My name is Jason Quaynor, but everyone calls me Mr. J. I am currently an Assistant Director of College Counseling at BASIS International School Shenzhen. I also coach the high school and middle school boys’ basketball teams. In addition, I am considering assisting with high school girls’ soccer. I prefer to be an involved individual to better foster relationships with students. That way, students can be more familiar with me by the time college application season comes around. 

What was your journey to your current position? 

I started at BASIS in 2017 as a middle school English teacher. I also taught Logic. As a teacher, I enjoyed exploring topics that crossed cultural boundaries and helped develop the students into global citizens. In addition, I was both a high school and middle school basketball coach. Using experience from playing and learning in the sports psychology field, I wanted to apply it functionally with students. 

From there, I was tapped to become a Dean of Middle School. During my first year as a Dean, I finished my first master’s degree in psychology. I took my experience with psychology to help support students academically and personally. That experience helped me see that I wanted to further my journey into psychology by getting a second master’s in counseling psychology. Pursuing higher education took me back to America for an in-person degree. Afterward, I turned my attention to functional applications and returned to BASIS in 2023. 

Why did you choose BASIS? Why return? 

BASIS provides a unique opportunity for me to test my skills at a high level. I like to be able to apply my skills. Moreover, I want to be able to sharpen them to deliver the best to whomever I am working with. I was familiar with the BASIS system and brand, which means I know there is a high standard to uphold. I like being pushed to be my best, and I think this is the greatest opportunity for me at the moment. 

What made the biggest difference in learning to function and succeed in your current role?

I have a great team behind me; we are constantly helping and supporting each other in the office. Whenever I have questions or uncertainties, everyone is there for me. Not only do they support me, but each person has a specific background and skillset from which I can learn. Taking pieces from each of them and internalizing them helps me develop my unique style for college counseling. 

What do you enjoy most about being a College Counselor? 

I enjoy working with students to help them reach their goals. Since we started working with student groups from Grade 8 and one-on-one from Grade 9, I have the opportunity to work closely and build rapport with students. The meetings with students translate into data points to further support them. Finding nuanced answers for specific students is the challenge I like to solve regularly. 

How does BASIS support employees in exploring different roles? 

Furthering education and professional development are the first two items that come to mind. Being able to get guidance on how to further your career. Speaking to directors and other people in the field giving me advice and input is the most valuable thing. 

How did the BASIS organizational culture foster your professional development and growth? 

Being put in different capacities, such as coach, dean, teacher, or counselor, has allowed me to sharpen my skills. I can learn hard skills from a book or other academic institutions. However, soft skills are earned through experience—and BASIS gives me every opportunity to take those chances. 

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned from a mentor or colleague? 

Before I started at BASIS, I was not in the psychology field. However, after speaking with people and having different experiences with colleagues, I was able to see my capacity to work with people in different ways beyond solely teaching. This started me on the path to mental performance and counseling. Without BASIS, I am not sure if I would’ve found this niche. 

How has your involvement in a well-established and expanding school network enhanced your professional growth opportunities? 

“Your network is your net worth” is a common saying where I come from. I take that as the relationships and associations you form with people help you develop, both personally and professionally. Working to capitalize on this means I have the opportunity to reach out to others and establish and solidify bonds that will grow and feed all devoted parties involved. Other professionals will have ideas and routes different from mine, which allows me to learn and adopt some of theirs and vice versa. This sharing of ideas with motivated people is a breeding ground for excellence. 

What advice do you have for faculty who want to grow professionally within the BASIS network? 

Approach each conversation with an open mind and see what the ideas can give you. Though you may think that you can only learn from certain fields, seemingly unrelated professions have intersections that can prove to be invaluable. 

Jason Quaynor
Assistant Director of College Counseling
BASIS International School Shenzhen 

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