Our Lady of Mercy Academy stems from very humble beginnings. Staffed by the Sisters of Saint Lucy Fillipini, our school began in 1951 in a garage at the back of the sisters’ convent. Each year, a class was added; so that by 1954 students were also learning in the convent basement and even in the sisters’ living room!
September 1955 marked the first official opening of Our Lady of Mercy School right here in our current building. In 1957, Mrs. Anna Schneider was hired at OLM’s first lay teacher. Soon other talented lay women joined her on the faculty. From its start, OLMA has been dedicated to meeting the spiritual, moral, and academic needs of its students.
September 1975 saw the addition of a pre-kindergarten program, one of the first of its kind in the area, directed by Mrs. Eileen Purtell who retired as Coordinator for Early Childhood Education in June, 2016.
The decade of the eighties brought the arrival of Sr. Jane Feltz, the school’s last religious principal. The early seeds of our current special education program were planted through Str. Jane’s innovative approach to individual instruction. During her tenure, reading enrichment and arts programs were established. A formal literature curriculum was introduced; a full day kindergarten program was begun and computer educations classes became part of the core curriculum.
Hired in 1990, Mrs. Joan O’Malley joined the OLM family as its first lay principal and the first principal in charge of an all lay staff. At the same time, Our Lady of Mercy became an interparochial school sponsored by the parishes of Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady of Good Counsel located in Washington Township. Mrs. O’Malley initiated a formal guidance and counselling program for students which became the foundation for the student services we offer today. Under her leadership the high quality Catholic education of OLMA continued to prosper.
The school welcomed its current principal, Mrs. Laraine Meehan in September, 1995. From 1995 to present, Mrs. Meehan and her faculty have dedicated themselves to helping each student achieve academic excellence, spiritual maturity, a desire to share their gifts and talents, and a willingness to serve others.
Recognizing the uniqueness of every human being was the guiding force behind the establishment of the school’s special education department directed by Dr. Thomas Kavanagh, our school psychologist. The schools’ three Instructional Division Coordinators ensure that teachers present an integrated curriculum from one grade to the next.
In 2008. OLMIS became OLMA when the Archdiocese granted our school “Academy” status. We are very proud of this achievement which was made all the more sweeter later that year when our Academy was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Our Lady of Mercy Academy continues in its mission to give witness to our Catholic faith, affirm Christian values, and foster a love of learning.