Billy Gardner loves teaching middle school students and he especially loves that he gets to teach them in Bexley. According to Bexley Middle School Principal, Jason Caudill, “he brings an enthusiasm to life and learning that is infectious. He works hard to support students through difficult times and challenges them when they need it.” For Gardner, the middle school transition years challenge him in good ways allowing him to grow in patience and providing many opportunities for authentic experiences. He is thrilled when he gets to be a part of or observe discovery moments among his students.
A Bexley native, Gardner attended Montrose Elementary and graduated from Bexley High School in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree in history from Ohio State in 2011 and his teaching license from Capital University in 2016, the same year he began teaching in the Bexley City Schools. This is his third year of teaching 6th and 7th grade math. Gardner considers it an honor to follow in the steps of his own middle school math teacher, Peg Englehart whom he greatly admires and whose both sides declaration he continues to use to teach algebraic equations.
Although Gardner was aware of the Bexley Education Foundation as an organization supportive of the Bexley Schools, it was not until he started teaching in the School District that he became aware of the BEF’s impact in the classrooms and on the curriculum. Seeing the extra things that the BEF funds to make the Bexley Schools special, motivated him to begin contributing to BEF through payroll deduction.
Currently, there are 53 Bexley teachers and staff members who make monthly payroll contributions to the BEF. A monthly contribution of at least $5 provides staff with the opportunity to attend BEF’s BRAVO! event at no cost, and to bring a spouse or significant other. Gardner hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to attend BRAVO! this year since he has had a conflict with the date for the past three years. He is also looking forward to applying for a BEF teacher mini-grant to support a BMS flex time activity. That will allow him another way to help middle school students on their paths to success in high school.