Hearing From Hilltoppers: Mr. Jolliffe

February 14, 2024
This week marks the first edition of a new feature by junior Lillian Laskowski, in which she introduces us to members of the SJA community.


Mr. Jolliffe lived in California for twenty years when his love of winter and the gorgeous mountains of Vermont brought him to the Northeast Kingdom and St. Johnsbury Academy.  


Mr. Jolliffe began working at the Academy in 2008 as an English teacher and recently became the Dean of Faculty, a new position at the school. In that role, his job is to provide an outlet for teachers to voice their opinions and support the school’s curriculum. He has also been heavily involved in the Advanced Placement (AP) courses here at the Academy, participating in College Board events and helping to conduct the AP Summer Institute. The program is held on campus for three weeks every year, and AP teachers come from across the nation to get recertified in teaching their respective classes.


But Mr. Jolliffe is a leader in more ways than one. He is currently the head coach of the Nordic team and was previously head coach of the girls’ cross-country team. One of his proudest moments was during the 2022 cross-country season when the girl’s varsity team made it to the New England Championships. He also has 23 years of track and field coaching experience, and although he didn’t take up Nordic skiing until three years ago, it has been his favorite sport to coach and participate in.


For those who don’t know, Mr. Jolliffe is a vegan! His favorite non-animal product is tempeh, which is an excellent source of protein and delicious in chili, but he does eat the occasional salmon. Speaking of favorites, Mr. Jolliffe described his most recent read, Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, as “magic.” 


Here are some other interesting facts about Mr. Jolliffe. He loves Vermont because of two reasons: the mountains and the “fact that there are no people.” His passion is in the arts, although he does not claim to be an expert, and he almost never leaves home without his favorite hoodie: a beat-up green Patagonia hoodie that his wife wants him to get rid of. 


As an employee at the Academy for 16 years, he has made strong connections with his coworkers and students. One of his students states that one of his most iconic sayings in class is “Oh mama,” alongside numerous others that have been put into a quote book by the current seniors.


Related News