The Kohl Mansion, home to Mercy High School, is located on 40 acres of land in the Burlingame hills. The 63 room rose brick mansion was to be the central building in a grand estate which would include tennis courts, green houses, a rose garden, a large carriage house, and a 150,000 gallon reservoir. In 1924 the Sisters of Mercy bought the Kohl Mansion as their Motherhouse. The Sisters opened the high school in the Kohl Mansion in 1931 after building a new Motherhouse on the lower campus.
This year, the Mercy community recognizes the many extraordinary women - past and present - who have changed the world through their dreams and actions.
The celebration of Mercy Week is a beloved tradition for the Mercy Burlingame community. Themed dress-up days and the Mercy Day Rally spark school spirit, while the Mercy Day Mass is an important time to gather in reflection and prayer. We will recognize the incredible example of women like Mother Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, and Mother Mary Baptist Russell, the intrepid pioneer who led a group of sisters from Ireland to San Francisco in 1854 to establish the first Mercy community on the West Coast. While September 24th marks the exact date when Catherine McAuley established the first House of Mercy in 1827 in Dublin, Ireland, this year we will commemorate Mercy Day on Friday, September 21st.
The theme of Mercy Week 2018 is "Women with a Dream", in honor of the Sisters of Mercy's Critical Concern of Women. On Wednesday, students will watch RBG, the recent documentary about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; freshman and sophomore students will have the privilege of seeing Congresswoman Jackie Speier '68 introduce the film.
Mercy Day will also coincide with our 3rd Annual Alumnae + Friends Giving Day. We invite all alumnae to participate. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Mercy Fund, the annual giving program that helps bridge the gap between tuition and total operating expenses. Learn more about Giving Day by viewing this year's video, or support us by making an early gift on our countdown page.
Mercy is proud to participate in the #BeKind21 challenge!
The Born This Way Foundation has created a global challenge to help make kindness - to ourselves and our communities - a habit by practicing an act of kindness each day for 21 days.
We think it's a wonderful way to start the school year with a focus on kindness, positivity, and community. Coming together to reach in with reflection and reach out with action is great reminder that kindness IS mercy. Doing something for 21 consecutive days helps turn it into a habit, and we invite our community to participate in fostering a culture of compassion and wellness!
For the next 21 days, we will be posting kindness activity suggestions, and we hope you will join us! If you want to share your experiences, use the hashtag #BeKind21 ! You can also tag @mercyburlingame and @btwfoundation.
Dear Mercy Community,
After serving our school community for the last five years, Karen Hanrahan has decided to retire as Head of School in June of 2019 - at the end of the next school year.
Karen has had a storied career as a Catholic School administrator for over 30 years and is a passionate advocate of all-girl’s education.
Under Karen’s leadership, our WASC accreditation was granted for a full six years and long-range strategic planning, including plans to address long term facility needs is underway. The Class of 2018 is ready to embark on their college journey having received acceptances from Ivy League schools to private, Catholic, State and UC institutions both across the country and internationally. These young women have benefitted from small class sizes and exceptional programs, from academics to the arts and athletics. All areas of Mercy life emphasize 21st century workplace skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and innovation, crucial for success after graduation.
Under Karen’s leadership and with a dedicated faculty and staff, our school community has come together to make Mercy a strong and vibrant environment, focusing on the potential for each young woman to grow and develop. An environment in which each girl is known, challenged and quite literally transformed during their four years here. With their dedication, Mercy girls gain the confidence to carry their passions-and their voices-into the world to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Board of Directors of Mercy High School has developed a thoughtful transition plan and will embark on a search, enlisting the support of additional outside resources to find our new Head of School. I am confident that there will be many highly qualified candidates who will be interested in this new leadership position, and it is our intention to choose Mercy’s new leader in a thoughtful manner. I shall keep you informed of our progress.
Since Catherine McAuley opened the first house of Mercy in 1827 in Ireland to serve the poor and educate young women, the Sisters of Mercy have continued to fulfill her vision-educating students to be women of faith, compassionate service and justice. Our students are challenged to grow in faith and use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. We thank Karen for her tireless devotion to Mercy High School and our cherished students as they grow into women of faith and compassion equipped to make a difference in our world.
Bob Grassilli, Chair of the Board of Directors
Mercy High School and Fusion Academy will host "Overcoming Overwhelm: Supporting the Future of Our Youth," a panel discussion with mental health and community education professionals about the pressures students face, and how we can help counteract the effects.
They will address how to encourage student resilience in the face of overwhelming pressure, and answer questions such as: 'How do we inoculate against burnout, anxiety and the academic and social pressures overwhelming our children?' and 'What behaviors and emotions can we spread to others that counter the negative feelings that engulf our students, leading to real-world health and wellness problems?'
