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Five Carroll seniors earn spotlight for National Merit Scholarship test performance

September 19, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

The College Board is honoring five members of the Archbishop Carroll High School Class of 2024 for their performance on the PSAT during their junior year of high school.

Kyle Heilmann and David McLoughlin are two of approximately 16,000 students in America that have qualified as National Merit Scholar® Semifinalists for their performances on the 2023 NMSQT/PSAT.   These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Neil Tivakaran and Sydney Ramsey earned Commended Scholar status, and Alyssa Applin was chosen by the College Board for the National African American Recognition Award.  This Recognition Award program grants underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connects students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process. Colleges and scholarship programs identify students awarded National African American, Hispanic, Indigenous and/or Rural/Small Town Recognition through College Board’s Student Search Service.

Since 2008, Archbishop Carroll High School has helped 110 students earn the distinction of Commended Scholar, Semifinalist, or Merit Scholar through the NMS program.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Five alumni return as teachers for 2023-24

August 21, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Archbishop Carroll High School is welcoming back five alumni as teachers for the 2023-24 academic year.

“We are delighted to welcome five highly-qualified, energetic, and faith-filled women to our faculty for the 2023-2024 school year,” Principal Matt Sableski '91 said.  “The fact that they are all graduates of Archbishop Carroll High School is certainly an added bonus.  To me, it is very telling that so many of our graduates who go into education have a desire to come back to their alma mater and contribute to our great community.”

Ms. Brooke Butler '17

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

College:  The Ohio State University

Years working in education: Two

Classes I teach: Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Intro to Guitar, and Study Hall

What am I looking forward to this year?: I'm excited to help lead the band to achieve performance excellence throughout the marching, concert, and jazz seasons. I'm also ecstatic to support more students that I might not normally have a chance to connect with through the House System. Ultimately, I'm thrilled to pay it forward as a teacher -- Carroll provided so many opportunities to make fond memories and develop the character and academic confidence to be successful upon graduation. Our current students deserve that as well.

How do you enjoy spending your free time?: I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, nature walks, biking, arranging and composing music, reading/learning, and playing trumpet in a variety of Brass Bands and Wind Ensembles.

Ms. Dana Koesters '17

Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio

College:  University of Dayton

Years working in education: Three

Classes I teach: Spanish II and AP Spanish

What am I looking forward to this year?: Creating new opportunities for students to learn Spanish while working alongside the teachers who inspired me.

How do you enjoy spending your free time?: Training my goldendoodle puppy


Ms. Gretchen Obergefell '19

Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio

College:  University of Dayton

Years working in education: This is my first year teaching.

Classes I teach: Physics and Physical Science

What am I looking forward to this year?: Getting to know my students and spending time with my Family Room

How do you enjoy spending your free time?: I enjoy hiking and being outdoors.

Mrs. Cassandra (Weitz) Shea '07

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

College:  Ohio Dominican University

Years working in education: This is my first year teaching.

Classes I teach: Church & Sacraments, Intro to Scripture, Morality, and Discipleship

What am I looking forward to this year?: I am most looking forward to helping our students strengthen their relationships with themselves, their peers, and most importantly, Jesus.  I hope they leave my class with a better understanding of the love that our Father has for them and carry that into the next stage of their lives.

How do you enjoy spending your free time?: I love spending time with my husband and our four kids at their many sporting events.

Ms. Lydia Stickel '19

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

College:  University of Dayton

Years working in education: This is my first year teaching.

Classes I teach: Intro to Literature and Experiences in Literature

What am I looking forward to this year?: Meeting all of my students and going to marching band competitions

How do you enjoy spending your free time?: I enjoy reading and crocheting (just not not at the same time!)

Posted in Voices of Learning

Class of 2023: 14 Student-Athletes to Compete in College

May 23, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Congratulations to our 14 members of the Class of 2023 who are continuing their athletic and academic careers at colleges and universities throughout the country next year!


Posted in Voices of Learning

Class of 2023: Meet the Valedictorians and Salutatorians

May 18, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Earning the title of valedictorian or salutatorian is a remarkable accomplishment.  Please join us in congratulating our top students in the Class of 2023 for their countless hours of dedication that they have dedicated to their studies.

Nathan Snizik, Valedictorian, Incarnation Catholic School

Nathan Snizik is the son of Maria (Chilia '88) and John Snizik.  Nathan is the Technical Director of the Carroll Drama Club, a co-captain for Carroll’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams, and an Eagle Scout. The highlights of his senior year have been leading his school’s senior retreat, giving a TEDxYouth talk, making his onstage debut in his school’s musical production of Back to the 80’s, and passing the torch on to the next generation of Carroll Patriots. This fall, he plans to attend The Ohio State University and double major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) and English.







Seth Tivakaran, Valedictorian, St. Luke Catholic School

Seth Tivakaran is the son of Dr. Sheila Cheruvelil and Dr. Vijai Tivakaran. During high school, he has been Cross Country Team Captain, Track & Field Team Captain, Math Club Co-President, Spanish Club Co-President, National Honor Society Vice President, Spanish Honor Society Leader, and TSA TEAMS STEM Competition Team Captain. His greatest accomplishments have been participating in State Science Fairs, competing in State Cross Country and Track championships each year, and placing top 25 in the nation for TSA TEAMS. He will attend Case Western Reserve University to study Biology on the Pre-Medical track.






Jack Agnew, Salutatorian

Jack Agnew is the son of Christine and John ('80) Agnew.  Jack has been president of Spanish Club, Math Club, and National Honor Society, and he has served as a captain of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He  won the Division-II Cross Country State Championship in 2021 as a junior and led the team to a runner-up finish during his senior season. This year, Jack was voted prom king. Next year, he will attend The Ohio State University to study exercise science and compete in Cross Country and Track & Field. Following college, Jack hopes to become a sports oriented physical therapist and continue competing as a runner.






Grace Bete, Salutatorian

Grace Bete is the daughter of Lynn and Timothy Bete.  Grace will attend The Ohio State University and major in Psychology, Spanish, and Vocal Performance. While at Carroll, Grace performed in five plays and four musicals, and her most notable roles were Jo March in Little Women: The Musical and the Dowager Empress in Anastasia. She was also student music director for Carroll’s musicals her junior and senior year. Grace was captain of the track and field team, secretary of the International Thespian Society, House Captain, Spanish Club vice president, and has been Latin Club secretary and a member of the cross country team. Grace also earned the Ohio Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish.






Meredith Sanders, Salutatorian, St. Luke Catholic School

Meredith Sanders is the daughter of Dianne and Philip Sanders.  Throughout high school, Meredith has been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, a USA Lacrosse Academic All-American, and a Presidential Scholar Candidate. She has participated in Lacrosse, Tennis, International Club, Math Club, Spanish Club, Spanish Honor Society, and National Honor Society, among other activities. She has also performed over 600 hours of community service throughout her 4 years of high school by volunteering through organizations such as 4 Paws for Ability and Best Friends Assisted Therapy. Next year, Meredith will attend the University of Notre Dame double majoring in Applied Computational Mathematics and Statistics and Psychology.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Patchwork of Memories: A Graduation Gift to Carroll Theater Director

May 15, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Quilts sewn from scraps of t-shirts are common gifts to high school graduates, but one Archbishop Carroll High School family made one for an educator who has impacted their lives for more than a decade on and off of the Carroll stage.

The Schlegel family has been part of every Freedom Players production since the fall of 2010 – 26 shows under the direction of Toni (Hemmert) Weitz ‘86.  When Anna Schlegel ‘14 made her debut on stage in Pollyanna, her mother Tina helped out by selling tickets and flowers, hosting cast parties, and volunteering at youth summer camps for the drama club for 13 years until her youngest daughter, Tess ‘23, would end the Schlegels’ run on the Carroll stage this spring.  Moments before Tess’s last performance in the 2023 spring musical Back to the 80s, she presented a quilt to Toni with all of the shows that involved this generation of Schlegel performers and crew members, a quilt handmade by Tina.  Many other students and families who have been part of the drama club contributed to the project to help thank Toni for her dedication to the program.

Anna Schlegel ‘14, Maria Schlegel ’18, Toni (Hemmert) Weitz ‘86, Tina Schlegel, Sam Schlegel ’21, and Tess Schlegel '23

“I was very surprised,” Toni said.  “I’ve seen these blankets being made for kids over the years, and to see how it holds all those special memories. To be given that as an adult for a club that is so important to me from a family that is so important to me, it was just really touching.  Knowing that other students donated to do this for me makes it even more special.”

Nick Schlegel '15 (third from left) in Annie Get Your Gun

Anna, Nick ‘15, Maria ‘18, Sam ‘21, and Tess all can recall countless memories from rehearsal and performances, both on stage and behind the scenes, that the blanket symbolizes.  Backstage traditions and small behind the scenes moments remain with Anna.  Nick can recall the view of watching the show from the sound board.  Maria enjoyed making the leap from stage crew in the fall to shining under the lights in spring each year.  Sam looked forward to Toni’s inspirational speeches in the greenroom before every performance.  Like her oldest sister, Tess loved the little moments behind the curtain during the shows. For Tina and her husband Dave ‘88, the theater program at Carroll became like a second family to all of the Schlegels.

“One of the gifts of this program is the bond between Toni and the kids and also between the friendships that they form through these activities,” Tina said.  “I always thought this activity was like high school sporting events. If they’re on the volleyball team, you go to every volleyball game. If they’re in a show, you go to every performance, and if you’re here, you might as well help out.”

Toni also counts the Schlegels as an extension of her family at Carroll.

“It’s really neat when I have a family where all of the kids are involved in the way that the Schlegels have been. There are only a handful of families like that, and five kids is probably the most. It’s just really special to be able to share those moments with all of them and their parents and see the parents that I know I can count on, like Tina and Dave, to do the cast party. It’s great to have families I can count on and to watch the kids grow with my own kids.”

Posted in Voices of Learning
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Carroll STEM Groups Sweep Top Two Spots at Statewide Contest

April 25, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Two groups of Archbishop Carroll High School students finished in the top two places at statewide competition that tests students’ aptitude in STEM Education topics and are eligible to compete in the national level of competition this summer.

The students participated in the TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude Mathematics, and Science) state level competition.  The 2023 competition focused on the theme of “Engineering & Everyday Devices”, and the assessment consisted of a Multiple Choice test, Design/Build assignment, and written Essay.  The TEAMS competition is recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, designating the contest as one of the premier STEM competitions for secondary and high schools throughout the country.

“To have one group of students finish in first place in this competition is a tremendous accomplishment, but to have four groups of students achieve such high scores is truly remarkable," Archbishop Carroll High School Principal Matt Sableski '91 said.  "We are proud of these students and their educators for carrying on Carroll’s outstanding legacy of outstanding STEM Education by showcasing their knowledge and dedication to learning and teaching.”

A third group of Carroll students finished in seventh place, and another group finished among the top 20 of 60 total statewide competitors.  The top three Carroll groups have all qualified for the national level of competition scheduled for June 28 - July 2 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.  Carroll is the only Dayton area school with a group to finish in the top 20 of the rankings.

This is the fourth time Carroll students have finished best in Ohio and qualified for the national level competition (2013, 2016, 2022).

Tags: STEM
Posted in Voices of Learning

Carroll Welcomes Student Resiliency Coordinator

April 24, 2023
By Archbishop Carroll High School

As caring for students' mental health grows in importance, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Montgomery County saw the need to address these concerns by meeting students where they are: in the classroom. Three years ago, they created the role of Student Resiliency Coordinator (SRC) to help students throughout the greater Dayton area with an in-building social worker who provides students the tools to tackle the obstacles and challenges that arise in their lives. Whether students are experiencing coping or anxiety concerns or experiencing other personal trauma in their lives, the Student Resiliency Coordinator is available to meet with students, as well as their teachers and family members, to provide resources and strategies to help the students grow and find success.

At the start of this school year, Archbishop Carroll High School welcomed its own SRC, Jessica Wilson, as part of our Health and Wellness Program. Wilson has worked as a children’s services and mental health case manager for over 18 years, the majority of which she has worked directly with teenagers. “A lot of people misinterpret teenagers,” said Wilson, “They see them as difficult or hard to work with…I really enjoy working with them.”

Understanding that students have varying levels of need, students are able to meet with the Student Resiliency Coordinator if they need help with concerns, such as how to navigate social situations and to improve the student’s self-esteem. The SRC also can act as a liaison and provide a referral to other Dayton Children’s health professionals in order to address other mental healthcare needs.

With the exception of a weekly check-in with her colleagues at Dayton Children’s Hospital, Ms. Wilson is available to Archbishop Carroll Students throughout the school day. Through her work with Children’s Services, Ms. Wilson used to travel all over the state of Ohio to meet with teenagers in their various residencies, so she is very excited to be in the school building and have the opportunity to be available for students as often as a student needs.  

Dayton Children’s Hospital is seeing positive improvements in the lives of students and is currently hiring additional Student Resiliency Coordinators to expand the program and services in which they provide. Jessica Wilson is looking forward to her continued work with Patriot students. Said Wilson, “It’s making a difference in schools, and I’m really excited to be a part of this program.” 

Posted in Voices of Learning

The Season of Giving Art: Christmas with the National Art Honor Society

December 24, 2021
By Mrs. Renee Merland, Visual Art Department Chair
National Art Honor Society Students exchange gifts at Carroll High School

The National Art Honor Society at Carroll High School has always made it a priority to bless the community with our artistic gifts.  As an organization, we understand that our talents were meant to be shared and used to brighten the world.  This idea has become the cornerstone mission of the National Art Honor Society at Carroll High School. 

Secret Santa with an Artistic Twist 

This year in the spirit of Christmas, the NAHS decided that they wanted to bless each other with an artistic gift.  Each NAHS member wrote out a notecard with their name and some information about themselves, such as their favorite color, medium, animal, movie, hobby, and their preferred “aesthetic” (the overall style of someone or something).  During the November NAHS Induction meeting, each member randomly selected a fellow member’s card. Using the information given, the students were to secretly create a personalized art piece for their chosen peer. A variety of mediums could be used in these creations, including graphite, colored pencil, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, and acrylic paint. The subject matter was completely unique and specific to the listed interests of the selected student. 

The Exchange

During our NAHS Christmas party in December, students came with their completed creations, framed, wrapped, and ready to give to their respective owner. The meeting was equipped with sweet treats and classic Christmas music playing in the background.  The spirit of Christmas was soaring in the art room!

In great anticipation, each secret Santa found their unknowing peer and presented them with their wrapped art piece. On the count of three, students eagerly unwrapped their gifts.  Smiles of appreciation illuminated the room as students began to unveil their personalized artworks.  These handmade gifts were unique in that not only were they a gift of creative thoughtfulness but also a gift of each other’s time. Our time is a precious gift that we never get back.  The donation of each NAHS member’s time in the personalized creation of each gift made the exchange very special and deeply appreciated by each student. It was a great way to connect with other artists in the society and gain a greater sense of belonging to the Carroll art community.

You Get What You Give

Often times, the NAHS will give their artistic gifts to the greater community, such as donating and designing Halloween themed lunch bags filled with candy or providing art supplies at Christmas to local kids in need.  Rarely, do the art students ever get to see the joy they have brought to the people they have helped.  The NAHS gift exchange was a very rare opportunity for the NAHS members to not only witness the joy their artistic gifts bring, but to also feel the joy themselves of being blessed by another’s artistic talent and time. 

Posted in Voices of Learning

Preparing for Christmas Day in the final week of Advent

December 21, 2021
By Mrs. Abby (Wiles) Merkle '11
Advent Wreath at Carroll High School

As we finish wrapping our presents, checking our lists, baking, cooking, planning, shopping, and stressing, it is so very important to pause, slow down, and breathe in the moment.  Moments fly by so fast and seem to go by even faster lately.  Throughout the pandemic, I have been reminded of how precious time is. Time is a gift from God. Loved ones are gifts from God.  As we approach Christmas, we will celebrate the Holy Family as a unit with the birth of Christ. Christ manifests himself within the domestic Church, the family unit. Time with our families is sacred, and it is important to make the most of the time we have with them.  Here are some ways we can accomplish this:

Foster a positive atmosphere

Make kindness and forgiveness a policy during family gatherings so we can make the time with loved ones an enjoyable experience rather than a chore. Kindness and sincerity help us to be more authentic versions of ourselves that we can share with others especially our family.

Invite the Lord

Praying as a family before sharing a meal invites God to be an active part of your family time to remember who we are and whose we are. A family unit is also called the domestic Church.  It is in the family that God can be made manifest to bring joy, peace, and love into the world.

Create new family traditions

Making crafts together, establishing a card game tournament, going to see lights, or have a “who can make the best hot chocolate” competition creates long-lasting memories to cherish throughout our lives.  Having good fun during family time allows everyone to interact with each other ways that they may not have before.

Minimize distractions

By storing the phones, tablets, and turning off the tv we are more able to be present and attentive and to enter into deeper conversation to reconnect with each other rather than making simple small talk just to survive the event. Getting to know our friends and family on a deeper level opens the door for opportunities to help each other and be there for each other.

This Christmas break, I challenge you to take in all of those precious moments with our friends and families so that our experiences turn into fond memories that we can carry with us through the year to come through good times and in bad. The joy of Christmas and of Christ is present in being present.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Eight keys to choosing and researching an award-winning science fair project

November 15, 2021
By Carroll High School Science Department Chairs Mrs. Laurie Fuhr and Mrs. Laura Wright
A Carroll High School student presents STEM research at Science Day

Superior Science Research Projects require students to work independently with the help of a teacher-mentor and should incorporate the following:

They start with thorough background research to find a real-world problem that can be solved either through experimentation or through engineering design. This research should also help students be able to explain key concepts and past research in their topic area.

To truly stand out a project should incorporate a unique topic, procedure, or practical application; something the judges have not seen before. The project should not be a lab exercise that could be done in a classroom.

A Carroll High School student presents STEM research at Carroll Science Day

During the experimentation or engineering build phase students should have a complex experimental or design procedure, and there should be numerous subjects or trials for more accurate data. Students should review their data through statistical analysis to see if there are significant differences between test groups.

Once the project is complete, students should be able to express themselves clearly during their oral presentation to judges from the scientific community using an organized display board. Students must also write a comprehensive scientific research paper which includes their background research, experimental procedure, results and analysis. The students must integrate their project results into findings from previous research.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Nine Tips to Help you Ace your Next Math Exam and Four Bad Habits to Avoid

October 12, 2021
By Mrs. Mary Ollier, Mathematics Department Chair

Preparing for a math test can be stressful, but every student is capable of earning good grades.  Try out these proven methods to start boosting your test scores.  Many of these study skills apply to other subjects, too!

Gather all formulas/identities onto one notes sheet

...whether it can be used on the exam or not.  It will make it easier to study those facts you need to know.

Study vocabulary offers many free quizzes.  Making your own note cards might help with retention even more as studies show that writing things down can help improve your memory.

Do all review

Optional or required, teachers create review guides to highlight materials that will be on the test.

Attempt all problems in the study guide

Circle problems you are struggling with so that you can ask questions before the exam date. Review what you do not know!

Do the odd problems and check your answers in the back of the book

Do you find yourself looking through your review and struggling with problems from a specific section? Keep reworking the problem until you get the correct answer.

Create your own study guide

Use old homework assignments to determine which sections from each chapter you have covered in class, make a list of all the topics from those sections that could appear on the exam, then narrow down what you need to study.

Check the textbook for extra review problems

Your teacher might not have assigned every problem has homework or covered it in class.  These new problems offer a fresh opportunity to refine your knowledge.

Get a good night’s sleep!

You’ll think more clearly and make fewer mistakes.

Come to the test prepared with required materials

Pencil, graph paper, and a reliable calculator (fully charged - or make sure you have extra batteries if needed) are important tools you need to succeed!

Four traps to avoid

  • Waiting until the night before the exam to start preparing

  • Assuming that since you have done pretty well on smaller assessments, you do not need to study for the final exam

  • Forgetting that understanding the vocabulary is also an important part of a math test

  • Falling prey to the faulty thinking of ‘there’s no way to study for a math test’

Posted in Voices of Learning

Persistence pays off! Nine easy ways to raise your grades

September 29, 2021
By Mrs. Jill Kilby, Dean of Academics
Persistence pays off!  Nine easy ways to raise your grades

School can be quite challenging, but what should you do when you feel like you are riding the struggle bus?  Well, persistence pays off.   Try out these study skills to be more persistent:

Be attentive and ask questions during class

This is especially helpful if you don’t understand something.  There are probably other students who have the same or similar questions.  Your job is to gain understanding; you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Ask if you can come before or after school for extra help

Check your teachers’ syllabi for available times.  Most teachers are in their rooms early and are typically at school until at least 3:15 p.m.  Always ask because sometimes there are meetings that teachers must attend, however, they are happy to schedule something convenient for you both.

Attend a tutoring session

Groups like National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, or National Latin Honor Society offer tutoring sessions each week. Regardless of what organization is hosting tutoring, any student can get help in any subject.  Our student tutors are top-notch, and if they don’t know something, they will work to make sure you get the correct information you need.

Work with a friend who is doing well in the class

Ask a friend about how he/she is meeting success in the class.  Not only will this help you, but it will help your friend.  Explaining something that you have learned to someone else helps to cement that knowledge for yourself.  Additionally, sometimes a student might have a catchy way to remember something that will help you.

Ask members of your Family Room for assistance

Every Tuesday is Academic Day in Family Room.  This time is for checking grades, working on assignments, and asking questions.  Your Captain will likely know exactly who in family room can help you with your questions.

Use Google to find a video that explains a difficult concept

There are many fabulous sites that help reinforce classroom concepts.  Your teacher can probably also direct you to some of these types of resources.

Attempt (and complete) all of your homework/classwork

Finish your assignments even if you don’t think you understand.  Sometimes you will find that you learned more than you thought during class, and when you do the assignment, the learning will show up.  

Study a little bit each night

Studying is a great way to retain knowledge even if you don’t have a written assignment.   Students often think they don’t need to do anything for homework if there is not a specific written assignment given, but the truth is that spending 10-15 minutes each night reviewing vocabulary, re-writing notes, using Quizlet, or having someone at home ask you questions are all great ways to review.  Speak positive words about yourself in your head.  You are capable of learning. You are smart.  Focus on positivity.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Connecting Catholic Social Teaching to Liteature

September 03, 2021
By English Department Chair Ann (Calderone) Bertke '88

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides…” --C.S. Lewis

The Carroll High School English Department firmly believes that the study of literature is the study of the human experience. We are fortunate to be able to discuss life’s big questions through the use of literature and the application of Catholic Social Teachings. Our students learn that their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, while unique to them, also resonate with people throughout history. We get to ask the tough questions that we all face, but we get to start with a character from a book. These discussions are easy when talking about a character that we will never personally meet, but they also allow us to look within ourselves and determine how we would want to react when faced with the same challenge.

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides

-C.S. Lewis

Would we still go to school if by going we would risk our lives like Malala? Do we have the strength to write about the injustice of slavery like Harriet Beecher Stowe? Would we too lose all sense of civility if we were stranded on an island like Jack and Ralph? Do we have the compassion and love of Hans to quietly wash the sheets so a scared and displaced child learns the meaning of family? Are we able to believe that love can truly transcend barriers like Natasha? Can we discern true intentions when we meet a Mrs. Danvers? Are we able to relate to the memoirs of Tara and Trevor to examine our own path and simply do better? Does Okonkwo show us that the fear of failure can actually destroy us from the inside out? Are we as knowledgeable about our heritage and family history as Esperanza? Are we able to recognize the small ways that Mariam tries to maintain independence?

These are just some of the questions from the summer reading curriculum. Students are challenged to see the world outside their personal experience through the safety of literature. These questions build throughout the four years at Carroll and, hopefully, beyond. When we delve into a story of places and people that are not in our personal space, we can think and grow beyond what we currently know. We can ask the questions necessary to cause discussion and action in order to make this world better. Literature is both powerful and thought-provoking.  To end the starting quote, ”it irrigates the deserts” that exist in each of us.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Seven international dishes to help you travel through tasting during the pandemic

April 20, 2021
By Ms. Kiersten Fenske, Family and Consumer Science Department Chair

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have not been traveling, especially overseas. But in Global Gourmet, we are able to experience the culture and cuisine of many countries right here at Carroll High School!

Greek Chicken Souvlaki and homemade Tzatziki Sauce with Pita Bread
Danny Nadeau and Grace Clark with their Greek Chicken Souvlaki and homemade Tzatziki Sauce with Pita Bread

To prepare for these recipes, students learn new cooking techniques and use kitchen utensils not commonly found in the typical American home.

Global Gourmet is one of the advanced cooking classes in the Family and Consumer Science Department.  Students who take this class already took the prerequisite, Chef’s World, so they have learned the basic cooking techniques and are ready to expand their skills.  Each unit immerses students in the culture and cuisine of a new country.  They learn about the history of the country and how its people and religion influence the foods they eat today, how the geography and climate influences their agriculture and typical meal patterns, plus diet and cooking techniques.

Butter Chicken from India
EJ Cristobal, Chris Colon and Austin Roth-Rodriguez enjoying their Butter Chicken from India

Using their newly acquired knowledge, students prepare a variety of recipes from each country. Examples of these recipes include breakfast foods like Huevos Rancheros from Mexico, drinks like Masala Chai Tea from India, and desserts like Tiramisu from Italy.  All of these recipes are truly authentic!  To prepare for these recipes, students learn new cooking techniques and use kitchen utensils not commonly found in the typical American home.  From rolling grape leaves to prepare Greek Dolmades, using a Molinillo to whip together some Mexican Hot Chocolate, or cooking Chinese Dumplings using a bamboo steamer, students are challenged while practicing these new techniques.

Fruit Tart from France
Kaylee Stemmer, Grace Clark and Brianna Wright with their Fruit Tart from France

Global Gourmet allows students the opportunity to broaden their pallets by trying new foods from a variety of countries all while learning what makes these recipes authentic to each country’s culture. 

Just hear from some of these current students why they enjoy this class! 

Danny Nadeau '21: I always love trying new foods, so that's reason enough to say I love this class. I also love it because of how many recipes I have learned that I liked making and to try again at home.

EJ Cristobal '23: What I like about this class is the variety of foods that we make. Not only are they from different countries, but they are desserts, breakfast dishes, and more.

Grace Clark '21: I enjoy getting to try new foods that I typically never would have tried.

Marina Brun '21: I love learning about the different traditional foods from other countries and being able to learn how to make them.

Dolmades from Greece
Becca Jobe stuffs grape leaves to make Dolmades from Greece.
Strawberry and Nutella Crepe from France
Tinley Browning with her Strawberry and Nutella Crepe from France


using a Molinillo to mix her Mexican Hot Chocolate
Marina Brun uses a Molinillo to mix her Mexican Hot Chocolate.


Posted in Voices of Learning

Celebrating Holy Week with our students around the world

April 01, 2021
By Carroll High School World Languages Dept.

As we prepare to celebrate the most important day on the church calendar, our World Languages faculty and students reflect on some of their favorite Easter memories and traditions from around the world.

Granada, Spain

I have wonderful memories of Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Granada, Spain.  It is amazing to watch the locals pour their hearts into every detail to make this time meaningful and memorable.  As my students watch the processions, they quickly realize the importance of this Holy Week celebration and the traditions and values that have been around for centuries.

There are large crowds, especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday along the procession route.  As the floats with Jesus or Mary pass by, the crowd is silent out of respect.  In Granada, there are 33 cofradias or brotherhoods represented.  They plan all year for the one day their brotherhood is represented. Their float represents a scene from the Easter story. If it rains, you can hear the people from that church weeping as they are only given one day to show their efforts, hard work, and faithfulness.

The floats are not on a mechanical device - they are carried by men.  It is extremely important for them to move in unison and be similar in height as there are typically hundreds of lighted candles on the float.  One of the most memorable moments for me in Granada was when my students and I witnessed a float that was too high to exit a cathedral, so all the men had to fall to their knees at the same time so the float didn’t fall, and crawl out of the church until the float was through the door.  Next they all had to rise together and continue to walk for miles around the city! We were all in tears, and we spoke of that experience for years!

Click here to visit a website with a great explanation of Semana Santa in Granada.

-Mrs. Beth Branum

Costa Rica

Spending Easter in Spanish-speaking countries with our students is a blessing. Being able to show them the cultural differences in Catholicism in different places is an honor. I have spent practically every Easter working at Carroll with our students until quarantine this past year. Not only attending Mass, but all the little details of travel are some of my fondest memories working with our students. Our travel coordinator, Beth Branum, always prepares Easter baskets that we travel with and set up to surprise the students on Easter Sunday. It’s the little details and memories that make these trips so memorable! 

The most recent trip with the kids to Costa Rica in 2017 reminded me that the students experience more than the typical Holy Week celebrations and traditions while we have them abroad. They saw God and truly experienced His work in so many places, both in the interactions with the people of Costa Rica and in their stewardship and fellowship together while abroad. During that particular trip, students participated in a community celebration while sharing a meal in the countryside, they witnessed a beautiful procession outside a local parish in the city. I look forward to spending many more Easter celebrations with students abroad in Spanish-speaking countries.

-Mrs. Tara Ashworth

Vatican City

The air is filled with the joy of all who can fit into Piazza di San Pietro and the sweet smell of the trillions of flowers that surround the Pope’s outdoor altar. A moment of silence ensues as all recall the previous week, whether it be Good Friday in the Colosseum, the remembrance of the Last Supper, or the joyful proclamation of Palm Sunday. Everyone seems to hold their breath as they glance between the small white speck and the mega-screen projecting the face of the Holy Father. The mass is the same as every other Easter Mass celebrated by the Church around the world, painting a beautiful picture of the universality of the Church (despite any sort of language barrier). After Mass and the Papal blessing, all disperse with a smile on their faces knowing the importance of the Risen Christ and ready to sit back and enjoy the traditional lamb, Colomba di Pasqua, and every other delicious Italian food. Buona Pasqua!

-Tony Gabriele '21


Easter on the mainland of France is celebrated in a very similar way as it is here in the United States -- with colored eggs. However, instead of chocolate bunnies, you would find chocolate bells in the grocery stores before Easter. Why? Traditionally, Catholicism holds the view that church bells ring every day of the year to invite Christians to attend the Mass, except at Easter where they do not ring between Good Friday and Easter Sunday in order to commemorate the death of Christ and his resurrection. 

Myth in France has it that at this time the bells, with wings attached, flew to Rome to be blessed by the Pope over these two days. Coming home they would randomly drop treats for the joy of children. The bells fly back Saturday night. Sunday morning is the opening of “la chasse aux oeufs” in France, also known as the Easter egg hunt.

Somebody in the family will shout, “les cloches sont passées”, meaning the bells have passed, and the children run outside to hunt for their chocolate eggs.

Usually, families gather for Easter and have a traditional meal of roasted lamb together.

-Mrs. Anita Mischuk

Oaxaca, Mexico

My family goes to St. Mary's church, and Mass is usually longer than normal. Our celebrations at home are very different from Mexico. In Oaxaca, where my family is from, there is a live representation of Jesus' passion and death, and on Domingo de Resurrección (Jesus' resurrection) there is a Mass at midnight that usually lasts for 2 or 3 hours.  When the lights go off at the front of the church, there is a closed curtain that opens at midnight with an image of a resurrected Jesus. In Oaxaca, they don't eat meat during Holy Week, so the street tacos are vegetable tacos.  My family did adopt the Easter eggs and bunny traditions over time.  In Oaxaca, they throw eggs at each other.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Eight must-read poems from the Carroll High School English Faculty

March 09, 2021
By English Department Chair Ann (Calderone) Bertke '88
Carroll High School students at English class

Whenever Poetry is brought up in an English class, there will inevitably be a series of groans. The perception of poetry is often that it is sappy, stuffy, or just impossible to understand. This genre can be rigid, symmetrical, controlled, and formal. However, it also can be uninhibited and written in a way that makes you wonder if the poet follows any rules (E.E. Cummings is a prime example). For most of us, our exposure to poetry are the poems we were given to read for an assignment or the writings of a Hallmark card. This is probably why each year when the Poetry Unit appears, it is accompanied by groans.

Our department’s goal is to help students realize the breadth and depth of poetry. My poetry class professor would start every class with a simple phrase: "I hope that today someone finds the voice she needed to hear.”  That is what poetry is. Ten people can read the exact same poem and take away ten different meanings. Poetry allows us a glimpse into someone’s thoughts, heart, and soul like no other genre does. When we read a poem that embodies the very thoughts we find that we ourselves cannot articulate, it becomes an anthem. Sometimes it even allows us to be brave enough to try our hand at it. Luckily, we offer our students the chance to experiment with their own poetic voices during class, and for those that wish to make these works more public, we have our Write On publication that takes submissions from all students and staff.  I hope you all have a chance to explore poems that speak to you. Our department has a few favorites we would like to suggest:

Ms. Claire O’Malley: The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Mrs. Ann (Calderone) Bertke '88: Birches by Robert Frost

Ms. Molly Stanifer: B also titled If I Should Have a Daughter by Sarah Kay

Mrs. Marcy (Hemmert) Hughes '83: Hope is the Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson 

Courtney (Griffith) Thompson '16: Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou which is also a favorite of Marcy Hughes and Mary Kate Caserta

Mary Kate Caserta: Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Ben Joplin: To the True Romance by Rudyard Kipling

Ben Swick: Avocado by Chris Harris

Posted in Voices of Learning

Carroll Artists Earn 11 Scholastic Art Awards

January 26, 2021
By Carroll High School

Eight Carroll High School students' original pieces of art earned 11 awards in the first round of judgement in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards.  Seniors Kevin Brun, Victoria Fowler, and Gretel Helm earned one Gold Key Award each, qualifying their pieces to the next round of the competition for a chance to have their works displayed in New York this spring at the National Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition.

Victoria Fowler

Victoria Fowler '21: Otto (Paper Collage, Gold Key), Perched (Paper Collage, Honorable Mention), X Amount of Miles (Ink and Colored Pencil, Honorable Mention)

Delaney Conger '21

Delaney Conger '21: Bleeding Out (Marker, Silver Key), A Shattering Mind (Colored Pencil, Honorable Mention)

Kevin Brun '21

Kevin Brun '21: Portrait in Quarantine (Graphite, Colored Pencil, Gold Key)

Samantha Yates '23

Samantha Yates '23: Swimming in a Sea of Memories (Chalk Pastel, Silver Key)

Emma Williams '23

Emma Williams '23: Self Portrait (Chalk Pastel, Honorable Mention)

Maya Merland

Maya Merland '22: Lush (Acrylic Paint, Embroidery/Thread, Silver Key)

Gretel Helm '21

Gretel Helm '21: Upward (Acrylic Paint, Gold Key)

Sam Wittmann '22

Sam Wittmann '22: Surface of Tension (Colored Pencil, Ink, Honorable Mention)

Posted in Voices of Learning

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

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

Six things to be thankful for in the midst of a pandemic

November 26, 2020
By Mr. Dennis Brun '85, Religion Dept. Chair

Twenty-five years from now, what will be the most important memory of our students' high school years?   For many, I’m guessing that "surviving a 100-year pandemic" will be one of the most significant.   

The coronavirus pandemic has already affected all of us in varying ways and to differing degrees.  Aside from the obvious cancellations, postponements, and shifts to online and/or remote learning, this once in a lifetime event has had ripple effects on many different aspects of our lives — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.   It’s at times like this that we discover what really matters in life. 

The Thanksgiving season has always been a reminder to me that no matter what challenges I am facing in my life, there are always things that I can find to be grateful for.  In every challenge (including coronavirus), there is always a silver lining that we may not clearly see until it is in the rear-view-mirror of our life.   It is often in gratitude that we find the much-needed perspective on what is most important in life.   As St. Paul says Colossians 3:15, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful."

In this spirit, I share six things that I am grateful for, and challenge you to find some of your own!


During this pandemic, I have been reminded just how important my family is and how much I need them!  We spent much of the lockdown in the spring playing games, sharing bonfires, and enjoying the great outdoors together.  I know that when everything else is stripped away, the one constant in my life is a family who loves and cares for one another.  I hope your experience of family is the same. 


I have appreciated the friends I have that have made an extra effort to connect with me, whether by phone, a Zoom meeting, or a walk in the park.   While communicating with friends online is important — hopefully you’ve begun to cherish even more the time you get to spend with people face-to-face!

The Body of Christ

During the pandemic, even churches were shut down for awhile!   Like many other Catholics, my family participated in ‘online’ mass for several months until our parish began in-person masses again at the end of May.  While we enjoyed some great homilies in the online masses, I really missed the Eucharist and fellow members of the body of Christ sitting next to me in the pews.  For the body of Christ in its different forms, I am grateful!


The amazing technology we have access to has enabled us to continue online instruction and communicate with relatives in hospitals and nursing facilities.  People who know me well know that I have never been a ‘first adopter’ of technology.  However, I am very grateful for the connections it has enabled me to have with my loved ones.  How about you?


This summer, my family and I participated in the MetroParks Challenge which introduced us to hiking, biking, and kayaking trails throughout our beautiful Dayton area MetroParks.  The beauty of God’s creation has a healing power to it.  It encourages recreation, reflection, and prayer.  For God’s gift of nature, I’m eternally grateful! 

Medical Science

The pandemic has shined an important light on medical and emergency professionals who heroically serve others each day and who exercise the ministry of healing and comfort to those who are sick.  I can say the same about the scientists who are amazingly on the cusp of a vaccine in less than a year from the time COVID-19 first appeared.  It is a reminder of how much good humans can do when they use their God-given gifts for a purpose beyond themselves.  For this, I’m grateful.   Hopefully this awareness will inspire many of you to consider a calling to one of these fields. 

While we all share a hope that things will be back to ‘normal’ very soon, I pray that this shared experience we’ve all had will help us to grow in the virtues of faith, hope, love, and gratitude!

Posted in Voices of Learning

Marching safely through a pandemic

November 19, 2020
By Carl Soucek, Music Dept. Chair
The Marching Patriots present 2020 show "Alone"

In November of 2019, the music staff and design team began planning the Marching Patriots’ 2020 production, totally unaware of the global crisis that would occur months later and the impact it would have on our marching band season.

Even though this year was vastly different than I had hoped, we were still able to accomplish much and be proud of what we were able to do. 

-Frankie Kosir '21

Carroll High School Marching Band


We decided on the title Alone.  The idea was based on some inspiring source music by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Eric Carmen.  Our vision was to produce a competition show that would feature several soloists and use theatrical staging to isolate individuals from the rest of the group.

Fast-forward to March 13th, 2020 and this concept became quite ironic.

Would we be allowed to compete?  Would it be possible to get the students together for rehearsals?  What motivates the students to perform at their highest level?  The unknowns were overwhelming for students and staff alike, but collectively we stayed optimistic. 

"It was a great opportunity to enjoy time with people I care about while doing something I love,” Josie Rose '21 said.

Once July rolled around, it was clear that we would not be traveling, competing, or rehearsing in the same fashion that we traditionally had, but one thing became clear: the students were ready and willing to work.  As a staff, we had numerous conversations about our goals for the students.  Safety was our first priority.  Secondly, we agreed that every day together was a blessing and that we would do everything in our power to make the experience fun and memorable for the students.  The kids recognized that their efforts yielded rewards in different ways, through personal growth, appreciation of a creative outlet, and development of interpersonal relationships.

“The 2020 season was a much-needed break from isolation," Drum Major Audrey Kneer '21 said.  "It was different with no competitions to look forward to, but it meant that we were honing our skills for our own growth.  I’m grateful for the opportunity we had.”

Carroll High School Marching Band

The season pressed on without a competitive outlet, but the band and guard members gave it their all.  We were fortunate to have several unique performance opportunities for families and friends of the students.  Most importantly, the students pushed each other to perform every day to their fullest potential.  Despite being “Alone” throughout much of this school year, we are reminded of this inspiring quote by legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi:

“Individual commitment to a group effort: this is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Posted in Voices of Learning

Savings and business lessons for teens during the coronavirus pandemic

November 11, 2020
By Mrs. Linda Edwards, Business Dept. Chair
Savings lessons for teens during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our last day in school last year was Friday, the 13th of March.  In my Personal Finance classes, we had recently learned about the value of saving for unexpected events.  I teach the students that a good amount of money to save for emergencies is three to six months of annual expenses.  That seemed like an unachievable goal for most of us, up to half of our annual income.  How would we save that?  How long would it take?  Why would we ever need that much money for an emergency?

As we continued through the months to the end of the school year, we all realized that this was not a one month and done event.  This was going to take a while.  We would not be able to start economic recovery until the pandemic slowed down and allowed us to go back to work and find financial stability again. 

The lesson of saving for unexpected events became all too real, even more than I would ever want them to experience.  I teach my students that under normal circumstances it can take as much as three to six months to replace a career job that will provide the income to allow us to continue to live in the ways we are accustomed.  They understood that, but for someone else.  

This was a life lesson that I’m betting will change their generation as they manage their own future wealth.  They had the unfortunate opportunity to witness the struggle so many Americans have experienced; but, true to fashion, our young people will take this lesson and learn from it.   They will value financial stability that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families.  This is the generation that will be prepared!

Posted in Voices of Learning

Preparing the next generation of voters through Social Studies

November 03, 2020
By Chris Sorrell '83, Social Studies Teacher
Voting on Election Day

Voice of America asked a group of citizens to take the test required of immigrants seeking American citizenship. Before the test, 89% of respondents expressed confidence they could pass it; 83% went on to fail. The pass rate of the naturalization candidates?


We have to do better.

I get reminded every day why social studies makes a difference; results of civics surveys, commentaries on news broadcasts, “man-on-the-street’ style interviews on the late-night comedy shows, interviews with politicians, and yes, the innocent and authentic questions from my very own students. All are good reminders of why social studies makes a difference.

USA Today found that only nine percent of Americans have read The Constitution. All our government students read the Constitution. We have to change that nine percent bit by bit. While only nine percent have read the Constitution, more than two-thirds of Americans complained nevertheless in a Lincoln Park Strategies poll that many American laws are “unconstitutional”. They should join in our classroom studies of the Supreme Court and the arguments that have come before it.

That same VOA poll found that ten percent of college graduates identified judge Judith Sheindlin as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judith Sheindlin is actually syndicated television star “Judge Judy”.

More than 50% of respondents to a 2016 poll attributed the quote “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” to either President Washington or President Obama. The quote is, of course, from Karl Marx, author of “The Communist Manifesto.”

Half of all college students could not correctly state the length of the terms of members of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

30% of those polled believed The Bill of Rights does not guarantee trial by jury. It does. 40% believed it does guarantee the right to vote. It doesn’t. 45% did not know The Bill of Rights was the first ten amendments to the Constitution. 80% could not identify James Madison as the composer of The Bill of Rights. 82% did, in fact, identify Michael Jackson as the composer of “Billie Jean.”

I certainly know that Social Studies makes a difference, but it is stuff like this that keeps me up at night. Civil rights, economic policy, our Supreme Court, Congressional and Presidential elections are at the center of our nation’s daily political discussion. I can’t help but feel responsible, as a Social Studies educator, that evidently so many citizens may not be fully prepared for those discussions.

I don’t mean to imply that the evident demise of basic knowledge of American history and civics falls entirely at the feet of teachers. Our sense of the importance of our heritage and our civic duties comes equally from our families and communities as it does from our classrooms. Yet not everyone is so fortunate as to grow up surrounded by adults well-versed in our nation’s history and the laws of our land. I know I wasn’t. It was my teachers who kindled the curiosity and passion for history and the law that I think I bring to my room every day. That kindling of curiosity and passion does fall at the feet of teachers.

Social Studies makes a difference. Despite social studies being named by 40% of high school graduates as their favorite subject, many states, schools and districts in America are reducing Social Studies curriculum. To our credit Carroll has expanded the Social Studies curriculum with the addition of a new course; Advanced Placement Human Geography. Our students can now take an AP Social Studies class every year if they choose. This addition makes Carroll the only Catholic school in the area to offer AP courses to freshmen.  Carroll students now have the ability to earn credit for 5 AP social studies courses.

Within our Social Studies department rests all the tools to ensure that our students can understand federal and local government, apply the law to their lives, and analyze historical trends and identify the most significant turning points in history.  We challenge our economics students to apply economic principles to contemporary fiscal and monetary issues.  In our social science courses we explore the nature of human behaviors. 

While it is evident that in our complex world, some Americans may not be fully prepared to understand and engage in the most important discussions of our time, we believe, as Social Studies educators, that we can and must play a critical role in ensuring that this generation of young Americans is better prepared answer the political, social and ethical questions that will face their generation and the generations to follow. We accept that responsibility. We can do better. We must. We owe it to our students and their communities.











Posted in Voices of Learning

Easing the Mental Transition from 8th Grade to High School for the Freshman Class

September 30, 2020
By Mr. Greg Derus, Assistant Principal
Mental Health for the Freshman Class at Carroll High School

In our September blog regarding the Health and Wellness initiatives, I detailed Carroll’s commitment to expanding our prevention and safety programs, including a screening of all freshmen called SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral Services). As I mentioned, “SBIRT has been used with tremendous success during the protocols for those students that entered our positive testing matrix. I found the screening provided a valuable tool for identifying students needing assistance with major anxiety and mental health struggles. Often, these issues related to mental health have direct correlation to possible addictive tendencies and drug use.  I believe the earlier we can provide possible intervention and identify triggers with our student body, we can be proactive in preventing possible drug and alcohol use.”  

The Montgomery County Educational Service Center prevention educators met with me and our counselors to review the results of the screenings. These results have provided necessary indicators for directing future educational programming as well as expanding and continuing to support current initiatives. One anecdotal piece of information reported by a vast number of students was the value of our Study Skills curriculum instituted by Mr. Chris Ochs.  Most freshmen are in a study hall where Mr. Ochs conducts a specific curriculum in order to aid students in the transition to high school.  The number one issue found in the screenings was anxiety and stress related to school work.  Our prevention educators found that most of our students mentioned the transition from 8th grade to high school, or it was found that they have need for assistance with the added responsibilities of life as a high school student.  Time management, homework loads, balancing after school activities, and general expectations created stressors in their life. If not addressed, these stressors have the potential to lead to further mental health related problems and possible addictive behaviors/negative coping skills. The majority of our students are handling these stressors well and taking advantage of the assistance from the Study Skills class.  However, there are a few students that need additional support in coping with these stressors. Other topics found needing coping skills and assistance were general depression, body image issues, and bullying. 

Students found needing further assistance were offered “brief intervention”, a voluntary series of follow-up meetings with the prevention educators to check in and provide additional support and coping skills.  These “briefs” are not formal counseling or professional therapy sessions. The prevention educators provide fact based research materials and strategies in dealing with stressors.  Students taking advantage of the brief intervention will meet with prevention educators through October on campus during school hours.  Those students needing more in depth support were referred to counselors for professional therapy through the school.  Students requiring professional assistance will continue to work with our counselors on finding the appropriate resources.  19% of our freshmen class will participate in these “briefs”, and 3% of the class has been referred out for professional assistance.  The majority of those referrals were for dual depression/anxiety related issues.  

If any parent would like to discuss these findings in more depth, or want further information on the SBIRT program, please reach out to me at  

Posted in Voices of Learning

Navigating College Admissions in the Age of COVID-19

September 25, 2020
By Carroll High School Guidance Counselors
College Admissions during the coronavirus pandemic

The landscape of college exploration and admissions has changed due to the pandemic.  From testing requirements to college visits, we are highlighting some of the biggest changes.

ACT/SAT Testing

Colleges are moving to four variations of testing requirements for the current senior class:

  1. Testing Required: Students are required to send their ACT or SAT scores to the college.  Some colleges require the scores to be sent directly from the testing agencies.  Please check with specific colleges to determine their requirements.
  2. Test Waiver: Students are required to send their ACT or SAT scores to the college unless they are able to show that they were unable to take standardized testing due to the pandemic.  Those students may request a Test Waiver by calling the admissions office.  Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, and Shawnee State University are examples of Test Waiver colleges.  In these examples, they want to see test scores, if possible, for class placement (not for admissions).
  3. Test Optional: Many colleges have moved to asking students whether the students want their test scores to be included as part of their admissions review.  Students will make their choice known on the college application and cannot change their mind after submitting the application.  Examples of Test Optional schools include University of Dayton, Miami University, and The Ohio State University.
  4. Test Blind: Test scores will not be reviewed during the admissions process.  Wright State University is using a Test Blind policy this year.

ACT and SAT are currently offering test dates this fall.  Be mindful of the last testing dates available before college deadlines.

ACT Registration

SAT Registration

College Visits

Carroll High School typically hosts between 50-60 colleges on our campus yearly to provide information sessions to our interested juniors and seniors.  Most colleges are not making in-person high school visits this year, but we are hoping to schedule some virtual visits.  Also, some colleges are not currently offering on campus college visits for prospective students.  Those colleges who are (which, actually, is many) have had to reduce the number of visits they can allow.  If you were planning to make some visits this fall or winter, still attempt to set those up through the universities!  Juniors and seniors each get three excused absences for college visits (bring the College Visit Checklist and get it signed for an excused absence).  Because of less in-person options, colleges have REALLY upped their virtual marketing.  Check out their websites for virtual visit options take a look at Ohio’s Virtual College Exploration Program.

