SJA Announces New Faculty and Staff

September 9, 2019

St. Johnsbury Academy announces the addition of seven new faculty and five new staff members to start the 2019-2020 school year. Top row (l-r): Rose Kent Dedham, Edwin Eckel, Cynthia Ely, Mat Forest, Julie Hale, Adam Kennedy. