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$10,000 Grant for Mercy's STEM Program

Mercy graciously accepted a $10,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation in coordination with our friends at the Catholic Education Foundation last Friday, September 22. This grant a huge advancement for the STEM program!

The grant funded our DJ Inspire2 Drone and complimentary high-tech imaging components for students to utilize inside and outside the classroom.

Students will use drone technology to create a viable drone prototype, market a company, and test their prototype using professional grade technology.

Check out this video to learn what the grant provides for our students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD2pfJQzDtc&feature=youtu.be.

Give for Good Louisville

Give for Good Louisville is today, September 14. This 24-hour giving period opened at 12:00 a.m. and ends at 11:59 p.m.

Giving to Mercy is simple. Visit giveforgoodlouisville.org/organizations/mercy-academy, and select the amount you would like to donate. Your donation supports the education of Mercy girls for years to come.

Your donation, no matter the amount, truly makes a difference. Thank you.

Fall Fan Fest

Join us at our Fall Fan Fest on Thursday, August 24 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. We invite friends, family and future jaguars to join us for an evening of fun.

We will have free hot dogs, free snow cones, and free inflatables. Future Jaguars and alumnae are our special guests for the evening and receive free admission for themselves and one guest.

Volleyball vs. Central Hardin
Freshman - 6:00 p.m.
JV - 7:00 p.m.
Varsity - 8:00 p.m.

Soccer vs. South Oldham
Varsity - 7:00 p.m.

Mercy Softball Competes in the State Tournament

Mercy's softball team defeated #2 ranked Woodford County on Thursday, June 8, advancing them to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The Jaguars then fell to #4 Madisonville-North Hopkins. They came back to beat McCracken County and Central Hardin, but then lost to South Warren in 14 innings. The Jaguars placed in 5th in the state tournament and gave everything they had in their fourth game of the day. We are extremely proud of them!

The Jaguars also won the District 24 and the Region 6 championships, which qualified them to play in the KHSAA state tournament.

To see the complete tournament lineup, click here.

Go Jags! #MPBTB

Photo by Courier-Journal.

What are you doing this summer?

Mercy Academy offers a wide variety of summer camps to elementary and middle school students. The camps we have range from volleyball and field hockey to aviation and dissection - there is something for everyone!

Check out the Summer Camp Guide, and then register your daughter or son for camps by clicking here.

Melissa Kenney Shepherd '92

How did you end up in your career?

I am the University of Louisville's costume shop manager and professor in acting and pedagogy. I work as the costume designer for the traveling reparatory company and currently work as a director and writer. I found the costume shop while in grad school. I was assigned to put in hours for my assistantship there.My maternal grandmother taught me to sew as a child and I loved it, so I applied for the job when it came open. I had been a traveling actor for several years and wanted to come home to put my roots down in Louisville again.

What do you love most about your job?

I love my students the most. I love their energy and their eagerness to learn and create with their hands. This is a daily inspiration to me.I love that the job is never the same. Each show brings a different challenge that is a "first" for the costume shop.

How did Mercy prepare you for this career?

At Mercy, I was taught to stand up for myself as a female and make my voice heard.I look people in the eye when I talk to them, and I listen. This was taught at Mercy. I use kindness and creativity to solve problems. I learned to do this with patience at Mercy.I am most thankful for my Mercy education!Thank your parents, ladies; it's worth the money!

What advice would you give Mercy girls interested in pursuing a career in theatre arts?

Take classes or volunteer in community theatres to find out which part of the theatre you fit into. It's a hard business and very competitive, but you will find that people in theatre, like people everywhere, want to work with those who are kind, reliable, punctual and talented.

What are some of your favorite memories in theatre?

Some of my favorite memories are from working in the shop when we do large shows.My students get to build costumes from drawn designs. These are invaluable experiences that give them a leg-up in the industry. Each show brings a new experience and a new project.

What is your favorite Mercy memory?

I loved working on theatrical productions at Mercy. Under the leadership of Gary Tipton, we learned how much work goes into putting a show on its feet and were asked to participate in all parts of it. When I was a freshman, my best friend, Kathleen Conrad (Colby),and I put our theatrical skills to use to win the arts fair.We put together a presentation on Korea that included costumes and an authentic fan dance. This was a big deal because we won "best overall" at a fair where the entire school participated. Beating out seniorswho performed Shakespeare scenes was a huge "feather in our cap" and solidified us an unstoppable team throughout our time at Mercy. We still are an unstoppable team.

Nicole Cooper '91

Where did you go to school after you graduated Mercy? What did you study?

After high school, I attended Murray State University and received a theatre arts major and a dance minor.

What made you move to NYC?

I moved to New York City because New York is the home of musical theatre. The opportunities were and still are endless.

How did you end up in your career?

I ended up in the culinary field after performing musical theatre on European tours and with Disney Cruise Line for over 10 years! I began a food blog series, and through that was approached by Food Network to provide a summer series recipe. I studied and worked at the James Beard Foundation for four years, working alongside Giada De Laurentiis, Marcus Samuelsson and Michael Chiarello, some of the best in the culinary industry. From there, I began a food series called, A Taste of Nicole. Recently, I entered a food challenge for PBS's Create TV (fingers crossed). My average day in NYC now consists of being a private chef for a lovely family.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love about my job is creating new dishes with flavors in an organic way. I am a kid in a candy store when I shop for the groceries, especially when I'm at the butcher's. This career allows me to create on a level that challenges me and allows me to play, all at the same time. I find that working in a kitchen is such an extension of my performing career; it's all so creative.

How did Mercy prepare you for your career?

Mercy prepared me by setting examples of diligence, through academics and sports, persistence and critical thinking, which are all required to succeed. I always said Mercy Academy's creed was an extension of how I was raised. So when I was at school, it was like home.

What advice would you give Mercy girls?

My advice to Mercy girls is this...believe in yourself, listen to your own voice, be persistent, ask questions, be BOLD, and surround yourself with like-minded people who lift you up. Make vision boards, check out what works and what doesn't. Finally, do what moves you and fills your soul. Not only will you find your happiness, but you will also be a contribution to the world.

14 Mercy Girls Qualified for National FBLA Competition

On Tuesday, April 17, 46 Mercy girls participated in the state FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) competition at the Galt House.

Congratulations to the following girls who qualified for the national FBLA competition in California this June:

Sophie Burke '17, Ashley McClure '17, Meredith Theineman '17: Banking and Financial Systems
Rebecca Dever '17: Coding and Programming
Bailey Recktenwald '17: E-Business
Maddie Lentz '17: Economics
Lilly Kramer '17, Morgan Rohleder '17, Meg Tompkins '17: Global Business
Jenna Ebel '19: Introduction to Business Procedures
Jill Vorreiter '18: Networking Concepts
Amanda Beavin '17: Public Speaking 2
Grace Walsh '17: Sales Presentation
Josie Woods '17: Website Design

Tiffany Cooper Allen '88

Where did you go to school after you graduated Mercy? What did you study?

I hold a Bachelors in Science in speech communications and theatre with a dance minor from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky (MSU). I chose MSU because it had a great theatre and dance program, which prepared me for a career in the arts.

How did you end up in your career?

My passion and love for the arts started early on. I fell in love with music, dance and acting, while watching the Mickey Mouse Club TV show in the late 70s. I was a hyper child that didn't fit in, so the arts gave me self-confidence and peace. Also, I had very encouraging parents that enrolled me in dance and music classes early on. The rest is history.

What do you love most about your job?

Well, I have several careers. I'm a Broadway/TV Actress, Singer and Dancer, Executive Speaker Coach and Arts Educator. As a Performing Artist, I love telling stories that make people think, heal and create positive change. I believe this is the power of the arts. It can bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots. As an Executive Speaker Coach, my job is to help people communicate effectively and bring out their unique perspective. I love watching my clients transform into to engaging storytellers. As an Arts Educator, I enjoy teaching and passing on what I have learned as a professional performing artist. It's about encouraging and preparing the next generation for success.

When and why did you move to NYC?

