Upper School Newsletter for January 22, 2017

I write this the night after I attended the 10th Annual Studio Band Acoustic Show held on Wednesday, January 18. This show exemplifies a core value of NYA, which is for students to take risks to do something out of their comfort zone – with support. For those of you who may not know, Studio Band is a winter activity that students may choose instead of an athletic team. It meets every day after school and puts on two concerts and a number of outside presentations as well. It is advised by Ian Ramsey and Ross Markonish. Studio Band is not just for musicians, or those who have a history of singing. It is for any student who might want to learn more about music, work with two excellent musicians in their own right, and also work with their fellow students in rehearsing and performing songs of their choosing.studio-band-ols

Last night showed that many students take risks in this arena, or rather on the stage. There were a number of students who sang on stage for the first time. There were students who had never picked up an instrument before, but were adept at playing guitar, or electric base, or keyboard after a few short months. There were also student-musicians who were quite experienced. Last night, they were a team! As the night wore on, the smiles on their faces grew. Their respect for and inclusion of each individual was evident throughout the night. It was one of NYA’s core values on display; students taking a risk by doing something they have never done before, and clearly loving it.studio-band-ols_1

The theme of risk and reward is seen everywhere in the Upper School, as in all divisions: classroom presentations, talking in class, making an announcement at Friday Forum, picking a sport you have never played before, writing and presenting the senior speech, talking with a teacher for the first time. Each of these instances, and many more, are all risks for some. We encourage them. We support them. And we celebrate them when they are successful. Last night, success abounded. Congratulations to all members of the Studio Band.

Mr. Drisko/John Drisko
Assistant Head of School & Head of the Upper School

MORNING FORUM WITH THE HEAD, JANUARY 31.dsc_0018_x5_head_shot

From the Parents’ Association:  “The next Morning Forum with Head of School Ben Jackson will be held on Tuesday, January 31 in the Middle School Community Room from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Athletic Director Jack Hardy will be there to discuss the NYA athletic program and answer questions. These Forums are a very informal opportunity for parents to gather and learn more about what’s happening at NYA, so please join us for conversation, coffee and refreshments!”


You recently received an email about an exciting study being done by the University of Maine Peer Relations Lab. The deadline for parental permission has been extended to Monday, January 23 at 8:00 a.m. You can read a description of the project here. To give permission for your child to participate, click on this link. If you do not give your permission, we will be sure your child will not participate.


Monday, January 23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. is College Planning Night for juniors and their parents. This program will feature guest speaker Gail Berson, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions at Mount Holyoke College, who will discuss what students and parents can expect from the college search and application process as it unfolds. Attendance is required for juniors, and we hope all parents will be able to attend. We will meet in the Middle School Community Room.

JANUARY 23, 24, AND 25brenda-conlan

We are fortunate to have an engaging speaker coming to NYA to work with students in grades 7 through 12 on drug and alcohol prevention. Brenda Conlan, is a prevention specialist who works solely with students in these grades and has done so for many years, in many states and countries. She specializes in working with youth in an age appropriate manner that is not the usual “one and done” presentation to a large room of hundreds of students. Brenda will work with students in each grade in multiple sessions. Over the course of three days, grades 9 and 10 will have three grade-level sessions, and grades 11 and 12 will have two grade level sessions.

Ms. Conlan will also make a presentation to parents on the evening of January 25 on methods to help their children remain drug and alcohol free. The talk will be from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. Until then, you can learn more about Brenda on her website, www.brendaconlan.com.


The curtain will rise on the magical land of Who in NYA’s production of Seussical. This magical musical tells the story of Horton the Elephant who saves the Who’s from certain destruction. It is a great show for all members of the family.

Friday, February 17:  Curtain at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 18:  Curtain at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 19:  Curtain at 2:00 p.m.

Studio Band annually concludes its “season” with their final concert, aptly named “The Last Waltz” after The Band’s last concert in 1976. NYA’s version is a mixture of many different kinds of music and represents the culmination of a season of hard work by the musicians. Please come join us on Friday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Safford.


Pick up green “Clynk” bags in Upper, Middle, and Lower School offices. Return full bags to any Hannaford store (remember to scan the bar code on the bag) and help our seniors have a fantastic Project Graduation!


As a reminder, Alex Kloza (Ice Arena Manager) and Caroline Anson (Alumni Relations) have arranged for a series of open skates for alumni and families. Families are also invited to bring friends and neighbors.  Open skate is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Caroline Anson. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE ON THE ICE. No sticks, please.


 1/23-25/2017  Drug and Alcohol Educator Brenda Conlan on campus
1/23/2017 College Night for Juniors and Their Parents 6:30-8:00 PM MSCR
1/25/2017 Math Meet #4 after school at YHS
1/25/2017 Brenda Conlon’s presentation to parents 6:00 – 7:00 PM MSCR
1/27/2017 Senior Speeches: Manna Zhao, Kiersten Marr, Gabby Linscott 10:15 Gym
1/27-28/2017 District II Choral Festival
1/31/2017 Morning Forum with the Head 8:00 AM MSCR
2/3/2017 Senior Speeches: Henry Quesada, Dana Nichols, Zelda Clegg  10:15 Gym
 2/10/2017  Senior Speeches: Hunter Mahoney, Davis Newell, Michael Adams  10:15 Gym
2/24/2017 Studio Band’s Last Waltz 6:30 PM Safford
2/25/2017 Open Skate for Alumni and Families 5:30 – 6:30 Travis Roy Arena