SJA News - February 21, 2024


Seniors Recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidates

Three St. Johnsbury Academy seniors have been selected as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program (l-r): Aidan Brody of Lower Waterford, Maaike Dam of Lyndonville, and Greer Kennedy of St. Johnsbury have been chosen based on their ACT Assessment or College Board SAT performance.


The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by the President's Executive Order to recognize and honor some of our Nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional visual, creative, and performing arts talent. In 2015, the program was expanded again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. U.S. Presidential Scholars receive one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.


Jensen Takes First Place in Speech Contest

Junior Addison Jensen earned a first-place finish in the local Rotary Speech contest last week and advanced to the regional round. Participants had to prepare and deliver a five-minute speech on how we can increase hope for our schools.

Members of the House Education Committee Visit Campus

Lorna Holcombe, a Reading/Writing Specialist, and Orton Gillingham (OG) Instructor models an OG lesson for visiting members of the state's House Education Committee, Rep. Bobby Farlice-Rubio and Rep. Sarita Austin. OG is one of the top recommended methods to treat Dyslexia and provides a multi-sensory, structured literacy approach to working with students with Dyslexia. Given the increased needs of students, SJA has adopted the OG approach to ensure continuity of instruction. The school has also created a reading/writing lab open to all students at the Academy, which Mrs. Holcombe oversees. Mrs. Farnham, a Special Educator, runs a math lab available to all students after school. Additionally, SJA offers educational evaluations to families at no charge if the family is concerned that their child may have a learning challenge. Contact Dr. Mathew Forest, Director of Student Services, with any questions.

Hearing From Hilltoppers: Brooke White

This is the latest installment in a new section of the newsletter by junior Lillian Laskowski, in which she introduces us to members of the SJA community.

Brooke White is a senior who has lived in Vermont her whole life. She loves horseback riding, hunting, and making maple syrup with her family, which she considers some of her favorite seasonal Vermont activities!


Brooke is an avid track and field athlete, and she has competed in nearly every event except the 300 hurdles and the 3,000! Last fall, she attended the Vermont Principals' Association's Athlete Leadership Conference with three other Academy student-athletes. Brooke then formed the Student Athletic Advisory Council, a student-led committee on campus, that has helped athletes voice their opinions and shape the future of athletics at our school. On the council, she has planned multiple pep-chapels and sent out coach evaluation forms for athletes to fill out to gather data about their experiences with Academy athletics.



Saturday, February 24

Winter Break Begins

Wednesday, March 6

Classes Resume

Sunday, March 24

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony

Athletics Calendar

Athletic events are available through Arbiter.


Mr. Palmer’s Advanced Woodworking class worked with the Glow Forge Laser in the Gregory N. Sweeny Applied Engineering Center to burn beautiful images onto their wood projects. This week’s burns were trial runs for the students to gain an understanding of the process and become familiar with the laser as they prepare for a larger project that will incorporate the laser into their designs.  

Mr. Mitchell's welding students worked in the kitchen on Friday to repair a weld on a sink.

SJA Adult Ed's Introduction to Pottery students display their completed projects. Our pottery instructor, Mr. Michael Chatterley, taught the class. To see more photos from the class, click here. If you would like to learn more about what our Adult Education department offers, click here.

The Makeup Club held a fundraiser at Friday night’s basketball games to raise money for Umbrella. The organization addresses a broad range of issues impacting women and families, including violence against women, early care and education for children, and gender equity in the Northeast Kingdom.

Last week, SJA hosted a Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability (CPS) workshop for four local middle schools (Burke, Millers Run, Concord, and Lunenburg). Eight SJA students spent an afternoon last week planning the workshop with support from Up for Learning. On Friday, they led and facilitated the activities. CPS aims to provide middle and high school communities with structured opportunities to envision a socially and economically just and sustainable society.

A member of the Outing Club makes their way up an ice flow at The Flume. More photos from Outing Club adventures can be viewed here.

Sophomore Lydia Ruggles captured the All-Around Individual title Saturday at the Vermont Gymnastics Championships held in SJA's field house. The team earned a third-place finish with outstanding efforts by all. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

Varsity Basketball hosted CVU on Friday night for Senior Night. Photos can be viewed here. SJA received the third seed and a bye in the opening round of the playoffs and will host Burlington on Friday at 7:00 pm in the second round.

Photos from the Kingdom Blades' Senior Night and the game against Burlington/Colchester can be viewed here.

Twenty-five future Kingdom Blades skaters turned out for Friday night's 3rd annual Future Blades event at Fenton Chester Arena. This was the largest turnout and included skaters of all ages and skill levels. The mission for the event remains the same each year, introduce new girls to hockey, allow those currently playing hockey a chance to skate with the high school team, and ultimately, grow the game of girls hockey in the Northeast Kingdom. 

The team looks forward to this event and enjoys being the coach, running the drills, and just having fun with the next generation.

Coach Mosher praised his team, "They all did a great job running the practice. Lots of smiles and fist bumps at the end of this practice," and said, "Having the opportunity to share the ice with the high school team, that’s exciting for young players. It has a great impact and can invigorate a love for the game."

Mosher adds, "Although our event is young and only in its third year, we’ve had eight girls participate in this event that have become Kingdom Blades high school hockey players." Photos from the event can be viewed here.  


Yearbook Sales

The 2024 edition of The Lamp, SJA's student yearbook, is available for pre-sales through this link. Books will also be available for sale on Spring Day through the Alumni Office.

REMINDER: Seniors will receive a yearbook as part of the Senior Graduation Package.

Senior families wishing to purchase an ad to celebrate their graduates can do so here. The deadline for ads is Monday, March 18.

Questions? Email [email protected].

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