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Senior Staff

The senior leadership team at North Yarmouth
Academy is responsible for the daily operations,
oversight, and leadership of the school.

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Senior Staff Members

Ben JacksonBen Jackson 2015 - 5144 -001Square
Head of School
207.847.5444
bjackson@nya.org

Ben Jackson became Head of School at NYA in 2015. Ben has 25 years of experience in independent schools as English and history teacher, baseball and basketball coach, mock trial coach, dorm parent, board member, parent, and administrator. Prior to joining NYA Mr. Jackson served for 10 years as Head of School at Evergreen Country Day School. Ben earned his BS in Political Science from Hobart College, MA in American History from Providence College, and a M.Ed. Leadership from Regis University. Ben previously served on the faculty at The Wheeler School in Providence, RI; Friends Academy in North Dartmouth, MA; and St. Andrews School in Barrington, RI.


eric-austin-2017Eric Austin
Head of Upper School

207.847.5441
eaustin@nya.org

Originally from the granite state of New Hampshire, Eric began his independent school career back in 1990, a long ago time that preceded e-mail. Eric received a B.S. in Physics from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. in Environmental Management and Policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After teaching for several years at an independent day school in Maryland and two larger boarding schools in Massachusetts, Eric moved to Maine with his family in the summer of 2000 and began teaching mathematics and physics at NYA that fall.  Throughout his time since at NYA, he has served in many capacities, most recently as Interim Head of Upper School, Math Department Chair, physics teacher, senior class advisor, and a coach of several sports including track and basketball.

In addition to serving as the Head of the Upper School, Eric continues to teach AP Calculus, a course he feels supports students in retaining a lifelong appreciation of mathematics.  He thoroughly enjoys his work with the students, the families, the faculty, and the staff at NYA, a school he considers to be among the finest independent day schools in all of New England.  Eric is also a father of two NYA alumni, Hannah ’15 and Sarah ’17.


marissa-bioSquareMarissa Markonish
Head of the Lower and Middle Schools

207.847.5431
mmarkonish@nya.org

Marissa Markonish joined the staff at NYA in 1995, teaching Latin in both the Middle and Upper schools, and became Chair of the Modern and Classical Language Department in 2004. She holds a BA in Classics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and an MAT in Latin and Classical Humanities from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She spent a year teaching Latin at Seabury Hall on Maui before settling down in Maine. Marissa moved into the role of Head of Middle School in 2010 and helped to open the Lower School in 2013. In her current role as Head of Lower and Middle Schools, she enjoys implementing an engaging and dynamic program for our students from Toddler through eighth grade. Marissa’s husband Ross is Chair of the English Department and their two children, Alex (Class of 2019) and Luke (Class of 2023), are students at NYA.


garrettbowneGarrett Bowne
Chief Financial Officer

207.846.9051
gbowne@nya.org

Garrett Bowne joined NYA in 2017 as Chief Financial Officer. He has a B.A. from Bowdoin and an MBA from USM. Garrett has extensive experience in Finance and Risk Management. He was previously employed by Delhaize Group, an international food retailer. Garrett was integrally involved in strategic and financial planning for this growing company. Most recently Garrett served as Senior VP and Group Risk Officer. His prior positions at Delhaize included Senior VP of Finance and VP and Operations Controller. Garrett is also a father of two alumni, Garrett ’09 and Caroline ’11.


AshleyRandlett SquareAshley Randlett
Director of Admission
207.847.5407
arandlett@nya.org

Ashley Randlett joined the NYA team in 2015 as the Director of Admission, completing her journey back to Maine. A Belfast native, she fled the snow after high school to attend Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA. In addition to graduating Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration, Ashley was a four year member of the swim team. After a brief foray into the business world, Ashley realized she was best suited for the non-profit sector and began her career as an independent school admission officer, first at Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, MD and most recently at The Providence Country Day School in East Providence, RI. Swimming, running, biking and skiing are just a few ways Ashley likes to spend her down time.


jrichardJennifer Richard
Director of Development

207.847.5429
jrichard@nya.org

Jennifer joined NYA in 2017 as the Director of Development. She came to NYA from Bates where she was the Assistant Vice President for College Advancement and charged with leading the launch of the College’s $300 million fundraising campaign. Immediately prior to her ten years at Bates, Jennifer served as Director of Development for United Way of Androscoggin County and before that as the Associate Director of Communications at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass.

