August 2019

Chaminade Julienne Announces Leadership Transitions

“Taking thoughtful approaches to how we are meeting the needs of our mission today, and also anticipating how we sustain and grow, is something we are positioned for in this significant transition.”

The transition that CJ president Dan Meixner ‘84 shared recently with the CJ community involved upcoming changes with school leadership.

Director of Development Jim Walworth will retire later this fall. After a dedicated search, Meixner announced that current CJ principal, John Marshall ‘86, would be the next director of development.

“John has been principal for 14 years and as a member of the school leadership team has worked alongside me and Jim,” Meixner said. “He has been an active part of planning and understanding the strategies of development, even while he's been the principal day-to-day. John brings the intangibles, the experience, the reputation of our community and the ability to tell our story that we think, coupled with the other members of the development team, will continue to be very successful in what we want to accomplish.

“We believe that John is ready to take on the leadership of the development team, continue the momentum, and develop the additional skills that he's going to need to have long term success in this role.”

Continuing to find successful leaders in the CJ community, school leadership, along with board members, approved current assistant principal Greg Mueller as acting principal for the 2019-2020 school year once Marshall enters his new role.

“Greg has extensive school leadership experience,” Meixner said. “One of the things we've tried to be very strategic about is building strong teams, both from the academic side and from the overall school leadership side, which in this case has really positioned us to do well and make these kind of transitions.

“Greg has been preparing to be a principal someday and John has been preparing for additional leadership opportunities. So when we have these opportunities, it's exciting that we're able to that from within — we're strong enough and robust enough to be able to turn to people in our community to take on new roles.”

Posted August 30, 2019

CJ Community Inspired to #BetheLightCJ

For the last four school years, the CJ community has been united on social media through a hashtag. The concept was implemented by school chaplain, Fr. Bob Jones, SM, who said he was inspired by Pope Francis.

“Pope Francis had declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 2015 through November 2016,” Jones said. “He was also encouraging people to use the hashtag ‘#bemercy.’ I wanted to put a CJ spin to that call to action, so I suggested #BeMercyCJ at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

“And now, the hashtags have taken a life of their own,” laughed Jones.

In 2017, the school hashtag was #BetheChangeCJ and in 2018, the school hashtag was #ShowtheLoveCJ. During the first Mass of the 2019-2020 school year, Fr. Bob unveiled #BetheLightCJ.

“This year, when Fr. Bob announced this year's new hashtag at our opening Mass, our students actually clapped!,” shared Ministry & Service Director Kelli Kinnear. “I think it is a great way for our CJ community to spread positive messages on social media, and obviously, it is something the students get excited about.”

“Personally, #BetheLightCJ is my favorite from the past few years,” said Maria Weizman ‘20. “I hope that students take away that though our city of Dayton has been very torn up and hurt these past couple months, there is still hope, there is still light. Fr. Bob said that this light can be something as simple as a text or hug. I think this makes us feel like we can help and comfort people in their darkness.”

Dillon Witman ‘20 agreed, “#BetheLightCJ will inspire students to go out of their way to do great things for others especially those in need — and like Fr. Bob said, to be a light in the face of darkness.”

Students and the CJ community can show examples of how they are #BetheLightCJ by adding that hashtag to posts on social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“This is one way we can be united as a community because it gives a common theme to all that we do,” Jones shared. “It is also a way to show many concrete examples of the value or virtue we are highlighting.”

Posted August 29, 2019

#becauseofCJ: Reflection from Anthony '15

Young alumni are continuing to share how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the Annual Fund, you make this happen. When you do, more Eagles can soar! Read Anthony’s story below, and consider making your gift today.

Dear CJ Community,

The faith, compassion, and education that I received during my time with you all will continue to carry me through every trial and tribulation I face. After high school, I continued my education with confidence, and filled out every application with certainty, because of the preparation I received at CJ and the resources allocated to students through the CJ Annual Fund.

I look back at my high school academic journey and feel thankful for the teachers who took the time to challenge and mentor me. The teachers who encouraged me to be myself and welcomed me into their classroom with a smile and positive attitude each day. Mr. Colvin, Mr. Grim, Ms. Hanley, Mrs. Bardine and Mr. Mominee were all integral parts of my academic success. Mr. Marshall served as more than a principal, exemplified by his involvement with students and making sure they had whatever they needed to succeed. Mrs. Saunders, Mrs. Badinghaus, and all of the guidance and academic office went beyond the classroom to help students in incomparable ways.

At the age of 22, I find myself looking back to conversations I had with my teachers and guidance counselor. A lot of those life lessons still help me navigate through my experiences today. As a 15-year-old sophomore, I used to wish to be older. I couldn’t wait to “grow up” and go to college. Now that I’ve received my bachelor’s degree from Ball State, I am thankful that I was able to spend my young adult years learning and maturing at Chaminade Julienne. The only thing that I would have done differently would have been to take a little more time to enjoy each moment.

Another very important aspect of my time at CJ is the way in which my faith was strengthened. I learned more about God and His love during my time in high school than I had in all the years prior. Religion and spirituality were broken down into classes and coursework that was understandable, encouraging, and interesting. God’s love was present through the faculty and staff, and CJ was truly a gem for students like me. Regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, the CJ community treated all students with the same compassion and interest. Growing up, I was always told that you meet your best friends in college, and while I met a few, I am certain that the friends I made at Chaminade Julienne will continue to be around for years to come.

The investments that donors make to the CJ community change lives. It’s rare that teachers and faculty are able to grasp everything that students are up against when they walk out those school doors every day, but CJ understands. They are creating the next generation of leaders and believers, and I am forever blessed to be a part of this legacy.

Thank you for setting me up for success, and for helping me learn that through God, I can do all things!

With love and warm regards,

Anthony Walton, Class of 2015

Posted August 27, 2019

Ministry & Service Director Embarks on Pilgrimage with SNDdeN

Last month, Ministry & Service Director Kelli Kinnear went on the trip of a lifetime. For ten days, she walked in the footsteps of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur foundress, St. Julie Billiart.

“When I was invited by the sisters to go on this pilgrimage, I was both honored and humbled that they would ask me,” said Kinnear. “In walking in the footsteps of St. Julie Billiart, my hope was to learn more about her, to learn from and grow in wisdom from the sisters and to have a deeper appreciation of their charism, mission and history.”

Places Kinnear and the sisters visited included Julie’s birthplace in France, Gournay-sur-Aronde where Julie hid during the French Revolution and St. Valery where Julie assisted the Fathers of the Faith in a mission.

“We visited several cathedrals throughout Belgium and France,” Kinnear shared. “Their beauty and immensity are hard to even put into words. Sr. Marie Kelly, who led our pilgrimage, arranged for us to celebrate Mass in a couple of these. Celebrating Mass and praying together in such amazing and holy spaces, and places that have such rich history that are literally hundreds of years old, is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

“I am in my 27th year at CJ now, and places like Cuvilly (in France) and Namur (in Belgium) are just really part of the vocabulary here at CJ,” Kinnear continued. “But now I can say I have been to those places. I was actually inside the house where St. Julie was born in Cuvilly. I stayed in the convent and Mother House in Namur. I walked the staircase at an SNDdeN  school in Ghent, Belgium where St. Julie would have walked.  To me, these places are holy places and I was often in awe that I was even able to be there.”

Kinnear said she felt a deeper understanding of who St. Julie was by participating in the pilgrimage.

“St. Julie became much more than just some holy person who lived a long time ago,” Kinnear said. “She had an incredibly difficult life and lived through some very tumultuous times, yet she stayed true to her faith in Christ, even when she could have been killed for her beliefs. On top of that, she was very ill for many years.  There were also circumstances in her life when she had to stand up for herself and her community of sisters — even to a bishop, which in those days would have been incredibly difficult to do. But she had a calling and put her faith in what Jesus wanted her to do before all else.

“St. Julie was a strong, faith-filled woman who began an order of sisters who were and are committed to serving the poor, and educating young women throughout the world (among many other ministries),” Kinnear continued. “As the number of sisters entering the order declines every year, the question of how St. Julie's legacy will be kept alive is concerning. For the nine of us "pilgrims" (all of us lay people, except for one sister) this was a topic we discussed a lot. What we all agreed on was that it also has to be up to us lay men and women to keep St. Julie’s spirit and legacy alive.”

Kinnear concluded, “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I had and I look forward to continuing to spread the mission and spirit of St. Julie and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, for as St. Julie said time and time again, ‘How good is the good God!’"

Posted August 22, 2019

Alumni Connect Through Local Internship

Many CJ alumni continue to work and study in the Dayton area after graduation. That includes Matt Weckesser ‘16 who is not only earning his college degree at the University of Dayton, but recently completed an internship along a fellow Eagle.

“My summer internship at Cintas gave me hands-on experience in the accounting world,” Weckesser said.. “Learning by example has been a key component in allowing me to understand the business and an accountant’s role within the company. Working in a professional environment has helped develop both these technical and interpersonal skills that I will need as I graduate college.”

While interning at Cintas, Weckesser worked alongside Brian Bensman '92, the Senior Director of Transportation, Fleet, and Regulatory Compliance for Cintas.

Weckesser shared that his education at CJ helped prepare him for his future not only at UD, but his future career.

“CJ prepared me for where I am today by giving me opportunities to grow in the classroom, on the basketball and soccer teams, and within school clubs,” shared Weckesser. “I was also blessed to be around motivated classmates and teachers pushing me to do my best. Meeting Brian allowed me to connect with a fellow CJ graduate and share our commonalities. He works in a different department and meeting with him has enabled me to better understand other units and how they fit into the business as a whole.

“I would advise high school students to try some of the unique classes that CJ has to offer,” Weckesser continued. “I took an accounting class with Mr. MacLeod which sparked my interest in the subject. From there, I shadowed local professionals and talked to colleges about their programs to find the right fit. Leadership roles are a large part of a resume and can be the difference in getting into a college or getting a job. Participating in extracurricular activities and becoming leaders within those groups has helped me tremendously.”

Posted August 22, 2019

CJ Named "Best School" by Niche.com

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School was again named one of Niche.com’s “Best Schools” for 2020.

“To receive an A grading again — it’s inspiring,” said Principal John Marshall ‘86.

CJ was ranked the top most diverse private high school in Dayton and Montgomery County. CJ was named the sixth overall most diverse private high school in Ohio.

CJ also ranked in the top 10 of the following categories:

  • Best College Prep Private High School in Dayton and Montgomery County;
  • Best Private High School in Dayton and Montgomery County;
  • Best High School for Athletes in Dayton and Montgomery County; and,
  • Best High School for STEM in Dayton and Montgomery County.

“Niche.com provides a snapshot,” shared Brandon Meyer, Director of Admissions. “However, we hope that families will dig deeper to learn and understand the CJ community more fully to capture the lived experience, mission, identity, atmosphere, and beautiful qualities of a well-rounded high school experience. We challenge our  students to understand and live out the values of the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur — to embrace the gifts of community, diversity, adaptation and the goodness of God. We believe this prepares them to be life-long learners centered on compassion, integrity, and service ready to lead a world in need of hope and peace.”

Marshall added, “Communities that live, work, and attend school together can thrive together because of differences in diversity. I am inspired by what we do at CJ and we will continue to be an example to communities around the country.”

You can read more about Niche.com’s ranking of CJ here.

Posted August 14, 2019

Eagles Experience Life-Changing LIFE Week

For one week, students joined others from around the nation to focus on LIFE.

Summer LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) Week was held at the Marianist Bergamo Center from July 15-20.

“I wanted to attend LIFE Week because I had gotten the chance to go on the LIFE Summit at the beginning of the year,” said Anna Hieatt ‘21. “The leaders there said it was a taste of LIFE Week and I had so much fun on it — meeting new people and growing deeper in my faith. I then wanted to see what LIFE Week would be like since I had such a great time on the LIFE Summit.”

“I had heard a lot about the greatness of LIFE from returners — things like the relationships, the leadership, and the faith,” shared Mikayla Jette ‘21. “All of these interested me and I wanted to join the LIFE family. I also attended the LIFE Summit earlier in the year. It was a mini version of LIFE Week. I had such a great experience while I was there — I met people who I could talk to about anything and learned about my faith in a way that I had never thought before. I wanted to attend because I was given a small glimpse of what LIFE is and found it to be something I wanted to be a part of. While I was applying I even learned my aunt and my dad both attended LIFE Week so I knew it was meant to be.”

Throughout the week, students were part of small faith communities. The groups also participated in sacraments, prayer, learned more about social justice and developed leadership skills.

“I loved every single activity,” said Allie Bardine ‘21. “I especially loved our evening prayer services.”

“Picking a single favorite is like asking to do the impossible,” agreed Jette. “I experienced so much while on LIFE Week. My life was changed and I hope I can share that change with CJ's LIFE. If I were to pick a favorite experience, though, it would be my Mixed MLC group sessions. We started the week not knowing anything about anyone, but by the end it was like we were old friends. Watching the transition and growth of trust and authenticity was just mind blowing. I learned so much about the people in my group and that helped me to learn so much about myself. These wonderful people greatly impacted my life. They were so fun to be around. We could smile and laugh but we were also able to be serious and honest with each other. I will never forget these beautiful people and their impact on me. It was such an amazing experience.”

Students said they plan to share experiences and ideas from LIFE Week with the CJ LIFE group. They also said their experiences at LIFE Week is something they hope others can experience and take advantage of by attending LIFE Week in the future.

“If you get the opportunity to go on it, take it — you will not regret it,” Bardine said.

Hieatt agreed, “It was an amazing experience. I met so many good and genuine people who were all here for the same reason — to build community. I highly recommend this trip to anyone no matter where they are in their faith life.”

Posted August 14, 2019

Construction Notice for CJ Campus

Update on Friday, August 16: All parking lots have now reopened. However, Washington Street is still only allowing traffic one way (towards South Ludlow Street). This traffic pattern is expected to be in place for several weeks.

LATEST TRAFFIC FLOW and PARKING MAP


First Report: Through Wednesday, August 14, CJ’s A, B, and C parking lots are closed due to construction on Washington Street. The construction, which began in March 2019, includes replacing the roadway, conduits, sidewalks and approaches. The entire project is expected to until November 2019.

At this time, Washington Street is allowing traffic one way towards South Ludlow Street. While parking lots A, B, and C are closed, Lot D is open.

The CJ website will continue to be updated as the construction continues.

Posted August 7, 2019, Updated August 16, 2019

Current and Former Students, Teachers, Attend Italy Pilgrimage

Members of the CJ community spent part of their summer opening their hearts and minds during a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. The trip was part of an annual adventure the non-profit organization, 4Mary, puts together. 

“We visited religious sites during the day, retreat time during the early evening and Eucharistic Adoration in the late evening,” organizer Tim O’Loughlin said. 

“I wanted to go on this pilgrimage because of my experience with my last pilgrimage in Fatima,” shared Lauren Cartone ‘17. “I grew a lot in my faith during the last pilgrimage and knew that the time was perfect to grow deeper. Plus, what a more beautiful choice to experience this than Italy?!”

During their ten day journey, the group went to many sites including four Papal Basilicas, the Sala Sancta (the Holy Steps), Mt. Subasio to visit St. Francis' hermitage, and the Holy House in Loreto where Mary's house from Nazareth was miraculously moved by angels to protect it from invasion in the Holy Land.

“Climbing Mt. Subasio to reach the hermitage of St. Francis was my favorite experience,” said Cecilia Meadors ‘18. “It was so peaceful to be on a mountain top, walking along pathways in nature that St. Francis probably ventured on at some point.”

“One experience particularly humbled my heart,” Cartone reflected. “We all knelt up 28 steps of marble on the Holy Steps. These were stairs that Jesus stepped on to trial. There was a drop of Jesus' blood encased that I got to touch my crucifix of my rosary to. Halfway through my knees went numb from the pain. As I made it to each new step I began to reflect on how little we go through compared to what Jesus did.”

O’Loughlin said details about next summer’s pilgrimage will be posted on www.4Mary.org in the fall.

Posted August 8, 2019

Students Strengthen Their Faith at Steubenville Youth Conference

It was a weekend filled with worship, reflection and a sense of belonging.

17 Eagles attended the Steubenville Youth Conference earlier this month. The theme for this year’s conference was “Belong” based on the Bible passage from 1 John 3:1 — “See what love the Father has bestowed on us, that we may be called children of God.”

“This was my second year going to the conference,” said Anna Mussin-Phillips ‘21. “Both times the experience strengthened and enriched my faith. One of my biggest takeaways was that all relationships are intended to help the other person get to heaven and that really changed my view on friendships.”

At the conference, students attended Mass and Adoration and heard from speakers.

“This conference has made me feel more safe and confident in my faith,” shared Alexandra Camp ‘19. “I will try my best to follow through with the commitments I made to myself and to God on this retreat to keep my faith strong as my number one priority.”

Dominick Fisher ‘21 agreed, “This conference definitely affected my faith life in a positive way. Being able to be so close to The Lord with your closest friends really makes things amazing.”

The students shared that they didn’t want the conference to end, and their faith is stronger now because they attended the conference.

“If you’re thinking about attending Steubenville next year, do it,” Kate Schinaman ‘21 said. “This conference has given me the most impactful faith experiences of my life and I am so thankful for it!”

Posted August 1, 2019