Deirdre Ewald, M.Ed.

Deirdre Ewald, M.Ed.

Head of School

As a native Arizonan, Ms. Ewald grew up in central Phoenix, and is a graduate of both the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University with a B.S. in Special Education and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. Prior to joining BASIS in 2014, Ms. Ewald worked as an early childhood educator and in special education in both the Tucson and Phoenix communities. Ms. Ewald started at BASIS Phoenix Central when it opened, where she taught kindergarten and first grade for several years before joining BASIS Phoenix Primary in 2016 for its inaugural year. Being part of an educational program that holds students to a higher standard and delivers on opportunities for success had been incredibly rewarding. After supporting the BASIS Phoenix Primary community for the last two years as the Director of Academic Programs, Ms. Ewald is thrilled to serve as the Head of School position while continuing to support teachers, students and families in educational excellence!

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Alyssa Taylor Head of Operations

Alyssa Taylor

Head of Operations

Ms. Taylor graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology and a minor in English. Her education and experience working in behavioral health allowed her to discover her passion for serving children and families. Once she joined BASIS, Ms. Taylor discovered a new way to foster her passion through education and daily interaction with students and their families. Ms. Taylor began her BASIS career three years ago at BASIS Phoenix Central as the Front Office Coordinator. She then helped open BASIS Scottsdale Primary West in August of 2018 in its inaugural year as the Auxiliary Programs Coordinator.  In this role, Ms. Taylor enjoyed enriching school culture by bringing extracurricular activities and community events to her campus. She now eagerly joins BASIS Phoenix Primary and is excited to have a direct impact on families lives through ensuring a safe and successful learning environment in the Firebird community!

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Nellie Klooster, Director of Student Affairs

Nellie Klooster

Director of Student Affairs

Although born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mrs. Klooster was raised in Tahiti, French Polynesia and later attended L’Université de Nancy II in France where she earned her BS in Business Administration. After graduating from school, Mrs. Klooster moved back to Phoenix and began tutoring students in French, where she developed a passion for teaching. This led her to pursue a career in education, and she quickly worked to obtain her certification for teaching French as a second language, as well as administering French proficiency assessments. Mrs. Klooster joined BASIS Phoenix Central in 2015 teaching Kindergarten in the mornings and French in the afternoons. In 2017, she transferred to BASIS Phoenix where she had the opportunity to teach French to the older students. In her classroom, Mrs. Klooster always thrived while supporting students in reaching their personal and academic goals. With that mindset, Mrs. Klooster helped open BASIS Phoenix Primary of 2018 as the Dean of Students. In that role, she enjoyed developing meaningful school community values as well as establishing robust academic and social-emotional support programs. Mrs. Klooster is excited to serve students and their families as the Director of Student Affairs and is committed to guiding students through their educational journey.

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Mary Foley

Mary Foley

Director of Academic Programs

Born and raised in southern Arizona, Ms. Foley moved to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University, where she graduated with a BS in Elementary Education. Relocating to Phoenix after graduating from NAU, Ms. Foley began her teaching career with BASIS as a 3rd grade LET at BASIS Chandler Primary North in its inaugural year. In 2018, Ms. Foley transferred to BASIS Scottsdale Primary West, where she transitioned from a 3rd grade LET into administration as the school’s Curriculum Coordinator. Transitioning into administration allowed Ms. Foley to realize her passion for supporting schools from an academics standpoint, and inspired her to begin pursuing her M.Ed in Learning Design and Technologies at Arizona State University. Ms. Foley is thrilled to join BASIS Phoenix Primary as the Director of Academic Programs and looks forward to ensure a positive, enriching experience for the entire Firebird community!