Anchors Aweigh Masthead
February 2015


As we head into second semester, I would like to thank all of our donors who have contributed to the Mercy High School Annual Fund and our parents who have donated to the theatre seat project. We are grateful to so many of you for your donations. Our hope is that we can attain 100% parent participation and raise our alumnae giving. Our goal is to replace the theatre seats this summer and increase our tuition assistance for those young women in need.

Many thanks to our Parent Guild board, Rosaura Velasquez, Joanie Dalton and Margie Bender, and to Teresa Abney for organizing the keynote speakers for the monthly meetings. We hope that these sessions have been informative and a valuable resource for our parent community.  

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming events:

  • Casino Night, Saturday, March 14, 2015
  • International Food Festival, Friday, March 27, 2015
  • Spring Musical "The Wiz," April 17, 18, 24, 25, 2015
  • All Class Reunion, May 2, 2015


Dorothy J. McCrea, Ed.D.
Principal, Mercy High School

3250 Nineteenth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

In This Issue

RECONNECT: 2015 Reunions and Events
Class of 1965 Golden Diploma Reunion

Save the Date! The Mercy High School Class of 1965 will celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary "Golden Diploma Reunion" Please mark your calendars. We look forward to welcoming you back to your alma mater.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club. A time to share memories, photos and celebrate!

Luncheon Committee - Anne Scully '65 and Joanne Sehorn Cooper '65

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mercy Day Eucharistic Liturgy with the Mercy student body, faculty and staff, celebrating the founding of the House of Mercy by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. The liturgy will include the Class of 1965 as honored guests and the 50th Golden Diploma commemoration followed by a campus tour, program and luncheon in Rist Hall.

Please email for additional information.

Women's Leadership Conference (formerly known as "Career Day")

Friday, February 27, 2015 | 9:00 am to 2:00 pm | Rist Hall

Keynote Speakers: Lourdes Libre Barton '01,  Pharm.D.,BCPS and Patricia Gwilliam Ziegler '67, Founder of Banana Republic, Writer and Entrepreneur.

We have over 40 presenters for this amazing event. We are so grateful for our alumnae and community participation.

For any questions regarding the conference, please call Audrey Magnusen at 415.337.7218 or email

All Class Reunion - Save the Date 
Saturday, May 2, 2015 | 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | McAuley Pavilion | $35 per person

Begin your summer getting reacquainted with old friends at the Mercy High School, San Francisco All-Class Reunion. Consider reconnecting with your classmates, reliving the moments of your high school years, and rediscovering your alma mater.

Wine (21 and over) and hors d'oeuvres reception | Full access to Mercy High School for campus tours. Invitation and online access reservations will be available in March 2015.

Would you be able to serve as a class coordinator? This person works in conjunction with our Advancement Office to invite all members of your class to attend and helps plan additional activities for the class (if so desired). If you would be willing to serve as the class coordinator for your class or plan your reunion separate from the All Class Reunion, please contact Audrey Magnusen, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations: 415.337.7218 or


Additional Reunions and Connections


1970 (45 Years)
Need Volunteers
1975 (40 years)
Saturday, October 10, 2015


Location:Rist Hall, Mercy High School

Coordinator:Mary Coyne '75
1980 (35 Years)
Need Volunteers
1985 (30 years)
Need Volunteers
1990 (25 Years)
Need Volunteers
1995 (20 years)
Joy Rodrigues-Guandique '95 & Lenie Santos-Ugaitata '95
2000 (15 Years)
Need Volunteers
2005 (10 years)
Laura Nelson '05 (coordinating with All Class Reunion)



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Support Mercy High School as your giving choice for 2015!


The collective support of alumnae, parents and friends has generated funds for Mercy's most critical need: tuition assistance. We are asking you to consider a Spring gift this year to help us reach our Annual Goal of $1,000,000 by June 30, 2015! It doesn't take a large donation to have a big impact. Gifts to Mercy's Annual Fund, whether $25 or $2,500, create one of the school's most significant sources of support. Click here to make an online donation. If you have already made a gift to MERCY HIGH SCHOOL for 2014-15, thank you!

Support the Parent Giving Campaign
Thermometer for Parent Giving

Support Mercy High School's campaign to replace all the existing seats in the theatre. We are currently at 30% Parent Giving.

Our goal is for 100% parent participation at $200 per family, but any donation possible will raise our goal. Payments can be made
online. Choose Parent Giving on this page.

Thank you for all your support! You are truly making a difference in the lives of our amazing young women.





Recycling Image

The Technology Department recycles used cell phones, laser toner and inkjet cartridges throughout the school year. Please have students drop off items in the Computer Lab, room 319.

 School News

On the same day as more than 3,000 gathered at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in southern Poland, over 90 participants gathered at 4pm in Rist Hall of Mercy High School to hear Helen Farkas, a 94-year-old survivor of the Holocaust. The crowd in Poland included dignitaries and a dwindling number of survivors, mostly in their 90's; the group in San Francisco was mostly young, some even elementary school students.  Both were commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of captives from Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945, in the closing months of World War II. Both were saying "Never Again" as we experience recent outbreaks of religious and ethnic hostilities.

