“The opportunity to work in a small boarding school environment like Besant Hill allows for adults to be more than just teachers. We can truly support and help guide students as they navigate the whole school experience, develop a firm understanding of themselves, and become their own advocates in and out of the classroom.”

Peter Asaro

Director of Instructional Support
Residential Faculty

Credentials
The College of William & Mary

“The opportunity to work in a small boarding school environment like Besant Hill allows for adults to be more than just teachers. We can truly support and help guide students as they navigate the whole school experience, develop a firm understanding of themselves, and become their own advocates in and out of the classroom.”

Peter Asaro

Director of Instructional Support
Residential Faculty

Credentials
The College of William & Mary

pasaro@besanthill.org

Tom Bennett

English Teacher

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

tbennet@besanthill.org

“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-tine 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-tine learning turns I wish into I will.”

Tom Bennett

English Teacher

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

tbennet@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.

“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

Sally Chung

Studio Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

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

schung@besanthill.org

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

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

Sally Chung

Studio Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

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

schung@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.”

Dave Cosby

Music Chair
Musical Arts Teacher
Residential Faculty

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

“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

Kenny Dennie

Math Teacher

Credentials
Pomona College, B.A.

kdennie@besanthill.org

“I believe that truth can only be realized when there is a community of people actively pursuing it. That is why I am so happy to be a part of the Besant Hill community full of growth-minded individuals who live up to the motto 'Aún Aprendo.' ”

“I believe that truth can only be realized when there is a community of people actively pursuing it. That is why I am so happy to be a part of the Besant Hill community full of growth-minded individuals who live up to the motto 'Aún Aprendo.' ”

Kenny Dennie

Math Teacher

Credentials
Pomona College, B.A.

kdennie@besanthill.org

“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.

“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@besanthill.org

Carissa Fenney

Executive Assitant to the CEO and Head of School
Residential Faculty

cfenney@besanthill.org

“The beauty of Besant Hill being a small boarding school community is that we, as residential faculty, have a great opportunity to connect with each student and positively impact their growth.”

“The beauty of Besant Hill being a small boarding school community is that we, as residential faculty, have a great opportunity to connect with each student and positively impact their growth.”

Carissa Fenney

Executive Assitant to the CEO and Head of School
Residential Faculty

cfenney@besanthill.org

“The Health and Safety of each person in the Besant Hill School community is our primary responsibility and we take this very seriously. A healthy community fosters lifelong learning, the building of relationships, and an overall sense of well-being. I am truly blessed to be a part of this very special place.”

Cindy Gagnon

Director of Health Services

Credentials
California State University, Sonoma, B.S.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification

“The Health and Safety of each person in the Besant Hill School community is our primary responsibility and we take this very seriously. A healthy community fosters lifelong learning, the building of relationships, and an overall sense of well-being. I am truly blessed to be a part of this very special place.”

Cindy Gagnon

Director of Health Services

Credentials
California State University, Sonoma, B.S.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification

cgagnon@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

“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

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

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

khaldeman@besanthill.org

Nicole Hawkins

Digital Arts Teacher

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

nhawkins@besanthill.org

“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-tine 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-tine learning turns I wish into I will.”

Nicole Hawkins

Digital Arts Teacher

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

nhawkins@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.”

Doug Jessup

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

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

“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

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@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.”

“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@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.”

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.

“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

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.”

“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

“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
Residential Faculty

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

“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
Residential Faculty

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

clowndes@besanthill.org

Chris Maddalone

Math and Science Chair

Credentials
Long Island University, MS.Ed.
Boston College, B.A.

cmaddalone@besanthill.org

“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.' ”

“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

Credentials
Long Island University, MS.Ed.
Boston College, B.A.

cmaddalone@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
Instructional Support Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Residential Faculty

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

“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
Instructional Support Teacher
Aquatics Coach
Residential Faculty

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

bmccolgan@besanthill.org

Leah Sellers

Athletic Director
Dance Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California State University, Fullertonn, B.A.

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.”

“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
Dance Instructor
Residential Faculty

Credentials
California State University, Fullertonn, B.A.

lsellers@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.”

Mary Spence

English Teacher
Cross Country Coach
Residential Faculty

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

“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

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

“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

Credentials
Concordia University, MA Ed.
John Carroll University, BA

“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

Credentials
Concordia University, MA Ed.
John Carroll University, BA

mwalton@besanthill.org

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