Jill Duncan joined BASIS Oro Valley Primary when it opened in the 2014-15 school year, as a second grade Learning Expert Teacher. She remained in that role for several years, and then took on the challenge of serving as the Dean of Students for two years. While she missed teaching, Mrs. Duncan loved the idea of being able to reach even more students and families, and to have a positive influence in supporting the teachers.
Mrs. Duncan earned her BA in Psychology from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and worked in the social work field for many years with abused and neglected children and their families. This led to her interest in pursuing a path to understanding the importance of educating families, which led her to the decision to pursue teaching. She then earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from NAU, and began teaching.
Mrs. Duncan is passionate about encouraging children to feel safe, secure, and empowered, each and every day, while also bringing fun into the school day. She strongly believes in the family/school connection, and recognizes the importance of establishing positive relationships between them that will allow students to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. She is very excited to lead Oro Valley Primary as the Head of School, and cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Peter Cano is the Head of Operations for BASIS Oro Valley Primary. Prior to this role, Peter taught math (from Algebra to Capstone Calculus) at BASIS Oro Valley. Prior to teaching, he has experience in operations, finance, and human resources with education technology companies. Peter is a Tucson native who attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York and has an MBA from Duke University at Durham, North Carolina. Paying forward the positive influence Peter received from his teachers, he looks forward to ensuring teachers have the resources they need, coordinating the support from parents and guardians, and providing a safe and secure learning environment for the students.
Sara Jewett joined BASIS Oro Valley Primary in 2015 as the second grade Humanities teacher. She loved her time teaching reading, writing, and history to second graders, especially enjoying the opportunity for creativity in her teaching methods. After two years in this role, she transitioned to the central office and took on the role of Primary Grades Pedagogy Expert. Mrs. Jewett had the opportunity to develop the primary literacy curriculum and support primary schools across the BASIS network in this newly-created position. She learned so much about how individuals learn to read and write, the importance of research and strong curricular materials, and how schools across the network support success during her four years at the central office. Sara is now excited to be back at BASIS Oro Valley Primary serving as the Director of Academic Programs. In this position, Mrs. Jewett will use what she’s learned from her work with schools across the BASIS network to support the success of teachers and students at BASIS Oro Valley Primary.
Sara earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After graduating, she spent two years as a teacher trainer in The Gambia, West Africa with the Peace Corps. She then spent time developing curricular materials for math and science in the primary grades and also teaching first grade. These ventures gave her the opportunity to support success in a variety of educational environments, laying a strong foundation for her work at BASIS.
Laura Jewett earned her Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and Master of Science in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. She has taught chemistry for grades 7–12 for a good portion of her teaching career, with many of those years spent in the BASIS Charter Schools network. Laura has also served as a New Teacher Mentor at BASIS Oro Valley. She is thrilled to join BASIS Oro Valley Primary as Director of Student Affairs, and to build upon the New Teacher Mentor program she was part of at BASIS Oro Valley.