Sunday Letter Graphic for WordPress

November 17, 2019

Dear Families,

The Upper School Fall Athletic Recognition Ceremony took place this past Wednesday evening (view the slideshow here), and the Middle School Athletic Celebration took place the week before last. These events represent a great time for our coaches to celebrate the efforts and commitment of our student athletes and each team’s accomplishments. It was a fantastic fall season for NYA’s student athletes, highlighted by a repeat Maine State Championship for the varsity girls soccer team. In addition to many team and individual accomplishments, as a school, we can be most proud of how our students represented themselves on the field of play. Congratulations to coaches and student athletes on a great season. It is now on to winter season:

  • Middle School winter activities are in their second week.
  • Upper School girls and boys varsity ice hockey teams participate in the NEPSAC league, competing against other prep school teams throughout New England. Their practices started last Monday with their first games played yesterday. The boys hosted Northfield Mount Hermon at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena and the girls traveled to Tilton School.
  • Upper School practices for basketball and indoor track begin on Monday. Coaches have already reached out to students with schedules.
  • Any students changing their activities should contact Ms. Ross ASAP.
  • The Panthers appreciate the support of a good crowd at their contests, and we hope to see you at upcoming contests. For a full listing of games, visit our athletics website.

On the topic of athletics, Ms. Ross traveled to St. Joseph’s College on Friday with Brendan Bolduc ’20, Carly Downey ’20, Emma Sharp ’22, Angel Huntsman ’23, and Jack Byrne ‘23 for the Western Maine Conference Student Leadership Summit. There were workshops, speakers, and breakout sessions. The overall goal was to learn about different leadership styles and to connect athletic leadership to life leadership in general.

Rehearsals for the Upper and Middle School musical, Sister Act, began a week ago. The winter musical is always a very well-done production. The performances will take place on the weekend of February 21. Be sure to mark your calendar. First, we have the Lower School’s performance of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS on Wednesday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Safford. This will be a really great show, and I hope to see you there.

Congratulations to the NYA High School Quiz Show Team! Their test scores were in the top 16 in the state thus qualifying them for the televised rounds! We’ll be sure to send you taping dates and details when we know them. The show tapes at the Maine Public Television studios in Lewiston, and schools are encouraged to bring a studio audience (posters, banners, and pompoms are encouraged). Team members include Spencer Barton ’20, Aidan Lacombe ’22, Holden MacMahon ’23, Jack Schaeffer ’22, Samson Shen ’20, and Sally Stronge ’23. The team is advised by Ms. Michaelis.

The NYA Parents’ Association, under the leadership of current President Tori Baron P’21, supports the school in many different ways from sponsoring community-building and educational events to raising funds in support of school programs. To that end, the PA is pleased to have awarded a number of grant requests this fall. The following grants were awarded:

  • A water bottle refill station (and installation) in Safford. This was a student grant request, and it is a great addition to the cafeteria. The refill station will help cut down on the number of plastic bottles going into our landfills.
  • Laura MacMahon received a grant for the photography class.
  • Ian Ramsey received a grant to bring percussionist and educator Marcus Santos back to NYA.
  • Mike Gengras was awarded a grant for a digital storytelling initiative from Meridian Stories.
  • Nora Krainis received a grant for an AirCAT for the volleyball team.
  • Heidi Grant requested and received an online subscription for school-wide and home access to The New York Times.

The total for all of these grants was over $8,000.00! All of this is possible through your support toward our numerous annual fundraisers.

Also from the Parents’ Association:

  • Wreaths and Poinsettias will be available for pick up this week on Thursday and Friday from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and  2:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School. Special thanks to Stacey Schuler-Cannon and Corinne Larson for their efforts organizing this fundraiser.
  • The NYA Store will also be open during the p.m. pick-up times. These are the absolute best times to shop for all the panther fans in your family! There are lots of new items for sale just in time for the holidays! Puffy vests, sweaters, newly styled caps, NYA glassware, panther necklaces, and more. Cash, check, and now credit cards accepted, too. Questions, email
  • Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 19, from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room for an interactive conversation entitled Mindfulness – How can Parents Help? This event open to the public. It will feature a panel of speakers from the community including NYA’s Ian Ramsey, Lindsey Myer, and Marcia Griffin. They will discuss how to help children be mindful thereby creating more balance, easing stress, and setting them up for success. The PA will provide refreshments.
  • Don’t miss the NYA Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This is a substantial fundraiser for the PA, which donates the bulk of these proceeds back into the school through grants to faculty, staff, and students. We need your help to make this a success. Please sign up to volunteer at the fair by clicking on this link.

Thanks to all of our volunteers and leaders of the NYA Parents’ Association.

Mission Spotlight:

As part of their study of 9/11, the members of the junior class traveled to New York City last Thursday through Saturday. In addition to an opportunity for group building with the class, the students visited the 9/11 Memorial, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Tenement Museum, and several other sights around New York. They also took advantage of the diverse New York City culinary scene. Thanks to Ms. Sullivan, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Gengras (and Mrs. Gengras), Mr. Austin, and Mr. Sillin for joining the students on this trip. Check out NYA social media to view some photos from their adventures.

Mrs. Bartick is initiating some team STEM challenges for Middle School students. This week’s challenge requires three to four students to work together within a 30-minute window to design a device that performs a function. Mrs. Bartick also set up an Exploration Station where students can learn about fiber optics. These activities are for the students to pursue on their own during recess or study halls. More STEM challenges to follow!

Thank you to Ms. Gallagher; Libby Millar P’27, P’30; Jess Lynch P’29, P’31; and all of the volunteers who helped with the Scholastic Book Fair held last Wednesday and Thursday. The theme was “Cozy up with a Good Book,” and the Middle School Community Room was bustling with activity. A percentage of the book sale proceeds will benefit the Lower School. It was great fun for the students and served as another opportunity to emphasize the importance of reading.

Come cheer on NYA alumni hockey players at the annual NYA Alumni Hockey Game on Monday, December 30 at 3:00 p.m. at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena. There will be a post-game reception with refreshments and camaraderie at Brickyard Hollow. Contact Crystal Gordon at with questions or RSVP at Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor: The Breakwater Group at Morgan Stanley.

NYA currently runs two morning and afternoon bus routes: north to Edgecomb and south to Portland and Scarborough. As an addition to these routes, we are considering the addition of a morning-only bus with stops in Auburn and Gray. Students in Primary Year 3/Kindergarten and up are eligible for this option. Click here for more information. The Transportation Agreement can also be found under Family Forms in the Parent tab of the homepage. If we have four riders registered for the Auburn and Gray run by December 19, the new bus route will begin on Monday, January 6. If you register, and we do not achieve the necessary ridership, you will be released from the agreement. If you have questions, please contact Dan King, Director of Facilities and Transportation.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, November 18: Upper School MPA athletic practices begin
  • Tuesday, November 19:  Mindfulness – How can Parents Help?, from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room
  • Wednesday, November 20: Lower School Performance of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS
  • Thursday, November 21: Poinsettia & Wreath Pickup 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School
  • Thursday, November 21: Panther Store Open, 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School
  • Thursday, November 21: Make-A-Wish Choral Concert at 7:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Yarmouth
  • Friday, November 22: Poinsettia & Wreath Pickup 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School
  • Friday, November 22: Lower School Thanksgiving Feast
  • Friday, November 22: Panther Store Open, 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School
  • Friday, November 22: Thanksgiving Break begins after classes
  • Monday, December 2: Classes resume

Division newsletters originally scheduled for today will be sent on December 8 instead.

Have a great week!


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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