September 2014

Catholic Chinese Bishop Pays a Visit

Catholic Bishop Francis Lu Xinping of Nanjing, China visited with students, teachers and staff the morning of September 11 to learn about CJ's innovative support programs designed to meet the needs of all students.

The international visit was sponsored by the University of Dayton Office of the President. Ascension Catholic School, St. Albert the Great Catholic School and Fairmont High School also hosted visits throughout the day.

“These schools were chosen for a visit as we believe Bishop Lu will see a variety of environments where quality programming intended to promote students' growth and achievement will be witnessed,” said Susan M. Ferguson, executive director of the UD Center for Catholic Education.

School officials presented the City Connects model, a student support program first introduced at CJ in 2010. CJ is one of just six area schools and colleges in Ohio to offer City Connects, which was created at Boston College in 2001.

In addition, the Bishop also heard from Judi MacLeod '88, chair of the Cuvilly program. CJ is the only high school in Montgomery County with a special needs program that offers both the John Peterson Scholarship and Autism Scholarship to families through the Ohio Department of Education.

“We are excited to be able to host Bishop Lu and his guests for a visit,” said Dan Meixner '84, president. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to demonstrate our City Connects and Cuvilly programs as models for other schools, not just those here in America, but throughout our world.”

Bishop Lu was accompanied by a group of nine dignitaries and officials from the University of Dayton including Ms. Ferguson; Dr. Weiping Wang, executive director of UD’s China Institute; Mr. Ted Bucaro, government and regional relations director; Dr. Kevin Kelly, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences; and Rhonda Mercs, director of the Urban Child Development Resource Center.

After hearing presentations, guests visited classrooms, toured the CJ STEMM Center, took photos in the Marianist Hall chapel, and exchanged keepsakes before departing. Bishop Lu gifted the school with a Bible printed in Mandarin.

Bishop Francis Lu Xinping entered the Shanghai Sheshan Seminary in October 1982 and graduated in July 1988. He was ordained on October 24, 1989 and became an assistant bishop in 2000. The 51-year-old has served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nanjing since 2005.


Vega Plays the Victoria Theatre

Vega, CJ’s premier a cappella group, opens its slate of performances for the 2014-15 school year at historic Victoria Theatre (directions) in downtown Dayton this Sunday, Sept. 14.

The Eagles septet was invited to be the opening act at a 20th Anniversary Concert for the Good Neighbor House, a local faith-based nonprofit organization. Headlining the event is nationally renowned gospel and jazz a cappella ensemble, Take 6.

The show begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at or by calling (937) 228-3630.

Last April, Vega took to Broadway and placed second among the nation's top 10 groups at the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA). Six of the seven student vocalists are back from a year ago, with newcomer Tucker Helms joining returners. Also joining the mix is Bryan Sharpe, who takes over as director for group founder Joe Whatley ‘04.

In addition to their upcoming appearance at the Victoria Theatre, Vega will also perform at the following venues this fall:

Huber Heights Marigold Festival
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Eichelberger Amphitheater. Details at:

President’s Leadership Dinner
Invited guests will hear Vega perform before dinner in the Schuster Center’s Kettering Wintergraden.

Autum Overtures: CJ's Fall Concert
The Fall Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the CJ auditorium and all are invited to attend!

2014 Kettering National A Cappella Festival
Vega will participate in workshops and give a special performance during this annual weekend-long festival at Fairmont High School. Details at:

Fans can look forward to hearing their favorite Vega versions of pop songs like “What Now” by Rihanna and “Barton Hollow” by the Civil Wars, which the group performed on stage in New York last spring. New tunes for 2014-15 include “Maps” by Maroon 5, “Classic” by NKTO, and a 90’s throwback -- the Goo Goo Dolls’ smash hit, “Iris.”

CJ Super Fans Crowd the Stands

Look, up in the stands! Is it a bird? (Well, kind of.) Is it a plane?


