Supporting teachers and students on their paths toward excellence
Service-oriented and eager to help, our leadership, administration, and staff are champions of the school community. While their key focus is supporting the teachers in the classroom, they work hard to ensure every student and family has a positive experience. Whether they are the front-and-center, visible faces of our school or the unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes, leadership, administration, and staff are invaluable in upholding our culture and values.
Ms. Abey Summer Programs Coordinator
Virginia Tech, B.S. in Sociology | Ms. Abey’s journey into education started as a camp counselor, where her passion for working with children ignited. This path has led to her current role at BIM, where she hopes to inspire and engage young minds. Ms. Abey enjoys traveling, reading, going on long walks with her dog, spending time with friends and family. She is also a certified foodie who loves discovering hidden gems in NOVA.
Ms. Agyemfra Monitor
Ms. Agyemfra is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently holds her bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in sociology. Having a strong passion for Child Development, Ms. Agyemfra aims to further her education in this field. Her ultimate dream is to establish her own mental facility catering to adults and children. Additionally, Ms. Agyemfra is an enthusiastic member of Mobile STEAAM Solutions, a prominent STEM program that commenced in the summer of 2023. As a camp counselor, Ms. Agyemfra taught coding, droning, and robotics to students aged 5-7. On days Ms. Agyemfra is not working she likes to spend time with her family and friends. Especially with her 3-year-old dog, Niko, who is full of energy. Ms. Agyemfra enjoys taking long walks along the Potomac River and spending time outside with Niko. When not spending time with Niko, one of Ms. Agyemfra favorite activity is cooking.
Mx. August Johnson Monitor
Mx. Johnson is in their first year at BASIS Independent Mclean, and loving every second of it! They are a Pre-k1 monitor and late bird monitor. Mx. Johnson studied Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Mx. Johnson grew up in Tucson, Arizona and finished high school in Winchester, VA. They were previously manager of a café in Georgetown, and at another café in Fairfax. This new jump in careers has been incredibly fruitful, and very inspiring. They have found a passion for early education here and are so excited to continue on this journey! When they aren’t at school, they enjoy spending time with their friends, cuddling with their cat Theo, and exploring the outdoors!
Ms. Brown Associate Director of Admissions
With a B.S. in Special Education from James Madison University, one of Mrs. Brown’s first jobs out of college included working with Fairfax County’s recreation program for adults with special needs. As her children started preschool, Mrs. Brown joined the staff at Good Shepherd Preschool where she would stay for 14 years as the secretary/financial manager and substitute teacher. Her career took a shift when she became a loan processor, supporting a team of loan officers for over eight years.While raising her children, Ms. Brown was active in the PTA, serving as the PTA president at her children’s elementary school and later became the volunteer coordinator for 10 years at Robinson Secondary School. It was during her time as the Executive Director at the Tysons Chamber of Commerce that she learned about BASIS Independent McLean. Now entering her 8th year in admissions, Mrs. Brown is still passionate about the BASIS Curriculum and sharing it with prospective students and families. As Assistant Director of Admissions, her goal is to fill the school with great students and families who love to learn. She loves meeting with prospective families to educate them on our programs and then giving them a tour so they can witness for themselves the fun and learning happening on campus. Mrs. Brown also sponsors the Student Ambassador Program for students in grades 5-12 who help Admissions by sharing their Red-Tailed Hawk stories with interested students and families. A great day is a phone call from a prospective parent who says, “I am thinking of sending my child to BASIS Independent McLean. Those who know Mrs. Brown know the most important thing to her and her husband of over 40 years, is their family, which now includes eight grandchildren. She is also active in her church, loves to Jazzercise, go hiking and biking, and loves a good home improvement project – which usually involves a paintbrush.
Ms. Cancienne Director of Admissions & Associate Head of School
University of Southern Mississippi, B.A. in Paralegal Studies | Georgetown University, M.L.A. in International Affairs. At BASIS Independent McLean, Ms. Cancienne combines her background in directing admissions and student services in higher education with her work as a regional talent manager for K–12 charter schools. With more than 20 years of experience in admissions, advising, and student services, Ms. Cancienne has advised and supported thousands of K-12 families and university applicants and students, as well as launched and recruited for several new degree programs. Prior to working at BASIS Independent McLean, she was the director of executive education and strategic initiatives at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She also held positions with KIPP New Orleans Schools, Georgetown Law Center and McDonough School of Business, Louisiana State University Flores MBA Program and KAUST US. Originally, from Houma, Louisiana, Ms. Cancienne has been at BIM since 2017, and she loves helping families understand how BIM is preparing our Red-Tailed Hawks to soar!
Ms. Carroll Auxiliary Coordinator
Ms. Carroll grew up in Northern Virginia and attended college at Virginia Tech. After graduating, she began her career in the office at the Primrose School of Downtown Bethesda. Given her involvement in numerous sports and clubs during her upbringing, Ms. Carroll is very excited to be the go-to person for clubs and sports at BASIS McLean. Outside of work, she enjoys running and spending time with her friends and family.
Ms. Chirlin Curriculum Coordinator
American University, B.A. in Psychology | American University, M.A.T. in Elementary Education. Ms. Chirlin began her career working with children and youth as a volunteer preschool assistant and camp counselor. She went on to recruit and organize volunteers for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, and teach PreK at the American University (AU) Child Development Center. Life took her family on a six year detour to Australia, where she taught elementary school and led team-building activities for corporate groups.Prior to her role as Curriculum Coordinator, Ms. Chirlin led the re-opening of the AU Child Development Center as Interim Director, after its closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon a successful restart, she returned to the preschool classroom where she once volunteered for one more year of teaching. She is now enjoying transitioning her career in Education out of the classroom. When Ms. Chirlin is not at school, you can find her playing board games or traveling the world with her family, biking on a local trail, and playing ultimate frisbee. She has visited 30+ countries and 40 U.S. states.
