There are two teachers in every Early Learning Program classroom, an Early Learning Teacher (ELT) and an Early Learning Teaching Fellow (ELTF). The Early Learning Teacher is the primary teacher in the classroom whereas the Teaching Fellow plays a support role to the Early Learning Teacher and often is in training to become a full teacher. Contrary to the rest of our program, the Early Learning Program classroom is self-enclosed. For certain courses, a Subject Expert Teacher will push into the room to deliver content.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature from Zhejiang University in China, Dr. Hong came to the U.S. to pursue a degree in 2011. After five years of study at the University of Georgia, Dr. Hong received a Doctor of Philosophy in language and literacy education. Her primary research and teaching interest has been exploring how to nurture a dialogical classroom within which students can engage in discussions about language and culture under the guidance of teachers. She has edited a book, together with the other colleagues, about dialogical classrooms during her research and studies at the University of Georgia. The book—Teaching Outside the Box but Inside the Standards: Making Room for Dialogue was published by Teachers Colleague, Columbia University in 2015.
Dr. Hong transferred to BASIS Independent Fremont from BASIS Goodyear (Arizona). She was drawn to this school because of the high standards BASIS Independent schools have for their students, and the passion and enthusiasm of BASIS teachers to serve their students. Dr. Hong thinks students learn best when their interests are fully motivated and when their learning has a close relationship to their daily lives. In that case, students are more willing to be responsible for their own learning and take control of their learning. She is looking forward to finding ways for her students to connect to learning a new language, and to celebrating cultural events in her classroom.
When she’s not teaching, Dr. Hong enjoys playing with her cat and going on hikes with her husband.
Mr. Huneycutt is thrilled to be teaching the next generation of engineers at BASIS Independent Fremont!
Mr. Huneycutt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University. While at NC State, Mr. Huneycutt received a number of awards that recognized his scholarship, dedication, and service to the university. As an engineering student, Mr. Huneycutt interned with a variety of engineering firms, and even founded a social entrepreneurial venture of his own. He’s also a gifted public speaker, who has had over eighty speaking engagements in recent years.
Students in Mr. Huneycutt’s classes should expect to engage in interactive, hands-on activities that allow them to “connect the dots between what they are learning and the relevance of that content to their own lives.” Mr. Huneycutt is dedicated to “creating a classroom culture of learning and excellence,” that allows students to thrive. To that end, he is constantly varying what students are doing in the class, and says, “From designing pinewood derby cars to constructing Popsicle stick bridges, I like to use tangible experiential learning opportunities to allow students to creatively apply concepts taught in class.”
When he’s not teaching, Mr. Huneycutt enjoys playing and designing board games, drawing comic strips, and jogging.
Mr. Wagoner received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Sociology from Cornell College, and a Master of Arts in Reading Literacy from Ashford University. Mr. Wagoner spent several years abroad teaching across all grade levels in Korea, during which time he was able to develop curriculum for elementary students aimed at improving English language acquisition.
Throughout his education and career as a teacher, Mr. Wagoner has always focused on early childhood learning and development. As an LET at BASIS Independent Fremont, he displayed exemplary qualities of working with young students as an empathetic listener who could explain good choice-making to our youngest Bumblebees.
“My strength is helping students to reflect on how they can and should make good choices to become good members of our community and good citizens of the wider world,” says Mr. Wagoner. “That is what we’re doing here, after all: helping kids grow into responsible adults.”
Mr. Wagoner is the co-author of Powerful Presentations: 6 Steps to Success, and co-authored Foundations of Education and Narrative and Logic for Mokwon University. He is a contributing author and editor for multiple language arts textbooks for young learners.
When he’s not on campus, Mr. Wagoner loves spending time playing board games, cooking for his wife, or reading a good book. His favorite books are science fiction and fantasy because, “books have a power to take us to amazing places that can exist only in our minds.”
Ms. Burley received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning from Ohio State University. Ms. Burley possesses a Pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Drama/Theatre teaching license.
Her goal as an educator is to use drama as a vehicle to help students excel academically and artistically. Ms. Burley’s integrated approach to teaching drama motivates students to reach their highest potential. She provides a supportive learning environment that inspires a love of learning within each student. Ms. Burley is passionate about teaching drama and provides challenging curriculum that is both fun and engaging.
