May 2011

Students Visit Air Force Museum

On Thursday, May 19, 36 students taking World Cultures with Ms. Ellen Downer visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force to attend Prejudice & Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit.

Holocaust survivor Mrs. Renate Frydman, who escaped Germany with her family when she was a year old, spoke to the students. She shared early memories of being in a train station, aware of the fact that they were not on a holiday, and told students the story of her late husband who hid in the Polish forest to save his own life during the war. Mrs. Frydman impressed upon the students that many people lost their entire families in the Holocaust, and warned them to avoid bullying and other forms of prejudice made easier today with technology.

Students were guided through the Holocaust exhibit at the museum in small groups. Many of the artifacts in the exhibit have been contributed by survivors and families of survivors who live in the Dayton area. Both classes also had time to stop and see other historical artifacts including a piece of the Berlin Wall and the B-29 bomber Bockscar—the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki to end the war with Japan.

For many students it was a return trip to the museum yet for others it was a first, but everyone wanted to go back to spend more time exploring the displays.

By Ms. Ellen Downer, social studies teacher and department chair

CJ Breaks Ground on Tennis Courts

Chaminade Julienne held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new tennis facilities Tuesday morning, a project which is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. The six-court tennis venue represents the latest expansion of 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 in the spring of 2010 while the Student Conditioning Center, a $1.6 million renovation project, opened in August 2010.

“Our campus master plan is predicated on maximizing the opportunities our students have on campus for the activities that are an important part of the Catholic educational experience at Chaminade Julienne,” said Dan Meixner, CJ president.

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.

“The tennis facility is an important part of the project not only because of the influence it will have on those of us in the community, but also because it serves as a symbol of all that has led us to this point and all that is to come as we bring more life and activity to our 15 acre campus.”

During the ceremony, Meixner thanked students, alumni, and members of CJ’s Board of Trustees in attendance including Peter Haley, chair, who addressed the crowd.

“Once and for all we can say when an opposing team comes here to CJ that we have the home court advantage,” Haley said.

The Chaminade Julienne Class of 2011

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School held its commencement ceremony Monday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Maureen O'Rourke, '01, served as the commencement speaker for the evening. The CJ alumna is the coordinator of Marianist activities and scholarships in the Office of the Rector at the University of Dayton.

Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated Thursday, May 19 at Emmanuel Church in Dayton. Graduating first in the class is Lynsay Strahorn, a National Merit Scholarship Program recipient who plans to attend Cleveland State University, study psychology in the school’s honors program and play soccer.

In addition to the top student, the faculty and staff of Chaminade Julienne recognize three seniors who best exemplify the three elements of the school’s mission — commitment to faith, dedication to learning, and demonstration of school and family spirit. Lee Hollis received the Founder’s Award for demonstrating on a daily basis the spirit of St. Julie Billiart and Blessed William Chaminade. John Henry Hinders received the Michael D. Trainor Award, named in honor of CJ’s principal from 1999 to 2004, which is given to a student who has regularly demonstrated intellectual curiosity. For best exemplifying the Chaminade Julienne spirit, Cassie Zehenny was awarded the Gerard “Fuzzy” Faust Award, named for CJ’s legendary coach and teacher from 1933 to 1980.

This year’s senior class, in conjunction with the student body of Chaminade Julienne, contributed over 9,700 services hours this year above the number of hours required by the school. Based on the Independent Sector’s value of a service hour ($21.36), CJ’s contribution to the local, national and international communities amounts to $207,491. As a class, the seniors contributed over 6,800 service hours during their four years at CJ with 23 students contributing over 100 hours each.


  • $7,967,000 awarded in scholarships as of May 18, 2011
  • 6 graduates were recognized for their accomplishments in the National Merit Scholarship and the National Achievement Scholarship Programs. They are Megan Ayers, Raymmond Hall, Levi Koehl, Jordan Morrison, Bineh Ndefru and Lynsay Strahorn
  • 6 athletes signed to play sports for a college or university
  • 2 student are entering the armed services
  • 21 served as Kairos ministry leaders
  • 35 graduates are members of the National Honor Society
  • 20 graduates are Presidential Academic Award Recipients
  • 24 graduates are Ohio Award of Merit Recipients
  • 5 graduates are Presidential Achievement Award Recipients
  • This year's graduates will be attending 43 colleges and universities, with a majority of the graduates attending colleges and universities in Ohio including the University of Dayton, Ohio State University, Sinclair Community College and Wright State University. Graduates will also be attending post-secondary institutions across the nation including Carnegie Mellon University, Marquette University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, and Yale University.

Myers Named Head Women's Hoops Coach

Chaminade Julienne announced that Mandy Myers has been appointed as head coach of women's basketball effective Thursday, May 19. A veteran of the program, Myers has served as assistant varsity coach for the last six years and as JV coach for the last three.

“Mandy has been part of the success of this program for many years,” said Jon Payne, athletic director. “She knows the school, the program and the athletes. Her knowledge of the game, organization, and vision for the team are quite impressive. I know that it’s important to her that the program be grounded in the mission of the school.”

“It will be exciting to see her take leadership and put her stamp on the program.” Payne said. “She’s got the experience and heart for the school’s mission to make some great things happen,” said Payne.

Myers' work begins immediately forming a staff, finalizing the summer program and strengthening connections with the girls youth basketball program.

Final Feature Teams of the Week

The men's and women's crew and lacrosse clubs were appreciated both this week and last as CJ's final feature teams. The first year initiative—spearheaded in 2010-11 by the Spirit Committee as a way of spreading the word each week about all teams—has been tremendously successful recognizing Eagles athletes and would not be complete without spotlighting CJ’s two club sports programs.

Ohio high school club teams are only slightly different than their varsity counterparts in that students from all schools are welcome to join so long as the school they attend does not already offer the sport. Club programs also differ in that none are affiliated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA); however, teams still practice, compete in leagues and tournaments, and students can earn varsity letters for their participation.

Learn more about the club sports CJ offers in our Q&A session with members of the Eagles lacrosse and crew teams:

How long have you been involved with crew and what are your favorite things about the sport?

I started rowing freshman year and I guess my favorite thing is that there is always room to improve.  You are always working and trying to get better.

How can rowing open doors for high school students in the future?

A lot of colleges have rowing and it is very easy to get scholarships because it is so uncommon—it’s not a sport like soccer where every school has a team. It can also help later in life because rowing helps you stay a good athlete. It is a good workout.

What have been some of the biggest benefits to being on CJ’s crew team?

Making friends and I think that crew makes you more goal-oriented. I feel like when you look at the past graduates who have been on the crew team, they are all good role models so it makes you strive to want to be like them. We all try to get the records that they set in the past.

How early can kids get involved with the Eagles crew program?

Eighth grade is a good year because you will start out as a novice and then freshman year you can go into high school as varsity already. We also have summer camps for kids who are interested.

What is left this season for the crew team?

The Midwest Rowing Championships are this Saturday. If you make top three, you go to nationals so it is kind of a big race.

Explain how rowing competitions work?

At a race, all the boats start even at the start line. The referee starts everyone and it is a dead sprint for about seven minutes. Whoever finishes first wins, and everyone races for first—no one wants to finish in second place.

The guys team races predominantly the quad, which is four people in a boat each with two oars, and doubles, which is two people in the boat each with two oars. The girls race eights, which is eight in a boat each with one oar, and fours, which is four people in the boat all with one oar.

Crew also has a winter season and conditioning period. What is that like?

During the winter training we get on the ergs (rowing machines) and row for about three months out of the year. It is kind of a crucial part of staying fit for the spring season. It is probably the longest season, but you need it to do well… We also travel to Cincinnati for an indoor rowing competition.

How did you get involved with the sport when you started your freshmen year?

I actually got involved because Maggie [Switzer] told me about it and I know the Miles family, who also run the club. They said, “You should come out and try it,” and it has been an eye-opening experience because everybody was so welcoming. The first day of practice when you are new, nobody knows how to row and everybody understands that so no one is going to yell at you because you messed up or something. It is a team thing from the first day you step in the boat until the last day.

How has the season gone so far this year for the boys?

It has gone pretty well. We are 7-6 and we play Alter [tonight] in the playoffs. Initially we thought we were going to have a lot of CJ kids, but then some guys from Centerville needed a place to play so we got to take them in and they’ve really helped us out. We’ve had a good season and we hope to get a lot more kids next year.

How have the new additions of Blue Green Field and the Student Conditioning Center helped the team?

Well obviously since we got the Blue Green Field, we don’t have to travel to any fields far away for home games and that is really nice. The field is the perfect size for lacrosse and it is really convenient. The first home game here was against Alter in April and we actually had some really nice weather.

How long can the Eagles Lacrosse Club play at the club level?

I believe it is four years. We can be moved up to varsity at any time, but usually that is not until after your first four years.

The playoffs begin at 6 p.m. tonight (May 19) at Miami Valley School. How does the club tournament work and what lies ahead for the team?

If we win our first round game we advance in the playoffs and we could eventually go to the club division title. If not then our season is over, but we are going to try to play a summer league in Lebanon so that could be a good time for new kids to come out.

What would you tell a CJ student who is new to the sport, but wants to get involved next season?

Come out and try to watch a game or come to a practice. It is really easy to pick up. All the people on our team really hadn’t played before at all and they picked it up. We got an indoor season in and we’ve had a lot of success outdoors, so it is not something you need a lot of experience for.

