Clintonville Academy
Serving grades Pre-K through 8th Grade
3916 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43214


We invite you to learn more about our special teachers. Together they have more than 200 years of teaching experience!

Elementary Teachers

Jenny Johnson: Library and Computer

jenny-johnson-finalMy Teaching Philosophy:

When I began working in the lab with the lower grades, I fell in love with watching the students grasp the new concepts they experience there. Students rarely struggle with the concepts encountered in technology, which gives me the freedom to cover a wide variety of material in many different media. I strive to integrate the classroom curriculum into the skills learned in the lab and to keep up with new and exciting trends in the media world. As a teacher, I benefit from what students have to teach me about seeing the world from their perspective or needing something taught a different way. I’m always learning!

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

It is my goal for technology to be a class where students feel comfortable and able to work at their pace. I strive to minimize frustration that can sometimes grow among small children when technology doesn’t necessarily do what it should, and help them to understand and be patient when learning new concepts. Technology is such a major part of our children’s future and my job is to make it second nature at an early age. There is never homework in computer, although several students like to play/work at the same websites at home. All of my students are successful and challenged because there are always new concepts to be discovered in any given program.

About Me:

In addition to teaching technology, I am the librarian at CA and also work in the office. I live in Columbus and have three daughters. I graduated from the Ohio State University. I am a member at Beechwold Community Church. In my “spare time,” I enjoy spending time with my kids. We like finding new places, taking pictures, listening to music, eating ice cream and letterboxing! I have worked at Clintonville Academy since 2004. I originally joined the CA family when I was in 4th grade as a student.

Karen Howell: Fifth Grade


Karen-HowellWelcome to 5th Grade. I hope you enjoy exploring our pages and learning about our class room at Clintonville Academy.

E-mail Mrs. Howell

Teaching Philosophy

As a parent, I remember how important it was to me for my children to want to go to school. I want my classroom to be a place where 5th graders like to spend their day.  Students need to be comfortable enough to take risks and to know that if they make mistakes or don’t understand concepts, that they will be helped and never ridiculed. I also feel it is important to develop a rapport with my students. They need to know that I am interested in their lives outside the classroom, as well as within the classroom as my student.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine

5th grade is a great year!  You can expect to work hard and learn a lot of new things.  If you learn to make good use of class time, you should not have too much homework. I expect students to get along with one another and to show respect for one another, even if they aren’t best friends. It is always a good thing when students are sad to see their 5th grade year come to an end. Fifth grade is a year of challenge, a year of growth, and a year of fun!

About Me

I grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a small town near Cleveland.  I received my degree from Muskingum College, where I met my husband, John. I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in college and still love sports. My family and I are big Ohio State fans. John and I have been blessed with three children and three grandchildren.

Chas Willis: Fourth Grade


chas-willisMy Fourth Grade Class

Welcome to fourth grade! I am very excited to go on a new learning adventure with you this year. We’ll have lots of fun learning about things in the world around us and building friendships as we go. Put a smile on your face and be ready to have fun!

My Teaching Philosophy:

The most important thing I want my students to know is that I care about them. I am here to support them in their learning adventure and to help them become successful individuals inside and outside the classroom. I strive to create a positive, warm, welcoming environment where students can feel safe to explore learning new things every day. I am very structured, but provide my students with the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and classroom community. It’s important to me that my students feel our classroom is one, happy family together.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

If you’re a student in my class, the most important thing to do is to have fun learning! Learning new things with your friends is always exciting! When everyone works together to respect, challenge, and support one another, our classroom becomes a wonderful learning community. We’ll be learning many new things this year that will prepare you for fifth grade next year. To be successful in fourth grade, you’ll just need a positive attitude, a love for learning, and the willingness to be a hard worker in all you do. You’ll do great!

