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WE SEE EACH
Reflecting upon my first year at Marburn Academy, my
primary feeling is one of gratitude for the overwhelming
support of our community of donors. Your deep
commitment to this school and its mission is inspiring,
and it feeds the passion with which we, as educators,
approach our work.
In May, I was fortunate enough to accompany 22 of our
students to Costa Rica for nine days, the first international
trip for the Voyageurs program. We stayed in a village
with local Costa Rican families to experience their life,
explored the rainforest and wildlife, and went rafting
and ziplining. It was gratifying seeing our students’
excitement, gratitude, and wonder firsthand. As adults,
we often work to contain or minimize our enthusiasm, but
our students embrace it fully, which was beautiful to see,
and allowed me to experience it right along with them.
Marburn makes a difference to its students every day.
And it makes a difference to the community as a
whole. We see each student as an original. Our task as
educators is to discover our students’ individual stories,
to meet them where they are and move forward together.
Our students may learn differently, but we believe that
makes them extraordinary. And your Annual Fund gift
makes all the difference, too. Thank you for all of your
Head of School
Without doubt, the most moving part of my first year at
Marburn Academy was the graduation ceremony. The
nine graduating seniors spoke eloquently about their
experiences as learners and members of the Marburn
community and thanked the many people who helped
them reach this milestone. They captured the struggles
they face and the courage it has taken to get to this point.
They are models of resilience, strength, and hope.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the Marburn Academy
community. The Groundbreaking Ceremony last
September was a major accomplishment and defining
moment for all of us. Discussions of a new facility had
been ongoing for more than 19 years, and the fulfillment
of this vision is nothing short of transformative. Marburn
is truly putting down roots in the community, positioning
itself to be a fundamental resource for Central Ohio
families for many years to come.
Paul’s teachers describe him as an utter joy to teach.
“He loves school and sports and can always be spotted
interacting with his numerous friends, playing, and
grinning from ear to ear!” says Michqua Levi, teacher.
When he enrolled at Marburn Academy as a 3rd grader,
Paul had deficits in both math and language. He’d been
diagnosed with severe hearing loss at the age of three,
and had been in speech therapy since he was 18 months
old. Paul’s parents explained that he desperately wanted
to learn. As a bright child who struggled in a mainstream
setting, he would get incredibly frustrated when he
couldn’t get the right answers. His parents were so
impressed during a Marburn visit in 2014, they moved
from West Virginia to Columbus just so Paul could attend.
After two years at Marburn, Paul has progressed from
reading at a 1st-grade level, a full year-and-a-half behind,
to reading at a 4th-grade level. He’s made significant
progress remediating his deficits in math, as well. He
also took advantage of Marburn’s innovative summer
program for math to make further progress.
“HE WENT FROM BEING
QUIETLY CURIOUS TO AN
INQUISITIVE LEARNER NOT
AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES.”
—Leslie Dilley, teacher
Paul is a treasured member of the Marburn community,
and is always willing to contribute to class responsibilities,
such as taking care of his classroom’s pet tortoises. He
loves animals, and approaches science labs with gusto.
Receiving an education tailored to his specific needs has
transformed Paul into a confident, creative student.
Hannah Hess remembers the day her mom told her she
had dyslexia with perfect clarity. She was in 4th grade,
sitting on her bed sobbing, asking, “What is wrong with
me?” She was that student teachers told, “You just aren’t
trying hard enough.” In reality, she was trying her hardest
on every single assignment. By the time she’d reached
5th grade, she dreaded school. Hannah explains, “I felt
so abandoned and alone in my education.”
Her parents suggested switching schools. A visit to
Marburn Academy in the spring of her 5th grade year
immediately revealed a loving, welcoming community.
“BUT I DIDN’T KNOW THEN
HOW TRULY SPECIAL IT WAS,”
Hannah says. Her parents enrolled her in Marburn for
the start of the 2010 academic year.
Hannah remembers being surprised that first fall.
“I never thought a school existed that cared so much
about every one of its students.” Her 6th grade teacher,
Mrs. Hawkins, described her as an “energetic, willing to
learn, bundle of nerves.” Hannah recalls practicing for an
important project. “I was going to have to miss practice
one day, and Mrs. Hawkins could see I was very uneasy.
She told me not to worry and that everything would be
okay. I knew I could trust her.”
Hannah found herself enjoying school again and
reignited her love for learning. As a 6th grader, she’d
enrolled at Marburn with significant academic delays
and low self-confidence. By the time she reached her
Junior year, she’d been inducted into the National Honor
Society. Her self-confidence skyrocketed, too. She is a
member of Marburn’s Ambassadors Club, which gives
tours of the building to prospective families, visiting
students, and college students. Through the Voyageurs
program, she took a rock-climbing trip to the Red River
Gorge, and she visited Costa Rica this past May with 22
of her classmates. As an 11th grader, she also had the
chance to complete an educational internship. Every day
she visited a Lower Division classroom to learn teaching
skills and interact with the students.
Hannah says, “Marburn has taught me many important
skills that I can use for the rest of my life, like how to
advocate for myself when I have questions, and how
to be an independent learner.” She also has a better
understanding of which specific learning style fits her
best. However, the biggest lesson she has taken away is
to view her learning differences as a strength rather than
After graduating in the spring of 2017, Hannah plans to
attend college to study education. “My teachers have
been wonderful examples of the teacher I hope to be,”
Hannah knew she had the ability to succeed as a
student. She only needed the opportunity to access
her full potential. “My Marburn family helped me find
the courage to be bold,” she says. “They taught me to
believe in myself, as a student and as a person. Marburn
is a special place, a very special place.”
Owner, Kate Morrison Photography
When I moved to Ohio, I was eight years old. My parents
and I visited several different schools. We heard back
from one that caught our attention, and not in a good
way. They told my parents,
DOESN’T FIT OUR
I later learned that this basically meant I was going to be
that kid who slows the class down. It struck me that they
viewed a child through one set of lenses. It led me to
wonder about a simple question.
What if we looked at a child, and instead of seeing
what they weren’t, we saw their potential and what they
When children hear they aren’t good enough, there is a
huge impact on how they feel about themselves. This is
why so many students arriving at Marburn lack the selfesteem
that is so critical for success. When I walked into
Marburn, I was timid and scared. Those who met me
back then quickly came to know a Kate who was loud,
hyper, and lacking focus and confidence. What Marburn
took the care to discover was a girl full of life, who thrived
in ways that test scores missed.
During my four years there, I learned lessons that would
stick with me. Marburn taught me how to stand up for
myself and ask for help when I needed it. Marburn taught
me that it’s okay to have different areas of strength
and weakness, and we don’t all have to be the same.
Marburn taught me how to learn in ways that traditional
schools didn’t know how to teach. But, most importantly,
Marburn taught me to embrace being myself: Don’t let
others judge you, because, in the end, you will succeed
equally in your own way.
Marburn fundamentally changed my life. At 18,
I graduated high school with honors. At 19, I started my
own photography company. I’ve had the opportunity
to photograph equestrian events around the country,
including Olympians from around the world. At the same
time, I’ve competed at the highest level in equestrian
jumping events. Jumping 5-foot fences on a 1,300-pound
animal feels natural to me. It’s like dancing with a partner,
every movement in sync.
The little girl who did not fit their profile was also selected
to compete in the North American under-25 equestrian
championships, with 40 of the best riders on the
continent. The four days of competitions were grueling.
But, as I stood on the podium to be presented the
bronze medal, both for the team competition and as an
individual competitor, I sensed my 5th-grade self beside
“WE MADE IT!”
At 22, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Photography. This summer, I interned for Urban NY,
a prestigious photography production company in
New York City.
None of that would have been possible without the tools
Marburn gave me. No child should have to feel the pain
of failure when they house the potential for success.
I happened to find my calling through the lens of a camera.
Each day, I create images that tell a story, of a person or
about a place. Marburn planted the seed of confidence in
me to pursue my dream; not only that, Marburn nurtured
that seed to help it grow and then thrive. I will be forever
grateful to Marburn Academy for looking past what
I wasn’t and seeing what I could be.
Images courtesy of Kate Morrison Photography
NEW ALBANY CAMPUS
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN DONORS TO DATE 409
SQUARE FOOTAGE 64,000
STUDENT CAPACITY 350
MONEY RAISED $6,493,780.87
The building is now under roof! Daimler is completing the brickwork. Windows were
installed in July. Inside, drywall is going up. The interior is starting to take shape.
WE’RE ON TARGET TO FINISH CONSTRUCTION IN NOVEMBER
AND WILL BE MOVING OVER WINTER BREAK IN DECEMBER.
GALA HIGHLIGHTS 2016
NET AMOUNT RAISED:
MORE THAN $240,000
Thanks to your support and enthusiasm for Marburn’s
mission, the Gala this year was a runaway success.
The Gift of Learning Fund achieved its highest year ever.
We raised a total of $107,320, all of which goes directly
to our students. Because more than 50% of Marburn
families rely on tuition assistance, this scholarship
program is critical.
People couldn’t stop talking about the moving speeches
by alumna Kate Morrison and Class of 2017 Marburn
student, Hannah Hess. These stories of resilience and
courage remind us why we do what we do, and how
important it is. There is nothing quite like the moment
when a student feels understood, when their individual
learning style is recognized, honored, and nurtured.
“I AM CONTINUALLY FILLED WITH RESPECT AND APPRECIATION
FOR THOSE WHO SUPPORT MARBURN’S GALA. THIS YEAR PROVED
NO EXCEPTION, AS WE SURPASSED ALL PREVIOUS RECORDS IN
ATTENDANCE AND FUNDRAISING. WE COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT THE
GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THOSE IN THE CENTRAL OHIO COMMUNITY.”
SHARON WOLFE, GALA COMMITTEE CHAIR
“IT WAS SO MOVING TO HEAR STUDENTS SHARE THEIR
STORIES ABOUT WHAT MARBURN MEANS TO THEM!”
ARCHANA RAMANUJAM, MARBURN STAFF
THE TRIP TO
WAS LIFE CHANGING.
I went into the trip not overly excited, thinking that I
was just going to be with my friends. But I was so
wrong on every level. The friendliness from every
person that we walked past was unbelievable. Everyone
smiled and waved! Our guides made the whole trip.
They knew every corner of Costa Rica and could identify
any animal or plant. They could always answer questions
our group had.
Along with seeing incredible parts of nature, we
experienced lots of different activities, like whitewater
rafting, ziplining over a rain forest, and trying out a Tarzan
swing. A small village—the people didn’t even know us—
let us into their homes, fed us, and gave us a place to
sleep. There is no doubt in my mind that the Costa Rica
trip changed my life. For anyone who isn’t sure about
taking school trips like these, whether you’re afraid or
just think you don’t want to go, take the chance. Because
that was me, but I don’t regret going, not for an instant.
Eddie Wolfe, Marburn Class of 2017
While construction on the new building continues,
Marburn Academy’s brand has undergone an extensive
renovation. The previous circle logo has been replaced
with a custom design utilizing a modern block with an M,
accompanied by Marburn Academy in a contemporary
font. The school’s website, the hub for Central Ohio
residents and current families, has been completely
redesigned to provide a strong resource for the
community. It’s responsive, which guarantees a pleasant
experience on any device. It also includes features that
our families specifically requested, such as easy access
to the full Google Parent Calendar and photos and bios
for Marburn’s entire staff.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Craig Morrison, President
Brian Hicks, Vice President
Sharon Wolfe, Secretary
Rick Milenthal, Treasurer
Les Bostic, Ph.D.
Steven Guy, Ph.D.
Amelia McCarty, J.D.
Kerry Thompson, CFP
Yvette McGee Brown
Marjorie Garek, Trustee emerita
FACULTY AND STAFF
Director of Marketing
Faculty (until 2016)
and Head of Specials
Associate Head of School
Development and Alumni
Relations Specialist (2016)
Math Curriculum Supervisor
Executive Administrator (2016)
Director of Institutional
Advancement (until 2016)
Head of Middle Division
Director of Technology
Scholarship Liaison (2016)
Director of Annual Giving
and Major Gifts (until 2016)
Director of Human Resources
Speech Language Pathologist
Outreach Director (2016)
Head of High School
Head of Lower Division
Director of Technology (2016)
Director of Admission
and Auxiliary Programs
Faculty (until 2016)
Director of Institutional
Director of Finance
Head of School
Linda Freeman Walker
Institutional Advancement Staff
Director of Institutional Advancement
Director of Marketing and Communications
Development and Alumni Relations Specialist
Institutional Advancement Division Assistant
1860 Walden Drive
Columbus, OH 43229