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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). 



You Are Never Alone

March 30, 2020
By Sr. Johanna Burnell

You are never alone.

It is early Saturday afternoon.  The sun is shining!  Our community has determined, rightly so, that we should remain inside, avoid all but absolutely essential errands, and practice social distancing.  Many of the days these past two weeks have been so overcast that I haven’t been tempted to go out.   People, friends, relatives, and teachers have been so generous in checking up on us that we truly want for nothing!  Additionally, we have been able to stay more actively in touch with those for whom we are praying.

The atmosphere is heavy with the weight of people being out of work, of businesses closed, of people in quarantine in their own homes, of political blaming banter, and of so many people dying.  And it is global! 

Our hearts ache for families who are suffering financially.  We pray for families who have members hospitalized with COVID-19.  Our Mercy seniors, and seniors everywhere, are facing the possibility of never seeing their classes as a whole again; no prom; no year-end retreat; no farewell day; no graduation!  How can this be happening?

Maybe the gloomy weather is just a reflection of the experiences so many human beings are undergoing right now—this very minute, this day, in this immediate lifetime.  Even as the grass is trying to green, it just thundered!!  The sun has gone into hiding—and the sky is grey again!

I am alone in my room as I write to you.  But am I really alone?  I know that our Triune God—the Father (our Creator), the Son (Jesus our Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (our Sanctifier)—is right here, one with me.  I know that the God who designed this planet to be home of us human beings will guide “us” to a new solution to this medical mystery of COVID-19.  I know that thousands of people are suffering with the effects of the coronavirus; I also know those sufferings are embraced and endured by our friend and companion, Jesus.  Most of all, I know that the power of the Holy Spirit will guide each of us on the path we have chosen to image for others the love of our God for each and every one of us. 

So I am not alone.  And, neither are you.  My prayer for each of you is this global challenge, so personally touching each of our lives in such unique and individual ways, will lead us closer to our magnificent God, who cares so much for us that we are constantly surrounded by the loving-kindness of our Maker, our Savior and our closest Friend.  

Let us pray for one another.