Friday, August 26, 2010


Four Students Honored For High Scores In International French Competition

Four Academy students were honored for scoring in the top 20 percent of Vermont and New Hampshire students participating in Le Grande Concours, an annual international competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). Freshman Olivia Gates '13 of St. Johnsbury, sophomore Milena Fraustro '12 from Mexico, and juniors Elizabeth Buchman '11 of Waterford and Pablo Ventoso '11 from Spain were among over 100,000 students in French in grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, competing in this year’s contest. All four were also ranked nationally, and Fraustro earned the highest possible rank at her level for the AATF Vermont-New Hampshire chapter.

Cameron Talotta, a member of the Academy’s newly graduated Class of 2010, captured first place in the commercial baking competition at this year’s national SkillsUSA® championships, held June 20-25 in Kansas City, Missouri. Talotta captured second place in the national high school technical education competition last summer. Earlier this year, he won the Vermont SkillsUSA® title and was accepted for admission to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, widely recognized as one of the world’s premier culinary colleges. He received a four-year tuition scholarship to the Institute for winning the national crown. Talotta is the son of Michael and Tammy Talotta of St. Johnsbury. Other Academy students who placed in the top 10 in the entire United States are: Michael Reed, 4th place in Residential Wiring, Ashley Mahmood, 4th place in Food and Beverage Service, Caitlyn Locke, 6th place in First Aid CPR, and Colby Shields, 10th place in Cabinetmaking. Molly Goolman captured eleventh place in the extemporaneous speaking competition. Molly is the daughter of Abby Pollender of St. Johnsbury and Hal Goolman of Lancaster, New Hampshire. Joshua Michaels placed 16th in Culinary Arts.

Eight Students Recognized For National Latin Exam Achievements

St. Johnsbury Academy honorees in the 2010 National Latin Exam competition included (kneeling front) freshman Nora Gair '13, (standing, from left) sophomores James Fitzhugh '12, Erin Reiner '12, Molly McNally '12, and Felicia Hammer '12, freshman Deanna Emery '13, and Academy Latin teacher Sarah Callanan. Sophomores Skylar Lobdell '12 and Ava Schein '12 also earned awards, but were not present for the photo.

Eight Academy students were honored for outstanding achievement in the 2010 National Latin Exam. In the Latin 2 category, freshman Nora Gair '13 of Lancaster, New Hampshire earned Summa Cum Laude (gold medal) honors with a near-perfect paper and classmate Deanna Emery '13 from Lyndonville took Maxima Cum Laude (silver). Sophomore Molly McNally '12 of Monroe, New Hampshire earned Magna Cum Laude (third place) on the Latin 1 exam. Cum Laude (fourth place) honorees included sophomore Erin Reiner '12 of St. Johnsbury in Latin 1, and sophomores James Fitzhugh '12 and Ava Schein '12, both Peacham residents, Felicia Hammer of Monroe, New Hampshire, and Skylar Lobdell from Wolcott in Latin 2. All are enrolled in classes taught by Academy Latin instructor Sarah Callanan.

Academy Senior Honored By National French Teachers Organization

Academy's newly graduated Benjamin Keeshin was awarded a 2009-2010 Outstanding Senior in French Award by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). The award is made annually by the Association to a graduating senior who has “demonstrated excellence in the study of French as well as exceptional commitment to the French language and the many cultures where it is spoken.” Recipients must have completed at least three years of French study at the time of graduation and be non-native speakers of the language. Son of Doctors Neal and Maude Keeshin of Guildhall, Keeshin has participated in the National French Contest and has studied French for five years.

Hispanic Recognition Program Honored Audrey Woods

Academy graduate Audrey Woods was honored as a Scholar by the College Board’s 2009-10 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). Woods was among nearly 5,000 students recognized from a pool of over 200,000 students nationwide who took the 2008 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and identified themselves as Hispanic/Latino. Students honored are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino, based on the program’s definition, and have achieved a minimum PSAT score for their region. Honorees with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are designated as Scholars and those with averages of 3.0 to 3.49 as Honorable Mentions.

Alexander R. Nowicki and Sarah Y. Solnit were selected as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists


Two Academy graduates from the class of 2010 were selected as finalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship® Competition. Alexander R. Nowicki (left) and Sarah Y. Solnit (right) were among approximately 15,000 students nationwide selected for the honor as a result of exemplary performance on the 2009 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)®, which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million applicants for National Merit Scholarships each year. Approximately 8,200 finalists received scholarships. Alexander is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Maydoney of St. Johnsbury. Sarah is the daughter of Dr. Aaron and Dr. Loren Solnit of Bath, New Hampshire.

Academy Team Competed in International On-line Math Contest

A six-student Academy team scored in the 81st percentile in an international on-line high school mathematics contest. Launched in 2003, the Purple Comet! Math Meet attracted over 7,000 students competing on more than 1,700 teams from 25 countries. The Academy team competed in the “small high school” division, which included schools with no more than 1,200 students. The competition is a collaboration between Dr. Jonathan Kane at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Dr. Titu Andreescu at the University of Texas-Dallas, who designed the contest and write the problems. Adult supervisors log onto the site for their team and are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the contest. Supervised by Academy Mathematics and Computer Science teacher Nola Forbes, the Academy team included recent graduates Justin Pearson of St. Johnsbury and Yijie “Helen” Qiu from China; and juniors Liangji Gu '11 and Meng “Kelly” Lee '11 from China, and Ki Jung Lee and Won Hee Lee from South Korea. Additional information about the contest is available by visiting its website at

Academy Students are Leaders in New England and VSMC Math Contests


The Academy’s team was named Vermont leader after the second round of the annual five-contest New England Math League competition, and nine of the Academy’s students were among the top 30 highest scorers after the latest round of the four-contest Vermont State Mathematics Coalition (VSMC) Talent Search. Recent graduates Tiange Gu and Yijie Qiu, both from China, paced the Academy team, earning perfect scores. In the Talent Search competition, junior Ki Jung Lee '11 from South Korea is locked in a five-way tie for the runner-up spot after scoring 7.5 points out of a possible 8 on the second round test, which was administered in early December. Sophomore Xiangru Chen '12 from China is in a three-way tie for third after earning 7 points.

Academy Students Qualified for the 2010 Ford/AAA Auto Technology State Championship


Academy Auto Technology students Tom Vigeant (left) and Ian Strong (center) picked up the keys to a 2010 Ford Fusion from Peter Deschamps (right), Sales Manager at the new Twin State Ford dealership in St Johnsbury. The team of Strong and Vigeant qualified to compete at the May 8 Ford/AAA Auto Technology State Championship round at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The team had to correct all malfunctions placed in a 2010 Ford Fusion, competing against 18 of the best of 300 graduating seniors enrolled in Vermont Auto Technology courses. Twin State Ford provided a new Ford Fusion for the students to study prior to the contest.

Academy Took Second in Vermont “We the People” Competition

The Academy took second place in the Vermont finals of the annual “We the People: The Citizen and The Constitution” competition, held Monday, February 1 at the State House in Montpelier. Defending state champion Essex High School retained the title for the fifth consecutive year. Academy team members, all recent graduates from social studies teacher Hank Eaton’s Advanced Placement American Government and Politics class, began preparing last fall for their competition role as experts testifying on selected aspects of the U.S. Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a simulated congressional hearing format. The Academy first entered the competition in 1999 and won the state title from 1999-2003, and in 2005. Led by Eaton for the eighth year, this year’s Academy team included: Katherine Fogg, Megan Killeen, and Lee Oberg, all St. Johnsbury residents; Benjamin Keeshin of Guildhall, Emily Kubicke from Peacham, Sydney Lea of Newbury, Laura Nixon from Kirby, Abigail Volmer of Craftsbury; Natalie Fortier from Monroe, New Hampshire; Aquene Kenerson of Sugar Hill, New Hampshire; Sarah Solnit from Bath, New Hampshire; Ka Fung (Leo) Lai and Pok Hin (Truman) Lau, both from Hong Kong; Hae Sub (Ryan) Park and Sae Rok (Sarah) Park, both from South Korea; and Christopher Weber from Switzerland. Kenerson, Killeen, and Fortier, competing as the Academy’s Unit 6 entry, performed extraordinarily well in the “Problems of American Democracy in the 21st Century” portion of the event, recording the Academy's second highest unit score in the past eight years, Eaton said.

Academy NECAP Scores Higher Than Statewide Results

Academy student performance on the latest round of Grade 11 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) tests exceeded the Vermont score in all three exam sections, according to examination results released February 2 by the Vermont Department of Education. The highest increase was in scores for the Writing section with 59 percent of the Academy students taking the test scoring at the “proficient” or “proficient with distinction” level, 8 percentage points higher than the statewide figure. Academy students’ scores in that section also improved significantly (16 percentage points) from the school’s 2008 scores, where 43 percent – 1 percentage point above the statewide figure - were graded at “proficient” or “proficient with distinction.” Seventy-five percent of the Academy test takers scored at the “proficient” or “proficient with distinction” level on the Reading section, 6 percentage points higher than the Vermont total. The NECAP test results also show a significant difference between the statewide and Academy scores for lower income students. Sixty-eight percent of Academy students eligible to receive free or reduced price lunches scored at the “proficient” or “proficient with distinction” in the Reading section, 14 percentage points higher than the statewide grade. Academy students eligible for free or reduced lunches also scored 9 percentage points higher than the state figure in the Writing section and 3 percentage points higher in Math. “While the NECAP is only one measure of the effectiveness of our educational program here at the Academy, I am pleased with the improved results relative to the State averages and our 2008 scores,” Academy Assistant Headmaster for Academics Jeffrey Burroughs said. “It is clear to me that the students are starting to accept that the NECAP is a test that we are being measured by in the state and are putting more effort into the exam. In fact, this year we had three students who earned top marks in all three sections.” Complete statewide NECAP results are available through the Vermont Department of Education website

37 Students Recognized For AP® Test Performance

Thirty-seven current and former St. Johnsbury Academy students have been honored for exceptional performance on May 2009 Advanced Placement (AP®) tests, including one recognized as a National Scholar. June graduate James P.B. Ryan, now enrolled at Tufts University, was recognized as a National Scholar by the College Board, which administers the tests, after receiving an average grade of at least 4 out of a possible 5 points on all exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on 8 or more of these exams. 

Six Academy Students Among Top 25 Scorers In Vermont Math Talent Search

Six Academy students are among the Top 25 scorers who competed in the final round of this year’s Vermont Mathematics Talent Search competition, sponsored by the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition. Junior Ki Jung Lee '11 (pictured left) from South Korea is the top Academy performer through the first three rounds of the four-round contest, holding sixth place in the statewide standings, three points behind the leader. The other Top 25 Academy scorers are recent graduate Tiange “Amy” Gu from China, 10th; recent graduate Yi-Fan “Alphie” Chen from Taiwan, 14th; sophomore Xiangru Chen '12 from China, 19th; junior Jian Biao Chen '11, also from China, 20th; and recent graduate Chen Lin from China, tied for 24th. Each round of the competition included eight challenging math problems requiring the use of arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus. Students have four weeks to solve the problems and submit their solutions to the director of the program for grading.

Robotics Team Shares Crown At Regional Competition

St. Johnsbury Academy’s FIRST robotic team combined with a Manchester, New Hampshire high school contingent to take first place in a 16-team September competition in Springfield, Massachusetts. Academy team members included (front, from left) Jason Sherman of St. Johnsbury, Adam Lybarger from Morrisville, Adrian Wong from Hong Kong, Michael Fickes of Peacham, Caleigh Cross of Waterford, and Preston Merrill from Easton, New Hampshire; Kane Fan from China, and St. Johnsbury residents Andy Green and Ken Mosholder; (Standing, from left: Dr. Elaine Parshall, the team’s faculty mentor; Zach Stevens of St. Johnsbury, and volunteer adult mentor Bill Knopf.

Academy Robotics Team Reaches Semifinals in WPI Regional Competition

Bill Knopf (left), one of the adult mentors for St. Johnsbury Academy’s FIRST robotics team, helps team members Preston Merrill (center) and Michael Fickes prepare their robot for the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Regional competition.

The Academy’s FIRST robotics team reached the semifinal round in a 29-team field at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Regional competition, held Friday and Saturday, March 12-13 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Academy’s team, called the “Lab Rats”, played a very good defensive series, holding their components scoreless in five of their 12 qualifying matches. There were only 22 scoreless matches in the entire 83-match event. FIRST robotics competitions challenge teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a strict six-week time frame using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions. This year’s contest, called “Breakaway” was loosely based on soccer, but played on a surface that included speed bumps and a tunnel. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, inspire innovation, and boost self-confidence through improved communication and leadership skills. Student members of the Academy team competing in Worchester included: freshmen Preston Merrill from Easton, New Hampshire and Wuon Seok “Andrew” Choi from South Korea; sophomores Jason Sherman and Zachary Stevens, both from St. Johnsbury; Adam Lybarger of Morrisville, Matt Cennamo of Montgomery Center, David Rubenstein from Massachusetts, and Jae Hyuk Kim from South Korea; juniors Andrew Green from St. Johnsbury, Caleigh Cross of Waterford, Michael Fickes of Peacham, Keith Norris from Wheelock, and Xihao “Cindy” Chen from China; and seniors Justin Pearson of St. Johnsbury and Adrian Wong from Hong Kong. Weidmann Electric and Norwich University assisted with the financing of this endeavor. The team is led by Dr. Elaine Parshall, the Academy’s Allen D. Christensen Chair in Engineering and director of the school’s STeM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Program, assisted by adult mentors William Knopf, Frank Trebilcock, Cathy Ajamie, and John Ajamie, all from St. Johnsbury; Clarence Priest of Waterford, Bill Emerson of Bath, New Hampshire, and Alan Goldblatt of Hartland.

SJA Students Award Winners at Russian Language Competition


Three St. Johnsbury Academy students were among the award winners at the first Vermont Open Russian Language Olympiada, hosted May 1 by Lyndon State College. Seniors Sarah Solnit (left) of Bath, New Hampshire and Asterik Muradian (center) from St. Johnsbury captured first place in both the Spoken and Written Russian categories. Senior Marie Kay (right), also a St. Johnsbury resident, took third place in the Written competition.

Two New College-Level Courses Added to Math Curriculum

The Academy is now offering two new college-level mathematics courses, Linear Algebra and Applied Calculus. Targeting students who have exhausted the Academy’s current mathematics course offerings, which include five Advanced Placement* courses, Linear Algebra will build on the concepts of three-dimensional space developed in the school’s Multivariable Calculus course, extending discussions of mathematical spaces to include arbitrary dimensions. The new Applied Calculus course targets students who have successfully completed Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. This will provide students with an additional option to the school’s AP* Calculus offerings. The goal is to expose more students to the concepts of Calculus prior to college. The new course proposals were a collaborative effort by the Academy Math Department. For additional information, contact Sharon Fadden, Math Department Chair at * AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board. Used with permission.

Five Students Honored For Performance in Financial Capability Competition

Five Academy students were recognized for scoring in the top 20 percent nationwide in this year’s National Financial Capability Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Education. Recent graduates Ryan A. Galvin and Olivia Shields, both of St. Johnsbury, Linnea F. McMath from East Hardwick; and juniors Kayla S. Carter '11 of Barnet and Ryan M. Lowell '11 from Waterford were among more than 76,000 high schools nationwide and in Department of Defense schools around the world participated in the 2010 competition.


Academy Student Received Presidential Award

Academy junior Shawn Lepage '11 of St. Johnsbury was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award, citing his two years of service donated to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. Presented by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the award recognized Lepage for his “commitment to strengthening our nation and making a difference through volunteer service.” A letter from President Barack Obama accompanying the award said Lepage’s volunteer service “demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”

Academy Students Received Presidential Award

(Left to Right) Recent graduates Britney Lane, Caitlyn Locke, Ashley Pray, and Elizabeth Remick were honored during the Academy’s daily Chapel assembly for receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award. All have been active members of the Youth Health Service Corps, working a total of about 800 volunteer hours over the past 18 months at several area non-profit organizations and institutions, including Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Caledonia-Essex and Lyndon State College Rescue Services, and Riverside Life Enrichment Center.

Liberia’s Ambassador to United States Delivered SJA Commencement Address

Liberian Ambassador to the United States, M. Nathaniel Barnes and his wife, Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes celebrating with 2010 graduate Lawuo Dolo from Liberia.

Liberia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United States, Milton Nathaniel Barnes, delivered the Commencement Address for the Class of 2010 on Monday, June 7, 2010. Barnes was named to the Ambassador post in September 2008 after serving two years as Liberia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Barnes began his professional career with The Insurance Company of Africa in Monrovia, after extensive training in management and insurance operations at affiliate company offices in Des Moines, Iowa and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He returned to Liberia in December 1979 and managed the underwriting function of the company’s Property and Casualty Division until July 1980, when he and his wife left Liberia as a result of a violent coup d’etat. The couple then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Barnes worked nearly 14 years as a financial analyst, senior manager at a major telecommunications and network company before leaving the corporation in 1996 to run a successful telecommunications consulting firm. In April 1998, Barnes returned to Liberia as an analyst at the Ministry of Finance. Eleven months later, he was appointed Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, which he transformed from a debt ridden, under-funded entity into a more efficient one by streamlining its workforce, challenging and motivating the management team, aggressively negotiating with creditors, and establishing a dynamic program to initiate an  insurance reserve. Barnes was appointed as the country’s Minister of Finance in 1999 and served in that position until July 2002, overseeing the implementation of a new Tax Code for Liberia in consultation with the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department. He also formed and developed a proposal for a Summit of Post-Conflict nations in Africa where issues relevant to member nations’ peculiar and unique experiences would be analyzed with the objective of creating a plan for post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation. As UN Ambassador, Barnes said he believes, “The thrust of our (the Liberian delegation’s) efforts here at the United Nations will be rebuilding our traditional relationships and forging new ones on a foundation of trust, understanding and mutual respect.” This year’s Academy graduating class includes Lawuo Dolo from Monrovia, Liberia. Lawuo’s attendance at the Academy was inspired by the senior Capstone project of 2008 graduates Ashton LeCraw and Quinn Sanders, and was made possible through assistance and support from Mercy Corps and the Alberta S. Kimball Foundation. “The Ambassador’s knowledge of telecommunications and financial reform, and especially his commitment to restoring peace in Africa, make him one of the most informative and interesting speakers in these times,” Lovett said. “Furthermore, he can speak directly to the heart of our mission. His drive to restore relationships on the basis of trust, understanding and respect make him especially relevant to this class of graduates and our school as a whole.”

Capstone Project Gives NYC Young People New Hope

St. Johnsbury Academy recent graduate Cemi Guzman made his mark as a New York City performance promoter while helping at-risk girls and women in his old neighborhood discover a path to success. “I was born in Queens and raised in the Lower East Side,” said Cemi Guzman, now a resident of Peacham. “I’d been thinking for quite a while that I wanted to do something to help ‘disconnected’ young people in New York City and other urban areas.” Guzman put those thoughts into action through his senior Capstone research project in the fall, organizing and hosting a November 21 benefit variety show at the Bowery Poetry Club & Café in New York City that drew about 300 attendees. The event raised more than $6,000 through ticket sales alone to help support the Lower East Side Girls Club’s programs. Additional donations “are still coming in,” he said two weeks later.

Academy Honored For Role In Relay For Life’s Success

St. Johnsbury Academy was honored by Relay For Life of Caledonia County for hosting the annual American Cancer Society fundraising event since its inception. Started in 2004 by Fred Laferriere, a member of SJA’s Class of 1975, in memory of his brother Jake, a 1967 Academy graduate who died of cancer in 2002 at age 53, the all-night walkathon has raised about $1 million for cancer research. Last year’s Caledonia County Relay For Life drew more than 1,000 participants to the Academy’s Ray Frey Track at Fairbanks Field, placing it in the Top 10 nationally for per capita donations. Donations raised through the 2009 event represented $6.53 from every Caledonia County resident, Laferriere said Wednesday during a presentation held as part of the Academy’s daily morning Chapel assembly. Laferriere also presented the school a framed certificate from the national Relay For Life organization recognizing the local event’s Top 10 status. The certificate will remain on display at the school for a few weeks, then forwarded to other area supporters,” he said. This year’s Caledonia County Relay For Life is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 12-13. Additional information about the Relay For Life event is available by visiting

Academy Students Headed to India to Build Health Center

Twelve Academy students spent most of the month of February helping to improve the lives of some of India’s most impoverished people. Coordinated by the Academy’s Colwell Center for Global Understanding, the project included building a small health center in the village of Poriyar, located in the Tamil Nadu coastal region, which was struck by the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The students created educational materials about malaria and pre-natal care, installed smokeless stoves in homes, and compiled information for a local census that would be used to start health files for the new center. The approximately 7,000 people living in the village are all members of India’s Dalit caste, known as “untouchables,” suffering from extreme poverty, and very high illiteracy, unemployment, and underemployment rates, Colwell Center director Glenn Ehrean said. The project complemented the ongoing efforts of Help-Kids-India, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Topsham, Vermont, which was formed to provide education for underprivileged children in rural Indian villages by starting small schools known as creches. Ann Peck, the organization’s director, assisted the Academy group with identifying the Poriyar region’s needs and potential solutions, and accompanied the students throughout their time in India. The student project also won support from Seldon Technologies, a firm based in Windsor, Vermont specializing in water purification equipment that quickly cleans water without the use of chemicals, ultraviolet light or contact time. Seldon donated one of its Waterbox™ systems, a simple plug-and-use device designed especially for crisis areas which removes contaminants from groundwater, producing drinking water to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water standards.  The students included juniors Jasper Craven '11 of Barnet, Jesse Danielson '11 of Peacham, Brook Fowler '11 and Rachel Vear '11 from Waterford, Elizabeth Moye '11 of St. Johnsbury, and Shidi (Jess) Xu '11 from China; and recent graduates Eimile Bishop of Barnet, Laura Broome of Concord, Sijia (Rebecca) Guo from China, Morgan Hill of Lancaster, New Hampshire; Elizabeth Remick of Waterford, and Gabrielle Robillard of St. Johnsbury. Ehrean and the Academy’s Director of Health and Wellness, Sarah Garey, accompanied the group as chaperones.

Environmental Sustainability Expert Visited Academy Classes

Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth and director of the Global Living Project, visited Academy classes, Thursday, November 12. Originally a military engineer trained in foreign military sales, Merkel left that career in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez Alaskan oil spill disaster and invasion of Iraq, deciding to learn how to reduce his needs, use less resources, and “devote his life to sustainability and world peace,” the Global Living Project website says. Merkel founded the non-profit Project in 1996 “as a proactive response to poverty, war, climate change and ecological destruction,” the website adds. “The intention was to learn from and create inspiring examples of wholesome, sustainable lifestyles.” Based in Norwich, Vermont, the organization provides consulting services for campuses and municipalities, and offers workshops and lectures. Merkel’s visit to the Academy was organized by Dr. Elaine Parshall, the school’s Allen D. Christensen Chair in Engineering and director of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STeM) program. Parshall said she also hopes to create “a school or community-wide challenge to reduce our own ecological footprints.” Additional information about Merkel and the Global Living Project is available through the organization’s website:

Academy Alumnus Lectures on Cancer Research


St. Johnsbury Academy graduate Ryan Gessner returned to his alma mater September 28, 2009 to tell science students about his research at the University of North Carolina on the use of a novel ultrasound probe for molecular imaging experiments. Imaging is used to detect diseased body tissues. A member of the Academy’s Class of 2004, currently a graduate student in the UNC-Chapel Hill Biomedical Sciences Program, Gessner is the son of Mary Ann Gessner, the Academy’s Director of Admission, and Robert Gessner, an Academy mathematics teacher.

Cafeteria Composting Joined List Of Academy Environmental Projects

St. Johnsbury Academy senior Morgan Hill adds items to the compost station as English teacher James Bentley hauls away filled containers.

The latest in an ongoing series of St. Johnsbury Academy environmental sustainability and energy conservation projects began as the school introduced a full-scale composting of cafeteria waste. During the early part of the project, members of the school’s National Honor Society chapter and faculty volunteers collected lunch food waste and kitchen scraps during the school week, but English teacher James Bentley, a member of the Academy Faculty Environmental Focus Group, said he “hopes we can expand to other meals,” including breakfast, evening, and weekend meals for Academy boarding students, as the project progresses. “Right now, the school has the capacity to collect and transport up to 1,500 pounds of compost a week,” Bentley said. “If we compost for 20 weeks this school year, we can direct up to 15 tons of waste away from a landfill and into a local business at a lower dumping cost.” The new composting program will also allow the school to renegotiate its commercial trash hauling costs, “saving the Academy money while improving our environmental sustainability,” Bentley added.

Dr. Kimberly Silloway and John Benoit Elected To Board of Trustees

The Academy Board of Trustees and Headmaster Thomas Lovett were pleased to announce two new members of the St. Johnsbury Academy Board of Trustees. Dr. Kimberly A. Silloway, a 1982 Academy graduate, now an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Fairfax, Virginia, and John T. Benoit, who graduated in 1980 and now serves as president of Benoit Electric, headquartered in Berlin, were elected to the board during a meeting of the trustees in October. After graduating from the Academy, Dr. Silloway earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, and a Dental Degree from the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond. A standout basketball player at both the high school and college levels, she is a member of the Vermont Principals' Association Hall of Fame, University of Virginia Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and New England Basketball Hall of Fame. The daughter of Dr. Frederick C. Silloway, an Academy Trustee from 1990 until his death in 2003, she has served on the Executive Committees of the Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Society and Northern Virginia Dental Society, and President of the Fairfax County Dental Society. Benoit, a Master Electrician with 23 years experience running a large, 60-employee Vermont commercial and industrial electrical contracting business, also holds Master Electrician licenses in Florida and New Hampshire, and serves on the Board of Governors for the Tiara Condominium Association, which oversees a 320-unit, 42-story building in Palm Beach, Florida. He also invented and patented a line of electrical devices, partnering with Pass & Seymour-LeGrand, the world’s largest wiring device manufacturer.

Robert C. Fuehrer Named St. Johnsbury Academy Trustee Emeritus

St. Johnsbury Academy’s Board of Trustees named Robert C. Fuehrer as Trustee Emeritus, honoring his 25 years of service as a member of the Board. Elected to the Board in 1984, Fuehrer co-founded EHV Industries St. Johnsbury manufacturing plant in 1969 and served as its President from 1984 until his retirement in 1996. Early in its history, EHV developed a working relationship with Weidmann AG in Switzerland at which time the company was re-named EHV/Weidmann Industries. It operates today as a wholly owned subsidiary of the larger group, Weidmann Electrical Technology with operations around the world. In addition to the Academy Trustee post, he also has held a wide variety of other area civic and volunteer positions, including serving as a member of the Peacham Board of Selectmen, Dartmouth Clinic, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Mary Hitchcock Hospital, and Passumpsic Savings Bank Board of Trustees, Director of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, and Associated Industries of Vermont, and Peacham Congregational Church Board of Deacons and Business Committee. “Bob is an articulate and thoughtful leader, able to bring consensus on a wide range of difficult issues,” Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said. “I will miss his keen insights and genuine goodness. Every board, every community, needs active peacemakers like Bob. His proudest moments came during the planning, construction, and dedication of the Mayo Center; however, his happiest moments have come in actually seeing students enjoy themselves, learn, and thrive while using it.

Academy Community Rallied Behind Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

St. Johnsbury Acadey rallied behind efforts to provide relief for victims of the catastrophic Haiti earthquake. Approximately $5,030 was raised through a dress-down day organized by the National Honor Society (NHS) Chapter’s International Committee. Students, faculty, and staff were allowed to not comply with the school’s usual dress code in return for a minimum $1 donation to support the international Doctors Without Borders organization’s efforts to provide emergency medical assistance to earthquake victims. “One of the most valuable experiences of going to school here is the chance to know, respect, and care for people very different than ourselves,” Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said. “Today, they got to demonstrate it on behalf of the people of Haiti, people they don’t even know. Today they got to show their deep generosity and love of strangers. I am always proud of our Academy community, but I am especially amazed at its goodness on days like today.”

The Colwell Center for Global Understanding Hosts Guest Speaker

Aguswandi, an Indonesian expert on the resolution of international conflicts, addressed Academy students and teachers during a Chapel assembly. His visit to the Academy was part of an annual speaker series coordinated by the school’s Colwell Center for Global Understanding in partnership with Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Academy Trustees Elected New President; China Financial Leader Joins Board

The Academy’s Board of Trustees elected a new President and a new member. St. Johnsbury native Lee P. Hackett, a 1957 Academy graduate and member of the private Independent school’s governing board since 1985, was elected Trustee President, replacing Susan Grayson, whose term had expired. Now a resident of Wisconsin, Hackett is executive vice president of American Appraisal and director of AA Management Group, as well as an owner, directing major domestic and international valuation and consulting operations, and providing advisory services to American Appraisal’s key clients worldwide. His Academy Trustee experience includes serving as the Board’s treasurer for nearly a decade, chairing the Investment Committee, and serving as a member of the Executive Committee. The newest member of the Board is Alex Ko Po Ming, a well known member of the Hong Kong and China financial communities. Ko currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Piper Jaffrey Asia, which acquired his Hong Kong-based Goldbond Capital Holdings Limited firm in 2007. Earlier, he served as Chairman of Corporate Finance at BNP Paribas Peregrine Capital Limited. A graduate of The Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Ko is the father of two recent Academy graduates. His son Dexter is a member of the school’s Class of 2008, and his daughter Stephanie of the Class of 2009.

St. Johnsbury Academy Students visited Japan

Eight Academy students traveled to Japan during Spring Break, visiting Tokyo, Nagasaki, Kyoto, and Yonezawa. During their visit, the students also visited the Academy's long time exchange partner, the Kaijo School. The students pictured above are are (Back L-R) Jamie Robertson, Ky Duong, Beth Decker and Logan Kovach. (Front L-R) Claire Simons, Levi Tetreault, Mariah Chamberlain, and Andy Green. The trip was sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, lead by Academy faculty member Alan Rowe and his wife Stephanie.

Academy Hosted 25th Annual Advanced Placement Institute

High school teachers from throughout the U.S., as well as three foreign countries, arrived at the Academy July 11 for the start of the school’s 25th annual Advanced Placement (AP) Institute. Approximately 400 teachers from 32 states, including educators from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Republic of Georgia, took part in one of three one-week sessions scheduled through July 30. Participants at the Institute teach Advanced Placement courses or are trained and certified to teach Advanced Placement courses, which are designed to give high school students college credits, advanced standing, or both, upon successful completion of a national examination administered by The College Board. The Academy’s AP Institute addresses 22 AP course offerings.

21 Academy Students Honored in Scholastic Art

Twenty-one St. Johnsbury Academy student artists were among the honorees in the regional phase of this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, the country’s oldest, longest-running and most prestigious student art contest. The Scholastic Awards competition was founded in 1923 by Maurice R. Robinson, who was publishing a youth magazine, and felt it was important to identify and honor both artistic and literary works by students, not just their athletic abilities. The annual contest, sponsored by the national Alliance of Young Artists & Writers organization, is designed to recognize student achievement in the visual arts and creative writing. Approximately 140,000 creative works of art and writing are initially reviewed by regional competition affiliates. Later, panels of professional jurors review approximately 8,000 works of art and 2,000 manuscripts to select 1,000 national Award recipients. Regional awards include: Gold Key, the highest level of achievement, with works forwarded to New York City for national adjudication; American Vision & Voices nominees, whose works are named “Best of Show” for each region; Silver Key, honoring works “worthy of recognition on the regional level;” and Honorable Mention for “works demonstrating artistic potential.” Senior Hee-Yun Byun, a boarding student from South Korea was the top Academy award winner, earning two golds and a silver in Printmaking; gold in Art Portfolio, including “Best of Show;” two silvers and a gold in Painting, and a silver in Drawing. The honorees also include: Junior Jacob Brillhart of West Topsham, gold and two silvers in Photography; sophomore Logan Kovach of Hardwick, gold, silver, and five honorable mentions in Printmaking; sophomore Arin Lozefski from Lunenburg, gold, silver, and honorable mention in Printmaking; senior Mingshan Fan from China, gold in Painting, and honorable mentions in Painting and Photography; junior Molly Campbell from St. Johnsbury, gold and honorable mention in Painting; senior Kathryn Dabal from New Jersey, gold in Printmaking; Junior Levi Tetreault from Lyndon, four silvers and three honorable mentions in Printmaking; sophomore Faith Darling of Passumpsic, two silvers and six honorable mentions in Printmaking; senior Erin Kerr from St. Johnsbury, two silvers and four honorable mentions in Photography; junior Karla Hunter of Lyndon, two silvers and three honorable mentions in Printmaking; sophomore Giovanina Mier of St. Johnsbury, silver and five honorable mentions in Printmaking; junior Jing Chuan Wang from China, silver in Painting. Earning silvers in the Art Portfolio division were seniors Rachel Ajamie of St. Johnsbury, Chantal Mehanna of Guildhall, Elizabeth Northrop of Wheelock, and Sang Eun Lee from South Korea.

Student Writers Honored

Three Academy students were honored for their writing skills. Junior Caleigh Cross '11 (Right) earned a Silver Key in the 2010 Scholastic Arts and Writing competition for her poetry, and junior Aneleisa Gladding-Hinton '11 (Left) and sophomore Stan Walden '12 (Middle) earned spots in this year’s Breadloaf Young Writer’s Conference.

Three Academy Students Honored In Congressional Arts Competition

St. Johnsbury Academy senior Holly Greenleaf shows the painting that earned her first place in this year’s Vermont Congressional Arts Competition.

Three Academy students, including a first place award winner, were among the honorees in the 29th annual Vermont Congressional Arts Competition. Recent graduate Holly Greenleaf earned top state honors in the Competition with her mixed media painting, titled “Milking Time” while junior Daniel Lloyd Miller '11 received a Judges Choice Award for his acrylic painting “Red Dawn,” and sophomore Faith Darling '12 was awarded a “Congressman’s Choice” prize by U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT). Seven other Academy students were selected by their Art teachers to participate in the competition. They include recent graduates Alexandra Bussiere, Emily McDowell, Jacob Van Der Eems, Kathryn Roosa, and Katie Dabal, and junior Levi Tetreault '11. Contests are held in congressional districts nationwide with state winners invited to display their works at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. for a year. This year’s Vermont competition attracted 175 works created by students from  38 Vermont high schools, according to the Arts Council website, Greenleaf’s state title in the competition was the second won by an Academy student artist in the last three years. Elizabeth Gingue, a member of the school’s Class of 2008, won the crown her senior year.

Academy student's play  produced in a film


St. Johnsbury Academy recent graduate Megan Killeen's prize winning play "A Medical Mystery Tour" from the Vermont Young Playwrights' Festival was selected as one of five top plays to be produced in a film this summer by Jay Craven of Kingdom County Productions.  Killeen wrote the play for her Academy Creative Writing class and it was staged by professional actors at Flynn Space in Burlington on May 17 as part of the Festival.

Academy students selected to compete at the Vermont All State Music Festival

Fifteen St. Johnsbury Academy students were selected to compete at this year’s Vermont All State Music Festival, scheduled May 5-8 in Rutland. They include (front row from left) junior Andrew Colpitts '11, recent graduates Isabella Lamadriz, Hannah Rowe, and Megan Killeen, sophomore Josh Rosenfeld '12, freshman David Fickes '13, (back row from left) sophomore Molly McNally '12, recent graduate Ben Keeshin, junior Alyssa Korol '11, sophomore Perry Emerson '12, recent graduate Roger Qian, sophomore Chen Lin '12. Not shown are sophomore Ayla Yersel '12, recent graduate Sarah Park, and junior Sarah Amos '11.

Professional Ballet Dancers Conduct Master Classes for Academy Students

Academy Dance students received lessons from John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow, two of the nation’s foremost ballet dancers, during April 13 Master Classes. Gardner, who also has won international acclaim as a choreographer, has worked with choreographers Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch and Martha Graham, as well as Mikail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. McKerrow, who is Gardner’s wife, is the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, in 1981. Since then, she has received several other awards, including the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship. In 2000, McKerrow and Gardner began working for the Antony Tudor Trust, staging and coaching his ballet "The Leaves are Fading" throughout the United States. She has also staged numerous other ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States. During her last 10 years performing as a principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre, she worked extensively with students and young dancers. Since retiring from ABT in 2005, she has devoted the majority of her time to teaching and coaching ballet.

Art of Action Tour Stops at Academy


Works by some of Vermont’s most visionary artists were exhibited for the public at the Academy’s Charles Hosmer Morse Center for The Arts, March 5-13 when the school hosted “The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont‘s Future Through Art.” Produced by the Vermont Arts Council in partnership with entrepreneur Lyman Orton and Janice Izzi, the exhibit began a 10-month, 12-county tour of approximately 20 Vermont towns in early September. The St. Johnsbury exhibit will follow a stop in Newport. The Art of Action project features works commissioned from 10 visual artists, including 1996 Academy graduate and Danville resident Curtis Hale, with each artist creating a suite of artwork that address issues identified by Vermonters as essential to the state's economic, environmental and social future.


Hannah Rowe Repeats as Gatorade Vermont Track Athlete of the Year and breaks National Record

St. Johnsbury Academy's newly graduated Hannah Rowe has repeated as Gatorade’s Vermont Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Also a two-time honoree as the State’s Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Rowe set a meet record on her way to a first place finish in the 3200m run at the New Balance National Track and Field Meet, held June 18 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Rowe covered the distance in 10:56.34, shattering the old record in the Meet’s Emerging Elite category, set last year, by 10 seconds. She also took sixth place in the 1600m event. Earlier this month, she raced to first place in the 800, 1500 and 3000m runs at the State Division 1 Track and Field Meet in Burlington, leading SJA's girls track team to a tie for 3rd place in the team standings while breaking her own school record on the way to her victory in the 800 (2:17.36), and running the fastest state meet winning time in the 3000m in 11 years (10:23). Rowe also set a school record on the way to a 12th place finish in the 3200m run at the New England High School Track and Field Championship Meet, held June 12 in New Britain, Connecticut. She plans to continue her running career at Dartmouth College, competing in both cross country and track.

School Records Fall at New England Indoor Track Championships

Members of SJA's indoor track team rewrote the school record book at the New England Championships meet, held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. The girls 4x800 relay team of Sarah Fitzhugh, Lindi Hayes, Katie Guion and Lauren Brown placed 23rd in an Academy record-breaking 10:29.72, chopping 13 seconds off the record they set at the State Championship meet four weeks earlier. The boys relay team of Ben Bunnell, Fernando Beltran, Brandt Newton and Jack Coster matched the feat, breaking the old boys record by 23 seconds in a time of 8:44.93 on the way to an 18th place finish in the team standings. Both relay teams ran the fastest time by a Vermont team this season. Beltran, Bunnell, Newton and Dilan Kiley also broke the Academy record in the 4x400, covering the distance in 3:45.73 as they placed 23rd.

Girls Hoop Team Wearing D-1 Crown For First Time in Academy History


Cinderella's glass slipper fit just fine as SJA's 12th-seeded girls basketball team topped #3 Rutland High School, 27-24, at the Division 1 State Championship game at UVM's Patrick Gymnasium. The Division 1 girls basketball crown is the first in Academy history. Tenacious defense played a major role in determining the outcome as SJA held the Raiders scoreless for the final 14 minutes of the contest after trailing 18-17 at halftime and 24-23 heading into the final quarter. Bianca Calkins led the Toppers at both ends of the court, scoring a game-high 8 points in the lowest scoring Vermont girls basketball championship game in history, snagging 8 rebounds, and blocking 3 Raider shots. After a 7-13 regular season, the Hilltoppers advanced to the championship game with upset victories over fifth-seeded Rice Memorial High School, #4 Champlain Valley Union High School, and #1 Burr and Burton.

Girls Golf Team Captures 1st State Title in School History

Emily Rainville earned Medalist honors, carding a 90 on a par-72 course, and Kayla Carter shot 99 as SJA's girls golf team capped a perfect (9-0) season by capturing the first State Division I championship in school history on June 8 at the Proctor-Pittsford Country Club. Defending champion Rutland High School finished runnerup, two shots behind the Hilltoppers. Pictured above are: (Front L to R) Christa Poulin, Victoria Hutchins, Britney Lane, Emily Rainville, and Kayla Carter. Not present is Alex Rogers.

Academy Alumnus Selected in Major League Baseball Draft

Ethan Paquette, a 2006 Academy graduate, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 35th round of this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. After leading the Hilltoppers to the state baseball championship his senior year, Paquette played three years with the University of Vermont baseball team, then transferred to Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, after UVM eliminated its baseball program. At Hofstra, he earned first team All-Colonial League honors after the best season of his career, leading the Pride with a .371 batting average, 14 home runs and a school record 70 RBI.

Basketball Legend Henry Dalrymple Returns To St. Johnsbury Academy on way to Hall of Fame

After a 27-year absence, Hilltopper basketball legend Henry “Bruce” Dalrymple returned to the Academy, reminding the school’s students to appreciate the efforts made on their behalf. Speaking during the daily Chapel assembly, just hours before his induction into the Vermont Principals' Association Hall of Fame, he cited the education, support and encouragement he received at the Academy as the foundation for his future success, both as a college star at Georgia Tech University and in his professional life after basketball. Calling now retired Academy basketball coach Layne Higgs “the best coach I ever had,” Dalrymple also told the students his experience showed the relationships they build during their Academy years would be the ones they would cherish the longest.

Academy Dedicates Track to Coach Raymond Frey

The oval track at the Academy’s All Coaches and Athletes Track and Field Complex was formally dedicated in honor of retired Hilltopper Coach Raymond Frey on Sunday, June 6. A 2008 Vermont Principals’ Association Hall of Fame inductee, Frey guided 15 Academy boys’ track teams to state titles, including five in a row from 1980-84, during a 30-year career that ended with his retirement in 1987. Frey also led the Hilltopper boys’ cross country team to the state championship in 1958 and girls’ track team to the Vermont title in 1981. In 1968, he was selected as Vermont Coach of the Year, an honor covering all interscholastic sports. More than 20 years after his retirement, Frey still holds the Vermont record for the most state championships won by a high school coach. An informal track meet featuring Academy graduates followed the running oval dedication ceremony.


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