Karen Hanrahan, Head of School

Karen began her tenure as Mercy's new President on July 1, 2013. She brings a wealth of professional experience and expertise that will help to shape Mercy’s future. Prior to Mercy, she served as President of Seton Keough High School. Her accomplishments at Seton Keough High School included reducing the annual deficit by 50+%; instituting an iPad program; developing the Focus on the Arts Program; instituting Virtual High School; and advancing Project Lead the Way (a STEM program - science, technology, engineering, and math) in bio-medical and pre-engineering which received full accreditation in only three years. Karen holds a Master’s degree and has more than 25 years experience in Catholic education with a focus on advancement, admissions, and administration. Karen has extensive community experience serving on numerous boards. Karen enjoys visiting presidential and historical sites; cheering on the Cleveland Indians and is also a Ravens fan. Karen has a passion for girls' sports and loves attending the athletic events to support the girls!

Lauren Conklin, Assistant Head of School for Academics

Lauren joined the Mercy community in 2012 as the English Department Chair and English teacher and was appointed as Assistant Head of School for Academics in June 2014. Lauren has an extensive academic background holding a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University achieving a 4.0 GPA as well as a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University. She has had extensive teaching experience in English and Journalism. Lauren has received a number of awards including Outstanding Contributor to Education in 2010, the Ennis Innovator in English Award, she has been a three-time presenter at the National Journalism Education Association, National Conference as well as a presenter at the Midwest AP Conference speaking about “Scaffolding Regular-Level Students to AP Writing. She is a regular attendee of AP and NCTE conferences and in 2014, her senior English class achieved a 100% passage rate on the AP exam. Lauren has also been a freelance journalist, feature writer, and reporter in her hometown state of Illinois. Lauren fulfilled a life-long dream when she was a Freelance Journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Lauren's academic background and achievements provide a strong foundation for her new role as Assistant Principal for Academics at Mercy.

Summer Dittmer, Assistant Head of School for Student Life

Summer joined the Mercy community in 2012 as the Director of Student Activities and English teacher and was appointed as Assistant Head of School for Student Life in June 2015. Summer has been teaching English and directing events at the high school level for 16 years. After being elected the President of Epsilon Phi National Honors Society and graduating summa cum laude in three years from the California State University of Sacramento, she continued her post graduate work at Holy Names University. Along with working at Mercy, Summer is an educational consultant for Turnitin.com, one of the largest educational technology companies in the world. In the last three years, she has created and hosted a range of instructional webinars and webcasts, attended by thousands of teachers and professors throughout the world. Since 2002, she has lead twenty-five leadership retreats, organized over 40 dances- from yachts to Levi’s Stadium, and has become a certified LINK Crew trainer for high school. Summer is currently working on her Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University.

Leadership Team Members

Head of School, Karen Hanrahan
Assistant Head of School for Academics, Lauren Conklin
Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Summer Dittmer
Director of Advancement, Mary Lund
Director of Admissions, Patricia Glasser
Director of Finance and HR, Dennis Wootten
Director of Marketing, Stacey Longwich
Director of Mission Integration, Sandy Flaherty
Campus Minister, Angie Simonetti

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