The event will be held in Kohl Mansion at Mercy Burlingame on April 11, 2018. The panel includes psychotherapists and authors Lee Daniel Kravetz, LMFT, and Carol Langlois, PhD, and community engagement director Mary Hofstedt, Ed.M. The discussion will be moderated by Charlene Margot, M.A., a parent and community education advocate.
The event is open to the community and free to attend, but seating is limited! Reserve yours HERE.April 11 Event Schedule
6:00pm - 6:30pm l Arrival/Check-In
6:30pm - 8:00pm l Program
Please plan to arrive early for best parking and seating. Program will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
Questions? Contact Shannon LeCompte, Dean of Students, Mercy High School, email@example.com
Last week, Mercy welcomed alumnae, parents, and friends of Mercy for Career Day 2018! We had representation of a wide variety of fields, from healthcare and law enforcement to technology and financial management. The professionals hosted roundtables with three different student groups, to allow the students to engage in a range of career discussions.
Topics included day-to-day activities of the job, including highlights and hardships of their field and specific roles. They discussed paths to get in to a certain field, and the personal strengths, passions, and skills required to succeed. The roundtables wrapped up with insider advice for interested students and Q&A.
We are grateful to our community for participating in Career Day and exposing Mercy students to different potential paths!
Mary Louise Castillo and Eileen Horan, long time Mercy Burlingame faculty, will be presented with the Catherine McAuley Award at this year's Making A Difference Scholarship Benefit Dinner, the school's premier fundraising event. These two beloved teachers were chosen to receive the prestigious award in recognition of their commitment to the vision of Catherine McAuley and the education of young women. They have touched the lives of many with their combined 98 years as Mercy educators.
The Making A Difference event has drawn attention and strong support to Mercy's scholarship giving campaign, which has raised more than $2.2 million—with nearly 1,200 donors and 4,500 gifts—since its inception in 2004. The need remains urgent, with 35% of Mercy students receiving some form of financial aid in this 2017-2018 school year.
The Benefit will take place at 6 p.m. on April 25th, at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront. Visit our webpage to buy tickets, sponsor the event, or give to Making A Difference.
Tri-School Productions debuts West Side Story, starring students from Mercy, Notre Dame and Serra. The beloved musical has inspired generations of theater fans with its heart-wrenching tale of star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony, based on a Romeo and Juliet theme that has stood the test of time since its opening in 1957.
"Tri-School Productions is immeasurably proud to bring West Side Story to our community this spring," says Drama Director and Production Manager Lawrence Long. "The show is a wonderful representation of the good and bad in life. The issues that society faced half a century ago are still relevant. Our students have worked tirelessly on this iconic show, bringing thrilling dance numbers, gorgeous singing and a story that resonates with social issues as relevant today as when it was first performed. It's a tragic story that's told with so much beauty."
The audience will enjoy captivating sets, colorful costumes and unforgettable music and dance numbers as the Sharks and Jets dance their way through heated turf wars fueled by immigration and racism.
"The opportunity to play this lead role during my senior year of high school is amazing," says senior Holden Boger, who plays Tony. "The role of Tony is very emotionally intense, and it requires a lot of hard work and contemplation of character choices and motivations. The story centers on this idea that we all have something in common. It's a challenge I am thrilled to take on!"
Mercy senior Isabella Torre plays the role of Maria, a hopeless romantic who falls in love with Tony, regarded by some closest to her as the enemy. Torre notes how different Maria is in Act II, compared to Act I. "Through the life experiences and events that unfold, she goes from being young and naive to suddenly very mature," she explains.
NDB sophomore Sophia Bouzid, who plays the feisty Anita, has a lot to manage, particularly with the powerful music and dance number, "America." "It's all about breath control," she says. "All while presenting the intense emotions that my character experiences."
Director and Choreographer Gennine Harrington calls the show "a choreographer's dream."
"It's awesome to have teens playing teens," she adds. "In the end, the audience is left with a powerful message–hate kills and love wins."
The show will be presented in Serra's Gellert Auditorium March 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 7:30pm; and at 2pm March 18. CLICK HERE for tickets!
This past week, Mercy High School had CodeHS come to visit and work with the AP Computer science classes. Their teacher, Mrs. Pat Bradley stated that, "Girls participated in an hour of code"and at the end of class, they had each created an app for their cell phones. Which was very cool!"
CodeHS is a comprehensive teaching platform that helps high schools teach computer science. They believe that coding is a foundation skill, just like reading and writing. Their mission is to empower all students to meaningfully impact the future by learning to code.
This past week, Mother's of Mercy Alumnae, MOMA's returned to Mercy for a pre-Christmas wine and cheese get together!
For many this was their first time back to Mercy since their daughter's graduation. They were able to reconnect with old friends, and everyone enjoyed seeing the mansion decorated for Christmas!
Mercy was happy to get these wonderful Mom's back on campus and look forward to making this a yearly event!
