Photos Highlight Thomas Fire & Need for Fire Relief Funding

It is hard to believe that two weeks ago today our entire community was evacuated from a firestorm that decimated the Ojai Valley, taking many homes, including four houses and five other structures on the Besant Hill School campus. This has been an incredibly difficult time for our community, the town of Ojai, and the many other cities throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. As firefighters continue to battle what will soon be the largest wildfire in California history, I encourage you to take a moment to remember our school during this time of need.

I can only begin to share how many wonderful and kind gestures have been extended to our community, and to our faculty and staff members who lost their homes, over the past two weeks.

I can only begin to share how many wonderful and kind gestures have been extended to our community, and to our faculty and staff members who lost their homes, over the past two weeks. Alumni, parents, students, trustees, local businesses, fellow boarding schools, and even parents and families of fellow boarding schools have given time, money, gifts-in-kind, and offers of assistance towards the rebuilding process. I have been awed by the support extended to Besant Hill and the families in our school community.

The clean-up process has been in progress for several days now. I was amazed to see, as I entered our buildings and classrooms today, that they looked clean and ready for student arrival on January 8. A few more areas need to be completed, but the job of restoring these spaces is well underway.

We still have an immense amount of work ahead of us to return our campus to its prior state, and it will take many months to complete — numerous buildings, equipment, maintenance vehicles, supplies, and tools need to be replaced. The first modular unit arrives next week for our maintenance staff, marking the first sign of rebuilding.

To that end, we remain in need of your help. If you have already given — I sincerely thank you! If you have not, please participate in this effort to raise our campus from the ashes of the Thomas Fire. Help us heal our campus and our community. Many have answered the call, and I would be grateful if you would do so as well.

I wish you all a peaceful holiday season.

Aun Aprendo,

Randy