November 2014

CJ, Rosary Partner in Walk to the Kroc

Joining with various Dayton community partners, students from CJ and Our Lady of the Rosary made a memorable “Walk to the Kroc” together during this fall’s Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23-31, 2014) is meant to educate and galvanize communities in the fight against drugs and alcohol. The week has been sponsored by the National Family Partnership nonprofit organization since 1985.

On Friday, Oct. 31, a throng of CJ musicians, student athletes and OLR alumni marched with K-8 students from the school’s location at 40 Notre Dame Ave. through the neighborhood to the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center on Keowee Street in Dayton.

“The day was phenomenal,” described Leslie Lenoir, student support coordinator at Our Lady of the Rosary, who planned a week of celebrations at her school leading up to the walk.

Ms. Lenoir organized fun awareness activities and encouraged parent involvement at OLR throughout the week, then invited neighbors to participate in the walk Friday. Walkers were boisterously led by members of Eagle Pride, CJ’s pep band and color guard, en route to the Kroc Center.

“We were really happy with the participation by parents and local businesses, like the PepsiCo Company at Milburn Avenue, and very proud of all the students involved. CJ really helped make it a memorable day,” Lenoir said.

Celebrations culminated at the Kroc Center, where children heard presentations from Dayton Police officers, including OLR and CJ grad Officer Karen Clark ‘91 (pictured below). Those in attendance were also treated to a special Halloween performance by Vega, CJ’s pop a cappella group.

According to Jama Badinghaus, student support coordinator at CJ, the morning walk provided a unique role modeling exercise for the roughly 45 Eagles who participated.

“Rosary students got to experience our students as leaders, and our students had the opportunity to give back to the community,” she said. “The older kids I think helped affirm for the children of OLR that this celebration of Red Ribbon Week is truly a worthy cause.”

Badinghaus and Lenoir are each pioneers of City Connects in Dayton. The student support program was first initiated by Boston College in 2001 and, with aid from a local private foundation, expanded to Ohio at OLR in 2008-09 and at CJ in 2010-11.

“Both of our schools are so invested in building strong community partnerships through the City Connects program, so we really wanted to invite CJ and have their school’s strong presence at this event,” Lenoir said.

Fellow community partners in the local celebration of Red Ribbon Week included the Dayton Fire Department, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Catholic Social Services, the Ronald McDonald House, the University of Dayton, and the Dayton Dragons and Cincinnati Reds among others.

CJ STEMM showcased at PLTW Summit

Chaminade Julienne was chosen to showcase its dually certified STEMM education program (science, technology, engineering, math, and an added "M" for medicine) as a model for other schools in Ohio and throughout the United States.

Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, will present the program at the national Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Summit on Nov. 3. More than 1,700 people who are invested in STEM education are expected to be in attendance at the four-day conference in Indianapolis.

"Being invited to be a presenter during the PLTW Summit means you have a unique opportunity to share experiences from your workplace, which can benefit your peers and others committed to help solve the education and workforce development challenges facing our nation," said Terri Schulz, senior director of school engagement for PLTW's Midwest Region.

Draeger worked as an engineer in the manufacturing and health care industries for nine years prior to coming to CJ in 2009. She also previously served as engineering program manager for the Miami Valley Tech Prep Consortium at Sinclair Community College for 12 years.

“STEMM programs should be integrated into the teaching and learning process at schools everywhere. I hope one day that these programs become a natural way of learning for all students,” Draeger said. She also presented for a second consecutive year at the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) Symposium at Bowling Green State University on Nov. 1.

"Students need to understand, be aware of and be prepared for STEM jobs because there are so many opportunities for them in the Dayton area and around the world," Draeger said. "We at CJ also feel called to engage students in these subjects in light of Catholic values and social justice."

Dayton, Ohio is considered a national hotbed for advanced manufacturing and STEM education. The region boasts approximately 3,000 manufacturing companies and was named No. 10 on the 2014 list of "Top 20 Places for STEM" grads by NerdWallet.

In 2011, CJ became Ohio's first Catholic high school to earn national PLTW certification in both the biomedical sciences and pre-engineering curricular tracks. The school opened its $4 million, 17,000 sq. ft. CJ STEMM Center in August 2013 to support and enhance the curriculum for all students and educators.

"We have been blessed with the right educators, the right local and national partnerships, and new spaces in one of the strongest STEM regions in the country. Now it's up to us to share our success story with others who wish to accomplish the same things for high school and middle school students. They are the future workforce of tomorrow," Draeger said.

Posted November 3, 2014