January 2021

A Word to the Community - Winter Quarter Report

We are now fully into the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year - resuming in-school instruction beginning on January 11. What a blessing!

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Yet, we recognize that we are quickly approaching the one year mark of this horrific global pandemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 2 million people throughout the world and approaching 400,000 of our fellow citizens - including our alumni and our friends who faithfully served the CJ mission. All of us have been touched by sadness and loss - and all of us will emerge from this time of darkness changed by the experience.

During this difficult time, we have been inspired by the example of our founders, St Julie Billiart and Blessed Chaminade, who faced their own times of darkness and a quarantine of sorts - St. Julie experienced paralysis for 22 years before a miraculous recovery; Blessed Chaminade experienced years of hiding and exile before returning home to a devastated France. Each of them found the light ahead in their times of struggle and darkness - strength that allowed them to found their religious communities more than 200 years ago - brothers, sisters, and priests who continue today to serve God’s people throughout the world and all of us right here at Chaminade Julienne.

Perhaps all of us, like Blessed Chaminade and St. Julie, are being fortified to continue their work of making God’s goodness known in all places - and forming communities of faith in our families, our workplaces, our schools, and our churches - communities that can find new ways, new methods to serve all of God’s children.

We find the light ahead in the presence of our students, teachers, and staff members on campus every day - learning together, being together, united together in a school year like none of us have ever experienced. Even as we face uncertainty about the length of this pandemic and the challenges in our country, we have strived to create some level of consistency and certainty as we began the second semester:

  • We continue to enhance and reinforce our health and safety measures - striving every day to create a reassuring environment for our students, their parents, and the adults who support their learning.
  • We work together as a community - exchanging ideas, perspectives, experiences, and expertise offered by parents, students, teachers, staff members, health officials, and trusted volunteers - reinforcing our mission to respect all viewpoints and collaborate toward the greater good.
  • We pray for each other - asking for the Lords blessing and being present with and for one another as we struggle with the burdens each of us is bearing.
  • We continue to adapt and change. We are now live streaming our classes every day to those students who are learning from home, thus developing new ways to interact so we can minimize the impact that physical distance has on our ability to form community, inspire creativity, and foster connections and collaboration between students and their teachers.

And even as we address the here and now, this moment in time, we continue to think about the future - to move boldly forward in faith - faith in our mission, faith in the enduring support and encouragement of the Chaminade Julienne community.

In October, our Board of Trustees drafted the latest update of our strategic financial plan, laying out a strong vision for the school’s future. The plan’s focus on supporting teachers, enhancing Catholic identity, strengthening inclusion and equity, and continuing campus development will be further refined in the months ahead. This plan allows us to emerge from this time of darkness with great momentum for the future, forged by fire with the understanding that our mission to develop young women and men of compassion, integrity, and service is even more necessary, even more essential to our nation and our Church than ever before.

For me, and I think for others, there is a renewed reliance on God, our Father and our Creator, who made us as His children. The baptism of Jesus, which ended the Christmas season, as proclaimed in the gospel of Mark, chapter 1, verse 11, “ . . . a voice came from the heavens, ‘you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” We are called, as members of the Church, the body of Christ, to accept our birthright, to respond to God, to each other, and to our times in accord with our baptism as His daughters and sons. For God to be “well-pleased” in me, I know that I need to rely on Him and His Spirit for guidance. For in Him I find refuge; in Him I find strength.

To all of you, I thank you on behalf of our teachers and staff members, students and parents. Your support encourages us; your prayers sustain us; your celebration of our mission emboldens us to advance into the future with confidence. United Together, we are Chaminade Julienne. And United Together, we can show others the light ahead - be the light of the world, so that others may see our good deeds and glorify our heavenly Father.

And, may the good God bless you in great abundance.

Dan Meixner '84, CJ president

Nathan Wilson Hired as Director of Facilities

With the recent expansion of campus and the growth of amenities to students, Chaminade Julienne is excited to welcome Nathan Wilson as director of facilities.

Wilson spent most of his career in the construction industry, raising buildings from the ground up around the greater Dayton area. Most recently, he worked at the University of Dayton (UD) in the Facilities Management Department for 11 years, spending eight of those years as manager of maintenance contractors. Being a part of Catholic education in a Marianist setting for many years, Wilson became quite attached to the mission and beliefs, leading him to CJ.

“After the interview process with CJ, it was easy to see the pride and community already established and was quite the easy choice to make the move and join the team,” said Wilson.

His appreciation of mission and experience in working with a campus as large as UD’s made him a great fit for CJ.

“Expanding our campus, adding new facilities, and updating our current facilities required a new degree of knowledge and experience to effectively operate,” said Dan Meixner, president. “Our maintenance team, led by former teacher Bob Young, has done a great job in recent years, but our services to students are growing. As we envision further campus development, there will be additional expectations on the team to help CJ be effective stewards of the generous investments the school community has and will make possible."

“Nate brings hands on experience in all facets of facilities management from his time in industry and his years at the University of Dayton,” said Meixner. “He knows how to do the work himself, whether it be electrical, HVAC, demolition, or new construction, and he knows how to work with our team and outside contractors who are called upon to provide preventive maintenance and needed repairs. He understands the educational setting and the need to focus on the needs of our students, teachers, coaches, and staff members.”

As director of facilities, Wilson serves on the leadership team and works closely with all departments to ensure that their facility related needs are met for operational success. He also manages the maintenance and janitorial staff, as well as security, access control, facility rentals, and fleet maintenance.

“I’m most excited for the master development plan that was established prior to me joining CJ,” said Wilson. “When I saw the plan I knew it was my opportunity to not only make a lasting impression at CJ but the city of Dayton overall. Dayton is the Gem City but when I leave, my wish is that CJ is the crown jewel of the city.”

Wilson grew up in Brookville, OH and enjoys spending time with his wife of three years, their two year old son and two dogs, Duke and Doce.

 

--This story was published on Jan. 21, 2021. 

Joey Nartker '21 Accepts Full Scholarship to Princeton University

His classmates are sound asleep and, even, most of his teachers are still dozing when Joey Nartker’s alarm sounds off at 3 a.m. Within the hour he is hard at work at Evans Bakery for several hours before heading to Chaminade Julienne at 7:45 a.m. to begin a full day of school work.

While he works tirelessly – starting before the sun even rises – the CJ student never misses an opportunity to get involved in a CJ performing arts production. Whether it’s the fall play, the spring musical or improv, Nartker is ready to go. He is also an Eagle Ambassador and member of the National Honor Society. His dedication and work ethic are just part of what made Nartker a perfect match for the QuestBridge National College Match program. 

Nartker was recently selected for a full tuition, room and board scholarship to Princeton University through the competitive Questbridge program.

“A QuestBridge scholarship is a truly prestigious award with a strenuous application process. Joey's intrinsic drive, his grit, and his sustained positive spirit through sometimes muddy roads are what guided him through his high school years, and got him through this process,” student support coordinator Jama Badinghaus said. “To say I am proud of him doesn't truly do justice to my feelings about this incredible accomplishment. He represents the best of what we hope for our students and I am ecstatic to hear about the opportunities that await him at Princeton.”

QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation's best universities including, but not limited to, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, Duke, Northwestern and Princeton.

The application process was daunting but do-able. The initial application was similar to the common app – detailing everything from academics to extracurriculars. Once Nartker was notified that he was a finalist, the real work began – 27 different essays for the 12 schools to which he wanted to apply.

“The entire process was a college match, so I ranked the 12 colleges in order of preference,” he said. “I could only receive a scholarship from one of them and whichever college gave me the scholarship I was obligated to attend. I was lucky enough to receive an offer from Princeton and the rest is history.”

The Dayton native, who has four siblings, is the first member of his family to attend an Ivy League institution. His initial academic inclination is to major in biological science – a subject he enjoyed at CJ – but he is open to other areas of study.

“Joey is such a deserving young man to receive this prestigious scholarship,” said Greg Mueller, principal. “He has shown his many talents in the classroom and on the stage at CJ. I look forward to seeing Joey take what he has learned about community here at CJ and living that through the next step in his educational journey.”

While Nartker is looking forward to the vast academic opportunities that await him, he is quick to credit several members of the CJ community with his success.

“Mrs. DeLong was the kindest teacher I had ever met when I first started at CJ, that kindness allowed me to be comfortable enough to go after everything I wanted and excel in class,” he said. “Junior year, I met the greatest teachers and mentors I could have ever asked for. Dr. Mominee was a mentor who helped me through all of the drama in my life and allowed me to grow as a person to the point where I could be my authentic self.

“Finally, the person who made all of this possible was Mrs. Badinghaus. She told me to go after this scholarship and helped me through every single step. She found ways to help with this scholarship and issues that I was facing in my life.”

