Moeller Welcomes New Staff in 2019

Ms. Ernst proudly showing off the formula for density  by Ryan Stacey

Ms. Ernst proudly showing off the formula for density

by Ryan Stacey

Mary Ernst

by Ryan Stacey ‘20

Ms. Mary Ernst has recently been hired as Moeller High School’s newest biology and chemistry teacher.

This will be Ms. Ernst’s first official year teaching biology and chemistry! She attended Ohio Northern University near Lima, Ohio. Her favorite part of chemistry in college was the chem labs, because they challenged her knowledge yet were fun and enjoyable.

Ms. Ernst is a born and raised Cincinnatian that has always preferred Skyline Chili over Goldstar. One childhood meal that Ms. Ernst enjoyed as a child but hates now, is green peas.

She has always been close to Moeller in some way. Ms. Ernst and her younger brother attended All Saints for grade school. She then went on to Ursuline Academy for high school.

Ms. Ernst currently teaches CP1 and CP2 Chemistry to Juniors and CP1 Biology to Freshmen. When asked if our chemistry labs are up to par and she responded saying, “they are and must be because of all the rigorous labs we do in class.”

I also asked Ms. Ernst about her experience so far teaching boys. “I love teaching at an all-boys school, it’s hysterical. I actually have a funny story about this, so my fiancé has top secret security clearance (a permission granted to individuals that allows them access to top secret information) as do his workmates. After a day of school or work when they all get together, neither him nor his colleagues can talk about their business and all they can say is, “I went to work this week.” So, I get to regale all my funny stories to them about you all. Everyone enjoys my stories.”

Here at The Moeller Crusader, we ask the questions on everyone’s mind, so we asked who would win a Faculty Hunger Games.  Ernst commented, “I don’t know much of the staff yet, but I would definitely lose. My choice weapon, would be an invisibility cloak so I could hide from everyone.”

Ms. Ernst is hoping to be able to create a chemistry-themed clubs. The first club would be called ChemNerds, an after-school club that does fun experiments that are safe. The second club she is interested in making is ChemLab assistance, a club for people that are looking to pursue a career in science to give them extra an edge and extra practice.

Overall, it sounds like Ms. Ernst is having a great experience so far here, and we cannot wait to see the great things that she will bring to Moeller.

Mr. Conti reviews material with his class  by Sean Higgins

Mr. Conti reviews material with his class

by Sean Higgins

Brian Conti

by Sean Higgins ‘20

Mr. Brian Conti, a new teacher at Moeller, is an intervention specialist that was hired in the summer of 2019.

Mr. Conti explained was born in Western Pennsylvania, “About 20 minutes from Youngstown.” He is an Intervention Specialist, who assists students with work in every subject from English, science, social studies, and religion. It may seem like an easy job, but specialists must know a lot from each subject. Then they need to be able to know how to help their students and the problems they need help with.

He has been teaching about 16 years, in addition to a few years of counseling. Overall, he has around 18-19 years of education experience under his belt.

Mr. Conti attended both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University for his undergraduate degree. He commented on attending both of Cincinnati’s finest institutions, “It is a long, long story about the undergrad. Pretty windy road, man.” Finally, he attended Northern Kentucky University for grad school.

The past six years before he worked at Moeller, he had worked at LaSalle High School. He stated that he had mixed emotions about Moeller, being that LaSalle is one of Moeller’s rivals, but knew it was an awesome school. He considers Moeller to be the “East-side version of LaSalle.”

Mr. Conti went on record admitting he can’t handle the chili from Skyline or Gold Star. He explained that he doesn’t care for either. However, he likes Montgomery Inn, Graeter’s, and even gave a shout-out to a place called Giovanni’s. Giovanni’s is a small Italian restaurant on the West-side that has the best Italian food he has ever had. “LaRosa’s kind of smells like vomit to me,” Conti expressed.

These next couple questions we wanted to have a bit of fun, so we began discussing more important issues like video games and desert islands.

Stuck on an island, you can take one food, person, and activity, what would you choose? Conti thoughtfully responded, “The person would be my mom, best person I’ve ever met.  One food I would bring would be chocolate granola, and one activity would be some sort of raft building.”

Do you play any video games? “Not as much anymore, but I used to be a Madden freak. When I was young, I used to go to the arcades and bet. Played a small amount of Call of Duty and Battlefield. Now, the past 10 years or so, I just want to go home and sleep or do some work outside.”

If your belly button could be an actual button and do anything you want it to, what would it do? “I think I would make everybody happy with a purpose in their life.”

Mr. James tidying up the Campus Ministry Office  by James George

Mr. James tidying up the Campus Ministry Office

by James George

Sean James

by James George ‘20

Mr. Sean James was hired over the summer and is the new Campus Minister of Service at Moeller High School replacing Mr. Weisenborn, who is now the Director of Admissions.

Although he grew up in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. James graduated from Xavier University in 2018 with a history major, but he has a big background in social services and non-profit work. Just last year he was in Portland Oregon doing work helping the homeless there through the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. His favorite type of service is helping in the homeless community. He explained why he came to Moeller by saying, “For me it was the opportunity to work in Campus Ministry. So now having a chance to be involved with education specifically with my background being in social service and non-profit work, gave me a chance to come here and work with the guys.”

Every grade level has a certain amount of service hours they need to obtain, but Mr. James has a challenge for everyone, “My goal for students is to challenge themselves. Coming to high school you’re going through four years of intense growth, intense learning, and intense development, and that’s in the classroom, that’s on the sports field, but also I want that to be in Campus Ministry.” He explained that this is to help the development of the whole student. “I’m making sure students are challenging themselves to grow, and a lot of that happens through the service opportunities.”

Outside of Moeller and the community service area, Mr. James enjoys getting outside and enjoying nature through hikes. He would much rather be in a forest or in the mountains hiking then be down at the beach.

Since he is new to the school, The Moeller Crusader had interesting questions to ask him like, which Moeller faculty or staff member would win the Hunger Games? He chose Mr. Shannon, so Mr. Shannon, may the odds be ever in your favor. Finally we needed to know what his go to karaoke song was. He said any song by Fall Out Boys, and lucky for us he said he would perform in front of the student body.

Mr. Prugh grading tests in the teacher’s lounge  by Matt Jackson

Mr. Prugh grading tests in the teacher’s lounge

by Matt Jackson

James Prugh

by Parker Allen

Mr. James Prugh has joined the math department for the 2019-20 school year and is looking to make an impact on students.

Mr. Prugh grew up in Dayton, Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati for his undergraduate degree. After his undergraduate degree he went on to get his masters from Xavier University.  As a fan of the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University basketball teams, he was asked which one he liked more he simply said,” I like whatever team is better. But I do like UC a little more.” Over his career as a teacher he has taught for 30 years and taught previously at Indian Hill.

Mr. Prugh has been part of the Moeller family for a while now. His son, JC Prugh graduated in 2018. In addition to JC, he has two daughters.  He’s a true family man. You can see this translate into his teaching because his students see him as someone they can go to for help, and he is well liked as a mentor group teacher.

He is looking to make an impact on students for years to come. Mr. Prugh is liked by the faculty and is seen as a teacher that makes Moeller a better place. His favorite tv show is an American comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm.

When he teaches, he Is very good at what he does. Mr. Prugh knows the material he is covering and explains it very well to help students. He wants his students to succeed he is available for students before school and his door is open for anyone even if they don’t take his class. He sets his class up for the student be successful in learning new concepts by going over things with detail and staying at a topic if students don’t understand.

Mr. Prugh is excited to be a teacher at Moeller High School. He is already making strides in settling in and getting used to an all guy environment. We are happy he is a teacher here at Moeller and can’t wait to see him progress for years to come.

Mrs. DeMaria at the board  by Drew Macciocchi

Mrs. DeMaria at the board

by Drew Macciocchi

Lindy DeMaria

by Drew Macciocchi

Mrs. Lindy DeMaria is the newest member of Moeller’s distinguished English department.  This year, she will be teaching one freshman English class, and three junior classes.

Mrs. DeMaria grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. During her elementary school years, she moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee but eventually moved back to Cincinnati and attended Turpin High School.

Mrs. DeMaria has one sibling, and she also has two kids of her own. She has 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. After Turpin, she went on to attend four different colleges. She started out at South Carolina where she studied Marine Biology. Obviously Marine Biology is not the usual route to become an English teacher. Mrs. DeMaria said, “I had this awesome English teacher senior year of high school, and I was starting to think that that was a better career path for me.”

She then went on to attend Bowling Green State to pursue becoming an English teacher. She received her first master’s degree at Northern Kentucky in school counseling. She then finished things up at Xavier University where she did a reading endorsement.

Clearly all the work in college paid off as she is now beginning her 18th year of teaching. She most recently worked at Milford High School where she also taught English and was the boys JV tennis coach. Mrs. DeMaria is interested in coaching again in the future and is interested in some of the clubs here at Moeller.

Mrs. DeMaria is very excited about being a mentor teacher she said, “this is an awesome concept, because I think kids in general need a mental break during the day and I like the opportunity of just being able to hangout.” When asked about how different it is teaching all boys she stated, “kids will be kids. So it’s not much different. And lots of my classes I taught at Milford were male driven.”

When asked about her new colleagues, she said, “everyone has been extremely helpful, friendly, and supportive but Mr. Eble has been especially helpful.”

Mrs. DeMaria’s students and mentor group have already been singing her praises, saying that she runs a laid back and welcoming classroom.  This clearly fits right in with the artists she listed as her favorite musicians, Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens.

Mr. Schmitt shining in his new role  by Austin Strickland

Mr. Schmitt shining in his new role

by Austin Strickland

Eric Schmitt

by Austin Strickland

Entering his 8th year of teaching, and coming most recently out of Villa Madonna Academy, is Mr. Eric Schmitt: A US Government teacher and a Moeller graduate of 2007. Joining the history department at Moeller, Mr. Schmitt will be taking over both AP and CP level government classes. He will be assisting Coach Ron Roth in coaching the freshman baseball team, and most notably, taking over for Mr. Steve Kuhlman in running the Crusader Cavalry.

In the 12 years since he last walked these halls, Mr. Schmitt attended and graduated from The Ohio State University and taught and served as Athletic Director at Villa Madonna in Northern Kentucky. He golfed, played in some men’s softball and volleyball rec leagues around town, and spent time traveling to new places.

We then moved on to the lightning round. I asked him what his favorite Cincinnati food was, and Skyline was his immediate reply. “Without question,” he said. “Make sure you put ‘Without Question’. It is a religion.”Mr. Schmitt jokingly threatened to send Senior Will Conaroe down to CP1 Government from AP when Will chimed in that he has never had Skyline.

He gave some iconic choices when asked about his favorite songs, movies, and conspiracy theories: “Country Roads for the song; I’m too good at Karaoke. Bigfoot for the conspiracy theory, it could easily be real; as can all that Area 51 stuff. And finally, Armageddon for the movie. Like if I see Armageddon on TV, I’m not turning it off and I’m seeing it through to the end.”

I had two final questions for our newest history buff, and given his past with Moeller, I wanted to get his opinions his former teachers and current colleagues. First, I wanted to know which two of the Moeller teachers he would like to see in a fight and who would win. He was reluctant to offend anyone who could be reading the paper, but finally chose Mr. Hotze. and Mr. Dever saying, “It would be the War of the Walkers with Mr. Dever coming out on top.” That sword of wood and tape gives him the edge.

From that, we talked about who all would win in the Moeller Faculty and Staff Hunger Games. “Mr. Beiersdorfer or Mr. Ward would probably do well because they are so smart and they both know nearly everything.”, Schmitt said. “But I think that I would do pretty well myself. My skill would simply be my superior athleticism, and I would like to think that I at least make it to the top 15.” A bold statement to end my conversation with Moeller’s newest superior athlete, Mr. Eric Schmitt.

Mr. Battista at his desk  by Ethan Holley

Mr. Battista at his desk

by Ethan Holley

Nicholas Battista

by Ethan Holley

Mr. Nicholas Battista, one of the newest teachers at Moeller is a Freshman Foundations and World History teacher.

Mr. Battista grew up just outside of Cleveland, Ohio and attended Walsh Jesuit. He then got his undergrad degree at the University of Dayton. He majored in education and history.

