No Place For Hate

After a yearlong application process, faculty/student anti-bias training, and incorporating school-wide projects, Saint Basil Academy is proud to announce that we are officially a No Place For Hate school. We teach our students to fight bias, bullying, and hatred. Special thanks to Mrs. Kazimir and our student leaders, Erin Drumm, Jenn Mayro, Maria Abraham, Adrianna Matos, Christine Schleicher, Olivia Wilt, Maddie Zetick, Steph Boston.


We are a group that exists to combat prejudice and to stop those who, because of hate or ignorance, would hurt anyone or violate their civil rights. We work at all times to be aware of our own biases and seek to gain an understanding of those who we perceive as being different from ourselves. We speak out against all forms of prejudice and discrimination. We reach out to support those who are targets of hate. We think about specific ways our community members can promote respect for people and create a prejudice-free zone. We firmly believe that one person can make a difference and that no person can be an “innocent” bystander when it comes to opposing hate. We recognize that respecting individual dignity, achieving equality, and promoting intergroup harmony and the mindset of anti-racism are the responsibilities of all people.

No Place For Hate would love the opportunity to address problems that we face every day. If you have a concern or suggestion on how we can continue our anti-bias mission, please tell us about it!

*All submissions are anonymous, but please feel free to include your name and email if you would like us to reach out to you.*

All concerns will be reviewed with administration; and because we are a NPFH institution, any reported incident of bias, hatred, or bigotry is reported to our local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, who then works directly with us to respond and offer support. If you choose to share your identity, your information will be kept confidential.

Humans of Basils: The Series is a project that showcases the true and honest stories of our students. We all have so many things going on, but it is comforting to hear that others deal with the same issues we do.

Meet Steph Boston, Junior, Student Leader of No Place For Hate

“When I was at my old school, I had a best friend named Bailey. Then Sarah transferred to our school, and we all became best friends. But then, Bailey moved away to Seattle and I transferred schools, and I never saw either of them again. We were all close, and I was really sad. Then I came to Saint Basil, and I still missed my friend Sarah. But then, I got a job and guess who was there? Sarah! And so, we had this great reunion at work, and we work with each other all the time now. It’s great because we are close, just like we were back then. Even though we’re at different schools, we talk all the time – just like old times.” 

Meet Zoe Surratt, Freshman

“After Spirit day, my friends and I decided to walk to Wendy’s. We had the afternoon to ourselves and our parents weren’t going to pick us up until after 12:30 pm. Little did our guardians know about our dangerous expedition. Before we headed out, we asked members of the SBA Community to give us directions to the closest Wendy’s near our school. We decided to use google maps and soon we were on our way. Our walk through the peaceful neighborhoods was very nice, and before we knew it we reached our destination. Inside, we ordered our 4 for $4’s and headed back to school. The walk back seemed to be shorter than the walk there! Luckily, we still had time to eat before our parents arrived. We devoured our meal, in hopes of finishing. Our parents didn’t suspect anything, or so we thought. Later on that day, Sanae, my fellow friend, informed us about how her Mom knew about our little adventure all along. She said her mom spotted us in the parking lot and followed us back to school. Turns out we weren’t spies after-all!”

Meet Olivia Wilt, Sophomore

“I thought being off from school and having to stay inside during a pandemic was going to be difficult because I love being around people, but I’m getting used to it. One thing I love about it, though, is not having to wake up at 6:45 am, because I am NOT a morning person. One way I’ve been relieving stress and anxiety is by watching Impractical Jokers with my dad, which helps me to get a nice laugh and spend time with my dad before returning to my school work.”

Meet Kylie Duggan, Sophomore

“I’m second-generation Irish and a few years ago, I went to Ireland to visit family. My cousin, who is the same age as me, brought me to a Gaelic football camp with her to learn how to play. It was a fun experience and I made new friends overseas. I brought my experience back to the US and now play in a Gaelic football league during the summer.”

Meet Joan Dotchel, Junior

“Learning from home during this outbreak is a real struggle for me. I have had to completely adjust my schedule and my life. Events that I have looked forward to for months are being canceled or are in danger of being canceled like prom and the school musical. Schooling has become completely different than any of us have ever experienced, and it has been a struggle. With the internet constantly crashing and not having my friends around to help me with the stress, it has been, honestly, quite draining. Governor Tom Wolf just announced that school will be closed to at least the end of April and Montgomery Country is still on lockdown. While this is necessary to save lives, it is very challenging to have to give up so much and change the course of my life. However, I know that all people are facing this problem and we can face it together. I know how lucky I am to be safe at home with my family during these times My prayers go out to everyone affected by COVID-19.”

Meet Liz Kazmer, Senior

“From the moment I started learning to speak, I have always been an extrovert. I think being the oldest sibling of my family played a big part in who I am. I was the first to make the mistakes and decisions to set a good example for my sisters, Pheodora and Catarina. Another part that opened up the talkative side of me was taking up dance. It is still my favorite creative outlet to this day. I like the attention I get from dancing, and I enjoy sharing something emotional for others to watch. Lastly, the simple act of raising my hand to ask questions in class makes me feel energized. The social situations I have experienced during my time at school have helped me realize that I appreciate the presence of others in my day to day life.”

Meet Cait Ponert, Senior

“As a senior, it is extremely heartbreaking what is going on in today’s world. Events we’ve been waiting for since freshman year probably won’t have the same effect. However, what I have learned since being out of school is to appreciate every little thing because you never know when it could be over. After we are allowed to go back to our normal lives, I will try to spend less time worrying about the little things. I want to try to spend more time with friends and family, and to think about the positive. The most important thing to remember is to support one another, something I have always done for my friends, and what they have done for me.”

Meet Shannon Matthews, Senior

Basils isn’t just any old building. It is a place of learning, opportunity, memories, sisterhood, and a place you can call home for four years. Basils has taught me so much about working hard, and the true meaning of friendship. An important part of my time here is the bonds I have created. Not only with the girls in my grade, but with my mom and own sister. If you ask most people entering high school, they would say they could never imagine having their mom work at their school. Although I experienced similar emotions, I quickly learned that having my mom and my younger sister there made us closer and had brought SBA more into my home life. You will never understand the real meaning of the amazing sisterhood and family here until you experience it yourself.”

Meet Grace Comas, Senior

“Recently, I have been very nostalgic about my SBA experience, my senior year especially. When thinking about all of my SBA memories, the soccer season holds a special place in my heart. My favorite SBA soccer memories happened usually during the preseason. Preseason happens in the summer, so it is the best of both worlds. You are with all your Basils friends at school, but you still have the freedom that comes with summer. During preseason, the soccer team finds songs that will act as themes for the season. EX: Halo, Hold my Hand, Satisfied. These songs become important throughout the season because the team chants them on the bus ride home from every game, win or loss. SBA soccer season is an experience that can never be matched and something I will always be grateful for.”


Meet Sara Stoud, Freshman

“My name is Sara Stoud and even though I just recently came to SBA I already love it so much. The community at Saint Basil Academy is so open and amazing, and I love being a part of it. My first day of school was wonderful, I came in late January and already have some friends here. The teachers caught me up on schoolwork and the girls accepted me as one of their own. The school easily felt like home to me and it makes me excited to go to SBA every morning. Even though I am unable to continue 2020 at Basils, I still am staying in contact with the friends I made and can’t wait for next year!”

Meet Lucia Scarpello, Freshman

“I sincerely mean it when I say that the girls on the track team are the kindest, funniest, and most supportive people I have ever met. On the first day of track I was greeted with a warm welcome and cheered on by the other girls as I attempted to adapt to their exhausting practices. I have never been on a sports team where everyone is so encouraging towards one another. Those moments spent on the track, in the hallways, and in the weight room are ones I will never forget. This year’s indoor track season gave me the chance to feel what it is like to experience the Basil sisterhood.”


Meet Chelsea Cousin, Freshman

“I’ve never played a sport before coming to high school, so when I started playing lacrosse- a sport based on running- my body did not know how to react. My body was not conditioned to run long distances, so when the coach told the team that we had to run around the track four times, I knew I could not do it. I made it around the track twice, and could not finish the other two laps. As a result, I began to cry, and I left the track with no intent of coming back. A few days later, the coach made us run the four laps again, and surprisingly, I was able to do it. From this occurrence, I learned not to give up, but rather to try hard for what you want to accomplish.”

We believe in providing students with opportunities to develop critical thinking and independence of thought.