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New Staff Join Mercy

May 29, 2018
By Deb Daley

Mercy High School is pleased to announce three new staff joining the faculty in the 2018-2019 school year.  Two positions --an English as a Second Language Specialist (ESL) and an additional Guidance Counselor—were made possible by generous donations and are designed to enhance the immediate and post-graduate academic goals of students. The current Guidance Counselor position is also being filled as the current Counselor, Georgina Morse, is retiring after 25 years.

Mercy’s inclusive and growing student enrollment mirrors the ethnic and socio-economic  profile of the Omaha metro area. With that increased diversity, especially in the Latina community, the ESL Specialist will strategically work with the students, teachers, and parents to ensure success for their future.  

Katherine Davis will serve as Mercy’s new ESL specialist. She holds endorsements and certifications from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) -Teacher Academy Program and has been an educator for 11 years.  She has served in educator positions in La Vista, Neb. as well as Valparaiso, Chile and Jaipur, India.  Most recently she was a Spanish teacher at Benson High School.  Her community outreach work includes a year with OneWorld Community Health and as a member of the National Civilian Community Corps in Maryland.  A graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, she holds degrees in Political Science and Hispanic Studies.

Although not related, Josah Driml Powers ’98 and Laura Powers will serve as the school’s Guidance Counselors.  Mercy’s enrollment continues to grow and the need for counselors to help adolescents as they navigate the unique educational, social and behavioral obstacles related to attending high school, and guide them through the college preparation process, has become more and more complex. 

Josah has worked in advising, counseling and student leadership development primarily on the college level.  She is currently the Pre-Health Advisor for the Health Careers Resource Center at UNO. She has also worked in Student Development Services at Nebraska Methodist and Southern Illinois University. Josah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Psychology from St. Louis University.  She also holds a Master’s in Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. 

A member of the National Academic Advising Association since 2012, Josah was also active in the National Student Personnel Administrators for five years.  Recognized with the Staff of the Year Award twice, she is very involved in St. Wenceslaus Church volunteer activities. 

Laura Powers has served as a College Counselor at Millard South High School since 2003. During that time, she coordinated the counseling center’s website, implemented an alumni support network for students, enhanced college access programming and served on the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Counselor Advisory Committee. She has also been a Social Studies teacher in the Bellevue Public Schools as well as a teacher in the Ralston Public Schools. 

A graduate of UNO, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Secondary Counseling. 

“Mercy is committed to providing a community of support for its students that allows them to reach their full potential.  These positions will be instrumental in achieving that goal,” said Sarah Regan, Principal.