2015 Senior Awards


Named for Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, the McAuley Award is given annually at graduation to two individuals who best exemplify the Mercy Charism of service, justice, hospitality, compassionate presence and concern for the dignity of all persons. Senior class members nominate a male and a female student who are worthy of the McAuley award. The MPS theology faculty considers the nominations and makes the final decision.

Maria Dombrowski
According to her nominators, Maria deserves this award because she radiates love and cares for all people. She is a friend to all students across grade levels. She brightens our day because she is kind-hearted, loving, warm, and sincere with every person she meets. She welcomes everyone with warmth and encourages others to do the same. Respectful and open to all people, Maria shows care and concern for everyone’s well-being. She goes out of her way to help people, especially when they are feeling down. She lifts our spirits with words of encouragement and support. She believes that everyone is important.

Gaetano Carvelli
Those who nominated Gaetano say he is a loving friend, kind-hearted, dignified, compassionate, and understanding. He always wears a smile and puts a smile on the face of others. He is a joy to everyone he meets — intelligent, hard-working, positive, accepting, genuine, loyal, and charismatic. He goes out of his way to help others and is thoughtful and concerned about the feelings of others. Always the one to solve a dispute or calm our nerves, Gaetano has the utmost respect for all people. He is dedicated to his faith and keeps everyone in his heart and prayers. He is the nicest, most genuine person at MPS.


Each year the senior class has the privilege of choosing one of its own as the person who most exemplifies the “Mark of Pride and Spirit”. This individual demonstrates responsible behavior, contributes to the welfare of our school and the community around us, is respectful to all persons, upholds the honor code, and IS the SPIRIT of Mercyhurst Prep!

Sebastian Curtin
Classmates nominated Sebastian for the MPS Award because he shows up at every event to support classmates whether in sports, theater, clubs or activities. He truly WANTS to be there for others and participates with spirit while encouraging others to participate in all activities. He is dedicated, respectful, outgoing, supportive of everyone, genuinely kind, makes everyone feel welcome, friendly, and never fails to brighten people’s days. Sebastian clearly loves MPS and is always promoting our school. He supports every sports team and cheers everyone on. He brings a positive attitude to every situation and always helps our school in one way or another. His interest in people from all walks of life is truly admirable. Mercyhurst Prep is his passion. When we think of the Spirit Squad, we think of him. He lives & breathes MPS. He bleeds green and white. He is truly marked by pride and spirit – he is MPS.


Bishop Lawrence Persico presents the Bishop’s Excellence Award annually to a graduating senior who has excelled academically while embodying the faith values and lifestyle that a Catholic School can be proud of forming.

Taylor Pletz
During her four years at Mercyhurst Prep, Taylor Pletz continuously gave of herself in generous service to the Church. She has been very active in the evangelization of her peers and young children especially through her involvement in the Divine Mercy Encounter movement. She volunteered as an assistant youth minister at St. George Parish and has been a vacation bible school mentor. She is an extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at MPS. In a most beautiful manner, she has served as a catechist for 2nd grade children at St. Gregory Parish. Those involved with her ministry work say Taylor is an extremely gifted catechetical teacher. She has touched numerous lives with the Gospel message and it seems clear that Taylor will continue to radiate the love of Christ throughout her life.


akruzewski15Alex Kruszewski
An International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, Alex is a National Merit Scholar and the recipient of the National Speech and Debate Association’s Academic All-American Award for superior distinction. He will attend the University of Notre Dame to double major in international economics and business. Alex participated in numerous MPS theater productions, served our school in leadership positions all four years, and competed in athletics. He completed 372 hours of community service which included organizing a grade School Tournament for area middle school speech and debate teams as well as participating in the Washington DC March for Life, mission trips to Kentucky and Baltimore, Feed the Hungry, and much more.


Madison Konkol
Madison will major in physics at Bucknell University. Our salutatorian has received multiple scholarships for her academic accomplishments including the Bausch and Laum science scholarship. She has completed six subject areas for International Baccalaureate certificates. She received the senior excellence award in Biology IB.   An athlete and community volunteer, Madison demonstrated the Mercy charism of service with many hours spent helping the Erie Playhouse, St. Luke School girls and boys basketball, the Upper Room Homeless Shelter, the Salvation Army, Women in Motion, St. Stan’s Parish, the Knights of Columbus and the Thanksgiving dinner at Calamari’s.


Ten members of our 2015 graduating class graduates will receive the coveted International Baccalaureate diploma this summer. They have followed our most rigorous course of study, completed comprehensive exams in at least six disciplines, written an extensive paper, taken the course in theory of knowledge and completed extra IB community service hours.

Grace Brzozowski
Kathryn Butler
Daniel Fitzgerald
Jiayi “Violet” Hong
Alex Kruszewski
Devin Petit
Lauren Petrella
Amanda Simmons
Brennan Staaf
Zhiyi “Julia” Zhu