Lower Campus Head of School to Retire
November 4, 2019 – Ojai Valley School President Michael J. Hall-Mounsey announced today that Lower Campus Head of School Gary Gartrell will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Mr. Gartrell has spent four decades as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, summer programs director, and administrator at the school.
“Gary has been a hands-on leader, devoting himself to the school community and providing direction for academic growth and the wellness of all students,” Hall-Mounsey wrote in a message to the school community. “Gary has always fostered a strong sense of pride and community with students and faculty. His dedication to the Lower Campus is evident in so many ways.
Read Mr. Gartrell’s letter of retirement and Mr. Hall-Mounsey’s message to the community below:
Letter from Retiring Head of School Gary Gartrell
I feel truly fortunate to have been a part of the OVS community for the past 40 years. It is now time for me to move on to my next phase of life and for the school to transition to new leadership. I will be retiring at the end of this school year as Head and will be spending the 2020-21 school year assisting with that transition.
Our founder, Ed Yeomans’ ideas on education, have withstood the test of time and have served students robustly for over 100 years. His philosophy has positioned the school well for changes, and I believe the school is prepared for this transition and will continue to thrive.
I have been fortunate to have a career that has allowed me to work beside teachers, administrators, and staff members that are genuinely dedicated to improving the lives of children, academically but more importantly, contributing to their emotional wellness.
I want to thank you, Mike, for your service and leadership. You have guided me as an administrator and I learned a lot during the years we spent together collaborating. I am proud of all the traditions you and I have started here. I have more memories to look back on than I can count and I am grateful for all of them.
I also want to thank you for your support of my family over the years. From attending school here to giving them the opportunity to work and grow in the OVS community. OVS has always been a part of my family and will continue to be so in the future.
As l transition into this next phase, I know I will truly miss the daily interactions and connections I have made with so many students, teachers and staff over the years.
Head of School, Lower Campus
A Message to the Community from OVS President Michael Hall-Mounsey
Dear Members of the OVS Community:
After 40 years of leadership and dedicated service, Gary Gartrell has informed me that he will retire as the Lower Campus Head of School, effective June 3, 2020.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Administration and the entire OVS community, I want to express our gratitude to Gary for his tireless efforts over a lifetime of dedicated service to guide our students and to uphold the high standards we set at Ojai Valley School.
Gary and his wife, Linda, have been an integral part of life at the Lower Campus for four decades. Prior to becoming Head of School in 2015, Gary spent 28 years as Assistant Head of School at Lower Campus, which included many years as Director of Summer Programs. His accomplishments are evident throughout the campus. Gary has been a hands-on leader, devoting himself to the school community and providing direction for academic growth and the wellness of all students.
Gary has always fostered a strong sense of pride and community with students and faculty. His dedication to the Lower Campus is evident in so many ways. Alumni visiting are always eager to spend time with Mr. Gartrell.
We will be conducting an extensive Head of School search for Gary’s replacement. I will inform you once this search is complete.
Whilst Gary will be staying on for a year as a mentor to assist with a smooth transition of leadership, we wish him a well-deserved retirement and sincere thanks for his lifelong dedication to OVS.
Michael J. Hall-Mounsey,
Have a Favorite Memory of Mr. Gartrell? Post a Comment Below! We will recognize Mr. Gartrell in the upcoming issue of Family Tree magazine and include remembrances from alumni and community members.