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Posted Friday, Oct 2, 2015 
For the past twelve years, we have enjoyed an extraordinary exchange with the Steiner School in Stuttgart, Germany. As a result of the efforts of people like Colwell Center Director Glenn Ehrean, hundreds of Academy students and a dozen faculty have traveled to Stuttgart and have hosted students and faculty from Germany in exchange. Furthermore, in preparation for their studies abroad, these students and faculty have learned some German and some key aspects of German culture. Programs like these make the world seem a little bit smaller and help the Colwell Center spread its message that "different doesn't necessarily mean wrong" and "what unites us as human beings is far more powerful and important than what divides us"—two ideas that our world urgently needs to understand and act upon.
Posted Friday, Oct 2, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy announced their 2015-2016 Boys' Varsity Basketball coaching staff on Monday. The interim Boys' Varsity coach will be David McGinn, who will be assisted by Taylor Coppenrath '00.
Posted Friday, Oct 2, 2015 
The second speaker of the season is Elise Lawson, naturalist and wildlife biologist. Elise will talk about her research on wolves in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada, her research on moose in northern Ontario, Canada, and her current work in the Randolph Community forest.
Posted Saturday, Sep 26, 2015 
This Saturday night, as students and their parents celebrate Parents' Weekend, I will have the privilege of joining a table of Northeast Kingdom residents as we celebrate alumnus and now Academy teacher/coach Taylor Coppenrath's induction into the University of Vermont's Hall of Fame.
Posted Friday, Sep 25, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy's Faculty Speaker Series kicks off its fourth year on Monday, September 28, at 7:00 p.m. at the Library in the Mayo Center.
Posted Friday, Sep 18, 2015 
Every year I talk about the social contract between teachers and students: what students should expect from teachers and vice versa.
Posted Friday, Sep 18, 2015 
The Academy's new food service provider, Aladdin FitzVogt, has recently partnered with Green Mountain Farm to School in order to bring more local food to the SJA cafeteria.
Posted Friday, Sep 11, 2015 
Love was in the air all week in Fuller Hall. On Tuesday, Chef Jerry Prevost played the piano and sang the love song that he first performed on his wedding day 25 years ago as a way to honor his marriage to his wife Crystal. On Wednesday, Assistant Head for Campus Life, Beth Choiniere spoke about how much she loved the goodness in the people of our school community. On Thursday, Dr. John Sayarath, one of our science teachers, spoke about the service trip he now organizes to Southeast Asia, as a way to show his love of his native Laos. Finally, on Friday, on September 11, senior Evan Bartlett gave the following talk, which I have excerpted somewhat for brevity: How many beings on this earth and in this school have or continually go about their lives or their days feeling depressed, sad, unwanted, insecure, hurt, or like there's no way out? How many beings feel like they're stuck? In my journey I have experienced all of these things in myself and I am going to tell you a little bit about that. I am here today to offer an alternative path to you all.
Posted Friday, Sep 11, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy announced the addition of five new staff members to start the 2015-2016 school year.
Posted Friday, Sep 11, 2015 
Sixty Academy students were recognized for their exceptional performance on the May 2015 Advanced Placement exams; two students were recognized as National AP Scholars. A total of 198 Academy students took 363 AP exams during the 2014-2015 school year. The school's passing rate, determined by the percentage of students who scored 3 or more points on an exam, was 75.3%, well above both the state average of 69.1% and the national average of 60.6%.
Posted Friday, Sep 4, 2015 
The St. Johnsbury Academy Math Club will participate in this year's Interstellar Math Madness at the Gold level, the highest-ranked level of the competition. Other schools in New England earning the Gold designation were Deerfield Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Loomis Chaffee School, and the Roxbury Latin School. SJA finished last season ranked 57th in the U.S. based on the top-five student scores, 39th based on the top-ten scores, 27th based on the top-15 scores, and 22nd based on the top-20 scores. 14,784 students participated from across the country.
Posted Friday, Sep 4, 2015 
On Thursday in Chapel, Student Government President Ronan Johnston-McWilliams made Academy history by being the first person to ever resign from that office without being asked to do so. Ronan and I had talked during the summer about what he had done since June and about his plans for this, his second term as President. In listening to him I sensed a significant contrast between the enthusiasm with which he spoke about his experience with the Youth Conservation Corps and his plans for becoming an EMT versus the more subdued tone with which he discussed Student Government. I said, "Are you sure you want to do this job? Your heart doesn't seem in it."
