April 2012

Mercy High School Monthly Parent E-Newsletter - April 2012

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

The element of surprise. To what degree do we even have such a thing anymore and, more importantly, do we appreciate when we have it and when we don’t?

When I was young, the element of surprise was only understood as a good thing. Surprises were unanticipated birthday presents or parties, company that came to visit, mail that came addressed to me, the child! As I grew older, surprises were the names of favorite teachers that turned up unexpectedly on my class schedule, the name of my school scrolling across the television screen that verified a snow day, special assemblies that had not been announced. Surprises included awards and trophies (mine and others), letters of recognition, and eventually, those of acceptance to desired universities. The element of surprise had great significance for me when I got a phone call just two weeks before a new school year was to begin, a call that invited me to interview for what would be m y first teaching job. Years passed. The element of surprise was mine at many other times – a wedding, the pregnancies for my two children, their births (each two weeks early), and all of the wondrous “firsts” that my husband and I have experienced as parents.

The larger universe seems to have evolved when it comes to the notion of surprise. We seem to have caved as a culture to the media swirl of information and the demand to know. Television commercials remind us that it is now an individual responsibility to know everything there is to know about those around us. “That was so 18 seconds ago” now holds us culpable for knowing the most personal details of others’ lives. Facebook requires one’s “status” on a moment to moment basis. When did one’s whereabouts become news of national significance?

Naively, through it all, I still like to think of surprises as the good things that befall me and those I love. Age and experience, however, have taught me about the other side of surprise. I have lost students I’ve known: some through illness, others through accidents, and still others due to violent crimes. My husband and I lost our two best friends more than 25 years ago, just days before they were to deliver their first child. Friends and colleagues have buried children, parents, relatives and neighbors, dealt with serious tragedy and even the unfathomable. In all cases, there has been the element of surprise.

And still, we cope. We learn to adjust. We live through these kinds of surprises. We never “get over them”; we live beyond them. Maybe that’s the point. The only way for us to appreciate the joyous surprises - deeply appreciate all of those moments – is to see them balanced against the surprises that damage us, cripple us, devastate us.

I don’t want a world without the element of surprise. And yes, truth be told, I want surprises to be the good ones, the celebratory ones, for me and for all those around me. I know I won’t get all that I want. I hope and I pray, that I can deepen my focus on the blessings which surround me, so that I don’t buckle under the surprises of a different kind.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal

Women Mean Business THIS THURSDAY!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mercy High School Gymnasium

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Register online here

Last year, many Mercy students and parents were disappointed they missed out on this very dynamic evening. This event is designed as an opportunity for successful women in all of life's endeavors to speak with young women of today. Please join us this year at the 3rd Annual Women Mean Business Symposium to meet some of this region's most powerful and interesting women entrepreneurs. Panelists will tell their career stories, share lessons-learned and forecast their vision for the work world of tomorrow. Each table will have a local woman professional who will lead the group discussion after the panel presentation and Q & A session. Many of them are Mercy Alumnae! There will also be a networking hour with the panel members and table leaders from 6:00pm - 7:00pm which in cludes hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Cost is $20 per person. Register online here

Mothers Club

Let Us Pray - Just a reminder the Mercy Moms Club Prayer Circle meets every Monday at 1:30 in the chapel. Please keep the Cipriano family in your prayers.
Appreciation Dinner - If you plan on attending the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on May 7th, please rsvp by April 26th.
Uniform Resale - The Uniform Resale Committee is in need of plastic pant/skirt hangers for the uniform skirts. If you have any to donate, please drop them off at the reception desk.

Meeting - Be sure to read President Amy Petrucci's April Notes here. The last Mothers Club meeting of the school year will take place on Monday, May 7 at 6:30pm for social and meeting will start at 7:00pm. At the May meeting, the Board will officially step down and upcoming president Margaret Anne Crowley and new Board will officially take over. Please join us as we are getting ready to close out another successful Mothers Club year!

Dads Club

Dads and Daughters had a great time at the Tigers game!

Father-Daughter Liturgy and Breakfast - You're invited to the Father-Daughter Liturgy and Breakfast at Mercy High School, Sunday May 6th at 11:00am. The Mass will be held in the Mercy High School chapel and breakfast will be served afterwards in the cafeteria. We want to ensure there is plenty of food for breakfast, so we ask that you reserve a spot in advance by sending an email to Tom Rzepecki at trrez@yahoo.com. There is no charge for this special Dads Club event.

Golf with your gal! Dads and Daughters Golf Outing will be held Wednesday, May 16 at Bay Pointe Country Club. The day begins with registration at 12:00pm and a shotgun start at 1:00pm followed by a buffet dinner and prize raffle around 4:30pm. All Mercy students who participate in the outing will be dismissed at 11:25 am that day. CLICK HERE for information and sign up sheet. Questions? Contact Don Padalis at drpadalis@aol.com.

ALL DADS are welcome at the next Dads Club meeting Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00pm in the Cafeteria. Welcome new Dads Club Board Members for the 2012-13 school year: President, Mark Horn; Vice President, Tom Rzepecki; Treasurer, Gary Shuk; Secretary, Mike Gates; Membership, Jim Peterson.

Mothers & Dads BBQ - You're invited to the Mothers Club and Dads Club BBQ for all 2012 - 13 Mercy parents on Tuesday, June 5 at 6:00pm in the Mercy Cafe. Click here for more details.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Finalists

CONGRATULATIONS to these stellar seniors who were finalists for the ultimate recognition of Valedictorian and Salutatorian: Emily Rabahy; Kelly Redmond; Cortney McKay; Olivia Cholewa; Christin Samona; Katherine Koehler; Jaclyn Wilke; Elaina Weber; Monica Shammas; Mary Sheena; Lilliana Haddad; Mary Haapala.

This distinction considers not only academic record but also leadership, service, and extracurricular involvement. Staff and the senior class provided valuable input and each candidate responded to a series of questions and was interviewed by members of Administration. The top honors go to Valedictorian Kelly Redmond and Salutatorians Lilliana Haddad and Elaina Weber who will take the stage to speak at graduation. The Mercy Administrative Team will be holding a Catherine McAuley Tea celebration in honor of all the finalists on May 3.

iPad Open House

You are invited to the Mercy iPad Open House! Explore the Mercy iPad Package on Monday, May 14 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm in the Media Center. Try the new iPad model and registered students in the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 can place their order. CLICK HERE for all the event details

Please be assured Mercy will continue to support the HP/Windows Tablet platform the next 3 years for current students in the classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015. Click here to read the recent I.T. Department blog post for more info.


Sweet student poetry! Congratulations to the following students whose poems have merited the following recognitions.


Michigan Youth Arts Festival

Distinguished Scholar of the Arts


Allie Atsalis

Christin Samona

Grace Drabicki

Lindsey Tartaglia

Lilliana Haddad

Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest

Sponsored by Albion College


Allie Atsalis

Kellie Brue

Celeste Haddad

Live Poets Society of New Jersey Publication Selection

Poems of Faith and Inspiration

Kellie Brue

Rainbow Recognition Awards - What an honor! The Farmington Multicultural Multiracial Community Council Rainbow Recognition Award Honorees are: Mrs. Judi Griggs-Dennis; Taylor Barrow; Colette Berg; Kendall Dixon; Taylor Gordon; Elizabeth Jenkins; Cortney McKay; Mimi Norwood.

Erin Pienta '12, editor-in-chief of Newsprint, was recognized in the Oakland County Schools Excellent in Education Awards. She is one of 20+ seniors from area high schools to be honored and was featured in the Oakland Press.

Madison Denomme was featured in the April edition of Mash magazine and spoke out against bullying.

Marisa Jonna '13 competed in the National Federation of Music Clubs competition last month and received the highest rating of "Superior" for her performances in the Piano Solo event.

Rachel Mack, Julianne Williams, and Genevieve Chiara of Mercy’s Art Department won awards at the annual Farmington Area Arts Commission Student Art Competition. Rachel won second place ($75) in the two-dimensional category for her color pencil drawing titled, “Ski Mask.” Julianne won second place ($75) in the photography category for her photo titled, “Teal Tie.” Genevieve won an Honorable Mention ($25) for her pencil self-portrait drawing titled, “Genevieve.” The winning art was displayed at the Festival of the Arts at the Costick Center from April 19 - April 21 and will also be displayed at Miller’s Art Supply through May 25.

