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Two New Hires for the Advancement Team

Sammie Emsick Becker ’05 has accepted the Director of Events position at Mercy High School and began her new role on June 13, 2022.

Since graduating from Mercy, Sammie earned a bachelor in elementary education, a certificate in Catholic School leadership, and most recently, a Master of Science in educational leadership. Outside classroom teaching, she has served as the athletic director for St. James for the past three years where, in conjunction with supervising all things athletics, annually planned the “Spring Fling” fundraiser where dollars raised went straight to the athletic program. Her most recent “Spring Fling” event set a record for money raised for St. James. She further has event planning experience by way of her time at Dundee Bank, where she was the community involvement coordinator and worked closely with various Omaha businesses to promote and grow relationships with key stakeholders of the bank via special events.

She’s married to Tyler Becker and has two boys Ty (12) and Drew (10). 
Welcome back to Mercy Sammie!

Brian Altenhofen began his new position as Director of Marketing and Communications on July 5th.

He comes to Mercy with a wealth of knowledge having earned a doctorate degree in communication and technology studies from Texas A&M University and teaching at Truman State University for the past five years. He also served as the Director of the Truman Leadership Scholars, mentoring and programming leadership experiences for Truman Scholars. Prior to his academic career he spent five years as a Jesuit Scholastic.

He is married to Michaela Cullan Altenhofen who will return to Mary Our Queen Catholic School teaching 3rd grade. They have four children Dylan (16), Lily (9), Dominic (7), and Clara (3). 



A Life-Long Love of Learning

February 09, 2021
By Deb Daley

 William Butler Yeats once said about teachers, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The importance of not extinguishing that fire has proven more important than ever, especially during the challenging times of the pandemic. Teachers have had to pivot, be innovative, teach virtually, keep students engaged and manage their own pandemic-associated concerns.  An educator is truly priceless. One such teacher is Mary McGuire ’88.

For more than a quarter of a century, Mary has taught at elementary schools in the Omaha area.  She was at St. Pius/St. Leo for 24 years teaching pre-kindergarten to fifth graders and most recently at Columbian Elementary teaching first-graders. 

“I love being a teacher. It is no exaggeration to say that teaching during a pandemic has been a challenge, but we are making it. Each day is different, there are always challenges, and I laugh about a million times a day.” 

Mary remembers with fondness her years at Mercy.  She attended the school from 1984 to 1988 following her older sister, Catherine McGuire, ’86. While there, she was involved with Campus Ministry, Student Council, was a class officer, helped with the prom committee and kept stats for the volleyball team one year.

“I had the chance to lead, make mistakes, learn from my experiences and knew I had support from the faculty and staff to find my way.  Those lessons are still with me today.”

She also found her life-long love for learning.

“I had some great teachers at Mercy, people who let me be myself and encouraged me to do my best.  I take that into my classroom with my students.”

After graduating from Mercy, Mary attended Creighton University and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education in 1992.  She continued her studies at the university and received a Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2012.  Mary also took 30 plus hours in school counseling and is completing an early childhood endorsement at Creighton hopefully this summer.

Grateful for her Mercy education, she is a strong supporter of the school and regularly attends FIESTA. 

She is quick to tell others to also show their support.

“There are a million things you can do to support your school; it’s just finding what works best for you.” 


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