“I am very happy to be working at Besant Hill where the focus on global citizenship and sustainability allows students to develop a positive view of the world and evaluate a range of strategies to make a real difference.”

Anna Bennett

History Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Exeter University, UK. B.A.
Bristol University, UK. PGCE

“I am very happy to be working at Besant Hill where the focus on global citizenship and sustainability allows students to develop a positive view of the world and evaluate a range of strategies to make a real difference.”

Anna Bennett

History Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Exeter University, UK. B.A.
Bristol University, UK. PGCE

abennett@bakuchou.net

Tom Bennett

Director of Students & Residential Life
Philosophy Teacher
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Chelsea College, Brighton University, UK. B.Sc (Hons)
St Luke’s, Exeter University, UK. PGCE
Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. B.A. (Hons)

tbennett@bakuchou.net

“A good education, not least the study of literature, inspires the empathy we need to make the world a better place. Besant Hill's focus on life-time learning turns "I wish" into "I will."”

“A good education, not least the study of literature, inspires the empathy we need to make the world a better place. Besant Hill's focus on life-time learning turns "I wish" into "I will."”

Tom Bennett

Director of Students & Residential Life
Philosophy Teacher
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Chelsea College, Brighton University, UK. B.Sc (Hons)
St Luke’s, Exeter University, UK. PGCE
Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. B.A. (Hons)

tbennett@bakuchou.net

"I love being a part of the student journey, and teaching allows for lifelong learning along with my students, and there is truly nothing better than that."

Jennifer Brown

History & ESL Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of Manchester, M.A.
Oakland University, B.A.

"I love being a part of the student journey, and teaching allows for lifelong learning along with my students, and there is truly nothing better than that."

Jennifer Brown

History & ESL Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of Manchester, M.A.
Oakland University, B.A.

jbrown@bakuchou.net

Jessie Brumfiel

Director of College Counseling

Credentials
University of Hawaii, M.Ed.
Stanford University, B.A.

jbrumfiel@bakuchou.net

“At Besant Hill, each student is encouraged to pursue their highest potential as individuals, and asked to contribute to a diverse community with a selfless spirit. This is excellent preparation for success in college and life.”

“At Besant Hill, each student is encouraged to pursue their highest potential as individuals, and asked to contribute to a diverse community with a selfless spirit. This is excellent preparation for success in college and life.”

Jessie Brumfiel

Director of College Counseling

Credentials
University of Hawaii, M.Ed.
Stanford University, B.A.

jbrumfiel@bakuchou.net

“Every one of us is a creative being and cultivating that discovery is at the heart of what I teach.”

Sally Chung

Arts Chair
Studio Arts Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of California, Los Angeles, B.A.

“Every one of us is a creative being and cultivating that discovery is at the heart of what I teach.”

Sally Chung

Arts Chair
Studio Arts Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of California, Los Angeles, B.A.

schung@bakuchou.net

Richard Ellwood

Director of Technology

Credentials
University of Southern California, B.S.

rellwood@bakuchou.net

“What I love about Besant Hill is the kindness that everyone shows to each other.”

“What I love about Besant Hill is the kindness that everyone shows to each other.”

Richard Ellwood

Director of Technology

Credentials
University of Southern California, B.S.

rellwood@bakuchou.net

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
-Albert Einstein

K. Aimée Fuller

Director of Health Services

Credentials
University of San Diego, San Diego, Ph.D.
Saint Xavier University, Chicago, M.S.N.-Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, B.S.N.
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, B.A.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
-Albert Einstein

K. Aimée Fuller

Director of Health Services

Credentials
University of San Diego, San Diego, Ph.D.
Saint Xavier University, Chicago, M.S.N.-Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, B.S.N.
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, B.A.

afuller@bakuchou.net

Jennifer Gallegos

Music Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Belmont Abbey College, B.A.

jgallegos@bakuchou.net

"Music makes the World go 'round...keep turning!"

"Music makes the World go 'round...keep turning!"

Jennifer Gallegos

Music Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Belmont Abbey College, B.A.

jgallegos@bakuchou.net

“Learning a new language opens the door to opportunity. This opportunity includes cultural relativism, and with that comes a new perspective for seeing the world.”

Néstor Gerónimo Morales

Humanities Chair
Spanish & French Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Universidad de Michoacán, B.A.

“Learning a new language opens the door to opportunity. This opportunity includes cultural relativism, and with that comes a new perspective for seeing the world.”

