Meet The
Teachers

Ms. Bhide

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Ms. Bhide

Early Learning Teaching Fellow

Ms. Bhide received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Commerce and Masters in Business Administration (Human Resources) degree when she resided in India. She also has an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Development from De Anza College in Cupertino. As an Early Education Teaching Fellow, her goal as a teacher is to create a positive and nurturing learning environment where students learn to work independently and collaboratively as they continue their journey towards becoming life-long learners.

Ms. Bhide firmly believes in encouraging children to have a growth mindset. When they learn that mistakes are opportunities for growth, they discover how to believe in themselves, feel empowered, and try harder. She believes students learn best when they make mistakes and learn from them along with interactive, hands-on learning. One of her favorite lessons to do with her students was one where they learnt about the life-cycle of living things. The students grew a small plant from a seed to a sprout. They needed to ensure that the plant gets all the nutrients for its growth, such as sunlight and water, developing a sense of responsibility and ownership!

In her free time, Ms. Bhide enjoys going to the gym, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.

Fun fact: As a kid, due to her father’s job, Ms. Bhide had the privilege of having a baby monkey, a fawn, and a lion cub as pets at different points in her childhood!

Mr. Butler

Physical Education
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Mr. Butler

Early Learning Teacher Physical Education

Ms. Chohan

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Ms. Chohan

Early Learning Teacher

Ms. Chohan received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Karachi in Pakistan. After immigrating to the United States, she ran an at-home day care for five years and it is then that she realized her passion for childhood education and working with children. This made her want to pursue teaching as a career. Immediately after that, she completed 23 Early Education units from De Anza College and since 2007, she has taught preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children.

Now having taught for over 14 years, Ms. Chohan was very excited to join BASIS Independent Silicon Valley’s team as a Kindergarten teacher. Her goal in this role is to provide the utmost support to her students and families to ensure that they are getting high quality education and care. Her personal teaching philosophy is that students must be content in their learning environment and teachers in order to excel as learners.

In the classroom, Ms. Chohan enjoys using hands-on activities and games to teach concepts such as addition and subtraction, letter sounds, sentence structure, and more. She is also a strong believer in play-based learning being beneficial to students’ academic and social development. On a more personal note, Ms. Chohan loves to spend time with her kids and friends in her free time. She enjoys trying new restaurants and cooking different types of food from all around the world!

Ms. Fisk

Drama
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Ms. Fisk

Subject Expert Teacher Drama

Ms. Fisk received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Theatre Performance with a concentration in musical theatre from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. While studying for her undergraduate degree, she earned a certificate from T. Schreiber Studios Acting Conservatory, a prestigious acting training program in New York. After working in theatre for a few years, Ms. Fisk found her way to teaching and earned her Master’s of Arts in Childhood Education.

As one of our Drama teachers at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, her goal is to inspire a love of theatre in students while using theatre techniques and exercises to build social, emotional and life skills that are necessary to communicate with their peers. Ms. Fisk believes that students learn best from hands-on experience. She strives to create a space that encourages students to try new things without fear of failure or judgement.  She feels that students respond best to a teacher who is encouraging and warm, but who also holds them to high expectations which inspire student growth.

Ms. Fisk expresses how a teacher’s job is to guide students to create a community that is predictable, equitable, and productive for all.  She feels this allows students to feel valued and to take responsibility for their learning. In her free time, Ms. Fisk enjoys performing or stage managing for professional theatrical productions.  Some of her favorite shows that she has worked on include Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Sondheim on Sondheim.  She also enjoys singing, playing music, dancing and spending time in nature!

Ms. Gao

Drama, Music
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Ms. Gao

Subject Expert Teacher Drama, Music

Ms. Gao obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Education from Dalian University in China. She then went on to receive her Master’s of Arts in Music Education from California Baptist University. Currently, Ms. Gao teaches Music and Drama class for students in the early learning and primary program. Her goal is to create dynamic, interactive, and fun lesson plans that engage the students, encourage them to be creative, and help them to be successful in musicals and plays.

As a music and drama teacher, Ms. Gao believes all students are unique individuals who learn in unique ways. Due to this, she utilizes multiple methods of teaching (linguistic, visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to cater to each child, helping make sure that no one is left behind. Ms. Gao explains how students learn best when they take an active role in what they are learning. The more often an act is practiced and repeated, the more quickly and permanently it is remembered.

One of Ms. Gao’s favorite activities to do in class is a music listening and responding game with her students. The students walk in a circle with the music on and stop at certain points of the music. Students perform different motions every time they stop. Listening skills are key here as they need to listen to the music carefully and respond to it accordingly.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Gao loves hiking and travelling. As for music, she is a big lover of Rock and Roll songs!

Ms. Gottumukkala

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Ms. Gottumukkala

Early Learning Teacher

Ms. Gottumukkala has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Commerce and Accounting from Osmania
University in India. She obtained her early childhood education certification from Mission College in Santa Clara, California and is also certified in the Montessori teaching system. Prior to working at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, she taught pre-kindergarten for over four years at Stratford.

Currently, Ms. Gottumukkala is the lead teacher for transitional kindergarten with her main goal being to make learning a joyful experience and to instill important values in her students. She chose to work at BASIS Independent as she felt that their learning philosophy strongly aligned with her core values. She saw that the students at BASIS Independent are able to achieve their true potential through the school’s advanced curriculum. Ms. Gottumukkala’s teaching philosophy is to foster intellectual growth in her students by instilling a passion for learning and creating a good learning environment in the classroom. She seeks to grow their love for learning and likes to keep the classroom engaging and interactive.

When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Gottumukkala enjoys spending time with her family. She’s
currently married and has a daughter who she enjoys cooking, hiking and baking with.

Ms. Guo

Mandarin
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Ms. Guo

Subject Expert Teacher Mandarin

Graduating from the Yunnan University of China with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science, Ms. Guo is currently one of our brilliant Mandarin teachers here at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. Her goal as an educator is to stimulate students’ enthusiasm for learning Chinese, guide them to find correct and effective ways to learn Chinese, and help them understand the characteristics of Chinese so they can firmly grasp what they have learned.

Ms. Guo explains how Chinese and English belong to two completely different language systems, with Chinese being pictographic and English being phonetic. She believes if students learn these two languages at the same time, it can better develop their intelligence and improve their learning. Ms. Guo also emphasizes how her teaching philosophy is to allow students to learn happily and effectively. She uses a variety of teaching methods, according to the age, interests, and hobbies of my students to stimulate the learning interest of students and the students’ passion for self-driven in-depth exploration.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Guo likes dancing and watching sports competitions. She also enjoys trying different kinds of food!

Mr. Haberlach

Physical Education
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Mr. Haberlach

Subject Expert Teacher Physical Education

Mr. Haberlach has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Physical Education from Western Oregon University, as well as a Master of Science in Exercise Science from Concordia University – Chicago. He is also a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer.

As a Physical Education Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower School, his goal is to teach the students that exercise is important for physical, mental, emotional, and social health. He teaches different exercises that are fun, but that also build strength and endurance. Mr. Haberlach ensures that his classes encourage and motivate students to make exercise as part of their everyday routine so that they eventually turn into lifelong habits. Students will participate regularly in a wide variety of exercises and sport activities. They will learn that exercise can be done individually or in small groups and that both methods can be fun and rewarding. They will learn that exercise will make them feel more alert and more energized and that it is an important daily activity.

Some of his favorite activities to teach TK- Grade 5 students are motor skills with a focus on how to move the body correctly. Developing motor skills at a young age is the foundation for all types of exercise, sports, or activities that they will participate in throughout their lives. Students learn best in physical education classes by using a progression method that starts at an easy level that slowly builds to more difficult skills. The progression method allows many repetitions and practicing those skills before advancing to another level of skills.

In his free time, Mr. Haberlach enjoys going backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his wife and three children. Backpacking is a great opportunity to spend quality time with family, away from the distractions of everyday life.

Ms. Hetu

Art, Engineering
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Ms. Hetu

Subject Expert Teacher Art, Engineering

Ms. Hetu received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Art Education at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. At the previous school where she worked, she was awarded the “2022 Teacher of the Year” award, culminating her years of experience in teaching along with the amazing passion she has for her students and their learning. As a proud educator, she teaches Art and STEM classes for students in our Early Learning and Primary program. Her teaching philosophy is to foster a love and excitement for visual art and help them understand how it relates to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, combining both creativity and reasoning.

Ms. Hetu believes that students learn best when they can see how passionate their teachers are about the subject material, and when they are able to connect subjects to their personal life and experiences. In addition, students learn better when they are engaged and excited about the topics. She loves when students first complain about a topic, and then become obsessed with it after a lesson! Ms. Hetu enjoys using dancing, books, demonstrations, current events, and other such interactive activities to engage her students.

In her free time, she is an artist and loves to draw and paint. She is also a very passionate swimmer and has an amazing pet dog named Foxy!

Ms. Ju

Mandarin
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Ms. Ju

Learning Expert Teacher Mandarin

Ms. Ju earned a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at Shanghai Normal University, and then a Master of Science in TESOL at University at Albany-SUNY. Teaching is her passion. She has taught at other private schools in the Bay Area and is very excited to work for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower School. Our school mission is to educate students to the highest international levels, which Ms. Ju feels perfectly matches her teaching philosophy. “BASIS Independent school has intelligent students, excellent expert teachers and an amazing curriculum,” she explained. This is a wonderful environment for me to continue to hone mydevelopment as a teacher.”

As an educator, her goal is to guide students while they explore, follow, and achieve their dreams. Another key goal is to help her students understand and appreciate that learning is an ongoing process that never ends. Ms. Ju feels that it is important to teach students about respecting others and to treat others how they would like to be treated. She believes that each student is unique and should be valued. She commits to assisting stu-dents in discovering who they are and what they need, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. Ms. Ju helps students to fulfill their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. She believes that it is her responsibility as a teacher to facilitate the learning process, and to promote a safe, productive and inclusive environment, which in turn improves her students’ social, intellectual, and emotional skills. She hopes that her students feel comfortable in relating to her as a tool to help lead them to success.

As a Chinese language teacher, Ms. Ju believes that students not only learn various linguistic knowledge, they also develop skills on how to use Mandarin as a tool of communication. An important part of her teaching is to guide students to learn and understand Chinese culture. For example, to incorporate all kinds of cultural elements in her lessons, such as history, social values, customs,beliefs, traditions and so on. These help guide classroom discussions and encourage students to participate in cul-tural events. She enjoys using tools like group discussions in these lessons, so that they can collaborate together and think of things they might not have otherwise on their own. She will include music whenever possible, as it maximizes engagement on any topic. And it’s a lot of fun!

When Ms. Ju is not teaching, she enjoys hiking, traveling, watching movies, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Ms. Li

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Ms. Li

Early Learning Teaching Fellow

Ms. Li received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Foreign Trade English from the Beijing USA College of English in Beijing, China. After moving to the United States, Ms. Li pursued an Associate’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, along with an Associate’s of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences (with Honors) from San Jose City College. As an Early Education Teaching Fellow, she believes children learn best through guided play. Her goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment for young children to have a fun, motivating, and effective learning experience.

Ms. Li believes that every student is full of potential to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. She feels it is her duty as an educator to help her students reach and even exceed their potential. Preparing an environment that lets children discover things at their own pace is important to build skills. She also explains the importance of children experiencing new ideas and topics, having a chance to ask questions, and having opportunities to discover the answers to their questions on their own.

Outside the classroom, Ms. Li enjoys practicing ballet and attending ballet performances with her family. She also loves to travel and discover new kinds of food! In her alone time, she reads or listens to books. Some of her favorite books include Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby.

Ms. Liebman

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Ms. Liebman

Subject Expert Teacher

Ms. Liu

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Ms. Liu

Early Learning Teaching Fellow

Ms. Liu earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Fujian Normal University in China. She then went on to receive her Master’s of Arts degree in Chinese Modern and Contemporary Literature from the same university in China. Currently, she is in the process of obtaining her Associate’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Mission College in California. As an Early Education Teaching Fellow, Ms. Liu contributes her imagination and creativity to build and maintain a strong, positive, achievement-oriented school culture. She hopes to help students with any issues, whether academic or relating to their well-being.

Ms. Liu likes to describe her classroom as a living community. She feels it is her responsibility to use her expertise and provide her “residents” with the best resources to help them learn, share, and develop independent personalities. She wants to create an environment where her community has a happy atmosphere that is attractive to live in, where students discuss, formulate and abide by common conventions. As someone who prefers proactive classroom management, Ms. Liu helps her students find their own comfortable state in the community. She encourages them to express their opinions, cultivate critical thinking, and be willing to share and serve the community.

Outside the classroom, Ms. Liu loves to travel! She has been to many places such as Japan, Mexico, Canada, Alaska and so on. She enjoys mingling with the locals as their stories allow her to see different aspects of the world. Her most memorable trip was to Alaska with her friends in the fall of 2018! Together, they took on the challenge of hiking to a glacier with a local guide, and after six hours of climbing, she explains how it was all worth it the moment she saw the beautiful blue ice cave.

Ms. Ocampo

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Ms. Ocampo

Early Learning Teacher

Ms. Ocampo graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Broadcast Communication. She then went on to receive her Master’s of Arts degree in Communications Management from the University of South California. As an Early Learning Lead Teacher, Ms. Ocampo focuses on teaching children how to learn and to have fun doing it. She believes that children learn in their own way and at their own pace. Every year, her goal is to get to know each child and support their learning, by integrating different learning styles and interests into her carefully designed lesson plan.

Ms. Ocampo believes in setting goals that are challenging and yet, are accessible and attainable. These goals encompass both academics and the learning of social skills, cause and effect, collaboration, decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking. She firmly feels that every child should be an active participant in his or her learning. He or she is the lead character while the teacher and his parents are his supporting cast. A quote that she always likes to remember from Benjamin Franklin is, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

In her free time, Ms. Ocampo loves to travel! The older she gets, the urgency to see more of the world becomes stronger and stronger, as she believes that life is all about creating moments. She also loves kayaking and hiking on the weekends. One of the items on her bucket list is to visit all the Disney parks in the world!

Ms. Oh

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Ms. Oh

Early Learning Teaching Fellow

Ms. Oh obtained her Associate’s of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from De Anza College. She then went on to get her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Child Development and Elementary Education from San Jose State University. As a teaching fellow for Kindergarten at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower, Ms. Oh enjoys working with children and seeing them learn. She loves seeing the lightbulb in their eyes when they learn something new that they are excited by. As a growth mindset is important when it comes to learning, Ms. Oh always emphasizes its significance to her students to help them achieve strides in their learning.

Ms. Oh wants to create an environment where students can meet their full potential and play with their curiosity. She assists her students in developing their own learning styles and helps them engage with her during lessons. In addition, she feels that students learn best through their experiences and mistakes. She encourages them to always try their best in everything they do, building their confidence and motivation in school and other extra-curriculars.

When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Oh enjoys playing tennis with her friends and is also a gamer! She loves playing PC games with all her family and friends.

Ms. Wei

Mandarin
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Ms. Wei

Early Learning Teacher Mandarin