Academy news & updates
2020-21 | Issue 6
Celebrating the Academy Experience
Summer Experience 2021
In this teaser video for 2021, Columbus Academy's Summer Experience promotes a carpool-style morning dropoff, smaller class sizes, a reconfigured lunch format and a new registration system set to launch in mid-February. Alyssa King and her staff send you their warmest winter wishes and can't wait for you to see what is coming!
US Play Opens This Week
Columbus Academy Student Theatre will perform "The Glass Menagerie" at 7:00 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (January 7-9) in our Schoedinger Theatre as one of the first major school events of 2021. Enjoy this short teaser by Cydney Platt, and learn more about the show by clicking here. Only a limited number of seats will be sold for each of the three performances.
Chinese Contest Winners
From hundreds of submissions across five states, all four entries from our Middle School earned prizes in this year’s Chinese Speech and Talent Video Competition hosted by the Great Lakes Chinese Consortium! In the Middle School A category (meaning students have less than two years of Chinese classes), Sabrina Allison won the first place trophy and a $50 gift card in the speech competition while fellow seventh-graders Dominic Cacchillo, Brian Ankamah, Grant Landis, Michael Milenkovski, Zoe Nelson, Mmesoma Nwoke and Patrick Woods combined to win the talent contest. And in the speech contest for students with less than three years of Chinese language instruction, seventh-grader Miranda Bradner-Young earned first place and $50 while eighth-grader Seth Lee claimed third place and a $25 prize. All of their submission videos can be watched at
Lower School Holiday Concert
The annual Lower School Winter Closing Program, led by music teachers Amy McLaughlin and Michelle Schroeder-Lowrey, included 11 festive and wintery songs with each grade level introduced by special student speakers. The final two numbers of "Just One Candle" and "Auld Lang Syne" were a collective effort by all of our lower-schoolers, and the concert ended with students and faculty/staff proudly declaring "I'm still me and I'm still here."
Virtual Choir Recordings
"Our singers desperately miss making music together," wrote choir director Amy Brooks as an introduction to three virtual recordings produced by Tony Hagood with Noteworthy Music. "These pieces let them continue to sing, even when we couldn't all be together. I was hopeful that it would remind them that we can continue to make music, even if it looks different this year.
Ceramics Class Activities
Over Thanksgiving Break, ceramics instructor Charity White and a small group of upper-schoolers tested their skills using Raku, a low-firing process which involves removing pottery at bright-red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials that, once ignited, are then closed using an outdoor kiln. Afterwards, a few of the students even toasted cheese sandwiches for a snack! Then, upper-schoolers in Charity's ceramics class made personalized teacups, each stamped with a unique symbol, for all of the students in our Explorers Program. After a morning of playing in the snow, the Explorers enjoyed hot chocolate in their new cups.
Worldwide Gold Medalist
Columbus Academy sophomore Cory Wu was the worldwide gold medalist for ages 13-15 in last month's Piano Star International Competition! From 15 finalists in the final round live competition, he won first prize and was selected as one of four young pianists (two from the United States and two from China) to compete in the Grand Final showcase, where you can watch his performance at
Glimpses of Daily Life on Campus
Dr. Sumona Ghosh Lester ’99, chair of our science department, modeled her evolutionary biology class on the Harvard University course taught by Barbara N. Horowitz, M.D. “Dr. Horowitz briefly talked us through her career path and experiences that she describes in her Zoobiquity book, and my students were able to participate in a Q&A with her,” stated Sumona about a recent zoom session with the author. "The students had prepared questions in advance and were eager to hear of Dr. Horowitz’s career path and what kinds of challenges she faces in elucidating evolutionary overlaps that exist between humans and other animals in the natural world, as well as in advocating for collaborative efforts between human medicine and veterinary medicine.” For more community life news, click on the following links:

Spotlight on Service and Wellness
Columbus Academy alumna Annalise Grammel '20 became the first-ever Ohioan to receive the Mary Desha Founders Medal for Youth from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution! "Annalise's support of Honor Flight Columbus and our Veterans is outstanding, especially for someone of her age," said Ohio DAR representative Cindy Collins Kanwar, who is also an Honors Flight board member. "The Daniel Cooper Chapter, NSDAR, along with Honor Flight Columbus, presented Annalise with her medal at her home in a surprise presentation." The Mary Desha Founders Medal for Youth honors a young person for outstanding service to community, state or nation through participation and leadership in the community. Congratulations to Annalise, who is now a freshman at DePauw University!
Historic Football Season
Our football team made history this past fall by claiming the program’s first outright Mid-State League championship (2009 & 2017 MSL-Ohio titles were shared and all previous were in a different conference). Then the Vikings hosted and won their first home playoff game since 2003 by beating Coshocton 45-21. And since the awards in this graphic were announced, Brady Hess, Jonah Houston, Gyvnn Mendenhall and Sam Huyghe were named Academic All-Ohio. Those four and Robert Mills also earned All-Metro honors. Click on the links below for more sports news:

Highlighting our Faculty & Staff
We were incredibly saddened to learn that alumnus and former faculty member John Detrick '53 passed away on December 26th. He was an Academy legend in many ways, including being the first graduate to return as a teacher when he joined the math department in 1961. As mentioned in a letter from Head of School Melissa Soderberg to our alumni and staff (, Mr. Detrick was ahead of his time as the longtime chair of Academy's math department and will be dearly missed at our annual events, where he was a frequent guest and documentarian. Click on the following links for more news about Academy's outstanding educators: