Upper School Newsletter for February 9, 2020

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 are hard at work in preparation for their performances of Sister Act in less than two weeks. As we look ahead to the four 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 5. This time of year is certainly full and exciting for our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Let the Panther Roar!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


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.


Congratulations to the following students on recent recognition for their terrific work in photography and art:

Photo by: Bronwen Ramsey-Brimberg ’20

Gold Key: Camille Beaudoin (Photography), Taylor Hemenway (Drawing), Bronwen Ramsey-Brimberg (Photography)

Silver Key: Bronwen Ramsey-Brimberg (Photography)

Honorable Mention: Sam Babbitt (Drawing), Bronwen Ramsey-Brimberg (Drawing), Sally Strong (Drawing)

An exhibition will open at MECA on February 28 and run until March 14.


Please join us in congratulating senior Py Morin who will represent NYA in the 2020 Poetry Out Loud competition. On Monday, February 10, Py will travel to the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center, where they 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 Py and hear some memorable poetry recitation. Good luck, Py!


North Yarmouth Academy presents Sister Act. This show, written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, is based on the 1992 movie of the same name. Sister Act tells the story of Deloris van Cartier, an aspiring Philadelphia nightclub singer, who is forced into hiding after witnessing her gangster boyfriend commit a murder. The police place her in a convent, knowing this is the last place on earth her boyfriend would look. The bold and brash Deloris is put in charge of the convent’s ailing choir, which soon becomes a hit performing group. While the show is quite fun, it contains some mature subject matter and gun violence, thus it may be more appropriate for older children. Parental guidance is suggested. Performances will be Friday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00, and can be reserved through Mary Goodrich. Mary can also be reached by phone (847-5432) for ticket reservations between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  Ticket pre-sales will close at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 21.


On Friday, February 28, the NYA Studio Band will perform in the annual “Last Waltz,” their final performance of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will play a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers and REM to Weezer and Kanye West. 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


Class C Girls Preliminary Game
Hall-Dale Bulldogs @ NYA Panthers
Tuesday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. tip-off
A win sends NYA to Augusta the following week.
There may be an MPA admission fee for this game. We will confirm once we know.

Class C Boys Quarterfinal Game
NYA vs winner of Richmond vs. St. Dom’s
Monday, February 17, 7:30 p.m. tip-off, Augusta Civic Center
MPA Admission fee $10 adults; $5 students/65 and older

Come cheer on our Panther basketball teams!


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 email homestay@nya.org. Here is a link to additional information about the program.


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 21 is “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!


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 Thursday, June 4, 2020. All NYA Middle and Upper School students are automatically charged for a 2020 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.


The final deadline for yearbook ads is Thursday, February 13. This deadline cannot be extended, and we will not accept any ads past this date. If you’d like to place a recognition ad for your student, please read the information below carefully and place your ad this week:

Yearbook recognition ads are on sale now! Parents, relatives, and friends may purchase and design their own ad online, recognizing a current NYA student and celebrating their achievements. Ad space is available on a first come, first served basis, and all yearbook ads must be submitted by Thursday, February 13. Click here for more information on purchasing and designing a yearbook ad for your student. Please contact Yearbook Advisor Sara Jaffe 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  communicate more specific details about exam dates and times in their classes. Awards are announced in the late spring. Please contact Danny Chin, Modern & Classical Language Department Chair, with any questions. Merci, Gracias, Gratias!  ~ The Modern & Classical Language Department


CivilTea is a student-driven program that promotes civil dialogue around challenging topics within school communities. Originally created by sisters Pricillia Ismbi and Naissa Isaro, the fundamental purposes of the program intend to build communication skills, enhance student leadership, and promote active listening. Since the beginning of the year, 24 students have been developing their facilitation skills, planning panels for dialogues, and engaging their peers in meaningful discussions.

Student groups (as well as a separate faculty and staff group) have discussed such topics as dress code and social media, and the next topic will be academic pressure. CivilTea balances real world issues that are felt here at NYA as well as beyond our campus community. The goal of CivilTea is not to change a policy or solve a problem, but rather to engage across difference. As we complete the first year of CivilTea, all NYA students have made progress in how they think about and approach these issues. The club is excited for dialogue to become an integral practice here at NYA.

Thank you to CivilTea program advisors Danny Chin, Morgan Lake Adams, and Andrea Lauerman.


The Class of 2020 is selling Pat’s Pizza discount cards as a fundraiser for Project Graduation.  Each card sells for $10 and is worth many, many times that with the following discounts:

  • (2) $2 off large pizza
  • (2) free small cheese pizza with purchase of a large 2 topping pizza
  • (2) $2 off $10 purchase
  • (2) $5 off $25 purchase
  • (2) 15% off total bill

These cards are valid at Pat’s Pizza restaurants in Yarmouth, Brunswick, and Scarborough and can be used through August 15, 2020. If you would like to purchase any cards, please email Corinne Larson. The deadline for purchasing cards is February 15.

Beginning on February 21, the senior class will sell raffle tickets for 31 different prizes, including cash, tickets to Chicago at Merrill Auditorium, and gift cards to local artisans. Tickets are $5 each or you can buy 5 tickets for $20. Prizes will be drawn each day during the month of April! Tickets will be sold at each showing of Sister Act, or you can purchase tickets from any senior or their family!


Friday, March 6 is 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.


Leading up to the festivities of Winter Carnival, we will have special dress days and lunchtime activities Monday – Thursday, March 2-5.  Below are the special dress days for the week:NYA Homecoming 2018

  • Monday: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday: Mainer Day
  • Wednesday:  Team / Jersey Day (NYA or favorite sports team)
  • Thursday: Panther Pride!!  Black and Orange Day
  • Friday: Team Colors:
    *Twelfth & Fifth = orange black
    *Eleventh & Sixth = red
    *Tenth & Seventh = blue
    *Ninth & Eighth = white

Students who choose not to take part in the special dress must be in regular NYA dress code.


NYA will host its seventh annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. To celebrate the new Learning Commons, which will no doubt be a favorite spot for many students, this year’s Reading Challenge theme is “My Favorite Place to Read.” Grab your favorite book and go read in your favorite place – a comfy chair, a tree house, a ski lift, a beach chair, wherever you like best! Take a photo or a selfie; and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 25 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 27 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!  ~ Eliot Grady


Students should confirm their Spring Activity participation with Ms. Ross via email or in person prior to the March Break. Our 2020 Upper School Spring Activity offerings are:

  • Baseball
  • Lacrosse
  • Outdoor Track and Field
  • Softball
  • Tech Theatre
  • Tennis

Pitchers and catchers will begin training on Monday, March 23. All other athletic team training will be begin on Monday, March 30. Students will receive detailed information regarding team meetings, equipment needs, and practice/game schedules directly from their coaching staff in the upcoming weeks.

Please contact Kelsy Ross with any questions, or call at 847-5456.


Save the date for the annual NYA Soirée on Friday, May 15, 2020 at Portland’s Ocean Gateway. This year’s gathering will include a live and silent auction, games, food stations and hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and plenty of fun. Planning for the Soirée is underway by event committee members, Jen Edwards P ’30, P ’32, P’36; Jenn Yilmaz P’19, P’22, P’24; Jillaine Geary P’26, P’28; Diana Mutagoma P’22, P’25; Maryea Curtis P’30; Lissa Von Brecht ‘02; and Amity Jackson P ’21, P ’22, P ’26, in concert with the Development Office. If you have event ideas, want to get involved in planning, or are able to offer any auction prizes, please be in touch with the event planning committee or Crystal Gordon in the NYA Development Office. In the past, successful auction items have included jewelry, travel packages, concert and sporting event tickets, fine dining, and unique experiences. Let’s make this a fun, meaningful night for the NYA community!


The NYA Parents’ Association is looking for three volunteers to co-chair the NYA ice cream booth at this year’s Clam Festival. The co-chairs will work as a team, each with individual responsibilities. Primary duties include coordinating volunteers, running the booth during the Clam Festival, and ordering and coordinating the food and supplies. Laura Bergeron and Scott Frank have done a great job of running the booth for a number of years and will be available to train and answer questions, with Scott staying on as a co-chair this year. This is a fun event, a great way to meet people, and a very positive way to contribute to NYA and our fundraising efforts. Please contact Laurie Hegarty or Tori Baron with interest and questions.


2/14Experience NYA Admission Event9:30-11:00 a.m.
2/17Presidents’ DayNO SCHOOL
2/21Bring A Friend to School Day
2/21Drama Performance, Safford6:30 p.m.
2/22Drama Performances, Safford2:00 & 6:30 p.m.
2/26Middle School Winter Athletic and Drama Celebration, NYA Gym2:30 p.m.
2/28Studio Band Last Waltz, Safford6:30 p.m.
3/1Re-Enrollment Agreements Due
3/2-6Spirit Week (special dress and activities)
3/6Last Day of classes before March Break; Winter Carnival
3/7-22March Break
3/23Classes Resume
3/23Pitchers & Catchers Begin Training
3/25Upper School Athletic Recognition Evening, NYA Gym6:00 p.m.
3/26-28Senior Class Trip to NYC
3/30MPA Spring Athletic Season Begins



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