April 2011

Feature Team of the Week

The CJ varsity softball team is being recognized as the feature team of the week Wednesday, April 27 during Senior Night against Alter at 5 p.m. at Gateway Action Sports before beginning a challenging stretch of games heading into the postseason.

Seniors Lyndsey Diggs, April Grierson, Seanice Reynolds and Krystal Watson (pictured below) will be honored during the game, but the girls still have a lot of work to do this season to become the first CJ softball team to win a league championship.  Diggs, a senior co-captain and four-year varsity starter, will lead the Eagles on the mound—something she has done all season by pitching every game.

“We have to beat Fenwick, Alter and Carroll twice because we want to take the GGCL Grey North division and make a good tourney run,” she said. Named a first team all-league recipient each season since 2008, Diggs realizes what it takes to be successful and said it starts with getting all nine players to play as one.

“We work really well as a team. Team unity is one of our best attributes and when you play tough opponents you need teammates that are enthusiastic and positive, which has helped keep it fun this year.”

The team—a mix of experienced veterans and newcomers with four sophomores, two freshmen, and one junior—has been able to sustain their chemistry throughout the season on the wings of a few team traditions. The girls have adopted the acronym “SOAR,” which stands for “Someone Always Rising,” along with the similarly spirited pregame cheer, “Give our best, nothing less, always more, Eagles soar!”

It is that welcoming attitude that has made senior Krystal Watson’s first year on the team a terrific experience. She joined after her friend and softball co-captain April Grierson convinced her to play, and said she has enjoyed getting to know more of her classmates.

“I haven’t been a part of a team in a while, but we are all just one big family. We have supported each other and we are always there for one another,” she said. More than anything, Watson looks forward finishing the season with plenty of new friendships.

April Member of the Month

As part of Chaminade Julienne's 160/125 Anniversary Celebration, the school is recognizing alumni, faculty/staff members, current students and friends of CJ on a monthly basis. The following Member of the Month recipients—all nominated by CJ community members—are being recognized as true models of the CJ mission who fully embody and reflect the charisms of the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Student:: Sal Hollan ‘12
Faculty/Staff: Susan Eichenauer
Alumni/Friend: Ken Spitzig ‘75

Since his freshman year, Sal Hollan has shown a commitment and desire to become a better person with each new day. His continued maturity and personal growth, nurtured through the teachings of the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, is something that has been getting noticed by fellow students, faculty and staff. As one teacher described, the CJ junior is, “kind, honest and generous with his energy.”

During his time at CJ, Sal has most enjoyed participating in Eagles athletics as a member of the baseball and wrestling teams.

In her ten years working closely with CJ students and families, guidance counselor Susan Eichenauer said she has never been recognized with anything quite like being named the Member of the Month, but according to her, having the opportunity to work at the school and within its community is a reward in itself.

“I am very blessed that I’ve been able to spend my time here surrounded by all the incredible people who make up the CJ community,” she said. “I just really love doing what I do.”

Both her work with and impact on students extends outside of the guidance department. Susan’s kind, affectionate attitude can be found in the myriad of interactions she has with Eagles through her involvement with mission trips (including the summer trip to Belize), Habitat for Humanity, support for student service projects, and as Key Club moderator.

Ken Spitzig, a 1975 graduate of Chaminade Julienne, has been a part of many things in the school’s 160 year history: he experienced the merging of Chaminade, Julienne, and St. Joe’s Commercial High School in 1973 and 1974; he was a member of the first CJ cross country team as a junior and senior; and in 2011 was named CJ Member of the Month.

“This is a big honor because this is my alma mater,” he said. Ken has been serving the school for nearly a decade as a cross country coach and recently became the head men’s varsity coach. He enjoys teaching and showing current CJ harriers what it means to be an Eagle.

“Running is a passion of mine that I’d like to pass on. I really enjoy working with the kids and I have fun,” Ken said. His wife, Jeanne Shultz Spitzig, '75, is currently an administrative assistant in the admissions office at CJ.

Students' April Accomplishments

From creative writing, to cross country, to the classic sport of fencing, CJ students are achieving success across a variety of different activities this spring.  Here are just a few things the Eagles have been involved with:

Senior Maggie Ryan was awarded second place for her entry in the Robert Fox Award for Young Writers competition co-sponsored by the Ohioana Library Association

The competition has been recognizing Ohio writers in grades 9-12 with three awards in the prose and poetry categories since 2007, accepting a maximum of just three submissions per school.  Ryan submitted her short story titled Prismatic Attraction in January after taking Mr. Jim Brooks’s Creative Writing class.

