North Yarmouth Academy hires new headmaster

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NORTH YARMOUTH — North Yarmouth Academy has picked a New York City private school head to be its next headmaster beginning July 1, 2011.

Brad Choyt will replace Peter Mertz, who has served as headmaster for 10 years. Mertz will move to Newport News, Va. to become headmaster at Hampton Roads Academy starting July 1, 2011.

Choyt, 45, is originally from New Hampshire. He is married to writer Charlotte Bacon and has three children.

According Rick Abbondonza, president of the NYA Board of Trustees, said Choyt’s appointment was the result of a national search conducted by a committee co-chaired by trustee Priscilla Savage and parent Patty Bright, and an advisory committee co-chaired by parent David Daigler and Upper School English teacher and Dean of Students Mike Gengras.

Out of over 60 applicants from as far away as Europe and Japan, Choyt was the number one choice of the board, he said.

“We are very excited to have him come to NYA,” Abbondonza said. “We feel he will be a great fit for the school, and we are eager for Brad and his family to become part of our community.”

After spending about six years in New York City, Choyt said he is happy to be moving to Maine.

“I feel like I am coming home,” he said. “(NYA) is a remarkable place and its values are in line with mine. The school combines academics, athletics and arts in a way that creates a foundation on which students can grow and build.”

He said he is looking forward to working with faculty and students who engage in problem-solving skills, writing, public speaking and who support the importance of teamwork and community service.

“These skills build self confidence and self respect,” he said. “The school does an excellent job preparing students for life-long learning.”

Choyt is the current Head of School at Blue School in New York City, founded by the three members of the Blue Man Group and their wives. Choyt said the school focuses on helping students to tap into their creativity and learning, values mirrored at NYA.

Prior to his work at the Blue School, Choyt was the founding director of Green School, a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade international school in Bali, Indonesia. The school was entirely carbon neutral, he said, and focused on sustainability and ecological education.

Choyt graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., and holds degrees from Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. He said he has worked in independent schools for 17 years and knew he loved teaching when he was a 15-year-old YMCA counselor.

“I learned that I loved being a mentor, a guide at a young age,” he said. “I feel like it is an honor and privilege to serve at NYA at this critical time in their history. I am looking forward to supporting the school, the students, faculty, teachers and community in every way I can moving forward.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net

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Brad Choyt, current head of Blue School in New York City, will take over as headmaster of North Yarmouth Academy on July 1, 2011. He will replace Peter Mertz, who has run the school for 10 years.

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