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Upper School Newsletter for April 11, 2021

As we progress more deeply into this spring semester, we continue to be reminded that everyone needs to remain vigilant in prioritizing the health of ourselves, our families, and those around us. Although we were disappointed last week to know that some of our students were deemed close contacts and would need to temporarily quarantine, it is encouraging to realize that more and more Mainers of all ages are becoming vaccinated each day, including many in the NYA community. Let’s all continue to work together to ensure that we are regularly monitoring our children for signs and symptoms, and most certainly keep your children at home if they are feeling ill.

Thanks very much to all families who recently submitted their re-enrollments, enabling us to commence the 2021-2022 course registration process for the students. They have already been 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 with the goal of having draft schedules prepared for students in the early summer. 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. Our penultimate set of senior speeches for the year was delivered last Friday morning with the final three speeches scheduled this coming week. This class has certainly proven to be one that has shared an amazing set of thoughtful stories, memories, and experiences. With only three weeks of classes now remaining in their high school careers, the Class of 2021 continues to do great work in their senior year at NYA. We are proud of each one of them, and we very much look forward to celebrating their many achievements in the coming weeks!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


NYA’s Kauffmann Program is excited to be sponsoring the fifth annual Kauffmann Contest for Environmental Writing. The contest is open to all Maine high school students, and the entry deadline is April 15. Winners receive cash prizes and have their writing published online.

POETRY FUN!Poem in My Pocket textile mural

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 29. All students are encouraged to put a poem in their pocket and add their voices to the celebration. NYA will also celebrate Poetry Month in various ways in the classroom and through weekly poetry recitations at Friday Forum.


We will be hosting an SAT school day exam for our juniors in the gymnasium on Tuesday, April 27. Students may be in relaxed dress code. All test takers should arrive no later than 7:45 a.m., as testing will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end by around 12:30 p.m. Students will then attend any remaining classes ahead of afternoon activities.  Please feel free to contact Katherine Thomas with any questions.


In just a few short weeks, we will be administering the 2021 Advanced Placement exams, which will begin on Tuesday, May 4, and continue through to Tuesday, May 25.  Students have been working hard to prepare and review ahead of their specific test dates, which are listed on the school calendars. It is exciting that we will be administering these tests in no less than 16 different subjects, which is certainly a testament to the excellent efforts of the students. For any specific questions, feel free to contact our AP Coordinator, Lisa Robbins. Good luck to all who will soon be testing!

MAY 15!

May 15 is the deadline for several forms required for the 2021-2022 school year, including health forms and off-campus travel and athletic participation release forms. All forms and instructions can be found at Family Forms on our website. You can also reach this page from the drop-down menu under the ‘Parents’ tab at the top of NYA’s homepage. Thank you for completing these forms by the due dates. It is a tremendous help to our faculty and staff!


In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, David Griswold ’03 will visit with Lower and Middle School classes virtually to discuss climate change and his book, Fur & Feather Stand Together, a story of a puffin and a polar bear who join forces with their community to save the ice that is melting around them.

In addition, David is helping the Environmental Club reach their goal of converting the entire campus to LED lighting. All but two NYA buildings have made the switch from halogen and incandescent lighting to LED. Light bulbs that use LED technology are more environmentally friendly, consume less power, reduce greenhouse and carbon dioxide emissions, and generate less heat while also offering dramatic energy savings. Over $18,000 has been contributed to the campus-wide LED conversion and just $5,000 more is needed to complete the project. David will send a copy of his book to all who contribute $50 or more to NYA’s LED conversion. Make a gift and secure your copy of the book at


Enjoy this update on digital citizenship from Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor.


Congratulations to the following students who received medals for the 2021 District II Music Festival! District II ran as a solo competition this year, as it was not feasible to put together the usual large festivals. Students worked on a prepared piece and submitted a video which was then scored and rated. This was a new experience for all. Congratulations to everyone who participated! Medal recipients are:

MIDDLE SCHOOL GOLD: Victoria Wahlig, Alto; Victoria Wahlig, Violin

MIDDLE SCHOOL SILVER: Jackson Bartick, Violin; Leif MacCarthy, Trombone; Hadley Smith, Violin; Genevieve Vaillancourt, Soprano; Genevieve Vaillancourt, Viola; Genevieve Vaillancourt, French Horn

MIDDLE SCHOOL BRONZE: Lyla Casey, Violin; Justin Corporon, Clarinet; Paxton Fogg, Bari Sax

UPPER SCHOOL GOLD: Madeleine Vaillancourt, Cello; Madeleine Vaillancourt, Alto

UPPER SCHOOL SILVER: Jack Byrne, Cello; Emma Collins, Violin; Emily Greene, Violin; Emily Greene, Soprano; Darby Mutagoma, Alto

UPPER SCHOOL BRONZE: Fynn MacCarthy, String Bass; Holden MacMahon, Guitar


As the weather warms, our student-athletes are out in full force! Under the leadership of veteran coaching staffs, we continue to monitor safety protocols while rounding out the preseason. Facilities are opening up, schedules are being finalized, and the collective energy and anticipation of the regular season approaching is high!

Starting this season, the entire state is using a new online activity scheduler, rSchoolToday. While the long-term impact of this shift will result in streamlined entry for season preparation, play-off organization, and more, the state-wide transition to this system has not been without hiccups. We anticipate confirmed competition schedules to be online by April 15, with practice schedules to follow. Please refer to weekly coach emails to confirm schedule details while AD’s throughout the state master this program!

