Fondy High Principal retires

Due to a serious yet undiagnosed medical condition Mary Merwin has retired as principal at Fond du Lac High School.

Fond du Lac High School Principal Mary Fran Merwin announced Friday morning that she will retire.

“It has been an absolute honor to be able to be involved with the Fond du Lac School District, the community, our families, and their precious children,” Merwin said.

The 58-year-old principal has undergone two brain surgeries in the past month at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. She told family members she wanted to focus solely on healing and spending time with them, according to a press release from the family.

Merwin’s condition is not yet diagnosed, but she is showing what her family describes as “remarkable improvement.” She continues to recover and undergo rehabilitation at Froedtert.

“My mom is the strongest and most vibrant person that I know,” said Merwin’s daughter, Kate Hareid. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that my mom would overcome this obstacle. Her spirit and love of life continue to pave the path of what I hope to emulate in my lifetime as a mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend. My mom is the definition of a role model. Whatever this is that is hindering her — we will beat it.”

On April 8 Merwin experienced an excruciating headache and elevated blood pressure. CT scans taken at St. Agnes Hospital showed large and dangerous brain bleeding and she was rushed to Froedtert. Following another CT scan and MRI on April 10 Merwin underwent a life-saving, image-guided brain surgery.

A second surgery took place after more bleeding was found on April 29.

Following advice from Merwin’s neurosurgeon, Merwin and her family will contact doctors at Duke University for a review of her case. Duke is world-renowned for its cancer research and conducts a number of clinical trials, which Merwin may be eligible for, depending on her final diagnosis.

The Merwin family has high hopes and is very motivated to work with the country’s top neurologists and neurosurgeons to determine the best plan possible for Merwin’s treatment. They look forward to her strong recovery.

It was Merwin’s sincere hope to return to Fondy High. However, she has made the decision to retire from the Fond du Lac school district so she can fully concentrate on her recovery and her family.

The family said it is grateful for the love and support it has received from the community and is maintaining a positive outlook on her recovery.

“My mother is an extreme believer in faith, God, and hope,” said Maggie Merwin. “She has an unbelievable spirit and is a positive influence in all who come across her path. We are extremely grateful for her warrior spirit. Please pray for my mother in her time of recovery and for her courage — as well as ours — in the journey ahead.”

Merwin has served as high school principal since 1999.

Keep her and her family in your prayers.

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