Columbus Classical Academy (CCA) is a private classical school in central Ohio, opening in Fall 2023, and initially serving grades K-8, adding a grade each year through grade twelve. CCA is a Hillsdale College Curriculum School.


Our Mission

Columbus Classical Academy inculcates in our students, through a genuine and rigorous classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, the knowledge and virtue upon which independent, responsible, and joyful lives are built, in the firm belief that such lives are the foundation of a free and flourishing republic.

Location

Columbus Classical Academy is currently in contract on a property in the Polaris area north of Columbus. The location is highly accessible, as travel time from virtually all of the major school districts in the Columbus area to the prospective site is under 25 minutes. However, pursuant to our confidentiality obligations under the pending purchase agreement, we are not permitted to disclose the specific property at this time. As soon as the location is finalized, it will be made public. If you have any questions about the prospective site, the facility, or the acquisition process, please feel free to contact us.

The Hillsdale Affiliation

As a Hillsdale College Curriculum School, Columbus Classical Academy benefits from Hillsdale's expertise in developing a world-class classical curriculum as well as its tradition of defending the traditional liberal arts, which they describe as “a window on the past and a gateway to the future.”

Headmaster

Daniel C. Gibson is the founding Headmaster of Columbus Classical Academy. Prior to joining CCA, Mr. Gibson was a partner at the law firm of Bricker & Eckler LLP in Columbus, where he was a litigator and appellate lawyer for more than 15 years. He also served as an Associate Director at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. immediately following graduation from law school. Mr. Gibson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, cum laude, from Davidson College and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.

Learn more about Mr. Gibson’s vision for Columbus Classical Academy here.

“The liberal arts are a window on the past and a gateway to the future.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is CCA located?

You can find out about our location here.

How much is tuition?

Please see our Admissions page for information about enrollment and tuition.

How do I apply?

Please see our Admissions page to apply to Columbus Classical Academy.

When will CCA open?

We eagerly anticipate welcoming our first students for the 2023-2024 academic year!

What grades does CCA serve?

CCA initially serves grades K-8. We will add one grade each year until K-12 is served.

We're a homeschooling family, and we love what you're doing. Do you intend to offer a part-time or hybrid model of enrollment for my child to attend specific classes?

We support those who choose to educate at home, and encourage those who are interested to look at Hillsdale's curriculum page, as Hillsdale has made its curriculum available to homeschooling families. However, we currently do not have plans to offer a part-time, hybrid, or elective-only option for education at CCA. All of our students will be enrolled full-time in our traditional school environment.

What positions are you hiring?

We are hiring multiple faculty and positions. See here for more information.

I’ve heard about a classical charter school opening in Columbus, is this CCA?

No. CCA is a private school, meaning we are completely independent from state support. Following Hillsdale's example, CCA will never accept government funding or loans. There is a classical charter school, also opening in fall of 2023, called Heart of Ohio Classical Academy (HOCA). We are very supportive of HOCA's work, and are glad that there is another classical school opening in Columbus. CCA and HOCA are both affiliated with Hillsdale College. CCA is a Hillsdale College Curriculum School, while HOCA is a Hillsdale College Member School. Both CCA and HOCA use the Hillsdale College curriculum and both are classical. Our main differences will be private vs. chartered, our locations (we are different schools), and the type of behind-the-scenes support received from Hillsdale.

How can I stay updated?

We will provide updates as we move closer to opening our doors in Fall 2023. You can sign up for our email list here to stay updated.

How can we support CCA?

Thank you for your support of CCA! CCA has many different areas and opportunities to be involved. If you would like to support our efforts financially, you can donate here. If you have other talents or assets you believe would be better suited in a volunteer capacity, please get in touch and we will connect you with the appropriate Committee Chairman.

Core Virtues

G.K. Chesterton once responded to the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” by answering: “I am.” At Columbus Classical Academy, our pursuit of virtue is predicated upon this humbling truth.

Those who invoke virtue and insist on the reality of a moral law often are perceived as self-righteous prudes. The reputation is not entirely unearned. Often those with a conscience sensitive to the created moral order take on an air of superiority rather than the introspection that such knowledge demands. We acknowledge that in our hypocrisy, we are not quick enough to recognize and correct our own depravity before we decry it in others.

Yet, as the old adage goes, “hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.” And so, the answer to hypocrisy is not the dismantling of virtue, as some would have it, but the humble acknowledgment of our own iniquity along with the intentional formation of good and virtuous habits that help build the character to resist our vices. This requires a knowledge of what is good and right and a desire to conform our lives to it, even though we inevitably will fall short.

Many moral and political ideologies ascendant today, however, respond either by redefining virtue as the unqualified pursuit of self-interest, or by preemptively laying the line of demarcation between good and evil along boundaries of social status, identity, or material wealth, so that the very capacity for virtue becomes a function of cultural power rather than a matter of personal conduct—those who identify with the class of “innocents” are beyond reproach, while all others are beyond redemption.

These distortions are not exclusive to the political left or right. Ayn Rand’s objectivist libertarianism declares the atomizing “Virtue of Selfishness” just as Marxist humanism proclaims the balkanizing virtue of revolutionary class struggle.

After a decade of imprisonment, torture, and exile at the hands of the Soviet Union, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn understood not that his oppressors were uniquely wicked or that he and his fellow victims were simply good, but instead that “[t]he line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart….” His, theirs, yours, and mine.

At Columbus Classical Academy, our pursuit of virtue is not about planting a flag of self-righteousness, but rather about planting the seeds of humility. For this reason, everything we do starts and ends with a focus on the moral formation of our students in light of the seven classical virtues.

Fortitude | Fortitudo

There is much to fear in the world, but more important is the virtue with which we confront this fear with courage and overcome difficulty.

Prudence | Prudentia

Prudence is wisdom in practical matters, the ability to see the good and attain it.

Justice | Justitia

We act with justice when we give to each his or her due, and when we conform our will to reality. Augustine tells us that justice is the "supreme essential for government."

Temperance | Temperantia

Temperance allows us to govern ourselves and our appetites in accordance with reason.

Faith | Fidem

We have no religious affiliation but uphold the value of faith, for the most important things in this life and beyond are unseen.

Hope | Spes

We work diligently with hope not in ourselves but in our Creator.

Charity | Caritas

Our happiness is found, paradoxically, in the outpouring of our love for others.

“Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.”
~Frederick Douglass

Our Founders

CCA is backed by a group of volunteers committed to the revival of classical education in central Ohio. Our work is motivated by serving our children and their peers.

Mike Gross

Mike lives in New Albany with his wife Andrea and two school-age daughters, and has lived in Columbus his entire life. He holds a BA in communications from Wake Forest and an MBA from Ohio State. Mike has held multiple leadership roles in his family business. In addition to serving as the founding president of Columbus Classical Academy, he has served on other private school boards and supported fundraising for local community organizations including Pelotonia and St. Stephen's Community House.

Andrea Gross

Andrea holds degrees from Ohio University and Capital University Law School. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable George C. Smith in Federal District Court, has worked in private practice, and was in-house counsel for an organic medical nutrition and food manufacturing company. Andrea has a long-standing interest in K-12 education ranging from volunteer work and speaking engagements to practical experience homeschooling her youngest daughter. Andrea has volunteered her time extensively with educational institutions and at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Amy González

Amy holds a degree in pharmacy obtained from Ohio Northern University. She practiced pharmacy for over twenty years and mentored students from international universities, as well as multiple pharmacy schools across Ohio. Amy is drawn to classical education because its framework is built upon the framework of child development and fosters curiosity, passion for learning, critical thinking, eloquence, and the art of persuasion. She passionately believes in CCA’s mission—to train the minds and improve the hearts of students through a classical, content-rich curriculum that emphasizes virtuous living, traditional learning and civic responsibility—to produce a citizenry worthy of our American experiment. She firmly believes in the growth and excellence a classical education model will bring to Central Ohio.

Dan Gibson

Dan is the founding Headmaster of Columbus Classical Academy. He lives in Worthington with his wife and two school-age daughters. He graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Philosophy and earned his juris doctorate from Stanford Law School. Originally from Wooster, Dan practiced law at a firm in Columbus following his return to Ohio in 2006. Prior to that, he served briefly as an Associate Director at the Hudson Institute, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Before accepting the position of Headmaster, Dan also served as the Vice President of the founding board of Heart of Ohio Classical Academy, a Hillsdale-affiliated public, charter school in Columbus. He is a member of Hillsdale College’s Liberty and Learning Society and believes passionately in the mission of Columbus Classical Academy.

Emma King

Emma graduated cum laude from Hillsdale College with a degree in Philosophy. Having experienced the gifts of a classical education firsthand, Emma and her husband, Thomas, are excited about bringing classical education to Columbus. She has helped to start and grow numerous groups, businesses, and outreach ministries (as well as 3 small children!) and has written extensively for various journals and online magazines. She is passionate about classical education for both the people and the societies it forms and firmly believes in CCA’s mission and the impact it will have. She is excited to serve CCA especially through her writing and philosophy skills. Emma and Thomas both grew up in Columbus, where much of their family still resides. They greatly enjoy sharing their Ohio heritage with their kids.

Thomas King

Thomas graduated from Hillsdale College with a degree in History and shortly thereafter became a classical school teacher and started a construction company. Over his career, Thomas has started and grown several businesses and a non-profit and is excited to contribute to the formation of CCA. Though ultimately following a career path in construction, Thomas is passionate about the good of a classical education and how that integrates into every aspect of our lives. Grateful for this guiding force of their Hillsdale education, Thomas and his wife Emma are excited to give back and expand this education to the Columbus community. Thomas resides in Westerville with his wife Emma and 3 (soon to be 4!) kiddos. When he’s not chasing the kids and dog around, he enjoys fishing, golfing, and front-porch philosophizing.

Grant Douglass

Grant has developed and continues to operate a number of companies in Central Ohio ranging from agriculture to software. Grant and his wife Susan have resided in the City of Grandview Heights for over 30 years where they raised their four children. He enjoys volunteering, reading, fishing, and hunting.

Matthew Kudija

Matthew lives in Columbus with his wife and young children. He graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in engineering and business. Originally from California, he has lived in Columbus since 2016. Matthew works in financial analytics with prior experience in aerospace manufacturing and financial services. He is passionate about bringing classical education to Columbus and pursues an at-home lifelong classical education with his family.

Rebecca Hurd

Rebecca has spent the past decade in nonprofit Advancement, most notably with The Metropolitan Opera Guild in NYC, with previous experience in the for-profit sector, academia, and music education. With a background in the classical performing arts, she holds degrees in Voice Performance and Arts Administration from Central Michigan University and Florida State University. While not a Columbus native, Rebecca has lived in Dublin for ten years near much of her family, and is a proud aunt to two nieces and one nephew who are thriving in a classical curriculum. In her free time, she is developing an initiative to help build an educated and civil society through the revival of critical thought, the study and appreciation of history, and the enjoyment of culture and the arts.

Our Shield

Each visual mark in the Columbus Classical Academy shield reminds us of our mission.

The Shape

The shield is classical in nature and a tool of defense. It reminds us that a virtuous life is the best defense of our freedom as both an individual and as society. It reminds us that these things—the good, the true, and the beautiful—are worth defending.

The Torch

The torch is a reminder that education illuminates our mind and brings us into the light of truth. The torch reminds us of our classical heritage—we are a part of something older and greater than just our times, or even the classical world of antiquity which we are inheriting. We are a part of something eternal. We have both received this torch from previous generations and will pass the torch to subsequent ones.

The Colors

The colors are those of our nation. Our nation was founded on these classical principles, and we believe in the inseparable role classical education plays in the thriving of our nation. We look to the past in Hillsdale’s distinctly American classical education model. And we look to the future good of our country for which we are pursuing this education.

Our Motto: Veritas et Virtus

Our motto, Veritas et Virtus, means “truth and virtue.” This orients us toward our mission.

Truth

We are pursuing Truth. We desire Truth. We know there is objective Truth that can be known. We know that the Truth will set us free, and only in this freedom can we live abundantly.

Virtue

Knowing this Truth will lead us into a more virtuous life. Virtue, in turn, allows us to better know the Truth. By pursuing our 7 school virtues we will become worthy of undertaking pursuit of the great transcendentals: the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

“A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery.”
~ C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man