“How many of you like animals?” Hands shot into the air. “Well I get to work with animals, and I want you to meet some today,” said alumnus Leor Friedman, Class of ’00, to Lower School students at the March 15 assembly. Leor, an animal trainer hailing from Six Flags Great America in New Jersey, used an online connection through Skype to show students some of the animals. As Leor’s co-workers placed each animal in front of the camera for students to see, they exclaimed a collective “Hello!” Leor spoke briefly about each animal and then students asked him questions. He showed them three different macaws, a Flemish giant rabbit, and a baby otter, which Leor helped raise in his bathtub and taught how to swim!
“I guess I got my start with animals pretty early,” Leor reflected to the audience. As a Nueva first grader, Leor and a few peers accompanied their teacher to a farm to get duck eggs, which they hatched and cared for in their classroom. He went on to study biology at Occidental College and through various internships working with animals, discovered his passion for training. Leor also shared his animals with the Nueva community at the annual STEM Fair on March 17.
On Sunday, March 3, 2013, violin instructor Sin-Tung Chiu and alumnus Dmitriy Cogan (Class of '75) pleased listeners with a violin and piano recital in the Mansion Ballroom featuring three sonatas by composer Edvard Grieg. Regarding his performance Sin-Tung said, "We'll have other recitals later this year to cleebrate 20 years of friendship and playing music together, but it seemed appropriate to mark this small milestone by playing here where we first started." The recital was dedicated to G.G. Fitzmaurice -- founder of Nueva's music program in 1967 -- who initially introduced Dmitriy and Sin-Tung and asked them to play together two decades ago.