March 2017

Phonathon Paves the Way for Future Eagles

The annual spring Phonathon gets underway on March 26 through April 12 and will utilize 100 volunteers - students, faculty, staff, graduates and parents - to make calls to the thousands of supporters who remember Chaminade Julienne each year through a gift to the Annual Fund.

This bi-annual event is an integral piece of the Annual Fund which supplements tuition and benefits every student at CJ as well as our graduates who reconnect and experience CJ in a new way for the Hall of Fame Golf Outing, Hall of Fame Event, Fish Fry, Distinguished Alumni Event, Reunion Weekend, Lucas Pfander Memorial Alumni Race and the Last Five Luncheon.  

“Along with the ability to connect and thank our individual contributors, time spent volunteering at Phonathon can build some valuable skills,” said Elaine Bonner, Annual Giving Coordinator.  

A recent graduate from the Class of 2016 shared how her Phonathon experience at CJ benefited her in college.  

“I was able to work on the Rose-Hulman Phonathon and having previous experience was a bonus,” reported Colleen Wagoner ‘16. “This is one of the highest paying jobs on campus. I really enjoy engaging the alumni in conversation and have received great advice about internships, career choices, and on the academics at Rose.”  

In turn, these skills led Colleen to achieving one of the highest percentages of credit card gifts on her team.

These valuable leadership skills begin with CJ’s Student Development chairs, comprised of 18 dedicated juniors and seniors who promote, organize and volunteer several nights to make Phonathon a success.  

Claire Evans ‘17 summarized her Phonathon experience saying, “I have really enjoyed being able to speak with members of the community who are excited to give back to CJ. It is inspiring to know just how many people realize the importance of our  CJ education.”  

Additionally, student volunteers gain meaningful insight into the past when they volunteer at Phonathon.  

“To many, speaking on the phone with strangers for a few hours may seem dreadful, but not for CJ students,” said Yasmin Espino ‘17. “Not only does Phonathon provide CJ students with the opportunity to give back to our school, but it also allows us to learn more about our school and its rich history. I've had many lovely conversations with alums about school life, college, and various funny stories about their time at Chaminade, Julienne, St. Joe’s or CJ. These conversations with alums is what makes Phonathon completely worthwhile. It gives us access to a history that simply cannot be taught in classrooms.”

A key success is the involvement of alumni who call their classmates and parents who reach out to current parents and parents of alumni.  For those reunion year alumni, it is also an opportunity to extend a personal reminder to attend CJ Reunion Weekend (June 23 and 24).  Some graduates have previously gathered a group of classmates and made calls from the CJ cafeteria or from their homes.  

Ryan Sullivan ‘96 said, “I first got involved with the CJ Phonathon because I couldn't say no to Ann Szabo! Like most, I was reluctant at first because it had been so long since I talked with many of my CJ friends, but it was time to start giving back. I have three boys who are future Eagles and I want CJ to be strong for the long-term. I recruited some classmates and we were able to reconnect with so many people - not only by phone, but though social media, emails, and text. It has been a great experience and everyone who helped had a great time.”

If you receive a call from a student volunteer, know that you are adding to their confidence and skill sets.  When you volunteer to make calls, you are providing a incredible service in the ongoing efforts to keep our CJ community connected.  

Contact Elaine Bonner at or (937) 461-3740 x201 if you are interested in volunteering with the Spring Phonathon.

Posted March 22, 2017

"Dueling Divas" Takes to the CJ Stage

Four contestants, eager to be named the top singer, learn that working together is the key to a successful opera during the Muse Machine performance of Dueling Divas.

"It's a game show style performance, like a parody of Jeopardy" explained the music director with the Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence Program, Jeffrey Powell.

Dueling Divas featured the four current Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence, soprano Chelsea Friedlander, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Frey, tenor Brian Skoog and bass-baritone Vincent Grana.

"The singers have to buzz in and if they get the question right, they get to sing the opera selection that goes with it," said Powell.

The Dueling Divas show also allowed students to participate in one part of the program.

"I hope students take away that opera is fun and it can connect to everybody," Powell shared. "I hope they hear legitimate singing that is something beautiful and something they could potentially do if they go into this study."

Dueling Divas was specifically created for Muse Machine as part of their in-school performance series.

Posted March 23, 2017

Juniors Experience the Cost of Poverty

Juniors experienced some of the challenges and decisions people in the lower, middle and upper classes make on a daily basis when the students attended the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) on Tuesday, March 7.

"I have been working with issues of race and social class for almost 20 years and of all the things I have seen and done, this gives students an active, small experience of what it's like to live in poverty," community facilitator John Wilson said.

The COPE program is put on by Think Tank, Inc. CJ juniors have participated in COPE for four years.

"One real asset about CJ is the economic, racial, and cultural diversity that goes on at the school," Wilson noted. "When you have such a diversity of people taking in this experience, they go back to their home communities that aren't as diverse and may begin to ask questions like, why? Why is that? Why does it look like this and what can I do to be a part of that change?"

The simulation randomly split the juniors into three groups - poverty, middle class, and wealthy. During the simulation, each group would spend a week (equivalent to 10 minutes) performing certain activities or jobs according to their status. Jobs included flipping burgers (bean bags) at a restaurant or folding clothes at a department store.

Students in the wealthy class did not have to get a job while middle and poverty class students were encouraged to apply for one. For some students in the poverty group, they were not allowed to look for a job or go to school because they had to watch a sibling (represented by a baby doll).

"I don't like it," said one of those students, Nick Henne '18. "I want to be doing stuff like making money but I can't. I'm just taking care of a baby and watching everyone else do other things."

 Another activity required students in the wealthy group to give a bag of donated food to the poverty group without having a conversation with the students they were helping.

"It made me feel good to give to people, but we weren't allowed to talk to them, so that was kind of weird," reflected Skylar Manning '18.

Emsley Spees '18, who was in the middle class group, said she struggled to get a job and was turned away every time she applied.

"It's frustrating," Spees shared. "I also only had $100 and was only able to buy a car because someone else gave me money."

Clay Mathile '18, who was in the poverty group, found a way to make money by opening up his own business.

"It makes me feel good because I know that I'm working for my money and I'm doing a good thing," Mathile reflected.

Students shared that overall, taking part in COPE was an eye-opening experience.

"It helped me realize that some people don't have the same opportunities I do even if it's for the simplistic things," Alexis Nelson '18 shared.  "We are all the same because we are all the same age and want to do similar things, but we may not get to do that because of things like poverty." 

Posted March 21, 0217

2017 CJ Fish Fry

The annual CJ Fish Fry will be held on Saturday, March 18 from 6-11 p.m. The event, which benefits the school's Blue Green Club, will feature food, drinks, casino style games and college basketball games on the big screens in the school's gym.

Food items will include:

  • fish;
  • fries;
  • coleslaw;
  • sausages;
  • macaroni and cheese;
  • baked beans; and, 
  • brownies.

Along with games, the event will feature silent auction items.

Admission is $20 per person at the door. This event is for ages 21 and over.

Directions and Parking Information

Posted March 16, 2017

Students Return to Cincinnati for Urban Plunge

On March 3, 4, and 5, 12 sophomores and juniors traveled to Cincinnati as part of the Urban Plunge learning experience.

“Going into Urban Plunge, I was hoping just to help others and give my time to those less fortunate than me,” Megan Piatt ‘19 shared.

“I was hoping to just gain more knowledge about poverty,” added Katie Bardine ‘19. “I have never come face to face with it, and I knew that going on this retreat  I would be. I really was looking forward to learning about different ways to serve those experiencing homelessness.”

Joseph Allaire ‘19 agreed, “When I signed up to go on Urban Plunge, I was hoping to gain a better understanding of the situation of poverty in our urban centers.”

During their weekend, the students not only volunteered but also participated in simulations such as the SNAP food challenge, where they had to make a meal to feed each person in their group for $5. Students also shared that one of their most memorable activities during the weekend were home visits.

“We were able to go inside the home of a person living in poverty," Emma Malone ‘19 said. "I was really stepping out of my comfort zone and trying to fully listen to our neighbor’s story.”

“My favorite activity from Urban Plunge was doing a home visit,” Alexandra Murray ‘19 confirmed. “During this we were able to go into the home of someone experiencing poverty and we then tried to help them in any way we could. This help came from clothing vouchers and furniture vouchers. I really just loved this because it gave us the ability to feel the emotions that go into the feeling of experiencing this time.

“Prior to these home visits, we did a simulation that allowed us to play the part of a person experiencing homelessness,” Murray continued. “I love that we did this because it allowed us to feel empathy for the actual situation. It was sad to walk away from the home visits knowing that this is not a simulation for these neighbors but rather their life.”

When thinking about the entire weekend experience, Malone said, “It was a life changing experience, and when I say, ‘life changing’ I mean it. It changed my perspective on the way I think, judge others and view society.”

“Urban Plunge was something that God called me to do, and throughout the whole experience the spirit of God was very strong throughout the whole group,” Piatt reflected. “This experience truly changed my perspective of not only the face of poverty, but my perspective of life as a whole. This experience was truly life changing, and I cannot thank the advisers and all of the people that made this experience a possibility enough. I am very ambitious about making a difference here in Dayton, and I believe that as a group, we are taking the necessary steps to make that happen.”

“I would really just love for people to know how effective this retreat is,” Murray responded. “I was expecting to do physical labor that would tire me out, however that was not the case. This brought me to a spiritual place that I did not know I could touch with strangers. I am incredibly grateful to be able to experience these things through my school, having these opportunities right in front of me makes it easy for me to get involved and make a difference in my community.

“I would just like to encourage people to, when they are near a person experiencing homelessness or poverty, do not look away because of the stereotype that they will just want money,” Murray continued. “I was graced with the ability to talk with some of these neighbors and I now know who are just like me, and that they just want human dignity because that’s what they deserve. So I greatly encourage you to, when you pass a stranger on the side of the street, do not look away as if they are not there but rather share a smile, say the words, ‘God loves you’ because sometimes these neighbors just need the reassurance that they deserve the life God has given them.”

Allaire added, “I am so grateful for having the opportunity to go on Urban Plunge and would highly recommend it to students in the future as a life changing experience.”

Bardine excitedly stated, “You have to go if you get the chance!”

Posted March 14, 2017

Walk to State: Wrestling

“It’s the cherry on top.”

Wrestling Assistant Coach Paul Marshall ‘86 excitedly shared that summary of the 2016-2017 CJ wrestling team experience after Micah Marshall ‘18 and Isaiah Wortham ‘20 participated in the traditional Walk to State on Thursday, March 9. Marshall qualified for the tournament in the 138 weight class and Wortham qualified for the tournament in the 120 weight class.

“It’s an experience I’ve been waiting for for the last three years,” Marshall said. “It’s amazing to know my work led up to this.”

“I’ve been wrestling for eight years,” Wortham reflected. “It’s pretty cool to represent CJ and do the best I can.”

Both Marshall and Wortham finished their seasons in the “Sweet 16” round.

“We plan to take more wrestlers to state next year,” Coach Marshall emphasized. “We have a great group of kids and everyone has been working hard.”

Posted March 13, 2017


Hoopla STEM Challenge Returns to CJ

As part of the Dayton's Big Hoopla celebrations, the Hoopla STEM Challenge will return to Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School on Sunday, March 12.

Hundreds of boys and girls in grades K-8 are expected at the school to shoot hoops and participate in fun STEM activities. Students will also be eligible for prizes including First Four tickets, gift cards and iPad minis.  This event is free.

Additional information, including registration details can be found here.

