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. Abele Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Ms. Abele received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, General Science Broadfield, as well as Minor in Biology Teaching from Montana State University. Ms. Abele has an expansive education background, having taught various science disciplines including AP Biology at the high school level. In addition, she served as a private tutor for middle and high school students, specifically focusing on chemistry and life sciences. Ms. Abele became a teacher because of an indescribable feeling of impact combined with the passion for science. She emphasized the importance of grasping the intricate natural processes governing our world. Her aspiration is for students to develop an enriched appreciation for nature over the duration of her course. “Chemistry is such an interactive subject with the ability to be taught in many different tactile and immersive ways to engage students with their learning,” expressed Ms. Abele. “With that, I can’t wait to maximize hands-on learning opportunities so that students can fully engage with the material and bond with chemistry!” A fun fact about Ms. Abele is that she was recognized as Montana State University’s Outstanding Student Teacher for Secondary Education. Congratulations!
Ms. Anthony Subject Expert Teacher | Primary & Middle School
Ms. Anthony completed her Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She majored in Chemical Engineering. After that, she received a Master’s degree from Michigan State University. Ms. Anthony is an Engineering and Math Subject Expert Teacher. She teaches Engineering across grade levels and math to our Grade 4 students. She enjoys teaching students how to solve problems and find joy in new discoveries. What she also enjoys when the class can work through new challenges as a group. What excited Mrs. Anthony about BASIS Independent Bellevue is that there is an exciting amount of collaboration amongst teachers and students. She finds it wonderful to teach when everyone is passionate about learning and discovering new things. “I strive to grow students into independent learners with a joy for figuring things out,” says Ms. Anthony. “As such, I put just as much emphasis on challenging students with problems as I do on teaching concepts to mastery.” One of Ms. Anthony’s favorite things to do is pose a challenging problem and encourage students to brainstorm ways to solve it. “We always come up with interesting new ideas! I also love to construct projects that students can build on their own and test as they go.” When Ms. Anthony is not teaching, she enjoys the outdoors. She enjoys most of the activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer including hiking, camping, boating, and just being outside. Ms. Anthony also spends much of her free time watching and playing sports. Fun fact: she often makes up silly songs and words. Be on the lookout for those in her class!
Ms. Blanchette Subject Expert Teacher | Primary & Middle School
Ms. Blanchette, received her Bachelor of Science in Education in Secondary Education from New Mexico State University. Most recently, she taught middle and high school world and U.S. history in New Mexico. What influenced Ms. Blanchette’s decision to pursue a teaching career was her determination to surpass the quality of education provided by the teachers her siblings and she had encountered during their upbringing. She is enthusiastic about leaving a lasting impression in the classroom and inspiring students to draw connections between the past and present, as they position themselves towards the future. Ms. Blanchette was drawn to BASIS Independent Bellevue as a result of exploring the school’s values, which resonated with her. This discovery fueled her desire to actively engage in and contribute to this schools’ growing learning community, and teach her students to love history as much as she does.
Ms. Bryant Subject Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Ms. Bryant received her Master’s in Secondary Education and Bachelors in Biology from Eastern Nazarene College in Boston, MA. Between her two degrees, Ms. Bryant achieved a license in Brain Integration Technique, which she still continues to practice, though she has not practiced full-time since 2021. Ms. Bryant is the Math and Science teacher for Grade 3 as well as the science teacher for Grade 4. She wishes to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere in her classroom that is driven by high expectation, academic achievement, and of course, fun! What inspired her to join BASIS Independent Bellevue, was her purpose of instilling a passion of STEM in young minds. Furthermore, Ms. Bryant shared that BASIS Independent Bellevue’s wholistic approach to education aligns with her teaching philosophy. Outside of the classroom, you can likely find her outside engaging in soccer, running, volleyball, hiking, or other sports. Ms. Bryant also has a great appreciation for music and plays a multitude of instruments including guitar, drums, bass guitar, and piano. Ms. Bryant enjoys slowing down with a good fantasy or dystopian novel.
