April 2018

CJ Poetry Out Loud Champ Heads to D.C.

Update on 3/5/18: Caroline won the Ohio Poetry Out Loud competition, and will now compete in the national competition, taking place in Washington, D.C. on April 24 and 25. You can watch Caroline take the stage between 9 a.m. and noon on April 24 through this link.

Congratulations, and good luck, Caroline!


Original Story: A four-year veteran of the CJ Poetry Out Loud competition will take to the big stage when she competes in the state-wide competition on Saturday, March 3.

Caroline Delaney ‘18 was named runner-up in last year’s school competition, and was thrilled to be named CJ’s Poetry Out Loud champ this year.

“It has taken four years of hard work to get here,” Delaney shared. “For the final CJ competition, I recited Plaint In a Major Key by Jorge Sanchez and Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay.”

Eleven students made to the final round of the school competition. They were:

  • Grace Jackson ‘19
  • Katie Kohnen ‘18
  • Madison Meixner ‘20
  • Anna Mussin-Philips ‘21
  • Madeline Hofstetter ‘20
  • Chloe Proffitt ‘21
  • Caroline Delaney ‘18
  • Ella Waldspurger ‘20
  • Paul Wittmann ‘18
  • Anna Kutter ‘19

“This year we had a diverse group of students compete,” English department chair, Molly Bardine, said. “We were excited to also have some new judges this year which come from diverse backgrounds and experiences with poetry.”

When reflecting on why she enjoys competing in Poetry Out Loud, Delaney said, “When you get to the climax of the poem and you look around and see every person looking up at you, waiting to hear what you are about to say — they hang on your every word and it fills you with so much pride and confidence.”

After winning the school competition, Delaney competed in the regional competition, which she won on February 16, which qualified her for the state competition.

“Poetry Out Loud continues to be a program which highlights and also brings out some amazing gifts in our students,” Bardine noted.

“Poetry is a very powerful thing,” Delaney added. ”Poetry has defined eras. Poetry Out Loud brings poetry to life and shows us what it means to be a poet. It is a powerful competition!

Originally Posted February 27, 2018

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Gracey Signs to Row at Eastern Michigan University

A current Eagle will make waves after she leaves CJ as Brianna Gracey ‘18 signed to row for the Eastern Michigan University Eagles on Thursday, April 19.

Gracey first got into rowing during her sophomore year.

“I got tired of one sport and thought I would be good at rowing,” Gracey said.

When choosing Eastern Michigan, Gracey said the campus appealed to her.

“I like how big it is and the variety of things it offers,” Gracey noted.

While at Eastern Michigan, Gracey intends to major in biochemistry.

Posted April 23, 2018

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Three Seniors Chosen for Project SEARCH

For the first time at CJ, three seniors were accepted into Project SEARCH for the following school year.

Hannah Finlayson ‘18, Jayla McLemore ‘18 and Joe Siefert '18 had surprise celebrations at CJ to share the good news. 

Project SEARCH was created at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996. The program serves young adults with developmental disabilities by giving them the opportunity to learn both work and life skills which will help them in the future, including finding competitive employment. Only 12 students are chosen for each site through Project SEARCH each year.

Finlayson will be at Soin Medical Center, McLemore will be at Miami Valley South Hospital and Siefert will be at Grandview Hospital. All three students will work in three different areas in their hospitals. Finlayson expressed interest in working with materials distribution, McLemore expressed interest in maternity and sports medicine and Siefert expressed interest in patient transport.

“CJ can offer the academics; but, when you’re talking about vocational skills, we don’t have that type of programming,” Judi MacLeod ‘88, Director of Cuvilly, said. “It’s great that the community offers that type of programming that we can use. Project SEARCH has been one of the most exciting programs we’ve had.”

Finlayson and McLemore’s parents shared the same excitement of their girls’ futures during one celebration.

“It’s nice to know that there is a continuation to this, and it’s too bad that Judi can’t come with us,” Pam Glover shared.

Heather Finlayson agreed, “It’s nice that it’s a program that fits their needs and identifies their strengths - that will really help them be successful long term.”

The students will get to experience other aspects of their hospitals, such as riding on Careflight and seeing other medical campuses. After their graduation from Project SEARCH, all three students will receive help with job placement. Project SEARCH has a 98.9% job placement rate for its graduates.

Learn more about Project SEARCH here.

Updated April 20, 2018; Originally Posted March 28, 2018

Sophomores Attend a Leadership Workshop

Leadership is a choice.

That was one of the main messages speaker Ted Wiese shared with the Class of 2020 during a workshop on Tuesday, April 17.

The sophomore class was split into two groups. While one group attended the workshop, the other group attended their normal classes. The two groups switched after lunch.

Wiese didn’t just talk with the students - he had them participate in activities and challenges. This not only allowed students to get out of their chairs and talk to their classmates, but it showed them that being a leader is fun.

“A leader has to do three things,” Wiese shared. “They have to do more than just listen, they need to be actively involved, and they need to have fun.”

“That wasn’t what I was expecting,” Calvin Hatcher ‘20 said after the workshop. “I thought the workshop was impactful, especially talking about having a good attitude.”

“He made it very evident that if you keep a positive attitude that it will positively affect you in everything you do,” Sarah Arnett ‘20 added.

Staci Greene ‘20 agreed, “If you’re negative, you’re not going to get anywhere. If you’re positive, then everything will work out.”

After the workshop, the students left with the positive message of, “I feel great!”

“I think this school, especially the sophomore class, will really put that into use,” Hatcher noted. “We will have more leaders because of the workshop.”

Learn more about Ted Wiese’s program here.

Posted April 19, 2018

Bice Signs to Play Tennis at Ashland University

Lydia Bice ‘18 knew she wanted to play tennis in college from a young age.

“I was five years old, and knew I wanted to play.”

That dream came true on Friday, April 13 when Bice signed to play tennis at Ashland University.

“I really like the atmosphere there,” Bice said. “It’s not too small but it’s not really big either - it’s the perfect size.”

Bice was a member of the women’s team all four years at CJ and a member of the varsity team for three years. Head coach Jim Brooks said Bice was always up for whatever challenge she faced.

“It’s always exciting to see our players enjoy the game enough that they want to play at the next level,” Brooks shared. “She moved up the ladder each year to a different, higher, tougher position. Each year she handled that position so well. She handled being a player here at CJ as well as I could ask anyone to. Her spirit is definitely that of an Eagle.”

During her time at CJ, Bice was a leader on the court, earning post-season honors by being named to the All-GCL second team and All-Miami Valley second team as a doubles player in 2015, All-GCL second team and All-Area third team in 2016, and All-GCL first team and All-Area first team in 2017. She also made it to the second round of the district tournament twice as an Eagle.

Bice was also a leader off the court, as she was elected the overall student council president for the 2017-2018 school year.

“She has contributed very much to this school,” Brooks added. “She was called into service and she has served very well.”

“I’ll miss Mr. Brooks of course,” Bice reflected. “We have a great community and all the teachers try so hard to prepare us for our future.”

While at Ashland, whose mascot is also an Eagle, Bice will study journalism with a focus on sports reporting.

Posted April 18, 2018

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Capstone Shares Reflections on Refugee Crisis

Four seniors shared their passion for helping refugees not only as part of their Senior Capstone Project, but during Wright State University’s Symphony for Peace last month.

Ian Carmody, Micah Marshall, Emery Monnig and Zach Scott became interested in the Syrian refugee crisis for various reasons.

“I became involved in the Capstone project through a Capstone Group the previous year, who focused on refugees in the Dayton community,” said Monnig.

Scott said, “I became interested in my refugee Capstone Project because I am a transfer and I had to make a drastic change that was very tough  - so I wanted to help those who are forced to go through drastic change to make a better life for themselves.”

For their Capstone project, the four seniors conducted a letter writing campaign and then presented at Wright State’s Symposium.

“Wright State was hosting a Syrian Refugee Symposium and we were invited to give a presentation on the letters we collected and sent to the refugees from St. Albert the Great and Mr. Ricciuto's freshman classes,” Marshall reflected.

Carmody added, “We actually were very lucky to become involved with the Symphony for Peace. Dr. Shelley Jagow of Wright State emailed our Capstone coordinator, Mrs. Bardine, and asked if any students had an interest in being part of the presentation. Mrs. Bardine forwarded the information to us and the rest just worked out perfectly.”

The Capstone group presented at the Wright State event last month. 

“It felt awesome to be a part of the event at Wright State,” Carmody reflected. “Initially, it was really intimidating since we are just a few high school seniors and the other people presenting were doctors, actual refugees, concert musicians, or had traveled to countries where the refugee crisis is prevalent. I felt really lucky to be included with such a great group of people and I learned so much from them.”

Monnig added, “It was an honor to be part of the Wright State Symphony for Peace. We learned a lot and definitely realized how much more we could do to help the refugee crisis as well as the gravity of the matter.”

“It was an honor to present with these other honorable people who were doing so much to help make a change in the refugee crisis,” Marshall concluded. “This Capstone Project gave us a platform to build off of in order to help the world on any issue we have the opportunity to in the future.”

Posted April 17, 2018

Acting & Directing Class Presents: Miracle on South Division Street

Four students have spent this school year so far preparing for one night on the stage. The students in the Advanced Acting & Directing class will present the full-length play Miracle On South Division Street by Tom Dudzick on Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the CJ Auditorium. Admission is free.

Mallory Castonguay ‘19, Katie Coyle ‘19, Ashley Gerhard ‘18 and Angelo Moore-Knight ‘18 are not only acting in the production, but also had key roles in directing and choosing the play.

“The acting class encourages a personal, hands-on experience with acting that has only improved my skill and helped me grow in so many different ways,” Coyle said.

“I was interested in taking Advanced Acting & Directing because I had already been in seven productions at that point at CJ, and had directed two One Acts, so I wanted to see what all I could improve on,” reflected Gerhard.

Moore-Knight agreed, “I was interested because it's unlike any other class that CJ has ever had.”

“The show is really fun,” choir and drama teacher Caitlin Bennett said. “Part of the reason for doing this class is to give the opportunity for students who enjoy performing but may not have time after school to be in a full production, plus, being able to do plays we otherwise wouldn’t because of cast size - this gives us an opportunity to do something smaller.”

Miracle on South Division Street is about a woman, Clara, and her three adult children, whose claim to fame is a 20-foot shrine to the Blessed Mother commemorating a night in 1942 when she appeared to Clara's father in his barbershop. Now, one of the children plans to reveal the real story behind the shrine, and the family’s faith is shaken. The results are heartfelt and hilarious.

“This show in particular is fun because it has a lot of Catholic humor - not intentionally or cheezy,” Bennett added.

Gerhard portrays Clara while Castonguay, Coyle and Moore-Knight portray the three adult children.

“I play the role of Beverly, and I find similarities in the role she has as the oldest sibling,” Castonguay noted. “She is very passionate about the activities she does and I feel connected to her.”

Coyle said, “My character is named Ruth. We're both middle children and have a passion for creative hobbies such as cookies, writing, and theater.”

“My character is Jimmy and I connect with him because Jimmy is the youngest and so am I,” Moore-Knight shared.

“I have found a great deal of difficulty trying to connect with my character, Clara, being that she is 45 years older than me; however, I do see a lot of my grandmother in her,” Gerhard said. “She is very modest and very set in her ways, but she does what she does because she loves her family and wants the absolute best for them. Clara has a big loving heart and really wants the best for everyone around her. She reminds me most of what my grandma was like because Clara’s number one priority in life is her family, and that's exactly the same way my grandma was.”

Gerhard noted she became more connected to her character by becoming involved in a national organization.

