May 2017

CJ Continues Renovations With 18 Classroom Improvements

While summer time may mean flip flops and sunglasses for students, hard hats have become a “must have” accessory for those working at CJ during the summer. Construction dust and noise - and a “safety first” attitude - are all part of the summer experience of witnessing improvements to the school’s academic building in 2013 and 2015, renovations of the auditorium in 2016, and completing the construction of Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles in 2016.

Just before the close of school year, CJ announced another summer of hard hats, this time renovations to eighteen classrooms, hallways, and stairwells in building 3, the three-floor area connected to Marianist Hall along Franklin Street.  The classrooms have been home in recent years to language, math, social studies and religion classes. Like the previous modernization projects, this renovation will include air conditioning for this portion of the school.

“We are grateful to our Trustees and the leadership teams of the Marianists and Sisters, who were consulted on this project, for their commitment to continuing the progress we have made toward improving our teaching and learning environment,” said Dan Meixner ‘84, president.

Social studies teacher and football coach Marcus Colvin added, “We’re changing, but not changing who we are. We’re the same school, the same community, we’re just improving the experience.”

The project is set to be completed by Christmas break, though it is anticipated that a portion of the classrooms will be ready to use earlier in the fall.

Karen Emmerich, religion teacher, who just finished her 12th year of teaching at CJ and third year in a third floor classroom, shared this message as she was packing up her classroom:

Thoughts On An Empty Classroom, May 21, 2017, The Feast of the Visitation

It took more boxes than I thought it would for just one room. (I wonder how much Mary packed to visit Elizabeth?) I am grateful for the many hands that helped to a pack and move those heavy boxes. I pray in thanksgiving for the colleagues who helped me with the tasks I couldn’t do on my own. 

Thank you, Creator God, for the incredible diversity of gifts and talents and interests that you place in the hearts of your people.  Alone I can do so little, but together we give each other the gift of community and we can do so much for You.

So many students have sat in these desks. I wonder what it would take to count them all? I am inspired when I consider the places they’ve gone, the good things they are doing, the lives they are’ touching.

Thank you, God my Father, for my vocation as a teacher.  Thank you too, for the gift that every student has been to me, challenging me to be a better teacher, a better person.  Watch over them and shower them all with your grace and mercy as they seek a path in this world that leads back to You.

It’s getting warm in this empty room on this mild day in May.  Without the posters and the people, it’s easier to see the evidence that this room has been well-used. (Today’s gospel speaks of wombs.  I look at this room and am reminded of stretch marks.) I wonder how many hands will touch this space to remake it over this summer?

I pray in thanksgiving for the vocations of architects, engineers, electricians, HVAC technicians, carpenters, plumbers, painters.  I pray for their safety and well-being as they work to renew this space for learning.

I’ve emptied off shelves, cleaned out files, sorted, stacked, reconsidered all these resources, plans, relics, memories.  I feel called to take on a mental remodeling as well.

Holy Spirit, source of all that is good, inspire me this summer as I work on goals, objectives, lesson plans; as I collaborate with colleagues across the curriculum; as I learn about using data to inform instruction; as I ponder differentiated instruction and how to best meet the needs of all my students.  Like your gift of Jesus to Mary, each student is a gift to me from You. May my work with them be my gift in return to You.

I leave this room now looking forward to taking the “after picture”, preparing to receive new students, welcoming students to a space that tells them the entire Chaminade Julienne community cares about them and their education. I am thankful for those who shared the gifts of their vision, time, talent and treasure to make this remodel a reality.

Praise to you Holy Spirit for moving in the minds and hearts of all those who contributed to this renovation. May the example of their openness to You and their generosity and vision inspire my students to look around their world to ask what needs to be done and to feel empowered by You to go do it.

I am bringing home pictures of St. Julie Billiart and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, grateful for the gifts of their models and charisms.

Fr. Chaminade and St. Julie teach me to look to Mary to figure out how to be a disciple.  Like Mary going to Elizabeth, I’m going to be with family for a few months to rest, reflect and pray. This empty classroom reminds me of the inbetween time of pregnancy. It doesn’t look like much yet and I am curious to watch the progress over the summer.  Laboring over the messy process of emptying out and letting go to get  the room to this point has helped me to refocus as a teacher and as a disciple.

So with a glad heart I leave with Mary’s words as my prayer:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
(Luke 1:46-48, NABRE)

Posted June 1, 2017

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Track and Field Makes Ninth Straight Appearance at State

Update (6/5/17) - The school's relay teams did not qualify for the final rounds of their races. Jesse Kahmann placed 5th in the shot and 8th in the 100 meter race. Jack Dalton placed 4th in the 1600 meter race. Congratulations on a great season, Eagles!


