Sunday Letter Graphic for WordPress

February 23, 2020

Dear Families,

Congratulations to actors, crew, and directors for an amazing performance of Sister Act. The Middle and Upper School thespians performed three shows to packed houses this weekend. It featured some great humor, exceptional acting, and some fantastic musical performances from our students. They are a talented group. Additional thanks to Director, Mrs. Krainis; Associate Director, Mrs. Vaillancourt; Assistant Director, Ms. Jaffe; and Tech Director, Mr. Cook. I hope you were able to see one of the shows.

The Middle and Upper School athletic season continues with some exciting basketball postseason action this past week. After winning a preliminary round game against Hall-Dale, the girls fell in the regional semifinals to Traip Academy. It was a great season for the girls and they finished with a 16-4 record. The boys won an exciting quarterfinal game vs. Richmond and then fell to #1 Winthrop in the semifinal game. The boys team finished with a 15-5 record, their best mark since the 2004-2005 season. In addition to a great season for the boys, Te’Andre King was nominated for Mr. Maine Basketball. The indoor track team competed at the State Meet on Saturday, February 15, with a strong showing and many personal records. The girls and boys hockey season continues this week, and Wednesday is local senior night for the boys.

Mission Spotlight

There are many hands-on activities happening in the Lower School. In Ms. KB’s primary classroom, the students are studying roots as part of the plant botany series. The students un-potted a plant to examine and label the roots. They were fascinated that the plant’s roots acted both as legs to give it stability and as mouths to take in water and nutrients. They planted seeds in their root view gardens and observed a radish sprout.

In kindergarten, the students finished writing their own three page pattern books. They celebrated by reading their stories to their fourth grade book buddies. The support of the older students really helped build the confidence of the kindergartners. They finished their mammal study by going on an outdoor scavenger hunt to search for mammal tracks. Children rushed with excitement from one area to another shouting “Look here! Look here! I found one!” They found squirrel tracks that led to a tree with its nest! This created very excited moments that sparked further curiosity.

STEM Coordinator, Terry Bartick, is consistently presenting STEM Challenges in the Innovation Lab. Last week was Engineer’s Week. In honor of the occasion, all students were invited to the Innovation Lab to take part in this year’s Fluor Engineering Challenge. Students were challenged to build a Wicket Knockdown machine to become eligible for a national competition for one of ten $1,000 prizes for their school. This challenge is open to ALL K-12 students, with different scoring categories at each grade level. Students can work alone or in teams, and the challenge runs through March 16.

Congratulations to Remy Schoch ’26, this year’s school champion of the National Geographic Geo Bee! Runners up were Jackson Bartick ’26 and Liam Devine ’24. The Geo Bee tests students on far more than state capitals, country borders, and the Seven Seas, and Remy rose to the challenge. As school champion, Remy took an online test to try to qualify for the state level of the Geo Bee; results will be announced in early March. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

Congratulations to Afton Morton, NYA ’20, for being named a National Merit Scholar Finalist.

NYA 100+ Women GiftOn behalf of 100+ Women Who Care Southern Maine, Deb Bergeron, the organization’s founder, stopped by NYA to present a donation to support the re-launch of the Academy’s Stella program. The Latin word for star, Stella’s goal is to partner Middle and Upper School girls in programs that help each participant find her own way to shine through mini-workshops and peer-mentoring. Pictured with girls from the fourth grade are Deb Bergeron, Director of Development Jennifer Richard, Head of the Lower and Middle Schools Marissa Markonish and Janet Bowne, an NYA alumni parent who made the connection between the Stella program and the 100+ Women Who Care. Thank you to 100+ Women Who Care for the generous contribution!

Looking for something fun to do next weekend? Come out to Smitty’s in Topsham for any of the movie showtimes on Sunday, March 1, and $5 of every $11 ticket will go toward this year’s Project Graduation. Project Grad is an all night drug and alcohol free celebration that follows NYA’s graduation ceremony and is organized and funded by the parents of our graduating seniors. Details of this fundraiser, including movie options, will be emailed out later this week.

We want to hear from you! Join us on Tuesday, March 3 from 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room to share your thoughts and ideas on this year’s NYA Soirée. If you can’t make it but still want to share ideas or be a volunteer, please don’t hesitate to contact Crystal Gordon (207-847-5401). We hope to see you there!

Lower School Grandparents’ Day is Friday, May 1 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Invitations will be mailed soon, so please be sure that your grandparent information form is updated.

Thank you to everyone who has generously supported NYA’s Academy Fund appeal thus far. If 500 people make a gift to NYA between February 23 and March 8, NYA Board President, Allen Bornheimer ’60, GP ’30 will give an additional $30,000. Look for more information on the Show Your Love giving challenge in the coming weeks! Let’s join together and make an impact on the NYA students and teachers we love, the academic programs we cherish, the beautiful campus we value, and the advisors, coaches, artists, and mentors who inspire us. Your participation can also help us unlock an extra $30,000 for NYA.

We continue to invite queries from families who are interested in hosting one of NYA’s students from away for the coming school year. If you are interested in hosting a student or learning more about the program, please email homestay@nya.orgHere is a link to additional information about the program.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, February 26Middle School Athletic Recognition
Friday, February 28Studio Band Last Waltz6:30 p.m. in Safford
Week of March 2Winter Carnival
Wednesday, March 4Lower School Arts Celebration2:30 p.m. in the gym
Friday, March 6Lower School Skate and Pizza Party11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena
Friday, March 6Spring Break begins after classes
Monday, March 23Classes resume

Upcoming Home Athletic Contests:

Wednesday, February 26Girls Varsity Hockeyvs. Cushing Academy3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 26Boys Varsity Hockeyvs. Worcester Academy (Senior Night for local players)5:00 p.m.
Friday, February 28Boys Varsity HockeyHolt Conference PlayoffsTBD

Please be sure to check to confirm game details.

And, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS.


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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