January 2019

CJ Celebrates Catholic Schools Week 2019

Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. That is the theme for the 2019 Catholic Schools Week, being celebrated January 27 - February 2.

At CJ, celebrations of Catholic Schools Week are taking place each day.

On Monday, select seniors spoke with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr as part of a teleconference he holds with area high schools during Catholic Schools Week. In the afternoon, students said a special 3 o’clock in conjunction with the other Dayton-area high schools as a sign of unity.

Both on Monday and Tuesday, students had the opportunity to write compliment cards to their peers. This was a gesture to brighten a classmate’s day.

On Wednesday, CJ will celebrate Mass at Emmanuel Catholic Church. In addition, several Eagles will attend the all Catholic Schools Mass at St. Luke’s. During lunch periods this day, cake will be served to the students to celebrate Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, the co-founder of the Marianist Sisters, beatification. (Update: postponed to Wednesday, Feb. 6, same time).

On Thursday, students will test their knowledge of CJ, the Marianists, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur during all-school Bingo. (Update: postponed to Thursday, Feb. 7).

On Friday, students are encouraged to wear their favorite Catholic school shirt as part of an out of uniform day (all out of uniform rules apply). The school’s annual talent show will also be held that afternoon. (Update: postponed to Friday, Feb. 8).

The excitement doesn’t end after school lets out on Friday. On Saturday, the men’s basketball team faces fellow Marianist school, Archbishop Moeller, in the Mary, Our Lady of Victory gym, with the varsity game scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Both teams are ranked first in their divisions, according to the Ohio AP poll.

Following the game, CJ is hosting a Sock Hop. Students can enter the dance by contributing new or gently used shoes, or $2. All contributed items will be given to a Marianist school in Africa.

“The idea was brought upon by a Senior Capstone Project,” Kelli Kinnear, Director of Ministry & Service said. “Students will have fun dancing along with their classmates!”

“I’d love to attend the Sock Hop with all my friends!” one sophomore raved.

Additional information about CJ’s Catholic Schools Week celebrations can be found here.

Written in collaboration with Kerry Kadel ‘21.

Posted January 28, 2019

Eagles Robotics Team Prepares for Competition

Update: The Eagles First Tech Challenge Robotics team competed at the Cincinnati FTC Qualifer at Walnut Hills H.S. on Saturday, January 26. They had five matches (including against two world teams) and won two of the five. They will compete February 1-2 at the Tennessee State Competition at Middle Tennessee State University.

First Report: On Saturday, January 26, students will travel to Cincinnati for a competition of brains, technique, and robots.

The Eagles Robotics team consisting of Vance Lawrence ‘22, Sean Porras ‘21, Davinia Surbaugh ‘22, and Andrew Wright ‘22 will compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament at Walnut Hills High School. The 28 total teams participating will compete in pairs as part of the tournament’s course challenge.

“There will be four robots on the field each game,” Wright explained. “There will be two teams on two different alliances.” The groups will learn their pairings at the tournament.

Prior to competing, each school will share with judges what makes their robot work and any unique qualities it might have.

“We have a total of four motors for the drivetrain and three for manipulation,” Porras shared. “We have six wheels and two of them are on a daisy chain together. We have one motor for the hook and one motor for the lifts, including the bucket where we will collect cubes and spheres.”

For Porras, the opportunity to be a part of the Eagles Robotics team allows him to hone in on his computer programming skills.

“I've done programming before but never Java, which is what we use for our robot,” Porras said. “It took a bit of time trying to get the hardware to sync up, but now we're just polishing everything up for the competition.”

Lawrence and Wright, who were both on a robotics team at their elementary school, Bishop Leibold, were excited for the opportunity to build the robot and its mechanisms.

“We’ve been working a lot with the computer animated design (CAD),” Lawrence shared. “We use the program to create a three-dimensional robot and move around its parts.”

The CAD is a program the students are also using as part of their Project Lead the Way engineering courses.

“We can help other students who may have questions about CAD since we are using it both for the Robotics team and in class,” Lawrence added.

The team has three coaches who have helped them prepare for the tournament — Pedro Campos, Rachel Sax and Josh Schuh, with Zach Schneider ‘20 serving as a student mentor. After the Cincinnati competition, the Eagles Robotics team will travel to Tennessee for a competition in February. Based upon their performances at the two competitions, the team could qualify for a state tournament and even world tournament.

Posted January 25, 2019


The Reason Why Students are at CJ

As a current parent and parent of graduates, Mark understands why students are at CJ.