A solid mix of veterans and newcomers will lead the path to Columbus as the Eagles go to the track and field state tournament for the ninth year in a row. CJ will be represented in the men’s 1600 meter race, the women’s 4x100 relay, the men’s and women’s 4x200 relay, the men’s seated shot and the men’s 100 meter seated race.

Head Coach Jerry Puckett noted that most participants in the relays and the 1600 meter race qualified in the indoor state tournament as well this past winter.

“The old adage,  ‘If you go to indoor state, you go to outdoor state,’ held true again,” Puckett said.

Jack Dalton ‘17 won the 1600 meter race at the regional competition and will represent the Eagles at state.

“Jack has a good work ethic and is such a nice kid, and he has a some fight in him,” Puckett shared.

Donnie Stevenson '18, Jumarion Wills ‘17, Jance Peters '19, and Calvin Hatcher '20 qualified for the men’s 4x200. Lauren Pegues ‘17, Danielle Lewis ‘17, Dallas Jones ‘18 and Meyah Haywood '20 will race in the women’s 4x200 and Imani Wortham '20, Lewis, Haywood, and Pegues will race in the women’s 4x100.

Pegues will be marking her fourth year of qualifying for the state tournament. She was also a member of the Eagles’ state winning 4x100 women’s relay in 2015.

“Sophomore year we won, then last year we didn’t make it to the finals,” Pegues reflected. “This year, [Lewis and I] are two of the oldest and it’s our time to shine.”

Puckett agreed, “There are not many athletes who I have coached that can say that they have done all that.”

New for the CJ track and field team this year is a participant in the seated competitions. Jesse Kahmann ‘20 has spina bifida. After learning from a friend about seated track and field, he decided to try it as well. With support from his family, including his mother who helps coach him, Kahmann will represent CJ in the seated shot and 100 meter seated race.

“I’m excited because I didn’t think I would make it this year,” Kahmann said.

“He comes out here on days that he doesn’t feel well, he comes out here on days when he is in pain and he’s worked hard,” Puckett noted. “That says a lot for him.”

Puckett added that while to his knowledge, none of the seniors will continue their track careers in college, all have bright futures ahead.

“That’s one good thing about CJ, they get a great education and it pays off.”

Posted May 31, 2017

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CJ Announces Director for Eagle Pride Marching Band

In the excitement and anticipation of another growing year for its performing arts program, Chaminade Julienne announces the hiring of Luke Grieshop as the new director for its marching band, Eagle Pride. Grieshop graduated from the University of Dayton in May with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, and comes to CJ with great experience — that of being a staff member of Eagle Pride for the last two years. In addition to supporting the program, he instructed the brass section and designed show drills for the group.

"We are pleased to welcome Luke to CJ as director, and look forward to the energy he will bring to Eagle Pride and our performing arts department," said Debi Schutt, director of performing arts. "His talents and skills will be an asset as we continue to revitalize our program and serve the needs of our students."

Educated in Marianist tradition at UD, Grieshop continues to find and appreciate the simularities at CJ. "It's about building community and collaborating with other groups in the school. I am excited for a continued relationship with students, faculty and the community. In the past, I've also met supportive parents, and I look forward to that."

The number of students participating in the band and guard is already projected to experience growth for the fall season. Plus, the group will have the added thrill of debuting new uniforms in the fall — and holding band camp at Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles. "It will be new facilities, new momentum and new shows," said Grieshop, anticipating the group's spirit-filled participation in home football games, and contributing to the festive atmosphere in the stadium.

In the short term, Grieshop is already preparing for mini-camp which is being held May 30 through June 1, from 4-7 p.m., with an open call to students who think they may want to participate in the fall. He plans to introduce new tools and methods in teaching students how to bring marching drills alive on the field.

In addition to directing Eagle Pride for the coming year, Grieshop will also serve as music teacher at Our Lady of the Rosary School, where he plans to help cultivate new student interest in playing in band.

- - -

Students who are interested in becoming a member of Eagle Pride marching band or guard or who want to know more about the program should email Mr. Luke Grieshop.

CJ Implements Drug Awareness and Testing Program

Drug use in the nation and in the Dayton region is at unprecedented levels, with Montgomery County reaching a record number of heroin overdose deaths in 2016.  In response, administrators at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School convened an exploratory committee of counselors, faculty, staff and administrators at the beginning of the school year to take a closer look at the issue and to better understand the impact it had on the school community.

Initially, the group understood that a small population of the student population was directly affected. Upon receiving data from national and local studies in the area of adolescent substance abuse — some in which CJ students were part of the research — the group learned that students from across the academic spectrum and from all family backgrounds experience the effect in their families and communities. What was thought to be an issue that affected a small percent of CJ students, in reality, touched more than 20 percent, reflective of national and local trends.

