In the News
Valedictorian Alena Pedroza completed her senior year with the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) among her classmates. She will address her classmates at graduation. Alena is president of the National Honors Society, a member of the National English Honors Society, the National Science Honors Society, and a Catherine McAuley Honors Scholar. She also competed on the Math Macs team, is a member of the orchestra and served as co-captain of the varsity volleyball team. She is a National Hispanic Scholar and an Illinois State Scholar. She is a graduate of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin grade school. She will attend the University of Chicago.
The class salutatorian, Megan Howley, holds the second highest GPA among her classmates. She is a member of the National Honors Society, the National English Honors Society, the Spanish Honors Society, serves as treasurer for the National Science Honors Society, and served as the director of the Catherine McAuley Honors Scholars. As a Mighty Mac athlete, Megan competed as a member of the cross country and track teams. Megan is a National Merit Commended Scholar and an Illinois State Scholar. She is a graduate of Most Holy Redeemer grade school. She will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall.
Allie Duffy was elected by her classmates as the student speaker. Allie is a Student Ambassador and member of the varsity club/dance club. Outside of school she is involved with the Youth Ministry program at Queen of Martyrs parish. She is a graduate of Independence Junior High. She will attend the University of Iowa.
Grace Ellerbeck is the recipient of the Sister Mary Brian Costello, RSM scholarship, named in honor of the former English teacher, curriculum director, and principal of Mother McAuley. Grace receives a $2,000 toward her college tuition. She will address her classmates and guests at the baccalaureate mass. Grace is a member of the National Honors Society, National Science Honors Society and a Catherine McAuley Honors Scholar. As an athlete she was a member of the Mighty Mac golf team. She served as co-consul president of the Junior Classical League-Latin Club, as a member of Primary Colors and as a student ambassador. She is an Illinois State Scholar. Outside of school, Grace has worked as a summer volunteer at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of Queen of Martyrs. Grace will attend Loyola University Chicago.
Unveiling and Blessing of New Heritage Wall
On Wednesday, September 4, Mother McAuley welcomed students, faculty and staff, and special guests, including the Sisters of Mercy, for a special blessing of its new Heritage Wall. The project was underwritten by William and Anne Edwards Cotter ’73 of Cotter Consulting. Anne is the former chairperson of the Mother McAuley Board of Trustees and a 2014 inductee into the McAuley Hall of Honor.
The Heritage Wall is located inside the school’s main entrance, at 3737 W. 99th Street. It features panels and an illustrated timeline, including nearly 100 photos accompanied by captions. Soon to come is an interactive video with digital-search tools. English department chairperson, Sister Nancy Houlihan, RSM, wrote the introduction that is featured on the first panel of the wall, and also led the blessing of the piece. Read more...
Honoring Sister Rosemary, RSM
On October 17, Mother McAuley High School held its Fall Festival to benefit Misericordia Heart of Mercy, a home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This annual event is hosted by the McAuley National Honors Society. Students are invited to donate $5 to dress in costume.
Prior to this year’s assembly and performance, McAuley’s NHS and administration honored Sister Rosemary Connelly, RSM, for her 50 years of service to Misericordia as its Executive Director. This year she also celebrated 70 years as a Sister of Mercy. Read more...
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation named five Mother McAuley seniors as National Merit Commended Students: Brigid Barkmeier (Oak Lawn), Sydney Conn (Oak Lawn), Megan Howley (Evergreen Park), Martina Maples (Mount Greenwood) and Mary Russell (Beverly/Morgan Park).
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Read more...
Mother McAuley seniors Olivia “Rosie” Wantuck (Oak Lawn) and Alena Pedroza (Orland Park) have been recognized as scholars through the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) for scoring in the top 2.5 percent among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in the region. Read more...
Six Mother McAuley seniors signed letters of intent to play collegiate sports Wednesday as part of a National Signing Day ceremony.
Devyn Petrowski will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for volleyball; Morgan Riordan will attend Salem University for water polo; Jenna Badali will attend Lewis University for basketball, Lexi Warfield will attend Loras College for volleyball; Abbey Murphy will attend the University of Minnesota for ice hockey and Amia Owolabi will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for volleyball.
