FA Appoints Two New Board Members: Renee C. Thomas ‘84, and Nicola Soares ‘86

The Fryeburg Academy Board of Trustees has appointed two new board members: Renee C. Thomas ‘84, and Nicola Soares ‘86. Both women hail from Bermuda and spent their Academy years as students in its boarding program.
Renee Thomas ‘84 resides in Bermuda, where she works as an assistant to the director of the Bermudian Government’s Department of Culture. Since 1989, Renee has served at the Department of Culture, formerly known as the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the agency charged with preserving, celebrating, and educating about Bermuda’s rich cultural heritage, and promoting a shared cultural identity. Following study at Westbrook College in Maine (now the University of New England), Renee graduated from the American Business & Fashion Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I’m thrilled, honored, and humbled to become a Fryeburg Academy trustee,” Renee said, when asked about her appointment. “I look forward to serving, and I feel that my own experience as an international student will be helpful as the board works with school leadership to plan for the future.”

Nicola “Nikki” Soares ‘86 lives in the Detroit area in Michigan, where she is the president of Kelly Education, the nation’s largest education workforce solutions provider. Nikki is charged with setting the vision, mission, and strategic direction for the education division; in day-to-day work, she directs 400 professionals responsible for recruiting, hiring, and developing a wide range of educators across more than a thousand preK-12 public school districts and private schools. A former teacher herself, Nikki has also held positions with NBC Universal, NBC Learn, and McGraw-Hill Education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Lynchburg in Virginia. When asked what she hopes to bring to the board of trustees, Nikki said, “The Academy changed the trajectory of my life with its diverse and inclusive educational community, and as a proud alumna of the Academy, I will do all I can in this role to help protect and advance its empowering mission.”

Head of school Erin Mayo welcomed the new appointments: “Renee and Nikki bring further strength and diversity to our school’s governing body-- a very exciting thing! I’ve enjoyed getting to know them both, and especially hearing about their Fryeburg Academy years. Bermuda is a nation from which many students have travelled over the years to enroll at Fryeburg Academy; it’s an important part of school history, and it’s just wonderful to have Bermudian alumnae now on the board.”

Board president Chris Gordon said, “I’m gratified by the Trusteeship Committee’s selection of these talented individuals, and I’m so glad they’ve agreed to serve.”

List of 5 news stories.

  • USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Maine’s Fryeburg Academy among awardees

    Boston, MA, July 26, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
  • FA Celebrates Faculty Years of Service

    On June 8, 2022, the Academy recognized faculty and staff for their years of service at the end-of-year staff meeting held in the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center.  Congratulations to the following faculty/staff who were recognized:

  • 1,000 Paper Origami Cranes & the Wish for Peace

    It was almost serendipitous that two simultaneous Peace Crane Projects were in the works during April and May to create an astounding 1,000 paper origami cranes. The project's roots are based on the ancient Japanese origami art form, where delicate and colorful kami paper is folded into ornate objects. And, according to ancient legend, "anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods." In this particular case, peace for Ukraine. 
  • FA Finance Class Teams Take First Place in the Maine Stock Market Game

    Students in mathematics teacher William Frey’s finance classes very successfully participated this semester in the SIFMA Foundation’s renowned ‘Stock Market Game,’ achieving a 1.9767% average return above S&P 500 growth– the lead return among the ten Maine schools participating. 
  • FA Places Second in the Biomimicry Institute’s 2021-22 Youth Design Challenge

    For a second consecutive year, Fryeburg Academy students placed in the top rankings in the Biomimicry Institute's 2021-22 Biomimicry Challenge. The team placed first last year with their MorphoBrick concept; they placed second this year, out of 125 competing teams from 12 countries, with their Syntrichia Hydrotrap design concept.

    FA's Biomimicry Challenger team, led by FA faculty member Jennifer Richardson, includes the following students: Yuna Lee '23, Grace Liu '23, Daryna Serediuk '22, May Shin '23, Stella Yoon '22, and Zoe Jung '22. This year's challenge was an advanced STEM-based competition that essentially had two goals: first, the design was required to model the structural and functional adaptation of at least one living organism. Secondly, the design needed to identify an environmental problem and propose a sustainable solution.

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