About Me:

I have been a teacher for fifteen years and have enjoyed teaching different grade levels from Kindergarten to eighth grade. I am from a family of seven and grew up in Newark, Ohio. My family and I have a love for rescuing animals, so I’ve always had lots of furry little critters over the years. I think reptiles are the most fascinating  though! I live with my husband, John, my step-son, Connor, our new little baby, Emmett, three crazy cats, a few fish and an energetic yellow lab. I enjoy watching movies, reading, shopping, and going to coffee shops. I also love spending time with my friends and family as much as possible. Whenever people ask for an interesting fact about me, I tell them I’m related to an old-time country singer.

Laura Quehl: Third Grade


Laura-QuehlWelcome to the 3rd grade!  This is the year your child discovers that he/she has a voice.  We learn to express ourselves in both written and spoken form.  It is an exciting year because we join the student body government and get to send representatives to student council.  We learn more about cultural differences and the importance of caring for the environment.  We will build bridges and explore the structure of the human body.  We discover that we are different yet the same and learn to appreciate each other and the world around us.

My Teaching Philosophy:

I believe in teaching to the whole child.  I want them to feel welcome and safe in the learning environment.  I strive to enable each child to become an independent learner, while challenging themselves to want to learn more.  I use a variety of teaching methods during the day; these involve hands on experiences, visuals, stories, note-taking, media (computers and videos), and reading.  My goal is to have each child exposed to a teaching or learning style that works best for him/her. I hope to spark an enthusiasm for learning while building a strong foundation for the future.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

Students in my class will begin to have more responsibilities.  Each will have a classroom job or two to help the classroom community run smoothly.  We have at home weekly reading, as well as, daily homework in areas such as math, language, or sometimes science and social studies.  Frequent quizes are given in vocabulary in reading, science and social studies.  Projects are assigned throughout the year and challenge the student to explore more on a given topic outside of the classroom.   3rd grade is a time to learn more about who you are and what works best to help you learn.  Each student who enters the classroom will get to decorate a walking stick with a mark for each month of the school year.  At the end of the year they will take it home to remind them of their journey through 3rd grade- a truly third grade tradition.

About Me:

I am an Ohio girl with a country heart.  I started my teaching career with volunteer work at my childhood church teaching Sunday school when I was in middle and high school.  I attended Otterbein College and got my Bachelor’s degree in Education.  In 1988 I started teaching 3rd grade at CA and have been here ever since.  My husband and I are blessed with a son who we are raising to appreciate his Cherokee heritage (with a bit of German and Dutch mixed in).  He loved attending Clintonville Academy because he felt that he was able to be accepted for who he is. Now that he is attending high school he is proud to say that Clintonville Academy made it easy for him to be successful and confident.  We have a soft spot in our heart for animals and have taken in many rescue pets, we currently have two cats.  My family is lucky to be able to live somewhat out in the country and enjoy the nature around us.  Along with my love of the earth and nature I enjoy crafting, cooking, gardening, and camping.

Lisa Anichowski: Second Grade

Second grade is a wonderful year, where you’ll see a wonderful transformation in your child’s academic abilities. They will learn to be more confident and independent readers. You will also see a large jump in their writing skills. As the year progresses, their writing will become more expressive and colorful. This is the year where their manuscript handwriting becomes easier to read and cursive writing is mastered. We will also be tapping into your child’s higher order thinking skills. They will learn how to be problem solvers and feel confident asking why and how. They will be exposed to many wonderful hands-on experiments and experiences that will bring both science and social studies to life!

My Teaching Philosophy:

My teaching philosophy is simple:  there is no such thing as a child who cannot learn. Children need to understand that it is okay to make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. Learning is a journey and not a marathon. I am a firm believer that teachers are the facilitators of the learning process. They need to make sure that students are exposed to authentic learning experiences so as to engage the child in activities that are personally meaningful to them. These experiences must meet the child’s emotional and social needs in conjunction to their academic needs. Our classroom will be a community where students are free to express themselves and feel comfortable in doing so.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

The students in my class will have fun and learn…often at the same time!  Students in my class will be smiling because there are many opportunities to work in small groups, where talking is allowed. Students will be encouraged to be respectful of their peers and to challenge one another.  It will be a true learning community.

