September 2013

Students Fight Hunger with Ohio First Lady

This fall, Chaminade Julienne students were invited to join Ohio First Lady Mrs. Karen W. Kasich at The Foodbank where they worked side-by-side to fight childhood hunger.

The afternoon service project helped raise awareness for the FeedOhio campaign, an initiative aimed at bolstering support for the state’s 12 regional food banks. The campaign, which began Aug. 24 and ended Sept. 11, was responsible for donations totaling more than 6,000 pounds, or enough to feed 4,813 individuals at pantries in the Miami Valley.

On Sept. 10, a group of five CJ upperclassmen pitched in by packing weekend Good-to-Go Backpacks for students that receive free or reduced lunches at local schools supported by The Foodbank. The program is something that CJ students are involved with every Wednesday as part of optional, after school service site visits organized by the office of ministry and service.

"Meeting Mrs. Kasich was an honor,” volunteer Lyle Plummer '14 told “To see the impact she is making, helping to fill the stomachs of children so they don’t have to come to school hungry, was incredible.

“Hunger is an issue no one should face, especially kids,” he added. Seniors Ciara Crane, Miranda Fryman and Tom Weckesser along with junior Emily Meyer spent about two hours working with the First Lady and fellow volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"We all need to help one another, and give back to our community,” Emily said.

More than one in four Ohio children struggle with food insecurity according to the FeedOhio campaign's Web site,

Photo courtesy of The Foodbank.

Key Club Leads Unified for Uganda Efforts

This year, Chaminade Julienne’s service club known as Key Club, is delighted to support a project spearheaded by UNIFAT known as Unified for Uganda (U4U). The organization provides education for African children in underdeveloped and impoverished areas through sponsorship and scholarship, mentoring services, construction improvements, and technological advancements

“We are supporting this project because it encourages our community to pay attention to what’s happening in our world and it offers Key Club members opportunities to share their time, treasures, and talents,” said Susan Eichenauer, guidance counselor and club moderator.

Junior Grace Saunders who serves as the Key Club’s president initiated conversations and got this project underway, Eichenauer said. The official kickoff for the Ugandan help efforts begins with an awareness event Friday, Sept. 27 during homeroom periods. Two African spokespeople will present to the student body and provide more details about the service project as well as answer any questions.

Charity efforts will lead up to Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 11-12 as Key Club members work to promote the dance as a “flower free” event, meaning that students will be asked to refrain from purchasing flowers for their dates and instead donate a contribution to a scholarship fund that will benefit three sponsored students: two high school boys and one female. All those who donate $2 or more will receive a U4U wristband.

“I pray that our efforts will empower students in Africa to dream and that our efforts will protect them from the realities with which they are living,” Eichenauer said. In addition, a portion of the monies collected will also be donated to one of the Marianist missions in Africa.

Key Club encourages students and community members to support the cause by taking part in prayer and reflection, seeking out more information about the Marianist and Notre Dame missions around the world, and becoming an active participant in the U4U movement.

For more information, visit or come to the next club meeting Oct. 7.


CJ Community Wine Tasting Oct. 5

Parents, past parents, alumni, faculty & staff, and friends -- we look forward to seeing you this weekend at the CJ Community Wine Tasting event!

On Saturday, Oct. 5 from 2-5 p.m., guests are invited to sample 23 different wines at CJ while enjoying light foods chosen especially to compliment the tasting selection.

“The wine tasting provides a fall venue for people to connect and appreciate each other,” said Dan Evans, CJ parent and event organizer. Much like the CJ Fish Fry hosted in the spring, the relaxed atmosphere of this fun afternoon is meant to encourage community building within the comfort of familiar faces and new friends.

“This event is really about people taking time to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life, like wine and food, while accomplishing what is most important -- being there for each other,” Evans said.

All attendees will have the opportunity to purchase their favorites at state minimum cost. This social mixer is for adults 21 and over and is sponsored by the CJ Parents of Performing Arts Students (PoPS). Tickets are $25 per person.

If you have questions, please contact event organizers Dan and Christine (Brockman ‘86) Evans at


2nd Pancakes to Pantry Breakfast

In the Marianist tradition of family spirit, the Grand Walkers Lay Marianist Community in conjunction with the Queen of the Apostles Social Justice Committee will host the 2nd annual Pancakes to Pantry breakfast on Sunday, Sept. 29 to support Chaminade Julienne’s student food pantry.

The event, held from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Si Lounge at Mt. St. John (directions), is open to the CJ community. Last year, $1,000 was raised to provide food and drink for students who, on any given day, may need something extra to supplement their lunch.

"This simple food pantry has filled a gap for those students whether there is a financial need or to help them get through a long day when they have forgotten a lunch,” said Angela Mason, administrative assistant in the office of student services where the pantry is located.

“It has been a true blessing for these students and many try and pay it forward by replacing what they have used," she said.

