Who was your most influential teacher or school leader?
I most remember my high school counselor. I was a bit of a handful at times in high school especially if I felt there was an injustice. Mr. D, my counselor always listened to me, talked me through it without judgement or lecture and helped me to see both sides of a situation. That made a huge impression on me.
What continues to inspire you to remain committed to this work?
Education was not my first career, but it should have been. I have always been drawn to mission-based experiences. When I made the decision to leave corporate life, I was looking for something that made a difference. BASIS was that thing. Everyday I get to watch the light bulbs go on for children and see their smiling faces when they have accomplished something. I see the passion and perseverance that it takes to be a teacher and I am in awe of them every day. I love it when a parent tells me how much their child enjoys school. These things get me up in the morning.
What is your advice for a new teacher or parent experiencing the challenges due to the pandemic?
My best advice is to admit that this is happening and do everything you can for you and your family to be safe but recognize there is nothing you can do to change it. Practice self-care, listen to the science. A very good friend of mine once told me that when you have a situation, you have to do the best you can! I think we have a situation and we all have to do the best we can. I want people to know about our school.
Our families and students come from all over Baton Rouge, from all walks of life, the full strata of economics and cultures. One of our founding principles is that we believe children can do more than is traditionally thought. Our mission is to find the access point for each child and help them to be the best they can be. And, we are very good at it.
What makes you hopeful about the future?
I think that the younger generations are growing up differently and are thinking about the world they want to live in and demanding it but are willing to make it so. They are making choices that us OG’s would never have made. That gives me hope.
How are you supporting your teachers through difficulties caused by the Pandemic?
We are fortunate that BASIS Mid-City has 100% in person learning. The biggest difficulty we are working with is the learning loss or lack of learning created by the pandemic. But we are putting in place the tools to combat/erase those losses. Our teachers are happy to be back in their classrooms working with children and the children are very happy to be in school at BASIS.