There are two teachers in every Early Learning Program classroom, an Early Learning Teacher (ELT) and an Early Learning Teaching Fellow (ELTF). The Early Learning Teacher is the primary teacher in the classroom whereas the Teaching Fellow plays a support role to the Early Learning Teacher and often is in training to become a full teacher. Contrary to the rest of our program, the Early Learning Program classroom is self-enclosed. For certain courses, a Subject Expert Teacher will push into the room to deliver content.
Ms. Bennett defines learning as the process by which the accumulation of acquired knowledge, coupled with experience, becomes meaningful. She believes the purpose of learning is to participate in one’s own becoming; a person has no choice but to become, but has choice in how they participate in their own becoming. Ms. Bennett believes that learning lives innately within each of our bodies and, because our bodies do so much of our learning for us, they certainly deserve educators’ attention when too many bodies are unsafe and without agency in what their body is taught. Ms. Bennett believes there is power in consensus and collaboration.
Ms. Bennett was born in Manhattan and raised in East Tennessee. She attended both Title I and private, independent schools in her youth and adolescence. Ms. Bennett graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and a minor in dance performance, earned a Master of Fine Arts in dance choreography from the University of Iowa in Iowa City where she was also an Iowa Arts Fellow and a Graduate Teaching Assistant, earned a Master of Science in Education in early childhood education at Hunter College, and is currently a doctoral candidate in leadership and innovation in education at Arizona State’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She is the BASIS Independent Schools network Subject Advisor for Kindergarten Math and Kindergarten Civics, Science, & History. The 2020-2021 school year will be her fifth teaching kindergarten at BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
Mrs. Cameron-Scott joins the BASIS Independent Brooklyn Student Affairs team as Dean of Students for K-Gr. 2 at our Red Hook campus. Previously, she was a second-grade Learning Expert Teacher at the school. Mrs. Cameron-Scott is very excited to become part of this prestigious learning institution’s leadership. She looks forward to continuing to share her ideas and goals towards education and literacy with staff and students.
Mrs. Cameron-Scott has been educating young minds for more than 10 years. She obtained her master’s degree in education in 2014. She has enjoyed working with various age groups and helping students achieve academic success. Her strong belief in early literacy led her to begin a Saturday Enrichment Program which assisted students in reaching their academic potential and work at an accelerated pace.
Mrs. Cameron-Scott believes: “If you introduce a child to literacy at an early age, he or she will make great strides in all academic areas. For reading is the key to all understanding.”
Ms. Cavallini is a Teaching Fellow on the Lower School Kindergarten team. This is her first year at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, and she is thrilled to bring her enthusiasm of the creative arts into the classroom.
Following her graduation from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, she spent time as a teaching artist in Massachusetts and has also worked as a museum educator, early learning educator, and teaching assistant at a theater school. As a Teaching Fellow, she aims to help students use the full scope of their imagination and inspire empathy for all, instilling a joy of learning each day. She was drawn to BASIS Independent because of the ability to create a unique learning experience, infusing science and the arts.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Cavallini absolutely loves spending time cuddling her two kittens, finding new places to eat in the city, and attending cultural events.
Mr. Chen is a language enthusiast! He joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn in 2017. Mr. Chen earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Shanghai University in China in 2009. He continued on to earn his master’s degree in nuclear engineering with a full scholarship from the same university in 2012.
Previously Mr. Chen taught Mandarin at P.S. 9 and P.S. 166. He also worked with Qtalk Publishing LLC to develop the QTalk method being used worldwide to teach many languages.
“As a Mandarin Teacher at BASIS independent Brooklyn, I truly enjoy teaching the students each day. I offer a full Mandarin immersion classroom, providing young learners a chance to acquire the language naturally. It is very important to me that my students are making progress and enjoying the learning process,” says Mr. Chen.
In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, learning Spanish, and traveling.
Ms. Collins returns to BASIS Independent Brooklyn as a Mandarin Teaching Fellow. She is passionate about languages and grew up in a bilingual household. Ms. Collins is fluent in English, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, French, and Hebrew. While in college, Ms. Collins started her focus on Mandarin because she was intrigued with the language. She loved it from day one, and she feels she has a deep understanding of the roadblocks and hurdles English-speaking children encounter when learning Mandarin since she did as well.
Ms. Collins completed her studies at Columbia’s Teacher College focused on teaching Mandarin not only to English speakers, but also to speakers of multiple other languages. She chooses readings that are relevant and applicable to real-life situations and to cultural experiences in China that may connect to their experiences.
Ms. Collins spent the past nine years privately tutoring students with Rennert International and earlier at Columbia University while studying at Columbia’s Teacher College. She also served as a Chinese Language Teacher at the International Leadership Charter High School. While in college, she worked as a translator with Sky News in the past as well.
As an undergraduate Ms. Collins attended Mount Holyoke College and majored in Asian Studies and International Relations. She continued on with a Summer Language graduate program with Mount Holyoke in Mandarin. She graduated the top two percent in her class with the International Language Program/Falcon Chinese Summer Program with Cornell, and she supplemented her studies by enrolling in the International Chinese Language Program at Peking University School of International Studies.
Ms. Corbett is a member of our Fine Art Faculty. She is an accomplished artist with more than ten years of experience as the owner and operator of a custom paint and design company. Previously, she spent eight years in film and television production as a prop master, lead scenic director, art director, and ultimately production designer.
Ms. Corbett received her bachelor’s degree from Tuft University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. For the past three years, she has provided fine arts instruction to students in K-Gr. 8 as a volunteer with the Red Hook Art Project.
Ms. Crowley is a Performing Arts Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She attended Dawson College then New York University studying acting and educational theater K-12. She received her Master of Arts in drama, theater, and performance studies at the University of Toronto.
Starting her career in the theater, Ms. Crowley worked at the New York Theater Workshop before transitioning to a Teaching Artist role at Wingspan Arts for four years. At Wingspan, Ms. Crowley taught courses in drama, chorus, and creative play to students in partner schools.
For the past five years, Ms. Crowley has been a key part of building and growing the performing arts program at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She works with students as young as PreK up to high school, and she has been a driving force behind our fall and spring performances at the school.
According to Ms. Crowley: “The performing arts program aims to foster artistic and emotional development in our students. Skills are honed in physical and verbal communication, creative interpretation, imaginative play, and abstract thought. For me, the most important aspect of what we do is in the cultivation of empathy and global curiosity by learning to see ourselves in the lives and experiences of others. Here at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, the performing arts program works in conjunction with the other fine arts disciplines as a creative and emotional outlet for students while also posing exciting academic challenges.”
Ms. Cruz is a Teaching Fellow in the Early Learning Program at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. As a BASIS Independent educator, her goal is to create a positive space for children to grow and acquire knowledge in a fun and rewarding manner. She desires to create an outstanding learning environment.
Ms. Cruz chose a career at BASIS Independent because it allows her to be creative and teach in the style that suits her. She was attracted to the fact that BASIS Independent has trust in their teachers, permitting them to teach in their own unique way.
Ms. Cruz attended Queens College, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. She majored in psychology and minored in sociology.
When Ms. Cruz is not in the classroom, she is hitting the gym. She views the gym as a relaxation technique, and it has become a great part of her life. Ms. Cruz also has a passion for makeup as a form of creative expression.
Ms. De Leon was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She received the Gates Millennium scholarship and attended Brown University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in elementary teaching. This is Ms. De Leon’s eighth year teaching, and she held the role of Math Subject Lead for the past seven years at her previous school in Brooklyn.
Ms. De Leon is passionate about studying the contexts under which the brain develops conceptual mathematical knowledge and finds it fascinating how every individual has creative and unique solutions for any given mathematical task. Her goal as 4th grade math and Early Learning Program engineering teacher is to cultivate a growth mindset culture so that her students can achieve at their highest levels. Ms. De Leon is excited to have found a community of like-minded educators at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, and she is eager to embark on this school year.
Outside the classroom, Ms. De Leon enjoys running half marathons, biking around all the boroughs, and exploring all the cultural spaces that New York City has to offer with her husband and two children.
Mr. Galloway is a Subject Expert Teacher in our Physical Education faculty. He joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn’s faculty the end of the 2016-2017 school year as Teaching Fellow, and he was instrumental in redesigning our recess program across the grades to incorporate collaborative group sports. In his work to date, Mr. Galloway has distinguished himself by revamping recess to make sure all children felt valued during the play time and also incorporated significant physical activity.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Galloway grew up in Battery Park City and ventured to the University of Arizona in Tucson to obtain his master’s degree majoring in science with a minor in German.
Before joining our BASIS Independent Brooklyn faculty, Mr. Galloway worked with Solar One helping bring solar energy to Brooklyn neighborhoods and assisted New York State Senator Daniel Squadron by overseeing the petitioning process to include the politician on the ballot for reelection.