Members of the CJ community are also welcomed to contribute to the student food pantry directly. Healthy, non-perishable lunch items are always appreciated.


This article re-published with permission from the Marianist Lay Network of North America

Fall Athletic Season in Full Swing

The fall athletic season is in full swing and the Eagles are flying high! As we near the halfway point, take a look back on some of the excitement so far this year.

Loud and proud, the members of “Eagle Pride” are marching in a new direction this year under the leadership of Debi Schutt, performing arts department chair. Eagle Pride encompasses CJ’s wind and percussion musicians -- formerly grouped as the pep band -- and includes energetic performances by color guard members Kaylee Piatt ‘14, Lindsey Boyd ‘15, Gabby Turner ‘16
Kamaria Turner ‘16, and Fidela Tuyisange ‘15 (pictured above). Recent additions to the team include Elizabeth Duckett '17, Shaelynn Houston '15, Brenea Wiley '15 and Mekayla Bailey '16. At over 45 strong, Eagle Pride participation is up by 34 percent from a year ago and has more than doubled in the last five years.

Fans are invited to see and hear the next Eagle Pride performance at home varsity football games, at halftime of this Saturday's 7:30 p.m. UD women’s volleyball game, and during the St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m.

With three consecutive victories over schools in larger divisions, the undefeated CJ varsity football program is off to its best start since the 2002 state championship season. Bumping down to Division V for the 2013-14 seasons, the Eagles were ranked the top D-V team in the state in the first AP Poll released Sept. 17. The team's 34-20 victory August 29 over Troy marked the program’s 500th all-time win in school history.

Continuing a tradition of success, the women’s golf team approaches postseason play with a 19-1 record. The Eagles' only loss came at the hands of D-I Ursuline Academy, a fellow GCL member. This Saturday, Sept. 21 the girls hope to take home the GCL Coed title at the league tournament and begin their march back to state. Since the start of their state championship winning season in 2011, the Eagles boast a .915 regular season winning percentage.

The varsity women’s tennis team continues to heat up in the final days of the 2013 regular season. The Eagles are 13-4 overall and undefeated in league play after defeating Alter Sept. 19 to take hold of the lone spot atop the GCL Coed division. Cheer on the girls in the OHSAA sectional tournament Oct. 2, 3 and 5 at Centerville High School.

Both men’s and women's cross country teams took second place in the Alliance Running Cross Country Invitational D-II race at the Miami Valley Career Tech Center on Sept. 14 . The Alliance Invitational is considered one of the most competitive races of the year. Helen Wittman ‘15 (20:06) led girls team and finished fourth overall in a field of 127, while Conor Hickey ‘14 (17:15) paced the boys team by finishing ninth overall in a field of 230. (View complete boys and girls results). The Eagles will race the same course in the OHSAA district meet on Oct. 19.


CJ Community Celebrates Eucharist Together

Fr. Matt Robben has a message he’d like all members of the CJ community -- parents, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends -- to hear: “Come join us to celebrate the Eucharist.”

In his second year as chaplain at CJ, Fr. Matt is once again encouraging all to deepen their faith together at monthly all-school Mass in Emmanuel Catholic Church and at daily Mass in the Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Chapel located in CJ’s annex building.

“The doors are are always open and I am always looking for people interested in being readers or servers,” he said. This school year there are a total of 12 monthly liturgies and daily liturgy Monday through Friday, before and after school. View the full schedule below.

Senior Kaitlyn Cartone said she appreciates having the option of attending Mass every single day, adding that a majority of students will attend at least one of the before- and after-school services at some point during the school year with a sports team, group or club. She competes on the women’s golf team and also helps plan liturgies as a member of FLIGHT.

“I think it is an honor and a privilege to be able to help plan all-school Masses where we bring our community together,” she said. The seniors of FLIGHT ‘14 meet during Period 1 to lend a helping hand in planning all of the school’s ministry and service activities.

The office of ministry and service has also implemented special whole class liturgies at CJ. All students attend an additional two Masses with fellow members of their graduating class during homeroom time -- once in the fall and once in the spring -- with Fr. Matt serving as celebrant.

“We’re varying the ways students go to Mass to allow different atmospheres for experiencing the Eucharist,” Fr. Matt said. Students perform readings, serve as Eucharistic Ministers and help select music for whole class liturgies which encourages more intimate participation.

Students also have the opportunity to get closer to God with private prayer and reflection each Friday in the CJ chapel. There, individuals are welcomed to participate in quiet adoration or the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The idea to open the chapel during Friday homeroom periods was initiated last school year by a small group of students, said Fr. Matt.

“When you have teenagers coming up and talking to you like that it feels awesome,” he said, “because that means that they are interested in deepening their relationship with the Lord.”

