Sunday Letter Graphic for WordPress

May 16, 2021

Dear Families,

This week, elections were held for NYA’s Student Executive Council President. Candidates were Chas Rohde, Darby Mutagoma, and Jack Schaeffer. I can’t remember a time that three stronger or more compelling speeches were given. I appreciate each of these candidates’ willingness to serve the student body for the 2021-2022 school year, and all three would have made an exceptional student body leader. Elections were held Monday and Tuesday. Congratulations to our new Executive Council President, Chas Rohde. I would also like to thank and recognize outgoing Executive Council President, E-Beth Goodrich ’21. With an always optimistic outlook, E-Beth provided steady and consistent leadership for the school during challenging times for our students. Thank you, E-Beth, and best to Chas for a successful 2021-2022 school year.

The Middle School spring activity seasons are winding down with just two weeks left of our in-house seasons. The students have engaged in seasons centered around refining sport skills and exploring team concepts of leadership, togetherness, empathy, and hard work. Our baseball/softball, lacrosse, and track & field coaches have been rock stars, and we are looking forward to end of year team celebrations during the week of May 24 (information shared by coaches).

The Upper School spring activity seasons power on, in what feels like the most normal season in over a year! Interschool competition, the return of home spectators, the lessening of competition mask restrictions, and the eventual State Championship play-offs in June have the Panther squads re-energized and digging deep. We are finalizing plans to recognize our Class of 2021 student-athletes for their accomplishments at NYA, and those who plan to continue their athletic careers next year at various colleges, universities, and junior hockey programs. Mark your calendars for our virtual Upper School Spring Recognition Ceremony, Monday, June 7, at 6:00 p.m.  Please be in touch with Athletic Director, Kelsy Ross, with any questions about this spring, and be on the lookout for information about summer and fall activity programming. We are all eager for the return of full, unrestricted sideline, bench, and competition areas and are so proud of the ways our community is represented this spring.

On The Bright Side:

The seniors may be finished with classes, but a lot is still going on in classrooms across the Academy:  Over the course of the year, our kindergarten friends studied all five classes of vertebrates. To cap off the year, they are currently learning about invertebrates from ladybugs to ants. As summer nears and outdoor adventures ensue, the children find comfort in knowing lots about the creepy, crawly creatures they find. Through books, outdoor observations, and life cycle activities, the children are gaining experience as natural scientists.

Wednesday, May 12, was a Dress Down Day to support the Special Olympics and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Lower School students also gathered on the turf field to participate in a hop-athon to support MDA. Mr. Hardy led the festivities with some loud music and a lot of movement from the Lower School.

Lower School drama is alive and well! Be on the lookout for “Folk Tales for Fun,” a play sharing several short stories from all around the world, including “The Bremen Town Musicians,” “La Culebra,” “Rhodopis and Her Golden Sandals,” and “The Tortoise and the Leopard.” Students are hard at work rehearsing, learning lines, and putting together props. They will have a final rehearsal early next week and will then film their show to share with the community.

For the past 16 years, students in grades five through seven have been given the New England Math League Contest (NEML) in the spring. While everyone worked hard and challenged themselves through these contests, we’d like to recognize the top scorers in each grade:

Fifth grade:
First place: Delphine Daniel
Second place: Penny Houghton, James Kirby, Colden Daniel (tie)

Sixth grade:
First place: Ivy Birney, Liam O’Shea (tie)
Second place: Ethan King, Gavin Byrne (tie)

Seventh grade:
First place: Victoria Wahlig
Second place: Hadley Smith, Cameron Welsh (tie)

The Mathematical Association of America (or the MAA) was established in 1915 and is a highly distinguished math organization. In 1950, the MAA gave their first mathematical competition (the American Mathematics Competition or AMC), and currently there are three levels: eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade. Back in mid-November, our eighth graders were administered the competition, and they all worked through challenging questions that focused more on problem solving than just computation. In our Middle School, top scorers were awarded within an Intro to Algebra section and also for a combined Algebra 1 and Geometry section.

Intro to Algebra section:
First place: Vika Bigley
Second place: Zach Leinwand

Algebra 1 and Geometry section:
First place: Emma Bowden, Leif MacCarthy (tie)
Second place: Tyler Lacombe

Congratulations to all students for all their hard work on these competitions!

Every year, teachers and librarians from all over the state of Maine nominate middle grade books (fourth – eighth grade) that they think are some of the best published that year. Over 40 titles made the longlist for 2020-2021. Schools across the state created a yearlong virtual competition to read as many of these books as possible, and this year, the NYA Middle School participated in the competition. Students from grades five through eight formed teams of four to five students, then read and reviewed as many of the books as they could. Starting in January, the teams participated in a series of Kahoot! Trivia Quizzes, where students were asked questions about the 40 books. The winning NYA team then competed against other school districts in the area, ultimately winning the regional round. On Friday, May 14, our NYA team competed in the state final quiz game against schools in Houlton and Freeport – and won! We are so proud of their enthusiasm for reading! Congratulations to our MSBA victors: Jackson Bartick, Hadley Smith, Cocoe Haedrich, Victoria Wahlig, and Genevieve Vaillancourt, and thank you to their moderator, Annie Powell!

The Upper School held its third CivilTea discussion of the school year. The topic of the discussion for Friday’s session was “cancel culture.” The goal of CivilTea is to facilitate open discussions on topics that are important to our students and the greater community. The process is also designed to teach our students strategies to articulate their viewpoints on an issue and to have an open mind to other ideas and viewpoints. NYA students are trained to be facilitators. After receiving some background information on a topic, discussion groups are held with the student facilitators. Friday’s conversation generated some robust discussion and many different viewpoints.

NYA is always recruiting new families for its Homestay Program. If you are interested in hosting a student or learning more about the program, please contact Here is a link to additional information about the program.

As a follow up to the  Not Just Blowing Smoke:  Tobacco, Vaping and Marijuana and Youth Use virtual presentation, Hawa Shir, from the Portland Tobacco Prevention Project, will return to speak to Middle and Upper School students on May 21 during our Friday Forum time. She will focus on prevention and health risks. It is another great opportunity to continue the dialogue at home on the risks of tobacco use.

We are excited to announce a new addition to our Summer Programs: Academic Bridge Workshops designed and taught by our own NYA faculty. The workshops are for rising ninth through twelfth grade students from any school to review and hone concepts they learned this school year and get a jump on subjects they may be taking in the coming year. (The French workshops are open to middle school students.) Each session will focus on a particular subject matter and will offer one-on-one attention for students in a small group format. Workshops are offered in Trigonometry and Review for Calculus, College Essay Writing, Environmental Science, Biology, and Conversational French. Workshops run on select Monday through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are subject to a minimum enrollment. Here is more information.

The NYA Summer Programs office is seeking lead counselors for weeks 7 (August 2-6) and 8 (August 9-13) of the Panther Cubs program (ages 3-5), and lead counselors for the Super Summer Junior program (ages 5-7) for weeks 3 (June 28-July 2), 4 (July 5-9), 5 (July 19-23), and 7 (August 2-6). We are also looking for junior counselors, age 16 and older, for week 4 of our program (July 5-9). We pay very well for super fun work. Excellent for college students home for the summer. Contact or visit our careers page for more information.

We hope you can join the NYA community on Friday, June 4, for the 37th annual Soirée under the Denney Field event tent on campus or virtually from your home. It’s not too late to register online. There will be live and silent auctions, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and live music. It is always a fun night, and you don’t want to miss it! For questions, please contact Crystal Gordon (207-847-5401). See you there!

North Yarmouth Academy is pleased to present a virtual Lower School Grandparents’ Day. Enjoy photos from campus, student artwork, and performances by talented Lower School students from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Have a great week!


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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