YARMOUTH — North Yarmouth Academy celebrated its 200th birthday on Tuesday with a slew of activities for students, families and members of the community.
The school’s charter was signed by Massachusetts Gov. Caleb Strong on Feb. 4, 1814; Yarmouth was part of North Yarmouth, Mass., in the early 19th century. North Yarmouth Academy enrolled its first students in 1815.
The bicentennial festivities kicked off with a ceremony that featured the reading of proclamations from Gov. Paul LePage and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; video messages from U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and a keynote speech by Bowdoin College President Barry Mills.
The ceremony, which was followed by a reception in the gymnasium, also included a bicentennial song written and performed by students; a presentation of Project: 200, a service project in which students collected 200 items for the Opportunity Alliance and the Preble Street Resource Center; a time capsule, and the naming of NYA’s athletics mascot, a panther, as part of a student contest.
The winning name? Pouncer.
In the afternoon, NYA’s girls basketball team hosted the Kents Hill School, falling 50-29, before the start of an evening celebration, titled “Fireworks and Food Trucks.”
Students lined up outside food truck windows to order cheeseburgers and chicken bacon ranch flatbread cones from Gusto’s food truck and sweet and savory crepes from Cafe Crepe. Christmas lights were strung outside, while indoors, coffee and hot cider were available to help attendees warm up. Nearby, a student sold umbrellas to help fund a trip to a model United Nations conference in Boston.
A 15-minute fireworks display, and a victory for the boys basketball team, which hosted Richmond and won 59-46, capped off the bicentennial.
Kristen Farnham, North Yarmouth Academy’s director of annual giving, with Audrey Farnham, 6, and Greta Tod, 6, enjoying the school’s bicentennial celebration on Feb. 4.