Posted Friday, Sep 4, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy announced the addition of nine new faculty members to start the 2015-2016 school year. Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "This year's cohort of new faculty are a diverse group of alums and non-alums, new teachers and veterans, with experiences ranging across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Besides being teachers, they have been farmers, engineers, and professional athletes. What they have in common, however, is their most important qualities—a love of young people, an enthusiasm for learning, and an expertise in their respective disciplines. These are traits they share not only with each other, but with their other Academy colleagues as well. We are truly fortunate that they have chosen to join us, but our students are the big winners."
Posted Friday, Aug 28, 2015 
Every year since my daughter Rose was a freshman in the fall of 2007, she has bought me a colorful shirt and matching tie to celebrate the opening of school. Originally a statement about the blandness of my usual attire of white shirts and repeat-pattern ties, this tradition has now gained me an impressive array of blue, teal, green, yellow, and (of course) rose-colored shirts. This year's addition was mint green. For the past few years, I have worn them all in succession, creating what I call Rainbow Week to start the school year.
Posted Friday, Aug 28, 2015 
SJA math teachers Susannah Roy Gould '03 and Meagan Boucher were recently selected to present at the Vermont Council of Teachers of Math (VCTM) conference, taking place on October 16 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. The theme of the conference is "Growing Math Minds." Both teachers will co-present with math department chair Sharon Fadden.
Posted Friday, Aug 28, 2015 
This summer the St. Johnsbury Academy dance department hosted acclaimed international choreographer, William Forsythe, and two dancers, Jill Johnson and Christopher Roman. During their time at the Academy, they reconstructed a Forsythe ballet, originally choreographed for the Paris Opera Ballet Company, which will be performed by the San Francisco Ballet during the 2015-2016 season.
Posted Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy Theatre and Friends will present Shakespeare's The Tempest on August 6-8 at 7:30 p.m. and August 9 at 2:00 p.m. The evening shows will take place at the amphitheater on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus or, in case of rain, in the Stuart Black Box Theater in the Morse Center; the matinee will take place in the Stuart Black Box Theater. Tickets are available at Catamount Arts (catamountarts.org) or at the door and are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.
Posted Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 
Operation Creation wrapped up a very successful third year last week in St. Johnsbury. Teenagers in black t-shirts served lunch and sold hardwood cutting boards at the Hilltopper Cafe, visited area businesses, and volunteered three afternoons each week at the St. Johnsbury Community Farm.
Posted Thursday, Jul 9, 2015 
The Academy sent six students to compete in the national 2015 SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Ethan Bernier '16 of Sheffield, who travels to the Academy from Lyndon Institute to participate in SJA's award-winning Culinary Arts program, won a Silver Medal in Commercial Baking; Patrick Schoolcraft '15 of Peacham placed 5th in Fine Woodworking. More than 6,000 technical education students from across the U.S. travelled to Kentucky to compete in 99 different events after winning gold medals in their respective states.
Posted Wednesday, Jul 8, 2015 
The Summer Youth Corp (Operation Creation) kicked off its third year on July 6th. Thirty rising ninth graders from St. Johnsbury were selected to take part in the three-week program based on an application and interview. The program is designed to teach job-related skills and simultaneously develop self-confidence and a sense of pride in their work that will help prepare students for the rigors of high school and eventual career success.
Posted Friday, Jun 12, 2015 
Each June, the faculty and staff gather for two days after graduation to discuss the year past and plan for the year ahead. During these days full of workshops and department meetings, we typically revisit topics raised in the August and January In-Services. This year, we focused on our upcoming school accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and worked on building a closer-knit resident life program through team-building activities. In both sessions, we learned more about our colleagues and our school. In department meetings, faculty reviewed assessment tools and worked on redesigning elements of their curricula. All in all, it was a full two days of work, and it pointed us toward summer work to be completed before August.
