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Dyson Ellis

BASIS Ahwatukee

Phoenix, AZ

Dyson Ellis is a high school history and government teacher at BASIS Ahwatukee. He has taught middle school and high school social studies in Utah and Arizona since 2010. Mr. Ellis has taught a variety of social studies and history courses including Financial Literacy, AP U.S. Government and Politics, Food History, Speech and Debate, and his favorite: AP U.S. History. As a teenager inspired by the West Wing, he wanted to pursue a life of public service and in college became focused on teaching the next generation. History has always been his passion, and as Mr. Ellis became a teacher, he wanted to show students how the past impacts our lives today, especially when it comes to civic policy and the law.

This passion for teaching civics found another outlet beyond his academic courses when Mr. Ellis sponsored a Mock Trial club and team for the first time in 2017. Over the past seven years his students have thrived in the Arizona High School Mock Trial program and have enjoyed learning the roles of attorney and expert witness in each year’s case. Since its first tournament, BASIS Ahwatukee has sent teams to regionals every year, and qualified to the state tournament in four of those years. Teaching students the importance of laying out evidence in testimony and building a theory of the case gives them the opportunity to develop the life-long skills of public speaking and critical thinking that they can carry into all their future endeavors. Seeing former students carry on competing in Mock Trial at the college level has also been a source of pride for him.