Thanks to a new initiative by the Spirit Committee, more than a dozen of the most fanatical upperclassmen have been chosen to lead the student section at home games and help give their classmates something to cheer about.

According to Gretchen Theil ‘15, committee co-president, the CJ Super Fans are dedicated to being loud, proud and positive. “We wanted to get a group of very excited, very passionate fans together to go out and support their classmates at competitions.

“Our goal is to go above and beyond, and try to get others to match our spirit,” Thiel said.

The Spirit Committee, a subset of Student Council, modeled its cheering section after the University of Dayton’s community of fans known as the “Red Scare.” Co-moderator Maura Lemon, science teacher, said the group emphasizes fun and sportsmanship.

“Super Fans are meant to symbolize the ‘perfect fan,’” she said. “They are rowdy for their team, come early, stay late, go all out for the theme of that game, and lead others in cheers that get everyone excited and pumped up.”

To join, Super Fans had to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the Eagles at a before-school tryout. All 14 students to audition were selected, said Lemon, and each has made a commitment to attend the majority of home football and basketball games. They also plan to attend at least one match or game for each sport every season.

“It’s really about keeping our school identity positive and being good models for the underclassmen,” Theil said. She hopes the Super Fans group becomes a tradition and part of the legacy left behind by the Class of 2015.

Support the CJ Super Fans by participating in cheers and themes at every game. Themes are decided by Spirit Committee and announced over the P.A.

PICTURED ABOVE: Students dressed in “Beach Theme” cheer on the Eagles to a 42-7 victory over Troy at the first football game of the 2014 season on August 29.


CJ STEMM Idol Speakers - UD ETHOS

The motto of the CJ STEMM program is, “Empowering students to serve the world.” While University of Dayton engineering students Craig Attenweiler ‘16 and Katrina Staker ‘13 didn’t attend CJ, they certainly know all about living out this philosophy.

Over the summer, Craig and Katrina each decided to use their engineering knowledge and expertise to assist the needy in South America and Asia through the university’s ETHOS cultural immersion program. CJ students are invited to come hear about their adventures this Tuesday, Sept. 9 during the next STEMM Idol Speaker presentation.

ETHOS stands for Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service learning. The program was created by UD students, for UD students in 2001 to “take engineering curriculum beyond the classroom, even beyond this country,” according to Participants have traveled to 19 different countries on 4 different continents to live, work, play, and problem-solve while experiencing a new culture. Students work in small teams made up of engineering majors in varying tracks of study.

Craig traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia where he and two others engineered solar cookers, rocket stoves, and eco-toilets with CECAM, a Bolivian non-profit organization that develops ecological and social projects to benefit rural towns with few resources.

Meanwhile Katrina, who is pursuing a master’s degree in renewable and clean energy, teamed up with three fellow Flyers to build wind turbines in Auroville, India. They worked with MinVayu, a small wind energy company. Check out the group’s ETHOS 2014 blog to see and read more.

Craig and Katrina are the third representatives of the ETHOS program to share their service-learning experience with students as CJ STEMM Idol Speakers, and the first to return to the building since the 2011-12 school year.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear directly from young engineers heeding God's call to serve others!


Guest Speakers Talk Colleges, Careers

If you could take a peek at what your future might hold, would you? That opportunity, in theory, awaits students at CJ on a nearly weekly basis.

Professionals and college representatives who are eager to share their knowledge, experiences and expertise visit campus regularly to speak with tomorrow’s generation of young leaders here at CJ. All students are encouraged to attend these talks to get a feel for possible college and career paths.

Listen to the morning announcements to hear when speakers are in the building. Guests are welcomed and introduced over the P.A. on the day of their visit.

Here’s a sampling of what students can expect:

STEMM Idol Speaker Series

This semi-monthly series, open to students in all grades, showcases area professionals, including CJ alumni, who have successful careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. Sessions are generally held on Tuesdays during each of the four homeroom periods in the Trainor Library.