By Rachel Mack By Genevieve Chiara By Julianne Williams

Well done! Congratulations to the members of the Forensics Team who earned top medals and will advance to the Grand National Tournament over Memorial Weekend in Baltimore, Maryland:

Oral Interpretation

Annie Griffin

Dani Abboud

Oratorical Declamation

Lindsay HiserBridget CarlsonAmelia Fanelli

Dramatic Duo

Shanyn Rapson and Sarah Kmiecik
Gina D'Agostini and Gina CozzolinoAlicia Finnorn and Eileen Pawlik

Original Oratory

Kelly RedmondEllen LezotteJessica Montgomery

Dramatic Performance

Haley FoxMaggie Malaney
Jaclyn Godwin

Extemporaneous Speaking

Erin Eusebi


The Mercy High School Visual Arts Deparment proudly presents the Senior Portfolio Showcase May 3rd at 7pm in the Media Center. Save the date to join us and be awed by the artwork of seven graduating seniors. This is a time for the seniors from the Portfolio Preparation class to share their journeys as art students. They are being encouraged to share their processes and how their work is unique. Each student will have five minutes to present and defend her work. In addition, each student will have eight to ten of her best pieces on display. Refreshments will be served and guests may speak with the artists personally following the presentations. The speeches will be repeated during the school day (one student per class period) on Friday, May 4t h.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the pieces to be on display at the CLICK HERE for more show information.

By Sara Robertson By Halie Zulch By Sarah Stanners


The members of the National Honor Society are proud to recognize the following young women for their outstanding contributions to Mercy High School through their scholarship, leadership, character and service. We commend them for their accomplishments and welcome them to NHS!

Emily Aaron

Bianca Aprilliano

Alexandra Atsalis

Lauren Ayoub

Margaret Blake

Amy Bodien

Lisa Bojczyk

McKenzie Borland

Claire Bouret

Abbie Bowen

Shannon Brambs

Julia Brown

Brittany Cameron

Natalie Capatina

Elizabeth Carlson

Briana Cavanaugh

Katie Coerdt

Racheal Colbert

Gina Cozzolino

Gabriella D'Agostini

Adelia Davis

Catherine Denton

Catherine Drabicki

Mary Dulzo

Allison Eisbrenner

Tonia Elengikal

Angela Engerer

Erin Eusebi

Maya Flores

Haley Fox

Mary Fredendall

Megan George

Jaclyn Godwin

Keelin Guerin

Christina Hadley

Erin Hand

Laura Hatty

Chloe Henderson

Anna Hinrichs

Anna Hominga

Logan Horejsi

Katherine Horn

Jamie Jeffries

Monica Johnson

Kristen Johnstone

Marisa Jonna

Angela Karkoski

Sarah Kmiecik

Katelyn Kulesa

Rachel Kullen

Jacqueline LaPres

Jessica LaRouere

Isabelle Larson

Sophie Lemisch

Qingya Liu

Stephanie Luther

Monica Mackie

Margaret Malaney

Julia Malecke

Alexandra Mattingly

Madeline McClain

Candice McKay

Anna Mondrusov

Sarah Montone

Catherine Morgan

Jacquelyn Murphy

Victoria Noble

Molly O'Sullivan

Kirsten Padalis

Angel Parker

Natalie Perkins

Caroline Peterson

Cristina Petrella

Jacquelyn Phillips

Alexis Pinson

Maria Pluszczynski

Margaret Reaume

Courtney Richards

Rebecca Romero


Alexis Schultz

Gretchen Schultz

Emily Schumer

Payas Shah

Allison Shaw

Sydney Shuk

Rachel Smart

Jordan Sutton

Michaela Tanksley

Anna Valentine

Lauren Vandenberg

Madeleine Wagner

Maria Walawender

Brittany Wenzel

Katherine Wideman

Julianne Williams

Mary Kate Winn

Allison Wise

Jordan Zurke

Habitat for Humanity

By Pastoral Minister Judi Dennis

Habitat’s “Mission” is to eliminate poverty housing from the earth. The mission is accomplished by working in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all that God intends.

While many Mercy girls traveled to glamorous places for spring break, 15 Mercy girls decided to try Mercy’s Alternative Spring Break in Richmond/Berea Kentucky to experience Habitat for Humanity. The girls and chaperones left Easter Sunday morning and returned the following Saturday. Chaperones included Pastoral Minister and MCAP Service Coordinator, Mrs. Judi Dennis, Mrs. Dennis’ daughter, Sara Dennis-Festerman and Ms. Anita Sevier (Colette Berg’s Mom) with transportation assistance from Ms. Charlene Snow and Mr. Robert Carey (Eleanor Carey’s parents).

