The Happy Valley Foundation
Foundation History
Foundation Trustees
Our Book: The Story of Happy Valley
Happy Valley Land
Besant Hill School
Happy Valley Cultural Center
Contact Us
Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts



























































The Happy Valley Foundation

Happy Valley Foundation

All trustees may be reached through the
Happy Valley Foundation Office:

Happy Valley Foundation
P.O. Box 804
Ojai CA 93024-0404

Phone/Fax: 805 646 9951



Double Rainbow Over Besant Hill School
"Double Rainbow Over Besant Hill School"
Photo by Janat Dundas

Randy BertinRandy Bertin, Head of School
(Ojai, CA)

Randy Bertin has been a leader in independent boarding schools for the past seventeen years, which includes being Head of School at Besant Hill School of Happy Valley since July of 2011.

Randy graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Exercise Physiology, and a doctorate of education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.

Over a seven-year career at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, MA, Randy served in many roles including Certified Athletic Trainer, Residential Faculty, Teacher, Coach, Dean, Director of Athletics, and Development Officer. Before becoming Head of School at Besant Hill, Randy served in multiple leadership positions there including Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Director of Advancement, and Assistant Head for Advancement. He also served as the school’s varsity basketball coach from 2007-2011, earning CIF-SS Division V coach of the year in 2010. During his tenure as Head of School, Randy has been recognized for his leadership in the areas of International Fundraising, and school leadership and has presented a number of times on these topics.

In addition to his presentations on fundraising, other topics have included the Head of School’s Role in the Admissions Process, Integration and Immersion of International Students at Boarding Schools in the United States, and Perceptions of Independent School Leaders in California: Global Issues. He is also involved with non-profit youth organizations in the Ojai Valley and beyond.

Randy, his wife Karen, a Speech Therapist in the Ojai School District, and their four children reside on campus.

Martha M. DoorninkMartha M. Doornink
(Manhattan Beach, CA)

Martha M. Doornink, M.Ed. is an educator and mother of four. She and her husband Ron were thrilled to watch as Besant Hill School provided a life-changing experience for their son, Evan, who graduated from Besant Hill School in 2012. Martha holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Masters in Education from Xavier University with Montessori AMS Teaching Credentials (primary). She recently returned to school, earning a post-graduate Certification in Integrative Health Coaching from Duke University. She enjoys practicing as a Health Coach in both group and one-on-one settings, relishes her service on two other non-profit boards, and is a passionate gardener. She and her husband live in Manhattan Beach and enjoy visiting their grown children in Portland OR, Olympia WA, and Chicago, while looking forward to empty-nesting in the fall of 2014 when their youngest matriculates at Reed College.

Richard FloresRichard Flores
(Ojai, CA)

Artist and educator, Richard Flores, was born in Southern California and has studied fine art throughout most of his life. Some accolades include a full tuition scholarship to Brooks Institute, Santa Barbara, Ca., Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Los Angeles Pierce College, Visionary Leadership Award, Ventura County, multiple full tuition scholarships from California Institute of Earth Art and Ceramic Architecture in Hesperia, Ca. and Professor of the Year Award from College of the Sequoias, Visalia, Ca.

Richard now shares his time between College of the Sequoias as the 3-D Fine Arts Professor; instructing courses in all levels of Ceramics, Sculpture, Glass and 3-D Design and working as a professional artist at his studio/residence in Ojai.

William B. KaplanWilliam B. Kaplan
(Agoura Hills, CA)

Bill is a graduate of Happy Valley School (now Besant Hill School) (1960-1963). He was in the school's Ukrainian folk dance performance group, was president of the student council, class of '63 and gave his son Jesse's Happy Valley School 2001 graduating class commencement address. After attending the University of Arizona and USC, Bill received a B.A., B.S. and a M.A. (theater arts/film), from UCLA. Bill went into motion picture production sound mixing, where he has been for the past forty-two years. He has received seven Oscar nominations for more than a hundred and twenty-five Hollywood feature films.

Bill is a strong believer in the positive, transformative impact the School’s philosophy has on students, regardless of their personal histories. He is the first alumnus to have his child graduate from Happy Valley School as well.

Neil KreitmanNeil Kreitman
(Ojai, CA)

Neil Kreitman was born and educated in the United Kingdom. An independent art historian with a specialized interest in the early Buddha-image, he has co-organized a pioneering exhibition on the ancient art of Gandhara, supported scholarly research into South and Central Asian art, numismatics and epigraphy and assisted museums in acquisitions. For many years, he was a trustee of the Ancient Indian & Iran Trust, an educational trust with an extensive library based in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Neil has lived in Ojai twice, from 1988-1992 and 2010 to the present.

Nicholas SchneiderNicholas Schneider
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Nick received his B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, highest honors, and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall. He is a C.P.A., and a partner in the law firm of Seed Mackall LLP. He is also currently an adjunct professor at UCSB teaching business law, tax and accounting courses, and was formerly an adjunct professor at Santa Barbara Community College teaching business courses. He serves on the board of a local private foundation, the board of the Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute and is legal counsel to several local private foundations. Nick has served on the Happy Valley Foundation board since 2003.  

James SlossJames Sloss, Chair
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Jimmy is a graduate of the Happy Valley School (now called the Besant Hill School), attended Duke University, received his B.A. in Physics from Pomona College & received his PhD in Math from UC Berkeley. He taught Mathematics for 35 years at UCSB and has published over 200 articles in mathematics. Jimmy never suspected when he arrived at the Happy Valley School (now the Besant Hill School) as a boy of 15 that he would be captivated for life. He has served on the HVF Board from 1960 to 1966 and from 1989 to the present.

Radha SlossRadha Sloss
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Radha is a graduate of the Happy Valley School (now called the Besant Hill School), attended Swarthmore College for two years, BA from Scripps College and received an M.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. She has written two published books, India Beyond the Mirror, and Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti, as well as an "in house" volume, The Story of Happy Valley.

Radha's earliest memories include picnics on Happy Valley with many of the original Board members. She and her husband, Jimmy Sloss met in the first year of the school (1946) with which they are still associated.  Radha has served on the Happy Valley Foundation Board since 1986.  

Ken TennenKen Tennen
(Southern CA)

Ken is a graduate of Happy Valley School (now called the Besant Hill School), and attended the University of the Americas at Cholula, Mexico, receiving his Licenciatura degree in cross-cultural psychology at UDLAP. After completing his Masters work in Government at Georgetown University, Ken returned to California, receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne. Ken practices consumer law in Southern California.  

Kevin WallaceKevin Wallace
(Ojai, CA)

Kevin Wallace is Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, where he curates exhibitions of work in a wide-range of media, as well as producing concerts and theatrical productions. He has guest-curated exhibitions for a number of museums and art centers, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the St. George Art Museum and the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles. He has authored numerous books on contemporary art and craft, including River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho, Moulthrop: A Legacy in Wood, Transforming Vision: The Wood Sculpture of William Hunter, Celebrating Nature: Craft Traditions/Contemporary Expressions and Every Exit is an Entry: The Life and Work of Liam O’Gallagher. He has co-authored numerous other books and is a regular contributor to periodicals including Craft Arts International, American Woodturner and Woodturning Magazine.  

Nina de Creeft WardNina de Creeft Ward
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Nina de Creeft Ward graduated from Happy Valley School (now Besant Hill School). Nina received a BA degree from Scripps College with a major in Art, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Claremont Graduate University. Nina has sculpture in the collections of Iowa State University, Charles H. MacNider Museum in Mason City, Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. She has taught Art to children and adults. An adjunct Art Instructor at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa for nine years, Nina and her husband lived in Cedar Falls for twenty-six years and raised four sons and a daughter. They have lived in Santa Barbara, where Nina grew up, since 2001. Nina continues to be active making and exhibiting clay sculpture, drawings, and prints. She was Alumni Representative to the Happy Valley/Besant Hill School Governance Committee for five years, until she became a member of the Happy Valley Foundation Board in the spring of 2009. 

Home | Foundation History | Foundation Trustees | Our Book | Happy Valley Land | Besant Hill School | Happy Valley Cultural Center | Contact Us
Copyright © 2017 Happy Valley Foundation