Talk with your Counselor

Carroll’s school counselors are happy to help you with any of your college exploration and admissions questions.  Send your counselor an email to start planning your future!

Students last names A-G: Mrs. Courtney Graham

Students last names H-O: Ms. Jennifer Urbaniak

Students last names P-Z: Mr. Chris Pennington


Posted in Voices of Learning

Five Virtual Tours to Enjoy During Coronavirus

September 17, 2020
By World Languages Department
Carroll High School's World Languages Faculty

International travel remains largely prohibited during the coronavirus pandemic, but you can take virtual trips to some of the world's most popular destinations.  Our World Languages faculty has five suggestions for your next virtual tour.

World Languages Dept. Chair Mrs. Beth Branum

Mrs. Beth Branum: Barcelona, Spain

Why Barcelona?  I have traveled to Spain with students since 1996.  Over the years I have enjoyed watching the progress of La Sagrada Familia.  It is absolutely breathtaking inside and out!  Every detail has meaning, from the colors of the stained glass to the influences of Saint Joseph on the Nativity façade. The Basilica is set to be completed in 2026.  Enjoy four must see sites in Barcelona, Spain!

Click here for the tour!



Latin Teacher Mrs. Katie Baker

Mrs. Katie Baker: Greece

Mine is the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, Greece. The sketch I had for my picture is a reconstruction of what the sanctuary complex looked like in ancient times. This place is important to me because it is one of the first ancient sites I visited and the majesty of the place in its mountain setting had a significant impact on me and my desire to study ancient history. It remains one of my favorite places to visit, and I was so excited to share it with students in 2019.

Click here for the tour!


Spanish Teacher Mrs. Tara Ashworth

Mrs. Tara Ashworth: Costa Rica

I have chosen to present a virtual tour to my favorite place in the world, Costa Rica. Specifically, this tour takes you to Manuel Antonio, a public beach. I love to inspire students to travel here where the coasts there are full of culture and beauty. I traveled, worked, and lived as a student in Costa Rica before becoming a teacher.

Click here for the tour!




French Teacher Anita Mischuk

Mrs. Anita Mischuk: The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is a monument that is known worldwide and receives about 7 million visitors each year. It is not only a symbol for Paris, but for all of France. 

It was built in 1889 for the world exhibition in Paris and was considered by many to be ugly at the time. 

Today, most visitors find it beautiful whether they admire it from the ground or enjoy the view from the top while looking over Paris. To get to the top you have a choice of climbing up 1665 steps or taking the elevator. 

I have taken many students from Germany to see the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris, and I can't wait to take my Carroll students to see this beauty and explore this one of a kind city.

Click here for the tour!


Spanish Teacher Mrs. Katie Nielsen

Mrs. Katie Nielsen: Madrid, Spain

My students know that I love to facilitate activities in class related to traveling and expanding our cultural awareness. In the culture class during our Spain unit, we study Spanish art to become familiar with several famous artists and discuss various styles of art to unveil the hidden secrets in paintings. At the end of the unit, the students paint their own canvases to try out their own creative talents. Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez is always a class favorite. During our trips to Spain, the students take a tour of the Prado Museum in Madrid and get to see these paintings for themselves.

Click here to learn about Las Meninas, the painting I'm holding in the photo.

Click here for a virtual tour of the Prado.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Enhancing our Health and Wellness Initiative for the 2020-21 Academic Year

September 03, 2020
By Greg Derus, Assistant Principal
Carroll Health and Wellness Initiative for Mental and Physical Needs

In an effort to continue the growth of the Health and Wellness Program, Carroll High School has joined forces with the Montgomery County Education Service Center to provide invaluable resources for our student body in a variety of mediums.  Health teacher Jason Ashworth and I are working together with the MCESC to expand Carroll's educational programming and intervention needs to provide a more complete holistic strategy to the wellbeing of our students.  The Health and Wellness Program is more than a drug testing program. It continues to develop under the guidance of the Board of Limited Jurisdiction and principal Matt Sableski to be comprehensive, proactive, and consistent in its application and education.  We are excited to add more programming this year in the way of more educational opportunities and a mental health screening for the entire freshman class.

As explained in the newest version of the student handbook, “Carroll High School has adopted an initiative of a comprehensive health and wellness program aimed at achieving greater awareness and assistance toward mental health and a drug and alcohol-free environment for our students on campus and in our community.  The Carroll Health and Wellness Initiative intends to provide for the health and safety of all students.  Based on the premise that our Catholic vocation is to serve the common good, Carroll incorporates research based educational opportunities/screenings and mandatory/random substance abuse testing in hopes of serving as a catalyst to a more fulfilling healthy lifestyle and a deterrent to the use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.”  The 2020-21 addition to our Initiative is SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment).  SBIRT has been used with tremendous success during the protocols for those students that entered our positive testing matrix.  I found the screening provided a valuable tool for identifying students needing assistance with major anxiety and mental health struggles.  Often, these issues related to mental health have direct correlation to possible addictive tendencies and drug use.  The earlier we can provide possible intervention and identify triggers with our students, we can be proactive in preventing possible drug and alcohol use.  Approved by the board and Principal Sableski, every freshman student will be screened in the first semester.  Screenings are completed by professional social workers provided by the MCESC.  Information gathered will be used to direct parents and counselors with valuable information if identified through the researched based screening.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
Image Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Mr. Ashworth has added to his curriculum the research based education programs Catch My Breath and Prime for Life.  These programs are designed to specifically address vaping and substance abuse prevention.  Every student at Carroll will complete these programs through health classes.  In addition to the programming Mr. Ashworth is providing, MCESC is providing an optional ten-part program, Your Path, which is available to students recommended by parents, counselors, teachers, administration, or student self-recommendations. This program addresses any student that has been directly impacted by substance abuse or major trauma in their lives.  At any point during the school year, a parent who would like their student screened (who are not automatically in the program) can simply make that request for screening by emailing me at

We are very excited about these new programs and our continued path forward of providing a comprehensive Health and Wellness Program for our students.  MCESC allows Carroll to expand its resources and educational opportunities beyond what was possible when the program started.  Prevention Programs Supervisor in the Social Emotional Learning Division for the MCESC Jodi Kulka shared with me her thoughts on the upcoming year.  "We are excited to continue our partnership with Carroll for the 20-21 school year!  Carroll is doing great things in the realm of prevention. They are a model for how developing strong community partnerships, implementing prevention supports, and continuous policy work can be instrumental in protecting the health of their students and community."  As Carroll continues to strive for developing holistic programming for our students, we appreciate the work and collaboration of the whole community including parents, and organizations like the MCESC.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Seven modern books with Catholic Social Teaching Themes

August 30, 2020
By Carroll English Faculty
Catholic Social Teaching themes in modern Literature

Carroll High School’s English Department is honored and privileged to be able to talk about literature under the scope of the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Any work we read can be applied to one of the seven principles, if not more.  We would like to take this opportunity to show the link between each principle and one of the works we read throughout a student’s four years at Carroll.


Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

Many of our works greatly exemplify this principle, but our seniors would say Man’s Search for Meaning gives them insight on how we must hold onto this principle, even when the world around us shouts that it is unimportant.



Call to Family, Community, and ParticipationAlan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country

In Cry, The Beloved Country we see how we must build strong community foundations to bridge the differences between classes and ethnicities. Destroying the pillars of marriage, family, and community, while also widening the gap between the haves and have-nots, will cause distrust, hatred, and collapse. Only by working to strengthen these pillars for all can we achieve the world we wish to have.


Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451Rights and Responsibilities

Fahrenheit 451 gives us a glimpse of what happens when people allow themselves to be stripped of the opportunity to think, feel, and fight for what is right. If we do not take up the responsibility of fighting for the dignity of life and care of the individual, our society will implode.



Option for the Poor and VulnerableHarper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a work that can be applied to all seven principles easily. However, maybe the biggest takeaway is that all people deserve to be heard, treated, and cared for with respect and dignity. We can not stand by and watch injustice. We must take a stand and work to change the views of our community and world.


Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two CitiesThe Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

A Tale of Two Cities makes the reader examine how the workers are treated with respect to the employers. To put ourselves in the middle of the conflict between classes allows us to reflect on and answer the tough questions about the rights of all, not just the privileged.



SolidarityWilliam Golding's Lord of the Flies

We must stand together for the greater good. We all have a responsibility to make policy that leaves this world better than we found it. Lord of the Flies demonstrates what happens when the structure of society is stripped away, and we must start from scratch. The outcome is our choice, but it is not an easy path.


Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man and the SeaCare for God’s Creation

The Old Man and the Sea is an example of how all life is interconnected. To use resources without respect cheapens the value. To recognize the power, grace, and dignity of all creatures allows us to be true stewards of the earth. We must appreciate and use our resources responsibly and honorably.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Adjusting woodworking classes for coronavirus safety

August 25, 2020
By Mike Lakin, Industrial Technology Dept. Chair

Hello, Mike Lakin here with another great blog (and yes, I am still teaching)!

The goal for Industrial Technology classes this semester will be similar to the past few years but a little different for a few reasons.  Of course, the coronavirus pandemic changes how I instruct my students.  The first four Wednesdays of the year will be Remote Learning days at Carroll, and I plan to show YouTube videos on those days that reinforce what I am teaching that week.  When I showed videos during remote instruction last spring, I found that the videos gave students a new perspective on the lessons as well as inspiring me with some new ideas for class.

Various woodworking tools
Various woodworking tools used in the Industrial Technology Classes at Carroll

The other big change this semester is that I will not have student teacher's aides.  This will make slowing down the pace of the class and empowering students with more responsibility a top priority.  I will also let any student who wants to learn how to use the Computer Numeric Control machines come in after school for extra instruction.  This will not only grow their personal knowledge but enable them to help their classmates.

A CNC machine
A Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine in the Carroll High School wood shop.

The skills that students learn in this class are valuable for many reasons.  Not only do students learn basic skills, they improve on them throughout their lives to use when they become homeowners.  A career in skilled labor is a major possibility for my students as well.  Demand for skilled labor is high, and many careers in those fields pay very well and can surpass $100,000 each year.  No matter what path a student chooses, I know they will retain many lessons learned in these classes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my blog, see you next time!

P.S. Don't get cut - Amen!

Posted in Voices of Learning
1 comment

Celebrating our Class of 2020 Senior Artists

April 16, 2020
By Renee Merland, Visual Art Department Chair
Artwork by Shengyuan (Nick) Lu '20

Like many other school events, our plan of honoring our senior artists students with a Senior Art Show in the Spring was unfortunately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  What still remains is the hard work and commitment put forth by our artists in the Class of 2020. Throughout the last four years, these students have been inventing a visual language that best defines their own life experiences and interpretations of the world. Although we can’t display that work physically in a public art exhibit, we would still like to show you a small sampling of each artist’s work and share with you their own interpretation of what art means to them.

Featured Senior AP Art Students

Ink drawing by Cecilia Leopold

Cecilia Leopold

My concentration is an abstract version of how I see the world.  Ever since I was a little girl, I was immersed in nature.  My family would always go on hikes together and was constantly exploring.  I mainly use black and white because those colors allow me to create the intricate textures and patterns that are found in nature; the idea of black and white, the absence of color and the total presence of color coming together to form the world around us.

Ink drawing by Zhenya Huber




Zhenya Huber

My art is something that you could never see in the real world but still has that real world feel to it.  I use moments, thoughts, and issues that I have gone through as inspiration.  My hope for my art is that everyone can see a little of themselves and what they have experienced.


Ink drawing by Brandon Roland


Brandon Roland

My concentration is human anatomy, the emotions of humans, and expressive lines.  The reason I choose this as my concentration is that I wanted to get better at drawing the human body and the different types of bodies and faces.  I learned from an art teacher in the past that once you master how to draw the human body, you can master drawing anything.  The expressive lines that come in my concentration are based on animation.  I like to express and exaggerate the poses of the people I'm drawing to get a feeling of movement in my characters.


Watercolor painting by Antong Lei




Antong Lei

Many times, people cannot say what they really want to say.  Sometimes, people don't know what they want to say.  Once you know it, you will worry about other people's opinions.  Will others like or agree with me?  Will anyone really listen to me? So many times, there is nothing to say, but painting can say it for us.  Art proves to the world its thoughts and existence. It is the only way we express ourselves.


Oil painting by Trey Blevins


Trey Blevins

I try to bring meaninglessness to my artwork.  So often, if not always, people will litter their works with symbolism and subtle propaganda but that's not my usual vibe. Through watercolor, screenprinting, and most recently oil paints, I do my best to convey as little as I possibly can in the fun, most surreal ways I can muster. Commentary is for professionalism, chaos is for kicks.

Regan Holkema: Mixed Media (Collage, Colored Pencil, Ink) Composition by Regan Holkema




Regan Holkema

My concentration focuses on human faces, nature, and color.  I worked to develop my own style and become comfortable in my own pieces and what I was creating.  For my pieces, I mainly used colored pencil to best express color and emotion.



Digital composition by Shengyuan LuShengyuan Lu

My artworks reflect different aspects of myself: my hobbies, childhood dreams, or personal growth.  With every pen stroke, I thrive to integrate my personality and emotion into my designs which has become the key to make them quirky but charming. For my audience, I wish my art pieces could serve as pathways to my inner heart, advocating my beliefs, and broadcasting my voice.  I prefer various art mediums including watercolor, colored pencil, and digital image.

Watercolor painting by Mexican Mu




Meixuan Mu

My concentration is about my own story, my experience, and process of growing.
The mind I had, the feeling I had. I decided to record the moments of my past and open my heart. Let it be.




It has been an honor these last four years to walk alongside these wonderful students as they evolved into the artists they are today.  Becoming an artist is an individual process that, as their teacher, I have taken care not to encroach upon.  There is no formula to follow or mold to adhere to.  It is a process that can only happen through one’s own mind and unique life experiences.

It takes a special courage to express that individuality without any guarantee the world will appreciate or understand what is being communicated.  These artists of mine have taken that risk many times and have had the courage not only to evolve with their art, but also to fail.  These students have grown into the strong artists they are not only because of their successes, but also because of their willingness to struggle and push through the ideas that didn’t work to get to the ideas that did.

My hope for these young artists is that they will continue pushing through all of life’s successes and failures, knowing that what awaits on the other side is a stronger, more authentic version of themselves.  May these Patriot artists always remember where they came from and remember where they always belong.

Tags: Visual Art
Posted in Voices of Learning

The Biggest Test: Three Ways for Students to Stay Engaged in Remote Learning

April 13, 2020
By Kathy Anderson
Assistant Principal Kathy Anderson
Assistant Principal Kathy Anderson

Things to do:

-Go to class
-Take notes
-Do assignment
-Study for quiz
-Take quiz
-Study for test
-Take test

And by the way, do all of these things from your home, for all of your classes, on a computer, working remotely from school.

Looking at that list, how crazy does that sound?  Who in the world would’ve thought that we’d be expecting you to learn like this?  Who would’ve thought that when we began the fourth quarter, that we’d be doing it without actually seeing each other?

No one.

Yet, here we are.  Here you are, doing all of those on that list from the confines of your own home (and let’s be honest, probably from the confines of your bedroom, wearing your pajamas and eating a snack). Ladies and gentlemen, you are now being faced with the biggest test of your academic careers.  Although you have always had ownership in how successful you are in your academics, there is something about this situation that amplifies that. There has never been a time, in all of your years attending school, when the ball has been in your court more than it is now. How will you respond?  That is your test.

A huge portion of how successful you will be during this unprecedented time depends on how you face this test.  How you take initiative and follow through on the expectations being presented to you by your teachers.  As educators, we have a plan in place that consists of you attending “class” daily, communicating with teachers (and vice-versa), and submitting assignments online.  But this plan has one more component: you taking ownership of your academics now more than ever. So how do you do this?

Follow the Carroll plan

Make sure that you are attending your online classes every day.  Complete all assignments, ask teachers for clarification when you don’t understand something, study for quizzes/tests.  This is the absolute minimum that you should be doing. Recognize that if you aren’t doing these things, your grades will be impacted.  

Create a routine

You operate on an academic routine five days a week, 36 weeks a year.  Continue that routine. Put your time in during the day as you attend class and devote some time each night to studying, doing homework, and re-teaching yourself, if needed.  Do not throw routine out the window just because you are not physically reporting to Carroll on a daily basis.


Recognize that this process of learning remotely is different.  And it can be hard.  And overwhelming.  It’s okay not to like it and to wish things were back to how they used to be. Take time each night to put the Chromebook away and to focus on a hobby (or pick up a new one).  Throughout this whole transition, this “new normal” as they call it, remember to breathe.

I wish I could tell you definitively when we will be back together in the classrooms and hallways at Carroll High School.  I truly cannot wait to see all of you again and get back to the “old normal”.  But until that day comes, I am counting on all of you to do your part, to take this biggest test of your academic career, and to do it well.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Woodworking safety and skills for a lifetime

March 06, 2020
By Mike Lakin
Basic tables from Woodworking I

Industrial Technology Chair Mike Lakin
Industrial Technology Chair Mike Lakin

Hello, Mike Lakin here with another great blog!  The video and pictures you see are the result of two projects in Woodworking I.  Teaching the students the safety rules and procedures to make the first project, a three tier shelf, and the second project, a simple table, are foundational aspects of the course. The goal is that after the second project, students will be able to understand plans to make projects that grab their interest.

The skills that students learn in this class are extremely important for various reasons.  First, they will improve on their skills for many things throughout their lives, like home maintenance and do-it-yourself projects some day. 

3-tier shelf in Woodworking I
3-tier shelf in Woodworking I

Another huge possibility is a career in the trades.  As most people know, these fields are in desperate need of people, and most skilled trades pay well into the six figures. Whatever the students choose to do in the future, I know they will retain many of the lessons they have learned in woodworking. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed my blog.  See you next time (and don’t get cut, amen!).


Posted in Voices of Learning

2020 Science Day Recap

February 21, 2020
By Carroll High School
Carroll Science Day featured more than 80 student research projects in a variety of STEM Education fields.
Carroll Science Day: A STEM Showcase
Carroll Science Day Gold Medal Winners Kevin Agnew '21, Neve Monigan '22,
and Jack Agnew '23

Carroll Science Day has become an early February tradition at Carroll for our students to present their pre-college research in a variety of STEM Fields in a "science fair" setting.  In 2020, 84 students performed independent research in the topics of Behavioral Science and Social Studies, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Space Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, and Zoology.

Science Day 2020 from Carroll High School on Vimeo.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards

The top three students in each division based on grade level receive special recognition for their outstanding projects.

Junior/Senior Division
  • Kevin Agnew, LED Pacing System for Runners (Engineering): Gold Award
  • Josie Rose, Negative Effects of Plastic Leachate on Spirulina major (Environmental Science): Silver Award
  • Trinity Raber, The Effect of Various Food Textures on Eisenia foetida Castings (Environmental Science): Bronze Award
Sophomore Division:
  • Neve Monigan, Strength and Deflection of Wood in Relation to Thickness (Engineering): Gold Award
  • Makenzie Lencke, The Effectiveness of Various Materials on Soundproofing (Physics): Silver Award
  • Shannon McIntyre, Canine Identification through Unique Nose Print, Facial, and Iris Print Recognition (Engineering)
Freshman Division:
  • Jack Agnew, The Effect of Antenna Length on ADS-B Reception (Engineering): Gold Award
  • Nathan Schiffler, The Role of Hemispheric Dominance on the Perception of Optical Illusions (Behavioral and Social Studies), Silver Award
  • Caden Bistrik, The Effectiveness of Headgear in Soccer (Medicine and Health), Bronze Award

Moving on to area-wide competitions

36 students earned the opportunity to compete in the next level of competition at Montgomery County Science Day on Saturday, February 29 at the Dayton Convention Center.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Eight business skills students learn by dreaming up their own business

February 10, 2020
By Chris Ochs
Business and Entrepreneurship
Mr. Chris Ochs, Business Department
Mr. Chris Ochs, Business Department

I have often wondered what it would be like to either own and run my own business (basically be my own boss) or what it would be like to invent and develop something.  This semester, students in the Introduction to Business class are getting the opportunity to do both.  I'm challenging my students to become teen entrepreneurs and develop their own teen-based business.  They have also partnered up in a “Shark Tank” type of competition to come up with an invention with their partner to research, develop, produce, and market.

Students start on their entrepreneurial journey by selecting and planning their own teen-based business.  Once the business is chosen, students combine their entrepreneurship and computer application skills to create a professional, comprehensive business plan and supporting marketing materials that promote their business.  In the end, students will possess the skills and know-how to be the next up-and-coming entrepreneur.

The goal of the simulation is to provide students with hands-on practice in developing the following skills: 

  • Computer applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, digital publishing, presentations, database, and website development (optional) 
  • Decision-making 
  • Creating financial statements 
  • Technical writing 
  • Research 
  • Entrepreneurial skills and concepts 
  • Owning and running a business 
  • Marketing and promotion 

Students will also develop and refine their Shark Tank inventions.  Near the end of the semester, teams will present their inventions to a panel of their peers who will then decide whether they are willing to invest in a particular invention or company while gaining ownership of a certain percentage of the company.  These skills and experiences will lead our students to become the best future entrepreneurs that they can be!


Image courtesy Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Reflections on our Catholic faith

February 04, 2020
By Carroll High School Campus Ministry
Catholic Faith and Jesus' Cross

Martha Saurine, Campus Ministry Director and Worship Coordinator:

Campus Ministry Director Martha SaurineIn light of so many challenges the Church is facing in recent years, we thought it would be nice to focus on the gratitude we feel for being Catholic.  The Catholic Church has an amazing grasp on the beauty about what it means to be human.

The Church offers us the gifts of the sacraments, the liturgy, masterpieces of art, sacred music, thousands of years’ worth of stories of those have gone before us in holiness, its stand on the dignity of life and work for justice.  One of the most beautiful things about being Catholic is encouraging the use of our intellect and conscience.  A professor explained it as we are not called to “check our brains at the church doors,” but to use the gifts that God has given to pursue truth.  

Melissa (Balsom) Fisher '83, Service Coordinator

Melissa (Balsom) Fisher '83The reason I am grateful for being Catholic is the nourishment I find in the Eucharist.  During the consecration, there is a peacefulness that happens; knowing that God will help to take care of things.  The Eucharist, with the community and reflections on the scripture, energizes us to live the life that God is asking.  The Eucharist reminds us of the sacrifice that Jesus lived and died for all.

The Catholic faith guides and challenges us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, and Pope Francis is an inspiration of that mission.  One thing I'll always remember about traveling to see him in Philadelphia is 2015 is how many people who were filled with such joy in celebrating their faith.  One quote of his that is a favorite of mine is, “Jesus is our hope. Nothing—not even evil or death—is able to separate us from the saving power of his love.”

Jim Murray, Retreats Coordinator

Jim MurrayOne particular aspect of my Catholic faith that I treasure is the Community of Saints.  How wonderful it is that we celebrate the memories and models of our ancestors in faith and have their examples to follow; whether it be canonized saints or our very own loved ones.  This enables us to more fully grasp and encounter the broader Church and the connection to Christians across time and place.  We are able to see the activity of Christ’s presence in one another; to see and be a part of the living church.

It also boldly lays before us the responsibility to consider who God calls us to be in our present time and place.  It can be daunting to consider, but we have hope and support in those who have shown us the way.  As St. Oscar Romero says, "Beautiful is the moment in which we understand that we are no more than an instrument of God.”

Posted in Voices of Learning

Top Ten Reasons to Study Shakespeare in 2020

January 23, 2020
By Ann (Calderone) Bertke '88, English Department Chair

UNIVERSAL THEMES His plays introduce issues of love, anger, contempt, fear, courage, innocence, vulnerability, honor, and so much more. 

THE BIG QUESTIONS All humans face questions of morality, wealth, life and death, love, and friendship. 

THE ACTOR IS THE WRITER He wrote plays from the perspective of a professional actor and acting company making them extraordinarily rewarding to both read in a classroom setting and act on a stage. 

THE WORDS HAVE RHYTHM While his language can be difficult to decipher, it is unique and eloquent with meter and a lyric quality. 

WORD INVENTION He invented hundreds of words, like swagger, bandit, and dauntless, influencing our language today.

CRITICAL THINKING Shakespeare’s wording and language can be analyzed and the meaning can be taken in so many different ways depending on the reader and the emphasis.

DISCOVERY At each reading, one can find something different in his plays and poems.

ACCOMPLISHMENT The feeling that students have when they master a Shakespearean play is unique. Students at any level realize the true potential they have for literature when they invest in reading Shakespeare.

A FIRST LOOK AT THEATER His plays are often the first experience students have with theater in the classroom, and it inspires students to be actors and performers. 

