Ms. Ruggles is one of the most distinguished school leaders in our network of 22 schools. She was a middle school and AP English Literature teacher, a school director and finally the Head of School at BASIS Scottsdale, the #2 ranked high school in the nation, and in 2014 served as founding Head of School at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.
Ms. Ruggles was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities grant in 2011. She earned both a Master of Science degree in education and social policy as well as a Master of Arts degree in American literature from Northwestern University. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies and Slavic languages and literature is from the University of Kansas, her native city. Most significant of all however is her passionate love of Shakespeare's plays. Within the BASIS Curriculum Schools family she is infamous and beloved for presenting her annual state-of-the-school leadership retreat report as an adaptation of her favorite play of the moment. The year of the "Scottish Play" was particularly memorable.
Ms. Ruggles is thrilled by the opportunity to lead the BASIS Independent Brooklyn community. "I have managed two great schools and visited scores in my career, but on my first day visiting BASIS Independent Brooklyn it was clear to me that the community here in Brooklyn is quite special. The students were so engaged and so excited, and their teachers made me want never to leave. I would walk from a classroom in which the teacher was declaiming in Latin from on top of a desk to a group of 'gladiators', to a class of quiet Socratic conversation about the interplay between the individual conscience and social bonds. It felt like a little learning utopia quietly nestled on a Brooklyn street. Like I had found a home."
"That is why I love my job and love our schools. The marriage of content mastery and enthusiasm is rarely seen at other schools. Nearly everywhere one looks in our school, we find teachers helping students, students helping teachers, and students helping students. Mutual support, not competition, makes for the rich learning environment of accomplishment," she concluded.
Ms. Ruggles is particularly enthusiastic about the approach to math and science, the core of STEM. "They are so closely related that we integrate the lessons; sometimes leading directly from the math of converting from English to metric measurements to a science class requiring the application of that knowledge. Our approach has served us well: a student from our sister school recently was advised he had made a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Calculus exam... as a 15-year-old freshman. He was one of eleven in the world to achieve the College Board's perfect score... but even he would tell you that in our schools, nobody, not even the best students, get to 'coast'," says Ms. Ruggles. "To lead this program in Brooklyn, the intellectual and creative hub of New York City...that is the most exciting thing I can possibly imagine!"