nd at the Mercy Mothers Club Meeting in the Media Center and on Thursday, December 10 in downtown Northville. Gift parties are a great way to connect with Mercy families and are located across Metro Detroit. Click here for a list of this year's parties.
 
Do you have a product or service not conducive for bidding? Advertise! From business card to full page color sizes we have a spot for all. Where do you GO? Who do you KNOW? Advertising contracts are available online here.
 
Click here for all things auction and save the date of Saturday, February 20th for a night of fun, food and friends!
 
Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay Weismiller in the Special Events Office at 248-893-3535 or lmweismiller@mhsmi.org with any questions, suggestions or to volunteer. Thank you for supporting the Mercy High School 37th Annual Auction. We are Mercy!
JCL
 
JCL, or the Junior Classical League, focuses on learning about the classical world and the Latin language. During the October meeting, the focus was on Halloween. Forty-three club members presented several planned out "spooky" stations where they learned more about the classical world, or worked on their Latin skills. At one station, the girls could write their own-or often times, a friend's-tombstone (in Latin of course). At another station, they could listen to a scary Roman story while enjoying a delicious snack. At a third station, they could learn about Roman mythological monsters, while making their own scary ghoul. Overall, the girls had a great time, learned more about the classical world, and got excited for Halloween.
Mercy Secondary Education Conference
Some Mercy staff attended the 34th Mercy Secondary Education Conference in Rochester New York hosted by the Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Girls on October 16th and 17th. Attendees included Colleen Rozman (not pictured), Eleasha Tarplin, Alison Kline-Kator (member of Conference planning committee), Judi Griggs-Dennis and Cindy Richter.
 
The theme of the conference was "Responding to the Call through the Lens of Mercy." They explored the 5 critical concerns of the Sisters or Mercy: Immigration; Non-Violence; Anti-Racism; the Earth; and Women.
Journey to Ireland with Mercy
In celebration of Mercy High School's 70th Anniversary, alumnae, parents and friends are invited to accompany President Dr. Cheryl Kreger on a pilgrimage to Ireland May 9 - 18, 2016. Spend 10 days and 8 nights traveling through Galway, Sneem and Dublin. Take the Catherine McAuley Walking Tour in Dublin and see the sites of Mercy associated with her life, including the first House of Mercy on Baggot Street. This trip will be a unique opportunity to take in some of Ireland's most important religious sites and attend mass in historic churches as well as learn about life, tradition and music with members of a small Irish village. The inclusive travel package is offered through Corporate Travel Service.

MORE  

Alumnae Memorial Mass
Please join us for Mass to celebrate the lives of Mercy's deceased alumnae, staff, family, friends, and benefactors on Sunday, November 8 at 12pm in the school chapel. If unable to attend, you may contact the Alumnae Office with the names of family and friends you would like included in our prayers and book of remembrance.
Go Marlins!
Senior Athlete Event
   

Are you signing a National Letter of Intent or committing to play a sport in college? The Mercy Athletics Department will be hosting a group signing day to celebrate all athletes committing to play a sport next year at the college level.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2015 
2:45pm - 3:30pm
Mercy Gymnasium 
You're welcome and encouraged to invite your family and coaches. Please wear your college shirt. We will take individual and group photos. Light refreshments will be served. Notify Ms. Kate Scalzi at kmscalzi@mhsmi.org if you will attend. Include your name, sport, and college.

Fall Sports Recap
  

Swim and Dive won the Oakland County Championship for the 11th year in a row! Many swimmers qualified for States. Cross Country runner Lauren Lytle named All Catholic. Equestrian received 4th Place in B Division with 9 riders. Field Hockey won first round of State Playoffs. Golf finished 7th in State Finals. Volleyball Districts begin next week.
 

Cheer on all your Marlins sports teams!
  

Check the athletics calendar and even get driving directions. Our athletes are always making headlines. Read some sports features here.

Marlin Adult Chorus
The Performing Arts Department is pleased to announce a new opportunity to bring together alumnae, staff, and friends of Mercy in song. The Marlin Adult Chorus will be forming this fall as a performing group to be featured in the Christmas and Spring Concerts.
 
The Chorus is open to alumnae, staff, spouses, and friends of Mercy regardless of musical background or experience. Men of Mercy are welcome and encouraged to join! The Marlin Chorus will be directed by Vocal Music Director Rebekah Ferguson and will meet Monday evenings from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.
 
For more information, contact Rebekah Ferguson at rjferguson@mhsmi.org or (248) 893-3575.
Snapshot of Mercy
Make a Difference Day 2015

If you have any questions or want to submit information for the Mercy MEMO, please contact jhearle@mhsmi.org. Want even more? Click the school year calendar and the Mercy web site. And don't miss all of the latest Mercy In The News articles. Check out the current announcements and browse the home page links to see what's happening at Mercy.