Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls.
Upper School Journalists Earn Pacemaker Finalist Status
Upper school journalism students received outstanding news a few weeks ago when the student newspaper, The Nueva Current, was named a finalist in the National Scholastic Press Association’s prestigious Pacemaker competition, which honors the nation’s best in scholastic journalism.
“I’m so proud of our staff, editors, and our wonderful faculty advisor LiAnn Yim,” said Editor-in-Chief Willow Taylor C. Y., a senior. “We did this as a team.”
The Nueva Current is one of a handful of Bay Area student newspapers to be honored with a Pacemaker, and one of a slim top tier of 60 national schools.
"As various forces continue to demonize our industry and erode the trust journalists and newsrooms have built with our audiences, now more than ever are we in need of the next generation of journalists to produce quality work that holds the powerful accountable," said San Francisco Press Club Board Member Alexis Terrazas. "The San Francisco Press Club applauds the students at The Nueva School and would like to thank all of this year's finalists for their dedication to journalism. We need you."
The Nueva editorial staff was recognized on November 21 at the NSPA virtual awards ceremony.
"Being announced as an NSPA Pacemaker finalist validates the entire team’s tireless efforts in producing an engaging and high-quality newspaper for not just Nueva community members to read, but people beyond our circle,” said senior Amanda W. “The long nights writing and editing in bed, late into the night, have paid off. Our staff is also relatively small, but that doesn’t change the tight, six-week print deadlines we have. I am incredibly proud and honored to be a part of such a talented and hardworking team.”
Senior Jordan M. said The Nueva Current is “a platform that uplifts the voices within our school community by informing, educating and nurturing different perspectives.” Noting that the publication is only in its second year of NSPA eligibility, he is proud of the staff and said it’s a sign that Nueva’s student journalists are staying true to the art of journalism.
“The level of teamwork, creativity, and excellence in written and visual aspects is incredible, and I’m so honored and humbled by the opportunity to work with such amazing peers on such an impactful project,” Jordan added.
Nueva Parliamentary Debate Team Ranks Third in the Nation
Following an incredibly successful fall semester, the Nueva Parliamentary Debate Team is ranked third in the nation based on cumulative total points earned in competition.
“To say that I am beaming with pride is an understatement,” said debate teacher Sam Timinsky.
The season began in September with students participating in two virtual debate tournaments: the Notre Dame High School season opener and Cal State Long Beach’s Jack Howe Invitational. Teams at both competitions reached the quarterfinals, and freshman Sid C. was ranked the fifth best speaker at the tournament out of a field of 180 debaters.
The virtual format took some adjusting for students, but Sam reported after that first weekend that students continued to support one another as they do when tournaments take place in person.
“Students were excited,” he said, “showering each other with support, knowledge, and humor despite the long slog of an online tournament.”
At the next slate of tournaments—the Cal Parli Invitational at UC Berkeley, Coast Forensics League Tournament, and the Jon Schamber Invitational at the University of the Pacific—the team continued their successes. At the Cal Parli Invitational two Nueva teams made it to the elimination round—the double-octo final and semi-final respectively—an impressive showing given, Sam said, “this is always a very difficult tournament for Nueva as the tournament's norms play to all of our weaknesses.” At the Coast Forensics League Tournament, the team of Davis T. ‘22 and Rajeev S. ‘22 earned a perfect record.
At the Jon Schamber Invitational, the team had “a spectacular showing,” Sam said. “This was by far the best showing for Nueva in my time as coach. This was also the first time that Nueva has won a tournament in Parli in three years, and all Nueva partnerships made it to elimination rounds. In addition, Lauren S. ‘24 took Top Speaker honors in Parliamentary Debate and Davis’s showing qualified him for the NPDL-Tournament of Champions.”
The team’s November successes followed the successes of September and October with many pairs reaching the elimination rounds, quarterfinals, and octo-finals.
“We had many new novices attending [the November 20–22 Jon Lewis Memorial Tournament at Santa Clara University],” Sam shared. “To say that the older students showered them with support, love, and knowledge is an understatement.”
Sam and Nueva Director of Debate Les Phillips are incredibly proud of the accomplishments of their teams.
“This fall 2020 was by far the most successful fall we have ever had,” Sam said. “I'm excited to see what our debaters can do in the spring and at Nationals.”