July 2020

Back in the Game - Safely

While Chaminade Julienne students prepare to return to campus in a few weeks, some Eagles are already back in action.

Many CJ athletes and band members are already on the playing field, following protocols established by the school in accordance with local and state health guidelines. The health and well-being of the CJ community is the priority as students return for the 2020-21 school year.
Staff members and coaches share in their own words what it means to be back in the game.

Jeremy Greenleaf, Athletic Director
How does it feel to be back? What did you miss most about your students?
“Feels great to get back! I love seeing our students getting back to doing the things that they love to do.”

How excited are the athletes to be back on campus?
“The athletes are excited to get back even with all the current restrictions, I believe it gives them a sense of normalcy.”

Do things look or feel different and, if so, how?
“It definitely feels different, you are always telling kids to stand 6 feet apart when all they want to do is talk with their friends.”

What is being done to ensure the safety and well-being of the CJ athletes?
“So, Athletics created a safety protocol that allows our teams to hold workouts and practices with temperature checks and pre-screening assessments.” 

Marcus Colvin, Director of Student Services/Head Football Coach
How does it feel to be back? What did you miss most about your students?

“It is great to be back on campus. It really shows how much of a need I have to be part of this community. I missed our kids.”

How excited are the players to be back on campus?
“I have noticed that our football athletes are eager and focused. I have been very impressed with their resiliency through all of the adversity this situation has brought to us. They want to be on campus, they want to be pushed. Their energy is very inspiring.”

Do things look or feel different and, if so, how?
“Things look a lot different. In order to conduct safe activities on campus we have all had to sacrifice time spent, moving away from our normal mode activity, resisting the ever encouraging high five, and just the inability to connect with the whole group at one time. It is definitely a different process.”

What is being done to ensure the safety and well-being of the CJ students?
“CJ has done a great job researching, collaborating, and implementing a safe plan of return for students, teachers, and staff at CJ. For all activities, daily health assessments are being completed to ensure that students and adults are coming to our campus without symptoms. There is an abundance of sanitizing taking place. I commend CJ for taking all the precautions and also working slower than other schools before implementing a total open campus for students and adults.”Jim Brooks, Varsity Tennis Coach

How does it feel to be back? What did you miss most about your students?
“It is so great to be back on the tennis courts with our players. You can only do so much at a distance in terms of encouraging the players. Relationships are part of the deal when it comes to coaching, and now we can catch up on young people's lives and appreciate the individual personalities of our players.”

How excited are the players to be back on campus?
“They seem just as excited as the coaches are. Our summer non-mandatory practices have been well attended, perhaps more so than usual, although some parents understandably are being cautious about sending them back.”

Do things look or feel different and, if so, how?
“The check-in protocols are new, and we have limited the number of players who can be on each individual court. Communication is more challenging with coaches wearing masks”

What is being done to ensure the safety and well-being of the CJ tennis players?
“We ask players to check in by taking their temperatures and answering questions about potential COVID symptoms. We also ask them to use and pick up balls with specific numbers to cut down on common contact with athletic equipment. They also need to distance when doing warm-up exercises.”   

Emma Fitzpatrick, Director of Eagle Pride Marching Band
How does it feel to be on campus?

“This is my first year working with Eagle Pride, however, I have heard from many students and faculty members that it is great to be back, in person, with everyone. I was extremely excited to meet all the students and staff members of Eagle Pride. We had multiple Google meet meetings leading up to our in-person rehearsals. While they were productive and I was able to meet everyone, it has been a much more enjoyable experience to be working with the staff and students in-person!”

How excited are the musicians to be back on campus?
“At first there was some hesitation about how we could ensure safety. Once we were able to roll out our COVID procedures, the students told me that they felt much safer and ready to come back and get the marching season started. I can tell that the students like being around each other, even if we do have strict distance policies. Seeing our peers in-person is always a happy and energizing thing.”

How are things different this year?
“We have been extremely cautious about sanitizing everything before, during, and after our rehearsals. We have also been very strict about social distancing. I am very proud of the Eagle Pride students and staff as we have taken our social distancing and sanitation to the next level. Since we are with each other so much, and we do play instruments, we have taken extra steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the Eagle Pride community. This means we have had to use a few more rehearsal areas and split the group up into smaller groups so we can have at least 8 feet distance between everyone. We have also been very adamant about everyone always wearing a face mask unless told they are allowed to take it off (during marching drill rehearsal and while playing instruments). Procedures like these have taken some time away from our rehearsals, but we will do anything to keep everyone safe and happy so we can continue to rehearse and perform this year.”

What is being done to ensure the safety and well-being of the members of Eagle Pride?
“We have communicated all of our COVID-19 procedures with our Eagle Pride community and we have added all of our procedures to our Eagle Pride handbook.”


Published online July 30, 2020

CJ Reopening Plan

Initial information for the start of the 2020-2021 school year is available HERE. Updates will be made to this site as detailes are finalized and published.

Act of Kindness - @Hospice

"We feel very blessed to be able to help the patients and their families and know that they enrich our lives in ways that are truly special."

Diane McDonald '71

My husband Jim and I were married for 39 years before he died at Cincinnati Hospice at Blue Ash on January 3, 2013 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. During the last week of his life, the caring professionals at Hospice did everything they could to make Jim comfortable and were extremely supportive of the kids and me. He died peacefully and with dignity thanks to the extreme dedication of the nurses and volunteers at Hospice.

Four and a half years ago I remarried a wonderful man. We both have been so blessed in our lives that we both felt the need to give back in some meaningful way. We decided the perfect place to give back would be at the same facility that cared so well for my husband before his death.

Bob and I went through the training and became Hospice volunteers. We go every Sunday morning to help with breakfast duty. We also go on the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning as many of the volunteers are out of town visiting family. We deliver trays to patients, setting up trays for those who are still able to feed themselves and feeding those who are unable to feed themselves; talking and offering comfort to family members; talking with patients who just need someone to listen and offering words of comfort and, many times, humor during their last few days or weeks on Earth.

We feel very blessed to be able to help the patients and their families and know that they enrich our lives in ways that are truly special. We feel the Lord’s presence when we are at Hospice working with the dying and their families; what could be a better opportunity to share the Lord’s love and compassion with others than this!

Hospice is an organization that helps people with their end-of-life experience.
They work with family and their terminally ill loved ones both in their homes as well as in residential centers to give the terminally ill and their families the best and most meaningful end-of-life experience possible and ensure those dying are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

Hospice of Dayton - website

Hospice of Cincinnati - website


Published online July 20, 2020

Senior Capstone - River Clean Up

It was an impressive one-day haul.

Combining conservation and a contest, the Chaminade Julienne senior capstone group of Austin Baker, Dillon Witman, Jake Staub and Jake Schlangen created a trash derby as part of their “Cleaning Up Our Rivers” project. The one-day event hauled in more than 300 pounds of trash at Eastwood Lake on March 13.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect from the trash derby itself, we weren’t sure how many people were going to show up or how much trash would even be there,” Baker said. “But we had a solid number of peers show up to help us out and, after the weighing, we came out with over 300 pounds of trash – which we were so surprised and happy about. We knew, that day, that we were able to make a difference.”

Making a difference was exactly what the team set out to do.

“It’s an important issue to me and my group members because we all love the lakes, rivers and oceans and doing activities like fishing, boating, and just having a good time in the water,” Witman said. “So, cleaning up these waters that we love to visit was a good place to start for us.”

“We chose this issue because we are all active teens that love our lake days and we typically notice an extreme amount of trash in and around the water, so it was a pretty easy choice as to what we wanted to try to make a difference in,” Baker said.

Staub came up with the trash derby concept.

“I was pondering a way to get the most trash cleaned up that we could and I figured the best way to do it was to get a lot of people out picking up trash,” Staub said. “Next, I just had to figure out how to get the most people out to pick up trash. I thought a competition with a prize would be the best way.”

The group recruited an additional 25 of their fellow seniors to contribute to the clean-up effort. Morgan Downey and Greta Spees left the event with more than the satisfaction of making a difference as their 70 pounds of trash earned them gift cards to Dick's Sporting Goods.

“We just hyped up the derby and we had a great turnout,” Staub said.

July 8, 2020

#becauseofCJ: Dani Ostendorf '17

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the CJ Annual Fund, you make this happen. As Dani shares her story below, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ.

To the wonderful CJ community,

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share with the Chaminade Julienne community about my high school experience and beyond! Reflecting on my time at CJ is something I’m used to, as I frequently tell friends and family how much the school means to me. My experience at CJ is one that I will forever be grateful for. As a student, I was involved in sports (volleyball, swimming, lacrosse, cross country), student council, Eagles for Life, student development, FLIGHT, and more, all having helped shape me into the woman I am today. I was so busy that I would get around four hours of sleep a night to fit all I wanted to in my schedule, and I wouldn’t change that for a second. My desire to be involved in as many things as possible allowed me to discover what I was really passionate about.

Throughout my numerous experiences leading and going on retreats and summer mission trips, I found my love for serving my local and global communities, and I have carried that with me into my college experience at the University of Dayton. Most recently, I went on an immersion trip to India with campus ministry at UD, and I wouldn’t have wanted to go on that trip if it weren’t for the opportunities I had in high school. I thank CJ ministry & service, specifically Sr. Nicole and Mrs. Kinnear, for providing ways for me to get involved and for always pushing me to lead with an open heart, something they still help me with today.

