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Carroll High School Blog

Three alumni reflect on their Carroll Mathematics experiences

January 19, 2021
By Carroll High School Mathematics Department Faculty

The Carroll Math Department strives to develop students into persistent problem solvers and resilient learners. Carroll students not only learn course-specific math content, but they also learn to collaborate with fellow problem solvers, use constructive feedback to produce better results, and feel comfortable asking for guidance. We want our students to graduate from Carroll with the confidence that when faced with a challenge, they can analyze the situation and produce a meaningful solution.

We are proud of the accomplishments that Carroll graduates have achieved post-graduation. Our graduates are true testaments to the success of our math curriculum. A few recent graduates were asked how their Carroll math program experience prepared them for life after high school and what words of wisdom they have for current Patriots:

Emily Seals ‘14

Emily is a 2018 graduate of The University of Dayton with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics and currently holds the position of Analyst to the CEO and Human Resources Department at SafeAuto in Columbus, Ohio.

The structure of many of my classes while at Carroll has proved helpful to my transition and success into college and my career. They taught me discipline; discipline to pay attention in class, discipline to complete daily homework, and discipline to keep myself accountable for my grades and ask for help when it just didn't make sense.  In college, not all professors collect homework (sounds amazing, right?).  When you find that out, it becomes very tempting to skip the professors’ suggested practice problems. However, with the discipline I took with me from Carroll, I knew that would cost me come test day. That's why I did every practice problem given to prepare me for success come test day. I've brought this discipline and work ethic with me into my career which has helped lead me to success each and every day. I really valued my statistics class with Mrs. Mary Ollier.  Although I struggled with getting it to click for me, the first math course I took at the University of Dayton was statistics, and I remember feeling so thankful having gone through it once at Carroll.  It really helped set the groundwork for building it up at UD.

Words of Wisdom

Ask the question. The biggest thing I learned from my math classes was overall problem-solving skills. Gather information, try to solve the problem (probably several ways), and if all else fails, never hesitate to ask for help. I remember sitting in Mrs. Grosselin's class sometimes feeling silly asking for help but still asking anyway. In my work today, I still often get this feeling, but how can you effectively produce work and do your job if you don't even understand what you're doing? Never feel silly asking questions; no one knows everything, and continual learning is part of being human.

Audrey Marticello ‘18

Audrey is a junior at Loyola University Chicago studying Finance with a minor in Economics. She is a Calculus tutor at Loyola, participates in an Equity Investing club, and just finished a Business Analytics Co-Op where her role was running statistical analysis. Her goals have changed over the years, but she would like to work in a finance role after graduation and attend graduate school. She has an internship lined up for the summer where she will be a commercial banking intern for BMO Harris in Chicago. Her role will be helping the bank with lending decisions, financial analysis, and risk assessments. 

One of my key takeaways from my Carroll Math classes is to not be afraid to ask questions. When I was a freshman at Carroll, I struggled in math and science because I was afraid to look dumb in front of my peers, but my math teachers saw potential in me and pushed me to improve. As I became an upperclassman and felt more comfortable, I began seeking to understand. I would ask more questions in class, start study groups with friends, and pop in after school to review homework answers.  Unsurprisingly, my grades improved. So, when transitioning to college, I committed myself to seek to understand. This mantra has benefited me in all facets of life—from my finance classes to my internships, and it’s all thanks to my time at Carroll.

Words of Wisdom

Practice makes perfect. The Carroll Math department, as a whole, puts a huge emphasis on practice. I distinctly remember Mrs. Ollier, my freshman year assigning many practice problems for homework. I did not understand at the time, but she was instilling in us the fundamental piece of learning—practice. This key to success, that practice makes perfect, has allowed me to be resilient when facing failure and overcome rigorous courses.

Quinn Retzloff ‘18

Quinn is a junior at the University of Notre Dame studying Science-PreProfessional with a minor in Compassionate Care in Medicine. He is a Chemistry and Calculus tutor for the Learning Resource Center and an English literacy teacher for the greater South Bend community. He is involved with the Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine research team, actively seeking techniques to help doctors and other healthcare professionals maintain a caring, compassionate mindset as the foundation of their healthcare practice and as a remedy to the effects of burnout, especially during COVID-19. After graduation, he wants to pursue an MD degree and practice as Cardiothoracic surgeon.

Carroll's mathematics courses and faculty emboldened my confidence to approach math with a unique perspective. Coming from Carroll, where I took Honors and AP courses in Geometry, Algebra, Physics, and Calculus, I was placed at an advantage in comparison with many of my peers. Carroll’s emphasis on the fundamentals of mathematics provided the basis of not only solving complex problems in my STEM courses but more importantly, grasping the concepts that gave me insight into finding the respective solutions. Carroll’s focus on highlighting the theory gave me a step ahead in my ability to ask the deeper questions and analyze problems and patterns with a keen eye, as well as the tenacity to persist when courses became challenging. I also appreciate how Carroll’s difficult courses forced me to grapple with important concepts from proofs to derivatives in a supportive environment.  The ability to learn with peers, receive constructive feedback from teachers, and complete guided assignments both in and outside class, made the courses not only manageable but meaningful. Simply put, my college math courses seemed only supplementary to the Carroll math core.