Before teaching at Moeller he taught at Visitation on the west side, and at Beavercreek High School. When asked if he liked teaching at an all-boys school, he said that he loves it and he finds that there is a lot more energy in the classroom, and overall much less distractions. When he was in high school, his school switched from all-boys to co-ed, so he says it is his opportunity to relive the high school days he never had.

He teaches one section of Freshman foundations, one section of CP1 World History, and three sections of AP World History. Some things that he would like to do at Moeller would include helping with the model UN, start a lifting club, and maybe even get involved in track & field.

He enjoys camping, hiking, lifting weights, kayaking, cycling, skiing or basically anything that involves being outdoors. His favorite food is lasagna and his least favorite food its brussels sprouts. And if the staff were to have a hunger games, he thinks that the history department would win due to their knowledge.

It seems as though Mr. Battista has enjoyed his time at Moeller so far and is excited for the future.

Allison Koch

by Maxwell Land

Mrs. Koch presents for her students  by Maxwell Land

Mrs. Koch presents for her students

by Maxwell Land

Mrs. Allison Koch is one of Moeller’s newest Math teachers for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Mrs. Allison Koch has three children, two boys, and one daughter. She graduated from Anderson High School then went on to graduate from Xavier University, where she studied math and education. Mrs. Koch enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She plays in a sand volleyball league and is training to participate in a triathlon.

The 2019-2020 school year will not only be Mrs. Koch’s first year at Moeller, but it will be her first year as a Math teacher. She has high hopes for her students and is looking to form our freshman into mathematicians. When asked how her first year of teaching was going, she answered, “The year is going really well. It’s always tough when you start anything for the first time. What I try to do is keep a positive frame of mind and address any challenges as an opportunity to learn and be better. I have a very supportive department and student population. I think both groups have open and honest lines of communication with me, which helps me learn how to be a better teacher.”

Most people avoid math because it comes off as difficult for them, but in Mrs. Koch’s eyes, Math is great because everything make logical sense. “I am a literal person, which is natural in mathematics. There is always a logical explanation to how things work, with the exception being definition of a point. I also love that mathematics describes everything in our world. From patterns in nature to gravity, it’s just so beautiful! I just love a good proof.”

Moeller has shown its Marianist values vividly to Mrs. Koch and her new career, helping her thrive. When asked what her favorite part about Moeller was, she said “It feels like a family, and that I’m valued as a member of the family.”

Being a new teacher, there must be goals and hopes for the stretch of your career. Mrs. Koch wants to use math to help students become better all around, “I want to help my students understand what we’re covering and prepare them to be successful citizens”, Mrs. Koch said.

Mr. Murphy is ready for the season  by

Mr. Murphy is ready for the season


Chad Murphy

by Michael Leonard

Mr. Chad Murphy was born 40 minutes north of Cincinnati in Trenton, Ohio. He attended Franklin High School, where he played football. He then went on to attend Kentucky Wesleyan College, then Wilmington College for his undergraduate degree, and he later got his master’s degree at Wright State University.

After college Murphy went on to become the head football coach at Northwest where he had a lot of success. Murphy lead Northwest to their first winning season in 22 years in 2012 (7-3). He also earned Ohio High School Coach of the Year in 2012.  After three seasons with Northwest he was offered the head coaching job at Hamilton where he coached for 6 seasons before coming to Moeller. When asked about why he chose to come to Moeller he said, "the Faith, priority on education, and football". He is now an assistant coach and intervention specialist here.

When asked about his new role at Moeller as an intervention specialist, he said, “Organizing myself with dates and meetings so I can assist students with their tests and accommodations.”

Murphy says he's happy to be here. "The Faith piece is my favorite thing so far here at Moeller compared to other schools that I have been to. Being able to pray over the announcements and having school masses is so refreshing." Murphy is a man of faith and a man who strives to be a good father to his five daughters.

Mr. Murphy had a strong opinion when asked about the endless Skyline vs. Goldstar debate. "Definitely skyline".

Murphy is excited to be at Moeller and is looking forward to the 2019-20 school year and the football season.

Moeller Crusader Staff