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Mr. Acevedo

Performing Arts
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Mr. Acevedo

Subject Expert Teacher Performing Arts

In 2014, Mr. Acevedo received his Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since then, he has worked at schools all over the United States, from Maryland to Bakersfield, before eventually settling in the Bay Area. Mr. Acevedo is currently spending his summers working towards his master’s degree in Theatrical Direction.

“I am excited to be a part of the team here and to help my students foster a lifelong love of learning and become positive and curious members of their communities. I believe that education and learning allow us all to lead richer lives, and I am excited to help all of my students achieve their fullest potential (and have some fun doing it!)”

When Mr. Acevedo is not at school, he spends time reading manga, watching anime, playing his Switch, and exploring all the Bay Area has to offer. He also likes to listen to musicals, attend theatre performances, and discover stories through podcasts. Mr. Acevedo hopes he can share his love of theatre with his students as well as his love of English and history.

 

Dr. Akulov

History
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Dr. Akulov

Subject Expert Teacher History

Dr. Akulov grew up in the Bay Area and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California-Berkeley in 2003.  He entered the graduate program at the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2004 to pursue a doctoral degree in history and graduated with a Doctor in Philosophy in 2012.

Subsequently, Dr. Akulov taught history at his alma mater as well as at the University of California-Irvine and Westmont College and worked as a Curriculum Specialist for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.  He is excited to join the faculty at BASIS Independent Fremont to teach World and U.S. History to middle school students.

“I love working with students because it is an incredible opportunity to connect with young minds and assist them in the expansion of their knowledge as well as analytical prowess,” says Dr. Akulov.  “In my teaching, I strive to excite students with stories about experiences by the previous generations and to further their critical thinking skills.  My goal is to demonstrate how knowing the past is crucial to choices that our society makes in the present and to help provide students with skills to interpret historical developments.”

In his free time, Dr. Akulov likes reading history books and biographies, expanding his personal library collection, bike riding, and hiking outdoors, visiting museums, and spending time with his family.

Ms. Barnes

Math
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Ms. Barnes

Subject Expert Teacher Math

Ms. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, an additional bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and decades of master’s level coursework in education and mathematics.

Ms. Barnes is an expert in curriculum design and has taught high-level mathematics for over 27 years. She is passionate about her subject matter and teaching and loves working with high school students. She has worked in private and public schools across the globe, including in the United States, Venezuela, and China.

Ms. Barnes believes every student should be fluent in mathematics, as problem-solving is an essential skill in today’s world. She enjoys seeing the smiles on her students’ faces when they surprise themselves by solving complex problems correctly. Even more so, Ms. Barnes loves to see students grow and reflect on their mathematical journey. She encourages her students to have high expectations for themselves and is always willing to support them in their work.

When she’s not teaching mathematics, Ms. Barnes loves to teach jewelry making to adults on weekends all over the USA. She also enjoys spending time with family and her dogs and traveling.

 

Mr. Chavez

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Mr. Chavez

School & Student Services

Mr. Chavez is a lifelong local of the Bay Area and deeply rooted in the community. In 2018 Mr. Chavez began his higher studies at Sonoma State University, where he explored his passions for finance and languages. Mr. Chavez graduated cum laude in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Business, concentrating on finance, and a minor degree in Spanish.

While finishing his studies at Sonoma State University, Mr. Chavez was introduced to the BASIS Independent Fremont community, working on campus to maintain the safety of our school and building strong relationships with our students and families in the process. During the summer of 2022, Mr. Chavez dipped his toes into instruction as a counselor at BIF’s Summer Camp Program. After spending time guiding our younger students, Mr. Chavez accepted a new role at the Upper School, supporting our Yellow Jackets and teaching staff.

Mr. Chavez is excited to share his love of business and finance with BIF students and help them develop an entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity. When he is not on campus, Mr. Chavez enjoys spending time with his family, watching ALL sports games, and of course, cheering on the 49ers!

Dr. Fernández

History
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Dr. Fernández

Subject Expert Teacher History

Dr. Fernández grew up in Imperial Valley, California, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1998 from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She earned her California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2002 and returned to UCLA to earn a Master’s in Latin American Studies in 2006.  In 2012, she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Ph.D. in History.

Dr. Fernández began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. As a teaching associate and lecturer at UCSB, she taught for 14 years in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese, Chicano Studies, and History. She also worked as a curriculum specialist for the Santa Barbara Unified School District and Goleta Unified School District. She is excited to join the faculty at BASIS Independent Fremont to teach AP U.S. Government and AP U.S. History.

“My goal is to create a nurturing learning environment while empowering students with the resources to meet their academic goals. Mentoring and developing positive relationships is one of the most important things you can do as a teacher. I make an effort to get to know each and every one of my students.” says Dr. Fernández.  “The study of history is often the study of perspectives.  In that regard, as a teacher, I want to know how a student’s background and life experiences shape their understanding of historical events. Studying events of the past can evolve into a very personal endeavor.  It is the reason I started my journey as a historian. I wanted to understand my family and community in the context of the larger history of the United States Southwest. By helping students understand how they are connected to stories and people of the past, I hope to build their critical thinking skills as well as their curiosity about their own place in the world.”

In her free time, Dr. Fernández likes traveling with her husband, gardening, and reorganizing closets.

Teacher Gill

English
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Teacher Gill

Subject Expert Teacher English

Mr. Hanlon

English
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Mr. Hanlon

Subject Expert Teacher English

Mr. Hanlon is an actor, scholar, director, translator, and educator with over two decades of experience teaching humanities in independent high schools across the nation. He holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Reed College, an M.A. in English and American Literature from Miami University, and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

Mr. Hanlon chose to teach at BASIS Independent Fremont because the school attracts families who want a first-rate education for their children – and students who are eager to be challenged so that they can achieve their highest potential. “I love the emphasis on collaboration and the growth mindset that are at the core of BASIS faculty culture,” Mr. Hanlon says. “Throughout my career, my own growth has been fostered the most by working closely with other like-minded teachers at the cutting edge of education.”

While he specializes in Russian and American literature, Mr. Hanlon has created courses in a wide variety of subjects, including Shakespeare’s Plays, Asian Masterpieces, Contemporary World Literature, Classical Greece, Modern European Drama, African Studies, and Renaissance England. This broad background in the humanities helps him design rich AP and Post AP courses at BASIS Independent Fremont. “My personal mission as an educator is to prepare young people for the challenges and opportunities they will face in college,” he says. “Taking AP courses enables our students to do exactly that.”

Mr. Hanlon has performed and directed professionally for a number of different theatre companies, and his translations of contemporary Russian plays have been published and produced around the globe. He has also led theatre programs and taught acting classes at several high schools. Beyond his interests in theatre, Russian culture, and literary studies, Mr. Hanlon is an avid trail runner, a Quaker, a published poet, and an unabashed etymology geek.

Ms. Laquidara

French
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Ms. Laquidara

Subject Expert Teacher French

Ms. Laquidara was raised in Florida. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French Language & Culture with two minors in both Spanish and Translation and a Certificate in Translation and Interpretation from Florida International University. She took part in an immersion program in Angers, France, in 2015 and briefly lived in Paris. She loved being a part of clubs and honor societies and graduated with ties to Pi Delta Phi, Sigma Delta Pi, National Residence Hall Honorary, and her personal favorite, Le Cercle Français. In 2017, she began her graduate studies at Florida Atlantic University.  She was awarded a teaching fellowship and taught first and second year French to undergraduate students at the University.  She graduated with a master’s degree in Language, Linguistics & Comparative Literature with a focus on Teaching French in 2019.

She has taught and tutored students of various ages in French and English. She is passionate about teaching students and making an impact in students’ lives. Her ultimate objective is to help children find their passion and joy in learning a new language. She believes that learning how to communicate and understanding different cultures are the keys to making meaningful connections with others.

In her free time, Ms. Laquidara likes to explore the various areas of the Bay area. She loves hiking, going on long walks with her dog, composing music, and volunteering as a Teacher’s Aide for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Ms. Nagpal

Biology
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Ms. Nagpal

Subject Expert Teacher Biology

Ms. Nagpal received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Zoology from the University of Delhi.  She went on to pursue a degree in education – also from Delhi University.

Ms. Nagpal found her passion for teaching at an early age after becoming involved in the program Each One Teach One, providing educational services to children from underserved areas. After obtaining her degrees, she taught biology for well over a decade in India and the UK, teaching students from middle school to college. Since relocating to Fremont in 2012, Ms. Nagpal has guided students in various public and private schools in the Bay Area.

Ms. Nagpal believes that every student has their own unique strengths. Her goal is to work towards the overall development of her students, focusing on making the subject enjoyable for them. As a biology teacher, she encourages her students to develop a deep love for living beings and an appreciation for their interdependence with their environment.

Outside the classroom, Ms. Nagpal enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies with her daughters, and traveling. She wishes she could sample all of the world’s cuisines!

 

Mr. Ong

Economics
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Mr. Ong

Subject Expert Teacher Economics

Mr. Ong is a self-described life-long learner. He graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management with an M.B.A. in strategy and marketing. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Mr. Ong joins BASIS Independent Fremont, having previously taught economics in a local school district. Over the past two decades, Mr. Ong accrued broad industry experience in sales and marketing roles in the Silicon Valley tech industry. Mr. Ong’s experience as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group led him to work in Boston, Munich, and Singapore. Following his global travels, Mr. Ong settled down with his young family in the Bay Area.

Mr. Ong is committed to helping students develop a life-long curiosity and love of learning. “My mission as an educator is to create an environment in which students feel safe, engaged, connected, and encouraged. When mutual trust exists within a rigorous and supportive classroom, deeper learning can take place!”

Mr. Ong’s abiding passions for classical music, art, and linguistics, conspire to make him rather sedentary – though very happy. When he is not reading or meditating on Bach, he enjoys hiking and spending time with family and friends over coffee or a meal.

 

 

Ms. Parker

English, Logic
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Ms. Parker

Subject Expert Teacher English, Logic

Ms. Parker grew up in a small town called Tulare in the Central Valley. Before joining the BASIS Independent Fremont community, Ms. Parker served as an Executive Director of a music school in the area. She has seven years of teaching experience from San Jose State University, the Youth N.O.W. Learning Center, California State University, Monterey Bay, and Compass Education, focused within their English departments. Ms. Parker holds a Master’s degree in English and Comparative Literature and a Bachelor’s in Communications, emphasizing literature and film.

As a teacher, Ms. Parker seeks to create a safe and open learning environment for her students. Explained in her own words, “My hope is my students are able to adapt to new learning environments with the knowledge that they are worthy of education and capable of growth. Every student should know they can have a seat at the table of knowledge. I have two very important mottos for my class: ‘Your peers are your resources, NOT your adversaries’ and ‘Your grades DO NOT equal your self-worth.’”

When Ms. Parker is not busy with her own kindergarten-aged son Emerson, the avid coffee drinker can be found playing the cello or out for a hike. Ms. Parker also loves discussing books, music, art, and Studio Ghibli films — her favorite being “Princess Mononoke.”

 

 

Ms. Quihuiz

Art
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Ms. Quihuiz

Subject Expert Teacher Art

Ms. Quihuiz is an artist and printmaker who earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Education degrees from Colorado State University. They have spent time in Bogotá, Colombia working with high school students on their English language skills, returning to the United States with a passion for education.