New Faculty and Staff
We are excited to welcome several new faculty and staff members for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
Alumna Megan McCauley ‘12 joins the school as a physical education teacher and coach for junior varsity (JV) tennis and assistant coach for JV basketball. She will continue her role as assistant coach for varsity soccer. Most recently, McCauley worked as a recreation supervisor for athletics at the City of Palos Heights Parks and Recreation Department. She earned a B.S. in leisure studies, with a concentration in sports and recreation business, from the University of Iowa.
The English department welcomes Lauren Prunckle and alumna Gena Lanuti O’Malley ’97. Most recently, Prunckle worked as a tutor at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, and as an ACT and SAT coach at ExcelEdge, Inc. She also taught English at St. Laurence High School and has several years of public school teaching experience. Prunckle earned her B.A. in English and secondary education from Saint Xavier University and has her learning behavior specialist endorsement from the University of Phoenix online.
Gena O’Malley taught for seven years at Lyons Township High School, where her class load included AP Language and Composition. She previously worked for the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor where she wrote official correspondences. She plans to apply this experience and skills while teaching honors English courses, as well as public speaking courses. O’Malley holds a B.A. in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and has an M.Ed. in teaching learning and secondary education from DePaul University.
The music department welcomes Sergio Flores as faculty member and band director. Sergio joins McAuley from Curie Metropolitan High School in Chicago, where he was an interim director of bands and related music classes. He also is a private music instructor, assisting students of any age with their playing ability. Sergio graduated from Saint Xavier University with a B.A. in music education.
Carli Weiler ’08 joins the Recruitment and Admissions team, working alongside Cassie Mayer and Kathryn Swenson ‘10. Weiler received her B.A. in communication sciences and disorders from Michigan State University and her master’s in speech-language pathology from St. Ambrose University. As a former Mighty Mac volleyball player, Weiler has stayed connected to one of her biggest passions through a variety of coaching roles, from assistant coach at Michigan State University, St. Ambrose University and Mother McAuley, to becoming head volleyball coach at The Latin School of Chicago. Most recently, Weiler announced she will be coaching the new Lions Cityside team along with McAuley head volleyball coach, Jen Rees DeJarld ‘87.
Keisha Newell joined the school in June as its new head basketball coach and assistant athletic director.
William Magnuson (not pictured) also joined during the summer and will coach varsity swim for the Mighty Macs.
Mother McAuley Welcomes New Vice Principal
Mother McAuley is pleased to announce that Dan Turney has been named vice principal. Turney joined the school in early June, in anticipation of assuming the role from Sister Lois Bromark, SSJ, TOSF who retired July 1.
In his new role, Turney will oversee the continued integration of instructional technology across the curriculum and within classroom instruction, in addition to directing the curriculum review and professional development plan for the school and faculty. He also will be responsible for developing and directing the implementation of the school’s long range academic plan and ensuring progress toward its goals.
Turney will co-chair the Academic Council, which is comprised of department chairpersons, and serve as a member of the Administrative Leadership Team with the principal, vice principal, dean of student support, and deans of upperclasswomen and underclasswomen, president, chief financial officer and vice president of institutional advancement.
“Dan is a proven educator and leader with a strong understanding of the Catholic secondary educational climate,” said Eileen Boyce O’Reilly ’03, Mother McAuley principal. “He has a demonstrated track record of leading instructional teams and building successful action plans. I’m excited and confident in the fresh perspective and ideas he will bring to inspire our faculty and engage and empower our young women.”
“Instructing today’s dynamic learners requires innovative and creative techniques which complement the curriculum and motivate students to take greater ownership of their education,” said Turney.
“Mother McAuley, as a pioneer in celebrating the differences and strengths in the way girls learn, is leading the way in promoting a collaborative, project-based learning environment. I look forward to becoming part of a celebrated institution and culture that continues to challenge traditional methods of learning."
Turney joins McAuley from St. Laurence High School in Chicago, where he served as the director of leadership and mission integration. In his role he coordinated partnerships and programs to support students and faculty. He previously served as the school’s assistant principal for curriculum from 2013 to 2018, during which time he built the school’s S.T.E.M. curriculum and implemented the school's 1:1 technology program. Turney graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in English and secondary education and began his career as a language arts teacher and mathematics teacher at St. Laurence High School, followed by teaching positions at Mount Carmel and Plainfield East High School, respectively. In 2013, Turney earned a M.A. in educational leadership from the American College of Education in Indianapolis. He is an alumnus of Mount Carmel High School and resides in Oak Lawn with his wife and two daughters.