Ms. Fors School Counselor
Ms. Fors is a licensed Qualified Mental Health professional for children and adults with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field doing everything from in home counseling to school counseling, including several years of individual and group counseling overseas. She holds a BA in psychology from George Mason University, and is currently working on two Master’s degrees from George Mason University in School Counseling and in Clinical Mental Health. For the last two years, she worked with schools in Southern Virginia bringing awareness and training on social/emotional/mental health needs to teachers and administrators in the public school setting. She brings a wealth of experience and training in multicultural, trauma, and education based counseling. She is a mom of four children, and they are my heart and joy.
Ms. Gallagher Monitor
Mr. Garcia Facilities Manager
Mr. Garcia is the facilities manager at BIM and takes pride in being a part of the organization. Originally from El Salvador, he spent 15 years working in various roles, including appliances, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. With 23 years of residence in the Tysons Corner area, Mr. Garcia is a dedicated member of the community. He has a strong passion for soccer and is an avid fan of his favorite player, Lionel Messi. Outside of work, he cherishes spending quality time with his family whenever the opportunity arises.
Ms. Goldsmith Front Office Coordinator
Ms. Goldsmith moved to Northern Virginia ten years ago from Alabama with her husband and daughter, and they love the NOVA area. After spending several years as a preschool teacher, she is returning to the administrative field. Outside of work, Ms. Goldsmith loves traveling, especially to the beach, and spending time with her family. She spends most of her spare time taking walks with her family and sitting at the ice rink, watching her daughter figure skate. She is thrilled to join the Basis Independent McLean team and greet visitors, students, and staff as they enter the building.
Ms. Guan Monitor
Associate Degree in Education, Xi’an Normal University, Xi’an, China | Ms. Guan is a monitor in the Pre-K1 program and she has been with BIM since 2022. She has a wealth of experience working with and teaching children of various ages. Before joining BIM, she spent six years teaching Chinese Language (Mandarin) at Hope Chinese School (Annandale, VA) for students of 1st to 6th grade, and was recognized as one of the best teachers. She also taught Chinese Language including grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, composition, literature, and essay writing to students from kindergarten to 6th grade in China before coming to the US. Ms. Guan has a lovely family of five. Her two daughters are both in Langley High School, her son studies in Virginia Tech, and her husband practices Civil Engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, jogging, hiking, and traveling.
Ms. Irving College Counselor
Ms. Irving spent her first seven years in education teaching in New York City as a high school English teacher, and then her next seven running the college counseling office at the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters. Two years prior to working at BASIS Independent McLean, she also worked as an adjunct professor and associate director of programming and student activities at American University’s Kogod School of Business. She holds a M.S. in Education in School Counseling from Hunter College, a M.A. in Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in English from Saint Mary’s College of California. Ms. Irving started her career at BASIS Independent McLean as a Grade 6 and Grade 8 English teacher in 2017, and is now entering her fifth year in charge of the BASIS Independent McLean College Counseling Office. She loves working with BASIS Independent McLean students because they are so practiced and driven and ready to work hard for what they want. She focuses her work with students on creating a college list that is mindful and matches the student’s personality and interests, and developing applications that showcase their individual strengths and skills.
Ms. Job Monitor
Ms. Job has a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, an MBA in Self Management & Crisis Management, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Value Education & Spirituality. She is fluent in English, Hindi, Malayalam, and Marathi. She worked as a Superintendent of Goods and Service Tax with the Government of India from 1994 to 2016. She also worked in various insurance companies as a Sales Producer and as an HR manager in an IT company between 2016 and 2023. She worked as a Camp Leader and After School Teacher with Loudoun County from 2017 to 2021. Ms. Job’s hobbies include Pranic Healing, Anapanasati Meditation, hiking, traveling, yoga, volunteering at savesoil.org, being a Secular Franciscan, a choir member at Christ The Redeemer, conducting book studies on spiritual sciences on PMC Gujarat’s YouTube channel, promoting Inner Engineering, teaching ESOL in the library, reading books, and meditating.
Ms. Kabir Monitor
Ms. Kabir is originally from Bangladesh and completed her GED there. She has been living in this country for nearly 19 years. She worked as an extended-day aide for 5 years in Arlington Public School and has 7 years of experience working with children, including those with special needs. Additionally, she has worked as a professional nanny. She is proficient in four languages: Bengali, English, Hindi, and Urdu. For her future education, she plans to pursue an IT course to change her profession. Ms. Kabir has a 16-year-old son whom she loves spending time with. She enjoys photography, art, and her favorite subject is history. She also has a passion for driving and hiking. One day, she aspires to move to a more remote location to live.
Ms. Kushner Dean of Middle School Program
Smith College, BA in Psychology | Smith College, MAT in Elementary Education | Ms. Kushner started teaching first, second, and third grade at the Campus School of Smith College in Amherst, Massachusetts before relocating to New York City and teaching at BASIS Independent Manhattan. She started in the classroom as a second grade LET before becoming a Humanities SET for first and second grade. She contributed to the Curriculum Team as a Subject Advisor for Humanities teachers across the network, in addition to coaching new teachers as a Teacher Mentor for two years. Ms. Kushner then crossed over to the administrative side and became the Director of Lower School. In Manhattan, she led the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee and created the Anti-Bullying and Inclusion Workshop Series for middle school students. It’s her goal to foster meaningful relationships and partner with families to ensure students develop the tools to work through academic and social-emotional challenges. In September, she made the move to the Washington, D.C. area and is spending her time settling into her new home. She also enjoys sharing her love of Taylor Swift with the middle schoolers.