A Message about the Arts
When I was a graduate student at The Catholic University in Washington D.C., I worked on a research project at the Library of Congress. The library has an extensive collection of original music scores and recordings. Leonard Bernstein, the great American composer, had recently died, and his family donated boxes of personal writings. Wearing white gloves, I remember touching letters not seen by anyone since Lenny packed them away. I carefully set to my task of organizing, counting, and cataloging. When I discovered Bernstein’s original cast list from “West Side Story,” with his notes jotted about each actor, I immediately felt a deep connection. In my hands, I held Bernstein’s first thoughts about a theatrical work that is now an icon of Music Theater—and a part of our American story.
With this story, I hope to demonstrate how one small seed of creativity profoundly influenced a culture and perpetuated human connections. While my task at the library was research-oriented, it was the feeling of personally connecting to Bernstein that gave me such a thrill. This is how it feels to be engaged in the arts.
At Frederica Academy, fully engaging in the arts can influence our students’ patterns of thinking as well. As we focus more on the arts, we begin to see a shift in school culture. I believe this shift is caused by the dynamic teaching of our fine arts faculty and the inquisitive nature of this new generation of students. These measurable indicators help us to plan responsively, allowing the arts program to grow.
It is possible to apply quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate arts-based learning experiences. Whether explicit or implicit, the effectiveness of arts education is measured by comparing data. Arts teachers—practitioners in the field—are always measuring and evaluating their methods. It’s straightforward to count ensemble participation, art pieces completed, awards won, but qualitative data is much more revealing for teaching effectiveness. It’s about a student’s response to art in their everyday life, and how a child makes deep connections to their greater community, especially as they develop.
The Fine Arts program, by its definition, is designed to refine a student’s artistic skills and creative response. Under the Fine Arts umbrella, there are specific areas of concentration: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Creative Media Arts. Each of these areas is experiencing measurable growth this year, as follows:
Visual Arts. Next week, we present Kevin Bongang, Painter and Designer, as our first Visiting Artist-in-Residence, made possible by the Ellen Fleming Endowment for the Arts. See the information below for details of Mr. Bongang's visit and how to participate in the meet-and-greet events. Further growth in visual arts is easy to demonstrate. Just take a walk down the Lower School hallways, or visit the Ralston Fine Arts Center, as these spaces are constantly adorned with art projects.
Performing Arts. This year, nimble thinking has benefitted the Middle/Upper School Band and Orchestra. Under the direction of Dr. Jordan Taylor, the ensembles have focused on process and skill building. We have made use of community partner venues and outdoor spaces for performances. Yet, artistic development is directly measurable in the classroom, as the students focus on growing their instrumental skills.
Music Theater. We’re putting the final touches on “Seussical” and “Little Women” – theatrical pieces about great American children's authors. Stay tuned for Opening Night announcements, ways to see the shows, and how students are experiencing interrelated learning by participating in theater.
Creative Media Arts. The highly talented, digitally-fluent arts faculty, combined with Macs, digital cameras, livestreaming and audio equipment has created an exciting new branch of the Fine Arts. Growth is directly measurable in the Digital Media/Audio Production classes, as well as the production of the school’s 50th Anniversary special-edition Yearbook.
Alumni remark how the arts are a “big part of their lives.” Ultimately, it is the goal to produce students who will become leaders of cultural change. This year, we are pleased to launch the Fine Arts Alumni Hall of Fame Awards to celebrate the long-lasting effect of arts education on our graduates.
Creativity is not a "soft skill;" it's a necessity for success in life and an attribute that can be improved in any individual. As a small school with a big feel, Frederica Academy offers an arts curriculum that encourages students to develop and demonstrate their own creativity. It is my hope that all creative people will to hold on to their little ideas—jot them down—because these truly are the seeds of cultural change, at any age. 
Tess Nielsen, DMA
Fine Arts Director
Congratulations, Dylan McHugh!
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released its annual list of National Merit Scholarship Finalists last week.

We are pleased to announce that Dylan McHugh has been named a 2021 National Merit Finalist! Dylan will now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships that will be offered this spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships, based on their Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores.

According to the NMSC, over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The selection of some 7,500 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of more than 15,000 Finalists is now in progress.
This Week at FA

School Holiday


Tuesday @ 10:00 AM
MS Head of School Assembly

Tuesday @ Noon
Varsity Girls Basketball
Online Region Tournament Tickets Available
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Tuesday @ 1:00 PM
Culture Awareness Club
College Counseling Center

Tuesday @ 5:00 PM
Varsity Girls Basketball
Region Tournament Game
@ Pinewood Christian
vs. St. Andrew's
Click here for tournament information.
Click here for brackets.

