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Upper School Newsletter for April 10, 2022

Welcome, April!  Thanks very much to all families who recently submitted their re-enrollments, enabling us to commence the ’22-’23 course registration process for these students. They are working closely with their teachers and advisors to develop their preferred course selection for September. We are currently developing sectioning forecasts and a schedule template designed to best accommodate the choices of all students. This annual process is an exciting and important exercise to help assist students in looking ahead, setting achievable goals, and planning appropriately for next year.

Of course, we are also quickly approaching the time when our senior class will be graduating. The penultimate trio of senior speeches for the year was delivered last Friday, adding to another terrific year of shared stories, memories, and experiences. With only three weeks of classes now remaining in their high school careers, the Class of 2022 continues to do great work in their final year at NYA. We are proud of each one of them, and we very much look forward to celebrating their achievements in the coming weeks!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


The Advanced World Geography class spent the month of March studying Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet republics, with a particular focus on events in Ukraine. The class visited Mr. Echeverria’s 3rd/4th grade class to share some of their knowledge, focusing on the five “W”s- what, who, where, when, and why (credit to Alex Holmgren ‘23 for creating our lesson plan format) and answering questions from the Lower School students. The younger students did a great job coming up with insightful questions, and we were also able to talk a bit about what the Upper School was doing to support relief efforts for Ukrainians, specifically through Central World Kitchen. Thanks to Mr. E for inviting us! ~Ms. Lake Adams


It’s been two long years, but High School Quiz Show: Maine is back on Maine Public, and our own NYA team was there to compete! High school teams across Maine take a qualifying test, and the top 16 teams advance to the televised rounds. Our NYA team qualified in February, and they recently traveled to the television studios in Lewiston to tape their first-round match against Windham High School. The team (ninth graders Claire Arnold, Tyler Lacombe, Caitlin Michaelis, and Genevieve Vaillancourt, junior Luke Markonish, and senior Aidan Lacombe), included all novice players except for our one returning senior, and they collectively were an impressive force! They are not allowed to disclose how they did against Windham, but we hear it was a great day! Look for the show to air on Maine Public on Thursday, April 21. We’ll post reminders to NYA social media. ~Mrs. Michaelis


Our Stock Market Club was happy to welcome Mrs. Christine Byrne (P ’23, P’27) as a guest speaker recently. She offered the members of the club an opportunity to ask questions about anything that interested them related to the world of finance, and the ensuing conversation ranged from short and long-term investment strategies to cryptocurrency, to how NFTs work, and whether Facebook and Netflix are good investments (among other topics)! Stock Market Club plays a year-long online game where students are given $100,000 in imaginary funds to invest, with the goal to finish the year with the highest-valued portfolio. The club meets a once or twice a month to review their stock market standings and learn from guest speakers (including upcoming presenters Gary Bergeron and Garrett Bowne). They look forward to more guest speakers in the coming weeks. Any interested students are always welcome to join, even if they are not playing the game. ~Mrs. Michaelis


In conjunction with Deena Schoenfeld, Director of Programming for the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) of Southern Maine, our ninth and tenth grade history classes will visit their exhibit on Thursday, April 14. The JCA is pleased to be presenting the documentary exhibit “Spots of Light – To Be a Woman in the Holocaust,” from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center, rescheduled from April 2020. The exhibit will be on display for the month of April 2022 in their large community hall at 1342 Congress St. in Portland, next to the Westgate shopping center, during weekday business hours.

This free exhibit is comprised of 30 panels of reproductions of historical photographs of people, artifacts, and artwork, alongside text, exploring multiple facets of women’s experiences during the Holocaust – as mothers, daughters, spouses, friends, and resistance fighters.


As Mr. Jackson recently shared with students during morning announcements, Hebert Construction (completing the renovation of the Travis Roy Arena and fitness/wellness addition) is looking for summer workers to help with the project (minimum age 16 by start of work). This is a very attractive opportunity on several levels. You will earn a competitive hourly wage, have the flexibility to set your own schedule for as many or few hours as you would like, participate in a major project for your school, and learn about the construction industry. As an added bonus, Hebert Construction is going to donate for every hour a student works (that won’t impact your pay).

Basic details:

• Each week you choose your own schedule and you will be paid by the hour.
• Choose to work as many or as few hours as you would like.(Convenient if you have other summer work or commitments!)
• If you would like to work full time this summer for Hebert, you will have the opportunity to work on the Arena Project and other Hebert Construction projects around Portland.
• Hebert Construction will donate $25 to the project for each hour a student works. If NYA students cumulatively work over 200 hours, the contribution will be doubled.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please let Mr. Jackson know (either email or stop by his office). In another week or so, Mr. Hebert will reach out to those interested and schedule a meeting on campus.


Last week, students began working with their teachers and advisors to begin developing their preferred course selection for next September. These signups help us with an initial schedule template designed to best accommodate the choices of all students – both returning students and those who will be new to NYA. This is always an exciting time for everyone to begin thinking about next year’s opportunities.

The Curriculum Guide details the course offerings in each department. We look forward to talking more with all students through the spring to review options and answer any questions ahead of the summer. For any department-specific questions, always feel free to reach out directly to any specific department chair:


We look forward to the annual culmination of all that students have learned within the variety of AP courses offered over the past academic year. It is an expectation that all AP students complete their course by taking the AP exam in May. AP exams will take place on campus during the first two weeks of May, and students will be informed of further details and timing by each of their teachers. Any questions regarding AP exams may be directed to our AP Coordinator, Betsy Tomlinson.

Here is the AP exam schedule:


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 28. All students are encouraged to put a poem in their pocket and add their voices to the celebration. NYA is celebrating National Poetry Month in various ways in the classroom and through weekly poetry recitations at Friday Forum.


The Spring Concerts are coming! The NYA Music Department will present several concerts over the next month. For each performance, students should arrive dressed, fed, and ready to perform.

  • Thursday, May 5 – Fifth Grade Arts Night, 5:30 p.m. Middle School Community Room, 6:00 p.m. Higgins Hall: Our entire fifth grade class will share their artistic, band, orchestra, singing, and acting talents at the Fifth Grade Arts Night.
  • Wednesday, May 11 – Instrumental Concert, 6:30 p.m., Event Tent on Denney Field (in front of Higgins Hall): The instrumental concert will feature an array of NYA instrumental groups, including the MS Band, MS Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Steel Band, Orchestra, and more! Students should arrive for warm-ups no later than 5:30. Performers should adhere to NYA’s dress up day dress code.
  • Friday, May 13 – Choral Concert, 6:30 p.m., Event Tent on Denney Field: The choral concert will showcase all choral groups grades 6-12. Singers should arrive at the tent no later than 5:30 for vocal warm-ups and any last minute changes. Upper school singers will wear their Chorus attire with black shoes. Middle school singers should adhere to NYA’s dress up day dress code.


  • Wednesday, April 13: Junior Ethan Rapkin-Styles is sponsoring a Dress Down Day to raise funds for the Chilcapamba Water Project. After a service trip to Chilcapamba, Ecuador last summer, Ethan and his travel mates became committed to making a difference for the Chilcapamba community. One of the students started a fundraising campaign to help the community raise the $7,500 needed for materials and labor to restore water access. Ethan is excited to have his NYA community help support these efforts.
  • Thursday, April 21: Former Head of the NYA Middle School, Paul Errickson, and his family are living and working this year at the American School of Warsaw in Poland. Their entire school community has been working closely with refugees from Ukraine. This Dress Down Day will help support humanitarian relief (their biggest needs right now are blankets and tourniquets). In addition, students will have the opportunity to create cards which will be handed out to the refugees when they arrive in Warsaw.
  • Friday, April 29: The Middle School is sponsoring a dress down day for the Forest Society of Maine, whose mission is to conserve Maine’s forestlands to sustain their ecological, economic, cultural, and recreational values. Our donation will be in memory of Paxton Burns.


Save the Date for the 38th Annual NYA Soirée on Friday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m. Attend on-campus under the tent on Denney Field or virtually from your own home. Enjoy food stations by Dandelion Catering, cocktail music, and silent and live auctions to benefit NYA. Be on the lookout for invitations and registration information soon. Please contact Crystal Gordon if you have ideas for live auction items or would like to be an event sponsor.


4/13Dress Down Day, Chilcapamba Water Project$3
4/18Patriots’ DayNO SCHOOL
4/19Professional Development/Lower School ConferencesNO CLASSES
4/21Dress Down Day, Ukraine Humanitarian Relief$3
4/22Earth Day 
4/29Dress Down Day, Forest Society of Maine$3
4/29Last Day of Classes for Seniors 
5/2-5/12AP Exams, Russell Hall & Mertz Sci Center 
5/11Spring Instrumental Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Event Tent6:30 p.m.
5/13Spring Choral Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Event Tent6:30 p.m.
5/14NYA Prom, Maine Maritime Museum7:00-10:00 p.m.
5/30Memorial DayNO SCHOOL
6/2Last Day of School/Awards Day 
6/3NYA Soirée, NYA Event Tent6:00 p.m.
6/5Commencement for Class of 202211:00 a.m.


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