Ms. Quihuiz believes that by connecting with students on shared passions and interests, educators can enhance the impact they make on learners.“Environment and connection are the driving forces behind my teaching philosophy; I believe strong student-teacher relationships provide the foundation for authentic learning experiences and that all students need to feel comfortable in their surroundings in order to grow. I strive to inspire students to enjoy art while also being resilient, critical thinkers.” 

Ms. Quihuiz is particularly fond of her experiences facilitating a middle school mural project, working with elementary after-school STEM programs and literacy tutoring through AmeriCorps, and participating in an artist residence program in their hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Quihuiz enjoys trail running, cooking – baking – and, best of all, eating, spending time with their spouse and cat, and of course, making art.

Mr. Relland

Music
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Mr. Relland

Subject Expert Teacher Music

Mr. Relland brings a breadth of musical intuition to the podium at BASIS Independent Fremont. He has facilitated drum circles in Maryland, chamber music in the Arizona desert, and marching band in Texas. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of North Texas, performing with the famed 3 O’Clock Lab Band and the UNT Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Anshel Brusilow.

Following this, he earned degrees in Education at Loyola New Orleans and a Master of Divinity in Arts and Culture at Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Relland has also studied conducting with acclaimed teaching mentor James Jordan of Westminster Choir College, drama with Serge Seiden at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., and songwriting with Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame.

Regarding the culture of an expressive classroom, Mr. Relland says, “I choose to teach, secure in the knowledge that all people have internal rhythm, a love for the arts, and an ability to express themselves. These qualities present themselves in a space where a positive tone allows them to grow.  What I think BASIS Independent Fremont offers is a level of focus and opportunity that students may not only learn how to spend time chasing a musical sound they love but that they might learn how to connect this to other concepts, ultimately creating bonds between the intellect and the imagination, between science and art, math and rhythm.  And if we teachers and families can catch a glimpse at this learning level – this burgeoning of discovery – we may become surprised all over again at the power of school.”

Mr. Sanders

Spanish
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Mr. Sanders

Subject Expert Teacher Spanish

Mr. Sanders attended Indiana University, Bloomington where he graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  During his time at Indiana, Mr. Sanders had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain.

Mr. Sanders taught English as a Second Language in Hong Kong between 2004 and 2011, an experience that taught him the importance of obtaining comprehension in more than one language for today’s students. From 2012 to 2018, Mr. Sanders expanded his knowledge of high school student needs in the Bay Area, teaching test preparation and working in college admissions counseling. Prior to joining BASIS Independent Fremont, Mr. Sanders taught in a bilingual Spanish classroom in the San Francisco Unified School District.

“As a Spanish language Subject Expert Teacher, I want my students to learn how to actually communicate in Spanish in authentic contexts,” says Mr. Sanders. “ I also hope that they will develop a sincere interest in furthering their studies of Spanish and perhaps other Romance languages. I chose to teach at BASIS Independent Fremont because I really love teaching highly motivated students who take responsibility for their own learning.”

When he is not teaching students a new language, Mr. Sanders enjoys reading contemporary history books or novels, and hiking (when conditions permit)!

Ms. Sharma

Math, Physics
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Ms. Sharma

Subject Expert Teacher Math, Physics

Ms. Sharma earned a Master in Physics and Master in Education from Delhi University, India. She has also completed Montessori Training in the United States. Ms. Sharma has approximately 13 years of experience in facilitating diverse groups of students to think creatively, solve problems independently and implement different projects at the global level.

Ms. Sharma believes that instruction in the middle grades should build on learners’ emerging capabilities for developing abstract reasoning, including thinking hypothetically, comprehending cause and effect, and reasoning in both concrete and abstract terms. “Each child has strengths in different areas and advances at their own unique pace. As a mentor, my goal is to provide learners ample opportunities to excel both in and out of my class.”

Apart from teaching, Ms. Sharma enjoys listening to music, reading science blogs, and watching movies.

Ms. Sun

Mandarin
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Ms. Sun

Subject Expert Teacher Mandarin

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