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A Day in the Life of Taya Senn '17

Today I had a great day at Mercy.

I woke up and put on my comfy senior sweatshirt, then got to school by 7:40 so that I could hang out and talk with my friends before class. Every morning, we sit in the same spot in the hallway and catch up with each other before we start our days.

For first block, I went to AP Government and Politics with Mr. Napper, who I've had for three years in a row now. I really enjoy the class, because we get to connect what we learn about the government to what's currently happening in U.S. politics.

Next I had my study period in the Learning Commons. Mr. Boyd, the librarian, had some order out forms already printed out, which was really nice. He always has everything you need, whether it's an envelope or a ponytail. I filled out the order out form so that I can have Penn Station brought to me this Friday at my senior class meeting. Every month we have a class meeting that gets catered. Last month we had Canes. Anyways, at prep I sat at a table with some friends and listened to my headphones while I got some homework done.

Next was lunch, where I had my favorite Mercy meal. I had broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl, which, if you ask me, is way better than Panera's. Every day at lunch I sit with my friends Bailey and Katie. Lunches are always filled with laughs and good music playing on the cafeteria speakers. Occasionally, our favorite Taylor Swift song called "All Too Well" will come on and we can't help but scream it at the top of our lungs, which tends to draw a lot of attention to our lunch table.

I headed to AP Art after lunch with my favorite teacher, Mrs. Belvoix. Some of my AP art pieces are hanging up right outside the Learning Commons, which is pretty cool because everyone sees them when they walk to study hall.

After art is World Religions. We have a few presentations left to go still, because everyone in class researched a Hindu god or goddess. We all dressed up as our chosen god and presented as if we were the gods themselves, which was really interesting and fun.

After school I headed to my Peer Leaders meeting. We just got done with National Drug Facts Week. All of the Peer Leaders gathered research about the dangers of drugs, and we designed posters that got printed out and hung up all around the school.

Today I had a great day at Mercy.

2017 Benefit Off Broadway Winners

$25,000 Capital Prize

Kevin Kramer

Class Raffle Baskets

Dining Out: Theresa Mulhall

Kate Spade: Sally Kupper

Lottery: Barbara and Dennis Mooney

Shop Until You Drop: Natalie and Will Thomas

Stock the Bar: Sheila Reiss

Yeti: Bruce and Cheryl Salyer

Wheel of Chance

Apple iWatch 35mm: John Harris

Barrel of Booze: Delene Detinger

Bellarmine Tuition Voucher: Cheryl Rothgerber

Blairwood Summer Membership: Sue Roberts

Bose Wave Radio IV: Cynthia Andres

Brown-Forman Basket: Teresa Mulhall

Calphalon Contemporary Cookware Set: Lauren Gunter

Catered Dinner for 10: John Simms

Dinner and a Show: Steve Kamber

Downtown Date Night: Karen Crouch

Dyson Multi-Floor: Ricky Brown

Graduation VIP Seating: Kelly Thaler

Kitchenade Mixer: Mary Sue Doran

Kingsley Meats: Melissa Gunter

Kingsley Meats with Deep Freezer: Mike Hellmueller

Lottery Basket 1: Cathy Graas

Lottery Basket 2: Judy Magre

Lottery Basket 3: Ruth Eagle

Mercy Cornhole: Sherry Milliner

Miller Package: Patricia Newton

Shopping Spree: Lisa Rohleder

Student Package 1: Pat and Sandy Wright

Student Package 2: Ronnie Sanders

Smoky Mountain Cabin: Linda Herp

Take a Break from the Kitchen 1: Lisa Rohleder

Take a Break from the Kitchen 2: Lynda Degrella

Take a Break from the Kitchen 3: Geraldine Brechtt

Taylorsville Lake: Teresa Davis

T-Shirt Quilt: Maria Baumgartner

UK Tickets: Brigid Morgan

Weber Smoker: Mark Kupper

Wine Cooler and Six Bottles of Wine: Laurel Wyatt

Woodford Reserve Basket: Brennan Greene

Yeti Tundra 35 Marine Cooler: Lisa Courtney

3-Piece Luggage: Carol Hebel

$150 Best Buy Gift Card: Shirley McCullum

$200 Kroger Gift Card 1: Nita Blevins

$200 Kroger Gift Card 2: Mary Teresa Payne

$200 Meijer Gift Card: Diana Buckheit

$200 Meijer Gift Card 2: Zella Fraze

$250 Macy's Gift Card: Tammy Durbin

$250 Pottery Barn Gift Card: Ann Kupper

Specialty Drink iPad 4

Barry Seidel

Prom Queen and King

Joy Evans

Bryan Wiegandt

Mercy Academy senior's compassion leads to restoration of cemetery

By Aaron Henry
Digital Content Specialist
Common Ground

https://louisvillemetroparks.wordpress.com/2016/11...

