head of school

My Merion Mercy story began more than 50 years ago as an eager student (it was called Mater Misericordiae back then). From the start, MMA always stood tall in my mind, and I was appreciative of the outstanding education I received and the lifelong friends I made.  When I began serving as Principal in 2007, I was happy to have the opportunity to ensure that MMA remained one of our region's premiere college preparatory schools for girls.  Now as Head of School, I will continue to bring state-of-the-art programs to present and future generations of Mercy Girls.

Our students thrive here because of challenging and impactful academics that inspire each student, a caring and engaged faculty, and more than a century of support from an enthusiastic community where the Mercy Spirit pervades.

Merion Mercy students are confident and comfortable in crafting their own distinct stories, which are infused with Mercy spirituality and compassionate service. We believe every young woman can live a life of purpose and passion, and at MMA they do! Just last year, our students raised more $10,000 to promote education for girls in Nigeria, learned the power of team collaboration(Crew boats earned Gold at Cities, Stotesbury, and Nationals, culminating in a trip to the Henley Women’s Regatta, and the Field Hockey team won Districts and went to the State Finals while two stellar shows were produced by Merion Mercy Music Theater), embarked on field studies, including an Environmental Science project on biodiversity, earned countless awards and accolades, such as a first place winner in the Regional Shakespeare Competition, a Mock Trial Team victory in the Delaware County District, and a Golden Globe Award for MMA’s strong academic program that focuses on best instructional practices and national world language standards. These are just a few of our recent success stories.

In looking ahead to the school’s long-term sustainability, Merion Mercy has just completed an impressive building project, the Upward & Onward Campaign. This has dramatically improved our infrastructure and better supports and showcases several of the academy’s trailblazing programs. The revitalized areas include: an art and design center, a student activities and athletics center, an energy-efficient kitchen and dining commons, counseling suites, and collaborative learning spaces.

Please peruse our website often and follow what happens in the next chapter of our ever-exciting story.


In Mercy,

Sister Barbara Buckley '72

About Sister Barbara Buckley 

Sister Barbara Buckley graduated from Merion Mercy Academy in 1972. She is the sixteenth principal in the school’s history and the first Head of School.

Her professional dedication to all-female Catholic education dates back more than 25 years. In her past roles as an English teacher and newspaper advisor at Saint Maria Goretti High School in Philadelphia (1983 – 1993), as director of development at Saint Maria Goretti High School (1989 – 1993), and as development director and vice principal for institutional advancement at MMA (1993 – 2007), she provided steady-handed leadership and guidance as both schools met with changes and growth. Sister Barbara’s forward-thinking approach propels MMA to continue moving “upward and onward.”

Sister Barbara Buckley brings more than 30 years of experience as an educator and administrator. She received her B.S. from University of Dayton, her M.A. in journalism from Temple University, and her M.S. in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has pursued graduate work in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.

An independent, Catholic, all-girls college preparatory high school for grades 9-12
Merion Mercy Academy
511 Montgomery Avenue Merion Station, PA 19066
P (610) 664-6655
F (610) 664-6322
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