About Me:

I have been a teacher for the last 15 years. Although I have taught at many different grade levels, the majority of my experience has been in 2nd grade. I grew up in New York but for the last 25 years have called Columbus my home. I have two sons who are born and bred Ohioans!  My oldest a recent OSU grad, and my youngest an OSU sophomore.  Go Bucks! When not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family,  gardening, reading, traveling and having fun playing with my my two pups, Lily and Henry!

Amy Williams: First Grade

Welcome to First Grade!  I am looking forward to teaching your child this year.  There is so much to learn and explore in First Grade so we will be very busy.  We will read and write everyday and do many hands on activities.  Please contact me anytime with any questions or concerns.

My Teaching Philosophy:

At this level all children want to learn and explore the world around them.  It is my job as a teacher to guide them through this process by showing them how to be successful learners.  I will use several different teaching methods in groups as well as with individuals so that every child can reach their greatest potential.  I feel it is important to provide and safe and nurturing environment for each student so they may learn at their own pace, master each concept and continue to love learning.

What It’s Like To Be a Student of Mine:

Students in my class are safe to make mistakes and encouraged to keep trying.  Students in First Grade will be challenged everyday in reading, writing, math, science and social studies using hands on activities.  Students will have time to work as individuals as well as in groups.  They will be surrounded by a print rich environment and encouraged to express their thoughts through writing as well as through oral presentations.   They will be treated with respect and expected to treat other students and adults the same way.  It is my goal to make First Grade a fun, safe and encouraging environment where students love to learn.

Sara Smith: Kindergarten

Welcome to the Kindergarten!

Through receiving a quality education at CA, students are empowered to become educated and responsible global citizens from a very young age.

My Teaching Philosophy:

My philosophy of teaching kindergarten is engaging students in a fun learning environment. We strive to keep kids actively involved in new experiences allowing for social growth. Touching on academics and daily activities that reinforce our curriculum goals. We help them find their place as a citizen of Clintonville Academy.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

We love to have FUN but we get straight into the business of learning! Our weeks are filled with daily skills practices, guiding us through the year using themes. We will focus on the basics of letters, numbers, science, our environment, and community. We have time for individual instruction and group/center activity. Every student will participate in the core special classes: French, art, physical education, vocal music, computer, library, and field trips.

Meredith Kitts: Pre-Kindergarten

Pre-Kindergarten Class

Welcome to the world of Pre-K! Pre-K is a safe environment where imaginations fly and everyone is special and accepted from the first day they arrive. Children come into this program with a wide variety of skills and it is my opportunity to help each one reach to their highest abilities to be prepared for Kindergarten.

My Teaching Philosophy:

Pre-K at CA is the place to start a good solid foundation in which skills are developed and strengthened. The four main areas of development which I concentrate on are readiness, social/emotional, language, and math. We work together both in small groups and as individuals to receive personal attention. At the end of the year, the children are more self-confident and are new independent thinkers which will help them the following year in Kindergarten.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

I asked my current students what they liked about being in Pre-K and these are their answers:

  • “I like taking the snack bucket home and going to the store with my mom.”
  • “I love Miss Norton and gym class.”
  • “I like being with our 6th grade buddies. They do crafts and read to us.”
  • “I like lunch time and recess.”

To me as their teacher, I believe the best part about our class is watching the children learn and grow without them even knowing it!

Middle School Teachers

Jenny Johnson: Reading

jenny-johnson-finalMy Teaching Philosophy:

As a teacher, I benefit from what students have to teach me about seeing the world from their perspective or needing something taught a different way. I’m always learning, too! I love teaching reading to the middle school students.

About Me:

In addition to teaching reading in middle school, and also teach technology and serve as the school librarian. I live in Columbus and have three daughters. I graduated from the Ohio State University. I am a member at Beechwold Community Church. In my “spare time,” I enjoy spending time with my kids. We like finding new places, taking pictures, listening to music, eating ice cream and letter-boxing! I have worked at Clintonville Academy since 2004. I originally joined the CA family when I was in 4th grade as a student.

Jennifer O’Brien: Middle School

Check back soon for more information on our science teacher, Jennifer O’Brien!

Mike Smith: Middle School

Mr. Mike Smith is our middle school math and social studies teacher. Mr. Smith has 19 years of teaching experience in middle school. Watch for more information coming soon on Mr. Smith!

Taylor Brady: Middle School

Welcome to Middle School Language Arts!

A Little About Me:
My name is Taylor Brady and I grew up in Worthington, Ohio, where I continue to reside along with my rescue dog, Remington. In May of 2016, I received my Bachelor of Science in Middle Education from Ohio Dominican University. My middle school concentration areas are math and language arts.
Teaching Philosophy:
Being a teacher means that I am here to help provide my students with the right information and guiding them to use it to their advantage. I am here to learn just as much from every student that I encounter, as I hope they do from me. While  every student may go at their own pace and learn with a different technique, they still have the capacity to learn anything and everything they are presented.

Foreign Language Teachers

Maria Saldana: Spanish

Angelica-SaldanaSpanish Class

Bienvenido a la pagina de la Senora Saldana! Welcome to Mrs. Saldana’s  website where you can find helpful information about your schedule, homework, and quizzes.

Language is what makes us human. It is the medium we use to share our thoughts with the world. Could you imagine thought without language? Kids learning Spanish will progress through the grades at Clintonville Academy and will continue to be my students until they graduate with a very strong foundation of the language and a very good understanding of the culture in Spanish speaking countries.

My Teaching Philosophy:

I believe that each child is unique and has the potential to bring something special to this world. Learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to expand a child’s horizons. It immediately exposes him or her to a foreign culture especially important in a time when the world is more of a “global village” than ever before. All children have the potential to speak a foreign language; the key is to start early in life. Learning a foreign language takes time and dedication and my philosophy is to make it the most exciting and fun experience possible.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

Children in each grade will increase their Spanish skills in all four communication areas: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. I encourage the use of the Spanish in most communication efforts during class.

About Me:

I was born in Mexico City. Sixteen years ago my husband was transferred from his job in Mexico to a position in Worthington, Ohio. I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Teacher’s Diploma for English as a Second Language. I have two boys: Diego and Alejandro and my family and I go to Mexico twice a year…therefore my kids are bilingual. We enjoy visiting our extended family.

Karen Pollock: French

Karen-PollockDear Student and Parents: I have my own website for my classes so please visit my personal website for class information, audio files, and homework information!

Bonjour! Welcome to French at Clintonville Academy!

As our world becomes more interconnected, we must place a higher value on 2nd language acquisition. It is important that Americans acquire a 2nd language, preferably at an early age. We need to promote the acceptance of other cultures, their languages, and their contributions.

Childhood is the ideal time to begin learning a 2nd language, particularly if the language is introduced through playing, singing, and having fun. Children’s speech production capabilities are still flexible and more likely to mimic native pronunciation and intonation. Additionally, children are not hampered by the inhibitions and language mind sets which are frequently found in adolescent learners.

There are so few school settings where I can share my knowledge and skill with the ideal learners — but at Clintonville Academy, I can. I have the perfect job – and I LOVE IT!

Visit my website for weekly schedules, audio files, helpful links and more!

Art and Music Teachers

Julie Liggett: Music

Julie-LiggerttVocal Music
Students learn and study many different musical concepts. The level of difficulty varies by grade level. During class, students explore many kinds of music, engage in varied musical behaviors, develop musical concepts and make musical judgments. Vocal music is part of the regular Clintonville Academy curriculum. Two concerts are performed each year, and all students participate in both concerts.

Kinds of Music
This includes music of our own heritage and the heritage of others, music composed at different times and places, combinations of voices and instruments, and how music reflects the many forms of emotions.

Varied Musical Behavior
This includes the performance of music that someone else created, describing the music that someone else performed, and creating music that expresses our own ideas.

Developing Musical Concepts
This includes studying pitch, duration and timbre and how these elements are controlled through volume, tempo, and articulation — and learning how these elements are organized into musical structures that create an expressive whole.

Making Musical Judgments
This includes discussing musical and career choices, and also encourages student involvement in out-of-school activities and support of music in the community.