Mercy High School has sponsored "The Courage and Spirit" study conference for almost 15 years. Each spring, students, faculty, and invited guests have had the privilege of hearing 5 or 6 Holocaust survivors share their experiences and tell the stories of the suffering of their families.  Following the main assembly for the entire school, survivors and their families are hosted to a lovely lunch served by the students.

In 2007, through the work of Religious Studies teacher Jim McGarry and his colleagues at Mercy, the Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools was established in a spacious room on the fourth floor of Mercy. An Advisory Board was formed, composed mostly of long-time Holocaust educators and collection began for an extensive Holocaust library housed in the Center.

Then on March 23-27, our annual Courage and Spirit Assembly and luncheon will once again take place. Honored this year will be Dr. Dora Sorell - a cousin by marriage of Helen Farkas - and similarly a survivor of Auschwitz. It is teachers in our midst like Helen and Dora who help us with the informed hope the world needs to move beyond the cruelty that has imprisoned us for so long and can lead us to the freedom - so cherished by Helen, Dora and all survivors - that is our inheritance.

St. Peter's Elementary School (San Francisco) 8th graders and their Language Arts teacher, Nina Martinez, came to the 2nd event of the Courage & Spirit series. Helen Farkas (center) posed with the group.

Dolce at the Olympic Club  

Mercy High School's Dolce choir, led by Laura Flaviani, performed on February 5, 2015 for The San Francisco Council of District Merchants Annual Gala Celebration and Awards Dinner at the Olympic Club, Lakeside.


The girls were incredible and enjoyed by all the guests, especially San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White '82, and San Francisco Chief of Police Greg Suhr. The choir sang Circle of Life from The Lion King, Disney's Beauty and the Beast theme song, and Let's Get Loud recorded by Jennifer Lopez.

Mercy Participates in the Great Kindness Challenge
Dignity Health and St. Mary's Medical Center sponsored The Great Kindness Challenge the week of January 26 - 30. Mercy was one of the participating schools and the campaign to perform acts of kindness was promoted throughout the school by the Women in Medicine (WIM). Above are the freshmen Women in Medicine who organized the event, along with Dr. Dotty McCrea, Principal.

English I Class

Second semester always brings Romeo and Juliet to the English 1 classes. Ms. Dearborn and Ms. Bodenheimer, assisted by dancing master/librarian Ms. Schaal, enhance this unit with a performance of the Renaissance dance Pilgrims and Saints. Teaching the girls this dance helps them to experience what it might have been like at the party where Romeo and Juliet met in Verona. It connects them in a kinesthetic way to the culture of Renaissance Italy and the milieu of the play. There is also a research component: they research what men and women of this era would have worn to a party and wear an article of clothing as they perform the dance. Girls have worn hats, scarves, skirts, shoes, dresses, swords, belts, hair ribbons. Here, Ms. Bodenheimer's class shows off their masks as they dance palm to palm, as "pilgrims' hands do touch."

Debbie Mathews Awarded Porhumously
Debbie Lagomarsino Mathews posthumously received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Central Coast Section. This is the highest award given by the CCS. In the photo are the CCS Commissioner Nancy Lazenby-Blazer and Debbie's daughters, Kimmie and Amy.

Debbie Lagomarsino Mathews was Athletic Director, teacher and coach at Mercy High School from 1977 to 2013. Debbie passed away on October 13, 2013, after battling cancer.


In 1994, Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues opened off Broadway in New York City. Four years later on Valentine's Day 1998, V-Day was established because of the overwhelming outpour of women coming forward to share their very personal stories after seeing The Vagina Monologues.

V-Day's mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end.

V-Day is grounded in four core beliefs:

  • Art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act
  • Lasting social and cultural change is spread by ordinary people doing extraordinary things
  • Local women best know what their communities need and can become unstoppable leaders
  • One must look at the intersection of race, class, and gender to understand violence against women.

V-Day at Mercy 2015

As is our tradition, the entire Mercy community began the V-Day celebration with prayer and then viewed a short but very powerful video called American Rape Culture. This was followed by an amazing keynote speaker Robin Rivera, a survivor of sex trafficking, who is currently employed by Runaway Girl, FPC - California Flexible Purpose Corporation that aims to create employment and career development opportunities for former runaways and survivors of abuse, neglect, trauma, and more. Students and faculty were able to interact with Ms. Rivera during a question and answer exchange and we wrapped up the assembly with a fabulous slideshow produced by the student V-Day committee, which highlighted V-Day celebrations over the past 10 years at Mercy and worldwide. All and all, it was a very inspiring day!

Freshman and Sophomore Overnight Retreat

Students on the 2015 Frosh/Soph Overnight Retreat explored the theme "My Soul Has Grown Deep Like the Rivers," taken from Langston Hughes' classic early 20th century poem. Through talks given by upperclass leaders, small-group conversations, artistic activities, individual reflection, prayer, and ritual, students explored their own journey along "The River of Life," considered their call to "Swim Upstream" and challenge societal expectations, and wrote a "Message in a Bottle" to their future selves. The retreat was held at beautiful Redwood Glen in Loma Mar, a picturesque setting amidst the redwoods of the California coast. Students developed a strong sense of community over the two days, with Sunny Hibbits '17 even celebrating her 16th birthday on the retreat! 



Mercy High School invites you to a showing of ETTY, a one woman play written from the diary and letters of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew who lived and worked for a time in the holding camp of Westerbork, Holland, and died in Auschwitz in 1944. The adult version will be shown on Sunday, March 8 at 3pm (click here to make your reservation) and the student version on the following day at school. 

On March 9 and 10, Susan Stein (solo performer of the one woman play) and Jacob Boas (born in Westerbork camp in 1942), will be visiting classes and meeting with small groups of students. Jacob has written
We Are Witnesses, based on the diaries of five teenagers - from Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, - ending with the famous story of Anne Frank from Holland.

Mercy students are reading many of the Letters from Westerbork. In keeping with the tradition of the whole school reading a book, studying it from various disciplines, and then inviting the author to speak, Susan Stein will address the student body at a school assembly.


Summer Camp Programs at Mercy

Mercy High School Summer Programs continue to provide a unique summer experience designed just for girls.


Sign up for our academic & enrichment based camps for students entering 1st through 8th Grade.

"Think Like A Girl" Camp (for girls entering 5th-8th Grade).

  • Technology Camp
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Leadership and Core Fitness
  • English and Theatre (with Pacific Singers & Actors Workshop)
Summer Camps for Girls
  • Skipper Summer Camp (for girls entering 1st-4th Grade)
  • Sports Camps (Beginner & Intermediate Levels)
  • Dance Camps (Beginner & Advanced Levels)
  • Speech Camp (for girls entering 7th-8th Grade)
  • Junior High Vocal Workshop (6th, 7th, and 8th Grade)

Summer Rise - A program specially designed for incoming 9th grade Skippers to prepare them for the rigors of Mercy High School academics.

For more information, please call 415.334.0525 ext. 211 or email

 Upcoming Events

February 2015

Monday, February 16

President's Day Holiday - No Classes

Wednesday, February 18

Lenten Food Drive Begins

Wednesday, February 18: 9:45 am

Ash Wednesday Eucharistic Liturgy

Friday, February 20: 8 am

Women In Medicine Blood Drive

Friday, February 27

Special Schedule - Women's Leadership Conference

March 2015

Thursday, March 5: 9:45am

Lenten Liturgy of the Word

Friday, March 6: 5:30pm

Mother-Daughter Movie Night

Saturday, March 7: 2pm

13th Annual Grammar School Art Exhibition/Reception

Sunday, March 8: 3pm

ETTY Play and Reception

Monday, March 9: 8am

Author Visit Assembly

Wednesday, March 11

Faculty/Staff Retreat - No Classes

Saturday, March 14: 6pm

Booster Club Casino Night

Tuesday, March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 18: 6pm

Parent Guild Meeting

Friday, March 20

Red Minimum Day

Tuesday, March 24: 9:45am

Lenten Liturgy of the Word

Friday, March 27: 5pm

International Food Festival

Saturday, March 29

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Tuesday, March 31

Lenten Food Drive ends


April 2015

Wednesday, April 1: 9:45am

Holy Week Liturgy of the Word

Thursday, April 2

Holy Thursday - No Classes

Friday, April 3

Good Friday - No Classes

Sunday, April 5

Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord - Easter Sunday

April 6-10

Easter Vacation

Monday, April 13

Classes Resume

April 17, 18, 24, 25: 7pm

Spring Musical "The Wiz"

Sunday, April 19: 11am

Class of 2019 Welcome Reception

April 22-24

Junior/Senior Overnight Retreat

Monday, April 27

Senior Holiday

Wednesday, April 29

College Sweatshirt Day for Seniors

Thursday, April 30: 9:45am
Easter Eucharistic Liturgy 


Blood Drive at Mercy 

Friday, February 20
8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Rist Hall

  • Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.
  • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
  • One pint of blood, separated into components, can help up to three people.
  • The senior Women in Medicine are organizing our annual Mercy blood drive.

We encourage families and alumnae to donate. If your daughter is too young to donate (under 16), you may donate in her place. Students who wish to donate blood will be given parent permission slips for you to sign. If you would like to register, please email Ashley Trostel or Kimberly Loo and indicate your preferred time. Women in Medicine and the Mercy community thank you!

Book Cover for Etty

Sunday, March 8, 2015
3:00 pm
Mercy Theatre 
For additional information, visit the play's website.

Casino Night at Mercy
Booster Club Casino NIght
Saturday, March 14, 2015
6:00-10:00 pm
McAuley Pavilion

International Food Festival
International Food Festival
Friday, March 27, 2015
McAuley Pavilion
5:00 pm

The Wiz
Spring Musical: The Wiz
April 17, 18, 24, 25, 2015
Mercy Theatre
7:00 pm
Click here to purchase tickets online.

Junior Senior Overnight Retreat
April 22-24, 2015
Presentation Center, Los Gatos
Applications due Friday, February 27 from the Campus Ministry Office or from the Religious Studies teachers. You may also click here to download an application.