Upper School Newsletter for February 10, 2019

As we approach mid-February and enjoy the increasing amount of daylight with each passing week, the winter season in Maine is undoubtedly still in full force. Our athletic teams are fully immersed in their late winter schedules in the hopes of achieving berths for post-season play. And speaking of play, NYA’s thespians certainly presented some amazing performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this weekend. Congratulations to all who were involved! As we look ahead to the three weeks remaining before March break begins, we note that these weeks will be flush with activities that include continued academic progress, special music programs, national language exams, Bring A Friend to School Day, Spirit Week, and the much-loved annual tradition of Winter Carnival on March 1. This time of year is certainly full and exciting for all our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Let the Panther Roar!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


Congratulations to the following young writers who were recently recognized as 2019 Scholastic Northeast Writing Region-at-Large award recipients:

Gold Key

Anders Jonsson, Poetry, “City Sleeps” (Grade 10)

Silver Key

Owen Frank, Science Fiction/Fantasy, “The Deadliest Life” (Grade 9)

Honorable Mention

Anders Jonsson, Short Story, “15 Minutes” (Grade 10)

Bella Moulton, Short Story, “Memories of Red” (Grade 9)

Andrew Schaeffer, Poetry, “The Bird,” “Sunset after Rain,” and “Knowledge” (Grade 12)


Please join us in congratulating senior Jack Lent who will represent NYA in the 2019 Poetry Out Loud competition.  On Monday, February 11, Jack will travel down to the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center, where he will compete against other local students in the Southern Maine Regional Finals. The event begins at 3:00 p.m. and is open to the public, so all are welcome to come support Jack and hear some memorable poetry recitation. Good luck, Jack!


Ms. Lake Adams’ World Geography independent study class recently visited the Osher Map Library at USM in Portland.  The students have been focusing on North Africa and the Middle East, so were able to view many of the museum’s holdings (maps, books, travel guides, textbooks, and even a board game) that related to that region as well as to last week’s theme of migration.  Osher’s executive director, Prof. Libby Bischof, gave the students a tour of both the vaults (not often seen by school groups) as well as the conservation section where the students got to see how three dimensional items like globes are digitized.


On Tuesday, February 12, the ninth-grade class will board the Amtrak Downeaster for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and other activities. As part of their studies in English and history classes, students will examine the permanent exhibits of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese artifacts at the museum. They will also have a chance to see the work of legendary photographer Ansel Adams and the restoration of Japanese Buddhist statues in two temporary exhibits. Afterwards, students will break into small groups and explore Boston with chaperones. Activities may include visiting other museums, the Boston Common, and popular shopping areas. The day trip wraps up with dinner at historic Faneuil Hall before boarding the train back home. Please check the information email from Mr. Gagne for details.  If parents have not informed Mr. Gagne where they are dropping off and picking up their students (the NYA ice rink or the Amtrak station in Portland), please email Dave Gagne with that information right away.


There will be an orange and black Dress Down Day on Wednesday, February 13 in support of the varsity basketball teams who are competing in the playoffs.  The boys team has a home game on Wednesday vs. Dirigo at 6:00 p.m.  Show your Panther Pride!


We will have a Dress Down Day this Thursday, February 14 to benefit Tri for a Cure. This coming July marks the 12th Annual Maine Cancer Foundation (MCF) Tri for a Cure. The MCF is committed to reducing cancer incidence and mortality rates in Maine and the Tri for a Cure is one of their most successful fundraising efforts. For each of the past eleven years, one thousand women have gathered in South Portland to swim, bike, and run in support of the MCF. The Tri for a Cure has raised more than $14 million for the MCF and 100% of funds raised are reinvested into Maine communities for cancer prevention, early detection, and access to care. We are delighted to raise funds for this cause and provide a show of support for Ashley Randlett and Eliot Grady who will participate in the Tri this summer. In addition to donations, we are asking everyone in the community to wear pink on this day in support of the cause (and it just happens to be Valentine’s Day!).

STUDIO BAND – LAST WALTZ!Studio Band 80's 2019

This Friday, February 15, is the NYA Studio Band’s annual “Last Waltz,” their final performance of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will perform a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers and The B-52’s to Half Alive and A-Ha. The concert will take place in Safford Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and promises to be a fun time for all ages. Come out and jam to some awesome tunes and great performances!  ~ Ian Ramsey and Ross Markonish


Please join Athletic Director Jack Hardy on Tuesday, February 26 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Middle Community Room for an interactive conversation about the state of sports at NYA. This event will feature a review of our sporting success so far this year and a preview of what is to come. Lower, Middle, and Upper School parents are all invited to learn more about the opportunities available for students, ask questions, and share feedback on what is working well and what you would like to see moving forward. Coffee and snacks will be provided.


Enrollment agreements were sent out last week with a March 1 deadline. We appreciate your prompt return of these agreements as staffing and schedules for next year will be constructed based on students whose re-enrollments are submitted by March 1.


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show your friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, February 22 will be “Bring a Friend to School Day.” This is an opportunity for our current NYA students in grades five through twelve to invite friends from their sports teams, neighborhoods, summer camps, after-school programs, etc. to spend the day with them at NYA while many area schools will be on February break. Register a friend and find more information here


NYA Outing Day 2018

The NYA Yearbook is a much-loved, highly-anticipated publication. The yearbooks will be passed out to students during our NYA Picnic/Fun Day on May 31, 2019. All NYA Middle and Upper School students are automatically charged for a 2019 yearbook, so you will see a $55 charge per student on your March bill. Don’t want a yearbook? No problem, just call or email Lisa McGlinn in the business office, 207-847-5425, and she will reverse the charge. If you choose not to purchase a yearbook for your student, please inform your child so that he or she will be prepared not to receive one on the last day of school.

Are you the parent, grandparent, or friend of a senior? There is still time to place a recognition ad in the yearbook. You can place an ad online at Jostens until February 15. Contact yearbook advisor Meghan Scribner with any questions.


All Upper School Spanish, French, and Latin language students will be taking National Language Exams in the coming months. The Grand Concours and National Latin Exam will be given before March Break, and the National Spanish Exam will take place in April. Language teachers will be communicating more specific details about exam dates and times in their classes. Awards will be announced in the late spring. Please contact Eliza Alexander, Modern and Classical Language Department Chair, with any questions. Merci, Gracias, Gratias!  ~ The Modern & Classical Language Department

WINTER CARNIVALWinter Carnival 2018 NYA

Friday, March 1 will be Winter Carnival at NYA. We will have an abbreviated class schedule in the morning followed by special activities after lunch. Students in grades five through twelve will be broken up into groups to experience each of the activities while playfully competing against the other teams. Classes are paired together for the afternoon events: fifth and twelfth; sixth and eleventh; seventh and tenth; and eighth and ninth. The activities will include Name that Tune, Bombardment, Musical Chairs, Captain’s Coming, Sing Down, and Knockout. It is a fun way to unite the school community and break out of the winter doldrums.

SPIRIT WEEKNYA Spirit Week 0- decades day

Leading up to the festivities of Winter Carnival, we will have special dress days and lunchtime activities Monday – Thursday, February 25 – 28.  Lunch activities will include Whipped Cream Gum (a rather messy, no hands, gum-chewing activity), Marshmallow Drop (an even messier activity that involves dropping marshmallows off a ladder into the open mouth of your teammate below), Cheese Puff Whipped Cream Challenge (a crazy challenge of trying to make cheese puffs stick to your partner’s whipped cream-coated forehead), and Blindfolded Make-Up Artist (an activity where one student applies make-up to another student without being able to see his/her face). Below are the special dress days for the week:

  • Monday:         Pajama Day
  • Tuesday:         Decades (Seniors 80s, Juniors 70s, Sophomores 90s, Freshmen 50s)
  • Wednesday:  USA
  • Thursday:      Superhero (dress as the superhero of your choice or create your own)
  • Friday:            Team Colors: 12th = orange black; 11th = red; 10th  = blue; 9th = white

If a student chooses not to take part in the special dress, s/he must be in regular NYA dress code.


NYA will host our sixth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. This year’s challenge is Share a Story. Find someone to read to – your grandparents, your favorite four-legged friend, your stuffed animal collection, whomever, whatever, wherever; take a photo or a selfie; and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 20 to be considered. The pictures will be judged by a panel of faculty and staff and a winner for each Division (Lower, Middle, Upper, and Faculty/Staff) will be announced on Friday, March 22 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!


Spring season practices for softball/baseball pitchers and catchers begin the day we return from March Break, Monday, March 18.  All other practices begin the following Monday, March 25.  Please see the Preseason Spring US Newsletter from Athletic Director Jack Hardy for more information as we plan ahead for the spring season.


From the Athletic Office: For those who may be interested in seeing MPA winter season championship tournaments, the following events will be live-streamed through the NFHS Network:

  • Cheering––State Championships, February 9
  • Basketball––Quarterfinal Games, February 13 –23
  • Girls’ Ice Hockey––State Championship, February 16
  • Wrestling––All Championship Matches, February 16
  • Boys’ Ice Hockey––State Championships, March 9

The boys and girls semifinal and regional final MPA basketball games will be live-streamed through the NSN link as well as being available through the NFHS Network. The state championship basketball games may be seen on Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) Television. To access the live streaming, a subscription may be purchased at www.NFHSnetwork.com/me. The event will also be available on mobile devices at m.nfhsnetwork.com and subscribers can download the NFHS Network app from the iTunes store.


2/12 Freshman Class Trip to Boston
2/13 Soirée Planning Meeting, MSCR 2:00-2:30 p.m.
2/13 Code Orange Dress Down Day
2/14 Dress Down Day for Tri for a Cure $3
2/15 Last Day to place a yearbook ad
2/15 Experience NYA
2/15 Studio Band Last Waltz Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/18 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/18 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
2/22 Bring A Friend to School Day
2/25-3/1 Spirit Week (special dress and activities)
2/26 NYA Sports Update with Jack Hardy 8:00-9:00 a.m.
3/1 Re-Enrollment Agreements Due
3/1 Last Day of classes before March Break; Winter Carnival
3/4-3/15 March Break  NO SCHOOL
3/4, 8, 11, & 15 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
3/18 Classes Resume
3/18 Girls on the Run begins
3/19 Upper School Athletic Recognition Evening, NYA Gym 6:00 p.m.
3/25 Upper School Spring Athletic Season Begins


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