April 2016

CJ Performing Arts Presents: "A Night of One Acts"

For the second year, students will direct their classmates in short plays when the performing arts department presents A Night of One Acts on Saturday, April 30.

"I am always excited to see how the student directors' work comes together and how satisfying that is for them," said choir and drama teacher Caitlin Bennett. "Being a first time director can be nerve-wracking because you want everything to go perfectly. There is something really special about putting something you directed in front of an audience for the first time. I am looking forward to them experiencing that. It is a unique opportunity for them."

Jacob Ely '18 was an actor in a one act last year and is directing this year.

"I wanted the other experience, to be on the other side of the process," Ely explained. "It is really educational from my point of view. It is also different because I have never had the opportunity to direct before."

"I think it's a great opportunity," agreed Sean Stewart '16, who is also directing. "It allows some of the people in the department to take more of a leadership role and flex their knowledge of the craft. It makes them better performers by understanding that part of the process."

Anna Kutter '19 is not only directing in this year's production, but she is acting in three additional performances.

"It's crazy," Kutter acknowledged. "I'm most excited to direct because I have never done any sort of directing before. It's very cool to have the plays that are complete stories but told in a short format."

Two students from the Acting II class, including Kutter, will be directing in A Night of One Acts. Other students from the Acting II class will be some of the performers in the shows.

"Last year, the Acting II class worked on a one act for their final performance project of the year," Bennett noted. "They performed it, but it was on a weekday night. I decided that we will just make their performance a part of The Night of One Acts so that they have more of an audience."

 The productions that will be featured in A Night of One Acts are A Sure Thing, The Ugly Duckling, A Cut in the Rates, Mother Figure and Enchanted, I'm Sure.

"A Sure Thing is based off of an improve game," shared Stewart. "Whenever the bell rings, the actors change what they are saying. The bell ringing is something they don't acknowledge. One moment they will be shy and timid, and then the bell rings and they will be yelling at each other. The actors have to be able to switch gears quickly."

When asked about his one act, Ely said, "The Ugly Duckling is not the original Ugly Duckling play, it's a satire. It starts out with a king, a queen and a chancellor talking about how they're going to marry off the princess who is very plain and not beautiful. There is a lot of irony in the show about how society expects us to be beautiful. It reflects on how if you're beautiful of character, you don't have to be beautiful physically."

Kutter said she most relates to the character she plays in Mother Figure.

"In Mother Figure, I am Rosemary and I visit my next door neighbor because I'm worried about her and how she's doing," Kutter explained. "It's interesting because we don't know anything about the character before she walks into her neighbor's house. It's also interesting learning who she is and how she relates to her neighbor."

A Night of One Acts will be performed in the CJ cafeteria. The show begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $5.

Posted April 28, 2016

Capstone Group Shares Winning Experience with Kids

The Dayton Dragons weren't the only winners at the ballpark on Sunday, April 17. The Senior Capstone group of Matt Allaire, Will Huffman, Connor Jordan, Tommy Krug and Matt Weckesser helped more than 40 kids feel like winners after the group took the children to Fifth Third Field.

"There is a group in Cincinnati called Reds Games for Kids and I got connected with them about a year ago," shared Allaire. "I thought it would be really cool to start our own group in Dayton as a Capstone Project because I saw how much it affected the kids in Cincinnati and how excited they were at the ballpark. I thought it would be a fun thing to do in Dayton too."

The group's mentor, Mike Hoendorf '03, suggested the seniors talk to the organization Building Bridges which identified kids from the Dakota Center and KIND (Kids In New Directions) to attend the Dragons game.

 "At the game, the kids got hats and t-shirts," Weckesser explained. "We wanted them to have fun, watch the game, and take them around showing the sense of community in the ballpark."

Krug noted, "I think the kids at the end were happy to have this experience."

Also attending the game was Tom Grabo with the Reds Games for Kids organization. Grabo dresses in full red and white body paint for Reds games, and made sure to don green and black when he attended the Dragons game. He also helped the Capstone group secure the hats and t-shirts to give to the kids.

