St. Johnsbury Academy has hired John Lenzini of St. Johnsbury as their new Athletic Director. Lenzini will join the Academy later this spring, reporting to Assistant Head for Campus Life Beth Choiniere. He will replace current Athletic Director David McGinn, who started working at the school in 2010 and is retiring June 30, 2020.
John worked at the Academy from 2006 to 2014. During that time, he served as a Class Dean, an AP Chemistry teacher and the varsity softball coach from 2007-2013. After leaving SJA, John realized he missed being involved in young people's lives and being an active member of the educational community. Lenzini says, "I am an educator and coach at heart. I humbly, and with great excitement, step into a position that has seen excellent leadership. David McGinn has done an outstanding job cultivating a culture of commitment to and excellence in Academy athletics. Athletics, potentially more so than any other endeavor, present some of the greatest learning opportunities for growth in character, grit, responsibility, compassion, and commitment."
In 2013 John and his partners founded Schilling Beer Company in Littleton, New Hampshire. While he will be stepping away from day to day operations, Lenzini will remain a co-owner and director of Schilling.
It was during his business venture that John developed the skills he believes will help him oversee an athletics program with more than 40 interscholastic teams and in which nearly half of the school's students participate throughout the year. Running a business that employs upwards of 100 people has helped him fine-tune his managerial skills and hone his organizational talents. Lenzini says he "hopes to use these skills and his past coaching experience to help coaches connect meaningfully with student-athletes, to instill good coaching practices and motivation, and to foster effective team building. Further, I look forward to taking up the charge of maintaining and improving our facilities to bolster interscholastic competition, youth programming, intramurals, and community events.
Lenzini received a B.A. in Germanic Studies from Indiana University and an M.A. in Education (Chemistry and German) from the University of Michigan.
Assistant Head for Campus Life Beth Choiniere says, "John Lenzini has been an outstanding teacher, coach, and class dean. In 2014, he made a decision to leave SJA to live out a personal passion. A saying that we live by at the Academy, Semper Discens (always learning), is one we value and one that John models every day.
I am thrilled he will return to our community in the role of Athletic Director. He understands the importance of building a team. There is no more important quality than a leader's trust and integrity. John Lenzini is a model for both. Young people, as well as the coaches and adult lives he will impact, give us all much to look forward to in the future of athletics."
Headmaster Tom Lovett says, "When I hired John as a science teacher, I had heard from those who knew him in Michigan that he was an outstanding teacher and coach—and an even better person. As he led our softball team to the top tier of Division I and helped AP students to master Chemistry, he proved his talents as a teacher and coach. However, it was as class dean that he showed me the full extent of his goodness as a person and ability to lead adults and young people alike. In this role he was able to form a community that was all pulling in one direction while he supported those individuals the most who needed his help the most. He will bring all of that—and his infectious enthusiasm for athletics and belief in our values—to his role as AD. As David McGinn steps down and leaves an impressive legacy of sportsmanship, commitment, and success, I am thrilled to have someone like John to pick up the mantle of leadership for our coaches and athletes."