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Mercy Education: Good News Digest September - December 2020 Edition

Mercy Education System of the Americas includes over 50 schools in six countries and one territory.

Here is a look at just some of the incredible and inspiring activities, events, service projects, accomplishments and more happening in our education ministries.

Mercy McAuley High School - Cincinnati, Ohio

The Mercy McAuley High School community of students, parents, employees and alumnae donated an astounding 335 Thanksgiving meals to Christ's Community, which serves as a local food pantry for neighbors in need. Each of the 335 meals collected included $20 for the purchase of a turkey - which means the Mercy McAuley community donated $6,700 as part of its 2020 Thanksgiving meal collection.

Mercy McAuley senior Kaitlyn Sansone was named a National Merit Semifinalist in September.

In October, Mercy McAuley High School celebrated its Junior Class at its annual Upperclasswomen Initiation Mass and Ring Ceremony. Students and parents attend this annual tradition, which honors the junior class as they receive their class rings.

Mount St. Mary Academy - Little Rock, Arkansas

Tennis Belles successfully defend conference title: For the second straight year, the Tennis Belles are Conference Champions after successfully defending their title in the 6A Central Conference Championship.

Senior class celebrates Ring Mass: It was a beautiful day for a beautiful, time-honored tradition.

Senior awarded QuestBridge Match Scholarship: Mount St. Mary Academy senior, Emily Van Ecko, has been awarded a full four-year scholarship through the 2020 QuestBridge National College Match program.

Mercy Career and Technical High School - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In November, students participated in our First Responders Luncheon. Originating as a passion project of Kayla Brown '21, lunches were provided by Mercy and organized as curbside pick-up. Students greeted First Responders with food, drink and conversation

The school launched its first newsletter in November. The Monarch Times was designed by Bill Nguyen, C'21, from our Advertising Art & Web Design program. Read the 1st issue here.

Mercy High School - Farmington Hills, Michigan

One Love Foundation Certifies Mercy as Champion School - Accreditation Awarded for Work Promoting Healthy Relationships

Congratulations to volleyball standout, Julia Bishop ‘21, who was selected as First Team Under Armour All-American and named the 2020 Miss Volleyball Michigan!

Beloved Receptionist Mary Harkness '70 Celebrates 50 Years at Mercy

Mercy Heights Catholic Nursery and Kindergarten - Tamuning, Guam

Mercy Heights received the 2020 best daycare award and 2nd best learning center award in the annual Pika's Best of Guam community choice awards. These awards celebrate and recognize the best our community has to offer. Pika's Best is an annual event sponsored by the Guam Pacific Daily News.

Mercy High School - Omaha, Nebraska

Mercy High School recently unveiled its upgraded Hannon Family Academic Success Center.

Students Recognized for ACT Scores: Mercy High School is continuing its tradition of recognizing and celebrating ACT achievements by inducting students into special ACT academic clubs.

Mercy Day Play Strikes Chord: This year’s Mercy Day featured a play that depicted not only the life and times of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy but also dealt with the themes of social justice, racism and more.

Mercy Junior College - Poblacion, Tubod, Lanao del Norte, Philippines

Due to the pandemic, students are having distant learning or modular classes in their respective homes. Some of them are discovering and developing new talents and skills in arts and research.

Traditions continue in new ways due to the pandemic. The annual Mercy Day prayer ritual was livestreamed for students. For Christmas, faculty, staff and sisters carried on the tradition of sharing their blessings with inmates of the Municipal Jail of Tubod, though student leaders were unable to participate as they usually do.

Merion Mercy Academy - Merion Station, Pennsylvania

Merion Mercy's freshman class experienced a day to connect with each other in a themed event entitled "Kindness and Purpose: Not Canceled During the Pandemic." Among the meaningful activities was setting purposeful goals for the year, a prayer service, and a service-learning activity.

Merion Mercy Music Theater produced a spectacular virtual entertainment experience for their fall show, Now. Here.This. The highly acclaimed musical premiered on the MerionMercy YouTube Channel on November 20.

Alumnae Board Career and Mentoring Committee Held a Lunch & Learn Focusing on Careers in STEM

School of St. John the Baptist - Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, Mindanao, Philippines

SSJB faculty and staff participated in community outreach as part of their celebration of Mercy Day and Foundation Day/Christmas. In September, groceries and clothing were distributed to nearby barangays. In December, supplies and food were distributed to indigenous forest protectors in Tonggo, Sinacaban.

Jade P. Ocab, Grade 10 student, was a speaker for an online gathering, Voices: Symphonies for Peace. This event welcomed diverse representations of the Christians, Muslims and Indigenous People from countries across Asia for dialogue about peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women - Rochester, New York

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women has released a State-of-the-School report along with a Christmas message to their entire community which acknowledges the difficulties of the past year and captures Mercy's achievements despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Seniors Tessa Hartzell and Alanna Jordan claimed the Section V Girls Tennis Doubles Championship for the Monarchs; Mercy Swimming had a great showing at Sectional finals; Soccer finished as Class A Runners-Up; and the varsity Cross Country team finished in 5th place overall in the Class A Sectional Finals.

Mercy Girls have been busy giving back to the community within the boundaries of COVID-19 health and safety standards. Through Mercy Service and their own efforts, they have wrapped, sorted, cooked, read, and fundraised for organizations that serve women, children, and the impoverished.

Mercy High School - Middletown, Connecticut

Mr. Marcus Harley a member of the Mathematics Department and head soccer coach, received the United Soccer Coaches High School Region Coach of the Year Award. He can add that award to this list of awards for 2020: SCC Division A Coach of the Year, New Haven Register All Area Coach of the Year, CGSCA Coach of the Year.

Soccer goalie, Melina Ford '23 was chosen as a member of the CGSCA All New England Girls Soccer Team. She was also named SCC All Division, SCC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, New Haven Register All Area, GameTimeCT Second Team All-State, CGSCA All-State

Soccer team defeated Cheshire High School 1-0 to win the SCC Division A Championship.

In the News: Mercy Math Team Seeks to Extend Streak of First Place Finishes and See What Mercy High School Has to Offer!

Infant of Prague Nursery and Kindergarten - Mangilao, Guam

The children at IOP are learning about taking care of Earth through recycling. One project helped them turn empty bottles into planters.

The IOP community collected $680 to help those in the Philippines who were impacted by back-to-back hurricanes in November.

A new student who is learning English felt brave enough to share her mathematical work during a recent class. Faculty is proud of how supportive and encouraging her classmates have been!

Gwynedd Mercy Academy Elementary - Spring House, Pennsylvania

Montgomery County Community College invited GMA to make a presentation to its Sustainability Council regarding our efforts in being named a 2020 National Green Ribbon School. Watch the presentation here; view photos here.

Through their poinsettia sale, raffle and dress down days, 7th and 8th grade students were able to make a difference to families in need during the holiday season. In addition, GMAE parents donated over $4,000 in gifts cards to those families.

GMAE faculty and staff donated 40 new children's coats to Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in Philadelphia.

Mercy Montessori Center - Cincinnati, Ohio

After a successful run with in-person school since August, Mercy Montessori made the difficult decision to go remote the week before winter break. As part of their advent preparations, some of the school's Lower Elementary pods (25 students in grades 1-3) created a reading challenge during this remote week. For each chapter or book read, a can would be donated to Mercy Neighborhood Ministries. At the end of the week, the students read 349 books/chapters and, thanks to the donations of their teacher, assistant principal, and a parent, donated 524 cans to Mercy Neighborhood Ministries.

Mercy was honored as a Top Workplace for the third year in a row, winning best small business category this year! In addition, we recently received our second recycling award from the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District for our continued efforts in environmental stewardship.

Alpha Primary School - Kingston, Jamaica

Keshamoi Powell, one of our grade 6 girls, is the most outstanding girl in the 2019 -2020 Grade Six Primary Exit Profile Exams. She has outperformed all the girls on the island and is the recipient of one of the Government Scholarships.

Despite the continued restriction of physical interaction between students and teachers, Alpha Primary School is able to deliver regular online classes to over 85% of our school population. Psychosocial support is extended to both students and staff. Prayer and reflective sessions are done on a daily basis with students and teachers are able to engage in special virtual support sessions.

St. Catharine Academy - Bronx, New York

Samantha Huerta '21, selected as a QuestBridge Scholar, earns full four-year scholarship to Boston College

Over 500 toys and books were donated by administration, faculty, staff, students and alumnae.

SCA showed their holiday spirit by continuing their annual tradition of decorating the halls, doors and more for the Christmas season. Watch the video of the students' art inspired by winter and the holidays.

Colegio Santa Ethnea - Bella Vista, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mercy Day was celebrated virtually with the theme: "Journeying in the Footsteps of Mercy: Yesterday, Today, Always." The school community came together online for a Mass, then shared how they continue to journey in Mercy, even at a distance. Students shared about the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Argentina, the beginning years of Santa Ethnea, and how graduates continue to embrace the mission.

Café of the Arts was held from November 10-12 on a virtual platform which included a display of school-wide projects and performances from the school orchestra and chorus.