When reflecting on the experience, Huffman said, "I think our capstone was unique in that we started on a project at the beginning, then we did our research and connected it to that. A lot of other groups had looked for a problem and then found a solution, but I think our Capstone was different in that we knew what we wanted to do the entire time."

Jordan added, "We hope the juniors continue this and maybe expand it to more than one game or even UD games next year." 

Posted April 26, 2016

Juniors Attend Student Leadership Conference

"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, There's a Leader In Us All," "Unleashing Your Inner Yoda," and "Behind Every Face is a Story." These were just some of the breakout sessions high school students, including five from CJ, could attend at the Wilks High School Leadership Conference at Miami University on Friday, April 15.

"It was a great seminar and the students really enjoyed being on Miami's campus," said teacher and junior student council moderator Erin Ketch. "We were able to meet students from other schools who had been identified as leaders and had some good conversations about what we can do to influence others in our school environments in a positive way."

Five members from the junior student council, Yasmin Espino, Brianna Gavin, Sarah Hartley, Sarah Kroger and Caroline Weiler also attended the conference.

"My favorite part about the Leadership Conference was that we were able to break out of our comfort zones, learn about other people and topics, and become inspired," shared Gavin. "I enjoyed listening to the speakers and what they had to say, and I believe that things I learned both about myself and about how I can lead the community will be able to make Chaminade Julienne an even better place to be."

Other schools attending the conference from the Dayton and Cincinnati areas included Alter, Carroll, Walnut Hills, Taylor, Cincinnati Hills Christian, Monroe, and Kings.

"My favorite part of the Leadership Conference was meeting and befriending teenagers all over the Dayton, Cincinnati, and Oxford area," noted Espino.

Weiler agreed, "I enjoyed meeting new people from a wide variety of different schools and doing the various leadership activities!"

At the conference, each student chose a "color" track with activities and talks that had a focus on specific leadership qualities. 

"During one of the speaker's presentations, the leader spoke about how he had struggled with his identity in relation to who others wanted him to be," Gavin explained. "This resonated with me because I, like many teenagers, struggle with identity. Through his speech, I learned that you cannot just sit there and expect people to understand you unless you give them the opportunity to get to know you. I learned that even though people struggle, everyone out there can become an 'anchor' for you.

"As juniors, we're picking out colleges and taking the ACT and it's a lot," Gavin continued. "Everything can become overwhelming very quickly, but anything is possible with the help of a trusted friend or mentor. I just want people at CJ to understand that it's normal not to know who you are or who you want to be."

After lunch, all conference attendees came back together for a final seminar and activity. They also wrote down leadership goals and had a group discussion on what it means to be a leader.

"I believe that it was important for me and the others to attend the conference to better our school and bring awareness to common issues that may go unnoticed in the school environment," Espino reflected.

Weiler added, "I learned to make sure everyone's opinions are heard and to always keep other's ideas in consideration."

"We came back with some great ideas on how to help others become leaders even if they don't self-identify that way," Ketch said. "We also came back with some ideas of how we can make Student Council even stronger."

Posted April 22, 2016


Leadership Speaker Ted Wiese Inspires Sophomores

It may be hard to imagine sophomores getting excited about a game of Simon Says. In actuality, the game was called Ted Says and led by leadership speaker Ted Wiese. The game was one of the many activities students participated in when Wiese presented his youth leadership program on April 20 and 21.

"This is my 19th school year traveling coast to coast talking at schools that are interested in promoting leadership to their students," Wiese said.

This was Wiese's 11th year in a row presenting at CJ.

"CJ students are very competitive in a good way," Wiese reflected. "They are very enthusiastic and receptive to my message."

Wiese explained to students the characteristics of a leader include self-confidence, taking action, communication and responsibility. His message came across through a series of activities and games.

"It's hard to focus on a power point presentation and read slides," Rhiannon Beall '18 explained. "Ted was very active and did the games so he could get our attention." 

