Columbus Academy: Debbie Keeran to cap 42-year career as commencement speaker

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

Columbus Academy, 4300 Cherry Bottom Road in Gahanna, is scheduled to hold graduation ceremonies beginning at 9 a.m. June 7 at its stadium, Hondros Field.

Bob Lee, Columbus Academy director of communications and marketing, said the class of 2021 includes 104 students, who are scheduled to attend 72 colleges and universities in 28 states.

Debbie Keeran will conclude her 42-year career at Columbus Academy as the 2021 commencement speaker.

He said 25 students plan to stay in Ohio, whereas 79 will attend out of state. He said 59 students will attend a private college, with 45 students planning to attend a public university.

Lee said the class has 19 recruited athletes who plan to participate in their sport at the college level.

Debbie Keeran, who decided last fall to retire in June, will conclude her 42-year career at Columbus Academy as commencement speaker.

“Being the 2021 commencement speaker is an absolute privilege to me,” Keeran said. “Personally and professionally, Columbus Academy has been the heart and soul of my world and my family’s for 42 years, and if I can impart a fraction of what this unique place has meant to me in my speech, I am thrilled, elated and proud to do so.”

While having many roles at the academy, Keeran said, most of her 42 years have been spent as assistant director of admissions for the lower school and as an early-childhood teacher.

“I find it ironic that I will be imparting to seniors some of the same things I would talk about with 4- and 5-year-olds: be kind, make good choices and share; however, when you are older, these words of advice become more powerful, more deliberate and more demanding,” she said. “My hope is that I speak directly to the seniors and share a few real-life scenarios of encounters they may have as they embark on the new challenges college will present.”

Keeran, a Sunbury resident, said she would deliver her speech in the only way she knows how – with storytelling, some audience participation and, above all, humor.

“This last year has tested everyone's ability to be resilient, to adapt to change and to be patient,” she said. “I want my speech to be uplifting and full of promise. I hope the Academy class of 2021 dances out of the stadium with pride, appreciation and an obligation to carry forth the high standards, both in and out of the classroom that Academy has instilled in them.”

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla