Director Anthony Gatto

Anthony Gatto

Executive Director He/Him
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, Mr. Gatto taught Algebra and Geometry at ACPA and various subjects at an arts-focused middle school in Columbus City Schools.

Catherine McMillin

HS Principal | She/Her
ACPA has been my professional home since 2007. While here I have taught Social Studies and Spanish, mentored dozens of teachers, been an instructional coach, principal and interim principal (2x and counting!). I love the students here, their creativity and diversity, their kindness and their hope, their determination and their courage.The students have taught me so much more than I have taught them. My priority is always to provide a safe environment that fosters curiosity, understanding, and deep learning. I am delighted to work with such a strong, caring, and reflective staff.

Aaron Wagner

HS Principal | He/Him
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!
Sarah Fingerhut

Sarah Bostelman

MS Principal | She/Her
Sarah graduated from Bowling Green State University with one thing in 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.

Administration (continued)


Samantha Chung-Yew

Human Resources She/Her
I have been in education since I graduated college - starting as a paraprofessional, moving to a library assistant, and then spending the majority of my career as a Middle Math Teacher. I have recently moved into the role of Human Resources, and though it is different, I am so pleased to be able to stay at ACPA! I grew up in Denver, CO and lived there until I moved to Columbus in 2020. I chose to go out of state for college at Rutgers University where I met my husband. My hobbies include spoiling my dogs and exploring new parks with my fur babies and husband. I loved supporting students as a teacher and now I love supporting the teachers and staff in my role.

Jennifer Dunaway

Billing Coordinator She/Her
Jennifer graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Public Administration and certificate in Nonprofit Management. Prior to moving to Columbus with her husband Nick and 6 children Jennifer served as the Senior Director of Advancement at Seton High School in Cincinnati. Jennifer has spent the last 5 years with the Soccer Field Academy managing soccer programming and developing resources for parents of young soccer players. In her free time Jennifer enjoys writing, watching any and all soccer, live music and singing Karaoke.

Fayth Pennington

Events, Marketing, & Communications Director | She/Her
Fayth has been a member of the ACPA community since 2010, when she began her freshman year! She enjoys taking care of her garden and chickens, attending music festivals and concerts, and going on adventures with her two kids Lorelei (9), Anthony (3), and husband Anthony, also an ACPA alumni. She is so excited to continue living her dream of overseeing marketing & events at ACPA for the 2nd year!

Juan Rojas

Enrollment Director He/Him
Ever since my arrival at ACPA, students and staff welcomed me to the unique inclusive academic culture rooted in our amazing values (kindness, respect for diversity, honesty, problem solving, communication, participation and awareness). I have over twenty-five years of experience in education as a teacher, mentor, administrator, and academic leader. In my current position as the Enrollment Director my goal is to make sure that I welcome as many creative students that are determined to thrive; students that enjoy the arts and use their passion and creativity to be academically prepared to enjoy a bright future. In my spare time I enjoy reading books and writing poetry, exercising and spending quality time with my flown and grown children.

Administrative Support Staff


Emily Collins

Records Director She/Her
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.

Sarah Silver

Transportation Director She/They
Ms. Sarah joined ACPA in 2021 working in the High School front office. Sarah grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Spanish. She is passionate about supporting our students getting to and being at school in her role as attendance and transportation director. Outside of school, Sarah enjoys spending time with her son, taking care of her plethora of plants, and reading.

Molly Jordan

HS Administrative Assistant She/Her
I graduated from ACPA in 2019. I am now a full time student at Mount Carmel College of Nursing, going for my BSN. My time at ACPA was always really amazing and fun. I love the energy and vibe that the school has. Getting to be back as a part of the administrative team is a really amazing experience for me.

Vivian Morrison

MS Administrative Assistant
I truly love ACPA and appreciate the happiness and freedom I had here as an alumni. I am now part of the support team. Outside of ACPA I have more hobbies than I can count and really love anime, art and listening to music.

Shadé Pearce

HS Administrative Assistant She/Her

Student Support Staff


Demetrius Pate

Dean of Students He/Him
This is my second year at ACPA and I love the culture that is being created here. I’ve been in education for 20 years and have served in many different roles such as Intervention elementary, middle school, and high school math teacher, general education math teacher, middle school principal, and director of special education. I believe in empowering young people to be the very best version of who they were created to be as well as teachers. This is my 9th year in Ohio. I am a Georgia native. Rolltide!

Asya Mosley

Student Support & After School Coordinator | She/Her
I am an ACPA alumni and I truly found that I could be my most authentic self at ACPA. I appreciate the support of the staff and the peace of mind I had knowing everyday could be a good day. Now I get to give that opportunity to others. It makes my feel like I'm really making a difference.

Nonha Powell

School Nurse | She/Her
Youth and art have always been my passions, however, the medical field has always been my gift. ACPA is home to both for me, and I'm an ACPA alumni. I'm so happy to dedicate my services to such an amazing community. Outside of school, I enjoy food and music from all over the world.
Hannah Rivas

Hannah Rivas

Family Translation Services | She/Her
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.

Student Support Staff (continued)


Matt Dinning

MS Instructional Aide | He/Him
I graduated from ACPA back in 2017, I fell in love with the culture and having teachers who really cared about me as a person, not just a student. I began as an instructional aide in 2020 in an all autistic unit K-12 and fell in love with helping make a difference in kids' lives. My hope for my time at ACPA is to help students learn as well as make a positive impact in their lives. When I’m not at work you can find me playing video games or watching some Michigan football while cuddling my cats.

Dalen Eicher

MS Instructional Aide They/Them

Angela Carnes

Building Substitute | She/Her
Angela Carnes was born and raised in the lake front town of Sandusky, Ohio where she graduated from Sandusky High School. She went on to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications. Angela Carnes’ professional career spans over 25 years in the Marketing and PR Fields. Angela currently enjoys being an inspiration to today’s youth as a substitute teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She has always had a passion for helping her community! Angela resides in Westerville, Ohio and is the proud mother of a very gifted 15-year-old son Micah. He is currently making the most of his interest in the performing arts with his amazing singing and acting talents. Angela plans to continue promoting healthy, positive, and high self-esteem in our youth! She makes every effort to shine her light as bright as she can in hopes of nurturing the light inside of the youth she influences. She wants them to learn how to shine from within as bright as possible!! This is why she is also aka MS. LIT {Loving, Inspiring, and Transforming}. Angela is absolutely thrilled to be sharing her LIT qualities with her new ACPA Family! MS LIT is now in the building!!



Eric Gerlach

HS Counselor He/Him
Mr. G is the school counselor for high school students with last names A-K. He is also ACPA's District Testing Coordinator and manages the administration of Ohio State Tests, the ACT, and AP testing at ACPA. He has a master's degree in School Counseling from The Ohio State University (2022) and a bachelor's degree in Psychology (with a minor in Mathematics) from Denison University (2020). He loves being a part of the unique ACPA community, where the culture is driven by an emphasis on values and creativity. In his free time, Mr. G explores a vast range of interests that include playing guitar and piano, writing music, painting and drawing, reading, and playing video games.

Christopher Winchester

LSW | School Social Worker He/Him
Hello! I’m Mr. Winchester and I’m excited to be your school social worker. I’m a licensed social worker (LSW) and I’ve long wanted ACPA to be my home. As part of the mental health team, my role includes counseling and therapy, crisis management, facilitating groups, linking students and families with resources and assistance, and advocating to remove barriers to student success. Before obtaining my master’s degree in social work from Ohio State University, I earned a master’s degree in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution with a concentration in educational conflict from the Creighton University School of Law. Finding healthy ways to engage conflict – both internal and external – is a passion of mine. My other interests include literary and film analysis, music, sweater vests, and my two Goldendoodles.

Heather Wise

LISW-S | School Social Worker She/They
Miss Wise is the school social worker for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. Their role includes psychotherapy, crisis management, conflict resolution, group facilitation, linking students and families with resources, and advocating to remove barriers to student success. Heather has been working with youth and young adults since 2004 and has a background in community organizing, program development, and psychotherapy. Miss Wise has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Capital University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Heather loves animals, art, music, drag, social justice, and mental health advocacy. Miss Wise can be found in the Counseling Cove or you can email to schedule an appointment.

