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Our Lady of Mercy Academy to Close: Alums Vow to Save School

Our Lady of Mercy Academy to Close: Alums Vow to Save School


By Niall Fitzgerald


Our Lady of Mercy Academy, the Catholic women’s high school in Syosset, teaching grades 9 to 12, (OLOM), has announced that the school will be closing in June, at the end of the Spring, 2024 semester.


The school had 500 students, 69 faculty and staff, and a curriculum providing access to all colleges and professions as recently as the year 2010, but has been hit with declining enrollments since then.


“The decision was not made lightly,” stated OLOM President Margaret Myhan. “It came after thorough consideration of the challenges facing many education institutions today: changing demographics and lower enrollment which radically affected our viability."


But a group of Alumnae are not taking that announcement as final – and have vowed to put together a plan to save the school. The "OLOM Preservation Coalition” has been formed to save the school from closure.


Dawn Cerrone, the former athletic director of OLOM, has two daughters who graduated from the academy. She states that she is “compelled to act to save the school” that has shaped her life and career.


"Our Lady of Mercy Academy is more than just a school, it is a family, a community, and a legacy," stated Cerrone. "It is a place where girls are empowered to achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world. I am honored to join the coalition and work with other passionate and committed individuals who share the same vision and love for the academy."


The Coalition's board includes President Jeanette Miller Dowd; Vice President Dawn Cerrone; and Secretary Lisbeth Finnerty.


The school was founded in 1928 by the Sisters of Mercy of Brooklyn. Their vision was for a boarding school for young women in Syosset in the Town of Oyster Bay, and for “preparing women with a Catholic, value-centered future.


The Academy was originally built as a boarding school, but by 1964, with increased population growth on Long Island, it became obvious that there was not so much a need for a boarding school as for day students. Dormitories were converted into classrooms, and dining rooms into cafeterias.


For more information about the coalition, please visit their website at; or text at 203-998-6033; or email at


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