May 2011

Holocaust Contests Cultivate Compassion

Seven Chaminade Julienne seniors earned prizes and recognition for sweeping all the top awards in the annual Holocaust Writing Contest sponsored by the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center; however, the true take-away for students was the lasting and deepened sense of understanding and compassion each gained for all those affected by the tragedy about which they wrote.

“We’re all a part of God’s family,” said Elizabeth Wirrig, ’11, first place winner in the Division II (grades 9-12) poetry category. She submitted a series of poems titled, People, Knowledge, One Wish, Only If.., Peace, and Opposites after taking Mr. Jim Brooks’ European Authors class.

Wirrig, who is Catholic and a member of the school’s FLIGHT (Faith Leaders In God’s Hands Today) program, said she felt it was important to remember the Christian value of unconditional love for others during the observance of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“You’re supposed to care about everyone, no matter what they believe in,” she said. The CJ senior attended the Dayton Area Yom Hashoah Observance: A Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust on May 1 with some of her classmates, where the winners of the writing contest and the Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest were announced.

Dr. Henry Fenichel, a Holocaust survivor and University of Cincinnati professor, performed the duties of guest speaker Sunday evening and shared stories of his experiences living in two concentration camps—Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen—at the age of six during the Nazi invasion of Europe.

“To hear what Dr. Fenichel had lived through and to see that he moved on with his life and continued to do great things was really inspiring,” said Tiffani Kossoudji, ’11. Her essay Living in Peace, which focused on the contest’s theme of taking the lessons learned from the Holocaust to create a better future, was awarded first place in the prose category.

“The Holocaust is a big historical event and people need to know what went wrong,” she said. “We need to learn from the past so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.”

CJ STUDENTS RECOGNIZED
Holocaust Writing Contest Division II (grades 9-12)

Prose Category

  1. *Tiffani Kossoudji ‘11
  2. Liam Rolfe ‘11
  3. Catherine Peterson ‘11

Poetry Category

  1. *Elizabeth Wirrig ‘11
  2. Maggie Cleary ‘11
  3. Ricky Nelson ‘11
  • Honorable Mention: DeVante Carmichael ‘11

*Received a $100 cash prize.

 

Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest Division II (grades 9-12)

  • Honorable Mention: Maggie Cleary ‘11

Diggs Signs NLI, Fitch Vaults to Nationals

Chaminade Julienne senior Lyndsey Diggs signed a National Letter of Intent Friday, May 6 to play NCAA Division I softball at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Diggs will receive an athletic grant in addition to an academic scholarship to cover all tuition costs at NC A&T. She intends to double major in psychology and biology, and pitch for the Aggies of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Eagles standout is currently the school’s single-season strikeouts leader and is on pace this season to break CJ’s career K’s record.

A Dayton native, Lyndsey resides with her parents Raymond and Debbie, and expressed gratitude for the sacrifices both made to foster her success. “I want to thank my parents and coach Bowling for being patient, encouraging and supportive throughout this entire journey.

“I also could not have done this without my pitching coach Jodi Eickemeyer,” Diggs added. “She is the reason why I’ve been able to be such a dominant pitcher.”

As a four-year varsity starter, Diggs has been named first team All-GGCL every season since 2008. In 2010, she led the Eagles to a 15-9 overall record and an appearance in the state district semi-finals after tying an OHSAA single-game home run record during the regular season by hitting three in a 17-2 win over Roger Bacon.

“She is one of the most talented ballplayers we’ve ever had come through CJ,” said head varsity coach Dee Bowling, in her 12th year with the Eagles.

“Lyndsey’s on-field leadership and ability have allowed us to be as successful as we have been these last four years, and I am confident that she will make an impact in her first season at the next level.”

The Eagles (6-8, 4-3 GGCL) will face Eaton (1-13) on Thursday, May 12 in a 5 p.m. first-round sectional matchup at Gateway Park.

JUNIOR GYMNAST COMPETES AT NATIONALS
CJ junior Molly Fitch will compete in the 2011 USA Gymnastics Eastern Championship on Sunday, May 8. It is her second consecutive year participating in the national tournament as a level 9 gymnast.

Fitch, a member of the Gem City Gymnastics team, qualified by placing sixth at the regional championship meet held in Cleveland, Ohio on April 17, securing the final Region 5 spot by besting a field of 22 girls from five states including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan in the Senior 7 Division.  She will compete against gymnasts from across the county in all four events—uneven bars, vault, floor exercise, and balance beam—at the DCU Center beginning at 1:30 p.m.

“I have good friends at Gem City, my coaches there are awesome and we are like a family,” said Fitch, who has been around the sport since she was just 3-years-old.

UPDATE: Molly Fitch made the top ten in two events at nationals -- the uneven bars and the balance beam -- taking eighth place in both. Her team, Region 5, won first place and Super Team. Congratulations!