Néstor Gerónimo Morales

Humanities Chair
Spanish & French Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Universidad de Michoacán, B.A.

ngeronimo@bakuchou.net

Gil Griffin

English Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Columbia University, M.S.
Brown University, B.A.

ggriffin@bakuchou.net

"Teachers best support students by putting them in the best positions to succeed. My mission in the classroom starts with creating a secure environment and establishing a familial vibe that builds strong connections. In that atmosphere, students build the confidence to take creative intellectual and artistic risks, persevere, embrace new learning, and revel in the joy of academic and self-discovery."

"Teachers best support students by putting them in the best positions to succeed. My mission in the classroom starts with creating a secure environment and establishing a familial vibe that builds strong connections. In that atmosphere, students build the confidence to take creative intellectual and artistic risks, persevere, embrace new learning, and revel in the joy of academic and self-discovery."

Gil Griffin

English Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Columbia University, M.S.
Brown University, B.A.

ggriffin@bakuchou.net

“As an educator, my goal, whether in the classroom, dormitory, or athletic field is to create and environment that encourages and supports each individual as they grow and pursue their unique goals. Along the way, I hope to inspire a love or at least an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics.”

Karen Haldeman

Math Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of California, San Diego, B.A.
University of Colorado, Denver, M.A.

“As an educator, my goal, whether in the classroom, dormitory, or athletic field is to create and environment that encourages and supports each individual as they grow and pursue their unique goals. Along the way, I hope to inspire a love or at least an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics.”

Karen Haldeman

Math Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
University of California, San Diego, B.A.
University of Colorado, Denver, M.A.

khaldeman@bakuchou.net

Nicole Hawkins

Digital Arts & Photography Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Tulane University, MFA
Brigham Young University, B.A.

nhawkins@bakuchou.net

“I believe that learning fuels life and curiosity fuels learning. Besant Hill’s mission and environment encourage students and teachers of distinct backgrounds to learn, explore and create together.”

“I believe that learning fuels life and curiosity fuels learning. Besant Hill’s mission and environment encourage students and teachers of distinct backgrounds to learn, explore and create together.”

Nicole Hawkins

Digital Arts & Photography Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
Tulane University, MFA
Brigham Young University, B.A.

nhawkins@bakuchou.net

“With so much history, Besant Hill is a place that is committed to honoring the past but focused on the future. It's exciting to be part of a school where the only constant is change.”

Tracy How

Director of Admissions & Financial Aid

Credentials
California Lutheran University, MBA
California Lutheran University, B.S.

“With so much history, Besant Hill is a place that is committed to honoring the past but focused on the future. It's exciting to be part of a school where the only constant is change.”

Tracy How

Director of Admissions & Financial Aid

Credentials
California Lutheran University, MBA
California Lutheran University, B.S.

thow@bakuchou.net

Portia Johnson

Head of School
English Teacher
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials
University of New England, M.S.Ed.
West Virginia University, B.A.
Besant Hill School (Happy Valley School), 2000

pjohnson@bakuchou.net

“My favorite part of teaching English is exposing students to different ways of thinking and living around the world and throughout time. It allows us to live the Portrait of a Graduate everyday in class.”

“My favorite part of teaching English is exposing students to different ways of thinking and living around the world and throughout time. It allows us to live the Portrait of a Graduate everyday in class.”

Portia Johnson

Head of School
English Teacher
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials
University of New England, M.S.Ed.
West Virginia University, B.A.
Besant Hill School (Happy Valley School), 2000

pjohnson@bakuchou.net

"Students have agency in their learning experiences when they understand how they learn and why. Teaching to the individual helps students identify and build the skills they need to enhance their knowledge, which keeps them engaged and excited about learning. I love being able to witness and support their growth."

Farrah Khan

Director of Instructional Support
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Credentials
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A.
Occidental College, B.A.

"Students have agency in their learning experiences when they understand how they learn and why. Teaching to the individual helps students identify and build the skills they need to enhance their knowledge, which keeps them engaged and excited about learning. I love being able to witness and support their growth."

Farrah Khan

Director of Instructional Support
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Credentials
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A.
Occidental College, B.A.

fkhan@bakuchou.net

Claire Lowndes

Director of Academics
Studio Arts Teacher
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Pepperdine University, M.S.Ed.
Staffordshire University, B.A.
Birmingham City University, PGCE

clowndes@bakuchou.net

“The Besant Hill School community provides a collaborative, inspiring environment for students to embrace their passions and unlock unimaginable potential.”

“The Besant Hill School community provides a collaborative, inspiring environment for students to embrace their passions and unlock unimaginable potential.”

