September 2013

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

We begin anew. That in itself deserves that we take notice. It is not uncommon as a school that we experience the new, for every 12 months we have a newly defined year and that year ushers in students who only three months ago took ownership of a new grade level. We get to start again, in effect to start over. Whatever difficulties occurred during the last school year, we leave them all behind and have fresh renewal. We can set goals. We can reach unattained heights. Knowing more than we did before, we can prevent certain mishaps and create better outcomes. A new school year is to be celebrated! Very possibly, we don’t always give due attention to what is new, what has just begun.

Some very special experiences, in recent weeks, have given me a deeper perspective on the notion of “beginnings” and I share them here. The most recent event occurred last Sunday, when my husband and I were invited to attend the morning church service at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. Our cousin’s first child was to be baptized. This is a child whose introduction to the world was not only enthusiastically welcomed just six weeks ago, but whose very birth was viewed as somewhat miraculous. This little one struggled to get here; born premature, the entire pregnancy had been high risk, marked by countless special trips to the emergency room and serious interventions. The medical staff never ceased to astound this young couple as they dealt with one unusual circumstance after another.  By all accounts, this child had beaten the odds, not once but repeatedly. To date, this newborn continues to make strides, with every ounce of weight gain cheered by her family. 

We were very connected to this child long before we met her. Her parents, Morgan a ballet teacher and Andy, a doctoral student at University of Michigan, have few relatives here. Both sets of grandparents live in Kentucky, so we had been called upon at times to offer some support. Each time this young pregnant woman experienced some setback, I was reminded not only of how uncomplicated my own two pregnancies had been years ago, but also of how many hurdles some must climb to provide life at all. Finally, all celebrated the baby’s birth on August 5th. Tiny as she was (dropping below five pounds within days), she had arrived! They named her Verity. Hers was a new beginning.

Months before, another date had been circled on the calendar, that of August 9th. That was the date that would mark the 100th birthday of Morgan’s paternal grandmother, Marie. This diminutive lady, whose own beginning was in 1913, was to have a small celebration held in her honor the following day. Family traveled from surrounding states and what a celebration it was. Marie was able to meet and briefly visit with each person who attended. More importantly, we were able to witness the introduction of Verity to her great grandmother, these two, separated by a mere 100 years and four days. The image will long remain with me.

So on Sunday, we attended the christening, yet another beginning, one that signifies the collective commitment for a child to be nurtured in faith. This beginning was touched by special moments. Verity wore the gown that had clothed her great-great grandfather back in Scotland in 1891. This was the first time it had been worn since 1934. Prayers were said and best wishes offered that this child would have a long life. The minister carried the infant down the aisle, presenting her to a community of people who acknowledged the moment. Even the children who were present at the service were involved. They had been called to the front of the church and seated on the floor prior to the baptism. They had been asked by the minister if they would assist Verity with her needs as she grew, and help her if ever she needed them. They had enthusiastically agreed. At that very moment, I thought of the countless times in the past nine months that Verity indeed had been in need, even in duress. At each of those moments, help had arrived in the form of a doctor, a specialist, an emergency procedure, or a medication. So many people had assisted her before they knew her. So many people who had been instrumental in her existence would likely never meet her, and yet each one was a part of her beginning.

So today, I reflect on the newness of another school year. I think about beginnings a bit differently than I have in the past. Each Mercy girl who walks our halls, deserves a new beginning. We have no way of knowing every hurdle that she has experienced in her lifetime, no way of appreciating what odds she has beaten to be here. We cannot count all of the hands that have provided the support these many years, nor can we anticipate what her needs will be in the next nine months. What we can do, however, is offer our assistance as an entire community of believers, and extend our hands, whenever needed, to make this year miraculous in its own way for every girl.

I wish you joy.

Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

THANK YOU to all the moms who attended our first meeting and all are welcome at our next meeting Monday, October 7th at 6:30 in the Media Center. Be sure to check out the Mothers Club home page and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes.

NEW MOMS WELCOME DINNER -There is a special welcome dinner planned for Monday, September 23rd here at Mercy to honor and celebrate all the new moms of our Mercy community. The evening begins at 6:30pm with Mass in the chapel, followed by a reception and light dinner in the cafe. New moms should have received an invitation and please remember to RSVP to with your name, your daughter's name, and a phone number. We hope to see all our newest Mercy Moms on September 23rd! CLICK HERE for invititation and to RSVP.


Dads Club


Wednesday, September 25

8:00-10:00 PM

Mercy Softball Field

Bonfire - DJ - Snacks

This is a free family event open to ALL Mercy families, Alumnae, and friends of Mercy.  

Annual Dads and Daughters trip to CEDAR POINT during spooky Halloweekend on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  

When: Saturday, October 12, 2013

Departure: Leave Mercy Parking Lot @ 9:00 AM Sharp! (To arrive by 11:30AM – park opens at Noon)

Return: Leave Cedar Point Parking Lot same day 9:00 PM Sharp! (Arriving back at Mercy ~11:30 PM)

Who: Any Mercy student and their father/guardian.

Cost: $100 per father/daughter. Additional sibling (NO Boys on the bus) or students are $50 each. (Presently we have 1 bus reserved and if we have a quick response, we will reserve additional buses. Otherwise it will be the first 56 dads/daughter who sign-up.)

Click here for event flyer and sign up online at


Questions? Contact Bryan Stapp at

There's plenty of fun in store with the Dads Club this school year: Wreath Sale; Grand Raffle; Father Daughter Liturgy; Dance; Tigers Baseball Game; Golf Outing. ALL DADS are welcome at our next meeting October 1st at 7:00pm in the Cafeteria. Follow us on Twitter: MercyDads; Become a fan on Facebook: Mercy Dads Club; and join our google group: MercyDadsClub



Freshwomen hang out with their link leaders on Frosh Orientation Day! Welcome new teaching staff!

Welcome to the 207 freshwomen and 27 transfer students who joined our Mercy family. More warm welcomes to these 5 new staff members: Rebekah Ferguson - Music; Sarah Rogers '07 - Performing Arts; Valerie Sosnowski - Math; Lisa Wilson - Science; Abigail Youngerman - English and Social Studies.

Help us welcome even more Mercy girls to our spectacular school! Spread the word about our upcoming Mercy Open House, November 3rd from 1pm - 4pm. Please encourage seventh and eighth grade girls to shadow a student and experience life at Mercy firsthand. Shadow days begin September 30. Contact for more admissions information.

Student Successes . . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

Cassidy Connolly and Alise Wenner were named Semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Competition. These academically talented seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million which will be offered in the  spring. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2014 will be announced in the spring. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Congratulations to Emma Feeheley who won 1st Runner up in the July 2013 Miss Farmington Pageant and is now a member of the 2014 Miss Farmington Court. She also won the Mayor's Essay Award, entitled "Issues and Realities Affecting Today's Teens."

Carsten Photography





The following Class of 2013 students received the following designation from taking AP Exams last spring.AP Exams 2013

AP Scholar
Scored 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
AP Scholar with Honor
Scored average of 3.25 on all
AP Exams and 3 or higher on four or more exams
AP Scholar with Honor
Scored average of 3.5 on all
AP Exams and 3 or higher on five or more exams
Emily Aaron Catherine Denton Gabriella Diagostini
Katie Coerdt Erin Hand Christina Hadley
Tonia Elengikal Qingya Liu  
Erin Eusebi    
Katherine Horn    
Rachel Kullen    
Isabelle Larson    
Stephanie Luther    
Monica Mackie    
Alexandra Mattingly    
Victoria Noble    
Jacquelyn Phillips    
Margaret Reaume    
Maria Walawender    

 Let's Hear it for the STAFF!

Ms. Kathy Kitzmann receives the 2014 James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching 

Congratulations to science teacher Kathy Kitzmann who received the 2014 American Chemical Society National James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching. This award of the American Chemical Society is intended to recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry in the United States, its possessions or territories, at the national level. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. sponsors the award, which consists of $5,000 and a certificate.  She will travel to the national ACS meeting (in Dallas, TX in March 2014) at which the award is presented. A certificate will also be provided to the school for display. Ms. Kitzmann was nominated by colleague, Mrs. Lisa Schrimscher, with letters of support from Mr. Timothy Fino (science fair associate) and Mrs. Colleen Rozman (assistant principal). There have been 42 Conant winners since 1973 and there are an estimated 35, 000- 40,000 chemistry teachers in the U.S. It is quite an honor!

Lisa Schrimscher and Kathy Kitzmann

Mrs. Jan Mordenski Poem Published

A poem by English teacher, Jan Mordenski, "Viaticum," was published in MUSE, the literary journal of Madonna University. This particular poem is one from a series entitled POSTCARDS HOME, an array of poems about people and places in Ireland.

Mercy Spirit Week 2013

September 23 - September 27


Monday, 9/23 - Animal Kingdom

  • Dress in animal theme attire
  • Alcove Decorating Contest

Tuesday, 9/24 - Mercy Day Mass

  • Dress for Mass
  • Find the Marlin – If you find the student dressed in the Marlin suit go to the reception area to earn spirit points for your class.
  • SPIRIT POINT EVENTS: Field Hockey game or Swim meet

Wednesday, 9/25 - Mercy Make a Difference Day

  • Wear Mercy Make A Difference T-shirt
  • Students will be bussed out by adviser group to perform service activities in the metro Detroit area
  • Students will return for lunch and then be dismissed
  • SPIRIT POINT EVENT: Dad’s Club Bonfire – Mercy Softball Fields

Thursday, 9/26 - Magic Kingdom

  • Dress as any Disney character
  • Disney Karaoke in the cafeteria 2nd - 6th hours
  • Photo booth in the lobby 2nd - 6th hours
  • SPIRIT POINT EVENT: Volleyball game

Friday, 9/27 - Class Color


  • Dress in class color
    • Class 2017 - Purple
    • Class 2016 - Pink
    • Class 2015 - White
    • Class 2014 - Red, White, Blue
    • Staff - Black
  • Senior Tailgate 7:45am – lobby parking lot
  • All other grades – Adviser group breakfast 8:00am
  • Spirit Assembly – Student Dance Off

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

Special Invitation for Alumna Mothers

103 Mercy students have alumna moms! If you are one of those special moms, you and your daughter are invited to the Legacy Dinner. Moms who attended another Mercy High School are also welcome to bring their daughters.

We keep it short and very sweet.  Plus, one lucky guest will win $1,000 toward tuition! (Must be present to win.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

6:00 – 7:30 pm

Mercy Media Center

Hosted by the Alumnae Association


Celebrate the Mercy tradition. Watch for your invitation in the mail and RSVP to 248.476.3270 or

Flu Vaccination Clinic

Once again, Mercy will host an influenza clinic on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan (VNA) and Alana's Foundation. The foundation was established in 2009 in memory of five year old Alana Yaksich who died of influenza in 2003.

The clinic will be held from 12:30-3:30 pm in Mercy's lobby (Auditorium lobby)
on October 8th and is available to students, staff, and families of Mercy. It does, however, require advance registration. We have provided all of the information you need. See the flyer, the Vaccine Information Sheet, and the Notice of Privacy Practices. Please print, complete and return the Consent Form to the Reception Area no later than Thursday October 3rd, 2013. Parents must complete and sign the form for anyone under the age of 18. The consent forms are required in advance because the VNA must determine the actual number of doses needed for the day of the clinic.

There is no cost for the vaccination. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the vaccination but Alana's Foundation will pick up the cost for any person who does not have insurance coverage. On October 8th all persons who have pre-registered will present a picture ID and the insurance card (or a copy of the insurance card) in order to receive the vaccination.

Mercy is happy to offer our facility for this clinic and we hope you will take advantage of the opportunity for your daughter and/or yourself. Please consult with your family physician regarding any questions about the vaccine.

LORE Yearbook 2013 - 2014

Great news! The 2013 LORE was awarded a First-Class status through the National Scholastic Press Association. It received marks of distinction in theme concept and coverage. The yearbook was also recognized with a Silver award through the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association.

Yearbooks: Now is the best time to purchase your daughter's yearbook. Yearbooks will be sold before and after school Oct. 7-11 for $60. Additional options such as personalized nameplates are available by purchasing your yearbook at and using order # 13826. In November the price increases to $65. Last year the yearbook sold out and many students were unable to purchase a yearbook. Secure your daughter's yearbook now at the lowest price of the year.
Ads: The LORE Staff would like to present you with the unique opportunity of placing an ad for your daughter in this year’s yearbook! This is an excellent way to offer congratulations and to recognize your daughter’s efforts in high school. Ads are available in a variety of sizes. To order, please fill out this form and submit all ad materials by November 1. Parents may also design their ad online at using order # 13826.

Make a Difference Day!

The Spirit Committee at Mercy High School is proud to present:

Mercy Make a Difference Day

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 

On this day during Spirit Week the entire Mercy School, staff and students, will be going out into the community to do service. Imagine what an impact 900 people doing three hours of service can do! We are expecting 100% attendance so please do not make college visits or doctors appointments on that day.

Schedule for the Day:

  • School will start at 8am with a meeting in Adviser group followed by a short prayer service, directions for the day and boarding of buses.  
  • Students will travel to the location and work with their adviser and adviser group from 9:30-12:30 doing a variety of service tasks. Students will earn 3 hours of community service towards their graduation requirement.
  • The buses will bring them back to school. Lunch will be provided..
  • The day will end at 1:40pm.   
  • All students will be provided a Mercy Make A Difference Day T-shirt the morning of the event to wear to the site they are assigned.

Permission Slip & Medical Forms

CLICK HERE for permission slip and medical forms. Please print and fill out both the permission slip and medical form and have your daughter turn it in to her adviser ASAP. Students who do not bring in forms will be assigned service at Mercy High School. Participation is mandatory. Students who do not participate may jeopardize their participation in further Spirit Week activities including Homecoming.

Appropriate Dress

Please make sure your daughter is appropriately dressed to do service on that day. Jeans or comfortable pants, sturdy shoes and the service day t-shirt is necessary. Students may bring sunscreen and bug spray if needed. More specific details on dress will be provided by your daughter’s adviser. Please note: Most sites suggested bringing heavy duty gardening gloves.

Parent Volunteer/Support

Parent Volunteers are welcome to join us for the day. Please contact Judi Dennis at or 248-893-3588 to volunteer by today, Wednesday, September 18. Parents will need to provide their own transportation and may not be assigned to the same site as their daughter. If you are unable to volunteer you can support the day’s efforts by donating a case of water or by providing drinks or dessert for lunch. Sign up sheets will be available in adviser group.

We are very excited about this day. This is what we stand for as a school. In the words of Catherine McAuley, “No work of charity can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor, than the careful instruction of women.”


We Are Mercy and Together We Can Make A Difference!

Give Me a M, Give Me an E, Give Me a R, Give Me a C, Give Me a Y!

Golf is in full swing with a number of wins like the Traverse City Invitational and are headed to the Oakland County Championships. Swim and Dive are undefeated with plenty more meets to come. Cross Country continues to race to top place finishes. Equestrian is off to a great start galloping to victory. Field Hockey is starting a winning season. Volleyball is spiking their way to the top in tournament play.
Brush up on your Marlin cheers and chants and see our teams in action! Be sure to check out the team blogs with scores, stats, and news. CLICK HERE to view the Athletics Calendar and even get driving directionsCLICK HERE for some recent athletes in the news.
Stop by the Mercy gym to see the new athletics team boards and . . . new banners are coming soon!

