Sunday Letter Graphic for WordPress

May 23, 2021

Dear Families,

I am very excited to announce an anonymous gift of $400,000 to North Yarmouth Academy to support character based education among our students. The gift will create and support a character and service champion position. This character and service champion will provide vision, leadership, and strategy to NYA’s service and community engagement efforts. It will also provide resources to support service activities. Read the full press release here. We are grateful for this family’s generosity and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our students at all levels and program at NYA.

Through a partnership with the USTA, that also included a grant to support the construction of our new Poulin Family Tennis Courts, NYA became certified as a Net Generation school. We received training programs, teaching and learning tools, right-sized equipment, and access to experts in an effort to introduce young people to the game of tennis. This spring, NYA Trainer and Physical Education Teacher, Heather Dean, and coach Lori Poulin P’22, began using the equipment and curriculum to introduce our elementary students to tennis. Here are some additional details.

We are in the final stretch of the school year. The Lower School has just two weeks of classes remaining. The Middle and Upper School have one week before starting exams. The final day of exams and last day for Lower School is Thursday, June 3. Additional important dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 25: Dress Down Day for Maine Climate Action Network, $3 (new date)
  • Wednesday, May 26: Middle School Recognition Evening (eighth grade only), NYA gym, 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 27: Memorial Day Flagpole Ceremony at 10:05 a.m.
  • Thursday, May 27: Last day of Middle School spring sports
  • Monday, May 31: Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL
  • Tuesday, June 1 – Thursday, June 3: Exams for grades 6-11
  • Wednesday, June 2: Senior lunch and commencement rehearsal
  • Thursday, June 3: Last day of school. Last exam for grades 6-11
  • Thursday, June 3: NYA Awards Day for Upper and Middle School at 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, June 3: Last day of school for all divisions. Dismissal at 11:45 a.m. for Lower School and Noon for Middle and Upper School
  • Thursday, June 3: Senior dinner, Denney Field, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 4: Soirée, Denney Field or virtual, 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 6: Commencement, Denney Field, 11:00 a.m.
  • Monday, June 7: Upper School Spring Athletic Recognition Ceremony at 6:00 p.m., virtual via Zoom (coaches will send the link)

The final week of classes also marks the end of Middle School spring activities. Coaches will share information with their respective teams about practice schedules and any special events planned to celebrate the season. We are very proud of the way our Middle School Panthers have adapted to after school activities this year, and we are eager to have them back competing against other schools next year! Rising eighth grade student-athletes should be in touch with Ms. Ross if interested in participating in summer activities with Upper School sport coaches.

Upper School spring regular seasons are winding down as playoffs begin to heat up. We’ve started a string of senior games to recognize the Class of 2021 student-athletes and their families. Pictures from these events will be available on SmugMug in the weeks to come. Class of 2021 student-athletes planning to continue their athletic careers beyond NYA will also be recognized during Awards Day (June 3) and should be on the lookout for details via email from Ms. Ross and Coach Michaeles. The ability to celebrate the hard work and talent of our Panthers together will be special.

Tournament seeding, format, and schedules will be announced at the conclusion of the regular seasons around June 4. We encourage Panther fans to check the Fan Central section of the Maine Principals Association website for up-to-date information about the postseason. We are incredibly excited for the various state tournaments, which return after a yearlong hiatus!

Remember to save-the-date for Monday, June 7 at 6:00 p.m. for the virtual spring season recognition ceremony, and be in touch with Ms. Ross if you have questions about summer or fall activities.

I sent a letter to the community on Wednesday, May 19, with updated mask guidance from the Maine DOE. The most significant change to the NYA guidance is wearing masks outdoors on school grounds is now optional for students, guests, and visitors to campus. Masks are still required at all times while indoors, with the exception of eating and drinking. We will continue to remain vigilant in protecting our community from the impacts of COVID. We hope the easing of outdoor restrictions provides some relief for our students. It is nice to see their faces!

On The Bright Side:
At this year’s Maine Model United Nations Conference hosted by USM, the delegate for Belgium, NYA’s Aidan Lacombe ‘22, received Honorable Mention for his work at the U. N. Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) committee sessions. Ten NYA students attended the online conference this year, representing Argentina (Leyi Li ‘22, Sally Stronge ‘23), Belgium (Aidan Lacombe, Liv Urbanek ‘24), Dominican Republic (Jack Curtis ‘23), Seychelles (Ethan Rapkin-Stiles ‘23), Jordan (Abigail King ‘22), Greece (Jack Schaeffer ‘22), and Thailand (Haley Hegarty ‘24, Noah Hallward-Rough ‘22). Congratulations to Aidan and the rest of the delegates from NYA!

This year, under the guidance of school counselor, Cindy Hould, NYA became a Kind Campus. The culmination of our Kind Campus efforts will be celebrated this week as all three divisions unite to count and join our act of kindness chain links. Our goal was 500 acts of kindness, and in true Panther style, we expect to surpass it! This initiative resonated throughout student life this year by writing kind notes in advisories, finding Ben’s Bells hanging on campus, and speaking about the impact of kindness in senior speeches. This is only be the beginning, and we look forward to new and creative Kind Campus initiatives next year.

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.” The students filmed their scenes this week after starting rehearsals in March, and their video will be available soon!

Congratulations to the NYA students who have qualified for the Maine All-State Music Festival:

  • Emily Greene ‘23
  • Hans-Erik Jerosch ‘24
  • Topher Prokopius ‘22
  • Madeleine Vaillancourt ‘22

Normally the students would have traveled to Orono for rehearsals and a performance. This year the festival was virtual, with students attending Zoom sessions with their conductors/composers and recording their piece. Their virtual concert will be available later this summer.

NYA’s Bluegrass Ensemble will have their final full performance of the year at Maine Craft Distilling on Tuesday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m. We hope to see you there. The Royal River Honey Badgers always put on a great show.

Many NYA students have gone on to serve the United States in combat. NYA alums have participated in nearly every conflict since the school’s founding in 1814. Thirty-eight NYA alumni have given their lives in service to country from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Each year, ahead of Memorial Day, we gather as a community on the front lawn, at the flagpole, for a service to remember those NYA alumni that have made the ultimate sacrifice. This year, the Class of 2022 will gather, and everyone else will participate virtually. It is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, at 10:15 a.m. Thank you to NYA Archivist, Jay Robbins, for leading this ceremony.

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 homestay@nya.orgHere is a link to additional information about the program.

If you are interested in NYA’s new Academic Bridge Workshops this summer, here is more information. The workshops are offered in Trigonometry and Review for Calculus, College Essay Writing, Environmental Science, Biology, and Conversational French. They will run on select Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are subject to a minimum enrollment.

There is still some space in NYA Ice Hockey Camps for players age 8-15 from any school and at all levels. These full day camps are staffed with experienced NYA coaches, players, and alumni, and run throughout the summer.

We hope you can join the NYA community for the annual Soirée on Friday, June 4, under the event tent on Denney Field or virtually. It’s not too late to register online. Start bidding today on the amazing class baskets and other silent auction items! There will be a live auction, paddle raise for faculty support, a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception, 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!

Have a great week! Stay healthy!


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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