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New Coaches

August 09, 2017
By Kevin Modrell

The following are new coaches at Mercy for the 2017-2018 school year.

Cross Country:

Paul Beran previously taught Science at Papillion-La Vista High School and will teach Science at Mercy and serve as Cross Country Coach. He coached Cross Country at Papillion for the past five years. See more about Paul at


Jessica Maddigan is from Camarillo, Calif. The last four years she attended Creighton University pursuing a degree in Elementary Education as well as playing softball there, where she earned multiple Big East All-Academic team honors. This fall she will be student teaching at Holy Cross and work as an Assistant Softball Coach.

Alyssa Reinhart will be an Assistant Softball Coach. She is currently enrolled in Creighton University where she is student teaching this fall, and finishing her degree in Elementary Education in December. While at Creighton she competed in softball and was named to the Big East All-Academic team multiple times.


Molly Doughtery Rose ’07 will be Mercy’s Head Varsity Volleyball coach. Molly graduated from Mercy High School in 2007 and went on to play volleyball at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. She graduated in 2011 and joined Mercy Volunteer Corps, which sent her to Detroit, Michigan to work as a high school English teacher and Varsity Volleyball Coach at Detroit Cristo Rey High School. She worked there for two years and moved back home to Omaha to begin her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at UNO. She is still taking classes to pursue her degree. She is married to Jason Rose and they have two children, Maggie (18 months) and Patrick (2 months).

Joel Kiihne: Joel will be the Head Freshman Volleyball Coach. It is his first year with Mercy High School. He coaches Premier Volleyball in the off-season and previously coached Sunset West Volleyball. Joel works for Mutual of Omaha.

Mike Newburn: Mike is Mercy High School Head Junior Volleyball Coach. This is his first year with Mercy. He coaches for Performance Volleyball Club in the offseason, and has many years of experience. He is also the Director of Volleyball for Papillion Recreation Organization.

Mercy Offers a Place for Everyone

August 07, 2017
By Deb Daley

As Mercy High School opens it doors this school year on August 11, the earliest of any Omaha school, the nearly 360 young women in the student body will truly represent “ a slice of Omaha” with some additional unique family and non-family connections.

Some highlights that spotlight the diversity of the school:

The student body represents many ethnic groups including: 73% White, 11 % Hispanic; 6 % Black, 2 % Asian, 1 % Native American and under 1 % Hawaiian.

Students are members of all socioeconomic levels--families with incomes from 100,000 plus (40 % or more) to families who qualify for low income and qualify for free and reduced lunches (29% or more).

The young women emanate from all residential zip codes in Omaha.

“ With representation from every residential zip code and our socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, our students learn that the best ideas come from different perspectives,” said Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM, President, Mercy High School.

At the same time, family connections are strong with 19% having sisters or cousins currently enrolled. There are also three sets of twins in the freshmen class. Many students also are legacies with great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and others graduating from the school.

Ironically, Mercy also has four freshmen girls with the same last name as Hernandez or derivative of that name, but they are not related; two who have Lee and two who have Rangel as last names, but are not related.

As is tradition, Student Council members, Student Ambassadors, Dance Team Members and Cheerleaders will welcome new students beginning at 7:20 a.m. on August 11 in the front of the school.

Seven Join Mercy's Faculty/Staff

August 04, 2017
By Deb Daley

An administrator, five new faculty members and an executive assistant are joining the faculty and staff at Mercy High School for the 2017-18 academic year. They include: Shannon Alt, Mathematics; Paul Beran, Science; Kathleen Daley Jones ’88, Executive Assistant to the President; Mindy Fasano, Music; Christine Gonderinger ’12, Mathematics; Kevin Modrell, Athletic Director: and Joshua von Kampen, Theatre/Drama. They join a faculty of top-notch educators, over 60 percent who have their master’s and are providing individualized attention to students with a 13 to 1 student /faculty ratio.

Kevin Modrell will serve as the school’s Athletic Director, responsible for managing nine sports, coaches for those sports, as well as all athletic events. Bringing a wealth of experience in coaching and teaching, Modrell recently was a Secondary Educator at Papillion La Vista Ideal School and previously a Social Studies teacher. He was a wresting coach in the Millard, Papillion and Conestoga school systems and a golf professional at several clubs.

He holds a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences Education from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, a master’s in Recreation and Sports Sciences from Ohio University and anticipates completing a Masters of Arts in Education (MAE) in 7-12 Principalship from the University of Nebraska, Kearney in 2019.

Two teachers have joined the Mathematics team. Shannon Alt most recently taught Algebra II, Precalculus and Honors Calculus at Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn, Maryland. She also led a writing seminar on ethical research at John Hopkins University, was a Physics Laboratory instructor at the University of California, Los Angeles, a tutor in math, a teaching assistant at the University of California, Santa Cruz and was a student research engineer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

She has a Bachelor’s in Applied Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master’s of Science in Engineering/Applied Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The second addition to the math faculty is Mercy alumna, Christine Gonderinger ’12.

She most recently taught at Westside High School, had practicum experience both at Bellevue East and Bellevue West High Schools as well as Mercy. She was a math tutor and a religious education catechist at St. Pius X Catholic Parish. Her additional leadership experience includes being a Junior Varsity Cheer Coach at Westside.

Christine earned her Bachelor’s in Math Education from Creighton University, was a member of Alphas Sigma Nu (the Jesuit Honors Society) and Pi Mu Epsilon (the Math Honors Society).

Joining the Performing Arts team are Mindy Fasano, Music and Joshua von Kampen, Theatre/Drama.

Mindy has taught music for more than 12 years. Most recently she was a vocal/music teacher at Christ the King School. She was also at Our Lady of Lourdes, AHST Elementary Avoca, Iowa and Walnut Community School District. Walnut, Iowa as well as Lewis Central School District, Council Bluffs, Iowa.

She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Vocal Music Education, K-12, from the University of Northern Iowa. She is also a member of the Omaha Symphonic Chorus and the National Association for Music Education.

Joshua was a Musical Co-Director at Roncalli High School, directing student actors and the stage crew. He is also the Leader of Music Ministry at the St. John Paul II Newman Center. In addition, he did clinical and practicum teaching at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bellevue East High School and Westside Middle School.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Education with an endorsement in Language Arts and an additional major in English.

Paul Beran, Science, has been teaching Science for over 30 years most recently at Papillion Senior High School. Additional teaching appointments include Papillion La Vista Junior High School and Ansley High School, Ansley, Nebraska. He also coached cross-country, track and football. He has been honored as a “teacher of the quarter” several times in Papillion.

He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Education with endorsements in Natural Science, Biology and Physical Education from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He holds a Master’s in Education from Peru State College.

Mercy graduate Kathleen Daley Jones ’ 88, will serve as Executive Assistant to the President of Mercy High School, Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM. A mother of six, her daughters, Abi, a senior, and Clara, a freshman, attend the school and Erin graduated last year.

She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and was the Recruitment Director for the school from 1995-1999.



Golden Guild Tea Set for Sept. 9

August 03, 2017
By Deb Daley

The Mercy High School Alumnae Council will host its annual Golden Guild Tea on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9:15 a.m. in the school’s chapel. Women who have celebrated their 50th reunion from St. John’s, St. Mary’s or Mercy High School are invited to attend the tea reception.

The program will include a rosary for the intention of students and alumnae. Golden Guild pins will be presented to graduates who have not received their pins previously.

One of the symbols associated with the Sisters of Mercy and foundress Catherine McAuley, is “a comfortable cup of tea. ” While on her deathbed McAuley remarked to her sisters,” Be sure you have a comfortable cup of team for them when I am gone.” Since then the cup of tea has become a symbol of Mercy hospitality.

Reservations for the event an be made on Mercy's website or to Katy Butts ’03, Alumnae Relations Director and Events Manager at or by calling 402.553.9424.

HVAC Renovation

June 22, 2017
By Deb Daley

In the summer of 2017 you will see the building abuzz with the sights and sounds of construction. The work will take place in three phases: heating systems renovation, air conditioning upgrades and installation of centralized control systems. Mercy is converting the steam heat system to a more efficient hot water heating system.

Workers began the Thursday before Memorial Day and started on the third and second floors, as well as in the boiler room. The rooms with old radiators will have them replaced with new units and those with window air conditioners will have a unit placed in the ceiling tile.

The building is a bit messy, so we apologize for any inconvenience or disruptions this may cause. Project timelines call for the majority of work to be completed by the new school year in the fall of 2017.

These efforts are the culmination of an 18-month campaign to renovate Mercy’s HVAC systems and to raise funds to support this $2 million effort. Our tenacity paid off thanks to a generous $1 million matching grant and inspired support from donors, alumnae, family and friends of over $760,000. Mercy is confident that additional monies will be given by the matching grant deadline to complete this campaign.

If interested in donating to this effort, please contact Jim Pogge, Vice President for Advancement at












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