Middle School Newsletter for February 9, 2020

It is hard to believe that there are only four weeks of classes until March break! At this time of year, we take time to enjoy final adventures in the snow and begin to dream of the longer days of sun and blooming flowers that springtime will bring. These weeks are packed with numerous special events, from the final games of the winter season to Spirit Week, Bring A Friend to School Day, Sister Act performances, and National Language Exams. Students are hard at work in their classes as the second semester is now in full swing, and it is important to maintain a healthy balance by also incorporating some light-hearted fun!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Enrollment agreements were sent out last week with a March 1 deadline. We appreciate your prompt return of these agreements as staffing and schedules for next year will be constructed based on students whose re-enrollments are submitted by March 1.


The NYA Middle School Basketball coaches and teams are delighted to provide a two day basketball clinic for students in grades three through five. The clinics will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 and 12, from 3:15-4:00 p.m. in the NYA gym. Students will learn some skills and practice drills under the guidance of the coaches and with the support of the Middle School players. Attire is shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. Interested fifth graders should sign up with Michele Buehner by the end of the day on Monday, February 10. Students should pack their bags and bring everything over to the gym to be picked up there at 4:00 p.m. Thank you to the teams for providing this opportunity!


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show your friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, February 21 will be “Bring a Friend to School Day.” This is an opportunity for our current NYA students in grades five through twelve to invite friends from their sports teams, neighborhoods, summer camps, after-school programs, etc. to spend the day with them at NYA while many area schools will be on February break. Please note that friends may not participate in sports practices. Register a friend and find more information here!


North Yarmouth Academy presents Sister Act. This show, written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, is based on the 1992 movie of the same name. Sister Act tells the story of Deloris van Cartier, an aspiring Philadelphia nightclub singer, who is forced into hiding after witnessing her gangster boyfriend commit a murder. The police place her in a convent, knowing that this is the last place on earth her boyfriend would look. The bold and brash Deloris is put in charge of the convent’s ailing choir, which soon becomes a hit performing group. 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. Performances will be Friday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00, and can be reserved through Mary Goodrich. Mary can also be reached by phone (847-5432) for ticket reservations between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m..  Ticket pre-sales will close at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 21.


Class C Girls Preliminary Game
Hall-Dale Bulldogs @ NYA Panthers
Tuesday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. tip-off
A win sends NYA to Augusta the following week.
There may be an MPA admission fee for this game. We will confirm once we know.

Class C Boys Quarterfinal Game
NYA vs winner of Richmond vs. St. Dom’s
Monday, February 17, 7:30 p.m. tip-off, Augusta Civic Center
MPA Admission fee $10 adults; $5 students/65 and older

Come cheer on our Panther basketball teams!


On Friday, February 28, the NYA Studio Band will perform in the annual “Last Waltz,” their final show of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will play a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers and REM to Weezer and Kanye West. The concert will take place in Safford Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and promises to be a fun time for all ages. Come out and jam to some awesome tunes and great performances!  ~ Ian Ramsey and Ross Markonish


The entire Middle School will gather in the NYA gym at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26 to celebrate the hard work, growth, joy, and accomplishments of the student athletes and performers. The fifth grade will be dismissed at 2:20 p.m. in order to attend this event. Parents and families are welcome! We ask that all students plan to attend and get picked up following the celebration.


On Thursday, February 27, we will have an afternoon of activities for students in grades five through eight from 2:20-4:15 p.m. (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:15 p.m.). After the academic day, students will remain in the Middle School for pizza, snacks, a movie, dancing, and a variety of games. This event allows faculty and students to join together for an afternoon of fun!


After the Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration on Wednesday, February 26, there are no afternoon practices or rehearsals until after our spring break. To help keep our Middle School students active and involved during that period, we will offer a variety of “Cabin Fever Reliever” activities on Monday, March 2, Tuesday, March 3, and Thursday, March 5. Students can opt to be picked up immediately after school (by 2:30 p.m.) that week (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:20 p.m. on these days). Otherwise, they will sign up for one of the activities that will run from roughly 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. each afternoon. Past activity options have included Free Skate (no sticks, helmets required, for skaters of all abilities); Games (Chess, Checkers, Board Games, & Word Games); Crafts; Innovation Lab; Gym Games (Futsal, Bombardment, etc.); or Study Hall. This year’s options will be presented to students in mid February for sign-ups. As usual, the Middle School building will remain open and supervised until 4:00 p.m. each day.  All students on campus after 2:30 p.m. must be enrolled in one of the activities. It should be a fun time for all!


