PHOTO: (From left to right) Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Maury County Commissioner Jordon Shaw, Columbia Academy President James Thomas, and Spring Hill Columbia Academy Principle Nathan Hixson. / Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the founder and protector of our faith.”
Such are the words of Hebrews 12:1-2 that echoed in the halls of the Spring Hill Columbia Academy campus early Wednesday morning, after Principle Nathan Hixson led dozens of students in group prayer.
While group prayers are nothing out of the ordinary at Columbia Academy, Wednesday saw Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Steve Ausbrooks representing U.S. Rep. Mark Green, and State Legislators Scott Cepicky and Joey Hensley all gather to celebrate the campus expanding their services to include three year-olds and 5th graders.
“As Maury County mayor, one of the things I spend a lot of time on is economic development,” Ogles said. “One of the things that I’m always so proud to talk about, is [that] for a small community, we have three great private schools, one of them being Columbia Academy.
He added, “Great campus, great institution… I’m a sucker for our founding fathers, and the Judeo Christian principles should be in our school systems. The fact that Columbia Academy, Zion [Academy] and Agathos [Classical School] are all thriving, is – I think – a need and a hunger for those principles in our community.”
Organized by the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce, the celebration saw local and state leaders all speak their praises for Columbia Academy’s mission, before concluding with a ceremonial ribbon cutting in front of the campus.
“Thank you – not only for repurposing this building and breathing new life into it, but for providing a wonderful atmosphere for our children,” said Economic Development Coordinator Kayce Williams, on behalf of Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham. “Spring Hill, we’re blessed in so many ways; just to live here and work here, but also to be able to raise a family here, and part of that is to be able to provide a quality education.”
Regarding the building’s roots, back in the 1980s it had originally been used to train mechanics for the General Motors plant, before closing down in the late 2000s. Columbia Academy staff decided to purchase, retool and revamp the building to open a new campus in Spring Hill, which first became operational in 2010.
“We are really proud of this school and thankful for it… this is our 10th year here, so it’s kind of an anniversary,” said Columbia Academy President James Thomas. “I can’t miss an opportunity to brag about our facility and staff – the school is not the building, it’s the people, and we have servant leaders in these classrooms that love these kids and the lord, and they’re doing a great job. I like to say this is the happiest school in Tennessee.”