SJA News

Faculty Speaker Series Begins October 9

English department faculty member Molly Shepley and Dean of International Students, Florian Rexhepi '03 will speak about race and diversity on Monday, October 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Mayo Center.

St. Johnsbury Academy's Faculty Speaker Series kicks off its seventh year on Monday, October 9, at 7:00 p.m. at the Library in the Mayo Center. The series, created by Assistant Headmaster for Academics Jeffrey Burroughs, is designed to showcase the extraordinary talents, interests, and expertise of the St. Johnsbury Academy faculty, staff, parents and community members. This fall's line-up includes a diverse group of Academy faculty and additional guest speakers from outside the school. Burroughs said, "I am thrilled to be embarking on the seventh year of this series. I am looking forward to hearing the talks from this great group of speakers!"

October 9, Dr. Craig Dreisbach, an orthopaedic surgeon at NVRH, will give a talk entitled, "On the Shoulders of Giants". In his talk, Dr. Dreisbach will be speaking about orthopaedics, current diagnostic trends, and gene modification using the CRISPR tool to edit DNA. Dr. Craig Dreisbach is an orthopedic surgeon in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He received his medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Dr. Dreisbach has a special interest in hand surgery, sports injuries, and joint surgeries. He also enjoys playing competitive tennis and speaks multiple languages, including Spanish.

October 16, English department faculty member Molly Shepley and Dean of International Students, Florian Rexhepi '03 will speak about race and diversity. Molly is in her second year of teaching at the Academy. Previously she taught in a school district near Ferguson, Missouri. Molly has a B.A. from King's College, an MSW from Boston College, and an MST from Pace University. Florian Rexhepi is a former SJA boarding student from Macedonia. As a child, he experienced discrimination in his homeland. He was a participant in Seeds of Peace (a youth organization formed to bridge divisions among people). Florian graduated from Brandeis University and has an advanced degree from the School of International Training.

October 23, Gene Dionne '61, former Vice President at Lockheed Martin, will speak about STEM and the aerospace industry. Gene Dionne spent most of his career in classified defense programs – primarily in research, development and acquisition of space technologies. His last assignment was as director of space and missiles technologies at Phillips Laboratory in Albequerque, New Mexico. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 1993, he spent 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired as a Colonel.

October 30, Jamal Givens '90. Jamal is a highly-regarded leader, speaker, and teacher in the field of prevention and mental health. Mr. Givens is an expert speaker in the areas of leadership, anti-bullying, drug education, substance abuse education, suicide prevention, mental health first aid, and teamwork. His topic will pertain to one or more of these areas. Jamal completed a B.A. in sociology and minored in criminal justice at the University of Arizona. He earned his Master's in Educational Leadership in Human Affairs at Northern Arizona University. He is a certified trainer (including "train the trainers" certificates) in numerous evidence-based programs including prevention of substance abuse, suicide and wellness promotion.

November 13, Matt Snyder, Chief Strategy Officer for Thunders & Watt, an advertising agency based in Boston, MA. Matt's talk will center on his career as an entrepreneur where he has blended his passion for innovation and entertainment with his work in technology and advertising.

December 12, Academy ESL faculty, Robin Greenstone and her Baroque chamber group will perform and give a talk about chamber music. Robin received a B.A., from Wellesley College and an MST from Pace University.

December 11, Academy English faculty James Bentley on Environmental Sustainability. James will present his thesis work for his Master's degree. James holds a BA from Hamilton College, an MA from the University of Colorado and is an MA candidate at Harvard University's Extension School.