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Announcement from Mercy's Board of Directors

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