SJA News


2018 Valedictorian, Co-Salutatorians Announced

St. Johnsbury Academy has announced the valedictorian and co-salutatorians for the Class of 2018. Victor Xie of Guangdong Yantian, China, was named valedictorian; Benjamin Hammer of Monroe, New Hampshire (left), and Asher Solnit of Bath, New Hampshire (right), were named co-salutatorians.


St. Johnsbury Academy has announced the valedictorian and co-salutatorians for the Class of 2018. Victor Xie of Guangdong Yantian, China, was named valedictorian; Benjamin Hammer of Monroe, New Hampshire, and Asher Solnit of Bath, New Hampshire, were named co-salutatorians.

Valedictorian Victor Xie has received many awards and honors during his high school career. He received awards for academic excellence in Spanish 3 and Physics, and a silver medal on the National Spanish Exam. Victor also earned certificates of merit on the University of Vermont Math Prize Exam three times, silver medals at the 2017 Yale Invitational Science Olympiad and the 2017 New Hampshire Science Olympiad, and two bronze medals at the 2018 Vermont Science Olympiad. He received a scholarship from Rochester Institute of Technology for Innovation and Creativity. He is a member of the National Honor Society and Dorm Council, and serves as a Student Ambassador for the Admissions department. Victor participates in the math and science clubs and founded the school's badminton club. He also plays Ultimate Frisbee.

Victor will attend Cornell University. He was also accepted to The University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, UCLA, University of California San Diego, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Davis, University of California Irvine, University of Southern California, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.

Co-salutatorians Benjamin Hammer and Asher Solnit also received many honors during their time at the Academy. Ben was chosen as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, received a gold medal on the National Spanish Exam, and Magna Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam in poetry. He has been a member of the math club, National Honor Society, Student Government, Class Council, and the Colwell Scholars. Ben also played varsity soccer for four years and was a co-captain for two. He was chosen for the Vermont All-Metro first team three times and the Vermont All-State first team twice and will represent Vermont in the upcoming 2018 Twin State game. Ben will attend Washington University in St. Louis; he was also accepted to Connecticut College and Northeastern University.

Asher Solnit was also chosen as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. He was named an AP Scholar with Distinction, was awarded a certificate of academic excellence in AP Calculus, BC, and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has participated in math club and Scholars Bowl, and is a member of Colwell Scholars and the Hilltones. Outside of academics, Asher ran on the cross- country and track teams, and skied with the Nordic team. He also received a Rensselaer Medal, a scholarship opportunity worth $100,000 for outstanding math and science students. Asher will attend Northeastern University. He was also accepted to Carleton College, Grinnell College, McGill University, University of New Hampshire, and Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "These three young men have developed diverse gifts during their time here—both individually and as a group. They have been key players in some of the very best performances we have witnessed this year in academics, athletics, and the arts. On top of all of those successes, they have shown themselves to be young men of strong character and community spirit. We are proud to announce them as our top scholars, and their families should be proud as well. Congratulations to all of them for jobs well done!"