The Gahanna Lincoln High School community remembered sophomore Kelsey Thompson as an outstanding student, a competitive athlete and a friend following her death Nov. 18.
Principal Dwight Carter said she was simply a wonderful young lady.
"She was an outstanding student who was hardworking," he said. "She was actively involved in school, well-liked, and she was high-achieving."
Gahanna police responded to a report of a suicide at Woodside Green Park, 213 Camrose Court, at 5:02 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.
Lt. Tom Basso said the case remains under investigation, but all preliminary facts indicate Thompson took her own life. A gun was used, according to police reports.
Guidance counselors, mental-health specialists and ministerial personnel were available to all Lincoln students and staff members last week.
Carter said the high school staff members talked with students to comfort them and assist in any way they could.
Many students turned to social media to express their feelings and post photos on twitter at #RIPkelsey.
Though rumors of bullying had surfaced, Carter said, no report, knowledge or evidence suggests that Thompson was bullied.
"Regarding bullying, all of the other rumors, opinions and assumptions on social media are just that," Basso said.
In a tribute from a classmate, Ali Clovis wrote on the Schoedinger Northeast Chapel website that Thompson was the only person on the school bus who wasn't mean to her or who didn't bully her in elementary school.
"I know that we were never super close but close enough to be good friends," Clovis said. "You were so beautiful and amazing. If only you could see how much people loved and adored you. You were always so nice and happy to everybody you met."
Madison Clarkson wrote in a tribute that she just met her over the summer but that Thompson had influenced her greatly during that time.
"I remember you screaming at the top of your lungs for me at our cross country meets and how I would cheer for you," she said. "We would spend the whole meet together, walking around and talking. I'll miss that so much. You were and still are an inspiration to me."
Thompson was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1997.
Her obituary said she was a beautiful, competitive, joyful child and a blessing to her family. She was an honors student, and a gifted athlete who thrived on competition, and her passion for sports was always a central focus in her life.
She helped the girls cross country team go to the state competition this month. She was part of the winning team, earning district and regional championships.
She ran First Team OCC for two consecutive years and ran on the varsity team as a freshman and sophomore. She was the freshman runner of the year.
Prior to taking up running, Thompson played travel soccer for many years. She played for the Freedom and Crew clubs as a starter her entire career. She was competitive, and her Crew 3 V3 team won the national championship in Florida, receiving a commendation at the Ohio Statehouse.
Thompson enjoyed the Gifted & Talented program and being challenged in the honors and AP classes in high school. She was selected for Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search while in middle school.
She is survived by her parents, Glenn and Jessie (Grodhaus) Thompson; sister Wesley Arden Thompson; aunt Kathleen Thompson Casado; uncle Carl Lambert; grandparents Robert and Barbara (Cox) Thompson; grandmother Iris (Smith) Grodhaus; cousins Ashley (Lambert) De laGarza and Shawn Lambert; and several extended-family members.
Visitation and funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 22, at Schoedinger Northeast Chapel in Gahanna.
To reach the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 614-221-5445, the Teen Suicide Prevention Hotline at 614-294-3300 or the Lifeline national organization for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255.