October 2014

Teams Support Causes Closest to Heart

Student athletes on the women’s soccer and volleyball teams took advantage of the fall season to raise awareness for issues close to their hearts, making teamamtes, fans and the community all the wiser about Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.

Many choose to wear pink in October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Eagles took it a step further by donning their pink on the court in the form of warm-up t-shirts and special ribbon socks during all their October games.

“We wanted to raise awareness because a lot of people in our families have been affected by breast cancer,” senior Beth Stumpf ‘15 said. She and co-captains Gretchen Theil ‘15 and Haleigh Shaw ‘15 helped design the pink warm-ups, which read, “Eagles Fight and Unite!”

At the age of 13, Beth learned her mother, Teresa Stumpf (pictured with the varsity team), was diagnosed with the deadly disease. Today, her mom is a proud breast cancer survivor of four years and Beth uses October to teach others about the disease.

“Every year I try to do something different throughout the month to raise awareness about breast cancer. It helps me reflect on the time when my mom was going through it,” she said.

Breast cancer affects one in eight women according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The organization recommends that adult women of all ages perform self-exams once per month and receive a clinical exam at least once per year.

On the suggestion of junior Taylor Burrows, the varsity women's soccer team participated in Dayton’s Walk to End Alzheimer's® held October 11 at Fifth Third Field, home of the Dragons.

“I’ve been doing the walk personally for years, and I wanted to start a team charity event or service site,” Taylor said. She took inspiration from fellow classmates who had organized their team or club to volunteer in CJ service activities such as Join Hands Miami Valley.

“It was really cool because not a lot of my teammates have had an experience with the disease, but everyone wanted to be there to show their support,” she said. The team raised approximately $1,000 by participating.

Taylor and her family have been longtime proponents of the Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, part of the national organization which hosts the annual walk in more than 600 communities nationwide, because of their connection to relatives who have suffered with the disease.

“I know being involved means a lot to my grandpa and that’s what really keeps me going,” said Taylor, who has worked to raise awareness since around 2007.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, accounting for about 60 to 80 percent of all cases. The national Walk to End Alzheimer's® began in 1989 and is considered “the world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research.” 

PICTURED TOP: CJ soccer players pose with Heater, mascot of the Dayton Dragons, holding their “Promise Garden Flowers”outside of Fifth Third Field. Each registered participant receives a pinwheel flower during the event’s opening ceremonies.


Football Celebrates 50th Anniversary

In the final contest of the 2014 regular season this Friday, Oct. 31, the Eagles and Knights varsity football programs will meet for a 50th consecutive year. The anniversary game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Springboro High School.

50th Anniversary - program coverThis year’s game actually marks the 53rd meeting between two of Dayton’s most prestigious high school football powers. In addition to the annual regular season showdown, colloquially coined “The Game,” the teams also met in the playoffs in 2004 (CJ, 48-24) and 1984 (Alter, 7-0). Alter leads the all-time series at 32-19-1.

“Pride is the biggest thing in this game. Any time we beat Alter, it’s a big game. Records are immaterial,” former Eagles head coach Jim Place said. The CJ Athletic Hall of Fame and Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee amassed 110 wins, eight playoff appearances, and a state championship from 1991-2005.

Between them, CJ and Alter boast three state championships -- including the city’s and the Eagles’ first in 2002 -- and 20 league championship titles since the 1990 season when both joined the Greater Catholic League together.

“The Alter-CJ game is truly special. It is usually a close game with playoff implications,” said Jason Rudzinski, Alter class of 1992. “Both sides have tremendous pride in their school and want to win the game for the seniors and former players.

“Still living in the South Dayton area, I have come across former CJ players and what stands out to me is the respect both schools have for each other.”

The history and respect between the football teams, players and coaches is memorialized in a special 16-page 50th anniversary commemorative program detailing the rivalry (cover pictured). Programs will be available during the game while supplies last.


  • A breakdown of the series results from 1964-2013
  • Memories from the first meeting as told by two 1964 Chaminade/Alter co-captains
  • A special one-page spread highlighting each of the first two games in 1964 and 1965
  • Era-by-era recaps spanning 1966-75, 1976-85, 1986-95, 1996-04, and 2005-13
  • Historic facts, photos and newspaper clippings from 50 years of football
  • And much more!

The Eagles (5-4) enter this year’s game needing a victory to keep their Division V playoff hopes alive. Alter (9-0) has secured its 14th league championship and enters the postseason as a favorite to win the Division IV state title.

Pre-sale tickets for the game will be available in the CJ athletic office starting Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 for adults with all admission $6 at the gate. Passes may be redeemed in advance for a ticket.


Improv Troupe Acts Out at Competition

The Busted Box, CJ’s student improv troupe, will perform live this Saturday, Nov. 1 as part of Alter High School’s Improv Competition.

The show begins at 7 p.m., the cost is $5, and the audience will choose a winner at the end of the night.

“Friday support the football team as they take on Alter, and on Saturday come to Alter to watch the Busted Box take on other improv troupes from around the Miami Valley!,” Caitlin Bennett encouraged students.

The second year drama teacher implemented the improv troupe for the first time a year ago after hearing interest from students. Busted Box holds weekly after-school practice sessions on Fridays in the auditorium. New students are always welcomed.

“The improv troupe was an idea I had after having conversations with students,” Bennett said in a feature published in the winter 2014 issue of Vision, CJ’s alumni magazine.

“I’m a regular improviser at The Black Box Improv Theatre in Dayton and I’ve shared that with my students. We’ve done improv games in rehearsals and the kids have had a lot of fun with it,” she said. Improv, short for improvisation, is a theatrical technique that typically incorporates comedy and live, unscripted action.

Since the group got its start, students have performed at venues such as the 2013 CJ Talent Show. The school also hosted a youth Improv Theatre camp for kids in the summer of 2013 in partnership with The Black Box Improv Theatre and under the supervision of Mrs. Bennett.

All community members are invited to see Busted Box perform this weekend. Come laugh, cheer, and applaud the Eagles to victory!

Student Performers On Stage this Weekend
Good luck to the following students who will compete on two separate teams at this weekend's competition:

  • Caitlin Erbacher '16
  • Colleen Wagoner '16
  • Paul Wittmann '18
  • NyJia Lott '16
  • Dominic Petry '16
  • Caroline Delaney '18
  • Lizzi Yeazel '16
  • David Marshall '15
  • Kevin Wagoner '15
  • Tabitha Jordan-Nichols '16
  • Jacob Troutwine '17

STEMM Idol Speaker Dr. Travis Doom

Yes, his name really is “Dr. Doom” and he ironically comes to speak to CJ students on Halloween this Friday, Oct. 31!

Dr. Travis Doom is an associate professor of engineering and computer science at Wright State University. All students are invited to hear him speak during homeroom periods in the Trainor Library.

For an idea of what you can expect to learn, read on and watch the video below. 

Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching

Written by Reilly Dixon and first published in the Fall 2014 issue of Dialogue, a Wright State newsletter.

Travis Doom, Ph.D., is a legend in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Since joining the faculty in 1998, Doom has become a student favorite through his devotion to teaching and learning both in and out of the classroom.

Doom has the uncanny ability to meet his students exactly where they are—to bring understanding of complex concepts in mathematics and computer science to the level of the average high school graduate. It’s a skill Nathan Klingbeil, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, believes separates truly great teachers from the rest.

“He has consistently demonstrated classroom teaching at the highest level throughout his career, not only in core computer science courses, but also in preparatory courses and bridge programs for incoming engineering and computer science students,” Klingbeil said.

Through the college’s Academic Advantage Program, Doom offers each summer a one-week bridge program for freshman engineers focusing on mathematics fundamentals. This program allows students to enter immediately into mainstream engineering rather than first completing a full year of introductory mathematics coursework.

In addition to standard classroom teaching, Doom supervises hundreds of credit hours of senior design projects, honors projects, independent study, and thesis and dissertation research.

Doom is co-director of Wright State’s bioinformatics research group and pursues research in the fields of undergraduate engineering education, data science (particularly bioinformatics), and digital/computer systems. Much of his research involves the analysis of biological data. Doom’s research on forensic DNA analysis has even been cited by the Supreme Court.