With this knowledge, Chaminade Julienne — with support from the Board of Trustees — made plans to strengthen its program with an enhanced approach to education, prevention and intervention, which does include a drug awareness and testing program. Testing will be voluntary for the 2017-2018 school year, and mandatory for all students in 2018-2019.

This program is not being implemented because of a perceived widespread problem of substance abuse at Chaminade Julienne. The program is being implemented to proactively provide awareness and support that will benefit all CJ students, helping them remove barriers that would prevent them from discovering and living out God's calling for their lives.

FAQ’s about the drug awareness and testing program can be found here.

Posted May 26, 2017

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Class of 2017 Celebrates Commencement

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School will graduate 150 students from the Class of 2017 on Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at the University of Dayton arena. 138 students had reported that they were going to a college or university next school year. Additionally, two students will enter their school’s Air Force ROTC program, one member will attend the United States Air Force Academy and one member will enlist in the United States Air Force. 111 students received nearly $21 million dollars in scholarships for their studies.

Kelly Pleiman, (St. Christopher, University of Dayton) was named the top of her class. Seven students were named commended students by the National Merit Scholarship Program (Christian Hemsath, Noah Meyer, Marcie Meyers, Noah Mussin Phillips, Elizabeth Ruetschle, Cole Wagner and Michael Zopff) with Zopff being named a National Merit Semifinalist and Hemsath, Meyer, and Meyers being named National Merit Finalists and winners.

Three seniors were also recognized by the CJ faculty and staff with annual awards that best exemplify the three pillars of the school's mission:

  • for his commitment to faith, dedication to learning, and demonstration of school and family spirit, Jack Dalton received the Founder's Award;
  • Noah Meyer received the Michael D. Trainor Award, named in honor of Chaminade Julienne's principal from 1999-2004, which is given to a student who has regularly demonstrated intellectual curiosity;
  • and for best exemplifying the Chaminade Julienne spirit, Clarence Reed received the Gerard "Fuzzy" Faust Award, named in honor of the legendary CJ teacher and coach who served from 1933-1980.

Additional accomplishments from the Class of 2017 include:

  • More than 10,000 hours of community service during the Class of 2017's four years at Chaminade Julienne, including Andrew Holmes who contributed 570 hours in his four years; 
  • Abby Arestides and Duncan Burke receiving the OHSAA Scholar-Athlete Scholarship Award; 
  • Alexis Jackson and Jack Dalton receiving OHSAA Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award;
  • Christian Montague and Monica Behrens receiving the OHSAA Courageous Student Award;
  • Megan Stefan and Noah Meyer receiving the OHSAA State Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award;
  • 26 four-year varsity letter winners;
  • 59 seniors who were members of the National Honor Society;
  • 40 seniors who were Presidential Academic Award recipients;
  • 8 seniors who were Presidential Achievement Award recipients;
  • and, 18 seniors who remained on the honor roll for 15 consecutive quarters.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Posted May 22, 2017

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Watkins Commits to Heidelberg University

P'Hariz Watkins '17 became the second senior on the men's basketball team to say "yes" to continuing playing in college when he committed to Heidelberg University earlier this month.

CJ men's head basketball coach Joe Staley '72 noted that Watkins holds the all-time record for charges taken in Eagles history.

"It's one of the hallmarks of a tough kid," Staley said. "A lot of kids are afraid to take it. He took more charges and had more charges called than anyone we've ever had, so that's pretty cool."

Watkins earned post-season honors this season including 1st Team All-GCL. He intends to study athletic training at Heidelberg.

"I'm excited to be a part of the Heidelberg family and community there and start a new chapter in my life," Watkins said.

Staley added, "No matter how good people think he is now, that's nothing compared to how good he'll be in a couple years. He's going to fill out physically and I know P'Hariz is going to stay in the gym and keep working at it, so he'll get a lot better."

When thinking about what he'll miss at CJ, Watkins said, "The staff and students most definitely because this has been a family I've created over the last four years. I'm going to miss everyone a lot. Thank you, and Go Eagles!"

Posted May 25, 2017

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Students Recognized as Governor's Art Award Regional Winners

Six artists were recently recognized in the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition at the regional level. Claire Armstrong '17, Rachel Boll '19, Natalie Davis '18 (who had two winning pieces,) Bryce Howell '17,  and Jumarion Wills '17 received awards, said teacher Kaye Carlile.

According to the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition website, the program, "is dedicated to the educational and artistic advancement of our talented young people in the state of Ohio."

Davis won a People's Choice award for a photograph of a chair.