FA Spirit Wear Sales
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Gym Lobby

Wednesday @ 8:15 AM
FA Parent Association Meeting
Hamilton Hall

Wednesday @ 10:00 AM
US Virtual Assembly

Wednesday @ 1:00 PM
Health + Wellness Club
Soccer Bleachers

Wednesday @ 4:00 PM
Department Chair Meeting
Mrs. Gallagher's Classroom

Thursday Morning
Fire Drill

Thursday @ Noon
Varsity Boys Basketball
Online Region Tournament Tickets Available
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Thursday @ 12:30 PM
Rotary Student of the Month

Thursday @ 1:00 PM
US Student Council Meeting
Mr. Jobe's Classroom

Thursday @ 4:00 PM
Varsity Tennis @ Glynn Academy
Dismissal @ 2:30 PM

Thursday @ 5:00 PM
Varsity Boys Basketball
Region Tournament Semi-Final Game
@ Pinewood Christian
vs. Bulloch Academy
Click here for tournament details.
Click here for tournament brackets.

FA Spirit Day
Honoring: Varsity Basketball Players

Friday @ 1:00 PM
Finance + Investment Club
Mr. Willis' Classroom

Friday @ 2:00 PM
Outdoor Music Performance
Magnolia Manor
MS + US Music Students

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Middle School Dance
Sea Island Green Tent

Saturday @ 10:00 AM
Varsity Boys Basketball
Online Region Tournament Tickets Available
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Varsity Boys Basketball
Region Championship Game @ 4:00 PM
or Region Consolation Game @ 2:00 PM
(Must win game on Thursday to play for Championship.)

Sunday, February 21
Varsity Football Banquet
Village Creek Landing

Knights Table Menu
Varsity Region Basketball Tournament
The varsity basketball teams will participate in the Region 2-AAA Basketball Tournament, which will take place at Pinewood Christian this week.

The girls' team will play its first game on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. If they win, they will advance to the semifinal game on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The girls championship and consolation games will take place on Friday night.

The boys' team will play its first game on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. If they win, they will advance to the championship game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. If they lose on Thursday, they will play in the consolation game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Each region school is allocated 100 tickets for each tournament game when it is competing in that game. Tickets must be purchased online and will go on sale at noon for the Tuesday and Thursday games. Tickets for the boys' game on Saturday will go on sale on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Please use the following buttons to learn more about the tournament, COVID-19 protocols, spectator guidelines, ticket information, and livestream access.
FA Spirit Wear Sale
FA Parent Association Meeting
School-Wide Spirit Day
Middle School Dance

  • Friday, February 19th, from 6-8 pm outdoors under the Sea Island Tent (in front of Corn Hall).
  • Dress according to our theme: fluorescent colors, glow-in-the-dark type costumes, etc.
  • Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • COVID protocols will be in place: mandatory masks, temperature checks, and social distancing.
  • Drop off and pick up is near the COVID-screening station in front of Corn Hall.
  • We will have security guards, faculty chaperones, and outdoor lighting to illuminate the dance grounds.
  • This is a "No Date" dance. We want all students to come with friends and have a good time.  
FA Visiting Artist
On February 22, we welcome Kevin Bongang as our first Ellen Fleming Visiting Artist. Bongang is a designer and painter from Brunswick whose work has garnered national acclaim. Britney Bongang, Kevin’s wife, is also a designer and non-profits director. The artists are sponsored by the Ellen Fleming Endowment for the Arts. Bongang was selected from a panel's review of eleven professional artists because his work most closely aligned with the school’s mission of student enrichment.

During the week of February 22 through 26, Bongang will lead students in grades 1-12 in conceptualizing and painting five panels which will hang on the exterior north wall of the Been Library. Each panel will represent a shared value: Equality, Justice, Acceptance, Friendship, and Kindness. During the visit week, Kevin and Britney will take each grade through art lessons to express these values and translate the student's ideas into artwork. The older grades will assist with painting, and Bongang will finalize the installation with his signature bold designs.

There are also special events planned for parents and teachers:

Wednesday, February 24, 5:00 PM, Parent Meet and Greet with Kevin and Britney Bongang, Ralston Fine Arts Center. Meet the Artist and learn about his concepts, background and style. Space is limited to the first 22 sign-ups and the event will also be livestreamed. Please email tessnielsen@fredericaacademy.org to RSVP for the event. Coffee and refreshments will be served courtesy of the FA Parent Association.

Friday, February 26, 1:00 PM, Upper School Faculty Meeting, Meet with Kevin and Britney in the Nash Academic Center to share a dessert and finalize the visit week.

Born in Cameroon, West Africa, and raised in Savannah, Bongang majored in Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He acquired his B.F.A. and M.F.A. (Illustration) in 2009 and 2013, respectively. There, he was able to hone in on his signature style awash in bold fun colors, swirling lines and whimsical imagery. The result is organic, functional and cohesive pieces of art. Bongang's portfolio includes clients such as Jamba Juice, Adobe, Country Music Association, Marriott Hotels, Spanx, TPA Group, Time Equities, Inc., and Mellow Mushroom.
Parent-Teacher Conferences (K-12)
Division Field Days
Booster Club PPE Knight (4-11)
The FA Booster Club, the Athletic Department, and Nurse Pope are sponsoring this year's PPE Knight for all students in Grades 4-11 who plan to attend Frederica Academy during the 2021-2022 school year.

