Currently, Mario is leading a district-wide transformation to Project Based Learning as superintendent of the Yellow Springs School District in Yellow Springs, Ohio. As part of that work and as a member of Ohio's Innovative Lab Network (ILN), he has partnered with legislators and progressive school leaders across the country to change the way we measure student achievement and championed assessment alternatives that measure the skills and dispositions graduates need to be successful for today and into the future. To learn more about Yellow Spring’s School District success with PBL, Mario has welcomed and hosted visits from other schools, the Ohio Department of Education, business leaders, and the state legislature.
Mario’s career has included work as a Middle School principal, in which his school earned the prestigious Battelle for Kids’ SOAR Award for High Progress as recognition for its work in showing significantly high growth in student achievement. He has worked as a seventh grade social studies teacher and has also taught high school sociology, African-American culture, US history, and government. “Critical pedagogy” is the educational philosophy that grounds his practices.
Born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, he was raised in Santa Ana, California by a single mother in an area that had a high concentration of poverty. Basora credits his mother as “a tough woman” who kept him in line as a youth. Although he was an average student getting average grades — until a particular teacher inspired him. Then, he went from “Cs” to “As” overnight.
Mr. Basora is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Northern Kentucky University, and Miami University of Ohio. Mario lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his wife, Alice and their two children; both of whom attend the Yellow Springs Schools. When not administrating, Basora can be found golfing (which he believes is good for humility), hiking with his family or coaching his children's athletic teams. When not trying to change the world, he enjoys “nerding out” with C-SPAN.