January 2017

DCDC2 Performs As Part of Muse Machine Series

The CJ student body gathered all together for the first time in the newly renovated auditorium when the training ensemble with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2) performed “And That’s Our Story” as part of a Muse Machine presentation.

“DCDC has been partnering with the Muse Machine since it’s inception in 1982,” said the DCDC Director of Education and Outreach Services, Shonna Hickman-Matlock. “One of Muse Machine’s missions is not only to be able to bring arts into the schools but to build future audiences for the arts organizations. In-school performances provide that opportunity for students who wouldn’t have that chance to see the culture of live theater normally.”

CJ Choir and Drama teacher Caitlin Bennett agreed, “It is a unique opportunity for professional artists and musicians to come to the schools and perform. This gives our students an opportunity to see a performance that they otherwise may not be able to see, or think they are interested in seeing. DCDC always does an excellent job in their in-school performances!”

“And That’s Our Story” provided students a visual understanding of the creation of DCDC and the dedication of the group’s founder, Jeraldyne Blunden, to make DCDC known not only in the Dayton-area, but around the world.

“The company has been around for 48 years,” Hickman-Matlock noted. “Jeraldyne Blunden was very instrumental in championing other arts organizations to provide arts and cultures not only in the schools, but in the community as well.

Hickman-Matlock continued, “We have a performance season where we present three major concerts in the area. We are also a touring company so we tour nationally and internationally, and we carry the Dayton name everywhere we go.”

This was the second Muse Machine performance at CJ this school year.

Posted February 1, 2017

CJ Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service describes the foundation of Catholic schools. It also serves as the theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week from Sunday, January 29 through Saturday, February 4.

"We are blessed to be part of  community that has strong academics, commitment to faith and service, and this week is an opportunity to celebrate those blessings," said Director of Ministry & Service Kelli Kinnear.

At CJ, the school is celebrating Catholic Schools Week in several ways throughout the week:

  • Each morning there is Christian music played before the first bell. Additionally, music will be played between all classes on Friday;
  • A special CJ reflection will be read during a different period each day. A student, faculty or staff member will reflect on why they chose CJ and how it has affected him or her;
  • A literal prayer chain is hanging from the ceiling on the first floor; and,
  • In conjunction with a Senior Capstone project, new or gently used books are being collected so they can be given to St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School.

Additionally, there are special events and activities happening on certain days throughout the week:

  • On Monday, there was a special 3 O’Clock prayer that CJ, Alter, Carroll and Fenwick all prayed together at their respective schools;
  • On Wednesday, the CJ community will celebrate Mass at Emmanuel Catholic Church. Several CJ students will also attend the All-Catholic Schools Mass being held at St. Peter Catholic Church;
  • On Thursday, students can test their CJ/Marianist/SNDdeN knowledge in a school-wide Bingo game; and,
  • On Friday, students, faculty and staff have the option to wear a Catholic school t-shirt or sweatshirt. The shirt can be from a Catholic grade school, CJ or a Catholic college. Students must wear uniform shorts or pants. Also on Friday, the school will come together for the annual Talent Show. After school, MLC will host an ice skating and pizza event for students before the men’s basketball game against Purcell Marian.

On Monday, select seniors also had the opportunity to speak to Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr via a teleconference. CJ last participated in this teleconference six years ago. The group asked the Archbishop for his position on protection in schools, such as armed guards or teachers with concealed weapons.

“I think that it was a great opportunity to speak to him directly and help fulfill his goal of getting the youth in the Archdiocese together, and I felt like he got most of his goal accomplished today,” said Andrew Holmes ‘17, who asked Archbishop Schnurr the question during the teleconference. “I think it was a great opportunity to have asked such a great and in-depth question as well, and I was thankful for all of my fellow seniors who helped me out with the conference.”

Additional details about CJ’s Catholic Schools Week activities can be found here.

Posted January 30, 2017

Capstone Group Hosts Human Trafficking Speaker

On Monday, January 30, University of Dayton professor Dr. Tony Talbott will present “The Business of Human Trafficking” in the CJ auditorium at 7 p.m. The discussion was organized by the Senior Capstone group of Sebastian Araya, Vincent Dang, Noah Mussin Phillips, Tyler Noble and Noah Walusis.

