January 2015

CJ Athletic Hall of Fame

Chaminade Julienne is pleased to welcome seven new members into the CJ Athletic Hall of Fame. The inductees who comprise the Class of 2014 will be recognized during halftime of the 3 p.m. home men’s varsity basketball game against Carroll on Jan. 31.

Ed Marrinan ‘71
Special Honoree
Ed is as well known a figure in CJ athletics as anyone in the school’s storied history. His close ties to CJ athletics began in 1985 as the timekeeper for the freshmen boy’s basketball team. A year later he became varsity timekeeper and has missed only two games in 29 years since. He also spent nearly 20 years assisting the football team with score keeping and videographer duties. He has worked as the women’s basketball timekeeper for another decade and a half, and as the women’s volleyball announcer for several different coaches. Ed has served as the head coach and a long time assistant coach for CJ’s track team. He is the middle of three generations of CJ coaches as the son of Ed Marrinan, Jr. ‘44 (basketball) and the father of current volleyball coach, Megan Marrinan ‘98.

Mark Holton ’91
Basketball
A three-year letterman and two-year starter, Mark was a dynamic guard on one of the greatest teams in school history. Sharing the ball with three other Hall of Famer’s, Mark averaged nearly 12 points a game his junior and senior seasons. His senior year, the Eagles earned a spot in the State title game only to come up short after Mark suffered an injury with two minutes left in the game. He was a 1st Team Dayton Daily News All Star and named Honorable Mention All State his senior year. Mark finished his CJ career as a top 20 all-time scorer, and is still a top three-point percentage leaders of the school.

James Hill ’01
Football
James was a three-year starter at running back for the Eagles football team from 1998-00. During his career, the Eagles logged a 29-8 record, including winning all three match-ups against Alter. When the final whistle blew on his high school career, James had broken the CJ record for career rushing yards with 3,233. As a junior, he had already set the school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,564 in 1999. James led the Eagles to their first Regional football championship in 1999.

Chad Garman ‘03
Soccer
Chad was a three-year varsity letterman in soccer. He was awarded top honors for his team as a junior and senior and was named captain his senior year. Led by Chad, the Eagles has some of their most successful years ever, highlighted by a District title in 2002 and an appearance in the Regional Finals in 2001. He earned 1st Team All GCL in both 2001 and 2002. Chad was named to All Area (2001 & 2002), All Southwest District (2001 & 2002), and All State team (2002).

Nicole Muzechuk Merkle ‘03
Tennis
With a career record of 87 singles wins, Nicole was the best women’s tennis player in school history when she graduated, according to head tennis coach Jim Brooks. She was a four-year varsity letter winner, a two time State singles qualifier, and a three-time All Area Mention. She received a full athletic grant to Youngstown State University to continue her career. Nicole was the first Eagle woman to qualify for the State meet and helped build one of the strongest tennis programs in the state.

Anthony Turner ’04
Football & Basketball
A three-year starter on the football field and basketball court, Anthony is one of CJ’s most versatile and accomplished athletes. As starting quarterback on the school’s only State championship team, he amassed 4,996 career-passing yards to go along with 1,283 rushing yards. He still holds the school record for wins as a starting quarterback with 28 and career TD’s with 52. On the court, he helped lead the Eagles to a Regional title and is listed on the top 30 all-time scoring list with 628 points. He holds the record (tie) with seven made 3-point shots in one game. He was named 1st team All GCL his senior year.

Joe Walton ‘04
Wrestling
Many accomplishments stand out during Joe’s distinguished four-year wrestling career, but perhaps none of them as impressive as his final accomplishment — being accepted to wrestle in the Ivy League at Brown University. His career record of 169-22 is one of the greatest in the history of the school and he is one of only three wrestlers to finish as a four-time GCL champion. Joe placed 5th at State his senior year and qualified for State in each of his final three seasons. He was a four-time Sectional champion and a District champion his junior year.

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March for Life 2015

On Wednesday, January 21, 54 CJ students joined a group of Carroll students on a bus headed towards Washington, D.C. A passion for the pro-life movement ready to be exercised in the 42nd National March for Life brought these young men and women together.

The group, with moderators Karen Emmerich and Maura Lemon, had an early start on Thursday when they loaded the bus at 6:45 a.m. to kick off a full day, including Mass and Rally at the DC Armory. The March began at 1:00 p.m. at the National Mall, after which they enjoyed a reception in the Capitol Building hosted by Representatives Jim Jordan and Rob Portman.

“The March was actually stopped at one point because of pro-choicers protesting,”
Cassie Phillips '15 said. “It was such an experience to stand our ground against those who are for abortion. It felt like we were on the front lines of a war, but we had God and what felt like the whole world behind us, with us. We are the pro-life generation!” she said.

On Friday, the students attended the Students for Life Conference, after which they took a tour of the War Monuments. The students safely returned home Saturday night after a mass at the National Basilica and a visit to the Smithsonian.

"Being on the march made me realize that every life is precious no matter how old, what it looks like, or the circumstances,” Emily Allen '15 said. “It made me realize that my generation will end abortion without a doubt. The reason I march is for my niece’s age, all of the lives that have been lost, and the future lives.”

“Eagles for Life” Supports the Pro-Life Movement Year Round

Late last year, CJ’s Pro-life group “Eagles for Life” ran a Bottle for Babies drive to raise money for The Elizabeth New Life Center in Dayton. Baby bottles were distributed to students on October 13th. During the week, students put spare change in the bottles, which were then collected on October 27th. The money will be used to buy formula, diapers and other necessities for pregnant women and mothers.

“I think that with the culture of death we are in and the big debate on abortion, it is very hard for some women to choose life,” Cassie Phillips said. “Elizabeth's New Life Center (a non-profit organization) helps pregnant women in need so that they can have the resources to support a child instead of letting them fall to abortion. We need more resource centers such as ENLC so that women have access to them.”

For more information about Eagles for Life, contact Karen Emmerich, club coordinator.

Capstone Projects Address Pro-Life Issues

The March for Life trip combined students from three different Senior Capstone projects, all of which are focused on pro-life activism.

The seniors plan to use this emotional and uplifting experience as inspiration for their individual plans.

One group of seniors has already begun raising awareness at home in Ohio. Seniors Emily Allen, Carrie Baldwin and Theresa Brinkman, have created an educational presentation for CJ Religion classes about abortion and its affects on the mother and child.

In the future, this group plans to host a movie night to further educate their community and provide CJ students with specific ways they can get involved.

Another group of students plans to create an educational documentary. Seniors Addi Helms, Rebecca Mayer, Cassie Phillips and Victoria Thornton are focusing their efforts on the distribution of funding given to Planned Parenthood.

They aim to use to their documentary to expose Planned Parenthood’s spending and the repercussions of their practices on women’s health.

The seniors involved believe that the opportunity to attend the March for Life has helped them spread their important message back home. They hope that next year the group traveling to Washington will be even larger.

CSW 2015

As a Catholic School, CJ will join in the national and local celebration of Catholic Schools Week, taking the opportunity to reflect on the gifts such a heritage provides. Events will include Founder’s Trivia, 3:00 p.m. prayer with Alter, Carroll, and Fenwick, reflections by faculty and students on their CJ experience, and more.

Catholic schools were pioneered by vowed religious and religious congregations across the country. At Chaminade Julienne, we can thank the the school's sponsoring orders for shaping the mission of Chaminade Julienne, a strong tradition we enjoy today.

“We celebrate our school being founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and Marianist Brothers," said Kelli Kinnear, director of ministry and service. "This week, we have the opportunity to celebrate the unique heritage of our Catholic School. It also gives us a chance to celebrate all the wonderful opportunities we have as catholic schools,”

Earlier in the month, Dan Meixner, president, served as a co-host on the live broadcast of “Francesca and Friends,” a weekly radio program featured Tuesday at noon on Radio Maria. He spoke about the quality of Catholic education in the Dayton area, how Catholic Schools Weeks recognizes the dedication Catholic educators have to their students and ministry, and the unique opportunities students have in living out Catholic values as students of Chaminade Julienne.

“This week provides us with an opportunity to shine a light on catholic schools  and those who minister in Catholic schools,” Meixner said. “We’re blessed to have ministers of the church who believe that through the teaching of their subject they’re helping young people discover  how God is calling each of them, individually, to serve this world, to serve His people in the world.”

During the interview [listen here], he also and spoke about the quality and changing models of Catholic education in the Dayton region and recognized the effort of our Archdiocese’s effort to grow and expand Catholic education through the “Lighting the Way” initiative.

