Counseling/Student Wellness

Counseling Overview

The Counseling Department at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women strives to provide every student with the support she needs throughout her tenure. Our team of dedicated professionals works to promote mental and physical health, overall emotional wellness, and a sense of belonging. In addition, counselors aide with academic support services, course selection, career exploration, college applications, and post-secondary options. We seek to create a safe and accepting space where students receive compassionate and individualized guidance from their school counselors.

The Counseling Department coordinates the annual course registration process and works with students to help them select a course load that is challenging and provides a healthy balance with other activities. We collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to support students in need of academic provisions when necessary. Thanks to the rigor of Mercy’s curriculum, along with the support of the Counseling staff, students are well-prepared to confront the demands of college academics.


As a college preparatory school, the Counseling Department provides a comprehensive approach to the college search and application process with an underlying philosophical approach that focuses on the best fit for each individual student. Our developmental approach begins with an emphasis on increased self-awareness. To that end, students are encouraged to volunteer and explore their career interests outside of the classroom. In addition to helping her prepare for college, your daughter’s involvement in all aspects of the Mercy experience, both in and out of the classroom, will make her high school years happy and productive. School counselors will help guide the research necessary in developing a list of colleges that will fit the needs of the student and her family. Students have access to Naviance, a college and career planning software that serves as a vital resource in the college search and application process, as well as to aid in career exploration. As you browse through our web site, you will find additional links and resources to help with the process.

Throughout the school year, the Counseling Department offers classroom seminars to students, as well as evening and after school seminars for parents/guardians on topics related to wellness, the college application process, financial aid, SAT/ACT and more. Counseling coordinates the PSAT and Pre-ACT test administration, on-site college fairs, and offers a summer college application workshop.


Counseling Team

With more than 50 years of combined experience, Mercy’s team of five full-time counselors and coordinator invest time and care into the lives of Mercy students to provide them with the support and guidance they need. We are professionally trained in several areas of expertise to help students face the many challenges that accompany adolescence. The student population is divided among the counselors, allowing us to establish and foster meaningful relationships with each student and her family throughout her entire Mercy experience. We devote every day to serving our students and parents and aim to be available whenever a need or simple curiosity arises. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or concerns and we will do our best to assist you.

  • lori purcell

    Lori Purcell, M.S. Ed.

    Director of College and Career Advising/School Counselor

    585-288-7120 x398

    Serving students in Grades 10-12 with last names P-Z
  • Emily Cady, M.A., NCC

    Director of Wellness/School Counselor

    585-288-7120 x321

    Serving students in Grades 10-12 with last names A-E
  • sara thomas

    Sara Thomas, M.S. Ed., NCC

    School Counselor

    585-288-7120 x316

    Serving students in Grades 10-12 with last names F-O and all International Students
  • caitlin schmalstich

    Caitlin Schmalstich, M.S.

    School Counselor

    585-288-7120 x320

    Serving all students in Grade 9
  • jane searl

    Jane Searl, M.S. Ed.

    Middle School Counselor

    585-288-7120 x319

    Serving all students in Grades 6-8
  • Lisa Costello, B.A.

    Counseling Department Coordinator

    585-288-7120 x317