Anchors Aweigh Masthead
October 2015

The autumn months are traditionally a time of harvest - a time when we can enjoy the bounty of what has been carefully cultivated. At Mercy High School, this careful cultivation can be seen in the activities of Mercy Week in which we celebrated the founding of the House of Mercy on Baggot Street on September 24, 1827, by Catherine McAuley. During the course of the week, the senior class shared their Culminating Service Projects; we welcomed Sisters of Mercy and members of the Class of 1965 - the Golden Diplomas! - for the Mercy Day Eucharistic Liturgy; and the Mercy Play Day concluded the week with performances, fun, games, and school pride. We have extra reason to celebrate because the student body reached its goal of 100% participation in the student fundraiser. Way to go, Mercy Skippers! We also extend our gratitude and appreciation to the Classes of 1965 and 1980 who celebrated their reunions in September. The Class of 1965 raised over $2,500 for the scholarship fund, and the Class of 1980 topped all records by raising over $13,000! Congratulations, Mercy Skippers!

As a Mercy community, we continue to be grateful for the legacy of our past principal,          
Dr. Dorothy McCrea. If you would like to express your gratitude in recognition of her exemplary leadership and service to Mercy High School, we encourage you to make a donation in her honor.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we share with you that they will initiate within the next month the search process for a new principal. In the meantime, the Administrative Team continues to oversee the day to day operations of the school, ensuring that the young women of Mercy High School receive a quality education in the context of a welcoming community. As the search process unfolds, we will update all of our stakeholders.

Whether we are alumnae, current or past parents, or friends of Mercy, we have all come to appreciate the value of a Mercy education. We ask for your continued prayers and support of this educational endeavor.

In gratitude,
Rita E. Cutarelli, Associate Principal of Mission and Campus Life
Audrey Magnusen, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations
Daniel Meyers, Director of Academic Affairs
Janine Nolfi, Director of Student Activities
Laura Schulkin-Parnell, Director of Counseling
Lorelei Zermani, Director of Finance and Human Resources
In This Issue

Update on Yvette Borja '10
Yvette Borja '10 graduated from Yale University in 2014 with distinction in the American Studies major. She was awarded the Justice Carlos Moreno Prize for the Most Outstanding Senior Essay in Latino/a Studies, the Yale Latino/a Alumni Award, and the Rosalinda Garcia Rosa Dorada Award for outstanding service to the Latino/a communities of Yale and New Haven. Yvette is currently attending Stanford Law '18 and plans to practice public interest law, with the eventual intention of entering legal academia. During her gap year, Yvette worked at Harder and Company, a social sector consulting firm, and interned for Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.


Author Connie Chu

Connie Chu '95 
self published author was inspired to write girl-centric short stories by her time at Mercy. Today, she mainly writes futuristic short stories. A few of her books are:
Planet Angel Dee-lite!
Netherworld Crossover
Welcome to the Flip Side!

Author Pat Vince Carini

Pat Vince Carini '69
a registered nurse with over 40 years of nursing experience - both clinical nursing experience as well as executive leadership experience - co-authored a nursing management book Nurse Staffing and Patient Classification: Strategies for Success.

Author Juanita Tamayo Lott

Juanita Tamayo Lott '66
has lectured and written on demographic changes for over 30 years for both public and scholarly audiences. She is author of Filipinos in Washington, D.C. with Rita Cacas, 2009; Common Destiny: Filipino American Generations, 2006; Asian Americans: From Racial Category to Multiple Identities, 1998,  to name a few. Ms. Lott serves on the President's Council of the Population Reference Bureau, Washington, D.C.; and the Scholarship Review Committee, Asian American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

More on Connie, Pat and Juanita in the next issue of Mercy News.


The Class of 1965 celebrated their Golden 50th Reunion at Mercy High School San Francisco. The two days of festivities began on September 23 with a luncheon at Original Joe's in North Beach. The following day they were at the campus for a Mercy Day Eucharistic Liturgy with the student body, faculty and staff, and Sisters of Mercy to celebrate the founding of the House of Mercy by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. A lively reception followed the liturgy. This reunion was co-chaired by Anne Scully '65 and Joanne Sehorn Cooper '65.
Class of 1965 Reunion Luncheon

Reunions and Connections
1970 (45 years)
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Time:4-8 pm Cocktail Reception $75

Location:Rist Hall, Mercy High School
Please contact the Mercy Alumnae Office for details / 415.337.7218

Kathy Mooney/Sandy Tosti Linebarger/Jan Menke Dee/Judy Lynch
1990 (25 years)
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Time:6:30 pm

Location:Villa D'Este Restaurant
2623 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132
$25 per person 

Facebook Page: Mercy Reunion - Class 0f '90
2005 (10 years)
Date/ Location:

Ariana Angelo  '05
Laura Nelson '05
Karlynn Lee '05

Save The Date: Class of 1966 Golden 50th Reunion

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Luncheon at the Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City. A time to share memories, photos and celebrate! Luncheon Chair - Nancy Dito '66  650.608.5792

Thursday, September 22, 2016
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 1966 as honored guests and the 50th Golden Diploma commemoration followed by a campus tour, program and reception in Rist Hall.