Later this week, we will roll out our official spectator policy. It will include a limited amount of masked, socially distanced, home fans! We are thrilled to welcome back Panther fans and cannot wait to have your support on the sidelines. We will continue our livestream offerings at all spring venues for both away fans, and those Panther fans we cannot safely accommodate. -Kelsy Ross


Join the Spring Egg Hunt on April 28! The sophomore class is organizing the hunt as a class fundraising event. The cost to join the Egg Hunt is $3. Everyone who signs up will hunt for eggs in a designated area of campus and then turn them in for candy and prizes (including gift cards valued from $10-$50). To sign up, please fill out this form as soon as possible and bring $3 to the Middle School Office no later than the morning of April 28. Thank you for supporting the sophomore class!


  • Tuesday, April 13: The Upper School Make-A-Wish club is sponsoring a dress down day to raise funds toward granting our next wish for a child in Maine. Make-A-Wish Maine is an organization that works to grant the wishes of children with critical illness and to make an impact on the lives of those children and their families. To date, NYA has donated well over $50,000 to grant 11 wishes.
  • Friday, April 23: After the passing of Travis Roy this past fall, the students at NYA wanted very much to find ways to honor Travis and his legacy. Funds raised on this day will be donated to the Travis Roy Foundation and a representative from the foundation will speak to the Middle and Upper School students at our Friday Forum assembly.
  • Wednesday, April 28: After reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, some of our sixth grade students were moved to help solve the problem of lack of access to safe water for communities in Africa. After researching how to help, they decided to sponsor a Dress Down Day for Water for South Sudan, whose mission is to “Deliver sustainable quality-of-life services to and with the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water, and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need.”
  • Tuesday, May 4: The Upper School Star Wars Club will be celebrating May the Fourth with a Dress Down Day and some special Star Wars-themed events. Wear your favorite Star Wars t-shirt and channel your inner Wookie. Proceeds will benefit Star Wars: Force for Change, which is “dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges and empowers youth to be global forces for change in their own lives and for children around the world”.


Run by college students, The Ruckus Room is a private Zoom room, hosted by Hardy G*rls Healthy Wom*n, where girls and gender expansive youth in grades 4 – 9 can drop in to chat about life, pop culture, family, school – whatever! The Ruckus Room is hosted weekly by two Colby College students in a casual format that allows for talking or listening or simply hanging out with other girls and gender expansive people. The college students are there to follow their lead and make sure that everyone has a place to feel supported. You can come every week, just once in a while, or just once to try it out! For more information go to:


The NYA Parents’ Association is looking for volunteers for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. If you would like to get involved, meet fellow parents, and have some fun, the Parents’ Association is the place for you! We are currently busy building the PA Volunteer Board, including the slate of officers. There is a job for you no matter how much time you can commit. Take a look at the list of available positions below. If you are interested or have questions regarding the positions (including time commitment), please contact Tori Baron (207-766-1764) or Patrick Cannon (207-239-7888). Want to meet the current board members? Join us for our next meeting, May 5, outdoors at Clayton’s, socially distanced. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Available positions: Secretary; MS Coordinator; LS Coordinator; Social Media Coordinator; Special Events; Volunteer Coordinator; Pre-K/K rep; fifth grade rep; seventh grade rep; and eleventh grade rep.


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 Here is a link to additional information about the program.


Save the Date for the 37th Annual NYA Soirée on Friday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m. Attend on-campus under the tent on Denney Field OR virtually from your own home. Enjoy hors d’oeuvre stations by Dandelion Catering, cocktail music with Wavelength Band, and lively silent and live auctions to benefit NYA. Be on the lookout for invitations and registration information soon.

Are you interested in contributing to the silent auction? The NYA Parents’ Association is working with Class Representatives to put together Class Baskets for the silent auction. Amity Jackson and Katie Leinwand are overseeing this effort, which is a fun, easy way for parents to come together and support the event. Be on the lookout for communication from your Class Representative.

Please contact Crystal Gordon with any questions about the event.


In addition to the events listed below, there are several important dates to note at the end of May. Friday, May 28 is our last day of classes for grades nine through eleven. There is no school on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day. Exams will take place on June 1, 2, and 3.  Morning snack break will be available, but lunch will not be served. Thursday, June 3 is our last day of school.  After the last exam in the morning, we will enjoy a special break treat, watch an Awards Ceremony, and pick up yearbooks. School on the last day will end at 12:00 p.m. Mark your calendars now!


4/13Dress Down Day, Make-A-Wish$3
4/19Patriots’ DayNO SCHOOL
4/20Professional Development/Faculty In-ServiceNO SCHOOL
4/22Earth Day
4/23Dress Down Day, Travis Roy Foundation$3
4/27SATs for Juniors in Gym7:45 a.m.
4/28Spring Egg Hunt$3
4/28Dress Down Day, Water for South Sudan$3
4/30Last Day of Classes for Seniors
5/4AP Exams Begin
5/4Dress Down Day, Force for Change $3
5/15Family Forms Due!
5/28Last Day of Classes for Grades 9-11
6/1 – 6/3Final Exams
6/3Last Day of School8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group
YouTube – North Yarmouth Academy
Twitter – @NYAToday
Flickr – nyatoday
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS
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