Ms. Burley’s own philosophy is a perfect match to the BASIS Independent approach to education. She loves developing drama lessons within the framework of a STEM-focused, liberal arts curriculum. She believes strongly in building the connection between the arts and STEM subjects, preparing students to engage in critical and creative thinking as well as collaborative inquiry.
“The core of my teaching philosophy is to enhance students’ understanding of academic curriculum and to build social skills through drama exploration. My lessons artfully integrate drama with academics which investigate global perspectives on topics. I create a classroom environment that fosters collaboration and encourages students to work as a community of learners. I invite my students to recognize how their unique skillsets and interests contribute to the classroom as a whole. I create a safe space where students feel empowerment through their learning, sparking creativity that will shape our future,” says Ms. Burley.
Ms. Burley enjoys teaching and practicing yoga. She has participated in training workshops with Marcel Marceau and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Ms. Jancy brings over a decade of experience teaching kindergarten with her to BASIS Independent Fremont. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Kerala, as well as a Masters in English Language and Literature from Mahatma Gandhi University. After some time spent teaching older students, Ms. Jancy returned to school to receive a degree in Early Childhood Education. Since 2005, Ms. Jancy has taught kindergarten at several Bay Area private schools.
The fundamental core of Ms. Jancy’s teaching philosophy is that each child is unique and precious. She is passionate about the personal success of each student in her classroom, and strongly believes that every child is capable of reaching their highest potential when given the right tools and support. Ms. Jancy firmly believes that her role as a teacher is to facilitate team work and help students unleash the power of the written word and the magic of their imaginations. Ms. Jancy notes that her “expectations for all my students are high, and I work to facilitate each child’s ability to reach their highest possible level of achievement,” a belief system that nicely complements the educational philosophy of BASIS Independent Fremont.
Ms. John has extensive experience in education: over 17 years of teaching preschool and assessing kindergarten teachers and classes in a well-established private school. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Kerala, India. It was while working in the Pediatric Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital, Canada that Ms. John developed a passion for working with young children. Coming over to the Bay Area, she went back to school and obtained her credentials in Early Childhood Education.
Ms. John joined BASIS Independent Fremont as a Kindergarten Teaching Fellow at the beginning of the 2016–17 school year. “My goal at BASIS Independent Fremont is to create an environment where the students feel safe and to provide an effective, challenging, yet supportive learning experience for the kindergarteners. I believe in a balanced environment which leads to academic, social and emotional development during this year,” says Ms. John. “Also, the uniqueness of each child should be cherished and all children should have the same opportunities for development.”
Ms. John states that she is attracted to BASIS Independent Schools due to “the high academic standard that is maintained and also the breadth of educational exposures such as performing and visual arts, engineering and foreign language. I love the liberty the teachers have in the classroom with the curriculum, as this leads to lots of creativity in the classroom while maintaining the highest academic standards.”
Her teaching philosophy is that “children learn best in a stimulating and engaging yet fun and nurturing environment. I strongly believe that each child who comes into school is special and unique. I also believe that the kindergarten year is a very crucial time period and I want to lay the best foundation for learning at this stage. I want to develop the curiosity in children and encourage them to ask questions and make them independent thinkers.”
Outside the classroom, Ms. John is active in organizing community and church events and activities. She also enjoys trying out new recipes, travelling with her family, Bollywood dance and aerobics.
Ms. Nichols received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University. She has over 15 years of experience teaching both in academic settings and as a horseback riding instructor. For the last three years Ms. Nichols has
been working with kindergarten students and their families. She especially enjoys celebrating all the special milestones they reach during their Kindergarten year.
As a Kindergarten Early Education Teacher at BASIS Independent Fremont, her goal is to enable each of her students to reach their academic, social and emotional goals through strong partnerships with each child and their family.
She chose BASIS Independent for the “educational structure that allows me to meet more of my students’ needs in the classroom.”
Says Ms. Nichols, “I strive to create a learning environment that is predictable, respectful and engaging so that each of my students have an opportunity to work up to their potential. I also highly value the insight my students’ parents have on how I can better motivate and encourage their child.”
In her free time, she enjoys drawing, photography and camping.