My transition into and out of high school were two of the hardest times of my life so far. I remember freshman year around the end of second quarter I got sick, thinking it was just a stomach bug. I couldn’t eat, I was losing weight, and I was going to school feeling really weak. It took a two-week absence from school and a trip to the ER to finally discover that I had an anxiety disorder. Before CJ, I had never learned how to properly express my feelings. Sure, I had my family to talk to, but weren’t they just there for me to complain about normal teenager stuff?  As this was news to me, I had to start learning what exactly anxiety was and what it did to my mind and body. I quickly started to become very passionate about mental health and counseling, even though it was something I still didn’t fully understand. I began utilizing my guidance counselors for support (Mrs. Will and Mrs. Grimm), and I took my own experiences and translated them for students on retreats, hoping to allow others to feel heard and supported through whatever struggles they were facing. It was for the first time at CJ that I realized how important my voice was for myself and my peers.

My time at CJ was of course difficult sometimes: dealing with family struggles, juggling honors courses and extracurriculars, and maintaining a social life. But I look back at my high school years with NOTHING but joy. One thing my family and I joke about is how much we learned to “reflect” in high school. My parents attended CJ and Alter, and during their time there, they were not regularly asked to reflect on their lives, experiences, or faith. But one of the reasons I credit CJ for helping me find my voice is the many opportunities CJ gave me to reflect on who I was as a person. I remember writing a Faith Journey paper every year in religion class, something I took very seriously and enjoyed writing so much! Sophomore year, Fr. Matt wrote to me, “I could see you as a sister, Dani!” I STILL find that hysterical, but I appreciate his sentiment. To this day, I continue to regularly pray and intentionally reflect on almost every aspect of my life, as it has helped me grow as an individual, a daughter, and a friend.

I thought I had “overcome” my battle with anxiety after my first year, thinking, “OK, I’ve got this under control! I know how to handle it.” I had found great friends, I was involved, and had been going to counseling regularly. I loved being at CJ and had finally found my groove. But as I approached graduation in 2017, my life kind of flipped from the happiest days to the worst of days. Leaving CJ behind to move on to bigger things was a long transition for me, especially since I was only going to college right down the street. I felt like I found who I was at CJ: a leader, a team player, and a friend. I thought I had “peaked,” so I felt incredibly lost in college, and I spent my first two years severely depressed. Although this was and still is a medical issue, I had to take a long time to build a healthy mindset. I had to learn to look back on my experience at CJ with pride and joy, not with longing or grief. This time was extremely hard, but it also taught me how special CJ was and still is to me. CJ is a family, and I know there are so many faculty, staff, and alum that did and still will help me whenever I need it.

Now, to CJ parents, this is not me saying that your kids are going to be grief stricken after graduating! To CJ students, you will be just fine! I say this to you all today to share how much CJ really is like a family. The way students and staff take care of one another mirrors a very safe and loving household, something I know many students at CJ might have lacked at home. It is so hard to let go of a good thing, but now as I finish up my undergraduate years at UD, I think about how different my experiences were at both schools, but just as equally transformative. I went through high school searching for any opportunity to lead, share my faith, and have fun, and I’ve gone through college losing myself and finding a new me who can battle through the darkest times and come out even better than before. But through all that, I used the skills I acquired at CJ to build myself up and lean on those I trust. So however you are affiliated with CJ, as a parent, current student, or alum, please recognize how much CJ has to offer you. It’s more than an education. It’s an opportunity to find who you are, at least the person you are meant to be in this phase of your life. It’s a place to share your soul with others and leave a lasting impact. It’s a family that will lead you to better days ahead and push you to grow as a person.

I will be graduating in the Spring of 2021 from the University of Dayton with a degree in Adolescent-to-Young Adult Education with a concentration in mathematics. I want to credit my love for math and education to a handful of teachers. Mrs. Dever, Mrs. Stone, Mr. Eiser, Ms. Ruffolo, Mrs. Colbert, and Mrs. Lemon: thank you for investing so much time into your students’ lives and taking every moment you can to teach with patience, love, and intentionality. I look up to you and many others at CJ, and I hope to impact my future students’ lives as much as you impacted mine.

CJ is the reason for where I am today, as cheesy as that sounds. I would not be at UD as a Flyer Promise Scholar if it weren’t for CJ. I would not have been as prepared for college if it weren’t for CJ. I would not grow in faith and spirit if it weren’t for CJ. Thank you to everyone who is a part of this special community, as I received so much assistance in various ways from the school while I was a student. Whether it was financial aid for summer mission trips, or aid from alumni donations for tuition, I was able to have an amazing high school experience awarded to me through the help of the CJ Annual Fund.

Please continue to support students like me and so many others at CJ by pledging it forward every year to the Annual Fund! I mean you too, young alum! The smallest contribution does not go unnoticed, and it keeps CJ moving forward.

If I haven’t said it enough, thank you CJ, for all you’ve done for me.

Dani Ostendorf ‘17

July 2, 2020