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Announcing the Retirement of Three Country Day Legends

Announcing the Retirement of Three Country Day Legends

At the close of this school year, we will bid farewell to three Country Day legends: Merle Black, Beth Langenbahn, and Ashley Ward. After a collective 83 years of service, these incredible educators are retiring.

Merle, Beth, and Ashley have transformed the lives of countless Country Day graduates, colleagues, and families, and their daily presence on campus will be deeply missed. The accolades and titles listed below simply scratch the surface of the unparalleled contributions these three have made to the Country Day community; we will expound on their enduring impact and legacy in the spring edition of Connections.

Merle Black joined Country Day as a history teacher in 1988. For 35 years, his passion for learning, his commitment to academic rigor, and his love of students has set the standard for great teaching at CCDS. In addition to teaching history, he has coached track and cross country (and been a consistent presence at student athletic events), served as history department chair and a member of Academic Council, helped design the Bob Patterson Memorial Fund, been selected as a recognized teacher for Ohio Magazine’s 2010 Excellence in Education-Private High Schools, and received the school’s Pattison Award for teaching excellence in 1994.

Beth Langenbahn began her career at Country Day in 1992 as administrative assistant to the former Head of Middle School Dick Schwab ‘67. In 1995 she joined the 6th grade teaching team and now teaches 5th grade social studies and math. Beth is credited with – among many things – creating the 6th grade social studies program that is taught today. Beth also served on multiple ISACS accreditation committees and received the school’s Pattison Award for teaching excellence in 2002.

Ashley Ward began her Country Day career as assistant to the head of school in 2006 and has been the unseen catalyst for most of the work on campus ever since. By turns a planner, advisor, scheduler, nurse, editor, therapist, and friendly aunt, Ashley has been indispensable to three heads of school and numerous community members. She has also co-chaired the Covid Rapid Response Team, chaired campus beautification events, and served on myriad committees, including the long-range plan committees in 2007 and 2014, ISACS accreditation committees, the Blue & White Triumphant Capital Campaign committee, and the head of school transition committee.

To celebrate these three legends, please join us for drinks and appetizers on Tuesday, May 30 from 5-7 p.m. EST in the Carey Family Amphitheater on the CCDS campus. Click here or visit to RSVP, or, if you are unable to attend but would like to pass along a farewell message, please click on the link above or the graphic below to complete the form. We hope to see you on May 30 for this special occasion as we toast our 2023 retirees.

Retirement Reception 2023 Invitation