“I have very rarely come across a student who doesn’t understand why they’re here. The reason they’re here is because their parents care enough about them to teach them that there is something bigger than themselves.”



Eagles March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Eagles bundled in hats, gloves, and walking shoes held signs of hope to end abortion as they marched in Washington, D.C. as part of the annual March for Life on January 18.

“It's amazing to see how many people share the same belief as you and who are willing to go out in the middle of winter and march in a huge crowd to stand up for something so important,” said Alex Camp ‘19.

“I was struck by a couple of factors at the March,” shared Joe Allaire ‘19. “There was an overwhelming feeling of calmness in the crowd which I found surprising and peaceful. I was also struck by just how young the marchers were on average and the representation from the youth of the movement was overwhelming.”

"It was so amazing how people from all over the country and world came to Washington all to support the same thing,” reflected Anna Hiett ‘21.

Mikayla Jette ‘21 added, “Going to the march made me feel connected with my community. I was apart of something bigger than myself. I got to advocate for someone that can't speak for themselves.”

During their time in the nation’s capital, the group attended several Masses and on Saturday, attended the Students for Life of America National Conference.

“My favorite part of the weekend was the conference,” said Eden Abernethy ‘22. “I learned many things and was inspired by a lot of the speakers.”

“After I leave the conference I feel very touched after hearing stories, learning about specific things, and having a way to make a difference and be a strong advocate for Pro-Life,” added Rylee Smith ‘21.

“I now feel educated on the stance of pro-life and I feel much stronger about the topic,” shared Raegan Meyer ‘21. “I think that if anyone is considering going they should do it because it was an amazing, eye-opening experience. By going to the March for Life, I now know I am not alone in this battle for pro-life.”

“The pro-life movement is not just one of Christians,” said Allaire. “Although there are a ton of them involved, the pro-life movement is so much more. From atheists, Muslims, feminists, and priests, the pro-life movement is one of humanity. We are all human and different but we must unite to defend the life that we have been given and step up to the responsibility to care for those who are in danger of losing their own.”

Jette added, “I have a new appreciation for parents and they deserve a big thank you for all they do and go through for their children.”

Posted January 23, 2019

Engineering Students Solve Cafeteria Chair Problem

A real problem needed a real solution.

That was the motivation behind a recent project for students studying engineering design and development.

Facilities manager Bob Young has repaired dozens of chairs from the CJ cafeteria due to a part on the bottom of the chair, called a cleat, consistently breaking.

“I wanted to give the students a simple problem that was under their feet and let them follow the design process to completion,” Young said. “I wanted them to produce a solution for something that impacts not only the student body but also the school as a whole.”

The class, consisting of Lindsey Fuchs ‘19, Brennan Harlow ‘19, Noah Jackson ‘19 and Josh Kinnear ‘19, along with teacher Saad Qureshi, worked for several weeks creating a solution.

“It took a couple steps to get there, and we had to make some changes to our original design,” Jackson said. “We wanted to make sure that we had the answer to the problem and something easily installable.”

“The original cleats are hard to remove,” Harlow added. “Our design is simpler - you just put it on the chair and slide it.”

The students’ design was created with the school’s 3D printer and features a CJ logo on the side.

“I thought it was cool to have this experience in high school,” Fuchs noted. “This was a real problem and we came up with a real solution. This was very eye opening.”

Kinnear agreed, “This was a good lesson as I prepare for college because I know I can reevaluate solutions when I work on future projects.”

“I am very proud of these students taking the chance to fail and believing in the process to succeed,” Young added. “Their solution provides a safe solution to the chair problem and stops damage to the floors.”

To continue giving the students a real-world experience, Young bought the design from the students to transfer legal ownership of the design to the school.

“The other engineering teachers and I talk about how we wish we had opportunities like this when we went to high school,” Qureshi noted. “They now have great insight for the future.”

Posted January 17, 2019

Students Spend Weekend at LIFE Summit

Earlier this month, students spent part of their weekend engaging with students from other Marianist high schools for a Marianist LIFE Summit. For some of the students, it was an opportunity to reconnect with others they met over the summer during Marianist Summer LIFE week.

“I wanted to attend the Summit because I loved LIFE week and I wanted to almost relive some of it again,” shared Maria Weizman ‘20. “I wanted to show others how much you grow from LIFE week, I wanted to get more ideas for our MLC group here at CJ, and I also wanted to see the people who I met at LIFE week again!”

