Upper School Newsletter for August 15, 2019

Dear Upper School Families,

I trust that you have all had a wonderful and relaxing summer so far!

We are delighted to welcome you all, both new and returning families, to the NYA community as we begin the 2019-2020 school year. It will be exciting to have our students on campus again as the fall preseason athletic practices commence in earnest on Monday, August 19. As we enjoy the remaining weeks of August, this first monthly Panther Roar newsletter provides some important back-to-school announcements and reminders as we all plan ahead for September.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions via email, phone (846-9051), or by stopping in at the Main Office on the second floor of the Curtis Building.

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


New Middle and Upper School Orientation is on Wednesday, August 28 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. This is an opportunity for all new students to come to campus with your families, meet some of your teachers and classmates, and learn more about the Upper School at NYA.



All rising freshmen will take part in an orientation program here on campus from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, following the New Student Orientation earlier that morning. All students are invited to meet together in Safford Center at 12:00 p.m. for a lunch provided by NYA, followed by several informational sessions and some fun class-bonding activities. Dress for students is comfortable and casual. Freshmen will not be expected to attend their preseason practices that day.


We are excited to welcome the following new faculty and staff members to the Upper School:

  • Theresa Bartick joins us as our new STEM Coordinator at NYA. Terry earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and her MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. She also completed the Extended Teacher Education Program at USM. For the last five years, Terry was a science teacher, STEM Coordinator, and math interventionist at Gorham High School. Prior to teaching, Terry had 13 years of experience in the engineering field. While at UCONN, Terry was captain of the track and field team, where she was a D-I All-American heptathlete. She also has experience coaching track at the collegiate level.
  • Sara Jaffe joins the Mathematics Department as our Precalculus and Algebra II teacher. A Maine state certified mathematics educator for grades 7-12, Sara has most recently taught a range of levels of mathematics at both Old Orchard Beach and Falmouth high schools, and she has extensive experience in tutoring students in all levels of mathematics. A native of Falmouth, Sara earned her BS from NYU, and her MA from Emerson College in Boston. Additionally, Sara has a rich theatrical background and has continued to provide leadership and oversight to her high school alma mater in technical directorship, management, and coordination of theatre production.
  • Taylor Kanzler joins our Modern & Classical Languages Department as our Spanish teacher for levels II through AP. Taylor earned her BA in Spanish/BA English Teaching and her M.Ed. from UNH. Taylor held multiple positions teaching Spanish and English at the high school and collegiate level, including several years at schools in Colombia and Cyprus. Most recently, Taylor taught at Kennett High School in North Conway, NH. She has also led a variety of summer programs.
  • Kelsy Ross has been on the job as NYA’s Athletic Director since July 1. She holds a BA from Roanoke College where she was a member of the varsity soccer and varsity basketball programs. Kelsy is completing her MA in Physical Education, Athletic Administration, from Springfield College. For the past nine years, she has held multiple positions in the Bates College Athletic Department. Kelsy served as the Bates Head Women’s Soccer Coach during that time. As head coach of the women’s soccer program, she earned NESCAC Coach of the Year Honors in 2015. She was also a lecturer in the Bates College Physical Education Department, she ran the Bates intramural program, and administered multiple youth camps. From 2010-2013, she also served as Bates’ assistant women’s basketball coach. She has held many additional positions in athletics. These include working for the Maine Olympic Development Program, Maine AAU Basketball, and in athletic facilities management. She has also held positions in the Springfield College Athletic Department and the Falmouth High School Athletic Department. Kelsy is a graduate of Greely High School.

Please join us in welcoming Terry, Sara, Taylor, and Kelsy to NYA!


Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses will notice a few changes this year. Please review the College Board Handout for Parents and Students for more details. Before classes begin, it is very important that students create a College Board account (if they do not have one already) and make note of their account, username, and password. This information will be required during the first days of school for them to join their AP class(es) and obtain access to valuable online resources. Please direct any questions to Lisa Robbins, AP Coordinator. Thank you for your timely help with this request!


Upper School fall sports begin on Monday, August 19. Coaches have contacted their preseason rosters (families and students) via an introductory email, including a season outline and specific activity information. If your family has not received an email, please contact the specific activity coach to request this information. Be sure to bring all necessary forms and  athletic equipment for your first practice. Detailed information about the athletic schedule can be found on the NYA website. Athletic schedules change frequently due to weather and other conflicts and it is important to check them regularly.


The Upper School Dean structure is set for the upcoming year, with the following faculty members serving as Grade Deans (who remain at that grade level each year) and Class Deans (who advance each year with the class):

  • Freshmen: Grade Deans (Ms. Markham & Mr. Gagne), Class Dean (Ms. Michaelis)
  • Sophomores: Grade Dean (Mr. Sillin), Class Deans (Mr. Gengras & Ms. Lake Adams)
  • Juniors: Grade Dean (Ms. Smith), Class Deans (Ms. Jaffe & Dr. Sengupta)
  • Seniors: Grade Dean (Ms. Sullivan), Class Dean (Mr. Myer)


While there will still be some additions to the Class Officers list for 2019-2020, the following students were elected by their classmates last spring to serve in their respective roles.  (The freshman class will have their elections early in the fall.)

President of the Executive Council:  Mason Parks

Senior Class

President:  Ellie Hilscher

Vice President:  Katie Blanc

Secretary/Treasurer:  Ben Frank

Activities/Fundraising:  Ella Grady

Athletic Council:  Carly Downey & Te’Andre King

Judiciary Committee: Julian Etauri & Eliza Tod

Junior Class

President:  Jackie Ellsworth

Vice President:  Elizabeth Goodrich

Secretary/Treasurer:  Jack Thibodeau

Activities/Fundraising:  Alaina Rauf

Athletic Council:  Mason Bull & Natalie Farrell

Judiciary Committee:  Emma Collins & Alaina Rauf

Sophomore Class

President:  Lila Jackson

Vice President:  Jack Schaeffer

Secretary/Treasurer:  Aidan Lacombe

Activities/Fundraising:  Emilia McKenney

Athletic Council:  Joaquim Bila & Emma Sharp

Judiciary Committee: Noah Hallward-Rough & Alev Yilmaz


The first day of school, Tuesday, September 3, is a Dress-Up Day:  dress pants/slacks (no shorts), with dress shirt, tie, and blazer; dress or skirt (no more than 3 inches above the knee), or professional dress pants with blouse or dress top.

Convocation will take place at 7:45 a.m. on the front lawn. This is a special gathering for all members of the NYA community (students, parents, faculty, and staff) to start off the new school year. After Convocation, parents are invited to join the NYA Parents’ Association for coffee as students head off for their day. Students should plan to arrive no later than 7:35 a.m. on the first day. You will want extra time to drop off all of your gear and to get seated for Convocation in the quad. Seating for students is organized by grade. Students may leave their bags and equipment in their lockers or in the classroom of their advisory.

There will be no music class on the first day. Remember to bring your instruments beginning on Wednesday, September 4. This first day will be an A-day on the schedule, with advisory meetings directly following the Convocation. Teachers will let students know of the materials needed for their courses. Students should bring summer reading and assignments along with a notebook of some kind for the first day.


The second day of school (Wednesday, September 4) is picture day. This is a Dress-Up Day. Both class pictures and individual portraits will be taken, and the portraits will be used in the student directory (distributed later in the fall). Families also will have the opportunity to purchase portraits. Information on ordering pictures will be sent out directly to parents from Coffee Pond Photography.


Together with the Parents’ Association, we are hosting a new event for our families and students. The All Family Cookout will be on Thursday, September 5 at 5:00 p.m. and will include a cookout, lawn games, and class meetings. This is an opportunity for for new families to get to know our community and returning families to reconnect and meet new friends. Families will also learn more about how they can become involved with the school and Parents’ Association. Additional details coming soon. We look forward to seeing you there!


For all parents of seniors:  Please join Katherine and Steve Thomas for a nuts-and-bolts program that will focus on what to expect from the upcoming college application process. We will gather in the Middle School Community Room bright and early on Friday morning, September 6, at 7:00 a.m. and look forward to your participation.


On Wednesday night, September 11, from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room, all ninth grade parents are invited to hear more about the ninth grade experience. The discussion will include such topics as academic expectations, daily and weekly routines, extracurricular opportunities, as well as ways to help support your child. There will be a short agenda with time for questions. This meeting is intended as a precursor to Upper School Parent Night, which follows directly afterwards, beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Safford Center.


Parents, please mark your calendars for Upper School Parent Night on Wednesday, September 11 at 6:45 p.m. Parents will first convene in Safford Center for a brief introduction and announcements, and will then have the opportunity to visit their student’s classes, meet their teachers, and learn about the curriculum. This event is just for parents. We look forward to seeing all of the Upper School parents for this informational evening!


Please remember that the 2019 Summer Assignments must be completed for the first day of school. All students have summer reading assignments in English. In addition, students who are continuing their language studies in Level II or above in French, Latin, or Spanish have summer assignments to help keep their knowledge of the language fresh after time away from school. There are also summer assignments for students in AP classes.


All students enrolled in a mathematics class in the Upper School must own (and begin the school year with) a Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator. These calculators can be purchased either online or in local stores, and they operate on four AAA batteries. Students only need to purchase this calculator once, as it is the calculator used for all levels of mathematics at NYA throughout the students’ high school years.


It is essential that we have current Health Forms on file for every student at NYA. If you have not already done so, please complete all necessary health forms as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.  Student participation in fall preseason is contingent upon these forms being submitted to Ashley before August 19.


Additional forms, such as the Off-Campus Travel and Athletic Permission Forms, can be found in Family Forms under the Parents tab on the NYA website. Please be sure to complete and turn in all necessary forms as soon as possible.