We often look at a cemetery and think of loved ones that have passed on from this life. Unfortunately, some individuals do not have a family to remember them when they pass. River Valley Cemetery is one of Louisville's final resting places for the homeless, often referred to as an Indigent Cemetery. It is one of 5 different cemeteries managed by the Metro Parks and Recreation department.

Each person in River Valley Cemetery is given a proper burial and a marker with their names and life span. Unfortunately, over the years many of these markers have been lost due to natural erosion and weathering. This has resulted in a number of grave sites with missing identification. Although heartbreaking, one local Girl Scout felt compelled to search for those whose identity had been lost to the elements.

Rebecca Dever, a senior at Mercy Academy made it her mission to help restore River Valley. She was first introduced to the site over Labor Day weekend while praying over those residing at River Valley. This was during a Cardboard Village project with her youth group at St. Gabriel The Archangel Catholic Church. The project is designed to raise awareness about the homeless the struggles they face day to day.

Over the last year, Rebecca has worked diligently towards the identification and rehabilitation of unmarked grave sites at River Valley. As a member of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana for 14 years, Rebecca is completing this massive undertaking for her "Gold Award" project. It is the highest achievement in the organization, and the equivalent to the Eagle Scout award in the Boy Scouts. Rebecca began this initiative one year ago and continues diligently working.

Rebecca has worked alongside Metro Parks Volunteer Coordinator and AmeriCorpsAdministrator Laura Ryan, and various Coroners offices throughout the city to identify each person buried at River Valley. Rebecca has even collaborated with Kroger, by collecting 400 pounds of plastic in order to produce a bench to be installed at the cemetery. She has also discussed plans of headstones for each grave with Kirk Dolan, who oversees the cemeteries maintenance.

She has found most of her information from the Joseph of Arimathea Society. An organization connected to the catholic high schools that participate in the burials of the deceased homeless. She continued her search by contacting numerous homeless shelters around town, such as St. Johns Center and St. Vincent de Paul. She often referred to the National Coalition of the Homeless to provide answers to possible gaps in names.

Rebecca's research was also aided by a directory located at River Valley. She coincidently discovered that the directory was created by her substitute teacher's son. The Directory was his initiative in order to earn his Eagle Scout award.

Next Year is the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. To celebrate, Rebecca plans to dedicate 100,000 service hours with the help of her troop for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Rebecca wishes to make River Valley not a resting place where individuals are forgotten, but rather a memorial to the less fortunate. Rebecca Dever has shown an insurmountable level of compassion and determination to hold onto the memory of those who have gone before us.

The make-up high school placement test is Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  • There is a $10 fee and students are asked to bring two #2 pencils

Mercy offers an extended time version of the test for those with learning difference's accommodations. In order to sign up, parents must call Deana Padgett at (502) 671-2010. For those unable to make the original test, a make-up test is offered in January. For more information please call Allison Morris at (502) 671-2021 or email her at amorris@mercyjaguars.com.


Welcome, Class of 2021! Click the image below to expand a letter from our principal, Amy Elstone.

Mercy Academy Campus Upgrades for Fall 2017

State-of-the-art additions to Evans Park and Stock Yards Bank Theatre

Through the generosity of an anonymous donor and many members of our Mercy community, we are thrilled to announce we have campus upgrades that will be ready by the fall of 2017! The Mercy Stock Yards Bank Theatre and Evans Park athletic fields will receive numerous renovations to better the facilities and provide more opportunities for our students. We thrive as a small school with big opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Thus, these upgrades will allow our students to excel in all aspects of a well-rounded education.


The upgrades to Mercy's Stock Yards Bank Theatre include:

  • Acoustic treatment to the ceiling and walls to absorb external noise.
  • New flooring with portable risers that provide a variety of performance and stage configurations.
  • Sconce lighting that offers an authentic theatre look and feel.
  • A sound and light control booth with better access and usage located just above the highest portable riser.
  • Additional lighting systems that allow for greater flexibility and variety of productions.

For those involved in our theatre program, these upgrades are extremely exciting!

"Our theatre program is blossoming. We involve students in all aspects of production," Michael Johnson, Mercy's president, said. "These enhancements will provide students with the space and tools necessary for maximum learning and the best possible experience for all, while still maintaining a very flexible space that can serve the needs of the school in many ways."