“We always enter lots of things for contests, so when I put it in I wasn’t expeting much,” she said. “When Mr. Brooks told me I won I was so happy because writing is something I want to do next year in college.”

For her second place finish, Ryan will receive a $150 cash prize and has been invited to attend an awards ceremony during the Ohioana Book Festival on Saturday, May 7 in Columbus. She will attend DePaul University in the fall to study English.

Edmund Gehres, CJ junior, placed second in the U19 men’s foil tournament at the Ohio High School Championship on Saturday, April 9 at the Steelwood Fencing Center on the campus of Ohio State University.

Gehres, currently the school’s only fencer, was the lone representative from the city of Dayton in the competition’s 25-person field. He fences with the American Fencing Academy of Dayton and has been involved with the sport since he was 10-years-old.

“I’m probably going to compete, or at least fence, for the rest of my life because I enjoy it.”

Senior Rachel Collins signed a National Letter of Intent Thursday, April 14 to run cross country at Ohio Dominican University.

Collins will receive an athletic grant in addition to an academic scholarship to cover nearly all tuition costs at ODU. She intends to double major in both accounting and entrepreneurship while running for the Panthers of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“Rachel is one of those athletes that only comes around once every so often,” said Greg Mueller, CJ women’s cross country coach. “She’s talented athletically, she’s talented academically, but she’s just such a positive person. We wish her the best of luck.”

In her senior season as captain of the Eagles cross country team, Collins qualified for the Division II regional tournament and has twice been named to the GGCL Grey North Second Team All-Conference. In addition, she is a member of the track team, National Honor Society and was named the 2011 recipient of the school’s Sister Damienne Scholarship, which awards one senior a $10,000 college grant, renewed annually for four years.

“I saw a lot of similarities between all the aspects of CJ that I’ve grown up with over these past four years and the things that Ohio Dominican offers its students,” Collins said on her choice of schools.

Posted April 19, 2011

Tennis Courts Coming to CJ

CJ has announced the addition of tennis facilities to the school's growing campus. The $300,000 project, which is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, represents the latest expansion of on-campus student activity areas.

Fully-funded from a generous gift by a CJ family, this newest addition is part of the school’s long-term campus master plan of land acquisition and development. Blue Green Field opened last spring while the Student Conditioning Center, a $1.6 million renovation project, opened in August.

Located at the northwest corner of Ludlow and Franklin Streets, the new facility will accommodate practice and competition for men’s and women’s tennis, physical education courses, community tennis events and alumni activities.

Jim Brooks, head coach for men’s and women’s tennis, is excited for what this will mean to the students of CJ and the tennis program. “I know our players will take great pride in having our own home courts, and more students can be introduced to the sport. Most of them have no exposure to tennis in the first place, so this will give them an opportunity to play informally throughout the year and during their physical education classes.

“It will become a special place to play a match, to host other teams, and for our parents to come and watch them play,” he said.

The school plans to hold a ground-breaking ceremony before the end of the school year.

Craig Becomes Women's Soccer Coach

CJ announced that Roy Craig has been hired as the head women's varsity soccer coach for the 2011-12 season. He previously served the school for five years as men’s assistant soccer coach.

Craig comes to the program with 30 years of coaching experience, including eight years as head coach of the University of Dayton men’s soccer team, where his 65 career wins from 1988 to 1995 are good for most all-time.

“Roy is well-known and respected in the soccer community and brings a tremendous amount of soccer knowledge,” said Jon Payne, athletic director.

Craig said he looks forward to assembling a staff and getting to know his players over the summer. “This is a great community, a great school, and I am excited to help be a positive influence in the lives of these girls as they transition from young adulthood to adulthood.”

STEMM Idol and the Spring Speaker

While it remains to be seen whether April showers will bring May flowers, the first full month of spring surely brought a barrage of guest speakers to CJ including Lauren Wagoner and Dr. Michael “Mykee” Fowler, who each spent a day with students raining down wisdom and insight.

To coincide with national Mathematics Awareness Month, the school welcomed STEMM Idol Speaker Ms. Wagoner, an Ohio State University Math major and Cyber Operations Masters degree candidate from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).  She plans to pursue a PhD in computer science this summer at Tulsa University, but told students on Tuesday, April 12 that her passion for numbers in high school is where her educational and career paths got their start.

“Math was my first love so I hope students realize that they can do a lot more with a math than just teaching or accounting,” she said, adding that college graduates with math degrees are very attractive to prospective employers for their sound fundamental skills in reasoning and logic. The field also translates well into the many arenas of computer science such as cybersecurity, a hot topic in today’s society according to Wagoner.

“Money is being invested in cybersecurity and the opportunities are endless,” she said. Cyber operations careers are becoming more prevalent in both the private and government sectors as electronic and wireless technologies continue to improve. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created an entire branch dedicated to matters of national cyber security to combat what President Obama termed, "one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces."

“Your computer contains a lot of data and you don’t want it to be lost or stolen,” Wagoner warned. For students interested in the field, she suggested participating in the US CyberPatriot games.  According to its Web site, “CyberPatriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition created to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.”

Actor and psychologist Dr. Michael “Mykee” Fowler put an energetic and entertaining spin on the traditionally somber subjects of suicide prevention and school bullying to effectively reach students during a school-wide assembly in the auditorium Monday, April 11.

“I’m here to help students understand that their differences are to be celebrated and not to be crossed out,” he said.  During his morning presentation, Fowler took on the persona of five distinctly different characters, from a wheel-chair bound boy with Cerebral Palsey to a multi-racial high school senior girl, demonstrating the understanding that can come from putting oneself in another’s shoes.

A message throughout his talk was “knowing the difference between what you’re supposed to do and what you need to do.” He challenged students to rise above social norms and stigmas that generally dictate behavior and instead make positive choices, even if they may not be the most popular.

“We are all superheroes,” he told students of their ability to make a difference in someone’s life. “We have incredible powers to hurt, but we also have incredible powers to heal. The choice is yours.”

Feature Team of the Week

Nearing the halfway point of the season, the members of the men's volleyball team—this week’s feature team—have already come together not only to record big victories over opponents, but also to raise big money for two missions benefitting from CJ’s Lenten Mission Drive.

After losing six seniors from last season and returning only five players to the varsity team, the Eagles responded this spring by posting a stellar 9-2 record over their first 11 games of 2011—improving from the team’s 6-5 start just a year ago. According to senior captain Kyle Foley, the key to his team’s success has been their ability to overcome adversity.

“We’ve got a lot of new people, but I think we’ve been adapting pretty well,” he said. Five juniors and three sophomores anchor the roster with Foley and fellow senior captain Connor Sullivan, who have played a combined eight years of CJ volleyball, accounting for half of the four seniors. Their veteran experience coupled with a unique team chemistry has helped the Eagles compensate for a lack of height.

“We know each other well, we communicate well and we try to stick together as a team,” Sullivan said.  As the only current member of the varsity team to also have played on the 2009 squad that finished the season as GCL North champs and state semifinalists, he hopes to follow up with a winning record this season and another deep playoff run.

Tuesday night the Eagles will be tested against a postseason-quality opponent as they take on Division 1 Elder at home in the feature game of the week starting at 7 p.m.  The match against the Panthers won’t be the first time CJ has welcomed the color purple to home court for a spotlighted contest.

On Friday, April 1, the Eagles volleyball team hosted Carroll for the Digging for Dollars fundraiser in support of CJ’s Lenten Mission Drive.  More than $1,100 was raised for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur working in Brazil to combat human trafficking and for the Marianists’ MIRACLE program, a vocational school for orphans of AIDS in Malawi.  Those in attendance from both schools wore neutral purple to show solidarity, including the Eagles players who donned long socks dyed purple.

“Digging for Dollars was one of the best things I’ve seen for us because tons of people came to that game,” said Sullivan. “So being the feature team I think will really get people excited to come out and support us.”

STEMM Earthquake Day for 7th Graders

More than 50 7th grade students from St. Christopher visited CJ Friday, April 8 to participate in a special STEMM Earthquake Day led by CJ's Project Lead the Way faculty members.

The day began in the Student Conditioning Center, where students spent time getting to know one another through ice breaker activities before heading to the library for lessons about tsunamis and fault lines.  The group was then split up into small teams of three to four people and given materials to build a two-tiered, earthquake-proof structure.

St. Christopher teacher Beth Hale said her students had a great time getting hands-on with the STEMM-related project. “We’ve studied earthquakes before and with what happened in Japan, the subject is relevant so I thought it would be fun. Plus I thought it would be fun to show them what CJ is all about!”

Hale, a 1986 alumna whose husband coaches the Eagles volleyball team, said her school does not have a STEMM program, but she wishes it did. "[These programs] let kids see how the things they’re learning now will actually apply in the future.”

The grade schoolers discovered principles of engineering by having to get creative with the building materials provided, which included drinking straws, paper clips, string, and a cardboard base. Upon completion, the structures were tested on an earthquake simulator using bags of sand to imitate stress.

“We doubled up the straws so they would be stronger, we used paper clips to hold the straws to the base, and used the string to hold the straws together,” said Ross M., who admitted with a smile that his group tried to use only blue and green straws. Each of the 13 7th grade teams had an Eagle Ambassador alongside to help with the build in the science labs.

Following a pizza lunch in the library, the top three teams were awarded with an Eagles t-shirt, a gift card and a CJ certificate.  The Blue Dragons finished in third, with TNT placing second and Blendini—comprised of Ben N., Collin T., and Cameron F.—taking home the top spot.

CJ Artwork on Display

Artwork by two CJ students has been selected for display at the 41st annual Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, opening Sunday, April 10.

The competition, according to its Web site, accepted 12,000 regional entries from all Ohio high schools. Judges then chose 2,500 regional winners, only 300 of which were recognized at the state level. Freshman Patrick Zopff and senior Rachel Ruttle—two of CJ’s five regional winners—were each named sate winners and, as part of that small group, will have their pieces featured at the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus through Thursday, May 12.

“It’s really a huge honor, I’ve never won anything this big,” Zopff said.  He submitted his winning painting titled Potential, a still life done as an assignment in Mrs. Diana Barr’s Art 1 class, after some encouragement from his instructor. The underclassman is involved in the Art Club and the FreshMan Club at CJ.

Barr, art teacher and department chair, also teaches Ruttle in her Art 2 class. The senior’s winning nature photograph titled Decay was not the first of her artwork to be honored this year. In February she was recognized, along with senior classmate Margaret Cleary, during a ceremony at the K12 Gallery for her regional Honorable Mention and Silver Key award-winning photographs in the Scholastic Art Awards.

At CJ, Ruttle has been heavily involved in performing arts as a theatre regular and member of the pop a cappella group VEGA, and is vice president of the Art Club. She plans to study photography at Columbia University in Chicago upon graduation.

The Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition opens Sunday, April 10 with an awards ceremony at noon in The Riffe Center Capitol Theatre located at 77 S. High Street in Columbus (directions).

Stop by the Fifth Third Centre and spend some time viewing more excellent works of art produced by CJ students.  The Eagles have the entire lobby for their exhibition which runs from Friday, April 8 to Friday, April 29.  The building is open week days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. See you at the show!

Marcus Colvin Named Head Football Coach

Marcus Colvin was named CJ's head varsity football coach on Thursday, April 7, and will lead the Eagles during the upcoming 2011-12 season.

After a two-month search, Colvin emerged at the top of the list of 48 candidates who had applied for the job. He has been a faculty member in the social studies department and a member of the coaching staff since 2004, and the defensive coordinator since 2007.

“The pool was strong, and the final four candidates were all excellent,” said Jon Payne, athletic director. “Throughout the interview process Marcus shined and showed his leadership capabilities. Everyone was impressed with his interaction and the work he has put into the program for the last seven years. The fact that he was able to come out on top speaks highly of him.

“He’s been a great positive influence in the building for our students and the players. He knows the program, the school and the kids—and clearly has done an excellent job as our defensive coordinator,” Payne said.

“He’s got all of the tools—experience, dedication, and expertise to be the head coach. I’m excited to watch him lead and see how the program comes together under his leadership. I look forward to working with him to make sure that our program is the best it can be.”

Colvin’s work begins immediately meeting with assistant coaches and players, planning summer camps and conditioning, and finalizing scrimmages. He will also be coordinating the outreach effort to alumni and the Eagles Youth football program.