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Upper School Newsletter for September 12, 2021

Dear Upper School Families,

Following a smooth opening of school filled with orientations, new schedules, fresh notebooks, and plenty of open-air classrooms, we are all now immersed in prepping for the second week of school – the indisputable beginning of “the rest of the year.” We have enjoyed a terrific start to the new school year including opening Convocation, our first Dress-Up Day, several introductory virtual student gatherings, and the continuation of fall athletics. Most students have now finalized any necessary schedule changes and are establishing a rhythm to their academic schedules, meeting with their advisors, and getting a feel for the nightly homework in their classes. Though September can certainly be a demanding month for students, parents, and teachers alike, a new school year inevitably elicits newfound energy in us all.

I know that I speak for the entire faculty and staff of NYA in saying that we thoroughly enjoy the return of students to the hallways, classrooms, studios, and fields!

Happy September to all!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


Our Virtual Upper School Parents’ Night is on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. Parents can log in using this link. This event provides parents with the opportunity to learn more about NYA, their child’s classes, and their teachers. The evening will begin with a Zoom Webinar for all Upper School parents to get to know our Upper School program and to meet out Upper School staff. Classroom teachers will also send out videos to parents to introduce themselves and go over some highlights of what to expect in each course.


The fall seasons are in full swing, with a number of competitions under our belts. All training and events schedules can be found on our Athletics website. Students and families are encouraged to be on the lookout for weekly email updates from their respective coaches as well.

Each of our competition venues is open to all spectators this season! We require everyone to mask when visiting indoor spaces. As we reopen the sidelines, we ask that our fans remember to cheer in ways that support our students and teams. We pride ourselves on having an inclusive and supportive competition environment and do not tolerate yelling at students or the officials. We strongly believe in the “be loud, be proud, be positive” mantra and appreciate your help in continuing this tradition.

As the seasons move forward and the academic loads increase, students should be mindful of their schedules and plan accordingly. Communicating with coaches and teachers about conflicts with practices, competitions, and major assignments is important. Be sure to look ahead!

We are eager to welcome a number of opponents to campus next weekend for Come Home events. We hope to see and hear you all out there supporting the Panthers!  ~ Kelsy Ross, Director of Athletics


Friday, September 17 is the start of Come Home to NYA Weekend at NYA. There are games scheduled throughout the afternoon and ample opportunity to cheer on NYA. There will be an all-school cookout beginning at 3:30 to enjoy a snack while watching the games and having fun. On Saturday, there will be another slate of games and concessions will be sold throughout the day. The NYA Parents’ Association will also be selling logo wear by the turf field on Friday and Saturday if you are looking to add to your collection of NYA panther gear.


To gear up for Homecoming, we will enjoy a full week of special dress days this week to get into the NYA spirit!

  • Monday:  Pajama Day (comfy pajamas or sweats)
  • Tuesday:  Sports Day (favorite jersey/team gear)
  • Wednesday: Decades Day (class decades TBD)
  • Thursday:  Class Colors (ninth- white; tenth- blue; eleventh- red; twelfth- black)
  • Friday:  Orange & Black (show your Panther Pride!)


We are holding the Annual Steve Morris Golf Tournament this Saturday, September 18, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Now is your last chance to register! Join alumni, parents, friends, and families for a day of golf to benefit NYA students at Toddy Brook Golf Course. This fun, scramble-format tournament includes games and prizes, breakfast and lunch, and an opportunity to join the NYA community in supporting students and families. If you are interested in playing or putting together a foursome, please register here.


On Tuesday, September 21, we are holding a New Parent Welcome Reception under an event tent on the Curtis lawn. The event runs from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and you are welcome to drop in anytime. With over fifty guests already registered, we hope you will join us for this event designed to welcome new parents to the NYA community. We encourage all NYA parents/guardians to attend to welcome our newest families to the school. Stop by and meet other NYA parents and learn how to get involved while enjoying appetizers and cocktails. Please register here.


Cindy Hould is our school counselor and is available to provide support to students and families. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a clinical background working with adolescents in residential treatment, and was a Clinical Coordinator at the Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Adolescent Partial Hospital Program. Cindy has a strong background in trauma recovery, assisting clients in the military and survivors of a mass shooting. She works with students across all three divisions, assists with the sixth grade Life Skills class and provides additional support to the ninth grade class as they transition to the Upper School. Cindy welcomes parents to contact her for a consultation or referrals in the community. She is on campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Please reach out via email at and by phone at 207-847-5499 (w) and 207-200-5143 (cell).


The Kauffmann Program is ready for a great 2021-2022 school year, beginning with September Upper School overnight class trips to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high mountain huts and Joe Dodge Lodge on Monday and Tuesday, September 20 and 21. Additional details on these class experiences have been sent out by the class deans. It is also important to note that any student not participating in pooled testing will need to have a PCR test within 72 hours of the overnight trip. Appointments for any necessary testing will need to be made well in advance.

For any specific questions, please contact Kauffmann Director, Ian Ramsey and the respective class deans:

Later in the fall, the NYA Outing Club will enjoy an overnight backpacking trip to AMC’s Zealand Falls hut. NYA will host a number of award-winning environmental writers throughout the year, including Alaskan writers, Kim Heacox and Hank Lentfer; Vermont writer, Sean Prentiss; Maine memoirist, Jenny Neves; and New Hampshire poets, Kevin Goodan and Kimberly Berwick. In the spring, NYA will host two events that are free and open to all Maine high school students: the 6th Annual Kauffmann Environmental Writing Contest and the Sea Kayak Academy. Throughout the year, students will have opportunities to get on NYA’s climbing wall and use the school’s kayak fleet. Additionally, Kauffmann director, Ian Ramsey, will work with school counselor, Cindy Hould, nonprofit Physiology First, and faculty to create a school-wide mental health curriculum, including integrating mindfulness skills and brain science presentations into the curriculum of all grades. Next summer, some NYA students will again be traveling to Alaska’s Glacier Bay as part of the spring semester environmental writing class.


While there will still be some additions to the Class Officers list for 2021-2022, the following students were elected by their classmates last spring to serve in their respective roles. (The ninth grade class will have their elections early in the fall.)

President of the Executive Council:  Chas Rohde

Senior Class

  • President:  Lila Jackson
  • Vice President:  Bryce Poulin
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Noah Silander
  • Activities/Fundraising:  Marion Robbins
  • Athletic Council:  Joaquim Bila & Emma Sharp
  • Judiciary Committee: Emilia McKenney, Noah Hallward Rough, & Alev Yilmaz

Junior Class

  • President:  Jack Byrne
  • Vice President:  Vy Tran
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Angel Huntsman
  • Activities/Fundraising:  Jack Hegarty
  • Athletic Council:  Angel Huntsman
  • Judiciary Committee:  Jack Curtis, Harper Fremont-Smith, & Sally Stronge

Sophomore Class

  • President:  Matthew Powers
  • Vice President:  TBA
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Haley Hegarty
  • Activities/Fundraising:  TBA
  • Athletic Council:  Graca Bila & Molly Nelson
  • Judiciary Committee: Sasha Schutz & Ethan Smith



Friday, September 24 is Sky Day, “a global citizen art initiative designed to bring us together and promote a new level of ecological citizenship around the world from Only One Sky.” Around the globe, people take photos of “their” sky. Students can head outside on September 24 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos are uploaded with a special hashtag assigned to NYA and become part of a photo collage of our school, state, country, and the world. The collages appear in the Sky Day Project Gallery online and as part of special exhibits in museums and planetariums around the world.


The first parent/advisor meetings of the year are coming up during the first two weeks of October. These meetings are a chance for parents and advisors to meet early on in the year; to check in about all aspects of the student’s life, including academics, extra-curriculars, social matters, goals, concerns, etc.; and to begin to forge that partnership of support for each student. Advisors will contact parents to schedule meeting times.


Picture Day has been rescheduled for Friday, October 8. This is also a Dress-Up Day. Both class pictures and individual portraits will be taken, and the portraits will be used in our directory and yearbook. Families will have the opportunity to purchase portraits and will receive additional information on ordering directly from Lifetouch Photography.


To communicate unexpected changes in the schedule or closures (i.e. snow days) and other important or time sensitive information, we use our text alert system to message participating families. If you would like to receive texts from NYA, please text START to 22383 and add 22383 as a contact in your phone’s address book. In addition, please update your information in Family Web using the Custodial Parent Information Form to ensure that your cell phone number is correct and your Parent Alert settings are set to receive text messages. Instructions on using this form can be found here. (If you received text messages from NYA last year, you are likely all set, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.)


To maintain the safety of the community while welcoming grandparents and grandfriends to campus, we plan to hold Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day on campus under an event tent on Denney Field, Friday, October 22, 2021. (Lower School Grandparents’ Day will take on May 13, 2022.)

Upper School grandparents will be hosted in the morning (9:00-11:00 a.m.) and Middle School grandparents will attend in the afternoon (1:00-2:30 p.m.). At each event, there will be performances by student musicians, refreshments, and opportunities to meet teachers and connect with grandchildren. There will be no classroom visits, but we plan to showcase academics during both events. Grandparents with grandchildren in both the Middle and Upper School are welcome to attend both events.

Please help us ensure your child’s grandparent or grandfriend is invited to this fun, memorable gathering by completing the grandparent information form here. Invitations will be emailed next week. Thank you!


9/13-9/17Spirit Week
9/14Middle School Parents’ Night, Zoom6:30 p.m.
9/14Upper School Parents’ Night, Zoom7:00 p.m.
9/17-9/28Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/17Athletic Hall of Fame Induction
9/17Homecoming Festivities2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/18Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Toddy Brook Golf Course7:15 a.m.
9/18Homecoming Festivities10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
9/20-9/21Upper School Experiential Trips
9/21New Parent Welcome Reception, Event Tent4:00-6:00 p.m.
9/24Sky Day
9/30Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/8Picture Day; Dress Up Day
10/11Indigenous Peoples’ DayNO SCHOOL
10/13PSATs for all Sophomores & Juniors, on campus8:00 a.m.
10/22Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/27Halloween Festivities
10/28 & 10/29Parent-Teacher ConferencesNO SCHOOL


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