October 12, 2017

Dear Columbus Academy Families,
I am pleased to announce Shaka Arnold as our next Head of Middle School at Columbus Academy.
Shaka will be coming to us from Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he has been serving as the Assistant Middle School Head for four years. Before Pine Crest, he spent five years as the Middle School Dean of Students at Gilman School, an all-boys school in Baltimore, Maryland. His first seven years at Gilman were as an award-winning science teacher, coach, admissions coordinator and advisor. Before his work in independent schools, Shaka was the Public Relations and Community Relations Assistant for the Baltimore Ravens for five years.
When Shaka arrived on our campus, his warmth and genuine nature were immediately evident and are qualities even his previous colleagues claimed were particularly special to his success as "a community builder, role model and powerful presence in the life of a middle school."
Born and raised in upstate New York, Shaka is a graduate of William and Mary College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He also has a master's in education from Goucher College and a master's in divinity from Howard University.
Next summer, we will welcome Shaka, his wife Davida and their children Zoya, Hanna, Joza and Ina to Central Ohio and our school. He has assured us that he understands the implications of "weather" in his move north!
In the meantime, please join me in thanking Bob McGrath for his steady and trusted leadership as our Interim Middle School Head. He has been a wonderful influence on our faculty and students, and we look forward to his leadership for the remainder of the school year.
Melissa Boocock Soderberg
Head of School