In November, graduating students were able to safely return to school in small groups, respecting all necessary precautions, as a way to reconnect with their classmates and end both their school year and educational career at Santa Ethnea. On December 11 they celebrated with great joy an in-person graduation ceremony with small groups and social distancing.

Cristo Rey High School - Sacramento, California

On December 19th, more than 65 Cristo Rey families were provided with food and Christmas presents to make the Christmas season just a little brighter. This Christmas Share program could not have been successful without the generosity of so many in the Sacramento community. Our Board Members, faculty and staff, Corporate Work Study Partners, local Parishes and many friends of Cristo Rey came together to make the end of 2020 a whole lot brighter for our Cristo Rey families.

Mercyhurst Preparatory School - Erie, Pennsylvania

Students and staff planned a Foundation Day event focused on the Mercy Critical Concern for Earth. A summary of the event is available here. As part of the event, the school is rolling out several new initiatives including local park and beach clean-up, tree planting, researching solar and wind power options for energy and more.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Mercyhurst Prep provides Lakers with a worldview education that encourages an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages, and points of view. Ten MPS graduates were awarded their IB diplomas in a small ceremony in December. Congratulations! 

Mercymount Country Day School - Cumberland, Rhode Island

Students enjoyed shopping for Christmas presents for loved ones at the annual Santa Store, held with proper health guidelines in place!

Since the beginning of the academic year, the Mercymount community has collected 1,500 pounds of non-perishable items for the Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry.

Students from preschool through grade 8 participated in planting 220 tulip bulbs on the campus of Mercymount as a recent enrichment project. We all look forward to seeing their efforts in bloom this coming spring.

St. Vincent's Academy - Savannah, Georgia

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris formally announced naming Tina Flournoy, SVA Class of 1974, as her chief of staff. Tina was former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and is a seasoned Democratic operative. Harris said in a statement that Flournoy’s “deep experience, public policy expertise, and accomplished career in public service make her uniquely qualified for this important position."

St. Mary Academy - Bay View - Riverside, Rhode Island

Bay View recently announced new electives and workshops coming in Fall 2021 to promote equality and anti-racism. Workshops will be taught by students serving on the Culture and Identity Curriculum Committee and explore topics such as gender, identity and race. Thanks to input from committee members, two new electives will also be offered: Global Resistance - Revolt for Equity and Freedom and Multicultural Women's Voices in Contemporary Literature. Learn more here.

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School - Chicago, Illinois

On November 11, Mother McAuley hosted a fall Signing Day for senior athletes. Three students committed to play collegiate sports at their respective schools.

Each semester McAuley recognizes “Macs with Merit." Students who have been chosen to receive this award are nominated based on their honorable character traits, a diligent work ethic or notable contributions to our McAuley community. View: Macs with Merit Fall Awardees 2020

Congratulations to senior Bridget Adu-Dapaah on being selected as a Posse Scholar! Bridget has been awarded a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Oberlin College.

Waldron Mercy Academy - Merion Station, Pennsylvania

Students created a prayer chain to connect them while they are separated by cohort. The chain was hung outside for all to see.

The school's Giving Tuesday event raised nearly $15k for our school while also creating an amazing sense of community.

Notre Dame High School - Elmira, New York

Since COVID-19 prevented so many from attending live performances during the holiday season, Notre Dame High School presented the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life via YouTube, without cost, as a thank-you to their community. You can watch the performance here.

Every year for St. Nicholas Day, Campus Ministry organizes a visit from St. Nick and a team of spritely elves to leave candy treats in the shoes of ND students, faculty and staff. The beloved tradition was done much differently in 2020 with parents bringing students to campus for a drive-by visit.

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School students, staff, parents and alumni gathered outside of Mercy Hospital on December 10 to hold a prayer service for Mercy Hospital COVID-19 healthcare workers and patients. Mercy Hospital staff, doctors and nurses gathered outside as well as in the hallways for the prayer service. The service finished with 12 seconds of light and encouragement with service attendees flashing lights, honking horns and cheering. The number 12 represents December 12, the founding day of the Sisters of Mercy, that links the two institutions.

St. Catherine Academy - Belize City, Belize

This year has undoubtedly been, for Belize, one of the most challenging and difficult years: hurricanes Eta and Iota slamming Central America in rapid succession, difficult economic times and the COVID-19 virus. Irrespective of all 2020’s negative factors, Saint Catherine Academy embarked in its Christmas Cheer Program where parents and students were asked to give selflessly to those in need in the wider community through financial donations, good baskets and gifts. Gifts were also provided to families in need within the school.