Alumni Profile: Couples who Met at ODA

Many Out-of-Door students and faculty members have come to know the School community as a second family. As our alumni base continues to grow, that description is more accurate than many of us ever imagined. It turns out that many former students who met at ODA are now married or preparing to get married. This alumni profile showcases a remarkable story of four former students who met on our Historic Siesta Key Campus.
When Sam Rega ‘04 first met Megan Cornell ‘SK Alum, he hardly noticed her. He had just moved to Florida from New Jersey, was entering the 6th grade, and was much more interested in making friends, playing video games, and playing baseball. He does have some recollection of a few slow dances with her at the Middle School dances in the cafeteria on Siesta Key, but other than that, he was not interested in girls.

Megan, on the other hand, had a crush on Sam from the start - she even has a video from 7th grade when she is trying to get his attention to no avail. After she and her family moved to Belgium during the summer between 7th and 8th grade, they only saw each other periodically when the Cornells were back in Sarasota. They reconnected for a short time in college, but it was not until 2015 when Sam moved to New York that he discovered that Megan was also living in the City. He reached out to her and “went on one date, and then a lot more dates, became engaged, and got married in May 2018!”

Both Sam and Megan continue to live in New York City where he is a filmmaker and senior producer at CNBC and she is a recipe developer, food stylist, and test chef for Food Network Channel and Buzzfeed Media.

At the same time that Sam and Megan were first meeting, Megan’s brother Jonathan Cornell ‘SK Alum met Allison Nace ‘SK Alum when he was in kindergarten and she was in pre-kindergarten. The Nace family lived next door to Jonathan’s best friend, Colin Showalter ‘SK Alum, and they used to play together after school on a regular basis. Although Jonathan and his family moved to Belgium after he finished 4th grade, he continued to stay connected with the Showalters and the Naces when he was back in Florida for vacations.

When Jonathan found out that Allison was going to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, he took a job in New Jersey so that he could be closer to her, and as they say, the rest is history! They now live in Sarasota and recently toured the Siesta Key campus for their son, Carter. They are preparing to round out their family with the addition of a daughter who is due in March of 2019!

Jonathan is the Founder and CEO of The Draft Network, a media platform for the NFL Draft. He is also the owner and manager of The Cornell Collection, a luxury rental company on Siesta Key.

It’s heartwarming to hear these stories of how attending ODA impacted our alumni’s lives – whether by bringing people together or paving the way for future careers. We’d love to hear from you! Contact Laura Murphy at to let us know your ODA story!

The Out-of-Door Academy

LOWER SCHOOL |  Historic Siesta Key Campus  |  Pre-K – Grade 5
444 Reid Street, Sarasota, FL 34242  |  941-349-3223  |  Fax: 941-349-8133

  |  Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch  |  Grades 6 – 8 |  Grades 9 – 12
5950 Deer Drive, Sarasota, FL 34240  |  941-349-3224  |  Fax: 941-907-1251
The Out-of-Door Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, gender, or national origin. The Out-of-Door Academy is an equal opportunity employer.

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