June 5, 2022

Dear Families,

Earlier today, the 48 members of the NYA Class of 2022 graduated in a beautiful ceremony held under the event tent on Denney Field. Amy Walter, Chief Editor of the Cook Political Report, served as our Commencement speaker, Owen Frank presented the Principium, Jack Schaeffer delivered the Cum Laude address, and the graduates and guests were entertained by a beautiful performance of the Lumineers’ Ophelia by Justina Gilman, accompanied by Jack Schaeffer and Aidan Lacombe. This class has had quite a remarkable journey over the last four years. They are an amazing group, and we will miss them all on campus. I am very proud of their accomplishments and extremely confident they will excel in their next endeavors. Commencement capped off an incredibly busy week for the class and the entire school. The events began with the Travis Roy Arena and Fitness & Wellness center groundbreaking, Middle and Upper School Awards Day, and the senior dinner on Thursday. The 38th Annual Soirée was held under the event tent on Friday night, the alumni lacrosse game and cookout was on Saturday, followed by NYA’s Commencement today.

While the school year might be over, NYA still has a number of athletic teams competing in the playoffs. Come out and support the Panthers as they compete in their respective Maine State Tournaments. Below are some details from Kelsy Ross. Full and updated tournament brackets for all sports can be found on the MPA website.

  • Congratulations to our girls outdoor track & field team who won the Western Maine Conference Division II title last weekend! Yesterday, the boys and girls teams competed in the Class C State Meet at Lewiston High School. The Class C State Championship finished with countless medal recognition for members of the boys and girls squad. Check out the event details online. Congratulations to the team members! 
  • The boys lacrosse team enters the Class C tournament as the #1 overall seed and earned a first-round bye.
  • The girls lacrosse team secured the Class C #4 overall seed and hosts #14 Oceanside at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8.
  • Girls tennis entered the tournament as the Class C South #10 seed. NYA upset the #7 seed Dirigo in a first-round match before ending the season in a close match versus #2 Spruce Mountain last Thursday.
  • Boys tennis secured the Class C #7 seed, defeated #2 Carrabec in a first-round game, and #3 Dirigo to advance to the regional final! 
  • We look forward to celebrating the season with everyone at the Upper School Spring Athletic Recognition evening, Monday June 6 at 6:00 under the event tent on Denney Field. This event will also recognize members of the Class of 2022 who are continuing their athletic careers next years. Go Panthers!
  • Yesterday was the return of our annual boys and girls lacrosse Alumni Game. Campus was abuzz with familiar faces and loads of Panther pride. Our current team members, families, and coaches enjoyed a school sponsored BBQ with alumni and their families after the games. What a special way to spend the day!


Under the guidance of Dr. Sengupta, NYA sent nine delegates to the Maine Model U. N. Conference and Competition at USM from May 11 to 13. NYA delegates represented Ecuador, Hungary, and Iran. This is a valuable experience where students delve deeply into world events and hone their writing, critical thinking, and public speaking skills. Congratulations to Sam Cusano, Ecuador Delegate, who was awarded an Honorable Mention in the competition.

NYA Upper and Middle School Awards Day was held on Thursday, June 2 recognizing academic, artistic, athletic, and community achievements. At this ceremony, we recognized two members of the community for milestone years of service to the Academy. First, we recognized Nora Krainis, Director of Middle and Upper School Chorus and Drama, for 30 years and NYA Volleyball Head Coach. We also recognized Jackie Jones, NYA Controller, for 20 years of service. Nora retired this year, and Jackie will retire at the end of August.

Congratulations to all who were recognized, and thanks to each and every member of our community for your unique contributions over the past year.

We are busy preparing for next year and have several new members of our faculty and staff to announce:

Amy Leshure will be NYA’s next Chief Financial Officer. Amy is currently a Senior Investment Officer for the Maine Technology Institute. Prior to this, she was the CFO of Risingtide Cooperative, a non-profit grocery store coop. She was also an analyst for RBS, Private Equity Group. She began her career as a teacher. She earned her BA in Education from Rudolf Steiner College, a BS in Botany and Plant Pathology, and an MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas-Austin. She has also earned an Executive Business Management Certification from Yale. She served on several different boards and community organizations including the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen. She currently resides in Freeport with her two children, Eden and Jacoby. Amy will start in July and replaces Garrett Bowne who will be retiring. Over the course of the last five years, Garrett has not only provided incredible guidance and experience in the NYA Finance Office, but he has been a key partner with the NYA Board and administration as the school pursues several key strategic priorities.

Upper School Latin teacher, Ms. Karin Hoppenbrouwers, will take a sabbatical next year, and Emma Schneider will teach Latin. Emma earned her BA in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies from Penn State and a MA in Classical Language and Literature from Texas Tech. During the pandemic, she gained experience teaching on several online platforms to students in middle through upper school. She has also taught at the university level.

Kaylee Knudsen will take over as our new Health Services Coordinator. Kaylee is currently a school nurse at Lisbon High School and Lisbon Community School (Elementary). She has held additional positions as a school nurse and in private nursing. She earned a BS in nursing from UMaine-Ft. Kent, a MS in nursing from USM, and an Associate’s Degree in nursing from SMCC. She will start this summer. Kaylee replaces Ashley Moody, NYA ’02. Ashley has provided great support and leadership at NYA since 2010 and has been a key contributor to the Health and Safety team throughout the pandemic.

