Happy Valley Foundation Names Portia Johnson ’00 as Head of School

It is with great enthusiasm that the Happy Valley Foundation Board of Trustees announces that Portia Johnson ’00 has agreed to serve as the Head of School for Besant Hill School, effective July 1, 2019. After completing a nationwide search, the school community determined that the best fit for the position is our internal candidate, a product of Happy Valley School and a professional educator.

After graduating from Happy Valley School, Portia went on to pursue her passion for English and education. Portia graduated magna cum laude with a BA from West Virginia University and earned an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of New England. She has been a part of the faculty and administration at Besant Hill for 13 years. In this time, she has worked as an English instructor, dorm parent, coach, advisor, department chair, Director of Teaching and Learning, and most recently, Interim Head of School.

Portia brings an intense passion for Besant Hill School and the education of young minds. She has been an integral part in the strategic change of the school’s programming and has led the Curriculum Committee in the completion of a revised schedule, the creation of the school’s Portrait of a Graduate, the enhancement of academic and art offerings, and the implementation of school-wide ePortfolios. Additionally, Portia was the Co-Chair for the school’s most recent WASC/CAIS accreditation for which the school earned high praise and a seven-year term. Portia presents as the ideal candidate because the important traditions of the school are a part of her upbringing, and she works to maintain their strength while encouraging innovation and growth.

The Board of Trustees would like to thank the Search Committee and Independent Thinking for the time and work they put into executing the Head of School Search this year, as well as the community at large for their support and feedback throughout this process.

We are very excited about the future of our school and look forward to its continued success.

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