Rocky Fork Enterprise

Columbus Academy

Students earn top academic honors in 2012

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Columbus Academy first-grade teacher Julie Simmons (center) and her students gained national attention in May, when Rebecca Jarvis and her "CBS This Morning" news crew spent a day collecting footage for a story about innovative ways young children use technology in the classroom.

Gahanna's Columbus Academy enjoyed another stellar year of academic success, boasting 87 Advanced Placement (AP) scholars for 2012 and 24 students named either National Merit semifinalists or commended in the fall, said Bob Lee, director of communications.

Among the school's 87 students who scored exceptionally well on AP tests in the spring, 22 earned the designation of National AP Scholar and joined 21 others on the AP Scholars with Distinction list. Another 20 students were AP Scholars with Honor.

In the National Merit Scholarship competition, 13 students became semifinalists, placing them in the top 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and making them eligible for National Merit Scholarships.

In addition, 11 more students earned commended status, meaning close to 30 percent of Academy's class of 2013 earned recognition among the top 3 percent of students nationally.

Also this year, Lee said, Columbus Academy began sharing the educational expertise of its teachers in two new formats.

For those wanting to take an online look inside the school's classrooms, a video series found at provides glimpses of effective teaching practices.

Started in February, the series features six releases throughout the year and will continue in 2013.

One early installment caught the eye of CBS This Morning producers, who flew their national crew to the Academy campus in May. Their story, titled Teaching with Twitter, was a feature on how one of the first-grade classrooms used such technology as iPads, SMART Boards and social media to help engage reluctant readers and writers. To watch the coverage, go to

In the fall, Academy also began offering free educational seminars for parents with young children. Each of the sessions in the Early Childhood Learning Series features in-person instruction and guidance from a leading educator on the school's staff. The first two seminars focused on the Changing Nature of Childhood and Supporting Your Beginning Reader.

The series continues in 2013 with Developing Independence and Self-Help Skills in Young Children on Jan. 9, Tech Time with Your Child on Jan. 22 and Physical Development Through Movement and Play on Feb. 5.

All sessions are open to the public and start at 9:15 a.m. in the school's Academy Hall.

For more information and to RSVP, go to