06/22/18 5:58am
06/22/2018 5:58 AM

The white walls were bare in the hallways at Our Lady of Mercy Regional School Monday morning. 

On a single bulletin board, spelled out in yellow lettering, was a message: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Boxes filled up one room and inside a pre-K classroom across the hall, the cubbies were empty. READ

03/15/18 6:00am
03/15/2018 6:00 AM

News that the Diocese of Rockville Centre will close Bishop McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead at the end of the current school year broke late in the day on Monday. News of an impending announcement was delivered to the homes of students at the high school via robocalls, with the announcement itself coming in a video statement, delivered by Bishop John Barres, posted on the diocese’s website. READ

01/25/16 10:19am
01/25/2016 10:19 AM


Sponsored By Our Lady of Mercy.

Catholic Schools. Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

Frequently asked questions:

What is Catholic Schools Week? Catholic Schools Week is an annual event, celebrated across the country during the last week in January. The week is set aside to celebrate the unique nature of the Catholic schools in each community. In addition to the internal events (teacher and parent recognition events, school ‘spirit’ days, special assemblies, etc) it is also a week where the schools open their doors to the families of the Parish/Parishes they serve, and to the general public who might be considering the benefits of a Catholic education.

As a school family, how do I participate? Each school publishes a complete list of events and activities taking place in their school during the week. School families are encouraged to visit the web site of their school.

As a family considering a Catholic education, how do I learn more? Catholic Schools Week features Open Houses at the schools where parents and students can visit the school(s) they think they might be interested in and get a tour of the facility, be introduced to the teachers, meet some of the current families and children and generally learn about the academic, spiritual, social and physical development programs.

As a prospective family, do I have an ‘assigned school’? One of the first differences you will notice about Catholic school is that you get to select the school that you believe your children will be most successful in. There is no direct ‘assignment’ based on where you live and most school districts provide busing to the school of your choice within a 15-mile radius.

Is there a difference in tuition to attend a different school? Long Island’s Catholic Elementary schools set their own tuitions, so they vary slightly, but there is no penalty for choosing a school outside of your Parish or town if you are a Parishioner in the Diocese. The system of schools is an asset here on Long Island for all of the families of the Diocese and for all of the families of Long Island.

Are non-Catholics welcome in the schools? The schools are welcoming places to everyone without regard to race, religion or national origin. A religion class is a requirement, students participate in Liturgies, and faith is an integrated part of daily activities, but many schools have a significant population of students who attend because of the quality of the education alone.

OLM Band Close up

What should parents look for during their visit? Many parents of current students tell us that their decision was emotional and based on a feeling of warmth and caring they got during their visit. Others are more analytical and make direct comparisons based on the results on standardized test scores and high school admittance history. Regardless of how you make your decision, the schools are ‘open books’ during this week, providing whatever information prospective families desire to support their decision. There is also a series of video interviews on the licatholicelementaryschools.org web site where current parents offer their advice on how to get the most out of your visit.

When parents select Catholic elementary school, what are the most frequently cited reasons? The reasons that are most frequently mentioned are: academic excellence, the reinforcement of the values lived at home, Catholic religious identity, a safe, nurturing environment for learning, more individualized attention to each student’s learning needs, an outstanding extracurricular program and the level of partnership established with parents.

Will attending Catholic elementary schools help my child get into a prestigious Catholic high school? Attending a Catholic elementary school isn’t the only way to get into a Catholic high school, but it is still the best way. The Catholic high schools are open to all students and typically have a very significant number of students from a public school background. Students qualify for Catholic high school through a test for 8th graders that is administered in October of each year. Typically the students from Catholic elementary schools are best prepared for the academic rigor, the integrated program of faith and values, and the service orientation of the high schools. Virtually all of the students from Catholic elementary school (99 percent) are admitted to a Catholic high school with the vast majority getting into the school that is their first choice.

How can I learn more or choose the school(s) I would like to visit? There is a resource for families on the Internet that provides a very complete picture of the Catholic elementary school experience. It features an interactive map that is your guide to each of Long island’s distinctive Catholic schools, and that lets you view the geographic options for your children at http://licatholicelementaryschools.org.

08/17/14 10:00am
08/17/2014 10:00 AM
Alexandra Conloan, Our Lady of Mercy's new principal, worked as an art and Spanish teacher as St. Isidore's in Riverhead for over 13 years. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Alexandra Conloan, Our Lady of Mercy’s new principal, worked as an art and Spanish teacher as St. Isidore’s in Riverhead for over 13 years. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Our Lady of Mercy Regional School has a new principal.

Alexandra Conlan of Riverhead, 54, has been hired to replace Lorraine Delgenio, who recently retired from the post she’s held since 2008 at the parochial school.  (more…)

01/06/14 8:08pm
01/06/2014 8:08 PM
FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

FILE PHOTO | Check back for school updates.

Updates on school closings, delays, early dismissals and event cancellations:

As of 10:45 p.m. Monday

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at the Mattituck-Cutchogue, Southold, Greenport, and Oysterponds school districts.

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School.

• Our Lady of Mercy Regional School will have a delayed start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Peconic Community School will have a delayed start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

• New Suffolk Elementary School will have a delayed start at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Be sure to click the following links for any cancellations made between updates: Mattituck-Cutchogue, Greenport, Southold, Oysterponds, New Suffolk, Our Lady of Mercy, Bishop McGann-Mercy, Peconic Community School.

Check back for more information.

01/24/13 11:00am
01/24/2013 11:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO  |  Our Lady of Mercy teacher Marianne Wachtel works at her classroom's Smartboard.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Our Lady of Mercy teacher Marianne Wachtel works at her classroom’s Smartboard.

When Our Lady of Mercy teacher Marianne Wachtel guides her students through the school’s new math program, she uses the latest technology. But these learning sessions aren’t taking place at the private school in Cutchogue.

Her third graders are watching a recording of the day’s math lesson on their computers after school. And instead of doing homework at home, they complete it in class under Ms. Wachtel’s guidance. This new method is called “flipping the classroom,” and Ms. Wachtel believes it’s the best way to teach students in a 21st-century learning environment.

“Most parents work and they unfortunately don’t have the time to do the flash cards,” she said. “Parents are struggling and have said to me ‘I wish I could come to your classroom.’ That’s when I came up with this idea.”

Parents want to help their children with homework, Ms. Wachtel said, but feel overwhelmed by the new math program that rolled out this year. It’s a combination of Go Math and Singapore Math programs.

Ms. Wachtel, who has taught at Our Lady of Mercy for three years, said she created the new teaching program over the summer while undergoing self-professional development and listening to parents’ concerns about being unable to help their children with their homework. She’s now in the process of selling her program to other teachers through the website TeachersPayTeachers.com.

Ms. Watchel records her lessons with her classroom’s Smartboard over the weekend. The lessons are then uploaded to a website called edmodo.com, which only her students and their parents have access to. After the students watch each lesson, they are given an “exit ticket,” which questions them about the lesson. “I can tell in three seconds if they understood the lesson,” she said.

Student completing 25 tickets will be Ms. Wachtel’s special guests on an upcoming lesson. When students are in the classroom, Ms. Wachtel goes right into helping them solve math problems because they already watched the day’s lesson the night before.

Ms. Wachtel said the reverse method shows her which of her students viewed the lesson and for how long. If her students are having difficulty at home, they can communicate with her right away online. In addition, children out of school on a vacation or due to an illness can keep up with their fellow classmates.

“There is no loss of time for them, especially as they can connect with me so easily,” she said.

The program is engaging, Ms. Wachtel said, because she uses student names in examples and helps teach students about the importance of finding reliable information on the Internet.

“One parent stopped by here one weekend and brought me coffee,” she said. “They’ve told me ‘I can’t thank you enough.’ If that doesn’t give you motivation to be here, then what does?”

Ms. Watchel said she attributes the program’s success to parents’ support and from school principal Lorraine Delgenio keeping an open mind.

