Ms. Wallace joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn earlier this year as the Dean of Students for our Upper School (grades 8–12). She came to our Red Hook campus from Beacon High School, where she focused on student support and college counseling. Prior to Beacon, Ms. Wallace worked at the Professional Performing Arts School leading individual and group counseling sessions for high school and supported incoming high school students as well as preparing seniors for college. Ms. Wallace obtained her master's degree in school counseling from Hunter College.
With all of her experience in the high school arena, Ms. Wallace says that her favorite part of working with students is "seeing the passion that students express when they encounter new and meaningful information.”
Ms. Wallace was drawn to BASIS Independent Brooklyn because students are encouraged to “immerse themselves at a high level of academic thought and rigor, while still being encouraged to practice individuality and personal creativity.” The balance of those qualities is something that she also appreciates from the teachers and staff whom she has started to work with at the school.
Mr. Harmon is the Dean of Students for the Middle School Program (grades 5–8) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. Joining our school first as an English and Latin Subject Expert Teacher, Mr. Harmon was excited by the vision, rigor, and breadth of the BASIS Independent Brooklyn educational experience. Now in a Student Affairs role, he enjoys working with students as a part of the school leadership team.
Mr. Harmon received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University with a major in Greek and Latin and a minor in English. He began his teaching career in central Ohio where he taught English and coached basketball. He then took his teaching career abroad to a private school in Istanbul, Turkey, where for four years he taught English Language Arts, helped to develop an AP English program, and began to develop an AP Latin program.
Upon returning stateside, Mr. Harmon starting teaching at BASIS Phoenix in Arizona, where he appreciated the curriculum and vision of excellence. He transferred to the Brooklyn campus in 2016 to teach and then moved into the role of Dean in the summer of 2018.
Ms. Golka is the Dean of Students for the Primary School Program (grades 1–4) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater performance from Winthrop University where she was a part of the theater honor society Alpha Psi Omega. After starting out in the book industry and then shadowing with a school in Brooklyn, she discovered her passion for teaching. She started her Masters of Early Education (Birth–2nd Grade) degree at Hunter College at CUNY.
Ms. Golka started as a grade 2 Learning Expert Teacher (LET) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, and she is very excited about moving onto the Student Affairs team. She believes it is very important to not only help students grow academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Ms. Golka feels strongly that BASIS Independent Brooklyn shares the same values for education and teaching as she does, especially the belief that every student is important and has potential to excel. She enjoys reading, doing improv, and traveling with family and friends.
Ms. Miller-Sims is one of our grade 3 Learning Expert Teachers on the Brooklyn campus. She graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, majoring in modern languages with a focus on both Italian and French. After graduation, Ms. Miller-Sims went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in foreign language education then a Master of Science degree in general and special education grades 1–6.
Ms. King is a trained yoga and dance instructor who brings mindfulness into her Movement Classes for our youngest students in the Early Learning Program and primary school. As the parent of a middle school student, she realized the techniques could benefit all our families and decided to draft the following blog post outlining information and exercises to use.
Mindfulness – What is it? How does it show up in the classroom? How can you use it at home? Mindfulness comes in many forms and practices, but the results are the same: the activation of the para-sympathetic nervous system, which naturally stimulates the body’s healing and de-stressing systems. Below are a few ways to classify mindfulness practices and some simple things to try. The key is PRACTICE. Make a clear time and place for your practice and commit to this time and place over time. A little goes along way. Even a minute of mindfulness has been shown to have a positive effect.
Next week is an important one in the life of a BASIS Independent Brooklyn Middle School student. It's pre-comp time!
Mary Riner is the Director of Community Relations for BASIS Independent McLean and current BASIS.ed parent. For this blog post, Ms. Riner focuses on her past as a "helicopter parent" and what has changed since her family joined the BASIS.ed network.
Notes from the BASIS.ed Braintrust
I am a recovering helicopter parent. I admit that the CJ, or Communication Journal, as a way of interfacing with the school takes a little getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to online homework postings where your child’s whole education is at your fingertips. Those online systems make you feel in control. With a push or a prod, you can motivate your child into doing his homework so that he can boost his 88 average in English up to a 95.
When students join a new school or return to school from their summer vacations, it can be an uneasy experience with all the changes year-to-year. Different teachers, different classes, different classmates can all contribute to lowering a student's confidence in the new school year. For this reason, BASIS Independent Brooklyn - like all BASIS.ed schools - conducts an annual program to help students ease their transition into the new school year that we call BASIS Organizational Skills for Success, or, simply, B.O.S.S.
When parents are considering enrolling their children at BASIS Independent Schools, a lot of the questions we often receive at our Informational Events centers around ensuring a smooth transition into our program. We gathered a few of the most popular questions and asked the Head of School for our sister school BASIS Independent McLean to provide his insight into how our program is set up to ensure success before BASIS Independent, and after.
QUESTION: Are my children prepared for a rigorous academic program?"The greatest indicator of success is the child’s desire to be at BASIS Independent. If a student is hungry for more, wanting to be challenged, and craves more authentic learning experiences, then navigating some of the potential difficulties is always much easier.
Our program is designed to ramp up as the school matures. From a new school perspective, it is easier to enter BASIS Independent in a campus’s early years as opposed to when it is more established, as the content of the curriculum takes into account a wider distribution or prior exposure and preparation. Obviously, this conversation is different with a new 9th grader than a new 1st grader.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Brooklyn is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.