WHY I GIVE: Gillian Thomson and Kent Johnson

Gillian Thomson has been investing her energy in Bexley students since long before her children were old enough to go to school. It was less than a year after she moved here with her husband Kent Johnson when Gillian, a former member of the Canadian World Cup women’s lacrosse team, began coaching the relatively new Bexley Girls’ Lacrosse club.

Kent, a former high school teacher with a PhD in Physics who is now CEO of the educational publishing company Highlights for Children, Inc., says that while his job brought him to Central Ohio, the reputation of the schools was a key reason for making Bexley their home.

It’s because they see the schools as central to the community that Kent and Gillian make a gift to BEF’s annual fund drive, the Fund for Excellence, every year. The schools, says Kent, provide a focal point for community pride and engagement.

“What I love about the Bexley schools is that kids can participate and excel in so many different areas and activities,” says Gillian. “I think the BEF does such an important job of enhancing and creating opportunities for both students and teachers to learn and grow and excel.”