The most memorable Carroll math experience for me was the TEAMS competition at Ohio Northern University each year. It gave me and my friends the chance to work together to problem-solve a real-world scenario (my senior year was waste management sustainability) and come up with a viable solution. Different team members were responsible for “mastering” their section and served as a wealth of knowledge for that specific category, whether it be the energy of the system or how it works. In the end, it was just fun to communicate with the Carroll teams and other Ohio schools in how they approached the same types of problems.

Words of Wisdom

Math and problem-solving present themselves every day and it’s those who recognize this fact that make a difference. You might not always have to calculate a derivative or perform a square root, but these skills taught early on in education encourage you to learn how to think critically, analyze a situation, and produce a thoughtful solution.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Six tips and study skills to start the semester strong

January 12, 2021
By Mrs. Jill Kilby, Dean of Academics

As we move into 2021 and a new semester at Carroll High School, it’s important to get off to a strong start.  Students who start strong find that the final exam at the end of the semester doesn’t worry them as much because they have built a strong foundation for success.  Here are a few tips:

Write your goals

Think about each course and determine what you’d like your grade to be at the end of the semester.  You can think about your experiences in the course or a similar course, but your experience does not necessarily dictate present performance.  Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t (Forbes 2018).

Use your planner

This is closely associated with number one.  Writing things down makes them more memorable, and writing your assignments in your planner will make it more likely you will remember to complete them.  If there’s no assignment, write that down also and then spend a few minutes reviewing what you learned that day in that course.  

Turn in your assignments

Sounds easy, right?  But, time and time again, students find themselves in grade difficulty because they have missing work.  Sometimes this is due to the fact that the student didn’t submit the work properly especially in the electronic world or the student was absent and didn’t turn in the work when he returned to school.

Ask questions and get clarification when necessary

If you don’t understand something, ask a question.  It is highly likely that someone else has the exact same question.  In the end, the education you receive is yours.  If you don’t understand something, ask!

Get started as soon as possible

Starting is one of the hardest things to do.  There are many distractions taking attention away from school.  Rather than putting off starting on homework, get started as soon as you can after school.

Put away distractions

Speaking of distractions, put down your controller, put your phone on silent, turn off the television, and ignore social media.  These things make completing work difficult.  Students sometimes say they spent three hours on homework when in reality, they spent half of that time chatting with a friend, posting on social media, or channel surfing.  Get work finished and then enjoy some entertainment.

I hope the third quarter is extremely productive and that your productivity will continue through the fourth quarter and final exams.  Remember, each quarter is 40% of your final grade, so getting off to a great start in the third quarter of the semester will set you up for success the rest of the semester.

Tags: study skills
Posted in Voices of Learning

Meet Dr. Lisa (Wahlrab) Walsh '05, one of the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine

December 18, 2020
By Carroll High School
Lisa (Wahlrab) Walsh '05 receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Lisa (Wahlrab) Walsh '05 is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and James Cancer Hospital and was one of the first people in the State of Ohio to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.  She works in the medical intensive care unit as the primary provider for critically ill patients on life support, including patients on ventilators who have respiratory failure.  Lisa has been part of the primary COVID unit since the outbreak of the pandemic.

How did the pandemic change your responsibilities?

We’re trained to provide the specialized care that these patients need.  They wouldn’t be able to survive without the ventilators and the highly trained nursing staff that take care of them.  They’ve been sicker than any other patients that we’ve had.  They’re sicker than a regular flu patient.  Their respiratory failure is much worse, and it requires a lot more specialized care that can only be provided in the intensive care unit.

Lisa (Wahlrab) Walsh '05 in full PPE treats COVID-19 patients at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center ICU.
Lisa (Wahlrab) Walsh '05, dressed in full Personal Protective
Equipment, treats COVID-19 patients at The Ohio State
University Wexner Medical Center ICU.

What has been the biggest challenge of treating patients?

The biggest challenge through all this has been the need for the hospital to limit visitors and not let families be there to see their loved ones.  It’s not just COVID patients.  The hospital hasn’t allowed visitors for other patients.  There have been exceptions made for patients who are actively dying. It’s been really hard to communicate with families.  We try to do it over the phone or on FaceTime, but it’s just not the same as having family there in person to support their loved ones.

When did you find out you would receive a vaccine?

Rumors started at the beginning of December that in mid-December, vaccines would be available at Ohio State.  Since we are part of the group on the front line taking care of COVID patients, they told us we would be in the first group to get the vaccine.

What went through your mind when you found out you would be one of the first people to receive the vaccine?

I was pretty excited.  I think everyone I work with has been excited because we’ve been looking for an end to all this.  The work has been exhausting, and we’re always overflowed with patients who have been sicker than our other ICU patients.  Everyone is wearing down, so to have a vaccine available and know that we are top priority so we can stay healthy to take care of the sick people.  Hopefully soon, it will be available to the public so that we have less patients so that our work can go back to normal.  I think everyone on my team is excited and anxious to get the vaccine.  We understand that even though this is a new virus and a new vaccine, the vaccine technology itself has been around for a long time.  Everyone feels safe and confident to get the vaccine.

