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September 26, 2021

September 26, 2021

Dear Families,

It was great to see so many of you at the new parent welcome reception on campus last Tuesday! Parents are an integral part of our community, and we welcome your involvement throughout the year. This gathering was an opportunity for new and returning parents to meet each other and learn more about volunteer opportunities with the school. If you missed the event, but are interested in volunteering with the Parents’ Association, please contact the PA president, Patrick Cannon. Also, stay tuned to the NYA newsletters for information about assisting with on-campus events. Finally, you are always welcome and encouraged to reach out to Mr. Austin, Mrs. Markonish, your child’s teacher, advisor, or me if we can be helpful to you in any way here at school. I hope everyone is having a great start to the year.

On Wednesday, during the annual Head of School dinner, we celebrated leadership and philanthropy to the Academy. Thank you to seniors Darby Mutagoma ‘22 and Owen Frank ‘22 for their remarks during the event. At the dinner, we presented Tim Hebert P’25, P’27 and Tori Baron P’21 with Proud Panther awards in celebration of their volunteer service and commitment to NYA over the last year. The Fasold Award was presented to Trustee James Cabot ’98, P’30, P’32, P’36 in recognition of his efforts to move the Academy forward through his service on the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Leadership Council, as well as his longstanding support of NYA and its mission. The Cupola Award was presented to Trustee Lori Poulin P’22 in recognition of her service on the Board of Trustees, support for the Academy and its mission, as well as her work to bring the USTA Net Generations program to NYA and the time she has spent volunteering to teach tennis to NYA’s K-5 students and as a coach of the varsity and junior varsity tennis team. Thank you and congratulations to Lori, James, Tori, and Tim.

We have just completed our third week of the year, and it has been a busy fall thus far. Classes in all divisions are well underway, and there is an abundance of activity all over campus. The Lower School gathered together by the peace poles on Tuesday to sing and celebrate the International Day of Peace. Seventh graders, dressed in their waders, were at the Royal River collecting water samples and species for their research. The Upper School students just returned from their trip to the White Mountains. The students spent Monday and Tuesday in the mountains and climbed a few peaks along the way at their various destinations. It was some of the best hiking weather of the year, and 14 seniors had clear skies when they reached the summit of Mt. Washington.

Mr. E’s and Mrs. G’s Lower School classes took advantage of the Upper School students’ absence and had the Bicentennial Learning Commons all to themselves. The students gathered for book buddies and enjoyed the beautiful space with friends and good books.

The fall athletic season is in full swing, and I encourage you to come cheer on the Panthers as the Middle and Upper School students compete. The Upper School teams are off to a strong start competing in field hockey, cross country, volleyball, and soccer, and they have their sights set on postseason action later this fall. The NYA girls soccer team was featured in a front page article from the Portland Press Herald for their strong start to the season. They will take on crosstown rivals Yarmouth on Tuesday. Best of luck to all of the Panther teams this fall.

In addition to the always exciting games, matches, and meets, we continue to battle schedule changes due to a variety of reasons. Be sure to pay close attention to weekly emails from Middle and Upper School coaches, and register for the rSchoolToday “Notify Me” alerts. These alerts are sent to all registrants when a schedule change is made through the online scheduling system. Full athletic schedules, Upper School rosters, and transportation information can be found on our NYA Athletic webpages. It’s been so nice to see and hear so many Panther fans at our home events this fall!

Congratulations to seniors, Jack Schaeffer and Abby King, for their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Abby was awarded a letter of commendation for her performance. Jack was selected as a semifinalist and will be completing an application to advance to the finalist round. The National Merit Scholarship programs one of the most prestigious honors for a high school student. Congratulations to both Jack and Abby for their performance, and best wishes to Jack as he advances to the next stage.

Up-to-date COVID information and communications can be found on our COVID Information webpage, which includes a FAQ section. This page is designed to help answer commonly asked questions and clarify terms like “pooled testing” and “close contacts.” Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. Take note of the recent change in quarantine guidelines from the Maine DOE Standard Operating Procedures. (You should have received an email about this on Friday afternoon.) If a close contact happens during an activity outside of school, an unvaccinated student who is participating in pooled testing will need to quarantine from all school classes and activities, as well as community activities, for a period of 10 days. It remains that a student participating in pooled testing who is identified as a close contact at any school event (class, after school activity, field trip, athletic event) will not need to quarantine from school events, athletics, or activities, but will still need to quarantine from community activities for 10 days.

Upper and Middle School Grandparents’ Day will be held on Friday, October 22 on campus under the event tent on Denney Field. Invitations were sent via email to all Upper and Middle School grandparents for whom we have contact information. If your child’s grandparent or grand-friend wishes at attend, they should RSVP here.  For the health and safety of all, Upper School grandparents will gather from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and Middle School grandparents will gather from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. There are no classroom visits this year, but there will be performances, refreshments, and more. In the coming weeks, we will reach out to secure parent volunteers to help with this event. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out with questions or suggestions to Crystal Gordon at (207-847-5401).

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thursday, September 30 – Middle and Upper School Advisor Conferences begin
  • Monday through Tuesday, October 4-5 – Grades 7 and 8 Experiential Trips
  • Friday, October 8 – Picture Day
  • Monday, October 11 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day – no school
  • Friday, October 22 – Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day
  • Wednesday, October 27 – NYA Halloween Festivities
  • Thursday through Friday, October 28-29 – Parent Teacher Conferences – no school

We continue to add photos to our NYA SmugMug page. Take a look from time to time to see photos of familiar faces and activities at NYA! Our page is, and our password is NYApanthers – our password is case sensitive. Photos are available to download or purchase through SmugMug. If you have questions, contact Kristi Belesca, NYA Marketing & Communications.

Be sure to check out my Instagram.

Have a great week!


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
Flickr – nyatoday
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS, North Yarmouth Academy, NYAartists
Instagram – northyarmouthacademy