Michelle A

Michelle Astwood

Head of School

Ms. Astwood joined the BASIS Charter School network in 2016 as a Learning Expert Teacher and then Director of Academic Programs at BASIS Scottsdale East before transitioning to Head of School at the BASIS Chandler Primary South Campus in 2018.

Prior to joining BASIS Charter Schools, her professional career was primarily spent within schools in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Ms. Astwood’s passion for education has been shaped over the years as an Elementary Teacher in every grade from kindergarten to sixth, a district curriculum writer, and an assistant principal. Ms. Astwood 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’s educational background includes a BS 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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Michelle Ethelbah

Michelle Ethelbah

Head of Operations

Ms. Ethelbah has been with the BASIS Charter Schools network since 2015. She has over fifteen years of experience managing both charter and private schools. She has worked with students at all levels of K-12. Prior to joining BASIS Phoenix South as the Head of Operations, she has worked with students at BASIS Phoenix Central, BASIS Scottsdale Primary West, and BASIS Phoenix. She looks forward to working with the BASIS Phoenix South community of scholars and their families.

Ms. Ehtelbah holds a MEd in Educational Administration and Supervision, a BS in Business Management, a Minor in French, and a Certificate in International Business, all from Arizona State University.

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Annie Rowley

Annie Rowley

Director of Academic Programs

Mrs. Rowley joined BASIS Charter Schools in 2018 as a Special Education Coordinator at BASIS Peoria. In January 2021, Mrs. Rowley joined the BASIS Phoenix South campus as the Special Education Coordinator before transitioning to the Director of Student Affairs role.

Most of Mrs. Rowley’s professional career was in the Chicagoland area where she has taught grades Preschool – 12th grade special education. Mrs. Rowley spent most of her time teaching the moderate to severe populations in the various positions and being an Associate Director at a charter school. Mrs. Rowley believes that all students can succeed when provided with the fundamentals and tools needed to be successful inside and outside of the classroom.

Mrs. Rowley attended Dominican University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, with endorsements in Middle School English and History, and a Master of Science degree in Special Education, with her ESL endorsement, from Dominican University.

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Rebekah Horton

Rebekah Horton

Director of Student Affairs

Ms. Horton joined BASIS Phoenix South in 2018 as a Kindergarten Early Expert Teacher. In 2019, she transitioned into the Dean of Students position to service our scholars. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education with a Special Education Approval from Saint Xavier University. In addition to an ESL endorsement through Brandman University, she has the following teaching certifications; Type 04 Illinois Education License (where she taught in Chicago Public Schools in the community where she was raised) and Arizona Certification Teacher License. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of education.

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Brian Florence

Brian Florence

Director of Instruction and Student Intervention

Mr. Florence joins the BASIS Charter Schools network as the Director of Instruction & Student Intervention for BASIS Phoenix South. Before joining BASIS, Mr. Florence was taught for 6 years serving as a kindergarten teacher, grade 3 teacher and junior high math teacher before transitioning into the Dean of Students role. Mr. Florence is excited to be part of BASIS Charter School where he can continue pursuing his passion for education and developing the mind of students. Mr. Florence has a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Arizona and bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis in Instruction & Curriculum.

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Ondrej Smrcina

Ondrej Smrcina

Operations Director

Mr. Smrcina joined BASIS Phoenix South as the Operations Director. He has been with BASIS Charter Schools for seven years and has held various positions including Auxiliary Program Coordinator, Monitor, Data Assistant and Teaching Fellow. As Operations Director Mr. Smrcina will assist with Smart for Charters accounts and address any questions about Late Bird, events, or clubs. He enjoys working with parents and supporting students and staff. His primary drive for working at BASIS is to help teachers reach their goal to empower students in their studies and prepare them for college and later their careers.

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