The Department of English aims to meet the needs of students from diverse academic backgrounds- from those schooled in Archdiocesan institutions to those taught in the surrounding public school systems. During their academic careers at Mercy, students work with teachers to develop a sound foundation for reading, thinking, and writing in a collegiate environment. Our department encourages students to value intellectualism, to think for themselves, and to view language and literature as a glass to reflect human nature.
Meet the Faculty
John Bridges (B.A., University of Georgia, M.A, University of Georgia) joined the faculty in 2017 and is teaching English 10, Honors English 10, and AP Language and Composition. He is also the Technical Director for the Drama Department. He previously taught at the University of North Georgia. He is a huge fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and enjoys foreign films and Batman comics. He is a parishioner at the Cathedral of Christ the King.
Cynthia Launay-Fallasse (B.A., Spring Hill College, M.Ed., Ed.S. West Georgia College) joined the faculty in 2002. During this time she has taught English, Drama, French, and Theology at Mercy. She is currently enjoying her role as the Director of Advancement and Enrollment Management. She is currently teaching English 9. She is happy to call Mercy her "second home" and is proud to have two daughters at Mercy, Sophia ('21) and Eva ('23).
JoAnn McPherson (B.A., M.A., Clemson University, M.T.S., Spring Hill College) joined the faculty in 2001 as Assistant Principal and teaches Honors English 11. Prior to coming to Mercy, she taught at Academia Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, GA. A convert to Catholicism, she enjoys reading Catholic writers like Flannery O’Connor and Evelyn Waugh.
Rebecca Miller (B.S., Criminal Justice, Andrew Jackson University) joined the faculty in June 2015 and teaches Yearbook, works in the Student Services Department as the Professional Assistant, and is the Director of Technology. She is the parent of a 2015 graduate of Our Lady of Mercy. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army and currently volunteers as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the city of Fayetteville. She is a member of the Catholic Church of St. Gabriel in Fayetteville and likes to volunteer there whenever possible. In her spare time she enjoys reading and scrapbooking.
Brian Williams (B.A., Oberlin College, M.A., Clark Atlanta University) joined the faculty in 2003, and teaches Freshman English and Senior English. He also serves as the advisor of the Writers’ Club. Before teaching at Mercy, he was a social worker in Dekalb County and a middle school teacher in Atlanta. He is an avid fan of the Atlanta Falcons and Arsenal FC. He enjoys reading and exercising in his spare time.
Sophia Steigerwald (B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, UTC) joined the faculty in 2015 and teaches English 9, English 11, Drama I, and Drama II. She is the drama director for the fall play and spring musical, and serves as the troupe director for the Mercy chapter of Thespian Honors Society. While attending UTC she was an active member of UTC's drama company and Sigma Tau Delta English honor society. She was also a member of the adult SEARCH which coordinates SEARCH retreats for high school students in the Chattanooga area. Sophia is an enthusiastic Chattanooga FC and UTC Mocs fan. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, dancing, and discussing all things Sci-Fi.