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.