For a combined 84 years, Peg Regan ‘73 and Jim Brooks have inspired thousands of students through their passion for teaching, their faith, and their love for Catholic education.
“I fell in love with the place immediately,” said Jim who had arrived at CJ in 1980 as a Marianist Brother. The Marianists granted his wish to teach in Dayton so he could be a support for his mother, a member of the Class of 1933. God had a different plan for Jim as he left the order in 1985. When he considered the possibility of dating, Peg was the one. “I knew by the third date what I wanted.”
“I’m glad I made the cut! We just clicked,” said Peg. She recalled how their dates revolved around CJ events. “Since we were both teachers, we really liked seeing our students and how they were succeeding.” Sixteen months later, they united together in marriage. “It’s been a CJ union ever since!”
Peg's inspiration for teaching comes from Notre Dame and Marianist Founders, St. Julie and Blessed Father Chaminade.
“If Sister Julie paralyzed in bed and Fr. Chaminade hiding in a cistern, could both go on and found schools, then I guess I can get up today! You are a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Jim witnessed how CJ students are receptive, willing to grow, and take chances.
“I love teaching, first and foremost. It’s the right profession for me," he said. "There’s a sense of community in the whole school. When you share that with your spouse, you feel an ongoing desire to keep getting better. This makes the community a better place.”
Community starts in the classroom and in English class, you have a community of readers and writers. “Students share ideas and take that back into their lives and use it for their benefit.” Jim’s favorite books, The Chosen and Great Expectations, read a lot like the journey of a CJ student. “Young people seeking direction in their lives and becoming something more than expected.” In Spanish class, students have to feel comfortable expressing their opinions and do it in a different language. “We talk about ourselves, celebrate accomplishments and pray for each other – that’s community,” said Peg.
In the midst of this most interesting school year, educators, like Jim and Peg are among the front line workers who are building the faith for young people to reach their full potential.
And Chaminade Julienne is blessed to have the support of a community who understands the impact of caring and passionate educators and the importance of growing this mission for future generations. "Once you bring students to the experience, great things can happen," said Jim. "We are able to inspire more young people to act on behalf of justice and peace in the world,” added Peg.
Peg currently teaches Spanish and is the chair of the language department. Though Jim retired from teaching English in 2017, he continues to serve as the head coach for CJ tennis.
Learn more about ways to support the mission of CJ - here.
February 1, 2021