Wheeler to Retire After 43 Years of Service to CJ

Over 43 years, Charlene Wheeler, Director of Guidance, has seen several changes throughout the CJ community.

"Obviously, the facilities have changed over the years, no uniforms to a variation of uniform guidelines and less religious in the school," reflected Wheeler. "Parent involvement is a big change. I am not surprised that parents are more involved  and I believe it is a good thing. Perhaps, there are families with the parent/parents working and it is more important than ever to stay in touch with the school and teachers to best help their children."

Another change happening at the end of this school year will be the CJ community saying good-bye to Wheeler, as she will be retiring.

Wheeler was a part of the CJ community long before she began working at Julienne High School.

"Little did the Sisters know that my experience as a kindergarten student at the Villa would lead to a lifetime of collaboration and my embracement of the mission of the Sisters and the Marianists," Wheeler said.

She graduated from Julienne in 1965 and then attended the University of Dayton. Upon graduation there, she began working at Julienne for three years as a psychology teacher and counselor.

After taking some time off to have her children, Mollie '90 and Mark '94, Wheeler returned to CJ in 1977.

"Ann Will, a respected counselor and administrator at CJ, called and asked if I would be willing to return," Wheeler explained.

At CJ, Wheeler has been a counselor, the Director of Guidance, and interim principal (1998-1999).

"Being a high school guidance counselor has not been just a job or my career," Wheeler shared. "It has been my vocation, a calling that I am so glad I answered. I have brought both my talents and my flaws to my work, but always with enthusiasm. I agree with the Irish poet, Wm. Butler Yeats, 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' Watching our students take that lit fire into their lives is the real reward for all that we do."

Friends and former students shared their well wishes for Wheeler on the CJ Facebook and CJ Alumni Facebook pages. Here are just some of their comments:

Martha Downer-Assaf: A job well done!! Thanks for your service to the children of Dayton! Best of luck.

Joseph Meyer: Congratulations to a great lady! Enough said!

Greg Meyers: Congratulations! Thanks for taking such great care of our kids!!

Doreen Roche Orf: Congratulations! You're an inspiration. Enjoy your retirement!!

Jim Rigot: Congratulations, Mrs. Wheeler! We always knew that you and the team had all of our best interests at heart. You've helped so many during the biggest decisions they make! Enjoy retirement!

Shannon Farrell Santella: Congratulations and many thanks for all you've done for the CJ community!

Posted March 30, 2017