August 2018

World Culture Students Learn More About Downtown Dayton

“If you’re going to learn about the world, you need to learn about your own backyard first.”

That was the premise behind history teacher Tony Ricciuto’s ‘74 walking tour of downtown Dayton with his freshmen students. At the beginning of each school year, Ricciuto takes his world cultures students throughout downtown explaining the history behind iconic features and how downtown has evolved over the years. 

New this year on the tour was a stop at Levitt Pavilion. Ricciuto explained to his students the benefactors’ initiative to highlight the arts in Dayton. CJ’s Eagle Pride marching band was part of the grand opening festivities of the Levitt Pavilion in August.

A highlight for many on the trip was visiting local eateries. Depending on the class period time, Ricciuto takes the students to Flying Pizza or Third and Perk.

Other stops on the tour included Courthouse Square and Riverscape Metro Park.

Posted August 30, 2018

Students Find Peace in Friday Prayer Sessions

Finding a few moments of peace during a day is difficult for most, especially high school students with their school work, after school activities, and home lives.

That’s one reason why CJ Chaplain Fr. Bob Jones, SM initiated a new opportunity for students to take time out of their day to pray and be with God.

“This summer I was on a retreat with other Marianists and I was reading a book called Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation,” Jones explained. “It outlines a method of prayer that helps to quiet ourselves in the midst of the constant ‘video’ of thoughts and distractions that race through our minds. I found it very helpful for myself, particularly entering into a more contemplative mindset and focusing on God's presence in my life, if even for just a few moments. Then I got to thinking that maybe our students could benefit as well. They are bombarded with information all day (and not just from classroom lessons) and they live very busy and hectic lives. I thought it might be helpful if we create a space where students can experience silence and be able to ‘rest’ in God's presence for a few moments. I also think students are looking for help in how to pray, and I hope these experiences can be beneficial to them.”

The prayer sessions are being held each Friday in the school Chapel during each homeroom period. Faculty and staff are also invited to take part in the time of reflection.

“I think there are two things that are important to remember about this - first, it is always good for everyone to find some moments of quiet and to remember the exhortation of the psalmist, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’" Jones reflected  “Second, what we are doing is nothing new. It is part of an ancient practice, going back to the desert monks in the first centuries of Christianity. We are tapping into a 2000 year tradition that continues to draw individuals closer to God.”

All School Masses

All are invited to join the CJ community during all school Masses at Emmanuel Catholic Church. Mass will be held from 9:45-11:15 a.m. the following days this school year:

  • Wednesday, August 29
  • Wednesday, September 26
  • Wednesday, October 17
  • Thursday, November 1 - All Saints Day
  • Wednesday, Dec. 12
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20
  • Wednesday, Mar. 6 - Ash Wednesday
  • Wednesday, May 10

During all school Masses, the offices in CJ will be closed to allow faculty and staff the opportunity to worship.

Posted August 28, 2018

CJ Receives an "A " Grade from Niche.com

The Chaminade Julienne community continues to show their support of CJ by giving the school high marks, which resulted in an “A” grade from ranking website Niche.com.

65% of Niche’s private high school ranking sources are based upon self reports by Niche users, which is something Principal John Marshall ‘86 says is very humbling.

“These numbers are affirming, as we look at the overall success of our students during their time at CJ and beyond,” Marshall noted.

“Receiving an “A” for the overall grade is wonderful; however, we hope that families will dig deeper to learn and understand the community behind it,” added Brandon Meyer, Director of Admissions. “Ranking websites can be useful on many levels; the great advantage to organizations like Niche is that they organize a massive amount of data, evaluate it using specific parameters, and produce a scoring system that we can use to make comparisons. At the same time, the scoring system only provides a snapshot; it is unable to fully capture lived experience, mission, identity, atmosphere, and other non-quantitative aspects.”

CJ was ranked by Niche as the following:

  • #2 most diverse private high school in the Dayton area (#6 in the state)
  • #4 best college prep private high school in the Dayton area
  • #4 best private high school in the Dayton area
  • #4 best high school sports in the Dayton area
  • #29 best Catholic high school in Ohio

How CJ ranked in more categories in the Dayton area, Montgomery County, Ohio and the nation can be found here

“One of the areas I enjoy being recognized in is diversity,” shared Marshall. “It speaks to our intentional efforts to have a diverse community at CJ.”

Meyer added that receiving an education with a diverse student body will help students as they go forward in their college and professional careers.

“CJ students have the opportunity for a well-rounded high school experience that prepares them to be life-long learners centered on compassion, integrity, and service,” Meyer said. “Our world is looking for intelligent students — intelligence both in the classroom and beyond."

Learn more about the methodology behind all 2019 best private high school rankings here.

Posted August 22, 2018

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Meet the Eagles & Football Jamboree

Join the CJ community as we kick-off the fall athletic season on Thursday, August 16 at 5:30 p.m. with Meet the Eagles. Parents, students, siblings and Eagle fans are invited to come out to support the Eagles. Enjoy the musical stylings of Eagle Pride as fall coaches introduce members of their teams.

Following the celebration will be a football jamboree as the Eagles scrimmage against Sidney beginning at 7 p.m.

This event is scheduled to take place at Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles. Stay tuned for a potential venue change due to rain.

Posted August 15, 2018

Eagles Attend SNDdeN Student Leadership Conference

More than 70 students representing high schools rooted in the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur hallmarks gathered at Emmanuel College in Boston for a Leadership conference earlier this summer. Seven students from CJ participated in the conference.

“I went to the conference because I talked about it with some of the Sisters and it sound really fun,” shared Abby Feucht ‘20. “I also just wanted to learn more about how to make a bigger impact on my society.”

As part of the conference, Eagles collaborated with students from other schools to explore ideas that incorporate the values of the Sisters.

“The most impactful activity we did in my opinion was this listen activity with a partner that really helped us to work on our listening skills and how to apply them to everyday things,“ said Feucht.

During some of the activities, the students met with Sisters who were serving from countries around the world.

“I would really encourage more people to come to the conference,” Feucht emphasized. “It was such a great time and we got to meet so many different people from around the country and world — it was an amazing experience! We all really learned so much!”

Posted August 15, 2018

Eagles Experience Marianist Summer LIFE Week

Seven Eagles spent a week of their summer with other students from all around the country for a Marianist faith formation experience.

The week was part of the Marianist Summer LIFE program focused on leadership development, social justice education, prayer, and fun.

“To be honest, I was a little hesitant at first because it was five days out of my summer and a majority of the people there would be from other schools across the country,” shared Katie Bardine ‘19. “But, after encouragement...I applied and went! I am glad I did — it was amazing!”

“The sense of community that everyone felt the whole week was awesome,” added Aubrey Trimbach ‘20. “This was because no one judged one another, no one was better than anyone else, and everyone could just be themselves. It was such a freeing feeling to be a part of the LIFE family.”

Throughout the week, the students were put together in small groups mostly with people from other schools.

“We all came to trust each other, even though we were all complete strangers at the beginning of the week,” Trimbach reflected.

Ben Kneblik '20 agreed, “We had awesome discussions in groups.”

Along with meeting new people, the students came back with tools that will help them lead MLC Monday activities at CJ.

“I learned about the different ways to pray and how to find God in music, nature or adoration,” Bardine said. “We did a, ‘prayer fair’ full of stations with different forms of prayer!”

Bardine added, “If you are given the opportunity to go on LIFE week- go! It may seem scary at first because of all the new people and it can require you to get out of your comfort zone. But once you form authentic, genuine and meaningful relationships with those on LIFE week, you will never want to leave.”

Trimbach agreed, “We had formed this amazing bond and we were like a family. That feeling will be something I will never forget and will forever hold on to.”

Posted August 14, 2018

2018 Kids' Night Under the Lights

The third annual Kids' Night Under the Lights will be held at Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles on Tuesday, August 14 from 7:30-9 p.m. Families with students entering in grades K-8 are invited to this event.

Activities planned include a football toss, 40-yard dash, and soccer shots. Food will be available for purchase and Kona Ice will be dishing out free shaved ice desserts. 

Families who attend are encouraged to bring a contribution of a non-perishable food item which will be given to The Foodbank.

Watch a preview of the event on WDTN's Living Dayton program here.

