FA Honored as a National Banner Unified Champion School
Fryeburg Academy is excited to announce its recognition as a 2018 National Unified Champion School. On Tuesday, October 23, Special Olympics representatives Lise Bird and Ian Frank, Director of Special Olympics Unified Sports in Maine, presented the Academy with the Unified Champion banner at the all-school assembly. Students, faculty, and staff celebrated the event with music from FA’s band, balloons, and a video compilation that included a message to the Academy from the Chairman of Special Olympics, Tim Shriver.
The Special Olympics Unified Champion School program model is based on three main components: implementation of inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and whole school engagement. Schools who earn this high honor meet these criteria as well as exemplify a commitment to meeting the ten standards of excellence outlined by Special Olympics. Schools must also have an established Partners Club — a club bringing students with and without intellectual disabilities together for sports, games, community service, school events — and have a sustainable plan for these activities in the future.
“We began this vision four years ago,” says Sue Thurston, FA’s athletic director. “Kathy Dunham, a special education teacher at the Academy, came to me to talk about starting a unified golf team and was eager to get this program going at the school.” “From there,” says Thurston, “We added unified basketball, which I coached with my husband, James Thurston, to get it started.”
Four years later, the Academy now offers three unified sports: golf, basketball, and outdoor track with an active Partner’s Club that meets weekly and sponsors two events per year.
“It’s about acceptance,” continues Thurston. “We want our school to be inclusive and to welcome everyone no matter their race, religion, orientation, or disability. I’m so proud of our students who have embraced this opportunity in the classrooms, at school-wide events, and on our playing fields...and hope this positive change carries over into their communities. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve been a part of at the school.”
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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 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.