John Hall ’66 Named Trustee Emeritus
On September 30, 2023, the Board of Trustees of St. Johnsbury Academy voted to elect John Hall as Trustee Emeritus. Over the course of 46 years, John Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy Class of 1966, has been a dedicated and loyal supporter of and advocate for the school. His institutional knowledge and local and statewide experience in education will be missed as he steps down from his role as Trustee of St. Johnsbury Academy. John’s tenure distinguishes him as being one of the longest-serving Trustee in Academy history.
John was elected to the St. Johnsbury Academy Board of Trustees in 1977. At the time, he was the youngest, “non-Fairbanks” trustee to serve. For much of his time on the board he chaired the Executive Committee.
During his 46-year relationship with the board, John took three leaves: once to chair the Vermont State Board of Education from 1987-1991; once to chair the Education Committee in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1993-1997; and lastly to serve as the commissioner of Housing and Community Development in Governor Douglas’ cabinet from 2003-2009.
John’s experience and service to St. Johnsbury extend beyond the Academy and the State House. He became the sole owner of the family business, Caledonia Auto Parts in 1986 and sold it in 2005. While running the business, he served on the St. Johnsbury School Board, was a Town Selectman, and eventually became Town Manager. He currently serves as a side judge in the Caledonia County Courthouse in St. Johnsbury.
In 1991, John received the Dwayne B. Sherrer Distinguished Alumni Award, an annual award given to alumni of St. Johnsbury Academy. He is a Lifetime Member and 1842 Circle Member of the Thaddeus Fairbanks Society in recognition of his years of monetary giving to the school.
When asked about his time on the board, John said, “I have seen and appreciate many of the things that changed over the last 46 years, but I also appreciate the many things that have stayed the same.”
Academy Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell expressed her appreciation for John’s character and institutional knowledge upon his being named Trustee Emeritus: “Having John’s wisdom and long memory on the board—particularly around the challenges to independent schools in the Vermont education landscape—was invaluable, and I am grateful to have benefitted from it during my first years here. That said, I will miss most John’s ability to get to the heart of a problem without a lot of bluster, his understated wit, and—given his deep expertise and experience—his humble graciousness.”
Upon the Board’s unanimous vote, Board President Cathy Judd-Stein ’78 commented, “John Hall devoted many years as a Trustee to the Academy, offering critical insights gained from his numerous local and statewide leadership positions. His institutional knowledge, thoughtful contributions, and amiable nature will very much be missed. On behalf of my fellow Trustees and the SJA community, I extend our sincere gratitude for his generous and loyal service.”