Tom Johnson Headlines STEMM Idol Series

What better way to start off the 2013-14 CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series -- Chaminade Julienne's popular co-curricular offering that features presentations by doctors, engineers, professors, inventors, and scientists -- than by welcoming a local STEMM entrepreneur and reality TV star?

Tom Johnson is just that, and will interact with students at the school's downtown campus Sept. 23.

The Germantown resident hopes to inspire in young people his passion and excitement for creatively putting engineering techniques to work. Tom, who holds his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, is the owner of Johnson Machining Services in Miamisburg.

“I want to talk to students about how if you work hard and to the best of your abilities, you can do all sorts of things," said Johnson, a former race car driver who has built his own airplane.

In the spring, Tom's STEMM skills landed him on The Discovery Channel's new competitive reality television series, The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius (watch audition tape below). The show, which pitted some of America’s highest IQ engineers against “seemingly impossible” challenges, premiered in late April.

Tom finished in the top four, winning the Judges Award "for consistently sharing his 'very unique skills' with the other contestants on the show," reported the Dayton Daily News on July 31, just weeks after the mayor of West Carrollton proclaimed July 9 "Tom Johnson" Day.

Now, Tom is sharing his award-winning skills and inspirational story with CJ students.

"I just kept at it and things turned out OK for me," he said. "I was born to be nothing more than a strong back or a pair of hands, but I always believed I could be more."

CJ students have the opportunity to meet the STEMM Idol and Miami Valley small screen celebrity in the flesh during all homeroom periods in the library Monday morning.

Last school year, more than 100 Dayton-area professionals, educators and college professors connected to STEMM fields worked directly with CJ students. Eighteen served as CJ STEMM Idol Speakers.

In August, the $3.6 million CJ STEMM Center opened to serve all students and fully facilitate the school’s nationally certified Project Lead The Way biomedical sciences and engineering programs.


PLTW Biomedical Students Sample CSI

Project Lead The Way biomedical science students at Chaminade Julienne met with the city of Dayton’s chief forensic toxicologist just days after classmates happened upon the scene of a suspicious “death” found in one of the new CJ STEMM Center labs.

If this sounds like an ominous start to the school year, don’t be alarmed. The planned exercise is one of the innovative, hands-on activities teacher Amanda Ooten uses to engage students during the early weeks of her Principles of Biomedical Sciences course.

And connecting students to a professional in the field only helped bring the lesson to life.

Dr. Laureen J. Marinetti, D-ABFT, head of the toxicology staff for the Montgomery County Coroner's Office and the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab, presented an “Intro to Crime Scene Investigation” in front of science classes on Sept. 4 and 6. She explained how toxicologists put principles of chemistry and mathematics to work in order to extract traces of drugs from samples like bodily fluids collected at the scene of a crime.

“It’s not like what you see on the television show CSI,” Dr. Marinetti told students. Toxicologists work with law enforcement officials, coroners, medical doctors and others to perform one specialized part of the investigation process, she said. Results can take weeks or even months, but are essential to pinpointing a cause of death and uncovering other unforeseen factors at play.

Putting aside most of the made-for-TV myths and picking up the trail of their own fictional case, students worked with the knowledge they had to piece together clues at the scene of the staged death of a “victim” known as Anna Garcia in the weeks leading up to Dr. Marinetti’s visit. Caution tape sealed off a corner of the newly renovated CJ STEMM Center classroom where a chaotic mess of fake blood, hair, pills, a syringe and a muddy shoe track lay scattered.

“We came into class and discovered the scene, then had to take our own notes and come up with a hypothesis of what happened,” said freshman Joshua Hughes. Working in small groups, students gathered evidence and tested the unknown substances found at the scene against known substances using “indicators” like iodine, he said.

“The pill we sampled turned out to be aspirin,” Joshua said.

PBS Crime Scene

The Anna Garcia case is designed to be an open and ongoing investigation, meant to serve as a catalyst throughout the school year for stirring up inquiry and sparking discussion among teacher and classmates on practical biomedical topics.

Students research and analyze the fictional case of victim Anna Garcia.

“Now we are making our own tests, like a blood spatter test, to answer other questions about the crime,” Joshua said. “Eventually, we will propose a conclusion to the events we suspect led up to Anna’s death and try to solve the mystery.”

Students enrolled in PLTW biomedical sciences and engineering courses at CJ can earn up to 12 hours of college credit over their four years of high school -- a terrific way to get a head start on higher education while exploring future career possibilities.

Those interested in pursuing forensic science should attend a nationally accredited school, obtain at least a bachelor’s degree (or a master’s degree or doctorate), complete an internship as an undergraduate, and be prepared to relocate Dr. Marinetti recommended. The job market is good, she said, especially for someone willing to move.

“I wouldn’t trade my job for anything else,” said Marinetti, a native of Michigan. “This career field is one that is constantly evolving as new drugs and new trends come along.”