“Besant Hill School is a wonderful place to be. It’s been an amazing experience for me being in such a kind, compassionate environment.”

Mike Biermann

Director of Athletics & Fitness
Experiential Education
Capstone Coordinator
ISP Teacher
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Eastern Illinois University, B.S.

mbiermann@besanthill.org

“Besant Hill School is a wonderful place to be. It’s been an amazing experience for me being in such a kind, compassionate environment.”

Mike Biermann

Director of Athletics & Fitness
Experiential Education
Capstone Coordinator
ISP Teacher
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials
Eastern Illinois University, B.S.

mbiermann@besanthill.org

Chris Cairns

Mathematics Teacher
Science Teacher
Boys Volleyball Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cornell University, B.A.

ccairns@besanthill.org

“There is something remarkable that happens when we learn in small groups; classmates become colleagues, desire for knowledge drives curiosity, and learning becomes a lifelong habit.”

“There is something remarkable that happens when we learn in small groups; classmates become colleagues, desire for knowledge drives curiosity, and learning becomes a lifelong habit.”

Chris Cairns

Mathematics Teacher
Science Teacher
Boys Volleyball Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cornell University, B.A.

ccairns@besanthill.org

“I love the fact that we actually live our motto; Aún Aprendo is in everything we do with our entire community. We encourage each other to try new things, and mistakes are never failures, because we are all still learning.”

Dan Call

Arts Chair
Performing Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cleveland State University, M.M.
Lake Erie College, B.F.A.

dcall@besanthill.org

“I love the fact that we actually live our motto; Aún Aprendo is in everything we do with our entire community. We encourage each other to try new things, and mistakes are never failures, because we are all still learning.”

Dan Call

Arts Chair
Performing Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cleveland State University, M.M.
Lake Erie College, B.F.A.

dcall@besanthill.org

Dave Cosby

Music Chair
Musical Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Rutgers University, B.M.
University of Virginia, M.M.

dcosby@besanthill.org

In other schools students often have to pick what interest will be the focus of their energies, but through our inclusive environment, creative scheduling, and offerings inside and outside of class, students can truly explore multiple passions deeply here at Besant Hill School.

In other schools students often have to pick what interest will be the focus of their energies, but through our inclusive environment, creative scheduling, and offerings inside and outside of class, students can truly explore multiple passions deeply here at Besant Hill School.

Dave Cosby

Music Chair
Musical Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Rutgers University, B.M.
University of Virginia, M.M.

dcosby@besanthill.org

“At Besant Hill School we use the classroom as a safe environment for students to build their own perspective on how to think critically.”

Leland Fulton

Experiential Learning Coordinator
Science Teacher
Outdoor Education Coach
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Southern Oregon University, B.S.
University of Portland, M.A.T.

lfulton@besanthill.org

“At Besant Hill School we use the classroom as a safe environment for students to build their own perspective on how to think critically.”

Leland Fulton

Experiential Learning Coordinator
Science Teacher
Outdoor Education Coach
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Southern Oregon University, B.S.
University of Portland, M.A.T.

lfulton@besanthill.org

Néstor Gerónimo Morales

Humanities Chair
Spanish Teacher
Weight Lifting Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Universidad de Michoacán, B.A.

ngeronimo@besanthill.org

“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.”

“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 Teacher
Weight Lifting Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Universidad de Michoacán, B.A.

ngeronimo@besanthill.org

“ISP allows students to learn about learning. I love teaching students about how their brains process information, how they can build habits of learning, and give them time to reflect metacognitively about their own learning.”

Kelly Henschel

Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
Instructional Support Director
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Educational Leadership from California State University, East Bay M.S.Ed
San Francisco State University, SSTC
University of California, Davis, B.S.

“ISP allows students to learn about learning. I love teaching students about how their brains process information, how they can build habits of learning, and give them time to reflect metacognitively about their own learning.”

Kelly Henschel

Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
Instructional Support Director
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Educational Leadership from California State University, East Bay M.S.Ed
San Francisco State University, SSTC
University of California, Davis, B.S.

Kevin Henschel

Development & Alumni Relations Officer
Girls Basketball Coach
Golf Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Besant Hill School (Happy Valley School), 1993

805-646-4343 ext. 344
khenschel@besanthill.org

“True growth and learning happens when we intentionally seek out to experience challenging things. Mistakes are required in this learning process.”

“True growth and learning happens when we intentionally seek out to experience challenging things. Mistakes are required in this learning process.”

Kevin Henschel

Development & Alumni Relations Officer
Girls Basketball Coach
Golf Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Besant Hill School (Happy Valley School), 1993

805-646-4343 ext. 344
khenschel@besanthill.org

“I love to contribute the skills I have gained and share my passion for teaching mathematics to help students achieve their greatest potential.”

Fan Huang

Mathematics Teacher
Cross Training Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
M.S. Mathematics University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
B.S. Business Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

fhuang@besanthill.org

“I love to contribute the skills I have gained and share my passion for teaching mathematics to help students achieve their greatest potential.”

Fan Huang

Mathematics Teacher
Cross Training Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
M.S. Mathematics University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
B.S. Business Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

fhuang@besanthill.org

Doug Jessup

Director of College Counseling
ISP Teacher
Soccer Coach
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Harvard University, Ed.M.
Amherst College, B.A.

djessup@besanthill.org

“The heart and soul of the Besant Hill experience is the immeasurable quality and depth of interpersonal connectedness that is fostered and forged between and amongst students, faculty, and staff.”

“The heart and soul of the Besant Hill experience is the immeasurable quality and depth of interpersonal connectedness that is fostered and forged between and amongst students, faculty, and staff.”

Doug Jessup

Director of College Counseling
ISP Teacher
Soccer Coach
Residential Administrator on Duty

Credentials:
Harvard University, Ed.M.
Amherst College, B.A.

djessup@besanthill.org

“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
Director of Teaching and Learning
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@besanthill.org

“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
Director of Teaching and Learning
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@besanthill.org

Julianna Lamb

Social Sciences Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Swim Team Coach
Residential Swim Faculty

Credentials:
California State University, Fullerton, B.A.
California State University, Fullerton, M.A.

jlamb@besanthill.org

History is centered around critical thinking, synthesizing knowledge, and understanding perspective. In the history classroom we get to become detectives and discover how and why others lived the way they did in the past. We are constantly living out Aún Aprendo.

History is centered around critical thinking, synthesizing knowledge, and understanding perspective. In the history classroom we get to become detectives and discover how and why others lived the way they did in the past. We are constantly living out Aún Aprendo.

Julianna Lamb

Social Sciences Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Swim Team Coach
Residential Swim Faculty

Credentials:
California State University, Fullerton, B.A.
California State University, Fullerton, M.A.

jlamb@besanthill.org

“Students exploring and developing their passions in a community that values and respects the individual has made my thirty years at Besant Hill School of Happy Valley a truly remarkable journey.”

Tina Leslie

International Alumni Liaison
ESL Instructor
Instructional Support Teacher

Credentials:
University of California, Santa Barbara, TESOL Cert
Teaching Cred
California State University, Northridge, M.A.
California State University, Chico, B.S.

tleslie@besanthill.org

“Students exploring and developing their passions in a community that values and respects the individual has made my thirty years at Besant Hill School of Happy Valley a truly remarkable journey.”

Tina Leslie

International Alumni Liaison
ESL Instructor
Instructional Support Teacher

Credentials:
University of California, Santa Barbara, TESOL Cert
Teaching Cred
California State University, Northridge, M.A.
California State University, Chico, B.S.

tleslie@besanthill.org

Claire Lowndes

Studio Arts Teacher
Yoga Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Staffordshire University, B.A.
Birmingham City University, PGCE

clowndes@besanthill.org

“The Besant Hill School community provides an inspiring environment for students to embrace their passions and unlock higher potential.”

“The Besant Hill School community provides an inspiring environment for students to embrace their passions and unlock higher potential.”

Claire Lowndes

Studio Arts Teacher
Yoga Teacher
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Staffordshire University, B.A.
Birmingham City University, PGCE

clowndes@besanthill.org

“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
Math Teacher
Instructional Support Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Residential Faculty

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

bmccolgan@besanthill.org

“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
Math Teacher
Instructional Support Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Residential Faculty

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

bmccolgan@besanthill.org

Shannon Rowan

Director of International Student Programs
ESL Teacher
Yoga Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
University of California, Santa Barbara, TESOL
Humbolt State University, B.A.

srowan@besanthill.org

“Besant Hill School is like a thriving ecosystem, rich in diversity and talent. It’s a pleasure to work and contribute to a unique school where a sense of belonging and support permeate and a love of learning is nurtured.”

“Besant Hill School is like a thriving ecosystem, rich in diversity and talent. It’s a pleasure to work and contribute to a unique school where a sense of belonging and support permeate and a love of learning is nurtured.”

Shannon Rowan

Director of International Student Programs
ESL Teacher
Yoga Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
University of California, Santa Barbara, TESOL
Humbolt State University, B.A.

srowan@besanthill.org

“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

Dance Instructor
Residential Faculty

lsellers@besanthill.org

“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

Dance Instructor
Residential Faculty

lsellers@besanthill.org

Mary Spence

English Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
California Institute of Arts, BFA
Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, MA

mspence@besanthill.org

“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
Cross Country Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
California Institute of Arts, BFA
Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, MA

mspence@besanthill.org

“The word ‘educate’ means to draw out rather than to fill up, and at Besant Hill we experience true education everyday as we recognize and celebrate the strengths, challenges, and passions of each individual.”

Betsy Stix

Human Development Coordinator
French Teacher
ESL Teacher
Yoga Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Stanford School of Education, M.A.
Williams College, B.A.

bstix@besanthill.org

“The word ‘educate’ means to draw out rather than to fill up, and at Besant Hill we experience true education everyday as we recognize and celebrate the strengths, challenges, and passions of each individual.”

Betsy Stix

Human Development Coordinator
French Teacher
ESL Teacher
Yoga Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Stanford School of Education, M.A.
Williams College, B.A.

bstix@besanthill.org

Francois Tchoyi

French Teacher
Social Science Teacher
Boys Basketball Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cal Poly Pomona, BA
Besant Hill School, 2011

ftchoyi@besanthill.org

“What I love the most about Besant is the ability of the community to welcome, embrace, and support people no matter where they are coming from.”

“What I love the most about Besant is the ability of the community to welcome, embrace, and support people no matter where they are coming from.”

Francois Tchoyi

French Teacher
Social Science Teacher
Boys Basketball Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Cal Poly Pomona, BA
Besant Hill School, 2011

ftchoyi@besanthill.org

“My teaching philosophy is grounded in the idea that school should not only teach the basics and core skills, but also cultivate the entire person. ”

Brian Thornhill

Digital Media Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Surfing Coach

Credentials
San Jose State University, BFA

bthornhill@besanthill.org

“My teaching philosophy is grounded in the idea that school should not only teach the basics and core skills, but also cultivate the entire person. ”

Brian Thornhill

Digital Media Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Surfing Coach

Credentials
San Jose State University, BFA

bthornhill@besanthill.org

Anh-Dao Tran

Mathematics Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Adelphi University, B.S.
Adelphi University, M.PH

atran@besanthill.org

“The Besant School community truly embraces the diversity of learning and encourages students to immerse themselves into new adventures inside and outside of the classroom.”

“The Besant School community truly embraces the diversity of learning and encourages students to immerse themselves into new adventures inside and outside of the classroom.”

Anh-Dao Tran

Mathematics Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Adelphi University, B.S.
Adelphi University, M.PH

atran@besanthill.org

“What makes Besant Hill special is the first thing I noticed when I started here: the lack of judgement and stigma amongst students.”

(805) 646-4343 Ext. 113

Tyler Turner

Surfing Coach

tturner@besanthill.org

“What makes Besant Hill special is the first thing I noticed when I started here: the lack of judgement and stigma amongst students.”

(805) 646-4343 Ext. 113

Tyler Turner

Surfing Coach

tturner@besanthill.org

Megan Walton

Assistant Head of School
Dean of Students
Residential Administrator on Duty
Social Science Teacher

Concordia University, MA Ed.
John Carroll University, BA

mwalton@besanthill.org

“The strength and the uniqueness of Besant Hill school come from the community. Everyone who lives and works here plays a vital role in the wellbeing and the growth of the community. What I love the most about Besant is the ability of the community to welcome, embrace, and support people no matter where they are coming from.”

“The strength and the uniqueness of Besant Hill school come from the community. Everyone who lives and works here plays a vital role in the wellbeing and the growth of the community. What I love the most about Besant is the ability of the community to welcome, embrace, and support people no matter where they are coming from.”

Megan Walton

Assistant Head of School
Dean of Students
Residential Administrator on Duty
Social Science Teacher

Concordia University, MA Ed.
John Carroll University, BA

mwalton@besanthill.org

“Class sizes at Besant Hill empower each and every student to be an integral part of each and every day in our community. This is the power of small. And I get to keep learning because each and every day I am awakened to the wonder of the hearts and minds of my students.”

Sam Yarabek

English Teacher
Soccer Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Colorado College, BA
Columbia University, M.Ed.

syarabek@besanthill.org

“Class sizes at Besant Hill empower each and every student to be an integral part of each and every day in our community. This is the power of small. And I get to keep learning because each and every day I am awakened to the wonder of the hearts and minds of my students.”

Sam Yarabek

English Teacher
Soccer Coach
Residential Faculty

Credentials:
Colorado College, BA
Columbia University, M.Ed.

syarabek@besanthill.org

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