April 2017

CJ Performing Arts Presents: A Night of One Acts

The audience will see seven shows in one night when CJ Performing Arts Presents: A Night of One Acts on Friday, April 28. Each production is directed by a student and one director wrote her own one act.

"I was inspired to write a one act because I have loved both writing and acting my whole life, so I thought it would be cool to combine two of my passions into one," said Lauren Eifert '17.  "The most challenging part while writing my one act was remembering the boundaries I have to stay within. It was so tempting to write it similarly to a movie, where there are different locations and transitions between scenes. I had to simplify my setting."

"Our program is at the point where of the students who applied, I felt all of them could have done an amazing job," choir and drama teacher Caitlin Bennett noted. "I felt like they should all have the opportunity to direct."

Ashley Gerhard '18 is directing for the second year.  

"Last year my act was much more complex, had a lot of props, and I had a very clear vision of what I wanted it to be from the very first time I read it," Gerhard reflected. "The cast did an amazing job and I was so proud of the final result. However, the act that I picked this year has no set, is rather simple, and really relies on the dialogue. It also can be interpreted in a lot of different ways and required my cast to really think hard about their character motivations in order to get across a clear meaning and point.

"Even though each directing experience is different, I would have to say that my favorite part about it is taking something that is just a script and bringing it to life," Gerhard continued. "Each year I have been so incredibly grateful that I have cast people who have really trusted me and my vision. They have really come through and it is such an incredible feeling to see my vision put on stage."

Eifert agreed, "The most fulfilling part of the process is watching what was once just something that you imagined, coming to life on stage, similarly to how a painter uses a canvas to bring their imagination onto a tangible, visible object."

Matthew Keaty '18 is one of the actors bringing one act productions to life.

"I'm in The Philadelphia, where a girl comes in an everything is opposite for her," Keaty explained. "I play the waiter in that one. The second one act I'm in is Trifles and I play a county attorney."

Keaty, who is also involved in sports, said he enjoys being able to participate in A Night of One Acts.

"I wanted to do either the play or the musical, but I do sports in the fall and winter," Keaty shared. "Being in one acts doesn't take a lot of preparation and I can still get some performing arts in too."

Bennett added, "For many students, this is their first time trying something whether it be tech or acting. It's awesome to have new faces and hopefully that spurs them on to being in more productions."

A Night of One Acts will take place in the CJ auditorium. Admission is $5.

Posted April 27, 2017

2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Chaminade Julienne 2017 Distinguished Alumni honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 27. This year’s recipients are Dr. Richard Christensen ‘73, Fred Kroger ‘41, Dr. Barrett Robinson ‘95 and Sr. Gretchen Trautman, FMI, ‘65.

Dr. Richard Christensen, ’73 – Professional Achievement Award
Dick Christensen’s dedication as a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry was evident. He spent a majority of his career caring for patients who suffered from chronic mental illness and homelessness. He created the "Hope Team," whose mission was to provide hope to those who had little or no hope of finding their way off the streets.

“His life was dedicated to service to others,” his widow, Kathy Moeder Christensen ‘74, said.

The strong Chaminade High School science program may well have been a contributing factor for Dick and at least seven of his close friends who chose careers in medicine. Other high school highlights included winning the sectional tennis tournament in doubles and receiving the Ed Stang Big Eagle Award.

“And then, of course, he met me,” Kathy said with a smile.

Fred Kroger '41 – Christian Service Award
Fred Kroger lived his life as a humble servant of God, helping others and quietly sharing his blessings with those in need. While Fred was an accomplished businessman – founding Main Line Supply Co. in 1955 – this award focuses on his faith and service to others. A devoted husband to his wife of 63 years, Marian, family came first for the father of five, grandfather of 16 and great-grandfather of six. He was a strong proponent of Catholic education and financially supported countless Chaminade Julienne and University of Dayton students over the years.

“Education was very important to my father,” son Tim Kroger '78 said. “He was also a very generous man – with his time, treasure and talent.”

Tim explained that Chaminade High School provided a solid foundation for his father’s enduring lifelong faith.

“The sense of community and family was so strong,” he said. “And learning about Christianity and developing a sense of doing what’s right – that was so important to him.”

Dr. Barrett Robinson '95 – Professional Achievement Award
Barrett Robinson made an immediate impression at Chaminade Julienne. Many of his classmates recognized that he was truly special and wrote about his leadership qualities and reliance on faith in God to withstand the problems teenagers face. The Eagles leading rusher won the National High School Heisman Trophy his senior year. But he didn’t just excel on the football field, as he graduated third in his class.

“My visibility as a standout on the football field allowed me to be a strong spiritual witness to others,” he said. “I was never bashful about sharing with my peers my commitment to sexual abstinence and informing classmates that drinking alcohol or doing drugs does not honor our bodies, which are to be temples of the Lord.”

He is now an acclaimed physician, specializing in maternal fetal medicine, giving hope and compassion to women with difficult pregnancies.

“My time at CJ helped to mold me into the man that I am today,” he said. “And my memories from those four years are easily some of the fondest of my entire life."

Sr. Gretchen Trautman '65 – Professional Achievement Award
Gretchen Trautman knew from an early time that she was destined to serve God. During her school years at Our Lady of Mercy and Julienne, she was drawn to the sisters she encountered and drew from them a devotion to her faith and serving others. She continued her evolution at the University of Dayton and continued her faith journey with the Marianist Sisters.

Sr. Gretchen found inspiration immediately upon arriving at Julienne in Sr. Gertrude.

“She was my freshman homeroom teacher, as well as my English teacher,” Sr. Gretchen said. “She gave me a love for literature and reading. I helped her every morning with selling paperback books on large mobile racks in the first floor hallway. My ‘salary’ was a paperback book per week, which I loved.”

Sr. Gertrude also taught her eager young Julienne students speed-reading in English class. “A skill which has benefited me for a lifetime,” Sr. Gretchen said.

Posted April 27, 2017


Teacher, Coach Jim Brooks Retiring After 36 Years

It could be considered a career Grand Slam for Jim Brooks. For 36 years, CJ has been a part of his life through the classroom, coaching tennis programs, mentoring, and meeting his wife.

“These have been the best years of my life, thanks mostly to my dear wife, Peg, and the ministry that we share here,” Brooks said.

At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, Brooks will retire.

“I will miss the community on a day-to-day basis,” shared Brooks.

After taking temporary vows with the Marianists in 1980, Brooks requested to be placed at CJ.

“I have been teaching English since 1980,” Brooks reflected. “Extra-curriculars over the years have included LIFE moderator, student council moderator, English department chair, communications coordinator for development, and men's and women's tennis coach.”

When thinking about the changes he has seen over the years, Brooks said, “What surprises me is the constancy of our mission, the positive influence of the two religious orders and their founders, and the way we pull together on a day-to-day basis.”

