Mercy Welcomes Two New Faculty
Jim Mayberger is our new business and technology teacher. He comes to us from OPS where he was a curriculum specialist.
He managed the Business Marketing and Information Technology, Family and Consumer Science, Skilled and Technical Science, and Robotics departments.
“I am excited to teach in a faith-based school. I really enjoy being in the classroom and I look forward to being part of the Mercy community.”
Jenna Saraka joins our math department. She comes to us from Omaha Central, where she taught for five years.
“I am most excited about joining a staff and community that offers strong educational opportunities and many extracurricular activities for students that are centered around faith.
I am also excited to work with students who are eager to learn in and out of the classroom!”
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).
FIESTA: A Leaping Succes
Mercy High School’s FIESTA 2020 was a record-breaker with the most money raised, $420,000, and the largest crowd, 561 attendees, since the event began in 1985. FIESTA 2020: Leaping into our Future took place on Leap Day February 29, 2020. Funds raised will support the school’s Negotiated Tuition Program, which provides tuition assistance to deserving students so they can attend Mercy. More than $1.8 million in tuition assistance is distributed annually thanks to generous donors and fundraising events like FIESTA.
Highlights of the event include:
• Sr. Johanna Burnell, RSM, former school president, received the Cor Misericordiae Award, the highest honor the school bestows. The crowd also celebrated her 60th jubilee as a Sister of Mercy by watching a heart-warming video that outlined her life.
• Joanne Stewart ’72 was named the 2020 Distinguished Woman of Mercy, an award given by the Mercy High School Alumnae Council.
• Student Council President Sophie Harvat ’20 thanked donors and reminded them of the impact their financial contributions have. “At Mercy, we are taught to spread love and kindness, grow in our faith, and to stand up for what is right and what we believe in. Mercy has taught me how to be the very best version of myself and to make no apologies for who I am,” she said.
• The FIESTA 2020 Chairs were Mercy parents Eric and Nicole Liebig Lakeman ’92. They were assisted by a large cadre of volunteers, including parents and students, that made the event successful.
• The “Fill the Monarch” segment allowed participants to make gifts in honor of Sr. Johanna’s 60th jubilee. The Lozier Foundation provided a $50,000 matching grant to jumpstart the effort. This gift was made in Sr. Johanna’s honor as she helped establish the school’s relationship with the foundation during her presidency. Close to $140,000 was raised.
• In addition to trips, concerts, gift baskets, sport tickets, collectibles, gift cards and a myriad of other auction items, a new category of items to bid on was the Teacher Wish List. These were items that teachers asked for to help make their classroom experiences more exciting and educational for students.
• Mercy is grateful to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who provided sponsorships, underwriting support and purchased advertising in the event’s catalog.
Next year’s FIESTA will be held on February 20, 2021.
Additional photos are here.