Matthew Fitzmiller

Matthew FritzMiller

Head of School

Mr. FritzMiller earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish, with minors in Biblical Studies and Family Studies, from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in 1999. He also holds a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and did post-graduate work at Arizona State University leading to principal certification. His education experience with BASIS Charter Schools includes roles as Director of Student Affairs, Director of Academic Programs, and Athletic Director. Previously, he taught junior high and high school English, Spanish, PE, and a senior Capstone called Self Reliance. He also coached multiple sports.

In his role as Head of School, his goal is for BASIS Chandler to be an educational community with the highest academic standards while also helping students to become well-rounded and successful members of society. Matt enjoys working with teachers and students to help both reach their highest potential. “When teachers, students, parents, and administrators are all working towards the same goal, amazing things can happen.”

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Karen Bryson

Karen Bryson

Head of Operations

Karen Bryson joined BASIS Charter Schools in March of 2021 as a College Guidance Coordinator at BASIS Phoenix. In taking over the execution of the Senior Projects, she was quickly inspired by the talent, graduate-level research ability, and professionalism of the students.

Ms. Bryson is a native of California. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music from the University of Illinois, and was a doctoral candidate in Music at Ball State University in Indiana. While in Indiana, she taught college-level classes, took education management courses, and was a part-time music faculty member at a local middle school and high school. Ms. Bryson has post-college expertise is in retail management, and she worked as a Retail District Manager for several years before joining the BASIS Charter Schools network. She enjoys combining her several years of experience in leadership and operations management with her original passion for education as the Head of Operations at BASIS Chandler.

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Michael Santana

Michael Santana

Director of Upper School Programs

Michael Santana is the Director of Upper School Programs at BASIS Chandler. He joined BASIS Charter Schools as a Dean of Students (grades 3–12) in 2017, at BASIS Mesa. Later, as the school grew into a K–12, he oversaw the academic, social, and emotional student support for grades 5–12.

Before Mr. Santana began his career in education, he served in the United States Marine Corps from 2001–2012. Mr. Santana earned his BA in History form Arizona State University and his MEd from Grand Canyon University. Mr. Santana was a substitute teacher for two years in the Gilbert and Chandler school districts and taught United States History at Camp Verde in 2016. Mr. Santana utilizes the tools he acquired while serving in the Marine Corps to help teach his students how to lead. One of Mr. Santana’s greatest accomplishments was winning Educator of Distinction Award in 2020 nominated by his students.

Mr. Santana is excited to join the BASIS Chandler team and looks forward to working with students and families of this community.

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Kaylee Gengler

Kaylee Gengler

Director Of Middle School Programs

Kaylee Gengler joined BASIS Charter Schools in 2018 as a Dean of Students at BASIS Phoenix Primary. In 2020, she became the Director of Student Affairs at BASIS Phoenix South Primary. After working with the younger students at the primary school campuses, she looks forward to working with the middle school students at BASIS Chandler.

Mrs. Gengler’s past experiences have allowed her the privilege of travelling to different parts of the country to learn from leaders in our country’s education system, primarily in the areas of Literacy and Classroom Management. She implemented these systems into her classroom and mentored other teachers to ensure students were effectively accessing content. One of her biggest accomplishments was being recognized by the Arizona Cardinals as an MVP in the Classroom. Mrs. Gengler is an advocate for students and believes in working closely with families to create a partnership that is essential for student success. She believes in the future of each student she has had the privilege of crossing paths with and considers it an honor to equip them with the tools they need to go far.

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Char Johnson

Char Johnson

Director of Academic Programs

Char Johnson joined BASIS Charter Schools in 2016 as a Physics and Astronomy teacher at BASIS Mesa. She taught grades 11 and 12 and enjoyed getting to know her students and working with them from year to year. As Director of Academic Programs at BASIS Chandler, she is looking forward to contributing to the ongoing academic excellence for which the school is known. Ms. Johnson’s ultimate goal in her role as Director of Academic Programs is to foster positive changes to the everyday experience, creating a constructive learning environment for both teachers and students.

Ms. Johnson received a degree in Physics from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. After receiving her degree, she worked for the United States government for many years as an aeronautical engineer. She travelled extensively in her work for the government and developed a considerable knowledge and appreciation for other cultures.

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