Unbounded Opportunity Notes from Our Alumni (Vol. 3 – Arriana Tuomey)

Diane Moser is a longtime BASIS.ed employee who’s worn many hats for the network of schools. In fact, she has worn most of the hats – maybe even all of them!

Diane is currently Director of the Executive Department at BASIS.ed’s Scottsdale office. In her former role, Diane was Founding Head of School of BASIS Scottsdale – the second-ever BASIS.ed school, which opened in 2003. Indeed, “D-Mose” (as she was often called by students and colleagues) retains a rich connection with her former students, as well as alumni from other BASIS.ed institutions.

This is the third installment of “Unbounded Opportunity” — a continuing series in which Diane catches up with our alumni.

If you know a BASIS.ed alum whom you think we should profile, or you are an alum and want to catch up, please let us know – and feel free to email us at vectors@basised.com.

Graduation May 2013

Arianna Tuomey began at BASIS Tucson in 6th grade in the fall of 2006, and graduated in 2013.

Diane Moser: Thanks so much for reaching out to us, Arianna! Let’s go back a few years, to when you started at BASIS Tucson in 2006. What was your first impression of your new school when you first became a student? And then – what was your primary thought when you were a graduate?

Arianna Tuomey: My first impression when I enrolled at BASIS Tucson was that there was a lot to learn that I hadn’t even considered before, both in class – academically – as well as from my peers, from the students around me. I was being exposed to a lot of new material, thoughts, and ideas.

When it was time to leave BASIS, I just knew I was going to miss it after seven years there. It’s not like I was just leaving high school. Seven years is a long time!

DM: Is there one particular teacher or staff member you think about a lot?

AT: I loved all of my BASIS Tucson teachers, but I do remember being particularly close to Madame Leigh Thomas, my French teacher in 10th, 11th and 12th grade.

I always enjoyed French class and learning about French culture, but it wasn’t until Madame Thomas came to teach at BASIS Tucson that I felt particularly passionate about not just learning French, but about excelling in the French language. She always found new and inventive ways to teach us and to make French class fun, such as having us film public service announcements, for example, about health and wellness — in French! One of my favorite experiences was her teaching us the French musicals Notre Dame de Paris and having us work through translating all of the songs, which helped us take the language out of the classroom and apply it to the real world.

Madame Thomas inspired me to work harder to master something than I ever had worked before, which culminated in me being the 11th grade French Student of the Year. That’s how I got to be Madame Thomas’ teaching assistant during my senior year – another excellent experience!

DM: What are you doing now? What are you studying?

AT: I am currently a student at the University of California San Diego where I study Human Biology and Theatre. I will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in 2017, and I plan on applying to medical school in 2017.

DM: Thinking about where you came from, and about your schooling and academic path — are you surprised by where you are today?

AT: No, not really! In my time at BASIS Tucson, I was always very interested in both biology and drama, two very different disciplines, I realize, of course! So it seems like this current course of study at UCSD was a natural next step for me, coming out of high school.

DM: Do you think your education at BASIS Tucson helped you reach this phase?

Arianna T Capstone Biology
Capstone Biology Lung Cancer presentation at the University of Arizona Medical School

AT: Definitely. Since I went to BASIS from 6th – 12th grades, my time there basically shaped all of my academic interests. I was just ‘going to school’ of course – but that is an extremely important time for adolescents deciding who they are and who they want to be.

I definitely did that – try to come to terms with who I was, and where I was going — during my years at BASIS. All of that thinking and self-assessment plays a tremendous role in where I am today – and plays a role in my future, applying to medical school, and whatever else comes after that!

DM: That sounds great – we wish you the best. What else can you say is “next” for you, Arianna?

AT: Actually, it’s pretty exciting in the near-term. In mid-June, I am traveling to the Dominican Republic on a volunteer trip. I am among a group of volunteers putting on a summer camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes myself, just last year. Considering that, as well as my interest in medicine, taking this opportunity to travel and help — with the non-profit organization AYUDA — seemed like a perfect choice for me. It will be an amazing experience.

DM: That sounds fantastic – both for you, and its alignment with your interests – as well as for the kids you’ll be helping (while helping understand your own Type 1!) Would you like us to include a link, so people can donate to your organization?

AT: Yes – that would be amazing! We always need donations to help teach children with Type 1 about their diabetes – as well as help pay for the medicines and tools necessary for them to live healthy lives — since diabetes is a chronic, genetic, autoimmune disease that requires hands-on day-to-day care.

For anyone who’d like to help with a tax-deductible donation, please visit volunteers.ayudainc.net/goto/ariannatuomey – and thank you so much in advance! 

DM: I want to look back one more time on your years at BASIS Tucson. When you chat with friends about high school, what stories or subjects do you talk about? Who or what comes to mind?

AT: It’s so great to reminisce, and I graduated just three years ago!

I have to say that my friends and I often think about our lunches off campus senior year, where we would drive to various restaurants and talk about everything going on in our lives – of course, we had to keep our full conversations to just the 50 minutes we had for lunch!

We also talk about when they filmed a documentary at our school when we were in 9th grade — and how cool we felt to be included in the finished product.

We talk about how Mr. Sterling never failed to discuss racial minorities and women as he taught us AP U.S. History, and how he never shied away from the truth about our country’s history.

Most of all, we talk about how lucky we were to go to a school with so many interesting students and teachers, and how fulfilling it was to find each other and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

DM: Thank you so much, Arianna! Best of luck this summer on the Dominican Republic, and next year as you get closer to graduation and med school!

AT: Thank you very much!

Once again, if you know a BASIS.ed alum whom you think we should profile, or you are an alum and want to catch up, please feel free to email us at vectors@basised.com.

See you next time with another BASIS.ed alum!

Diane Moser

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