Ms. Carter Learning Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Ms. Carter received her Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Western Governors University and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University. Throughout her career as an educator, Ms. Carter has taught preschool to college-aged students. What drew her to BASIS Independent Bellevue was the student support model that is found throughout a student’s educational journey, and particularly prominent in the Primary Program with the LET/SET co-teaching model. Ms. Carter, says “It is essential to have Subject Expert Teachers imparting information that growing minds require, while also providing a Learning Expert Teacher to support the individual and varied ways that students learn. I look forward to my time here and am excited to join such a dynamic team of teachers.” One of the main things Ms. Carter is looking forward to is the opportunity to build connections with each of her students and their families while guiding them throughout their time in Grade 4. She is also looking forward to finding out what interests her students have and finding ways to incorporate those interests into our classroom community. A fun fact about Ms. Carter is that she worked in Yellowstone National Park for six months in a restaurant with her husband. They were able to spend all their weekends camping, hiking, and exploring the many wonders that can be found in the park.
Dr. Dornhoffer Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Dr. Dornhoffer received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hendrix College in Arkansas, and his PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Georgia. He received several awards during his schooling, including a nomination to the Excellence in Teaching Award while receiving his PhD. Prior to joining the founding faculty team at BASIS Independent Bellevue, Dr. Dornhoffer taught biology at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley for six years. As a biology Subject Expert Teacher, Dr. Dornhoffer is also a Subject Advisor and Summer Institute trainer responsible for orienting new teachers to BASIS Independent schools. “Throughout everything I do, I aim to ignite a spark and passion for the natural world, and to cultivate a sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness in our students,” says Dr. Dornhoffer. Dr. Dornhoffer’s overall goal is to instill a sense of curiosity in his students, as well as giving them tools to satisfy that curiosity rigorously and scientifically. But that also means developing a willingness to be wrong and make mistakes, so his very first goal is to set up a classroom space where being wrong is OK. What drew Dr. Dornhoffer to BASIS Independent schools was the opportunity to give him a chance to work with world-class teachers training world-class students in a world-class curriculum. But they do so while also giving him the freedom to develop into the best possible teacher in his field. When not in the biology lab, Dr. Dornhoffer is an avid cyclist and loves taking hikes. He is also a keen model hobbyist, and enjoys working with model trains and ships.
Ms. Dreskin Subject Expert Teacher | Primary & Middle School
Ms. Dreskin received her Masters of Arts in Art and Art Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Buffalo. Ms. Dreskin has taught art from kindergarten to Grade 12, most recently having taught in New York State. She has taught a variety of art subject matter including drawing and painting, ceramics and sculpture, studio in art, digital photography, and design and video courses. Her passion for the arts took root when she began studying art in college and worked as a photographer at a summer camp. Her favorite moments were when students would ask her if she could teach them how to take pictures with her camera, too. Ms. Dreskin discovered that she loved creatively explaining techniques, guiding others through the artmaking process, and seeing the excitement and joy on their faces when they created something they loved. At the end of that summer, when she returned to college for senior year, Ms. Dreskin immediately applied to a Master’s program for Art Education. Some specific types of art Ms. Dreskin is looking forward to exploring with her students include collage, printmaking, and cardboard construction. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Dreskin is a certified yoga teacher and enjoys crossword puzzles.
Mr. Drouet Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Mr. Drouet is a French native and graduated from the University of Caen, France with a Master’s degree in Foreign Applied Languages. As the French and Spanish Subject Expert Teacher for Grade 7, Mr. Drouet’ s goal for students is be able to communicate while learning about culture. The goal is to achieve this in a safe and fun environment. Mr. Drouet is extremely delighted to be part of the foundation of the world languages programs at BASIS Independent Bellevue. He is excited to collaborate with his fellow colleagues in order to create the best learning experience possible. He believes students must take a leap of faith and remember that failure is a normal stage towards success. Mr. Drouet does not expect perfection in communication but rather courage and curiosity. “In a language class, immersion in the language is the most effective way to maximize exposure,” expressed Mr. Drouet. “The more the students hear sounds in the language, the faster they will apply content.” Activities such as ice breakers, one-on-one conversations between students, role playing, reenactments, or games are helpful tools to use to keep students engaged. When Mr. Drouet is not teaching, he loves playing guitar. He has been playing rock music for about 30 years. When his guitar is not plugged in, he works on his race car and races when he has the opportunity to do so.
