Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Mount Mercy Academy Honors Graduates at Its 114th Baccalaureate Mass

  On Monday May 20th, Mount Mercy Academy’s 114th graduating class held its Baccalaureate Mass and Awards Ceremony at the Regional Sisters of Mercy’s Chapel.  The evening began with the class sharing its last mass together and concluded with the recognition of student accomplishments, the presentation of special awards and culminated in the announcement of all the academic monies earned by the Mount Mercy Class of 2019.

    Mariah Rullan (Buffalo) delivered a reflection during the mass during which she highlighted how she has grown and developed as she became a woman of Mercy.  She commented that she believes that she and her classmates have been empowered to make a difference in the world. Rullan believes that she will strive for excellence in all that she does thanks to being pushed to the limit and motivated by her Mercy education.  She is confident that she and all of her classmates are ready to venture out into the world and accomplish so much.

    Gifts, medals or certificates were distributed to the officers of various clubs, the editors of the school publications and members of the music department who participated for either three or four years. Recognized for perfect attendance during their senior year were Samantha Batchev of Lackawanna and Madeline Kotwica of Orchard Park.

    The Mount Mercy Science Academy provides an advanced academic track for students interested in health/science professions, which exceeds the NY State Regents program. Seven students have completed a four year journey which has included a rigorous course of study, attending experiential field trips, learning from the advice and guidance of guest speakers in the medical sciences, rotations of shadowing healthcare professional at Mercy Hospital, 30 hour internships, and written work reflecting these experiences. Madelyn Bentkowski of Buffalo, Allison Mazurkiewicz of Blasdell, Lauren Zimmer of Hamburg, Grace Willert of West Seneca  and Kotwica have completed all components of the Mount Mercy Science Academy program and have earned a white lab coat signifying their accomplishments.

    The English department recognized Abbigayle Reid of Buffalo who showed dedication and excellence in her English courses by demonstrating a high level of maturity and thoughtfulness in reading and writing. She consistently exceeded expectations and strove for mastery in all tasks. Sydni Condyonnis of Dunkirk, Zoe Gonez of Hamburg and Kotwica were recognized for displaying a genuine love for reading by expressing interest and engagement in their English courses.

The Social Studies department recognized Haley George of Elma,  Kaitlyn Leaty, Anna Hagner, and Bridgit Hayes of Buffalo and Alana Szumla and Julia Orcutt of West Seneca for their interest in and appreciation of history and the social sciences.

Twelve students were recognized for their achievements in the new Women in Social Sciences Program.  They have shown interest and an appreciation for history and the social sciences and have participated in field experiences outside of the classroom. Emilie Harper, Katherine Pappas and Taylor Stoklosa of Buffalo, Angelina Pacholczak and Kaitlyn Morris of Orchard Park, Sarah Kobler of West Seneca,    and  George, Hagner, Orcutt, Hayes, Leaty , and Szumla were honored.

The mathematics department presented awards to three students who have shown great dedication and interest in the field of mathematics and have demonstrated outstanding achievement not only in their courses, but also on the New York State Regents Exams. Pappas, Reid and Kotwica were recognized for their efforts.

The Science Department recognized Bentkowski and Willert for their interest, dedication and scholastic effort in the Sciences.        

    The Languages other than English department recognized several seniors. They were honored for outstanding academic achievement.  Lily Kane of Buffalo and Reid were honored for Spanish IV, and Emily Eberl of West Seneca, Catherine Russo of East Aurora, Alyssa Lickfeld of Buffalo and Szumla were recognized for Spanish V.

The Art Department lauded four students for their achievements in art.  Roisin Lynch of Buffalo was lauded in Advanced Placement Studio in Art for her outstanding craftsmanship, originality and creativity in her drawings and paintings. Meaghan Lopez of Orchard Park and Reid were honored for outstanding creativity and effort in Digital Photography and Media.  Shelina Slaughter of Buffalo was recognized for her outstanding craftsmanship, originality and creativity in ceramics.

