SCHOOL STAFF

The founders and leaders of the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas are the same expert, veteran educators and school administrators known for incredible success and consistently stratospheric student outcomes at the renowned BASIS Charter Schools network. With years of experience in education and a commitment to high-level academic excellence, the team behind the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas is dedicated to operating truly innovative schools to produce truly innovative students. Our leaders are committed to classic academic inquiry, coupled with the ideals of 21st-century advancement in the arts and sciences, and contemporary notions of innovation, critical thinking, and social responsibility. Our leaders foster this through excellent teachers who have a student-centered approach, focused on preparation for success in college, careers, and beyond.

School Leadership

Jennifer Higgins - Founding Head of School

Jennifer Higgins is a dynamic educator with a decade-long trail of transforming classrooms into vibrant hubs of intellectual curiosity. Jennifer is poised to revolutionize the local landscape of learning as the founding Head of School at the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas. 
With years of transformative leadership in the educational trenches of Arizona and Texas in the widely acclaimed BASIS Charter Schools network, she’s honed her craft as both a visionary leader and a dedicated educator.
 
With a keen intellect, a boundless passion for student success, and a knack for turning challenges into opportunities, Jennifer brings a fresh perspective with her unwavering experience and commitment to student, teacher, and campus excellence.
 
At the BASIS Austin campus from 2021-23, Jennifer oversaw a school that was the highest-performing elementary campus in all of Travis County and one of the top-performing schools in the nationally ranked 39-school BASIS Charter School network. In the summer of 2023, Jennifer became the founding Head of School of BASIS Cedar Park and oversaw the largest openings of a new school in the 26-year history of BASIS.
 
We are excited that Ms. Higgins is bringing her extensive background and track record for educational excellence to lead the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas.

Aaron Pellowski - Associate Head of School

Aaron Pellowski graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied philosophy and ancient history. He spent the first half of his career as a project manager and revenue cycle consultant for a medical software company, working with business leaders at major hospitals and health systems around the country.  
Intending to spend just one year as an educator while he prepared to apply to law school, Aaron joined BASIS in Phoenix, Arizona as an Upper School Latin teacher. Just a few weeks into the job, he rapidly realized he had found his vocation, and that law school was out of the picture.
 
Since then, Aaron has taught Latin at every level from 5th to 12th grade, supervised independent senior projects, coached multiple Quiz Bowl teams to the national championship, and earned a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has also assumed leadership roles as the Director of multiple BASIS campuses in the Austin, Texas metro area.
 
Aaron is thrilled to serve as the Associated Head of School at the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas and can’t wait to meet all the new students who will form our buoyant community this year!

Faculty

Kate Cochran

New Student Recruiter [email protected]

Rachel Pate

World Languages Teacher [email protected]

Drew Wasikoski

Subject Expert Teacher

[email protected]

Dr. Rod Wittenberg

Science Teacher

[email protected]