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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). 



Mercy Couple to Receive Cor Misericordiae Award

December 03, 2018
By Deb Daley

A love of Mercy High School’s mission and a dedication to giving others an opportunity for that education are the inspiration behind Nicole Hahn Jesse ’80 and John Jesse’s long-term commitment to the school.  The couple has lent their considerable talents to Mercy as leadership volunteers, Donors of Distinction, parents, and business advisors.  In honor of their dedication, Mercy High School will recognize the couple at its 2019 FIESTA on February 16, 2019 with its highest award: the Cor Misericordiae Award.  The award reflects the Heart of Mercy: the core values of faith, knowledge, and service that shape each Mercy student.  

Their Mercy story began with Nicole who attended Mercy and was active in Student Council, theatre, music, speech, and debate.  In fact, she credits Mercy with helping to define who she is.

“When I entered Mercy, I was not very confident.  The school helped me find myself. I truly believe students become confident women there.  My husband and I are committed to making sure other young girls have the opportunity for a Mercy education,” said Nicole.  

Powerful women were an integral part of Nicole’s formative years both at school and in her personal life.  Her family founded La Casa Pizzaria, where she now serves as General Manager and Co-Owner.  Her mother and aunt operated the business for many years until they retired.  Nicole has worked at the business all her life and met her husband, John, there when she was a junior and he was a sophomore at Creighton Prep.  They dated throughout college, wed in 1986, and both earned MBAs at the University of Nebraska Omaha.  They have three children. 

Nicole was asked to serve on the Mercy's Alumnae Council shortly after she graduated from college.  She also sent her daughters, Madeleine ’12 and Genevieve ’14, to Mercy.  The couple were active parents while their daughters were in school, running FIESTA’s live auction for four years, chairing the 2010 fundraising campaign, and endowing two student scholarships.  Those scholarships honor two former teachers: Sr. Rosemary Floersch RSM, SM ’52 and Sr. Catherine Marie Franey RSM, Mount St. Mary '29.  

John, who is the Associate Vice President for Finance at Creighton University, has also served as an Endowment Trustee at Mercy for the past ten years.  Nicole joined the Board of Trustees in 2015 and currently serves as its Chair. 

“My wife and daughters, as graduates, are examples of what Mercy brings to the table: an excellent, faith-based education that gives students the opportunity to reach their full potential and make a difference in the world,” said John.

“The Jesses are a remarkable example of members of the Mercy family who give of themselves. They truly deserve this award,” said Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM, President, Mercy High School.