A little known fact is that the BASIS Independent McLean flag football team is the only co-ed team in the Flag Star Football League. Players take on field personas with nicknames like “The Girl,” “Lady Bug” and “Get Her!” At a recent Sunday game, one BASIS.ed parent overheard the other team’s coach bemoan, “They are outsmarting us!”
It’s no wonder our team plays so smart. How many other teams in this league can say they have a coach who went to Harvard? World History teacher Dr. John Hight has played flag football every year for the last 21 years, even when he lived in Paris working on his PhD. Coach Hight is also an accomplished writer of historical fiction with four acclaimed novels under his belt. “Students learn valuable things from team sports. They learn to suffer setbacks and do better the next time. When you’re on a team, you can’t just quit. My goal is to take that lesson from the football field into the classroom.”
And, as one flag football star/World History student put it, “I’ve never taken any of these classes before. I have to work really hard. But our teachers are really enthusiastic. They want us to succeed. You always know that your teachers are there to support you.”
One floor down, two students walk to the front of the classroom while the rest of the class shouts out “Illi Ambulant!” (translation: they walk). Latin is very much alive and moving in Dr. Grissom’s classroom. Not a word of English is spoken. This is not your ordinary Latin class and Dr. Grissom is not your ordinary Latin teacher. After school on Wednesdays, you will find Dr. Grissom outfitted from head to toe in regulation fencing gear. Yes, BASIS Independent McLean has a fencing team. And, yes, this ex-Marine, economics major cum Latin PhD, coaches the fencing team.
You hear a lot how BASIS.ed teachers are passionate about what they teach, so much so that they have Master’s degrees and PhDs in their subject matter. That is all true, but what you don’t hear as much is how multidimensional they are and how their talent and interests spill out into all areas of their lives.
Take our Spanish teacher, Dr. (as in medical doctor) Monica Isquith. She grew up in Bogota, Columbia and has a doctorate in dental medicine. She loves her language and culture so much that she had to share it rather than pursue dentistry when she came to the United States. Dr. Isquith keeps a fast-paced dynamic exchange going at all times with her students. If they are not immersed in conversation, they are dancing. Fridays are salsa and merengue day. Dr. Isquith is also the tennis coach. Do you see a pattern here?
BASIS.ed teachers lead by the highest example. They inspire our students to explore their own interests and passions, to find out who they really are and what they are capable of. Being a well-rounded student is not a magic combination of taking this class, or that extracurricular activity. Having a balanced curriculum is important, and BASIS.ed does that exceptionally well. We appreciate literature, history, and the fine arts just as much as we do math and the sciences.
We know that our teachers are the heartbeat of our school. They are the ones in the classrooms and on the flag football field, the fencing strip, and tennis courts, coaching your kids to play and work hard, to accept defeat and try again, to work together as a team, and to give it their all no matter what.
To experience first-hand our Preschool-Grade 12 private school in McLean, Virginia, please contact us to schedule a school tour. We are now accepting applications for all grades on a rolling basis. For details on the application process, please visit our Admissions page.