Middle School Newsletter for January 13, 2019

Happy New Year! We are delighted to be back in action and settling into the second semester of the school year. With the recent unpredictability in weather, there is no doubt that it is winter in Maine. Winter sports and drama are well underway, and students are enjoying their time on the courts, the ice, and the stage. In the classroom, students are beginning new projects and topics of study and setting new goals for the semester ahead. This a great time for students to stop and reflect on their role as members of the NYA community. We ask our students to stretch themselves academically, artistically, and athletically and to strive to be the best version of themselves. In no place is this more important than in the role of classmate and friend. The middle school years can put a great deal of stress on students with the increase in academic demands, physical growth and changes, and seemingly ever-changing social landscape. As we work together to maintain a safe, positive learning environment for all, it is important to take time and really focus on kindness, acceptance, and support. A wonderful aspiration for the new year would be to ask ourselves each day, “What can I do to make today a little better for someone else?”

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Friday, February 1 will be an early release to allow faculty and staff time for professional development meetings. School will run from 8:00-11:30 a.m. on this day with a special class schedule. We will have morning snack, but lunch will not be served. All students should plan to be picked up at 11:30 a.m. Buses will leave at 11:40 a.m. There will be no Middle School sports practices or games on this day, but drama will meet for lunch and a special rehearsal schedule.


Tuesday, January 15 is the last day to register for Take a Bite Out of Science with Mad Science of Maine. Check here for additional information about the programs and how to register.


Congratulations to the NYA students who participated in the District II Instrumental Festival this weekend!  These students were selected into the festival based on auditions this past fall.  They spent two days rehearsing together before performing for a full house at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.  NYA’s participants this year were:

HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA: Emma Collins, violin; Madeleine Vaillancourt, cello; Matt McGrath, bass

MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND: Haley Hegarty, flute; Fynn MacCarthy, trombone; Eben Weislogel, baritone

MIDDLE SCHOOL ORCHESTRA: Lauryn Casey, Emily Greene, Caleb King, and Sally Stronge, violins

Congratulations, also, to the NYA students who qualified for the District II Vocal Festival!  This event will take place on February 1 and 2, culminating with a concert on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m. at Greely High School.  Participants will include:

HIGH SCHOOL MIXED CHOIR: Jackie Ellsworth, Pierce Manchester, Matt McGrath

HIGH SCHOOL TREBLE CHOIR: Malia Morin, Afton Morton, Maddy Vaillancourt

MIDDLE SCHOOL MIXED CHOIR: Emily Greene, Jack Curtis, Rogers Crowley, Caleb King

STUDIO BAND ACOUSTIC SHOWstudio-band-acoustic-show-social-graphic

On Thursday, January 17, the NYA Studio Band will perform its 12th Annual Acoustic Show at 6:30 p.m. at One Longfellow Square in Portland. This year’s Studio Band includes a cross-section of Upper School students, grades 9-12, ranging from four year veterans to first time performers, some of whom have learned a new instrument only this year! The band will perform songs from a range of artists, including Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, REM, Will Smith, and Radiohead, and it is sure to be a fun-filled evening of music for all. Admission is free (donations to help support Studio Band costs are gladly accepted), and the event is child-friendly, so all are encouraged to attend the show! Our final show of the season, Studio Band’s Last Waltz, will be on Friday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Safford.  ~ Ross Markonish


NYA’s Key Club has joined together with the Key Club of Deering High School to host a Benefit Concert in support of March of Dimes. The concert will take place on Thursday January 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Deering High School Auditorium. Groups from NYA, Deering, and Portland High School will each perform, and then all the groups will perform a piece together. All proceeds from the event will support March of Dimes. Join us for a night of beautiful music to support this worthy cause!


On Monday and Tuesday, January 28-29, representatives from YAAPP (Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program) will meet with our seventh and eighth grade students for two periods. “YAAPP delivers education, services, and advocacy that enable youth to make choices within their dating relationships that are safe, healthy, and informed.” The goal of our sessions will be exploring and providing strategies for students on navigating the social demands of middle school, both in person and on social media.


Become a volunteer coach for NYA’s Girls on the Run Team to make a difference in our community by inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Not a runner? Not a problem! Regardless of your running ability, you will serve as a role model and help girls develop skills to help them navigate their worlds. Coaches must be available to work with a team of girls (grades 3-5) for 90 minutes, two days a week for 10 weeks beginning 3/18/19. Coach training is provided and lessons are scripted. For more information, please contact NYA Site Liaison Jess Smith or visit Girls on the Run-Maine.


North Yarmouth Academy presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This show, written by Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice, is based on the Genesis story of “Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors.” The musical was written in 1968, was staged in amateur theaters beginning in 1970, first appeared on Broadway in 1982, and was made into a movie in 1999. It has become a favorite of school and community theaters, with well over 20,000 different productions staged all over the world. Performances will be Friday, February 8, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 9, at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00, and can be reserved with Heidi Lathrop, 847-5432.


Speaking of the winter musical, on Wednesday, January 30, the NYA Theatre Department will host Kelli Rabke for a workshop. The cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (representing grades 3 to 12) will perform scenes for her, and she will coach our students. This workshop is open to drama students, parents, and friends! Kelli was the ORIGINAL narrator on Broadway and on the tour. She had her breakout role as Dorothy in the Paper Mill Theatre’s acclaimed production of The Wizard of Oz. She is best known for Broadway performances as the Narrator in Joseph and Eponine in Les Misérables. She also originated the role of Yonah in Children of Eden. On television, she played the recurring role of Bernadette on The Young and the Restless. After taking time to start a family, Kelli returned to the stage with her cabaret debut, No Place Like Home. Following multiple sold-out runs, she’s now headlining concerts and cabarets around the world.


