August 2020

#becauseofCJ: Mackenzie Aughe Mays '12

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the CJ Annual Fund, you make this happen for all students. As Mackenzie shares her thoughts and reflections on community service and involvement below, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

Throughout my years of Catholic school education, first at St. Rita and then at CJ, one constant was the emphasis on the importance of community service and involvement.

Like many college freshmen, in my first semester at Ohio State, I found myself wanting to switch majors. In talking with my advisor about what I was interested in and passionate about, I kept coming back to the need for social justice work and my urge to give back to my community. This led me to graduate in 2016 with my Bachelors in Public Health. I spent the next year serving as an Americorps service member delivering health education programming for newly-arrived refugees in Columbus. While I loved this work and everyone I met that year, it also reinforced for me the need to tackle some of the larger systemic barriers that my clients were facing.  Direct client work is important and challenging and rewarding, but I realized that I felt called to do policy and advocacy work at the system and community levels.

When my Americorps year ended, I returned to Ohio State to pursue a dual Masters in Social Work and Public Health because it was clear that issues like systemic racism, housing access, and wealth inequality are public health problems that must be addressed in order to promote a healthy and productive community. During my Masters program, I worked both in direct service and at a macro level. At Huckleberry House, I worked directly with youth who experienced homelessness as a result of family or domestic violence as they transitioned to independent living.  At the macro level, I worked with local health departments across the state as part of my work with the OSU Center for Public Health Practice.

Then, a few months ago, in the midst of a public health emergency, an economic recession, and a civil rights movement, I graduated. And honestly, it was scary.  And not just because of a suddenly very different job market.  It was scary because it seemed even more important that I find my place in a way that would be impactful. I am now a Contact Tracer, working with Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the Dayton community.  The pandemic is disproportionately impacting people of color economically and in terms of disease mortality.  My work as a Contact Tracer makes use of both my social work and public health skills to try to address this inequity.

I don’t know where my career will take me post-pandemic, but I do know that CJ instilled the right values to guide me. Mr. Mominee taught me about social justice and inequality in junior year Religion. Ms. Ruffalo taught me to be an engaged and active citizen in AP Government. And Mrs. Kinnear taught me the importance of service as a member of F.L.I.G.H.T. The people I met and experiences I had as a CJ student shaped me during high school and continue to influence my life.  I am grateful I had the opportunity to attend a school like CJ where social justice and advocating for a more equitable society is woven throughout the high school experience.

Mackenzie Aughe Mays '12

 

-- Published on August, 27, 2020

A Lost Diploma Finds Its Way Back Home

Chaminade Julienne prides itself on going above and beyond for their alumni.

“Any day we get to help out an alumnus or group of alumni is a good day,” said Ann Szabo, Alumni Relations Coordinator. “Once you become a member of the CJ community, you’re a member for life.”

Tracie Atkinson emailed CJ about a conundrum her aunt, Alice, was in. Alice Mangeot Penney graduated from Julienne High School in 1948 and, at almost 91 years old, had no way of proving it.

Alice’s mother had thrown out her diploma long ago and, back then, once something was gone, it was gone. At least, she thought.

When Szabo got word of this situation, she took to the case.

“I started emailing some folks internally about how we could help Alice out,” said Szabo. “She worked hard for that diploma, and we were going to find a way to document that hard work for her!”

After some digging, it was determined that an original copy of Alice’s diploma did not exist, so Szabo had CJ’s communications staff put together as close to an exact replica as possible. After checking school files, it was determined that Alice had no holds on her account and was ready to receive her diploma. From there, Szabo arranged to have the diploma safely delivered to her.

“Alice was just over the moon excited when she got a copy of her diploma,” said Szabo. “It’s situations like this that make me love working for CJ. If you’re in our community, you’re family. And if family needs something, you find a way to make it happen.”

 

-- Published on August 24, 2020

The Return of Athletic Competition for Fall Sports

Today, we are excited to announce Chaminade Julienne’s intention to proceed with all fall sports and Eagle Pride marching band, with plans to phase in limited spectators at our home events.