Our theatre director, Amanda Simmons, also anticipates the renovations. "The upgrades coming to our theatre are very exciting! It's an incredible opportunity for the growth of the department, and it will be wonderful to see how they transform our space!"

Evans Park will upgrade the softball field, the main turf field and track. These updates include:

  • Two press boxes: one for McAuley Field (softball) and one for the turf field and track. An observation deck will also be included at the top of the turf field's press box for videography and photography opportunities.
  • Two state-of-the-art sound systems to allow the National Anthem to play at the start of all games.
  • Stadium seating that will include Mercy blue chair backs for comfort and school spirit.

"Additional seating, sound systems and press boxes for the softball field, turf field and track will allow us to accommodate larger crowds, particularly for regional contests, and provide a quality experience for all," Mr. Johnson said. "Evans Park is a premier high school outdoor sports venue with a central location that is rapidly becoming a favored site for competitions of all sorts. It is also a great resource for area Catholic grade schools and the entire Metro Louisville area."

We will break ground over the summer of 2017 so that all renovations are complete by the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.

Mercy Academy theatre students named Kentucky Chapter Select

Students will represent the state of Kentucky in Nebraska this summer.

Mercy Academy students performed Señora Tortuga, a whimsical, bilingual play, at the Thespian Festival on Saturday, October 29. Mercy is the first all-girl school to ever participate in this festival which took place at Eastern Kentucky University, as Mercy is the only all-girl school in Kentucky with a charter from the International Thespian Society.

Under the direction of Amanda Simmons, 24 girls participated in the production, featuring full-size puppets and a student-led musical accompaniment. Mercy students created and played original music, constructed the set under the instruction of Corie Caudill and designed masks and costumes with the help of Michael Braaksma, art teacher at Mercy Academy.

Señora Tortuga was written by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and produced with a special arrangement from Anchorage Press Plays, Inc. In order to prepare for their multiple productions, students Skyped with Shroeder-Arce and were able to ask questions in order to better understand her vision as the playwright. The cast performed twice at Mercy, as well as three times at local libraries around Louisville, including Wesport Road Public Library, Main Public Library and Shively Public Library, prior to the Thespian Festival.

At the festival, Mercy performed a condensed, sub-45-minute version of the play alongside eight other high school theatre programs. Of those eight, four competed for the Kentucky Chapter Select title. Mercy received the title of Kentucky Chapter Select, which distinguishes them as the theatre program best fit to represent the state of Kentucky at the National Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska from June 19-24, 2017. One theatre program will represent each state at the national competition, so up to 49 other schools will receive a title of "Chapter Select" and will have the opportunity to compete.

Mercy Academy received its charter to the International Thespian Society, which is a division of the Educational Theatre Association, in 2014. "The International Thespian Society (ITS), founded in 1929, is an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students located at more than 4,200 affiliated secondary schools across America, Canada, and abroad. The mission of ITS is to honor student achievement in the theatre arts," according to their website.

The cast included the following members of the Mercy Academy Theatre Department: Gretchen Frommeyer (as Beatriz), Ruthie Belza (as Pedro), Hailey Robertson (as Letitia), Emma Markert (as Claudia) and an ensemble comprised of other Mercy students. Teachers Steve Hammer and Suzie Ledford also helped with set and technology for the performance.

For more information on the International Thespian Society, please visit schooltheatre.org/internationalthespiansociety.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

As my senior year at Mercy begins, I cannot help but think about all the adventures that are ahead of me. Prom, senior lock-in, and my trip to the Presidential Inauguration this January are just a few of the events that will make my last year at Mercy the most memorable. The one activity that has me most excited about my senior year is going on the senior retreat.

Since my freshman year, I've heard from every single class how life changing and eye-opening the senior retreat is. Although I don't like missing school, I think I can manage being away for a few days, spending time with my sisters. It will be a time for me to open up to the girls that I have spent the last 4 years with and to complete the bond that we created freshman year.

I want to leave Mercy knowing that my class knows more about me than where I sit at lunch or who I am friends with, but that they can know where I came from and the events and people that have made an impact on my life. Even though the whole class can't go on the same retreat together and learn everything about everyone, I can make the most out of the time with the girls I will be blessed to spend those three days with.

I can't wait to not only connect with God but also connect with the young women I will be graduating with this summer. It will be an experience of a lifetime where I can escape from my reality and into a world with my Mercy sisters. I can't wait to see what I will learn about the other girls and to share my experiences with them. Mercy and the people within it mean the world to me, and because of this retreat I am able to connect with them on a deeper level than I thought possible.

