September 2014

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

Raising a Child. You have heard the phrase more than a few times and yet there is no universally accepted explanation of what it means, or what it includes. Presumably, the starting point is undebatable; the endeavor begins at the moment of birth. The end game is far more elusive. A quick response might be that the work concludes at age 18. Another would counter with 17, since Michigan defines that as legal age for the purposes of criminal law. Age 21 would get wide support, yet many children are not yet college graduates, so it depends again on criteria.

According to Wikipedia, “parenting” is defined as “the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.” The site further explains that “parenting doesn’t usually end when a child turns 18. Support can be needed in a child’s life well beyond the adolescent years and continues into middle and later adulthood. Parenting can be a lifelong process.”

Ouch! This suggests no end in sight. I like making a comparison to barn raising, but that analogy only goes so far. A very common need of nearly every farmer in the 18th and 19th centuries was that of a barn. Large and very costly, such a structure would require more labor than one family could possibly provide, so both a sensible and collaborative solution ensued. Many members of the community were enlisted as unpaid volunteers to both build and “raise” the needed barn. Such barn raising became common as a way to pay it forward to the next family in need. This nicely patterns the notion of “it takes a village” to raise a child, but the obvious down side in my comparison is that once the barn stands tall, the work is done. Not so, with raising a child, huh?

As each of us knows quite simply, a child gets one year older with each passing 12 month period. What is far more cumbersome to answer is this: At which birthday does the child exit and the adult appear? One uses words like independent, self-sufficient, and responsible to describe the meaning of the word “adult” and yet there is no set timeline for when such traits will be displayed.

So I return to the mystery that all parents appreciate. The raising of a child might truly qualify as one of life’s great unknowns and yet, we choose to attempt it anyway. Let me offer one more definition as a point of reference. Merriam-Webster defines the verb “raise” as follows:

“to lift or move (something or someone) to a higher position;

to lift or move (something or someone) to a standing or more upright position”

I like that. The notion of the child standing at a higher position, more upright than the child began, as a direct result of my actions . . . well, that suggests not only hard work but also a noble cause. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what raising a child is all about and the work is worth our time.

I was reminded of that very fact this past weekend. As some of you may know, I am richly blessed with extended family. I have eight siblings, four brothers and four sisters, and last Saturday, for the second time in two months, the entire gang came together for the wedding of a nephew. The “gang” I so fondly call my family included not only the nine siblings and all the spouses, but also 12 of the 16 nieces and nephews, ranging in age from 22 to 36 (and one who is 16) along with spouses for some, and boyfriends or girlfriends for some others. What a celebration and what an inspiration for me to write this column to other parents about raising a child! The dance floor was packed the entire evening and even though the temperature bottomed out in the low 60s (the entire event was outside mind you), the laughter never died. The DJ (one of my nephews) transitioned from one song to the next, and demonstrated unmatched skill in reading not only the tastes but also the energy of the crowd. Everyone engaged. It was great fun to party with these “kids”.

What was very obvious to me as I thought about the gathering was this: Every one of these young adults was “raised” by a caring parent(s) and many of them were people I have literally watched grow up. Collectively, they are an impressive group and yet I wasn’t quite sure that I would have been so impressed in the presence of just a few of them. Each one of them had passed successfully from early childhood, through middle school, to late adolescence and then transitioned to their post high school training/education and into jobs and careers. My own children were growing up, but I hadn’t paid conscious attention to what was happening to these nieces and nephews that I saw periodically. Having them all together was not only great fun but also gratifying. With so much negative speculation about the troubles with the younger generation and concerns over their level of maturity, I would offer a different viewpoint. What I saw were adults who care about each other, who expressed not only interest but also joy at the good things that were happening in others’ lives, and who could talk to one another for hours on end about what was current and what they saw as coming next. Even though their paths have been different, their opportunities varied, their triumphs and their tragedies uneven, these “kids” share some common traits to be celebrated. Their values run deep. At the core, they are far more than just decent individuals. They are thoughtful, bright, concerned, hard-working, and yes, dedicated to making their own lives and the lives of others, better.

The job of raising a child is, indeed, lifelong. Take a close look at your own children. Regardless of where they are on the spectrum of human growth, consider the work you have done thus far in raising them. We can shower praise on an artist whose creation enhances the world’s beauty. We should certainly acknowledge the very real works of art who reside among us - our children.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Mothers Club

Thanks to all that attended the first Mother Club Meeting of the year. You packed that cafeteria! It was so exciting and we hope you will all come to the next meeting on Monday, October 6. Each month we will have something special to look forward to, so we encourage all moms and guardians to attend. Be sure to check out the Mothers Club home page and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes.

The Mothers Club is looking forward to our upcoming events and MERCY MOMS CLUB FAN DAYS!:
9/15 - New Moms Mass & Dinner at 6:30 PM
9/17 - Varsity Field Hockey at MHS vs. Cranbrook at 4:30 PM
10/2 - Varsity Volleyball at MHS vs. Regina at 4:30 PM
10/14 - Varsity Swimming at MHS vs. Notre Dame Prep at 6 PM

FASHION SHOW - Sunday, October 26th is 2014 Mercy High School Fall Fashion Show. The event will be held at 11 AM at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. The Clothing Cove of Milford will be providing the fashions. A classy event is in the planning stages and we would love to see you and your daughter attend this event. The Fashion Show will be the major fundraiser for the Mercy Mothers Club. Tickets are $50.00 which will include a fabulous meal and the opportunity to socialize with moms, daughters and alumnae of the Mercy High School community. Save $50.00 when you reserve a whole table of 10! You should be receiving your invitation to the Fashion Show and we strongly encourage you to attend, join a committee and sell tickets! Please sign up here: All current Moms, “graduated Moms”, and their friends and family members are invited. Please contact the following co-chairs for more information: Daena Nicholas – Kay Pfaff –

We look forward to your support at these and the many other Mothers Club sponsored events throughout the year! Follow Mercy Mothers Club on FACEBOOK:


Dads Club

The Mercy Dads Club invites you to a day at Cedar Point on Sunday, October 5, 2014. All rides are open, and once darkness falls, Cedar Point becomes a giant haunted amusement park! Snacks, movies and refreshments, on the bus ride down, and back, and the opportunity to spend a whole day with your friends, and more importantly your DAD!!! (Moms are also welcome to join.) Space is limited, so please sign up and send in your form/money ASAP!

When: Sunday, October 5, 2014

From: Leave Mercy Parking Lot at 8:00AM Sharp! (To arrive by 10:30AM – park opens at 11:00AM)

Return: Leave Cedar Point Parking Lot same day at 8:00PM Sharp! (Arriving back at Mercy 10:30PM-11:00PM)
Who: Any Mercy student and her father/guardian. Other potential Mercy siblings in 7/8 grade can join their sister and dad for $50. If a Mercy student's father/guardian cannot attend, you can attend with another student/father provided a consent form has been signed by both parties. The father is responsible for both students at Cedar Point.

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

YES! Sign us up!
Sign up online at

Any Questions? Contact Bryan Stapp at or 248-667-8277.

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 7th at 6:30pm in the Cafeteria.



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

Welcome to the 182 freshwomen and 16 transfer students who joined our Mercy family. More warm welcomes to these 4 new staff members: Sandra Mals (Religious Studies); Erika Perkovich (Physical Education); Kathryn Rusak (Development); Christa Polan (Math).

Help us welcome even more Mercy girls to our spectacular school! Spread the word about our upcoming Mercy Open House, November 2nd from 1pm - 3:30pm. Please encourage seventh and eighth grade girls to shadow a student and experience life at Mercy firsthand. Shadow days begin September 29. Contact for more admissions information.

Student Successes . . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

Front Page News! Alycia Washington '15 worked as an apprentice this summer at the Detroit Free Press. Among the many stories she wrote or co-wrote, one in particular stood out and ran on the front page of the Detroit Free Press and was also published in USA Today and about 10 other Gannett newspapers nationwide. It is about an effort through the Catholic church youth group to help homeless people in Detroit. Check it out here:

The Mercyaires had a great start to the year with annual summer camp and a performance September 6th with the St. Mary Jazz Ensemble.


Congratulations to Emma Feeheley '16 who was crowned Miss Farmington 2014! Read all about it here.


The Mercy Swim & Dive Team, along with the Catholic Central Swim & Dive Team, staffed a volunteer rest stop and spent the day cheering on walkers at the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk.

#spiritweek2014 - Social Media in Real Life

September 17 - September 24

Woman Crush Wednesday

*alcove decorating*

Each grade is assigned a certain group of famous women. Choose a woman in that category that you look up to or admire.

Seniors: Musicians; Juniors: Movie Stars; Sophomores: Athletes; Freshmen: Notable women in history or modern-day

Throwback Thursday

*karaoke in cafeteria featuring throwback songs*

Each grade is assigned a TV station, and will have to dress as a character in a show from that channel. Please limit yourself to only dress up as characters from the shows we have listed.

Seniors: Old time Nickelodeon TV shows; Juniors: Old time Cartoon Network shows; Sophomores: Old time PBS shows; Freshmen: Old time Disney shows

Freaky Friday

*field day*

Seniors: Senior Survivors White, Camoflouage; Juniors: Pink; Sophomores: Purple; Freshmen: TBD

Selfie Sunday

Homecoming Dance, 7:30-10:30 p.m. (must arrive by 8:15 p.m. and cannot leave before 10 p.m.)

$15 per person and tickets will be sold starting Monday, September 15, before & after-school and the first mod of 2nd - 7th hours in the Cafeteria at the Student Government Bar (Snack Bar)

Man Crush Monday

Each grade will dress up as boys from a certain all boy’s school. You can dress in that school’s colors, as a stereotypical boy that goes to that certain school, or just as a Catholic school boy in general.

Seniors: Catholic Central; Juniors: University of Detroit Jesuit; Sophomores: Brother Rice; Freshmen: St. Marys of Orchard Lake

Tuesday: Mercy Make a Difference Day

Worship Wednesday

Mercy Leadership Conference - By Mackenzie Cahill '15

On Sunday, June 22, four rising seniors, including myself, ventured to Mercy High School at 5:00 a.m. with heavy eyelids and open hearts, ready to learn and grow at the Mercy Leadership Conference. In attendance were myself, MacKenzie Cahill, Rachel Belans, Amy Vlachos, and Jacqueline Welday. Also accompanying us was our wonderful chaperone, moderator, driver, and mother-figure, Mrs. Judi Dennis. Eleven hours later we arrived in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, eager to spend the week with girls from across the nation from 8 schools founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Throughout the conference we bonded with our Mercy sisters and grew as leaders. We heard from the inspirational Sr. Deirdre Mullan of the United Nations, who spoke on the subjects of Catherine McAuley, Frances Warde, and the involvement of the Sisters of Mercy in South Sudan. As individuals, we also learned our leadership style according to the Myers-Briggs test. After four days of prayer, presentation, and idea sharing, we toured the city of Philadelphia on our last night as one group, united in Mercy. The trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am incredibly grateful for the experience. A demonstration of the Mercy community at work, working together to support this year's Sudan Project can be found here:

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

Special Invitation for Alumna Mothers

Mercy runs in the family!

102 Mercy students have alumna moms. If you are one of those 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 22, 2014

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

Open House

Join us! Mercy Alumnae and their families are invited to an early open house legacy tour from 12:30pm - 1:00pm. Arrive at the Chapel entrance. General Open House is from 1:00pm - 3:30pm beginning at the Lobby entrance.

Alumnae Book Club

Alumna moms are also invited to our monthly Alumnae Book Club. For information, visit Mercy’s website or send an email to Tina Cyrol Russette '76 at Join the conversation!

Class Reunion News

Mercy ladies love to reconnect! Check out current Class Reunion news online and stay tuned for details of our 70th Anniversary and Grand Reunion Celebration to be held September 26-27, 2015!

Counseling Corner

Attention Senior Students and Parents (or Class of 2015): Do you have questions about the college application process? Looking for direction on how to support your daughter as she chooses which colleges to apply to and completes her applications? The Counseling Staff is here to assist you. We welcome you (and your daughter) to attend one of the following upcoming "College Thursday" informal meetings. Feel free to drop in with questions. Our goal is to provide a casual and comfortable environment for students and parents to come in and discuss college plans and questions in a small group setting. Please check in at the Reception Area before proceeding to the meeting location. The scheduled meeting dates and times are as follows:

9/11 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm in the Baggot Street Conference Room
9/18 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm in the Media Center
9/25 from 8:00 am - 9:00 am in the Baggot Street Conference Room

Attention Junior Students and Parents (or Class of 2016): Beginning in November, Counseling will offer opportunities for junior students and their parents to have a one-on-one College Planning Meeting with their Counselor. Information regarding the focus of these meetings and how to schedule the appointment for your family will be mailed home the week of October 20th.

Upcoming Testing Day for 10th and 11th grade Students: Save the date...both sophomore and junior students will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 15th. Testing will begin promptly at 8:20 am and will conclude approximately at 11:45 am. More information regarding the details of the day will be shared with students the week prior to testing.

Attention Freshman Students and Parents (or Class of 2018): Mrs. Trish Brown, the 9th Grade Counselor, will begin meeting with each freshwoman for an Individual Interview. This brief meeting is an opportunity for Mrs. Brown to begin to know your daughter on a more personal level. It is our hope that Counseling can begin to establish a relationship with each 9th grade student in order to better support her over the next four years.

Flu Vaccination Clinic

Once again, Mercy will host an influenza clinic on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan (VNA) and Alana's Foundation. The foundation was established in 2009 in memory of then 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 14th and is available to students, staff, and families of Mercy. It does, however, require advance registration for each person who wishes to receive the vaccination here on October 14th. 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 Assessment and Consent Form to the Reception Area no later than Wednesday October 1st, 2014. A separate consent form must be completed (and turned in at the Reception area) for each person who is to be vaccinated. Parents must complete and sign the form for anyone under the age of 18. All 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. Please note: On October 14th 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. If you have problems viewing or downloading any of the above form links, please visit Mercy web site here:

LORE Yearbook 2014 - 2015

YEARBOOK ADS - It's not too early to start planning your parent ad. Ads will be due November 7 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 Please select Order Number 13826.

2015 YEARBOOKS - Mark your calendars now! Guarantee your daughter's copy by ordering the yearbook early and save money as well. Online purchase of the yearbook as well as additional accessories via is now available. Yearbooks start at $60. Please select Order Number 13826. Staff will also be taking orders October 6-10 before and after school for $60. The price will increase in November and December.

Make a Difference Day!

Mercy High School is proud to present the 2nd annual:

Mercy Make a Difference Day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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 3.5 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 8:00 a.m. with a meeting in Adviser group followed by a short prayer service, directions for the day and boarding of the buses.
  • Students will travel to the location and work with their Adviser and Adviser group from approximately 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. doing a variety of service tasks. Students will earn 3.5 hours of community service towards their graduation requirement.
  • The buses will bring the groups back to school. Lunch will be provided.
  • The day will end at 1:40 p.m.
  • 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 to download word document of permission slip and medical form.

Click here to download PDF of permission slip and medical form.

Please print and fill out both the permission slip and medical form and have your daughter turn it in to her Adviser by Monday, September 15. Students who do not bring in forms will be assigned service at Mercy High School. Participation is mandatory.

Appropriate Dress

Please make sure your daughter is appropriately dressed to do service on that day. Jeans or comfortable pants, sturdy, closed-toe & heel 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 suggest bringing heavy-duty gardening gloves.

Parent Volunteer/Support

Parent volunteers are welcome to join us for the day. Please contact Colleen Rozman at or 248-893-3563 to volunteer by Monday, September 15. Parents will need to provide their own transportation. You can also support the day’s efforts by donating a case of water or by providing dessert for lunch. You can sign-up to bring water using this link. Sign-up sheets for bringing dessert will be available in Adviser groups.

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!

The Mercy Community

Auction 2015

The kick-off meeting for the 36th Annual Auction is Tuesday, September 30th at 7:00pm in the Cafe. Our goal is 100% Mercy participation in this all important fundraising event, which raised over $175,000 in 2014! CLICK HERE to see our Auction committee descriptions. Contact Lindsay Weismiller at 248.893.3535 or email to sign up for a committee today!

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 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 21st 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 36th Annual Mercy High School Auction. We are Mercy!

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

Golf repeated as 2-day champions of the Traverse City Tournament. They were 9 strokes behind after the first day of competition, but came back strong and won by 5 strokes. Top Mercy scores were: (Jr)Lilly Blake 88, (Jr)Kendyl Kirkland 87, (Sr)Erica Heath 84, and (Sr)Caroline Bland 81, Junior Julia Shaw made the all-tournament team with great days of 81 and 82. Swim and Dive have a win 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 strong 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 directions. CLICK HERE for some recent athletes in the news.

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!


Michigan Monitoring for Cases of Enterovirus - Please click here to read the press release regarding a virus in other states that is impacting children pretty severely. This is issued by the Michigan Department of Education in conjuction with the Michigan Dept of Community Health.

MERCY DAY MASS - Please join our Mercy School Community as we celebrate Mercy Day with Mass Wednesday, September 24.

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.

After School Tutoring - NHS tutoring will be held in N12 from 2:45-3:30 on the following dates for the first semester: September 9,16,30; October 7,14,21,28; November 4,11,18,25; December 1,2,8,9. Students can get help in any subject.

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


Cool Courtyard!

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

Mercy Month Ahead


Date / Time


New MOMS Welcome Dinner Sept 15 / 6:30p MHS
Spirit Week Sept 17 - 24 MHS
Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing Sept 22 / 8:00a Western Golf & Country Club
Make a Difference Service Day Sept 23 Various Service Locations
Dads Club Spirit Week Bonfire Sept 23 / 8p - 10p Softball Fields
Mercy Day Mass Sept 24 Auditorium
Mercy MOMS Meeting Oct 6 / 6:30p Media Center
Mercy DADS Meeting Oct 7 / 6:30p Cafe
Parent / Teacher Conferences Oct 16 / 2:00p - 4:00p and 6:30p - 8:30p MHS
Alumnae Legacy Dinner Oct 22 / 6:00p - 7:30p Media Center


Nov 2 / 1:00p - 3:30p


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.