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Advanced Placement Scholar Awardees of 2015

From the Business Office

It's time to file for tuition assistance for the 2016-2017 school term.  

For 8th grade families applying for the 9th grade, the application deadline is 1/8/16.

For returning 10th, 11th, and 12th grade families, the application deadline is 2/1/16. 

If you are applying for children in both categories (applying 9th grader and returning student), please meet the 1/8/16 deadline, indicating all children on that application. Your application will still be considered after the posted deadlines. However, in order to get the maximum award, you're encouraged to complete the application prior to the applicable deadline above.

Make Mercy High School your giving choice for 2015!

A special thank you to our generous donors who helped us reach our 2014-2015 $1,000,000 goal! The collective support of alumnae, parents and friends has generated funds for Mercy's most critical need: tuition assistance. We are asking you again to consider a gift this year to help us reach our Annual Goal of $1,000,000 by December 31, 2015! We are at 47% of our goal. It doesn't take a large donation to have a big impact. Gifts to Mercy's Annual Fund create one of the school's most significant sources of support. Click here to make an online donation. We thank those who have already made a gift to Mercy High School for 2015-2016.

Parent Giving Program
Parent Giving Thermometer
The Parent Giving Program is a four year commitment made by parents during their student's freshman year. We ask each family to pledge or give annually any amount that is reasonable for them. We are thrilled to announce that we are close to completing the Theatre seat and Theatre upgrade appeal, Take Your Seat. Whether $25 or $2,500 your participation is appreciated. Currently for this school year we are at 13% of the Parent Pledge goal. Our goal is 100%! Please join us this year as your giving choice. Every gift is 100% tax deductible. Your name, as you wish, will be included in the 2015-16 Mercy News Annual Appeal. If your company matches, your gift is doubled! If you have recently made a gift, thank you! For your convenience, please visit our website.  If you would like a pledge card, please email and we will send you one in the mail. 

Gifts of cash, check or credit card are tax deductible and provide immediate funds to the school. Pledges are encouraged and payments can be set up monthly or quarterly. The easiest way to donate is online at

Transfer of Stocks

Gifts of stock are accepted through a direct transmittal from your broker. Please call the Advancement Office for instructions 415.337.7218.

Giving Levels

Catherine and William Callaghan Circle $50,000 +
Catherine McAuley Circle $10,000 - $49,999
Mercy Society Circle $5,000 - $9,999
Principal's Circle $2,500 - $4,999
Red & White Circle $1,500 - $2,499
Skipper Circle $500 - $1,499
Friends $1 - $499

Current Capital Projects at Mercy
"Take Your Seat" Theatre campaign to replace all existing seats.
"Stairway to Heaven" Rooftop Terrace on the 4th floor which extends off of the former community room in the convent. The outdoor Rooftop Terrace will be a beautiful 1,000 sq. ft. space for all types of Mercy events, receptions and student use. We are thrilled to announce a lead gift of $50,000!

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
  St. Jude Walk to End Childhood Cancer

On Saturday, September 19th, Ms. Cynthia Ovares, Spanish teacher and moderator of Mercy's cancer awareness club,"Hope for Tomorrow," led a group of students in St. Jude's Walk to End Childhood Cancer at the San Francisco Zoo. Mercy's spirit squad was also invited to cheer on the walkers. Through a collective effort, Mercy SF's team raised close to $1,400 for St. Jude! Thank you to everyone who donated and participated!

 Pope Francis on popemobile in Washington
This picture of Pope Francis was taken by Mercy Music Director Laura Flaviani as
he drove by her and the other attendees at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D. C. on September 23, 2015. This took place right before the Papal Mass and the Canonization of St. Junipero Serra. The full article on this event will be published in our next Mercy News magazine.

On Fire Event at Vallejo, CA
On Saturday, September 19, Mr. Kevin Pease and Ms. Angelica Quinonez, Mercy's Religious Studies teachers, took 15 Mercy students to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA for the On Fire experience! On Fire is an event co-sponsored by the Catholic Dioceses of Sacramento, Stockton, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Monterey, Reno, Fresno, and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. This event is for Catholic High School Youth and Young Adults in their teens and early 20's. Mercy students were joined by students from Archbishop Riordan High School and its Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Alex Datoc. Together, the students attended an opening Eucharistic Liturgy for which several diocesan bishops and featured homilist, Fr. Agustino Torres, presided. The students additionally attended a variety of sessions about getting involved in youth ministry across the Bay Area and a concert featuring the Christian rock/pop band, "Anthem Lights"! Of course, everyone's hearts were on fire through big drops, twists, and turns on the myriad thrill rides the Discovery Kingdom celebrates--a truly Spirit-filled experience for all!