What are some of the lessons you learned at Carroll that have helped you navigate this situation?

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a nurse and help people.  A sense of giving back, doing good, and helping others is something really was instilled in me at Carroll through volunteer work.  Just wanting to be a productive member of society and somebody who is trained and available to help others is the biggest thing that my Catholic education at Carroll instilled in me.

What should people know about staying healthy as the vaccine becomes more widely available?

I would impress on people the importance of social distancing and wearing masks for hopefully just a few more months.  Hopefully, this is the light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s still important to avoid getting sick and getting others sick because it has been terrible in the hospitals with how sick these patients are.

Posted in Familiar Voices

Student of the Week: David McLoughlin '24

December 11, 2020
By Carroll High School
Student of the Week David McLoughlin '24: December 11, 2020

David McLoughlin '24, Charity House with Mrs. Abby (Wiles) Merkle '11

David shares his exceptional computer skills with a humble attitude.   I know so many college students and even adults who struggle with coding, and he does it for fun.  He blows me away with his talent, and I am amazed at his humility.

-Mrs. Abby (Wiles) Merkle '11

What activities do you participate in?

Cross Country, Indoor Track, Boy Scouts

What is your favorite part of being a student at Carroll?

I love the community as well as the people here.

What should school "do" for you?

School should help prepare you for the future challenges you may face and should make sure that you can become successful through education.

What's a lesson you learned when you overcame a difficult obstacle?

I’ve learned that if you stay determined and work hard, you can overcome any obstacles and achieve your goals.

What's your biggest dream in life?

My dream is to become successful and life and live with a happy family while also maintaining the relationships that I have with my friends and family.

How do you enjoy spending your free time?

I like spending my free time hanging out with my friends and family, watching TV shows, and sometimes working on programming projects.

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Sharing the Artistic Gifts of the National Art Honor Society

December 10, 2020
By Mrs. Renee Merland, Visual Art Department Chair
National Art Honor Society Students prepare and wrap Christmas gifts

Carroll High School is fortunate enough to have a National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and is the only Catholic high school in the Dayton area to offer it.  NAHS is an organization dedicated to promoting and giving value to visual art in education. The society benefits the students in many ways, but also benefits the school and the Greater Dayton area.  Much time is spent using the creative talents and ideas of the NAHS members for the good of the community.  Here are some ways the members of the NAHS share their artistic gifts.

Halloween Bag Decorating

National Art Honor Society students decorate and fill Halloween candy bads==gs.During October, each NAHS member creates a hand-drawn Halloween design on a white lunch bag, and art students donate bags of candy that are used during the meeting to fill each decorated Halloween bag.  We also have our Halloween party during this meeting and have a great time listening to Halloween music, eating candy, and filling Halloween bags for the less fortunate. The NAHS uses the expertise of the Campus Ministry Department (AKA Mrs. Fisher) to direct our donations to those in the community that have a need. Many times, the Halloween bags are given to the kids in the El Puente after-school program. The bags are always received with much happiness and many smiles.

Christmas Art Supply Donation

Each December, NAHS members collect art supplies, such as crayons, markers, paper, paints, colored pencils, paint brushes, and more to lovingly wrap and donate to children in need. The wrapping party is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas amongst the NAHS members as they give back creative items in hopes of inspiring other young artists like themselves. Unfortunately, because of logistics relating to COVID-19, NAHS was not able to have their usual Christmas wrapping party.  However, the NAHS members unanimously decided that the art supply donation must go on with or without the party and are continuing the tradition of gathering art supplies to donate to those less fortunate this holiday season. It’s wonderful to see students find ways to continue traditions and community outreaches in the midst of the pandemic. The need for cheer in our community is especially important now, and it is a proud moment to see students rise to the occasion.

School-wide Photography Contest

In the Spring, NAHS sponsors a school-wide photography contest as a way to invite the entire school into our art community. The contest gives all Carroll students the opportunity to be creative and possibly have their photographs showcased as one of the winners of the contest. The contest features 4 photography categories: Nature, People, Animals, and Objects. For each category, there is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place winner. National Art Honor Society members vote on their favorite images for each category.  The winners are then displayed in the front lobby showcase or on social media and are awarded prizes for their winning work. The contest is a great way to give all Carroll students the opportunity to be recognized and showcased for their creative ideas.

Carrying on the Carroll Art Legacy

Carroll High School has always been a place of giving and kindness.  The National Art Honor Society has made it a priority to use their organization with the same intentions. Carroll Visual Art students recognize the gift they have in their artistic talents and want to use those talents to bring cheer and goodness to the community. God-given talents are meant to be shared and used to bless others.  This belief has always been and will always be a staple to our artist community at Carroll High School.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Recent Posts

1/19/21 - By Carroll High School Mathematics Department Faculty
1/12/21 - By Mrs. Jill Kilby, Dean of Academics
12/18/20 - By Carroll High School
12/11/20 - By Carroll High School
12/10/20 - By Mrs. Renee Merland, Visual Art Department Chair


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