Welcome to Campus News!

This new section will feature campus snapshots of our community, students in action, and campus happenings.  In general, the features will provide you with a glimpse into campus life at Nueva. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to see what's happening today at Nueva.

Should you have any questions or comments or if you have an idea or photo for consideration to be featured here, please email your submission with a description of the photo and how it represents the Nueva experience to: nuevanotes@nuevaschool.org.


Nueva’s Future Problem Solving teams competed at the California State Bowl at St. Anne School in Orange County April 26-27. Students from grades 6-9 worked as individuals or with their teams to analyze and solve problems related to land transportation in an imagined, future society. Thirty-four students represented Nueva at the State Bowl, and in every category in which we competed, our students placed in the top five.
One individual competitor and one middle division team were invited to compete at the Future Problem Solving International Bowl in Iowa June 12-15. Congratulations to all Nueva students who placed and/or competed in the State Bowl!
Junior Division Team Problem Solving  (Grades 4-6)
5th Place -- Isaac H., Ethan Y., Cole C., and Alex M.
Middle Division Team Problem Solving  (Grades 7-9)
2nd Place -- George H., Carter T., Lucy W., and Ishani G.*
            *Invited to compete at the International Bowl
3rd Place -- Adam K., Zack C., David F., and Jake M.
4th Place -- Alex C., Will C., Iris M., and Kyle M.
Middle Division Individual Problem Solving  (Grades 7-9)
1st Place -- Jackson M.*
            *Invited to compete at the International Bowl
Junior Alternate Division  (Grades 4-6)
1st Place -- Camille G.
2nd Place -- Zachary N.
Middle Alternate Division  (Grades 7-9)
1st Place -- Sophia V.
Action Plan Presentation Junior  (Grades 4-6)
3rd Place -- Isaac H., Ethan Y., Cole C., Alex M.
Action Plan Presentation Middle  (Grades 7-9)
1st Place -- George H., Carter T., Lucy W., Ishani G.
4th Place -- Adam K., Zack C., David F., Jake M.

All students who participated: Eli G., Merritt V.,  Matthew O., Ethan F., Isaac H., Ethan Y., Cole C., Alex M., Ben L., Parker W., Ryan H., Ryan O., Zachary N., Camille G., George H., Carter T., Lucy W., Ishani G., Adam K., Zack C., David F., Jake M., Alex C., Will C., Iris M., Kyle M., Lilly S., Sophia H., Gavin R., Grace H., Jack M., Ada W., Kiki K., and Sophia V.


It was an evening of inspiration and creation as the Nueva community came together to honor the work of all our students duringartshow1 Nueva’s annual Art Show on Thursday.

From prekindergarten through grade 9, students impressed visitors with their multitude of talents that were on display in the form of photography, drawing, painting, mask making, self-portraits, and many more.

The evening began with an opening reception with light refreshments and live music in the Mansion Ballroom. Visitors then freely moved about campus, with artwork available in every building to view. Guided tours by student docents were also available, and both art studios were open for visitors to explore and view student work in progress.

A scavenger hunt of "art bugs” also brought to life other artistic creations of our students, as guests searched for all eight artshow2scattered about Nueva’s campus.

Thank you again to Art Show Chairs Chloe Keyoung and Sarahleah Fordyce; teachers Courtney Blaskower, Rachel Dawson, Margie Gurvich, and Courtney Johnson; and the many parent volunteers who made this show possible. It was a wonderful evening centered around our talented student artists.


From tasting traditional dishes to kimchi making and participating in customary games, Nueva students were immersed in the kanevent2beauty of Korea through several events and opportunities at the Hillsborough campus in celebration of Korean Heritage Week. 

Throughout the school year, members of Nueva’s Diversity Committee help organize heritage celebrations as a way for families to share aspects of their culture and build community within the school. Affinity groups spearhead these efforts, with the Koreans at Nueva (KAN) particularly responsible for this week’s activities.

"This year's Heritage Week tried to highlight old and new aspects of Korean culture.  In the activities day, in addition to Tuho, a game which dates back to 500 BCE, and traditional Korean dance, we have highlighted golf and K-Pop Hip Hop," said Grace Voorhis, a Nueva parent and member of KAN.

Leading up to a full series of activities that were available on Friday, students had an opportunity to learn about Korea in a kanevent1variety of ways.

Artifacts such as clothing, housewares, and decorative art were available to view in the Library, and screen savers on the computers showcased famous Koreans.  In the Art Studio, students also had a chance to experience Takbon – a traditional ink rubbing method – learn more about Korean folk painting called Minwa, and create their own hand-carved name seals.  Additionally, Lower School Lit Clubs dived into reading Korean stories.

Author Mike Kim also helped kick-start the week on Monday by sharing his experiences at the China-North Korea border.  His personal account of how he sought freedom was a moving tale that highlighted the important work he did to share this freedom with other refugees.

Mike operated undercover as a student of North Korean Taekwondo, training and competing under two famous North Korean masters from Pyongyang, while leading North Korean refugees to China through a 6,000-mile modern-day “underground railroad.”  You can read more about his life story in the Wall Street Journal featured book, Escaping North Korea. You can also visit http://crossingbordersnk.org/wp/.

