After our eldest dog "Spy" passed away, students begged for a "new puppy." Knowing how a new puppy with 32 "masters" would turn out, we decided to contact our local animal rescue foundation and ask for an already-grown dog.
Our "dog committee" went to meet her at the shelter and immediately fell in love.
We had a "name voting ceremony" where these two came out in 1st & 2nd place, so yes... We gave her a middle name.
Welcome to your new home at NSA Luna -Laika!
Few schools are able to offer true cultural immersion experiences for learning language and developing interpersonal skills and cultural connectivity. At New Summit Academy, students are engaged in a once-in-a-lifetime project-based learning opportunity.
Our school has been working with our local retirement home for years, offering activities and connections for its residents. Recently, our Immersive Spanish teacher, Daisy, decided that we should be doing more. The project that students collaborated on developing is one that will provide the home with photographs and stories of its residents.
The first steps involve the students developing deeper relationships with the residents, so the class is visiting the home weekly, engaging in fun activities including music presentations and hands-on arts and crafts. As the students and residents bond, stories shared in their conversations will be recorded and paired with portraits taken by our Photography class to decorate the halls of the retirement home.
What an incredible opportunity for New Summit Academy’s students!
Juan Diego (or “JD”) has taught Science at New Summit Academy for more than a decade. In that time, he has created a classroom environment that is rigorous but fun, and is successful because of Juan Diego’s ability to create strong relationships with his students both inside and out of the classroom.
JD’s Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Biotechnology classes engage in dynamic, project-based learning, and JD’s classroom, filled with models of cells and DNA, catapults and trebuchets, and even a hydroponic growing system that sustains and is sustained by fish, is proof.
Outside of the classroom, JD participates in Integrated and Recreational Aventuras, runs a morning workout group for students, is the staff leader of the video game club, and is the go-to teacher for the latest comic books.
When he isn’t working, Juan Diego loves cooking, walking his dog, spending time with his family and friends and, during football season, cheering on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
JD is an integral part of the community at NSA, and we look forward to many years to come.
September brings Costa Rica’s Independence Day, and NSA students celebrated in style. Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator, planned the yearly Desayuno Campesino, or Farmer’s Breakfast, to mark the occasion. Staff arrived to campus early to pitch in (along with some early bird students!) to prepare homemade corn tortillas, eggs, gallo pinto, plantains and, of course, lots of Costa Rican coffee. Our teachers and Nurse Marco even donned traditional dress and coaxed students onto the dance floor! Thanks to Daisy and everyone who helped to make this year’s celebration so special.
Laura Céspedes has joined Lee Nadeau (Admissions Director) to form a dynamic Costa Rica - USA duo to provide the highest quality of service to our collaborating referral sources and families. You will not be disappointed with their warmth, care, attention to detail, knowledge, and professionalism in walking alongside our applicants as they navigate the stress and anxiety of this important step on their journey.
Laura grew up in NSA's home community of Atenas and has been involved with New Summit Academy most of her life through family connections, community service and cultural activities, the homestay program, and working at a local hotel where many NSA parents stay during their visits.
Once she came back from this journey, she decided to resume her studies by majoring in Psychology and also studying Publicity. Laura is currently finishing her degree while also working with NSA to improve her knowledge in the field. Our students have already taken to her warm personality and stop by her office to distract her :) and share their day to day experiences. Lee and Laura will make a great first impression for New Summit Academy.
As of 2019, New Summit Academy passed the high standards set by the Outdoor Behavioral Health council and the Association for Experiential Education. We are so proud of all of our staff and students who made this a possibility.
A special thanks goes to Andy Myers, Experiential Education Director, and his amazing team - especially Eric Cano, Miguel Varela, Tom Hutten, Sam Forti, James Mas, and our other departments - Personal Growth, Administration, and Academics - who all made this possible with their never ending quest for high standards!
To describe Roy Vargas as one of our campus “guards” doesn’t begin to tell the story of how Roy contributes to New Summit Academy. Roy joined the NSA family eight years ago, and his organization, intelligence, and people skills have helped Roy develop into one of our “indispensable” members of the school.
Not only does Roy spend his days ensuring that each of our students is safely where he needs to be, he manages all of NSA’s transportation logistics, checks in returning students, coordinates logistics for Bridge students arriving to campus, and much more. Roy is even one of our go-to staff for technical issues, troubleshooting internet and printer problems with ease.
Roy says that his favorite part about working at NSA is knowing that he is being of service in a job that helps young people, adding humbly, “even if the support is minimum, it is satisfying to be able to help in some way.” He needs to take more credit. Roy spends his free time with his family and doing small projects around the house.
Thanks, Roy, for your invaluable service!
This past week, our students have been engaged alongside out staff in working toward earning their Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certifications.
New Summit Academy has been pairing with the Wilderness Medicine Institute for years in facilitating this professional-level certification for students and staff as an opportunity to truly challenge themselves in an experiential, hands-on curriculum, as well as to help with our risk management during Integrated, Recreational, and International Aventuras.
Throughout the week-long course, our dedicated WAFA instructors teach students how to recognize and respond to a variety of situations that include:
- Risk management and assessment
- Patient assessment techniques
- Injury management
- Common wilderness medical problems
Each time students learned classroom content, everyone sprang into action, with half of our students and staff simulating medical emergencies on campus, and the other half acting as the first-aid responders, with the support of our teachers and instructors throughout the process. This is true (and very valuable) experiential education!
Last month, students and staff participated in one of the most awe-inspiring cultural experiences of the year: the annual pilgrimage to Cartago known as the "Romeria."
This pilgrimage began nearly 400 years ago when a young girl found a statue of a woman holding a child in her arms near a spring. After taking the statue home, the girl found the next day that it had mysteriously returned to the spring. The same happened when the girl took the figure to the local church.
Since then, the devout of Costa Rica (nearly 2 million of them!) walk to the site, now a basilica. Our students participate in 13 kilometers of the walk in order to help develop more cultural awareness and connect with the people of Costa Rica.
This year’s highlights include photo opportunities with the ex-president of Costa Rica and, perhaps even more exciting, the chicken mascots of a local department store!
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!