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Fine Arts

Where Excellence Meets Opportunity!

The Fine Arts Department at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School offers students an opportunity to experience the Arts in a positive and nurturing environment. While providing the knowledge of basic skills, the essence of self-confidence and the value of historical content, each student is encouraged to share their talents with their school and community. It is through exposure to the Arts, that students will protect their heritage and relationship with past, present and future cultures and to insure the growth of well-rounded individuals within our society. 

Meet the Faculty 

Candis Alston-Taylor (B.A., Virginia State University) joined the Mercy faculty in 2016 and has over 16 years of dance training in jazz, tap, ballet and modern along with 10 years of dance competition experience. While living in Atlanta, Candis has performed with the African American Dance Review, judged for the Georgia High School State Dance Championship, Revolution Dance Competition, choreographed for an episode of Drop Dead Diva, choreographed three musicals for the Georgia Singers Musical Theater group, and has provided guest choreography for events and studios all throughout the Southeast. She is also a member of the National Dance Education Organization and a 2015 recipient of the Sara Keene Memorial Scholarship. Candis has been able to accomplish this all while simultaneously instructing dance for several studios, as well as becoming the Assistant Director for one of those studios and becoming the Co-Artistic Director of a dance company in Richmond, Virginia.

Jennifer Cawley  (B.F.A. Atlanta College of Art, M.F.A. Savannah College of Art and Design) joined the faculty in 2009 and teaches Visual Arts at Mercy. She serves as Fine Arts Department Chair, National Art Honor Society sponsor, and member of the Campus Ministry Team. Mrs. Cawley coordinates the Alliance for Fine Arts (AFA) parent volunteer group, as well as design and build sets for our drama productions. She is also an active parishioner at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. 

Dianna Sanders (A.A, Indian River State College, B.A, Spelman College) joined the faculty in 2019 and is teaching all music courses; Band, Orchestra, Chorus, and Music Appreciation. Prior to Mercy, she studied Music at Spelman College under the previous band teacher, Dr. Kevin Johnson. She has traveled the world musically, and worked with huge stars and organizations such as Ruben Studdard, Kathleen Battle, The Atlanta Symphony, The Dance Theater of Harlem, and much more.  

Sophia Steigerwald (B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) joined the faculty in 2015 and will be teaching English 9, American Literature, and Drama. She also will serve as the Theater director for the 2017-2018 school year. 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 team helping to coordinate the 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, cooking, dancing, and exploring all the sights that Atlanta has to offer.