Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason

Head of School

Ms. Mason joined BASIS in 2007. She holds BA in Anthropology and a MA in Classics from the University of Arizona. Before coming to BASIS, she worked as a graduate student in Roman archaeology, and subsequently as a lecturer at both the UA and the UA’s Study Abroad Program in Orvieto, Italy. In 2010, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to the American Academy in Rome’s Classical Summer School. Ms. Mason originally joined BASIS Tucson to establish the 5th grade Latin and Classics program. She later served as the Head of School at BASIS Oro Valley from 2013-2016. During her tenure, BASIS Oro Valley received numerous national accolades, including being ranked #1 America’s Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post. In 2014, Ms. Mason led the opening of BASIS Oro Valley Primary, adding grades Kindergarten to 4th grade to the BASIS Oro Valley campus. Ms. Mason then joined BASIS.ed as Associate Vice President for two years, but seized the opportunity to return to a school in 2018. She is proud to serve the exceptional teachers, staff, and families at BASIS Tucson Primary as the Head of School.

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Ignacio Velasco

Ignacio Velasco

Head of Operations

Mr. Velasco has served as an educator for more than 20 years, with diverse experience in teaching and instructional design, including undergraduate level experience. He joined BASIS Charter Schools in 2014 employed for BASIS Tucson Primary as an Engineering teacher, as an Auxiliary Programs Coordinator the year after and as a Facilities Coordinator for the following two years. His progressive experience in the area of operations has provided him with opportunities, new responsibilities and challenges within the BASIS Charter Schools network, where he served as Director of Operations and Head of Operations at BASIS Tucson North. The 2021-22 school year brings him back to BASIS Tucson Primary as the Head of Operations.

Prior to joining BASIS Charter Schools, Mr. Velasco was employed as a Mathematics teacher for the Tucson Unified School District, as an Adjunct Faculty member for Pima Community College, as a Professor for Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Cananea, and as a Computer Systems Engineer for the mining corporation Grupo Mexico.

For Mr. Velasco, education is a journey full of adventure, challenges and reward. He strongly believes that as educators, we have a compelling obligation to excite students’ imaginations and to direct student learning in such a way that the new challenges brought about by our changing world are successfully negotiated. BASIS Charter Schools has the potential to revolutionize the educational system, and he is honored to be part of such talented and professional team of educators!

Audra Koste

Audra Koste

Director of Academic Programs

Audra received her BS from Northern Arizona University in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English as a Second Language. She has been an educator for 15 years at a public school in Tucson before coming to teach at BASIS. Previously she taught 3rd through 5th graders, working extensively with English Language Learners literacy programs. Audra started teaching as a LET at BASIS Tucson Primary in 2014 before transitioning in to the position of Director of Academic Programs.

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Julie Roper-Moulton

Julie Moulton-Roper

Director of Student Affairs

Julie Moulton-Roper is the Director of Student Affairs for BASIS Tucson Primary. She joined the BASIS Tucson team in 2013 and has taught both 1st and 2nd grade Humanities. Previous teaching experience includes 3rd and 4th grades in charter and traditional public schools. In addition to teaching, she has also enjoyed a career in commercial real estate banking in various US cities. She received her BA in Speech Communication from the University of Denver and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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