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Middle School Newsletter for April 11, 2021

Spring is finally beginning to peek through, and the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation are fast approaching. These final months will be packed full of learning and exploration, and yet, like so much of this past year, they will look somewhat different than they have in years past. We will not have our usual spring field trips and concerts, and many of our events will take place in a modified format. Nevertheless, we will continue to rejoice in being together on campus and will celebrate all that we have been able to enjoy this year. We are proud of the hard work, great growth, and tremendous success of our students, and we look forward to seeing what more they will accomplish in the weeks ahead!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


The Sixth Grade Geography Expo will take place on Friday, April 16 from 12:45-2:15 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. This year’s focus is Asia, and students will present on this region using several forms of technology, followed by a student-created Kahoot! game based on the presentations. Prior to the presentations, students will enjoy a delicious Asian meal. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, we cannot have parents present for the live event, but fifth grade students will watch and hopefully be inspired for their turn next year. A link and “watch party” date will be sent to sixth grade families after the long weekend. 


Each April, people throughout the United States celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by selecting a poem to carry and share during the day at schools, libraries, parks, workplaces, and various venues. This year, NYA will celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 29. All students are encouraged to put a poem in their pocket and add their voices to the celebration. NYA will also celebrate Poetry Month in various ways in the classroom and through weekly poetry recitations at Friday Forum.

MAY 15!

May 15 is the deadline for several forms required for the 2021-2022 school year, including health forms and off-campus travel and athletic participation release forms. All forms and instructions can be found at Family Forms on our website. You can also reach this page from the drop-down menu under the ‘Parents’ tab at the top of NYA’s homepage. Thank you for completing these forms by the due dates. It is a tremendous help to our faculty and staff!


In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, David Griswold ’03 will visit with Lower and Middle School classes virtually to discuss climate change and his book, Fur & Feather Stand Together, a story of a puffin and a polar bear who join forces with their community to save the ice that is melting around them.

In addition, David is helping the Environmental Club reach their goal of converting the entire campus to LED lighting. All but two NYA buildings have made the switch from halogen and incandescent lighting to LED. Light bulbs that use LED technology are more environmentally friendly, consume less power, reduce greenhouse and carbon dioxide emissions, and generate less heat while also offering dramatic energy savings. Over $18,000 has been contributed to the campus-wide LED conversion and just $5,000 more is needed to complete the project. David will send a copy of his book to all who contribute $50 or more to NYA’s LED conversion. Make a gift and secure your copy of the book at www.nya.org/give.  


Enjoy this update on digital citizenship from Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor.


Congratulations to the following students who received medals for the 2021 District II Music Festival! District II ran as a solo competition this year, as it was not feasible to put together the usual large festivals. Students worked on a prepared piece and submitted a video which was then scored and rated. This was a new experience for all. Congratulations to everyone who participated! Medal recipients are:

MIDDLE SCHOOL GOLD: Victoria Wahlig, Alto; Victoria Wahlig, Violin

MIDDLE SCHOOL SILVER: Jackson Bartick, Violin; Leif MacCarthy, Trombone; Hadley Smith, Violin; Genevieve Vaillancourt, Soprano; Genevieve Vaillancourt, Viola; Genevieve Vaillancourt, French Horn

MIDDLE SCHOOL BRONZE: Lyla Casey, Violin; Justin Corporon, Clarinet; Paxton Fogg, Bari Sax

UPPER SCHOOL GOLD: Madeleine Vaillancourt, Cello; Madeleine Vaillancourt, Alto

UPPER SCHOOL SILVER: Jack Byrne, Cello; Emma Collins, Violin; Emily Greene, Violin; Emily Greene, Soprano; Darby Mutagoma, Alto

UPPER SCHOOL BRONZE: Fynn MacCarthy, String Bass; Holden MacMahon, Guitar


Middle School spring sports are off to a great start in our unseasonably warm weather.  The grass fields are on the way to dry quickly, and with no huge piles of snow to surround us, we are looking forward to using them soon.  In the meantime, the turf and gym have been popular spots as our students have returned to some long-awaited spring sports action. All the teams are excited to get back into action, even if it’s just practices, and as 2:30 nears, we hear lots of cheering and excitement.

A reminder that we have shifted from Big Teams to rSchoolToday. For more information on where to find practice and competition details, including how to sign-up for rSchoolToday alerts, please visit our Athletics webpage. Weekly updates with specific team schedule information will continue to be communicated directly from your coaches.  ~ Mallory Michaeles


Join the Spring Egg Hunt on April 28! The sophomore class is organizing the hunt as a class fundraising event. The cost to join the Egg Hunt is $3. Everyone who signs up will hunt for eggs in a designated area of campus and then turn them in for candy and prizes (including gift cards valued from $10-$50). To sign up, please fill out this form as soon as possible and bring $3 to the Middle School office no later than the morning of April 28. Thank you for supporting the sophomore class!