I moved to NYC in 1992 because I wanted a professional career in Film, TV and Broadway. I didn't know anyone in the city, so I had to be strategic about the move. After my senior year in college, I decided to work at Hershey Theme Park in Pennsylvania because it was close to NYC and I could make connections before moving to the big city. I'm glad I had a strategy because it paid off and made my transition a lot easier. My advice to any creative person moving to NYC or Los Angeles, HAVE A PLAN!

How have you and your sister pursued your dreams together and how have you pursued them individually?

We have always had shared interests and supported each other but we never pursued our careers together because we're different people. I started working in theater immediately after moving to NYC, followed by a European tour of Grease Das Musical in Germany. Soon after, I started performing on cruise ships and doing concerts, TV, film and Broadway. My sister, Nicole, began by performing in Children's Theatre in college, then advanced professionally to regional theaters, cruise ships and eventually touring all over Europe in an international tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. The last show we did together before was Porgy and Bess in Bregenz, Austria. Overtime, Nicole's passion for food and cooking became her number one priority. Today, she is happy as a private chef in NYC, educating her clients about food and making beautiful highly nutritious meals. I went from performing and living over 20 years in NYC to living and performing in Alaska. I currently live and work in beautiful Ashland, Oregon. Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and much, much more including many fabulous wineries. I never thought a rich artistic life outside of NYC or LA would be possible, but it is. In some ways, my life is richer now because I allowed myself to live outside of my comfort zones.

How did Mercy prepare you for this career?

Mercy has given me the discipline and spiritual foundation I draw upon today. My personal relationship with Christ is the center of my life. I thank Mercy for being so supportive in offering these gifts. I never understood what it meant to be a "woman of Mercy" until I left and realized how much the academy did to encourage being spiritually rooted and having a sense of purpose.

What advice would you give other Mercy girls who may be interested in pursuing a career in the arts?

The advice I would give to young performing artists is that talent is half the equation because it takes more than talent to make it in this business. You have to treat it like a business and have a marketing plan. It's called show 'business', not show 'art' for a reason. Learn everything about how this business works, don't be naive. Make MARKETING AND BUSINESS classes as much of a priority as the acting classes. You will need the business and marketing savvy to navigate a career in the performing arts. Here's an interesting fact about the business by an acting business coach expert: 97% of actors entering the show business market place leave within the first 3 years because they couldn't figure it out on their own.

What have been some of your favorite memories you've made working in theatre arts productions?

Wow, I have so many great career memories. Highlights include booking my first Broadway show, Bombay Dreams, my Broadway National Tour of Guys and Dolls, understudying Adelaide with Maurice Hines and appearing on All My Children several times. I recently recorded my debut solo EP/album Satin Mood, a jazz tribute to Julie London. Also, I'm shooting videos to accompany the songs. This project will be released to the public within the next few months.

What is your favorite Mercy memory?

My favorite memory at Mercy was performing in my first musical, Cinderella, during my freshman year. I played the evil step-sister, "Portia". But what stood out about this musical is how diverse the cast was and how the director embraced non-traditional casting. I learned so much about listening, holding the stage and character development. This is when I truly fell in love with the "craft" of acting and singing.

Any other closing thoughts?

GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS AND NEVER GIVE UP! Just remember that in order to have a successful and fulfilling career, you have to be a balanced person. Keep your body and mind healthy. This business is full of ups and downs and if you don't have other healthy interests and passions you could fall into bad habits. It's also important to remember that people are not overnight sensations. You will pound the pavement. There is no set timeline; just enjoy the process and the hustle. Embrace a spirit of service. I truly believe we are blessed by how much we give of ourselves, not by what we get. Invest in relationships!

Check out her website: www.Tiffanycooper.com.

Rivals Unite 4 Girls

Thank you to everyone who participated in the second annual Rivals Unite 4 Girls campaign!


Mercy had the highest alumnae participation percentage (20.34%) at the end of the two-week giving period. The challenge raised over $245,000 across the four schools in a 12 day period, with close to 3,900 total alumnae participating.

We are so thankful for our alumnae. You truly make the difference and impact the lives of many Mercy girls to come.

Once a Mercy girl, always a Mercy girl!

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