Claire Lowndes

Director of Academics
Studio Arts Teacher
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Pepperdine University, M.S.Ed.
Staffordshire University, B.A.
Birmingham City University, PGCE

clowndes@bakuchou.net

“My educational philosophy is closely aligned with Besant Hill School’s motto, 'Aun Aprendo – I am still learning.' As an educator, it is a primary responsibility to inspire my students so that they may subscribe to the words of Michelangelo, 'Grant that I may always aspire to more than I accomplish.' ”

Chris Maddalone

Math and Science Chair
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Long Island University, M.S.Ed.
Boston College, B.A.

“My educational philosophy is closely aligned with Besant Hill School’s motto, 'Aun Aprendo – I am still learning.' As an educator, it is a primary responsibility to inspire my students so that they may subscribe to the words of Michelangelo, 'Grant that I may always aspire to more than I accomplish.' ”

Chris Maddalone

Math and Science Chair
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Long Island University, M.S.Ed.
Boston College, B.A.

cmaddalone@bakuchou.net

Brian McColgan

Director of Sustainability
Environmental Science & Botany Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
California Polytechnic State University, B.S.
College of Santa Fe, Teacher Training

bmccolgan@bakuchou.net

“I really appreciate that Besant Hill is a safe and supporting environment to follow one’s passions, as well as discover new ones.”

“I really appreciate that Besant Hill is a safe and supporting environment to follow one’s passions, as well as discover new ones.”

Brian McColgan

Director of Sustainability
Environmental Science & Botany Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
California Polytechnic State University, B.S.
College of Santa Fe, Teacher Training

bmccolgan@bakuchou.net

“Besant Hill is fantastic at promoting individual student interests and building holistic scholars. Teaching to the entirety of a student is at the core of what I hope to do as an educator.”

Jasper Olsaki-Lounds

Math Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
U.C. Davis, B.S.

“Besant Hill is fantastic at promoting individual student interests and building holistic scholars. Teaching to the entirety of a student is at the core of what I hope to do as an educator.”

Jasper Olsaki-Lounds

Math Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
U.C. Davis, B.S.

jolsaki@bakuchou.net

Michaela Peters

Director of Development & Alumni Relations

Credentials
California College of the Arts, M.F.A.

mpeters@bakuchou.net

“Besant Hill School students graduate as individuals who differentiate themselves in their fields and through their work. They approach life with fervent originality and focused understanding that allows them to adapt to change and new learning. ”

“Besant Hill School students graduate as individuals who differentiate themselves in their fields and through their work. They approach life with fervent originality and focused understanding that allows them to adapt to change and new learning. ”

Michaela Peters

Director of Development & Alumni Relations

Credentials
California College of the Arts, M.F.A.

mpeters@bakuchou.net

“Besant Hill School offers a unique opportunity to introduce dance to students from around the world and offer an all inclusive, judgment free environment for all to dance freely.”

Leah Sellers

Athletic Director
Psychology Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
California State University, Fullerton, B.A.
Grand Canyon University, M.S. Psychology

“Besant Hill School offers a unique opportunity to introduce dance to students from around the world and offer an all inclusive, judgment free environment for all to dance freely.”

Leah Sellers

Athletic Director
Psychology Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Administrator on Duty

Credentials
California State University, Fullerton, B.A.
Grand Canyon University, M.S. Psychology

lsellers@bakuchou.net

Mary Spence

English Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A.
Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, M.A.

mspence@bakuchou.net

“My favorite aspect of Besant Hill is the diversity of our students. They truly bring a global perspective and curiosity to our classrooms, and our discussions about literature are full of questions and exploration. There’s no ‘right’ answer when it becomes clear that there are so many different ways to examine a text.”

“My favorite aspect of Besant Hill is the diversity of our students. They truly bring a global perspective and curiosity to our classrooms, and our discussions about literature are full of questions and exploration. There’s no ‘right’ answer when it becomes clear that there are so many different ways to examine a text.”

Mary Spence

English Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A.
Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, M.A.

mspence@bakuchou.net

"As performing artists, we are the agents of change in our world. We give voice to the characters we play. In doing so, we find a safe place to express ourselves creatively. Guiding young performers to feel comfortable in their own skin is my passion; seeing them embrace their bliss in performing is my greatest joy."

Tracey Sutton

Performing Art Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California State University, M.F.A.
Brigham Young University, B.A.

"As performing artists, we are the agents of change in our world. We give voice to the characters we play. In doing so, we find a safe place to express ourselves creatively. Guiding young performers to feel comfortable in their own skin is my passion; seeing them embrace their bliss in performing is my greatest joy."

Tracey Sutton

Performing Art Teacher
Sports & Fitness Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California State University, M.F.A.
Brigham Young University, B.A.

tsutton@bakuchou.net

© Copyright 2021 Besant Hill School of Happy Valley