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

  • Ron Boggs: Mr. Brooks thank you! You inspired a life long passion for literature. I have been in countless journeys in literature that began with you sharing Lord of the Flies with us. You are such an incredible educator and an absolute member of the CJ Mt Rushmore! Congratulations on a lifetime of  influencing young minds in ways that propel a lifelong connection to literature and writing. Thank you.
  • Rachel Burkette: Wow! Congratulations Mr. Brooks! I had the blessing of having you for not only Honors English, but also Creative Writing. You were also an amazing tennis coach!!!  You are a huge part of not only my continued love for reading but also for my success in my career. I've come to be relied upon for editorial and revision work as it relates to awards, job descriptions, policy letters, etc. Thank you so much for your guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. You are an amazing teacher and you will positively be missed.
  • Heather Hunnicutt: Say it with me, "Mr. Brooks, you are a very nice man. You are one of the nicest men I have ever met. I could hardly imagine anyone nicer than you."
  • Kevin Nolan: Thank you, Mr. Brooks!  You really helped me improve my critical thinking and writing.  As a result of your Creative Writing course, I am a better scientific writer. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, I strongly recommend to my students that they take a Creative Writing course and not a technical writing course (or in addition to) to improve their scholarly writing. Your teaching is a big part of why I am the researcher I am today.  Graduate school and publishing would not have been the same if I had not had the opportunity to take your classes.  I am grateful.  Congratulations on your well earned retirement!  Your skills and dedication will certainly be missed.
  • Paul Schreel: Mr. Brooks, you have been an amazing teacher and mentor to thousands of Eagles.  It will be hard to imagine C-J without you  guiding students on their educational journeys.  I had no idea the influence that you and my other teachers would have on me back in high school, but as an educator myself, I can say that I certainly learned from the best.  Enjoy your retirement!
  • Christie Zella: Favorite teacher ever. Inspired my love of literature and writing - perhaps why I became a school librarian!

Posted April 25, 2017

Sports Management Class Holds Mock NFL Draft

“With the first pick in the 2017 NFL draft….”

The Cleveland Browns are scheduled to be on the clock first on Thursday, April 27 when the NFL Draft begins. However, in the sports management class taught by Don MacLeod, students were drafting choices for the 32 NFL teams on Wednesday, April 26.

“The NFL experience is about a third of the semester,” MacLeod explained. “Students start the year with a NFL team assigned to them, and they have to do research on the team, including the history of the franchise, traditions, ownership, general manager, coaching and how well they did on the field last season. Barring a large enough class, no one gets to pick a team that made the playoffs in the 2016 season. They then do work on how to improve the team, including filling team needs through free agency, trades and the draft. This mirrors the software we have where the students get various parts of running a team and stadium. 

“The draft is a fun way to conclude their semester long research on the team, and the students who get really into it, do watch the draft to see if they picked it correctly or not,” MacLeod continued.

Mike Poteet ‘17 represented the Browns during the mock draft.

“I chose the Browns because I'm a Dawg Pound fan till I die,” Poteet shared. “I'm loyal. All my favorite pro sports teams are Cleveland-based. I bleed Brown and Orange, and so will my future children.”

Representing the Cincinnati Bengals was Jake Kinnear ‘17.

“I chose the Bengals because they have been my favorite team since I was little,” Kinnear said.

“My favorite part of the mock draft is when the kids who are enthused about it start making comments about the players being drafted, which shows that they are paying attention, and prepared for the assignment,” MacLeod reflected. “Different years have had different amounts of levels of vocal participation.”

Both Kinnear and Poteet said they did research prior to the mock draft.

“I looked up the team needs and then I looked at the top players for that position,” Kinnear noted. “I then looked up what draft analysts had my team drafting.”

Poteet agreed, “I chose the players I want my team to draft. It’s very crucial we pick players who are going to make an immediate impact.”

During the mock draft, MacLeod shared real-life, not necessarily sports-related scenarios that students could take away from the experience. For example, when a player isn’t chosen during the first round, while they may feel disappointed, they still need to have a good game-face for the TV cameras and other potential employers.

MacLeod added, “I hope the students also take away how to do some research of a prospective employer. They wouldn't be able to walk into the Indianapolis Colts, not knowing anything about the team, and expect to be taken seriously as a potential employee. This does translate into the business world as well, as most potential employers want to know the candidate they are interviewing has taken the time to learn something of the company they are applying to.

“What I try to teach is a business environment, using sports as the catch to keep everyone involved in the lessons," MacLeod continued. “We talk a lot about sports, but I try to stay away from, ‘How did this team do last night’ and push, 'How does this organization sell this product’ or, ‘How does this organization address an employee who acts badly in public?’ We have lots of situations that come with a sports flair, that have real business implications to them, and that's what I try to focus on.”

