CJ Recognizes Those Who Went Over and Beyond

Putting faith into action, service is an integral part of Chaminade Julienne as students and faculty alike live their faith every day.

The annual Service Awards Assembly recognizes the individuals who shared their time and talents with both the CJ community and the community at large. This year, however, the ceremony was virtual as the Chaminade Julienne campus remains closed as per the governor’s order. But while the recognition was virtual, these students were hands-on when it came to service this year.

“Doing it virtually was a challenge – as with everything else these days,” said Kelli Kinnear, director of Ministry & Service. “The biggest challenge was trying to get an hour and a half assembly down to a short video, while attempting to include every student who deserved to be honored — both individually and as part of a larger group.”

Because it was part of the Mass celebration, the presentation was shorter than if it was a stand-alone video. All bronze, silver and gold award winners, service groups and organizations as well along as the recipients of the various awards of distinction were all recognized.

[View Service Awards as part of CJ's All School Mass & Senior Farewell; time marker 47:45]

“I missed that the students didn't get to come up to the stage and be recognized in front of the whole student body,” Kinnear said.

While most schools regularly present academic and athletic awards, the CJ community also makes it a point to recognize those students who go above and beyond when it comes to service.

“One of many things that make CJ unique is that we take time every spring to also honor our students who have given an exceptional amount of time in serving others,” Kinnear said. “The emphasis on community service is so central to our mission statement, and is part of the hallmarks of a Notre Dame learning community and the characteristics of a Marianist education. Our Catholic faith forms everything we do at CJ, which of course includes following in Jesus' footsteps to serve others.”

Students were recognized as bronze (25-49 hours), silver (50-99 hours) or gold (more than 100 hours) based on the amount of time they volunteered during the school year. Four awards of distinction, as well as a faculty service award, were also presented.

Meet CJ's Top Recipients

Sister Ruth Ann Bange Service Award: Gabrielle Schneider '21

This award recognizes a junior who exhibits the commitment and spirit of Sister Ruth Ann Bange, SND. It is presented to a student who has made outstanding contributions to the Dayton community through the community service program that Sister Ruth Ann created.

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There have been so many people who have inspired me to volunteer. My parents have jobs that help others and my Grandma has also volunteered most of her life so I have grown up learning the importance of helping others by watching them. My family participates in many small service projects throughout the year and I think getting to experience how service affects others from a young age has really inspired me. My faith is also a big influence in my service and always has been. I have had so many moving experiences and moments meeting different people during my time volunteering that really mean a lot to me. One experience that stood out was at Adventure Central, an after school learning center for kids. A young boy asked me to help him with his reading and writing homework that he didn't understand. He made a comment after we were done, "I really understand my work now, you taught me more than my teacher did about this." That helped me realize not everyone is given the same opportunities in life. Education is very important, so getting to help younger kids learn was very eye opening. I have also had many memorable experiences at the Jingle Bell Bowl event that my family volunteers at every year. I enjoy seeing the fun the kids and parents have and how grateful they are. It puts into perspective how grateful I should be about my life.

— Gabrielle Schneider

George Early Scholarship: Grace Schaefer '22

The George Early Scholarship is given to a sophomore who has distinguished him or herself as a servant leader. It was established to encourage ongoing service and to honor a person who is an example of Christian service for the CJ community.

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I attended the Solsberry Mission Trip that CJ offers during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. It was such an impactful experience for me both spiritually and socially. I was able to meet new people, while getting closer to my friends from CJ who also attended. The service we did each day came in such variety that I was excited to get to work every day. The most inspiring part was being able to use the nature around me to meditate on the service I did and realize the impact that I made on a community that I had just been introduced to. 

— Grace Schaefer

LaSertoma Award: Kelsey Dickey '20

The LaSertoma Club, a service organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of all persons and to promote youth and education, honors one student from each area high school who takes the lead when it comes to service.

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The spirit of the LaSertoma Award is to treat others the way you want to be treated. I don't look at service as just a "requirement" it is a way of life. There is no better feeling than knowing you impacted a life somehow or some way. What inspired me to serve in this way was my mom. My mom always taught me the importance of serving others, especially in the community. An inspirational encounter I had was when I attended the Taos, New Mexico mission trip the summer of 2018. During this trip, when we attended the school there, it made me extremely happy to learn about their upbringings and to help all the younger kids.

— Kelsey Dickey

Top Senior Award: Logan Miller ‘20

Logan accumulated a record number of volunteer hours over the course of his four years at CJ –
786 hours of service. As a whole, the CJ community has given a total of 11,761 hours of service to the broader community. 

Faculty/Staff Founder's Award: Peg Regan '73, foreign language department chair

The Chaminade Julienne Faculty/Staff Founders Award is given annually to an adult member of the CJ community who best represents the spirit of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Saint Julie Billiart. This faculty/staff member is a model in the CJ community for living the charisms of the Society of Mary and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Through words and actions, this individual lives his/her daily life as a positive example of faith leadership.

When being presented her award, Peg was described as someone works tirelessly to instill a love of Spanish in her students and a love of teaching and learning in her department members as well as with other teachers throughout the school. "She is involved in various committees at CJ in order to help make the CJ experience a positive one for all," said Sr. Nicole Trahan FMI.

"She attends as many CJ sporting events and concerts as she is able so that her students and fellow teachers know that she supports them. Peg is also very supportive of her department members and is a good sounding board whenever anyone needs advice. She truly loves her job and is a true champion of Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School by her words and actions. Congratulations, Peg!"

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I have always felt that CJ has an advantage in communicating our mission because it is so personalised in the lives of our founders. St. Julie and Blessed Father Chaminade did not allow challenges like paralysis or revolutions defeat them in their missions to build communities of faith, educate students of all backgrounds, and minister to the poor. Although our founders started their orders in the19th century, their mission has only intensified over time. We see this in the 20th century through the lives of the Spanish Marianist martyrs and in the 21st century in the life of our own beloved Sister Dorothy Stang.

The witness of our founders has inspired me to always try to be the best teacher and co-worker I can be no matter what each day brings. I am humbled to receive this recognition because there are so many staff and students at CJ who have shown me our mission in action, helped me continue striving to follow in their footsteps, and bring our founders´ message to our students.

Peg Regan

Published May 8, 2020