INSPIRATION THROUGH THE AGES Film writers constantly look to Shakespeare’s plots and characters for inspiration-- The Forbidden Planet, Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You, Kiss Me Kate, O, and West Side Story just to name a few.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Fueling the creative spirit

January 12, 2020
By Renee Merland, Visual Art Department Chair

In Carroll High School’s Visual Art Department, we believe every student is an artist and find joy by helping our students unleash their creative spirit. Carroll’s Visual Art program is designed to fulfill all the needs and interests of our young artists by offering an array of art courses that range from Ceramics, Digital Photography, and Online Art Appreciation to Creative Drawing and Design, Studio Art, and Advanced Placement Art. No matter a student's ability level, there is an art class to enjoy.


Carroll's Core Art Program

For students who are serious about art education, Carroll offers an outstanding core program that pushes them to their highest potential. In the first part of the program, students spend many hours mastering the technical skills needed within each medium to build a strong foundation to creatively build on later in AP Art. Students learn to work with mediums like charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor, acrylic and oil paint, digital media, and more. The Visual Art department is equipped with 28 new computers with the latest professional art software, including the newest version of Adobe Photoshop. Another wonderful feature for students to enjoy is an actual art studio space where our developing artists can set up a permanent work area with easels to paint or draw from life.

Advanced Placement Art offers students the unique opportunity to choose the direction and content of their artwork based on a cohesive theme called a concentration. Much thought is put into the concentration idea, as it will embody their work through their junior and senior years of AP Art. Students pick a visual idea and medium that they would like to explore and eventually master. This idea becomes a visual language unique to each student, allowing for much creative freedom and personal expression.

Carroll Visual Art students submit their work to a variety of art competitions and have received more than 560 art show placements and wins. The Visual Art program helps students build a strong portfolio of work that can be submitted to colleges for scholarships, as well as to the AP College Board for college credit.  

Carroll is the only Catholic high school in the area that offers National Art Honor Society.  NAHS sponsors art contests within the school, invites guest artists to speak at meetings, and donates holiday themed art projects and art supplies to the homeless shelters and youth centers. The organization provides students with a community of artists that can share their artistic gifts and ideas with the public, thus bringing even more value to art in education.


The Art Experts

Two full time-time teachers (who also happen to be husband and wife) make up Carroll's Visual Art faculty: Mrs. Renee Merland, a master level teacher with 18 years of art teaching experience, and Mr. Merland, with 3 years of art teaching experience as well as 10 years of professional experience in the field of art. Both teachers are practicing artists that commission their work to the public. You can check out Mrs. Merland’s website of artwork at


Reaping the Benefits of Visual Art Education at Carroll

It is our mission to provide students every opportunity to succeed and grow as artists. Our hope is that every student who takes a Visual Art class at Carroll develops a love and appreciation for art and discovers an artistic side they may have never known they had.  Opportunities like AP art credit, NAHS, portfolio development, college art scholarships, mastering a wide range of materials and techniques, personal expression, art competitions, using the latest art software and technology, studio space, and teachers that love and live what they teach are the many benefits of an art education at Carroll.

Additionally, seniors in AP Art are given the opportunity to showcase their work in a culminating senior art show. This is an event that gives each artist a well-deserved moment to shine and share their visual ideas with the public. Art comes from a very profound place within us and takes courage to share. When students see their friends, family, and even strangers support this event, there is a heartwarming moment within the student (and teacher) that radiates pride and achievement.  In 2020, we hope that you can share this moment with us on April 16th at the Dayton Metro Library Wilmington-Stroop Branch in Kettering from 6:30-8:00 p.m. We will celebrate our senior artists and their artwork with refreshments, music, and fun!


Posted in Voices of Learning

Four life skills students learn in family and consumer science

December 13, 2019
By Kiersten Fenske, Family & Consumer Sciences Department Chair

One question people always ask me is, “What is Family and Consumer Science?”  The easy way to explain it is to say we are Home Economics, but we are really so much more!  Home Economics changed to Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) in 1994.  Traditionally, the focus was on everyday living skills to apply in the home, but we have evolved to include training for careers in related fields along with leadership development and employability.   According to the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), “Family and consumer sciences studies the relationship between individuals, families, and communities and the environment in which they live. It applies math, science, and communication skills to everyday living.  Our emphasis is on relevant issues to today’s individuals and families and critical skills for successful living and working in the 21st century global society.”   At Carroll High School, we teach these skills in our many elective classes, Chef’s World, Creative Baking, Global Gourmet, Interior Design, Fashion Design, Child Development, and Independent Living.


The foundations of healthy cooking

Students prepare fried rice in Chef's World.

Chef’s World is our introductory cooking class where students learn the basics of cooking.   They learn about safety and sanitation, proper measuring techniques, safe knife handling, and the basics of nutrition.  Students apply these skills learned by preparing healthy and nutritious meals. Some of the favorite recipes in this class are the fruit salsa, fried rice, and minestrone soup. After students complete Chef’s World, they have the option to take our other two advanced cooking classes, Creative Baking and Global Gourmet, to enhance their culinary skills.





Learning by design

A student's presentation of Italian ladies' fashions 

We also offer Interior Design and Fashion Design. In these classes, students learn to apply the elements and principles of design throughout a variety of project-based assignments. The final projects in both classes allow students to apply knowledge learned and express creativity by designing their dream home in Interior Design and a collection of clothes in Fashion Design.


Raising a child in today's world

Ready-or-Not Tot

Child Development starts by learning about the child development theorists and how their theories influenced what we know today. We then discuss pregnancy and birth along with the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development happening to a baby in its first year of life. This class has many aides that provide students a hands on approach to their learning. We have realistic models depicting the actual size and developmental stages of the fetus, the Empathy Belly that students wear to understand what it feels like to be pregnant, and the Ready-or-Not Tots that simulate an infant’s varying needs to which the students must attend.




Hands-on training for life as an adult

Independent Living is a class just for juniors and seniors that prepares them for life outside of high school. We cover many different topics like searching for a job, writing a resume, interviewing for a job, and budgeting. This class meets the financial literacy requirement for graduation.

All of these classes are so important because they can spark a student’s interest in one of the many careers in the Family and Consumer Sciences field and provide the students with knowledge that they will use for a lifetime.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Preparing for the Advent season

December 02, 2019
By Tim Wiedenmann, Theology Department

If you are anything like me, the holiday season is a bit overwhelming. I love seeing all of my family and friends, and the food and sweets are an added bonus, but all the commotion and the price tags that come with it can turn me into a bit of grinch sometimes. I can sometimes catch myself thinking, “Can we just fast forward to New Year's Day and skip all of this hustle and bustle?”  It’s at these moments when I really appreciate the spirit of Advent.

Advent is all about preparation that allows us to reorient and focus on what the holidays are all about: Christ’s coming and Second Coming! 

This reorientation and focus allows me to put all of the stress of the holidays into its proper perspective and provides me with a bit of grounding that allows me to enjoy the season instead of just getting through the season. This year, my Advent companions are the three Magi, and hopefully, two of the tips they provide can help you and me appreciate this time of preparation.


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


Follow the Signs

The Magi were wise men who journeyed from their far-off homes in the East to pay their respects to a soon to be born king.  Unlike now, they didn’t have Google Maps to help them along the way, but they did have a few things. They had the knowledge of the Scriptures that provided a general location of their destination and a Star that guided them to their destination.

It must have seemed daunting to set out on such a journey across mountains, rivers, and deserts with the little information that they had, but courageously, they set out nonetheless. Life can present us with similar circumstances. Sometimes we may know where we want to go, but we may not know how we are going to get there. It’s times like this where I look for the signs God is sending me.

For some, that destination may be trying to find the peace of Christ when the demands of the holidays and the stress that comes with them threaten to rob you of the joy of the season. For others, the destination may be finding ways to share the joy of the season with others around you. Some of you may be in the same boat as me, trying to find the joy of the season in the absence of a loved one who is no longer with us to celebrate.

One of the cool things about the human brain is that it scans the world around us for patterns, and once it recognizes the patterns, it actively searches to discover more and more connections for those patterns. Like the Magi, we can discover the signs in our life of God’s presence and guidance that allow us to truly participate in the hope of Christ’s coming. One way that I’m more actively search these signs is to be more attentive to things that I am thankful for. That’s why this Advent, I am going to look for one or two things from each day that I am thankful for that I can offer up to God in prayer. Hopefully, the more I practice looking for those things to be thankful for, I’ll be more focused on the positive things of this holiday season. 


Meaningful Gifts 

The Magi didn’t leave their homes empty-handed. They brought with them gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were not merely material but also symbolized the mission of Christ for the world and our lives. The gold testified to Christ’s kingship, the frankincense indicated Christ’s role as the high priest, and the myrrh prophesied Christ’s dying and rising. These gifts should inspire us to be more present, pun intended, this holiday season.

I know that for myself, I am tempted to think more about the things that go into an event than actually experiencing the event.  Sometimes, I become too distracted by what needs to be done that I’m too exhausted to enjoy myself when the event finally arrives. It’s times like this that I remind myself that Christ’s name of Immanuel means “God with us”, and one way where I make more room at the inn for Christ this season is by spending more time with him. One way I can spend more time with him is by meeting Christ in the sacraments such as reconciliation and the mass. Another way I can spend more time with Christ is by recognizing Christ in other people. I’m hoping to accomplish this recognition of encountering Christ in others by reminding myself that the people I encounter or will be encountering are the focus of the season rather than the food, presents, or decorations that are the symbols of the season.


Advent wreath in the Carroll High School Main Lobby


Posted in Voices of Learning

Designing a successful and entertaining marching band show- it's a "Joyride"!

November 14, 2019
By Carl Soucek, Director of Bands


The Carroll High School Marching Patriots perform their 2019 competition show "JoyRide" during the preliminary round of the 2019 Mid States Band Association AAA Championships.  The piece features many familiar melodies -- how many can you name?

Many high school music programs purchase pre-packaged shows for their marching bands. There is usually only one pro to this: It’s less expensive than a custom design.  At Carroll, we design the marching band show uniquely to maximize its effectiveness and its educational value to the students. By writing the music myself, I can cater to the specific strengths of each student. Also, it’s rewarding to hear our awesome band members make my compositions come alive as we move through the season.

The design team consists of:

  • A music composer
  • A drill writer who writes the movements of the members that you see on the field
  • A visual designer who creates the shows imagery, including color guard uniforms, flags, and physical set design
  • An electronics sound designer who adds supplemental aural layers that add to the acoustic sounds of the band
  • A collaborative staff (Mr. Carl Soucek, Mr. Aaron West '07, and guard director, Ja’Malh Wallace) that work for months to produce the show to its peak effectiveness.

At Carroll, the design process is ongoing throughout the year.  We are already thinking about our potential show ideas for next year, though the current season is still active.  The staff meets regularly to brainstorm ideas that we would like to portray. Some years, ideas stem from a visual concept (like our 2016 show “Connect”, which used many LEDs). Other years, we might want to focus on a specific emotion or physical trait. It all depends on what comes to the table during our design meetings.

At Carroll, we design the marching band show uniquely to maximize its effectiveness and its educational value to the students.


Once we have an idea that we think will be exciting to explore, we develop a storyline for the show.  Here’s an example, using this year’s show, JoyRide:

  • Movement 1 portrays an excited person riding a roller coaster, and you can hear hints of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” weaved through the original music.
  • Movement 2 is all about a bike ride, featuring snippets of “Bicycle” by Queen
  • Movement 3 is about flying and soaring, featuring Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
  • Movement 4 portrays a race car. Music hints at “Mario Kart” and other driving related songs. e culminate in a full-fledged “Ode to Joy” moment at the end.

We string the four movements together in a seamless production with exciting music and lots of coordination in the marching band and color guard.

When I write the music, I take many factors into consideration.  Will the music be exciting to the audience?  Is there a variety of styles and textures?  Are the students challenged, but able to perform at a high degree of excellence?  What will excite the audience (and judges) every 30-40 seconds during our show?  Will it be fun for the staff and students to put together?  As the season progresses, the staff continuously meets to find ways to enhance the music and drill. By the time we reach our last few performances, it’s all about the students’ emotional investment in the show!

Posted in Voices of Learning

Creating good, civic-minded citizens at Carroll High School

November 05, 2019
By Carroll High School


One of the goals of the Social Studies Department is to help foster a sense of community in our students. Being civic-minded means being concerned with your community, whether at the local, state, national or international level. We accomplish this in a wide variety of ways.


In the classroom:

Freshmen year students are required to take Global Studies. This class focuses on World History from the 1500s up to modern times and introduces students to the birth of modern democracy during the Enlightenment all the way through World War II and up to modern times. Students are given ample opportunity to learn about other countries in the world and to compare them to our own.