"The name of my art piece is Broken Dreams," Davis said. "The chair was outside the K12 gallery and I thought that it was beautiful and I wanted to take a picture. It was not intentionally made into art but I decided to submit it to this contest.  I'm glad I decided to enter this in the Governor's Art contest."

Wills also submitted a photograph for the contest.

"The story behind my piece is pretty simple," Wills explained. "I was out eating with friends late one night at Steak 'n Shake. When we were checking out I thought the view I had of my friends checking out was somewhat scenic and decided to take pictures. I had no intention of doing anything with the pictures and just submitted one of them for a last minute grade. I didn't think it would get any recognition, let alone win anything. "

You can learn more about the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition here.

Posted May 22, 2017

STEMM Idol: Dr. Michael Robertson

Taking advantage of opportunities was one of the main messages Dr. Michael Robertson focused on when he spoke with students as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series earlier this month.

"A lot opportunities came my way and I was told to check things out, do some public speaking, see how you feel," Robertson said. "Even times where it didn't feel like an opportunity, things became opportunities."

Robertson is in the Wright State Family Medicine Residency Program. He graduated from the university with his Doctorate of Medicine in 2016 and Masters in Business Administration in 2014.

"I did some tutoring and enjoyed working with junior and high school students, so I wanted to get my MBA as well," Robertson noted.

Along with his residency, Robertson is a member of the Dayton Ladder mentorship program that connects younger students with residents. The group meets once a month and has focused on topics such as bones, sick organs, eyes and more.

During his presentation, Robertson emphasized to the CJ students, "Whatever talents you have, you can find a career that fits with what you want to do. Every career has its positives and minuses, so make sure to ask or find out what those minuses are and figure out if you can live with those before you figure out what you want to do."

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter for the 2017-2018 school year? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM Coordinator at (937) 461-3740 x487 or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

Posted May 18, 2017

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Montague Signs with Walsh University

On Friday, May 12, Christian Montague '17 confirmed his passion for basketball by signing to play the sport at Walsh University.

"I'm ready to play," Montague emphasized.

The leadership and talent of Montague is something head men's basketball coach, Joe Staley '72, will miss the most about the senior.

"I'm very proud and sad he's leaving," Staley said.

Montague was a four-year starter for the Eagles. During his time on the court, he earned several post-season accolades including 1st Team All-GCL three times, District 15 All-Star Team, and 2nd Team All-Southwest Ohio.

"I'm going to miss playing the home games," Montague shared when asked what he'll miss the most about playing for CJ.

"We'll miss his leadership a lot and we'll miss how good he was," Staley added.

When reflecting on Montague's career at CJ, Staley noted that Montague was unique in how he recovered from an injury his junior year.

"I've had some kids with injuries throughout the years and I've never had them bounce back like Christian," Staley said. "From the day he was released by the doctor, he was the best player on the gym. It was amazing. He did a great job rehabbing and then to have the senior year he did was incredible."

During his senior year, Montague surpassed the 1,000 point mark and finished as the fourth all-time leading scorer for the Eagles.

Along with playing for the Cavaliers, Montague said he plans to study criminal justice.

Posted May 16, 2017

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CJ Named Again to America's Most Challenging High Schools List

Catholic faith, excellent academics, enriched community. These pillars tell just part of the story at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. This month, another part of the story was told when the Washington Post named CJ to their America's Most Challenging High Schools list for a sixth consecutive year. Additionally, the school went up in the overall rankings and was ranked 29th in the state.

"I'm very excited about the results," shared Brett Chmiel '02, Director of Admissions. "Even in years where we continue to build our enrollment and grow, our index score continues to go up."

Schools listed on the America's Most Challenging High Schools list were ranked by the number of AP tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Additional tests such as the International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education are also factored into the ranking, however, those tests are not offered at CJ.

"Schools that are higher and have a high index score may have lower graduating classes," Chmiel noted.  "When we can build enrollment and build on that index, that's a great sign that we are on mission and on point to drive student success."

Principal John Marshall '86 added that at CJ, students are also presented with additional in-school college credit options through the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses and more recently the College Credit Plus (CCP) program.

"Through College Credit Plus, students can compete for a final score that obtains college credit while they're sitting in a class at CJ and take an end of course exam, as opposed to taking a single test in an AP course," Marshall said. "As more students take CCP classes and earn college credit, less of them may take AP tests.

"We have competitive programs through AP, CCP, and PLTW," Marshall continued. "If our score on the Washington Post Most Challenging High Schools list were to go down in the coming years, it's an indication to me that students are choosing to challenge themselves in other college level courses."

You can learn more about how the rankings were compiled here.

Posted May 12, 2017

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