Diverse Learning Program/Special Education


Chris Ifill

Diverse Learner Program Coordinator She/Her
Chris Ifill is the new Diverse Learner Program Coordinator. This role was created to support intervention specialists, diverse learners, their families and the ACPA community as a whole. She holds a Master Degree in Educational Leadership and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English Literature. She is a licensed Intervention Specialist with an emphasis on mild to moderate disabilities for grades K-12. With five years of hands-on expertise as a school principal, and an additional 15 + years as a special education teacher,She brings a well-rounded background to ACPA as well as the drive and passion to advocate for student success. She loves to sing, cook, knit, crochet, and do puzzles. Stop by the office if you have a need to de-stress. You may find a puzzle in the works.

Akilah Boldware

MS Intervention Specialist She/Her
Hello! My name is Akilah Boldware and I teach middle school intervention to our diverse learners. Prior to becoming an educator, I worked as a court stenographer which was a cool experience. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music and relaxing with my loved ones. I also enjoy cooking, baking and painting. I am grateful to be among an amazing community here at ACPA.

Eleanor Brown

MS Intervention Specialist She/Her
Hello, I’m Mrs. Brown. I graduated from OSU and am training to become a licensed intervention specialist. An ACPA mom for nine years so far, I’ve seen my own children transformed by the support and inspiration of this wonderful community. I’m so excited to join the team!
Mac Headshot

Keisha McClelland

HS Intervention Specialist She/Her
Hello there! My name is Keisha, but everyone calls me Mac and I’m looking forward to my first year at ACPA as an Intervention Specialist. I have been working with students with special needs for over 15 years but this will be my 7th year in a typical school environment. I’ve been married for 10 years to a wonderful man and we have 2 cats in our loving home. I enjoy playing board games and singing the wrong words to popular music.

Nathan Renner

HS Intervention Specialist He/Him
Hello there, I'm Mr. Renner! I’m looking forward to my third year here at ACPA as an Intervention Specialist. I love the unique potential of every person on this planet and I have had the pleasure of supporting wonderful humans on individualized plans for over 7 years now. When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, relaxing with my cats Morris & Peaches, editing videos, working as a care provider for my client who is basically my younger brother, and frolicking through meadows.



Paul Snyder

Executive Chef & Child Nutrition Director | He/Him

Ben Payne

Sous Chef | He/Him

Morgan Friend

Cafe Chef | She/Her

Hilary Santos

Cafe Chef | She/Her

Morgan Webb

Cafe Chef | She/Her
As an ACPA alum, I always felt grateful for the opportunity to attend such a special school. Now as a staff member, I feel grateful to have such a special job! I love serving exciting and delicious meals to our wonderful students every day, I truly couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Arts Department

Noah Demland

Noah Demland

HS Instrumental Music | He/Him
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.

Alex Dodge

HS Theater | He/Him
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.

Cole Garlando

Yoga & Stretch, Strength, & Flow They/Her
Hello my name is Cole Garlando. I am a choreographer, dancer, radio show host, and somatic wellness educator who earned a BFA in Dance from Ohio University in Athens (2001); state licensure in Massage Therapy (2008); an MFA in Dance from Ohio State (2017); and will study Library and Information Science online for the next few years via Kent State. I am grateful for the activist community in Columbus and have enjoyed teaching in Ohio and beyond for more than twenty-five years as an artist-in-residence with PreK-12, University, and adult students. I love facilitating interdisciplinary creative processes; dance improvisation and composition; performance; somatic awareness and meditation experiences. I am happy ACPA exists for the students and I feel grateful to be here.

Melody Harris

HS Visual Arts She/Her
Melody Harris, an Art Educator working with ACPA, has dual degrees from Kent State University: She holds a B.F.A. in (Figurative) Ceramics/Metalsmithing, a Bachelor of Arts , in Art Education and a Minor in Educational Psychology. She is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in the creation of large-scale, hand-built figurative sculptures. Several of her piecesare in private collections. Melody is an award - winning Inter disciplinary Arts Educator and Educational Lead, with years of experience. Her expertise includes constructing complex curriculums containing layers of ideas with a focus on learning through the Arts. She uses an Arts-Integrated approach to STEAM education to enhance her student’s artistic journey. She does this by designing lessons that engage with multiple disciplines with in a transdisciplinary space, enabling her students to connect their work to real world settings.
Brooke Hunter Lombardi

Brooke Hunter-Lombardi

HS Visual Arts She/Her
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.

Theo Jackson

Performing Arts He/Him
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.

Dallas Karr

Dance | She/Her
Dallas is originally from Nashville, TN, where she started dancing at a local dance studio at the age of 3 years old. Since then, Dallas has had a wide range of accomplishments including performing in a piece choreographed by Britney Spears' choreographer ,Andre Fuentes, and traveled the country participating in competitions and conventions. Before becoming part of the ACPA team, Dallas worked for BalletMet teaching dance classes to the company trainees, students of Columbus State Community College, and high schoolers in the Reynoldsburg area. She is so excited to be a part of the ACPA team and get the opportunity to work with so many talented students and faculty!

Marrett Laney

MS Performing Arts She/Her
Ms. Laney (Ms. LJ) has her Bachelor's Degree from the Capital University Conservatory of Music, has worked as a character and parade performer at Walt Disney World in Florida, toured Ireland with a singing group and has performed at Carnegie Hall. She has also done film work, teaches voice and acting lessons out of her home studio, and performs regularly around Columbus. She is beyond excited to be teaching at ACPA specifically for its arts and academic integrative approach. Ms. LJ loves to read, hike, and study languages and history in her free time, and is excited to share that she will be getting married in March of this school year! She also is extremely fond of coffee and board games, and always strives for students to know that learning is continuous. Mistakes will be made, but how we succeed is by getting back up and trying again.

Nikki Solomon

MS Visual Arts

Middle School Academic Staff


Jenna Blackburn

Science | She/Her
Miss Blackburn is excited to begin her first year teaching here at ACPA. She recently graduated from Bowling Green State University and knew she wanted to teach at a school that fosters the same love for the arts as she does. As soon as she saw the art covering the walls she knew this was the school for her. Miss Blackburn will be teaching middle school science and wants to share her love for science with as many students as she possibly can. Miss Blackburn loves animals and is often found trying to help stray kittens, eating Jeni’s ice cream (which she worked at for 6 years), and spending time outside listening to podcasts. Miss Blackburn can’t wait to see what everyone accomplishes this school year! You can contact Miss Blackburn at

Carinne Blackwell


David Jones

Social Studies
In August 2022, David Jones is beginning his third year teaching Middle School Social Studies at ACPA. Prior to entering middle school education, Dr. Jones taught African History at Ohio State, and before that had stints as a newspaper reporter and baseball historian, among other adventures. But his real passion is teaching history, and he is eager to help ACPA students connect the lessons of the past with the challenges of the present. He believes history is fundamentally about empathy, and recognizing the shared humanity of people from every time and place. He encourages his students to see themselves as historians, actively interpreting the past in order to shape the future!

High School Academic Staff

English Department


Alex Dodge

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.
IMG_8128 (1)

Grace Eberhart

Captain Eberhart received their BA in Integrated Language Arts Education from Ohio University in May 2023, and has been in love with reading, writing, and all things art since they were 3 years old. They teach 9th grade English and all Media Arts classes at ACPA, and end every day of teaching by going home to their cat, Vegas. They also enjoy long walks in the park, video games (Minecraft & Fortnite), listening to music while staring at the ceiling, and creating their own art!

Madison Mientus

Ms Mientus is from the western suburbs of Chicago, where she lived for the majority of her life. In 2019, she graduated from Columbia College Chicago where she studied Film and Fiction Writing. After a few years in various careers, she made a leap into teaching and graduated from National Louis University with a Masters in Secondary Education. As a first year teacher, Ms. Mientus is thrilled to join the ACPA staff where she is able to combine her love of Film and English, while also getting to experience Columbus, Ohio.

Lillian Perkins

Mx. Perkins is excited for their first year at ACPA! Originally from the Cleveland area, Mx. Perkins studied philosophy, English literature, and peace, justice, and human rights at John Carroll University. After receiving their masters in philosophy at Ohio State University, Mx. Perkins realized that teaching high school was their passion. Mx. Perkins received an M.A. in Teaching, English in 2023 and promptly found a home at ACPA. In the classroom, Mx. Perkins combines their love for literature and writing with a deep commitment to justice and ethics. Outside of school, you'll often find them rock climbing, competing in trivia, or indulging in reality TV with their two cats.

Foreign Language Department


Anna Devault

HS Spanish
This is Profe. D.'s first year at ACPA and she is so happy to be here! Profe. D. graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English. She received her Master's in Education from Ashland University. This is year 14 as a teacher of Spanish. ACPA fosters Profe's love of the arts, creativity, and culture. She is most excited to be teaching in an inclusive and diverse environment.

Emily Horwath

HS Spanish
Seño H. (ah-chay) is excited for another year at ACPA! She graduated with a degree in Foreign Language Education with a concentration in Spanish from the University of Dayton. After studying Spanish for over half her life, she is thrilled to share her love of the Spanish language and its connected cultures with her students. Seño H. enjoys going to concerts, eating international foods, and traveling to familiar and unfamiliar places.

Mathematics Department


Jason Holman

Mr. Holman graduated from Muskingum University in 2014 and has been teaching Algebra and Geometry ever since, including being at ACPA since 2020. Mr. Holman loves math (obviously) and is an avid sports fan. He is often watching a football or baseball game in the evenings or on weekends. In the summer, Mr. Holman spends a lot of time coaching baseball. If he is not watching, coaching, or playing a sport, Mr. Holman is likely watching a movie or TV show and enjoying some pizza or popcorn with his wife and new baby.

Sindhu Sreedevi

I am Sindhu Sreedevi, and I am passionate about teaching Math and helping students to understand the subject. With 16 years of experience in teaching, I have dedicated my career to fostering a love for this subject and helping students unlock their full potential. My graduate degree in Math equipped me with a strong foundation in mathematical concepts, which I enthusiastically share with my students. My teaching philosophy revolves around making mathematics accessible, engaging, and enjoyable for every student. I believe that mathematics is not just a subject; it's a tool for critical thinking, problem-solving, and exploring the world around us. I strive to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and, most importantly, learning from them. Beyond the Math classroom, I love to travel to explore new places, watch movies and cook. I am excited to continue my educational journey and share my love for mathematics with my students at ACPA.

Maekenzie Yeung

Mrs. Yeung received her Bachelor of Mathematics and Masters in Education from Ohio State University. She discovered ACPA during her student teaching and decided to stay! She has now worked at ACPA for 4 years teaching Algebra 2, Precalculus and AP Calculus. She is currently the advisor for National Honor Society and one of the advisors for Senior Leadership. In her free time, Mrs.Yeung enjoys DIY projects, watching movies, spending time outside and ice cream.

Science Department


Ryan Kirkman

Mr. Kirkman grew up in Illinois right across the Mississippi River from St Louis, Missouri, got his degree at Elmhurst College near Chicago, then eventually moved to Ohio and taught Biology, Paleontology, and Zoology for 6 years at East Knox High School before moving to Columbus and joining ACPA. Mr. Kirkman has always been fascinated by the scientific mindset that encourages us to learn more about the world around us, and is continually awestruck by just how confusing and incredible those discoveries can be! He also enjoys riding bikes on trails, reading books people recommend to me, discovering new music, playing video games, watching movies, going to museums to point at fossils and say wow, breathing, and picking up critters that I probably shouldn't.

Zach Willis


Brandon Wise

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!

Social Studies Department


Ryan Alvarado

I’m from a small town in Ohio called Tiffin. I attended The Ohio State University in order to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree and am currently working towards my Master’s at the University of Findlay. I am teaching U.S. History this year and am most excited to cover the Civil Rights Movement as well as the rise of Popular Culture. Outside of school I enjoy playing the piano, going on walks with my dog Kimber and most of all, exploring new restaurants even though nothing can beat McDonald’s. I love the inclusive atmosphere that exists at ACPA and look forward to helping students find their own definition of success and happiness.

Landon Hedrick

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!

Zach Pennington

Mr. Pennington graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in Comparative Studies and is an ACPA graduate as well! Most often, Mr. Pennington can be found either helping in ACPA’s math classes or teaching and playing the drums. Outside of ACPA, Mr. Pennington enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, trail running, and playing music.
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