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February 24, 2019

Dear Families,

The NYA Girls Varsity Basketball Team was in playoff mode at the Augusta Civic Center this week. They had an exciting 52-35 Quarterfinal victory over two-time defending Maine State Champs, Monmouth. On Thursday, the Panthers faced Winthrop in the Regional Semi-Finals. The fifth through twelfth grade students traveled to Augusta to cheer them on for both Tuesday and Thursday’s contests. Thank you to Mr. Hardy and the NYA Athletic Department for supporting bus transportation and tickets. Thank you to the NYA Parents’ Association for supporting student tickets for the semi-final contest. Additional thanks to Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Austin, and Mrs. Markonish for their efforts with organizing the trips and reconfiguring schedules. The students demonstrated great school spirit and enthusiastically supported the team. They were assisted by the exceptional performance of the NYA Studio Band. At the Class C Regional Final game on Saturday night, #1 Boothbay had a 49-31 win and advanced to the Class C State Finals. We are very proud of the team for a great season!

The NYA Boys Varsity Hockey Team battled in the NEPSAC Holt Conference Tournament this past weekend. After a convincing 5-1 win against Worcester on Wednesday, the Panthers earned the top seed and hosted Portsmouth Abbey in the semifinals on Friday, where the Panthers had an exciting 3-2 OT win. On Saturday afternoon, NYA defeated #3 Pingree 6-1 and became the Holt Conference Champions. Congratulations to the team on the conference win and a great season!

Congratulations to the NYA girls hockey team who finished their season Wednesday vs. Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. The girls had their strongest season in years, finishing with a winning record versus some of the top prep hockey teams throughout New England. The team graduates only one senior and is looking forward to a strong returning group next season.

Spirit Week: The week of February 25-March 1 is Winter Carnival Week. There are a variety of themed dress down day activities along with fun activities throughout the day. Each department will communicate plans individually. This is a fun week for all leading into spring break.

Middle School sports season is over, but the Middle School is hosting their annual “cabin fever reliever” activities. With no more winter practices, Middle School students have the option to sign up for a variety of activities on Tuesday and Thursday of next week. The Middle School Pizza & Fun activity, originally scheduled for February 21, will now take place on Monday, February 25, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. Traditionally, many options are offered, such as free skate, innovation lab, gym games, etc. Thank you to Mrs. Markonish and the Middle School faculty for organizing these activities for the students.

Join Mr. Hardy, NYA Athletic Director, for a conversation on NYA athletics on Tuesday, February 26 at 8:00 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room. This morning forum is hosted by the NYA Parents’ Association. Light refreshments will be served.

It was a packed house for NYA’s Studio Band’s The Last Waltz performance. The show this year was a tribute to the 80’s, with a variety of 80’s classics. Not left out was the B-52’s “Rock Lobster.” The students were outstanding, as was the direction from Mr. Markonish and Mr. Ramsey.

The Lower School Arts Celebration will take place on Wednesday, February 27 in the NYA gym, beginning at 2:30 p.m. In addition to art work, all students in primary – fourth grade will participate in a musical performance. This year’s theme is Africa. I look forward to seeing you there. Come and enjoy the great work of the Lower School students.

The Soirée meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 27 from 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. The Soirée, to be held on Friday, April 26, is a fundraiser to support NYA students and programs. It not only is an important fundraiser, but it is a fun time for NYA parents and friends. I encourage you to come to the meeting on Wednesday to see how you can support the volunteers who work on this event. Questions, contact event chairpersons Josie Griffin P’27, P’30; Jen Edwards P’30, P’32; Gretchen Lacombe P’22, P’25; and Amity Jackson P’21, P’22, P’26; or Crystal Gordon in the NYA Development Office.

Lower School Grandparents’ Day is scheduled for Friday, May 10,  from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. This is a great day for grandparents or “grandfriends” to visit the campus, enjoy student performances, and see classes in action. If you haven’t already done so, please fill out the Grandparent Information form or contact Crystal Gordon  (207-847-5401) with questions. Parents who will be able to volunteer before, during, or after the event should also contact Crystal.

As a start to Spirit Week, the NYA Make-A-Wish club will host Bingo on Monday, February 25 during break for Middle and Upper School students, faculty, and staff. Prizes include a movie basket, a food basket, and tickets to the Boston Celtics. The cost to participate is $5, and if you haven’t paid already, you may pay on Monday. All proceeds support Make-A-Wish. See you there!

Mission Spotlight

NYA’s GLSEN organized the Give and Take Bulletin Board in support of “No Name Calling Week.” The board is filled with post-it messages such as “You Rule,” “You Matter,” and “Be Kind.” These at times humorous, uplifting messages are designed to bring a smile to a student’s face. Students are invited to take a message for themselves or leave a message for others. The board is located outside of Safford. Thanks to GLSEN for sending positive messages to the community.

Interested in serving as a host family for a NYA student? If you are interested in learning more about hosting a student from another state or country, please contact Sagaree Sengupta ( or Eliot Grady ( They can share additional information on the program, the host family stipend, and additional expectations of the program. We are also looking for families to serve as host “aunts and uncles.” Host “aunts and uncles” are available, at their convenience to provide occasional/weekend relief for the host families. This is a great opportunity for a cultural experience and a great way to support a student at NYA who is living away from their home.

Reminder: Re-enrollment agreements have been sent. Thank you to all who have returned your agreements for next year, it greatly assists the school in decision making for next year. Please return agreements by Friday, March 1. If you have any questions regarding next year, I encourage you to reach out to Mr. Austin, Mrs. Markonish, or me. Agreements to new families will be sent following the March 1 deadline.

Spring Break begins after classes on March 1. We return on Monday, March 18. Don’t forget to send your March Break Reading Challenge photos to Eliot Grady by noon on March 20. The theme is Share a Story.  Have a wonderful spring break.


Ben Jackson 
Head of School


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