April 2021
Academy Alumni in the News

Ricky Joshi '97 (pictured), Chief Strategy Officer at Saatva, was interviewed by Retail Info Systems about the company's Viewing Room stores. Saatva opened the doors to its first Viewing Room, and first brick-and-mortar, in December 2019 in NYC with 20 locations planned to open over the next two years. The stores aim to recreate the digital experience shoppers have with the luxury mattresses and home furnishings retailer in person. Also included in this month's press clips are Andy Buchanan '84, Allison Carpenter '99, Michael Carpenter '05, Tyler Denmead '94, Marty Nesbitt '81 and Joel Pizzuti '90 as well as obituaries for John A. Briggs '48 and Andrea Lynn Esselstein '00.
If you have clips (either in print or on the web) to pass along for future issues, please send them to Director of Alumni Relations Melissa Clarke Beckett at beckettm@columbusacademy.org.
All Day 4 CA Is Back 

After the cancellation of All Day 4 CA last spring, we are pleased to announce the return of this critical online giving event for our school. Mark your calendar to join in this fun, spirited way to support CA beginning Thursday, April 29th, at 10:00 a.m. through Friday, April 30th, at 11:00 a.m. 

In anticipation of these special 25 hours for our Academy community, alumni and school families are offering matching funds to encourage Vikings past and present, near and far, to show their spirit and support. Proceeds will benefit the 2020-21 Annual Fund, which supports all facets of an Academy education. Click here to learn more about the areas of impact where you may choose to direct your gift.
Debbie Keeran to Speak at Commencement  
Debbie Keeran will serve as this year's Commencement speaker. She decided last fall to retire in June, concluding a remarkable 42-year career at our school.

"Being the 2021 Commencement speaker is an absolute privilege to me," said Debbie, our Assistant Director of Admissions since 1996. "Personally and professionally, Columbus Academy has been the heart and soul of my world and my family's for 42 years and if I can impart a fraction of what this unique place has meant to me in my speech, I am thrilled, elated and proud to do so."

Debbie was hired as a first grade teacher in 1979 and soon transitioned to what was then a new kindergarten program in the early '80s. In 1993, she started Academy's PreK program and spent a total of 17 years teaching in lower school classrooms. She became the Early Childhood Director, Assistant Head of Lower School and Interim Head of Lower School before joining the admissions office a quarter-century ago.

A cum laude graduate of Wittenberg University, Debbie was one of 16 influential women celebrated in the 2013 edition of Columbus Women's Book. She and her husband Keith have two daughters, Meredith Kessler '96 and Kelsey Boole '01, who are both in the Columbus Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. 
In her own words: "Like the class of 2021, I am graduating too! While they are off to start their quest of finding a career path, my quest will be to rest in retirement. I look forward to honoring the Class of 2021 on June 7th!" 
Kim Stercula Selected as Inductee to OATA Hall of Fame 
We're excited to announce that Head Athletic Trainer Kim Stercula has been selected as an inductee to the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association (OATA) Hall of Fame! 
Kim, an athletic trainer for our sports teams since 2001, has been a vital asset in keeping our student-athletes healthy and on the playing field. She was also the 2005 OATA Athletic Trainer of the Year. Founded in 1984, the primary goal of the OATA is to ensure that athletes, at any level, receive immediate, professional-quality health care. This comprehensive and cost-effective care is accomplished with the daily contact and cooperation with physicians and other allied health care professionals.
We are grateful for Kim's continued commitment to our athletic programs and welcome everyone to help us congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.
School News
For Women's History Month, Columbus Academy shared stories throughout March of women who have made contributions to the school's history. We started with Louise Mulligan, who was hired in 1916 and led what was then called the Junior School for 20 years. Next was Martha Wood, who spent 29 years at Academy, including the last 13 as head of Lower School. Then we profiled Kay Mason, the first full-time African American female faculty member. And then we announced Debbie Keeran as this year's Commencement speaker (see above). We also caught up with Arlene Arin Hahn '93 (pictured), who was one of the first Asian-American women to graduate from the school. We concluded this year's series with Anne Horton, the winningest field hockey coach in state history. We look forward to highlighting many more impactful women in the years to come!
Columbus Academy is the first school in Ohio to join the Malone Schools Online Network, the premier online education program for independent schools. Starting next fall, Academy juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to take intensive and varied courses such as Forensic Science, Advanced Applied Math through Finance, Genetics and Genomics, Environmental Bioethics, Philosophy in Pop Culture, Einstein's Relativity and the Evolution of the Quantum Model, 
and much more. This partnership is only available to Malone Scholarship Schools, which Academy joined in May of 2010 when the school was selected to receive a $2 million endowment award from the Malone Family Foundation to provide scholarships for high-achieving students with financial need.
To help ensure our graduating students find the right-fit college or university, Columbus Academy benefits tremendously from having three full-time college counselors with a collective 43 years of expertise in guiding families through the journey to college. With a couple of months left in the college admissions process for this year's seniors, our college counselors report that all members of the Class of 2021 have been admitted to one or more colleges, and 45 percent of the class has decided on the college/university they will attend. In that committed group, students are going to 22 different states: California, Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maine, Illinois, Florida, New York, Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, New Mexico, the District of Columbia and the great state of Ohio. Students in this class have received full-ride scholarships and been accepted at top business and music schools in addition to art and technical institutes. Also, 14 are currently planning to continue their athletic careers in college (with several more probable commits in May).
Sports News
Gyvnn Mendenhall became the first Academy wrestler to compete in and win a match at the Division III state tournament since Josh Pearson '18 went 1-2 in 2018. In his opening contest at states, the junior 220-pounder was pinned in 1:40 by the eventual state champion. He then bounced back by pinning his senior opponent 45 seconds into the second round of his first consolation match. Gyvnn's season came to an end with a 9-5 loss to another district champion in the consolation bracket just a single victory away from placing among the top 8 in the state. Gyvnn was named the 2021 MSL-Ohio Wrestler of the Year and has compiled a career record of 81-16 after finishing this past season at 17-5. 
Columbus Academy cultivates lifelong skills through the pursuit of excellence across academics, the arts and athletics. From the trophy cases in our athletic hallways and the championship banners hanging in the gym, it's clear that our community's tradition of success in sports began many decades ago. But did you know that in the last 10 of our 110 years as a school, Vikings have won 13 (34%) of our total 38 team state championships and produced 12 (30%) of our total 40 state runner-up squads? Individually, our student-athletes have won 23 of the school's 55 state championship titles in the past decade and 35 of our 61 state runners-up. In the last two years alone, Academy students won our 12th state championship in field hockey, back-to-back state crowns in boys golf, our school's first state singles title in girls tennis and a state doubles title for our boys. We've also seen our girls soccer program reach its first two state Final Fours, our boys soccer squad advance to its second-ever state semifinal and our girls tennis team compete in its seventh state final, in addition to numerous district and league titles across many different sports. 
Send In Your Class Notes 
We love keeping in touch with our alumni, and we want to hear all of your latest news. Here are some of the updates we are looking for:

New family additions
Big moves
New jobs
New schools, titles or degrees
Exciting trips or accomplishments
General updates

We also love pictures, so you can send those along as well. Fill out our class notes form at columbusacademy.org/alumniclassnotes or send via email to alumni@columbusacademy.org to be sure your message is included in an upcoming issue of Experience, the school's newly redesigned magazine!
Stay Connected!