January 2013

Students Attend 40th Annual March for Life

It’s been 40 years since the notoriously polarizing Supreme Court decision to allow abortion was passed into law. At the time in early 1973, predecessors Chaminade, Julienne and St. Joseph’s were still separate high schools, and the first members of the CJ graduating class of 2013 would not be conceived for more than 20 years.

Yet, as evidenced by this year's trip to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., student support for the sanctity of life continues to be an important issue among the current crop CJ freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, and American youth at large.

Nearly 30 students made the decision to join an estimated crowd of 400,000 fellow pro-life advocates in our nation’s capital Jan. 24-27. Before departing, chaperone and religion teacher Karen Emmerich cautioned participants of the group’s arduous, four-day schedule. The physically and emotionally exhausting weekend is no “walk in the park” (or, rather, walk on the National Mall) for students, but it is an edifying and affirming experience, supplemented with prayer at every stop.

On Thursday morning March for Life participants gathered in the school Chapel for Mass with Fr. Matt Robben at 7:15 a.m. After attending their Period 2 and 3 classes, the group reconvened with Mrs. Emmerich and science teacher Maura Lemon, also a chaperone, back in the Chapel just before noon to take roll and board the bus.

Like last year’s trip, the journey began with a quick stop at Carroll High School. From there, Eagles banded with Patriots and made the nearly eight hour journey together to the Bethesda Marriott in Maryland, 20 miles north of their final destination -- the District of Columbia.

Friday, the day of the March, began at 5:40 a.m. for the group from Dayton. Students attended the Youth Rally and Mass for Life, held at the Comcast Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, before traveling to the National Mall. There, participants marched arm-in-arm to the steps of the Supreme Court building with large throngs of supporters.

“The experience can be overwhelming because you see all these people to your left and right holding signs, praying and chanting together,” sophomore Faith White described. She attended the trip with CJ for the second consecutive school year, but has made the journey with family members in years past.

“The amazing thing was seeing all of the men who were pro-life supporters because usually this is thought of as a women’s rights issue,” Faith said.

Among them were CJ students E.J. Cervantes '16, Malik Guy '15, Evan Sinnathamby '16, and Sean Colbert '16.

“I’ve always thought of myself as pro-life, but I wanted to see and hear other people's opinion,” Sean said. He was inspired to attend the trip for the first time after his mother, CJ religion teacher Lisa Colbert, told him about her experience as a chaperone in 2012.

“It was eye-opening to see that so many people have the same beliefs that we do,” he said.

Students spent the day after the March networking with peers, listening to guest speakers and working in breakout sessions at the Students for Life of America (SFLA) National Conference, conveniently hosted at their hotel on Saturday. Finally the following morning, CJ and Carroll attended Mass together at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church before heading home.

“I would encourage anyone out there to attend this trip,” Sean said. “It’s a great experience to be in solidarity with these people who support the right to life.”

Faith agreed with her classmate and said she returned to school Monday even more strengthened in her resolve, but quipped that – for necessity’s sake alone – she hoped this was the last March for Life she ever has to attend.

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2013

The 2013 celebration of National Catholic Schools Week is being observed Sunday, Jan. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 2. This year's theme is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards." At CJ, we will mark the celebration with activities, prayer, reflections and an all-school Mass.

As a tangible representation of our unity, the students, faculty and staff at CJ, Alter, Carroll and Fenwick will recite a special prayer at 2:55 p.m. from their respective locations Monday afternoon. We invite others to pray along with us at that time.

Members of CJ faith groups, FLIGHT and LIFE, are also planning ways for their classmates to gain a deeper understanding of the role Catholic education plays in all our lives. Every morning, a faculty or staff member will share a personal reflection over the P.A. There will also be a daily CJ trivia contest and donations will be collected throughout the week to benefit St. Francis de Sales School, an inner-city Catholic grade school in Cincinnati that teaches in the Marianist tradition.

On Wednesday, Jan. 30 we will come together as a faith community at Emmannuel Church for an all-school Mass beginning around 10 a.m. Parents and CJ community members are encouraged to attend. Additionally, several students will represent CJ at the Dayton-area Catholic Schools Week Mass hosted at St. Peter Church on this day.

Finally, students can show their support for a favorite Catholic school or university by wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt from the institution of their choice on Friday, Feb. 1. Uniform shorts or pants are required.

Founder's Day Celebrated with Mass

On Jan. 16, a new wall on the first floor of our main hallways was built to separate our students from second floor construction. As the final piece of drywall was put up, the entire school was celebrating our annual Marianist and Notre Dame Founder’s Day Mass in Emmanuel Church. At the end of the liturgy, Brother Brandon Pauloch, S.M., spoke about Mary’s mantle or cloak, which shelters us like the walls of our community.

