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January 26, 2020

Dear Families,

Thanks to all who attended the Parents’ Association Morning Forum on Tuesday. The topic of the event was The NYA Strategic Plan: An Overview, Recent Progress, and What is on the Horizon. Marissa Markonish, Eric Austin, and Jennifer Richard joined me during the presentation. We outlined the five major components associated with the plan (Program, Faculty, Enrollment, Development & Operations, and Master Campus Planning). I appreciated everyone’s thoughtful input and am looking forward to sharing a detailed plan with the entire school community soon. We are proud of our past and excited about what lies ahead for the Academy.

This time of year is when many NYA seniors are determining their plans for next year and waiting for acceptance letters. The college planning process is also well underway for our junior class. Two weeks ago, the Junior College Kickoff was held, where several NYA alums and current seniors shared their college selection experiences. On Monday, January 27, juniors and their parents are invited to a College Planning Night. This night will be hosted by NYA College Counselors Katherine and Steve Thomas, and they will be joined by guest speaker Erik DeAngelis, Senior Associate Director of Admission at Brown University. Parents of juniors, please check your email later this week for details about this event. The college counseling office will also be meeting with freshmen and sophomores to discuss some of the bigger picture perspectives related to college counseling.

Mission Spotlight

Saturday marked the start of the Asian Lunar New Year, and Asian communities throughout the world, including NYA, marked the occasion with feasts and festivities. Ms. Grady’s Sixth Grade Geography Class performed a Lion Dance during Friday Forum, with help from Hongwei He ’20. Thanks to Nathanael Wayashe ‘26, this year’s performance featured not one, but two, Chinese lions. Later, the sixth grade class enjoyed a lunch of dumplings that they had made. Ms. Grady’s Advanced Mandarin class also shared a holiday lunch with our students from China. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

In Eighth Grade Human Biology, students are composing and recording their famous “bone raps” to learn about the bones in the body. Eighth grade parents may be hearing these at home.

Around the Lower School, Mr. Hopkin’s class is conducting an in-depth study of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). They are studying the animals’ attributes and habitats, and they will end the unit by creating their own cetacean dictionaries. Mrs. Gagne’s fourth grade class is learning about Colonial America. They are studying colonial professions to prepare for their presentations to parents and students, complete with costumes.

Rehearsals are well underway for the Middle/Upper School performance of Sister Act. Rehearsals began in November under the direction of Mrs. Krainis, Mrs. Vaillancourt, and Ms. Jaffe. This year’s veteran cast is sure to put on an entertaining performance. Performances are Friday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 and may be reserved starting February 1 by contacting Mary Goodrich in the Middle School (847-5432). Please note that while the show is quite fun, it contains some mature subject matter and gun violence, thus it may be more appropriate for older children. Parental guidance is suggested.

Thank you to the many volunteers on our Project Graduation Committee. Each year, a committee of senior parents plans a night of fun activities for the senior class immediately following commencement. To raise funds for Project Graduation, the Class of 2020 is selling Pat’s Pizza discount cards. Cards are $10 each and worth many, many times that with the following discounts:

  • (2) $2 off large pizza
  • (2) free small cheese pizza with purchase of a large 2 topping pizza
  • (2) $2 off $10 purchase
  • (2) $5 off $25 purchase
  • (2) 15% off total bill

These cards are valid at Pat’s Pizza restaurants in Yarmouth, Brunswick, and Scarborough and can be used through August 15, 2020. If you would like to purchase any cards, please email Corinne Larson. The deadline for purchasing cards is February 15.

Thanks to Eliza Tod ’20 and the Environmental Club for hosting a representative from Garbage to Garden last Thursday morning. Garbage to Garden is a service that supports composting at businesses and schools like NYA. The representative spoke with our community about composting and shared many important reminders. NYA has worked with Garbage to Garden for three years.

Reminder: Friday, February 7 is an early release day for faculty and staff professional development. There will be a special schedule with an 11:30 a.m. dismissal. All students should plan to be picked up by that time. Buses will depart at 11:40 a.m. Safford will be open for morning snacks but closed for lunch. There will be no Middle School sports, but Upper/Middle School drama will meet for lunch and a special rehearsal. There are some Upper School games and practices so Upper School students should look for details from their coaches. Finally, Upper School students should confirm spring activity sign-ups with advisors or Ms. Ross if they have not already done so.

Athletic seasons are well underway, and teams are currently well positioned for postseason play. While there is still plenty of time left in the season, please save the date for the following athletic recognition events:

  • Middle School Winter Athletics Celebration and Drama, Wednesday, February 26 – 2:30 p.m. – NYA Gym
  • Upper School Winter Athletics Recognition Ceremony, Tuesday, March 24 – 6:00 p.m. – NYA Gym

On the athletic front, congratulations to Ricky Doyon, who was recognized on January 17 at the US Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore, MD as the 2019 New England Regional High School Girls’ Private/Parochial Coach of the Year. Coach Doyon has coached NYA Girls Soccer for the last four years and led the girls to the Maine State Championship two years in a row. In four years, Coach Doyon has taken the team from a JV squad to a repeat State Champion.

NYA Girls Varsity Hockey will be away this weekend competing in the first Maine Prep Cup. Coach Navrat worked with other Maine NEPSAC coaches to create this event. It will feature NYA, Kent’s Hill, Hebron, and Berwick. Good luck to the Panthers!

Upcoming Home Athletic Contests:

Tuesday, January 28Girls Varsity Basketballvs. Traip5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 28Boys Varsity Basketballvs. Traip7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 28Co-ed MS Hockeyvs. Winslow-Gardner5:50 p.m.
Thursday, January 30Co-ed MS Hockeyvs. Mt. Ararat4:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 30Girls Varsity Basketballvs. Temple5:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 30Boys Varsity Basketballvs. Temple7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 31Girls Varsity Hockeyvs. Newton Country Day6:30 p.m.
Friday, January 31Co-Ed MS Hockeyvs. Brunswick5:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 1Girls Varsity Hockeyvs. Pingree3:20 p.m.
Saturday, February 1Boys Varsity Hockeyvs. Buckingham, Browne and Nichols5:30 p.m.

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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