Auction 2014

The kick-off meeting for the 35th Annual Auction is Wednesday, October 9th at 7:00pm in the Café. Our goal is 100% Mercy participation in this all important fundraising event, which raised over $150,000 in 2013! CLICK HERE to see our Auction committee descriptions. Contact Lindsay Weismiller at 248.893.3535 or email to sign up for a committee today!er

Successful auctions always depend on fabulous gifts. Now is the time to start thinking about your donation and the ideas are endless from air miles to gift certificates. Click here for a complete auction wish list of suggested donation ideas. If every Mercy family was able to assist in one auction acquisition we would have all the items needed for auction evening! Reach out to restaurants/shops/salons/service providers that you use and request a donation. Ask a business that you or a family member own or work for if they would support the event. Acquisition letters and contracts are available online here.

Do you have a product or service not conducive for bidding? Advertise! From business card to full page color 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 22nd 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 with any questions, suggestions or to volunteer. Thank you for supporting the 35th Annual Mercy High School Auction. We are Mercy!

Book Notes

With the infusion of technology into the fiber of the Mercy experience, the Library Media Center will be using this social media venue to share with parents resources, news, how-to's, and general tid-bits that will help establish a strong information foundation for your student and build a wealth of resources enabling her to be a successful student at Mercy and beyond. 

This year this big change in our space was the move of the IT staff, Mr. Bank and Mr. James, into the Media Center office space. With tech help closer for students and teachers, IT is "in the thick of things." Mrs. Koskela and Mrs. Corte appreciate their quick solutions to some of our questions as well.  

The library hours are from 7:30 am until 3 pm, but students are able to remain in quiet activity after school until Mrs. Corte or Mrs. Koskela - usually closer to 4 pm. Hope your daughter becomes a familiar face in the Media Center.

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

MERCY DAY MASS - Please join our Mercy School Community as we celebrate Mercy Day with Mass Tuesday, September 24 at 9:55am.

After School Tutoring - NHS tutoring will be held in N12 from 2:45-3:30 on the following dates for the first semester: September 4, 11, 25; October 2, 9, 15, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20, 26; December 4, 11, 16, 17. Second semester dates will be released in January. Students can get help in any subject. If it is a 1:40 dismissal, tutoring is from 1:45-2:30.

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.

Subscribe to NEWSPRINT, the student voice of Mercy High School! It is a complete 24-page tabloid-format newspaper filled with everything from school news to world events, exciting features, sports, and entertainment. Newsprint is the source that links the Mercy community to the rest of the world. Support the staff of talented young Mercy women and enjoy informative and entertaining features by purchasing a subscription to this award-winning, student produced paper. Newsprint is distributed to students at school but it can also be delivered directly to your home or place of work. The price is $12 for the year (6 issues). Please send your name, preferred mailing address and email, along with a check payable to Mercy High School to Ms. Lynn WaldsmithNewsprint Advisor Mercy High School, 29300 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48336-1409. Visit to view past issues. Don't forget to click NEWSPRINT online website where you can stay up to date on Marlin news and read work by Mercy students 24/7.


There's No Girl Like a Mercy Girl!

The "Chapters of Love" service project was started by Mercy girls who graduated. They passed on this wonderful tradition to a few Mercy students who are keepng the project alive. Julia Shaw, Bridgette Conniff and Claudia Shaw visited Holy Trinity School in Detroit at the start of summer and distributed over 500 gently used books for the children to take home for reading.

If you have a snapshot of Mercy to share, please send to

Mercy Month Ahead


Date / Time


New MOMS Welcome Dinner Sept 23 / 6:30p MHS
Mercy Day Mass Sept 24 / 9:55a Auditorium

Spirit Week

Sept 23 - 27


Dads Club Bonfire Sept 25 / 8:00p Athletic Fields
Mercy DADS Meeting Oct 1 / 6:30p Cafe

Mercy MOMS Meeting

Oct 7 / 6:30p

Media Center

Flu Vaccination Clinic Oct 8 / 12:30p - 3:30p MHS
DADS Club CEDAR POINT Trip Oct 12 / 9:00a - 11:00p MHS / CP
Alumnae Legacy Dinner Oct 23 / 6:00p - 7:30p Media Center
Parent / Teacher Conferences Oct 3 / 2:00p - 4:00p and 6:30p - 8:30p MHS
No School Oct 4  


Nov 3 / 1:00p - 4:00p


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.

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.