From excitement to nervousness, Nartker has encountered a wide range of emotions since receiving the news about the scholarship but one thing he knows for certain, he is ready for what lies ahead.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to do amazing things and CJ has given me the self-esteem and talent to succeed at Princeton.”

 

 

--This story was published on Jan. 13, 2021. 

A Message from Chaminade Julienne Addressing the Events of Jan. 6, 2021

Dear CJ Community,

Yesterday, we witnessed an unprecedented and unlawful attack on our country, our Constitution, our values, and the people we elected to represent us in the U.S. Congress. Having visited the U.S. Capitol Building and walked the halls of that special place - as so many of us have - my heart is heavy as I consider the scenes of violence and mayhem.

Nonetheless, the work of the people of the United States continued. The results of the presidential election have been certified and the transition of power can now be fully initiated. 

For those of us of faith, this event must serve as an inflection point in our response to all public officials. We must call them to unite us rather than divide; to call forth the best of us, not the worst; to use differences as an opportunity for understanding, not for demonizing; and to work for the common good, not the selfish interests. And we must turn to prayer - that our own hearts may be more fully opened to the challenges faced by so many in our country and our world; that we may use our hands, our heads, and our hearts to bring about meaningful and lasting change; and that we will work so that the promise of our nation may be fully realized in our lifetimes.

I offer a prayer prepared a few years ago by Fr. Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S, the pastor of Emmanuel Catholic Church.

God of life, source of hope,
the violence in our world,
our communities and our families,
indeed in our very selves,
is destroying Your creation.
Make still the restless spirit within me
that is self-seeking.
Stir within me a renewed Spirit
of reverence, respect, and reconciliation.
in union with the Precious Blood of Jesus
give me the strength to break
the cycle of violence by realizing
that peace begins with me.

Amen.

At this time, during unprecedented challenges and stress, we humbly ask for the blessings of our good God - for our students, their families, our community, and our nation. May we have the fortitude and sense of mercy and charity to meet the needs of our times.

God bless,

Dan Meixner '84
President

 

 

--This message was published on Jan. 7, 2021. 

#becauseofCJ: Ben Breh '14

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Your gift to CJ Annual Fund makes the CJ educational experience possible for all of our students. As Ben Breh '14 reflects on having his heart set to serve others while attending CJ, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

CJ to me is family.

With my grandparents being graduates of Chaminade and St. Joe’s Commercial High School respectively and an older sibling there at the time, CJ was never a question for me. What I didn’t think would come from my time from CJ is the lasting impact on my life. Sometimes you don’t recognize the importance of something until it has come and gone. For me that something is my time spent at CJ.

It wasn’t until recently during my time in graduate school at the University of Dayton that I fully came to recognize the important role that CJ played in my life.

The community that CJ has built around not only the Dayton area but in many different areas of the country is one of the many reasons that CJ has become so impactful. No matter where you are, whether locally or throughout the country, you can find some connection to this invaluable community. This fact taught me the value of such a community which was only strengthened when I attended another Marianist school, UD.

CJ was a home for me throughout my time as a student and continues to be a second home through my connections there. It was at CJ where I learned the value of education and what it means to be a lifelong learner. The school's mission, grounded in the Catholic faith and guided by the principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame and the charisms of the Marianist, instilled within me a passion for educating the whole person. This passion still lives inside and has led me to a career path that I never imagined for myself.

Following my time at CJ, I have received two degrees from the University of Dayton. I found a passion in assisting those who are struggling which led to a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I had the amazing opportunity to serve as a research assistant at UD, working on a project in conjunction with St. Vincent De Paul’s shelter serving those suffering from homelessness.

My involvement in this project was a direct result from my senior capstone project at CJ, which also focused on the issue of homelessness in the Dayton community.

Although I enjoyed my time working in the community sphere, I still had a yearning for that educational aspect and I found that I especially enjoyed working within higher education. It was this passion that led me to a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. The transition to college from high school is especially challenging and it is assisting students in this transition that I truly love. I now work with students at the University of Dayton who find themselves in difficult circumstances, assisting them in their learning and growth.

Without the values and experiences that were offered to me at CJ, I would most definitely not be where I am today. From my time spent with Mr. Sparrow in AP Psychology, to time spent learning the true value of social justice with Mrs. Emmerich, each and every moment has played a crucial role in my path in life. This along with the people I met and the relationships I have built with those within the CJ community will always hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a truly transformational place like CJ. Because of CJ, I am inspired and motivated to continue the legacy of learning and growing in a holistic manner, and for this I say — thank you!

Ben Breh ’14