“It was such a special crowd and was an energizing time for me as well. I had great conversations with some of the parents that wanted to help,” Mike said.

Friday served as a showcase for many other exciting aspects of the Korean culture such as traditional dishes, games, fashion, dance, arts and crafts, and storytelling.  Students participated in Jegi (a type of hacky sack game), learned how to eat with chopsticks, made Korean pan cakes, constructed origami masterpieces, danced to K Pop with the Hip Hop enrichment group, and participated in a variety of other educational and entertaining activities, all of which were put on by parent volunteers.

The afternoon assembly was a perfect conclusion to the day. The Lower School chorus welcomed guests with the unofficial Korean anthem "Arirang,” the Middle School students presented an entertaining quiz show for the audience, the Korean Dance enrichment class performed traditional Sogo dancing, and Taekwondo students took over the stage with their black belts to show off their skills.

We extend our warmest gratitude to the many volunteers who helped bring this important celebration to life for our students, staff, and community. It was a week stacked full of exciting opportunities, educational experiences, and cultural recognitions that all of us appreciated being able to participate in.

Students of Nueva’s Musical Theatre Academy delighted audience members in last weekend's performance of Once On This onthisislandIsland. The family-friendly production was full of colorful characters and exhilarating Caribbean music and dance.  

Set in Haiti, Once On This Island tells the story of the poor peasant girl Ti Moune, the young, artistocratic  “grand homme” Daniel Beauxhomme, and the island gods whose whims determine the fates they bestow on mortals. Once On This Island was written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the creators of Ragtime and Seussical, and is based on the book My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy.  The original Broadway production garnered eight Tony nominations, including nods for Best Musical, Book, and Score.


From both a student and educator’s perspective, the People of Color Conference served as an invaluable tool about ways to embrace, educate, and empower others to think critically about diversity.

Second grade teacher Neha Pall, ninth grade teacher Mike Peller, and ninth grade student Jesse V. all attended the conference PoCC home headerin December. In particular, Jesse took part in a student-focused component of the conference titled Student Diversity Leadership Conference.

In many ways, it seemed fitting that both teachers and students participated in this educational opportunity. That is because diversity is not something that just one group or just one expert is in charge of integrating into a school. Rather, as both the teachers and student learned, it is a community effort.

“Schools teach different disciplines. Students learn math or history, language or science. At the end of the day, though, if we want to output committed change-makers, we need to teach our kids to be truly empathetic.  That requires awareness of others' experiences, which includes their experience of you,” Mike said.

“Since the very beginning of my teaching career, I have been committed to equity, inclusion, and social justice in the classroom. My energy has been focused around creating an environment where students can explore their own identity, broaden their perspectives, and become culturally competent citizens,” Neha added.

Neha has attended the POCC for several years in addition to other similar conferences and professional learning opportunities. Each year, she has new takeaways about ways to further develop her curriculum -- and thus her students’ understanding – of how to be empathic to those around them.  

One of these curricular examples included a lesson Neha started with a group of third graders about West Africa. She shared a documentary titled Caravan of Books, which was about a caravan of camels that is used to transport entire libraries of children’s books to nomadic villages that do not have access to educational resources.  The documentary allowed the class to discuss many issues pertinent to West Africa, such as the nomadic lifestyle, access to education, and gender roles.

It also ignited a passion in the children to affect change. They learned about the African Library Project, and the students decided to lead a book drive and participate in a read-a-thon to raise money for the cost of shipping books to Africa. As a result, there is now a library at the Abutia Norvisi Basic School in Ghana.

“As you can see, students can become socially responsible citizens of the world if given the opportunity,” Neha said.

For Jesse, this was her first time attending the conference. She too wanted to share what she learned with her classmates at Nueva’s Upper School. From understanding stereotypes to combating intolerance, Jesse knew there was much to communicate.

“I think that discussions on the topic of social identifiers are essential to keep a place of inclusivity and acceptance.  I believe that Nueva should be a tolerant place where students express themselves. Right now it is. However, there is always room for improvement,” she said.

During Nueva’s Unconference – a day dedicated to students teaching their classmates about something they are passionate about – Jesse led an activity on racial stereotypes. The activity involved naming several racial groups, writing them on posters, and having each racial group with a poster representing it.  

Once all of the posters were written on, she asked the class to name stereotypes associated with each race. Once each poster was covered in stereotypes, both positive and negative, she asked people to stand next to the poster they most identified with. The next step was for each group to cross out stereotypes that aren’t true and to write stereotypes that they believe are true. The lesson concluded with her leading a discussion based off of the group’s findings about how they can use this in their communities.

“I hope that they learned that stereotypes could also be positive. I also hope that the people who participated can apply the activity to their every day lives. I know this activity really helped me better understand the effect of stereotypes, so I hope that it did the same for others,” Jesse said.

Moving forward, all three are passionate about contributing toward Nueva being a place where everyone feels comfortable discussing and accepting all types of race, gender, ability, political views, sexual orientation, and other identifiers.

“We need to fully understand unearned privilege so that we can authentically develop deep empathy,” Mike said.  We need to be going to conferences like these annually, and every teacher should (at some point) be expected to go. Conversations around race and privilege should be shared, and developing a common experience and common language would be helpful.”




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Hillsborough, CA 94010





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