“I expected the Summit to be a time to reconnect with other people from my LIFE week, learn about ways to better our CJ LIFE community and a time to strengthen our faith,” added Katie Bardine ‘19.

This was the first time a Summit was organized by Marianist LIFE. During the Summer LIFE Week, students focus on leadership development, social justice education, prayer, and fun. The Summit engaged students in those same concepts, just during a shorter time frame.

“I think one of my favorite moments at the retreat was when we all prayed and meditated as a group,” shared Carolyn Marshall ‘21. “It helped me feel relaxed and surrounded by good people.”

“I really enjoyed my small group because everyone was super easy to talk to,” said Allie Bardine ‘21. “I also enjoyed when we did a trivia night the first night.”

“One of my favorite moments was when I walked into the retreat center and I saw three of my closest friends from the Summer LIFE Week — I hadn't seen them since July,” reflected Katie. “It was so fun to see them and have us all hang out, but also grow in the faith.

“That is one very unique thing about the friendships made on LIFE Week and summits,” she continued. “These are friends who you can grow in your faith with, have meaningful conversations, and simply hang out and have ping pong tournaments with!”

Weizman added, “It is a great experience to learn more about how to benefit your community and a great opportunity to make new friends!”

“I wish that everybody in the school was able to experience the LIFE Summit,” Allie said. “It changed my mind about what MLC is like at CJ, and how different some of the same programs may be at different schools. I am so grateful that I took two days out of my winter break to grow closer to God and to also meet new people from other Marianist schools across Ohio!”

Marshall agreed, “This conference helped me, in a way, find what I want to do when I get older. It also helped me realize that God works in mysterious ways and is always there to give a helping hand. Have faith and you'll be on the right track.”

Posted January 14, 2019

Performing Arts Students Showcased Near and Far

2019 is beginning in a big way for students in performing arts.

Six students - Logan Brodnick ‘19 (baritone saxophone), Anna Mussin Phillips ‘21 (flute), John Muhl ‘20 (tuba), Will Marshall ‘19 (horn), Libby Blackshire ‘20 (trumpet), and Natalie Mussin Phillips ‘21 (percussion) were selected to participate in the Tri-State Band Symposium at Northern Kentucky University January 18 and 19. Students from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio who were selected are “the Tri-State’s finest wind and percussion players,” according to NKU. Students will participate in a clinic and perform in the Tri-State Honor Band.

Performing arts students will showcase their talent on Sunday, February 10 during the school’s Winter Recital. Both instrumental and vocal performances will take place at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Students in CJ’s a cappella groups - Phoenix and Vega - also have exciting events happening in the new year. On February 22, both groups will compete the in the International Championship of High School A Cappella quarterfinals at Centerville High School. Vega placed first and Phoenix placed third in that same competition last year.

Additionally, both Vega and Phoenix are featured on the BOHSA 2019: Best of High School a Cappella soundtrack. Vega performs Walk on Water and Phoenix performs How Long. The soundtrack can be heard here

Save the Date!

CJ's spring musical, Cinderella, takes the stage Friday, March 8 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, March 9 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.

Tickets are $10. There will be special opportunities for elementary students for the March 9 matinee. Additional details will be announced on cjeagles.org closer to the performance date.

Posted January 9, 2019

STEMM Idol: Dr. Patricia Schiml

During her freshman year of college, Dr. Patricia Schiml took a class that would lead her on a path to her life-long career.

“I took a class on drugs and behavior,” Dr. Schiml said. “I remember, it was a lightning bolt moment, sitting in that classroom and I listened to a discussion of neurons and how molecules from the outside can come in and affect behavior. I knew that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. I’m really lucky that I get to do that.”

Dr. Schiml is a research professor and an advisor for behavioral neuroscience students in the department of psychology at Wright State University.  She received her bachelor of science from Wright State in 1989, and her masters and doctorate in psychology from the University of California in 1991 and 1996, respectively.

“If you want to define psychology, it would be the study of behavior and mental processes,” Dr. Schiml explained. “Within psychology, if you are a behavioral neuroscientist, you study specifically how the brain controls behavior and mental processes. If you want to study the organ of behavior and mental processes, you study of the brain. With that comes some studies of hormones and immunology because the immune system factors can affect behaviors pretty profoundly.”

Dr. Schiml came to CJ on Tuesday, January 8 as part of the school’s STEMM Idol Speaker Series. She also spoke with students taking anatomy and biomedical science medical innovations classes.

As part of her presentation, Dr. Schiml brought in both human and animal brain specimens.

