Judee Brasesco has the unique perspective of seeing how Nueva shaped two generations of students in her family. When she learned about the Nueva School in the 1970s, she had two school-aged children, Jill Brasesco Thomsen (’77 sixth-grade graduate) and J.D. Brasesco (’80 sixth-grade graduate). Last spring, Judee’s oldest grandsons, Scott Brasesco ’18 and Chip Thomsen ’18, graduated from Nueva, and her youngest grandson, Jack B., is now an eleventh grader at Nueva.
The Brasesco-Thomsen family also has the honor of being Nueva’s first legacy family. Jill explains, “When Chip was admitted to Nueva in 2004 for pre-k, we were told that he was the first child of an alumni to be admitted. This was the beginning of our multi-generation tradition at Nueva. It has been so fun for JD and me to re-live our Nueva experience through our kids.”
When Jill and J.D. transferred to Nueva from their previous schools, they immediately felt at home. “Home” is how Judee describes Nueva: “You have to understand that when you come to Nueva, it is like joining a big family,” she said. “Everyone cares. The faculty cares, the administration cares, and the families care.”
Judee believes the years her children spent at Nueva helped shape who they are today. “Nueva taught my children to be very creative,” Judee said. She has seen this same creativity in her three grandsons too. In addition to her grandsons’ love of art, writing, and drama, Judee feels Nueva is teaching students exactly what they need to be successful once they graduate from Nueva: strong writing skills, the confidence to talk with their teachers, the willingness to take risks, their commitment to be involved in their community, and, most importantly, kindness.
“Nueva filters for nice kids” Judee said. “The kids at Nueva are not competitive. They’re rooting for one another—knowing they can all be successful.”
Judee admires all the components of a Nueva education, but she has a special affinity for social-emotional learning (SEL). “It’s just genius!” Judee said. “SEL classes, Intersession, and of course, the teachers, are three aspects of the school that are unlike anywhere else.” Judee’s grandson, Chip Thomsen ’18, had computer science teacher Jen Selby for all four years of high school. “I am so grateful for her, for her programming skills, and how she inspired Chip’s love of computers,” Judee said. “And Jim [Munzenrider, Middle and Upper School Music Teacher] and the [Nueva Steel Drum] band! All three of the boys were in the band. One of them couldn’t fit it into his schedule, and he was so upset about taking a break from it for one semester.”
Judee is incredibly close with her grandsons. She frequently texts with the two in college, and she has regular visits from Jack, who stops by her house on his bike ride home from school. “I’ve witnessed Nueva give all my kids such a love of learning that brings them joy in their lives. Nueva has had a wonderful and profound effect on our whole family… This is the best school ever!”