“Dr. Doom has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to student learning and has done so consistently throughout his faculty career,” Klingbeil said. “In my opinion, he is one of the greatest educators in the history of Wright State University.”

This article is re-published at cjeagles.org with permission from Jim Hannah, WSU assistant director of public relations.



JHMV Calls Students to Serve Dayton

Approximately 120 CJ students and 18 faculty and staff members joined the community in service during Join Hands Miami Valley the weekend of October 24-25.

Join Hands Miami Valley (JHMV) is a celebration of the United Way’s “Make a Difference Day,” which is a national day of community service that annually falls on the fourth Saturday in October. This community-wide service collaboration is an opportunity for students to work together throughout their own communities.

“Our mission calls us to serve as Jesus did and it is a great way to connect and give back to our Dayton community,” said Kelli Kinnear, director of ministry and service. CJ continues to recognize this call to serve having made JHMV a fall tradition for well over 20 years.

This year, students volunteered for 18 agencies such as Catholic Social Services, the Marianist Environmental Education Center, and Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm, among others. Organizations like these are always excited to have CJ students.

“The CJ students are energetic, mature, and very helpful in doing whatever tasks are asked of them,” said Cathy Guerrant of Catholic Social Services.

Last year, students helped with a several-part project that would have taken a lot of time for the staff at Catholic Social Services to finish, but according to Guerrant, “the CJ students are able to work together to get this task completed.”

“Having Chaminade Julienne High School students support Aullwood’s Enchanted Forest is significant because it takes nearly 140 volunteers to make this event a success,” said Nina Lapitan, volunteer coordinator at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

Not only do students support agencies by serving as crucial volunteers at large events like Aullwood’s Enchanted Forest, but some also continue to volunteer with these organizations after graduation. One CJ alum has volunteered since his junior year and now holds multiple leadership positions in the events at Aullwood.

In addition to volunteering, students also have a chance to learn servant leadership skills, said Kinnear, while leading their peers at service sites. “Each site has student co-leaders. Their role is to contact the agency, confirm details with them, promote within the school, and then lead the other students the day of Join Hands Miami Valley."

This weekend, three CJ groups will volunteer together on campus, senior members of F.L.I.G.H.T. '15 will volunteer at Homefull, the Student Council will volunteer at Hannah’s Treasure Chest, and the men’s basketball program will volunteer with Rebuilding Together Dayton.

“This is a fun service experience that provides students the chance to work with other CJ students and get to know them,” Kinnear said. “It is a great opportunity for our students and staff to serve together in our Dayton community.”

Through various projects during JHMV, students get to work together to make a difference in their community and take part in a national initiative.

Fellow organizations that partner with the Dayton United Way by providing volunteers during JHMV include Cedarville University, Dayton Early College Academy, Kettering College, Miami Jacobs Career College, Sinclair Community College, Spring Valley Academy, the University of Dayton and Wright State University.

Mock Trial Makes its Return, Again

Chaminade Julienne’s Mock Trial Club is making its return again this year as an opportunity for students to gain experience and insight into the legal system, while also improving their public speaking and research skills.

“Mock Trial is essentially a mock case and it always centers around the Bill of Rights,” said Tony Ricciuto '74, who teaches Honors World Cultures, AP European History and moderates the club. A case last year focused on freedom of speech, and this year’s case focuses on the Eighth Amendment's interpretation of cruel and unusual punishment (see video below).

“We begin practice around October and November to be prepared for the district competition in January,” Margot Duffy ‘15 said. The Mock Trial Club has a lot of help preparing for the district competition. Legal advisors Chris Herman and Chris Hollon of Faruki, Ireland & Cox PLL, and Attorney Kathryn Huffman, all pitch in their time to prepare the students.

At district competitions, CJ’s Mock Trial team, just like the other schools they compete against, separate into two sides -- Plaintiff and Defense. The students then argue from their particular point of view. “I was a witness last year and my favorite part was being able to make up your own role while sticking to your script,” Duffy said. At last year’s Ohio Mock Trial district competition, Duffy won an award for “Best Witness.”

