Message to our SJA Community — February 1, 2023
When I walked into Fuller Hall on January 17th, the first day of the second semester, I was struck by the energy in the room. There is always some chatter that happens before the official start of Chapel, but this was different; this was the energy of a community that missed being together. Advisors were handing out schedules, kids were chatting and laughing; I couldn’t help but smile at the conversations, the reconnection, the joyful settling in. Fuller Hall had been quiet for too long. There wasn’t the inevitability of this is what we have to do – there was possibility – this is what we can do.
A few days later, we hosted a gathering for our new students in the Mayo Center. We had small group conversations with kids about how they were settling in, the best memories of the first week, plans for the weekend, and what they were looking forward to this semester. We wrapped up with an activity led by Mr. LaCroix, Student Life Program Coordinator. The activity tries to simulate a rain storm and students silently followed Mr. LaCroix’s cues and used snaps and claps to represent rain and thunder. With cues from Mr. LaCroix, the snaps picked up with intensity and were interrupted by an occasional clap of thunder. fter a minute or two, the storm and snaps slowed down and smiles quickly spread over the students’ faces. Whatever their path to St. Johnsbury Academy was, now they were here – together – and smiling; there was no this is what we have to do – instead – this is what we can do.
A fresh start – found in a new semester, a new school, or even a new day – is a wonderful way to recalibrate expectations and gratitude. Here’s to all the opportunities that await us!