Health and Safety are Top Priority As Athletes Return to Campus for Summer Workouts.

By Tommy Smeltzer

Chaminade’s student-athletes have never been happier for those hot summer football workouts to be underway. After a lengthy prohibition of any athletic activity on campus, the CIF State office last week released guidelines for restarting athletic activities, and the Chaminade athletics department was ready for the green light. Coaches implemented optional summer training programs that allow students to prepare for the upcoming year of sports while employing all state, county, and local health and safety protocols. Social distancing is easily achieved on the Deep Blue C and on the adjacent baseball field as athletes spread out in smaller groups with plenty of space between them. The program is set up so that students remain with the same cohort in pods of 5-10 students to limit overall exposure. 

As students arrive, they are greeted in their cars to receive temperature checks at the main entrance and must answer screening questions before being allowed on campus. Gone are communal water stations, as students now must bring their own water bottles to practice and must keep any backpacks or equipment separated in an area to the side of the field. Masks are worn during stretching and non-exertion skill drills, but athletes are allowed to work without masks during high exertion drills as long as distances are maintained. Partner stretches, passing, and contact drills are not allowed in Phase I. 

“We are allowed to do about a third of what we would normally do,” said Coach Ed Croson, “But the important thing is that we are able to train individual skills and prepare our players for the rigor and collision that is unique to football, all while learning to comply with the guidelines.” The coach noted that this is a big adjustment for students, so we must reinforce the importance of taking safety protocols seriously, both on and off the field. While it is challenging to change habits, he assures us, “The kids are getting it down.” 

Back on the Deep Blue C, groans of exertion emanate from the drills amid the summer heat. However, it is clear by the smiles and laughter after practice that these students are thrilled to reclaim a piece of life before quarantine and declare, “Eagle football is back!”

A Message from Chaminade Administration

Dear Chaminade Family,

Like you, we have spent considerable time reflecting on the tragedy, uncertainty, and angst that has become our collective and current reality. The senseless killing of George Floyd and the protests that have followed illuminate the deep-seated problems in our country that have understandably evoked pain, fear, and anger, especially amongst people of color and the black community. This comes at a time when our country is already wrestling with a global pandemic which has caused uncertainty for many, including members of our own community.

These recent events highlight the incredible weight and pain of racism that is an enduring reality for many members of our Chaminade family, including students, parents, employees, alumni, and parents of alumni. Sadness does not begin to describe the hurt we feel for you.

In the wake of our celebrations for the Class of 2020, we are especially mindful of the fact that we are sending students into a country that has not healed from the wounds of its past. Both parents and educators pride themselves on having the answers, keeping our children and students safe, and ensuring that they inherit a better world. Yet, we find ourselves in a reality that many of us are ill-equipped to explain to our children and students.

We write to convey a message of hope. And we write to reaffirm Chaminade’s commitment to our core values of inclusion, justice, peace, and service as we work to educate our students, engage our parents, care for our employees, and minister to our alumni and their families.

To our students, employees, and alumni of color, we reach out to reassure you that we are here to listen to and support you. To the parents of our students and alumni of color, we acknowledge the difficulties you face while preparing your children for the world that awaits, while simultaneously enduring these realities yourselves. Please know that the Chaminade family stands with you.

It is our obligation – as community members and as Catholics – to educate ourselves and our students about societal injustice. Faith-filled communities like ours are rooted in a shared respect for the dignity of all people; it is this belief that allows us to stand in solidarity with those who bear the historic and continued burdens of racism and inequality.

As educators, it is our responsibility to continue to educate our young people on the various ways injustice is manifested in our society. With the disproportionate impact of the pandemic and police violence on communities of color now at the forefront of our civil discourse, this role has never been more important.

While collaborating on this message, we received several letters from alumni and word of a petition circulating among members of our community respectfully insisting that Chaminade administration reevaluate curriculum to broaden the discussion of race and inequality. Receipt of these messages has been affirming because it demonstrates that our students and alumni have truly taken the Characteristics of Marianist Education to heart. Thank you for encouraging Chaminade to do better. Please know that you have been heard and work is being done to address your concerns. You may email us at administration@chaminade.org with additional concerns, specific ideas, and proposed solutions.

