The following seniors finish the academic year as the top students in the Class of 2016 at North Yarmouth Academy as recognized by their membership in the Cum Laude Society.
Julia Blackwell, daughter of Jennifer Blackwell-Peavey and Donald Peavey of Woolwich, is the captain of the math team and a formidable delegate in the Maine Model United Nations. She was selected as one of two delegates from Maine to attend this year’s United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. Blackwell was the recipient of the Dr. Howard Rollin Ives Prize and The John H. Mitchell Award, which recognize outstanding leadership and scholarship, and the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. She also captained the varsity basketball team and was recognized multiple times with coach’s awards. Blackwell played goalie on both the varsity and JV lacrosse teams, for which she received the coach’s award, as well as Most Improved Player recognition. She volunteered her time to a variety of worthy causes through Key Club, and is a consistent supporter of Gender Identity and Sexuality Alliance on campus. Blackwell also committed her time to the NYA KIVA Club, which raises money to support fledgling entrepreneurs in developing countries, and served her class as vice president. She is a longtime member of the Girl Scouts of Maine. Blackwell plans to attend Colgate University in the fall and combine a course of study in international relations and criminal justice, with a goal of making strides against human trafficking.
Acacia Bright, daughter of Patricia and Cameron Bright of Freeport, is a three-season varsity athlete. She was a starting defenseman and midfielder on the varsity soccer team, which won the Maine Class C Sportsmanship Award, and a hurdler, sprinter and relay runner for the varsity indoor track team. Bright is a starting midfielder and attack on the varsity lacrosse team and was recognized with the coach’s award for her contributions to that team. Bright is the second chair first violin in the string ensemble and played second violin in the District II audition-only orchestra. She also served as the female representative from her class on the Judiciary Committee. She is the faculty page editor for the yearbook and volunteers her time with Make-a-Wish, where she was instrumental in helping to raise enough funds to grant a wish to a child with a life-threatening disease. She also works as a summer camp counselor. Bright spent part of her junior year in an academic exchange program in France, living with a French family and studying at Lycee Notre Dame Challans. She will be among the first students to graduate from NYA with a Diploma with Distinction in Global Citizenship, and placed fifth in the state and 15th nationally on the National French exam. Bright plans to attend Villanova University this fall.
Katherine Hilscher, daughter of Deborah and Robert Hilscher of Boothbay Harbor, is a spirited student body leader who served as the Executive Council president as well as class secretary. Hilscher played various principal roles in NYA drama productions and at the Boothbay Playhouse, and is a longtime participant in the Junior Theatre Festival. She is a state qualifier as a varsity cross-country runner and a state champion contender in several relays as a member of the varsity outdoor track team. Hilscher is both an alto and a tenor in the NYA Varsity Singers, Treble Choir, and Mixed Chorus. She served as a member of the press corps at the Maine Model United Nations and was recognized this month with the Diplomacy Award in the UN Economic and Social Council. She earned magna cum laude honors on the National Latin Exam and was awarded a Silver Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Award. Hilscher volunteers her time with the Senior Youth Group and serves as a junior deacon at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor. She is a dock worker at the Tidal Transit Kayak Company during the summer. She received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and attended the Harvard Crimson High School Journalism Conference. Hilscher plans to attend Middlebury College in the fall.
Linnea Hull, daughter of Susan Kepes and Alan Hull of Portland, played various positions on the varsity field hockey team that finished their season as Class C state runners-up and WMC Regional Champions during her tenure. She is a state championship contender as a varsity indoor and outdoor track pole vaulter, mid-distance runner, and triple jumper. Hull was the Class C state runner-up in the pole vault in 2015. She received the coach’s award multiple times, and was also named to the WMC All Conference team in 2015. She plays the cello in the string ensemble and participated in the Maine District II Instrumental Festival for five years in a row. Hull is co-editor of the NYA yearbook and served as the secretary of the NYA Key Club. She earned both silver and honorable mention honors on the National Spanish Exam and was ninth in the state in 2013. Hull is also a volunteer at the Maine Scarborough Marsh Nature Center and hiked the Swiss Alps through the Apogee Leadership Program. She enjoys rock climbing and skydiving. Hull plans to attend Elon University in the fall.
Sonia Lin, daughter of Wanda Wu and Arthur Lin of Topsham, is a National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction. Lin competed as a YMCA National swimmer for six years in a row, and placed 26th at nationals. She captained the Long Reach swim team and was both individual champion and meet record holder in the 100 breaststroke. She was Most Valuable Player three years in a row, and a Forecaster Winter Athlete of the Year in 2013. Lin is a classical pianist and plays French horn with the Maine State Orchestra and Band. She is also first chair in the wind ensemble. She plays the trumpet in the Jazz Band, the steel pans in the Steel Band, and participated in the District II Band. Lin is a state champion as a member of the NYA Math Team, co-editor of the NYA yearbook, and the coordinator of the NYA Graphic Novel. She earned gold medals and summa cum laude and magna cum laude honors on the National Latin Exam and she participated in the National Student Leadership Conference in medicine and health care. Lin plans to attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall and pursue a premed course of study.
Wyatt Nice, son of Suzanna and Adam Nice of Portland, is a defenseman on the varsity lacrosse team that advanced to the state semifinals in 2015. Nice is a delegate in the Maine Model United Nations and a Rensselaer Award winner in 2015. He was awarded both a bronze and a silver medal in the National Spanish Exam, where he placed fourth in the state in 2012. He is a member and co-founder of the NYA Debate Club and also helped create an Investment Club his senior year. Wyatt played on the NYA golf team and was a member of the Cooking Club. Nice participated in People to People in 2012, traveling to France, Italy and Greece. He plans to attend George Washington University in the fall.
Adrienne Tracy, daughter of Mary Ellen and Jeffrey Tracy of Winthrop, is a passionate musician as both an instrumentalist and as a singer. She played the oboe in the Maine All State Concert Band and the District II Honors Band, as well as in the NYA Wind Ensemble and in the Maine Summer Youth Music Camp. She is the first chair alto saxophone in the Jazz Band and the Maine Summer Youth Music Jazz Band. Tracy contributes to every choral ensemble available at NYA and also participated in the Maine District II Honors Choir. She is on the varsity soccer team and the varsity outdoor track and field team, where she is a sprinter and distance runner. Her teams have won the MAISAD Girls Outdoor Track and Field Championship two years in a row. Tracy was awarded the John O. Hall Prize for excellence in physics, and honors on the National French Exam. She volunteered to raise funds to help children attend music camps in the summer, and as a teacher at the Cobbossee Watershed Education Outreach organization. She also serves as a courtesy boat inspector for the Cobbossee Watershed during the summer. Tracy will attend Colby College this fall, where she plans to continue her involvement in music and study in the field of science.