There will be several activities throughout the week to celebrate our Catholic heritage, including:

  • Daily trivia questions relating to Marianists or Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Clues will guide students to areas of the building, where they may find Chaminade dolls or sunflowers. If a student finds two Chaminade dolls plus two sunflowers and return them to Ministry and Service, they get a prize!
  • Daily afternoon reflections by teachers, staff and students on their decision to be part of the CJ community
  • Mon., Jan. 26: CJ, Alter, Carroll, and Fenwick will show a sign of unity when they share in 3:00 prayer
  • Tues., Jan 27: Students and faculty are invited to wear Catholic grade school, high school, or college shirts/sweatshirts with uniform pants/shorts.
  • Wed., Jan. 28: All are welcome to attend the all-school school liturgy in Emmanuel, beginning at 10 a.m. To celebrate our heritage, Fr. Chris Wittman, S.M. will concelebrate with Fr. Matt. After the Eucharist, Sr. Nicole will reflect on what it means to be a part of the Marianist Family, as well as the meaning of Pope Francis' declaration that 2015 is the Year of the Consecrated Life.
  • Wed., Jan 28: Seven students will join Charlie Szabo in attending the Dayton area Catholic Schools Week Mass at Immaculate Conception, where Archbishop Schnurr will preside.
  • Fri. Jan. 30: A spirit day and pep rally will celebrate winter activities and athletes
  • Fri. Jan 30: Celebrate the conclusion of Catholic Schools Week while ice skating with the Marianist LIFE community! For $5 at Riverscape MetroPark, students can skate 4-6p.m. The cost includes admission, skate rental, and hot chocolate. Students can sign up for transportation to the park in Ministry Service by Jan. 28, but need to get their own ride home.

CJ Makes NCIS: New Orleans Script

NCIS Update

2015 FEB 12

NCIS-NOLA sporting CJ swag — Go Eagles!

 

 

What did you think?

What was your reaction when you heard “Chaminade Julienne High School” mentioned on a primetime CBS television drama at the beginning of the 12th episode of NCIS: New Orleans, first aired Jan. 13, 2015?

Less than a minute into the spin-off of the hit fictional crime series, viewers in the Miami Valley couldn’t believe their ears when the private, Catholic school in downtown Dayton, Ohio surprisingly made it into the script:

Detective: Human smuggling is a federal offense, Julio.
Suspect: I am a fisherman.
Detective: Oh, well that explains why you dumped these guys in the water like they were chum. We confiscated your boat. It's really schmancy (sic). Where'd you get a boat like that, huh? No, I'd like to know -- who's your supplier? You got any names for me? Tus cómplices en Los Estados Unidos. Nombres, por favor.
Suspect: Your Spanish is incredible. Where did you learn?
Detective: Miss Tawney's AP Spanish class, Chaminade Julienne High School, Dayton, Ohio.

Watch the full episode, “The Abyss,” at http://bit.ly/1Bt0X7o

After hearing the 11-word line recited by fictional special agent Abigail Borin, played by actress Diane Neal (pictured above), a number of Eagles fans immediately took to social media to share their reactions.

“Our jaws dropped,” commented Kellie Kaskocsak Johnson on the CJ Alumni Facebook page. “I almost fell off the couch,” posted Mike Madden on the CJ School Facebook page. “Great shout out to Chaminade Julienne on NCIS New Orleans tonight,” tweeted Barbara Bruns.

You heard it right! But, was the mention just a “made for TV” moment? Well, yes and no.

Social Media Sleuths

Thanks to alumna Nichol Simmons, we now know the reason behind the shout out. The Los Angeles filmmaker had no involvement, but she did use her Hollywood connections and Twitter to track down the details from Jeffrey Lieber, an executive producer and showrunner for NCIS: New Orleans.  

"The writer of the episode, Samantha Humphries, had written that Borin's character was from Ohio and that Borin had learned her Spanish in high school," Lieber explained. "When I went to do my pass on the script, I talked to Samantha about making it more specific."

The script makers first decided on a city, Dayton, then happened upon CJ thanks to the results of a Google search, according to Lieber. "How can anyone possibly resist a name like 'Chaminade Julienne'," he said.

CJ fans and followers also used social media to help break the news to WHIO-TV on Facebook. 

Fact vs. Fiction

So, what about the teacher mentioned — is she real? No, but the "bad guy" certainly speaks the truth in alluding to the quality and value of a CJ education.

While there is no “Ms. Tawney” teaching Spanish, or any other subject at Chaminade Julienne, CJ does offer a rigorous AP Spanish program. And had agent Borin been a CJ graduate, she likely would have been taught by well-loved and respected veteran teacher, Ms. Peg Regan '73, foreign language department chair.

In fact, most of the CJ faithful on Facebook were savvy enough to pick this fact out after the school's 15 minutes of fictional primetime TV fame. Messages of “Gracias Senora Regan,” congratulating and thanking the beloved teacher peppered the school’s Facebook comments.

Celebrity Status

Ms. Regan is held in high regard within the CJ community, and for good reason. A 1973 alumna and 2014 CJ Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, she's been teaching Spanish for more than 35 years at her alma mater. She currently teaches AP Spanish as well as Spanish II, III and IV.

The Regan family roots remain deep at CJ. Peg is married to Jim Brooks, an English teacher and tennis coach, and her sister Kathleen Zehenny is an administrative assistant in the athletic office.

In other Regan run-ins with fame, Peg's father Ed Regan ‘40 is a legendary figure in Eagles lore. And he was on staff as a teacher and coach during the time when one of the school’s most famous graduates, actor Martin Sheen (then known as Ramon Estevez), walked the halls and took to the CJ stage -- the same stage, in the same auditorium that has continued to be used by CJ Performing Arts students to this day -- from 1954 to 1958.

More Fun With the News!

At the school's planned LIFT announcement rally on Friday, Jan. 16, Ms. Regan and AP Spanish students kicked things off by introducing the clip from the show. Everyone watched as Agent Borin stated what school she attended, crediting her fluent Spanish speaking skills. "At that point, everyone just erupted," said Teresa Spanel, alumni relations coordinator. "The entire place was filled with Eagle spirit!" And, as a shout-out back to "Agent Borin," Spanel is sending her Eagle spirit wear so that she can show her Eagle pride, too. "She's definitely invited to Reunion Weekend this year!"

 

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CJ Stemm Idol Speaker Series

Get excited for our first STEMM Idol Speaker of the second semester!

All students are invited Tuesday, Jan. 27 as Craig Boman visits from the University of Dayton. This  Application Support Specialist works in the libraries of the University, and has a diverse interest spectrum- he has a background in music, information technology,  AND computer science!

In his current position, Mr. Boman assists with current and future technology needs of students, faculty, and staff in the Roesch Library at the University of Dayton. However, his interests in music and computer science allowed him to gain experience in several types of libraries.

At Sinclair and UD, Mr. Boman studied classical guitar performance and music composition. After obtaining an Associate of Arts in Music from Sinclair Community College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Dayton, he held an internship with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Music Library.

He then moved on to Kent State University, where he obtained a Master of Library and Information Science. With this degree, he was able to work with electronic databases to evaluate journal subscription potential at Wright State University. When he was a Binding Assistant at the University of Dayton, he updated and edited print journal collections and the EXProxy server.

Mr. Boman is currently working earning his Ph.d in Higher Education Administration. His current research interest is studying if students improve when they use university resources, such as the library.

With such a wide range of work settings, this 2004 Chaminade Julienne alum has plenty of interesting experiences to share.

Come meet Mr. Boman and hear his presentation on “Things I Should Have Learned in School Had I Been Paying Attention, and The Future of Technology” this Tuesday!

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

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Swimmers Splash Through Records!

During the Coaches Classic Meet at Dayton Raiders Aquatic Center on Janurary 17-18, multiple school records were broken.

Macleary Moran '18 broke three school records when she swam the 200 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, and 500 Freestyle. In the 200 Free she swam 2:00.81, breaking Erin Staley’s '13-'14 record of 2:04.27. In the 100 Free she swam 0:56.31, breaking Claire Meyers’ '13-'14 record of 0:57.86. In the 500 Free she swam 5:21.38, breaking Erin Mullins’ '03-'04 record of 5:27.03.

In the 200 Backstroke, Abby Arestides '17 swam a 2:27.40, breaking Katheryne Austin's '08-'09 record of 2:33.51.

Erin Staley '15, Georgia Albino '15, Macleary Moran '18, and Abby Arestides '17 broke the 400 Freestyle Relay record when they swam a 3:52.03. The previous record was 4:02.02 and set in 2013-2014 by Claire Meyers, Samantha Cudney, Katy Harrington, and Erin Staley.

As a pioneer for diving at CJ, Francesa Weismann '15 set a new diving record as well when she placed 5th out of 25 divers at her site.

