August 2011

Alumni Help Kickoff Football Season

The varsity football team circled around head coach Marcus Colvin on the practice field Thursday afternoon joined by more than 30 proud Chaminade and CJ football alumni. Huddled, with helmet in hand and one knee to the gridiron, all 80 players listened intently as graduates and coaches addressed the 2011 Eagles squad.

“When we talk about playing for everything that came before us, we’re talking about all of these guys here today,” Colvin told the team.  “When you put on that jersey, you represent a whole lot more than yourself as CJ Eagles football players. “

Represented, in the flesh, at the Coach Colvin Cookout were six decades of Eagles football history—all with stories, fond memories and words of encouragement for the boys in blue and green.  The first-year event brought alumni from the 1950’s through the 2000’s to campus before the first game of the year to watch practice, tour the Student Conditioning Center, and have dinner with former teammates, coaches and friends.

“We are entering a new era of CJ football and we want all of our Eagles, past and present to be a part of it,” said Colvin, who takes over the program after previously spending eight years on the staff as an assistant under coaches Jim Place and Andy Helms.

“I am looking forward to the season and the connection our program will make with our alumni,” he said.

The Eagles (0-1 overall, 0-0 GCL) look to rebound from a week one loss this Friday, September 2 against Thurgood Marshall at 7:30 p.m. at West Carrollton Junior High.

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Students and parents should recognize these Eagle alums as current members of the faculty and staff, but others may remember their days on the football field.

  • Brett Chmiel, ’02  -  Nose Tackle
  • Charlie Szabo, ’98  -  Tight End
  • John Marshall, ’86  -   Defensive End, Offensive Guard
  • Tony Ricciuto, ’74  -  Center
  • John Zaidain, ’68  -  Running Back (current assistant coach)

Great Things Happen at CJ

Summer time is no exception for when great things happen at CJ. In addition to facilitating reunions, gym classes and various camps, Chaminade Julienne was a summer stop for “Friday Friends,” a social skills group for children with disabilities organized by Therapy Connection.

By invitation of the men’s and women’s soccer teams, about 15 Friends came to campus for an evening of soccer. After learning some fundamentals in dribbling, shooting and passing from Eagle players, they made their way out to Blue Green Field for a spirited contest. The event was capped off with a pizza picnic for all.

“The men’s and women’s soccer program at CJ are not just about the scoreboard, but about helping our community,” said Alexis Terzian, JV coach and coordinator of the event. “Our Eagle teams had an evening to share their love and knowledge of soccer. It was a bonding experience for them, an opportunity for them to serve the local community, and one more opportunity to develop skills to be successful in the game of life.”

Katie Depp, an on-site leader for “Friday Friends” believed that the event was a great addition to their summer schedule. Therapy Connections seeks to give children with disabilities the opportunity to gather on weekend nights to socialize just as other kids would do.

“This was a great experience for the kids to learn a sport with people who know it,” said Depp. “This was the most involved some of them have ever been with an event.

“We appreciate that the CJ players learned the kids’ names. That makes a difference to them. It’s nice to hear them being cheered on when they are out there with their peers. They are very encouraged by that.”

Chaminade Julienne was home for a week to participants in the Catholic Heartwork Camp held July 24-28, supporting the efforts of over 200 students from Toledo, Hartford, and Pittsburg who traveled to Dayton for a service learning experience. Brett Chmiel ’02, CJ admissions director, served as the on-site coordinator, and has been working with Catholic Heartwork, a national organization, for nine years.

“This time away from familiar territory gives kids the opportunity to really step outside of their normal surroundings and routine and join with others who also want to use part of the summer to do something meaningful for others,” Chmiel said.

“The result is that local organizations enjoy the benefit of a dedicated work crew and the kids end up learning even more about themselves and Catholic social teaching through this program.”

Faculty In-Service Days: Interactions in Faith

After spending exactly one week back in the classroom meeting teachers, starting on first semester assignments and readjusting to the rhythm of the 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. academic day, students will be able to enjoy one final summer-like Friday on August 26 as CJ faculty attend the first in-service of the 2011-12 school year.

Although generally scheduled later in the fall, the first of CJ’s three yearly in-service days comes during what would have been students’ first full week back from break. The other two do not occur until 2012, when students will have February 10 and March 9 off, but what exactly do those mysterious calendar dates known as Facutly In-service Days actually entail?

For students, the answer is simple: no school, a three-day weekend, and some serious sleeping in. But for faculty members, however, the day is meant to be an opportunity to learn and grow with fellow comrades in Catholic education.

“In the spirit of community, teachers from 24 area Catholic high schools and elementary schools will gather to partake in a dialog about how to best fulfill our families’ academic needs in the future,” said John Marshall, principal.

The professional development day is sponsored by the Catholic Schools Office. Educators will conference at St. Charles Boromeo Parish and on the grounds of Alter High School from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the day’s activities, led by guest speaker Rev. Richard Fragomeni.

A renowned author, homilist and public speaker, Fr. Fragonmeni serves as an associate professor at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.  Those in attendance will enjoy lunch together, celebrate the Eucharist, and participate in discussion with Fr. Fragomeni on the preparation for the reception of the new translation of the Roman Missal.

“It is good to come together with the greater Catholic educational community in a setting like this because it allows us to focus our energies, skills and passions around student-centered, faith-based education,” Marshall said.

Get to Know New Faculty and Staff

With the coming of the 2011-12 school year, CJ welcomes seven new members to the faculty and staff. Get to know a little more about the latest Eagles educators before the first day of class for all students on Thursday, August 18!

Rich spent time last year at CJ as a long term substitute teacher with the Foriegn Language department. He now joins the faculty full-time, teaching students taking French 1-4. "I’ve been working as a guidance counselor for the last 11 years, so I’m most looking forward to connecting with my students in a classroom setting,” Curlett said.

Fun Fact:  Rich is an avid gardener and enjoys spending the summer months working in the yard. He is also a big sports fan, but especially loves following football and the Boilermakers of Purdue University, his alma mater.

Jordie, a CJ and University of Dayton graduate, is coaching women's volleyball this fall and will join the math department to teach Algebra 2, Algebra 3/Trigonometry, and Honors Statistics. “I look forward to getting to know my students and players, and growing with them in all aspects of their education,” she said.

Fun Fact:  As a CJ senior in 2005, Jordie was voted Most Likely to Become a CJ Teacher by her classmates.

Lynzee will coach JV women's basketball and teach courses in Biology and Chemistry during her first year with CJ's Science department. The Dayton native completed her student-teaching at Bellbrook High School, her alma mater. "I’m excited to have the opportunity to coach Eagles basketball this season and, being from Dayton, I look forward to finally getting a chance to see what CJ is all about," Johnson said.

Fun Fact:  As a Division I basketball player at Marist College in New York, Lynzee helped lead the Red Foxes to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during her time as a student-athlete, including one trip to the Sweet 16 in 2007 where she returned home to play at UD Arena.

Maura recently graduated from the University of Dayton and student-taught at West Carrollton High School. She will teach Honors and CP Chemistry classes at CJ. “Now that I’ve completed my student teaching, I’m looking forward to having my own classroom and playing a more influential role in my students’ lives,” she said.

Fun Fact:  Mrs. Lemon comes to CJ from a family of seven brothers and sisters, of which she is the eldest. While attending UD, she ran track and cross country, earning the A-10 all-academic team award twice and eventually meeting her husband Matt—also a Flyers runner. Matt and Maura were married in June.

Sr. Nicole will split time between teaching two religion courses and assisting in both the academic office and the office of ministry and service. “I am truly looking forward to becoming a part of the CJ community,” she said.

