Adriana Matzke joined Columbus Academy this month as the director of enrollment management. We share this recent conversation to help introduce her to our community.

Q: Welcome to Columbus Academy! First, let’s make sure everyone says your name correctly. How is your last name pronounced?

A: Matt-ski

Q: You just moved to Columbus from the Twin Cities. Our head of school also came here from a school in Minneapolis. Did you already know Melissa Soderberg before applying for this position?

A: Good question. While Melissa and I worked at peer schools for many years, I did not know Melissa before applying, but it turns out that we know a lot of the same people. Once people heard that I was hired and coming to Academy, so many of them have shared nothing but wonderful things about Melissa and her leadership, which has only added to my excitement for this opportunity.

Q: Director of enrollment management is a new title for Columbus Academy but is one becoming more common in the education world. How would you describe what your role is and what areas do you oversee or help to manage?

A: Enrollment Management vs Admissions is definitely a significant and important way in which many independent schools have shifted in the last several years. I think the best way to describe my role is that while admissions is central to the work of our team, I will have the opportunity to utilize strategic, research-based processes that will look holistically at recruitment, retention and financial assistance, and I’ll work to bring these key pieces all together.

Q: Your first day at Academy was Monday so you were able to observe Commencement. Did you learn anything new about our school or did anything surprise you about the ceremony?

A: What an exciting first day! One thing that I learned was that Academy has a bell! Hearing it ring out both at the start and at the end of the ceremony – as well as the bagpipes – were lovely surprises. However, two things that really stood out to me were how warmly families engaged with one another and the gratitude expressed by families and students of the faculty and staff as I overheard several conversations.

Q: In your hiring announcement, Director of Hiring & Student Outreach Pedro Mena mentioned a deep connection to your Latin American heritage. Can you please tell us a little about your heritage and family?

A: I am proud of my Latin American background but, as a transracial adoptee, my racial and cultural identity is a bit complicated. I was born in Colombia, South America, where I lived in an all-girls foster home until age 13 months. As the only person of color in an all white family, growing up in rural Minnesota as one of very few people of color in my schools, I didn’t really come to understand my racial identity until I was an adult. It’s a continual journey of understanding. Please know I am always happy to talk about this part of myself, so please feel free to ask me questions if we have an opportunity to meet.

Q: For any families who might be considering Columbus Academy for their children, what would you like them to know about the enrollment process?

A: I would tell any family who is curious about Academy to check it out! Calling to have a conversation with a member of our admissions team and/or coming to take a tour is easy and requires no obligation. The team is warm, friendly, responsive and eager to answer your questions. I would ask that you don’t make any assumptions and decide that it’s not the right place for your family without learning for yourself. Then, after you’ve chatted with us, if you decide to move forward in the process, we will be there every step of the way.