Devin and Dena Johnson
When Devin Johnson received the opportunity to join The SpringHill Company, a prominent entertainment and content company in Los Angeles, he and his wife Dena decided to relocate from their hometown of Chicago. That began the search for a new school for their children, Carys ’27 and Nicholas ’31. Dena explained, “We initially had little understanding of LA schools. We did our due diligence by talking to a lot of people about their experiences and visiting a vast number of public and private schools in the area. Throughout this process, Campbell Hall kept rising to the top.”
Diversity was among the top priorities for the Johnsons, who looked for a school where their children would be seen and heard and where they could authentically express themselves. It was during the interview process that they felt they had found their match. “Campbell Hall was very open about where they were in terms of DEIJ work and what their goals were,” said Dena. “We had our questions answered in a straightforward, transparent way. And since that time, we continue to see the school’s growth and we’ve rolled up our sleeves to help in that work.” Devin added: “There are many levels of accountability that make Campbell Hall’s goals not only quantifiable but also serve as a north star that guides the school at every level.”
The Johnsons highlighted the kindness of the community as another distinguishing factor. “You really see Campbell Hall’s value system in action,” noted Dena. “Kids are praised for speaking up and having a voice.” They’ve also seen how Campbell Hall helps their children develop and thrive, each supported in individual ways. Nicholas, once extremely shy, has transformed into a confident presenter. “At school, he feels empowered to be anything he wants,” said Dena. Their daughter Carys, more outgoing by nature, is encouraged in her artistic pursuits, particularly in performing onstage. Each child is nurtured in ways that bring out their best and they have the chance to explore multiple facets of themselves through a wide range of experiences and opportunities.
The Johnsons are deeply involved in the life of the school. In addition to being the Founder and CEO of BrandHUE, a brand partnership firm, Dena is currently the President of the Parents’ Association and Co-Chair of the Bagpiper’s Ball. She has served as the Executive Vice President of the Parents’ Association, President of the Board of the Black Heritage Families, elementary activities volunteer, and member of the DEIJ committee, among so many other roles. Devin is a member of Campbell Hall's Finance Committee and recently spoke with high school students at the inaugural IDEA Center’s Lunch and Learn, where he shared his professional journey and gave practical business advice to the attendees. “At Campbell Hall, I don’t feel like we are parenting on our own. It’s a true partnership,” said Dena. “The school provides so many resources and opportunities for parents including parent education, the parent mindfulness group, and events such as the parent socials where parents can create and strengthen friendships. Campbell Hall is not just for the kids. It’s for the whole family.”
When it came to the CH NEXT capital campaign, the Johnsons were immediately on board. “I came to understand and embrace the vision and the ambitions of the school,” said Devin. “Our kids will benefit from these new facilities, so we feel we have a responsibility to support the community in this effort and to help in the best way we can.”
The Johnsons are most excited about the additional green space that will be central to The Holiday Center. “Our kids spend a lot of time outside, which is so different from when we lived in Chicago,” said Dena. “It’s so important for kids to be in nature.” Devin and Dena are also looking forward to students being able to enjoy the new dining hall where they will have lots of fresh dining options and places to sit while they eat. “The new gym will also add so much to the student experience,” added Devin.
Devin and Dena have seen their children thrive while at Campbell Hall and they, in turn, want to support the growth of the school. They see The Holiday Center as integral to the school’s development. “We understand the importance of supporting the institutions that we believe in,” said Dena. “And we definitely believe in Campbell Hall.”