Middle School Principal
I'm excited to work at ACPA because it possesses an open, welcoming sense of community. Feel free to stop me in the hall for a chat as we work together to make this the greatest year yet at ACPA. This is an amazing opportunity and I feel lucky to be apart of such a great school!

Phone: (614) 986-9974
English Teacher
Ms. Autar graduated college with a degree in architecture, but quickly fell in love with teaching English through various tutoring jobs at The Ohio State University. Ms. Autar recently finished her Masters in Education and is overjoyed to join the ACPA team and share in the positive energy of the school.
Administrative Assistant
Dance Teacher
Ms. Cortney Crenshaw first joined the ACPA staff during the 2009-2010 school year. She is the instructor and director of the current dance program at ACPA. Ms. Crenshaw received her Master of Arts degree in education from Ashford University and a BFA in dance (with emphasis in education and distinction in dance) from The Ohio State University.
Instrumental Music Teacher
As a classically-trained percussionist who grew up playing in garage bands, Mr. Demland has found his dream job at ACPA. Since joining the ACPA family in 2005, he has worked to develop an innovative music program that blends the best of those two worlds to produce creative and capable young musicians.
Administrative Assistant
English Teacher
Mr. Dodge originally came to ACPA as a guest director and quickly decided it was a place he wanted to stay. While he still works in the arts, teaching Improv and directing the fall play, he now spends most of his time in the English department, where the plays usually stay on the page. Mr. Dodge completed
Government Teacher
Sarah graduated from Bowling Green State University with one thing in mind...to teach at ACPA. That's not actually true, though upon discovering what she has deemed her "dream school" she immediately rewrote that part of her history. Teaching Government is something Ms Fingerhut
Executive Director
Mr. Gatto was on the founding staff of the Arts & College Preparatory Academy (ACPA) in 2002, and has been principal since 2010. Prior to stepping into administration, Anthony taught Algebra and Geometry at ACPA and various subjects at an arts-focused middle school in Columbus City Schools.
English Teacher
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s...Mr. Gerding! Mr. Gerding graduated from Ohio University in 2003 and has been teaching in Columbus since 2004. He joined the ACPA staff in 2015 and truly feels at home here. He believes that literature (in all its varied forms and formats) offers us a way to understand each other and ourselves better, and that we can only achieve this through actual dialogue.
Visual Arts Teacher
Mr. Dodge originally came to ACPA as a guest director and quickly decided it was a I grew up near Chicago, transplanted to Columbus after getting BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University. While starting a family, spending several years making and selling art, and playing in a handful of bands, I decided it was time to figure out what I was going to do when I grew up.
Intervention Specialist
Mrs. Hood has a wealth of experience in education, most recently at the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County for the last 9 years. When Mrs. Hood isn’t helping students, you can likely find her traveling with her family and enjoying watching her daughter in musical theater productions.
Director
GeeGee has been in education for more than a half century. She taught art in Columbus, Ohio, creative dramatics in Auckland, New Zealand, art history in Geneva, Switzerland, and education methods classes at Ohio State University and Kent State. Sharing the belief that travel is educational GeeGee, with her husband, Don and two children have traveled extensively.
Visual Arts Teacher
Theatre Teacher
Hi, I'm the acting teacher at ACPA. It was unbelievable good luck to find such an amazing school to call home after years of searching. I have a BFA in acting from Wright State and a Masters of Education from the Ohio State University, a ton of experience in theatre companies but I never "fit" at any other school.
Spanish Teacher
Teaching for me started in a jungle. If you think I'm kidding, you've never seen the kudzu of Arkansas. Having majored in Drama and History at Kenyon College, teaching was not on my radar until I heard about Teach for America. A program designed to close the achievement gap, it places recent college grads in classrooms around the country.
Administrative Assistant
Intervention Specialist
TED Otting is an interventional specialist, academic advisor, and facial hair enthusiast. He has taught quite a number subjects and has over 10 years of educational and intervention experience.
Science Teacher
After obtaining a BA in Science Education from Bowling Green State University and teaching for a couple years in rural Northeast Ohio, I was fortunate enough to join the ACPA team. I love the openness of ACPA and the creativity that it promotes.
Chemistry & Physical Science Teacher
Spanish Teacher
Señora Rivas, more commonly referred to as “Seño”, lives and breathes anything cultural. Her hobbies are salsa dancing and eating international food but her passion is teaching Spanish. With a degree in Spanish Education from Otterbein University, six months experience in Argentina and two years teaching as a bilingual assistant in the public school system in Spain, she is so excited to share her love of Spanish and latino cultural with ACPA.
Counselor
Midwesterner, Music lover, and Disney lover. Born and raised in Illinois, becoming a school counselor was something I thought about doing since I was in high school. I went to Purdue University and majored in Psychology. A few years later I went on to get my Master's degree in School Counseling at The Ohio State University.
Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Severt recently received his Masters in Education from The Ohio State University, and couldn’t be happier about finding ACPA to begin his teaching career. Mr. Severt enjoys reading, hiking, and playing basketball (finally someone to challenge Mr. Patterson in some sportsball!).
Development Director
I spent the first 7 years of my adult life exploring and experimenting with progressive methods of education…I did everything from teaching 2 year olds about shapes to teaching 14 year olds how to write songs. I’m infinitely grateful that I found ACPA. Not that all that exploring and experimenting wasn't great. I'm just really glad I found ACPA.
Spanish Teacher
Before coming to ACPA, Mr. Simons lived in Spain for 4 years teaching English in a bilingual public school while simultaneously getting his Masters in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Since returning to the states, he worked for the Columbus Metropolitan Library at the Whitehall Branch. When Mr. Simons isn’t teaching Spanish, you can likely find him playing his guitar or listening to music (favorite bands are The Weakerthans and Bright Eyes, to name a few).
Enrollment Coordinator
Sharon has spent the past few decades of her life being the following: a C++ coder, a math tutor, a vegan baker, a member of over 25 bands, short-order cook, and a hip-hop dance teacher. Sharon has been described as the following: a warm bowl of soup, a tornado, a jalapeño pepper, and a Jackson Pollock painting.
Math Teacher
High School Principal
Ms. Amanda Waluzak has worked at ACPA since 2007 and serves students, families, and staff as both an educator and an administrator. Ms. Waluzak loves working with ACPA students because of our welcoming educational environment that encourages academic and artistic grit, curiosity, and dialogue amongst all community members.
Math Teacher
I believe that mathematics and science, just like visual art, dance, theater, and music, are part of what make us human, a young species on an ancient planet striving to understand who we are. I’m so excited to be part of the ACPA community of learners, and I look forward to teaching and learning with you this year.
Science Teacher
Counselor
With a bachelors in art education, a deeply rooted affection for music, and a desire to help students find their version of successful, I am in my natural habitat when at ACPA. I feel grateful every day to be working in a school where individuality, intelligence, and creativity are celebrated.