May 1, 2012By Jill Gosche - Staff Writer (firstname.lastname@example.org) ,
Counseling services were available at Bridges Community Academy Monday to help students and staff deal with the loss of a student who was remembered as a kind-hearted girl who had aspirations to do something that would make a difference.
Abigail C. Johnson, 16, of Marengo, was a sophomore at Bridges. She died in an accident on SR 53 at CR 592 in Pleasant Township Friday. A tractor-trailer was eastbound on CR 592, stopped at a stop sign at SR 53, pulled from the stop sign to drive north and went into the path of Johnson's southbound car, according to a release from State Highway Patrol.
Dona Kaufman, Bridges' director, said Jim Lahoski, superintendent of North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, called and allowed two staff members to be at Bridges Monday.
"We were so blessed. So many people came in and helped. ... Everything went pretty smoothly today," she said Monday.
Counselors, pastors and people who work with youth were available Monday, and one is returning today. Kaufman said because of their help, students and staff all were able to express themselves. People could write notes or draw pictures on paper placed on a table, she said.
Kaufman said Johnson and her brother, who is a graduating senior, have been students at Bridges for several years. She said Johnson had a lot of good friends and was a person who defended others. If someone wasn't being treated fairly, she let people know, which was a good thing, she said.
"Abi herself was a smiling young lady," she said.
Kaufman said Johnson impacted Bridges through her leadership, and she knows she had aspirations to do something that would make a difference. Johnson was a member of student government and Gay Straight Alliance and just had secured a job at Columbus Zoo, she said.
"She loved animals, she loved Cookie Monster and she loved rainbows. ... She wanted to do something with animals, with the zoo," she said.
Bridges offers a blended curriculum that allows some students to do online work. Johnson, who attended school about three days a week, did work online and communicated with teachers, was not at school Friday, Kaufman said.
Counseling services will continue to be available for students and staff, she said.