The students who attended the trip were: Seniors Paige Raymond, Meredith Clark, Sarah Philo, Kelsey King, Kelly Redmond, Haleigh Guerin, Natalie Diehl, Jackie Wilke, Eleanor Carey, Jasmine Wehr, Ellen Lezotte and Colette Berg. Juniors Jordan Zurke, Jessica LaRouere and Maria Pluszczynski.

This year we were privileged to be able to work on the very first Passive House built by Habitat for Humanity in Kentucky. This house when completed will be 70% more energy efficient than a house built simply to code. It has double exterior walls, will have triple pane windows, solar energy panels and many more energy saving features. When we arrived, there were only three exterior walls built and erected. When we left 5 days later we had installed the support beam in the basement and built and raised 20 more walls!

The Mercy teams have made such an impact that the main construction supervisor stated that the Mercy girls have been the best groups of workers he has seen since he began working for Habitat for Humanity five years ago.

UPDATE: After our work at their local Habitat Re-Store last year the manager told me, because of how well Mercy organized the store last year their sales for this year have nearly quadrupled! He was delighted that we were back this year. Go Mercy!

Let's Hear It For The Staff


Latin Teacher Ms. Lauren Bennett '06 just got engaged to Caleb Marquard.

English and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Michael Barnes and his wife Wanda welcomed their second child, daughter Corinne Andalib Barnes on March 1.

Hall of Fame Inductee

Athletic Director Nancy Malinowski was part of the St. Louis Hummers Professional Softball Team which was inducted into the St. Louis Softball Hall of Fame last month. From 1977 through 1979, St. Louis hosted a women’s professional softball team, the St. Louis Hummers. The Hummers were part of the International Women’s Professional Softball Association (IWPSA). The St. Louis Softball Hall of Fame was founded in the late 1950′s to honor St. Louis soft ball players– both women and men- who have excelled at the game of softball.

LORE Yearbook

What makes Mercy so special? Buy the 2012 Lore and you'll read what students have to say about Mercy, discover little-known facts, relieve the excitement of cheering for your favorite teams and class on Field Day, and realize again why Mercy is unique. Only the Lore provides complete coverage of the year so don't miss the opportunity to hold onto your piece of history. Books can be purchased at www.yearbookforever.com. Any remaining copies will be sold at distribution for $75. Can't remember if you purchased a copy? Those on this list have already purchased their copy of the 2012 Lore.

Lore Staff Receive Numerous Awards: The Lore staff received a number of individual awards for the 2011 Lore These are the Days at the recent Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. Overall, the yearbook received a Gold status. Receiving recognition in individual events were:

1st in Caption Writing - Lore Staff
1st in Personality Profile - Clarissa LeVasseur
1st in Alternative Coverage - Susan Panetta
1st in Opening and Closing Pages - *Meghan Ronayne
2nd in Division Pages - Lore Staff
2nd in Theme - Lore Staff
2nd in Graphics - Ally Shrader and Laura Williams
3rd in Alternative Coverage - Laura Williams and *Katrina Chornij
3rd in Student Life Spread - Olivia Cholewa and Michaela Mazur
3rd in Cover and Endsheets - *Meghan Ronayne
3rd in Academic Spread - *Alyssa Muller
3rd in Academic Writing - *Alyssa Muller
3rd in Organization Writing - *Katrina Chornij
3rd in Advertising Spread - *Meghan Ronayne
Honorable Mention in Sports Reporting - Clarissa LeVasseur
Honorable Mention in Academic Spread - Meg Spenchian
Honorable Mention in Graphics - Heather Smith
Honorable Mention in Feature Presentation - *Meghan Ronayne and *Lizzie Flanagan
Honorable Mention in Sports Action Photo - *Alyssa Muller
*indicates a 2011 graduate


The annual Sweepstakes Drive will be coming to a close on May 2! Mercy has raised $115,000 so far, leaving just one weekend and $25,000 to reach our goal of $140,000. Everyone benefitted from the extra long Easter holiday thanks to the hardworking (selling) Mercy girls. Their efforts have also earned the school a four day weekend for Memorial Day. Our closing Sweepstakes assembly will be on May 2 where prizes will be awarded for highest school seller, highest class sellers, highest Advisor group and many more. The last day to qualify for prizes is May 1 and last day to turn in tickets to help the school is May 2. If you would like to check out the spirited kickoff videos go to newsprintnow.net. Let's get selling, Mercy!

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

More college committments! Elana Lamping committed to play volleyball at LaSalle University. Carlee Jackson committed to swim at Florida Atlantic University. Ally Shrader committed to play Lacrosse at University of Detroit Mercy. Go Marlins!

Post season awards for the Catholic League Champion Bowling Team:

All-Area 2nd Team - Maria Walawender
All-Area 3rd Team - Jasmine Wehr
All-Area Honorable Mention - Kathleen Abenes, Erica Canavan, Eleanor Carey
All-State All-Academic - Kathleen Abenes, Erica Canavan, Jasmine Wehr
Training Room - Mercy athletes have another opportunity to participate in an ACL prevention program study this summer. The program will include participating in the Henry Ford Center for Athletic Medicine Research Project for nine weeks. Before you begin, you will go through a series of functional movement tests. We will video record these tests to assess your stability, flexibility, and balance. Once the nine-week program is complete, we will retest and re-video tape you. Please note that we need people who are committed to completing the whole nine week program. Space is limited, so acceptance into the program will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please talk this over with your parents and email me if you are interested in participating. You and your parents will need to fill out this consent form before you begin. Mercy Athletic Trainer Nicole Schreiber MA, AT, ATC will be teaching the class at Lawrence Tech in Southfield on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm - 3:00pm beginning the week of June 12. This will not interfere with any other conditioning program that you may already be doing to prepare for sports. Click here for program flyer
Check out studentandathlete.com for plenty of Marlin sports coverage and Mercy In The News web page for articles. Spring sports are in action so show your Mercy pride and cheer on our Marlins! Link to the athletics schedule and even get driving directions.

Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing

Please join us for the Make a Difference for Mercy Golf Outing Monday, September 24, 2012 at Western Golf and Country Club.

This year’s outing supports Tuition Assistance and Athletics!

Invest in Mercy Girls! Sponsor! Donate! Golf!

18-hole shotgun scramble. Cart, driving range, contests, prizes. Continental breakfast and lunch.

Individual Golfer $150

Foursome $600

Sponsorship opportunities range from $200 to $5,000. Donations of golfer prizes or gifts are welcome.

For more information or to register call the Alumnae Office at 248.476.3270 or send an inquiry to alumnaeoffice@mhsmi.org. Stay tuned to Mercy's website for online registration details.

Volunteers needed prior to and day of event. Contact the Alumnae Office.

Senior Banquet

The Senior Banquet will be held Monday, May 21, 2012 at Laurel Manor in Livonia. Doors open at 6:30 pm; dinner is served promptly at 7:00 pm. To attend the banquet, each senior and each family member must have a ticket. Tickets for seniors are complimentary and tickets for family members are $25 each. All tickets must be picked up or purchased at one of the following times and places: Thursday, May 10 through Thursday, May 17, before and after school in N-9 or during periods 3 and 4 in the science office. No tickets will be sold after May 17. Tickets are not available at the door.

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

SENIOR PARENTS - Events, deadlines, details, and forms. Check out the Class of 2012 Senior Class Activities web page for all you need to know!

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

AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING - The National Honor Sociey will offer after school tutoring on Wednesdays from 2:45pm - 3:30pm throughout the school year. Tutoring sessions will have 4 to 5 NHS members in the Media Center to tutor in all subject areas.

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Mercy Month Ahead

Date / Time
Women Mean Business April 26 / 6:00pm Gymnasium
Talent Show April 27 / 9:55am Auditorium
Alumnae Tea for Tuition April 29 / 2:00pm Gymnasium
Mercy DADS Meeting
May 1 / 7:00pm
Sweepstakes Drive Closing Assembly May 2 / 10:10am Auditorium
Art Portfolio Senior Showcase

May 3 / 7:00pm

May 4 / 8:00am - 2:00pm

Media Center
Mercy MOTHERS Meeting May 6 / 6:30pm Media Center
Class of 2015 Fiesta May 11 / 6pm MHS
Festival of One Acts May 12 / 10:00am - 5:00pm MHS
Father / Daughter Golf Outing May 16 Baypointe
Senior Prom May 17 Roostertail Detroit
Senior Banquet May 21 / 6:30pm Laurel Manor
Baccalaureate Mass May 29 Auditorium
Honors Convocation / Senior Parties / Moving Up May 30 MHS
Graduation May 31 Compuware

If you have any questions or want to submit any educational stories or share some good Mercy news for the May Mercy MEMO, contact jhearle@mhsmi.org.

Want even more? Click the school year calendar and the Mercy website. 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.

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