All students received draft schedules earlier in the summer primarily intended for textbook purchasing. Some academic schedules may remain exactly the same, but other schedules will have changes and additions that will include music and art classes, study halls, and locker numbers. Some schedule changes may include class time and/or location changes. Advisors will hand out complete, up-to-date schedules at advisory on the first day. Be sure to discard any other schedules and to use only this new schedule. Up-to-date schedules can also be accessed at any time through Family Web.


Some reminders about the daily dress code:

  • Skirts, dresses, kilts (no more than 3 inches above the knee)
  • Dress pants/slacks/corduroys/khakis/chinos
  • Dress shorts (knee-length, Bermuda style)
  • Buttoned up, collared dress shirt (tucked in as appropriate) with/without a sweater
  • Dress blouse with/without a sweater
  • Footwear (clean, neat, & worn at all times)

Please see the full details of the dress code in the Upper School Student and Parent Handbook.


The school day at NYA begins at 8:00 a.m. With the exception of seniors, all students should be in their designated classroom by 7:58 a.m. Students who arrive late should check in with Ms. Lathrop at the Middle School Reception Desk. Parents should call the Main Office (846-9051) or email Heidi Lathrop by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. It is our policy to call the parents of students who are not accounted for.


Students may either bring food and drink for break and lunch or purchase them from the cafeteria. Families may set up dining accounts through “myschoolaccount.com” or pay with cash. Contact Lisa McGlinn in the Business Office with any questions. Lunch menus are available on Family Web.


Student drivers must annually register the vehicle(s) that they intend to drive to school with Mrs. Johnson in the Main Office by Monday, September 16. All student vehicles are required to have a numbered parking sticker. Please complete this registration form and give it to Mrs. Johnson in the Main Office. A sticker will be assigned at that time.


Organization and planning is currently taking place among Ian Ramsey (Kauffmann Program Director) and the class deans for some upcoming class experiences which will occur in mid-September. Additional details are forthcoming soon. To accommodate these experiences, there will be no Upper School athletics on the afternoon of Monday, September 16.

The Kauffmann Program is excited about the following upcoming fall events:

  • Ian Ramsey will facilitate a monthly parent and community gathering called “The Brain Trust” to discuss health, emotional well-being, mindfulness, and human performance for our children and ourselves. The group is open to all and will include discussions, readings, mindfulness and movement practice, and possibly field trips! The group will meet in the Middle School Community Room on the following dates:
      • Wednesday, September 18
      • Wednesday, October 16
      • Tuesday, November 12
  • Ian Ramsey will lead a monthly morning mindfulness sessions at 7:00 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room on the following dates:
      • Wednesday, September 18
      • Wednesday, October 16
      • Wednesday, November 13
  • The WildSoulWords Book Group will meet to discuss “What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning will renew our lost evolutionary strength” by Scott Carney on Wednesday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room
  • David Bidler, Owner of The Distance Project and founder of nonprofit Physiology First, will be working with faculty to discuss strategies to help with student anxiety and controlling physiology and emotional states this fall
  • On October 5 and 6, NYA will host the second annual Kayak Academy, a two-day sea kayak program free and open to all Maine high school students. The program will involve two days of kayak instruction and optional camping at Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick.
  • The NYA Outing Club will take its first trip on November 6 and 7, hiking into the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Carter Notch Hut. More information will be out soon.
  • Climbing Wall NYAOn Friday, November 15, the Kauffmann Program will host a Friday night climbing party in the NYA gym from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Pizza and drinks will be provided, and all ages are welcome!


Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day on Friday, October 11. To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends are invited, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information.



8/13Common Application Session for Seniors, Mertz Sci Bldg 6215:00 p.m.
8/19Fall Preseason Practices Begin
8/28New Middle & Upper School Student Orientation9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
8/28Freshman Orientation12:00 – 3:30 p.m.
9/3Convocation7:45 a.m.
9/3First Day of School; Dress-Up Day (A-Day)
9/4Picture Day; Dress-Up Day (B-Day)
9/5All Family Cookout sponsored by Parents’ Association5:00 p.m.
9/6Senior Parent College Program, MSCR 7:00 a.m.
9/11Freshman Parent Gathering, MSCR6:00 – 6:45 p.m.
9/11Upper School Parent Night, Safford Center6:45 p.m.
9/12Middle School Parent Night, MSCR6:30 p.m.
9/16No Athletics: Kauffmann Class Experiences
9/26-9/28Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/26Head of School Dinner, Reunion Tent6:00 p.m.
9/27Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym10:15 a.m.
9/27Homecoming Festivities2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/28Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club7:15 a.m.
9/28Homecoming Festivities10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
9/28All Alumni Reception, Reunion Tent6:00 p.m.
10/3Parent-Advisor Conferences begin timing set by Advisor
10/11Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/14Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day)NO SCHOOL


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