December 2018

Top 10 Community Update Stories of 2018

2018 has been a year full of excitement at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. From successes in the classrooms, service in the community, and athletic accomplishments; these are the top 10 most read Community Update stories on

10. Students Say “Thank You” at Scholarship Breakfast
Community members, alumni and supporters of students shared stories and gratitude at the school's annual scholarship breakfast in November.  More >

9. Principal Takes Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
CJ Principal John Marshall joined other area educators for an experience of a lifetime this summer on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  More >

8.Students Recognized at Service Awards
During the 2017-2018 school year, students collectively devoted nearly 8,200 hours of service above and beyond the school’s service requirement. During the annual service awards in May, a special honor went to the Senior Capstone group, Got Veggies?, by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. More >

7.Seniors Named National Merit Scholars
Four students in the Class of 2019 were recognized with high honors from the National Merit Scholarship Program.  More >

6.CJ Hosts Pay it Forward Presentation
As one set of doors closed, several more were able to be opened thanks to a generous contribution from a local congregation. CJ was one of several non-profits that received gifts from the St. Paul congregation in October.  More >

5. CJ Celebrates State Baseball Tournament Win
Members of the Eagles baseball team called it the Revenge Tour. In June, the tour was complete with a state championship win over Wapakoneta.  More >

4.Faculty and Staff Honored for Milestone Years of Service
With a combined 150 years of service, 11 CJ faculty and staff members were recognized at the end of the 2017-2018 school year for their dedication to Catholic education by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  More >

3. Six Alumni Inducted Into Athletic Hall of Fame
Eagles who excelled in football, soccer, tennis, basketball and even coaching were recognized in February as they were inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.  More >

2.Class of 2018 Distinguished Alumni Honored
For their work and service to the CJ community after their graduation, four alumni and a legacy family were honored in May.  More >

1.Celebrating On and Off the Field On Thursday Night Lights
The football game on Thursday, September 6, was much more than a game. Students were recognized for their accomplishments in and out of the classroom, and one football player received the surprise of a lifetime.  More >

Posted December 24, 2018

Gems of STEMM Inspire Girls in Science

A passion project initiated by a senior for a Girl Scout Gold Award has inspired other young women to deepen their love for science-based studies.

Grace Jackson ‘19 began the Gems of STEMM club at CJ earlier this school year.

“When I was doing the preliminary research for my Gold Award, I was looking for a need within my community that paralleled my own interests,” Jackson said. “I wanted to lead whatever my project became with a passion.

“I looked around at my own community and I began to notice things, such as the fact a close friend of mine was the only girl in her engineering class,” Jackson continued. “I then looked into the subject further and found that women make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. I wanted to help change this, at least in my small reach of the Dayton area. I wanted to make a place where girls and young women can grow together and build confidence in STEMM subjects.”

“CJ STEMM is not alone in lower numbers of girls over boys enrolling in Project Lead The Way courses, and engaging in STEMM activities like the FIRST FTC Eagles Robotics team and Spec Ops club,” added CJ STEMM Coordinator Meg Draeger. “No one has the single right magic wand to change the demographics; initiatives like Grace's are probably the best and potentially the most effective, since they start with a single motivated young woman who reaches out to her peers.”

With Draeger as her Girl Scout Gold Award mentor, Jackson began attending expos around the Dayton area.

“We participated in Dayton Metro Library’s Party in the Park, and the Boonshoft Museum’s STEM Expo,” Draeger said.
Events like those have helped Jackson recruit members for the Gems of STEMM Club including 7th and 8th grade girls from area schools.

As part of their meetings, a woman or women currently in a STEMM field speaks to the group and help the students complete an activity.

“Engineers from GE and UD worked with us on an activity where we learned how to create something to be structurally sound; we worked with a chemist from Wright Patt to celebrate National Chemistry Week through an activity where we explored phosphorescence; a geologist and gardener joined us as we went through an activity using an interactive plate tectonics map; we participated in an activity exploring paper science and the components of ink with a paper scientist from the Eastman Kodak Company; and, most recently we held an hour of code session where we delved into Python with the help of two software developers,” explained Jackson. “The activities are fun, but I would say the highlight of the club is the guest women in STEMM professions. They always have incredible insight for the girls and I know how much of a positive impact it can be to have a role model. As a plus, we always have a healthy snack, thanks to the Aldi's ‘Smart Kids’ grant we received!”

“In Grace's Gems of STEMM club, and all our CJ STEMM programming, I continue to be impressed and so appreciative of the many adults - female and male - who offer their time, talent, and interest for the benefit of our students,” Draeger reflected.

The Gems of STEMM Club is open to any girl ages 13-18. Contact Meg Draeger for additional information about participating in the club.

Posted December 22, 2018


Capstone Helps Combat Anxiety Before Exams

“Start your day right!” exclaimed Gabrielle Cambron ‘19 as she passed out a granola bar to a younger student.

On Wednesday, December 12, Cambron, along with Lauryn DeWine ‘19, Paige Tincu ‘19 and Maddie Strickland ‘19 helped their classmates prepare for winter exams by handing out granola bars with uplifting messages on them such as, “Good luck,” “You got this,” and, “You can do it!” The initiative was part of the group’s Senior Capstone Project.

“The notes were to help relieve stress and the granola bars were given because it’s important to eat breakfast,” shared Strickland.

Earlier this school year, the group also gave a presentation to the Class of 2022 during a day where the freshmen bonded and learned more about what’s ahead for them in high school.

“We were asked to give a presentation because it was important for the freshmen to know that there are ways to get help and cope with stress,” Tincu said. “We wanted them to know this now because it can only get worse if they get stressed or anxious. With school and exams it can get worse as you become a senior.”

“High school causes a lot of stress and we wanted to be there for the underclassmen,” DeWine added.

When reflecting on their project as a whole, Cambron said, “It makes me feel good knowing students are hopefully less stressed thanks to our project.”

Posted December 20, 2018

Student Shares Special Connection With Dance

Students recently experienced important moments in history through the contemporary dance, We Rise, performed by members of DCDC2, the second ensemble of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. The performance was part of the Muse Machine, an arts education program that brings performances to schools, outreach series.

“It’s a great opportunity for professionals in our community to come and perform for our students in school,” said drama and choir teacher Caitlin Bennett. “It also gives our students a chance to see performances that they may not see otherwise.”

For Mikayla Jette ‘21, seeing the DCDC2 performance also gave her the opportunity to reconnect with a friend.

Jette shared that she has been dancing most of her life.

“I couldn't imagine my life without it,” Jette said. “I got into dance lessons because my mom thought I would enjoy them. I was absolutely terrified when the first recital came around, but after the recital finished I remember being so excited and asking to do it again the next year. I didn't know it then but I had joined a family that would become my home for many years to come.”

A former dance-mate of Jette’s was one of the DCDC2 members who performed at CJ.

“We danced together for a very long time before she graduated high school,” Jette explained. “I loved dancing with her and cherished every moment I got to spend dancing with her. Her absence at the dance studio is very weird and it is just different without her there. So whenever I get the chance to see her I am overwhelmed with happiness. She is such a beautiful dancer and I loved watching her perform.

“Seeing her at CJ made my entire week. It is the coolest thing when someone you spent so much time with is pursuing a dream using her talents. I am so proud that she is doing so well, and it makes me smile to know that someone I look up to as a dancer is living out that lifestyle. I am very blessed to have been given the opportunity to see her perform at CJ.” 

Jette continued, “Dance has made me the person that I am. It has helped me with my performing skills and in building a confidence and trust with my own body. I think it is important for people to be exposed to dance. It is such a beautiful form of performing and expression. When you dance it is all just you: your movements, your body, your vision. It takes you to another place and you just get lost in the music.

“Dance teaches so much about yourself, your body, others and even to work with other people. You learn self-discipline, self-control, balance, teamwork, creativity, and expression. Dance is physical but it also is very musical and mental. It teaches you so much and allows you to express yourself in anyway your body wants to. There is something so freeing about dancing and just letting go of everything and moving to the music. Being able to share that with the dancers during the performance was really cool. I think that it is very inspiring and exciting that it is being shared with students all over especially here in our own community.”

Posted December 18, 2018

Financial Investing Students Present at UD

The unknown outcome of managing money on the stock market can vary day-to-day. For select students at the University of Dayton’s Davis Center for Portfolio Management, they have the added pressure of managing $30 million of the university’s endowment invested in equity markets. These same students also guide area high school students, including Chaminade Julienne Eagles, for an eight week high school portfolio competition. On Friday, December 7, two groups from CJ traveled to UD to present their portfolios to the college students and financial experts.

The group of Shane Cokes ‘19, Martez Cuff ‘19, Ghiman McKinney ‘19 and Rion Williams ‘19, named, “The Bag Getters” placed 5th out of 34 competing area high school teams from Centerville, CJ, Oakwood and Ponitz. The group of Nicholas Amstutz ‘19 (not pictured), Philip Chagoyan ‘20 and Robert Culpepper ‘21, named, “The Bull Market Bankers” placed 11th.

“I took the financial investing class because I wanted to try something new my senior year,” McKinney said. “I wanted to challenge myself and see if financing would be something I’d be interested in down the road. I’m glad I did.”

“I wanted to learn more about financial investing and how the stock market worked,” shared Chagoyan.

Because of where they placed in the overall competition, the two CJ groups qualified for a presentation round at the Davis Center. During their presentation, the top groups shared what they learned throughout the eight-week competition and what changes they would have made if any.

“This fall was a rough time to jump in and start investing,” shared CJ financial investing teacher Don MacLeod. “But sometimes, that is the catalyst to educate that there are consequences for when things don't go according to plan. 

“31 out of 34 groups ended in the red in this year’s competition,” MacLeod continued. “While this competition is set up as a game, some of the students did learn that making money in the market takes work.”

Posted December 13, 2018


STEMM Idol: Fred Lickert

For decades, Fred Lickert has seen the worst of the worst in regards to traffic accidents. That was part of his role as a traffic reconstructionist for the City of Dayton Police Department, and his current role as an accident reconstructionist with Law-Science Technologies, Inc.

On Tuesday, December 4, Lickert talked to students about the importance of STEMM in his career as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

“Part of my presentation focused on the importance of seat belts, as kids are beginning to learn to drive, I shared how Newton’s laws of motion play into a bad crash,” Lickert shared.

Lickert also told students how he uses the Pythagorean theorem in determining speeds in car crashes.

“My life is one big math word problem,” Lickert emphasized. “That’s all I do - solve story problems!”

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at

Posted December 11, 2018

Connecting Young Students to the Benefits of Music

“Hello friends!”

It was 7:30 a.m. on a grey Tuesday morning in November. A little fifth grade girl’s voice split the quiet, which, just a moment before, had pervaded the second floor of Our Lady of the Rosary School. She rushed into the classroom, heralding in a bustle of motion and excitement. Behind her, three fifth grade boys tumbled their way in, finding front row seats for themselves. It was time for band class!

Before long, they were joined by 20 other energetic, chattering students. Luke Grieshop, who teaches music at both Chaminade Julienne and twice a week at OLR, stood before them and hushed the room. Now in his second year of helping to run and develop the music program at OLR, he explained that after weeks of waiting, the students would now be assigned the instruments they would learn to play.

Joining in him were four CJ senior students, Will Marshall, Logan Brodnick, Nick Amstutz, and Connor Kocur, who had arrived earlier in the morning to assist the aspiring musicians in making sure that their instrument was ready to play, or identifying it for repair. The seniors’ mutual passion for music art and their choice of capstone project led them to see how they could assist Greishop in his efforts at OLR.

“The inspiration for this project came from all of the support I’ve received in my personal musical endeavors,” says Marshall. All four CJ students spoke in appreciation and admiration of the music teachers they have had, reminiscing fondly and gratefully on the mentorship they received. Marshall also spoke of his family, and the musical opportunities they shared when he was younger. “My family would attend performances together at the Schuster Center, and I loved them. When I grew up and realized not everyone got that opportunity, I started wondering what I could do about it.”

These CJ seniors are adamant that young students have the chance to experience music and all the benefits working with music offers. They spoke of the intellectual benefits they have researched and experienced personally regarding music; benefits which they hope to bring to the students at Our Lady of the Rosary.

“It helps with different sorts of skills outside of music, such as memorization and work ethic,” said Marshall. “Even more, the corpus callosum is the part of the brain that links the right and left hemispheres of your brain. It is shown that in musicians, that connection is strengthened, likely due to them playing music, an activity that requires both sides of the brain to work together,” Marshall explained.

According to Amstutz, who practices vocal percussion and singing, music can even have a positive effect on the development of a person’s social and emotional intelligence. “The ability to connect with the audience, and influence them by showing an emotion through your voice and your movement on stage, is something that you can’t necessarily do anywhere else. Music just opens you up to expression,” he said.

There’s just one problem. There aren’t enough instruments at Our Lady of the Rosary. At the present, one instrument is shared between two or even three students. This means that students are not able to take an instrument home with them to practice, severely cutting back on the amount of time they have to learn how to play. Students are also limited in choice, so a particular instrument they wish to learn may not exist in the inventory. And in most cases, families are not able to afford an instrument for their child.

As access to instruments is limited, so are the materials that the school is able to provide for the music program. Music, which requires high quality instruments and expert teaching, can be an expensive art to learn and enjoy. With all of its benefits, music class at OLR might be the only chance at music for these students, and now their chances are being improved.

This is the issue CJ seniors are hoping to tackle through their capstone project. They have been going to OLR before their own school day even starts to accompany and assist Grieshop in teaching and providing direct service through instruction and mentorship. They have also been gathering donated instruments with the goal of providing each OLR student with their very own instrument. In the near future, they hope to organize a field trip for the OLR students to attend a CJ concert, or even a concert at the Schuster. “Organizing a professional musical experience for the kids may be a bit difficult logistically,” admitted Marshall, “but I believe that we can do it.”

“It is a great blessing to get to see younger kids experience the joy of music,” said Kocur. Although these gentlemen admit they have encountered challenges along the way, they are driven by the relationships they are forming and the benefits they see in the lives of the OLR students. They know it is time and energy well spent — and that the “lessons” of music will play on for a lifetime.

Posted December 6, 2018

Students in Language Classes Hold Bake Sale Benefit

Students taking foreign language classes came together to make Christmas brighter for two families in Dayton.

The students in Señora Regan, Señora Brinley, Señorita Harbaugh and Madame Mize’s classes brought in hundreds of bake goods for students, faculty and staff to purchase on Wednesday, December 5. This has been an annual tradition for the language department for several years.

“As a language department, we are trying to get connected to those who speak the languages in our community,” Harbaugh said.

Contributions from the bake sale are being used to purchase clothing, winter items, and toys for two families identified by the Dayton Catholic Hispanic Ministry and St. Mary Church.

“I like helping the community and families who really need it,” shared Madalyn Richardson ‘21, who is in Harbaugh’s Spanish 2 class.

“It really is amazing,” Harbaugh added. “This is a great thing for our community to support these families, whether that’s communicating through their language, spending time with them or supporting them in this way.”

Posted December 5, 2018