STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Zack Zhang '19

1). Where did you grow up and why you decide to attend Fryeburg Academy?
I grew up in Urumqi; it’s a small city in northwestern China and it’s the capital of Xinjiang province. It's not too big but still a city. Most people there are immigrants from other provinces all over China. People began moving there after WWII, looking for more opportunity. We have a lot of petroleum and coal. These are the two main exports, and I think we support most of the petroleum needs throughout China.
 
I learned about Fryeburg Academy from my high school counselor who is a friend of my parents. I first went to a day school and lived with a host family for a year in New Jersey. Then my parents wanted me to go to a boarding school. They thought I would find a better education there and it would help me become more independent and responsible. They suggested Fryeburg Academy and that’s how I learned about the school. I had never lived in a rural area, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try something new, so I chose FA.

2.) How has your experience been at FA?  Are there any particular classes, teachers, or clubs that you loved while here?
I really like it here, which is why I have stayed for three years. The class I really enjoy is French. Madam Gadfa is a really nice teacher; I really like her and her class a lot. Basically, I enjoy all my other academic classes especially Mr. Atwood’s AP US History class. I really enjoyed him because he told a lot of stories about Fryeburg. It was really fun because he made history really interesting. Also in math class, Mrs. Seavy and Mr. Gus teach each class in a special way that makes them fun and maks you want to keep learning. What do you mean by a special way? They tell jokes a lot and they break down all the mathematical problems into small steps, which makes the math easier for students to understand. For most international students, English is not a strong area so the teachers take it slow and make sure each one of us understands how to solve the equations.

I’ve joined a lot of clubs and during my sophomore year, I played basketball and tennis. I’m president of the International Club. I founded the Future Problem Solving Club, too. We still get together and discuss future problems that affect the world. I’m also part of the Daniel Webster Society and lead campus tours, which I enjoy, I’m also part of the Interact Club, French Club, and am a dorm proctor and member of the Residential Honors Program.

My favorite thing to do outside of class is to play basketball. My basketball skills have improved a lot during the last 3 years. I play all the time outside on the basketball court. I like playing basketball with my friends, and it’s a really good way to make new ones. If you participate in sports at FA, it’s a great way to make new friends.

3.) How would you describe the community?
Personally, its a really tight community. It's not very big and everyone knows who everyone else is. I basically say hi to everyone in the morning. You can make friends here and meet people you trust and people you would like to hang out with.

4.) What are some memorable moments from your time as a student here?
There are tons of moments. I remember when we were all hanging out in the Quad before school started. We played tons of games; basketball, soccer, tetherball, frisbee, biking and had a BBQ. That was really fun. And, skiing that is really fun. I’ve been skiing since I was six. Where I am from its cold and we get a lot of snow like here. There are more moments like the first time I scored in a basketball game. And the first time I watched a basketball game, a soccer game, and a football game. And, basically, like hanging out in the dorms with friends and playing jokes on each other. These are all memorable moments.

5.) After FA, where did you plan to attend college and what do you plan to study?
I’m interested in studying communication and psychology. I’m also thinking about anthropology. These are my preferences but maybe when I get to college I will switch to math or science. I am hoping to get accepted to Northwestern. But besides that, there is Rochester University which is very good and I also know tons of people there. I’ve also been accepted to Boston College. I applied there because it is a small school. I don’t really like big schools like NYU. They have too many people, so I applied to BC. It's a pretty good school, it’s close to Boston and it doesn’t have too many people. Right now it’s my third choice.

6.) 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?
Yes, I would say that the teachers are really preparing me for college as well as the AP courses I’ve taken like my AP Bio class. At first, I thought it was really, really hard and I asked if I could drop the class because I felt it was too difficult.  But I reconsidered because I thought it was preparing me well for college. The way Mr. Wauer teaches AP Bio is similar to the way they do in college. It actually gave me an idea of what it's going to be like in college.

7.) Any words of wisdom or personal philosophy you would like to share with FA students?
Your college decision is really up to you and who you are as a person. It really depends on what you are interested in. I would say to never give up and stick with it to the end. Even if they reject you, you know at least you tried. I applied early action to Boston College and was accepted so I know I have one good option. My advice is to choose your favorite school for early decision. Even if you don’t get in, it’s still worth a shot. To me, applying early decision gives you a higher chance of getting in.

8.) Anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Don’t stress too much [about coming to Fryeburg]. It's totally normal if you are nervous at first or feeling uncomfortable even. You are trying to live in an environment you have never been in. It's your first time leaving your home and experiencing a new, strange place.  Once you get here, you are going to be, “Oh, I’m fine here. People like me and I like to hang out with people.” And, I would also say (when you get here) try new things, things that you have never done before. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you don’t do it now, you might not do it ever.
 
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List of 5 news stories.

  • 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.
  • Winter Sports Awards 2019

    Congratulations to the following student-athletes who were recognized at this year's Winter Sports Awards:

    View photos from the awards ceremony: https://flic.kr/s/aHskT4S8b9

  • Seniors Casey and Reece Kneissler Represent FA at the WMC Citizenship Awards Banquet

    Each year, the Western Maine Conference (WMC) sponsors an awards banquet to honor students from each school in the conference. Every WMC school is asked to select two graduating seniors for their overall contributions to their school in the areas of academics, athletics, leadership, and extracurricular activities, as well as for their attitude and consideration of others.

    This year senior twins, Casey and Reece Kneissler, were selected to represent Fryeburg Academy at the banquet held on February 27 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, ME.

Fryeburg Academy

FRYEBURG ACADEMY
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Fryeburg, ME 04037
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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.