Columbus Academy’s winter break began with a Holiday Luncheon gathering where the school honored 2018 Distinguished Alum Niles Overly '69 and Alumni Service Award recipient Gail Olson.

During the December 21 gathering at The Westin Columbus, Head of School Melissa Soderberg provided an overview of today's Academy followed by Alumni Board President Lauren Hilsheimer '02 presenting the school’s most prestigious awards to the honorees.

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“I’m very proud to be associated with today’s improved Columbus Academy,” said Overly in his emotional acceptance speech following an introduction by his close friend Bill Williams ’71. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to have served and to have given back in any way that I could.” Niles was introduced by his close friend Bill Williams '71 and presented with the school's most prestigious honor by Alumni Board President Lauren Hilsheimer '02.

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While accepting the Alumni Service Award, Olson mentioned it was a special year for her to be honored because the Class of 2019 in attendance represented the final group of fourth-graders she taught at Columbus Academy before retiring in 2011.

“When you’re in the teaching profession, you really don’t expect to have a day like today so I thank you,” she told the audience, which included numerous former colleagues. “I was one of the lucky ones; I absolutely truly loved my job.”

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For more information about Columbus Academy’s alumni awards, including complete lists of previous honorees, click here.