In Memoriam

Please join us in paying tribute to those alumni who have gone before us by submitting a photo and writing to remember the ones we loved.
Submissions can be sent to alumni@besanthill.org.
Edward J Krull Dr. Krull

Teacher, dorm parent, wildlife researcher. Taught Biology, Botany, Chemistry, and German at Happy Valley School from 1978-1995. Edward attended Columbia University and Graduated with a Bachelor’s in Forestry in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Botany 1965. Upon moving onto the HVS lower campus in 1978, he became a fixture in the community. Teaching his subject matter in a strict, but uniquely charismatic fashion. As well as overseeing the safety and wellbeing of resident students in the lower campus community. Happy Valley School’s outdoor education program also made it possible for him to follow his love for the great outdoors. Weekend trips up to Pedro Blanca in the Los Padres National Forest outside of Ojai, and week-long backpacking trips up to East Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains were two of his favorite annual trips. Edward would go on to write many short stories in the following years from these experiences. While living on Campus he also aided in planting many trees seen today on the HVS campus, and documented species living in, and around the vernal pond on the border of the campus.

Radha Rajagopal Sloss ’49

Radha Rajagopal Sloss was surrounded by the individuals who created and cared for the Happy Valley Foundation from childhood. Her mother, Rosalind Rajagopal, had accompanied Annie Besant, J. Krishnamurti, and others on the first visit to what came to be known as Happy Valley. Rosalind had a lifelong commitment to realizing as much of Dr. Besant’s vision for Happy Valley as possible, assisting in the creation of the school in time for Radha – and her future husband James Sloss – to be students the first year of its existence.

Radha’s father, D. Rajagopal, served on the Happy Valley Foundation board and was instrumental, along with Louis Zalk and Robert Logan, in seeing the HVF through financial challenges – beginning with the Great Depression. Members of the Happy Valley Foundation board had familial relationships. Louis Zalk married Rosalind’s sister and Robert and Sarah Logan treated Rosalind like a second daughter. When an elderly Rosalind stepped down from the Happy Valley Foundation board, James Sloss joined the board and a decade later Radha joined as well, ultimately serving for over three decades. Ultimately, they were instrumental in the creation of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts & Happy Valley Cultural Center and in seeing the Happy Valley Foundation and Besant Hill School of Happy Valley through a period of change and growth, before passing that responsibility on to a new generation.

Tom Pollock ’60

Tom was the grandson of founder Louis Zalk and attended the school from the sixth grade through graduation. He went on to Columbia University, Stanford Law and reached the pinnacle of success in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Tom was an icon. As a studio head, he released films and gave opportunities to directors that no one would, among them Spike Lee. In speaking with the students and faculty as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, Tom said that most of his ethics and interest stemmed form what he’d learned at Happy Valley.

Ken Tennen ’66

Ken Tennen came to Happy Valley School as an orphaned 15-year-old. Rosalind Rajagopal, then Head of School, and the rest of the staff became his family and Happy Valley became his home. Ken remained involved with the school in one form or another for the remainder of his life. Ken’s support for the Happy Valley Foundation was central to his heart, and he eventually served as President of the Happy Valley Foundation board for many years, demonstrating his love of the land and the spirit of this special school.

Ken graduated top of his class from the La Verne College of Law after attending Georgetown University and the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He had a private law practice and many diverse hobbies and interests.

Sandy Wayman

As CEO, Alex Smith, noted, beloved faculty member Sandy Wayman “had been a constant source of support for our students at Happy Valley/Besant Hill School for decades. Truly a kind and beautiful soul that made a difference in our lives.” Along with her wife and BHS faculty member, Tina Leslie, Sandy spent almost 30 years on staff, teaching, tutoring, and assisting students in countless ways. Sandy will be remembered for her smile and love of sports – especially women’s basketball.

Marion Weil ’60

Marion Weil was unparalleled in her generosity and love of Happy Valley. She spent thee last ten years of her life in service to the students and alumni. Marion was the number one contributor, both in giving countless hours of her time as the Alumni Liaison and her financial resources which numbered over a million dollars. She worked tirelessly to reconnect alumni and connect students to larger opportunities. She became a champion of Annie Besant’s vision for our community and gave talks to the students through our Distinguished Speaker Series events (public speaking being something she was terrified of and called it her Aún Aprendo moment). Most recently, she was involved on the ad-hoc committee to form the Alumni & Friends Council (AFC) with a goal of raising a 10 million dollar endowment for student scholarship – the initiative to be a part of the “Honoring the Women of Happy Valley Through Philanthropy” Campaign.