How can you support Project Graduation and get the chance to sit in twelfth row seats cheering on the Boston Celtics vs. the Atlanta Hawks? Buy raffle tickets for two tickets to the Celtics game on Saturday, March 16! $10 for one chance; $20 for three chances. Completed entries can be turned in to Tara Johnson in the main office or emailed to Corinne Larson. Contact Corinne with any questions.


Experience NYA, on January 18 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., is designed for parents interested in the Middle and Upper School. Parents of prospective students will meet with me and other school administrators, see senior speeches, and tour the school.

Lower School Live, on January 30 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., is designed for families interested in the Lower School. Parents of prospective students will meet with Mrs. Markonish and observe Lower School classes in action.

These are two wonderful opportunities to learn more about NYA. Families are also welcome to contact the admission office at any time to schedule a tour of the Academy. Our current families are NYA’s best ambassadors. Please reach out to friends, family, and neighbors and encourage them to contact NYA to schedule a visit.


Do you have any old or outgrown snowshoes collecting dust somewhere? If so, pass them on to NYA! We are looking for snowshoes of all sizes to add to our current set for PE classes and other groups to utilize in exploring the great, wintry outdoors. We’d also love ice skates and helmets! Donated items can be dropped off at the main office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools.


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena for students, alumni, families, and friends.  Upcoming open skate dates are as follows:


  • Monday, January 21 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Monday, March 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 11 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please.  For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon.


Under the spearheading of eighth grade student Ethan Rapkin-Stiles, NYA held a dress down day last week to benefit Winter Kids of Maine. A Winter Kids Annual Membership provides discounts and offers on lift tickets, equipment rentals, gear, and more for children 18 and under. Looking for another way to support this great organization? On Saturday, January 19, Winter Kids and the Portland Parks, Recreation, and Facilities department are co-hosting a Winter Kids Welcome to Winter event in Payson Park in Portland. Contact Mary-Theresa Tringale for more information or to volunteer for this event.


Report cards and comments for the Fall Semester were sent out to parents via email on Friday, January 4. If you did not receive the email or have any questions about report cards or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact Marissa Markonish, the advisor, or the individual teacher.


Daily attendance is taken at the beginning of first period. A parent should call the office at 846-9051 by 8:15 a.m. when a student will be absent all day, arriving late, or leaving early – even if the parent has informed the teachers and/or advisors. It is our policy to call the parents of students for whom we cannot account. For further details on attendance policies, please consult the NYA Student and Parent Handbooks. Thank you for your help with this process.


NYA Raffle CalendarProject Graduation is an overnight, safe, fun filled, alcohol-free program of activities for our seniors after graduation. Project Graduation volunteers are currently selling raffle calendars for $10.00. There will be daily drawing, and a prize will be awarded each day in February. (If your name is drawn, it goes back in the pot, so you could win more than once.) To purchase a calendar, ask an NYA senior, email Colleen Reid, or order via PayPal by logging in and sending payment to kekmd@maine.rr.com.


The Project Graduation Committee collects and redeems returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK system at Hannaford as one of our fundraisers for this annual event. Please pick up a pre-tagged CLYNK bag at the main office in the Upper School and at the Lower and Middle School reception desks, take it home, fill it up, and drop it off at any Hannaford CLYNK location. Pre-tagged CLYNK bags can be picked up.

NOTE:  Please be sure to hold onto your filled and tagged CLYNK bags until January 14 for the CLYNK Annual Recycling Challenge, which runs from January 14 to March 22. For every $1 raised during this time, NYA will receive an added 50-cent match, plus the opportunity to compete for other cash prizes! So, be sure to fill your garages and basements with filled CLYNK bags and drop them off at Hannaford between January 14 and March 22!

If you already have a CLYNK account, you can donate funds from your account to NYA Project Graduation. Visit the Project Graduation web page for instructions. Please contact Kate Silvers or Michele Rose with questions or if you have any trouble with this process. Thank you for your donation to help the Class of 2019 have an unforgettable Project Graduation.


1/15 Last day to register for Mad Science
1/16 Middle School Debate, NYA Middle School 3:00-5:15 p.m.
1/17 Studio Band Acoustic Show, One Longfellow Square 6:30 p.m.
1/18 Experience NYA Admission Event  9:30-11:00 a.m.
1/21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day NO SCHOOL
1/22 Mad Science: Take a Bite Out of Science begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
1/24 March of Dimes Benefit Concert, Deering Auditorium 6:00 p.m.
1/27 Middle School Sunday River Trip
1/28-1/29 YAAPP Workshops with Grades 7 and 8
1/30 Lower School Live Admission Event  9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
1/30 Middle School Debate, Falmouth Middle School 3:00-5:15 p.m.
2/1 Early Release Day 8:00-11:30 a.m.
2/1 Dress Down Day for our public libraries $3
2/1-2/2 District II Vocal Festival, Greely High School
2/8 Drama Performance, Safford 6:30 p.m.
2/9 Drama Performances, Safford 2:00 & 6:30 p.m.
2/15 Experience NYA Admission Event  9:30-11:00 a.m.
2/15 Studio Band The Last Waltz, Safford 6:30 p.m.
2/18 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL


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