Passionate, expert teachers who believe that with the right support and encouragement, any student can excel
Ask any BASIS Independent student what makes their school different and they will tell you “the teachers.” The foundation of our culture and the success of our students lies in the hands of our faculty.
As educators, our goal is for students to always want “more.” Inspiring students comes easy when teachers are truly excited about their material and have deep expertise in their discipline, whether elementary pedagogy, musical theater, or astrophysics. Our teachers light a fire in the heart and mind of every student, helping them discover their passions and leaving an indelible mark on their scholastic experience.
Ms. Amy Subject Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Ms. Amy graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a double major in History and Classical Studies, two subjects for which she has great passion. Thereafter, she earned her Master of Education in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. After teaching stints in Florida, Ms. Amy moved to New York and worked as an educator at The Long Island Museum. There, she taught classes of elementary and middle school children about art and history when they visited with their schools. As an Early Learning Teacher, Ms. Amy’s goal is to pass on her love of learning to her students while helping them build long-lasting friendships with their peers. She chose BASIS Independent Manhattan due to the robust curriculum and focus on helping students become well-rounded. “It’s important for students to be challenged academically, but school should also contribute to their social and emotional growth as well”, says Ms. Amy. In her spare time, Ms. Amy loves to read, spend time with her family, and travel. Fun fact: She has visited forty states and their capitals. She hopes to see the other ten in the years to come!
Ms. Andrews Subject Expert Teacher | Early Learning & Primary Program
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. Bakunets Subject Expert Teacher | Middle & High School
Ms. Bakunets graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of Saint Petersburg State University (Russia) with a diploma equivalent to a master’s degree. Since she was a primary school student, Ms. Bakunets had a dream of going into teaching. That aspiration evolved into a true intention to become a math teacher once she realized the beauty of mathematics and felt the satisfaction it brought when helping her classmates or siblings understand the concepts. Ms. Bakunets followed this passion by teaching mathematics in Russia and the U.S. for over 18 years. She worked at two specialized physics and mathematics schools in Russia, teaching grade 5-11 students. Once in the United States, Ms. Bakunets continued teaching, bringing her expertise to tutoring and working with the enrichment programs SchoolPlus and City Smart Scholars Program. In this realm, she is able to deliver complex ideas to kids with different personalities and background knowledge. Ms. Bakunets believes that every child is creative by nature and her goal is to awake and expand their creativity and self-confidence. When her students succeed in a math competition or by successfully being accepted by the best schools, Ms. Bakunets reaps the rewards of her work. Ms. Bakunets views mathematics as a form of art and carries that passion outside of teaching. She loves to draw, visit galleries, and listen to music. In sport, she gravitated toward rock climbing because it looks like a dance when one solves puzzles written by features of the rock in the most efficient way. In addition, Ms. Bakunets enjoys mountaineering and hiking and has organized several multi-day backpacking trips with her students.
Mr. Bhaskar Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Mr. Bhaskar received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University’s College of Arts & Science. He then went on to conduct research in translational medicine at several research labs. Mr. Bhaskar has spent his professional life working in public health and as a STEM educator. He has taught biology, physics, chemistry, and public health topics — such as reproductive health — to middle and high school students at a non-profit in Harlem. Mr. Bhaskar also served as a Case Investigator during the COVID-19 pandemic for NYC Health + Hospitals. All of these experiences provided Mr. Bhaskar with an insight into the importance of science education and early exposure to science. As a Biology Subject Expert Teacher and middle school health instructor, he hopes to inspire his students in science, medicine and these subjects for which he has great passion and enthusiasm. Mr. Bhaskar appreciates the innovative and ground-breaking reputation in STEM education at BASIS Independent Manhattan, which he thinks will serve to inspire his continued interest in the field. As for a fun fact, Mr. Bhaskar is an avid beach goer! He has visited over 30 beaches throughout the world, and still counting.
Ms. Boscolo Subject Expert Teacher | Early Learning & Primary Program
Ms. Boscolo is a K-12 New York State certified theatre teacher. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Theatre from NYU, in addition to an undergraduate degree in Child Psychology. Since joining BASIS Independent Manhattan in 2020, Ms. Boscolo has spearheaded a robust drama program. She directs the winter musical which features our grade 1-5 students. Past shows include Seussical, The Magic Tree House, and The Jungle Book! While she values her artistic work, Ms. Boscolo finds the most fulfillment when working with students. She believes the arts are an integral part of any student’s education and development and is thrilled to work with a community that feels the same!
Mx. Campos Subject Expert Teacher | High School
In 2019, Mx. Campos graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a focus on queer studies and women and gender studies. Afterward, she attended Northern Michigan University (NMU) and completed their Master of Arts in English with a concentration in rhetoric and pedagogy as a fully-funded graduate student. At NMU, Mx. Campos primarily taught rhetoric courses. After completing their master’s program, she became a diversity, equity, and inclusion research consultant for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2022, the Florida State University College of Nursing established the Institute on Digital Health and Innovation, and Mx. Campos joined the team as a subject matter research consultant as part of a grant from the National Institutes of Health to redesign HIV prevention and care interventions. As much as Mx. Campos enjoyed working in research, she could not ignore their love for teaching and returned to the classroom. She finds it most exciting to strengthen students’ literacy skills and expand their perspectives on language, discourse, and communication. Outside of the classroom, you can find Mx. Campos in the park with their two dogs or spending time with their community!
Dr. Chen Subject Expert Teacher | Middle & High School
After graduating with a doctorate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Chen worked as a mechanical engineer at Caterpillar, INC, and then as a research scientist as a post-doctoral fellow. When an opportunity arose to become a high school math teacher Dr. Chen seized the chance because as a young teenager, she had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. Going into her fifth year as an educator, Dr. Chen feels extremely fortunate to teach the most curious students at BASIS Independent Manhattan Being the Physics Subject Expert Teacher, Dr. Chen incorporates her effective pedagogical models with cohort-tailored lessons to maximize everyday learning. Being an effective and diligent learner helps her raise the right questions and trace complex concepts back to the fundamentals. Dr. Chen is also passionate about applying math models in physics and aims to bring ebullient energy to her classroom. Her primary goal is for students to match her level of enjoyment and passion for the subject, no matter how hard it seems at first. She encourages curiosity and courage in her classroom so students not only ask, “How?” but can answer why. Outside of school, Dr. Chen loves making crafts using cardboard. She is also a lover of succulents and owns around 200 of them. With these “works of art,” as she calls them, Dr. Chen spends hours making sculptures using succulents, which is an ideal way for her to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Ms. Conway Teaching Fellow | Early Learning
Originally from Connecticut, Ms. Conway stayed on the East Coast to attend Colby College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Education. At Colby, she was a student-athlete on the women’s rowing team and a mentor to a local student for four years. She also assisted in running a mentoring program called Colby Cares About Kids. Most recently, Ms. Conway taught third grade at a charter school in the Bronx. She has also spent many summers as a camp counselor, and she ran her own camp in 2020. Ms. Conway was drawn to BASIS Independent Manhattan for its strong sense of community, its emphasis on social-emotional learning, and its academic rigor. She is thrilled to be part of the Wildcat community, where she can connect with each student on an individual level and help them reach their goals.
Mr. Davis Subject Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. He has a diverse teaching background, having served as a first-year writing instructor and math tutor at BYU, a science and English teacher at a NYC charter school, and a college math tutor at Arizona State University. In his classroom, Mr. Davis strives to ignite curiosity and reward a passion for learning. He is thrilled to be part of the BASIS Independent Manhattan team, believing that our school provides an exceptional environment to achieve his educational goals. When he is not in the classroom, you can most likely catch Mr. Davis reading a book or going to the movie theaters with my friends. Also, he and his wife love to travel. They recently visited Iceland and climbed a glacier, Belize to explore caves and ruins, and Montreal, Quebec, where they hiked Mont-Tremblant.
Ms. Delaney Subject Expert Teacher | Early Learning & Primary Program
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. Ermakova Subject Expert Teacher | Middle & High School
Ms. Ermakova was born in Moscow and has lived in Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. After graduating from Cheltenham Ladies College, she went to Duke University and completed a Bachelor of Science in Economics with minors in Computer Science and Chinese. During her time at Duke, Ms. Ermakova taught at a middle school in China and tutored students in Spain and the United Kingdom. She also served as a student researcher for two years with the Duke Creative Industries and Urban Environment Project Team and was a member of the Investment Club and the Language Dorm. As an educator, Ms. Ermakova aims to instill passion in her students and get them excited about learning economic concepts and applying economic principles to their everyday lives. Ms. Ermakova chose BASIS Independent Manhattan because of its unique curriculum that fosters intellectual curiosity and aptitude, as well as its tight-knit, welcoming atmosphere. Outside of the classroom, she loves going to art galleries and exhibitions, traveling to new places, learning languages, reading, playing the guitar, and singing.
Ms. Fan Subject Expert Teacher | Middle & High School
Ms. Fan earned her bachelor’s degree in English Education from Ningxia University in China. During this time, she found her passion for education upon establishing a tutoring center teaching English to middle and high school students. From there, she began what would become a fulfilling career as an educator. In 2010, Ms. Fan moved to New York and began teaching Mandarin using a series of teaching materials she developed that captivated students’ interest and made language learning a joyful experience. In 2014, she became a founding faculty member at BASIS Independent Brooklyn and proudly served as the first and only Mandarin teacher for all grade levels. She found being part of the school’s inception incredibly rewarding, and that experience solidified her commitment to delivering exceptional education. After returning to China in 2017 with her family, Ms. Fan further honed her skills as an educator by launching two English training schools with an innovative approach that has served over 700 families. She was thrilled to return to the BASIS Independent Schools family by joining the Wildcats in Manhattan, where the school’s emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and a robust curriculum aligns perfectly with her teaching philosophy. As an educator, her goal is to foster an engaging and inclusive learning environment for every student. She is passionate about empowering young minds, nurturing their curiosity, and instilling a love for languages and cultures. Outside the classroom, Ms. Fan enjoys reading, meditation, swimming, and spending time with her family. Cooking is another passion of hers because it allows for creative exploration while nourishing herself and others/those around her. She finds it a delightful way to embrace different flavors and cultures.
Ms. Flanagan Subject Expert Teacher | Early Learning & Primary Program
Ms. Flanagan was born and raised in Ireland where she earned her Bachelors of Education degree at University College of Cork. She has a passion for sports, in particular, acrobatic gymnastics, and has coached since the age of 14. Many of Ms. Flanagan’s summers were spent as a camp counselor teaching gymnastics in upstate New York, where she fell in love with this beautiful state and moved here after graduation. She loves exploring new places and cultures. Ms. Flanagan moved to Dubai and taught P.E. for two years at a school with a co-teaching model and found that it worked extremely well for both teachers and students. That is what caught her eye and attracted her to BASIS Independent Manhattan. She is thrilled to be a part of this school community and return to New York. Ms. Flanagan is dedicated to creating independent learners who think critically. She hopes to instill in her students a life-long passion for learning and staying physically active. In her spare time, Ms. Flanagan likes to go to the gym, do acro-yoga, try new foods all over New York City, and travel.
Mr. Floyd Learning Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Mr. Floyd received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Kentucky. Following college, he pursued an acting career in Los Angeles while working as a personal childcare provider for multiple families. He also produced a children’s obstacle course race at Tough Mudder. These experiences were formative for Mr. Floyd and resulted in his desire to pursue work with children. Mr. Floyd returned to the East Coast and has spent the last three-plus years teaching pre-school in Brooklyn. During this time, he found his footing as an educator and developed his teaching approach that incorporates his other passions, such as storytelling, music, and movement. He is thrilled to join BASIS Independent Manhattan and use these methods in his role as a Teaching Fellow at the Lower School. Outside of teaching, Mr. Floyd likes to unwind with music, whether playing his guitar or attending a concert. He also enjoys playing basketball, either shooting around at the park or cheering from the stands.
Mr. Graff Subject Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Mr. Graff holds a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Theatre from SUNY Albany. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from NYU and New York State Teaching Certification in English Language Arts. He has 13 years of experience teaching English to grade 4-12 students in private, public, and charter school settings. Mr. Graff also has taught Speech & Debate, Creative Writing, and improvisational acting. Mr. Graff spent five years in the corporate world as a Senior Copywriter at Sudler & Hennessey, but finds his true passion lies in the classroom. As an English Subject Expert Teacher, Mr. Graff aims to reach every student by making the material accessible and engaging. The goal for his students is that they feel empowered beyond the classroom as literature and poetry buffs to go into the world as rigorous thinkers and effective communicators. He looks forward to continuing to foster the natural inquisitiveness and good nature present in all BASIS Independent Manhattan students. When not teaching, Mr. Graff enjoys visiting his daughter at college, making spontaneous jaunts for dumplings in Chinatown, and hitting the softball diamond (even in the winter!). Some fun facts about Mr. Graff are that he loves to do improvisation and once was a Finalist in Stand-Up NY’s Funniest Man in Advertising.
Ms. Hadzibrahimi Early Learning Teacher | Early Learning
Ms. Hadzibrahimi graduated from the University at Buffalo with Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. While earning her Bachelors, she worked at her university’s early childhood research centers, where she enhanced her knowledge of childhood development and curriculum design. After graduating, Ms. Arlinda continued to work with children in private school settings within New York City. As an Early Learning Program Teaching Fellow, Ms. Arlinda strives to support children while they embark on a journey to making discoveries about themselves and the world. She believes children do this best through play. It is Ms. Arlinda’s goal to incorporate play within a challenging, and hands-on curriculum, to foster children’s curiosity and creativity. “I am very excited to join the BASIS Independent Manhattan team,” she says. “The joyful learning culture reflects why I am so passionate about teaching. Learning is fun! With this attitude and some hard work, any child can excel.” Outside of the classroom, Ms. Arlinda enjoys doing yoga, reading, traveling, and spending time with family.