SJA News - November 9, 2022


Service to Others


We have had many opportunities since late August to affirm our commitment to the three promises St. Johnsbury Academy makes to our students and their families. These three promises – to help each student become the best person possible, to become the best learner possible, and to become part of something bigger than themselves – are embraced in many ways in and among our community. These three promises are considered regularly in Chapel, in our classes, in the hallways, and beyond. Though not always quoted, they are central to our work.


Though temperatures would indicate otherwise, it is November – a month that is often known for gratitude and celebration of community. So, while I walked home tonight in short sleeves, I thought at length about our busy fall, our three promises, and those opportunities to understand ourselves through the support of others.


One of the most palpable ways our three promises are felt and seen is through service to others. I am incredibly proud of the ways that our students and faculty have given of their time and talents this fall; I am eager to share a few of these moments with you. Thanks to donations from Salvation Farms Chef Hale and dozens of student volunteers processed over 600 pounds of raw vegetables into ready-to-eat sides such as tomato sauce, roasted potatoes, and sweet corn. These items support the work of Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA) and Kingdom Community Services. Mr. Roberts and students in his Advanced Electrical class moved and stacked firewood for two local families. Many fall sports teams participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. SJA’s very own “Make It Better” club held a schoolwide ‘birthday party in a bag’ drive to help provide over 100 local families in need with essential birthday party items for their children. Mr. Carr and some of his students helped a family move into a new home. Most recently, students in Mr. Stark’s Advanced Woodworking class presented memorial benches in honor of Mr. Jerry Prevost, a longtime faculty member, and Ms. Jillian Hegarty, Class of ’20.


In a world full of soundbites and unlimited scrolling, the ‘long play’ of promises take time. It is easy to lose sight of all the good in our community, all the progress we make with young people each day. On any given day it can be tempting to allow what is immediate to overshadow what is important, understanding, of course, that some things are not that binary.


Promises are hard work, and they are meant to be taken seriously. Our community is working hard and taking the commitment to ourselves and each other seriously. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, the SJA community will hold a Variety Day and Food Drive to support our local food shelves at a time of year when many in our community are struggling to put food on their tables.


This November, and beyond, we are grateful for your support and the continued partnership needed to keep our three promises to you and your families.


With gratitude,


Binaca Hanson

Assistant Head of School for Academics & Student Life


Students Attend VPA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference

Brooke White ‘24, Kacie Nelson ‘24, Aidan Brody ‘24, and William Eaton ‘25 attended the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association and Vermont Principals Association Student-Athlete Leadership Conference. The two-day conference took place in Burlington, Vermont.

Chess Team Competes at Fall Tournament

The Chess Team competed over the weekend in the Vermont State Fall Tournament. Eric Chen and Kanan Gasimov led the team and tied for 6th place. Max Weber took 12th, and Griffin Lawson rounded out the scoring with a 14th-place finish among all high school competitors in Vermont. Pictured are (l-r) Eric Chen '23, Kanan Gasimov '24, and Griffin Lawson '26.


Thursday, November 10

Poetry Out Loud, Library Fireside, 7:00 PM

View the promotional poster here.

November 16-18

SJA Theatre Production of "Clue," Fuller Hall, 7:00 PM

View the promotional poster here.

Friday, November 18

Thanksgiving Break begins.

Monday, November 28

Classes Resume

Friday, December 2

Senior Capstone Day


Students from the National Honor Society spent their Friday afternoon volunteering at the e-waste recycling event on campus.

Mr. Roberts’ Electrical 1 students were demonstrating their retained electrical knowledge by instructing Mrs. Kendall’s Career Studies class last week to teach them about electricity and show them how to wire a complete circuit.

Students in Mrs. Angell’s Forensics class practice using the micropipettes prior to conducting a crime scene DNA gel electrophoresis investigation. 

The Badminton Club held their weekly meeting in the field house as the weather starts to change.

Mr. Stark's Fine Woodworking students crafted memorial benches for members of the St. Johnsbury Academy community. The families of Jillian Hegarty '20 and Chef Jerry Prevost '77 were in Chapel when the benches were presented. The students made two of each bench, one for the family and one to remain on campus.

Human Services Professional Services I students traveled to Camp Johnson in South Burlington this week. The students toured the medical and flight facility and learned how they support our community locally and around the world.

Photos from last week's Open House, including the performance of Clue, can be viewed here.

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