Liz Rollins has accepted the position as our new Choral Music and Drama Teacher. Liz earned a BA in Music Education at McGill University and a MA in Music and Choral Conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music. Liz has varied experience teaching drama at the middle and high school level, most recently at Greely High School. She has extensive conducting and directing experience and is well respected in the local drama community.

A couple of other faculty changes:

Mr. Smith, will leave his current post in the Middle School to take over for Ms. Grady in the Bicentennial Learning Commons (BLC). Ms. Grady moved full time to the Modern and Classical Languages Department. In addition to overseeing the BLC, Mr. Smith will continue to teach a Middle School math class and provide educational technology support for the Academy.

In addition to Middle School duties, Andrew Cook will also be teaching digital design in the Upper School. We added some new tech resources this year, and we are excited to launch a series of new digital design courses to enhance the visual arts program. To help Mr. Cook’s Middle School schedule, Christa Mecham is adding fifth grade art to her current Lower School art duties.

Therese Liptak, who has served as a long term substitute this year, will be returning to NYA in the full time role of Lower School PE and movement teacher. We are very excited to have Therese in this role.

Andrew Moore is joining Michele Buehner in teaching fifth grade next year. Michele will teach English language arts and math, and Andrew will teach social studies and science.

We will soon be hiring a new Dining Manager, as Dave Daigle is retiring this year after 21 years of service to the Academy. Barbara Lambert is also retiring after 19 years in Safford. Both Dave and Barbara were fully committed to the NYA dining program, accommodating every dietary need, and supporting a diverse range of student requests. We are grateful for their amazing service to NYA.

If you have not already done so, please access your Magnus Health SMR account through your Family Web portal. You will access the account via the button titled “Magnus Health Portal.” We ask that you complete the required health information and all forms within your Magnus Health SMR account for each child attending North Yarmouth Academy no later than June 15, 2022. This is a new system for NYA which will help us streamline the form process. You will receive some reminders about our new system along the way.

We are looking for additional homestay families for the upcoming school year. NYA’s homestay program accommodates Upper School students who live out of the state or country. In recent years, NYA has hosted students from many different states, Canada, China, Austria, Spain, India, Germany, and more. You don’t have to be a current NYA family to host a student. Homestay students can be “older siblings” for young children. A monthly stipend is provided to the host family. If necessary, the school will facilitate COVID screening upon the student’s arrival in Maine. There is more information here. Please email us Sagaree Sengupta and Eliot Grady at homestay@nya.org for specific details. We will continue taking applications during the summer.

The Soirée was a tremendous success! Over 200 guests showed up for the event under the Denney Field event tent to support NYA students and programs. There was a special focus on raising funds to support new programs for the fitness and wellness center. This facility will provide spaces for a variety of activities that will support all members of the community. There will be space for individual and team workouts, weight training, cardio, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and a variety of classes. We look forward to continuing to develop programs around health and wellness that will be so beneficial to our community. Thank you to our sponsors and everyone who supported this event.

As shared at the groundbreaking on Thursday, work is well under way for the reimagined NYA Travis Roy Arena and Fitness and Wellness Center. Interior work is progressing well on the arena, and the addition will begin in earnest in July. This will be an important and exciting resource for our students and community, and we will keep you posted on progress. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more. Take a look at the progress thus far on our construction progress webpage.

From the Parents’ Association: The Yarmouth Clam Festival is back, baby!  The booth hosted by the NYA Parents’ Association needs your help! After a two year hiatus, the town of Yarmouth will be holding the 55th annual event from July 15-17. Wrangle some fellow parents, older students, or sports team members, and sign up to scoop ice cream and pop popcorn. Work the booth to help support student and faculty grant requests and faculty and staff appreciation. It is lots of fun, and no experience is necessary! Please sign up here. Please direct all inquiries to Jess Lynch, ’22-’23 Parents’ Association President and Clam Festival Chair.

NYA Summer Programs begin on June 13. NYA Hockey Camps begin in July. Limited spaces remain in some camps. For information on any of these camps, please visit NYA Summer Programs on our website.

Along with summer camps, NYA administrative offices remain open throughout the summer from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. – noon on Fridays. Mrs. Markonish, Mr. Austin, and I will send updates on the 2022-2023 school year throughout the month of July, but please don’t hesitate to stop in to ask questions regarding the upcoming school year.

The NYA Admission Office is also open and busy throughout the summer. Limited spaces remain in some classes. If you know of a friend or neighbor who may benefit from an NYA education, please encourage them to reach out to the Admission Office at admission@nya.org.

Thank you to each and every member of our community for helping to make this a successful school year. We look forward to seeing some of you at camps and all of you in the fall. Best wishes to the Class of 2022, our newest alumni.  Have a wonderful summer!


Ben Jackson
Head of School

Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group, NYA Athletics Page (for livestreams of home contests)
YouTube – North Yarmouth Academy
Twitter – @NYAToday
Twitter -Athletics – @NYAPanther
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS, North Yarmouth Academy, NYAartists, NYA College Counseling
Instagram – northyarmouthacademy