December 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Caroling members of FLIGHT (Faith Leaders in God's Hands Today) wished residents at the Sanctuary at Wilmington Place a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The upperclassmen spent an hour singing holiday favorites (video) at the assisted living facility located  2.5 miles southeast of school. Students volunteered during the late-start time (8 to 9:37 a.m.) one block Wednesday morning before Christmas break.

"This was a great opportunity to bring Christmas joy to some of the elderly members of our community who may otherwise not be able to get out and enjoy this special time of year," said Mike Hoendorf '03, assistant director of ministry and service.

Merry Christmas from FLIGHT '15

Family Hosts Christmas Shoebox Party

Christmas is a time for giving gifts to loved ones, but for one Chaminade Julienne family, the giving begins in November and benefits children around the world.

Each November, Clara Mussin Phillips and Noah Mussin Phillips (pictured right), both members of the class of 2017, along with their parents, Mark Phillips and Liz Mussin, host their annual, Operation Christmas Child "Shoebox Party.” They gather friends for a meal and ask guests to bring two things: a toy and a shoebox.

Operation Christmas Child is a program run by Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency. The program encourages others to share at Christmas by packing a simple shoebox for a child in need. Each shoebox is designated for a boy or a girl and contains gifts that will delight, such as age-appropriate toys, school supplies, hygiene products, and accessories along with a personal note. The packed shoeboxes are wrapped and sent to Samaritan’s Purse who distributes them to children around the world, giving them perhaps their only gift this season.

“Operation Christmas Child is so important because it brings joy and the love of Jesus to children around the world who otherwise would know neither,” Mark said.

The Mussin Phillips family and about 40 friends donated and packed 36 shoeboxes this year for Operation Christmas Child. In addition to the donation from the Mussin Phillip’s party, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to reach another 10 million children this Christmas through Operation Christmas Child.

“One of the things we like most about the party is that it brings together each of our circles,” said Mark. They began packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child when Clara and Noah were in elementary school in Michigan. After they moved to Ohio, the family saw the need to continue the tradition here in Dayton.

“We invite school friends, church friends, people we know from CJ, and people we knew even before we came to CJ,” Noah said.

“The one thing all these people have in common is the desire to give to someone less fortunate than themselves,” added Mark.

Laughter and fun are in no short supply on packing night. “My favorite part is watching people attempt to wrap the shoebox,” said Clara. “Because these boxes have to go through customs in other countries, you have to wrap the lid and bottom of the box separately. I like the challenge!”

While wrapping the shoebox may be a challenge, this is a simple way the Mussin Phillips clan gives back, according to Mark. “Our small part in the process is important for us because it allows us to share the abundance of blessings God has given us.

“We share a meal, have fun together and are blessed by the entire evening.”

VIDEO: Soldier Surprises Sister at School

Christmas came early for one Chaminade Julienne student.

Madison Grothouse ‘18, a freshman from Huber Heights, was sitting in 5th period biology class Tuesday, Dec. 9 when in walked an unexpected surprise — her brother, Nick Grothouse, a Specialist with the Ohio Army National Guard.

“I knew he was coming home, I just didn’t know when,” Madison said. Earlier that morning, Nick flew into Columbus from Texas with his unit, convoyed to the Portsmouth station for a "welcome home" celebration, and met up with family members. He was away from home for seven months and served one term of active duty in Afghanistan.

“Once he said ‘Madison,’ I knew it was him and I was just filled with happiness,” said Madison, who can be seen wiping away tears of joy.

“Normally I don’t cry, and I especially hate crying in front of people, so that was a surprise too,” she said. Parents Michael, a 1981 CJ grad, and Jeana Grothouse arranged the special encounter for their son and daughter with school officials and accompanied Nick on his visit to CJ.

The family said they look forward to spending the holidays with Nick, who will be home through Christmas.


Advent & Christmas Happenings at CJ

Advent wreaths adorn classrooms, offices and even the windows of the Ludlow Street entrance outside the Welcome Center as an outward sign of hope, peace, joy and love.

These signs are ever-present; not just within the hallways, but also in the hearts and actions of those at CJ. And in the days ahead, a myriad of events and activities will help reflect the light of this sentiment on all who partake.

On Monday, Dec. 8, we gathered to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception during a morning all-school Mass at Emmanuel Church. This day recognizes God's special choosing of Mary as mother to his Son, Jesus Christ.

Each school day leading up to Christmas Break (Dec. 19 to Jan. 2), members of FLIGHT are reciting a special Advent prayer. Following prayer, students are encouraged to complete a new "challenge" each day such as, "Shop for a gift to put under the Giving Tree." All challenges are displayed on paper ornaments hanging from the bulletin board outside the office ministry and service (pictured right).

In all religion classes, students celebrated special Masses in the CJ chapel, located on the first floor of Marianist Hall. There, Adoration and Confession is also offered to all students during Friday homeroom periods.

"Most [religion] teachers have students journal about their goals for making Advent a time of spiritual growth," according to Tim Dillon, department chair. "We introduce them to a Web site ( that provides an Advent calendar with a quote and daily challenge."

Eagles Go A-Caroling, and More!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, too. Everywhere you go, CJ students, faculty and staff on campus seem to either be giving or receiving the gift of holiday spirit.

On Wednesday, the seniors of FLIGHT will sing Christmas carols for residents of the Sanctuary of Wilmington Place, an area nursing home. Students enrolled in American Sign Language (ASL) also plan to go a-caroling Friday, Dec. 12 for staff members in the guidance office and Welcome Center. The ASL students silently perform holiday favorites with their hands.

For the benefit of those in need, CJ's language arts department hosted its annual holiday bake sale for families supported through Hispanic Catholic Ministries (Dayton). Proceeds go toward the purchase of gifts and grocery store gift cards.

And once again, the faculty and staff organized its own "Holiday Help-a-Family" gift-giving drive. Gifts donated by CJ employees go to two families identified by Catholic Social Services.

Eagles Coxswain signs with Cardinals

Early this December, Margaret Geraghty became the 18th CJ student-athlete to sign with a college rowing program since 2006 when she inked her letter of intent to row for the University of Louisville.

The coxswain intends to study exercise science and will receive partial athletic grants and academic scholarships at the U of L. The Cardinal's NCAA Division I women’s rowing program, ranked No. 18 in last May's CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll, competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

"Margaret has been great to coach, a great leader, and I'd like to think rowing has really helped her develop leadership skills," coach Mike Miles said.

A member of the Eagles crew team since freshman year, Geraghty was inspired to try the sport four years ago by her sister Clare '13, also a rower. The 2014-15 co-captain and three year varsity letter winner will try for a third trip to the US Rowing Youth National Finals this spring.

CJ men’s and women’s crew athletes compete as members of the Dayton Boat Club (DBC) under the direction of coaches Mike and Trish Miles.

Geraghty is the second member of the Class of 2015 to sign, joining classmate Beth Stumpf '15 (volleyball, Slippery Rock).


VIDEO: Sounds of the Season - Dec. 11

Be with us this Advent Season as we patiently await the birth of our Savior. 

On Thursday, Dec.11, the Performing Arts department presents "Sounds of the Season," CJ's annual Christmas Concert. Come enjoy sacred and secular favorites beginning at 7 p.m. in the auditorium and immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays. 

This free concert features: Liturgical Choir, Concert Choir, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, String Ensemble, Hands in Harmony (sign language choir), and a cappella groups Vega and Age V

During the interludes, enjoy mini performances by members of CJ's improv troupe, the Busted Box!

Final STEMM Idol Speakers Before Break

Our final two STEMM Idol speakers before Christmas break come to CJ to discuss college and career opportunities — some which start as early as this summer — for high school students of all ages on Tuesday, Dec. 9 and Friday, Dec. 12. 

UT Pharmacy Virtual Tour

All students are invited to hear how to become invovled in summer programs through the University of Toledo's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program

Pharmacy Camp at UT takes place over two weeks in June 2015. Campers experience what it’s like to be a pharmacy student, living in a residence hall and working in the school’s state-of-the-art pharmacy practice lab over four days and three nights. The cost of registration includes all room and meal expenses, a workbook, and all scheduled camp activites.

The Wright Scholar program is designed to give high school upperclassmen real-world career experience in the fields of engineering and science. Students are employed for up to 10 weeks during the summer and work on an assigned research project under the guidance of a mentor. There is no cost, but applicants must be at least 16 years of age and hold a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Applications are accepted now until Jan. 9, 2015 and successful candidates start June 8.

Not an Upperclassmen?

No worries!

Ms. Crystal Taylor and Mr. Mike Ooten (husband of science co-chair and CJ PLTW instructor Amanda Ooten) also plan to discuss how underclassmen can get a jumpstart on finding the right paths to future academic and professional success.


Program Day Instills Pride, Tradition

Eagles basketball opened the 2014-15 season at Poelking Marian Lanes.


The Title Teams

Men of CJ Basketball

You read that right. The men of Chaminade Julienne took to bowling Sunday, Nov. 30 as a fun way to build camaraderie this pre-season.

“Bonding happens if you create the opportunity,” said longtime head coach Joe Staley ‘72. The coaching staff and members of all three teams rolled three games and enjoyed a pizza lunch at the bowling alley in Huber Heights as part of a tradition known as Program Day.

