With Mercy and Grace

When asked about the greatest accomplishment in her life, Mrs. Grace was quick to acknowledge her wonderful children, but what came to mind was a moment in her competitive running experience. Mrs. Grace recalled the time she competed in an out-and-back race along The River Drive. As she crossed the finishing line, people made her aware that she was the first woman to complete the course, to which she said “ I know I am!” Mrs. Grace made it known that she was not afraid to acknowledge she was first, as she has come in first for women multiple times before, but refers back to her faith saying “ Inner thoughts can say you aren’t enough, but God wants you to own your talents and you should embrace them.” 

As Mrs. Grace entered the permanent role of Head of School, she shared what intrigues her most about being in a leadership position. She firstly acknowledges the importance of principle leadership and recognizes that her actions matter most to set a positive example. She connects those values with the principles of integrity and honesty saying “You’re not leading yourself, but all.” Mrs.Grace is also aware of the severity of being present and just how critical it is for this community. From being at every key event at Merion to talking to students at lunch or in the hallways, she doesn’t only acknowledge the importance, but actively displays it even in the midst of her important commitments. Lastly, Mrs. Grace holds high expectations for herself when it comes to the safety of the students and staff. She has made it known from the time she enters this building and throughout her day the first thing on her mind is the security of us all. At the beginning of this year, Mrs. Grace did a tour of the building with an accompanying Lower Merion police officer to build knowledge of how to keep this community safe and discuss procedures if something bad was to come to fruition. 

The best part of Ms. Grace’s day is seeing the students: the future of Mercy. She adored seeing the full house at Harvest Moon. Even though Harvest Moon is a very big Merion tradition when asked about her favorite Merion tradition, the Weekly Reset is very near and dear to her heart. She values the opportunity to reflect together and celebrate mercy as one community. This being said, she also enjoys celebrating with the school during the masses. The masses do not just allow her to be in God’s space, but also to fully experience what it means to be a piece of the Mercy community, especially when listening in Liturgical performances like the Alleluia, which she emphasizes was beautifully sung by Maria Stowell at the All Saints Day Mass. 

Her number one rule of public speaking is thinking before one speaks. When one does speak, one should always speak from the heart, keep their attention sharp, especially in interviews, and notice what is being observed. Another excellent tip for public speaking is to keep up with current events. Whether these events are among the local or global community, staying up to date is extremely important, especially when discussing news and policies. Along with speaking from the heart, Ms. Grace speaks genuinely, noting that “Nothing in life is off the record.” Her confidence stems from the fact that when she is speaking she knows that she is heard and wants to be heard. She is aware that her audience is ready to listen.

She continued to say, “What God wants us to do is a step”. This means that whenever there is an opportunity: take it. Her opportunity of advancing from Interim Head of School to permanent Head of School came as a response from prayer, a hope that she could only wish could be fulfilled. She believes the biggest hope she had when taking the position is that the Merion community can rest, knowing there is someone in the Head of School office.

Another piece of advice Ms. Grace enlightened us with the value of courage, the value of trying. She continued by stating that if a Merion girl fails, she has our backs. No shortcoming can break a bond forged in mercy. 

Always from the heart,

Mrs. Grace