“I tend to be a very empathetic person, and the idea of slaves in 2017 did not sit well with me at all,” said Walusis. “I can't imagine the kind of pain that victims of human trafficking go through, and after hearing about the issue I felt like I had to do something to help. It has been over one hundred years since the Emancipation Proclamation, and the complete eradication of slavery is long overdue.”

“I've learned that trafficking victims are sometimes not aware that they are being trafficked,” shared Araya. “They are coerced in a way that makes them think that they still have the power to make their own choices.”

In November, the Capstone group attended the Sweet Freedom Trafficking event at Second Street Market. The event, which served as an anti-trafficking fundraiser, is where the group became connected with Dr. Talbott. University of Dayton students who are members of Abolition Ohio, which Dr. Talbott is the president of, were also at the event.

In addition to Dr. Talbott’s presentation, the Senior Capstone group is planning additional events to continue the conversation about human trafficking.

“We are hosting the S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) event in March,” explained Mussin-Phillips. “We are also working with Abolition Ohio to come to CJ and do a presentation/simulation for juniors.”

During the S.O.A.P. event, participants will put a label with the national human trafficking hotline number on bars of soap. The labeled soap bars will then be distributed to local hotel and motels.

“We're trying to make a difference and combat a very real injustice that´s found all over Ohio, so any kind of help and support would be appreciated,” Mussin-Phillips emphasized regarding the S.O.A.P. event. “This isn´t a ‘fun’ topic to discuss, but I'm glad that our Capstone is focusing on it because this is an actual evil that really needs to be addressed and defeated.”

More details about volunteering at the S.O.A.P. event will be published on the CJ website in early March.

“The group has a strong passion for addressing the issue and raising awareness in others,” the group’s mentor, Molly Bardine, noted. “They are keenly aware of the important role awareness, advocacy and action all play in making an impact on human trafficking.”

“I hope that the community is made to realize how close trafficking is to our very homes, and is inspired to take action in the fight against trafficking,” Araya reflected.

Walusis added, “Worldwide, only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued. When I learned this it completely broke my heart, and it made me even more determined to try and help those who are suffering from modern day slavery.”

(Photo Courtesy: University of Dayton)
Posted January 27, 2017


STEMM Idol: Kanesha Hall

Future engineers can test drive their passion for the subject over the summer with an elite opportunity through Clark State Community College. The school is a host site for an Engineering Innovation four-week course through Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering.

“To have a program created by actual faculty at one of the top STEM universities in the nation, I don’t think you can pass that up because it helps you figure out where to go and in what direction in engineering,” shared Kanesha Hall, the STEM Programming Manager at Clark State Community College. Hall spoke with CJ students about the program during the STEMM Idol Speaker Series on Tuesday, January 24.

Students selected for the program will experience hands-on labs, individual and team projects and competitions, and have the opportunity to earn college credit at Johns Hopkins University. Participants will also take a trip to the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore, Maryland. Students selected into the program will participate for free.

“That’s possible thanks to a donor,” explained Hall. “Originally the donor wanted to focus on just Clark County but now she is expanding it to all of Ohio. She didn’t want to turn anyone away.”

24 students will be accepted into the program. The course will run from Monday, June 26 through Friday, July 21 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day (there will be no class on July 4). Applications will be accepted through March 15. Prerequisite information and registration can be found here.

Posted January 25, 2017


2017 Poetry Out Loud Finalists Announced

Update: Congratulations to Ella Waldspurger on being named this year's school winner! She is seen in the picture to the right talking with Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin ahead of the next round in the Poetry Out Loud competition. 

First Look: For the second year, the top school Poetry Out Loud participants have been chosen to compete in a final round.

Katie Coyle ‘19, Caroline Delaney ‘18, Destiny Jacque ‘18, Clare Kneblik ‘18, Anna Kutter ‘19, Madison Meixner ‘20, Noah Meyer ‘17, JaiShawn Norman ‘19,  Maria Scaccia ‘19,  Amari Smith ‘17,  Lanie Sorg ‘20,  and Ella Waldspurger ‘20 were chosen as the top 12 out of 36 students in the school’s preliminary round earlier this month.

Students were asked which poem they recited for the first round and if they have chosen a second poem for the final round:

  • Coyle: “My first poem is Dear Reader by Rita Mae Reese, and my second is Personal by Tony Hoagland. I chose these poems but I can sense the emotion in each line and I can picture how each line should be delivered.”
  • Delaney: “I chose the poem Plaint In a Major Key by Jorge Sanchez. I chose this poem because it has a very dynamic and fun feel to it. It is about the struggles that a man goes through to get his young son ready in the morning. It has a lot of contradictions in it, which really speaks to how contradictory childhood can be.”
  • Kutter: “I will be reciting the poems Domestic Situation by Ernest Hilbert and A Song in the Front Yard by Gwendolyn Brooks. I chose the first one because it reads very much like a monologue rather than a poem, which I found interesting, and the second one mostly because it was different from the first.”
  • Meyer: “I am reciting The Universe as Primal Scream by Tracy K. Smith and Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller. My brother performed the first poem when he was in high school, and my sister performed the second. After hearing these, I came to like these poems very much, so I chose them myself.”
  • Scaccia: “So far I am only reciting Self-Portrait by Robert Creeley. I haven't chosen my second poem yet, but I am really looking for something that is timeless.”
  • Sorg: “I'm reciting Life Cycle of Common Man by Howard Nemerov and The Bear by Susan Mitchell. I chose these poems because I thought that both were insightful and gave a different point of view which was intriguing.”
  • Waldspurger: “I recited the poem Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg by Richard Hugo. I chose a poem that told a unique story. The first stanza sets the scene places the listener in a dilapidated town that was once rich. The second stanza explains the town's history, and talks about a silver boom in 1907, but the town quickly goes downhill from there. The third stanza asks a lot of questions about the town and then gets the listener thinking by saying, 'Isn't this your life?' The last stanza concludes with one positive in the town, a girl, representing the man being in love.”

The students also shared what they’re looking forward to in the second round of competition:

  • Scaccia: “In the final round, I'm mostly excited for the results. Everyone participating has done wonderful so far, and I think choosing a winner will be challenging.”
  • Waldspurger: “I am looking forward to learning another poem. I think it’s exciting learning a new skill and learning about all of the author's ideas.”
  • Sorg: “I'm looking forward to hearing the other poems people are reciting and to see who advances to the next stage.”

In 2016, Thomas Ellison ‘16 won the CJ competition, was one of three Dayton regional finalists to advance to the state round, and won the state competition. He advanced to the first round in the national competition.

When reflecting on their Poetry Out Loud experiences, the students said,

  • Delaney: “Poetry Out Loud is just a fun and new experience that I think benefits everyone who participates. It really teaches people about public speaking and about the difference between acting something out and performing a recitation or a speech.”
  • Kutter: “I really enjoy Poetry Out Loud as a form of performance art that you don't get to see or participate in as often as some others.”
  • Coyle: “Poetry Out Loud is not really something I ever thought I would try, but I found that poetry is a song without music and I can barely sing. So this is a good way to express myself through rhyme.”
  • Meyer: “I would like to thank everyone who has made Poetry Out Loud a possibility at CJ. It has helped to cultivate an interest in poetry that I would otherwise not have had.”

The 2017 CJ Poetry Out Loud final round will be held on Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Published January 21, 2017, Updated February 1, 2017


Seniors Target Mental Health and Depression for Capstone Project

Throughout the week of January 17, the Senior Capstone Group of Kayla Chumack, Brianna Gavin, Caroline Nevius, Hannah Schwager and Lydia Stamper held a Mental Health/Depression Awareness Week at CJ.

“There are so many teens who feel they are all alone with their mental illness and I wanted to show them that they are not alone,” shared Gavin.

Chumack agreed, “I don't want anyone to feel alone and I want them to know even the small things count, even the small wins are something we should appreciate.”

Each day throughout the week had its own theme:

  • Tuesday: Day of Gratitude and Stress Awareness. The group distributed bookmarks and candy prior to school because stressed spelled backwards is desserts. During lunch periods, a poster was hung in the cafeteria where students wrote about things they were grateful for in their life.
  • Wednesday: Compliment Day. Students shared compliments with each other throughout the day and compliment notes were also displayed in the women's restrooms.
  • Thursday: Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day. The group will distribute smiley face stickers in front of the Welcome Center at the beginning of the school day.
  • Friday: Acceptance Day. In correlation with the CJ Spirit Day, the group is encouraging the CJ community to wear a green spirit shirt, as green is the color of depression awareness.

“Raising awareness for depression and mental illness raises the likelihood that others will be compassionate and sympathetic with people who face those struggles,” Schwager said.

The group’s mentor, Alan Rozanski added, “I am impressed by the girls' initiative and dedication to raise awareness on an issue that many people are uncomfortable talking about."

Posted January 18, 2017

CJ Performing Arts Students Showcase Talent

The winter months have brought exciting opportunities and performances for CJ performing art students.

  • Vega has been selected to have a track on the Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA) compilation CD. The group's recording of Oasis by Great Big World is now available for download on iTunes.
  • Percussionist Sam Ruff '17 recently earned early acceptance and a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.
  • In December, several students participated in holiday concerts outside of CJ. John Muhl '20 participated in Tuba Christmas while Will Marshall '19 and Nicholas Simpson '20 were participants in the Wright State University Saxophone Festival. 
  • On January 20 and 21, the five students pictured above, Libby Blackshire '20, Andrew Hartley '17, Christian Hemsath '17, Marshall and Holly Siefert '18 will participate in the Northern Kentucky Tri State Honor Band Symposium.

The CJ community can support performing arts students at the upcoming following events:

  • Band and choir students are preparing solos and ensembles for the OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event which will take place January 28 at Stebbins High School.
  • A CJ A Cappella Concert featuring Vega, Phoenix and the youth a cappella group, Genesis, will take place on Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. in the CJ. The concert will be a warm-up for Vega and Phoenix as they prepare to compete in the International Championship High School A Cappella Quarterfinal being held at CJ on Saturday, February 4.
  • The CJ Performing Arts Winter Recital will take place Sunday, February 12 at 2:00 p.m.  Instrumental and vocal solos and ensembles will be performed by the band and choir students.

Posted January 17, 2017

Capstone Group Holds Refugee Simulation

Students stepped into the reality of thousands of refugees when the Senior Capstone Group of Phil Hawthorn, Noah Meyer, Spencer Mullins and Jacob Troutwine hosted a refugee camp simulation for freshmen.

"We want to do it as a way to advocate for the refugees more than just working with them and as a way to get kids in our school interested," said Meyer.

Hawthorn agreed, "We want others to empathize with local refugees and help others understand the crisis, struggles and frustrations that refugees have gone through just to get here."

The simulation was based off one prepared by Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky. Students were put into groups (or families) and tasked with crossing a fictitious border made of string and bells. If the families made it across the border, they would have to go to specific stations such as registration, a health center, school, and nutrition center before they could go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Anastasia Stowers '20 went through the simulation and said, "At first it was really frustrating and as I got through it, I realized how refugees are treated when they try to get a new country. I didn't like that feeling.

"I now have a greater appreciation for what refugees have to go through," Stowers continued. "It made me have a greater appreciation for what I have in my life and that I take things for granted too much."

Mullins noted, "We want the students to feel the frustration of what a refugee might feel like if they're at a camp. So the students will go through a process where they might not have the right paper work signed or they might have to go back and do something tedious. This hopefully gives them a partial understanding of what refugees can feel like on a daily basis."

Troutwine added, "When we were running the simulation, I was running a station where students have to complete paperwork in another language that they're not familiar with. That's a reality for the refugees so we empathize with them."

"They're idea of setting up a refugee simulation highlights the real struggles refugees across the world face everyday," reflected group's mentor, Brett Chmiel '02.

The Capstone group has been working with Catholic Social Service's Refugee Resettlement Program to prepare for the simulation. They hosted the simulation again on Wednesday, January 18 from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the library. The simulation was open to all high school students. Refugees from the Dayton area volunteered at the simulation. Students from the Dayton Regional STEM School and Oakwood High School who have been involved with the Refugee Resettlement Program also attended.

Posted January 12, 2017, Updated February 2, 2017

Government Students Attend New Speaker Series

Local leaders are visiting Chaminade Julienne through the month of January as part of a new Government Speaker Series.

"The speakers are all people who have experience working at the intersection of different partnerships in Dayton that make the community work and thrive, especially those with a unique understanding of the realities of nonprofit life from being in the trenches of it," said the organizer of the lectures, Dominic Sanfilippo. "By the end of the month, there will be an array of people who work in the three rough 'divisions' society- government and public service, for-profit organizations, and community and nonprofit organizations- that all have a fluid grasp of the partnerships that need to unfold to solve problems and improve ordinary life for our community."

On Monday, January 9, four speakers shared their experiences to junior and senior government students. Ellen Yoder, the Farm Programs Coordinator at Mission of Mary Cooperative, Rhonda Mercs and Michelle Sherman with ECHO (Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity, formerly UCDRC or the Urban Childhood Development Resource Center), and Mike Brill from the Montgomery County Auditor's Office.

Yoder and Sanfilippo are members of the inaugural Marianist PULSE (Partners in Urban Leadership, Service and Education) program through the University of Dayton.

"When I started my job for PULSE at CJ, one of the key ideas for my job description was to bring in speakers at the beginning of this semester related to nonprofits and community organizations," Sanfilippo noted.

Another goal of Sanfilippo's is to create space for speakers so they can share any wisdom and insight they may have gained by working in the community.

"We want to help students further appreciate the interconnections and shared values between the different organizations that make up our civil society in Dayton (and our country) and help it work, along with opening students' eyes to career, vocational, and volunteer opportunities and paths they might not have thought of as they approach the end of their time at CJ."

On Tuesday, January 17, former Ohio State Board of Education member, Dayton Municipal Court and Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge and non-profit board member A.J. Wagner is scheduled to speak with students.

Posted January 10, 2017


LIFT and the Impact on Enrollment

As first seen in the Fall 2016 edition of Vision.

“What impact has LIFT had on enrollment?” It is a question that Director of Admissions Brett Chmiel ‘02

says continues to humble him.

“While we can’t measure the direct impact now, there is a correlation between good enrollment momentum and our community’s excitement for the outcomes of LIFT.

“The development of capital renovations, a growing endowment, and a stronger investment in access to curricular resources are all great signs of current and future prosperity — and families are attracted to that,” he said.

And while Chmiel would not attribute a causal relationship between LIFT and enrollment, he says that both enrollment and admissions trends are up.

At the beginning of the LIFT effort in 2011, there were nearly 200 more students in local Catholic grade schools than there are today. Even with this drop, the number of eighth grade shadows has increased from 117 to more than 250 per year, and enrollment is up nearly 40 students. In addition, freshmen classes then had students coming from 27 different grade schools, now that is nearly 40, illustrating how far out CJ’s reach has grown to families around the region.

“Looking ahead we see great promise in our enrollment, and through the efforts of LIFT, the CJ community has secured a thriving existence for the outreach of our mission, and longevity to serve many more generations of students."

Read more from the Fall 2016 edition of Vision here.

Preparing for the Class of 2021

In this first week of 2017, Chmiel is signing letters that will soon be sent home to the accepted students in the Class of 2021.

"There is a lot of excitement from our community because we are hitting above all our predicted benchmarks for this year," noted Chmiel. "We're doing that in shadows, applications, as well as students who we have accepted for the Class of 2021. Looking ahead, we are really positive about growth in total enrollment and possibly our incoming freshman class.

"The development of LIFT and our campus expansion has created an opportunity for more families than ever to be here having great experiences," Chmiel added. "We believe that has had an impact on why people are choosing CJ."

Priority course registration day for the Class of 2021 will be held on Thursday, February 16.

Posted January 5, 2017