May 2023
Academy Alumni in the News
George Skestos ’86 begins his new governor-appointed role on Ohio State University’s Board of Trustees this week. His term will run through May 2032. According to his OSU biography, George founded investment firm Arcadia Holdings, LLC in 2001, where he is responsible for all due diligence, risk management and disposition decisions. He has served as a trustee for Diamond Hill Funds for 15 years and also on boards at Columbus Academy, the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus College of Art and Design and COSI. For more alumni press clips, click on the following links.

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Columbus Academy Announces Year-End Speakers
Academy’s 2023 Commencement speaker will be alumna Sarah Milks Bethel ’98, and art teacher David Block will deliver this year’s Cum Laude Address. Our 110th Commencement will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 5, in the center of the school’s campus. This year’s graduating class includes 102 seniors who will matriculate to 61 different colleges and universities in 27 states and Canada (view matriculation map). “Having the opportunity to address the graduating class of 2023 – and to impart some words of wisdom and encouragement – is a privilege that I do not take lightly,” stated Sarah, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and now has a child attending Academy. “As both an alumna and a parent, I feel a deep connection to the school and its community. To be able to give back to a place that has given me and my family so much over the years is truly an honor. I look forward to sharing my insights with the graduates and helping them embark on the next chapter of their lives with confidence and enthusiasm.” Learn more by clicking here.
Young Alumni Award & Networking Panel Recap
Columbus Academy honored Sammy Levy ’01 with its 2023 Young Alumni Award last month. The healthcare entrepreneur, physician and private equity investor then joined fellow alumni Kathleen Brumm Davenport ’01, Ph.D. (senior director of new product planning at Surface Oncology, Inc.) and Vince Panzano ’00, Ph.D. (scientific and competitive analysis senior manager at Takeda Oncology) for an interactive discussion on “Innovations in Healthcare” moderated by Mandy Mallott ’03 J.D., MA. The group touched on topics ranging from new technology being used in healthcare to navigating partnerships with colleagues/organizations in the field to advice for pursuing a career in medicine, even sharing some of their favorite Academy memories. Click on the following links to see Sammy’s acceptance speech, watch the entire panel discussion and view photos from the event.
Alumni Board Welcomes Class of 2023
This year’s seniors recently gathered with members of the Alumni Board for a formal luncheon at the Creekside Event Center in Gahanna. As seniors progressed through their three-course meal, alumni and staff members prompted them with questions about their experiences on campus, their academics and extracurricular interests and their plans beyond high school. Also, advice was shared on how to navigate their college careers while adjusting to lives away from Cherry Bottom Road. Photos from this event – which officially welcomed the Class of 2023 to Academy’s Alumni Association – can be viewed by clicking here.
Mark Daubenmier Returns for Currier Lecture Series
Columbus Academy’s Upper School recently welcomed back Mark Daubenmier as this year’s Currier Lecture speaker. Mark joined Academy’s faculty as a math teacher in 1994 and founded our heralded computer science program shortly thereafter. In 2012, he moved his family to Africa to teach at Rift Valley Academy, where he soon became involved in an organization called Kenya Kids Can, which provides lunches and computer classes to students at rural schools. During his presentation, Mark shared his gratitude toward and admiration for the late Phil Currier, the former upper school head for whom the Currier Lecture Series honors. He also provided our upper-schoolers with a glimpse of what it is like to grow up in Kenya by sharing stories of students there while displaying photos and videos from the remote schools he visits. Click on the following links to view photos and watch the presentation.
Academic Accolades
Columbus Academy seniors Grace Luo, Lainie Massick, Kendall McGraw, Max Zhang and Alan Zhu were among 2,500 students nationwide announced recently as recipients of $2500 National Merit Scholarships. In addition, Lainie was recently named one of 628 semifinalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars competition, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. This year’s five National Merit Scholars were among 13 National Merit Semifinalists (all of whom advanced as Finalists) recognized earlier this school year alongside 10 National Merit Commended Students. More National Merit Scholars could be announced in the coming months as College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships are awarded on June 7 and July 10.
Grace Gordon, who has been teaching in our Explorers Program since it was founded in 2018, was recently named Ohio Teacher of the Year for Environmental Education in a Classroom by the Environmental Education Council of Ohio. “I am passionate about getting children outside, and it felt amazing to be recognized in the field of environmental education,” stated Grace, who is the daughter of alumnus Chip Gordon ’68 and great-great-granddaughter of Foster Copeland, one of Columbus Academy’s founders and the school’s first board president (learn more).
Arts & Sports Recap
Academy’s athletics department recently held its spring signing ceremony celebrating four more seniors who have committed to college sports programs: Jonathon Hammond (cross country and track & field at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology), E.J. Jenkins (football at Washington University in St. Louis), Maren Lawrence (field hockey at Kenyon College) and Dylan Ritzenthaler (baseball at Kenyon College). To view photos, click here.
In its penultimate gathering of the school year, our Parents’ Association hosted a forum highlighting the school’s fine and performing arts programs. After an introduction by band director Jessica Sneeringer, orchestra teachers Nathan Greenwood and Soojin Lee led our Lower School Strings level III group in a rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” followed by a seventh grade band ensemble performance of “West Boulevard Rock.” Then, before the group headed over to Morris Hall to check out the Senior Art Show, three upper-schoolers performed a scene from the spring musical (watch highlights).
Send In Your Class Notes

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