March 2017

Wheeler to Retire After 43 Years of Service to CJ

Over 43 years, Charlene Wheeler, Director of Guidance, has seen several changes throughout the CJ community.

"Obviously, the facilities have changed over the years, no uniforms to a variation of uniform guidelines and less religious in the school," reflected Wheeler. "Parent involvement is a big change. I am not surprised that parents are more involved  and I believe it is a good thing. Perhaps, there are families with the parent/parents working and it is more important than ever to stay in touch with the school and teachers to best help their children."

Another change happening at the end of this school year will be the CJ community saying good-bye to Wheeler, as she will be retiring.

Wheeler was a part of the CJ community long before she began working at Julienne High School.

"Little did the Sisters know that my experience as a kindergarten student at the Villa would lead to a lifetime of collaboration and my embracement of the mission of the Sisters and the Marianists," Wheeler said.

She graduated from Julienne in 1965 and then attended the University of Dayton. Upon graduation there, she began working at Julienne for three years as a psychology teacher and counselor.

After taking some time off to have her children, Mollie '90 and Mark '94, Wheeler returned to CJ in 1977.

"Ann Will, a respected counselor and administrator at CJ, called and asked if I would be willing to return," Wheeler explained.

At CJ, Wheeler has been a counselor, the Director of Guidance, and interim principal (1998-1999).

"Being a high school guidance counselor has not been just a job or my career," Wheeler shared. "It has been my vocation, a calling that I am so glad I answered. I have brought both my talents and my flaws to my work, but always with enthusiasm. I agree with the Irish poet, Wm. Butler Yeats, 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' Watching our students take that lit fire into their lives is the real reward for all that we do."

Friends and former students shared their well wishes for Wheeler on the CJ Facebook and CJ Alumni Facebook pages. Here are just some of their comments:

Martha Downer-Assaf: A job well done!! Thanks for your service to the children of Dayton! Best of luck.

Joseph Meyer: Congratulations to a great lady! Enough said!

Greg Meyers: Congratulations! Thanks for taking such great care of our kids!!

Doreen Roche Orf: Congratulations! You're an inspiration. Enjoy your retirement!!

Jim Rigot: Congratulations, Mrs. Wheeler! We always knew that you and the team had all of our best interests at heart. You've helped so many during the biggest decisions they make! Enjoy retirement!

Shannon Farrell Santella: Congratulations and many thanks for all you've done for the CJ community!

Posted March 30, 2017

Seniors Present Capstone Projects During Sr. Stang Symposium

On Thursday, March 30, members of the Class of 2017 will present the findings of their Senior Capstone Project during the Sr. Stang Symposium. The students explored social justice topics and implemented projects to better the Dayton community and beyond.

The Sr. Stang Symposium will begin at 7 p.m. in the CJ auditorium. Sr. Rita Sturwold, SNDdeN '60, the U.S. Director of Mission Integration at Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, will be the keynote speaker. Following the opening presentation, attendees will choose rooms to hear the results from Senior Capstone groups' projects. Following the presentations will be a reception in the cafeteria.

More information about the Sr. Stang Symposium can be found here.

March 29, 2017

Bowman Signs With Otterbein

Sara Bowman ‘17 will continue hitting the links after CJ as she takes her passion for golf to Otterbein University in the fall.

“I chose Otterbein because I can shape my college experience there with golf, my art major, and other extra-curriculars,” Bowman said.

She noted that another appeal of Otterbein were some of its similarities to CJ.

“They are both in or around major cities, which is important to me since I want to be a graphic designer and big businesses are important clientele for my field,” Bowman explained.

Bowman was a four-year member of the Eagles golf team. She earned several accolades in the sport including being named to the All-GCL second team twice, the Southwest District All-Star Team, receiving an Academic All-Ohio award and the Coaches Award this past season.

“I will above all, miss my team,” Bowman reflected. “They are so supportive and they put in the work to get to where we have been. Of course I will miss going to the state championships annually, but if it wasn't for my team, I would've never experienced the blessing of competing at that level.”

Bowman plans to study graphic design at Otterbein.

Posted March 29, 2017


Capstone Works to Stop Bullying and Harassment

Giving a voice to help those who may be afraid to speak out. That was the goal of the Senior Capstone group of Lizzie Ruetschle and Kristen Shelley when they took on the subjects of bullying and sexual harassment for their Capstone Project.

“We were inspired to take this on as our Capstone Project because we believe that it is something that isn’t talked about much at CJ,” Ruetschle and Shelley said. “We believe that they will not go away so people have to talk about them.”

