SJA News - October 26, 2022



It struck me shortly into the academic year that our senior students were the only students who had experienced a traditional Chapel prior to this year. More than that, however, the members of the class of 2023 – the class my son Nathan is in – are the last students on campus to fully experience a normal beginning to a school year, have a typical fall complement of sports and extracurricular activities, and the last class to celebrate a traditional LI / Spirit Week without modification.  While the students in the class of 2023 are getting the hang of daily in-person Chapel, I was curious to see whether they would remember their 9th-grade experiences during Spirit Week in 2019 and rally together for this year’s Spirit Week events. My younger son, Isaac, a member of the class of 2026, and his classmates, as well as the students in the sophomore and junior classes, would be looking to the class of 2023 to see how it was done (and perhaps do it even better)!


As both Isaac and Nathan race on the Hilltopper XC team, their respective weeks were plenty busy in preparing for the Academy-hosted NVAC conference championships, but like many students, the boys enjoyed collaborating with their classmates in the week’s community events. On Sunday evening, after a week in which our paths only fleetingly crossed, we were finally able to debrief the happenings of Spirit Week over Sunday evening dinner.  


Nathan dived into as many activities as he possibly could, taking part in building the hallway and float and also having a role in the skit. After racing on Saturday morning, he attended “The Game” and had a great time cheering with his closest friends, enveloped by his classmates. After 2 years of mourning the loss of experiences he wouldn’t get back, Nathan was ultimately grateful to have participated in a week so steeped in tradition.  


Like Nathan, Isaac threw himself into Spirit Week as well. Isaac had a great time working on 2026’s hallway with his classmates (the event the 9th graders would end up winning in the spirit week competition), and he noted that he was pleasantly surprised that so many of his classmates joined in. Isaac would go on to say that, while the events themselves could be viewed as a bit arbitrary, it was really enjoyable to come together with a common purpose, produce something tangible with their creative talents, and ultimately strengthen their bonds as a class.


At the post-game dance on Saturday night, the student body found out that the juniors – the class of 2024 – took home the spirit award for the week. Both Isaac and Nathan were disappointed about this result; however, they also both noted that Spirit Week is far more than the results of the inter-class competition. In the end, St. Johnsbury Academy’s Spirit Week is all about forging new and strengthening established relationships with those in our community. Spirit Week provides opportunities to gather, enjoy friends and make memories together as Hilltoppers.  

John Lenzini

Associate Headmaster


Ms. Hraibi to Speak at Yuiko Kikuchi Memorial Service in NYC

Academy dance teacher Marianne Handy Hraibi ‘65 was invited to offer a speaking tribute for Yuiko Kikuchi at a memorial service this week in New York City for the renowned dancer, choreographer, and performing artist who passed away at the age of 102 in March of this year. 


Ms. Hraibi is among an elite guest list of featured speakers that includes luminaries from the concert stage and Broadway, including Janet Eilber, Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ted Chapin, producer, performer, presenter, and former president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Baayork Lee, award-winning actress, singer, dancer, choreographer, theatre director, and author.


The event will be held Thursday, October 27, at 7:30 PM at the Kaufmann Concert Hall and is free and open to the public. Additional information about the event can be found here.


An extended version of this story will appear after the event.

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


Wednesday, October 26

Fall 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.

Saturday, October 29

Halloween Dance, Alumni Gym, 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Doors close at 8:00.

Friday, November 4

E-Waste Collection Event, 12:00 - 3:00 PM

Field House lower parking lot by the pool entrance. 

November 16-18

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


Spirit Week photos and videos can be viewed here.  

The Make it Better club partnered with NEKCA to provide local families in need with birthday parties in a bag for their kids. Each bag includes cake mix, frosting, and everything else needed to create a birthday party for a child. This year, over 100 families will be able to celebrate their children’s special day.

Photos from Varsity Field Hockey's contest with Middlebury can be viewed here. Senior Day photos can be viewed here

Photos from The Game can be viewed here

Photos from Saturday's NVAC Mountain Division Championship can be viewed here

Photos from Friday's Varsity Soccer game vs Essex can be viewed here

Photos from last week's Varsity Soccer game vs Burlington can be viewed here. The team hosts Brattleboro tonight at 6:00 in the opening round of the play-offs. The game will be broadcast live on

Connect with us
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram