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).
A Lent Like No Other
A Lent Like No Other: Turn Isolation into Thanksgiving, Love & Service
We are almost midway through Lent. What does that mean during this most unusual time? Our Churches are open, but only for private reflection. We cannot come together as the worshipping community, the Body of Christ. We cannot receive the gift of Eucharist! So what does that mean for you and for me? Perhaps, as a family, we can come together at least once daily to share another form of Eucharist…that is what the word Eucharist means.
THANKSGIVING. Here is the new Lenten challenge: for whom, for when, for what are we thankful? Could you or we find at least one reason each day, together, to say: Thank God for… Does this time of isolation and confinement now give us time as a family to gather around the dinner table, to eat together and share our thoughts, feelings, conversation? Could it be that our God is asking us to slow down, to notice to listen? I for one, surely ponder this question.
“LOVE one another as I have loved you,” Jesus. I hear stories even after one week of confinement, people going stir crazy. Students confined, learning online, no face to face social time. How can we remain patient and loving in this kind of environment? I am reminded of the story of the two prisoners. One looked out and saw mud while the other looked out and saw sunshine or stars. Loving kindness may well be a challenge. If we can think globally and how temporary this is for us, perhaps, just maybe this confinement, frustration, worry, can be our prayer for so many who are suffering. I just read a note from our friend, Sister Marylyn Lacey, Sister of Mercy, Mercy Beyond Borders Director. In the note she speaks of the students at St. Bakita’s, a boarding school, South Sudan, trying to protect themselves as they sleep three to one bed. Pray with loving kindness and love beyond ourselves.
SERVICE: As we look beyond our own household, are there people to whom we can extend a helping hand: grocery shopping, delivering a meal, a phone call or a written message. I include myself in this challenge and what I am realizing that I am making phones calls to folks each day that I ordinarily would not have called. Can limitations on our freedom imposed upon us be transformed into special Lenten offerings like no other we have ever experienced?
Finally, I believe one of the greatest challenges for each of us is to TRUST. When tempted to be fearful, can we realize that fear comes from the unknown. None of us knows what is in store for us. We don’t know what to expect from one day to the next.
During this time when Churches are closed and we are “enclosed” let us pray for open hearts—for trust in God’s loving providence for you, for me, for our country, for our world.
Catherine McAuley’s Suscipe has a line and a prayer that I believe is so appropriate for this time: “Teach me to cast myself entirely into the loving arms of your divine providence.”
Let’s DO IT!