The High Point Legacy: Alumni Spotlight: Lynn Nuccio Buennagel (Class of 2000)

Welcome to “ The High Point Legacy: Alumni Spotlight,” a series celebrating the lives of Pasadena’s High Point Academy graduates. Alumni will share their journeys, showcasing the transformative impact High Point Academy’s nurturing environment has made on their lives. Each story will provide insights into the values and opportunities that define the HPA experience.

Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of HPA alumni, revealing the essence of what makes High Point Academy exceptional.  For more information about HPA, please click here.

“Work hard, do your best, learn how to step up as a winner and how to take defeat.”—Danny Kwan

I am a pediatric physical therapist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  I currently live in Altadena with my husband David and our two children, Evan (4 yrs. old) and Hannah (2 yrs. old), but we recently bought a new house and are about to move to La Crescenta. I went to Villanova University for college and earned my B.S. Then I went to USC for the Physical Therapy program, where I received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I also have a board certification as a pediatric clinical specialist—a distinction given by the American Board of Physical Therapy to acknowledge a clinician’s expertise in the area of pediatrics. I love my job at CHLA and am always working on growing and being the best PT I can be for my patients and their families.  With two young children, I am also growing in my journey as a parent and enjoying raising Evan and Hannah and learning from them.

My High Point Experience—

High Point is special to me in so many ways.  I attended K-8 grades at HPA and am still in touch with some of my classmates all of these years later. I have so many fond memories of time spent with friends, and I definitely credit my love for acting and theater to my participation in the many plays and performances at High Point.  I enjoyed my experiences at High Point so much that I participated in theater in high school and even minored in theater in college!

 My Personal Observations and Reflections—

Mrs. Sandi Brune was definitely one of my favorite teachers at High Point, given how much I loved being a part of her plays and performances.  She was always so animated and had so many fun stage props and instruments for us to use.  I can still remember most of the lyrics to the Witch’s Brew Halloween Song and how the students would fight over the props that went along with it.  I’ll also always remember how at the end of every performance she’d mouth-out counting to 3, along with showing the numbers on her fingers. Then she would hold her hand up and quickly turn it to the side to indicate that it was time to leave the stage.  In college I was helping as part of the stage crew for a production and found myself doing the exact same thing to try to communicate when it was time for someone to exit the stage!

I went to La Salle High School and felt over-prepared for the transition, especially academically.  There were a few students from my HPA class who also went to La Salle, so I had friends and familiar faces when I started.  As a freshman, I was taking junior-level classes for both math and Spanish language. I also felt that my writing skills were strong, which helped in my English and history classes and went a long way towards helping me write essays for college and graduate school.  I still get compliments on my writing skills to this day, and that has allowed me to feel strong in this area, especially in a career where I need to document patient charts and write letters to insurance companies regularly.

I came back to HPA for a reunion event a while back, and it was really fun to see everyone and hear about what they are up to.  I haven’t been back on campus, but I drive by regularly, as my parents and sister both live near the campus. I love seeing all of the updates and getting a glimpse of a P.E. class or two on the field or running the hill as I go by.


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