The Ohio Mock Trial is a state program run by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. Each year there is a district competition, regional competition, and state competition -- held in March this year -- for clubs throughout Ohio.

Mock Trial at CJ was added as another opportunity for students a year ago when Ricciuto was approached about being moderator. Since then, the Eagles participated in the 2013 district competition and Ricciuto held a 2014 “Summer Seminar” in conjunction with Kathryn Huffman for interested students.

The July seminar consisted of three days filled with exposure to the legal system. “We tried to plan a few different activities for the students,” Ricciuto said. "We had a couple of attorneys come in and speak, the Honorable Mary Kate Huffman spoke, and we toured the Montgomery County jail.” The students who attended also had to prepare an opening statement for the last day.

“Mock Trial can help with acting or public speaking in general,” Caroline Chick ’15 said. Each student on the team must learn to present his or her side of the case. The attorneys present opening statements and other court literature, while the witness must learn their role and act it out. “I was a janitor last year, so I slumped in my seat and talked in a southern accent,” Duffy said. It takes a lot of work to prepare for these roles so the students practice about two to three times a week.

While Mock Trial Club has a strong presence on campus now, the club has not always been part of extracurricular offerings. Until recently, Mock Trial was on hiatus despite having a successful track record at CJ. The Eagles won district titles in 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005, making an appearance in the state championship in 2000. Don Wiemert '57, who taught history at CJ for many years, originally supervised the Mock Trial Club until he retired.

This year's team is currently preparing to participate in the district competition, which is held Jan. 30, 2015. Students who would like to get invovled should email or contact Mr. Ricciuto in Room 134.


STEMM Idol Speaker Michael Enright

Avoiding conflicts with coyotes, herding Canadian geese, implementing “culling” and bow hunting programs to combat the harmfully large deer population, electro-shocking fish in the Great Miami River, advocating for “nature’s kidneys,” and more.

All in a day’s work -- and all for the good of the land -- for Michael Enright, a conservation specialist with Five Rivers MetroParks. He comes to CJ to serve as the next STEMM Idol Speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

How does one become a conservation specialist? For Mr. Enright, it all started with making “a personal connection to nature at a young age,” he told the Dayton Daily News in August. The Ohio native grew up playing outdoors in ponds, creeks, and wooded areas before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology.

Mr. Enirght became the MetroPark’s first wildlife biologist in September 2001. In this role, he is responsible for preserving the area’s natural habitats and resources that wildlife native to Dayton need to survive.

For students interested in the field, Mr. Enright says there’s no better place than Dayton to begin a career because of the city’s emphasis on conservation efforts. “In fact, bigger cities like Columbus and Cleveland look to us, for some of the groundbreaking things we’ve been able to do in MetroParks in terms of wildlife management, habitat protection and the like,” he told the Dayton Daily News.

All students are invited to learn more about our area’s wildlife population and local wetlands (a.k.a. nature’s kidneys) during all homeroom periods in the library.


Eagles Serve it up Twice in State Finals

CJ women’s tennis players earned the right to play in Ohio’s two most prestigious high school tournaments this postseason.

The Eagles not only qualified as a team for the Ohio Tennis Coaches’ Association (OTCA) state final four, but coach Jim Brooks also sent his program’s top two players to the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) singles state championship this October.

In her third career trip to state, junior Natalie Allen ‘16 fell in the opening round of the Division II singles tournament to the eventual state runner-up. She qualified after placing third in the regional tournament.

Sophomore Kelly Pleiman ‘17, the 2014 sectional and regional champion, broke through to the state tournament this fall after her freshman campaign ended at regionals. She took a first round defeat at the hands of an eventual state semifinalist in her first match in Columbus.

But the journey did not stop there for Allen, Pleiman and the No. 2 state-ranked Eagles.

“I’m excited about getting to state but, to be honest, I’m more excited about going to state as a team,” Allen told the Dayton Daily News. She and Pleiman teamed back up with Brianna Douglas ‘17, Amanda Draeger ‘16, Alexis Robinson ‘17, Ashley Huffman ‘15, Katarina Dranchak ‘16 and Olivia Boch ‘18 in the OTCA state finals Oct. 19.