Posted August 9, 2018

Soccer Players Help Teammate with Eagle Scout Project

Members of the men’s soccer team work together on the field and recently, helped a teammate off the field.

Andrew Barnes ‘19 rallied his teammates together to help him complete his Eagle Scout Project.

“I have been in the Scouting program since 2007,” Barnes shared. “I then crossed-over into Boy Scouts in 2013.”

Barnes chose to do a collection drive to assist the Blue Star Mothers, which supports active military and veterans.

“I visited the local chapter’s center of operations and was told they were in need of goods in the summertime,” Barnes said.

Barnes went to his church, family, friends and Eagle soccer teammates to collect food items such as protein bars, nuts, and candy. Just like on the field, the team worked together to bring in dozens of items.

“I was incredibly grateful by the support of the team but I wasn’t all that surprised, because we have a great group of guys with equally great families,” Barnes reflected. “I am just glad that I could help a great organization change the lives of deployed troops all over the world.”

Posted August 8, 2018

10th Annual Lucas Pfander Memorial Race

Thank you to all who participated! Pictures from the race can be found on the CJ Alumni Facebook page here


First Report: Hundreds at Chaminade Julienne, and around the world, will remember and honor Lucas Pfander ‘09 during the annual Lucas Pfander Memorial Race on Saturday, August 11.

Participants can register at Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles beginning at 6 p.m. for the 1-mile youth walk/run and 2-mile adult run. Proceeds from donations and t-shirt sales at the race support the Lucas Pfander Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded to rising CJ seniors who exemplify the traits of Lucas, who passed away on July 11, 2008. While at CJ, Lucas was an honor student who had completed 150 hours of community service, had perfect attendance, and played a sport (cross country, swimming and volleyball) every season. This year, the recipients of the scholarship are Bea Hawthorn ‘19 and Matthew Reuter ‘19.

Those unable to come to CJ for the race are encouraged to print a race bib and run for Lucas from anywhere. The time and distance does not need to be recorded. Those who “attend” the virtual run can then take a picture and email it to Elaine Bonner, annual giving coordinator, or post it on the CJ alumni Facebook page.

Posted August 10, 2018, Updated August 13, 2018

It's All in the Roots - Environmental Project Outside Stadium

New life springing forth from our Marianist heritage

This spring, in conjunction with the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC), students volunteered in completing an environmental restoration project just outside of Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles.

Peter Evans ‘13, who was with MEEC through his volunteer year with Marianist PULSE (Partners in Urban Leadership, Service and Education) coordinated this project. He shared his reflection on the culmination of the project below:

“The misty morning of Wednesday, April 25 blossomed into a sunny, warm afternoon – ideal for a final step in our urban environmental restoration project: sowing prairie grass seeds along the edges of Roger Glass Stadium – Home of the Chaminade Julienne Eagles. Tossing grass seed onto two narrow strips of topsoil may sound ordinary, but it completes an extraordinary story that began with the construction of Interstate 675 in 1985.

Building an interstate is complex, as we travelers encounter through the endless cycle of summer highway repairs. Many properties along the path of I-675 were bisected by this new artery – including another Marianist property, the over 160-acre Mount Saint John (MSJ). Today, the Brother Don Geiger, SM prairie abutting I-675 and other MSJ natural areas are stewarded by the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) where I’ve volunteered since 8th grade, as have many other CJ students who provide land service. MEEC collaborates with eight other Marianist ministries at MSJ including the Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning, where many CJ students have attended school retreats.

How did the prairie and MEEC emerge? To provide material for the interstate, 17 acres of the undeveloped eastern side of MSJ now accessible by walking trails were excavated for sand and gravel that had been left behind by the last continental glacier 17,500 years ago. Typically, borrow pits like these are re-planted with the common Kentucky bluegrass we see growing in the mowed areas of highways – a cool-season grass of European origin. It thrives in cool, humid climates of its European homeland, but due to its shallow root system, it struggles in the hot, dry spells that frequent Midwestern summers. Left unwatered, it’s an unattractive brown by August.

Thankfully, visionary plant physiologist Marianist Brother Don Geiger, a 1951 graduate of Chaminade inducted into the CJ Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2016, knew of native prairie grass species that would not only survive, but also thrive there. Unlike Kentucky bluegrass, whose roots extend only a few inches, prairie grass root systems reach five to seven feet into the soil. These store water soaked up during rain events and can access deep groundwater. And because one-third of the root mass dies back every winter, the grasses also build their own soil rich in organic material that the living roots can draw nutrients from in following years.