"I liked how he didn't try to be something he's not," agreed Roman Dwire '18. "He was straight forward and explained things in a fun way."

One game the students played required them to sit around a circle and say the word "zoom" to the person next to them as fast as possible until everyone had a turn. Beall said they were asked to do this under a certain amount of time and each time, the group kept doing the activity faster and faster.

"The meaning of the game was that we should always think about the positive things in life," Beall noted. "As time decreased we didn't think about the positive we just thought that we couldn't do it. But then at the end we could do it which resulted in us thinking about the positive."

Parker Ferdelman '18 added, "Each game had a message to it about leadership and what leadership is. Ted kept adding on to the keys  of what it is to be a leader."

"CJ has leaders and sophomores are the next group of leaders who will be leading the school, the athletic teams, the clubs, and other organizations," Wiese said. "The idea was to get students thinking about how they can make a difference, how they can step up and be a leader. Hopefully when the time comes, they're ready to go!"

Posted April 21, 2016

Capstone Spreads Awareness About Deforestation

More than 80% of the world’s forests have been destroyed and only 10% of original forests in the United States still remains. Those facts, discovered by the Senior Capstone Group of John Craighead, Morgan Rogers, Tim Menker and Thomas Wilimitis, ignited the students' goal to spread awareness about deforestation.

"We saw trees being cut down and I'm distantly related to Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN '49, so that made sense why I felt like something needed to be done," said Menker.

The group went to Our Lady of Rosary school earlier this month and shared with fourth grade students the startling facts on deforestation.

"We presented our slideshow and gave students a worksheet that had ideas on what they can do at home to stop deforestation," Wilimitis explained.

"Preparing for the presentation, I was surprised to learn that in the last 40 years, close to 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been deforested which is more than the last 450 years since European colonization began," added Menker.

The capstone group said they were pleased with ideas the students shared on how to stop deforestation.

"The students came up with good ideas and we shared those as part of our presentation at the Sister Stang Symposium," Wilimitis said.

Teresa Spanel '10, the group's mentor, commented, "The seniors chose an issue that they were passionate about and were able to show it in their presentation.  Their goal was to get to the youth and that is what they were able to do."

Posted April 21, 2016

Three Students Honored with Scholastic Art Awards

Three students recently received recognition through the nation's highest art honors, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The winners from CJ were:

Bryce Howell '17:

  • View from Franklin Street - American Visions Nominee and Gold Key 
  • View from Deeds Point - Silver Key
  • Before Fireworks - Silver Key
  • Utility Poles - Honorable Mention

Rose McDonald '16:

  • First Day of School - Silver Key
  • Art Portfolio -  Afflicted Resurrection - Honorable Mention
  • Money Over Matter - Honorable Mention
  • The Beginning of Forever - Honorable Mention

Adzaan Muqtadir '16:

  • The Departure - Silver Key
  • Sewn From Scraps - Honorable Mention
  • The Fitting - Honorable Mention
  • The Storm's Watercolor - Honorable Mention
  • Self Portrait - Honorable Mention

"I am so pleased about their wins in this contest," said teacher Kaye Carlile. "I couldn't have better students, in every way - not just their art talents, but what they exhibit in their dedication, effort and wonderful character."

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were established in 1923 for students in grades 7-12. Last year, more than 300,000 entries were submitted.

This was the second year in a row Muqtadir was recognized with honors.

"My favorite artistic medium is photography and digital art," Muqtadir shared. "I like merging together images to make photo collages that show different elements of a concept or vibe that I’m trying to convey."

"My favorite type of art is photography and film," McDonald commented. "I love taking a moment and capturing it in a way that really speaks to people. Art for me is entirely about emotion and concepts and I feel I can express myself and impact people most strongly from behind a camera."

Howell said, "I enjoy the visual arts, especially drawing and painting. I enjoy being able to sketch objects and people and to make watercolor paintings. I've been considering taking up oil painting as well."

Carlile emphasized the passion the students have for the arts, with some choosing to continue using their talents after CJ.

