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.
Mr. Figueroa holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Economics. He also obtained a Masters in Childhood Bilingual Education. He aims to use his expertise to educate students in a joyful learning culture where they grow to be as passionate as he is about the subjects he teaches! In his spare time, Mr. Figueroa enjoys reading graphic novels and manga, watching sports, and traveling. He also likes to go sightseeing and go out to New York City restaurants.
Mr. Laga graduated from Five Towns College with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts. He is currently enrolled in the educational theatre graduate program at The City College of New York, where he will be receiving his Master’s degree in educational theatre in 2018.
Mr. Laga’s goal as an educator is to help develop strong, positive, and creative individuals whose hard work is applicable to the real world, and who will succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.
He says he chose to join the founding faculty at BASIS Independent Manhattan due to the strong community. He says, “the idea of ‘support’ plays a huge role in growing to be successful. I feel that our school truly understands that. We ensure that there is support by faculty for each and every student. But we also have a community of support and respect among faculty and staff – and make sure that students support each other, as well.”
Mr. Rodriguez graduated from St. Francis College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. During his tenure as an undergraduate, he was a classroom observer at several schools and a student teacher at Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences High School.
Prior to coming to BASIS Independent Manhattan, he worked for two great organizations: Kids in the Game, and Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. At Kids in the Game, he experienced many different school environments, each with vastly different student populations. With Sports and Arts at Queens Gateway Middle School, he started the sports program, and coached both the flag football and soccer teams.
As an educator, Mr. Rodriguez says his goal is to weave relatable life skills into fun games and sport activities—while making it inter-curricular. “Physical education encompasses science, mathematics, geography and history, while affirming confidence and enjoyment,” he says. “I chose BASIS Independent because of its high-achieving and rewarding curriculum, and our school’s belief in balance, in both challenging and supporting the students to turn out the best results.”
When not teaching, Mr. Rodriguez enjoys reading leadership books, writing poetry, listening to music, and watching comedy shows and movies.
Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Art Education Certificate from the University of Iowa. Since 2013 he has been teaching art to young children, and moved to New York City in 2015 to join the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning as the Education Associate.
As a teacher, Mr. Smith’s goal is to create an environment that allows students to become the architects of their own education, and that fosters their love for learning.
When he is not in the classroom, Mr. Smith is in the studio sharing his passion for pottery with a Wednesday after-school ceramic workshop for kindergarten–grade 6 students. An avid sports fan, Mr. Smith enjoys biking, the outdoors, cooking, and finding great food with his partner Lindsay.
Mr. Thomas, a Philadelphia-born musician and educator who began his musical journey at a very young age, is thrilled to work at BASIS Independent Manhattan as the Music Subject Expert Teacher! Mr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition and Arranging and a Masters of Music in Music Education plus Certification for PreK-12 from the Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance at Temple University in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Prior to joining the faculty at BASIS Independent Manhattan, Mr. Thomas proudly held music teaching positions with Temple Music Prep, Settlement Music School, Tune Up Philly of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Education Through Music, Inc., and the New York City Department of Education.
As the Music & Movement Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Manhattan, Mr. Thomas has ambitious hopes for himself and his classes. His goal is to inspire students and further their passion for learning by building and refining their personal character through musical study. He wants his students to use music as a tool to academically excel and help them realize the scope and depth of music as an intersection of innumerable experiences great and small. Mr. Thomas says, “I am thankful for this school community for allowing me the opportunity to teach to the immense affective impact of music on humanity as well as its intellectual benefits for all learners.”
When he is not teaching, Mr. Thomas maintains an active performance career, serving as Personnel Manager for the Kings County Community Band of Brooklyn, New York (a division of the non-profit Metropolitan Music Community); flutist and piccolo player for the TriBattery Pops of Manhattan; a reserve member of the exciting L Train Brass Band based in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, and a freelance jazz and popular music performer throughout New York City and the tristate area. Mr. Thomas also serves as President of the New York City Alumni Association of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the nation’s oldest music fraternity. Mr. Thomas enjoys all manner of comic books, films, sweaters, and of course music!
Ms. Andrews hails from Minnesota, where she developed and implemented the Chinese program in Fergus Falls Public Schools in 2009 and has taught Mandarin ever since to students ranging from kindergarten to high school, and into college. Ms. Andrews attended the Startalk program in Fargo as a student in 2015 and returned as a teacher in the immersion program in 2016.
Ms. Andrews holds two Master’s degrees, one in English Linguistics from Shandong University in China and another in Publishing Management from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. She is
also a freelance translator and has published a number of books, including topics of second language acquisition and traditional Chinese cultures.
Ms. Andrew’s strengths include the design of interactive and multi-disciplinary curricula to meet the students’ needs, and integrating technology to maintain interest. She is thrilled to be joining the BASIS Independent Manhattan team as a Mandarin Subject Expert Teacher.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and traveling.
Ms. Como obtained her degree in Classical Chinese Literature and has more than 20 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad, ranging from PreK to high school. She is thrilled to be part of our dynamic Mandarin team!
Ms. Connor received both a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (birth-6th grade) and a Master’s degree in Special Education (birth-6th grade) from Plattsburgh State University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Ms. Connor was an active participant in the Kappa Delta Phi honor society and volunteered her time regularly with organizations such as PBS Kids educational conferences, the Buddy Walk to support students with Down syndrome, and local elementary and middle schools.
Ms. Connor started at BASIS Independent Brooklyn as part of the Early Learning Program team, and is a founding teacher at BASIS Independent Manhattan. As an educator, her goal is to enhance the curiosity of students through hands-on learning experiences connected to real-life situations. She also strives to create and foster positive peer relationships in her classroom and within the larger school community.
Ms. Connor was attracted to our program by our talented and determined teaching faculty, and says she is grateful to be part of a program that supports students’ academic fulfillment, and supports students socially and emotionally.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Connor enjoys taking cooking classes, spending time with her puppy Chloe in Central Park, traveling internationally, and going hiking upstate with her family.
Ms. Correa graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Romance Languages (Spanish and Portuguese). She joins the BASIS Independent Manhattan team to further her passion for teaching in the field of early education. As a Teaching Fellow, Ms. Correa looks at each day like a new adventure where she is present to make learning enjoyable for our youngest students.
“I chose BASIS Independent Manhattan,” says Ms. Correa, “because I believe in the school’s mission, and like to work in a place where I can help students push themselves to reach their highest potential in a nurturing environment. After all, a desire to learn, progress, and persevere are imperative in adulthood.”
Outside of teaching, Ms. Correa loves exercising, going for walks, reading, and playing video games with her six-year-old nephew! A fun fact about Ms. Correa, too, is that she loves learning about different cultures and trying new foods. Some of her favorite cuisines are Greek and Brazilian!
Ms. Delaney graduated from Scripps College with a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Studio Art. In 2016, she studied architecture and art history at the Chelsea College of Arts in London, UK.
During the summer of 2015, Ms. Delaney’s interest in architecture led her to complete the Career Discovery Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she studied design under Harvard professors and graduates. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ms. Delaney worked as a junior architectural designer at Kenneth Boroson Architects in New Haven, Connecticut.
Navigating her career towards education, Ms. Delaney is thrilled to be a Subject Expert Teacher who teaches Engineering and Art at BASIS Independent Manhattan. She loves having the opportunity to bring her knowledge of architecture, science, and art into the classroom. “I am excited to encourage my students to make connections between ideas and concepts across different disciplinary boundaries.”
It was the collaborative model that initially drew her to BASIS Independent Manhattan. She believes that one of the biggest barriers to interdisciplinary study in education is the necessity for collaboration of educators. BASIS Independent Manhattan offers an unmatched learning environment for students comprised of interconnected subjects and the unique teaching partnership of Learning Expert Teachers (LETs) and Subject Expert Teachers (SETs).
When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Delaney enjoys visiting her family’s lilac farm in Bridgewater, Connecticut, trying out new recipes, and boxing.
Ms. Du is originally from Beijing, China. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Marketing from Baruch College of the City University of New York in 1991. Ms. Du then spent a number of years working in finance with an international bank, but realized that teaching Chinese language and culture was closer to her heart. To that end, she obtained a Master’s degree in Foreign Language Education from New York University in 2008.
While in New York, Ms. Du taught Chinese at the City University of New York and to children in grades 5-12 at a Heritage School on Long Island. She subsequently taught at Xiamen Huxia University and worked for the Ameson Education and Culture Foundation in Shanghai. In addition, she has been an AP Chinese Language and Cultural Examination Assessor for seven years.
Ms. Du is a proud member of the BASIS Independent Manhattan founding faculty. Her enthusiasm, passion and caring, along with her student-centered philosophy, allow her to enjoy teaching while successfully engaging her students and nurturing their academic growth. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, dancing, ice skating, and playing volleyball.
Ms. Fitzsimmons, who says she is very excited to be working at BASIS Independent Manhattan as the theater teacher, received her Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in Theater and Spanish Literature. She has earned two Master’s degrees: an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, and an MFA in Theater for Young Audiences and Puppetry from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is the recipient of the Winifred Ward Memorial Scholarship Award in 2016 for her demonstration of intellectual and artistic excellence in the area of theater for young audiences.
At BASIS Independent Manhattan, Ms. Fitzsimmons hopes to develop a strong ensemble in which students foster a deeper and more empathetic understanding of the world through theater.
Ms. Fitzsimmons chose BASIS Independent Manhattan for its dedication to the arts and its focus on having a well-rounded community where critical thinking and problem solving are top educational priorities.
When not in the classroom, Ms. Fitzsimmons is a professional puppetry artist. She has performed all over the world, in places including Taiwan, Israel, Austria, Holland, and Germany. Ms. Fitzsimmons grew up on a farm, and still loves to ride horses.
Ms. Gingell graduated summa cum laude from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. During her undergraduate studies, she earned educational endorsements in reading, science, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Ms. Gingell currently attends Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is working towards her Master of Arts in International & Comparative Education with a focus in language, literacy, and culture.
As an Early Education Teaching Fellow, Ms. Gingell strives to teach BASIS Independent Manhattan’s youngest students to explore, reason, and discover. She is excited about contributing to a positive and stimulating environment where our youngest learners will gain skills that will become the foundation for all of their future learning.
Ms. Gingell chose BASIS Independent Manhattan for its outstanding reputation, international-mindedness, and most importantly, for its belief that all students can excel.
Outside the classroom, Ms. Gingell enjoys traveling, researching other countries and cultures, as well as trying new restaurants and exploring different neighborhoods in New York City.
Ms. Glanzer (also known by the children as Ms. Dylan) is very happy to be beginning her second year at BASIS Independent Manhattan. She is the Subject Expert Teacher for Early Childhood Music. Her goal as a music educator is to create an atmosphere of wonder and curiosity in the classroom so that children feel empowered to participate. Says Ms. Glanzer, “I believe that if children are excited, inspired, and engaged in what they are doing, they will experience the joy that inherently comes with making music.”
Ms. Glanzer has a Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Montclair State University. She is also the owner and creator of “Parties by Miss Dylan & Company” for which she provides musical entertainment for young children. She has produced and recorded two children’s albums, “Sing Along with Miss Dylan” and “Roller Coaster Ride.” The latter CD won a 2013 Parent’s Choice Approved Award.
Ms. Glanzer has been married for 25 years to her amazing husband and lives in New Jersey. Her daughter attends the Culinary Institute of America and her son will graduate from The George Washington University next year.
Ms. Goldman (aka Ms. McLaughlin) is a New York native, born and raised in the Hudson Valley. She comes to us from BASIS Independent Brooklyn, where she was the founding kindergarten teacher. Her life’s passion is working with children and as such, she has taught early childhood, elementary, and middle school grades for more than a decade. Ms. Goldman helped in the development and growth of the Kindergarten program in Brooklyn, and she is thrilled to do the same here in Manhattan!
After graduating from Canterbury School in New Milford, CT, Ms. Goldman attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. There she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in English and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education (cum laude). Ms. Goldman is a permanently certified Pre K – 6th grade teacher in New York State.
With numerous teaching experiences in both private and public schools throughout New York and Connecticut, Ms. Goldman comes to us with an array of classroom and leadership knowledge. Outside of the classroom, she has developed literacy curricula for public and private institutions, led teacher teams in curriculum development and best teaching practices, managed academic support and enrichment services for individual students, served on accreditation and head of school search committees, designed and implemented a toddler program, directed children’s theater and coached both middle and high school girls’ lacrosse.
Her diverse experience, caring nature and drive make her an asset to the BASIS community. She believes in educating the whole child; developing their social and emotional needs as well as inspiring their curiosity and fostering their intellect. Ms. Goldman instills in her students the ability to take ownership of their learning by setting goals for themselves. She shows them how to question their thinking and experiment to solve problems and defend their answers.
In her free time, Ms. Goldman enjoys running (the Brooklyn Bridge is her favorite), barre classes, a quiet moment, traveling and spending time with her husband and three daughters.
Ms. Hendrickson graduated cum laude from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her major was Film, Video and Interactive Media with a minor in Sociology. She is currently completing a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College.
Ms. Hendrickson is thrilled to be part of the BASIS Independent Manhattan family as a 2nd Grade Learning Expert Teacher where she gets to collaborate daily with the Subject Expert Teachers. Ms. Hendrickson joins us from BASIS Independent Brooklyn where she was an Early Education Teaching Fellow in a Pre-K 4 classroom. She is excited to bring her creativity and love of learning to BASIS Independent Manhattan and will use those skills to build positive relationships with her co-workers and classroom families.
Ms. Hendrickson was drawn to BASIS Independent Manhattan for its impressive curriculum and the talented and welcoming staff. She is proud to be part of a program that helps create curious and independent learners while supporting both academic and emotional growth.
When outside of school, Ms. Hendrickson enjoys going to the movies, trying new restaurants, traveling to new countries and spending time with her family by the ocean.
Ms. Hodges attended The New York City Lab School for collaborative studies for middle and high school. In 2008, she graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor’s degree in American Government. In 2006, during her junior year of college, she studied abroad in Mysore, India. In 2013, Ms. Hodges earned her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Special and General Education at Bank Street College of Education. After receiving her Master’s degree, she was a founding member of a Manhattan public school. While teaching for the Department of Education, Ms. Hodges was nominated for the Big Apple Teaching awards two consecutive years.
“I am privileged to be joining the BASIS Independent Manhattan team as Lead Kindergarten Teacher,” she says. “As a BASIS Independent schools educator, I strive to instill a love of learning in all of my students and provide them with an environment where they are comfortable taking risks and discovering their passions.”
“BASIS Independent Manhattan is a place where a student’s hard work and enthusiasm for learning is encouraged and celebrated. I am excited to join a community of teachers who are passionate about providing the best educational experience possible for their students,” says Ms. Hodges.
“I am a proud native New Yorker. I grew up in Greenwich Village and now live in Brooklyn. I love the excitement of the city and the serenity of the country. To stay healthy, I pursue Yoga and cycling,” she says. “I have always had a love for nature and animals that I love to share with my students!”
Ms. Pierce studied Psychology at Williams College, where she enjoyed taking many classes in English and Anthropology. Ms. Pierce was a member of the swimming and diving team for four years at Williams, and took part in winning four team conference championships and a second place team finish at the Division 3 National Championships. Ms. Pierce also won five individual NCAA Division III Championships in her four years, and was a 15-time All-American swimmer.
Ms. Pierce is delighted to be part of the founding faculty at BASIS Independent Manhattan and is excited to work with young students in a collaborative and challenging environment. Her goal is to motivate her students to always be ready and excited to participate, and to love learning. Says Ms. Pierce, “I chose BASIS Independent because I believe in the innovative BASIS Curriculum, as well as the high-achieving attitude of the staff, students, and families. I am also excited to help develop the extracurricular activities in Manhattan. I hope to inspire students to be both the best people and students they can be in their time at BASIS Independent — and I am thrilled to be a part of the founding team.”
When not in the classroom, Ms. Pierce enjoys swimming, reading, and watching sports.
Ms. Southard had a calling to teach and she began doing so immediately after finishing college. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hamilton College, Ms. Southard is especially enthusiastic about teaching reading and writing to the youngest of students. She is passionate about child development and was drawn to BASIS Independent Manhattan because of the equal focus placed on students’ academic, social, and emotional growth.
Ms. Southard joins us as an Early Learning Teaching Fellow, where she will draw on her previous experience of teaching Kindergarten to foster academic and emotional development. “During the Kindergarten year, I love seeing my students grow, develop undiscovered passions, and learn new skills. That is what inspires me every day,” says Ms. Southard.
In her spare time, Ms. Southard enjoys creative writing, fitness, trying new recipes, and snuggling up with a good book and her cat, Lucy!
In 2013, Ms. Yu graduated cum laude from New York City College of Technology, CUNY, with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics–Science and minor in Computer Science.
With her passions in teaching mathematics and research, Ms. Yu is furthering her education in the Mathematics Education field. Currently, Ms. Yu is a doctoral candidate enrolled in the Mathematics Education program at Montclair State University. During her doctoral study, Ms. Yu received a four-year assistantship from the university.
Ms. Yu has experience teaching preparatory mathematics courses to incoming college freshmen. She also has experience teaching mathematics courses to middle and high school students at a summer camp for two summers.
Ms. Yu values the importance of interdisciplinary instruction and students being active participants in their learning, which is why she was drawn to the BASIS Independent Manhattan community. As a Teaching Fellow, Ms. Yu believes that she learns just as much from her students as they learn from her. She hopes to inspire students to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. She is thrilled to contribute to and grow with BASIS Independent Manhattan.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Yu enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and singing.