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Sisters of Mercy announce blending of McAuley High and Mother of Mercy High in 2018-2019

New school will be called Mercy McAuley High

CINCINNATI – March 2, 2017 – Beginning in fall 2018, Cincinnati’s young women will be served by a new Catholic, Mercy high school that will be called Mercy McAuley High.

Blending 160 years of excellence at Mother of Mercy High School and at McAuley High School, the new school will be located on Oakwood Ave. on the campus that currently houses McAuley.

McAuley and Mother of Mercy will continue to operate as they do now for the remainder of the current school year and for 2017-2018. When that school year ends, the two school entities will cease to exist as the new Mercy McAuley High School is officially established.

“These days, we find ourselves facing a shifting reality in our high schools here,” Sister Jane Hotstream, president of the Sisters of Mercy – South Central Community, told an afternoon news conference at Mercy West. “A declining pool of potential students is impacting enrollment now and will continue to do so in the future. This is a situation affecting Catholic schools nationwide, as well as here in Cincinnati.”

“Our primary concern in making this decision is the well-being of the young women we serve, and our goal is to offer affordable and sustainable Catholic, Mercy education to our current students and future generations. A healthy enrollment provides a solid platform for making that vision a reality by creating opportunities for expansion of curriculum and activities for years to come,” Sister Jane explained.

The Sisters of Mercy sponsor the schools and made the decision about their future. Earlier today, sisters shared the news in person with the faculties and staffs and then with students at McAuley and at Mercy simultaneously. Parents and other key constituents learned of the decision by letter.

The sisters have created three opportunities for parents, students, faculty and others to share questions and comments:

• Face-to-face meetings with parents and students according to grade level beginning Mon., March 6, at each school.

• The Mercy McAuley Hotline staffed by Cincinnati Sisters of Mercy. The number is 513-354-5054 and will operate Fri., March 3, as well as Mon., March 6 through Fri., March 10, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

• An email box,, where people may leave questions or comments 24 hours a day, starting immediately.

Planning for Mercy McAuley High School already is underway and will be spearheaded by a transition committee chaired by Tom Otten, retired principal of Elder High School. Joining him are:

• Cindy Costello, assistant director of the Ministry Office of the Sisters of Mercy;
• Denise Krueger, a McAuley graduate and math and science professor at Mount St. Joseph University; and
• Wayne Morse, a retired executive from Procter & Gamble who most recently worked in the school office of the Archdiocese.

The transition committee will invite broad representation from the two school communities in planning Mercy McAuley High School, including issues such as curriculum, schedules, extra-curricular activities, retreat and service programs, and school colors.

“We recognize this change is difficult and emotional for the communities of Mother of Mercy and of McAuley, and we understand that everyone who loves these schools—especially the girls—will need our understanding and support in the days and weeks to come,” said Sister Jane. “We wish to thank the girls who received this news with grace and a maturity beyond their years this morning. They keep the spirit of Catherine McAuley alive each day and we know they will carry that spirit into the future.”

McAuley High School

McAuley High School opened in 1960 and graduated its first class in 1964. More than 11,000 young women from throughout Cincinnati have graduated from McAuley during its history. Rooted in the ideals of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, the school has been designated a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Among its signature programs is “Women In,” that offers students experiences in medicine, law, technology and engineering.

 Located at 6000 Oakwood Ave., McAuley’s current enrollment is 468. To learn more, visit

Mother of Mercy High School

Mother of Mercy High School was established in 1915. Today, more than half its students have earned college credits by graduation, with some 25 percent starting college as second semester freshmen. One of the signature offerings at Mother of Mercy is the Leading Scholars Honor Program that allows select 9th and 10th graders to supplement their already challenging coursework.

Located at 3036 Werk Rd., current enrollment at Mother of Mercy is 495. To learn more, visit


Mercy McAuley High School

Click on the images or the blue words below for more information about Mercy McAuley High School.

Announcing Mercy McAuley
High School

Questions and Answers
about Mercy McAuley
High School

Schedule for Meetings
with Parents, Students by
Grade Level