STUDENT PROFILE: Jiawen "Jack" Liu '19

Q.  Where did you grow up and why you decide to attend Fryeburg Academy?

 I grew up in Beijing China. It is the capital of China and a very crowded city. As you can imagine, I grew up in a city setting and both my parents and I wanted me to go to a place that is quiet enough for studying. There are too many distractions in big cities. I applied to Fryeburg Academy and went on an amazing tour, so I chose FA. The tour guide was really nice and helpful, and I was amazed by all the musical and athletic awards that the Academy had won. Before I came here, I thought Fryeburg was just a quiet town and that the school would have a  really small campus and not many facilities. But after I had a tour of the school, I saw Fryeburg Academy had many beautiful facilities like the PAC (Performing Arts Center) which is amazing and we have a vast library that other schools probably don’t have. It’s a beautiful campus.
Q. How has your experience been at FA?  Are there any particular classes, teachers, or clubs that you loved while here?

My experience here is excellent. I think probably my favorite class is the film class because it is a class that I would never have a chance to take in China. In the schools in China, we study math and science; we don’t get many elective choices. Here we can choose photography and all sorts of music classes, arts, and film, I have always wanted to learn how to shoot good videos, but I never got a chance to do that in China, so that’s probably the unique experience that I have had so far
Our college prep classes are also really good. I’ve already taken 7 or 8 AP courses. I took AP Calculus with Mr. Gus, he’s a great teacher, and I scored five on the AP exam, which is the highest score. Mrs. Manning also did a great job teaching AP Chemistry.

Q. Have you been involved in clubs? Music?

Yes, I created my own film club last year. We are working on some projects with other students and my instructor, Mr. Dana. Some of our projects are pretty good, and they have already been uploaded to the school’s student film video channel.
I also play clarinet in the band. It’s pretty new and an adventure for me because I was playing solo back home because my school in China didn’t have a band or orchestra. It’s a different experience because you have to cooperate with others. You have to stay on the same tempo and stuff like that. Actually, the music played in the band is not that hard compared to the music I  play on my own. I think, however, the most challenging thing about playing in the band is that you have to stay on the same beat and cooperate.
I also ski. I have always wanted to ski, but the ski mountains are sort of far from my home in China and I didn’t get that many opportunities. Last year, I purchased a season ticket to Shawnee Peak which is the ski mountain nearby. Fryeburg Academy provides trips every day right after school to go skiing. It’s a great experience. The mountains in Maine are very good and better than the mountains back home for skiing. I know a lot of people come to Maine because we have good skiing here.

Q. What are some memorable moments from your time as a student here?

. Dorm Olympics are memorable for me because I had never had an experience working like this as a team before coming here. In Dorm Olympics, everyone has to work together to be the champions. It’s a great experience because there are so many activities that I didn’t have a chance to do like limbo. I had never experienced limbo before, and the experience helped me to get more involved with the culture here.

Q.  After FA, where did you plan to attend college and what do you plan to study?

I would say Cornell is a good option. I went there for summer college this year. I loved the campus and Ithaca is a great town. There are many beautiful waterfalls, and the professors I worked with were pretty cool. In my stereotypical thinking, I thought the college professors would be aloof and indifferent toward their students. But my experience there was that the professors care about the students in their class, and that was amazing. What classes did you take? I took transmedia which is about communications. It is a pretty competitive college, and I didn’t get a minute of spare time. I was doing work all day long, but it was a great time. Emory University is another school I am interested in. I’m probably going to study communications and media as my major because I am planning to do more marketing investigation and things like that. This major will also help me with my writing and communication ability which will ultimately help with my future success.

Q.  Do you feel that Fryeburg has prepared you for your next steps?

Yes. Just a quick personal example: before I came to Fryeburg Academy I took the PSAT for 9th graders, and I didn’t do well. My score was like 1100, and after I came to Fryeburg Academy, I took the actual SAT I got 1490 on it, including a 700 on the English part which is not typical for an international student. As I get more involved in the community here, it helps me with my English.

Q.  How did FA prepare you for the next step in your educational journey? Do you have any words of wisdom to share with FA students?

. I would tell international students that apply here to get more involved. Don’t be afraid of speaking English. Everyone makes mistakes at first. If you never dare to open your mouth to speak, you’ll never get a chance to improve. I think probably most Asian international students come because they want to prepare to enter a  US college - its OK that you make some mistakes at the high school stage --at least you won’t be making the same mistake in a couple of years when you go to college; It will help you.

List of 5 news stories.

  • FA Wins Gold at Maine Music Educators Association Vocal Jazz & Show Choir Festival

    On Saturday, March 30, 2019, members of the Fryeburg Academy Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at the Maine Music Educators Association Vocal Jazz and Show Choir Festival, where they earned the coveted Gold rating, averaging a score of 97 out of 100 points possible.  And, since they secured one of the top two spots in their division, FA’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble was invited to compete for first place in the “Night Finals.”
  • Fryeburg Academy Students Win 2nd Place at the 73rd Maine State Science Fair

    On Saturday, March 23, senior Antonina "Tonia"  Zakorchemna and junior Artem Laptiev — both international resident students from Ukraine — participated in the 73rd Maine State Science Fair at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. The annual fair is organized by the Jackson Laboratory and the Reach Program—a program of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.
  • FA Attends the National High School Model United Nations in NYC

    This year, 22 students traveled to New York City to attend the four-day National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) Conference on March 1-4.  Now in its 45th year, the NHSMUN is the largest and most prestigious conference, hosting over 5000 participants from more than 75 countries and 300 schools. The New York-based conference-- surrounded by offices of Permanent Missions to the United Nations as well as the United Nations Headquarters itself--provides the perfect backdrop for a robust international affairs experience and a broadening of global issues awareness. Students are provided with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the theory and practice of international relations firsthand and have the opportunity to attend the opening or closing ceremonies in the UN General Assembly chamber, where actual diplomats convene every year.
  • FA Wins Silver and Bronze at the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival

    On March 15 and 16, FA's Jazz bands traveled to South Portland High School to attend the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival. The New Standard Combo and FA Big Band both performed very well, earning silver while the Yukon King Combo and Fryeburg Academy Jazz Orchestra won bronze. It is noteworthy that FA's New Standard Combo earned 74 out of 75 points for their performances--one point shy of claiming the gold standard and was one of the highest scoring combo performances of the event.

    At the festival, Georgia Stafford '19 won the Dale Huff Outstanding Musicianship Award--awarded to the top-rated musician in the combo division. Other outstanding performances recognized at the jazz festival were as follows:

  • FA's Math Team Captures the Regional Title

    The Fryeburg Academy Math Team finished the season by defending their Pi-Cone League Championship title at Leavitt High School on March 6th. The Pi-Cone League consists of 14 teams from 11 regional high schools throughout Central Maine. Five meets were held this year from October through March.  50 Fryeburg Academy students competed on the math team, the highest number of participants on record. Senior team captains Antonina Zackorchemna '19 and Celine Lyu '19 did an outstanding job of leading the team this year.  Weekly practices were held at the LaCasse Dining Hall.

Fryeburg Academy

745 Main Street
Fryeburg, ME 04037
p. (207) 935-2001      
f.  (207) 935-5013
Fryeburg Academy is an independent boarding and day school, serving grades 9-12 and postgraduate. We invite you to explore our site and learn how students from around the globe find their place in the world through our exceptional academic, art, and athletic programs.