“My years at Nueva were the best three years of my intellectual life,” upper school teacher and eighth-grade class of 2001 alum Lee Holtzman said. “Ever since I left Nueva, it was always the biggest part of me. Which is odd because I was only here for three years.” After only one week at the school, Lee identified the need for Nueva to expand from a PreK–8 school to PreK–12. “The end of my first week at Nueva (I started in sixth grade, so I was eleven), I went into the Head of School’s office, sat down, and said ‘You need to start a high school, because I need to go there!’”
Nueva is dedicated to fostering lifelong learning within the classroom and beyond. Our alumni program has over 2,000 members including middle and upper school alumni, alumni parents, and alumni grandparents.
Graduates are introduced to the alumni program through the Welcome to Alumni gathering that takes place a few days after graduation. This celebration marks the end of the Nueva student experience and the beginning of a new passage of learning. In the fall, the new alumni receive Nueva care packages, and are invited back to the San Mateo campus for a Winter Reunion.
Browse our offerings to learn about alumni events and reconnect with your Nueva community. How do you show your spirit for Nueva? Get involved and energized by joining our alumni programs!
Become a Volunteer
Get involved with Nueva as an alumni volunteer. We welcome all graduates and alumni parents interested in heightening the student experience for current students and families. Return as a guest speaker or supporting hand for school-wide admissions events and the upper school internship program. Join us to prepare alumni care packages, which are sent twice a year.
We are always looking for contributors to the alumni newsletter! Reach out to us and share your story.
Calling All Alumni Parents!
Alumni parents reconnect with the Nueva community as a guest of Nueva’s biannual alumni parent gatherings. Hosted on either of the two campuses, the alumni parent events provide an opportunity to tour the new facilities while connecting with faculty and friends. Join our mailing list to receive information about all upcoming alumni parent coffees and cocktail receptions. stay connected to Nueva as parent volunteers or guests of biannual alumni parent gatherings. Organized by Nueva, the alumni parent gatherings manifest as alumni parent coffees and cocktail receptions.
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.
When Andrew Lam (eighth grade,’01) visited the Upper School with his father last year, he was thrilled to see learning in progress. “There was stuff all over the floor,” he said. “An intentional mess of art and science projects where kids were learning and exploring.” He was happy to see that the culture of exploration and the freedom to make and learn from mistakes were still part of the school he loved so much.
The Bridge Experience Task Force
1) To explore the idea of a Nueva Gap Year Program.
2) The task force determined that Nueva is well positioned to provide graduates with a unique gap year experience, and the task force was charged with defining and launching the program.
"As you embark on your journey from here, I just wanted to warn you: you may end up back here.”
Lee Holtzman — upper school history of science teacher and Nueva alum — shared these opening remarks as she welcomed the Class of 2018 at their first official alumni gathering earlier this month. Just two days after graduates flipped their tassels and tossed their caps, they gathered at the upper school for a brunch to embrace their new official status as Nueva alums.
What do a wedding officiant, violinist, actor, stunt performer, stunt-coordinator, singer/songwriter, and audio book narrator have in common? They are all means of employment for New Orleans resident and Nueva alumna Olga Munding ’86. She also publishes the occasional short story and in the future hopes to complete a book on the time she spent with blues legend Jessie Mae Hemphill.
For the past six years, Nueva alum Dan Liu ’96 has been an editor for the award-winning AMC television show The Walking Dead. Dan got his start by editing the concept trailer for Da Vinci's Demons with an editor of The Walking Dead, who then brought Dan on as his assistant editor for Season 2. He has been a full editor for several seasons now.
Among the many moments Heather Keane Leonard ’98 remembers from her days at The Nueva School, the most vivid are the times she spent outside exploring the natural beauty of Nueva’s Hillsborough campus. Whether she was studying the shallow root systems of redwoods, playing the xylophone under the willow tree, eating miner’s lettuce along the Crocker Road fire trail, learning about Native Americans, or acting out Billy Goats Gruff on the “Billy Goat Bridge,” Heather understood that the outdoors were not only her playground at Nueva but also her principal classroom.
Through his organization Rap Force Academy, Nueva alumnus Rahman Jamaal ’96 has been pioneering Hip Hop education for the last fifteen years, since he first encountered the educational nonprofit Hip Hop Congress. He helps people improve their communication skills through writing and performing rap songs in workshops designed to enhance a person’s self-expression and awareness. Students build their artistic creativity by playing with words and trying out their own voice as they develop their musical prowess and employ nuances of sound to write a rap.