Anchors Aweigh Masthead
May 2016

Today marks the conclusion of the Easter Season and the Solemnity of Pentecost, a day on which we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples who gathered after Jesus' Ascension. In these final days of the academic year, we pray that the Holy Spirit may enliven our hearts and minds with the gift of God's mercy and justice.

We also congratulate and pray for the Class of 2016. May they continue to grow in God's wisdom and grace, knowing that they always have a home in this Circle of Mercy.

As always, we thank our Mercy families, alumnae, benefactors and friends for your continued support of and investment in a Mercy education. Through your generosity, we are able to provide a quality, Gospel-centered education to a diverse group of young women who will make a difference in our world.

Have a wonderful summer!

In gratitude,
Rita E. Cutarelli, Associate Principal of Mission and Campus Life
Audrey Magnusen, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations
Daniel Meyers, Director of Academic Affairs
Janine Nolfi, Director of Student Activities
Laura Schulkin-Parnell, Director of Counseling
Lorelei Zermani, Director of Finance and Human Resources
In This Issue
Natalie Elicetche
In April this year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored 9-1-1 dispatcher Natalie Elicetche '93 with the Dispatcher of the Year Award. While serving as a call taker in San Francisco's 9-1-1 Operations Center, Natalie fielded a call from a San Francisco resident who reported the possibility of multiple murders in Tennessee. Natalie contacted local authorities in Tennessee which led to the arrest of the murder suspect. "Natalie's poise and presence of mind resulted in the arrest of a violent criminal," said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. "She is an example of all the best qualities of the men and women in law enforcement and the dispatchers that work so hard to keep the public and the police safe."

Marie Silva Vallejo '66

Looking back at her 25 years with Intel Corporation, Marie Silva Vallejo '66, realizes how Mercy opened up her many interests and impressed upon her the skills and habits she carried throughout her life. At Intel, she was involved with data security, internal audit, logistics and finance. Going into retirement and curious about what her father did, her interest in Philippine WWII Research was awakened. This led to the writing of a book and leading a team in digitizing Philippine WWII records from the US National Archives, data that were later disseminated to Philippine libraries and institutions. Marie currently lives in Manila but makes a yearly visit to her daughters and grandkids in San Jose, California, with her husband, a constant supporter in the myriad of projects she's taken on.


Class of 1966 Golden 50th Reunion
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Reunion Luncheon at the Lake Merced Golf Club
2300 Junipero Serra Boulevard, Daly City, CA 94015 
11:00 am
A time to share memories, photos and celebrate!
Luncheon Coordinator Nancy Dito '66 415.608.5792
Class of 1966 Liturgy and Reception
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Mercy Day Eucharistic Liturgy with the Mercy student body, faculty and staff, celebrating the founding of the House of Mercy by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. The liturgy will include the Class of 1966 and Sisters of Mercy as honored guests.
1:30 pm Mercy Day Liturgy at Mercy High School & Reception following in Rist Hall
Class of 1956 60th Reunion
Saturday, September 17, 2016  
El Rancho Inn
1100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030
Coordinators: Ann Marra Doran '56, Pat Keller '56 & Carol Quigley '56

Class of 1961 55th  Reunion
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Delancey Street Restaurant
600 The Embarcadero at Brannan, San Francisco, CA 94107

Class of 1971 45th Reunion
Date and Location TBD
Theme: "Friendship and Unity." Weekend events will include a Candlelight Rosary and Remembrance Ceremony.
Coordinator: Anise J. Matteson '71

Class of 1976 40th Reunion
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Irish Cultural Center
5:30 pm
Coordinators: Chris Powis Emerson '76 Liz (McKenzie) Mayta '76, Teresa (Bianculli) Hansel '76, Jeannette (Taheny) Al-Asfour '76, Debbie (Knutsen) Scolari Montarano '76, Karen McDonald '76, Kathy West '76, and Mercia (Pereira) Tiscornia '76

Class of 1986 30th  Reunion
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Rist Hall, Mercy High School
6:00 pm

Please email Audrey Magnusen, Director of Advancement,
or call 415.337.7218  for information on being a Class Coordinator
for 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.

Like us on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter  



Final exams are fast approaching (May). As a reminder, the following are our financial policies:

1. All tuition payments are due on time according to the tuition plan selected.

2. If for any reason, tuition payments are more than 30 days late, your daughter will not be permitted to attend classes, take exams, or receive report cards until:
· The account is brought current, or
· An adjusted payment schedule has been approved by the Director of Finance.

3. If any monies (tuition, class fees, book fines) are owed to Mercy High School, a senior student may not participate in the Senior Dinner, Senior Awards Assembly, or Graduation Eucharistic Liturgy, or receive a diploma until all debts to Mercy are paid in full.

Giving to Mercy Thermometer
During this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are asking you to consider making an investment for a very special appeal--a gift of a Mercy High School education! For over sixty years, families have made many sacrifices to have their daughters attend Mercy. The support of alumnae, parents and friends has generated the much-needed funds for Mercy's critical needs: financial assistance, campus maintenance and improvements, and the continuing presence of our outstanding faculty and staff.

Our goal is to raise $1,000,000 through the kindness of alumnae, parents, friends and foundations. We are pleased to inform you that we are currently at 92% of our goal. If each one of you receiving this email gave $25 TODAY we would hit the GOAL! Please join us in celebrating our educational ministry and the young women who have chosen Mercy High School as an important reality in their lives. The Annual Fund is a major channel of support. All gifts to our Annual Fund, whether $25 or $2,500, are very significant and can be directed to areas with the greatest need. Please consider making a gift today. Our need to provide financial assistance has increased dramatically over the last few years. We can assure you that your investment in our young women is priceless. 

All donors (if they wish) will have their names included in our Mercy News 2015-2016 Annual Report. For your convenience you may donate online at

Current Capital Projects at Mercy

Take Your Seat Theatre Campaign to replace all existing seats, curtains, flooring and upgrade stage. The new seats will adorn our theatre Summer 2016. Goal $150,000.

Stairway to Heaven Rooftop Terrace and Community Room located on the 4th Floor, will host a beautiful space for all types of events, receptions and student use. Thanks to a generous lead gift from Bernita McTernan '63 and Maria Schiavone, and additional gifts, we have reached 51% of the $125,000 Goal.
Stairway to Heaven Project

Mercy Doors
Year of Mercy Event: Mercy Art Exhibit

We are looking for Mercy artists to submit their artwork to an art exhibit celebrating
The Year of Mercy. The theme of the submissions is Mercy.  The Art Exhibit will be held at Mercy Center, Burlingame from July 1, 2016 through August 31, 2016. Submissions are due by June 1, 2016. Anyone interested should email Angie Simonetti '80

Summer Programs at Mercy

Summer Photography
is where young women will enhance their skills in photography. This course presents an opportunity, through photography, to reaffirm the importance of having a strong sense of self-respect and positive self-image.

In this course, we will provide instruction about the camera (Automatic, Program, etc.), basic lighting technique, composition, portraiture, and still life. You will also hear about the history of photography up to the present day "selfie". 
Students: Grades 7 through 12
Place: Mercy High School San Francisco
Dates and Time:
Session I June 20 - June 24, 2016, 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Session II June 27 - July 1, 2016, 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Instructor: Mario Parnell, from Table Top Photography BFA--Art Center College of Design, commercial photographer for 23 years; photography Instructor and Adobe Photoshop retoucher. 

Expository Reading and Writing Workshop
is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors who want to improve their reading, critical thinking and writing skills so they are ready for the demands of college-level text analysis and writing.
  1. Students will read and discuss a variety of articles and essays on contemporary topics related to social science, ecology, biology, and political science.
  2. Students will practice active reading techniques to improve their comprehension of college-level texts.
  3. Students will write clear, well-crafted college-quality essays of varying length and purpose.
  4. Students will study and apply concepts related to academic vocabulary, grammar, pre-writing, and essay organization. 
  5. Students will write a personal essay that can be used as a model for their college application essays.
Place: Mercy High School San Francisco
Date and Time:
June 20, 2016 - July 15, 2016, 9:00am - 11:30am (Monday, July 4, is a school holiday.)

Logo of Recology
Mercy has been selected by SF Environment and Recology to participate in a pilot program -- at no cost -- whose aim is to collect textiles for reuse and recycling. Tan colored bins have been placed strategically on campus so students, faculty and staff can bring in old clothes, shoes, linens, and the like, for recycling. As some of you may recall, we tried this before successfully. However, due to questions regarding the vendor used at the time, we had the bin removed from our campus.

But, textile recycling is now back at Mercy!


Mercy High School's Technology Club (WAVTEC) held it's 15th Annual Spring Day Raffle on April 29th. The club gave all students a chance to win a prize by handing out one free ticket per student. Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to purchase tickets during the week leading up to the Raffle. Following are the 2016 winners:

Name Grade Prize
Stephanie Alioto
10 Beats Headphones
Jade Arenas
10 Beats Headphones
Courtney Desimone
Faculty Beats Headphones
Diana Esteban
10 Samsung VR Headset
Olivia Del Rosario
9 Senior Photos
Dori Ryken
Staff Portable Phone Charger
Courtney Desimone
Faculty Portable Phone Charger
Jnelle Aganan
10 $10 Apple Gift Card
Taryn Stark
Staff $10 Apple Gift Card
Tanya Bolshakoff
Staff $10 Apple Gift Card

Recycling Image

The Technology Department recycles used cell phones, laser toner and inkjet cartridges throughout the school year. Please have students drop off items in the Computer Lab, room 319.
  School News
  Mercy Varsity Basketball Team

Members of the 2015-2016 Varsity Basketball team show off their new banner as
co-champions of the WBAL Skyline Division. The team is coached by Mike Gutierrez and Marie Colon '06. Congratulations team!  

