Dr. Randy Bertin Tribute

This year’s annual Spring Arts/Family Weekend saw the school taking the opportunity to thank outgoing Head of School Dr. Randy Bertin for his leadership and dedication to Besant Hill School of Happy Valley. The tribute started with brief, heartfelt comments from incoming Interim Head of School Portia Johnson ‘00 who introduced a tribute video created by Development and Alumni Relations Officer Kevin Henschel ‘93.

After the emotional video presentation, Happy Valley Foundation Board Trustee and Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts and Happy Valley Cultural Center, Kevin Wallace spoke on behalf of the HVF Board. The Board bestowed Randy with the honorary title of Head of School Emeritus, making it the first time in the school’s history that such an honor has been given.

Kathy Zotnowski, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, was next to take the podium. In the spirit of the tribute’s theme The Stories They Tell After You Are Gone, she recounted a beautiful story about Randy giving of his time and love to alumnus Lee Sanders ‘61 at the end of Lee’s life.

The entire Bertin family was called to the stage and presented with thank you gifts including wooden picture frames inscribed with the school’s motto Aun Aprendo for each of Randy’s four sons. Alumna Marion Miller Martin ‘57 then spoke as a representative of the alumni. She also created a stunning bas relief of the school and Topa Mountains that was mounted on a wooden “memory book” presented to Randy. Alumni, faculty, and even founder Louis Zalk’s daughter, Helene Pollock (at age 99) contributed memories, stories and remembrances for the book. Randy was then presented with a gift from the school “to always remember us by” – a set of golf clubs.

The ceremony concluded in our traditional way with music, a reading, and moment of silence. Current student Michael A. ’18 was completely onpoint with his reading by Gary Ryan Blair asking everyone in the audience to reflect on his/her own legacy in this world. Junior Emmy H. and Music Chair Dave Cosby then ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” The apex of the song and the evening came when the entire community joined in on the chorus – a touching honor for a man who has given his all to this community. After the moment of silence, everyone enjoyed a delicious outdoor dinner and dessert together on the Commons Lawn.