Nueva alums reconnected at the lively Alumni Luncheon on January 8. More than 30 alums visited the Upper School campus to reminisce and catch up.
Chris Garber, eighth-grade Class of ’08, has launched the Nueva Connection Challenge! — a friendly competition to see which class can create the most new alumni connections.
For Nueva students studying Japanese, “Doshisha” has a special meaning. This is especially true for the more than 500 students who over the years have participated in the exchange program that has grown from one high school to four middle and high schools in and around Kyoto.
When Laena Wilder was 10 years old, a walk down San Francisco’s Market Street with her Nueva art teacher Barbara Marino and her best friend set fire to a passion that would drive the rest of her life.
It’s a long, winding road from Uganda to Nueva, but Marissa Maimone, associate teacher and middle school alum, found her way back.
“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!’”
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.