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!
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.
Ms. Collins began working at ACPA in July 2011, and could never imagine working at another school again. Ms. Collins loves the creative energy at ACPA and is constantly amazed by what students here are able to accomplish. Outside of ACPA, you can find Ms. Collins spending time with her kids and exercising during all hours of the day.
MS Visual Arts
Mrs. Coulter grew up in Columbus and has wanted to be a teacher for most of her life. She is beyond excited to be teaching art at ACPA! Mrs. Coulter loves all types of art, especially visual and performing art. Additionally, she enjoys playing board games, watching scary movies, and attending pizza parties… simultaneously.
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.
HS Instrumental Music
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.
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
MS Social Studies
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
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.
Ms. Haines graduated from The Ohio State University in 2017 with a B.S.Ed degree in Special Education. Out of school, she had a 4-year career in retail management and training before heading back into the field of education at the start of 2019. She is excited and honored to be an ACPA middle school trailblazer in addition to already being a vegan, hedgehog mom, and environmentalist!
Ms. Haydinger moved to Ohio from the state of Delaware to attend Defiance College, where she graduated from in 2018. Ms. Haydinger is an avid Legends of Zelda player as well as an expert on the Percy Jackson book series. She also loves potatoes. We're talking french fries, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, hashbrowns, homefries...anything potatoes she's into it!
HS Social Studies
Mr. Hedrick joined the ACPA staff at the beginning of the 2019 school year. He has a BA with a double major in history and philosophy and a PhD in philosophy. Mr. Hedrick enjoys philosophizing, learning new things, reading books (Brandon Sanderson is his favorite fiction author), watching shows on Netflix, and spending time with his wife and pets. Mr. Hedrick absolutely loves the community of teachers and students at ACPA, and considers himself lucky to play a small role in this great educational program, surrounded by some of the kindest people he’s met!
HS Visual Arts
Mrs. Holm started in the visual art department in 2007 (in the original building!). She loves working with the spectacularly creative and open-minded students that fill her classroom every day. Mrs. Holm started sewing (clothes for stuffed animals), drawing and making things when she was little. She earned her BFA at Ohio Wesleyan University and now she plays bass in bands, has kids who go to ACPA and just got certified as a yoga instructor!
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.
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.
HS Visual Arts
Ms. Hunter-Lombardi received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Columbus College of Art & Design and her Master of Fine Art from The Ohio State University. Ms. Hunter-Lombardi's current body of work incorporates her love of science, history and storytelling through ceramics, watercolor, mixed media, printmaking, book arts and assemblage. Teaching since 1994, she seeks to facilitate maximum learning, as she works with all age groups including 16 years' experience teaching college art foundations and over a decade of teacher training.
MS Performing Arts
Theo Jackson (sounds like TAYO) has been making music around Columbus since...well, for a very long time! When making music, you will catch him playing piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet or singing - and often more than one instrument at a time! He has a written 100+ original compositions for bands and theaters - and even one weird commercial you can still hear on the radio. Theo has a BA in Vocal Performance from Otterbein and is Guest Faculty at The Ohio State University teaching "The Singing Actor" class to develop young actors' ability to act through song. He has music directed over 30 musicals including our local Wagnalls Community Theater, CATCO and Actors Theatre, and The Ohio State University.
Mr. Lowery received his Masters in Education in 2019 from The Ohio State University and is psyched to join the ACPA family. Outside of the classroom, you can probably find him at his second home, the Gateway Film Center, taking pictures in the Metroparks, or reading at home with his cat, (Sergeant) Pepper. Mr. Lowery strongly believes in the power of all texts, specifically pop culture, to connect people together in multitudes of ways. Originally from northeast Ohio, he will always have a place in his heart for Cleveland sports. Ask him about his Oscar predictions.
As a recent grad from Ohio State, Ms. Luedtke knew she wanted to start her teaching career at a school that was unique, inclusive and grounded with a positive community. ACPA was the perfect fit. Outside of teaching, Ms. Luedtke is an avid concert-goer, lover of all animals, and chocolate covered pretzels enthusiast. She is open to any and all music suggestions and looking forward to embracing all that ACPA has to offer.
HS Social Studies
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.
If you've ever been to ACPA, you've most certainly met Ms. Kati Nelson. Ms. Nelson is the ultimate ACPA problem solver. If there is a problem, she can fix it. And she will.
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.
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.
While my career at ACPA began in 2017, my time at ACPA began in 2010 as a freshman! I graduated in 2014 and went on to study business management at Columbus State Community College. My desire to return to this wonderful place was fueled by the undying compassion, creativity, and diversity amongst both the staff and student body. This school changed my life, and so I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this change for other students! Outside of school, I love to hike and camp, go to concerts, explore Columbus with my family, and binge-watch Fixer Upper.
HS Vocal Music
I am thrilled to be a part of the ACPA team this year. I have taught music in Illinois and Ohio for the past seven years, and my favorite part of teaching is connecting with students and helping them grow as musicians and as people. When I’m not making music at school, I’m traveling as far and often as I can, reading and spending time with my husband and cat.
I find inspiration all around me. I love to make science (especially chemistry!) exciting and relatable for everyone. I enjoy playing sports, such as racquetball, softball, and any type of football or rugby. I have really adorable nephews and a niece with whom I spend most of my time. Chipotle is my life and I will always say yes to chicken wings and tacos.
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.
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.
HS Social Studies
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!).
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.
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).
After graduating from Ohio University and entering the education world Ms. Staten have found her passion. She wants to make a difference in the lives of students and is excited to have that opportunity at ACPA. Outside of work, she is a mom, animal lover, avid reader and community service enthusiast.
Mr. Swedyk obtained a BA in both Mathematics and Criminal Justice Studies. After some soul searching, Mr. Swedyk realized he liked math more and decided to pursue that path. Listening to his former high school calculus teacher, Mr. Swedyk went to Cleveland State University to become a teacher through their UTeach program. Mr. Swedyk feels like he has found a home at ACPA mainly because of how influential the arts have been in his life. He was in every play in high school, thoroughly enjoys writing, and is a professional magician (something he wishes to share with and teach the students).
Ms. Toth found ACPA through sheer luck, but when she walked through the halls and spoke to the staff she fell in love. ACPA instantly felt like home! She is extremely excited to be apart of the brand new ACPA Middle School as the English teacher! When Ms. Toth isn't in her classroom, she enjoys reading (duh), watching Gilmore Girls (Rory is her favorite), playing with her miniature dachshund (Croix), and eating too much Indian food (Chicken Makhani)! She believes that this year will be APCA’s best year yet!
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.
HS Social Studies
I recently graduated from The Ohio State University with my Masters in Social Studies education. Before immersing myself in my teaching career, I spent some years trying out jobs in the business and financial world but was ultimately drawn back to pursue my true passion...teaching! I believe that Social Studies as a discipline is essential because it teaches us about the human experience and gives us the ability to see the world through different perspectives. I’m so excited to be a part of the beautiful community that ACPA has built and I look forward to learning and growing with my fellow educators and students throughout the year!
Mr. Wagner has been teaching at ACPA since 2014. He has taught Geometry, Real World Math, and AP Calculus at ACPA. This year he is excited to begin teaching Algebra 2. ACPA students are his favorite students because of the creativity and energy they bring to the classroom. Math is the key to the universe!
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.
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 help launch ACPA Middle, and I look forward to teaching and learning with my new middle school family this year.
Mr. Wise is originally from Northwest Ohio and went to a small country high school. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Education from Ashland University. From there he found his home at ACPA teaching life science, and absolutely loves it! Mr. Wise truly enjoys teaching students about the wonderful world of Biology, the huge diversity of life, and everything that comes together to make life on Earth possible. Outside of school, Mr. Wise enjoys reading (Stephen King is the greatest author of all time), golfing, geocaching, disc golfing, and loves to watch scary movies!
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.