Ms. Engebretsen Learning Expert Teacher | Primary Program
Ms. Engebretsen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Kinesiology from John Brown University. At John Brown she played college volleyball and coached Junior Olympic volleyball throughout. Additionally, Ms. Engebretsen has her teaching certificate in K-12 Physical Education. Ms. Engebretsen joined BASIS Independent Bellevue in its founding year as the Physical Education Subject Expert Teacher. She is excited to transition into the role of Learning Expert Teacher in our Primary Program. Having been a Subject Expert Teacher, she is ready to partner with her student’s Subject Expert Teachers to elevate the learning experience for each of her students. Outside of the classroom Ms. Engebretsen’ s family loves enjoying the outdoors and being with close friends. Her friends like to go to Seattle Kraken games, camping, and traveling. A fun fact about Ms. Engebretsen is that she enjoys traveling with her family. Her family consists of her husband, two-year-old and one-year-old and recently took off to Spain for two and half months with only two backpacks!
Ms. Englert-Erickson Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Ms. Englert-Erickson received her Master of Arts in Teaching Physics and her Bachelor of Science in Physics from Stony Brook University. Most recently, she taught physical science in middle school, and AP Physics 1 in High School in New York. Ms. Englert-Erickson’s decision to become a teacher was heavily influenced by the teachers she had while growing up, specifically her high school physics teacher. This teacher taught her how she could learn physics, even though she didn’t believe that she could. This lesson ignited a passion in her and helped her realize that she wanted to help other students learn that they also can love to learn physics. What drew her to BASIS Independent Bellevue was the BASIS Curriculum and the fact that physics is taught as a formal class beginning in Grade 6. She was inspired by the opportunity to teach students physics at a younger age and get them excited about this subject and its connection to the world around them. “I am excited to bring real-world phenomena into the classroom and meet all my students,” Ms. Englert-Erickson explains. “Physics is a subject that has infinite applications and I look forward to working with each of my students to explore the world through physics.” Originally from Los Alamos, New Mexico, Ms. Ms. Englert-Erickson is excited to teach in the Pacific Northwest, however she does miss the mountains and chilies of her hometown.
Mr. Escobar Subject Expert Teacher | Primary & Middle School
Mr. Escobar graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Music Education. During his undergrad, he was a part of the top university ensembles, which include the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Brass and Jazz Band. He participated in opportunities to play outside the United States which include a Jazz Seminar in Juarez, Mexico and a Trombone Quartet tour in Leeds, England. Mr. Escobar also has a Masters in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Texas at El Paso under the mentorship of Dr. Brad Genevro. As the Music, and Band and Orchestra Subject Expert Teacher, Mr. Escobar is extremely excited to be creating the music program for BASIS Independent Bellevue! His goal is to give students the confidence to create their own music and teach them the skills of collaboration that is needed to create a music ensemble. At the end of the day, he hopes to teach students life skills through music. Mr. Escobar believes every student has their own unique way of learning, which is exciting to see as a teacher. Not every student learns the same way and it is important to teach the students that there are multiple ways of learning things, so they know which works best for them. As the Music, and Band and Orchestra Subject Expert Teacher, he expressed he does nothing but activities that keep the students engaged. Whether it is band, orchestra, or general music, students are tuned into the learning process which makes music fun for them. Aside from teaching, Mr. Escobar enjoys playing his instrument, the trombone. He likes to perform and record music as much as he can. Mr. Escobar also has two dogs that he loves to take on walks.
Ms. Fischer Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Ms. Fischer is from Glastonbury, Connecticut, and attended Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Ms. Fischer’s belief is that literature should be taught and discussed over and over again. She is looking forward to sharing her passion for knowledge with her students, and inviting them into the world of literature. Ms. Fischer joined our founding school year as a school administrator. There she was able to see first-hand how the BASIS Curriculum involved and challenged students, while getting them excited in their own educational journey. She is looking forward to all the amazing novels her classes will get to read this school year. Ms. Fischer is also excited for the Grade 5 poetry unit, where her class will read and analyze classic poetry, as well as create their own erasure poems. In her spare time, Ms. Fischer loves to go hiking in the mountains and explore the tide pools at all the great Pacific Northwest beaches.
Mr. Glenn Subject Expert Teacher | Primary & Middle School
In 2016, Mr. Glenn earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Performance from the University of Alaska. He recently earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. He also received his university’s Martin Luther King award for outstanding leadership and community engagement. Mr. Glenn is currently completing his Master’s in School Counseling from Lehigh University. Upon completion of his Master’s program, Mr. Glenn will also receive his Professional School Counseling License. He is excited to build and explore different students’ interests and incorporate them into his teaching to make learning more personable for his students. Mr. Glenn is a global traveler and after the school day, he plans on exploring the Pacific Northwest and different areas nearby. He enjoys experiencing new cultures and different types of food. Usually, Mr. Glenn can be found on a beach or in the water when he travels.