“When first starting this role, I actually decided to become an official adult member of the Polish National Alliance and decided to attend several meetings while I was there,” Gerhard said.. “I wanted to get to know more people like my character, and my character’s family, and also make it more of a present part of my life.”

The group said they became closer throughout the school year because of the amount of time they spent on this production.

“This production has taken up most of my year and I am proud of the way it is coming out,” Castonguay said. “The show offers a lot of humor that all people will appreciate and a heartwarming story.”

Coyle agreed, “Spending a year doing the same show would probably sound boring to most people, but it has only helped me fall in love with the story and brought Angelo, Ashley, Mallory, and I closer together to create a wonderful finish to the year.”

Posted April 12, 2018

CJ Program Featured in "Alive" Magazine

The spring edition of the Marianist publication, Alive magazine, featured an article about CJ's Cuvilly program.

In part, the article reads:

"Today, Cuvilly is widely hailed as one of the most comprehensive Catholic high school special education programs in Southwest Ohio. Currently, 108 kids out of a student body of 680, receive special support services. That's one in every seven students. 

"What's more, the program now occupies a location in the center of the school, and Cuvilly students are main-streated into academics, extracrrucular porgrams, retreats - 'all of our school functions, as much as possible,' says John Marshall, principal. 'The students in the Cuvilly program fit seamlessly into the fabric of our school.'"

The article showcased students and teachers from CJ, activities and accomplishments of students, and how Cuvilly is one of the many programs at CJ that makes the school special.

Read the full article from Alive magazine here.

Posted April 11, 2018

Author Stephen Smith Talks to Students, Parents

Last fall, CJ administrators invited Stephen Smith, author of Social Media: Your Child’s Digital Tattoo, to talk to students as part of the school’s annual speaker series. He will speak to students during an all-school assembly on Tuesday, Apr. 10.

Stephen's presentation will cover four main topics:

  • The Distracted Society
  • Inappropriate Content - Legal consequences and societal issues
  • Privacy and the Internet
  • Mental Health - statistics and scenarios

"I hope the students understand the consequences of their actions, good, bad, or indifferent," Smith said. "That's ultimately what we all leave behind when we use social media - a digital tattoo that can help us in our future life or hinder."

More information about Stephen can be found on his website. He updates a blog on his website and also has an active Twitter account with new and noteworthy information. His book can be purchased here.

On Tuesday, Apr. 10 at 6:30 p.m., Stephen spoke to parents about social media. He addressed inappropriate behavior online and how students can help control negative trends.

"I talk about the perspective of a parent because it's their responsibility to manage and monitor particuarly what their younger children are doing," Smith said. "I give them ways to manage and monitor by telling them some of the things their kids are doing and I expose to them the digital world that their kids are in."

Updated April 10, 2018, Oringially Posted April 9, 2018

Sophomore Earns National Recognition for Artwork

“I’m really passionate about human rights so putting that into art is something I never had the opportunity to do before.”

Madeline Hofstetter ‘20 not only embraced the opportunity to express her feelings through a recent art project, but was rewarded by the Scholastic Art & Writing awards with a gold key at the regional level and silver medal at the national level.

“Judges looked at more than 600 mixed media art pieces in grades 8-12,” explained art teacher Chanda Hunt. “After receiving a gold key, the artwork was submitted against thousands from across the county and she received the silver medal. It was amazing - I have goosebumps just thinking about it because it’s so great!”

Hofstetter’s artwork was inspired by social artist Kara Walker.

“I picked the exploitation of femininity now-a-days and how that’s connected to the exploitation of mother nature and in the environment,” Hofstetter explained.

She shared that while she had entered Scholastic competitions before, she was surprised about the recognition of her recent piece.

“I guess it didn’t really hit me how big it was until my mom told me that winning a medal at the national level meant you were in the top 1%,” Hofstetter reflected.

Hunt added, “For me, this was my first year to have a student go onto national and get a silver medal. That’s something I’m processing and experiencing.”

Hofstetter is now working on documenting and showcasing her art so she can receive her medal and certificate in the mail.

Posted April 4, 2018

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