Marlins of Mercy: Heather Thomas


Thomas displays her High School Highlights scrapbook that she made when she graduated from Mercy in 1991. Photo by: Sabrina Yono

“I graduated from Mercy in 1991 and currently have two daughters who attend the school. It’s interesting hearing about how the school functions now and how it is surprisingly similar from when I went there. There is so much that is the same it’s scary! However, one thing I did notice that was different is that we had a big sister-little sister program. This is where each freshman got assigned to one senior. This was someone that you went to if you were struggling or needed help with anything. The concept is the same as Link Crew, but the Link Crew program is very different. With the old system every freshman got paired to an individual senior, rather than having a link group. Another difference I have noticed is that when I attended Mercy, the Daddy Daughter Dance was a big deal and everybody went. It seems that it is not as popular as it was in the past, which I really hope changes because I have such great memories from it.

“It’s funny to see how there is still some of the same staff working at Mercy from when I attended there. For example, my adviser, Mrs. Judy Ewald, was still there when my oldest daughter, who is now a senior, started. Another similarity is that the cafeteria is pretty much the same. The food was great then and seems to be even better now. However, we hung out a lot more in the cafeteria when I went there, than the girls do now. I think there are more places to hang out and do work during off hours now, such as the lobby, which we did not have before.

My least favorite memory from the school is Swim-Gym. I hated getting in the water during the middle of the day, which I hear is a common opinion that has not changed. I think my favorite memory from the school was the graduation ceremony. Now, the ceremony takes place at the Detroit Opera House, but in the past we had it at the Meadowbrook Country Club. The ceremony took place outside and all the girls would process down the stairs in their white dresses and roses. It was just so beautiful and an unforgettable experience. I had three older sisters who went to Mercy, so I would always look forward to graduation because I saw how it worked with all my sisters first.

“One day, my daughter came home with her senior pass and when I saw it all the memories came back to me. I went and grabbed my Mercy scrapbook to show her. I made this scrapbook when I graduated from Mercy. I have my report cards, schedule, senior pass, everything from senior night, all my graduation stuff, dance tickets, and pictures in there. When I showed my daughter this, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing because so much of it is the same.

I am so happy that my daughters get to experience Mercy like I did. I hope to send my third daughter there and hopefully we can keep the Mercy tradition alive in the Thomas family.”