Capt. David Lazar Visits Mercy
Students belonging to Ms. Cynthia Ovares' Spanish class made Valentine's Day cards for our local heroes this past February. On the Friday before Valentine's Day and with the help of some Mercy "fairies," Ms. Ovares went around the city to drop off bundles of Valentine's cards to six different SFPD stations. Captain David Lazar from Central Station brought four female officers with him to Mercy on April 8th to thank our students in person for having shown them some love.

Witech and AP Art Students Meet Filmmakers   
The WiTech and AP Art students met the filmmakers for Code Documentary after attending a screening of the film at the Mission Draft House Theater in San Francisco. The documentary highlighted the significant disparity between men and women hires in the technology industry. These students hope to be a part of changing that!

Junior Senior Mercy Retreat  
In late April, 27 juniors and seniors traveled to Presentation Center in Los Gatos for a 3-day, 2-night retreat experience. This contemplative retreat allowed upperclass students to step away from their usual routines of school and home and explore their identities, priorities, and spirituality. Through meditation, art, ritual, games, time in nature, and personal sharing, students gained new perspectives on their lives, deepened friendships, and developed a renewed awareness of God's presence. Galina Lang '17 described the retreat as "an opportunity that bought me so much closer to God and gave me a sense of real gratitude. I learned that people do love and care for me, how important forgiveness is, and that we all need to take time for ourselves." Mercy faculty/staff members facilitated the retreat, with members of the student Retreat Team offering personal reflection talks. 

Taize Prayer
"Calming." "Refreshing." "Powerful." "Rejuvenating." These words capture Mercy, SF students' reactions to their first experience of Taizé prayer at Mercy Center in Burlingame. Prior to attending this event with members of the Campus Ministry and Religious Studies departments, students participated in an orientation session in which they learned the history of this form of meditative prayer that consists of sung refrains, Scripture, silence, and veneration of the Cross. It originated in a monastic community in the village of Taizé in southern France and is now practiced all over the world, particularly on college campuses and in other venues focused on ministry to young people. Sr. Suzanne Toolan, RSM, is credited with bringing Taizé prayer to the west coast: With her leadership, it has been offered at Mercy Center on the first Friday of every month since 1982. Jeannelle Malunay '17 described her experience of Taizé prayer as "a deeply meaningful opportunity to center myself in God...the words of the songs were so simple, but they meant so much." Kei McHale '16 particularly enjoyed the extended period of silence that followed the proclamation of the Gospel, noting that such opportunities for sustained reflection are "all too rare in daily life." Students are pictured here with some of the Sisters of Mercy who live in Burlingame, who joined them for dinner and conversation prior to the prayer.

College Maps  
Mercy grads will be venturing far and wide for college this year! The flags on our hall map show the colleges in every region of the country, and beyond, which have accepted our students. They have now made their choices and will be attending schools in California, such as, UC Berkeley, Irvine, LA, San Diego, Davis and Riverside, Mills, UOP, Saint Mary's, Cal Poly, SF State and other CSU's. Some will attend community colleges like CSM, Foothill or CCSF; Jesuit colleges, Seattle University, USF, Santa Clara and Regis; excellent liberal arts colleges, Middlebury in Vermont, Carleton in Minnesota, Haverford, Allegheny, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, and College of Wooster in Ohio; historically black colleges Spelman in Atlanta, Dillard in New Orleans, Tuskegee in Alabama; University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Delaware College of Art and Design, CA College of the Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art; Syracuse University, NYU Gallatin Scholars Program, International Christian University in Tokyo, US Air Force Academy, and many more. Congratulations and good wishes to all our seniors as they begin this next adventure!

Mercy Softball Team  
Mercy High School's Varsity Softball team are the 2016 Champions of the West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) Skyline Division after compiling a 9 - 0 - 1 league record this season. The team's lone 'tie' came against the league's second place team in a very well played game, that went extra innings. This year's team was led by pitcher, Alicia Lopez, who along with fellow seniors, Vanessa Baltodano, Melissa Barroso, and Tatiana Gastrock, have been 4-year starters on the Varsity Softball team.

Upcoming Events
May 2016
Sunday, May 15:1:00pm
Art & Soul Exhibition 
Tuesday, May 17: 6:30pm
Spring Sports Awards Banquet
Wednesday, May 18: 7pm
Visual & Performing Arts Festival
Thursday, May 19: 7pm
Visual & Performing Arts Festival
Friday, May 20: 5pm
PAA Student Directed Performances & Red Carpet Awards
May 23-25
Final Exams
Thursday, May 26: 6pm
Senior Celebration Dinner
Friday, May 27: 9am
Senior Awards Assembly
Saturday, May 28: 10:30am
Graduation Eucharistic Liturgy

Women's Leadership Conference
Friday, February 17, 2017

We are looking for presenters. Please email Audrey Magnusen
if you are interested.

Save the Date Mercy Gala Save the Date
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Elegant Dinner and Dancing |  Silent and Lively Auction
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

Please email  Audrey Magnusen if you would like to be on the Gala Committee or if you would like to receive Sponsor Level Information.