Week of February 3, 2020
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Principal Notes

What's Important this Week at Mercy High School
3 February 2020
Dear Families,
On Sunday, Catholics celebrated the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, a prescribed ritual according to the Law of Moses. When Joseph and Mary arrived, they were greeted with two holy ones: Simeon and Anna, both of whom recognized that Jesus was anticipated and that He would change the course of history.
Fulfilling the prescriptions of the law (Luke 2:38 – 40) was important to Mary and Joseph, who, after the presentation, returned home from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to continue their lives and parent their child, Jesus.
There are also times to resist the prescriptions of the law, and we see this in the actions of Rosa Parks, whose birthday is tomorrow. While laws guide our actions and are promulgated for social unity and to define right behavior, we know that some laws are not just, and the social context in which they are created do not reflect equity and respect. For her courageous action, Rosa Parks, after many years of work on behalf of social justice and civil rights, won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the NAACP.
We are called to be obedient, like Mary and Joseph, and to be courageous like Rosa Parks. Discerning what is right and just, both fair and compassionate, is a difficult matter, and that is the challenge we have in this complicated world.

While our basketball team did not beat IND on Friday night, they played so very well, and Mercy Magic was evident in SECU arena the entire evening. Our team, our pep squad, our cheerleaders, and our Madrigals were all terrific. Our student section was spirited, respectful, and had so much fun. We were so proud of MagicNation all night!

The Mercy Ethics Team competed in the Regional High School Ethics Bowl at the University of Baltimore on Saturday. The Ethics Bowl challenges students to develop a collaborative discussion about a variety of contemporary ethical issues in which they determine the underlying ethical issue and the best ethical action in response to a question. The goal is to come to a measured, thoughtful, and collaborative decision; neither team is assigned a position to “argue”.  In this manner, it is in opposition to a debate. Our Ethics Team has worked together since October to analyze and develop ethical positions on situations provided by The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  The Mercy Ethics Team includes: Kennedy Ackerman, Caleigh Forti, Rosiejo Genzola, Olivia Hatcher, Christy Martin, Laura Prada, Heather Shanty (Captain), and Ashley Taupyen. 

This week is also the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States. In an effort to celebrate women physicians throughout history and the birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, all Women in Medicine participants and Neumann Scholars will have the opportunity to showcase a female physician who has made a significant contribution to medicine. On Monday and Tuesday, these girls will be wearing white lab coats over the school uniform, along with their hospital ID badges. Each participant has researched a designated physician and will answer all manner of questions about her.

Save the date! The Class of 2022 will host the International Baccalaureate Personal Projects Fair on February 20, 2020, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Each sophomore chose an area of interest to research and, at the fair, every sophomore will present what she learned. Projects range from animation to brain chemistry to dance, so parents and guardians of sophomores will certainly want to join us to see what your Mercy Girl accomplished as well as what all of her friends learned. It is sure to be an informative night for all!
The Junior-Senior Prom will be held at the Scottish Rite Temple on Charles Street on April 25 from 8:00 pm-12:00 am. The prom committee will be collecting the remaining balances this week.  Information was mailed on Friday to parents about prom payments, guidelines and agreement form. As a Catholic Girls’ School, we have higher expectations for both behavior and dress than those of the general public, and even those of other independent schools. It is very important for all Mercy Girls to comport themselves with prudence and respect. Parents and guardians of juniors and seniors, please carefully read the prom guidelines that we have sent home. Any student who does not follow those guidelines will not be admitted to the prom or later will be asked to leave, and her parent or guardian will be called to collect her and her guest.
Please follow the school guidelines for absences. As you know, and as page 37 of the Student/Parent Handbook states,  when an absence is known in advance, the parent/guardian is requested to send a note to the school, in advance, through the student’s Adviser stating the date(s) and reason for the absence.
For all unforeseen absences, there must be documented, verifiable communication between the parent/guardian and attendance officer prior to 9 am on the day a student is absent. She also must bring a note from a parent/guardian into school upon her return stating the date(s) and reason for the absence. The note will be collected by the adviser, signed, and sent to the Attendance Office. Students who do not present documentation will receive demerits.
As you can imagine, these procedures are important to follow, as the accurate whereabouts of our students is necessary for their safety and security.

Finally . . .

During this month of February, Black History Month, we can celebrate the many African-Americans who have helped to build our democracy, our culture, and have contributed to the progress of which, as Americans, we are so proud. To be both obedient and courageous is in itself a mighty challenge. Like Rosa Parks, like Elizabeth Blackwell, and like Mary and Joseph, we aspire, mostly, to have the integrity it takes to be both.
All the best,

Jeanne A. Blakeslee

More Links for
This Week

Congratulations to president of Mercy High School, Mary Beth Lennon '85, on her selection for this year’s Klingenstein Heads of Schools Program at Columbia University’s Teachers College! This intensive fellowship offers just 20 independent school heads from around the world the opportunity to "discuss current educational issues, dive into educational philosophy and ethics, and study diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Read more on the program in Baltimore Fishbowl.
Club and Organization Meetings this week

Art Club

Model Diplomats

International Club
Join us for an evening of international fun as we "Gala-vant" around the Globe on March 27th! Early bird pricing through 2/14. Click here for more information.
The Social Justice Society will be helping us celebrate Black History Month with a series of activities.
On Thursday, Sophomore Women in Medicine travel to Mercy Medical for their third rotation.
On Friday, we will have Chick-fil-A at lunch. Menu can be found here.
On Wednesday, students taking the Anne Arundel Community College online course, Introduction to Sociology, will meet from 10:00-10:30 am in Room 222 with Ms. Crist and the sociology professor.
Due to the inclement weather on January 18, the Father-Daughter Dinner Dance, Under the Stars, has been moved to February 22. If you have any questions about the rescheduling of the dance, please contact the President of the Fathers Club, Charles Smith at
The Catherine McAuley Chapter of the National Honor Society is offering peer tutoring for any student who would like academic support. A member of the NHS will be available in Room 203A most periods throughout the school day, so students can just drop in for help. If a Mercy Girl would like ongoing support in a particular subject, the NHS can also help with that. She should contact Ms. Courtney Goldbeck to arrange tutoring.
Attention Freshman Parents!  The Freshman class has recently learned all about the Service Learning program during Freshman Seminar.  Please talk with your daughter about the requirements and the information she received in her red Service Learning folder.  All Service Learning information can also be found in the Student/Parent Handbook and on the Mercy website here.
Yearbooks are on sale now! If you did not order a yearbook in advance, you can still acquire one for $75.00. For more information, Mercy Girls can see Ms. Coburn.
Copyright © 2020 Mercy High School Baltimore, All rights reserved.

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