about Mrs. Mergner --
Mrs. Mergner has been teaching in the Middle School at Mother Catherine Spalding School since 2002. She has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grades in Language Arts, Reading, and Religion in different capacities for the last 12 years. Prior to teaching at MCSS, Mrs. Mergner taught at St. Mary’s Ryken High School, teaching senior Religion classes in World Religions and Christian Spirituality.
Teaching is a second career for Mrs. Mergner, who attended Gwynedd Mercy College in her native Pennsylvania where she obtained a B.S. degree in Medical Technology. Mrs. Mergner worked in the field of Medical Technology at Abington Memorial Hospital, a 500 bed trauma and acute care teaching hospital, and at Merck, Sharpe & Dohme in pharmaceutical research until she moved to Southern Maryland with her husband and 6 children in 1996. In addition to her work experience, Mrs. Mergner has had much experience with teaching in non-traditional teaching roles prior to entering the educational field; she was head Varsity and JV Volleyball coach at Gwynedd Mercy College for 7 years, coached CYO basketball and volleyball for 8 seasons, and taught as a bench tech at the hospital. In addition, for 5 years she directed Kids Helping Kids, a service arm of her parish CYO which she founded in 1991. In Kids Helping Kids, she supervised a student membership of up to 75 children in activities designed to support local social service agencies in Bucks County, PA. Mrs. Mergner was recognized for this work with Kids Helping Kids and asked to speak at the Philadelphia Archdiocese Catechetical Conference in 1994.
Mrs. Mergner completed graduate classes at Notre Dame University of Maryland and holds her Maryland teaching certification in Secondary Biology (Grades 7-12) and in Middle School English (Grades 4-9), in addition to holding a certification in Religion at the secondary level in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
Mother Catherine Spalding School
“Home of the Pelicans”
NOTE: The following is a reprint of my back-to-school lette provided for informational purposes
Dear MCSS Middle School Parents, Guardians, and Students,
I wish to welcome everyone back to M.C.S.S. for the new academic year; it promises to be both challenging and rewarding. It is hard to imagine that the summer is so close to being over and that classes are a mere 5 days away from commencing. We are trading in suitcases for book bags and bathing suits for uniforms... but most of us are ready to get back to our friends and the structure that the new year will bring.
I return this year as the 8th grade homeroom moderator, and I am excited about the opportunity to have this particular group of students as my “family” in homeroom. I will continue as the Language Arts and Reading teacher for the middle school level and while Reading and Language Arts have always a joy for me to teach, I am equally enthusiastic to be teaching Eighth Grade Religion.
In the areas of Language Arts and Reading, I am a strong believer in the power of communication. My classroom focus for all three grades will be designed to raise the students’ awareness and effectiveness of the oral and written presentation of ideas. The curriculum in Language Arts will follow much the same format as in years past. The students at all levels of instruction will focus heavily on grammar, mechanics and usage. Beginning in 6th grade and continuing through the 8th grade, students will be challenged to analyze language structure, to employ the writing process effectively, and to raise the level of their own language expression both in oral and written communication. Students will be exposed to all types of writing, and come to understand characteristics of and the various purposes for the different types of writing styles. In the process students will compose poetry, write research papers, present speeches, create narratives, and learn to express themselves well in a variety of kinds of verbal expression.
The Reading curriculum will again incorporate the Sadlier-Oxford series for vocabulary instruction for all middle school students. In addition, an independent reading component for the grades is assessed via the Accelerated Reader program instead of written book reports. Both of these elements will be assessed and incorporated into the overall Reading grade for each quarter. Expectations in these areas for all students will be outlined in class the first week of school. These areas will supplement the classroom Reading curriculum, the basis of which will continue to expose our children to a variety of literature. I believe my job is to challenge each student to develop active reading and critical thinking skills which in turn prepare them to succeed in the higher learning environments of high school and college.
Finally, In Eighth Grade Religion, the focus will be on preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. While curriculum will center on sacramental preparation, we will study the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church as she is today and in her history from the time of the early Christians. This focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in Church History will be addressed as part of God’s overall Plan of Salvation which has existed since Time began.
I look forward to a productive year of learning. Please know that I see all my students as my own “children” and that I want the same thing for each student that their loved ones at home want, and that is for each and every student to feel safe and secure, to be respected for the talents that each brings to the school community, and to be given the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability.
Homework, long term assignment and project details can be accessed on my webpage which can be accessed via our school’s website, www.mothercatherine.org. From the homepage, the student and the parent can access the individual classroom assignments by clicking on the Our Classrooms tab and then their grade level from the drop down menu on the right hand side of the page.
**Please note that Middle School teachers will each have a personal webpage that will address the homework and project assignments for their particular subject areas. My personal webpage, will list information for the following subject areas:
- 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Reading
- 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Language Arts
- 8th Grade Religion
- 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Vocabulary
****Please make note of special requirements for academic success as identified on my webpage.
Grades are earned, not given! Student grades will be a compilation of quiz, test, homework, and class participation grades in all my subject areas. The percentages to which these parameters are factored into a student’s grade are subject dependent.
- 8th Grade Religion:
Daily Prayer (individual presentations/ reflections) –10%
Chapter quizzes (with glossary terms and Confirmation ques.) —30 %
Unit tests (most projects assigned fall into the test category)—30%
Class participation – 15%
- 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Language Arts:
Quizzes — 30 %
Tests (long term writing assignments fall into the test category) —40%
Class participation – 15%
** NOTE: Accelerated Reader requirements and percentages vary from 6th grade to 7th and 8th grades as I have different expectations of the older students.
- 7th and 8th Grade Reading:
Quizzes – 25%
Tests – 30%
Homework – 15%
Class participation –15%
Accelerated Reader tests (2 self-selected independent reading books required per quarter) –15%
- 6th Grade Reading:
Homework – 15%
Class participation –15%
Accelerated Reader tests (2 self-selected independent reading books required per quarter) –10%
Please contact me if there is ever a concern about your child’s performance or welfare. I can be reached at school until 3:30 or 4:00 most afternoons, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
****This webpage is your source for Mrs. Mergner's homework postings, project directions/ expectations, and announcements that will make your school year a success. Please check for your assignments daily.
Periodically announcements are made that will appear on the ANNOUNCEMENTS page. Please check these for notices that apply to more than one subject or grade level, and are of a general interest.