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's FIESTA Soars
In the spirit of Mercy’s FIESTA 2021: Saints & Superheroes, hundreds of loyal supporters, families, alumnae and friends exemplified those roles in making the first-ever virtual FIESTA a great success. The inspirational online event on February 20, 2021, raised more than $350,000 for the school’s Negotiated Tuition Program, which provides tuition assistance to families who otherwise may not be able to attend Mercy. Close to $2 million in tuition assistance is distributed annually thanks to generous donors and fundraising events like FIESTA.
Highlights of the event include:
• Former school principal Sr. Corrine Connelly, RSM, ’58, received the Cor Misericordiae Award, the highest honor the school bestows. During her tenure, Sr. Corrine increased enrollment, invested in building and site upgrades, began a student recruitment program, and assisted with the first FIESTA, then named Twelfth Night, among many other accomplishments. She has been on Mercy’s Board for 20 years and has been a volunteer at the school since 2004.
• Student Council President Carolyn Klein ’21 thanked donors and shared how Mercy has personally impacted her as a person of faith, a leader and a soon-to-be college student studying Communications: “Mercy creates a home and a family. Being in an all-girls, diverse and empowering environment makes us all feel on top of the world every day.”
• During the “Raise the Paddle” segment, participants made gifts in honor of Sr. Corrine. Gene Wilczewski, Sr. Corrine’s old high school friend, generously provided a $25,000 matching grant to jumpstart the effort. Over $90,000 was brought in to support tuition assistance.
• Auction items included travel adventures, sports packages, dining experiences, gift baskets and certificates, collectibles and more. Participants also bought chances in a $10,000 raffle drawing.
• The FIESTA 2021 Chairs were Mercy parents Eric and Nicole Liebig Lakeman ’92. They were assisted by a large cadre of volunteers including parents, students and alumnae.
• Mercy is grateful to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who provided sponsorships, underwriting support and purchased advertising.
Next year’s FIESTA will be held on February 19, 2022.