  • Tuesday, April 13: The Upper School Make-A-Wish club is sponsoring a dress down day to raise funds toward granting our next wish for a child in Maine. Make-A-Wish Maine is an organization that works to grant the wishes of children with critical illness and to make an impact on the lives of those children and their families. To date, NYA has donated well over $50,000 to grant 11 wishes.
  • Friday, April 23: After the passing of Travis Roy this past fall, the students at NYA wanted very much to find ways to honor Travis and his legacy. Funds raised on this day will be donated to the Travis Roy Foundation and a representative from the foundation will speak to the Middle and Upper School students at our Friday Forum assembly.
  • Wednesday, April 28: After reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, some of our sixth grade students were moved to help solve the problem of lack of access to safe water for communities in Africa. After researching how to help, they decided to sponsor a Dress Down Day for Water for South Sudan, whose mission is to “Deliver sustainable quality-of-life services to and with the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water, and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need.”
  • Tuesday, May 4: The Upper School Star Wars Club will be celebrating May the Fourth with a Dress Down Day and some special Star Wars-themed events. Wear your favorite Star Wars t-shirt and channel your inner Wookie. Proceeds will benefit Star Wars: Force for Change, which is “dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges and empowers youth to be global forces for change in their own lives and for children around the world”.


Due to capacity restrictions and other limitations from COVID-19, this year’s Middle School Recognition Evening will be only for eighth grade students, their families, and staff. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the NYA gymnasium. We look forward to having this opportunity to celebrate our eighth grade students as their middle school years come to a close!


As they near the end of their Middle School careers and prepare for the increased freedom and accompanying responsibility of the Upper School, eighth graders have the opportunity to earn the privilege of signing out of study hall for the final weeks of the school year. We will meet with the eighth graders soon to discuss these upcoming privileges and to encourage them to demonstrate their leadership skills as the most senior student members of our Middle School community. Privileges go into effect on April 26. Students must sign out “face to face” with the study hall proctor and let them know where they will be instead of study hall – it must be on campus! Possibilities include Safford, the library, the Community Room, the quad, the gym, and the fields (the ice arena, tennis courts, and locker rooms are off-limits). If students decide to move to another location, they must come back and tell the proctor. To have this privilege, students must be in good academic standing (i.e. up-to-date with all assignments, working to potential in each class, maintaining grades, etc.). There is a zero-strikes policy for this privilege (e.g. if a student should not inform the proctor where he or she will be, the privilege will be lost for the remainder of the year). The eighth graders are very excited to take advantage of this privilege!


Run by college students, The Ruckus Room is a private Zoom room, hosted by Hardy G*rls Healthy Wom*n, where girls and gender expansive youth in grades 4 – 9 can drop in to chat about life, pop culture, family, school – whatever! The Ruckus Room is hosted weekly by two Colby College students in a casual format that allows for talking or listening or simply hanging out with other girls and gender expansive people. The college students are there to follow their lead and make sure that everyone has a place to feel supported. You can come every week, just once in a while, or just once to try it out! For more information go to: https://hghw.org/resources/ruckus-room/.


The NYA Parents’ Association is looking for volunteers for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. If you would like to get involved, meet fellow parents, and have some fun, the Parents’ Association is the place for you! We are currently busy building the PA Volunteer Board, including the slate of officers. There is a job for you no matter how much time you can commit. Take a look at the list of available positions below. If you are interested or have questions regarding the positions (including time commitment), please contact Tori Baron (207-766-1764) or Patrick Cannon (207-239-7888). Want to meet the current board members? Join us for our next meeting, May 5, outdoors at Clayton’s, socially distanced. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Available positions: Secretary; MS Coordinator; LS Coordinator; Social Media Coordinator; Special Events; Volunteer Coordinator; Pre-K/K rep; fifth grade rep; seventh grade rep; and eleventh grade rep.


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.org. Here is a link to additional information about the program.


Save the Date for the 37th Annual NYA Soirée on Friday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m. Attend on-campus under the tent on Denney Field OR virtually from your own home. Enjoy hors d’oeuvre stations by Dandelion Catering, cocktail music with Wavelength Band, and lively silent and live auctions to benefit NYA. Be on the lookout for invitations and registration information soon.  

Are you interested in contributing to the silent auction? The NYA Parents’ Association is working with Class Representatives to put together Class Baskets for the silent auction. Amity Jackson and Katie Leinwand are overseeing this effort, which is a fun, easy way for parents to come together and support the event. Be on the lookout for communication from your Class Representative.

Please contact Crystal Gordon with any questions about the event.


In addition to the events listed below, there are many important dates to note at the end of May. Middle School Recognition will be on the evening of Wednesday, May 26 (eighth grade only). The last day for Middle School spring sports will be Thursday, May 27. Friday, May 28 is our last day of classes for grades five through eight. There is no school on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day. Exams and year-end tests for grades six, seven, and eight will take place on the mornings of June 1, 2, and 3.  The fifth grade students will have special class events on those mornings. Pick-up on Tuesday, June 1 and Wednesday, June 2 is at 11:30 a.m. Morning snack break will be available, but lunch will not be served. Thursday, June 3 is our last day of school! After the last exam and fifth grade wrap-up in the morning, we will enjoy a special break treat, receive yearbooks, and watch the Awards Ceremony. Pick-up on the last day is at 12:00 p.m. Mark your calendars now!


4/13Dress Down Day, Make-A-Wish$3
4/16Sixth Grade Geography Expo 
4/19Patriots’ Day NO SCHOOL
4/20Professional Development/Lower School ConferencesNO SCHOOL
4/22Earth Day 
4/23Dress Down Day, Travis Roy Foundation$3
4/26Eighth Grade Privileges Begin 
4/28 Spring Egg Hunt$3
4/28Dress Down Day, Water for South Sudan$3
4/30Last Day of Classes for Seniors 
5/4Dress Down Day, Force for Change $3
5/15Family Forms Due! 
6/3Last Day of School8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


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