Ms. Greenberg graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, and concentrations in anthropology and communication science, combining her passions for education, culture, and language. After graduation, she was a special education instructional assistant in a Vermont public school, then taught pre-kindergarten at an independent school for two years. At BASIS Independent Brooklyn, Ms. Greenberg spent four years as a teacher, leading classes in PreK and first grade. Then she served as Dean of Students for PreK-Gr. 2.
“When I visited BASIS Independent Brooklyn for the first time, I immediately felt that it was a place where learning with exploration, joy, and individuality was celebrated. It is an inspiring community, in which students and teachers alike are encouraged to bring their own strengths and personalities to the table to face challenges collaboratively and creatively,” she says.
As Director of Student Affairs for the Lower School Campus, Ms. Greenberg’s goal is to “support our teachers in fostering a learning environment that is as warm, silly, and emotionally nurturing as it is academically rigorous.” She plans to pay special attention to the social-emotional growth of each student and take a proactive, whole-child approach to behavior.
“The content we teach in the lowest grades is so important and truly the foundation of everything the students will learn in the future. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing you’re giving them something they will have forever, like the ability to read, write, and communicate with their friends,” she says.
Outside of school, Ms. Greenberg enjoys traveling, cooking, and curling up with a great book.
Ms. Hagan graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in childhood education and special education and a minor in mathematics. She completed her master’s degree from Hunter College in STEM education.
Ms. Hagan joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn in 2016, and is thrilled to continue her role as the 1st-4th grade Engineering Subject Expert Teacher as well as STEM instructor for Kindergarten classes. She enjoys utilizing interactive activities and hands-on lessons to foster creative problem-solving strategies within her students.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Hagan enjoys hiking, especially through national parks, reading Harry Potter books, and cooking different pasta dishes.
Ms. Joyce was drawn to BASIS Independent Brooklyn by the desire to teach an accelerated academic curriculum that is infused with joy and creativity. She sees each day as a chance to impart foundational skills and inspire a love of learning in her students.
Ms. Joyce completed her undergraduate studies at Loyola University where she focused on both English literature and education. She also earned teacher certification for English Language Arts, grades 7–12.
Following graduation, Ms. Joyce taught English at the high school level in her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania where she also coached a children’s swimming team. She later made the big move to New York City when an opportunity arose to teach kindergarten at a school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It was in that classroom that Ms. Joyce discovered her passion for early childhood education. Witnessing the strides her students could make in less than a year simply amazed her. “I am in constant awe of what four- and five-year-olds can accomplish if you only give them the opportunity to try.”
Outside the classroom, Ms. Joyce enjoys spending time with family, exploring local restaurants, museums, and shops, and going to the beach.
Mr. Lange joined the Physical Education Faculty at BASIS Independent Brooklyn in 2019 as a movement expert. He graduated from Salisbury University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Manhattenville College in Physical Education and Sports Pedagogy.
Mr. Lange’s goal is to nurture students to have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. He believes in teaching to the “whole student”, not just their body and movement. Throughout his teaching experience, Mr. Lange has prioritized incorporating strategy, teamwork, problem solving, and health-related fitness into his classes.
Mr. Lange chose BASIS Independent School because of the teachers, curriculum, and methods of teaching kids to enjoy learning. “The school community is very welcoming and the academics are unparalleled,” said Mr. Lange. “The students are motivated, the administration supportive, and the achievements are high.” BASIS Independent Brooklyn is a school where he feels he can really grow and maximize his experience as an educator.
When not in class, Mr. Lange enjoys being outdoors. Hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, golfing, and camping are just a few of his favorite pastimes. Mr. Lange is a big sports fan attending Mets, Knicks, and Giants games whenever he can. Mr. Lange also has a passion for Italian food, and his family can be found making homemade pizza and pasta regularly.
Ms. MacCoille is a Subject Expert Teacher in the Music Faculty at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. Ms. MacCoille received her degree in performance and music education from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She continued on to receive her master’s degree in classical civilizations and Italian from Trinity College Dublin. She recently started her master’s degree in early childhood education at Hunter College. This past summer Ms. MacCoille also started her Orff Schulwerk certification and completed her Level 1 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Previously, Ms. MacCoille worked as a performing operatic mezzo soprano for several years and was the lead vocal and early learning music teacher at the Glasnevin Academy of Music for five years. She enjoys working with children of all ages PreK through Gr. 12.
Ms. MacCoille was drawn to BASIS Independent Brooklyn for the high expectations it has for 100% of its students. “I’ve always taught my students that making mistakes and facing challenges is an invaluable and welcome part of the learning process, and this is central to the BASIS Independent ethos!”
