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Melanie León Steps into Role of Director of Admissions
Nueva Communications

In you case you missed it in the latest issue of Nueva Magazine, we invite you to get to know new Director of Admissions Melanie León. Embodying Nueva's learn by doing, learn by caring ethos, Melanie has already begun to immerse herself in the Nueva community and to develop relationships with Nueva community members (and she is an 11th grade advisor!). 
 
 

What do you hope this new school year will bring for you personally and professionally?
Working in schools is an endeavor that centers around people and relationships. So in my first year at Nueva, I hope to develop genuine connections with the people who make this community so special. I want students, parents, faculty, staff, and families to know that I care deeply about their experience and am committed to helping them find joy, excitement, and a sense of belonging during their time here.

Professionally, I hope to continue growing as an admissions professional as I learn the subtle nuances inherent in the Bay Area admissions world. This means getting to know the finer points about the Nueva community, especially with regard to issues of accessibility and equity.

What is something that people might be surprised to know about you?
I have an adventurous spirit—especially when it comes to the outdoors. I sometimes joke that I would have been a professional snowboarder if only I had learned sooner. As soon as I moved to California from North Carolina, I started backpacking, surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, and everything in between. With the confidence I’ve gained on local trails and in the cold Pacific Ocean, I’ve been able to go on some epic trips with my husband, who is also a huge outdoor enthusiast. Some recent highlights include hiking Mount Merbabu in Indonesia to watch the sunrise and backcountry skiing at Rogers Pass in British Columbia. I’m not sure there is anything better than the sense of accomplishment after a long hike or ski up a breath- taking mountain.

The lower school often marks the 100th day of school with a celebration. How do you envision your first 100 days?
Hoping to embody Nueva’s motto of learning by doing, learning by caring, my first 100 days will be filled with taking on new challenges, immersing myself in all that Nueva has to offer, and building deep and meaningful relationships with Nueva community members. I’m eager to sit in on classes and watch our amazing faculty engage students while helping them grow into curious, kind, and confident scholars ready to be positive changemakers in this world. Meeting students and learning about their passions and interests, along with hearing about why they love this community, will provide me with a greater sense of the student experience and give me the tools to be an authentic storyteller for the school. Building on the strong partnership between the admissions and JEDI teams, I am excited to continue the great work already being done to make the school feel accessible and the admission process equitable to all families. And of course, I am ready to connect with prospective families as they get to know this amazing community. Needless to say, my first 100 days will be busy!

Every year, second graders study what brings people to the Bay Area. What draws you to the Bay Area?
As many people know, the Bay Area is one of the most demographically diverse regions in all of the United States. With this diversity comes an amazing array of cultures, traditions, ideas, and values that I am excited to learn more about. So, I expect to venture out frequently on the weekends to explore neighborhoods, visit museums, enjoy local festivals, and hike new trails with my dog, Moose. I’m especially eager to continue my never-ending search for the best vegan restaurant in the world!
 

QUICK FACTS

Favorite book to gift: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
 
Song that gets you on the dance floor: "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
 
Person, place, or thing that brings you joy: The mountains
 
Morning beverage of choice: My water bottle is always within reach! 
 
Secret hidden talent: Vegan baking
 
Number one on your bucket list: Ski in Japan's Hokkaido prefecture
 
Your hero: My grandmother—one of the strongest, most amazing humans I know
 
Last "supper" (i.e. favorite meal: Mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, fresh tomatoes


Read More

Introducing Director of Communications Karin Storm Wood

Karin Storm Wood joined Nueva this summer all the way from Brooklyn, New York as both a member of our leadership team and a Nueva parent. She has already begun immersing herself in the community—wearing both hats!—and getting to know the people that make Nueva special.

Melanie León Steps into Role of Director of Admissions

In you case you missed it in the latest issue of Nueva Magazine, we invite you to get to know new Director of Admissions Melanie León. Embodying Nueva's learn by doing, learn by caring ethos, Melanie has already begun to immerse herself in the Nueva community and to develop relationships with Nueva community members (and she is an 11th grade advisor!). 

Get to Know Director of Social Justice and Equity Savannah Strong

Savannah Strong joins the Nueva Leadership Team as our new Director of Social Justice & Equity. Her work involves close partnerships with all members of the Nueva community. Director of Communications Karin Storm Wood (whose own Q&A will appear in an upcoming issue of Nueva Notes) sat down with Savannah for a conversation just before the first day of school. 

Reflections on Ramadan and Eid

When I explain Ramadan to people who aren’t Muslim, I’m often met with incredulity and disbelief—while the general idea of fasting for 30 days from sunrise to sunset is simple, it’s often hard for people to grasp what that looks like in practice. 

Jew-ish?

Gigi S. '23 shares her piece, "Jew-ish?" which recently earned an honorable mention in the 2022 Bay Area Scholastic Writing Awards.