This past week, Mercy was pleased to welcome author Emily Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins, sometimes uses the pen name E. Lockhart, is an American writer of children's picture books, young-adult novels, and adult fiction. She is known best for the Ruby Oliver quartet (which begins with The Boyfriend List), The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and the New York Times bestseller, We Were Liars. Her newest book, Genuine Fraud, is a psychological thriller about the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the Judge.
Ms. Jenkins spoke to the girls about how she became an author and how in her case, she usually has 15-20 drafts prior to the books actual publication! She explained that in each draft, she re-arranges rewrites and continually works to perfect her story. She asked the girls if any of them ever felt "blocked" when writing, and explained to the girls that when she writes, she first creates image boards, that help her to get the image and mood of the scene or character that she wants to convey. It is this detail, and layer upon layer of influence, driven by the desire to explore an active emotion that ultimately helps her to craft the story.
Mercy girls enjoyed speaking with Ms. Jenkins and many stopped by for and picked up a signed copy of Genuine Fraud.
Last night, Sr. Marilyn Lacey '66, RSM founder and executive director of Mercy Beyond Borders, won the $1 million Opus prize during the ceremony held at Regis University. Sr. Marilyn is a graduate of Mercy High School Burlingame, and a former member of their Board of Directors.
Sister Marilyn Lacey founded Mercy Beyond Borders in 2008 after a visit to Sudan where she saw what she described as "by far the most devastated place" she'd ever experienced during her decades of work with refugees worldwide. With operations in South Sudan and Haiti, Mercy Beyond Borders brings hope to more than 1,400 women and girls annually by providing educational, economic and empowerment opportunities where there are few options to escape extreme poverty.
The three top finalists competing for this year's Opus Prize, a humanitarian award recognizing those working to solve some of the world's most pressing problems included Sister Marilyn Lacey, Mercy Beyond Borders, South Sudan and Haiti; Sister Stan Terese Mumuni, Nazareth Home for God's Children, Ghana and Dr. Jason Reinking and Dr. Noha Aboelata, Roots Community Health Clinic, Oakland, California. Sr. Marilyn and Mercy Beyond Borders won the $1 million prize, and the other two organizations received $100,000 awards for their humanitarian efforts.
The Opus Prize is an annual faith-based humanitarian award, recognizing leaders and organizations that develop creative solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. The Prize is awarded in partnership with Catholic universities, providing new opportunities to inspire the next generation of servant leaders. Opus Prize laureates are motivated by remarkable faith to create new opportunities for transformation. The Opus Prize is given not only to expand the humanitarian efforts of the recipient, but to inspire others to pursue lives of service. Congratulations Sr. Marilyn for your service and a job well done!
This past Mercy Day, Mercy Burlingame Head of School, Karen Hanrahan took a moment at the end of mass to honor two Mercy students.
Ms. Hanrahan announced that Emma Miller of Woodside and Paulina Morearty of Burlingame had been named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are currently being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.
These commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students that entered the 2018 competition by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
Last week Mercy High School Burlingame gathered together with their entire faculty and staff to celebrate Mercy Day and the extraordinary work of the Sisters of Mercy!
After an all school liturgy, the girls came up to begin their workshops.The sisters of Mercy work very hard to expose these areas of critical concern to us all and this year, Mercy created workshops lead by faculty, staff and Sisters of Mercy to raise awareness on these hard subjects affecting their lives including: Racism, Immigration, the Earth, Non-Violence and Women in the world today.
Shown in the photos are faculty Ryan McGoran lecturing on Racism and Sr. Diane Clyne, RSM speaking to the girls on Immigration. Students and faculty also raised over $1,700 for hurricane relief after the Contemporary Issues Class spear headed the effort to teach us more about the critical concerns focused on the Earth. Following the workshops the girls enjoyed lunch on the green and a spirited all school rally!
This past September during Mercy week, the students of Mercy High School gathered at Bel Mateo bowl for their student fundraiser!
The girls who have been working hard to bring in money to support the Bowl-a-thon. This student fundraiser has the girls using their social media account to reach out to family and friends to meet their goals!To date, they have successfully reached their goal of raising over $50,000 for the school with more funds still coming in. Way to go girls!!!
Given as College Scholarships to the Class of 2017
Average Service Hours Annually
Students Average Class Size
Play more than one Sport
Mercy Sister schools globally
Students Average AP Class Size
Participate in an Extra-curricular Activity
Student to Teacher Ratio
Students in Leadership
"Best of Both Worlds"
Mercy girls are part of a more than 80 year old tradition of inspiring young women to achieve great things, and they love it. At an all-girls school like Mercy, a girl occupies every role: every seat on student government or Kairos, every position on every team. Every day, a Mercy girl sees girls learning, growing and achieving – and she has more opportunities to do the same. At Mercy, young women are known, challenged and transformed.