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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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