These Midwestern prairie grasses, such as big bluestem, Indiangrass, prairie dropseed, and little bluestem, have evolved under our local conditions for tens of thousands of years, and have become very well suited for our soils, weather conditions, and the soil creatures and land animals that have evolved alongside them. These prairie grasses do not falter, but thrive during harsh summer droughts, punishing winters, and even the occasional wildfires that used to briefly blacken the landscape in pre-colonial, pre-agricultural times. 

Bro. Don acquired tremendous quantities of prairie grass seed mixtures to spread with volunteers across the borrow pit early in spring 1986. Thankfully, the seeds established and have grown, thrived and spread to cover most of the prairie borrow pit today. Bro. Don’s vision for rebuilding the landscape inspired the foundation of the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) at MSJ in 1994, to steward the MSJ land and educate others. MEEC’s mission of restoring communities of land and people by using native plants to transform degraded landscapes back into flourishing ecosystems has grown and diversified through many partnerships and projects – including CJ’s little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) prairie grass along Roger Glass Stadium.

How did the MEEC Prairie seeds get to CJ? This past year, I served as a Marianist PULSE volunteer at MEEC and live in an East Dayton community house. Marianist PULSE is a post-graduate year of service program (similar to AmeriCorps) sponsored by the Marianists. Each volunteer annually commits to living in intentional, continually formed faith communities while each serves at different nonprofit agencies.

As a 2013 CJ alum, I was excited to link CJ and MEEC. In November 2017, I led several CJ groups in collecting little bluestem prairie seeds from the MSJ Bro. Don Geiger Prairie. These included the men’s cross country team, the REACH after-school service groups, and students Aaron Meixner ‘19, James Blackshire ‘19, Noah Jackson ‘19, and Kelsey Wolf ‘19 who partnered with MEEC for their Integrated Social Justice Research Projects (ISJRPs).

After months of cold winter storage, the seeds were ready. Side by side, the CJ students and I worked with Michele Banker, MEEC’s land manager and volunteer coordinator, to disperse the seeds in an almost biblical fashion - we cast them on the good ground of the stadium edges.  There will also be “biblical patience” needed with these special plants. They aren’t designed to instantly burst green like typical lawn grasses. Instead, during their first year, the little bluestem will grow slowly above ground while they invest most energy in establishing long roots. In spring 2019 and thereafter, we’ll see brilliant bunches of aesthetic blue-green foliage that will remain robust even during the worst summer droughts.

Truly, for these prairie plants and the CJ students, it’s all in the roots. During the project students learned about the importance of our local ecosystems, what positive impacts we can have on them, and how this is a rich part of our Catholic faith tradition. We’re living out Pope Francis’ spirit of integral ecology in caring for our common home. It’s also part of the roots of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur part of our CJ-tradition. Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN ‘49 gave her life to restoring the Brazilian rainforest trees with its dwellers. In working with Marianist Brother Don, MEEC, PULSE and current CJ students, I am so grateful to be continuing the tradition of deepening and extending Marianist roots to serve future generations.

What could have been an ordinary lawn of grass along CJ’s stadium is now a deep-reaching prairie planting that already tells a fascinating story of environmental restoration, student service, and the charisms of our Marianist and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur heritage alive and flourishing in our community."

Peter Evans ‘13 first met Brother Don Geiger SM when he began volunteering at MEEC with his father, Dan, for his Confirmation service hours as an eighth grader at St. Albert the Great School.  While a CJ-student, he continued volunteering at MEEC and organized groups of CJ students to join with him both in the nature preserve and vegetable garden. Peter continued his service leadership with UD and CJ students while attending University of Dayton as a Biology major, River Steward, Marianist Leadership Scholar, and Marianist Student Community member.  Following graduation in 2017, Peter committed to a year of service with Marianist PULSE and was placed with MEEC.  He has recommitted to a second year with PULSE as a MEEC intern and welcomes CJ and other student and adult volunteers working with him.

Posted August 6, 2018

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