Ms. Miller-Sims is the Director of Student Affairs for both our Early Learning Program and Primary School at the Red Hook Campus, and she looks forward to supporting all her students and faculty achieve at their highest level in a joyful environment.
Ms. Miller-Sims graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was a modern languages major studying both Italian and French. While an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Padua, Italy. Ms. Miller-Sims later attended the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University where she received a Master of Arts degree in foreign language education. Ms. Miller-Sims received a Master of Science degree in general and special education grades 1–6 from Touro College.
Ms. Miller-Sims first joined the faculty at BASIS Independent Brooklyn as a Learning Expert Teacher for the Primary School because she wanted to be an integral part of a community with a strong culture of learning and curiosity.
“While it is always a difficult choice to leave the classroom, I am excited for the new challenges that moving into an administrative role will provide. During my time as a teacher I saw how crucial having an excellent, supportive admin team is to the success of a school, and I am excited to bring a fresh perspective to my role as Director of the Early Learning and Primary Programs.”
Outside of school, Ms. Miller-Sims enjoys exploring new cultures both inside New York City and by travelling to other cities and countries. She also loves taking her dog for long walks in Prospect Park.
Ms. Moon’s life passion is working with early learners; she brings to BASIS Independent Brooklyn over two decades of experience working with children from ages two to five. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology at Hunter College in New York City. She then completed a Master of Science degree in early childhood education at Hunter College (and graduated with a perfect grade point average!). She holds New York State Professional Certification in Birth through 2nd grade.
After her initial training, Ms. Moon began her professional career teaching young children at the Discovery Programs in Manhattan in 1992. She acted as the Director of Discovery Programs from 2004 until 2008, when she happily followed her love for teaching back into the classroom. Ms. Moon is a familiar face to many BASIS Independent Brooklyn students and families as she taught two-year-olds and three-year-olds at Grace Church School from 2008 until 2012, when she switched into their Pre-Kindergarten program. She enjoys teaching the youngest students “because they are so full of light and love and eager to learn and grow. They inspire me to be a lifelong learner!”
As an expert in early childhood, Ms. Moon understands the importance of supporting her students’ social and emotional needs, while inspiring them to grow academically. “I always listen and strive to be as compassionate as possible so I can be understanding and helpful in every situation. Academic learning must be supported through social and emotional play.”
Ms. Moon is excited to pioneer the Early Learning Program and bring her expertise to our classrooms. She says, “I was attracted to the BASIS Independent Brooklyn Early Learning Program because of the high quality of the teachers and the outstanding administration team developing this new program.”
Ms. Moon is also an accomplished musician and brings her love of music to her teaching. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and has even released two children’s albums!
Ms. Morehouse is excited to return to BASIS Independent Brooklyn Early’s Learning Program Family. Ms. Morehouse graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and government with a minor in sociology. After several years working in advertising in Chicago, she realized teaching was her true calling and returned to school to obtain her master’s degree in education from DePaul University.
After obtaining her master’s degree, Ms. Morehouse taught kindergarten in Chicago before moving back to New York City to be closer to family. Prior to joining BASIS Independent Brooklyn, she spent three years teaching kindergarten at another nearby school in Brooklyn. She also obtained her New York State Elementary Education Certification.
When not teaching, you can find Ms. Morehouse spending time with my family in Westchester, reading, or planning trips with family and friends.
Ms. Porter is a Gr. 1 Learning Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She first joined as a Teaching Fellow in the Early Learning Program earlier this year working in our Kindergarten Zinc class. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a double major in psychology and early childhood education.
Previously Ms. Porter spent two years teaching pre-school and two years instructing Pre-K. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in elementary education.
Ms. Porter’s goal as a BASIS Independent educator is to learn and grow with the mentorship of both the Learning Expert Teachers and Subject Expert Teachers. Also, she hopes to inspire and support students to focus, stay on track, and excel. Ms. Porter chose BASIS Independent Brooklyn because of the academic program and campus built to maximize learning.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Porter loves being outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, and traveling.
The 2020-2021 school year will be Ms. Porter’s second year teaching with the Early Learning Program at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She has taught for many years in both school and museum environments, and she appreciates the unique, joyful, and challenging approach to learning that the BASIS Independent Schools offer.
Ms. Porter earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and religious studies at the University of Colorado. She continued on to earn her Masters of Arts Teaching in Museum Education from The George Washington University. Ms. Porter holds a NYS PK-6th teaching license. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Pre-K-5th grade Science and Fine Arts. As an educator, she looks for ways to foster every students’ natural curiosity to experiment and create as they gain confidence and develop a joy for learning.
Ms. Reilly is an Early Learning Lead Teacher at BASIS Independent Brooklyn for our PreK-1 BASIS Independent Bear (cubs). She received her bachelor’s degree in human development at SUNY Binghamton. She focused on human cognitive development, and she is excited to nurture the curiosity of some of our youngest learners at the school. Ms. Reilly is currently finishing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College.
Ms. Reilly joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn’s Early Learning Faculty in 2017. She has years of experience teaching and caring for infants, toddlers, and young children in daycare centers, and as a child care provider for multiple families. Previously, Ms. Reilly cared for twin boys as a nanny when they were in the preschool and kindergarten years. She knows and enjoys being with children during this formative period.
Ms. Reilly chose BASIS Independent Brooklyn because of the co-teaching model which she believes allows teachers to effectively develop strong teacher-student relationships that support learning. She believes it is so important to foster a warm, welcoming environment that allows children to explore all of the excitement school and learning has to offer.
When Mr. Reilly is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking, playing piano, and learning new songs on the ukulele to bring into the classroom.
Ms. Rivera has taught at BASIS Independent Brooklyn for the past five years as a founding teacher in the new Early Learning Program. She has enjoyed her experience working with young children. “My passion lies in the foundations of learning – a time in a child’s life when they are beginning to achieve the greatest level of success through motivation and discovery,” said Ms. Rivera.
Ms. Rivera graduated from Hunter College with a master’s degree in childhood education. She was inducted to the National Educational Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi and graduated summa cum laude. After graduation, Ms. Rivera gained experience in the classroom as a prekindergarten teacher in an Independent school in Manhattan. She later taught kindergarten at a charter school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, before joining BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
When she’s not teaching, Ms. Rivera enjoys traveling to new countries with her family and friends. She also enjoys attending Broadway shows and spending quality time with her three cats.
Ms. Smith is thrilled to be joining the BASIS Independent School Community! Originally from New Jersey, She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Master of Music in musical theatre from NYU Steinhardt. Post-graduation Ms. Smith enjoyed teaching Mommy and Me and preschool classes with Gymboree Play and Music. She also performed in children’s musicals such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! and Beauty and the Beast with Disney Cruise Line.
As a Teaching Fellow, Ms. Smith’s goal is to help students gain confidence in their own creativity and critical thinking. Through music and movement, she hopes to provide a fun learning environment that inspires students and creates a sense of connection even through social distancing. It is very unique to find a school, like BASIS Independent, that has experienced and passionate teachers in a wide variety of subjects. Ms. Smith is looking forward to being apart of a community that creates excitement around learning.
When she’s not teaching, Ms. Smith can be found trying new recipes, taking online dance classes, or enjoying the great outdoors!
Ms. Tietjen joins the Lower School Team as a Humanities Subject Expert Teacher for both Gr. 1 and 2. She previously taught at the Packer Collegiate Institute in the Primary School Program. Ms. Tietjan graduated from Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland and went on to receive her master’s degree in Childhood Education Gr. 1-6 from Hunter College.
Ms. Tietjen’s goal as a BASIS Independent educator is to prepare students to be successful in school and out, and to help students form empathy and compassion for others, confidence in themselves, and challenge themselves.
Ms. Tietjen chose to teach at BASIS Independent to help prepare students for the future.
BASIS Independent gives teachers control over their curriculum and lessons which was something that Alexandra really wanted autonomy over. It is a network of schools that provides the opportunity to learn from teachers on multiple campuses.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Tietjen enjoys traveling, staying active, and spending time with her friends and family. She can be seen walking around Brooklyn with her puppy sidekick,
Baloo. She loves to paint and goes to Target whenever she can!
Ms. Ye is a Mandarin Subject Expert Teacher. She attended Brooklyn College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education with a concentration in mathematics. She is currently enrolled in a master’s program in adolescent Chinese education at Hunter College.
As a Mandarin Subject Expert Teacher, Ms. Ye’s goal is to motivate students to learn how to converse fluently in the language. “I strive to create a learning environment where my students feel excited and empowered when they are able to express their thoughts and talk about themselves in Mandarin,” says Ms. Ye.
Ms. Ye is thrilled to join the BASIS Independent Brooklyn community. She is passionate about teaching and enjoys working with students from multiple backgrounds, as well as discussing various topics.
In her free time, Ms. Ye spends time baking, since it is one of her passions. One of her favorite desserts to make is cheese cake. Also, Ms. Ye enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures with her family.