The National Choral Award is presented to the students who have made the greatest contributions to the vocal program.  Sharing the award this year were Julia Walsh and Eleanor Wilson of Buffalo and Morris.

For only the second time in 40 years, the Director’s Award was presented to Megan Cycon of West Seneca, a student who has gone above and beyond with her enthusiastic participation in the Music Department’s three performance groups.  Cycon was honored for her participation in Freshman Chorus, three years in Women’s Choir, four years in Pure Magic Show Choir, and three years in Magic Belles Handbell Choir.    

McAuley Scholars are those students who through their career at Mount Mercy Academy maintained a minimum of a 95 average. These students are required to take at least 2 AP or college level courses beginning in their sophomore year. The McAuley Scholars from the Class of 2019 are Kathleen Collopy of Buffalo,  Cecilia Lauciello of Orchard Park, Josslynn Strang of Westfield, Madeline Szwed of Cheektowaga as well as Pacholczak, Cycon, Pappas, Eberl , Reid, Rullan, Lickfeld, Mazurkiewicz, Morris and Willert.

The Amy Getty Award is presented to a senior who is dedicated to helping her classmates achieve their best selves while working to develop her own skills and talents at Mount Mercy Academy. The words character, integrity and compassion describe Willert.

The Theology and Campus Ministry Departments presented the Service Award to Kayla Armbruster and Maranda Dziadaszek of Buffalo and Szwed, Willert for their extraordinary commitment to service work, both in their school and community. They have demonstrated incredible work ethic and dedication in servicing the needs of those around them.

The Triple C Award is awarded to the young women who have a commitment to bettering themselves, their school and their Community. Their Strength of Character has helped them to achieve their goals and will guide them in making the right decisions in the future. Their remarkable Courage will aid them in meeting all of the challenges they may face ahead.  Kotwica and Mazurkiewicz were recognized.

    Mazurkiewicz was recognized as the winner of the 2019 Community All-Star Award from Independent Health which recognizes a student who has made a positive difference in the lives of people at school and in the community.

The Ronald Reagan Student Leader Award was presented to Bentkowski by the Reagan Library to the senior who uses her communication skills to show compassion and leadership to her peers.


The Ryan Purcell Memorial Foundation was established in 2012, in honor of Ryan Purcell, whose life came to a tragic end. Ryan was a well liked and compassionate student, who through tireless efforts devoted his short life to empowering other student to believe in themselves and reach their full potential, both in and out of school. On Behalf of Dr. Peter and Lisa Purcell and their family, Mount Mercy was honored to present the Ryan Purcell Memorial Team Spirit Scholarship to Alesia Hamm of Buffalo and Cycon.

Josh Kinner, the Team Leader at the West Seneca Wegmans presented scholarships to four deserving seniors Harper and Breanna Sikora of Buffalo, Amanda Radwan of West Seneca and Szwed.

Mount Mercy’s top three students from the Class of 2019, Szwed, Morris and Rullan have received a Scholarship for Academic Excellence from the NYS Education Department.

Cycon and Orcutt of West Seneca won the Vigilant Fire Company of West Seneca’s scholarship, awarded to students with high moral values, strong work ethics unwavering integrity and the desire to give back to their community.

The United States Air Force presented Szwed with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Award. Approximately 11,500 high school seniors from across the United States applied for an Air force ROTC Scholarship. This year only 22% of the applicants received a scholarship offer.

The Senior Athlete Award is given to the senior who exemplifies not only athletic ability, but sportsmanship, leadership and character. During her four years at Mount Mercy Academy, this young woman excelled in at least two sports and was recognized by her coaches, teammates and other individuals within the Monsignor Martin League.  This year the award was shared by Rullan and Hamm.

The fifty-six young women of the Mount Mercy Academy Class of 2019 earned over ten million and four hundred and seventy thousand dollars in merit based scholarships and grants.


Caption:  Mariah Rullan addresses her classmates during the Baccalaureate Reflection.


"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

College Acceptances

Where our Mercy Girls go