Nice job Eagles!

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LIFT - It's What's Next!

With the whole school assembled pep rally style in Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym, Dan Meixner '84, president, announced the next project to be completed through the effort of LIFT — Leading In Faith Today, the school’s $20 million capital campaign. With an additional $3.1 million raised since the LIFT’s public announcement on January 30, 2014, the school Board of Trustees green-lighted plans to fortify and renovate the oldest building on campus.

Built in 1951 and located at the corner of Ludlow and Franklin Streets, Building One will undergo installation of new heating and cooling systems, electrical and plumbing, and new ceilings and flooring throughout. The $2.5 million project also entails the renovation of spaces within including seven classrooms and the school’s cafeteria. In addition, the current band room will be remodeled to better accommodate increased student participation in CJ’s growing performing arts program. The three-floor structure is also home to Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym, which was refurbished through the gifts to the campaign in the fall of 2014, and the auditorium which remains a future priority in the scope of LIFT.

“These building improvements are the next step towards transforming all of our teaching and learning spaces to better meet the needs of our students and teachers,” Meixner said. “The addition of air conditioning makes year-round learning possible, and classroom improvements make the spaces more flexible to facilitate our teachers’ style of teaching and student collaboration. We also look forward to the transformation of our cafeteria into a vibrant place of welcome, one that can accommodate students during the day and parents, alumni and community members at other times.”

Read coverage by the Dayton Business Journal >

This project, coupled with the renovation of the CJ STEMM Center in 2013, means that the school has renovated more than 50 percent of the school’s classrooms and hallways since LIFT began. “We have been blessed with the generous support of so many alumni, parents, and friends of CJ to make this project possible,” said Meixner. “The response of the CJ community to the goals of LIFT has been so affirming of our priorities and progress. Even with the excitement of this latest project, we know that we can count on ongoing support as we draft plans to bring new life to the rest of our building, and our expanded campus.”

The Building One renovation is the latest capital improvement project following the opening of the Eagle Tennis Center in September 2011, the opening of the CJ STEMM Center in August 2013, and the refurbishing of Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym in the fall of 2014. The priorities of LIFT also include increased operational support through the school’s annual fund effort and investment in strategic school initiatives. These include tuition assistance, ministry and service, teacher development and the opportunity to pilot programs such as Senior Capstone and Connected Classroom.

“The priorities of LIFT were chosen to help ensure that even more students have access to the kind of elevated experiences that will help them be successful at CJ and prepare them for the successful completion of their college programs,” Meixner said. “Ultimately, the advancements we are making through LIFT serve to strengthen the exceptional Catholic educational experience at CJ. We are providing our students with a strong foundation and supportive community to live an inspired life serving God’s people, as He calls all of us to do.”

Construction of the Building One project will begin over Easter break and continue through the summer. Meixner anticipates that most of the project, facilitated by Shook Construction and Pinnacle Architects, will be completed by the first day of school, August 12, with final touches to the second floor to be completed before the end of the calendar year.

WKEF-WRGT TV

ABC 22 / Fox 45

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Genetic Counselor for a Day

Students in Cathryn Maga’s Honors Biology Class were genetic counselors for a day! The 9th and 10th grade students have been learning about genetics for the past five weeks. To wrap up the unit, Maga asked members of the CJ community to partake in a real-world simulation.

“This was a culmination activity where students were presented with a patient (parents and faculty)," Maga said. "As genetic counselors, they advised patients on what their chances were of inheriting or passing on the disorder based on family backgrounds given."

Terminology such as“hetero-” and “homo- zygote” floated around the class as students discussed implications of genetic diseases with faculty and fellow students. The simulation allowed students to recall course material in a real-world simulation, since many diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis or Down Syndrome, are influenced by the genetics parents pass on to their children.

"Students were able to demonstrate their knowledge on everything they have worked on within the unit while connecting it to real life," Maga said.
 

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CJ, Rosary Support Students

Through their Senior Capstone project, three students are helping pre-teens strengthen internal relationships between mind and body. By addressing how social media can distort reality, Angela Ekezie, Kweisi Beaty, and Yaritza Cardanas help 7th and 8th grade female students at Our Lady of Rosary develop an awareness of the false images media can provide.

