Meet Marina '22

Hello! I'm Marina (MJ) Jokanovic from Belgrade, Serbia and I'm so excited to share my Thornton Academy experience with you! 

I have always wanted to further my academic career in the United States. My parents thought it would be a great idea to finish my last year of high school there and get a certificate in English. Therefore, I contacted multiple foreign school agencies and, after thorough research, came upon Thornton Academy. It seemed like a perfect fit from the very beginning.

Being a part of the TA Players (theater club) has been an amazing experience. I was cast in our fall play “Hamlet” and spring musical “Fiddler on the Roof”, and both have been unforgettable experiences. Through this club, I've forged lifelong friendships and gotten to know a very diverse group of people around the thing that we all love most - theatre.

My family has been with me throughout my entire international experience. I cannot thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to further my education and follow my dreams. I’ve also been receiving support from my new friends and teachers - they’re all very aware of how hard it sometimes is being so far away from home and yet they still manage to make me forget all my troubles and enjoy my time at TA.

I have committed to North Central College in Naperville, Illinois to pursue a career in musical theatre. I plan on pursuing a career on Broadway or in Hollywood and I believe that the experience I gained through being a part of the TA Players will definitely benefit me. Not only have I improved my artistic abilities but I’ve also learned some important communication and cooperation skills.

I love Maine! It’s truly been a pleasure living in such a relaxing and peaceful corner of the world. I’m lucky to have met people who are willing to show me the true beauty of this state - from famous historical sites to random beaches found on Google Maps. 

Coming to Thornton Academy has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope that you choose to come too, you won't regret it in any way.

My favorite Thornton Academy Moments

two students with their awards at the annual arts ceremony

Each year the arts department celebrates with an end of the year ceremony. My friend Paul and I pose here with the awards we were presented with. I love how Thornton Academy makes each student feel appreciated. 

boarding students walk to the graduation ceremony

Graduation was such a memorable day. Getting to wear my cap and gown was like a dream for me. All of the boarding students walked from the dorms to the ceremony together. 

two students in star wars costumes

My good friend Simon and I dressed up for the annual dorm Halloween party in Star Wars costumes! The dorm parents do such a good job of making really fun weekend activities for all of us to do. I'm never bored at Thornton Academy. 

two students dressed up for prom

I was lucky to celebrate another American tradition: prom! This  formal dance was such a fun way to celebrate the end of the school year with all of my friends. In this photo we're taking photos before the dance begins. 

boarding students board a train to go to boston

Thornton Academy has a perfect location. Maine is an underappreciated state with lots of natural beauty like beaches, forests, and mountains. But TA is also close to cities like Portland and Boston. In this photo, a bunch of us dorm kids are in Boston, ready to board the train to return to campus. 

three friends hanging out together outside

I loved my Thornton Academy experience most of all because of all the friends I made. As an international student, I felt really accepted by my American classmates and in this photo we're hanging out together at a friend's house in Saco. 

the main actors sing in 'fiddler on the roof'

I was lucky enough to be cast as the leading female role in our spring musical 'Fiddler on the Roof'. Thornton Academy has an excellent performing arts program and being around such other talented students inspired me to improve my craft. I will study musical theater in college next year. 

boarding students at a cafe together

There's a lot to do within walking distance of campus. On the weekends, I'm able to walk to cafes, shops, restaurants, and ice cream shops with my friends. I like having the freedom to be able to go cool places on my own. 

a group of students pose together

I plan on pursuing a career on Broadway or in Hollywood, and I believe that the experience I gained through being a part of the Thornton Academy Players will benefit me. Not only have I improved my artistic abilities, but I’ve also learned some important communication and cooperation skills. Here, I'm posing with some of my closest theater friends. 

two students after a choral concert

This year, I was a part of Chamber Singers, an audition-only chorus. I'm posing here with my friend Julia, a day student from Portland, Maine, after our spring choral concert. Thornton's choral music program is amazing! Students are selected to be a part of national choruses and I was so inspired to be around so many great singers and Mrs. Murray, the talented director.

a student gets a promposal on stage