October 2020

"Why I Love CJ" Presentations Help Welcome Freshmen

Why do you love CJ?

For some, it’s the curriculum or athletics. For others, it’s the memories and lifelong relationships. Many would say it’s the incorporation of faith and mission into every endeavour.

All roads tend to lead back to one place though: community.

Religion teachers Mick Mominee, Brendan Dillon and Abbey Saurine made it a priority to welcome their freshmen students to campus by bringing together a variety of CJ faculty and staff members to discuss why they love CJ and welcome them to the CJ family.

“Through discussions with my students and from reading the notes they took, I know that it was an enjoyable and impactful experience,” said Dillon. “What a great way to start off their time as CJ students in hearing from people who have dedicated years (and decades!) of their lives to this community.”

Mominee knew creativity would be crucial coming into this new school year and wanted to determine a way to incorporate these deep conversations and presentations into the curriculum without the ability to put together traditional, hands-on activities.

The result? Welcoming over 20 faculty and staff members into the three classrooms and encouraging each presenter to dive into what the CJ community means to them, when they started, how they’ve grown, and, most importantly, why they love CJ.

“The students enjoyed the presentations and felt they both grew to know some new faces, and came to better understand why CJ is like family,” said Mominee. “They appreciated the time each person offered and felt more connected to CJ as a result.”

Presenters came from several different departments, featuring teachers, administrative staff, school leadership and more. A bevvy of experience was on display as well, with some presenters having been at CJ for decades, while others had been at CJ for no more than a fewmonths.

“The stories were inspiring, heartfelt and very encouraging,” said Mominee. “Both I and the students could tell how much each of the presenters love this place, feel a calling to their jobs, and care deeply about the community. I know CJ is a special place and these students are blessed to have people like the presenters in their lives. I am inspired to work with them, and value the contributions they make to our community.”

 

This story was published on October 20, 2020. 

Working Intentionality Into the English Learner Curriculum

Dedicating time for professional development and continuous improvement through education is something that Chaminade Julienne prioritizes each year.

With a growing English Learner (EL) population at CJ, especially within the Hispanic community, CJ partnered with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the University of Notre Dame’s English as a New Language (ENL) program for a full day of professional development centered on the topic of “putting English learners on a path to success.”

“Quality teaching strategies for serving EL students are also some of the best teaching strategies for all learners,” said Greg Mueller, principal at CJ.

Faculty and staff enjoyed several presentations, breakout sessions, and virtual activities, all via Zoom, from the comfort of their own home offices, with plenty of time in between sessions to allow for personal reflection and crucial stretch breaks.

The ENL program is designed to help schools and teachers develop a better understanding of the process of language acquisition through proven instructional methods to help develop the best learning environment possible for EL students.

The various presenters throughout the day provided strategies for helping EL students become successful in school and noted that this success requires all subject area teachers, not just the language arts teachers, to build creative teaching methods that are intentional.

Intentionality was an essential element of the exercises, with presenters detailing what makes being intentional about vocabulary education so critical to EL student success. Faculty and staff were provided with tangible resources to teach proper vocabulary acquisition and writing across the entire curriculum.

“I’m excited to see how our teachers at CJ will start using these new ideas and technology resources to improve instruction,” said Mueller. “We always talk about providing a quality, integral education to a diverse student population, and we are using great professional development resources to keep improving the CJ education for all students.”

 

-- Published on Oct. 16, 2020

Kairos Carries On

Senior year ushers in many milestones for young adults. Final athletics seasons, last homecoming and prom dances, college applications and acceptance letters, and, of course, graduation.

But for those who have the blessing to experience a Catholic education, seniors get to look forward to Kairos, a multiple day retreat where students and faculty connect on a powerful, deep level and explore their relationship with one another as well as their relationship with God. Chaminade Julienne alumni often say that they consider the Kairos retreat a spiritually powerful component of their high school experience.

Ministry and service staff were committed to innovating the Kairos experience to abide by new safety guidelines and protocols without sacrificing the spiritual and emotional connection that Kairos grants students and chaperones.

“As is everything this year, our first Kairos of 2020 looked a little different,” said Fr. Bob Jones, SM, Chaplain. “It was shortened from four days to three. We were socially distanced and wearing masks, which meant there were none of the usual hugs. Everyone had their own room to sleep in. Witness talks were pre-recorded by alums and shown as videos. And we ate all our meals with only two people at either end of the table.”

Building a strong community and commitment to developing a mission-driven culture are crucial to CJ, and even more crucial now as events like Kairos pivot from traditional practices in 2020. CJ is driven to maintain the spirit of these events despite them looking a bit different.

“At the same time, however, many things were the same,” said Fr. Jones. “We could still pray with each other and celebrate the Eucharist. There were many small group discussions (most of them happening outside in the beautiful fall-like weather). Faculty and staff participated and chaperoned. And the Holy Spirit was still active in the hearts of the retreatants as they grew in knowledge of God's love for them.”

From a student prospective, the first Kairos retreat of this year helped foster a connection with peers, staff, and God that is paramount as everyone adjusts to social distancing requirements, business shutdowns and activity postponements.

“On this retreat, I experienced God's love in a way I never thought possible,” said Mikayla Jette,  a class of 2021 senior at CJ.

Mikayla was feeling distant and somewhat broken down before going on Kairos. She mentioned struggling with bringing peace to her mind and bringing herself to the current moment, and that she saw others experiencing God’s grace but found it difficult to know when her grace was coming.

“I tried to tell myself that I was there for a reason, that something big was coming,” said Jette. “I tried to keep the mentality of ‘be here now.’”

Focusing on the moment allowed Jette to truly listen to the witness talks and participate in small group discussions without half-thinking of all that she can’t control.

“I connected with the messages shared and my small group was right by my side the whole time,” said Jette. “I was able to make connections and gain new perspectives of my peers. I began to feel my walls coming down and heart opening up to the grace of God. The talks focused a lot on knowing where you are at and how that impacts your relationship with God. Each time a leader spoke their message really hit home. I was able to learn alot about myself on this retreat.”

God’s plan is not always clear, especially during difficult times. Kairos allows retreatants and other participants to build lifelong bonds centered around faith that His plan will come to fruition soon enough and the CJ community will help serve as your base when you need someone to confide in or something to rely on. Coming to this realization with your Kairos group is something most will carry with them throughout their entire journey with God, long after graduation.

“God's Time is unique for everyone and you have to be willing to let your guard down and make space for the spirit,” said Jette. “You will know His presence.”

#becauseofCJ: Cecilia Meadors '18

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 for all students. As Cecilia Meadors '18 shares her thoughts and reflections on community service and involvement below, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

"During my freshman year and through my senior year, I can recall countless encounters with people who undoubtedly cared about my well-being and dreams for the future. Those people were teachers, coaches, various faculty members, peers, and Marianist PULSE volunteers. Some of those people were folks I interacted with many times each day, while others I saw just a couple times a week- no matter how frequent our interactions, God delicately crafted them into the sum of who I was meant to be then, and who I am becoming today. 

Preceding my first year at Chaminade Julienne, campus felt like a home. The feeling of it being a home culminated from summer writing, basketball, and volleyball camps, walking through the building with any four of my siblings who graduated before me, and the joy I witnessed when CJ was brought up in conversation between adults and my parents. Campus felt like even more of a home when on orientation day several teachers greeted me as ‘Baby Meadors.’ The family spirit I grew up with in my home was exhibited each day while I attended Chaminade Julienne, and that family spirit instilled a passion in me to share the spirit ever-rooted in faith with those I encounter.

While at CJ I became particularly inspired to create and be a part of many meaningful friendships. One of the very first friends I made was from Our Lady of the Rosary, a grade school I knew no one from during my time at St. Rita and St. Christopher. Our friendship began one day when he, Joe, noticed we walked from the same direction to religion class every day and he asked me if I’d like to walk together. I accepted the invitation not realizing that he meant we would walk together each day. As a fourteen, almost-fifteen-year-old, I never considered the impact one friendship could have on me years later as an almost 21 year-old adult, all because we walked to class together every day.

My friendship with Joe continued during liturgical choir that we sang in together, attending Mass or praying the rosary before and after school, cheering as fans at sports games, and more. Joe inspired me to seek out the possibility of becoming an Intervention Specialist after high school. Once a member of the Cuvilly Program at CJ, his honest feelings and frustrations resonated with me since we were close friends. Joe would share stories with me about his current happenings that highlighted the difference in support every student needs in the classroom and beyond. Because of CJ, Joe remains in my life a prayer partner, ice cream connoisseur, and unconditionally caring friend.  Because of CJ, family spirit serves as the motivation behind my love for education as a whole. Beginning in eighth grade, I co-taught with my mom and now individually teach a religious education class at my parish. With my aspirations to become a teacher guiding me through my later years of high school, this volunteer position turned into a prayer experience like no other for myself and the fourth/fifth graders. A special math teacher at CJ wrote the following prayer with inspiration from an awesome God and Holy Spirit moment:

'Lord, help me to find my talents and to use my talents to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
Lord, help me to treat myself with respect and to treat others with respect.

Lord, help me to see You in everyone I meet.

Amen.'

So thoughtfully written and honestly spoken, this prayer has been passed through the CJ walls to many children who may not ever meet this teacher, but now have experienced the epitome of family spirit through a simply beautiful prayer. To me, family spirit cannot be learned as well as it can be felt. Those at Chaminade Julienne encouraged me to explore the role my feelings and spirituality have in the lives of others. Graduating from Western Governors University in the spring of 2021 with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, I plan to foster the feeling of family spirit in my classroom and greater school community as a teacher. Because of CJ, unconditional love will inspire my creation of unique support for every child within the future classrooms I hope to teach. Because of CJ, I live with the conviction that every life has a purpose revealed by God through the interpersonal encounters of deep significance and powerful beauty. 

Cecilia Meadors ‘18

 

-- This story was published on Oct. 9, 2020. 

Crucial Connection — Phonathon Brings Together Students and Alumni

Now, more than ever, Phonathon is about making connections, not just logging pledges.

“This year I found myself talking more and more about how the alumni were grappling with the pandemic and the world we are all currently living in,” said Lillian Lyons '22. “The overall theme of every conversation I had with these particular alumni was hope. Hope that one day we will be able to live life as we used to — that this too will pass. I gave them hope as much as they gave me hope. And that’s what the CJ community is about. During our darkest days, we give each other support and the ability to keep going. That’s the greatest thing about Phonathon, the fact that every so often you have a conversation with someone that brings a smile to your face. A person who gives you hope.”

COVID-19 has provided counteless opportunities for implementing creative strategies for traditional programs and Phonathon is no exception.

“When COVID-19 hit last March and canceled Phonathon, I was devastated. I had just finished making and putting up posters on the lockers to encourage students to participate in the joyous event,” said Suzie Lyons '22. “However, Mrs. Bonner and the amazing development department at CJ came up with a way to not only connect students with alumni, but to recreate some of that same energy that we had last year, virtually.”

Google Meet keeps volunteers connected to alumni and enables annual giving coordinator, Elaine Bonner, to observe and listen to the callers.

“The students have been amazing,” said Bonner. “They are cheerful and positive every night! It’s about the connections, praying for the intentions of our community, and showing gratitude. Our alumni and parents have always made CJ this special community.”

Bonner has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from alumni. A member of the class of  '94 texted her and said, “the student caller was great and thank you for the introduction and best of luck with the Phonathon. I'm glad to contribute. I appreciate CJ more and more as I get older.” A graduate from the class of ’96 made a gift while live-streaming the CJ vs. Alter football game. The initial goal was to raise $1,000 each night during the course of the 20-day Phonathon, and volunteers exceeded that goal by Day 15, raising more than $23,000 by the end of that shift.

From hearing interesting stories about days gone by, to staying connected to CJ to gaining valuable life skills, the student volunteers reap many rewards.

“Oftentimes, I will spend 20-30 minutes on the phone with an alum, discussing the new procedures put in place to keep the students, faculty, and staff safe at CJ, or discussing my future plans,” Lyons said. “It brings a smile to my face hearing the many stories that the alumni share about their time at Chaminade, Julienne, St. Joseph, or CJ.”

Anna Nevius '22 has had similar positive experiences.

“I had a very nice conversation with Ms. Tamms, class of '62. She told me interesting stories about her time at CJ and how she had a great experience here,” Nevius said.. “She said she always loves to give at least a little each year because she wants to help the future generations.”

Participating in Phonathon has been especially meaningful for Chloe Proffitt '21, a first-year student development chair and current distance learning student.

“I was worried about not being able to participate as a CJ student fully from home, but being a part of Phonathon has really helped me stay connected to my peers,” Proffitt said. “I'm just so glad I can be a voice for CJ to reach out to all these lovely alumni.”

And the skills the student volunteers are developing will be helpful long after they graduate.

“A huge positive of Phonathon is that young people are getting to polish their telephone skills and with the age of digital communication, this is becoming increasingly rare,” said Bonner. “We care for our CJ family and Phonathon allows our students to get this message out.”

Phonathon by the Numbers
20 — Number of volunteers
160 — Number of volunteer hours logged
$1,000 — Pledge goal per shift for the 20 nights of Phonathon
2,500 — Calls made
$23,740 — Money raised through the 15th shift
New this year: Pay by VENMO @cjeagles

 

-- Published on Oct. 6, 2020.

Welcome to CJ!

The month of October is filled with in-person and virtual opportunities for families to learn more about the Catholic educational experience at Chaminade Julienne.

Guided Campus Tours

On-campus tours are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Virtual Experiences for Students and Parents

Parent receptions are available Monday evenings through Nov. 2. 
Students can meet Eagle Ambassadors for virtual conversation or chat.

Virtual Open House - Sunday, Nov. 1 • 2-4 p.m.

Welcome to our community! Meet with administrators, faculty and staff during this live, virtual event.

Ready for CJ?

Our application for admission is available online.

Contact Brandon Meyer, director of admissions, at (937) 461-3740 x210 or at email to schedule a visit.

A Modern Classroom, Taught From Home

Working from home may be the way of the future for many professions.

It helps cut down on overhead and office supply costs, team members can set their own hours easier and provides many other benefits compared to the more traditional brick-and-mortar, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workplace.

But could a school really enable teachers to work from home during the school year? CJ thinks that kind of flexibility is crucial, and school leadership is working on a way to incorporate it into the curriculum.

“We are finding ways to allow our teachers to continue teaching while at home for an extended period of time, if needed,” said Steve Fuchs, assistant principal. “If one of our teachers needs to self-quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, or if they need to stay home to take care of a child or other dependent family members, we wanted a way for them to continue to be able to teach and interact with students without missing a beat.”

So, what does teaching from home look like?

Well, it looks very similar to everyday studies, the teacher is just featured on the screen in lieu of being at the front of the classroom. Teachers initiate a Google Meet that’s projected onto the overhead projector, putting them in front of their class, virtually, where they can speak to and interact with students.

A substitute teacher functions as a teacher’s aide in the classroom to help oversee the students and facilitate class activities, as well as provide other general assistance to the teacher who is teaching from home and the students in the classroom.

CJ was granted their first opportunity to test out their teaching from home capabilities this past week in Mrs. Quinter’s classroom.

“It went super well,” Quinter said. “It really felt like a normal school day, the students just saw me on the screen rather than in front of them. We had a few classroom activities planned and we were still able to interact and learn while I was at home. I really enjoyed it.”

Innovations like the teach from home program enable CJ to continue providing students with a mission-driven, Catholic education all while adjusting to new technology and working more flexibility into the day-to-day operations of the school.