"Many of my students are going to pursue a profession in the arts," Carlile continued. "Taking part in, and especially winning, is an important stepping stone in their success as an artist."

"Next year I will be going to Columbia College Chicago to study in their Cinema Art + Sciences program and earn a degree in directing or screenwriting," McDonald announced.

Other competitions the students have or will be participating in this school year included The Third Congressional Art Exhibit, The Ohio Governor's Art Competition, and the Max May Holocaust  Art Competition.

"My favorite part of being involved in art at CJ is that I have a designated time every day where I can sit down and genuinely think about and make things that I love making," Howell shared. "School doesn't seem hard when I get to take time every day to work on the things I am passionate about."

Muqtadir agreed, "With art at CJ and its partnership at K12, the resources available to complete and implement projects has definitely branched out which is something that I appreciate."

You can view some of the students' art pieces below.

Pieces by Rosie McDonald:  



Pieces by Adzaan Muqtadir:  

Posted April 18, 2016


Members of CJ's Founding Orders Visit with Students

More than 10 members of CJ's founding orders, the Society of Mary and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, visited the school on Thursday, April 14 for a luncheon that was more than just fellowship.

"The motivation was to give our students the opportunity to meet and talk with some religious because they rarely get that opportunity," explained Kelli Kinnear, Director of Ministry & Service. "Our school chaplain, Fr. Jim Mueller, SM, is the one who sparked this idea, and we started brainstorming what we wanted the lunch to look like." 

"I loved being able to interact with so many different people," shared Graham Curry '16. "They were all friendly, and there was not a doubt going into the lunch that every person there would be an amazing individual.  Every person I talked to had an interesting story to tell, and they all loved life so much they have an enthusiasm for everything that they do.

"Seeing this attitude was truly awesome because the spirit in the room was making itself felt," Curry continued. "Among strangers to me, I found comfort, companionship, and a lot of love for life.  As they shared their faith journeys, their eyes lit up with a passion for telling their stories to others, especially to the young people that are the future.  Their sense of optimism was contagious and the hour that I spent with these people made a very large impact on my day."

Brother Jim Brown, SM added that the luncheon gave the students the chance to ask questions about the religious orders.

"We simply don't ask," Bro. Jim said. "This was an opportunity to ask students if there was anything going on in their life, is there anything stirring? If we don't ask, we won't discover."

Sister Rita Sturwold, SNDdeN '60 agreed, "There were questions at each table but right away one of the girls, who was a freshman, asked, 'What would you say in your life is spiritually satisfying?' Another asked, "How is the vow of poverty for you, what is that like?' I was able to share how we are contributing to something much more than ourselves."

Cecilia Meadors '18 said she was thankful for the opportunity to talk with the religious because she had questions of her own.

"I asked Father Chris Wittman, SM if he ever thought about having a family and he explained how something kept stirring inside of him to get into faith life," Meadors noted. "He made it known that it is normal to feel the need to have a family, but to have a faith life too. He shared the different God moments he had that led him to his decision."

Curry added, "Lots of people don't get the chance to ask about what religious life is like, so it was a special opportunity to have a few questions answered and learn about the different people in that vocation.  The interesting thing about the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is that the members are very culturally diverse and come from different backgrounds.  This is a very important aspect of religious life, especially in a community.  To have diversity welcomed and celebrated sets an example for the rest of society to follow, and a better example of this accepting atmosphere would be difficult to find in a place other than the CJ library at that time."

Brother Jim and Sister Rita noted that while there are some differences with their religious orders, there are many values both orders share and traits they see in the Marianist and SNDdeN schools.

"There is something about our schools that when we go to location to location, the spirit is the same," Bro. Jim reflected. "It's contagious."

"You feel it," Sr. Rita affirmed. "I am seeing how the values of our congregations give a foundation to the ministry that is going on at CJ beyond job, beyond profession. It shapes the ministry and yes, it is the teaching of the Catholic Church but it is with a specific lens and a specific focus."

Meadors added, "I think it's really important that we have religious from both orders who want to be involved at this school. You know there is something special about it because they want to be here and see what we're doing."