Fun Fact:  Sr. Nicole is a Marianist sister originally from San Antonio, Texas, where she attended Texas A&M. She enjoys watching Big 12 Conference football and rooting for the Aggies.

During the 2010-11 school year, Andrea served CJ students coaching the Eagles Science Olympiad team. This year she joins the faculty part-time as a math and science teacher. “I can’t wait to meet my students and I look forward to becoming a bigger part of the community having already been introduced to CJ through the Science Olympiad team,” Varney said.

Fun Fact:  In May 2010, Andrea crossed the finish line at the Illinois Marathon in Champaign, completing her second 26.2 mile race. Her first came in 2009 at the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, and she says her goal is to run a marathon in every state.

Nicole joins the guidance team with a bachelor's degree from Ohio University and a master's degree from Wright State University. “I’m excited to really get to know the students and become involved with all aspects of the community, from helping with extracurricular activities to attending sporting events,” she said

Fun Fact:  During the summer months, Mrs. Will spent only seven days at home in Dayton, traveling instead to Florida, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina's Outer Banks.



Back row (L to R): Maura Lemon; Andrea Varney; Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI; Jordie Edgel, ‘05. Front row (L to R): Nicole Will; Rich Curlett; Lynzee Johnson

2011 Lucas Pfander Memorial Race

The fourth annual Lucas Pfander Memorial Alumni Race begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 13 at Triangle Park. Runners of all ages and levels are welcomed to take part in this free event during one of two races: a one-mile run for elementary school students, and a two-mile run/walk for adults and other guests.

The event was started in August 2008 by the CJ cross country team in conjunction with the Pfander family following the tragic death of their son Lucas Pfander, a CJ honors student and an Eagles three-sport athlete. Lucas passed away one month earlier during the summer before his senior year in an accidental drowning while vacationing with friends on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. The incident shook family members, friends and those in the CJ community both familiar and unfamiliar with the boy whose indefinable spirit now continues to live on.

“Cross country was one of the sports Lucas participated in so we couldn’t think of a better way to keep his memory alive than to do something annually like this in support of the scholarship named after him,” said Greg Pfander, Lucas’s father. Since 2010, the proceeds from the race have served to partly fund a yearly scholarship for CJ students. “It’s something that our family holds dear to our hearts.”

Lucas’s personality could be described as quirky, eccentric, goofy, friendly, silly and fun-loving. His vivacious attitude helped him accomplish more things by age 17 than most can lay claim to. He was a stand-out distance runner, swimmer and volleyball player; he was elected president of the National Honor society; he was a good Samaritan, who had completed more than 150 service hours in three years; he attained perfect attendance in high school, having not missed a single day (despite never wearing long pants); he was a multi-time winner of phone-in radio giveaway contests, carrying the mantra, “If you don’t try, you can’t win”; he was a pogo stick jump-roper, who once performed on stage at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno; and, Lucas Pfander was a caring friend loved by many.

Each May at the CJ Honors Awards, the Pfander family shares that love for their son by bestowing the Lucas Pfander Scholarship to a student, entering his or her senior year, who best personifies the characteristics which made Lucas so special. Criteria for the award include demonstrated excellence in the categories of academics, athletics, attendance and community service. Anna Roland was selected as the 2011 recipient.

“When Mrs. Pfander announced the winner at the assembly, she mentioned how appropriate it was that I happened to be wearing an orange skirt and orange earrings,” said Roland. Orange was Lucas’s favorite color.

In addition to the grant, Roland also received an orange bracelet inscribed with the title of Lucas’s favorite song, “Viva la Vida.” The color and the Coldplay hit have come to symbolize the memory of Lucas to those proud to wear the blue and green.

“Just hearing the students talk about him and all of the great things that he did made me realize how remarkable of a person he was, even though I never got the chance to know him,” said Roland, who has taken off her bracelet only once since the May 18 assembly. The senior involved with Student Council, National Honor Society, Key Club and the crew team said she feels honored and blessed to have won the scholarship, adding that when rowing at competitions, the bracelet serves as a reminder that, “there’s someone up there watching over me.”

You are invited to join Anna, the Pfander family and Chaminade Julienne High School at the race on Saturday. T-shirts will be sold with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Lucas Pfander Scholarship. Donations will also be accepted for the continued growth and support of the scholarship.

To make a donation to the Lucas Pfander Scholarship, contact the CJ Development Office at 461.3740 x232, or for more information regarding the race please email or call Greg Mueller, cross country coach, at 461.3740 x443.

The HOBY Leadership Legacy

CJ students Jay Bryant, Clare Geraghty and Kathryn Marshall sat down for breakfast at Panera on a Tuesday in July, brimming with inspiration and focused on making a difference. The group of upperclassmen—linked by a common thread and a common goal—scheduled the impromptu morning meeting as a brainstorming session to explore ways of applying the lessons they learned while attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminars.

HOBY is an international youth leadership development organization founded in 1958 by actor Hugh O’Brian.  Every summer, the organization invites select high school sophomores to represent their school as ambassadors at regional seminars where students hear from guest speakers, work together in small discussion groups, and participate in interactive leadership tasks. Throughout the four-day camp, HOBY chaperones encourage participants to build leadership skills with an emphasis on community service.

Geraghty and Marshall were selected and announced as the school’s 2011 HOBY ambassadors at the CJ Sophomore Leadership Conference in March after receiving nominations from faculty members. The annual conference, which was held in the Student Conditioning Center, featured national motivational speaker Ted Weise. Current senior Jay Bryant was the school’s lone ambassador at the 2010 HOBY Leadership Seminars.

“I did not know what I was getting into,” admitted Bryant, but said his HOBY experience helped broaden his horizons. “I was already involved with service; I was already serving on Student Council, so I continued to do those things, but I felt inspired to go over and above.”  As a senior, he plans to join FLIGHT, become one of the first Student Development Chairs, and continue to organize the school’s Relay for Life efforts.

And while Bryant, senior class president, may have been unaware of the power of the summer seminars before becoming a HOBY alumnus, it is safe to say that many fellow Eagles—including Dan Meixner, CJ president and CEO—know the feeling. Meixner, ’84, is one of many CJ graduates to have spent time between their sophomore and junior year of high school with HOBY.

“Being a HOBY ambassador in 1982 was one of my important high school experiences.  For the first time, I was exposed to a celebration of what it meant to be a leader,” Meixner said. The tradition of sending student representatives has continued at CJ for more than 30 years.

“It was the first opportunity I had to really start thinking about the unlimited opportunities available to do good,” added Meixner.

More than 9,000 high school sophomores are selected nationwide to attend HOBY seminars throughout the United States, with roughly 800 participating in one of four Ohio regional seminars. Marshall attended the 2011 West Ohio HOBY Seminar from June 9-12 at Ohio Northern University while Geraghty attended the Southwest Ohio version from June 16-19 at Miami University. Both agreed that although the experience is different for everyone, most participants leave feeling confident in their ability to lead.

“It was refreshing to be in an environment where the moderators and facilitators realized your potential to do great things,” said Geraghty, junior class president. She looks forward to taking advantage of more opportunities offered through the Office of Ministry and Service to lead retreats and summer mission trips during the upcoming school year.

Marshall described her HOBY experience as the “highlight of the summer.”

“It was really inspiring to see that no matter your age, you can be a leader and make a difference in your community,” Marshall said of the knowledge which she has already put into action. The Oakwood native and cross country team captain began immediately this summer by volunteering at the Wright Memorial Public Library and has plans to start a service project that would provide school supplies to underprivileged students in Zestafoni, Georgia.

“HOBY shows you your God-give talents and inspires you to use them,” Marshall stated. As part of their efforts to be leaders in the CJ community, the trio hopes to spearhead a school-wide service project similar to the Chaminade and Julie Service Days that were first introduced in April 2011.