Instrumental Music
Third grade students play the recorder. Rehearsals are held once or twice a week during the school day.

Fourth graders may participate in Beginning Band, and fifth through eighth graders may participate in Advanced Band. Some adjustments as to band placement may be made at the discretion of the band director depending on the experience of the student. Instrumental band is optional for students to participate in, and rehearsals are held once a week after school. The band director offers an opportunity for students to be fitted for instruments at the beginning of the year. Parents may purchase or rent instruments from the store of their choice. Typically, two concerts are performed each year.

Courtney Hall: Art

Welcome to Art Class at Clintonville Academy!

Courtney Hall is our amazing art teacher. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Columbus College of Art and Design as well as a Masters degree in painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time outside of CA, she’s a drummer for a local rock band. Check back for more information on Ms. Hall soon!

Enrichment Teacher

Diane Cole: Enrichment and Tutoring

Diane-ColeMy Teaching Philosophy:

I believe in asking “why” questions and looking for alternatives. I approach teaching in the same manner. I challenge students to ask “why” questions and to seek alternatives. I believe in teaching with an overall plan for the year in mind, but I am also open to changing the plan based on the interests and learning styles of my students. I work to establish clear, measurable objectives and then plan the differentiated instruction.

About Me:

I grew up in South Dakota. My husband and I moved to Columbus for better employment opportunities and the weather. So how cold does it get in South Dakota? Well, the coldest day on record in Columbus, Ohio was 26 degrees below zero. In South Dakota, that might be the high for the day. Also, I love sports. I have a pretty mean hook shot and can dribble behind my back. When I am not teaching or showing off my hook shot on the play ground, I like to visit National Parks.

Physical Education Teacher

Rachel Norton: Physical Education

rachel-nortonThe mission for Physical Education at Clintonville Academy is to provide each student with:

  • A positive movement experience in a non-intimidating environment. We do this through very carefully selected games in which all kids are active all the time.
  • The opportunity to develop the movement skills, desire, and knowledge associated with the pursuit of lifetime health and fitness. This is accomplished by making fitness fun, teaching the principles of fitness, and providing a TON of different types of movement experiences through vigorous play and participation in the President’s Fitness Challenge.
  • A positive social outlet which incorporates teamwork, cooperation, good sportsmanship, integrity, persistence, acceptance, encouragement, and motivation. CA promotes good character.
  • The opportunity to learn how to set reasonable and realistic goals, to measure and record personal progress toward those goals, and to celebrate personal, peer, and whole team accomplishments. At CA it’s about creating a culture of support, personal accomplishment, and group encouragement.
  • A safe environment (physically and emotionally) in which students feel free to move, explore, and play freely. With an emphasis on “put-ups” and by banning “put-downs,” kids feel safe to explore movement with confidence.

What It’s Like to Be a Student of Mine:

In class, student lessons progress developmentally:

  • from simple to more complex activities;
  • from individual, to partner, to small groups;
  • from non-competitive to more competitive;
  • from activities that require little skill to more challenging activities.

The aforementioned mission is accomplished  by providing as much opportunity for movement as possible with minimal directionals – thus offering more time in activity and less time in instruction. Maximum physical involvement for the entire class time is a primary goal.

Students should not  be afraid to try, and if it is not one’s turn to try, it is one’s turn to be an encouragement. Success in this class is about the effort put forth and sportsmanship. It is always “your turn” to do something…effort and/or encouragement.

About Me:

I am from Columbus and a graduate of Cedarville University with a degree in PreK-12 Physical Education. I enjoy all sports, but a few favorites are volleyball, golf and biking. I enjoy spending time with my family and seek opportunities to do just that. I also enjoy assisting Senior Citizens who wish to stay at home, but need a helping hand. My little dog is in training to be a Canine Companion which will further enhance this interest. I am active in my church. I love to travel. I especially enjoy the beach, but I also love the mountains. I enjoy the one-on-one and learning about what is important to others. I am a committed Cleveland Browns fan and that should speak volumes. That kind of commitment is rare.