Posted March 9, 2017


CJ Performing Arts Presents: Godspell

"O Bless the Lord," "Day by Day" and other favorites can be heard from the CJ stage when CJ Performing Arts Presents Godspell on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11. This will be the first musical production in the renovated CJ auditorium.

"The newly renovated space has provided many new opportunities in the production of Godspell this year," Debi Schutt, Director of Performing Arts, said. "The versatile space in the front has allowed for a functional space for live musicians to perform as part of the show. The updated sound equipment has vastly improved the sound quality in the space and the updated rigging and electrics have allowed us to rent new and up to date lighting equipment to further enhance the show. The increased spaces for costumes and set building have allowed our tech students to have more hands on experience in building and designing the show."

The musical tells the story of followers helping Jesus Christ tell parables in comedic fashion. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.


  • March 10 at 7 p.m.
  • March 11 at 2 p.m.
  • March 11 at 7 p.m.

Posted March 9, 2017

Seniors Create, Organize Pretty Period Event

On Sunday, February 26, dozens of young African American women and supporters gathered at Chaminade Julienne for the Pretty Period event sponsored by the Senior Capstone Group of LaStacia Patterson, Alexis Robinson, Amari Smith and Se'Aunna Watson Cunningham.

"We came up with the idea due to our own experiences in our lives and decided to create something for girls like us in order to help the community," Smith said.

The group noted they used inspiration for their event from the Pretty Period website. The creator of the website revealed that her concept for movement came from the backhanded compliment, “You are pretty for a dark skinned girl.”

The event at CJ kicked off with presentations from four African American leaders in the Dayton community - Letitia Perry Gina McDonald, Pastor Paul Gales, and Anthony Peebles.

"They spoke on how to be fulfilled and fit physically, mentally, and emotionally, self worth, standards, and respecting yourself in and out of relationships," Smith recalled. "Then the girls had a question and answer discussion with the speakers."

Following the discussion, the group went into the school cafeteria for a dinner. During the dinner, DCDC and dancer Brittany Coleman performed and Smith recited a poem. Representatives from the Women of the NAACP, Miami Valley Urban League, and Mama Aswan Shea Butters were also on hand for the event.

"We believe the girls enjoyed themselves and were inspired," Smith reflected. "Many of the girls told us how much they loved it. We feel like we did a good job getting our point across and completing our mission."

Watson-Cunningham added, "We really want to continue bringing young black girls together. The unity of black women is needed in our world today. The girls learned a lot, along with us. We definitely were positively impacted by the event."

Posted March 9, 2017


Walk to State: Indoor Track and Field

On Thursday, March 2, ten indoor track and field members didn't sprint, but rather walked, as the CJ community cheered them on ahead of the state championships. For several state qualifiers, this was their first trip to the state finals.

"It’s exciting for them, but it’ll be nerve wracking," men's and women's track and field head coach Jerry Puckett predicted prior to the event. "They are all very talented."

"I’m excited to compete," said first-time participant Jumarion Wills '17 before the competition. "It’ll be a new experience for me and I’m ready to do my best."

Lauren Pegues '17 and Danielle Lewis '17, who have been to state championships for indoor and outdoor track before, were excited about the trip to state as well and reflected about being leaders to the underclassmen.

"The freshmen are very talented and make us work," Pegues said. "They pushed us to make us better."

Lewis added, "We tried to lead by example and show them by our actions."

"I’m happy for the seniors," Puckett noted. "The team has gotten better and better, and the future looks good."


At the championships, the Eagles placed as follows:

  • Jack Dalton '17 was fifth in the 1600m (4:26.01);
  • The men's 4x200 (Donnie Stevenson '18, Wills, Jance Peters '19, Calvin Hatcher '20) was 12th (1:34.43);
  • The women's 4x200 (Imani Wortham '20, Meyah Haywood '20, Julia DiLoreto '20, Pegues) was third (1:44.73);
  • Wortham ran her fastest time in the 60m (8.10); and,
  • and DiLoreto ran in the 400m (1:01.68).

Congratulations to all participants!

Posted March 8, 2017