"Events like this are only part of what makes the CJ experience so memorable," Curry emphasized. "I left the lunch with a message from a sister, and she said that there is a spark that is within all of us that was shared by all people before us.  She said the importance of this spark is to recognize that the spark within us is the same spark that Sister Julie and Father Chaminade had within them.  We can all do great things because the ability is inside of us: in the spark that all of the great people in history share.  I would have never heard that optimistic and hopeful idea without attending the lunch and taking advantage of the opportunity that so few people have presented to them."

Seniors to Present Capstone Projects in Sr. Stang Symposium

The Class of 2016 will present their findings from their Senior Capstone Projects during the Sister Stang Symposium on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. View the program for the Stang Symposium here.

The Sister Stang Symposium is named in honor of Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN ‘49 whose work among the farmers in Brazil served to raise awareness of human dignity and justice for the poor and of sustaining the balance of the rain forest. On February 12, 2005, she was murdered in Anapu, Para,  Brazil.

This is the third full year of implementation for the Senior Capstone Project. Throughout their four years at CJ, students have been researching, volunteering and connecting to a social justice movement that speaks to them. During senior year, they have gone into schools, businesses, government offices, and other organizations, learning about and teaching others how organized efforts can make differences in the community.

The Sister Stang Symposium will begin with a short presentation in the Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym. After the opening prayer, Brother Raymond Fitz, SM, will deliver the keynote address. Guests will then choose three breakout sessions to attend and learn more about the various Capstone Projects.

You can learn more about the Senior Capstone Projects and read about some of the projects implemented throughout the 2015-2016 school year here.

Posted April 12, 2016

Capstone Encourages Students To Respect Themselves and Others

Students in middle school may find it hard to define, "Who am I?" Seniors Kenya Compton Harris, Orfa Hernandez, Lionel Nsilulu and Dominic Petry made it their goal to help students answer that question and learn about respecting themselves and others as part of their Senior Capstone Project.

"The overall goal of our capstone was to teach young teens to love themselves for who they are," Hernandez explained.

The group went to two local elementary schools, Mother Brunner and St. Albert the Great, and talked with students in 7th and 8th grade. During their presentation, Compton Harris and Hernandez talked with female students while Nsilulu and Petry talked with male students.

"I feel that with this split occurring we got a closer connection to both genders, therefore having more of an impact with our speeches," Petry shared. "With bringing the boys and girls into separate rooms, we were able to talk to them on a personal level."

The group said by honing in on specific subjects related to each gender, their project had more significance to the younger students. After their presentations, the group gave all students small gifts including a CJ water bottle.

When reflecting on the project, Petry said, "I hope that the students learned to respect others. Each life is valuable and we need to give everyone the respect that they deserve."

Hernandez agreed, "I hope they learned from our capstone that they don't forget how beautifully and talented they are made. Every day they should remember their worth."

Posted March 14, 2016

#EaglesHelpingEagles During Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week

Ahead of the CJ Prom on Saturday, April 16, the school is sponsoring a Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week.

"The various activities and events planned for this week are intended to start a conversation in our school community about how students and parents can respond to the real scenarios that face teens today," said school administrator Greg Mueller. "Ultimately we hope to equip our students with tools they can use to help themselves and their friends make smart, healthy decisions in all aspects of their lives."

The themes for the week are alcohol abuse, drug abuse, safe driving and teen sexual activity. Throughout the week, students will see posters in the hallways regarding the week's topics and some class work may include journaling or sodality assignments about the topics.

Events planned for the week include:

  • speaker Rich Garza talking with the junior and senior students;
  • the morning prayer associated with the day's theme; and
  • information and discussion items during all school lunches provided by guidance counselors.

Students are also encouraged to use the hashtag #EaglesHelpingEagles on social media when reflecting about the day's topic and to promote safe behavior among classmates.

The week culminates with the school-sponsored After Prom, being held at Marian Lanes in Huber Heights on Saturday, April 16 from 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Posted April 11, 2016