Friday, March 6 will be Winter Carnival at NYA. We will have an abbreviated class schedule in the morning followed by special activities after lunch. Students in grades five through twelve will be broken up into groups to experience each of the activities while playfully competing against the other teams. Classes are paired together for the afternoon events: fifth and twelfth; sixth and eleventh; seventh and tenth; and eighth and ninth. The activities will include Name that Tune, Bombardment, Musical Chairs, Captain’s Coming, Sing Down, and Knockout. It is a fun way to unite the school community and break out of the winter doldrums.


Leading up to the festivities of Winter Carnival, we will have special dress days and lunchtime activities Monday – Thursday, March 2-5. Lunch activities will include Whipped Cream Gum (a rather messy, no hands, gum-chewing activity), Marshmallow Drop (an even messier activity that involves dropping marshmallows off a ladder into the open mouth of your teammate below), Cheese Puff Shaving Cream Challenge (a crazy challenge of trying to make cheese puffs stick to your partner’s shaving cream-coated forehead), and Blindfolded Make-Up Artist (an activity where one student applies make-up to another student without being able to see his/her face). Below are the special dress days for the week:

  • Monday:   Pajama Day
  • Tuesday:   Mainer Day (dress in true Mainer style)
  • Wednesday:   Team/Sports Jersey Day (NYA, outside sport/dance, or professional sports team)
  • Thursday:   Wacky Thursday (crazy, mixed-up outfits)
  • Friday:   Team Colors: 5th = orange black; 6th = red; 7th  = blue8th = white

Students who choose not to take part in the special dress must be in regular NYA dress code. 


For the final week before March break, the fifth grade schedule will be altered to allow students to join in on the special events scheduled during that week. Their academic day will end at 2:20 p.m. on Monday – Thursday, March 2-5 in order for students to take part in the Cabin Fever Reliever Activities and for those wishing to attend the Lower School Arts Celebration on Wednesday, March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym. They will follow the same special schedule as grades six through eight on Friday, March 6 and then join in on the Winter Carnival fun until 2:30 p.m. 


As the second semester gets underway, it is also time to start thinking about the eighth grade transition to Upper School! Parents of eighth grade students are welcome to set up a time to meet with Eric Austin, Head of the Upper School, to learn more about the Upper School, discuss sample schedules, outline curriculum, and obtain answers to any questions. Feel free to contact Eric to set up a time to meet.


Spanish, French, and Latin language students in grades seven through twelve will take National Language Exams in the coming months. The Grand Concours and National Latin Exam will be given before March Break, and the National Spanish Exam will take place in April. Language teachers will communicate more specific details about exam dates and times in their classes. Awards will be announced in the late spring. Please contact Danny Chin, Modern & Classical Language Department Chair, with any questions. Merci, Gracias, Gratias!  ~ The Modern & Classical Language Department


The NYA Middle School Leadership Academy is a program open to rising seventh and eighth grade students who would like to spend five days this summer hiking across the high peaks wilderness of New Hampshire’s White Mountains learning about, and practicing, leadership. This is not merely a fun hiking trip (though it is that also!), but is also a laboratory for students to develop personal grit and leadership skills. Ian Ramsey and Danielle Barschdorf will lead this trip from August 17-21. The cost is $800; some financial assistance is available. Applications are due by March 1. Contact Danielle with any questions.  ~ Danielle Barschdorf


NYA will host its seventh annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. To celebrate the new Learning Commons, which will no doubt be a favorite spot for many students, this year’s Reading Challenge theme is “My Favorite Place to Read.” Grab your favorite book and go read in your favorite place – a comfy chair, a tree house, a ski lift, a beach chair, wherever you like best! Take a photo or a selfie, and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 25 to be considered. The pictures will be judged by a panel of faculty and staff, and a winner for each Division (Lower, Middle, Upper, and Faculty/Staff) will be announced on Friday, March 27 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!  ~ Eliot Grady


In preparation for the spring season, students should confirm their spring activity participation with Athletic Director, Kelsy Ross, via email or in person prior to the March Break. The 2020 Middle School Spring Activity offerings are Baseball, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Coed Outdoor Track and Field, and Softball.

