North Yarmouth Academy hires new head of school

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YARMOUTH — North Yarmouth Academy has hired a Colorado educator as the new head of school.

Benjamin Jackson will start the job on July 1, 2015. The position is currently held on an interim basis by John Drisko, NYA’s assistant head of school and head of the Upper School, who replaced Brad Choyt.

Choyt, who had been head of school for three years, stepped down on June 30.

The NYA board of trustees conducted a national search to fill the position.

“Ben is a natural choice for our school,” board President Stephan Bachelder said in a press release Tuesday. “Widely admired in his current school community, he is an energetic, talented and devoted educational leader whose background and philosophy are a perfect fit for the NYA community.” 

Jackson is completing his master’s degree in educational leadership at Regis University in Denver. He has been the head of school at the Evergreen Country Day School in Evergreen, Colorado, since 2005. 

Jackson, in a letter in which he accepted the position, said he is looking forward to starting next summer.

“During my conversations with the search committee and, more significantly, my comprehensive visit to NYA, I was able to witness innovation, creativity and a diverse array of learning experiences throughout the campus,” Jackson said. “Perhaps the most telling part of my visit was my conversations and meetings with the students.” 

He said he learned the values of the school through listening to students talk about their experiences at NYA. Jackson said he also learned a lot about the NYA community as a whole, and said he looks forward to working with the teachers and parents, who he described as caring, committed, and engaged.

Although Jackson, his wife, and their three children will be making the move across the country, Jackson is not new to New England. 

Before working in Colorado, he was the assistant head of school and head of upper school at The Pennfield School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Previously, he worked at St. Andrews School in Barrington, Rhode Island, Friends Academy in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and The Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island.

NYA, established in 1814, is a private, college-preparatory coeducational school for toddlers through grade 12.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.