Nueva encourages students to explore their passions inside and outside the classroom, and each month for the remainder of the year we will share and celebrate a collection of these achievements.



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Nueva Twelfth Grader Zack C. Captains Winning Team at Harvard MIT Math Tournament

Twelfth-grader Zack C. recently returned from his fourth trip to the Harvard MIT Math Tournament (HMMT), held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Zack is a member of a group of Bay Area high school math enthusiasts named Alpha Star, or A-Star for short, which sent three teams of eight to HMMT. In a phenomenal showing, Zack’s team won the team competition, the first time A-Star has taken first prize at HMMT. Zack described the most adrenaline-inducing part of the tournament, the “Guts Round,” in which a runner retrieves questions from the judges and runs to the team, then the team then solves the problems as quickly as possible, and the runner immediately delivers the answers to the judges and retrieves more questions. Adding to the suspense, a live-updating scoreboard onstage kept the scores visible until the last ten minutes of the round, when the scoreboard froze, keeping the final scores a secret until the round ends.

Zack's love for math has continued to grow stronger through his many years at Nueva, and he's felt inspired by his math teachers who have supported him in every way possible. In grades 5–8 at Nueva, Zack's participation in Math Counts was not only great fun, but also influenced his road to more advanced math competitions.

Congratulations to Zack and the rest of the A-Star team for their exciting win in this prestigious competition!

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Students Recognized for Strong Creative Writing: Sophia E., Elizabeth B., and Audrey C.

Seventh grader Sophia E. was recently awarded three Gold Keys in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ West Writing Region-at-Large. She won a Key in each of the following categories: Critical Essay, Flash Fiction, and Personal Essay and Memoir. Sophia’s work then went on to be judged at the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, where she was awarded a silver medal for her memoir “Lavender.” According to the award announcement from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, who administers the competition, nearly 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted by students in grades 7–12, placing Sophia’s piece within the top 1% of submissions. Sophia and her family acknowledged their gratitude for the role Nueva middle school writing teachers have played in providing support, feedback, and direction to Sophia’s literary pursuits.

Also recognized with Scholastic Art and Writing Honorable Mention awards were tenth grader Elizabeth B. in the Novel Writing category and eleventh grader Audrey C. in Poetry. Congratulations to all three of these award-winning writers!

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Two Nueva Musicians Recognized at the US Open Music Competition: Joshua K. and Matthew S.

The 26th Annual US Open Music Competition (USOMC) was held in Oakland on February 19–25, and two Nueva students were recognized for their performances.

Sixth-grade pianist Joshua K. finished first in his group, “Treasury of Baroque Composers Intermediate (Group 4).” In addition, he earned a fourth-place finish in a second section, “Treasury of Romantic Composers Upper-Junior (Group 3).”

Ninth grader Matthew S. won second prize at the 2018 USOMC in his violin division, “Instrumental Solo Intermediate (Group B).”

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In addition to his success at USOMC, Matthew was invited to perform at the 2018 Junior Bach Festival, and accepted to the 2018 National Youth Orchestra 2 (NYO2), a  summer orchestra program organized by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. As part of NYO2, Matthew is looking forward to touring New York, Miami Beach, and then returning to New York to make his Carnegie Hall debut. He will also have a chance to perform with violinist Gil Shaham.

Matthew is a former student of Nueva's Menuhin violin teacher Sin-Tung Chiu, with whom he studied violin from second to fourth grade. Matthew was also member of the Nueva String Ensemble led by Mr. Chiu in the lower school.

The accomplishments of these young musicians are the result of dedication and hard work and we applaud them!


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Ninth Grader Eleanor H. Wins First Place in Bay Area Classical Singing Competition

Ninth-grade student Eleanor H. was named First Place Winner in the lower high school category (grades 9–10) at the classical singing competition held by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (SFBAC NATS) at California State University East Bay, Hayward, on Saturday, March 3.

Last year, while in eighth grade, Eleanor won the Dorothy Barnhouse Youth Award for singers aged 13 and younger at the 2017 SFBAC NATS Classical Competition. Eleanor also sings with the Bay Area Vocal Academy in San Francisco, and her voice teacher is Katie Tupper. She will be performing in the Nueva Upper School spring musical, Cabaret.

Congratulations to Eleanor on her commitment and success!


By Dianne Willoughby, Editorial Manager

March 14, 2018



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