Excerpts from Brother Brandon’s reflection eloquently describe how Mary’s mantle, like the walls of our school, fosters inclusivity to others. When our students returned from Mass they were surprised to find a brand new wall guiding them to a new path down the hallways of CJ. May our new walls, like Mary’s mantle, continue to provide shelter, prayer and guidance to Christ’s Light.


According to dictionary.com, a mantle is “a loose, sleeveless cloak or cape.” It “covers or envelopes.” The word “mantle” is sometimes used in reference to birds that provide shelter with their wings. Sometime later this week, try out a Google image search for “Mary’s Mantle.” You will find images of Mary with her arms outstretched like wings, gathering women and men of all walks of life under her cloak -- her mantle.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “What does this have to do with CJ?” I understand, cloaks are not a regular topic of conversation. But I invite you to consider this. Consider that the walls of this church where we are gathered, the walls of Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School in which you spend so many hours, consider that these walls are Mary’s mantle.

What does this mean? You’ve all been gathered here by a mother; you are under her protection and held by her nurturing love. This school is her mantle. But this goes beyond gathering and comfort; you are all in this together, whether you like it or not. Look to your right. Look to your left. That’s your brother and sister. It can get a little cramped under that mantle.

Our ideas and personalities may clash. We aren’t going to naturally like everybody who is in here with us. But, we are all children with the same mother with the same God as Father. Notice the diversity Mary welcomes. When you see different images of Mary’s mantle, you see people from all walks of humanity: women and men, young and old, people of every nation, culture, ability, profession and personality. Everybody belongs. We call this inclusivity, and I have heard story after story of how this is lived here at CJ.

So, if Mary is what makes CJ distinctive and we are all gathered under her mantle, what does this mean practically? How can you live it out in your daily life?

Mary, you are the new Eve and the mother of all nations. You gather all the poor of the earth and tenderly console them. You gather all the diverse peoples of our world and invite them to justice and reconciliation. We place ourselves in your care today. Renew in us our dedication to live the Gospel as you did. Amen. Go Eagles!

NKU Selects 6 for Tri-state Band Symposium

Six CJ performing arts students were selected to participate in the 6th annual Tri-state Band Symposium hosted by Northern Kentucky University.

Seniors Maddie Brown (alto sax), Kathryn Marshall (french horn), and Annemarie Krug (trumpet) along with juniors Abby Lisjak (flute), William Howard (percussion) and sophomore David Marshall (euphonium) joined 150 fellow musicians from various Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky high schools Jan. 18-19. The weekend included performances, special college help sessions for students and a professional development in-service for teachers.

Performing Arts Department Chair Debi Schutt said being selected to participate in the exclusive two-day event -- held on campus at Greaves Concert Hall -- is a reflection of each student’s overall musicianship, ability level, dedication and leadership. The unique experience allowed students to broaden their musical horizons.

“This is a wonderful enrichment opportunity for CJ students. They have the chance to play in a large wind ensemble of 60-90 players from other schools, which is an experience they do not have on a regular basis here at CJ,” she said. It was the CJ music program's first year of participation in the annual event.

According to Schutt, two of CJ’s participants made the top Honor Wind Ensemble through an audition process, while the remaining four placed in the top half of their sections in the Symphonic Band.

“The students had a fantastic time and what a learning experience for us all,” she said. High school directors in attendance were able to share rehearsal techniques, best practices and strategies with one another, and observe other well-known professionals in the field.

The symposium was led by Dr. Brant Karrick, NKU director of bands. Karrick has been teaching music at several Ohio and Kentucky high schools and colleges since 1984. He continues to be active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, composer, and music arranger.

Northern Kentucky University is located in Highland Heights, Ky. about 10 minutes south of downtown Cincinnati.

STEMM Idol Speaker Alexandra Bohler

This month’s second CJ STEMM Idol Speaker, a young professional at a local architecture firm, will discuss how she’s used her college degrees to serve others, and how high school students can specifically use the knowledge and tools they posses now to win college scholarships from the Dayton chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Alexandra Bohler comes to CJ on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and will address all students interested in architecture and urban planning during homeroom periods in room 144. The Dayton native, who grew up playing Eagle Youth soccer and attending high school in the downtown area, hopes to inspire others by sharing the unique path she took to a career in one of the sometimes overlooked STEMM fields.

Currently an intern with LWC Incorporated – a 51-percent minority owned architectural firm headquartered on E. First Street – Bohler first earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University. She then enrolled at the University of Illinois in Chicago to work toward a Master of Architecture, which she received in 2010. But before entering the field professionally, Bohler decided to give back to her community through involvement with two national community outreach agencies.

“Between my undergraduate and graduate degress, I was a part of Teach for America in Philadelphia,” Bohler said. She tutored in numerous Ohio and east coast cities including Columbus, Philly, Ithaca and New York City.

“After graduate school, while living in Columbus, I was part of AmeriCorps, working with Homeport, a non-profit affordable housing developer.  As part of this program, I was able to teach a summer design-build class for teenagers.  We designed and constructed outdoor seating in the apartment community where the teens lived.  I also led a green initiatives program for residents.”

Having returned to Dayton, Bohler now creates 3D computer models, works with construction documents and assists with the overall architectural process in her current role as an intern. She also serves as an associate director with AIA Dayton, a professional development organization for registered architects in the Miami Valley.

This school year, AIA Dayton is once again hosting the Art in Architecture Student Design Competition for teenagers in grades 9-12. The first 60 students to register by the Jan. 24 deadline will have the opportunity to work with a mentor from Miami University for a chance to win prizes including a $1,200 and $800 college scholarship.

Contests will be tasked with designing an “Interpretive Center” and memorial that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the 1913 Great Dayton Flood. The cost to register is $25. Project submissions are due March 16 and an awards ceremony will be held at the Dayton Metro Library downtown on May 10. For complete details, visit www.aiadayton.org.


New CJ STEMM Center Plans Announced

In order to keep pace with today’s advancements in curriculum and technology, Chaminade Julienne announces plans to open its brand new CJ STEMM Center at the start of school next year. The center will enhance the school’s preeminent Project Lead the Way curriculum for engineering and biomedical sciences. Because of this investment, students living in the greater Dayton region will now have access to a premier science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM) education delivered within a holistic, Catholic educational experience.

This renovation, with an expected budget of nearly $4 million, will transform current classrooms and labs into a state-of-the-art center featuring expanded learning spaces, innovation labs with project areas, teacher prep areas, a fabrication shop, and a distance learning center. The new spaces will be used by all CJ students and will allow teachers and students greater flexibility in meeting learning objectives. Students will experience the same kind of facilities, technology and collaborative methods that they will use in college, preparing them to be successful in their post-secondary programs and leaders in a changing world.

“The CJ STEMM Center matches the vibrancy of our teachers and creativity of our students,” said Dan Meixner, CJ president. “It meets the demands of our current four-year engineering and biomedical programs and will allow teachers to more fully implement today’s styles of teaching, which have evolved from when our buildings were first constructed.”

The renovation represents the first major construction to the school building in nearly 50 years. The school Board of Trustees approved plans to proceed with the project that will rejuvenate much of the second floor after a 2009 facilities audit determined that the existing, well-maintained buildings were strong enough to support a renovation of this magnitude. Once the scope of the work was determined and funds for the project were secured, the Trustees approved moving forward with the construction phase.

“Because we are accomplishing great things for our students, guided by our sponsors and the leadership of a strong board, we are enjoying growing support from the CJ community. Alumni, parents, and friends of the school are excited by CJ’s continued commitment to pursue effective innovation in curriculum and teaching,” Meixner said.

“The investments of nearly 30 individuals are making this center a reality. Though their names remain private at this time, we thank each one for sharing in our vision for excellent education and believing in our mission, which is rooted in the Catholic traditions of the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. This demonstration of their generosity will have a significant impact on students in our school and community, and inspire many generations to come.”

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School is jointly owned and sponsored by the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The school serves more than 635 students and families from more than 50 zip codes who seek a Catholic educational experience and excellent academic opportunities. CJ became the first Catholic high school in the nation to be dually certified in biomedical sciences and pre-engineering by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in June 2011, and continues to be one of just two dually certified PLTW schools in the Miami Valley. For more than 125 years, CJ has been located at 505 S. Ludlow Street, Dayton, OH, three minutes north of the University of Dayton, a fellow Marianist institution.




Eagle Chosen for All-American Bowl Jan. 4

Chaminade Julienne senior linebacker Darrien Howard will participate in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, presented by the United States Marine Corps and hosted at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound middle linebacker and West Virginia University commit joins 100 of the nation’s elite high school football players Friday, Jan. 4, at the 2nd annual East versus West showcase. The game is being nationally televised on the NFL Network at 9 p.m. EST.

Howard is considered a four-star recruit by both rivals.com and scouts.com, and ranks among ESPN’s top 300 high school football players nationally. The four-year varsity starter at CJ never missed being named to the Greater Catholic League (GCL) North First Team All-League. He also earned Division IV First Team All-State honors in each of his final two seasons with the Eagles. 

The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl recognizes student athletes who embody the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment. Players are selected to participate based on academic excellence, proven physical fitness and quality of character. Find more details at www.semperfidelisfootball.com.