World history comes to life at during a demonstration for visitors from Dayton area middle school students.


During their sophomore year, students take U.S. History and explore in-depth the development of our country. They are able to build on lessons learned during their freshmen year and become more aware of the geographical and political developments in the United States.

Junior students take Politics and Government. Again, they take previously-learned concepts and add to them to better understand our political system, like the United States tax code, as being taught by Erik Ramsey in the image above.  By the end of this year, they are well-equipped to begin to form their own political opinions as conscientious, informed voters for the future.

We also offer a wide array of electives in our department including Current Events, Introduction to Economics, Sociology, Psychology as well as AP Psychology, AP Macroeconomics and (starting in the 2020-21 academic year) AP Human Geography. All together, the Social Studies Department will have 5 Advanced Placement class offerings.  

Outside of the classroom:

Students at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

We have a great Youth in Government tradition at Carroll. We have participated in numerous events for about the last 20 years. Also, we are excited to start a debate club this year. We have also had a strong presence in Carroll’s International Club. Finally, we have also taken several international trips to bolster our commitment to learning more about the World. These trips include a Costa Rica summit on environmental sustainability and a European trip to London, Paris, and Normandy!

Posted in Voices of Learning

Five business skills teens learn by working during high school

September 26, 2019
By Linda Edwards, Business Department Chair

When I was 16, I got my first job at McDonald’s. I think I learned more at that job than I have at any other.

Getting a part-time job was the first unit we studied this year in Personal Finance. Memories of that first job cooking French fries and sweeping the lobby came flooding back to me when my students talked about their summer jobs. Funny thing, even though it was 40 years ago for me, we all learned the same lessons. My students shared with us in class that they learned:

  • Time management skills
  • Responsibility
  • Customer service
  • Value of money
  • Listening and following directions

These life-long skills will serve them well as employees in any career field. The work ethics built today in the few hours a week stocking shelves or watching kids swim, earning minimum wage and juggling homework and fun with work schedules, are the foundation for their future career success.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Meet the Intervention Specialists

September 24, 2019
By Carroll Intervention Specialists

Welcome to the Intervention Department!  Here is a brief introduction to ourselves and what kind of services we proudly offer students at Carroll High School.

Allison Cleaver recently moved back to the Dayton area to be closer to her family, after teaching in Cincinnati for 3 years. She is currently the freshmen class moderator and a proud member of the Trinity House. She continues to be proud of her students every day and is grateful to be a part of the Carroll community

Ben Swick is in his second year teaching at Carroll. He’s a recent grad of the University of Dayton and an assistant coach for the women’s soccer program here at Carroll. His favorite part about working in the mod is the air conditioning. His second favorite part is working with students who have such a diverse range of needs. 

Stephanie (Pugar) Sagasser '08 is in her first year coming back home to Carroll after working as an Intervention Specialist at Bishop Leibold School for 7 years. Her favorite part about working as an intervention specialist at Carroll is getting to know her amazingly talented students and celebrating their daily successes.

Elizabeth (Liz) Terry is in her 14th year at Carroll. She is a proud member of Mercy House, the Youth in Government club advisor, and certified in Social Studies.  Liz is also a Resident Educator, helping to train new teachers. She loves to see the “lightbulb” come on, especially for those sometimes referred to as “underdogs.”

The intervention team’s overall mission is to provide all students with varying strengths and abilities the opportunity to thrive and reach their fullest potential as a member of the Carroll community. 

What exactly does an Intervention Specialist do?

We get asked this a lot, and are always happy to explain and answer any questions!  In short, we work together as an intervention team to meet the diverse needs of students with special educational needs. This includes planning, designing, and implementing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that are tailored toward creating goals that incorporate each student’s unique strengths, challenges, interests, and needs in order to help them achieve his or her greatest potential. 

Why choose Carroll for a student with special needs?

Over the years, Carroll’s Intervention Department has expanded and grown, constantly seeking ways to better support our students in all aspects of their lives. We work tirelessly to provide support for our students, including individualized, small group instruction in specific subjects, support and modeling in how to prepare for tests and assessments, and co-teaching in all four core subject areas. Our end goal is to provide the student with the tools needed to graduate and successfully attend college or the training of their choice. Additionally, Carroll High School is a Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship provider, which allows for students with special needs to receive scholarship funds for their education and specially designed instruction and related services.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Meet the Carroll Guidance Department

September 19, 2019
By Guidance Department

Greetings from the Guidance Department!

This is a year of change for us in two ways. Mrs. Lane retired after wholeheartedly serving 41 years at Carroll High School. She will be missed, but we are excited to welcome a new counselor and shake up the department. We have moved to 9th through 12th grade counseling. Now, instead of students changing counselors halfway through high school, they will have the same counselor for all four years. We look forward to the continuity this positive change will bring for our students.



Courtney (Limbert) Graham '97

I am the guidance counselor for students whose last names begin with letters A through G. I am starting my eighth year at Carroll and worked for three years prior as a counselor at Alter High School (It took me three years to come to my senses -- wink-wink!). In addition to my role as counselor, I am also a Dean of St. Mary’s House (Ave!) and the moderator of Harry Potter Club (where all muggles are welcome). I enjoy so many aspects of being a counselor, from aiding students in their college and career process to keeping track of graduation credit checks to offering a safe space when students are having a rough day.





Chris Pennington

I am the Director of Guidance as well as counselor for all students whose last names begin with letters P through Z. I have been a counselor for the past thirteen years with eight of them being at Carroll. My daughter is a current sophomore in college, so I have recent experience in the college process personally. The most enjoyable part of my job is working with students and families as they maneuver through the college process.






Jennifer Urbaniak

I am the guidance counselor for students whose last names begin with letters H to O. This is my first year at Carroll, and I could not imagine beginning my career as a counselor anywhere else. Prior to coming to Carroll, I served as a long-term sub for a counselor at Milford High School. I am very eager to meet all of my students, and I look forward to seeing all of the amazing things they will accomplish during their time at Carroll. My door is always open, and I encourage anyone to stop by if they need anything at all, or even just to say hello.






Bev (Amatulli) Lightner '73

I am the administrative assistant in the Guidance Department, also known as "Aunt Bev" in my Baltimore Family Room. I have worked in the Guidance Department for 17 years. The most enjoyable and rewarding part of my job is interacting with the students and watching them grow in to young adults. The 17 years I have worked in the Guidance Department has been a rewarding and sometimes challenging adventure.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Four reasons to study a World Language

September 17, 2019
By World Languages Department

Market yourself to the world

You will deepen your understanding of other cultures thus making you more marketable in the job market. Employers are seeking candidates who can help their company compete globally. The number of jobs in the last five years requiring a second language has doubled.

Keep your mind sharp

Studying a World Language improves memory, problem solving, and critical thinking skills and the ability to multitask.

Prepare for college

Studying a World Language gives students opportunities to earn college credits through our very successful AP language program.  Studies have also shown that being bilingual improves your cognitive skills unrelated to language and can even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Broaden your horizons

You will gain a deeper appreciation of art, literature, music and film in the original language.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Three new ways Carroll is looking out for students' mental health

September 10, 2019
By Greg Derus, Director of Student Affairs

In conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Carroll High School is spending the year researching, training, and presenting on issues related to greater awareness of mental health issues among teens. The AFSP is a national organization that provides sound, research-based programming on the prevention of suicide, as well as tools for greater awareness regarding issues of mental health. 

Faculty and Student Training

During an upcoming meeting with the Director of the AFSP, the faculty and staff learn how to identify signs of mental health distress in students and refer them for help. According to the AFSP's website, the program complies with the requirements for teacher education suicide prevention training in many states.”  Once the faculty and staff have those concrete tools, the students will go through training on how to recognize signs and symptoms of depression, understand the stigma of depression, and how to find help for themselves and others.  

ASIST Program

Soon after the student programming, a group of volunteer faculty and staff members will go through an intensive training over two days with other educators in the greater Dayton area called the ASIST program (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).  ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Since its development in 1983, ASIST has received regular updates to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice, and more than 1 million people have taken the workshop.

Preparing the Class of 2020 for success

In the Spring, we hope to bring the AFSP in for the graduating seniors to present the program “It’s Real”. This program provides information on mental health issues for students in college and prepares our seniors for the next steps in their lives after Carroll.  

What are the resources for parents?

I’m glad you asked. One resource is checking out these quick videos from the AFSP.  When you visit the site, click on Children and Adolescents for quick research based information on mental health. Spend some time researching, exploring, and talking about these issues with your son or daughter. The more we speak about the topic, the better we can desensitize the stigma of depression and mental health issues with teens, which can begin breaking down barriers.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Eight books we love to teach

August 29, 2019
By English Department

Carroll English Department with their favorite novels


Ann (Calderone) Bertke ‘88 

I’m starting my 28th year as a teacher at Carroll (the first 20 in the math department). Currently, I am the English Department Chair and testing coordinator, and I teach English IV, Theater Arts, and Public Speaking. One of my favorite quotes is from Man’s Search for Meaning: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Mary Kate Caserta 

I teach Introduction to Literature and English II. My favorite author to teach is Shakespeare because as soon as I say his name, the students groan, but reinventing Shakespeare for freshmen and sophomores and discussing the themes that apply to their own lives is always rewarding. My students laugh when Capulet calls Tybalt a “saucy boy” in Romeo and Juliet

Lindsay Herrmann 

I teach Honors English I and II. Teaching writing, especially in ways that are creative, and having students rediscover reading and writing for pleasure are two of my favorite things. A quote from my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, is “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

Marcy (Hemmert) Hughes ‘83 

I teach Honors Composition and Literature College Credit Plus and Theatre Arts I and II . Many students do not know the impact their words can have on others. Students find their voices enriched by the literature we breathe at Carroll. We connect with written memories. Daphne du Mauier writes in Rebecca, “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” With these words, we connect.

Ben Joplin

I teach Reading Lab, Experiences in Literature, English III, and Public Speaking. I absolutely love Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Our students are fortunate enough to have an entire English Department that cares deeply about not only their academic successes but their development as bright and caring individuals. Steinbeck writes "I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."

Claire O’Malley 

I teach AP Literature, AP Language, and English Honors III. I teach Pride and Prejudice in my AP Literature class, and it is such a wonderful experience to be able to share the beauty of that novel with my students. The thing I love most about Austen is that she makes you laugh and causes your heart to beat a little faster at any mention of Mr. Darcy, but her novels are much more philosophically and historically thought-provoking if you give it time and really pay attention.”

Molly Stanifer 

I teach Classic Literature and Writing and co-teach English I. One of my favorite authors and poets to discuss is Maya Angelou. Her ideas of self-love and respecting others is a universal voice that our students echo. A favorite Angelou quote is, ”‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Ben Swick 

I am an Intervention Specialist and co-teach English I. My favorite book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  Wonder teaches valuable lessons about friendship, courage, character, and kindness. It is through this book where I learned that differences among people should be celebrated and looked at in a positive light. My favorite quote from the book is, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”

Posted in Voices of Learning

Two Basic Woodworking Projects and Two New Pieces of Equipment in the Woodshop

August 22, 2019
By Mike Lakin (Industrial Arts Chair)
Mike Lakin

I am Mike Lakin Industrial Technology Department Chair at Carroll High School. I am starting my thirty-first year of teaching and could not be more thankful to have taught at Carroll, and most importantly, be more blessed to have taught so many wonderful students. 

The two projects you see are the shelf from Woodworking I and the stool from Woodworking II, the first projects students will build this semester. The shelf project introduces students to basic woodworking techniques like measuring and cutting and equipment like the radial arm saw, joiner, table saw, miter saw, router, drill press, band saw, planer, nail gun, biscuit joiner, and drills. They will also learn all of the procedures for assembly and finishing in order to take the project from concept to completion.  The stool project helps students refine their skills and abilities with all of the equipment.


Through generous donations, we have been able to purchase two Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines for the woodshop this year, which give the students the ability to cut out more than 5,000 designs. The students employ many cross-curriculum skills from computer science and engineering to use the CNC machines.


The skills that students learn in woodshop are extremely important for several reasons. First, they will learn and improve these skills for many uses throughout their lives, especially as future homeowners. These classes also prepare students who are considering a career in the trades. As most people know, these fields are in desperate need of people, and most skilled trades pay well into the six figures. Whatever my students choose to do in the future, I know they will retain many of the lessons they have learned in woodworking.

Thanks, and I hope you have enjoyed my first ever blog.

Posted in Voices of Learning

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