My senior retreat on March 22 can't come soon enough!

mercy-s

Mercy engineering design students, from left, Claire Curry, Olivia Waldridge, Jill Vorreiter and Julianne Wise worked together inside Mammoth Cave Oct. 11 where they piloted a robotic submarine, in the foreground, through an uncharted part of the cave's waterways. (Photo Special to The Record)

Record Staff Report
Mercy Academy students studying STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — piloted a robotic submarine into a previously uncharted part of Mammoth Cave National Park's underground waterways on Oct. 11.

The students have been using robots since last fall to help scientists at the park map the cave's aquatic floor and to determine how water gets in and out of the cave. Students use submersible robots — which are operated remotely — to carry out the exploration. The robots were built and programmed by students during an engineering-design class.

Mercy students plan to return monthly through the end of the school year to continue exploring Mammoth Cave, according to a press release from the school.

The STEM program at Mercy received a mini-grant this month from Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative, an organization whose goal is "to strengthen Kentucky's capacity to increase the number of women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," according to its website.

The grant will allow Mercy to help fund an after school program, along with the Kentucky Science Center and the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, for middle schoolers who are Girl Scouts. The goal of the "Girls Maker Club" is to help girls develop an interest in STEM fields by providing them with the opportunity for hands-on learning, according to a press release from the school.

Seven engineering-design students from Mercy will serve as mentors in the program. Program participants will have the opportunity to create wearable light-up accessories and learn the basics of computer coding and engineering design.

Mercy started its STEM program two years ago. In January, the high school became the first all-girl school in the nation to receive STEM certification from AdvancED, a national non-profit accrediting organization.

On Friday, October 14, Mercy held our 32nd annual Walk. This is our largest student fundraiser for our tuition assistance program. This year, we reached a new record: $74,430.97, allowing more young women the opportunity to attend Mercy!


We would like to thank the following businesses for their donations:


Major Walk Sponsor: $2,500

Papa John's


Gold Walk Sponsors: $1,000

Louisville United, Maeser and Cemex


Blue Walk Sponsors: $500

Sparks Gibbons White, Allegra, KCI, IBEW, FKB Sheet Metal, Park Community Credit Union, Inline Engineers, Byerly Auto Group, Oates Flag, Parker School Uniform and R&R Limousine


In order to raise as much money as we can, students have a contest amongst themselves to bring in the most donations. This year's top three student fundraisers for the Walk were sophomore Taylor Hord, who raised $2,712, senior Elizabeth Thaler, who raised $1,200 and freshman Katelyn Becker, who raised $1,030. Congratulations, ladies!


Also, leading up to the Walk is our penny competition and hall decorating contest. This year's penny competition raised $3,975.92. Seniors brought in the most money at the penny competition and also won the hall decorating contest with their Seniors are out of this world theme. We loved seeing the school spirit of all the classes throughout the week!


Lastly, we hosted our annual food frenzy, a food donation drive where we aim to donate as much food as possible to Dare to Care. This year, we brought in 839 pounds of food! The freshman class brought in the most food, finishing with 310 pounds.


Thanks again to everyone who helped as a volunteer or a supporter of Mercy. We appreciate all you do!

On Thursday, October 6, freshman, Ruthie Belza, delivered a 10-minute speech to a crowd of 300 people on her "Recipe for Peace" at the Interfaith Paths to Peace Gala. In attendance while she spoke were Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Chief of Police, Steve Conrad, Christopher 2X and community leaders who all expressed heartfelt acclamations toward her and her Mercy connection.


Last year, Ruthie gave an impromptu speech at Interfaith Paths to Peace's interfaith prayer service for the victims of terrorism in Belgium on behalf of her eighth grade class at St. Francis of Assisi. As the social justice representative for her student council, she worked hand-in-hand with IPP and other similar organizations in different ways.


The director of IPP remembered Ruthie from the Belgium service, and impressed by her speech, contacted her eighth grade religion teacher to ask her to present another speech at the annual My Recipe for Peace Dinner.


In her speech she described peace, and how we should make peace a reality, rather than just a thought.


"Peace isn't something tangible. We can't necessarily hold peace in our hands. Peace is not a noun, but a verb. Peace is not given to us as a gift. It can't be handed to us on a silver platter," Ruthie said. "Friends, we have to stop expecting peace. As the human race, it is our responsibility not to view peace as something far in our future...We have within us abilities far beyond ourselves to create and bring about peace. We have to work in harmony with each other, with everyone around us to create peace."

5801 Fegenbush Lane Louisville, Kentucky 40228

P 502 671-2010

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