Mercy Montessori School, a private, independent Catholic Montessori School in Cincinnati, OH

“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”

-Maria Montessori

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Mercy Students Receive International Art Awards

Mercy Montessori 8th Grader, Caitlin Barnes, was recently honored with the Pentel International Children’s Art Exhibition’s Foreign Minister Award for her painting titled, “Ice Dancing”. Caitlin is one of 10 honorees to receive the award internationally and competed against a pool of 40,000 works from over 40 countries.   She is the only Foreign Minister Award winner in the United States.

Cathy Herring and Caitlin Barnes with her painting, "Ice Dancing".

Cathy Herring and Caitlin Barnes with her painting, “Ice Dancing”.

At the year-end mass, Caitlin was presented with a gold necklace in the shape of an artist’s palate, an art kit, a certificate of achievement, and a book containing the 2014 award winning works.   Her painting, “Ice Dancing”, will be displayed on a nationwide tour featuring winning entries from around the world.

Mercy’s Art Teacher, Cathy Herring, has been submitting her student’s work to these exhibitions for over 26 years. On a recent interview with WLWT Channel 5, Cathy remarked, “I feel like I work with a great group of artists, they are not just children and I don’t just have something to give them.  I get as much back from them.”

In addition to Caitlin’s honor, ten Mercy students also received Pentel awards.

  • Gold Awards: Kayleigh Zimmer and Alexia Scholl
  • Silver Award: Claire Geiger
  • Bronze Awards: Ben Fahrmeier and Kara Flaspohler
  • Pentel Awards: Raine Ellerman, Annie Fee, Brian Becker, Cara Nestor, Maddi O’Connell
Claire Geiger, Alexia Scholl, Kayleigh Zimmer, Kara Flaspohler, and Ben Fahrmeier proudly display their Pentel Awards.

Claire Geiger, Alexia Scholl, Kayleigh Zimmer, Kara Flaspohler, and Ben Fahrmeier proudly display their Pentel Awards.

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Mercy Montessori Takes 7th In Nation at National History Day

Alexia Scholl and Audrey Felton in costume as Angelina and Sarah Grimke.

Alexia Scholl and Audrey Felton in costume as Angelina and Sarah Grimke.

Mercy Montessori recent graduates, Audrey Felton and Alexia Scholl have been recognized by National History Day as 7th in the Nation and Best Overall in Ohio for their project, “Angelina and Sarah Grimke: Advocates for Racial and Gender Equality”. Their project was selected out of 600,000 entries nationwide and 2,400 at the national award ceremony.

Audrey and Alexia travelled to the University of Maryland’s campus where they were presented with a certificate for their national award and a medal for their state championship.   Dr. Cathy Gorn, National History Day’s Executive Director, presented the awards to the students onstage during a live webcast on June 19th

“We are delighted that Audrey and Alexia are being recognized for their hard work on this project,” said principal, Patty Normile. “Sister Aloyse Gerhardstein, our junior high history educator, has worked tirelessly to prepare our students for each level of the competition. We are so proud this team of History Day competitors and their amazing accomplishments”.

In addition to this national award, several Mercy Montessori students competed at the state level in April:

  • Audrey Felton and Alexia Scholl / The Grimke Sisters
  • Maggie Gartner and Maddi O’Connell / The Crafts
  • Ciara Homan and Ellie White / Clara Lemlich
  • Asa Larson / Aldo Leopold
  • Daniel Perrea / Movie Rating System
  • Sidney Berger and Will Hubbard / The White Rose
  • Sydney Wagner and Emery Shiffert / Rosie the Riveter
  • Caitlin Barnes and Fiona Young / Coretta Scott King
Maggie Gartner and Maddi O'Connell as The Crafts

Maggie Gartner and Maddi O’Connell as The Crafts

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Poetry and Pumpkin Pie

A literary tradition that has taken place in one of Mercy’s 6-9 classrooms for more than a decade is an afternoon of poetry reading, followed by pumpkin pie. Parents and siblings of students in Melissa and Noreen’s lower elementary class enjoyed a stellar turnout for this pre-Thanksgiving experience. Students, singly and in groups of various sizes, recited poetry to a packed audience. Several parents and siblings also chose to share works that had particular meaning to them. Language arts teacher Noreen Sullivan planned and coordinated this family-friendly activity that is a long-standing event.

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Grandparents’ Days

grandparents3Our 290 students hosted 410 guests during November’s Grandparents’ Days. A favorite of all ages, it was a pleasure to host the grandparents, grandfriends, and other adults who spent two wonderful mornings with their favorite Mercy students. Each day begins in the chapel, where a number of upper elementary and junior high students shared their musical talents with visitors.

Mercy could not have entertained so many guests, so graciously, without the support of a large group of parents. The shuttle drivers, greeters, tea service volunteers, photographers, and craft volunteers were tremendous, and kept everything running smoothly.

As Patty Normile shared with parents, “We love these two days and look forward to your children enjoying their special loved one(s) at Mercy Montessori. On behalf of the entire staff, thank you for helping us make this great event happen. It’s one of my favorites and a beautiful start to the holiday season.”

Mercy Montessori was pleased to host 410 visitors during Grandparents’ Days, held the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving Feast a Long-Standing Kindergarten Tradition

Mercy Montessori’s extended dayers (fondly referred to as “splendid dayers”) celebrated their Thanksgiving Feast, with great glee, the Friday before the holiday. After spending a month studying the Pilgrims and Native Americans, as well as attending a field trip to the Imago Earth Center, the kindergarten students created handmade costumes, churned butter, baked muffins with corn they had ground, and prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving with their classmates and teachers. As any older Mercy student or graduate will say, this special afternoon is much anticipated and long remembered.

Several of the classrooms invited staff to join them at their tables. Parents sent in traditional Thanksgiving food, which was enjoyed by all. Preparation for the annual feast connects many lessons across the curriculum, and the meal presents the perfect opportunity to practice grace and courtesy, one of the unique focuses of a Mercy Montessori education.

Below: The annual Thanksgiving Feast is a special day in the lives of Mercy’s darling kindergartners. Students in each of the four preschool classrooms prepared for and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal.

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Pentel International Art Exhibit Field Trip

artMercy Montessori students have participated in the Pentel International Art Exhibit for close to 20 years, with many gold, silver, and bronze medals acknowledging their artistic talents. An annual competition juried by an international panel in Japan, the exhibits are showcased around the globe. Lower elementary students had an opportunity to see one of the exhibits currently on display in Cincinnati. The artwork of Elise Becker and Carl Lewendowski, spring Mercy graduates, are traveling the world at present. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd levels enjoyed the cultural experience; much of the artwork was from Asian student artists.

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Mercy Soccer Players Show their Talent at the Grothaus Tournament

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The Grothaus Tournament fields were full of our players and their siblings, many of whom watched each other’s games to show their Mercy Montessori school spirit.

The 31st Annual Grothaus Tournament took place at Finley Ray Park in Milford, Ohio the first weekend in November. Congratulations to all of our Mercy soccer players for an outstanding performance. Of our eight teams, six advanced to Sunday play in the semi finals. Kudos to the Girls Strikers team who won the final match and brought home a first place trophy! Mercy Montessori has enjoyed extending their season by participating in this tournament for many years.

“The Grothaus tournament is a very well-run tournament with great volunteers and refs. I really like the tournament because it not only allows our girls to play against competitive teams from outside their league within the city, but also allows them to be together and enhance their team building/cohesion in between games by playing together outside of soccer, eating a meal together, and supporting other Mercy teams. It even allows the parents to get to know each other a bit better,” observes Barbara Walker, Mercy parent and coach.

Our Girls Strikers team, coached by Barbara Walker and Scott Hall, proudly brought home a first place tournament win for Mercy Montessori. Congratulations to this talented group of athletes. Pictured (L to R) in the back row are head coach Walker, Nicole Curley, Isabella Walker, Lucia Castellini, Alex Vredeveld, Brooklyn Eaton (St. Cecilia), Grace Yi, Avery Vota, Reagan Lewis (St Cecilia), and assistant coach Scott Hall. The front row (L to R) includes Nora Kovasckitz, Sarah Castelman (St Cecilia), Rosa Gerner, Gabby Castellini, KT Headley, Margie Fronduti, and Elena Hall. Not pictured are tournament players Trinity Bailey and Kara Flaspohler.

Our Girls Strikers team, coached by Barbara Walker and Scott Hall, proudly brought home a first place tournament win for Mercy Montessori. Congratulations to this talented group of athletes. Pictured (L to R) in the back row are head coach Walker, Nicole Curley, Isabella Walker, Lucia Castellini, Alex Vredeveld, Brooklyn Eaton (St. Cecilia), Grace Yi, Avery Vota, Reagan Lewis (St Cecilia), and assistant coach Scott Hall. The front row (L to R) includes Nora Kovasckitz, Sarah Castelman (St Cecilia), Rosa Gerner, Gabby Castellini, KT Headley, Margie Fronduti, and Elena Hall. Not pictured are tournament players Trinity Bailey and Kara Flaspohler.

Thank you to all the fall coaches and parents who made the chilly weekend a great experience for our players. And thank you the Boosters Association for covering the tournament entry fee costs. We would like to close out a great soccer season with a big thank you to Kim Perry, equipment manager, and Shelly Zimmer for serving as soccer coordinator. Shelly will be handing over soccer coordination to Lisa Galvin-Sang for the spring season, which will be here before we know it!

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Mercy Students Support the Children of Ronald McDonald House

upper-elem-svc-1Steve’s upper elementary circle completed a community service project benefitting the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati; they organized an all-school collection of extra Halloween candy from trick or treating. The Ronald McDonald House offers housing and support to the families of youngsters receiving medical care at nearby Cincinnati hospitals. Donated candy was delivered to the many children (and their siblings) who did not have the opportunity to enjoy Halloween because of serious health issues.

Marybeth’s 9-12 circle also selected the Ronald McDonald House for a community service experience. Students completed research of the many needs of the House and collectively decided to make snack bags for the temporary residents. The bags were designed for families to grab as they head out for a long day spent at the hospital.

upper-elem-svc-2Marybeth was pleased that the project was completely “student driven … they created the list of needed items, wrote notes asking parents for help, decided to decorate the bags, and created inspirational quotes to put into them. Once supplies came in, our circle dated and packed up the bags.” Students then made arrangements for a tour of the Ronald McDonald facility to coincide with the dropping off of their donation. “What an impact it had on our kids to see who they were helping. What an amazing place!” reported Marybeth.

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Ecolab Ready for Winter

On Saturday, November 2nd, the Ecolab received attention from the Berger, Heitkamp, Kodas, Plush, Randolph, Salyer, Shroyer, and Spears families. Lower elementary teacher Noreen Sullivan volunteered to arrange and help with the work. While adults and older children did most of the heavy lifting, the younger students searched the woods for lost playground balls and assisted with a number of outdoor tasks.

The main focus of the morning was to mulch the Ecolab, which is located on the hillside below the preschool and lower elementary playground. A favorite outdoor area to explore during recess, the annual clean up ensured that the Ecolab is child-friendly and well maintained. As Noreen shared, “It was a joy to work with all these folks, and many hands did make light work – and a beautiful, natural place for children to enjoy this winter.”

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Another Wonderful Falloween

Mercy’s Falloween, an annual fall favorite for preschool and lower elementary students, took place at Parky’s Farm this year. Parent Celeste Morgan coordinated the festivities, which were underwritten by the Mercy Montessori Parents Association. The new venue offered wagon rides, animal experiences with goats and ponies, a costume parade, and refreshments. Children and adults got into the spirit by dressing up in fun and friendly costumes. Celeste Morgan and her merry band of Falloween volunteers created a great afternoon; thank you!

 

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Mercy Montessori Center admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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