Amy Shaw practically gushes when she talks about Columbus Christian Academy, as her enthusiasm for the school and its students simply can’t be contained.
It’s not just that she graduated from the school and teaches third grade there. Shaw, whose third son, Drake, is a junior at the school and the football team’s quarterback, is a constant presence on the sidelines of Rams sporting events, taking stats to send to The Dispatch to let others know about the athletic achievements of CCA students.
“I mainly did it because at the time we did not have anyone submitting information to put in the paper,” Shaw said of adding football stats to her job description three seasons ago. “So I just jumped in and volunteered to do it.”
Statistics were nothing new to Shaw, who also does them for the school’s basketball and baseball teams.
“When we’re at home, I do stats for all four teams — junior high girls, junior high boys, varsity girls and varsity boys — during basketball season,” she said.
But she still says basketball is the easiest for her to do, with football being the hardest “because I have to do all of the calculating once we get home.”
Shaw’s sons — Dawson, Dakota and Drake — have played sports from a young age, so she has watched hundreds of games. They each started playing baseball at 5 and football at 7, and football is mom’s favorite sport.
Not that her favorite sport hasn’t delivered scary moments. Dawson tore an ACL during the first game of his senior season, and he was out until December.
“He worked super-hard, and when Dr. (Russell) Linton released him at 100 percent, he said it was the earliest release he ever had,” Shaw said. “And Drake broke his wrist his last football season, so he missed the last three games. Other than that, we’ve been lucky.”
Shaw was on the sideline long before her first son took a snap from center. (All three played quarterback, and Drake is the current starter.) A year after transferring to what was then called Immanuel Center for Christian Education as an eighth-grader, Shaw became a cheerleader, something she did for four years, graduating in 1991.
And while she still cheers for the school, she did have another career before joining the CCA faculty.
“I was a dental hygienist,” she said. “I’m a registered dental hygienist and practiced full time for 14 years and then went back and got my education degree because I always wanted to teach. And here I am at the place I love the most.”
She taught second grade in the Columbus schools for three years before going back to CCA, where this year she has 18 third-grade students. She also has taught second grade during her six years of teaching at her alma mater.
Being a teacher while Dakota was a senior magnified the effects of the pandemic last year.
“A traumatic event for him,” she recalled. “He played two baseball games, we went home for spring break, and there was no more. He ended his senior year with only two baseball games in the book. We did get to have an official graduation in July, followed by the prom the next day.
“But our teachers here went above and beyond and made our seniors feel special,” she added. “They sent out videos so our entire school family could experience it. It was special. It really was.”
That was the “mom” side. The “teacher” side took a hit as well.
“It was like there was a death,” she said. “Looking at the empty desks, the books, it was very emotional. Having a senior just made it even more emotional.”
But that’s exactly the type of situation in which Shaw believes CCA excels.
“We’re a family here,” she said. “Everyone here is passionate about what they do, and we have a love not just for the students but for the school as a whole and the community.”
It started with Shaw’s personal experience.
“When I was a student, it did so much for me academically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually, and that’s why we have invested and made the sacrifice to send them to a Christian school,” she said.
Not just any Christian school, of course, as CCA is as much a part of her life as Dawson, Dakota and Drake.
“I just like being able to give back and help students,” she said. “I feel like it’s my ministry, my calling.”
And all those nights spent after games figuring out stats and getting the word out?
“I’m not doing this to get the Shaw boys in the paper,” she said, acknowledging it might look that way to someone who didn’t know her well. “I’m doing this to get CCA in the paper.”