1985 Reunion BestAlumni from the class of 1985 came together for their 30th reunion this summer to enjoy food and drinks on the Ballroom Terrace. The event was organized by class rep Sarah Lum, who recruited attendees Eric Kuhns, Mia Kimura, Chris Wu, Laney Silverman, Mike Ryan, and Susan Ryan, along with two former faculty, Marilyn Reisen and Marilyn Kimura. Some alumni also brought their families to visit Nueva.

During a tour of the Mansion, alumni reminisced about the different spaces — the fountain, the SEL classroom, and music in Gigi’s class. Alumni came dressed for a visit to the butt slide, and enjoyed perusing old yearbooks while updating each other on their classmates’ whereabouts. Though scattered across the country and world, all left with plans to get together again soon.

For those who couldn’t make it this year, please keep your eyes out for another reunion in the near future. We hope to see you on campus again soon!

Panel for New FacultyAs part of the new faculty orientation experience to prepare for the fall, alumni spoke with incoming upper school faculty to help them understand what makes Nueva unique.

The alumni explained how their experiences at Nueva affected them as students, even after they attended other schools. They reminisced about their eighth grade Recital Projects, camping trips, and duck-duck-goose games, to name a few of their many memories. Each alumnus gave specific advice to new faculty about what they should know about Nueva and how they could support students, particularly those students who will also be new to the school.

Joy Barrett, Class of 2012, entered Nueva part way through middle school and was nervous at first about making friends in such a close-knit grade. However, her classmates immediately helped fold her in, and Joy confirmed, “Nueva’s a place where you can come in, be yourself, and find your place.”

As transformative and memorable as a Nueva education is, Nueva students attend the school for only a few years before becoming alumni, which they will be for the rest of their lives. It is a very different kind of relationship with Nueva but is no less vital to the school community. Nueva not only needs its alumni to stay connected but wants alumni to maintain an active interest in the life and future of the school. How each alumna/us chooses to do so depends very much on her/his unique interests and availability to give back.

For alumni parents Dr. Scott and Sandra Miller, the primary means of staying involved in the school is through annual financial support. The Millers have given to Nueva every year since their daughter Shannon (class of 1986) started attending the school in 1978, and that was 35 years ago. Since then new buildings have popped up and the curriculum has changed, but every fall, without fail, the Millers remembers to make a gift to Nueva.

“We’re appreciative of the great educational experience our daughter had at Nueva,” Scott said. “Our family cares deeply about education, Nueva in particular, and we want to keep in touch.”

Some years Scott even calls Nueva himself to make sure he gets asked to make his gift.

“It connects you to previous times and the families you knew back then,” Scott explains. “You picture your kids at that age and remember the old days.”

IMG 6497 2During the new faculty upper school orientation, students and alumni spoke about the impact of their Nueva education as a way to welcome new teachers and give them an insider’s perspective on Nueva’s “secret sauce.” Representing the alumni perspective were Morgan Ome — class of 2011 and rising twelfth grader at Burlingame High School — and Caleb Jones, class of 2006 and recent graduate of Swarthmore College with concentrations in Political Science, Economics, and Islamic Studies.

The new upper school faculty were eager to hear from alumni and current students alike to understand what the students appreciated in their education and what stood out to them about Nueva.

When asked what distinguishes Nueva from other schools, Morgan spoke about the freedom she enjoyed to explore and pursue her interests along with the opportunity to capitalize on a plethora of elective and extracurricular options. Caleb agreed that freedom at Nueva made a huge difference, allowing students to enjoy flexible and personalized learning. He then recounted the time his sixth grade teachers assigned a project where every student had to write their own creation story.

IMG 4683This May marked the beginning of a new alumni initiative with the launch of the Nueva Student Trip Fund, an effort to offset the costs of Nueva’s annual class trips and extracurricular travel for students with demonstrated need. Grandparents, alumni parents, and alumni gave generously to student travel, raising $7,500.

The fund was started by alumni currently working at Nueva, who not only chaperone and lead these trips but also witness the impact of travel on their students, from the lower school to the upper school and at every grade in between.

“[The trips are] the be all and end all of your experiences as a student,” said Colin Tribble, Middle School Associate Teacher for history and alumnus of the class of 2004. “Not only is it your reward for the work you’ve been doing all year long, not only is it really enjoyable, but really it’s the culmination of all the learning and studying you’ve been doing as a student.”



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