Cortney VanLiew

Columbus East High School
Columbus, Indiana

Whatever the situation, she uses her circumstances to fuel her drive to succeed.

Cortney VanLiew does not allow life’s failures to discourage her. When she finds herself in challenging situations, she leverages the experience as a source of inspiration in her ongoing pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. She takes her mother’s advice to ‘embrace challenge with confidence and compassion’ to heart. And like a true leader, she finds opportunities to shine in the face of adversity.

During her sophomore year, Cortney’s volleyball coach was forced to resign involuntarily mid-season. It was a heated situation filled with upsetting confrontations and hurtful words. Cortney spoke in front of the school board on her coach’s behalf. But when her efforts to keep the coach fell short, rather than give up, Cortney stepped up, rallying her teammates, moving beyond the chaos, and guiding her team to a successful post-season run.

One of Cortney’s best leadership attributes is her ability to help all those around her achieve their best. As captain of four different sports teams, she ensures newcomers and underclassmen are welcomed as contributing, valued members. She also helps younger students achieve their potential academically. Inspired by a family member’s learning disability, Cortney created Rebound by Reading, a reading and tutoring program, for a local elementary school. While she has won sectional championships, qualified for state swim meets, and even earned a gold medal in an international volleyball competition, Cortney is most proud of the reading program’s success and the lasting relationships fostered between the students and their mentors.





  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • All-State
  • Northern Lights national Volleyball Tournament Champions
  • Pula Global Challenge Gold Medalist


  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • All-State
  • School Record: 50m Freestyle
  • District Record Holder

Track & Field

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-District

Academic Honors & Awards

  • Ranked Top 15 in Graduating Class
  • National Honor Society
  • National Spanish Honor Society
  • Spanish II Student of the Year
  • High Honor Roll
  • C4 Ambassador
  • Youth Leadership Bartholomew County Essay Contest Winner



School & Community Involvement

  • Champions Together
  • Student Athletic Advisory Committee
  • LEAP Mentor
  • Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • Immanuel Lutheran School
  • Rebound by Reading Program (Founder)
  • Zion Youth Organization
  • East Columbus Volleyball Club
  • Peer Tutor






“Impossible does not exist for me. I’m fueled by my relentless pursuit of excellence.”
~ Cortney VanLiew ~