Mercille Wisakowsky attended Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M), where she received her bachelor’s degree, and later earned her master’s from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Known lovingly as “Miss Wis”, Mercille dedicated her professional life to teaching, spending 40 years in the classroom. She taught at Highlands High School in SAISD from 1969-1973 before finding her home at Alamo Heights where she taught for 35 years until her retirement in 2009.
At Alamo Heights High School, Mercille taught regular and Pre-AP math courses, including Algebra I&II, Geometry, and Precalculus. Many of her students credit their success later in life to her high standards and unique ability to take them through the theory of equations to fully understand how to solve them. Mercille became the math department Chair, implementing programs that made passing state exams a reality for remedial students.
In addition to teaching, Mercille engaged students in other areas of the school. She was the National Honor Society sponsor for many years. She also spent summers chaperoning students in Europe and loved bringing back knowledge of the countries they visited. Mercille meticulously planned and executed graduation. She worked with a committee of students to create an elaborate slideshow presentation, always making sure every senior was represented. Not only did the slideshow make for a memorable evening, but it also gave the student committee valuable collaboration skills and taught them humility by acknowledging and celebrating others.
As breast cancer survivor, Mercille lent her math expertise to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, acting as treasurer for the 2004 Race for the Cure, which raised over $1,000,000. Additionally, she served as billing treasurer for the Battle of the Flowers Association and was a member of the Junior League of San Antonio. She was nominated and won the Williams College Olmstead Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching. Mercille also wrote a book entitled “Bee-ing Happy.”
After retiring from AHISD, Mercille continued tutoring students privately, often teaching the children of her previous students or those who had gone on to college and needed help with more advanced curriculum.