Nell Stetser of Havertown was installed as the first lay principal in the 89-year history of Waldron Mercy Academy at an Installation and Commitment Ceremony held in the Sisters of Mercy Convent Chapel. The event was attended by students, parents, members of the Board of Trustees, family and friends.

On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Patricia Vetrano, president of the leadership team for the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community, asked Stetser to assume the role of ministry leader and principal at Waldron Mercy Academy.

“Mercy education has the power to influence lives,” Stetser said in her remarks. “When we carry Mercy in our heart, we show Mercy in our words and actions. I am committed to leading us in this journey, together writing the next chapter in Mercy education.”

Stetser has generously served the Waldron Mercy Academy community since 1990. During this time at WMA, she has taught second and fourth grades, and has also served in the vital roles of curriculum director and, for the past year, as vice principal for academic affairs.

She brings a wealth of experience and the benefits of a solid educational background to her new duties. She holds a principal certificate from St. Joseph’s University, a Master of Science degree in elementary education from Cabrini College and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from St. Joseph’s University.

She serves as a Mercy Associate. She, her husband, Garry, and children, Peter (WMA class of 2009), Andrew (WMA class of 2011) and Jay, are parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Havertown.

Also installed at the ceremony was Andrew McCloskey of Bryn Mawr as the chair of Waldron Mercy Academy’s Board of Trustees. Andrew is a graduate of Waldron (class of 1984), and with his wife, Jenny, is a proud parent of two WMA students, Owen and Eden.

Built as a boys’ boarding school in 1923, Waldron Mercy Academy is a Catholic, co-educational, private elementary school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, located in Merion Station. The school been recognized twice as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. For more information about Waldron Mercy Academy, visit