Girls Day Out Assembly
Mercy's student body and faculty/staff enjoyed a fun-filled Girls Day Out Assembly with Sandy Stec, comedian, Star 101.3 radio personality and event host, and Michelle Minero, MFT, who spoke on body image and self-esteem.

A special shout out to Mercy SF video was created by Sandy featuring her DJ colleages. Click here to see it.

College Visits
The Counseling Department invites colleges from California and around the country to visit Mercy for information sessions. These take place in the fall, usually during lunch periods. A complete schedule can be found on the Mercy website. In this photo, we have a large group of students listening to the representative from the University of Hawaii. We encourage students and families to visit college campuses, but when this is not possible, attending our Mercy visits is a great way to make contact with college admissions counselors and learn about new colleges. 

During the fall semester, both seniors and juniors have enjoyed their annual retreat at Mercy Center. The Senior Retreat revisited, on a deeper level, the same topics that the seniors had explored three years earlier on their Frosh Retreat; namely, self-love, their relationships with other people, and their relationship with God. By stepping away from their daily routines and engaging in art, prayer, ritual, games, and both student and adult talks, the seniors grew in faith, gained new perspectives, and drew closer to one another.
Alexa Correa '16, Melissa Barroso '16 and Stacey Velasco '16
The Junior Retreat focused on the theme "The Journey of Life."  Senior Retreat Team members, with the support of adult leaders, directed this retreat, guiding the juniors in reflecting on significant companions who accompany them on their journey, risks or "leaps of faith" they have taken, and the ways in which they are sustained and nourished along the way. At such a pivotal, and often stressful, crossroads in their high school career, many juniors found this retreat to be particularly meaningful. Meg Bender-Stephanski '17 commented that "It was great to spend time with people I don't usually see outside of class," while Jeimy Navidad '17 appreciated how "peaceful" the retreat was: "It made me feel so calm!"
Isadora Sousa '17 and Kathleen Bufka '17

Cross Country Team at Golden Gate Bridge
Cross Country running is not always practice and meets. Sometimes there are "fun runs" like this one across the Golden Gate Bridge led by head coach Deanna Micros and assistant coach Craig Benson.

Upcoming Events
October 2015
Friday, October 23
Red Flip Minimum Day
Saturday, October 24: 10am
Open House
Saturday, October 31
Happy Halloween
November 2015
Sunday, November 1
Solemnity of All Saints
Monday, November 2
Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed - All Soul's Day
Monday, November 2
9:45am, All Souls Liturgy of the Word
Monday, November 2
Penny Wars Begin
Friday, November 6
Penny Wars End
Tuesday, November 10: 3:30-5:30pm
Holocaust Courage & Spirit Presentation
Wednesday, November 11: 8am
Freshmen Retreat - Class
Wednesday, November 11: 6pm
Parent Guild Meeting
Thursday, November 12: 8am
Freshmen Retreat - Class
November 13, 14, 20, 21: 7pm
Fall Play "Twelfth Night"
Saturday, November 21: 10am
Holiday Boutique
Tuesday, November 24: 9:45am
Thanksgiving Eucharistic Liturgy
November 25, 26, 27
Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes
Thursday, November 26
Happy Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 29
First Sunday of Advent

December 2015
Thursday, December 3: 9:45am
Advent Liturgy of the Word
Thursday, December 3: 7pm
Winter Pops Concert "Yuletide Cheer"
Tuesday, December 8
Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy Begins
Tuesday, December 8
Sisters of Mercy arrive in San Francisco, 1854
Tuesday, December 8: 9:45am
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Eucharistic Liturgy
Wednesday, December 9: 9:45am
Christmas Assembly
Friday, December 11
Red Flip Minimum Day
Saturday, December 12
Catherine McAuley founds the new Institute of the Sisters of Mercy, 1831
December 14-16
Final Exams
December 17-18
Alternate Exam Day
December 21 - January 1
Christmas Vacation
Friday, December 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord - Merry Christmas
January 2015
Friday, January 1
Happy New Year
Monday, January 4
Classes Resume

Open House 2015

Open House
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Presentation begins at 10:00 am
Mercy High School San Francisco

Twelfth Night

Fall Play: Twelfth Night
November 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2015
7:00 pm
Mercy Theatre

Christmas Boutique

Holiday Boutique
November 21, 2015
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
McAuley Pavilion 

Winter Pops Concert

Winter Pops Concert: Yuletide Cheer
December 3, 2015
7:00 pm
Mercy Theatre

Intersession 2016
Intersession will take place February 29-March 4, 2016. Preliminary course offerings will be published on our website so that students and parents/guardians can discuss possibilities and make preparations to finance courses.