“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!’”
“We want our students to become engaged global citizens. That requires imagination, flexibility, resilience, the ability to get along with others, and a sense of humor. These are the compassionate creators and leaders who will build our future.”
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.
On Tuesday, Nueva students in grades 1-12 were fortunate to hear an inspiring presentation from renowned primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall...
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.
Graduation speaker Lucy W. posed this question to the audience at Nueva’s 2018 graduation ceremony, the culmination of a week of celebratory activities that began with the Lifer’s Dinner on Monday, June 4, and ended on Sunday, June 10, with commencement on Nueva’s Hillsborough campus. Lucy’s reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was also an allusion to one of the seminal readings in Nueva’s ninth-grade English curriculum, a reading experience shared by nearly all graduating students.
"When words divide us, music unites us.” A favorite saying of violin instructor Sin-Tung Chiu, who teaches his Menuhin-Dowling students to live by the values inherent in this aphorism. When asked about the most meaningful aspect of the Menuhin Program, eighth grader Audrey A. couldn’t choose just one.
“The teachers are incredible," she said. "My violin teacher (Sin-Tung Chiu) has taught me so many new things over the years, and I’ve improved as a musician so much through his coaching.”
On Friday, 86 eighth graders and their families gathered at Nueva's Hillsborough campus for one final celebration before advancing to high school (and beyond!).
The eighth-grade class of 2018 worked tirelessly to present, rhyme, and sing their appreciations of Nueva in 100 words or less. Together they reminisced over their completed STARPAP projects, painted exquisite literary memories of the Yosemite trip, and delivered clever, pithy speeches in true Nueva fashion.
Middle School Head Liza Raynal concluded her own 100-word address with, "Each student's speech will centuplicate the reasons why we are so proud to be the adults in their lives."