In November, the group put their project into action by presenting to several 8th grade girls. The presentation included a TedTalk video given by model Cameron Russell followed by a  discussion about self-image. Over the course of the second semester, the three students hope to strengthen self-confidence in pre-teens through other informational videos along with confidence building activities such as participating in a student-run fashion show.

“I realize that a lot of the things we see on TV and in magazines are false images, and that a lot of those people don’t look like that in person,” Beaty said. “Our goal is to pass on that knowledge and help females not get influenced by the numerous images on social media.”

Transitioning to high school can be a challenging time for girls as they try to fit into an environment saturated by unrealistic perceptions that social media can often paint. Having messages and advice conveyed by students closer in age than teachers, the seniors hope to make the transition more manageable.

“Social media nowadays can be really overwhelming and we want to help them to get a sense of their self, to not let others completely influence them, Cardenas said, “We want to be their ‘older sisters’ and be there for them in case they need anything.”

“I love seeing students get so invested in a social justice issue, and it gives me hope for future generations,” mentor and science teacher Jessica Hanley said. “Tackling the numerous injustices that exist in our community used to seem like a dauntless task, but seeing students take on the Capstone project makes it feel much more achievable.”

Student Support To Be Strengthened Through CJ/OLR Collaboration

While the Capstone team continues to make progress in helping pre-teens form healthy internal relationships between mind and body, Chaminade Julienne and Our Lady of Rosary are entering into an alliance that will allow them to better serve both student populations.

The two schools were the first in the Dayton region to implement the City Connects program in an effort to support students in high school. CJ implemented the program in 2010-11 and Our Lady of Rosary implemented the program in 2009-2010. By personally addressing needs in areas such as academics and family, schools can encourage overall student success and development.

Our Lady of Rosary and CJ participated in the “Walk to the Kroc” during Red Ribbon Week in October. Ekezie, Beaty, and Cardana’s Capstone project highlights the significance how a relationship between a high school and elementary school can be beneficial in ways beyond academics.

“In terms of social issues, young students tend to see their teachers as adults who 'just don't understand' the pressures of being an adolescent,” Hanley said. “However, these high schoolers who are much closer in age to them can relate better. The students see them as ‘cool' and if these cool high schoolers show confidence, then they will want to show confidence too.”

In December, Dan Meixner, CJ president, officially announced the partnership between CJ and OLR in a letter to parents. This partnership will allow for collaboration between the two schools in programming and building relationships between teachers and students.

In the letter explaining the partnership, Meixner stressed the alliance would “provide CJ students with leadership and mentoring experiences while helping OLR students better prepare for success in high school.” This can already be seen illustrated through the Capstone project.

Both CJ and OLR are influenced by the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The two orders founded Chaminade Julienne, and teachers from the two orders taught at Our Lady of Rosary in the 20th century. The orders each stress the significance of creating community, and how community can enhance one’s ability to meet world challenges.

“Kweisi, Yaritza and Angela are really learning what it means to be a contributing member of society,” Molly Bardine, head of Capstone, said. “It is exciting to see many of the projects from the class of 2015 be centered on serving the next generation of CJ students. Our Lady of Rosary as well as many other schools have been very welcoming of our students and excited to have them share their research and desire to make an impact on a social justice issue.”

Key Club's Snow Day Challenge

It was a cold winter's day Jan. 7. Classes were canceled at CJ and across the Miami Valley, so many students enjoyed the morning off in the comfort of a warm bed, sleeping in without worrying about weather.

Key Club, however, treated the snow day as an opportunity to help the less fortunate members of our community who are braving the unbearable elements, facing freezing conditions, and battling hunger.

Juniors Emma Eichenauer and Katie Ward (pictured above) initiated what they call the "Snow Day Challenge." The girls made 50 bagged lunches for St. Vincent de Paul, then joined with classmates Sarah Mason, Cole Mason and freshman Riley Mason at school to collect items from others who had "accepted the challenge."

"It's really nice to feel that we're helping people in need and giving them something that they wouldn't have had, especially on a cold day like today," Emma said. Temperatures dipped into the single digits, feeling as cold as -19 degrees at times with the wind chill in Dayton.

The crew from CJ delivered their donations later that afternoon. Now, they are extending an invitation to others to accept the Snow Day Challenge by donating to a local community food pantry or homeless shelter.

"Done!" commented Debra Sanderman on Facebook in response to Key Club's challenge. "My daughter and I made 50 also — thanks for the challenge."

Key Club is moderated by guidance counselor and CJ parent Susan Eichenauer.

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