Jennifer holds a B.A. in English and Media Communications from Assumption College where she was a member of the women’s tennis team and the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Jennifer is a Maine native who currently lives on Sebago Lake with her husband and three sons. She enjoys skiing, boating, hiking and travel.


nya_field hockey_play day_am_aug 23, 2014-175_SQUAREJack Hardy
Director of Athletics
207.847.5456
jhardy@nya.org

Jack has returned to athletic administration at NYA after seven years as an assistant principal at nearby Falmouth High School. Prior to that, he was a high school and middle school athletic director for fourteen years at Greely/MSAD 51. Additionally, Jack teaches physical education to our four and five year olds enrolled in the NYA Lower School.  Jack is a University of Maine graduate with a M.A. degree in education. Jack is also an NYA alumni parent – his son Anthony is a member of the NYA Class of 2012.


kthomas-staffKatherine Thomas
Director of College Counseling
207.847.5445
kthomas@nya.org

After graduating from Williams College and spending a year teaching conversational English in Japan, Katherine began working in college counseling in independent schools. While Woodberry Forest School (an all-boys boarding school outside of Charlottesville, VA) and Foxcroft School (and all girls boarding school in Middleburg, VA) each presented unique school experiences, the co-ed day school environment at NYA feels like a perfect fit to Katherine and she is thrilled to have called NYA home since 2006 as the director of college counseling. Katherine is involved in regional and national college admissions counseling conferences and events and travels whenever possible to visit colleges around the country – all in an effort to provide the most current information to NYA students and families.

When not helping students and families navigate the college admissions process, Katherine can usually be found appreciating the quiet wonders of island life on Littlejohn Island, speeding somewhere on her road bike, or chasing her teenage son up a very tall mountain nearby in New Hampshire. Katherine’s husband Steve works part time with her in the college counseling office while son Jack and daughter Annie are in the twelfth and ninth grades respectively here at NYA. Katherine also enjoys traveling, reading and taking her dog for long walks.


NYA Faculty 02-11-15 - 2313SquareChristopher Mazzurco
Director of Information Technology
207.847.5430
cmazzurco@nya.org

Christopher Mazzurco has been a member of the North Yarmouth Academy community 1996.  During his time at NYA he has held the position of Director of Information Technology.  Along with his duties of keeping the technology operations running smoothly on campus, he has spent much of his time teaching and coaching NYA student athletes. In addition to being a student advisor, Christopher is a three-season coach for Girls Varsity Cross Country, Boys & Girls Varsity Indoor Track, and Boys & Girls Varsity Outdoor Track & Field.

Chris graduated with a BA in Astronomy, Physics, and Archaeology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.  While working in each of those disciplines, technology integration was always at the forefront of his work.  At NYA, Chris’s focus has been on providing a sustainable environment that allows for meaningful integration of technology at all levels of education.


bio-belesca (1)SquareKristi Belesca
Director of Marketing and Communications
207.847.5423
kbelesca@nya.org

Kristi joined NYA in 2007 as Director of Community Development and Communications, and she transitioned to Director of Marketing and Communications in 2013. She came to NYA from Portland Public Library where she was Director of Development and Programming and managed public relations and communications.

Kristi is a graduate of Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia and has a BA in Psychology from Davidson College. She moved to Maine from North Carolina in 2000 to join the Maine Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society where she managed the MS 150 Bike Tour and other events and became Director of Development. Prior to the MS Society, she worked in development at Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is the president of the Northern New England Chapter of the Davidson College Alumni Association.

Kristi lives in Yarmouth with her husband and their two daughters. She enjoys sailing, reading, photography, water skiing, and boating, and divides most of her free time between Crescent Lake and Chebeague Island.