The Moeller House System
About Our School Governance System
Implemented in 2005, the House System has three primary objectives:
1. To increase pastoral care to each student,
2. To allow students opportunities to build strong personal and collegial relationships, and
3. To encourage every student to develop as a leader.
The House System is an alternative form of student governance where students from all grades are divided into separate groups called “Houses” that contain approximately 165 students.
Pictured above: Moeller's 2013-14 House Leaders (1ST Row): House Director Karen Matuszek, (2ND Row): Sam Hubbard '14 (Vice Captain), Gus Ragland '14 (Vice Captain), (3RD Row): Kyle Zimmerman '14 (School Captain).
About Our School Governance System
Moeller's six Houses are overseen by a “House Dean” who helps to establish smaller communities of students within the school. Within each House are “Mentor Groups” that consist of approximately 20 students. Each Mentor Group is staffed by a faculty/staff member, and these groups remain together throughout the students’ school years. In addition to its primary objectives to enhance pastoral care, encourage interpersonal relationships, and develop leadership skills, the House System increases school spirit. During the school year the Houses compete for the school honor of earning the "Marianist Cup" by accumulating points for attendance, service hours, fewest detentions, etc. At the end of the year the Houses compete in the Crusader Games, a spirited afternoon of activities.
GREAT NEWS! 'Beards for Our Brother' Raises $10K for Alumnus Danny O'Keefe! The Men of Moeller raised more than $5K with their "beards" fundraiser in November, and it was matched to include more than $10K for alumnus Danny O'Keefe.
Danny chose senior Liam Dorward as the beard contest winner (pictured with Danny on left). Liam also won the beard competion held earlier this year in March. Pictured left is Danny thanking the students who participated in the contest, along with School Captain Kyle Zimmerman '14 and House Director Karen Matuszek. (See below for more information about Danny's story.)
Danny's mother, Kathy, sent a special note of appreciation to the Moeller Family through English Teacher Eric Eble: "Thank you! Jim just walked in with a huge check and said one more was on its way. He also said that Danny had a great time. Even talked a bit. Thank everyone for us, it means so much."
Eric Eble also thanked the Men of Moeller who grew beards in support of this project: "I’ve known Danny for 10 years now, and he’s one of the reasons I came to teach at Moeller. Your generosity and willingness to look like grungy, dirty, mountain men will directly help him develop his language and motor skills through the University of Michigan’s aphasia treatment program so that he can regain his ability to express the charisma and charm that make him such a great friend. So, again, thanks."
GREAT NEWS! Canned Food Drive Collects Nearly 1,000 Boxes! From House Director Karen Matuszek: Many, many thanks for your generosity in donating for the annual Canned Food Drive! We collected a total of 957 boxes full of food, and the freshmen distributed the boxes to St. Vincent DePaul and St. Monica/St. George Food Pantry.
SNAPSHOTS: FRESHMAN DAY OF SERVICE: From Eveslage Dean Anthony Corder: The freshmen from Eveslage House who worked at the Peaslee Community Center were divided into two groups: an indoor group who sorted, cleaned, and moved items that had been donated, and outdoor group who cleaned up the property. Sharon Volk, one of the four parent chaperons said, “They sorted, cleaned, raked, and swept a lot of stuff! I enjoyed being part of it — a great group of guys! Special kudos to House Chaplain Jared Diesslin who supervised the indoor group.”
Class of 2002 Alumnus Danny O’Keefe
On May 6, 2011, a man broke into my daughter's home. He forever changed all of our lives that day. He hid in the dark early morning hours, and forced his way in. This man attacked my daughter, stabbing her multiple times. Her brother, Danny, heard her screams, and ran to her aid, changing his life forever.
I've been told it's the worst crime scene the police and EMTs had ever seen. My two children laid in pools of their own blood for 6 hours before help arrived. They were stabbed in the brain, chest, neck, and arm.
Danny had to be resuscitated at sight. He barely made it to Mercy Fairfield Hospital. Air care picked him up there. At that time, my daughter was already at UC Hospital, arriving by air care. I was told she would have brain surgery, and then turned around and was told Danny had arrived and would be having brain surgery. Can you even imagine?
Our daughter, Kelly, is an assistant prosecutor for Butler County. She is back to work, working to reclaim her life. We try to shield her from the curious. Because of our silence no one knows how badly our son, Danny, was hurt. Danny was stabbed 19 times in the brain. His right hand had multiple defense wounds. His tendons were severed. He was kicked so hard his spleen was lacerated. Danny's injuries have been compared to Congress Woman Gabby Gifford. His skull was so crushed it took a year, minus 2 days, to get a skull cap replacement.