Luis Garcia (pictured above), an industrial engineer with Next Level Partners, served as the first STEMM Idol of the 2014-15 school year on September 2. He introduced the industrial engineering field as a perfect fit for those with a knack for problem-solving and left students with one piece of advice: “Follow your passions,” he said.
The next STEMM Idol presentation is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9. A list of dates and potential speakers is posted online at and updated as guests are confirmed.

College Rep Visits

Did you know that college rep visits are not just for seniors? Juniors, and even sophomores, are encouraged to come learn more about college life, financial aid, scholarships and more.

The guidance office organizes sessions each month with representatives from schools all across the country. To attend one of these sessions, students should be sure to follow the proper steps.

  • Register on Family Connection. To do so, log in and go to the “Colleges” tab. Click “View All Upcoming Visits,” then click “Sign Up” to register. Finally, click the “Sign Me Up” button.
  • After registering online, pick up a yellow College Representative Conference Pass in the guidance office.
  • Fill out the form and obtain teacher permission for all classes you will miss. Do this at least 24 hours before the visit.
  • On the day of the visit, report to class first for attendance then go to the designated location where the college rep will be speaking (if unknown, check in with guidance).
  • Finally, ask the college rep to sign your yellow pass and return it to OSS in order to receive a pass to go back to class.
  • A complete list of college rep visits is posted in the Guidance Bulletin. Juniors and seniors also receive email notifications through Family Connection. If you have questions, contact or email Emily Saunders, admin. assistant, at (937) 461-3740 x243.

Capstone Groups Share Meal with Mentors

Projects are underway for all 50 Capstone groups! Seniors took advantage of a late-start block morning Wednesday, Sept. 3 to work with their mentors over breakfast.

Molly Bardine, Capstone coordinator, opened by welcoming guests and leading everyone in a prayer for justice. On hand were approximately 40 mentors who joined the 165 members of the Class of 2015 for a half-hour of preliminary discussion.

“The morning went really well,” Bardine said. “Seniors and mentors were given the chance to electronically review their proposal, share their passion for their issue, and begin thinking about their research questions which will help them in the next phase of the project.”

Capstone mentors serve as advisors and include faculty and staff members as well as adults who work in the local community. They are passionate about social justice issues and knowledgeable about Catholic Social Teaching. Mentors meet regularly with students to assist and inspire their group’s activities.

Olivia Childs-Taylor ‘15 and Leah Kiffle ‘15 chose Katie Klain (pictured above) as their mentor after the pair volunteered at The Glen at St. Joseph, where Klain serves low-income single mothers in her role as a career development coach/manager.

“The girls have been volunteers at The Glen at St. Joseph for the last year helping with our evening child care program and they've been fantastic," Klain said. Through their project, Olivia and Leah plan to continue to work with their mentor to identify ways of removing barriers single mothers face when trying to pursue post-secondary education in order to support their families.

Classmate Erin Staley ‘15 said her group is working with English teacher Beth Marshall to tackle issues surrounding childhood literacy. “The breakfast was helpful. I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to speak with our mentor very often, but this created the perfect opportunity.”

Staley’s group has already planned to host a homeroom book drive beginning Monday, Sept. 8 in conjunction with the celebration of International Literacy Day. Books collected will be donated to For the Love of Children, a volunteer group located at 131 N. Ludlow St. The homeroom to donate the most books will receive a pizza party.

“I’m excited for the Capstone because it is different than just volunteering at a service site. You’re able to be part of something bigger than yourself,” Staley said.

In earnest, the Capstone project began for seniors during the spring of 2014 when students -- then juniors -- identified potential projects, groups and mentors. Proposals were submitted August 29 and annotated bibliographies are now due October 31. The next planned meeting with mentors is tentatively scheduled for November. All projects must be implemented by March 13, 2015 and presented to members of the community at the Stang Symposium on April 30.