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Gifts to Transform Student Experience

April 17, 2018
By Deb Daley

        Mercy High School has taken a transformational step forward on its promise is to empower young women to achieve their full potential in a diverse, supportive and academically-centered community.  The school is hiring staff with specific skills--an English as a Second Language Specialist and an additional Guidance Counselor--to better serve the immediate and post-graduate academic goals of students.

          Mercy’s inclusive and growing student enrollment mirrors the ethnic, socio-economic and racial profile of the Omaha metro area. With that increased diversity, especially in the Latina community, and Mercy’s commitment to provide a college preparatory education for every girl regardless of her family’s financial means, an ESL specialist becomes imperative in supporting the needs of many of the students and families the school attracts.  Working with ESL learners and their families is challenging for many mainstream teachers and administrators, so having this support will be transformational for these students. The ESL Specialist will strategically work with the students, teachers, and parents to ensure success for their future.

            “Students whose native language is not English, but who have exceptional academic ability, can often struggle with understanding subject area concepts due to language differences. Having a culturally sensitive and trained support person who also understands education and learning styles will be invaluable,” said Sarah Regan, Principal.

            The growing enrollment also necessitates the addition of a second counselor. Mercy’s counselors will both continue to assist adolescents as they navigate the unique educational, social and behavioral obstacles related to attending high school, but she also guides them through the college preparation process. College acceptance is competitive, with a complicated enrollment and financial aid process.  At the same time, Mercy is now offering the OnToCollge ACT prep curriculum for all students. The additional guidance counselor will enhance Mercy’s efforts implement this program, with a goal of achieving higher ACT scores and more opportunities for scholarships for students.

            “Educating women and providing all students the opportunity to be successful are major focuses of the Sisters of Mercy,” said President Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM.

            Mercy is actively recruiting qualified candidates to begin in the fall of 2018. Funding for these positions was made possible by the generosity of our donors.