The event will take place in the gym on Wednesday, April 28, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Pre-screening will start at 4:00 p.m.

All rising 5th through 12th grade students need to have a Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation (PPE) each new school year. This is required due to the rigorous activity expected by our physical education, athletic, and field trip programs.
Upper School Summer Opportunities
Thank you, Manning Mercer '16!
Frederica Academy alumna, Manning Mercer '16, worked with the Admission and Advancement Offices to create a new coloring book for the school, which will be used to inspire the creative minds of current and future FA Knights.

After recently graduating from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Manning serves as the Business Development Coordinator at Choice Media and Communications, a boutique public relations and media company out of Nashville, Tennessee. She looks forward to relocating to Nashville this year.

Thank you, Manning! 
Coral Restoration Project
FA Freshman, Max Crusan, is spending his winter break working with a team of volunteers to help maintain one of the coral nurseries for the Coral Restoration Foundation, a non-profit organization that restores coral in an effort to help keep our oceans healthy. The nursery is located just off of Key Largo.

The coral is grown on Coral Trees, which are tethered to the ocean floor and buoyed with a subsurface float. In order for the coral to grow optimally, algae has to be removed from the trees. This is an ongoing effort undertaken by the staff and volunteers. Max's group of scuba divers was tasked with the removal of the algae. All of the divers were certified divers.

In addition to Max's Advanced Water Certification, he earned a Coral Reef Conservation certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Well done, Max! We look forward to hearing more about your adventures when you return from your trip this week.
Eighth Grade College Counseling
Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Frederica Academy's Eighth Grade students to discuss their PSAT 8/9 test results.

Our meeting was a reminder of how unique of a school Frederica Academy is, in not only providing an opportunity for Eighth Grade students to sit for the exam, but also for me to have the opportunity to begin developing relationships with Middle School students before they move up to the Upper School.

The PSAT 8/9 is a College Board assessment that tests the same skills and knowledge as the PSAT and SAT. As I shared with our 8th graders, the test is taken by students for practice, exposure to the types of questions asked on the PSAT and SAT, and to help identify areas for improvement.

I was impressed by the 8th graders' scores, as much of what was tested was knowledge they were able to retain from a fragmented seventh-grade year due to COVID, but more so by the questions they asked regarding the exam, future standardized testing opportunities, and college admissions.

Eighth Grade students and their parents will receive information in the coming weeks regarding this year's 8th to 9th grade "Move Up" events, where they will learn more about Frederica Academy's Upper School and about our college counseling program.
Laura Nevins
Assistant Head of Upper School
Director of College Placement
Upper School Counselor
912-638-9982 ext. 186
6/7 Spanish Photo Hunt
In Srta. Hill's Spanish classroom, Sixth Grade and Seventh Grade students are reading short stories every week. Each Monday, students meet in Literary circles or Circulos Literarios to discuss what they read and complete related activities.

Last week, students read about Manuel, a professional photographer who loves capturing pictures of the sunset. Students were given clues to decipher and then tasked with taking a picture of their object somewhere on campus. The students especially enjoyed touring the high school, and many of them were excited to see what the older kids do during the day. Students had a great day pretending to be photographers while learning new vocabulary outside of their textbook assignments.

Second Grade Journeys
Click on each of the photos below to learn about these students' "Flat Me's" travels!
First Grade Dragons + Tacos
First Grade students read the book, "Dragons Love Tacos" and enjoyed creating their own illustrations of the story during their art class.
Pre-K Nursery Rhyme Program
February + March Events

February 21
Varsity Football Player Banquet

February 22-26
FA Visiting Artist Week

February 23
OLSAT Assessments
Grades 1,3,5

February 24
OLSAT Assessment
First Grade

February 24
Varsity Soccer Season Starts

March 1
2021-2022 Re-Enrollment
Contacts Deadline

March 3
All-School Faculty + Staff Meeting

March 5
End of Q3

March 5
Third Grade Field Trip
Oatland Island (Savannah)

March 7 @ 1:30 PM
Alumni vs. Varsity Golf Match
Brunswick Country Club

March 11
Q3 Grades Posted

March 11
Fifth Grade Musical

March 12
Parent-Teacher Conferences (K-12)
No School for ALL Students

March 13
SAT Exam @ FA

March 14 @ 3:00 PM
Coastal Symphony
FA Sea Island Green

March 17 @ 8:15 AM
FA Parent Association Meeting
Hamilton Hall

March 18
Teacher + Staff Luncheon
Thanks, FA Parent Association!

March 19
Division Field Days
MS + US Dismissal @ 11:30 AM
LS Dismissal @ Noon

March 21-23
SAIS Re-Accreditation Team
Campus Visit

March 22-26
Science Fair

March 25
Rotary Student of the Month

March 26
Fourth Grade
Lynx Tall Ship Field Trip

March 25-27
MS + US Musical
Hamilton Hall
Spring Athletic Schedules
2021 Summer Programs
FA Social Media
FA Quick Links