Spring Newsletter


Greetings, St. Basil Families,

What a spring it has been! I want to express my heartfelt thanks for everyone’s dedication and partnership with “school at home” as we finish out the academic year. We are proud that virtually all our students are academically on-target despite the interruptions with in-person schooling due to the Covid-19 crisis. On behalf of all the staff, we are grateful for your support and look forward to this fall when our classrooms will once again be filled with the joy and laughter of our students.

I am excited to introduce the staff for next school year in this packet! As well as the core staff listed on the following pages, numerous other experienced teachers and aides return such as Elizabeth Reese, Shanna Poirot, and Darby LeClair who will join us once again for another year of instilling a love of learning in our students.

With love in Christ,

Amrah Andrews

Nima DuncanNima DuncanPrincipal

Nima Duncan will join St. Basil Academy in July 2020, after he and his family make their way to Walla Walla from Portland, Oregon. A lifelong learner and educator with over nine years of leadership, ministry, and administrative experience, Mr. Duncan will serve as Principal and core teacher for 4th and 5th grades for the 2020-21 school year.

A writer, sports enthusiast, and first-generation American, Mr. Duncan is excited to bring his love of literature, philosophy, and history to Saint Basil Academy.

Mr. Duncan holds a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Liberty University and a MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Emma, look forward to living in Walla Walla with their son.

Kathryn ThompsonKathryn Thompson, Lead Teacher

A familiar face at St. Basil Academy over the past thirteen years with an avid love of teaching, Kathryn Thompson has seen our school grow from a handful of students in a small rental house to its fullness on our permanent campus here on South Wilbur. Mrs. Thompson educates with decades of experience as a mother a grandmother, Special Education teacher, former coordinator for Blue Mountain Community College’s ESL program, tutoring, and teaching kindergarten through ninth grade here at St. Basil’s. She will be the core teacher for second and third grades for the upcoming school year.

Mrs. Thompson holds a BA in Education from Washington State University with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language, and a Masters in Teaching from Heritage University.

With her husband, Terry, Mrs. Thompson enjoys keeping chickens and bees, gardening, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson, Teacher

Brandon Thompson will once again be our core teacher for the sixth through eughth grades in the 2020-21 school year marking his fifth year with St. Basil Academy. This Walla Walla native, along with his family, returned to his hometown after six years of teaching inner city youth and community college in Chicago, and other teaching adventures in Chile. As well as teaching writing, grammar, literature, and history, Mr. Thompson has brought numerous advanced courses to our academy such as college-level Writing, Conversational Spanish and Philosophy to our eager learners.

Aside from teaching, Mr. Thompson enjoys spending time with his wife and six children in the great outdoors, jogging, gardening, recording music, writing poetry, and dabbling in philosophy.

Mr. Thompson holds a BA in Philosophy from Northern Arizona University, as well as a MA in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and an MFA in Poetry from University of Alaska.

Melody HallMelody Hall, Teacher

Melody Hall returns to teaching and joins Saint Basil Academy for the first year as our core kindergarten and first grade teacher, after being part of our school for ten years as a parent and member of the school board of directors. Before starting a family, Mrs. Hall taught at Liberty Christian in Walla Walla. A lover of math and music, she brings her experience and as a mother and teacher to our youngest learners.

Mrs. Hall, with her husband Dewight, have raised their three children here in Walla Walla. She enjoys observing the imprint of God in the physical world, traveling with her family to oceans, museums, and national parks, supporting her children in their sport and music endeavors, cooking, and baking.

Mrs. Hall holds a BA in Elementary Education from Washington State University.


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