The space is newly renovated – bright, airy and infused with inspiration.
“Empowered Women Empower Women,” reads one piece of art in Mercy High School’s new Hannon Family Academic Success Center. On a nearby window, an evolving photo collage celebrates the class of 2021 and its growing number of college acceptances. The entire class of 2020 — 100% — went on to pursue post-secondary education.
“We are dedicated to each student’s success. We want them to be prepared, confident and inspired to make a difference in the world,” said Anne McGill, a 2000 Mercy alumna and the school’s director of admissions.
The upgraded Academic Success Center, with its open design and break-out work rooms, underscores the school’s commitment to helping each of its Monarchs (the school’s mascot) take flight toward college or whichever path they choose.
Students can study and receive peer tutoring here, collaborate on group projects, connect with a licensed mental health provider provided by Catholic Charities or visit with a school counselor, ESL specialist, an academic success coordinator or a college access assistant. Josah Driml Powers, a 1998 Mercy alumna, has held that position for three school years now.
“We’re in an environment that really supports our students advocating for their own goals and developing in holistic way,” Driml Powers said. “The fact that we’re all together in the same, comfortable and inviting space helps us – the professional staff and the students – utilize the coordinated resources and collaborate a lot more.”
The all-girls Catholic high school offers a 13:1 student-teacher ratio; 18 Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses; and new biology, chemistry and physics labs. Its student body is driven and diverse. The school has a 31% diversity rate, the highest of any Omaha Catholic high school.
“We take great pride in the fact our students come from every ZIP code in Omaha, representing a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and academic abilities – and they benefit from exposure to those different perspectives,” McGill said.
Students also benefit from Kaleidoscope, a comprehensive four-year leadership and empowerment program that’s embedded in the curriculum.
Each class undertakes various activities to strengthen skills and talents, delve into career exploration, and participate in personal and professional development activities. College planning, including taking ACT prep through John Baylor’s OnToCollege program, is provided free-of-charge for all four years.
“Girls come to Mercy with a variety of academic backgrounds and needs. We’re excited to help them reach their goals and support their plans for the future. For some students, they are the first in their families to graduate from high school and go on to college,” McGill said.
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy High School will celebrate 65 years of education at its 48th Street and Woolworth Avenue location in November — 65 years of developing students academically, emotionally and spiritually, with a focus on compassionate service to others.
The renovated Hannon Family Academic Success Center sends a message about Mercy’s future, Driml Powers said.
“I see the development of that space as the launch of the next era,” she said. “It’s a new, beautiful modern space in a historic building with a legacy of educational excellence. To have both of those pieces side by side – it’s where we were and are, but it’s also where we are going.”
For the latest admission updates, visit mercyhigh.org. For more information, contact Anne McGill, director of admissions, at 402-553-9424.