February 13, 2022

Dear Families,

Middle School and Upper School Drama finished up four showings of the musical HONK! last night. It was an amazing show! HONK! the Musical is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1843, The Ugly Duckling. The shows the students put on are traditionally amazing and this one did not disappoint with some terrific acting and entertaining music. Congratulations to all of our students, Director Nora Krainis, Associate Director Linda Vaillancourt, Assistant Director Sara Jaffe, and Tech Director, Andrew Cook. If you missed it, here’s a recording of Thursday’s preview show.

In addition to our winter musical, NYA’s Studio Band is getting ready to perform the traditional “Last Waltz” in Safford, next Friday night, February 18, at 6:30. Students may get their tickets through Mrs. Johnson in the Upper School office, beginning Monday. With limited space, tickets will go fast, so be sure to get yours before Friday at noon. We plan to livestream this event – here is the link. We caught a sneak preview of Studio Band when they performed during the NYA Boys Hockey game vs. Vermont Academy last Wednesday. They also inspired the team to a big 4-1 win!

Thank you to Ms. Grady, Mr. Howell and the sixth grade students for performing the Lion Dance last week at Friday Forum in celebration of the Lunar New Year. There was a dragon, a lion, loud music, and a couple of cabbages flying through the air. A good time was had by all!

Mr. Ramsey is currently teaching the Upper School semester elective, “Literature of Glacier Bay.” Last Wednesday, the class had their first visiting writer of the semester, Maine author, Jennifer Neves. She is the author of Freedom Farm. She gave a reading followed by some question and answer time. Additional authors will visit throughout the term. The course culminates with a trip to Alaska in June. During their Alaska adventure, the students will meet with various writers and explore through a kayaking trip deep into the unpopulated areas of Glacier Bay.

Mission Spotlight:

As many of you know, through Ms. Hould’s efforts, NYA was designated a Kind Campus over a year ago. This month, we celebrate Kindness Week from February 14-18. World Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17. This is a great opportunity to teach the impact of practicing intentional kindness. The February calendar suggests decorating rocks with kind messages to leave around campus or a student’s neighborhood. The Be Kind Challenge for 2021-2022 extends beyond this week. We are encouraging students to write acts of kindness they witness on a slip of paper with the goal of creating a chain to spread around campus. NYA is looking to beat their personal record of 835 acts of Kindness.

The winter athletic season is wrapping up. Middle School basketball season ends this week, with team celebrations on Thursday. Middle School ice hockey is complete on February 24. The Upper School basketball regular season has come to a close. Results are as follows:

  • Boys basketball finished sixth in Class C South, plays #11 Carrabec on Wednesday, February 17, details TBD; bracket here
  • Girls basketball finished third in Class C South, plays #14 Monmouth on Tuesday, February 16, details TBD; bracket here

The Nordic team raced last Wednesday and Saturday.  Results from the Western Maine Conference finals were:

  • The girls and boys teams came in fourth place
  • James Crowley was the first skier for our MCW/NYA team in eighth place overall
  • Greta Tod was 19th overall and the fourth and final scoring member of the team

The indoor track and field team competed in the Western Maine Conference finals on Friday. The following student-athletes earned individual medals:

    • Justin C.  – Champion in Jr. 55m dash, 2nd in Jr. 200m.
    • Marion R. – 5th in Sr. Shotput
    • Celeste M. – 3rd in Jr. Girls HJ
    • Alex W., Noah HR, James T., and Justin C. – 6th in the open 4×200 relay
  • The majority of the team had season or career bests.  Justin qualified to run in the state meet.

The boys and girls hockey regular season is wrapping up soon, followed by tournaments at the end of February.

The Athletic Department and College Counseling Office (CCO) are co-sponsoring a virtual college recruiting panel for NYA student athletes interested in playing at the next level on Thursday, February 17. The CCO will send more information soon. Reach out to Gretchen Bergill or Betsy Tomlinson with questions.

We hope you can join us on Tuesday, February 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. for the NYA Virtual Strategic Update: Plans and Progress. We will discuss progress with the Academy’s strategic plan with Board President, Linda Manchester P’15, P’20; campus construction updates with Tim Hebert P’25, P’27, Hebert Construction; and the impact of campus updates with Trustee, Freddie Daniel P’26, P’28, P’30, P’32. Submit questions and RSVP here.

Join Zoom Meeting: dDY2ZMOWFHTVZKdTFVUDZoNjhqdz09 
Meeting ID: 868 2806 2842     Passcode: 1814

On Friday, March 4, we will have an early dismissal at 11:30 a.m. Safford will be open for snack, but not lunch. The faculty will have an in-service day in the afternoon as a makeup for the day missed on February 4.

As a reminder to Lower School families, please do not park on Storer Street or at the First Parish Church lot on Storer Street to drop off at the Lower School or Toddler House. Parking is available in the Curtis Lot or on Main Street. There is a spot for handicap parking by the Toddler House if needed. It is important for the church to have their spaces available for their parishioners, church staff, and the food pantry. Thank you for your flexibility and cooperation.

Another reminder:  We will have a four day weekend next weekend in recognition of Presidents Day, with no school Monday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 22. We will return to school Wednesday, February 23.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you and have a great week!


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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