CJ qualified as a team after downing the then-ranked No. 2 team in the state, Cincinnati Indian Hill, 3-2 in the regional finals. Before that, the team finished the regular season as GCL Coed champs with an 18-3 overall record and a perfect 6-0 record in league play.

"What turned out to be a long and glorious tennis season is now over. It ended with some great matches but not as many victories as we had hoped for," coach Brooks said. His team finished fourth at the OTCA state finals.

"I cannot ask any more from this team than what they gave us this year. They achieved great things, and that goes for the JV team as well."

Eagles tennis players have reached state in 13 of the last 16 seasons.


Rwandan Genocide Survivor Shares Story

Immaculée Ilibagiza shared her inspirational life story with all students in the auditorium Thursday morning.

Immaculée is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, an atrocity which took the lives of approximately 800,000 people. Overcoming tragedy, Immaculée spent 91 days huddled silently together with seven other women in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house in order to avoid certain death at the hands of their fellow compatriots.

Her presentation began with a screening of part of a documentary about her life and the social and political climate of Rwanda that boiled over into a modern-day holocaust. Immaculée was a college student at the time. “I hid in this tiny bathroom for 91 days and they never found me, but I found myself,” she said in the film.

On the CJ stage, Immaculée described the lessons she learned while the eight women literally lived on top of one another in a 3 ft.by 4 ft. square space. In hiding, she spoke to God, prayed the rosary 27 times a day, and was able to teach herself to speak English.

“You are never alone. God is real,” Immaculée told students while she held a rosary. She advocated for the power of love and forgiveness, which she described as, “the freedom, peace and grace of God that is available to anyone who sincerely and genuinely wishes for it.

“If we want peace in the world, we have to act with love and it is us who can make those decisions.”

The Catholic motivational speaker and published author travels the world spreading her message of peace, faith, hope and forgiveness. While she has spoken to world dignitaries, multinational corporations, churches, and elsewhere, Immaculée told the audience at CJ that she truly appreciates speaking with students and young people.

“The future of our world depends on you,” she told them. “We have hope in you.”

Immaculée’s story has been the subject of books and news reports. It will soon be made into a major motion picture.

After the assembly, Immaculée gifted her rosary to a student in the crowd, autographed and sold copies of four of her books, and posed for pictures.

Before her morning talk, she met with school officials and members of a Senior Capstone group who are studying the large Rwandan refugee population in the Miami Valley. Dayton is widely considered to have welcomed more immigrants from Rwanda than any other American city.


For more information, visit www.immaculee.com

Students Go Backstage at Dayton Venues

About 30 students got a special backstage look at Dayton’s historic Victoria Theatre and the stunning Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in early October thanks to a field trip organized by Caitlin Bennett, drama teacher.

Hear more about this unique performing arts experience from freshman Angelo Moore-Knight ‘18:

Before the trip, I was excited to go see both the Victoria Theatre and the Schuster Center. I have been there multiple times for shows, but I have never been on stage or backstage. The reason I could go on this trip is because I am in the Fall Play.

On the field trip, we learned details about the lobby part of the Schuster Center called the Wintergarden, but my favorite part was going backstage. We took a tour backstage of the Schuster Center and we also went under the stage at the Victoria Theatre to see most of the dressing rooms.

I thought it was pretty cool to find out the Victoria Theatre was burned to the ground two times. The wall from the very first Victoria Theatre is still in the basement. Throughout the backstage hallways of both the Victoria and the Schuster, they have signed posters from previous shows.

From this experience, I took away so much information about both the Schuster and the Victoria. If I would not have gone on this trip, I would have never known that the Victoria burned down once, let alone twice, and that the theatre has a ghost. (Yes, the great Victoria Theatre has a ghost!).

I would encourage others to join performing arts at CJ. Not only is it fun, there are fun trips and events that go with it, and everyone can make a friend.

This article is authored by Angelo Moore-Knight ‘18, who plays “The Man” in the Fall Play, You Can’t Take it With You. Photos were taken by Liam Gavin ‘18, a member of the crew. The play runs Nov. 14-16 in the auditorium.