Academy news & updates
2020-21 | Issue 3
Celebrating the Academy Experience
Kid-Friendly Social Distancing Poster
When lower school teacher Beth Klug wanted to help her first-graders conceptualize what it means to stay six feet apart from each other, she had them research animals that are approximately six feet long or tall. She then received help from one of her classroom parents – Emmy Mitchell, who is a graphic designer – to create this visual display and quick reference for when she says "animal arms" to remind her students to social distance. This poster is now used in spaces throughout our Lower School!
Student Duo Wins STEM Competition
Over the summer, Columbus Academy juniors Soham Joshi and Raaghav Malik were recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars, the top award in The Conrad Challenge, a multi-phase STEM and entrepreneurship competition inspired by the legacy of Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad and his three-decade pursuit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Their team, NeoSigno, created a multipurpose, wearable, robotic glove-like device designed to help people learn sign language through tactile signals. You can watch their "power pitch" video by clicking here.
New Weather Station Installed
Our campus has a new weather station that you can access at! "It goes well beyond what most typical weather stations provide," says Director of Campus Safety and Security Tim Williams, who used the WeatherSTEM product while working at Heinz Field to provide a safer environment for the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh teams and fans. "This system offers a wide range of up-to-the-minute data which will help to keep the Academy community safe, secure and aware of any impending severe weather conditions." Learn more by clicking here.
Memories of 9/11 Shared by Faculty
To help students understand 9/11 and its impact on everyone who experienced that tragic day, Upper School Dean of Students Dr. Pascal Losambe collected videos of faculty and staff members sharing their memories. To watch these personal recollections, please click on the following links: Upper School, Middle/Lower School.
Parent SEED Discussions
How we see the world, decide which values to uphold, understand the unfamiliar, raise our kids – all these depend on our personal histories, inform who we are and guide whom we want to be. Columbus Academy's SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program brings together parents and guardians who are interested in looking at issues in diversity, inclusion and multi-culturalism (such as racism, class, poverty, gender identity, disability rights, etc.) through their own eyes and those of fellow parents. Through a series of seven meetings – enhanced by selected readings, videos and speakers – important and sometimes uncomfortable topics are discussed in a confidential and safe setting. Links and dates for upcoming meetings in October, November, January, February, April and May will be shared with those who RSVP or request further information from Academy's longtime Parent SEED leader Joyce Simson P’08 at or 614-554-9238.
Fall Sports Senior Nights
Since nothing is guaranteed these days, our fall sports teams celebrated their seniors earlier in the season than normal. Click on the following links for photos:
Blood Drives on October 14th & 15th
Our student-run Service Board encourages Academy families to consider donating blood during a pair of special events on October 14th & 15th. Since we cannot host our traditional blood drives here on campus, two nearby locations have been designated so that our community can continue to assist local blood banks in collecting this important medical resource that saves countless lives. Just hold your mobile device's camera to the QR codes on this poster to schedule an appointment. Donors who are 16 years old need parental consent. Anyone 17 years and older can donate blood with their own consent. Learn more about student donor requirements by clicking here.
Academy's Oldest Tradition Continues
Under the direction of upper school English teacher Beth Reifeis, now in her second year guiding our public speaking program, Junior Speeches continued this year with the final eight seniors completing Academy's oldest tradition after waiting since last spring because of the pandemic. To learn more about how Junior Speeches are now being conducted, as well as photos from the year's first event, please click here.
Spotlight on Service and Wellness
Thank you to everyone who recently dropped off donations to our Clothing Exchange Closet, and a huge shoutout to parent volunteer Kimberly Allison (pictured) for organizing all of the dress code items, which are provided to families for free! Since parents and guardians are no longer able to browse and select clothing on campus, you are instead able to request items online at The requests will be discreetly filled by Service Board members and then delivered in a bag to homeroom teachers or advisors to be sent home with your children. For questions or more information, please email lower school faculty member Sarah Hansen at Also, check out this Service Day message from Service Board President Lauren Motta and VP Tsega Seleshi as well as two recent articles on the history of service efforts at Academy and how our Service Board is still serving the community!
Breakthrough Season for Girls Golf
In just its second year, our girls golf program won the Mid-State League postseason tournament, earned runner-up honors at sectionals and advanced to its first district tournament! In the league tourney, our Vikes posted a team score of 345 that was 13 strokes better than runner-up CSG for the MSL-Ohio title. Individually, Grace Luo tied for runner-up honors with an 81 while Eliza Freytag tied for 4th with an 87, Eva Baker placed 6th just one stroke back at 88, Angela Hu was 7th at 89, Morgan Crain 11th with a 98 and Morgan Richards 13th in the 31-player field with a 102. Click on the links below for more sports news:

Highlighting our Faculty/Staff
We recently welcomed five new faculty and staff members to our campus! You can learn more about each of them by clicking on their names: Becky Barger-Amato (Advancement Services Associate), Courtney Contizano (Security Guard), Debra Hansen (Lower School Assistant Librarian), Emma Kurth (Middle School Science Teacher) and Lindy Newman (Lower School Science Teacher). Also, click on the following links for more news about Academy's outstanding educators: