Upper School Newsletter for October 14, 2018

Dear Parents,

Thank you for taking the time to schedule and attend parent/advisor conferences over the past week. These conferences provide a terrific opportunity to discuss how the school year is going so far for your daughters and sons. Furthermore, these discussions assist each advisor to focus on some of the ways in which we can best support each of our students as the fall semester progresses. We were also very excited to see so many grandparents visit last Friday during this fall’s Grandparents’ Day. We commend all of our student musicians for a terrific concert, our two fantastic senior speakers for kicking off a new year of speeches, and all of our teachers and staff for welcoming the grandparents to campus.

Congratulations to all of our fall athletic teams for their spirit and successes so far as we look forward to cheering on those teams who are destined for post-season tournament competition. Our seniors have also been working hard to meet the upcoming deadlines for college applications with the guidance of Katherine and Steve Thomas, as well as working to prepare for the year’s senior speech schedule with speech advisors Ross Markonish, Karin Hoppenbrouwers, and Dave Gagne.

Parent/Teacher conferences are also coming right up in November and serve as a great opportunity for parents to obtain a current mid-semester summary of student progress in each class. We look forward to seeing you there (more information about conferences follows below). If you are not able to attend, our faculty members will be happy to send along a summary email for you.

Finally, I would like to offer a quick thanks to our Class Parent Representatives for keeping everyone informed of special events this fall: Gretchen LaCombe (9th), Jenna Klein Jonsson (10th), Janette Davis (11th), and Corinne Larson (12th). We also appreciate the efforts of Deb Ramsey (Grandparents’ Day Coordinator), Kate Tufts (NYA Craft Fair Coordinator), and Laurie Hegarty and Stacey Schuler-Cannon (Special Events Co-Chairs).  Thanks also for the ongoing leadership of Deb Hilscher (Upper School Parent Coordinator), Scott Frank (Parents’ Association President), Tori Baron (Vice President), and Patrick Cannon (Treasurer).

In the meantime, we hope this Upper School newsletter provides some helpful reminders and information for you as we look to the weeks ahead.

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


NYA MCL Teachers at TCI ConferneceThe Modern & Classical Languages Department members attended the TCI (Teaching with Comprehensible Input) Conference in Lewiston last Thursday. The conference featured nationally known speakers Martina Bex and Kara Jacobs as well as the head of Maine’s department of education for world languages.


Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, November 1 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Friday, November 2 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no school for students on these two days. Each conference will last ten minutes. This is an opportunity for parents to talk with individual teachers about the progress of their child in that class. Instructions for the sign-up process will be sent out soon. Please remember that sign-ups for conferences are on a first come, first served basis. We look forward to seeing all of the parents over the course of these two days, but if your schedule prevents a meeting, please contact a teacher directly to either meet at a different time, or the teacher can send a summary email to you.


The NYA Make-A-Wish Club will host a pancake breakfast for students on Tuesday, October 16, during first period (8:00-8:45 a.m.). Students are able to sign up for a lighter breakfast (pancakes [plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip] and orange juice) for $5 or a larger breakfast (pancakes, sausage, eggs, fruit salad, and orange juice) for $8.  Gluten and dairy free options will also be available. Breakfast will be delivered to the first period class (chorus students will need to eat before 8:00 a.m.). Pre-orders were made last week via Ms. Lathrop in the Middle School or via an Upper School Make-A-Wish Club member. Orders can be made on Monday, also!  All proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish of Maine.

Thanks for all of your support!
~The Make-A-Wish Club



Each year, NYA works throughout the fall to help provide some wish-list items for local families in need. For the past several years, we have teamed up with Molly McMahon, NYA class of 1995 and daughter of Jack McMahon, former Middle School English teacher, and sister of Tim McMahon ’93, Middle School art teacher. Molly works with immigrant families seeking asylum in the United States. While many of their needs include the basics, such as warm clothes, shoes, boots, pots and pans, dishes, etc., we are sure to also include toys and special gifts. The entire school community joins together for this great cause. We will be holding another Dress Down Day for Holiday Families on Wednesday, October 17 ($3 donation).


Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23. Anyone who missed pictures on September 6 should plan on having photos taken. There is a $10 charge for those who would like to have a second sitting for photos on this day. Information on signing up for picture retakes is sent out directly to parents by Coffee Pond Photography. Please be sure to let Heidi Lathrop know if she/he plans to sit for a retake.


For the past several years, we have worked to support the Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival by carving pumpkins for their display. On the afternoon of October 19, students will change into casual clothes and join their advisory groups for a pumpkin carving. We will then deliver the pumpkins to the L.L. Bean campus in Freeport. If you are planning to visit the Pumpkin Festival on October 20, keep an eye out for our NYA jack-o’-lanterns!


The athletic department is pleased to announce a new feature on our website that will allow you to download your child’s team schedules directly into your personal calendar. Visit the NYA Athletics Teams page to subscribe to the schedule of your choice, and see these instructions for help getting started.


District II auditions will take place on Thursday, October 18. Students will be dismissed at 1:45, and the bus will depart from the arena at 2:00 p.m. and head to Windham Middle School for the auditions. Parents may pick up their students directly from the audition or students may take the bus back to NYA. The bus will return to the arena at approximately 5:45 p.m.

HALLOWEENHalloween, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Celebrating Halloween at NYA with creative costumes and a student parade is an enjoyable annual tradition here. Students may wear their costumes (or portions of their costumes) throughout the school day. However, it is important that costumes still permit students to engage in the learning process (i.e. cumbersome masks or accessories should wait for the parade). All costumes should be school appropriate in nature. If a student should opt not to wear a costume, s/he must be in regular dress code for the day (and we remind students that dressing down as a “public school student” is not a costume).

We will have a slightly abbreviated schedule on Halloween, followed by the Halloween Parade in the gym at 2:00 pm. The parade is an all school event in which students share their costumes with the school and have the chance to win prizes in categories such as “Best Small Group,” “Scariest,” or “Most Original.”  Parents are welcome to come and check out all of the fun.


NYA’s annual Middle & Upper School Open House is less than a month away!  The program will be held on Sunday, November 4, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We are excited to welcome prospective families considering grades 5-12 to campus to interact with our faculty and students. If you have friends or family who are interested in receiving more information about the Open House and North Yarmouth Academy, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the Admission Office. You can also direct them to our Open House event page.  Please feel free to share with any friends or family you think may be interested.  Invite cards are available by contacting the Admission Office.



The NYA community is working to support the Preble Street Shelter by collecting donations of food to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays. Seasonally, and especially with the start of colder weather, they are in need of extra supplies to serve the individuals and families who rely on their help. Between Wednesday, October 31 and Thursday, November 8, students are asked to bring donations of the following items to the Middle School: Stuffing Mix; Rice; Pasta; Gravy; Canned Fruit and Vegetables; Coffee; Canned Soup; Canned Beans; and Cooking Oils. Parents may also drop off donations when they come in for conferences on November 1 and 2. In celebration of the spirit of giving, students will enjoy a Dress Down Day on Wednesday, November 7. Thank you for your generosity!


Beth Blakeman-Pohl, Program Director of Casco Bay CAN, will be hosting a parent session on the evening of Thursday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room.  The session will cover substance use prevention, trends in youth substance use, how parents can talk to their teens, tips, and resources.  Contact school counselor, Michelle Napoli, for more information.


Once again, the NYA library will be holding a used book sale at the NYA Craft Fair on Saturday, December 1. We would like your gently used books and will accept books for ANY age, young children through adults. You can drop off your books in the NYA library or at the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Contact NYA librarian Eliot Grady with any questions. Thank you for your support!


This spring, NYA will offer a new course elective for interested juniors and seniors entitled “Social Advocacy through the Arts.”  This course will examine the role of the arts in motivating or supporting social change and will create opportunities for students to engage in leadership and social advocacy through their own interests and skills. Additionally, this course will serve as the anchor for a new Diploma with Distinction in Leadership, which is in its final planning stages. Meghan Scribner, who helped to design the concept of the new program, will teach this new elective.

The Diploma with Distinction in Leadership will join distinctions in Global Citizenship; S.T.E.M.;  and Music: Performance, Entrepreneurship, and Community. A fifth distinction in wilderness exploration and leadership is also in the early planning stages.


NYA’s Kauffmann Program will offer the first Outing Club trip of the 2018-19 school year. On Friday, November 2, Mr. Ramsey will take a group of students to hike into the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Lonesome Lake Hut. They’ll spend the night in bunkhouses and then do some hiking the next morning before returning. There is a sign-up sheet in the hallway of Higgins. Space is limited, and this will be first-come/first-serve!

Additional Details:

  • The group will be hiking into, and around, AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
  • Departure is at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2, and return is 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3.
  • The cost will be $50.00, including lots of great food!
  • Students will need a decent-sized backpack, warm clothes, and a warm synthetic sleeping bag. (Mr. Ramsey can provide some extra gear, if needed.)
  • There is some financial aid available.
  • Students will sleep in unheated bunkhouses on mattresses.
  • For more information, contact Ian Ramsey.  To explore more:  https://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/huts/lonesome


NYA GP Day Senior Speech

Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day Senior Speech

Thanks to all the grandparents and grand-friends who attended the Upper & Middle School Grandparents’ Day last Friday. We had a big turnout, and we hope everyone had a great time. Thank you to all the parents who volunteered at this event. It would not be successful without your help!



Ever wonder what it means to be an NYA Parent Ambassador?  Join the Admission Team and the Marketing Team on Friday, October 19, from 8:00-8:30 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room to learn about the many ways to be a Parent Ambassador.


Project Graduation’s Poinsettia Sale is now underway. Poinsettia Order Forms are available at each of the three school offices and on the NYA website. This fundraiser is an easy way to support the graduating Class of 2019! Please take a minute to place your order and help spread the word to friends, family, and local businesses. The deadline for orders is November 16, and poinsettias will be available for pick-up in the Middle School Community Room at NYA on November 29 and 30. If you have any questions, please contact Corinne Larson. Be on the lookout for information on the NYA Parents’ Association Holiday Wreath Sale coming soon.


As part of the Kauffmann Program, NYA is offering a monthly book group that focuses on nature and society’s relationship to it. The Wild Soul Words group is open to all adult members of the NYA and surrounding communities. Participants gather in a casual environment to talk about a given book, drink wine (or beverage of choice), and examine how lessons from that book might apply to our community. The group is hosted and facilitated by Ian Ramsey, and NYA is providing wine and other beverages. The first date and book selection is: Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone- on October 17. The group will meet in the Middle School Community Room at 6:30 p.m.


NYA is offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions are led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The sessions are scheduled from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays,  November 14 and December 12. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA is providing some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or participants may sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). All are welcome!


10/16 Make-A-Wish Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser 8:00-8:45 a.m.
10/17 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families $3
10/17 Wild Soul Words Book Group, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/18 District II Music Festival Auditions, Windham Middle School
10/19 Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Carving for Students
10/19 Parent Ambassador Seminar, MSCR 8:00-8:30 a.m.
10/23 Picture Retake Day  8:00 a.m.
10/26 Mid-Semester!
10/31 Halloween Festivities & Parade in Gym 2:00 p.m.
11/1-11/2 Parent-Teacher Conferences NO SCHOOL
11/1-11/8 Bring in Donations for Preble Street
11/2-11/3 Outing Club Trip to AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut
11/4 Middle and Upper School Open House 1:00-3:00 p.m.
11/7 Dress Down Day for Preble Street
11/8 Casco Bay CAN Parent Session, MSCR 5:30 p.m.
11/9 Veterans’ Day Flagpole Ceremony, front lawn 7:50 a.m.
11/12 Veterans’ Day NO SCHOOL
11/14 Upper School Athletic Recognition, NYA gym 6:00 p.m.
11/16 Last day of classes before Thanksgiving Break
11/16 Deadline for Poinsettia Orders
11/19-11/23 Thanksgiving Break NO SCHOOL
11/26 Classes resume
11/28 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families $3
11/29-11/30 Poinsettia Pick-Up, MSCR
12/1 NYA Holiday Craft Fair


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