In the prophetic spirit of Mary, Mother of the Church, the Chaminade family works together as agents of change with the mission of witnessing the message of the Gospel: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9). We continue this work in earnest, and hope to be a positive force for change that will benefit communities today and for generations to come.

If you need support during these difficult times, please email us at administration@chaminade.org. Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate resource, including campus ministry, counseling, or financial aid.

Finally, we offer this prayer of peace, may it inspire God’s protection of all involved in our national discourse, including protesters, community leaders, and first responders.

Father of Peace and Living Breath,
We come to you in hope
Asking for the touch of your healing hand
On our pained city and country
As again we confront the specter of racism and violence.

Give us your wisdom to build communities
Founded on the values of Jesus,
With respect for the life, dignity,
And equality of all people.

With the guidance and outpouring of your Holy Spirit,
Use us as the new peacemakers of our time,
To build a more just and respectful society
That ensures safety and equality for all.

Let us engage in new conversations
Listening with empathy and sensitivity,
Hearing each other’s aspirations
Respecting the voice of the other.

Through our Catholic, Marianist mission
Of service, justice, and peace,
Help us unite as one family
To be a voice for life and human dignity.

We stand in solidarity and pray
For all who feel the burden of inequality,
And for those who face the prospect
Of rebuilding lives and livelihoods.

We ask all this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen. 

Robert S. Webb P’18, P’20
President        

Mary Catherine Campbell P’13, P’15, P’18
Board Chair

Michael Valentine
Middle School Principal                       

Bro. Tom Fahy
High School Principal                          

Luis Guerra
Incoming High School Principal

Project Nade

Family Spirit is more than just a simple slogan. It’s a way of life in our community, and the reason students refer to Chaminade as a “home away from home.” And it’s why high school science teacher Dr. Ryan Casey along with juniors Alex Edwards, Anthony Meguerian, Zach Mullen, Kai Nikchevich, Morgan Robertson, Karan Singhvi, Sean Sullivan, and Jaydon Yoon decided to do something memorable for their senior class.

“We felt that their year coming to a halt was something they did not deserve,” says Anthony Meguerian. “It was necessary for us to do something that would put a smile on their face and let them recollect past happy moments at Chaminade.” They called their endeavor Project Nade.

Their goal, to recreate the entire school, meter by meter, room by room, in the popular video game Minecraft. “This would give the senior class and any Chaminade students a chance to make up for the lost moments this year due to the coronavirus.”

Over the past three weeks, they spent countless hours making sure that every detail possible of the West Hills campus was portrayed in the video game. Using Google Earth images to measure building lengths, and geometry/trigonometry to calculate proper scaling, they built a virtual, three-dimensional campus for the benefit of our seniors. Their creative and innovative solution for giving the graduating Class of 2020 the opportunity to walk through the campus one last time.  

On Sunday, May, 31 at 4:00 pm, the members of Project Nade launch the first-ever Chaminade Minecraft Graduation. It is guaranteed to be a fun virtual celebration for all who want to participate. All you need to do is follow these simple instructions:

  1. Create a Minecraft account at minecraft.net and purchase the game in their store. NOTE: Players with the Bedrock Edition or Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft will be unable to join the server.
  2. Once the game is purchased, download the Minecraft Launcher.
  3. Make sure the version selected is called “Latest Release, 1.15.2”, and press PLAY.
  4. After the game has loaded, click “Multiplayer”, “Add Server”, and type “chaminade.online” into the Server Address box. The Server Name could be whatever the player chooses.
  5. Click “Done”
  6. In the Multiplayer menu, click on the server and press “Join Server”.
  7. Welcome to Virtual Chaminade!

Chaminade Honors 17 Families with The Family of Mary Award

For the past 28 years, during the Baccalaureate Mass, Chaminade has upheld the tradition of presenting a special award to Chaminade families who have made a long-standing commitment by sending three or more children to Chaminade throughout their tenure.

As a Marianist school, Chaminade strives to create a community that is truly a family, consisting of students, parents, faculty, and staff working together in the spirit of cooperation, respect, and honesty. There is no greater trust on the part of parents than to place their children in the hands of our school community.

On May 29, we proudly recognized 17 families with The Family of Mary Award, marking their exceptional involvement at Chaminade. Congratulations to The 2020 Family of Mary Award recipients:

  • Gillian and Jeffrey Albert
    Michael ’13, Christopher ’15, Katie ’16, and Keara ’20
  • Mary and Agustin Avelar
    Armando ’05, Diana ’11, and Adrian ’20
  • Peggy and Arthur Barukh
    Mary ’17, Adam ’19, and Benjamin ’20
  • Ellen and Brent Cheney
    Jack ’17, Jordan ’18, and Mary Brenna ’20
  • Rebecca and Samson Chow
    Candice ’05, Alexander ’06, and Charlotte ’20
  • Cynthia and David Hizami
    Sarah ’16, Julia ’18, and Michael ’20
  • Monica and Eric Larson
    Jack ’15, Madeline ’15, Mary Kathryn ’16, Owen ’19, and Sean ’20
  • Simone Quinto and Mike Lopez
    Derieck ’15, Quinton ’16, and Simone ’20
  • Jeannie and Jason Martin
    Jaron ’13, Jada ’20, and Justyne ’20
  • Isabela and Patrick Millar
    Michael ’11, Nicholas ’13, and Christian ’20
  • Elida and Fariborz Nouri
    Sarah ’15, Daniel ’16, and Nassym ’20
  • Jennifer and Ross Porter
    Austin ’15, Dillon ’17, and Annie ’20
  • Jennifer and Sean Prendergast
    Cade ’17, Connor ’17, and Brett ’20
  • Kerry and Sebastian Rider
    John ’16, Claire ’18, and Emma ’20
  • Rosanne and Ed Sias
    Edward ’15, Gregory ’17, Nicole ’18, and Emily Marie ’20
  • Kelley and Peter Stone
    Cameron ’14, Michaela ’18, and Nicholas ’20
  • Gail and Pablo Vitar
    Emily ’12, Lexi ’16, and Dominic ’20

The Chaminade Film Festival Goes Virtual

On May 15, in the spirit of Adaptation and Change, Chaminade aired its very first virtual Chaminade Film Festival. Although a virtual film festival can never replace the energy and excitement that laughter, cheers, and applauds bring to a live screening, it did allow us to celebrate the work of our talented student filmmakers.  

The 2020 Chaminade Film Festival consisted of 27 films selected for the 2020 Chaminade Film Festival represent sixty students who worked as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, and crew. All 27 films can be viewed on the Chaminade Film YouTube Channel.

Filmmakers and their families were invited to attend a virtual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 16, to recognize the best films in a variety of categories. Awards are an essential part of our celebration, and would not be possible without a panel of industry professionals who serve as judges. This year, we were honored to have Director and Producer Frank Borin, Director Ivanna Borin, Producer Ryland Burn, Director of photography Ava Shorr, and Marketing Executive at Panavision Camera Systems Sean Jenkins. We greatly appreciate the contribution of their time and expertise. 

Mrs. Karen Thumm with Sarah Tang ’20 giving her acceptance speech for the film Enough, which won Best Experimental Film.

Each year one special award is given to a junior(s) who demonstrates outstanding filmmaking skills across various roles (directing, writing, cinematography, editing, etc.) This Year, the Chaminade Filmmaker award goes to Ali Beaudine and Victor Scully.

Congratulations to the 2020 Chaminade Film Festival award winners:

BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM
Enough created by Sarah Tang ’20, Alex Torres ’20, and Luca Beninati ’20 

BEST ANIMATED FILM 
Great Escape created by Parker Bates ’22, Humzah Merchant ’22, and Michael Carpenter ’22 

BEST THRILLER
Sorry created by Amanda Rumack ’22, Peter Michael ’22, Christopher Fase ’22, John Mariano ’22, and Megan McLain ’22

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Love Learn Lead, Chaminade 2019 created by Logan Shroyer ’20 and Sarah Tang ’20, with Charlie Van Der Valk ’21, Evan Rosskopf ’21, Ali Beaudine ’21, Emma Carney ’21, Ella Goldthwait ’21, Kyle Lee ’20, Victor Scully ’21, Alexander Kagan ’20, Todd Crabtree ’21, and Gabby Hensley ’20

BEST COMEDY
Super created by Alex Torres ’20, Evan Rosskopf ’21, and Emma Carney ’21. 

BEST DRAMA
Nobody created by Luca Beninati ’20Bella Spagnoli ’20, and Logan Shroyer ’20

Mrs. Karen Thumm with Logan Shroyer ’20 accepting the Best Drama award for the film Nobody.