• McGann Mercy High School Opens New State-of-the-Art Junior High in Former Convent
  • Enables School to Introduce New Fine Arts Program


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – 26 August 2009 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, will cut the ribbon and lead the blessing of a new junior high school building at McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Riverhead, on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at Noon.

Opening of McGann-Mercy Junior High WingThe junior high school renovation transforms a forty-year-old convent located on the McGann-Mercy grounds into a separate state-of-the-art educational area for the seventh and eighth grades. In addition to seven new SMART-enabled classrooms, there is also a new computer lab, art room and science center. “About eight years ago the diocese under the leadership of Bishop Murphy and schools superintendent, Sr. Joanne Callahan, came to Riverhead and breathed new life into our school,” said Dr. Steven Cheeseman, principal, McGann-Mercy High School. “In doing so, they demonstrated their commitment to Catholic education on the East End of Long Island. Thanks to the support of the diocese, the dedication of our teachers and staff, and the commitment of our parents, students, and alumni, we are able to celebrate the success of this school community as evidenced by this expansion project.”

The completion of this project will more than double the capacity of the junior high and will allow it to improve its academic and co-curricular programs. It also gives room to expand offerings in both the junior high and high school buildings. Most immediately, the school will be able to develop a fine arts program by creating a band room and dance room.

 “The Sisters of Mercy began this school and their influence is still felt in Riverhead,” said Sr. Joanne Callahan, OSU, superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre. “I’m sure that the opening of the new junior high school in the former convent is exciting to them as it continues their great legacy of Catholic education. As a former eighth grade teacher, I am very excited about this new initiative and believe it offers students in the greater Riverhead area a unique opportunity for Catholic education.”

It is the mission of McGann-Mercy High School to provide an environment in which all students are challenged and inspired to achieve their personal best. With approximately 500 students in grades 7-12, the schools’ uniquely small Catholic community, with its enriching and supportive environment, has its roots in the religious traditions of the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic faith. The administration, faculty and staff are dedicated to teaching students to live morally, responsibly and productively.

Dr. Cheeseman said that over the past eight years, McGann-Mercy High School has experienced a growth in population of almost 70 percent and has established a community where academic excellence and personal responsibility are paramount. “This expansion project is only the beginning of the revitalization of Catholic education on the East End.”

Approximately 200 guests are planning to attend the ceremony including seventh and eighth grade students as well as parents, faculty members and school alumni.

“There are so many people to thank that helped make this new sight for the middle school a reality – Bishop Murphy, Dr. Cheeseman, and all the benefactors who have helped make McGann-Mercy the school it is today,” said Sr. Joanne. “We pray that many more students will benefit from a Catholic middle and high school education because of the excellent school we have in McGann Mercy.”

McGann-Mercy High School
1225 Ostrander Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11903
Driving Directions: http://www.mcgann-mercy.org/VirtualEarth/get_directions.aspx


About The Diocese of Rockville Centre

The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 133 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 88,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/08).

Diocese of Rockville Centre
Sean P. Dolan
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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