Join us for High School Open House

HS Open House 2On Sunday, November 19, Chaminade College Preparatory welcomes families to Open House. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about our high school program, which combines a rigorous academic curriculum with robust course offerings and extra-curricular activities. Open House will be held at our West Hills campus from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During Open House you can:

  • Take a campus tour and see our facilities
  • Talk to faculty, students, and current parents
  • Learn about our one-to-one tablet technology
  • Visit academic departments and learn more about our innovative learning program
  • Explore our arts and athletics programs
  • Talk to our admissions team and administration

Don’t miss a special performance of Macbeth by William Shakespeare in the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts. Families are invited to drop in anytime during Open house and stay for a Q& A after the performance.

If you can’t make it to Open House, please call 818-347-8300 to schedule a tour or visit our website.

AP Capstone Students Participate in Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility

By Lee Ann Metivier
Director of Development,
Leadership Giving and Special Initiatives

There was a time, shortly after college when I wished I could be a professional student. The idea of being able to sit in a classroom, read, and discuss ideas and opinions on a daily basis sounded much more appealing than getting up five days a week to commute back and forth between home and the office. Then the steady paychecks came, my quality of life improved, and I forgot my professional student aspirations.

Until I sat in on the AP Capstone Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility.

AP Capstone is a program new to Chaminade, and it was created by the College Board in response to feedback from colleges and universities seeking students passionate about learning, who think both collaboratively and independently, and who are effective communicators. On paper, it sounds like a new way for high school students to expand their academic experience, and start learning at the college-level. In person, at Chaminade, it is exactly as described. AP Capstone is Chaminade living its promise to educate for adaptation and change.

The forum, held in the Media Center of the Condon Center, gathered all 60 AP Capstone students for a day of higher learning. Dressed in business attire instead of their usual uniforms, the students heard from four panelists who work in four different career fields.

Sean Walsh ’81, a principal at Wilson Walsh George Ross, provided a perspective on corporate social responsibility (CSR) from both the private and government sectors. While Todd Stevens P ’19, chief executive officer and president of California Resources Corporation shared insight from the energy sector. A food industry and non-profit viewpoint was provided by Robert Egger of the LA. Kitchen and CForward. The group was rounded out by Jit Bhattacharya ’96, chief technology officer at Fenix International, who comes from the social enterprise world.

Pictured left to right: Todd Stevens P ’19, Robert Egger, Jit Bhattacharya ’96, and Sean Walsh ’81

Vice Principal, Jennifer Poole, moderated the forum, and asked each panelist to answer:

  • How does your company define CSR?
  • How should companies behave in terms of social responsibility?
  • Do companies have a responsibility to the community, their employees, the environment, or their consumers? What are the limits on these responsibilities?
  • Should corporations have political influence?
  • What is the role of government?

After the moderated portion of the forum, students were invited to ask questions of their own. Each student who stood up in front of their peers asked thoughtful questions, which demonstrated their clear interest in the day’s topics and issues at hand. Panelists were asked questions ranging from, “In order to keep prices so low [for solar power systems] what do you do about labor costs?” to “What should I do to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow?” to “What sort of push back do you get on communities intent on preserving traditional ways of life?”

The time passed quickly, and the forum ended before everyone’s questions could be answered. However, students had the opportunity to eat lunch with the panelists and ask more questions on an individual level. In addition, later in October, AP Capstone students will go on a field trip to the L.A. Kitchen and see social responsibility in action.

The forum is just the beginning for AP Capstone students, who are in the seminar portion of the program. They are learning to investigate real-world issues, to work independently and with a team to research a topic selected by their teacher, and develop a written report after information analysis and making evidence-based arguments. Next year, they will take on the research half of the two-year program to address a real-world topic of their choice. Their research practices and writing skills will be put to the test, and ultimately each student will present and orally defend their findings and methodology.

Chaminade Film Wins “Best Editing” at Calabasas Film Festival

Filmmakers Aidan Hall ’19, Matthew Stewart ’19, and Robert Shainsky ’19 took home the prize for “Best Editing” in the category of Student Film at the 4th annual Calabasas Film Festival. The award was one of only five prizes given for exceptional achievement in student filmmaking. They produced their short film “iSolation” in their Film II last year.

The film “iSolation” was produced by Stewart, written and filmed by Hall, and edited by Shainsky, with additional editing by Hall and Stewart. The film stars Jater Webb (’20) and Natalie Rowland (’17) and can be seen on the Chaminade Film Program YouTube Channel at: https://youtu.be/Z0TTnPKJTuc

Overall, four films created by Chaminade students were selected for the student film program in the festival and were screened for an audience in the Calabasas Hall on Sunday, September 17th. To be eligible for the student category, students must be currently enrolled in one of these schools: Chaminade, Viewpoint, Calabasas High School, Agoura High, Louisville, Oaks Christian, and El Camino. The four films selected from the Chaminade entries represented the work of Andy Dyer ’18, Carter Williams ’18, Mike Mariano ’18, Louis Gerny ’18, Justin Thomas ’18, Luke Macias ’18, and Tony Restivo ’18.

