Every school year brings about changes. This year, like many other years, Mount Mercy Academy will have changes to its faculty and staff. However, when the 2021-22 school year begins, three long-time faculty members will not be returning to the classroom. Two of the teachers had “un-retired” and returned to Mount Mercy and one has retired after 27 years at her alma mater.
Fred Kirisits, Mount Mercy’s Music Director, retired at the end of the 2019 school year. However, when a sudden opening occurred in the music department in September of 2020, Kirisits graciously returned to lead the program through a difficult year due to the restraints imposed on schools due to Covid 19. Kirisits taught music and directed the musical ensembles and hand bells for 40 years and added one more year this past year.
Kathleen “Katie” Collins also returned for a second stint at Mount Mercy, although her second stay was longer than Kirisits’. She began her career at Mount Mercy in 1984 teaching science. She then became assistant principal in 1991 and served in that position until 1997 when she became principal. She was principal for four years. A 1968 graduate of Mount Mercy, Collins returned after retiring from Saint Francis to teach science part-time for the past five years.
Kathleen “Kate” Lynch has been a part of the physical education department for the past 27 years. She began teaching at her alma mater in 1994. Along with teaching classes, she served at the school’s athletic director from 1996 to 2005. She also coached golf and tennis during those years. She is an avid golfer, often winning the Cazenovia Women’s Golf Championship title. A 1975 graduate of Mount Mercy, Lynch has been a fixture in the stands and in the gym at Mount Mercy.
“Mount Mercy is proud to have had such inspirational role models who leave behind memories that will forever impact our students, staff and Mercy community,” commented Michele Melligan, Mount Mercy’s Head of School. “I am blessed to be part of their legacy both as a former student of each retiree as well as working side by side with them during their final year at Mount Mercy Academy.”
Although their time teaching at Mount Mercy has ended, their legacies will live on in the hearts and minds of the countless students that they have influenced throughout their long and distinguished careers.