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Mavericks Making Waves: December 2020
Nueva Communications

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.” 

Read More

Intersession 2021: New Ideas, New Partnerships, New Discoveries

Intersession, hosted each year since the upper school’s inception during the first week following winter break, is a time for upper school students—and, new this year, lower and middle school students, as well—to engage in interdisciplinary exploration with real-world experts. Many alumni often share that intersession was a favorite time for them during their tenure at Nueva.

Even in a year that has been anything but typical, students had hundreds of intersession courses from which to choose, ranging from cooking and art to politics and computer science to improv acting and juggling, and so much more. 

Behind the Scenes: Part One of a Four-part Series

Over the course of the last nine months, everyone in our community has worked tirelessly to ensure that we continue to offer the academic program and community experience our students and families love about Nueva. One team that has worked particularly hard, and entirely behind the scenes, is the Facilities and Operations Team. In this season of thanks, we are so very grateful to Director of Facilities and Operations Steve Osbourne and his entire team, spanning both campuses, for their efforts to allow us the safe return we have had over the past few months.

More Than 1,000 Grandparents and Special Friends Gather for Special Virtual Event

This is not a typical year, so it made sense that Nueva’s annual Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day (GPSF) would also not be so typical. In this virtual event hosted on November 20, approximately 1,300 grandparents and special friends Zoomed in from across the globe—from Burlingame and Oakland to Boston, England, and Pakistan. 

Anti-racism is a Verb: Part Five of a Five-part Series on Anti-racism Work at Nueva

Part 5 – Activism and Moving Forward

Ingrained in all of the teaching and learning around anti-racism at Nueva—in programs and projects built over the years, as well as new ones introduced this year—is a message of hope: hope for this next generation of young people, hope for the future of Nueva, and hope in creating a more anti-racist community at Nueva and within our broader communities. 

Ten Ways SEL Helps Students Meet the Challenges of 2020

At Nueva, social-emotional learning is embedded in everything we do and is the foundation of the Nueva culture. It is during usual times and unusual times—like the one we find ourselves in—when SEL is on full display. From SEL classes and advisories to math, humanities, and electives, here are ten ways that SEL supports Nueva students emotionally, at a distance and when adapting to new social norms in the classroom.