Sr. Dee Leaving at the End of the School Year
On Wednesday, September 7th, Sr. Delores Hannon announced her resignation as president of Mercy High School to the Board of Directors effective June 30th, 2023. She has served as president since 2009, having served for 14 years.
Sr. Dee, as she is affectionately known to students, faculty and parents, has overseen many changes at the school. The school facilities have experienced improvements with The Hannon Center for Academic Success, heating and cooling systems, new lockers, bathrooms, a dramatic facelift to the front offices and entryway, to name a few. By the time Sr. steps down, most of the school will have gone through some sort of renovation. Mercy High School has also experienced growth in their academic reputation. “One of the things I’m most proud of is the expectation that our students will be readily prepared for college” Sr. Delores explains. “We’ve expanded our counseling and SAT/ACT preparation, while faculty and staff have increased the expectations of what our students are capable of accomplishing. I have a very strong faith that the Mercy spirit continues to thrive through our students as they serve in their respective communities.”
Sr. Delores has been an educator for more than 40 years. She grew up in North English, Iowa on a mixed livestock farm, the only child of William and Mary Hannon. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1969 and quickly was tapped for leadership in schools. She became a principal at St. Matthew’s Grade School in Kalispell, Montana, in 1978 followed by a short stint at Our Lady of Grace School in Edina, Minnesota, from 1981-1983. From 1983-1995 Sr. Dee was the principal at several grade schools in Iowa. She moved on to serve as the Vice President of the Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the President of St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge, Iowa before ultimately coming to Mercy High School in 2009.
The Board of Directors will form a search committee to begin the search process in the near
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).
Honoring Catherine McAuley
One of the most beloved traditions at Mercy High School is Mercy Day, the day which celebrates the life of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and the 1827 opening of the House of Mercy in Dublin. On September 24, there was a Mass, seniors presented a play to the student body depicting Catherine’s life and visited the Villa in Omaha where many of the retired Sisters now live. A highlight of the play was the unveiling of the seniors who portray McAuley. This is considered one of the biggest honors students can receive and is voted on by the senior class. The event was streamed live on Facebook and Mercy graduates throughout the country watched the broadcast and celebrated the special day.
This year’s two Catherine McAuleys were Madeline Riesberg who served as the narrator of the play and Katie Geist who portrayed the younger Catherine on stage.
Madeline is a member of Student Council, National Honor Society, Pastoral Council, and runs Track and Field. She has been on the Core Team for Operation Others for two years. Her sophomore year she was on the Nocturne Court and her junior year on the Prom Court. A member of St. Gerald’s Parish, her older sister Makayla graduated in 2013 and her younger sister Megan is a freshman now. She hopes to go into veterinary school or study neuroscience at college. She works part-time at a vet clinic.
“This is one of the biggest honors I have ever received in my life. I am humbled by the fact that my classmates chose me,” she said.
Katie has participated in Volleyball and Track. Last year she set a new school record in discuss throwing it 111 feet and 7 inches. She is a Student Ambassador, a member of National Honor Society, Pro Life One Club and Board Game Club. Katie is a Mercy High School Singer and also plays the flute, sometimes accompanying the group on her flute. She was also a princess in the Nocturne Court. She recently was inducted as an EMHC and is a member of Pastoral Council. The Mary Our Queen parishioner is also part of a Mercy legacy. Her mother Sandra Kurcl Geist ’89 is a graduate and her sister Ellie is a freshman. She is currently looking at attending a Catholic college and has not decided upon a major.
“I was in complete shock when I was chosen. I hope I can live up to the honor my classmates have bestowed on me,” she said.
Alumnae throughout the country shared pictures and comments on social media using the hashtag #OMercyDay2019.
To learn more about Mercy contact Admissions Director, Anne McGill at email@example.com