Beginning this weekend, CJ will host visiting teams for competition in Our Lady of Victory Gym and Roger Glass Stadium on John Q. Sherman Field for women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and football. Tennis and golf matches will continue with their respective schedule which is already in progress.

School leadership has reviewed the order posted by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on August 19 as well as the new Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) recommendations that include safety standards specific to sports.

In addition to adhering to guidelines from ODH and OHSAA, Greg Mueller, principal, and Jeremy Greenleaf, athletic director, have consulted with local Catholic high school principals and Greater Catholic League (GCL) athletic directors, respectively. The CJ leadership team then discussed the implementation of both recommended and required safety protocols to continue with fall contact sports and spectators.

In order to allow fall competition, CJ will follow the new health orders issued on August 19 and will require full compliance from coaches, student athletes and visiting teams. Coaches and participants must follow the state public health orders and complete the educational requirements as provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In addition to completing safety training, all participants will be expected to conduct a pre-screening of symptoms before arriving at the event, and every person will have their temperature checked before being permitted to enter the venue. While on CJ’s campus, all event participants will be expected to follow current health orders, including the use of face coverings and adhering to social distancing protocols. A compliance officer will be present at each event.

Each venue is being prepared to accommodate visiting teams. The facilities team and athletic department are collaborating on increasing the health and safety of our athletic facilities, which includes additional signage to promote safety protocols and additional hand sanitizer dispensers.

The safety and well-being of our students and community continues to be a priority, which is why CJ is following a phased approach to allow spectators at our home athletic events. To prepare, each sport will run a home competition without spectators so the event management teams can focus on the safety of all student athletes and coaches. They will also use these experiences to evaluate any additional precautions or protocols that may need to be put in place in order to welcome guests, in the safest way possible, to future events.

As spectators will not be permitted to attend home competitions through Wednesday, August 26, CJ will provide a live stream to the women’s volleyball game scheduled for Saturday, August 22, and the men’s soccer game scheduled for Tuesday, August 25, so that parents and others may still view the game. Details for accessing these live stream events will be posted on the CJ athletic page here: cjeagles.org/athletics.

When these first events in each venue are safely and successfully executed, CJ plans to phase in limited spectators for future home athletic events. A limited spectator plan will be released next week and is projected to follow Gov. DeWine’s recommendations, regarding capacity and ticket allotment to family members of each athlete, Eagle Pride member, and cheerleader. Ticket information and safety requirements will also be included.

Because of the capacity limitations set forth in the ODH order, it is highly unlikely that tickets will be available for any members of our community aside from close family members of athletes. This would likely prohibit students who are not part of an athlete’s immediate family, local alumni and others within the greater CJ community from attending.

CJ is excited for the opportunity to offer our student athletes the opportunity to experience a well-rounded education and athletics season under these new guidelines and circumstances.

Virtual Q&A Session Brings Together Parents and Staff Before School

It’s difficult to gauge how many “firsts” the CJ community has worked through together since March 2020. Teachers were asked to perform their jobs completely virtually for the first time. Students were asked to learn entirely at home and manage their own schedule. Parents were asked to shift their living spaces into classrooms and help their children finish out the school year as best they could.

Some of these firsts have been good, some have been a bit more difficult to handle, but through them all, the CJ community is continuing to learn and adjust to new circumstances and new challenges to help forge the best environment possible.

Thursday’s virtual question and answer (Q&A) session was the latest first for the community. In light of a school year like no other, CJ leadership felt it was crucial to not only communicate with parents as often as possible with the most up-to-date information, but to also get in front of them and answer their questions live, as face-to-face as a virtual event can get.

“I’m incredibly happy we were able to adapt to these new circumstances and find a way to get our parents together and answer some of their questions,” said Greg Mueller, principal of Chaminade Julienne.

Over 220 parents registered for the virtual event held via Zoom. Parents were encouraged to send their questions about reopening campus beforehand to CJ’s communications staff members. From there, principal Mueller and the communications team reviewed all submitted questions to help get a gauge on how parents in the CJ community were feeling about reopening as well as what questions seemed to be the most common.

“We received so many questions and so much feedback before the Q&A session,” said Mueller. “It was amazing to see. We value the thoughts and opinions of our parents so much, they’re constantly helping us improve our reopening plan and our safety processes, among other things.”

Event attendees were able to interact live with principal Mueller and moderators by utilizing a Q&A feature, allowing parents to ask questions as they came up rather than forcing them to worry about getting all questions submitted before the event. New questions and follow-up questions from this feature were gathered, some of which were answered during the broadcast.

While CJ does have an FAQ page published on its website for popular inquiries regarding The Light Ahead reopening plan, the power of getting over 220 community members together in a room, even if virtual, was immeasurable.

“It was just so wonderful to speak directly to parents again in real time,” said Mueller. “They are our Partners in Mission. We rely on them so much, and we ask so much of them. It’s our duty to ensure we’re providing them with all the answers they need to make them and their children feel safe, and feel proud, to come back to CJ next week.”

Virtual Walk-Through Helps Students Acclimate Before Arriving to Campus

Nothing about this year has been “business as usual.” As we approach the reopening campus, Chaminade Julienne faculty and staff continue to work diligently on new safety protocols and operational procedures to ensure that students are returning to the safest environment possible.

“Our decision to reopen wasn’t made lightly,” said Michael Bittorf, safety coordinator at CJ. “My entire role is structured around creating a safe environment for students, faculty and staff that grants us and public health officials the confidence needed to reopen.”

A few of the new safety features include staggered arrival and dismissal times, touchless temperature scans upon entry, directional flow signage on stairs and throughout the building, socially distanced classrooms and common areas and multiple hand sanitizing stations in hallways, to name a few.

View video on The Light Ahead Page

Along with these building modifications, CJ has also implemented new protocols and guidelines for students, as well as faculty and staff, to follow. For example, teachers will spray each desk with a cleaning agent before students arrive to the classroom, allowing the students to wipe them down before sitting down to learn.

“This is the new normal for our classrooms and campus,” said Bittorf. “These new procedures, protocols and implementations enable our community to safely reconvene and enjoy face-to-face interaction and hands-on learning in an environment provides peace of mind thanks to our safety planning and preparation.”

Because the changes are many, CJ decided to create a video that will help students and parents feel comfortable with these new protocols before arriving on campus. With the help of a group of volunteer students, a video walk-through was recorded to help the community prepare.

 

-- Published on August 13, 2020

Act of Kindness - @The Brunner Literacy Center

“This may sound trite, but this program really makes a difference. You can see others succeed.”

Pat Maloney '68

The Brunner Literacy Center (BLC) was founded in 2011 by two Sisters of the Precious Blood, Sr. Maryann Bremke and Sr. Helen Weber.

Lifelong educators, both knew that they wanted to use their retirement to advance educational opportunities along the Salem Avenue corridor in northwest Dayton. Sr. Maryann and Sr. Helen sprang into action, working with ample community support to refurbish the former Rex appliance store in Salem Plaza.

Today, the BLC is proud to have served more than 2,000 adults, with more students joining every week. The BLC now operates out of two locations and empowers both tutors and students to meet remotely in public places such as libraries and coffee shops in order to increase community access to educational opportunities.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BLC immediately implemented a fourth avenue for individualized education: distance learning. Students and tutors now work together through video call or over the phone, using myriad academic resources. Distance learning will continue to be offered as an additional program, regardless of social distancing recommendations. As a school co-founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame deNamur, many of our CJ community members have found their way to the BLC.

For Chaminade graduate Pat Maloney ‘68, volunteering with the BLC continues a 40-year career in the field of education with an additional bonus. “This may sound trite, but this program really makes a difference. You can see others succeed.”

Pat talks about his involvement with the STOP program on Gettysburg Avenue where he serves as an intake coordinator for the BLC. “I’m helping to open doors for the low-level offenders who don’t see a future for themselves. For many of them, school was not a positive place and they lack that person in their lives that can ask them where they want to go in the future.”

Pat has watched individuals with a 6th grade education go on to complete a GED and become mechanics, cooks, and gain much confidence along the way. One 60-year old man stated his reason to be at Brunner, “I want to be able to read the Bible.”

Additional assistance from the CJ community:
Jim Brooks, CJ tennis coach and former English teacher
Kateri Dillon ‘12 site coordinator
Anna Meyer Fiorita ‘71
Pat Foley ‘50
Barb Maloney
Pat Maloney ‘68
Kathie (Kathleen) Drummer Menker ‘62, site coordinator
Betty Naughton ‘50
Sandy Ann Prikkel ‘82

 

-- Published on August 7, 2020

Summer Spanish Provides a Safe Return to Campus and a Sense of Normalcy

For the past 13 years, Peg Regan has been teaching Summer Spanish 4 and, much to her delight, this summer was no exception as she had seven students participating in the intensive three-week course.

The students were together for four hours a day for 60 hours of instruction. If that wasn’t rigorous enough, they did so while wearing masks and practicing strict social distancing after undergoing a health screening and temperature check before entering the building.

The “new normal” aside, Regan was thrilled to be back in the classroom.

“Oh my gosh, it’s awesome,” she said. “When I emailed the kids and told them the school was going to let us have the class, they were so glad. They want to be with their friends and they really like having a real person in front of them teaching.”

Regan was also excited to be back in the classroom.

“It’s been great, they’ve been great,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a more motivated group of students.”

Regan’s class is the only that has been held on campus since the statewide closures in March. There has definitely been a learning curve. Partner work has been particularly challenging but with only seven students, social distancing is easier to achieve.

“I told my kids they have to keep nodding or shaking their heads because it’s really hard to tell if they are understanding things without being able to see their faces,” Regan said. “I like to move around a lot when I teach and I have to keep stopping myself.”

Regan hopes her experience will help other teachers as they prepare to return to campus in the coming weeks.

From the student perspective, incoming senior Mandaleigh Taylor was ecstatic to get back on campus and join some of her closest friends for the summer session.

“Spanish class is really great because I take it with two of my closest friends, so it’s been nice to not only see them but to get back in the building and see my teachers and just get back into the school environment,” she said.

Mandaleigh was a bit nervous to return to Spanish class, having not spoken the language in so long, but she said Regan made it incredibly easy for her and her fellow students to get back in the swing of things.

“We’ve been reading and we watch a new movie every week and it’s definitely super interesting,” she said. “ I never thought I could take a class like this because it’s so much work but I really enjoy it and never find myself not wanting to do any part of it.”

The return to a traditional classroom setting helped boost Mandaleigh’s confidence in her ability to speak spanish, motivating her to continue working hard and making her even more excited to, hopefully, return to campus full-time in the fall.

“I’m definitely looking forward to coming back and seeing my friends and my teachers who I’m super close with,” she said. “The thing is, I haven’t seen all of these people most of quarantine so I’m excited to come back and see them.” Mandaleigh noted how excited she was to return to hands-on science labs, an experience she had to forgo in the virtual environment.

After her senior year, Mandaleigh plans to work toward medical school to become a surgeon, but definitely wants to keep spanish in her day-to-day learning so she can experience a semester abroad. She doesn’t have a specific location picked out yet, just the desire to fully immerse herself in a new culture once we’ve worked out our “new normal.”

For teachers and students alike, the safe return to campus provides a sense of normalcy and surrounds them with a support system they’ve missed for so long.

 

-- Published August 8, 2020

#becauseofCJ: Joseph Hangana '11

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the CJ Annual Fund, you make this happen for all students. As you Joseph shares his thoughts on building relationships below, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

Dear CJ Community,

The other day I was talking to my best friend, who I met at CJ when we were freshman. Fast forward four years and we are not only best friends but are doubles partners on the tennis team. We were at his fiancée’s house (being socially safe). Not only had they first met at CJ, but her parents were there, who also met at CJ — and a family friend there as well who, as you may now guess, also went to CJ. That is when I realized that CJ is truly a one of a kind generational place.

For me, going to CJ was never going to be a question. Both my sister and brother had graduated from there and I had known Mr. Jim Brooks since 5th grade and was determined to play tennis for him one day. The funny thing is that story of wanting to play for Mr. Brooks is such a universal one at CJ, which is truly remarkable, and that most kids had no choice but to go to CJ — in a good way — because it was generational. For most of my friends, most of their siblings had gone to the school and, in some cases, had parents who had gone there and even taught at CJ.

There is something beautiful about the fact that a lot of us have so much shared history that necessarily doesn’t involve us directly in one place. One of my favorite parts about CJ was walking through the first-floor halls and seeing all the pictures of the graduating classes and knowing the history and generations that have passed through there and the generations that will continue to walk those halls. It’s a community like non-other.

CJ was truly home to me for four years and in all honesty will always be home to me. It taught and gave me so much that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay it but I guess I just have to try and pay it forward to the next generations who will have the same privilege as I did. It prepared me academically to be able to go on to college at Marquette University and eventually graduate University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and International Studies with a focus on economics and finance.

Without the guidance I got at CJ I am not sure that I would have been as successful, now I work as a market research analyst out of a firm based in Milwaukee, WI helping to serve all of our brokers and partners to give top notch content and market expertise in the United Kingdom and Canadian insurance markets. That love of research came from my academic studies at CJ.

Perhaps the most important thing CJ taught me or gave me was the importance of a relationship. While that might sound so simple, it really is not that straightforward. CJ gave me some of best friendships this world has to offer and they will be with me all my life but those are not the relationships I am referring to. As you go through life, hopefully you will be able to create friendships with your peers through all levels of school, work or random life events.

The relationships I am talking about are the ones that aren’t necessary or the ones that are randomly built. For me that was spending my study hall periods in Mr. Colvin’s class just to talking to him even though he never taught me a single class. I would also conspire with Ms. Muhl to scare Ms. Eichenhauer every day and visit with the other counselors in the guidance office. Ms. Wheeler was my actual counselor, and  I’ll never forget how she would always check in on me senior year to make sure I would get into Marquette. Even now, anytime I go back to CJ to visit, II immediately check in on Ms. Szabo, who was never directly tied to my academics in high school, but was great support. In the totality of my experience there, she was one of the many highlights. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I miss walking those halls, seeing Cali every day and getting to talk to him and pass the time with him. He was one of the most fascinating people at that school and not just a bus driver.

In this life you will meet so many people and come across so many relationships. My advice, which was formed by my formative years at CJ, is try to engage them all. Every single one of them, whether you are at college and there is a lunch person who has the same Thursday shift, or receptionist at the office. Ask them how are they doing and show an interest in their lives. You might not know it then but that relationship might become of your most important relationships you develop at that place.

I still remember Ms. April who was a lunch lady at Marquette. Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I had to do when I left Marquette and transferred to the University of Dayton. The same applies for the aforementioned guidance counselor office at CJ and many more. Sometimes it is more than just the teachers and friends that make a place special and for CJ, the ancillary staff are the reason why those were some of the best four years of my life and a reason I am the person I am today. They taught me how to make relationships that could last a lifetime with people whom you never thought you would. Those relationships can become the relationships that matter most.

I will forever be eternally grateful for CJ, my home. You took a child and gave him the tools and people to succeed in this life. I could not be where I am today without CJ and the great people that go to work there each and every day. You all make a difference in a child’s heart whether you know it or not. You definitely made a mark on this child.

Thank You,
Joseph Hangana, class of 2011

Published August 4, 2020