June 2021

Dayton Business Journal Recognizes Greg Mueller as Forty Under 40 Honoree

With just five months under his belt as principal of Chaminade Julienne, the unthinkable began – a worldwide pandemic.

“A situation like that could have paralyzed a lot of leaders, but not Greg,” Chaminade Julienne President Dan Meixner said. “If anybody was well-positioned to lead us through it, it was him.”

Mueller had spent five years as assistant principal and 15 years in all at CJ. His leadership enabled the students, faculty and staff to navigate a turbulent year – fraught with uncertainty. It also earned him the distinction of being named as one of the Dayton Business Journal’s 2021 Forty under 40 honorees. In its 24th year, the designation honors the region’s “brightest young professionals.”

“The Forty under 40 honor is quite surprising but humbling for me to accept on behalf of the tremendous community at CJ that has supported me and believed in me for the past 15 years,” Mueller said. “I certainly would not have had the opportunity to contribute to CJ if it wasn't for the passion and creativity of the dedicated educators with whom I've worked both as a faculty member and administrator.”

The academic success of the students, the concerns of the parents, the well-being of the faculty, staff and students – Mueller had much to balance amidst a raging pandemic. But, while the doors of Chaminade Julienne were shuttered in adherence to statewide and local health guidelines, Mueller was hard at work planning for the 2020-21 school year while navigating the complicated academic scenario that COVID-19 presented.

At a moment’s notice, Mueller was instrumental in helping the CJ community pivot to distance learning. He was an integral part of The Light Ahead research and development teams, tasked with addressing issues ranging from academics and technology to student support and activities. Once it was determined that CJ students would return to in-person learning in the fall of 2020, establishing a safe environment for the entire CJ community became crucial and Mueller took the lead.

“He was able to pull a team together to address the many challenges we were facing,” Meixner said.

As Mueller quickly learned, being adaptable was not optional, it was essential. From practice distance-learning days to on-the-spot decisions about quarantine procedures and cancellations, every day presented new challenges.

“What’s been evident this year is Greg’s authentic interest in feedback, both from experts and those directly impacted by the situation,” Meixner said. “His ability to process feedback and make decisions has proven to be invaluable.”

While challenges still remain, so too does Mueller’s steadfast dedication to the CJ community.

“People sometimes ask what it is about CJ that makes it so special and urges me to keep coming back each day, and my answer is always the community,” Mueller said. “The family spirit that is felt among the adults who work at CJ and the students and alumni who've attended CJ is what drives the mission. The community's deep sense of faith and belief in the charisms of the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur centers every class, practice, meeting, and decision at CJ.”

And he is quick to share the credit for the Forty Under 40 award with his mentors and the CJ community.

“This honor gives energy for us to continue making the CJ educational experience a leader for excellence in Catholic education.”

 

 

 

--This story was published on June 11, 2021.

Chaminade Julienne Welcomes New Women’s Head Soccer Coach

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School announces the hire of Brent Lewis as the new head coach of the women’s soccer program.

“Brent’s coaching and professional experience are a fantastic fit for the CJ community,” said Jeremy Greenleaf, athletic director. “He will help our student athletes grow immensely, both personally and athletically.”

Brent boasts 18 years of coaching experience, with three years spent as a head coach for the Xenia Recreational Soccer Club and 15 years spent at Club X Soccer in Xenia where he served as assistant coach for three years and as head coach for 12 years. At Club X Soccer, he also served as club president, academy director, academy coach, and trainer.

“I coach soccer to have a positive impact on Dayton youth and take an active role in developing young women who are resilient, determined, dedicated, and compassionate and who demonstrate leadership skills not only in competition, but also in their daily lives,” said Lewis. “I am very excited to get started at CJ and help continue the success of the women’s soccer program.”

Professionally, Brent serves as director at Greene County Family and Children First in Xenia, assisting service providers, community groups, and residents to effectively address the health, human, and social service needs of Greene County residents. Brent has also served on the Board of Directors for United Way of the Greater Dayton Area and was a recipient of the 2017 United Way of the Greater Dayton Area Greene County Volunteer of the Year award, among other accolades.

“I feel strongly that it is my role as a head coach to create an inclusive environment in which all student athletes feel valued and respected,” said Lewis. “I can’t wait to get started at CJ, get to know the team and the community, and get to work.”

 

 

 

--This story was published on June 9, 2021. 

Meg Draeger Receives Excellence in STEM Leadership Award

STEM education is more than a profession for Chaminade Julienne’s Meg Draeger, it’s a passion. And that enthusiasm is contagious.

“Over the years, Mrs. Draeger has created and grown opportunities for students to learn about STEM fields and to show that it’s more than just boring equations and numbers seen on a white board or on a test,” 2016 graduate Colleen Wagoner said. “I can say, without a doubt, that without Mrs. Draeger’s encouragement and creating opportunities for me to explore STEM, I wouldn’t have found my passion for aviation. In the beginning, she was the one who convinced me to take CJ’s Project Lead the Way engineering courses just to try it and see if engineering would be something that I liked doing. I was hooked.”

The CJ STEMM coordinator’s dedication and diligence is being recognized as Draeger is the recipient of the Excellence in STEM Leadership Award by the Ohio STEM Learning Network. The award recognizes a school-level, district, or regional leader with a proven track-record of developing effective STEM programs. The recipients support and encourage teachers and schools to continually infuse STEM teaching strategies and embrace classroom innovation.

“The Ohio STEM Learning Network seeks to inspire the next generation of Ohio innovators by expanding quality STEM education throughout the state,” said Heather Sherman, director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network. “In this mission, dedicated and innovative educators are simply our most important allies. They foster classrooms and schools with a special focus on the design cycle and learning based on real-world problems.”

Draeger fits the bill.

“Meg is a valuable asset for our STEMM teachers, she is always finding new resources to enrich our classrooms; she frequently shares new learning opportunities for the teachers; and she is our all-around go-to when we are looking for something specific,” said Amy O’Loughlin, science department chair and Project Lead the Way master teacher. “Meg has numerous networking contacts within the community and she is able to reach out to these individuals for us. Our jobs are definitely easier because we have Meg in our corner.”

Draeger has held a unique position at CJ since the inception of the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) program in January 2009. As a former engineer herself, she leverages the extensive network of local and regional, corporate and community, partners she has cultivated throughout her career for the benefit of students and teachers. Draeger demonstrates creativity and resourcefulness, coupled with an understanding of effective STEM teaching and learning, to introduce and support successful co- and extra- curricular programming such as summer camps for middle school students, a homeroom speaker series, classroom guest presenters, after school student clubs, outreach by students and teachers to local grade schools and community organizations, and ongoing dissemination of enrichment opportunities and scholarships for students and families.

Despite her numerous accomplishments, Draeger is not one to focus on herself.

“This recognition reflects the tremendous support I've received from administration, teachers, staff, and CJ families that enabled us to bring to life our vision of CJ STEMM, conceptualized in the 2008-09 school year at the start of my position at CJ,” Draeger said. “The partnerships and relationships we've cultivated provide ongoing valuable experiences for our students in many courses, not just the Project Lead the Way courses. I firmly believe that no one learns or processes any single life experience in a bubble; every activity or interaction in which we engage, such as a high school course or extracurricular activity, impacts the way another experience touches us, and in most cases produces a greater outcome.”

Her focus remains on positive student learning outcomes.

“I feel humbled and privileged to have received this award. I have valued the opportunity to work at CJ, and enjoy my work as a vocation rather than just a job,” she said. “Here I can embrace my career-long passion to cultivate an awareness and knowledge of STEMM among students and educators, by connecting them to the real world and people of STEMM, with the added bonus of serving in Catholic education and the missions of our sponsoring orders.”

 

 

 

--This story was published on June 7, 2021.