Monica Morris

Head of School

Monica Morris has been with BASIS for 7 years and became Head of School in the summer of 2017. As an Arizona native, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Arizona. Mrs. Morris began her BASIS career in 2010 where she helped to open and establish BASIS Oro Valley. In addition to teaching 5th grade math, she also served as the National Junior Honor Society Advisor. To be closer to family, Mrs. Morris transferred to BASIS Phoenix in 2012 as their 5th grade and Algebra 1 teacher. She also founded the math competition club “Mathletics” and proceeded to coach her students to numerous victories throughout the 3 years she was with BASIS Phoenix.

Mrs. Morris moved into the Director of Academic Programs role in 2015 at BASIS Peoria and then BASIS Scottsdale Primary. She was drawn to the primary program to help create the solid foundation for students going into our rigorous 5-12 program. She truly believes all students can learn at a high level, given a positive and supportive learning environment that fosters confidence in their own abilities.

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Julie Kearney

Head of Operations

Mrs. Kearney comes to BASIS Scottsdale Primary after serving over three years as the Head of Operations at BASIS Scottsdale. She greatly enjoys bolstering student learning outcomes by working with the teachers to design their classrooms and order educational supplies. Her team is also responsible for helping parents navigate SMART for Charter as well as several functions internal to BASIS (facilities maintenance, benefits management, school safety plans, etc.). A Michigan native, Mrs. Kearney attended Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Three Dimensional Design with a minor in Math Education.

Prior to joining BASIS, Mrs. Kearney spent eight years with Curtiss-Wright Controls Integrated Sensing, an aerospace manufacturing company located in Tempe, Arizona. During her tenure she worked as the Materials Manager for five years as well as a Product Sales & Support Associate and Product Sales & Support Manager.

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Dave Deshler

Director of Student Affairs

Mr. Deshler comes to us after serving as a school Director for BASIS Phoenix and for BASIS Ahwatukee. Prior to that, he was at BASIS Scottsdale for three years where he taught 5th Grade Physical Geography, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography.

Before joining BASIS, Mr. Deshler was a Director for a Virginia non-profit educational organization he co-founded in 1994 that focused on inquiry-based science programs for Kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2010 he moved to Tempe, Arizona when his wife joined ASU as an Assistant Professor. Growing up avidly exploring the outdoors in Japan and the Philippines eventually led him to leading natural history tours on horseback in the Appalachian Mountains as a teenager. This sparked his passion for education and a career that spans 28 years and three continents.

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Michelle Astwood Director of Academic Programs

Michelle Astwood

Director of Academic Programs

Ms. Astwood joined the BASIS Scottsdale Primary team last school year as a third grade Learning Expert Teacher, and she is extremely excited to take on her new role as Director of Academic Programs. Prior to joining BASIS, her professional career was primarily spent within schools in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Ms. Astwood’s passion for education has been shaped over the past twelve years as an Elementary Teacher in every grade from kindergarten to sixth, a district curriculum writer, and an assistant principal. She believes it is her responsibility as an educator to ensure the success of each student and the school by providing the best instructional and academic support possible.

Ms. Astwood was born and raised in Long Island, New York, moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1995, and ventured out to Phoenix, Arizona in 2015 to get a taste of desert living. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia State University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with a Specialization in Elementary Reading from Nova Southeastern University.

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