Unbounded Opportunity Notes from Our Alumni (Vol. 1 - Anne Justine Houser)

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 first installment of “Unbounded Opportunity”, which is a continuing series in which Diane will catch up with her – our – alumni.

If you know an alum whom you think we should profile, or you are an alum and want to catch up, please let us know! We’re looking forward to Volume 2 of “Unbounded Opportunity” – coming soon!



Anne Justine Houser began at BASIS Scottsdale as a 5th grader in 2003 – the autumn that BASIS Scottsdale first opened. She actually skipped Grade 4 to join the new school, and was a student from 5th through 12th grade, graduating in 2011.

Diane Moser: It’s great to hear from you, Anne Justine! What are you doing now?

Anne Justine Houser: I recently graduated with degrees as a double major in Spanish and International Relations and Spanish from Wheaton College, west of Chicago, in Illinois. Right after graduation, I moved to Norway where I’ve been working, designing a cookbook, writing a food blog, and studying for a Norwegian language proficiency exam.

DM: Are you surprised by where you are today?

AJH: No, I’m not really surprised to be engaged in my current projects. My cookbook is actually based on my BASIS Senior Project! I’m excited to have this time to work on something I enjoy.

DM: Did your education at BASIS Scottsdale help you reach this phase?

AJH: I spent eight years at BASIS Scottsdale, almost a third of my life. There is no denying that the things I learned and experienced as a student at BASIS Scottsdale definitely influenced my choices, my personality, my way of thinking. BASIS Scottsdale provided me with a solid academic background and confidence that I could achieve my goals if I applied myself.

DM: What’s next for you?

AJH: First, I’m going to publish my book. After that, I’m off to another new adventure.

DM: When you chat with friends about high school at BASIS Scottsdale what stories do you tell them? Who or what comes into your mind?

AJH: Wow! There are a lot of things I could say about my middle school and high school years at BASIS Scottsdale. Here is how I explain my experience:

I went to a small charter school in Arizona (usually at this point I have to explain that a charter school is a public school run privately) where I graduated with about 25 other students. We were very aware that our school was among the top performing schools in the United States, and were extremely proud of the school’s rankings, and our own individual academic achievements. It was a place where being smart was respected. We dedicated ourselves to learning — which meant that our lives revolved around attending class, completing homework, and passing exams. Our school had a rigorous curriculum; every student took AP exams starting freshman year in order to graduate early or to do an off campus Senior Project. BASIS Scottsdale’s size gave me many unique opportunities to do things such as independent studies in art and Spanish class. Contrary to the public’s perception, my school wasn’t just a math and science school. I would say it was more like a liberal arts education.

DM: Any final thoughts, Anne Justine?

AJH: Overall, I’m thankful for my BASIS Scottsdale education. Despite the academic intensity and occasional stress, I look back at my time at BASIS and remember a lot of good things. I have fond memories of the people. I formed many good friendships, and had many teachers who were truly passionate about what they were teaching us. We also definitely had some fun. I sometimes tell stories of our 8th grade graduation trip to Catalina Island, going to prom, dancing in the talent show, or just goofing off with friends.

DM: Thanks so much for doing this! We’ll all be on the lookout for your book!

AJH: This was a pleasure. Thank you, too!

Group graduation shot

Diane Moser

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