April 2016

DBJ Honors Three From CJ for Forty under 40 Honors

It was recently announced that three members of the Chaminade Julienne community, Brett Chmiel ’02, director of admissions, Amanda Ooten, science department co-chair and teacher, and Dan Meixner ’84, president, were named 2016 Dayton Business Journal’s Forty under 40 honorees. Chmiel and Ooten were recognized as members of the 2016 Forty under 40 class. Meixner, who was named a Forty under 40 recipient in 1999, was selected as the 2016 inductee into the Forty under 40 Hall of Fame.
The winners were asked to share their thoughts about the recognition:
Where were you when you learned about the honor?
Chmiel: “I was at a presentation for my students’ capstone project, as I am their mentor. I glanced at the e-mail about the award as I was overseeing our seniors present to freshmen males on the importance of real masculinity.”
Ooten: “I was at a Project Lead the Way conference in Indianapolis and I was very excited! I immediately called my husband and told him first.”
Meixner: “I returned Carol Clark's (publisher of DBJ) telephone call after receiving a voicemail from her that she had good news to share.  I thought it might have something to do with the two members of the CJ team who had just been selected as members of the 2016 class of Forty under 40.  Instead, she told me that I had been selected for the Hall of Fame.  Because I was a bit speechless, I texted my wife at work.  She texted back later that day that she was proud of me.”
What does it mean to you to be recognized for this honor?
Chmiel: “I am humbled to be nominated as a Forty under 40 and honored to be categorized with so many other successful leaders across the region. I am proud of the fact that three members from CJ were named for their accomplishments. It makes me proud of our non-profit educational institution and for our work at CJ.” 
Ooten: “I first felt so honored that CJ even nominated me, and then to be the only teacher chosen out of 240 nominees was just unbelievable. I feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful community. I truly give all credit for this award to my students, colleagues and administration who make me a better teacher each day.”
Meixner: “The people who made the selection recognize the impact that Chaminade Julienne is having on our students and the greater Dayton region.  We have made exciting progress in recent years because we have a supportive community, outstanding teachers, staff members, volunteers, and parents - and I'm receiving recognition that their efforts have helped secure.  I am so blessed.
“I am so proud of our outstanding teachers and staff members.  Recognition received by Brett and Amanda tells the community what we already know - we have wonderful people working at CJ who make a difference in the lives of young people.  Because of their work, our community is better.”
You can read the Dayton Business Journal’s announcement about Chmiel and Ooten’s recognition here. You can read the Dayton Business Journal’s announcement about Meixner’s Hall of Fame induction here. All three will be honored at the Forty under 40 awards banquet on Thursday, May 19 at the Schuster Center.
Posted April 8, 2016

Capstone Works to Break the Cycle of Child Abuse

Several capstone groups have focused on identifying the signs of child abuse. But for their Senior Capstone Project, Essence Garrett, Taylor Stokes, KaMaria Turner and Rayelle Wells worked on ways to help break the cycle of child abuse.

"A lot of people already know what child abuse is and know the signs," Wells shared. "We want to break the cycle because those who have been abused are twice as more likely to become abusers. So our goal is to advocate, prevent and get involved to make a difference."

The seniors presented their research on breaking the cycle of child abuse to the Class of 2019 on Monday, April 4. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"A lot of people you wouldn't suspect could be the ones abused," Garrett noted. "They won't speak up about it, but they often show signs of it."

As part of their research for their Capstone Project, the group went to a child abuse prevention workshop at CARE House in Dayton.

"We learned a lot about the signs of child abuse and how to identify them," Turner explained. "We also learned how to talk to people who have already been abused."

Stokes added, "Because of the workshop, I can now identify the signs of child abuse and see how the cycle can happen." 

Throughout the month of April, the group will post child abuse prevention facts on the daily cafeteria slides and they placed posters around the school stating, "There is no excuse for child abuse."

"Everyone can Google the signs of child abuse, but to tell that and repeat that is not something this Capstone Group wanted to do," said Ann Szabo '72, the group's mentor. "This group wanted to make people feel comfortable if they are victims. They are encouraging students to talk about this subject, and CJ is a great place because there are so many great people available for our students."

Posted April 7, 2016

STEMM Idol: Senior Capstone About the Bee Population

The buzzing sound of bees may not be the most pleasant to some. That sound, and therefore bees, is a necessity, though, for there to be food for living beings on a daily basis.

For the final STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentation of the year, the Senior Capstone group of Morgan Coovert, Spencer Dufresne, Angela Hodapp and Bridget Miles shared their research findings on the state of the bee population.

"A majority of our food system is dependent on bees and there could be consequences if we don't do something about their declining population," said Miles.

"I had no idea any of this was going on until I began researching it," Coovert added. "It's shocking information for anyone."

During their presentation, the group shared that in the 1940's, there were five million bees to pollinate food. The present day population of bees is now cut in half. A main reason behind this, the group explained, is due to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoid insecticides. In their presentation, the group said 42% of the honeybee population has collapsed because of neonicotinoid insecticides.

"Those pesticides have nicotine infused into the plant seeds," Hodapp shared. "The pesticides kill the bees' nervous and immune systems and researchers are looking into the effects it also has on humans."

The group told their classmates that taking action by buying organic food or planting flowers and herbs that are bee friendly can help make a positive impact to the bee population right now. Students who attended the STEMM Idol presentation were encouraged to take flower seeds the Capstone group provided and to make a pledge to create a bee friendly garden free of pesticides.

"Awareness around the country about this issue is growing," Eric Grimm, the Capstone group's mentor noted. "It's good to see young people take on a specific environmental issue and try to work towards solutions."

You can visit a website the Senior Capstone Group created about their research project here.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter for the 2016-2017 school year? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

Posted April 5, 2016


Eagles for Life Attend SFLA Ohio Leadership Summit

During their last weekend of Easter break, members of the Eagles for Life club went to Columbus to attend the Students for Life of America Ohio Leadership Summit. This was the first time Eagles for Life participated in the Ohio Summit, said club moderator Karen Emmerich.

"Many of the presenters were young adults who are passionate about life issues and working in careers that have a direct impact on changing laws and the culture," Emmerich continued. "I've seen at the March for Life over the years that the Pro-Life movement is becoming more and more a movement of young people.  The Ohio Conference showed that young people are really moving into positions in the Church, in Government, and in social agencies where they can affect real change."

During the Summit, students heard from a variety of speakers and attended breakout sessions.

"My favorite speaker was Bryan Kemper," shared Erin Colbert '17. "He had his own personal experience about how abortion affected his own life and how he's lived."

"I enjoyed listening to Jennifer Kiessling who is the President of Save the 1," added Mo Zopff '16. Zopff explained that Save the 1 is a Pro-Life organization with the mission to educate all about the importance and protection of every pre-born child.

Emmerich noted, "I really appreciated Peter Range, from Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo, who spoke about how his Pro-Life passion developed out of his love for his father who was a quadriplegic.  He made a compelling case for protecting all lives from 'womb to tomb.'"

The students also learned useful tools when talking to someone about their message of Pro-Life.

"My biggest take away from the summit was to understand where others are coming from when they are Pro-Choice and how to explain to them the Pro-Life stand point in an effective way," Colbert explained. "I learned how to appropriately approach a conversation with a Pro-Choice person and about the biological effects of abortion on people."

Also during the summit, the Eagles for Life members were recognized by Anna Held, the Great Lakes Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America, for being named the 2015 National High School Group of the Year.

When reflecting about the Summit overall, Zopff said, "It was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and I got to hear amazing Pro-Life stories!"

Posted April 4, 2016