Jill Duncan joined BASIS Oro Valley Primary when it opened in 2014, as a second grade Learning Expert Teacher. She remained in that role for several years, and then worked 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 having a positive influence supporting the teachers.
Mrs. Duncan earned her BA in Psychology from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and spent many years working with abused and neglected children and their families in the field of Social Work. This sparked her interest in understanding the importance of educating families, which led her to pursue teaching. She earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education from NAU.
Mrs. Duncan is passionate about bringing fun into the school day while ensuring children feel safe, secure, and empowered. She is a strong believer in the family–school connection and recognizes the importance of establishing positive relationships between the two. This allows students to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. She is very excited to lead BASIS Oro Valley Primary as the Head of School, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
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. Before becoming a teacher he worked with education technology companies where he gained experience in operations, finance, and human resources. 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 influences Peter received from his own teachers, he looks forward to ensuring all BASIS Oro Valley and BASIS Oro Valley Primary 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 a second grade Humanities teacher. She loved teaching reading, writing, and history and especially enjoyed the opportunity to be creative with her teaching methods. After two years in this role, she transitioned to the BASIS.ed Central Office where she took on the role of Primary Grades Pedagogy Expert. In this role she developed the primary literacy curriculum and supported the primary schools across the BASIS Charter Schools network. During her four years at the central office she gained extensive knowledge in how students learn to read and write, the importance of research and strong curricular materials, and how schools across the network support success. Sara is 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 learned from her work with the schools across the network to further support the success of teachers and students at BASIS Oro Valley Primary.
Mrs. Jewett 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 taught first grade. These ventures gave her the opportunity to support success in a variety of educational environments, laying a strong foundation for her work with BASIS Charter Schools.
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.