Posted Friday, Jun 5, 2015 
I first heard the song "One Voice" when the Hilltones sang it during the Commencement Concert. Though suffering from an illness that dogged her all weekend, Senior Katherine Keenan did an outstanding job singing the lead of the Wailin' Jennys song, and the rest of the female Hilltones supported her with gorgeous harmonies. I downloaded the song as soon as I could.
Posted Friday, May 29, 2015 
Academy math students earned the top three Vermont regional scores in Region 2 on the UVM High School Prize Math Examination; First Prize was awarded to three students from China: Seongmin Choo '17, Zi Jian Song '15, and Leyi Li '15. Thirteen students from the Academy were awarded Certificates of Merit, recognizing their ranking in the top 10% of all students from across the state that took the test. They were: Seongmin Choo '17, Bettina Hammer '16, Yaojia Huang '17, Matthew Hunton '18, Yuqing Jiang '16, Yutong Lei '17, Jingyi Liang '16, Leyi Li '16, Jiaqin Lu '16, Zi Jian Song '15, Ruishi Tao '18, Harper Wallace '17, and Chaokang Wu '15. The top-scoring student in the school was sophomore Yaojia Huang. Regional winners were honored at the annual Math Day awards luncheon hosted by the UVM Department of Mathematics and Statistics on May 19, at which SJA alum and current UVM mathematics graduate student Dylan Kylie was the keynote speaker.
Posted Friday, May 29, 2015 
I have written before about how much I love Last Chapel. We give out awards, mostly to underclassmen, many of which are handmade by woodworking teacher Matt Stark and one of his students (this year, senior Trent Lowell). The seniors sing their class song and watch their Senior Memories video. Then I invite them on stage to lead us in the Alma Mater, like they did as Freshmen, and all the other classes move up to take the seats of the class in front of them. This annual ceremony seems the best use of Fuller Hall's "half-living room, half-church" ambiance. The part of the ceremony that is often the most emotional, however, is the departing faculty tributes, when students and colleagues come on stage to say farewell to faculty and staff who are leaving us. This year's farewells were especially moving.
Posted Friday, May 22, 2015 
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Brandeis Penn State Mount Holyoke Temple Skidmore Pace University Parsons The New School for Design University of Washington The Culinary Institute of America So reads the last ten schools on my list of senior plans. Students with the last names from Woods to Zuk will receive a warm round of applause from faculty, staff, and peers in Chapel as I announced these senior plans and we wish them congratulations and good luck in the next stage of their education.
Posted Friday, May 22, 2015 
Three Academy teachers will participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars program this summer. Social Studies department chair David Eckhardt will travel to the lower Hudson Valley in New York to visit historic sites along the Hudson River; Social Studies assistant department chair Denise Scavitto will travel to Rome to study the effects of Roman government and public architecture on English culture; and English department assistant chair Angela Drew will travel to Siena, Italy to study Dante's Commedia.
Posted Friday, May 22, 2015 
Ten St. Johnsbury Academy juniors have been selected to represent the school at this summer's Boys and Girls State gatherings.
Posted Saturday, May 16, 2015 
Standing in Chapel, watching Academy Theater perform a scene from The Grapes of Wrath, I thought how fitting this play was, not only for our country right now, but also for us this week. I was particularly struck by Jacob Houde's performance of Jim Casy's grace, which he says at the request of the Joad family, praying that all people be of one spirit and giving thanks that there is food to eat and love within the family. Casy's sense of what is good in life has been echoed here in many ways: not only in this final chance for our Academy Theater members to perform as an ensemble, but in an entire week filled with oneness of spirit and gratitude for the good things we share.
Posted Friday, May 15, 2015 
Three plays by SJA creative writing students were honored at the culminating event of the 2015 Vermont Young Playwrights Project, the Vermont Young Playwrights Festival, at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington on May 12. During the festival, professional actors performed Senior Morgan Sulham's play, Mt. Olympus Marriage Counseling; Sophomore Natalie Jones' play, My Truth, Your Truth, received a cold reading by professional actors; and Junior Jaime DeKett received an honorable mention for her play, Saving Goldilocks.
Posted Friday, May 15, 2015 
St. Johnsbury Academy faculty member and girls' tennis coach Dr. John Sayarath was recently named to the board of the United States Tennis Association Vermont to represent the Northeast Kingdom. The board meets twice annually and oversees league play for both children and adults in the state of Vermont.

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