The group implemented their project in two parts. In October, the pair encouraged the CJ community to wear blue shirts on Blue Shirt World Day in support of bullying prevention. In March, the pair went to sophomore religion classes to share statistics about bullying and sexual harassment and encouraged awareness and prevention of the subject by asking students to take a pledge using their traced hand cut out on colored paper.

“Our handprint poster board was our own take on Hands for Courage, a campaign that uses colorful handprints to show support for those suffering from bullying and sexual harassment,” the pair explained.

“We hoped the students learned to stand up against sexual harassment,” they continued. “Standing up against it is the first step to ending sexual harassment. We hope that people will recognize what is going on around them and become more compassionate people.”

“Lizzie and Kristen both displayed a passion for addressing issues of harassment and bullying in the high school environment,” added the group’s mentor, Jama Badinghaus. “They wanted to bring attention to the issue, but more importantly they wanted to empower their peers to stand up and advocate for just treatment of all students. They have come to understand that even though sometimes issues seem large and difficult to tackle, we can all do something to bring light where there is darkness. Their project highlights how sometimes simply standing up and lifting our hands in courage can plant seeds that will hopefully permeate over time to grow lasting change.”

Posted March 29, 2017

Clubs Work Together for Science Olympiad Competition

Students in the Science Olympiad and Robotics Clubs worked together to submit a piece for an event in the Science Olympiad regional competition on Saturday, March 18.

“I do not have the expertise, or the equipment, to be building a robot that is as sophisticated as required by the competition,” Science Olympiad moderator Matt Fuhs explained. “It happened to work out great that Science Olympiad and the Robotics teams meet at the same time during the week.”

“The Robotics team was looking for a new project this year,” Fuhs continued. “I proposed the idea to Robotics club moderator, Eric Grimm, to have the Robotics team take on the event, and they ran with it from there.”

“It was really interesting to work with the Robotics team,” Science Olympiad member Regan Monigan ‘19 explained. “I had only had mentor-like positions in dance before, which was nothing like working with the team. I would test the robot and give them my thoughts and critique, along with being there to help.”

The overall competition was divided into 23 events, Fuhs explained.

“The events are broken down into the following categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Nature of Science, Technology and Engineering, and Earth and Space Sciences,” said Fuhs. “There is a regional competition every year at Piqua High School. Winners can go on to state and national tournaments. We spend our time throughout the year preparing for our regional tournament. Depending on the event, some students design and build structures, some students study for tests, and some perform labs.”

CJ earned a 12 out of 16 in the robotics portion of the competition. The team placed 14th overall.

“We had nine students on the team, and only one was a senior,” Fuhs shared. “We hope to grow our team in the coming years and bring home some medals from the competition.”

“It was really fun working with both Robotics and Science Olympiad,” Monigan added. “It was a great group of people that I got to work with. I'm definitely competing again next year!”

Posted March 27, 2017


Phonathon Paves the Way for Future Eagles

The annual spring Phonathon gets underway on March 26 through April 12 and will utilize 100 volunteers - students, faculty, staff, graduates and parents - to make calls to the thousands of supporters who remember Chaminade Julienne each year through a gift to the Annual Fund.

This bi-annual event is an integral piece of the Annual Fund which supplements tuition and benefits every student at CJ as well as our graduates who reconnect and experience CJ in a new way for the Hall of Fame Golf Outing, Hall of Fame Event, Fish Fry, Distinguished Alumni Event, Reunion Weekend, Lucas Pfander Memorial Alumni Race and the Last Five Luncheon.  

“Along with the ability to connect and thank our individual contributors, time spent volunteering at Phonathon can build some valuable skills,” said Elaine Bonner, Annual Giving Coordinator.  

A recent graduate from the Class of 2016 shared how her Phonathon experience at CJ benefited her in college.  

“I was able to work on the Rose-Hulman Phonathon and having previous experience was a bonus,” reported Colleen Wagoner ‘16. “This is one of the highest paying jobs on campus. I really enjoy engaging the alumni in conversation and have received great advice about internships, career choices, and on the academics at Rose.”  

In turn, these skills led Colleen to achieving one of the highest percentages of credit card gifts on her team.

These valuable leadership skills begin with CJ’s Student Development chairs, comprised of 18 dedicated juniors and seniors who promote, organize and volunteer several nights to make Phonathon a success.  

Claire Evans ‘17 summarized her Phonathon experience saying, “I have really enjoyed being able to speak with members of the community who are excited to give back to CJ. It is inspiring to know just how many people realize the importance of our  CJ education.”  

Additionally, student volunteers gain meaningful insight into the past when they volunteer at Phonathon.  

“To many, speaking on the phone with strangers for a few hours may seem dreadful, but not for CJ students,” said Yasmin Espino ‘17. “Not only does Phonathon provide CJ students with the opportunity to give back to our school, but it also allows us to learn more about our school and its rich history. I've had many lovely conversations with alums about school life, college, and various funny stories about their time at Chaminade, Julienne, St. Joe’s or CJ. These conversations with alums is what makes Phonathon completely worthwhile. It gives us access to a history that simply cannot be taught in classrooms.”

A key success is the involvement of alumni who call their classmates and parents who reach out to current parents and parents of alumni.  For those reunion year alumni, it is also an opportunity to extend a personal reminder to attend CJ Reunion Weekend (June 23 and 24).  Some graduates have previously gathered a group of classmates and made calls from the CJ cafeteria or from their homes.  

Ryan Sullivan ‘96 said, “I first got involved with the CJ Phonathon because I couldn't say no to Ann Szabo! Like most, I was reluctant at first because it had been so long since I talked with many of my CJ friends, but it was time to start giving back. I have three boys who are future Eagles and I want CJ to be strong for the long-term. I recruited some classmates and we were able to reconnect with so many people - not only by phone, but though social media, emails, and text. It has been a great experience and everyone who helped had a great time.”

If you receive a call from a student volunteer, know that you are adding to their confidence and skill sets.  When you volunteer to make calls, you are providing a incredible service in the ongoing efforts to keep our CJ community connected.  

Contact Elaine Bonner at or (937) 461-3740 x201 if you are interested in volunteering with the Spring Phonathon.

Posted March 22, 2017

"Dueling Divas" Takes to the CJ Stage

Four contestants, eager to be named the top singer, learn that working together is the key to a successful opera during the Muse Machine performance of Dueling Divas.

"It's a game show style performance, like a parody of Jeopardy" explained the music director with the Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence Program, Jeffrey Powell.

Dueling Divas featured the four current Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence, soprano Chelsea Friedlander, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Frey, tenor Brian Skoog and bass-baritone Vincent Grana.

"The singers have to buzz in and if they get the question right, they get to sing the opera selection that goes with it," said Powell.

The Dueling Divas show also allowed students to participate in one part of the program.

"I hope students take away that opera is fun and it can connect to everybody," Powell shared. "I hope they hear legitimate singing that is something beautiful and something they could potentially do if they go into this study."

Dueling Divas was specifically created for Muse Machine as part of their in-school performance series.

Posted March 23, 2017

Juniors Experience the Cost of Poverty

Juniors experienced some of the challenges and decisions people in the lower, middle and upper classes make on a daily basis when the students attended the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) on Tuesday, March 7.

"I have been working with issues of race and social class for almost 20 years and of all the things I have seen and done, this gives students an active, small experience of what it's like to live in poverty," community facilitator John Wilson said.

The COPE program is put on by Think Tank, Inc. CJ juniors have participated in COPE for four years.

"One real asset about CJ is the economic, racial, and cultural diversity that goes on at the school," Wilson noted. "When you have such a diversity of people taking in this experience, they go back to their home communities that aren't as diverse and may begin to ask questions like, why? Why is that? Why does it look like this and what can I do to be a part of that change?"

The simulation randomly split the juniors into three groups - poverty, middle class, and wealthy. During the simulation, each group would spend a week (equivalent to 10 minutes) performing certain activities or jobs according to their status. Jobs included flipping burgers (bean bags) at a restaurant or folding clothes at a department store.

Students in the wealthy class did not have to get a job while middle and poverty class students were encouraged to apply for one. For some students in the poverty group, they were not allowed to look for a job or go to school because they had to watch a sibling (represented by a baby doll).

"I don't like it," said one of those students, Nick Henne '18. "I want to be doing stuff like making money but I can't. I'm just taking care of a baby and watching everyone else do other things."

 Another activity required students in the wealthy group to give a bag of donated food to the poverty group without having a conversation with the students they were helping.

"It made me feel good to give to people, but we weren't allowed to talk to them, so that was kind of weird," reflected Skylar Manning '18.

Emsley Spees '18, who was in the middle class group, said she struggled to get a job and was turned away every time she applied.

"It's frustrating," Spees shared. "I also only had $100 and was only able to buy a car because someone else gave me money."

Clay Mathile '18, who was in the poverty group, found a way to make money by opening up his own business.

"It makes me feel good because I know that I'm working for my money and I'm doing a good thing," Mathile reflected.

Students shared that overall, taking part in COPE was an eye-opening experience.

"It helped me realize that some people don't have the same opportunities I do even if it's for the simplistic things," Alexis Nelson '18 shared.  "We are all the same because we are all the same age and want to do similar things, but we may not get to do that because of things like poverty." 

Posted March 21, 0217

Students Return to Cincinnati for Urban Plunge

On March 3, 4, and 5, 12 sophomores and juniors traveled to Cincinnati as part of the Urban Plunge learning experience.

“Going into Urban Plunge, I was hoping just to help others and give my time to those less fortunate than me,” Megan Piatt ‘19 shared.

“I was hoping to just gain more knowledge about poverty,” added Katie Bardine ‘19. “I have never come face to face with it, and I knew that going on this retreat  I would be. I really was looking forward to learning about different ways to serve those experiencing homelessness.”

Joseph Allaire ‘19 agreed, “When I signed up to go on Urban Plunge, I was hoping to gain a better understanding of the situation of poverty in our urban centers.”

During their weekend, the students not only volunteered but also participated in simulations such as the SNAP food challenge, where they had to make a meal to feed each person in their group for $5. Students also shared that one of their most memorable activities during the weekend were home visits.

“We were able to go inside the home of a person living in poverty," Emma Malone ‘19 said. "I was really stepping out of my comfort zone and trying to fully listen to our neighbor’s story.”

“My favorite activity from Urban Plunge was doing a home visit,” Alexandra Murray ‘19 confirmed. “During this we were able to go into the home of someone experiencing poverty and we then tried to help them in any way we could. This help came from clothing vouchers and furniture vouchers. I really just loved this because it gave us the ability to feel the emotions that go into the feeling of experiencing this time.

“Prior to these home visits, we did a simulation that allowed us to play the part of a person experiencing homelessness,” Murray continued. “I love that we did this because it allowed us to feel empathy for the actual situation. It was sad to walk away from the home visits knowing that this is not a simulation for these neighbors but rather their life.”

When thinking about the entire weekend experience, Malone said, “It was a life changing experience, and when I say, ‘life changing’ I mean it. It changed my perspective on the way I think, judge others and view society.”

“Urban Plunge was something that God called me to do, and throughout the whole experience the spirit of God was very strong throughout the whole group,” Piatt reflected. “This experience truly changed my perspective of not only the face of poverty, but my perspective of life as a whole. This experience was truly life changing, and I cannot thank the advisers and all of the people that made this experience a possibility enough. I am very ambitious about making a difference here in Dayton, and I believe that as a group, we are taking the necessary steps to make that happen.”

“I would really just love for people to know how effective this retreat is,” Murray responded. “I was expecting to do physical labor that would tire me out, however that was not the case. This brought me to a spiritual place that I did not know I could touch with strangers. I am incredibly grateful to be able to experience these things through my school, having these opportunities right in front of me makes it easy for me to get involved and make a difference in my community.

“I would just like to encourage people to, when they are near a person experiencing homelessness or poverty, do not look away because of the stereotype that they will just want money,” Murray continued. “I was graced with the ability to talk with some of these neighbors and I now know who are just like me, and that they just want human dignity because that’s what they deserve. So I greatly encourage you to, when you pass a stranger on the side of the street, do not look away as if they are not there but rather share a smile, say the words, ‘God loves you’ because sometimes these neighbors just need the reassurance that they deserve the life God has given them.”

Allaire added, “I am so grateful for having the opportunity to go on Urban Plunge and would highly recommend it to students in the future as a life changing experience.”

Bardine excitedly stated, “You have to go if you get the chance!”

Posted March 14, 2017

Walk to State: Wrestling

“It’s the cherry on top.”

Wrestling Assistant Coach Paul Marshall ‘86 excitedly shared that summary of the 2016-2017 CJ wrestling team experience after Micah Marshall ‘18 and Isaiah Wortham ‘20 participated in the traditional Walk to State on Thursday, March 9. Marshall qualified for the tournament in the 138 weight class and Wortham qualified for the tournament in the 120 weight class.

“It’s an experience I’ve been waiting for for the last three years,” Marshall said. “It’s amazing to know my work led up to this.”

“I’ve been wrestling for eight years,” Wortham reflected. “It’s pretty cool to represent CJ and do the best I can.”

Both Marshall and Wortham finished their seasons in the “Sweet 16” round.

“We plan to take more wrestlers to state next year,” Coach Marshall emphasized. “We have a great group of kids and everyone has been working hard.”

Posted March 13, 2017