Posted April 26, 2017


Budde Retiring with 23 Years of Service to CJ

From watching her own kids, to supporting the hundreds of students who come through the doors of CJ every day, Cindy Budde will missed after her retirement at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Budde first came to CJ in 1994, but she had been a part of the CJ community before that.

"I was a stay-at-home mom for about 15 years, my kids were all in school and it felt like the right time to go back to work," Budde said. "I graduated from high school with Jim Brooks and he mentioned an opening in the development office.  My son was a sophomore at CJ and I was a parent volunteer, so I was familiar with CJ and decided to apply for the position."

Budde began her time at CJ in the development office when, now president, Dan Meixner '84 was the development director.

"In the summer of 1998 I interviewed for the administrative assistant to the president position and was hired," Budde reflected. "I've held that position until now."

Budde has been essential in the planning of the President's Dinner each year and the school's scholarship program. She has also volunteered at the CJ Reunion Weekend and has shared a smile with anyone who visits the Welcome Center. During the 2014 Distinguished Alumni awards, Budde was named to the Honorary Alumni.

When asked what she will miss the most, Budde said, "The people, of course! I've met some amazing people over the almost 23 years I've been at CJ who have influenced my life and made it better.  There will definitely be a hole in my life when I don't get to see them every day.

"I'd like to thank all the wonderful people I've worked with over the years for making my journey so special," Budde continued. "I love CJ and it will be forever in my heart."

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

  • Julie Sears Chmiel: Congratulations Cindy. Enjoy!
  • Heather Zobrist Cuthrell: Congratulations! Enjoy your retirement!!
  • Rosie Drummer Miller: Congratulations Cindy. Thanks for your many years of awesome service.
  • Dan Redmond: Congrats! Thanks for your commitment!
  • Ann Shock: CJ is going to miss you. Enjoy your well deserved retirement!
  • Shannon Ramsay Speelman: Congrats! Enjoy your next journey in life!

Posted April 20, 2017

2016-2017 Winter Sports Season In Review

The Eagles' winter sports season was successful with team, student and coaching accomplishments along with trips to state tournaments.

Men's Basketball
Record 14-11
The Eagles played hard and finished second overall in the GCL North. A highlight from the season was Christian Montague '17 earning his 1,000th point.

"I am extremely proud of how hard we fought this year," said men's basketball head coach Joe Staley '72. "Our effort and commitment never relented for a moment against a schedule that included 12 games against state ranked opponents."

Post-Season Awards
1st Team All-GCL
Christian Montague
P'Hariz Watkins

2nd Team All-GCL
Nick Barnes

2nd Team All-Southwest Ohio
Christian Montague

Women's Basketball 
Record 6-17
Juniors helped lead the women's basketball team this season. The team finished in the first round of post-season play, with hopes to go further next year.

Post-Season Awards
1st Team All-GCL
Annie Weckesser

2nd Team All-GCL
Dallas Jones

Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving
Members of the men's and women's swimming and diving teams continued their tradition of going to state and breaking school records. The women's team secured seven new school records and the men's team secured four new school records.

"In addition, the girls won their section at the Centerville Sectional topping the other 13 schools competing there – that is definitely a first for CJ," shared head Coach Kate Whistler.

The largest amount of swimmers in the school's history participated in the state tournament, with Jorge Zelina placing 8th in the 100 freestyle race and Macleary Moran placing 7th in the 200 freestyle and 5th in the 500 freestyle races. 

Post-Season Awards
GCL Female Swim Coach of the Year
Coach Kate Whistler

CJ MVP Girls
Macleary Moran

Jorge Zelina

Coaches Award
Cayley Saunders and Noah Meyer

James Schwendeman Spirit Award
Abby Arestides (who has been accepted and will swim at the Air Force Academy)

Men's and Women's Bowling
Students on the men's and women's bowling teams had a fun season and walked away with one win each. The men's team defeated Fenwick in December and the women's team defeated Purcell Marian in January.

Post-Season Awards
2nd Team All-GCL
Nick Butler

The wrestling team celebrated a very successful season which resulted in two members going to the state championships.  As a team, the Eagles competed well all season, placing first at the Bob Schwab Invitational, first place at the Bellbrook Invitational (Micah Marshall received the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award), and first place at the Catholic Invitational Tournament in Columbus. The team also placed second at the GCL, and Sectional Tournaments, and 12 place of 49 teams in the District Tournament. The two state tournament qualifiers, Micah Marshall and Isaiah Wortham, made it to the first round of the competition.

"The team has no graduating seniors, so we’re looking for a great 2017-2018 season, and we encourage anyone who is interested to come out for next season," head coach Larry Dryden said.

Post-Season Awards
GCL Coach of the Year
Larry Dryden

1st Team All-GCL
Elijah Cochran
Micah Marshall
Thomas McGraw
Isaiah Wortham

2nd Team All-GCL
Hunter Johns
Zachary Lucking
Nicholas Machuca
Jorden Zigo

The school's club indoor track team also qualified for the state tournament again this season.

Posted April 20, 2017


Stamper Signs with Ursuline College

A second member of the women's lacrosse team will continue to play the sport in college. Lydia Stamper '17 committed to Ursuline College on Wednesday, April 12.

"Ursuline is a pretty small college," Stamper noted. "When visiting Ursuline for the first time, I got the impression that they were a close knit community just like CJ. The people at Ursuline were very welcoming and reminded me of how welcomed I felt at CJ."

Women's lacrosse head coach Danielle Cash shared her confidence for Stamper's success in college.

"During the years that I have known Lydia, she has impressed me with her can do it all attitude despite conflicts and time constraints," Cash said.

Stamper began playing lacrosse for the Eagles during her sophomore year. She also participated in volleyball, swimming, student council and more during her time at CJ.

"I will miss my fellow seniors and all the other friendships I have made with my other teammates," Stamper reflected. "I will also miss my coaches for all their advice over the years and for being the foundation of my lacrosse career."

"I have been proud to be Lydia’s lacrosse coach," Cash shared. "She has an energy and enthusiasm that is like no one else on the team."

Stamper plans to study nursing at Ursuline.

"I am looking forward to continuing my lacrosse career especially at such an amazing school as Ursuline," Stamper said. "Go Arrows!"

Posted April 18, 2017


Downer Retiring With 25 Years of Service to CJ

For 25 years, Ellen Downer has been an integral member of the CJ social studies department. She has not only served as a teacher of the subject, but has been the department's chair since 2000. However, at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, Downer will begin the next chapter of her life with retirement.

"Without question I will miss the daily interaction with the students and faculty," Downer said.

Her children, Martha '86 and John '89, attended CJ before Downer started teaching at the school.

"I was aware that CJ was a fine school," Downer noted. "When I was ready to return to teaching, I sent a letter to academic director Bro. John Habjan inquiring about the possibility of a teaching position. I interviewed and was offered a part time position. I was offered a full time position the next year and accepted it."

One change Downer has noticed over her years of teaching is the student body size.

"A smaller student body makes it easier for teachers to connect with their students," Downer reflected. "Students also want to take a more active role in their learning and there is much more cooperative learning.

"We now have tennis courts and a stadium," Downer continued. "I still find it hard to believe that our campus has these wonderful additions."

She added, "Excuse the metaphor but the first day of school has always been like opening day to me. All the uniforms are clean and every student has a perfect record! I looked forward to that day to give me energy and I will miss that and many other things about CJ. You have all made this a tough place to leave. But as a concerned member of the CJ community, I will continue to celebrate your victories and wish you all the best as you face educational challenges in the future."

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

  • Megan Michelle Lunne: Congratulations, Mrs. Downer! I know CJ will miss you! I loved having you as my teacher while at CJ! I'm sure we will catch up at a ballgame next season!!! Happy retirement!
  • Ann Shock: You have touched so many young lives...enjoy your retirement!
  • Joseph Meyer: Congratulations and thank you for your years of service!
  • Lauralee Marie: Congratulations and thank you for your dedication!
  • Janet Trentman Dorman: Congrats Ellen. Enjoy all your grandkids!
  • Jane Gorman: Congratulations Ellen! Enjoy this next phase of life.

Posted April 12, 2017

STEMM Idols Share Their Expertise

Students interested in STEMM fields had the opportunity to hear from a patent attorney, statistician and dietetics intern recently at the latest STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentations.

Ava Billimoria is a patent attorney for Thompson Hine law firm. She received her undergraduate degree at Kettering University in Michigan and her JD at Wayne State University also in Michigan. 

“I can do lots of different things like work with inventors and write patent applications,” Billimoria noted. “I argue the applications in front of the patent office and hopefully it will be a patent. A patent attorney can also litigate so I sometimes go to court to do that.”

Billimoria, who also has a masters degree in electrical engineering, said she hoped students understood there were several career possibilities available post graduation.

“I hope they realize that this is something else they could do,” Billimoria reflected. “It’s good for them to know what careers are out there.”

Dr. Neil Paton is the lead statistician at Cargill Animal Nutrition. He spoke to students on Pi Day (March 14).

“I want students to understand the significance of Pi,” Dr. Paton said. “I also wanted to share how I use Pi in my job and how I came to be in my career today.”

Dr. Paton also shared with students the significance of STEMM careers in the workplace today.

“We find it very hard to recruit quality people who are sufficiently skilled in STEMM areas,” Dr. Paton noted. “We need to do a better job attracting students which is bazaar because in general those jobs pay very well.”

Dr. Paton continued, “I always look forward to having students coming into STEMM fields and my field in particular, applied statistics. It’d be great to have more students come in.”

Erin Stark (pictured above) is in the final months of her dietetics internship at Miami Valley Hospital. During her time at the hospital, she has learned of several opportunities in the career including inpatient care, outpatient care, and family nutrition.

“I hope students learned that dietetics is a fun and upcoming career,” Stark said. “There are so many ways you can go with it and there is so much you can do to make it your own.”

Stark added something changing she has noticed in her career is the development of new nutrition labels.

“The new nutrition label shows added sugar which I  think is really important to show,” Stark stated. “For example, milk has natural sugars but yogurt or flavored milks can have a lot of added sugars.

“Nutrition education is important,” she emphasized.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM Coordinator at (937) 461-3740 x487 or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

Posted April 11, 2017


Capstone Creates Soccer Event and Book Drive

A Senior Capstone group combined their love for sports along with a passion for reading and helping kids when they held the CJ Soccer Book Drive on Sunday, April 2.

Blake Garman, Joe Geraghty, Ian Saunders, Lucas Vagedes, and Cole Wagner organized the event.

“We came up with the idea when Coach VanderSlujis [the group’s mentor] told us about a very similar thing he did in college, so we adapted that to help a local cause that we had heard a lot about and wanted to help,” Wagner said.

The group had participants from CJ and Holy Angels, as well as two Butler United and two Metro groups. The groups each had field time at Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles, and in exchange donated books for St. Benedict the Moor School.

“We played games with the younger teams,” Geraghty shared. “The older teams practiced or scrimmaged with each other.”

“My favorite moment came near the end when we were packing all the books in the truck,” Saunders noted. “We were given more books than we could have anticipated and I really felt like I made a difference.”

Geraghty said, “My favorite part of the event was seeing all the kids come in with books. All of them smiled and I think they knew they were making a difference.”

When thinking about the entire experience, Wagner said, “I really learned that having a fun event for a good cause was perfect for our group, as we got to promote a cause we cared about while we ran an event for a sport we love.”

Saunders added, “We hope the event continues on through the years because we feel we did make a difference for St. Benedict the Moor.”

Posted April 9, 2017