The Calabasas Film Festival ran for five days, beginning on Wednesday evening, September 13 and continuing through the weekend. More information on the festival can be found at: http://www.calabasasfilmfestival.com/

Chaminade’s Ronak Earns National Ranking in Lincoln-Douglas Debate

By: Bobby Lebeda, CSDS Head Coach

Chaminade_C _C-NotesLincoln-Douglas debate competitions pit one debater against another, and in the recent Loyola High School Invitational, Chaminade Speech and Debate Society (CSDS) sent two students to compete. While both juniors are primarily Varsity Policy Debate team competitors, Ronak Ahuja made it to the final round, and finished second; while Joey Thornhill was an octo-finalist.

Ahuja’s finish secured him a new national ranking of #14, and earned him a bid to compete at the National Tournament of Champions. He needs one more bid in order to compete nationally.

Premier Debate, a national institute specializing in Lincoln-Douglas Debate said of Ahuja, “But the true Loyola underdog that has everyone talking is Ronak Ahuja (#14 Nationwide)-Chaminade. On his path to the finals, Ronak defeated Emma Blum (#39)-Brentwood, Vishan Chaudhary (#32)-Harvard-Westlake, Rex Evans(#29)-Santa Monica, Alexandra Mork (#19)-Harvard-Westlake, Spencer Paul (#13)-Harvard-Westlake, and a quarterfinals revenge round victory against his only prelim loss Jake Davidson (#17)-Harvard-Westlake. Starting the weekend unranked, Ronak’s new national #14 ranking is well-deserved.”

 

Eagle Engineering Wins $10,000 Team Grant at Pro-Style Video Gaming Tournament

By Tommy Smeltzer
Photos: Cooler Master

Eagle Engineering students turned a casual pastime into $10,000 for their program in July when they won the Overwatch Cooler Master Invitational tournament at the ESports Arena in Santa Ana. This inaugural event featured the popular team-based video game Overwatch, which pits two teams of six different hero characters against each other in a variety of timed challenges. Esports, or electronic sports, is a growing phenomenon around the world with a global audience of over 200 million people. Revenue for professional gaming was estimated at nearly $500 million in 2016.

Cooler Master is a computer hardware company with offices in Chino, and specializes in components for custom-built gaming computers and peripherals. When they learned about the skills and experience gained by robotics students around the world, as well as the fundraising challenges teams face, the company decided to add their support. In getting to know teams it became obvious that there was a lot of crossover between robotics and gaming, so the Cooler Master Invitational was born. Business Development Manager Brandon Kovacic said, “Cooler Master is excited to have an opportunity to bring our passion of esports and technology together with robotics for this event. Giving the teams the ultimate esports experience while benefiting their STEM programs was our goal and with the help of the sponsors we were able to accomplish that.” They teamed up with LA Robotics, a non-profit that facilitates workshops, programs and scholarship programs across Southern California to solicit applications and select 12 teams to compete for a total purse of $40,000 in program grants. The tournament was live-streamed on the popular gaming site Twitch.tv.

The Overwatch teams in the tournament were comprised of students from 2016-2017 season robotics team rosters. Eagle gamers included Captain David Ardy ’17, Nicole Kuberka ’17, Daniel Brown ’19, Aaryan Wadwha ’19, Daniel Bedrossian ’19, and Ethan Mikahel ’19. Jonathan Huang ’19 was alternate. The team did all the work in getting accepted into the 12-team pool, and were guaranteed a minimum of $1,000. Connor Morse ’19 created video content and provided support critical to the team’s acceptance into the tournament.

While the Chaminade teammates knew each other well from robotics, many had never played video games together online, so it took weeks of practice and strategy development to hone themselves into a fine tuned machine in-game. “Two weeks ago, we thought we were going to come in here and get destroyed,” said Ardy. “Our highest individual ranking was mid-diamond, but some other teams in the tournament had top-500 guys. We also didn’t think we’d practiced enough as a team, but as it turned out, we were probably the most practiced team there. All that preparation and teamwork really paid off, but that’s just a normal process for our robotics team I think.”

The two-day tournament held qualifying rounds on the first day and a single-elimination bracket on day two. The Eagle Engineering team suffered their only loss in the second round of the qualifiers, and had to battle their way out of the losers bracket to secure a wildcard spot on day two, guaranteeing a minimum prize of $2,000. After two tough wins in the semifinals against Gryffingear, the finals pitted Eagle Engineering versus Code Orange in a best of five series. The Eagles squeaked out a win in the first round and then dropped the next two, setting up a dramatic showdown over the next two matches. The outcome was uncertain right up to the very last seconds. The crowd at ESports Arena erupted as the final seconds ticked down and the winner was determined in match five.

The money awarded to the team will help with registration costs and an upgrade to the team’s aging pit, the portable shop area they set up at competitions. With expansive program growth over the past several years, the team must raise approximately $20,000 in corporate sponsorships and private contributions each year in addition to their school budget to be competitive in all areas and serve the growing team with plenty of hands-on engineering and programming projects. “This takes a lot of pressure off of our fundraising efforts,” said Team Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer, “but we hope we will be able to enjoy this above and beyond our usual goals. There is a lot we need to do to stay competitive, so this money could do that if we are able to continue to get other gifts coming in.”

The entire broadcast of the tournament is archived on Twitch.tv. Eagle Engineering is a student-centered, competitive robotics program with a focus on a professional team approach to design, engineering, programming and business challenges. For more information on Chaminade Robotics and how you can support the team, please contact Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer.