The OLMA Overview -- January 18, 2019
What a week and what an amazing experience our students are having in Spain. While it took a day or two to get adjusted to our new schedule, the 13 students and I were touched by how welcoming everyone was. In no time, we felt part of the family. This year, students were split between two different schools. To say that the teachers and administrators love this program is an understatement. The great news is that they want to keep it going -- and expand it in the coming years.

I arrived home on Wednesday evening. It wasn't easy saying goodbye, but I took great comfort in knowing that our students were safe and amidst the adventure of a lifetime. We continue to video chat and I love to see their smiling faces.

My hope is that more of our students will have the opportunity to experience this trip next year. If you are at all interested in learning more, please let me know. We look forward to hosting our friends from Spain this spring.

As always, things are hopping here on campus. We are gearing up for a very exciting week beginning on January 28. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the OLMA Board of Trustees, OLMA Advisory Board and Administrative Leadership Team are in the midst of creating a comprehensive strategic plan to ensure the continued success and growth of our school for generations to come. 

As you may know, strategic planning is a systematic process that looks toward the future -- what an organization aspires to be and the steps needed to get there. An important part of this process involves assessing the needs and opinions of the many stakeholder groups that we serve and depend upon to help shape both the focus and future of our school. This will be done via a series of 13 focus groups that will be conducted during that week.

The week's work will culminate in a four-hour workshop on Friday, February 1. It's during this time that the focus group findings will be presented and prioritized into a core set of key initiatives on which our strategic plan will be centered. The workshop promises to be both informative and exciting as we begin to set the course for the future of our school. Many thanks to those of you who will be participating in this exciting process. We will keep you all posted on our progress.

For now, stay warm and safe. Enjoy the long weekend! -- Mrs. Coyle
New Study Shows College-Bound Girls' School Grads Have Competitive Edge
A brand new study recently commissioned by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS) reinforces what we already know -- that girls' school grads have a competitive edge when the time comes for them to transition to college. The study was conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) that shows statistically significant advantages for girls’ school graduates as they enter a college or university.

Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University was prepared by principal investigator Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), in collaboration with HERI. This new data analysis is an update of a 2009 report, also published by HERI, that was originally conducted by Dr. Linda Sax of UCLA in association with Dr. Riggers-Piehl.

These two major peer-reviewed studies spanning Generations Y and Z compare the self-confidence, academic achievement, political engagement, and aspirations of girls’ school graduates to their coeducated peers. 

The study identified several key areas in which all-girls schools are better preparing their students for success in university and beyond. Based on the reported data, the researchers concluded that when compared to their female peers at coed schools, girls’ school graduates:

  • Have stronger academic skills
  • Are more academically engaged
  • Demonstrate higher science self-confidence
  • Display higher levels of cultural competency
  • Express stronger community involvement
  • Exhibit increased political engagement

Specifically, the research report identifies over 80 statistically significant differences that favor graduates of all-girls schools when compared to female graduates of coed schools. The data also shows that girls’ school graduates rate themselves as more successful and engaged in science and politics.

"We couldn't be more pleased with these findings as they reinforce everything we do here at OLMA," said Mrs. Coyle. "From day one of freshmen year, our goal is to instill in our students the knowledge, drive and self-confidence they need to succeed beyond their wildest dreams -- in college and beyond. We take pride in the unique opportunities, leadership experiences and excellent academic programming that we offer and are continuously working to build upon it."

For more information, click here to access the Executive Summary of this research study report.
OLMA Uses Wawa Foundation Grant in Support of Military and First Responders
The Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) Interact Club recently finished making the last of 350 Paracord Survival bracelets that will soon be on their way members of the military and first responders nationwide.  

This service project was made possible with a $1,000 grant from The Wawa Foundation -- a huge supporter of everyday heroes.  The grant was used to purchase the materials needed to make, package and ship these life-saving bracelets, along with personal notes of thanks and encouragement to Operation Gratitude. Once in hand, volunteers will distribute them as part of the nearly 300,000 care packages it sends annually.  

"Our students were surprised to learn about the many different ways that these bracelets can come to the aid of the military personnel and first responders who wear them," said Mary Jane Kinkade, OLMA Interact Club adviser. "The bracelet making was a little tricky until we got the hang of it, but a lot of fun and well worth the effort to support the many heroes out there who defend our freedom and put their lives on the line to come to our rescue. We are grateful to Wawa for helping us fund this project and pleased to join forces with Operation Gratitude to be sure the bracelets get into the right hands." 

Interact Clubs are youth-sized versions of Rotary Clubs and designed to help students embrace service in a way that it becomes part of their every day lives. The OLMA Interact Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tri-County that serves individuals and organizations in Atlantic, Cumberland and Gloucester counties.  
Get Ready to BLACKOUT Cancer!
Get set to make a difference while cheering on the OLMA Villagers Basketball team on Tuesday, January 29! The night's theme is BLACKOUT CANCER , so wear as much black as you can!

OLMA is fortunate to be partnering with Pizza Hut on this event! The entrance fee is $5 per person and includes FREE pizza and a GREAT GAME as OLMA battles Buena. To be sure we have enough pizza, please pre-order your tickets in the athletics office, by emailing Coach Leng at, or by clicking here .

As an added bonus for pre-ording your tickets, you will receive a FREE #OLMACares shirt -- in black. of course! Deadline to pre-order is January 22, so don't delay. All are welcome!
Notes from OLMA Athletics
  • Attention Spring Athletes: All physicals and permission forms must be complete by February 22. All forms should be submitted to the Athletics Office. The first day of Spring practice is March 1.

  • Interested in playing Rugby in the Fall? OLMA will have a Rugby 7s clinic with KJ Feury on Wednesday, February 20. It will take place at 6:15 PM in Carew Hall Gymnasium. Parents and students who plan on participating should attend. It will be a hands-on clinic and Mrs. Feury will instruct the girls through practice drills and game situations.

  • Want to coach? We have two coaching openings for the 2019-20 school year --Head Volleyball Coach and Head Bowling Coach. If you or someone you know has interest, please contact Matt Lenguadoro at
Order Your Valentine's Day SCRIP
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so now's the time to order your Hallmark SCRIP! Hallmark is one of thousands of retailers that participate in SCRIP. Orders are placed every Friday and cards are sent home on Wednesdays. To find out more, go to You may also email our parent coordinator, Mikilyn Hiles at
Upcoming Events
NO SCHOOL -- Martin Luther King Day; January 21

Strategic Planning Focus Groups -- January 28-February 1

BLACKOUT CANCER -- Tuesday, January 29; Carew Hall; Pre-order with Mr. Lenguadoro and get a free #OLMACares shirt!

OLMA Spirit Week -- February 4-8

Community Mass -- February 4

Career Day -- February 8

We hope you enjoy the OLMA Overview. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Mrs. Kinkade at 856.697.2008, ext. 140, or email her at: