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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). 



Best Years of My Life

March 13, 2019
By Deb Daley

“The first five words that come from my mouth when I talk about Mercy are ‘the best years of my life,’” said Megan O’Hara Hayes ’09. The Digital and National Sales Assistant in the Advertising and Sales Department at WOWT is grateful to Mercy for helping her find the best version of herself.

Ironically, she did not want to attend Mercy because both of her sisters and mother went to Marian.  Her mother insisted that Mercy would be a better fit. 
“After the first day I was content, and during my time there contentment turned into love,” she said.

Megan was also fortunate to able to talk with other relatives about the Mercy experience.  Her aunt, Colleen O’Hara Allsion ’65, went to Mercy and played Catherine McAuley in the Mercy Day Play.  Her grandmother, Patricia Murphy McGonigal ’56, also told her stories about helping to tile the hallways when the school was built.

While at Mercy, Megan played catcher and second base on the softball team for four years.  She loved to sing and became a member of the Concert Choir and Mercy High Singers.  She was also active in Campus Ministry, Theatre, and Speech.  During her senior year she played Judas in a one-act of Godspell, which did well in competitions. 

“When I was younger, I had trouble speaking in front of people. At Mercy I was able to excel on the Mercy Speech Team in Districts and State.  Mercy turned a weakness into a strength,” Megan said.

Megan studied Theology and English at the College of St. Mary.  She also played softball in college.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do following graduation but prayed for some sort of sign to lead her in the right direction.

“The word ‘advertising’ kept popping in my head, so I applied at a local promotional advertising company and eventually landed the job at WOWT, the third generation O’Hara to work there,” she added. 

In her current position, Megan assists with both the analytical and creative processes of online and television ads. 

“Because of Mercy, I’ve learned to push beyond my comfort zone, set goals, and reach higher and higher.  Of course, I use my degree in my current position but because of the confidence I gained at Mercy. I can push beyond my comfort level,” she said.

Megan tries to give regularly to the school and is a proud ambassador for the education she received.

“It’s easy to teach things from a book at any school, but at Mercy I learned so many valuable things that weren’t on a study guide. There is no cookie cutter or mold of a typical Mercy Girl, but the two constant components are confidence and compassion,” she said. 

Have ideas for other alumnae features, contact Deborah Daley, Communications and Marketing Director,

Posted in Featured Alumnae