Dear Friends and Family,
Our memorial gathering in Washington to celebrate Marni Hoyt’s life (Kate Hughes Rinzler’s ’55 daughter) was held after the Folklife Festival’s “Social Power of Music” concert. The concert honored Pete Seeger’s contributions at the “Rinzler Stage” outside the Smithsonian Castle. Here is the full schedule for the Folklife Festival: festival/si/edu/schedule. The Seeger concert ended at 2:30, so our Marni event was after that.
Lanie and I stayed at the Holiday Inn Washington Capitol, 550 C Street SW, arriving Friday. It was walking distance to the Festival.
Thank you to all who were able to join us.
Nina Ward ’52
Is busy with her clay work and printmaking. She is still a long-time member of the Happy Valley Foundation Board of Trustees and added that Portia and Alex are doing a wonderful job!
David Christensen ’55
Is living in Port Townsend, Washington and currently working with Port Townsend High School as a mentor. It has given him time to learn and explore current high schools and high school students. He is working with a group called “Skillmation” and wrote an article for them called Post-Secondary Options for Seniors at PTHS.
Bruce Blomgren ’64
Is living “his best life.” I, together, with Kim Garner (also an alumna of Happy Valley), are back and forth between San Diego and Florida.
Al Frazier ’91
Al is living in Seattle. Even he is surprised that his life’s work has led him to help the homeless. “Being on the front lines is a surreal trip most days.” It is hard, mentally tasking work, but he finds the work challenging and worthy of pride. He goes to bed every night tired and not sure how or why he continues to work in this field, but then he wakes up ready to dive in all over again. The homeless he works for may never know his struggle, but he doesn’t mind as he has made their lives better, if even in small ways.
Eric Tooke ’94
Is living in Arizona and is having a great time spending time in the outdoors with family and at play with his vintage Bronco. When he made the purchase, the dealer had all the original owner paperwork. The original owner was the Pollock/Zalk family. He had a handwritten note from them to another former owner. As Eric said, “When I realized this, I did some research as the name was odd. I was shocked to learn that the truck I bought 40+ years after the original purchase was owned by an HVS alum/board member. Small world… and a Bronco meant to stay in the Happy Valley Family!”
Lindsey Soleimani ’00
Is busy “raising 2 crazy boys and has just joined the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Santa Barbara County.” She loves the work and feels the work CASA does is so important.
Yuri Howard ’13
Is living in Los Angeles and recently married. He is still playing basketball and is an Artist as well. “Sir NZEUSSSEU” is his producer name. He is also a Mentor; he mentors a lot of kids in basketball, so his life is busy with music and life in general. He is just using his testimony to save one life at a time. Yuri is also a shoe designer. He has been working on it for quite some time and finally, an Italian company emailed to give him a shot. Yuri is very active with youth and has dedicated his work to help out children. He currently is developing a project with Metta World Peace to give back in Cameroon and expand his brand in Africa.
Ally Fitzmaurice ’14
Is living in Oakland now and managing commercial office buildings for work. She says it is a lot of fun. In her free time, she says she has taken up rock climbing now that her volleyball days are done (for now!).
Nick Demetriades ’14
Served four years in the Marine Reserves, graduated college, and currently is working away at a startup and a nonprofit. He feels Portia will be a great leader!
Moussa Sy ’14
Moved to Syracuse to attend Syracuse University for his Master’s degree. He joined a lab where he will be conducting research on calcium ion batteries. Moussa and some friends also started a company called Dalilou Energie. Their goal is to help villages have access to energy through solar power and batteries in Africa. Currently, they are working in Mali, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.
Daniel Wallock ’14
Is living in New York City and currently working for a market-leading beauty and hair-care company. He works directly with the CEO managing the Digital Marketing Operations.
Pam Quenzer ’14
Has been in NYC for just over a year. She just started her Master’s in Global Affairs with a concentration Transnational Security at NYU and is really enjoying it so far.
Ilana Ariel ’14
After Besant Hill, Ilana spent one year at Hendrix College, then transferred to Blinn College, a junior college in Brenham, Texas. She spent three years there, obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Theatre Arts. Afterward, she transferred to the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where she is currently studying and will be completing her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts, with a concentration in Performance and a minor in English. She lives in Denton with her lovely cat, Zuko. She is hoping to pursue voiceover acting, doing voices for animation, video games, audiobooks, commercial work, and the like. Her end goal is to work for a video game company.
Faith Rose ’14
Is living in Ojai doing psychic medium work as well as massage therapy. She runs her own practice and her own business and specifically helps people who have pain trapped in their bodies from past experiences, specifically relating to trauma, relationships, etc. She is able to see the pain in the body and remove it. For her psychic medium work, she does what she always did when she attended Besant Hill, she talks to the spirits every day and connects them to their loved ones who want to talk to them, She does a lot of practice around that gift and makes sure those who are seeking her gift be open-minded, as sometimes this will be very triggering for some people. She specifically helps people who want to gain clarity.
Michelle Widmer ’15
I attached a picture of us, it was taken while we were in Bangkok. We actually started our trip to Bangkok and then made our way to the islands, where we visited, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. We explored the islands and snorkeled a lot! After that we flew up to Chiang Mai, where we did a trek in the rainforest, and even got to swim with some elephants! During the trek, we stayed with local people who live very simply in a hut in the rainforest. And our last spot was called Pai, a smaller town also in the North of Thailand. We had a great time and it was nice to see Pablo again after three years! Even though we haven’t seen each other for a few years, it felt like we have just seen each other!
Olivia Biles ’15
I am currently in school at Loma Linda University for Dietetics. I am very much passionate about food and health education and management.
Max Wang ’15
I am working on my FINAL THESIS FILM in Los Angeles right now. I am about to graduate in September. Trying to work hard every day and get everything done as soon as possible.
Simeon Hu ’16
Recently finished a film he shot on the Happy Valley land. He is currently in China this fall, having a gap semester to work a little bit and take some time off to get ready for graduation. He found this summer was really interesting because he connected with several friends from BHS. He found it was very cool to catch up with everyone!
Travis Chan ’16
Is currently in his senior year of college. He is still planning to pursue a medical career and hopes to get into medical school after college. He misses the community and that feeling and warmth of home.
Aaron Bernhard ’16
Is in school at the University of San Francisco studying architecture.
Elizabeth Snett ’16
Is doing well at Kent in her senior year. Her junior year was a great experience of learning/growing. She got the chance to study abroad in Italy for a semester, then New York. While in New York, she interned at Adam Selman (a small fashion design house). She really enjoyed the internship and decided to stay with the company for the summer, while also working at Nordstrom Men’s. She has decided to take the BFA degree path. It means she will be dedicating her senior year to making a 6/8 thesis piece collection. She shared that Fashion Design has been a great choice for her and has flourished in a creative environment. She is grateful for getting the chance to study at Besant and carries fond memories of attending the school.
The Alumni and Friends Council
The common purpose of the AFC is alumni outreach with the goal of cultivating relationships that engage with the school, the current student body, and each other.
Besant Hill School of Happy Valley
8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd
Ojai California 93023
Your donation helps the AFC’s work in keeping the BHS/HVS alumni community connected and supports alumni events in planning for the future.