“It has made a difference along this journey,” Ms. Wachtel said about the community’s support. “If I can help prepare students for the next level, then I’ve done my job.”

For more information about Flipping the Classroom, call (631) 734-5166.

[email protected]

12/04/12 7:32pm
12/04/2012 7:32 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Courtney Murphy of Mattituck taking on an Our Lady of Mercy defender.


Two games into the high school girls basketball season, the Mattituck Tuckers have learned a couple of valuable things about themselves. Not only can they win without Lauren Guja, but they can come back from a sizable deficit to win.

Mattituck, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, recovered to take a 51-41 triumph over Our Lady of Mercy in the first round of the second annual Lindenhurst Tournament on Tuesday. The Tuckers (1-1) will play host Lindenhurst (1-0) in tomorrow night’s championship game, Lindenhurst was a 52-27 winner over Amityville in its tournament opener. The Bulldogs won last year’s tournament.

“It’s great to see that we can fix our mistakes and come back and we’re a team that can win,” said Mattituck forward Courtney Murphy.

Mattituck took the lead for good when a pair of free throws by Alexa Orlando made the score 29-28 with 3 minutes 59 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tuckers twice stretched that lead to as many as 10 points as momentum swung their way.

After a three-point shot by Our Lady of Mercy’s Gabriella Genna cut Mattituck’s lead to four points at 45-41, Alex Berkoski canned a big jump shot for a 47-41 Tuckers lead.

“That was the dagger,” Our Lady of Mercy coach John Kiffel said. “I mean, if she misses that and we score again, it’s a different game.”

Katie Hoeg and Berkoski both knocked down two free throws apiece in the final minute to seal the victory.

This is a different season for Mattituck, minus Guja. The senior forward, who had been the team’s top player, did not come out for the team this season.

“That was a little bit of a monkey wrench in the system, her not playing, but I think you got to work with who comes, and we’re doing a good job with that,” said Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood.
Guja was a reliable player in the post for the Tuckers, a steady supplier of points and rebounds. But the Tuckers have to put the past behind them and move on.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, shooting over Our Lady of Mercy’s Renee Rios, led Mattituck with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

“She was definitely a big part, but I think it’s O.K. because our chemistry is good together,” Mattituck forward Shannon Dwyer said. “We miss her, but we can work together. We can get the parts together and make it work.”

They did just that on Tuesday.

Dwyer was a force, leading Mattituck with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists before fouling out with 2:40 to go. Allie Wilcenski added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.

Samantha Lynch scored 14 first-half points for Our Lady of Mercy (0-2). She didn’t play in the second half because of a cut to her face that required stitches, Lady Mustangs coach John Kiffel said.

As it was, the Lady Mustangs were already without one of their best players, Shannon Brady, a junior point guard who has been a starter since she was a freshman. It is hoped that Brady returns from an ankle injury next week.

“It’s a big miss for us,” said Kiffel.

In Brady’s absence, Marilyn Lehmuller, normally a shooting guard, played the point. The junior provided 11 points and 9 assists.

“Honestly,” Kiffel said, “I thought she played an unbelievable game.”

Our Lady of Mercy also received 12 points from Renee Rios.

Turnovers bedeviled Mattituck in the early going. “We may have been a little frazzled,” Dwyer said. “We got it back.”

The Tuckers made defensive adjustments, throwing a mix of defenses at the Lady Mustangs. Mattituck went from a man-to-man to a 1-3-1 to a full-court press to a 2-2-1. Our Lady of Mercy, which hit on 8 of 14 3-point attempts, was guarded more closely on the perimeter in the second half.

Something else helped Mattituck: free throws. The Tuckers shot 19 of 29 from the foul line. Foul shooting cost Mattituck in its season-opening 45-42 loss to Centereach on Saturday.

“We really emphasized foul shooting, and I think tonight it really paid off,” said Van Dood.

Now the Tuckers are in the win column.

“Just having a win is great,” Courtney Murphy said. “I think as a team overall we played really well today and just having this win under our belts, it boosts our confidence.” She added, “We’re making it work, and it’s really great to see.”

[email protected]