“The purpose is to give our guys an appreciation of the great basketball tradition here,” coach Staley said. “ We want them to know that when they take the court, they're representing a lot of great athletes and people who have come before them.”

Before bowling, the freshman, JV and varsity players all took to Mary, Our Lady of Victory gymnasium for warm-ups together — a rare occurrence.

“With our freshman practicing off campus we felt it was important to welcome them to the program and emphasize that all three teams are in this together.”

Student athletes received a history lesson of sorts, learning about the success — both on and off the court — of past players and watching historical highlights from the glory days on the gym's videoboards.

Junior and third-year player Thomas Ellison ‘16, who models his game after Eagle greats Reuban Owens '97 and Al Sicard '89, said he learned a few new things about some of the program’s proudest moments.

“I didn’t know that CJ played in the first ever basketball game at UD Arena,” he said. The No. 1 ranked Eagles defeated No. 2 Roth High School (now Thurgood Marshall) at UD en route to the program’s second state championship in 1970.

“It was interesting how we won our first state title in 1966 by coming back from down 15 points,” Thomas continued. Chaminade defeated Toledo Libbey 55-52 for its first title. Both championships came under legendary coach Jim Turvene.

The Program Day experience, according to the junior, encouraged teammates to continue to push themselves in practice; to build trust and make personal connections; and to always be humble, both in victory and defeat.

“I definitely think the guys enjoyed it and learned a lot about the Eagle basketball tradition,” said coach Staley, who knows a thing or two about CJ hoops. Staley has amassed a 375-296 record in 30 seasons at the helm. As a former player, he still holds the individual record for most rebounds (26) in a single game. 

Coach Staley extended a big “thank you” to grad Mike Poelking ‘81 for hosting the team before what should be another exciting season.

The Eagles varsity team opens its season Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic. CJ plays Lexington Catholic (Ky.) at 5:30 p.m. at Wilmington College.

All three teams play on the road Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Roger Bacon before the program’s home opener Friday, Dec. 12 against Purcell Marian.  


CJ Among Ohio's Top 15 Private Schools

According to the latest Niche Rankings, Chaminade Julienne is among the top 15 Best Private High Schools in Ohio for 2015.

The rating system takes into account three factors: Academics, Student Culture & Diversity, and Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience.

"Best Private High Schools ranks 3,880 high schools based on key student statistics and more than 120,000 opinions from 16,000 students and parents," according to

"A high ranking indicates that the school is an exceptional academic institution with a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experience very highly."

Chaminade Julienne came in at No. 14 among all Ohio private schools that made the list. CJ serves the No. 1 most diverse population in the state and the 16th most diverse private school population in the United States.

The Catholic, downtown Dayton secondary school — jointly owned and operated by the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur — serves approximately 675 students who come from more than 50 different zip codes.

Other top 100 Miami Valley and southwest Ohio high schools include:

7. Miami Valley School (Kettering)
13. Summit Country Day (Cincinnati) *
14. Chaminade Julienne
15. St. Xavier (Cincinnati)
16. Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
17. Ursuline Academy (Cincinnati)
29. Carroll (Riverside)
38. Purcell Marian (Cincinnati) **
39. St. Ursula Academy (Cincinnati)
41. Cincinnati Christian Schools
43. Alter (Kettering)
44. Aldersgate Christian Academy (Cincinnati)
51. Troy Christian
54. Miami Valley Christian Academy (Cincinnati)
55. Lima Central Catholic
57. Badin (Cincinnati)
58. Milford Christian Academy (Cincinnati)
61. Mercy (Cincinnati)
62. Spring Valley Academy (Centerville)
63. Middletown Christian
64. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati) *
67. Roger Bacon (Cincinnati)
72. McNicholas (Cincinnati)
80. Catholic Central (Springfield)
83. Dayton Christian (Miamisburg)
87. Moeller (Cincinnati) **
95. Elder (Cincinnati)
96. Emmanuel Christian Academy (Springfield)

*Fellow SNDdeN school
**Fellow Marianist school

To learn more about the ranking system, go to:


VIDEO: 12 Days of #GivingTuesday

Chaminade Julienne is celebrating #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2.

#GivingTuesday is a global movement, first initiated in America in 2012, that takes place all over the world on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This day reminds us to be generous and give back.

“Around the world, #GivingTuesday is a grassroots movement that illustrates the impact we can have when we all pull together,” according to a White House memo from the President. “The investments we make — in both time and funding — can help solve the urgent problems of today and will make the next generation stronger.”

For those who plan to participate, we hope you'll please keep CJ in mind and consider making a special gift to the 2015 Annual Fund as part of the LIFT campaign.

All gifts received online or in the mail the first week of December will be included in our #GivingTuesday effort.

Thank you for your support!

12 Days of #GivingTuesday

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