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.
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.
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.
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.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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.