“I think for a beginner in neuroscience or psychology, studying anatomy by using an animal brain can be really helpful,” Dr. Schiml said. “When you then go to the human brain, things seem to make a lot more sense.

Dr. Schiml continued, “We have greater ethical considerations when we think about doing testing or studying human beings. We treat people, and rightfully so, in a special way. Looking at the similarities between animal neuroanatomy and human neuroanatomy helps us understand that we are a little more connected.”

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 January 8, 2019


A New "Lift" for the CJ Community

The CJ elevator is here and “open for business.” And that business is serving those who have limited mobility with access to second floor classrooms and community spaces. The elevator is located by the stairwell leading from the cafeteria to the gym, near the Ludlow St. entrance.

“In the past, teachers who taught on the second floor would move their class to a ground-level space whenever possible. It took a little more planning and adjusting, which teachers and students were willing to do,” said Steve Fuchs, Assistant Principal.

“Now with elevator access to the second floor, classes can remain in the rooms that are best designed for the curriculum being taught, like those classes taught in the CJ STEMM Center.”

The elevator also means easier access to the CJ auditorium or Mary, Our Lady of Victory gym.

“This is a great help to our guests who previously struggled to climb steps to see a show or concert,” said Debi Schutt, Director of Performing Arts.

The elevator made its debut in June 2018 as the family of Emilee Boland gathered in her memory for an inaugural blessing. The mother of three graduates, Heather ‘88, Nicole ‘90 and Bethany ‘01, had limited mobility later in life.

“Emilee’s husband, Michael, and their children wanted a way to honor her memory that would also benefit the CJ community,” said Deacon Jim Walworth, Director of Development. “We are extremely grateful for their gift that will make CJ an even greater place of welcome to those with limited mobility.”

As first seen in Vision, Fall 2018

Posted January 4, 2019


Eagles Grow From Summer Experience for Year-Long Opportunity

After spending a week serving in Cincinnati over the summer, Sophie Haws ‘20 and Elizabeth Murray ‘20 wanted to continue growing from their experience.

The pair was part of a group of four students who attended the Rooted in the Vine summer trip held by St. Vincent de Paul’s Ozanam Center in June 2018. After their week of serving and learning about homelessness in Cincinnati, students were presented with the opportunity to take part in the St. Julie Billiart Conference - a group where high school students can continue helping neighbors in need and social justice issues in the community throughout the school year.

“I decided to join the St. Julie Conference because of the trip we took to Cincinnati over the summer,” Haws said. “It had a tremendous impact on who I am and what I believe. I wanted to continue serving at the Ozanam Center so I decided that the St. Julie conference would be a good fit for me.”

Murray added, “I am so proud to be apart of  the St. Julie Conference and all of the amazing work that we do. I am also thankful that they have accepted Sophie and me with open arms.”

Conference members meet once a month for activities and service based projects.

“My favorite part of the conference is the people — both the people who I serve and those I serve alongside,” said Murray. “The Conference has taught and allowed me to get to know those I am serving. I often leave service feeling so fulfilled when I take time to have a conversation and get to know those who I serve. I have also gotten the opportunity to get to know other high school students from the Cincinnati-area who have the same passion for service that I do. It excites me and fills me with hope for the future, to encounter others who are so full of Christ's love and willing to share with everyone.”

Most recently, Conference members helped with a toy drive as part of a Christmas celebration St. Vincent de Paul was sponsoring.

“So far, my favorite part of the Conference has been the toy drive,” Haws reflected. “Walking into a big room filled with brand new toys for those who can't afford them creates a unique and fun atmosphere for workers and shoppers alike. Seeing the faces of excitement in the children and parents is a feeling that doesn't come across often. Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year so it's nice to know that you are making a difference in someone's holiday season.”

Both girls said being members of the St. Julie Conference has made a positive impact in their lives.

“So far, I have gained an enlightened mindset on the way others live,” said Haws. “I have learned more about poverty, homelessness, gentrification, and community than I ever thought possible. I try to use this knowledge in my everyday life to remind myself that not everyone has the luxuries that I do.”

Murray agreed, “I have gained so much insight to the social justice issues going on around us. I am learning simple ways to make a big difference in the community I live in. Educating ourselves on the injustices is the first step to fighting them. I have learned to look past the stigmas and implicit bias and get to know each person. This conference has taught me so much and really instilled in me a desire to go out and help others in any way that I can. I hope to continue to follow Christ's call to service through this conference. I also hope to continue to gain an understanding of the problems that I see and the things that can fix them.”

Posted January 3, 2019