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Where the Boys Aren’t

From when it was founded in 1955, Mercy High School has proudly campaigned for the education of women, specifically in the environment of an all-girl school. With many students formerly attending co-ed grade schools, going to Mercy was their first chance to excel in the classroom without the pestering presence of childish boys. Without boys in the learning atmosphere, girls are able to speak their minds and openly be who they are. At Mercy, it is apparent to faculty and students the difference that makes.

The faculty at Mercy High School are able to see firsthand the academic excellence of students in an all-girl classroom. When asked about her thoughts on the benefits of a women-led learning environment, Mercy alum and now Assistant Principal, Dr. Oliver states, “I think that an all girls learning environment is empowering; you really can be very focused on your academics and being the best version of yourself – there is no competing with other girls vying for a young man’s attention.” Girls are able to be who they are without fear of being ridiculed by classmates of the opposite gender. Students are able to become leaders and grow to their fullest potential in an all-female class dynamic.

The shift in learning environments from co-ed grade schools to an all-girl high school was difficult for some incoming students. Senior Georgia Kinney says, “I thought that going to a school without boys would be boring at first, but I’m very glad I was pushed to come to Mercy instead.” There are greater opportunities for students to branch out into without them being overtaken by male students. A club like Student Council in a female-led atmosphere exemplifies the confidence girls have with addressing major topics and public speaking. Kinney states “I definitely think that in terms of public speaking and sharing my opinion, Mercy has given me the space to feel confident in myself and my intelligence.”

Based on my time at Mercy and my experience these past four years, I have found that an all-girl learning environment has given me confidence, a hunger for learning, and motivation. If I had never gone to Mercy, I would not have been able to become the outgoing and confident person I am today. The female-led classroom structure empowered me to believe in myself and hope to achieve great things.


Ashley Spawn
Senior at Mercy High School.
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