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).
Alumna Helps Homeless
Meg Maynard ’13 is a third generation Woman of Mercy who discovered the power of social justice during her years at Mercy High School. She now works for a nonprofit that provides after-school programs, adult learning and family initiatives at homeless shelters.
Even though she was a Mercy legacy, Meg had a choice of which Catholic school to attend. She shadowed at all three all-girls Catholic schools in Omaha, but ‘Mercy felt right.’ Her grandmothers Rosemary Litton Maynard SM'44 and Ann Bendon Wieberg ’57, her mother, Angela Wieberg Maynard ’83, as well as several aunts and cousins are all Mercy alumnae.
While at the school, Meg played soccer and volleyball, was a member of the MESS spirit club, and went on the trip to Ireland during her junior year. She was also a Student Council representative all four years as well as president her senior year.
“Student Council was probably my favorite activity. I enjoyed the work behind the scenes and the fulfillment when those activities came to life. I also liked the way that students and faculty came together for these efforts. My participation taught me leadership, gave me confidence, and it was fun,” she said.
Meg is especially proud that during her time on Student Council, the group created SIESTA, the student version of the annual FIESTA fundraiser, to support Mission Week.
“Traditions are such an important part of Mercy, and we created one that is part of the school’s student life landscape now,” she said.
According to Meg, Mercy’s small class sizes and the dedication and commitment of the teachers sets Mercy apart from other schools.
“The teachers were amazing. They were willing to help you inside and outside of the classroom. They are still helping me today. In fact, Ms. Mandi Marcuccio has become somewhat of a mentor to me. She is always present and passionate about education and her enthusiasm is contagious,” she said.
Meg’s favorite classes were in theology. A project on foster care that included research and writing a paper was a pivotal moment for Meg. That activity reinforced her commitment to social justice and evidentially led to her to the work she does now.
“I was unsure of what I was going to study in college. This project opened my eyes and ignited a spark in me. It led me to my major in social work and my career,” she said.
After graduation, Meg went to Creighton University where she majored in Spanish and social work. She continued her involvement in leadership activities though participation in Creighton’s Freshman Leadership Program. She was also a sophomore mentor and served as a Resident Advisor during both her junior and senior years.
“Mercy instilled in me the confidence to be a leader. The community there builds you up, encourages you to succeed. Without the distraction and competition from men, shyness disappears. I never feel intimidated, and I have the courage to try new things,” she said.
She graduated from Creighton in 2017. Now she works at a nonprofit called Completely KIDS to coordinate after school programs, adult learning and family initiatives in homeless shelters.
“Kids programs include snacks, a relaxing activity, a question of the day, and lessons for the day. Sometimes we have outside partners share programs on the arts and other skill-building activities,” she said.
Adult learning takes place at the Ronald McDonald house and includes many activities.
Meg tries to keep in touch with her Mercy community through social media and attends alumnae events when she can.
“Mercy’s social media presence is strong and engaging. It keeps me involved and I love reading what is going on,” she said.
Through her family, teachers, in work and her passion for social justice, Meg’s ties to Mercy are strong. She feels Mercy is a part of who she is, and she sums it up with a quote that Mrs. Kristi Walters Wessling ’88, current principal, once shared with her: “You never really leave a place you love. Part of it you take with you, leaving a part of you behind.”