SJA News - October 19, 2022



Nearly 125 years ago, St. Johnsbury Academy played Lyndon Institute in football for the first time. While a rivalry may have existed decades before this, considering that the towns are eight miles apart, that first game between the Green and the Maroon established a rivalry that was ultimately named one of the top four in the nation by USA Today ten years ago. While the schools adopted the team names of Hilltoppers and Vikings and added a whole host of traditions over the years, the spirit of the rivalry continued to be strong. Pep rallies, parades, community bragging rights, bonfires and the game itself allowed Hilltopper students, faculty, and alums to show their support and loyalty to the team, the school, and the traditions behind the rivalry. As new traditions such as hallway decorating in the early 80s and skits in the early 90s were added, new generations of students had a lot to share with alums and community members about how school pride is celebrated.


Over time, the world has changed. St. Johnsbury Academy has certainly changed in a variety of ways, most notably with the size of the student body and campus and the diversity of our population. All of the change may raise the question of whether or not rivalries have a place in the world, even right here in the Northeast Kingdom. The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.


Recent alums, not-so-recent alums, parents, or current students or faculty members have experiences and memories of the school that vary from each other’s. Our current student body represents nearly 20 countries, 12 states, and almost 50 different Vermont and New Hampshire towns which also provide different experiences. The beauty of diversity is that we can all learn from what others bring to the St. Johnsbury Academy community. The best way to learn about what makes us different is to be united in a common purpose, and celebrating the pride of being a Hilltopper through Spirit Week and the Game represent a unifying force. Whether it is along the parade route, at the bonfire, in the bleachers at a game, at an Alumni gathering, or at a Class Reunion, we can always talk about what makes us proud members of Hilltopper nation. There are no generational or cultural gaps when we focus on the experiences surrounding Spirit Week and the Rivalry. The questions about who won the game, how big the bonfire was, or what the parade was like bring people together and open the doors to social connection. It is this social connection that is the fabric of what has made this institution a special place in the past, present, and future.


Celebrate the rivalry! Celebrate the school! Celebrate all that it means to be a proud Hilltopper!


Jamie Ryan '89

Director of Residential Life


Last spring a very special member of our community addressed her classmates during Chapel. Austen Babcock shared her experiences as a young adult with Mosiac Down Syndrome and told us about World Down Syndrome Day. Recently she shared her story on a bigger platform. Click this link to learn more. 

SJA Adult Education

The St. Johnsbury Academy Adult Education Program prepares students to meet their career goals and enrich their lives and offers training solutions for local businesses. Learn more about everything the program has to offer here

Topper Shop Online

Show off your Hilltopper spirit with some cool new designs in our online store.


Friday, October 21

Pep Rally Parade followed by Bonfire, 7:00 PM

Friday and Saturday athletic schedules can be viewed here

Saturday, October 22

117th Playing of The Game, at Lyndon Institute, 1:00 PM

Wednesday, October 26

Band Concert, South Church Hall, 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 27

Meet the Teachers Night - Teacher/Family Conferences

Please check your email for details on registration.

Wednesday, December 14

Final Exams

AM: Humanities/Social Studies/CTE Showcase

PM: English/ESL/CTE Showcase

Thursday, December 15

Final Exams

AM: Math

PM: Health

Friday, December 16

Final Exams

AM: Science

PM: Languages

December 19-21

Final Exams

AM: Make-Up Exams

PM: Make-Up Exams


Mr. Bugbee's Building Trade students install the rafters on the new shipping and receiving shed for the school. 

Senior James Lunnie III performed in Chapel last week. View his performance here

Junior Greer Kennedy performed in Chapel last week. View her performance here

Mr. Chatterley's students put the final touches on their vase projects.

The Class of 2026 is getting the hang of Twin Day!

Looks like they have Twin Day covered in the Field House. 

Mr. Rowe and the band are getting ready for Spirit Week. 

In a game they call Water Kahoot!, Mrs. Mackenzie's College Writing class competes in their second student-led Grammar Olympics event in the pool, dashing to kickboards to fix dangling and misplaced modifiers.

Photos from Friday's Varsity Volleyball game vs Montpelier can be viewed here

Photos from Friday night's halftime show and Cheerleader Senior Night can be viewed here

Photos from the Varsity Football game vs Rutland can be viewed here

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