Danny has had 5 surgeries in the last year. Now we're fighting to get his life back. Danny has aphasia, which means he has trouble talking, reading, and writing, devastating to a young man who had just finished law school. He wanted to be a defense attorney, to make a difference. He was working, starting his own practice. When his whole world changed.
Danny, also has right side hemisphere paralysis This effects his right arm and right leg. It makes everyday movement, walking, dressing, eating very difficult.
Two years and half years later, we are still fighting each and every day to get our son’s life back. We try constantly to find new treatments, therapy, ideas to benefit Danny. Funding is a major issue. He does have health insurance. It only allows 30 therapies/year. He’s on Medicaid which allows 20/year. Danny gets help from Mercy hospital with 3 hours of therapies a week in speech and occupational therapy. It’s not enough. We have been told for his speech he needs at least 9 hours a week. Mercy provides us with 3hours, leaving us struggling to get the other 6. This summer we had a private tutor for those other 6 hours, at a reduce cost of $400 a week.
For patients with aphasia an intense therapy program is recommended. A program like the one at the University of Michigan, called UMAP (University of Michigan Aphasia Program). They have therapy there 6 hours a day, five days a week.
The UMAP program cost $22,000/month. This only covers the speech therapy. It doesn’t include Physical, Occupational therapies, or his room and board. Danny went a total 7 sessions at a cost of $154,000. I’m still getting in physical therapy bills from the University of Michigan from last October, which are running in the thousands.
We have had help from the community, friends, family, churches, foundations, schools, victims’ of violent crime fund, and fund raisers to cover his bills. We are running out of resources.
Was it worth this cost? When Danny left for Michigan he could say very few words. Today, Danny can say most words and can even say a few sentences. He can communicate enough to get his thoughts across to us now. He’s relearning to read and write. He can now text me short messages. There has been great improvement, it is very slow and frustrating, but he is improving. What cost would you put on your child’s recovery?
He is walking several miles a week and has stopped physical therapy, though he is using a personal train several times a week. He is even running some sprints. He still has very limited use of his arm, but he now has movement in his shoulder and elbow. The therapist can tell you the percent of movement that has returned. She and his doctors have been very pleased. He’s wrist and hand movement have improved but still a major issue. Danny has started to be able to hold and pinch things with his hand. His hand and his speech have a long way to go, but his therapists are optimistic. Danny’s work ethic is his best chance of getting better.
We have had to get two braces for Danny, one for his arm and one for his leg. These braces cost were $4000-$6000. Today we’ve been advised to get him a new brace at a cost of $28,000. We are still waiting to see if insurance will cover any of this brace. It didn’t the last two. These braces help with movement in his arm and leg.
Danny has taken two 40 sessions of hyperbaric, at a cost of $8,000. We found this very helpful to Danny and would recommend it for others. It is a new therapy recommend for brain trauma. The United States Army uses it for their TBI cases. They deal with more TBI than any other medical center.
We have been told all brain injury cases are different. No one can say how far Danny can go. We do know his youthful age, his strength, his determination, his education, and his musically ability are weapons on his side. With the proper therapy he can improve, there is no time limit on his ability to get better.
My husband and my greatest fear, is what happens when we aren’t around to help him anymore. Most parents have a life time to help a disabled child. We have not. We are now entering our 60’s. Danny needs to get better to care for himself, to get back to work and have a life. I do know if you stop and it’s over. You have to keep fighting for each improvement. He’s come so far. When he first came home, I was lifting him in and out of a wheel chair. He could say three words. He had no use of his arm. He is making it. I promised him, his dad and I would not quit till he had his life back.
Danny used to play the drums, but can no longer use his right arm. Danny walks with a limp, but he walks miles every week. Danny is our hero. He saved our daughter's life, but at a great cost. Danny loves sports. He played baseball, football, and soccer. He loved to read, and play the drums. He's lost it all.
His attacker was trained in the martial arts. He brought a weapon called a skull crusher with him. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison for destroying a life and forever changing our family's lives.
THE 2013-14 MARIANIST CUP COMPETITION:
CLICK HERE for the most up-to-date Marianist Cup standings.
In The News:
House of Belonging: Article in the Society of Mary's Magazine, Alive!
HOUSE SPIRIT: The House System Comes of Age: Feature Story in Moeller Magazine (Spring & Summer 2008)