Practices begin the afternoon of Monday, March 23, when we return from March break. Students should bring clothing and gear and be ready to practice that day. Coaches will communicate any specific gear and clothing updates to their team rosters in the upcoming weeks. Contact Kelsy via email or at 847-5456 with any questions.

YEARBOOKSNYA Outing Day 2018

The NYA Yearbook is a much-loved, highly-anticipated publication. The yearbooks will be passed out to students during our NYA Picnic/Fun Day on Thursday, June 4, 2020. All NYA Middle and Upper School students are automatically charged for a 2020 yearbook, so you will see a $55 charge per student on your March bill. Don’t want a yearbook? No problem, just call or email Lisa McGlinn in the business office, 207-847-5425, and she will reverse the charge. If you choose not to purchase a yearbook for your student, please inform your child so that he or she will be prepared not to receive one on the last day of school.


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.


The Class of 2020 is selling Pat’s Pizza discount cards as a fundraiser for Project Graduation.  Each card sells for $10 and is 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.

Beginning on February 21, the senior class will sell raffle tickets for 31 different prizes, including cash, tickets to Chicago at Merrill Auditorium, and gift cards to local artisans. Tickets are $5 each or you can buy 5 tickets for $20. Prizes will be drawn each day during the month of April! Tickets will be sold at each showing of Sister Act, or you can purchase tickets from any senior or their family!


Save the date for the annual NYA Soirée on Friday, May 15 at Portland’s Ocean Gateway. This year’s gathering will include a live and silent auction, games, food stations and hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and plenty of fun. Planning for the Soirée is underway by event committee members, Jen Edwards P ’30, P ’32, P’36; Jenn Yilmaz P’19, P’22, P’24; Jillaine Geary P’26, P’28; Diana Mutagoma P’22, P’25; Maryea Curtis P’30; Lissa Von Brecht ‘02; and Amity Jackson P ’21, P ’22, P ’26, in concert with the Development Office. If you have event ideas, want to get involved in planning, or are able to offer any auction prizes, please be in touch with the event planning committee or Crystal Gordon in the NYA Development Office. In the past, successful auction items have included jewelry, travel packages, concert and sporting event tickets, fine dining, and unique experiences. Let’s make this a fun, meaningful night for the NYA community!


The NYA Parents’ Association is looking for three volunteers to co-chair the NYA ice cream booth at this year’s Clam Festival. The co-chairs will work as a team, each with individual responsibilities. Primary duties include coordinating volunteers, running the booth during the Clam Festival, and ordering and coordinating the food and supplies. Laura Bergeron and Scott Frank have done a great job of running the booth for a number of years and will be available to train and answer questions, with Scott staying on as a co-chair this year. This is a fun event, a great way to meet people, and a very positive way to contribute to NYA and our fundraising efforts. Please contact Laurie Hegarty or Tori Baron with interest and questions.


2/11 & 2/12Basketball Clinic for grades 3-5, NYA Gym3:15-4:00 p.m.
2/14Experience NYA Admission Event9:30-11:00 a.m.
2/15Deadline to order Pat’s Pizza Discount Cards 
2/17Presidents’ DayNO SCHOOL
2/21Bring A Friend to School Day 
2/21Drama Ticket Pre-Sales close11:00 a.m.
2/21Sister Act Performance, Safford6:30 p.m.
2/22Sister Act Performances, Safford2:00 & 6:30 p.m.
2/25Last day of Middle School Winter Sports 
2/26Middle School Winter Athletic and Drama Celebration, NYA Gym2:30 p.m.
2/27Middle School Pizza and Fun2:20-4:15 p.m.
2/28No Middle School afternoon activities 
2/28Studio Band The Last Waltz, Safford6:30 p.m.
3/1Re-enrollment Deadline 
3/1Leadership Academy applications due 
3/2-3/6Spirit Week (special dress and lunch activities) 
3/2, 3/3, & 3/5Cabin Fever Reliever Activities2:30-3:30 p.m.
3/4Lower School Arts Celebration, NYA Gym2:30 p.m.
3/6Winter Carnival; Last Day before March Break 
3/9-3/20March BreakNO SCHOOL
3/23Classes resume; MS Spring Athletics begin 
3/25Deadline for March Break Reading Challenge submissions12:00 p.m.


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