Academy news & updates
2020-21 | Issue 9
Celebrating the Academy Experience
Celebrating Women's History Month
For Women’s History Month, we shared stories throughout March of women who have made contributions to Academy'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, 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!
Thinking Outside the Classroom
In the 11th grade United States History class taught by Amy Berkley, students have been discussing westward expansion – a big topic that covers a large time period. Noting that the typical classroom experience is a little less interactive with COVID restrictions, Mrs. Berkley wanted to create an activity that would allow students the chance to work together outside. When she heard that our first-graders were not able to cap off their pioneer unit with the traditional trip to an education center where they would receive an up-close look at life in the 1800s, Mrs. Berkley had an idea: pair her students with our first-graders. The result was a live-action Oregon Trail in our campus woods. Her students set up stations allowing their young counterparts to learn about cattle ranchers, alternative food sources, the Homestead Act and the gold rush.
Academy Joins Premier Online Program
In May of 2010, Columbus Academy was selected to receive a $2 million endowment from the Malone Family Foundation to provide scholarships for high-achieving students with financial need (currently, 28% of our students receive tuition assistance). As the only Malone Scholarship School in Ohio at the time, Academy joined 30 other distinctive schools across the nation to have been honored with the prestigious award. This year, Academy is the first Ohio school 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 & Genomics, Environmental Bioethics, Philosophy in Pop Culture, Einstein's Relativity & the Evolution of the Quantum Model and much more.
Juniors Win Innovation Challenge
With an invention incubated from Columbus Academy's QuestWorks program that provides initial funding to student passion projects, juniors Soham Joshi and Raaghav Malik continue to impress judges and win awards for their creation of a robotic glove designed to help people learn sign language. In the recent finals of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Innovation Challenge, their NeoSigno team claimed the $3,000 top prize!
Alumni Career Advice Library
Columbus Academy launched an Alumni Career Advice Library in March. Whether you are a young professional seeking helpful tips to further your work or an upper-schooler looking for advice on potential career paths to embark on in college, this excellent resource can be accessed at Alumni featured in these interviews reflect on what got them to their current job, the help they sought along the way and how their Academy experience prepared them for the workforce. Each episode is available as a podcast via Spotify.
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Graduation Dress Exchange
Our Graduation Dress Exchange Program allows graduates to donate gently-used graduation dresses to be loaned to the current year’s senior class for use at the Commencement ceremony. For more information about borrowing from the current collection of dresses or to donate one, please contact Beckie Hoagland and Janet Fireman in the Nurses' Office at or 614-509-2234.
Glimpses of Daily Life on Campus
As a capstone project for their STEAM/iDesign course this year, eighth-graders are working in teams to create a nine-hole miniature golf course. Each hole is given a different theme, and the obstacles are created within the makerspace lab. This project allows students the opportunity to be creative while providing them with clear boundaries to make decisions. Once completed, the putt-putt course will be moved outdoors for use during lower school recess and other special events. For more community life news, click on the following links:
Arts and Music Scene
Four of our upper-schoolers recently earned recognition for their artwork submissions including Chase Chavarria (honorable mention) in photography for the 2021 Ohio University Art Prize, as well as Alicia Deng, Cyrus Richardson and Calvin Wade as regional winners in the Ohio Governor's Art Exhibition! The OHIO Art Prize is the premier high school visual arts and design contest open to all students grade 9-12 nationwide and aims to showcase the best in visual art, graphic and digital design across all genres, formats and mediums. Our Ohio Governor's honorees have advanced to the second round of state judging and results for that will be shared later this spring. In addition, the ceramic work "Cherry on Top" by Cyrus was featured at the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation and can be seen virtually in an interactive tour. This piece by Cyrus won two awards at the exhibit, including the Artistic Merit Award and My Creative College Award. For more arts and music news, click on the following links:
Spotlight on Community Service
Led by senior Brodie Leo, our Environmental Club will manage a new opportunity for off-campus service with the Gahanna Parks & Recreation staff. Academy students can now fulfill the school's 45 hours of off-campus service requirement by beautifying the Academy and Woodside Green Parks. Last month, Brodie was joined by fellow upper-schoolers Bea Sull, David Narayanan, Sonari Hart, Lakes Flory and Ashley He in learning how to mulch, plant, clean up and remove invasive species from the two parks along Cherry Bottom Road as well as the adjacent creek bed. Earlier this winter, the Environmental Club hosted a Zoom discussion with Nathan Reitz, an environmental activist representing the Columbus hub of the Sunrise Movement, a national youth organization that advocates political action on climate change. Click on the following links for more service news:
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Accolades in Athletics
Our field hockey team was only one of five in Ohio to receive recognition as an NFHCA High School National Academic Squad. Zoey Black, Regan Cornelius, Mya Falkenhain, Annabelle Huyghe, Claudia Klingbeil, Charlotte Rose, Sona Santry, Sarah Silver, Carolyn Vaziri and Maya Walter earned Scholar of Distinction honors with Charlotte Adams, Sarah Klingerman, Suzy L'Hommedieu, Avery Mitchell, Ella Morris and Anjali Ranji also qualifying for the National Academic Squad. Click on the links below for more sports news:
Highlighting our Faculty & Staff
Lower School Counselor Shaun Ditty (left) is featured on the cover of the March/April issue of Westerville Magazine! Read the story about his podcast with friend Matt Lofy at Click on the following links for more news about Academy's outstanding educators: