Celebrating Milestones in Catholic Education

Several CJ faculty and staff members were recognized for their career service and achievements Tuesday, May 1 at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Miami Valley Catholic Schools Teacher Recognition Banquet.

The annual banquet recognizes educators for their dedication to Catholic schools, the Catholic Church, and those students and families who choose Catholic education. Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of schools, welcomed honorees while Rev. Joseph R. Binzer, auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati, read the invocation.

“Thank you for your commitment and all of your sacrifices. The role of a teacher in Catholic education has never been more important,” wrote Binzer in an open letter to those teachers in attendance.

Among those recognized for their vocation to Catholic education were:

Angela Hammerly, math teacher, who celebrates her fifth year in Catholic education, all of which have come at CJ. Hammerly started at CJ in 2006 and has served as a temporary and long-term substitute as well as a part-time teacher. Angela’s daughter Jillian will attend CJ as a freshman in the fall.

Debi Schutt, performing arts department chair, who celebrates her tenth year in Catholic education, all of which have come at CJ. Schutt has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Performing Arts programs at CJ, and also helps administer the school band program for 5th-8th grade students at Holy Angels School.

Ellen Downer and Kelli Kinnear who both celebrate their twentieth year in Catholic education. Both have spent all 20 years at CJ; Downer as a teacher in the social studies department, where she currently serves as chair, and Kinnear in the office of ministry and service, where she currently serves as director.

Downer has taught freshman World Cultures in addition to American Studies, Child Psych and Sociology since 1992, and has also served as the faculty representative to the Co-Educators parents’ group in that time. Both her daughter Martha and son John graduated from CJ in the 1980’s

Kinnear has long played a key role in overseeing the school’s outstanding service program and also previously served as moderator of the Key Club. She is currently a member of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Catholic Identity/Faith Formation Task Force, which is part of the “Lighting the Way” vision planning process.

Joe Staley ‘72, social studies teacher, who celebrates his thirtieth year in Catholic education. Staley, has worked in education since 1978 but began his career at CJ as the men's varsity basketball head coach for the 1985-86 season, becoming a teacher a year later. In 27 seasons, he has compiled the most wins in program history with a 351-272 record, and has coached 12 players who have gone on to play at NCAA Division I colleges.

Finally, Ann Meyers ’76, math teacher, was one of five area teachers to be recognized for earning the designation of Master Teacher by the Ohio Department of Education. A master teacher demonstrates excellence inside and outside of the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning.

Meyers has served her alma mater for 31 years as a teacher and coach. She also holds her Ohio Resident Educator Mentor’s license.