Middle School News

Middle School Athletics: Girls' Basketball and Boys' Soccer Win Championships

Girls’ JVA Sixth-Grade Basketball Team Wins Gold Championship at WBAL Tournament

In an exciting come-from-behind victory, the JVA sixth-grade girls’ basketball team clinched the 2017 WBAL Gold-level championship on Thursday night, March 2.  Going into the game with rival Menlo School, the girls had only lost one game this season — to Menlo. Trailing for three of the four quarters, the Nueva girls pushed themselves to play their best, taking the lead halfway through the fourth quarter and never relinquishing it.

The game was tight the entire time, and the team trailed by four points at the half. Coach Rometra Craig told the girls, "Let's bring it home in the second half. Play to your ability." She encouraged the girls to step up their defense and not be afraid to take shots. Rometra also suggested that the girls be "shot ready"—to take an open shot when the opportunity presented itself, and not just rely on the plays. By the third quarter, the girls had closed the gap to two points, and a short time later they took the lead.

Rometra noted the strong sense of teamwork throughout the season. "It was an absolute pleasure coaching such an amazing group of girls. Every single person contributed in a significant way and I am so proud of all of them!  We had so many intensely close games that really helped us grow as individuals and as a team. We set a goal to win the championship in the beginning of the season, and every game we stayed committed to our plan and we did it!"

Each player had to contribute her best over the season, and Rometra's practices "were hardcore but fun," according to the players. The girls learned multiple plays that they put into action in each game. These plays came in handy during the final tournament, when the girls had to dig deep to win.

Members of the JVA squad included: Serena S., Eliza S., Kayla H., Mia T., Lola A., Nixie H., Calder B., Charlotte P., Makenna K., Anya P., Keeley G., Ava G., and Riley S.


Boys’ JVA Soccer Team Captures WBAL Championship Title


Nueva’s JVA Boys team captured the WBAL soccer title on March 7 after squeezing in five games over a two-week period. Rain forced rescheduling of many league games to the end of the season, resulting in an exciting and exhausting finish. The boys were undefeated in their quest for the championship despite facing challenges from Sacred Heart and Woodside Priory near the end of the season.

The boys traveled to Sacred Heart to face a talented team on their home field. The Nueva team showed well, going up 1-0 in the first half. In the second half, the team continued to pass well and defend strongly. They added two more goals to shut out the Gators 3-0. William F. scored twice and Alex W. once in the game.

The team faced a fast and energetic Woodside Priory team with two games to go in the season, but managed to defeating them 5-3 on Monday, March 6. Led by coaches Daniel and Carlos, the boys were ready for the tough game, played at home in muddy conditions. Coach Daniel told the boys that this was their biggest challenge yet. It wasn't just about dominating other teams that aren't as skilled, but showing that they really understood positioning. He told them that each one of them has grown over the season, and that it was important to be consistent not only against the weaker teams but also against the strong teams. The boys took his words to heart.

The team passed well, using the talents of each player and relying on the goalkeeping talents of Thomas R. Scoring in that game were William F., Kevin H., and Xander A. Thomas R. made several crucial stops in the net, including one where he faced a one-on-one challenge with a Priory striker, knocking down a powerful shot and sending the ball out of bounds. Nueva forwards Xander A. and Nick M. made runs against Priory, seeking to extend the lead. Priory continued to press as the clock ticked down but was unable to score against the strong defense of Alex W., Eli P., Caleb O., Colin D., Winston L., and Nico B.

The team faced Redeemer Lutheran the next day and were down 0-1 early in the game, but they quickly equalized the game as Alex's corner kick resulted in a goal. Midfielders Nathan L. and Nolan S. fed passes to the front, while defenders denied attempts to shoot on goal. At the half, Nueva led 4-1, with goals by Xander A., William F., and Colin D. In the second half, the boys dominated the field, with Colin D. adding a fifth goal to the tally.

The boys prepared for their final game against Woodlands on Wednesday, but on Tuesday night, the Woodlands team forfeited the game, giving Nueva the championship. Members of the championship team were Nolan S., Nick M., Eli P., Thomas R., Alex W., Colin D., Xander A., Nathan L., Taher V., William F., Nico B., Kevin H., Winston L., and Caleb O.


 March 17, 2017

Read More

Fifth Grade Earth Science “Rocks” in Remote Setting!

Toward the end of October, fifth-grade Earth Science classes completed the fall study of Earth’s composition and the rock cycle. To help students solidify their learning and set it in stone, students created models of the rock cycle using upcycled or ephemeral materials found in their homes. 

“Poem-Worthy Noodles” Connect Community to History and Each Other: Jennifer Lin-Liu, Author of On the Noodle Road ‘Visits’ Nueva

After school on Thursday, October 21, about 40 students and teachers gathered on Zoom to enrich and extend their current interdisciplinary study of the Silk Road. They were participating in a noodle-making workshop by author and restauranteur Jennifer Lin-Liu that covered centuries of history and was generations of cross-continental journeys in the making. Organized by Jennifer Paull in conjunction with the seventh- and eighth-grade humanities teachers, this event is one of many the new Humanities Center will showcase in the years to come.

Catching Up with . . . Sarah Powell

We sat down with Sarah Powell, middle school student support specialist, to hear about her passion for supporting gifted students, particularly during this challenging time. In this interview, Sarah shares how she helps to create pathways for students’ academic development, and she provides insight into the importance of relationships between parents, teachers, and students—and superpowers!—in our middle school support program at Nueva.  

Nueva Students Welcome Families to the Mid-Autumn Festival

This month, students in Weixia’s class celebrated 中秋节 or zhōng qiū jié (the Mid-Autumn Festival), a traditional event celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian people. With their parents, students watched the full moon, recited an ancient poem, and gave their parents a handmade card of appreciation. These activities were part of their process of immersing themselves in Chinese culture, an important part of learning the language, and they also offered an opportunity for students to share their learning with their families.

Middle School Students Explore Social Justice in Lit Clubs

Founded in 1982, the Nueva Lit Club curriculum has provided middle school students with many opportunities over the years to practice reading strategies and literary analysis. This year, students have been faced with a challenging and changing world—in all of their classes, Nueva students have engaged in complex conversations and have raised important questions about race and social justice issues that were reignited this past summer. 

Catching Up with...Karen Tiegel

About one month into this unprecedented 2020–2021 school year, we sat down with new interim head of the middle school, our own Nuevan Swiss Army Knife, Karen Tiegel, to hear her thoughts about the start of the year, learn a bit more about our continuously evolving middle school electives program, and provide a space to reflect on moments—both past and still to come—that are at the heart of her Nueva experience.

The Great Nueva Zoom-School Plant Project 

Eighth-grade biology students have dived straight into an exciting study of genetic variation. One of the major themes of eighth-grade science is to understand humanity’s relationship with the living world. So, the teachers asked their students to grow Wisconsin Fast Plants to discover for themselves why plants produce offspring with variation. This led to a discussion about how humanity has modified species for food and other purposes. 

So What is the Nueva Middle School Tutorial?

Nueva middle school teachers are excited about student-led tutorial sessions this year. Introduced last fall to help students to get caught up after absences, ask questions about assignments, and ask for more challenging extensions on their work, tutorial has expanded to offer far more during remote learning.

Middle School Assembly Celebrates the New School Year

For more than two decades, Nueva's lower and middle school students have gathered together weekly during assemblies to share ideas, entertain each other, and be entertained. While assemblies look different in remote learning, Division Heads Megan Terra and Karen Tiegel still see great value in assembling together. So during the first week of school, they made sure their students gathered on Zoom.