Posts about Faculty Staff

November 15, 2023

Wings of Inspiration: A Journey into Public Art with Carmen Recio and the Audubon Mural Project

In the vibrant art scene of New York City, having a public art piece comes with prestige. We are proud to share that Ms. Carmen Recio (Visual Arts Subject Expert Teacher, PreK-5) has her first artwork on display through The Audubon Mural Project, and it is on display in Washington Heights. Through a unique blend of passion, community engagement, and avian inspiration, Ms. Recio shares her experience with us, the community, and her students.

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July 13, 2022

Drama Delivers Something for Everyone

One of the standout successes from this past school year was our Lower School Drama Club. In this blog, we explore why the after-school club had a record number of participants, how each student thrived, and what is in store to make it even more fantastically fabulous this coming year!

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September 8, 2016

Meet Our Head of School, Jesse Rizzo


Head of School Ms. Rizzo’s experience in educational institutions around New York City – and around the world – makes her the ideal leader of our dynamic school community on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at BASIS Independent Manhattan.

Her love of education extends beyond playing the role of teacher or administrator; she, herself, has a long-held commitment to learning and growing her skills as an educator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Siena College as well as three Master’s degrees from Fordham University in Education and Administration.

Ms. Rizzo, a native New Yorker, joins our program from BASIS Independent Brooklyn where she acted as Director of Academic Programs. During her tenure with BASIS Independent Brooklyn, she spearheaded the initiative for student participation in the International Student Assessment exam, a test of critical and creative thinking in math, reading, and writing—on which students beat national average scores by a few dozen points.

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September 6, 2016

Exciting News From Our Silicon Valley Sister School: The American Society of Civil Engineers Interviews Inspirational Engineering Teacher

Dr._Amin-648721-edited.jpgAccording to the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), the number of Civil Engineering clubs like the one at sister school BASIS Independent Silicon Valley has doubled in the United States in the last year. But recently, the ASCE took notice of the amazing accomplishments happening in Enginnering teacher Dr. Amin Ghafooripour's Civil Engineering Club, so they sat down with him to learn more about how he is leading the charge and inspiring the next generation of inventors and engineers. As you'll read, Dr. Amin had some pretty incredible things to say about his students, such as, “These kids don’t have any limits on their minds; there are no boundaries for their imaginations,” he said. “They can do everything. Sometimes they come up with ideas, and I say, ‘Oh, I never even thought of this.'"

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July 6, 2016

Meet Our Faculty & Staff: Brittany Nieves, Associate Director of Admissions

Brittany Nieves joins the BASIS Independent Manhattan team as the Associate Director of B.Nieves_LinkedIn-232813-edited.jpg
Admissions. Though she is a recent transplant to Manhattan, she is well versed in independent schools, having worked in admissions on both the west and east coasts of the country.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies and a minor in Gender Studies from Loyola University Maryland.

Following graduation, Ms. Nieves moved to Long Island where she served as the Assistant Director of Admissions at a well-known boarding school. She comes to us from a San Francisco independent school, where she most recently worked in Advancement, spending time working in both Admissions and Development.

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July 6, 2016

Meet Our Faculty & Staff: Carson Pierse, Admissions Coordinator

carson-pierse.jpgCarson Pierse brings a powerful perspective to BASIS Independent Manhattan. As a proud BASIS.ed alumnus graduating from BASIS Scottsdale in May 2010, she jumped at the opportunity to join the admissions team during the school's founding year.

After graduating from BASIS Scottsdale, she continued her education at Hillsdale College in Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Management. Ms. Pierse has been an active employee within the BASIS Network since graduating from college in December 2014, focusing on teacher recruiting. 

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July 6, 2016

Meet Our Faculty & Staff: LaNette Hodge, Director of Student Enrollment


LaNette Hodge was born and raised in Chicago and has been well-versed with the independent school world from a very young age. She graduated from The Latin School of Chicago before going on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa. After moving to New York City 15 years ago, she earned a Certificate of Fundraising from New York University. She is proud to be part of what is quickly becoming two of the most exciting educational institutions in New York City.

Ms. Hodge has over 15 years of leadership and business development experience in both nonprofit and corporate sectors. As a leader in independent schools campaign giving, she has a successful track record creating and fostering a community of support funding initiatives in professional development, financial aid, and operational costs.

After finding BASIS Independent Brooklyn as a parent, Ms. Hodge quickly realized she wanted to join the Brooklyn team at the beginning of its inaugural school year, diving right in to playing a key role in successful growth of its budding school community. As Director of Student Enrollment, her role has expanded across to BASIS Independent Manhattan where she looks forward to helping establish another world-class education community in New York City.

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Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Manhattan is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.

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