Debbie Keeran, who decided last fall to retire in June, will conclude her remarkable 42-year career at Columbus Academy as the 2021 Commencement speaker.

“Being the 2021 Commencement speaker is an absolute privilege to me,” said Debbie, our Assistant Director of Admissions since 1996. “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.”

Debbie was hired as a first grade teacher in 1979 and soon transitioned to what was then a new kindergarten program in the early ’80s. In 1993, she started Academy’s PreK program and spent a total of 17 years teaching in lower school classrooms. She became the Early Childhood Director, Assistant Head of Lower School and Interim Head of Lower School before joining the admissions office a quarter-century ago.

A cum laude graduate of Wittenberg University, Debbie was one of 16 influential women celebrated in the 2013 edition of Columbus Women’s Book. She and her husband Keith have two daughters, Meredith Kessler ’96 and Kelsey Boole ’01, who are both in the Columbus Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.

As impressive as her accomplishments and accolades are, they fall far short of conveying the true impact Debbie has had on our school’s history, especially in her current role of introducing and welcoming so many to the Lower School. She was the first point-of-contact for a large majority of families in this year’s graduating class.

In her own words: “Like the class of 2021, I am graduating too! While they are off to start their quest of finding a career path, my quest will be to rest in retirement. I look forward to honoring the Class of 2021 on June 7th!”