James Biondi, English Teacher
Jamie is thrilled to be arriving at Nueva after three years teaching high school English in Connecticut, where he was born and raised. He studied theater and English at Yale University before completing a graduate degree in dramatic literature at Oxford University. In addition to teaching, advising, and coaching, he has spent a lot of time in the theatrical trenches as a performer, director, and writer. Having lived in the New York City area for most of his life, he is an obsessive theater-goer, with interests ranging from the classical to the avant-garde, and is excited to dig into the SF theatrical scene. Jamie is arriving on the West Coast with his girlfriend Ann after a long, slow road trip across the country this summer. He is a lifelong avid Mets fan, a spontaneous traveler, and a decidedly amateur experimental cook. He can't wait to get started working with Nueva students on all things English and theater.

Christine Braun, Shop Manager, I-Lab Engineer, and FTC (FIRST™ Tech Challenge) Coach
Christine and her family just moved from Vermont, where she ran her own Makerspace and coached winning FTC and other robotics teams, to join the I-Lab Team at Nueva! As an educator, she has coached competitive robotics teams including First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, MATE, and Champ-bot competitions. Her team won the first ever Champ-bot challenge at the Champlain Maker Faire in 2014. As a Maker/Educator, she is experienced in instructing in many shop areas, including rapid prototyping, electronics, and wood/metal. As an artist with a master’s in artisanry, she incorporates many different microcontrollers into her creations, such as Arduino, Lilypad, Gemma, and the music maker shield. Christine has instructed classes in game design, 3D printing, robotics, e-textiles, and many other subjects. She has created classes to satisfy the needs of the different educational environments and worked hard to blend the technology with the classroom projects students were currently working on. Along with developing the curriculum for Robots for Kids Too, she has also worked with the Innovation Lab at UVM to create a low-cost robotic platform for use in schools. She is delighted to share her skills and experiences with Nueva students.

Amrit Chima, Director of Athletics & Physical Education
Amrit joined Nueva in the fall of 2013 as a founding member of the upper school faculty. In her four years directing the upper school athletics program, Nueva gained full membership in the CCS, captured the school’s first league and CCS championships, and expanded to field thirteen varsity teams. A former Stanford student-athlete, Amrit earned First Team All-Conference and National Field Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors, and made eighty-one of eighty-two possible starts during her four-year career on the Farm. Amrit previously served as head coach with the USA Field Hockey Futures Program, athletic director and PE teacher at Windrush School, and also spent time coaching at St. Francis and Presentation High Schools. Before that, Amrit served as an assistant coach with the women’s field hockey program and taught undergraduate courses in kinesiology and health at Miami University. She has a BA in English from Stanford University and an MS in sports studies from Miami University.

David Drabkin, English Teacher

David Drabkin, a third-generation teacher, has served as an instructor of literature and composition at Town School for Boys (grades 7–8), Phillips Academy Andover (grades 9–11), and San Quentin State Prison (grades 12+). A first-generation American and native Russian speaker, David holds a Master of Liberal Arts from Stanford and a BA in philosophy from Cornell. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities scholarship, a Klingenstein Summer Institute Fellowship, and the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce’s TEACH Fellowship. He began his career in education as a middle school humanities resident teacher at his alma mater, Town School for Boys, where he taught seventh and eighth grade English, directed the school’s capstone research project, served on the scheduling committee, managed the student literary magazine, and coached three seasons of boys’ soccer. He enjoys learning from students and peering into the unknown together with them at the discussion table. Before getting his start in teaching, David spent several years trading organic fruits and vegetables at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market. He is a graduate of nearby Crystal Springs Uplands School. He lives in San Francisco and keeps honeybees in San Mateo.

Davion Fleming, Associate Director of Admissions and Assistant Dean of College Counseling
Davion Fleming joined Nueva as the Upper School Associate Director of Admissions in July 2016, and this year he will expand his duties to include a limited college counseling load. He holds a BA in philosophy and religious studies from Northwestern University and an MS in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern, as well. Before joining Nueva, Davion worked in Northwestern University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions for nearly four years, where he worked on the visit experience. During his time there, Davion also worked closely with students, helping them grow both personally and professionally. Davion really enjoyed his experience working in the college admissions landscape and is excited about his new role in college counseling. In his free time, Davion enjoys traveling, running, reading, writing, listening to music, and relaxing with his dog Sophie.

Philip Geter, Science Teacher

Phillip will be joining our science team this fall to teach biology and biology-related electives. He is currently completing his dissertation defense at NYU in molecular biology, where he has been awarded several honors and fellowships, including the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship and the T32 Training Grant. He has an MS in pharmacology (also from NYU) and a BS in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Maryland. Phillip has been teaching science since 2009, most recently at the college level as an adjunct professor at Mercy College, NY, where he taught microbiology labs, general biology, and supported career development for undergraduate STEM students. Throughout his career, Philip has been an active mentor, tutor, and coach in math and sciences to high school students, including serving as a volunteer for Science Saturday at The Rockefeller University. He brings a wealth of research skills and experience to our biology offerings and is eager to team with his new colleagues on strengthening the core of our science curriculum.

Jeremy Jacquot, Chemistry Teacher
After working the last two years as an associate teacher in our upper school science classes, Jeremy returns to Nueva this year as an upper school chemistry teacher, focusing primarily on ninth-grade chemistry and environmental earth science. Before coming to Nueva, he taught at Fusion Academy in San Mateo and was a researcher in the marine sciences, obtaining a PhD in biology from the University of Southern California and completing a year of postdoctoral studies at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. He completed his BS in marine biology at UCLA. When not teaching, Jeremy enjoys keeping up with the latest in research, reading (mostly nonfiction), and exploring the Bay Area. He loves coffee and never misses an opportunity to track down a good pour-over or brew his own at home.

Jennifer Min, Interim Director, Innovative Teacher Program
Jennifer Min joined Nueva in 2012 to help launch the Upper School. Over the last five years, she contributed to the development of curriculum and academic programs, the design and implementation of the weekly schedule, development of academic policies and advisory programs, and student support. She helped to hire upper school founding faculty and served on the admissions committee for our first graduating class of seniors. She also developed and taught economics courses in both the Middle and Upper Schools. Jenn served as our first upper school academic dean and most recently, working closely with our faculty, served as the director of upper school hiring. Jenn focused on the recruitment and hiring, mentoring and coaching, and professional development of new faculty. She also led the Collaborative Assessment and Development Program (CADP) for upper school faculty. Jenn enjoys working with teachers and supporting them in their professional pursuits. Jenn began her career in education sixteen years ago as a classroom teacher at University High School in San Francisco, where she taught math and AP micro- and macroeconomics. She also served as chair of the mathematics department and then academic dean. She chaired the curriculum committee, directed reviews of academic programs, led faculty evaluation and professional development, oversaw academic policies and procedures, and worked as an advisor. In addition, Jenn served on the board of Keys School, a K–8 independent school in Palo Alto, and SMART, a San Francisco nonprofit organization helping low-income students access independent middle and high schools in the Bay Area. Before her career in teaching, Jenn worked as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley and a management consultant at Bain & Company. She earned a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Anthony Perry, Spanish Teacher

Anthony is joining Nueva from Phillips Andover, where he taught Spanish language and electives. He has been teaching since 2006, both at Georgetown University, where he earned both his PhD and his MA in Spanish literature and cultural studies, and at Saint George’s School in Rhode Island, where he taught high school Spanish. He earned his undergraduate of degree from the College of William & Mary. He is a native Spanish speaker and has expertise in French, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic. Committed to gender equity, Anthony served on the Advisory Board for the Brace Center for Gender Studies at Andover as well as serving as a member of the Gender and Equity Working Group. Anthony is relocating to the Bay Area this summer with his partner and will join our world languages team and teach Spanish.

Christine Tam, School Counselor
Christine Tam, LCSW, joins Nueva with 10+ years of experience in various community behavioral health settings as a psychotherapist and mental health program administrator. Many of these years have been devoted to serving children, youth, and families, with an emphasis on culturally competent care to Asian American communities. Most recently, she was the Director of School and Community-Based Services at Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) in Redwood City. Originally from Hong Kong, her family immigrated to the Midwest when she was 10 years old. She completed both her undergraduate degree in economics and psychology and her master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Foster City with her husband, Andy, and her young daughters, Zoe and Addy. When she’s not working, you can find her making art with her daughters, exploring the outdoors with her family, practicing yoga at the PJCC, or dabbling in her newly found hobby, watercolor.

Theodore Theodosopoulus, Math Teacher
Ted is thrilled to be moving across the country with his family to join Nueva’s upper school math faculty, bringing his diverse teaching career at all levels in academics. Most recently Ted was the mathematics department chair at Worcester Academy in Worcester, MA, and before that he taught at Saint Ann’s School (NY), NYU, Swarthmore College, and Drexel University. He joined the Worcester faculty to experience boarding-school life after teaching for six years at Saint Ann’s School in grades 3–7 and 9–12. His academic background is deep, having earned a PhD and MS in operations research and individual BS degrees in political science, aeronautics and astronautics, and mathematics, all from MIT. Ted is passionate about bringing his experiences accumulated in the interactions of mathematics with other disciplines, from the physical and biological to the engineered and social realms, into the classroom. Ted is joined at Nueva by his daughter, Eugenia, a new member of the tenth grade.

Robert Todd (Trip) Sweeney, Biology Teacher
Over the last two years, Tripp has been an important contributor to our upper school science program, offering advanced and creative electives in science. He has helped Nueva build one of the country's most dynamic high school programs in cell culture and molecular biology. Driven by student input, he introduced oncology research into the classroom and worked closely with student researchers to prepare presentations to the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2017. Trip came to Nueva in the summer of 2015, just out of a pathology residency at Stanford University Hospital, where he continues cancer and precancer genomics research. Trip attended high school at the Lawrenceville School. He graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a double major in neuroscience and child development and then with high honors from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. While in his pathology residency at Stanford, he also did a postdoc in cancer bioinformatics. Having fallen asleep in many a PowerPoint presentation, Trip practices education based in relevance, creativity, and individual-driven inquiry. He is excited to add the introductory biology course to his portfolio to ensure that students are prepared to do unique, original, and advanced research. In his spare time, he works on his aquaponics vegetable garden, enjoys the Slow Coast with his wife, and looks for bugs with his son.

Christopher Wade, PreK–12 Assistant Athletic Director and Middle School Athletic Director
Chris can't wait to become a part of the Nueva community. Originally from Ventura, California, Chris joins the Nueva staff after coaching professional basketball in Chihuahua, Mexico. While in Chihuahua, he also taught English, held summer basketball camps, and ran a successful after school youth program. Chris is returning to the Bay Area after a 10-year hiatus. He graduated from the University of San Francisco, where he earned degrees in exercise and sports science and in history. While at USF, Chris also spent time coaching at the Drew School in San Francisco. Following his time in the Bay Area, Chris returned to southern California to complete his master's degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University. Chris has spent the past ten years in public education at the high school and community college levels, teaching physical education and health and coaching basketball. His extensive summer camp experience includes coaching with the Golden State Warriors, the University of Washington, USC, UCSB, and the University of Utah. Sporting events and any outdoor water activities are where Chris can be found when not teaching or rooting on the Mavericks.

Sushu Xia, History Teacher
Sushu is eager to return to the classroom and is thrilled to do so at Nueva. A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Chicago, where she earned her MA and BA, respectively, Sushu is looking forward to sharing her love of history with her students as she begins teaching again. Sushu has deep experience teaching and developing curriculum in world history and world religions, as well as in Mandarin and Asian studies. She brings extensive teaching and administrative experience from Menlo School and University Prep. A passionate historian, her goal is to get her students excited about history so that they fall in love with the complex stories and characters of our past. When Sushu is not in the classroom you will find her spending time with her family and drawing cartoons, or perhaps knitting, sewing, or cooking.

Barak Yedidia, Physics Associate Teacher
Barak has been involved with training and teaching adults in industry for over two decades. Barak’s teaching career began while studying physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While there, he volunteered to tutor freshmen in the required physics classes. After working a few years as a physicist (building bomb detectors for airports), he pursued a secondary education teaching credential. Before finishing his credential, he was recruited by GE Nuclear Energy to train reactor engineers. He later went on to the semiconductor industry where he trained engineers on the maintenance and use of metrology equipment. Since then, he has trained and managed training on a variety of networking and software products, as well as teaching photography, Photoshop, and chess. He has also worked for many years as a professional photographer, specializing in dance, architecture, chocolate, and pregnant mothers. He is thrilled that he is finally going to be getting back to teaching high school students, as that was his intent before he was recruited into industry. Barak lives on the Peninsula with his wife and 11-year-old daughter.

LiAnn Yim, Publications Teacher
LiAnn grew up in the Bay Area and Taipei, Taiwan. She returns to California from Houston, Texas, where she taught journalism and yearbook at the Kinkaid School and advised the student publications programs in creating the school newspaper and yearbooks. While there, she was involved in ninth grade admissions and supported the fine arts department communications. Her early teaching experience was in expository writing and creative writing, and for the past three years she has taught three-week courses in flash fiction and interactive/fiction. She loves reading, writing, hiking, biking, graphic design, board games, and dogs. On occasion, she reads and edits for the Golden Key, a speculative literary journal. LiAnn studied journalism and history at New York University and received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. She is passionate about helping students tell stories, for themselves and for their communities, and she is looking forward to working with the Nueva students.

GRADES PK-8

HILLSBOROUGH
CAMPUS

6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010

650-350-4600

GRADES 9-12

BMMiniMap

BAY MEADOWS
CAMPUS

131 E. 28th Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94403

650-235-7100

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