Lorena (Rena) Popelka began working at Columbus Academy in November 2018 as assistant librarian in the upper school before taking over as head librarian at the start of the 2023-24 school year. She also serves as our yearbook advisor. Rena joined Academy after 10 years of time spent between being the reference and instruction librarian at Columbus State Community College and youth services librarian at the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Lorena has also presented at the Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA) and Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) for creation of the “K-12 Building Bridges” initiative. She has a B.A. in English literature from Miami University and a M.L.S. from Indiana University. Lorena and her husband, John, reside in Blacklick with their two children, Brian and Alison, along with their three dogs and two cats.

Lorena’s favorite thing about Columbus Academy
“The sense of community here at Columbus Academy is infectious. The staff, the students, the faculty – everyone is just amazing in all that they do.”

Little-known fact
“I'm originally from a very small town in California - the town was mentioned in the Grapes of Wrath and is the town's claim to fame. I love mentoring students and manage a book club in Gahanna.”

Favorite sports team
“I'm a tennis aficionado, but after living in central Ohio for over 15 years, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to the Buckeyes!” 

  • B.A. Miami University , English Literature
  • M.L.S. Indiana University