2011 Service Awards Assembly

On May 4 during the annual ministry and service awards assembly, Chaminade Julienne recognized its student body for its combined contribution of 9,714 hours of service to the broader community this year. The total represents hours volunteered over and above what the school requires of students at each grade level.

“According to Independent Sector, the value of an hour of volunteering is $21.36. In other words, your service has contributed $207,491 to our local, national and international communities,” said Kelli Kinnear, ministry and service director. The Independent Sector is a leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs.

Guests in attendance included Teresa Philips, associate director of the mission office at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who was on hand to present the second annual Spirit of Sister Dorothy Stang Award to CJ religion teacher Mick Mominee. The award is given to Catholic faculty members, parish lay ministers, and graduating high school seniors who demonstrate the values of Sr. Stang, SNDdeN, a 1949 Julienne alumna who was martyred in 2005 while serving migrant farmers in Brazil. Mominee, nominated by fellow faculty member Laurie Eloe, is one of just 10 recipients in 2011.

“This award is not just a representation of my own commitment to the issues of social justice and awareness, but I think it also demonstrates that through the mission of Chaminade Julienne, we as a school are carrying on the vision of Sr. Dorothy,” he said. That mission, which is grounded in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, is fostered by the charisms of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Society of Mary, the sponsoring religious orders of CJ.

“Central to our mission at CJ is to prepare young men and women to become people of compassion, integrity, and service so it is only right that we honor our students who live that out,” said Kinnear, who has organized the Service Awards each year since 2007. Students accumulated service hours by working independently in the community as well as in groups through mission trips and programs offered by the school.

The Little Sibs Program, open to juniors and seniors, has annually allowed CJ students the opportunity to serve as role models for area grade schoolers—known as “little sibs”—for 15 years. More than 20 kids in the program from Immaculate Conception and Ruskin Elementary were honored at the ceremony along with their “big brother” or “big sister” and afterward, each pair enjoyed lunch on campus together.

As a component of the Catholic educational experience, CJ builds student service into its curriculum. Freshmen participate in one service opportunity each semester; sophomores perform 100 minutes of service to CJ; juniors volunteer 25 hours to an outside agency; and seniors participate in a class-wide global service and justice project.

“The overwhelming majority of our students here at CJ volunteer over and above their class service requirements,” Kinnear stated. Students who performed anywhere from 25 to 100 hours above required service were specially recognized, with 19 volunteering more than 100 hours beyond what is necessary. Senior Tiarra Comer was spotlighted for the 401 hours that she contributed throughout her four years at CJ.

In addition, junior Christine Meadors received the Sister Ruth Ann Bange, SNDdeN, Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the broader Dayton Community through the Community Service program, while sophomore Will Bonner was awarded the George Early Scholarship for distinguishing himself as a servant leader and as an example of Christian service for the Chaminade Julienne community.

“Our hope is that this awards assembly will inspire other students to get involved with service, and to realize that as Christians, we are all called to serve as Jesus did,” Kinnear said.

Feature Teams of the Week

The CJ men's and women's track teams are being recognized as the feature teams of the week before competing in their last meet of the regular season this Friday and Saturday at the Roosevelt Relays starting at 4:30p.m.

Track teams from high schools across the Miami Valley and from bordering states will descend upon Welcome Stadium this weekend for what is regarded as one of the biggest meets of the year in Ohio and senior Jasmine Williams hopes to see Eagles fans there in flocks.

“I wish more people would come out and support us,” she said frankly. “Sometimes people think that it wouldn’t be fun to just watch other people run, but it’s actually really exciting.”

Williams has been competing with the team as a sprinter since she was a sophomore during the 2008-2009 school year and has played a role in some of the program’s many recent success. In that time span, the team certainly accomplished its share of achievements to get noticed, including back-to-back GGCL Grey North titles and an OATCCC Indoor Track State Championship just to name a few.

The men's squad has also seen tremendous success of late (back-to-back GCL Championships in the ’06-’07 and ’07-’08 seasons), but neither team is content, a mentality the Eagles have adopted from head coach Jerry Puckett. According to senior Bryan Cain, each teams’ goal for every season is to give as many individuals as possible a chance to represent CJ at the state tournament in the spring.

“Our coach emphasizes doing what you need to do individually so that you can help make the team better,” he said.  Cain, an experienced sprinter and hurdler, knows exactly what it takes to be successful. He has earned a varsity letter for four straight seasons and has never not been named first or second team All-GCL.

“We have such a short season that we’re just trying to stay healthy, have fun and enjoy our last few meets.”

Jasmine and Brian, along with eight fellow seniors, will try to lead the Eagles to GCL and GGCL titles at Fenwick High School on May 9 and 10.

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