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).
Alumnae Coach Basketball
This year, all of Mercy’s basketball teams will be coached by Mercy alumnae. The three graduates not only share a love of basketball and coaching, but they also feel honored to give back to their alma mater. The coaches are Nicole Lenczowski ‘06, Head Coach, Varsity; Becky Markey ’06, Head Coach, Junior Varsity; and Laura Salerno ‘18, a volunteer who helps with both teams.
Nicole got involved with coaching right after she graduated in 2006. She volunteered as Scott Stara’s assistant for the Freshmen and Junior Varsity basketball teams for seven seasons. When Scott took the head Varsity job in 2014, she remained his assistant until he stepped down.
While at Mercy, Nicole was involved in many activities. She ran cross country and track and played basketball. She was a class officer for multiple years, a Student Ambassador and a member of Pastoral Council.
She currently works at Union Pacific Railroad as a project manager in the Fuel and Environmental group, managing projects related to industrial wastewater treatment plants and fuel systems across the network.
“I wanted to be part of the Mercy community, and I love the sport of basketball especially being a part of the girls’ high school careers,” said Nicole.
Nicole and Becky, the JV Head Coach, were one of only two members of their class who played basketball during their four years at Mercy. Becky also played soccer all four years and was involved in journalism, serving as the yearbook editor.
She had already been hired as Mercy’s Junior Varsity soccer coach when the JV basketball coaching position opened, so she jumped on it.
“Since Nicole and I played together, It seemed like a natural fit,” Becky said.
The soccer standout played at Dominican University in River City, Illinois. She also coached at an all-girls school in Chicago and with the Bennington Soccer Club in Omaha. Becky played for three years on a women’s recreational soccer team while attending Notre Dame de Namur University in California.
Becky is currently an underwriter for an insurance company. She is a third-generation Mercy graduate. Both her grandmother, Patricia Doughtery Markey SM ’54 (deceased), and mother, Mary Jo Cumberland-Markey ’74, attended the school as well as her sisters Rachel Markey Andersen '04 and Ruthie Markey Stirewalt '09.
“The spirit of Mercy has always been part of my life,” she said.
Laura Salerno is not only a full-time student; she works two jobs while volunteering for the basketball program. She is a part-time therapy tech and nanny.
The 2018 graduate played basketball and volleyball, was a class officer, Student Ambassador and member of the National Honor Society. This is her second year of volunteering with the basketball teams. Her sisters Marie Salerno ’18, Katherine Salerno ’15 and Anna Salerno ’18 also attended the school.
“My dad coached me throughout my childhood, which gave me a great view of both the coaching and playing side of sports. I love sports and enjoy working with people. If I am able to help one girl on our team, it would be an ultimate accomplishment.“
Laura holds the school’s rebounding record, was named to metro and state all-star teams her senior year and was the Most Valuable Player that year.