Are all your teammates on the Eagles Lacrosse Club new to the sport this season?

Yes, every single girl that started playing lacrosse all started sometime this year so it is a new skill for all of us but we’ve really picked up on it fast. It is really easier to play than I thought it would be, but it definitely takes a lot of practice and work.

All the girls on our team are just from CJ, there is no one from other schools. I think that made it fun because I have teammates that I might not have talked to if I hadn’t played lacrosse with them. I run cross country, and while it is a team thing, you work for yourself. But it is a lot different in lacrosse working with other people because you want to do well to help everyone else out, not just yourself.

Is this something you want to do in the future?

Oh yea, for sure. I definitely plan on coming back.  There are going to be some camps going on this summer so I’ll be going to those and keeping up my skills.

If someone wanted to join the team, but didn’t know much about it, what is some advice you’d give them?

I would tell them to come to all the conditioning and if they have any free time to practice because you need to have the basic skills down in order to successfully play the game. You can be put in the game, but if you don’t know how to catch a ball or cradle a ball it is going to be taken away from you in like two seconds so there’s no point if you don’t practice and work hard at it.

How does it feel to have been a part of CJ’s first lacrosse program?

We are in CJ history now. It was really cool to see my friend Jordan be the first CJ woman to score a goal in a lacrosse game. Not everyone can say that they did that. So even though we may not have done as well as the boys team or had as much skill, I think it was a really good learning year and everyone came together. We had the first CJ win too, so we made history.

Lifelong Learning Comes Alive in Montana

Social Studies teacher Jim Sparrow will spend five days in the old mining towns of Montana this July, following in the footsteps of the prospectors of the American Old West and amalgamating the history of days gone by with the teachings of today.

The workshop, titled The Richest Hills: Mining in the Far West, 1865-1920, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Montana Historical Society. Participants are allotted a stipend of $1,200 to explore three towns in Big Sky Country—Virginia City, Helena, and Butte—and study under the direction of faculty members considered experts in the field.

Sparrow, who previously earned an NEH fellowship to study in Springfield, Ill., applied for and was awarded the opportunity to attend the intensive workshop after submitting a letter of recommendation and an essay. Following its conclusion, all participants are required to complete a self-evaluation and a lesson plan.

“Through walking tours, museum visits, lectures, readings, and hands-on primary source activities, NEH Summer Scholars will learn about the development of placer gold mining, hard rock silver mining, and industrial copper mining; the racial and ethnic diversity of the mining West; mining's impact on American Indians; mining's environmental effects; and the relationship between capital and labor in mining communities,” according to its Web site.

The CJ teacher, in his seventh year with the school, said he looks forward to seeing Montana and becoming more familiar with the particular area of study. Additionally, Sparrow commented he has already made a spot for the lesson in his Advanced Placement US History curriculum for the 2011-2012 school year in hopes of better preparing students for material that could possibly be included on the national AP exam next spring.

Just days after the conclusion of all eleven of the AP Exams that were offered at CJ this school year (Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature/Composition, European History, French Language,Chinese Language, Psychology, Spanish Language, Statistics, US Government/Politics, US History), a handful of students were subjected to one final AP exam variation—a pilot test.

Two prototypes—one essay and one multiple choice exam—were administered to students in Mr. Jim Sparrow’s AP US History class on Thursday, May 12, and to students in Mrs. Amanda Ooten’s AP Biology class on Monday, May 16. Sparrow speculated that CJ’s selection by the College Board, the nonprofit group in charge of operating the nation’s Advanced Placement Program, is a testament to how well the school’s AP programs operate.

“We don’t send unprepared students in to take tests, and that is up and down across the building,” he said.

Charlene Wheeler, Director of Guidance, said CJ—an ACT testing center—has also been selected to offer a national try out of testing items in June 2011, which may be included in future versions of the college entrance exam. She believes that these trial opportunities speak to the school’s high standards of testing integrity.

“What I glean from these organizations choosing us is that we probably do things the right way around here.”

Senior Signs to Swim at VMI

Chaminade Julienne senior Katheryne Austin signed a National Letter of Intent Friday, May 13 to join the NCAA Division I swimming and diving program at the Virginia Military Institute.

Austin will receive a partial athletic grant in addition to a local VMI scholarship, and has earned the Four-Year Army ROTC Scholarship, worth approximately $120,000. She intends to double major in International Studies and Arabic while competing for the Keydets of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) under head coach Bill Nicholson.

“Signing with VMI is a dream come true,” she said. “When I was little, it was my goal to be able to swim in college. Hence, this opportunity means the world to me. I love swimming and the fact that I will be able to pursue this passion is awesome.

“If it were not for my coaches or parents, I would not be here today,” Austin added. She resides in Spring Valley with parents Donald and Merry Beth, and sister Merry Ellen, a freshman at CJ.

As an Eagles swimmer, Austin both lettered and qualified to compete at the district tournament in each of her four years of high school, earning second team All-GGCL honors in three of those seasons. She also serves as Secretary of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and was one of nine seniors to be selected in 2010 as a member of the school’s Faith Leaders in God’s Hands Today (FLIGHT) program.

Bio Students Study Sickle Cell

Mrs. Kate Barrett spoke to Mrs. Ooten's Honors Biology classes on Monday, May 9. Barrett is a sickle cell anemia nurse at Dayton Children's Hospital and a current CJ parent.

The students in the Honors Biology class were learning about DNA, protein synthesis, and mutations including mutations like the one that causes an abnormal hemoglobin in sickle cell anemia. Barrett related her experience of over 20 years working with children affected by sickle cell disease.

Her first hand experience and knowledge truly added to our students’ knowledge of the topic. They were able to see how one tiny mutation could cause so many severe affects on the human body. We definitely send our thanks and appreciation for her visit!

By Mrs. Amanda Ooten, science department co-chair


CJ STEMM is another way parents can share their expertise with students in the realms of science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine. Parents with a career in one of these STEMM fields are encouraged to explore opportunities to work with CJ students including serving as a guest speaker at one of the monthly CJ STEMM Idol sessions, becoming an adult mentor to a science fair student or providing assistance in career exploration.

Senior Wins Nursing Scholarship

Lindsay Richard was recently awarded a 2011 Tradition of Caring nursing scholarship from Newcomer Funeral Home. She was awarded the $1,000 grant by Newcomer managing funeral director, Brenda Byrd. Byrd expressed support for the nursing community.

"Our industry has a special relationship with the nursing field and with the nation facing a nursing shortage, it seems very appropriate that we encourage our local nurses, whether they're continuing their education or just beginning it," she said.

The CJ senior has plans to attend Xavier University in the fall, where she'll work toward a degree in nursing. In an essay for the scholarship, she said she wanted to become a nurse because she enjoys learning about the human body and learning about innovative ways to aid patients.

She was chosen to receive the scholarship by a panel of local nursing professionals who were impressed by the community activities she has participated in, including two mission trips to Belize, Central America to raise money for local school girls.

The Tradition of Caring nursing scholarship was established in 1999 to encourage new and aspiring nurses in their fields of study. Since then, Newcomer funeral homes across the nation award $1,000 scholarships to qualified nursing students annually, with $13,000 awarded this year.

Holocaust Contests Cultivate Compassion

Seven Chaminade Julienne seniors earned prizes and recognition for sweeping all the top awards in the annual Holocaust Writing Contest sponsored by the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center; however, the true take-away for students was the lasting and deepened sense of understanding and compassion each gained for all those affected by the tragedy about which they wrote.

“We’re all a part of God’s family,” said Elizabeth Wirrig, ’11, first place winner in the Division II (grades 9-12) poetry category. She submitted a series of poems titled, People, Knowledge, One Wish, Only If.., Peace, and Opposites after taking Mr. Jim Brooks’ European Authors class.

Wirrig, who is Catholic and a member of the school’s FLIGHT (Faith Leaders In God’s Hands Today) program, said she felt it was important to remember the Christian value of unconditional love for others during the observance of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“You’re supposed to care about everyone, no matter what they believe in,” she said. The CJ senior attended the Dayton Area Yom Hashoah Observance: A Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust on May 1 with some of her classmates, where the winners of the writing contest and the Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest were announced.

Dr. Henry Fenichel, a Holocaust survivor and University of Cincinnati professor, performed the duties of guest speaker Sunday evening and shared stories of his experiences living in two concentration camps—Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen—at the age of six during the Nazi invasion of Europe.

“To hear what Dr. Fenichel had lived through and to see that he moved on with his life and continued to do great things was really inspiring,” said Tiffani Kossoudji, ’11. Her essay Living in Peace, which focused on the contest’s theme of taking the lessons learned from the Holocaust to create a better future, was awarded first place in the prose category.

“The Holocaust is a big historical event and people need to know what went wrong,” she said. “We need to learn from the past so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.”

Holocaust Writing Contest Division II (grades 9-12)

Prose Category

  1. *Tiffani Kossoudji ‘11
  2. Liam Rolfe ‘11
  3. Catherine Peterson ‘11

Poetry Category

  1. *Elizabeth Wirrig ‘11
  2. Maggie Cleary ‘11
  3. Ricky Nelson ‘11
  • Honorable Mention: DeVante Carmichael ‘11

*Received a $100 cash prize.


Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest Division II (grades 9-12)

  • Honorable Mention: Maggie Cleary ‘11