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NYA Student Meteorologist to Visit The Weather Channel

ForecasterJackPosterFollowing an outpouring of attention, North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) freshman Jack Sillin of Yarmouth is traveling to The Weather Channel’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia this week as a special guest. Sillin was featured recently in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, and is a now social media all-star. Dave Clark, The Weather Channel’s president, follows Sillin on Twitter and invited him for a visit.

Sillin’s interest in the weather began by watching The Weather Channel on a cross country flight to California when he was seven years old. Since then, his infatuation has become a full-time hobby. From his bedroom, he reads models, makes his predictions and publishes them on his blog, all before school starts each day. His interest has increased, as has his fan base. This year, Sillin accurately predicted four NYA snow days in close succession. Following his first few snow day predictions, NYA students created posters and started a great fan base for Sillin. He has over 1,000 followers on Twitter and an extremely successful blog. He says about his interest in the weather, “I like the challenge that predicting the future provides. It’s a really fun puzzle to be able to do every day.”

Sillin’s parents, Peter Sillin and Katherine Thomas, both work at NYA and are very proud of their son. Peter Sillin said, “I’m really proud of Jack and how he’s taken this intense interest and turned it into a vehicle for personal growth.” Katherine Thomas remarked, “This week, when a reporter from [the local TV show] ’207′ was on campus filming Jack in his physics class, I happened to see him in the hall – he was carrying a large camera so I felt confident starting a conversation that went like this: ‘Hi, are you Rob? I’m Jack’s mom. That’s how I introduce myself these days.’ He just laughed and said how much he enjoyed talking with Jack. I am so incredibly proud of him. Jack really cares about the weather – learning as much as he possibly can about it and creating accurate and informative forecasts that people can rely on but also enjoy reading. I think he has become a really good teacher. He explains often very complex things in a clear, matter of fact way that even people who aren’t devoted or sophisticated weather watchers can understand. Like every good teacher, his excitement about the material also draws others in. I also appreciate Jack’s ability to be humble. Add that to the fact that he is only 13, and he is following and developing his passion, I couldn’t be more proud as his mother.”

Jack Sillin’s interest has been fostered by NYA’s community. He says, “The data analysis skills I’ve learned in science have helped a lot on the data side and lots of writing experience in English has definitely helped my communication skills.” Peter Sillin said, “I am so pleased as a parent at what NYA has been able to offer him in support of this pursuit. We don’t have a meteorology course but Jack’s been practicing in his classes for years how to analyze data, to draw evidence from a variety of perspectives, to use that evidence to support conclusions and carefully to cite his sources. NYA has always pushed him hard to write clearly and effectively, which I think contributes to the lively style of his blog. And finally, NYA’s close community of students and teachers is a culture where it’s okay to be a freshman weather geek. Not just okay – Jack’s passion for science is supported and celebrated here with applause, posters and affirmations all around. To me, a great education equips and inspires students to pursue their interests wherever they may be found – and that is what NYA is doing for Jack right now.”

Jack and his father travel to Atlanta, Georgia this week where they will visit and tour The Weather Channel’s headquarters on March 13. They will tweet about the event, keeping all of Jack’s fans up-to-date with his adventures. As for the future, Jack says, “I hope to make forecasting a career at some point. Right now, I’m not worrying about the future too much.”

Postscript: Jack not only visited The Weather Channel, he made an appearance on air. Here’s the link …

http://www.weather.com/tv/shows/amhq/video/our-next-winter-weather-expert

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.


High Achieving NYA Seniors Honored

North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) is proud to announce the academic achievements of three outstanding senior students.  Charlotte Eisenberg (Peaks Island) and Ellis Miskell were both selected as part of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, and as National Merit Finalists.  NYA senior, Marina Stam (Cumberland Foreside), was also selected as a National Merit Finalist.  Eisenberg was also selected to compete in the state championship Poetry Out Loud competition at the Waterville Opera House (Waterville) on March 11, 2015 (snow date March 12).

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.  Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.  Over 3,900 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment.  A panel of educators will select 560 of these candidates as semifinalists in April.  Then the finalists are chosen: one girl and one boy from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts.  These scholars will be invited to Washington, DC for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

The National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.  According to the NMSP, about 1.4 million students in more than 22,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. They are the top scoring entrants in each state or less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.  Out of greater than 50,000 high scorers, there are around 16,000 National Merit Program Semifinalists who have the opportunity to submit a detailed scholarship application to be considered for finalist status.  There are approximately 15,000 finalists.  All National Merit Scholarship winners are selected from this group based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

John Drisko, Interim Head of School, said “These three students have consistently demonstrated academic excellence, setting the bar high for themselves, for the rest of their class and for the school. They are all very deserving of this recognition.”

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.


NYA Hosts Buddhist Monk Khen Rinpoche

rinpochewebOn March 2 and 3, Khen Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and founding director of the Siddartha School in Ladakh, India will visit North Yarmouth Academy (NYA). Rinpoche will host a gathering where he will talk about “Wisdom and Compassion at Home – Cultivating a Mindful Family in Modern Life” on March 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Safford Center (148 Main Street, Yarmouth).  His talk is free and open to the public. During his visit, he will also meet with classes in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools.

Rinpoche was born in Ladakh, India. In 1953, at fifteen years old, he walked over 960 miles to Shigatse, Tibet to join the Tashi Lungpo monastery. He returned to Ladakh to escape the religious persecution in occupied Tibet in 1960. Rinpoche was appointed abbot of Tashi Lungpo monastery in Bylakuppe, India by His Holiness the Dali Lama in 2005. Rinpoche is the founding director of the Siddartha School in his native village of Ladakh, India. The school serves children in preschool through tenth class, and its students include nomadic children and orphans of the remote Chang Tang area.

John Drisko, NYA Interim Head of School, met Rinpoche in the fall and extended an invitation for him to return later in the year. Drisko said, “NYA is honored to host Khen Rinpoche, a world renowned Buddhist monk. His visit in the fall was magical, and we expect this to be beneficial for all who are able to attend.”

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at NYA.org.


NYA Hosts Volkan Orhon

orhon On Wednesday, February 25, Volkan Orhon, a world renowned classical bassist, will perform at North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) for the entire school community. Rose Chancler is accompanying Orhon on the piano. The concert is at 7:00 pm in Higgins Hall on NYA’s campus.

Orhon, a finalist and prizewinner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition in New York City, is one of the top double bassists in the world.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the Ankara University State Conservatory in Turkey and came to the U.S. to further his studies at the Hartt School of Music where he acquired an Artist Diploma and Master of Music. He is the first double bass player ever to win the overall grand prize and first prize at the American String Teacher’s Association Solo Competition. Orhon has played with orchestras, quartets, internationally recognized musicians, and many more throughout his career. For more information and his full biography, please visit his website.

Ian Ramsey, NYA Visual and Performing Arts Chair, discovered that Orhon was touring in New England and jumped at the opportunity to bring him to NYA.  Orhon’s accompanist, Rose Chancler, was Ramsey’s piano teacher while he was in college in Alaska. He said, “I couldn’t be more excited to have one of the premier double bassists in North America performing on the NYA campus.  He’ll be performing classical bass repertoire with the highest possible level of musicianship.”

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.


**Snow Day** – Again – Thursday, February 19, 2015

North Yarmouth Academy is closed on Thursday, February 19, due to the inclement weather. Sleep in, stay warm, and stay safe, everyone!


NYA Hosts Marcus Santos

santosOn Thursday and Friday, February 19 and 20, Marcus Santos, a Brazilian percussionist, will work with North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) students and perform for the entire school and public. Santos will meet with several music classes and ensembles and hold an intensive samba percussion class with both Middle School and Upper School students. He will also perform for the entire school on Friday afternoon, accompanied by NYA students. The public is invited to this performance at 2:00 pm in the gymnasium.

Music Director Ian Ramsey was interested in starting a Brazilian samba group at NYA, so he did some research and learned that Santos, a native of Brazil, lived and taught in Boston. He contacted Santos and took several lessons from him in Boston. Then Ramsey invited him to  NYA. “We couldn’t be more excited to have a world-class musician like Marcus here at NYA.  This is a chance for our students to learn about music and about another part of the world in a fun and dynamic way!” said Ramsey.

The music Santos teaches the students will be used in NYA’s Spring Instrumental Concert and will hopefully lead to a Spring collaboration between NYA’s “Steel Industry” steelband and Santos’ high school samba students in Somerville, Massachusetts.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.


NYA Players Present “Annie”

Annie-featureNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) presents Annie on February 13 through 15, 2015.  There are 45 cast members, six student pit orchestra musicians, and three student crew members in the production, allowing for two casts – indicated below as “Black” and “Orange.”  Both full casts perform each night, but the roles switch around depending on the lead.

The incoming blizzard has led to some changes in performance times. Curtain times are now:

  • Friday, February 13, 7:00 pm (Orange Cast)
  • Saturday, February 14, 2:00 pm (Orange Cast)
  • Saturday, February 14, 7:00 pm (Black Cast) Rescheduled to Monday, February 16, at 6:00pm
  • Sunday, February 15, 2:00 pm (Black Cast) Rescheduled to Monday, February 16, at 2:00pm

Tickets are $6.00 in advance and $7.00 at the door. Advance tickets may be reserved by contacting Carol Harris at 846-9051 or charris@nya.org until 3:00pm on Friday, February 13. All performances will be held in Safford Center, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth.  All shows are open to the public.

The musical Annie is loosely based upon the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre).  It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won several awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical.  The story takes place in New York City in the midst of the Great Depression, and centers around Annie, an 11-year-old orphan, her unending optimism in the face of her own grim life situation, and the effect her spunky personality has on Oliver Warbucks, a wealthy businessman.  The music and story have endured in their popularity, and the musical is still considered a favorite to many.  It has been made into three movies, the most recent released in December 2014.

The production stars Ellie Hilscher ’20 (Orange Cast, Boothbay Harbor) and Madeleine Vaillancourt ’22 (Black Cast, Lewiston) as Annie.  Other actors in this winter’s show include: Aaron Densmore ’18 (Edgecomb), Elizabeth Gagnon ’20 (Cumberland), Rick Hilscher ’18 (Boothbay Harbor), Blake Morton ’16 (South Freeport), Anna Bilodeau ’15 (Monmouth, Scarborough), Justin Guo ’18 (Gray), Pierce Manchester ’20 (Raymond), Daniel Edgerton-Dickey ’17 (Brunswick), Milla Rosenfeld ’17 (Freeport), Kate Hilscher ’16 (Boothbay Harbor), Kira Quinn ’19 (Cumberland), Sara-Jane Metsker ’15 (Yarmouth), Tess Hinchman ’15 (West Bath), Amber Liu ’17 (New Gloucester), Sarah Grill ’17 (Arrowsic), Evan Davis ’18 (New Gloucester), Kara Jensen ’18 (Scarborough), Lauren Orser ’18 (Cumberland), Tessa Quatrucci ’18 (South Freeport), Alex Markonish ’19 (Yarmouth), Cora Braunfels ’19 (Litchfield, Freeport), Hannah Gagne ’19 (Raymond), Afton Morton ’20 (South Freeport), McKenzie Lake ’20 (Bath), Sydney Billings ’20 (Yarmouth), Annie Sillin ’21 (Yarmouth), Elyse Baron ’21 (Freeport), Olivia Juve ’21 (Portland), Steven Densmore ’22 (Edgecomb), Anson Dana (Yarmouth), Emily Densmore (Edgecomb), Anna Siegel (Yarmouth), Delaney Whitmarsh (North Yarmouth), Eva Williams (Cumberland), Elizabeth Coleman (Yarmouth), Madison Moody (Topsham), Emma Craft (Cumberland), Genevieve Vaillancourt (Lewiston), Lilia Park-Morong (Brunswick), Hadley Smith (North Yarmouth).  Special appearances include the NYA Interim Head of School John Drisko, Assistant Dean of Students Lynn Sullivan, History Department Chair Peter Sillin, Upper School Math Teacher Khoa Khuong, and even a very beloved four legged friend.  The production crew includes many of the actors listed above in addition to John Krainis, Colby Myer, Bairu Chen ’16 (Raymond), Charlotte Collins ’18 (Woolwich), Mike Pitts ’18 (Farmingdale), Luke Markonish (Yarmouth), and Gregory Judd.

The NYA production is directed by Nora Krainis with assistance from Patia Maule ’99 and piano accompaniment by Janelle Powers. The show also features music by an NYA student pit orchestra, directed by Linda Vaillancourt, consisting of Ellis Miskell ’15, Olivia Stam ’15 (Cumberland Foreside), Carol Furman, Turner Kelsey ’10, and Mark Fredericks.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.


**SNOW DAY** Part V – Monday, February 9, 2015

There is no school Monday, February 9, at North Yarmouth Academy.

All evening activities have been cancelled. The planned reception for Ben Jackson will be rescheduled to April.

Stay safe and warm, everyone!


NYA Bluegrass Ensemble to Perform at Waynflete Theater

Help-HaitiCome out and support NYA’s Bluegrass Ensemble, The Royal River Honey Badgers, as they team up with the Waynflete Upper School Mixed Chorus to raise funds for Help Haiti, a group sponsored by the nonprofits Konbit Sante and Powje Espwa.

The concert begins at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, February 10 in the Waynflete Theater and promises to be an amazing show filled with great music and energy.


**SNOW DAY** Part IV – Monday, February 2, 2015

There is no school Monday, February 2, at North Yarmouth Academy, as yet another snow event moves into the area. The hits just keep on coming! Stay safe and warm, everyone!

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