Ms. Hinton Subject Expert Teacher | Primary Program
In 2016, Ms. Hinton moved from Minnesota to California to attend the University of Concordia Irvine. She received her Bachelors of Arts with a major in Education and a minor in English. While at Concordia she was part of the Honors Program which included her authoring two academic research papers and graduating with Honors as well. Ms. Hinton is the Humanities Subject Expert Teacher for Grades 2 and 3. Her goal for each of her students is to create independent readers and thinkers. She wants to provide students with tools that will help them feel comfortable taking their education into their own hands and to learn for the sake of learning, not just because they have to. Ms. Hinton was attracted to BASIS Independent Bellevue because of the BASIS Curriculum, which helps create well-rounded students. In the Humanities block students will cover phonics, grammar, spelling, reading, writing, social studies, and more. These topics will also be integrated within one another to make their learning even more comprehensive. Covering this many topics as in-depth as BASIS Independent does shows that students will have a deep, full breadth of knowledge in this content area. “It’s my job as a teacher to set up a community where students can grow,” says Ms. Hinton. “Knowing how individual students learn and taking the time to create engaging and rigorous lessons shows students that their learning is supported in this classroom with the tools that they need.” After the school day, Ms. Hinton is a passionate reader! She reads almost all genres but her favorite books of all time are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Ms. Hinton also enjoys baking cookies and watching movies. A fun fact about Ms. Hinton is that she’s very interested in the arts such as dance, music, and theater, and has been a dancer since the age of there. Learning all different types of dancing is a passion of hers!
Mr. Hui-Peterson Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
In 2015, Mr. Hui-Peterson graduated from the University of Hawai´i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and History (focus in ancient history) along with a minor in Anthropology (focus in archaeology). During his time at the University of Hawai´i at Manoa he was able to achieve many accomplishments. He will be a Latin Subject Expert Teacher for Grades 5 – 7 as well as a Classics Subject Expert Teacher for Grade 5, which he likes to call ancient history. Mr. Hui-Peterson joins us from BASIS Peoria, where he was a Latin and Classics Subject Expert Teacher. At BASIS Peoria, a BASIS Curriculum School, he became the Director of the National Latin Exam. Students who took the exam achieved an 80% award rate and in high school, a 90% award rate. At BASIS Peoria, Mr. Hui-Peterson was head high school varsity boys basketball coach. His team achieved a winning record and finished in the top eight of the state playoffs, which were both first time program accomplishments. What drew Mr. Hui-Peterson to BASIS Independent Schools is the fact that he has been a part of the BASIS Curriculum Schools network since the spring of 2016 and that he enjoys the culture that these schools and the organization promotes. He enjoys the opportunity of being a founding teacher of a school and while having the chance to do so around his home town. When Mr. Hui-Peterson is not teaching in the classroom, he is doing something sports related such as coaching, playing, or reading information about sports. He also enjoys traveling and exploring the world. Mr. Hui-Peterson plans on bringing high school students to Rome every other year for those students that choose Latin in middle school and continue their journey at our future high school.
Ms. Iliescu Subject Expert Teacher | Middle School
Ms. Iliescu received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Western Governors University. Most recently, Ms. Iliescu taught middle and high school math courses in the Bellevue School District. Ms. Iliescu’s passion for math and science has been a constant throughout her life. Even when she was in Grade 4, she took on her initial ‘job’ as a math tutor, assisting a family friends’ child with their homework. Originating from Romania, she previously held a position as an underwriter at an insurance company. Ms. Iliescu was attracted to BASIS Independent Bellevue for its rigorous curriculum and focus on preparing students for the highest international levels. She has also enjoyed the passion and commitment of the entire team to fostering student success. For this school year, Ms. Iliescu is looking forward to, “Meeting a new group of exceptional students and learning together that math is rigorous but also fun. We will do engaging and challenging activities to learn the skills they need to be successful in high school and college.” Outside of the classroom, Ms. Iliescu enjoys reading and a trip to the movies. In the summer, she enjoys traveling to new destinations. Her dream is to move back to Europe when she retires, somewhere in sunny and warm Portugal or Spain.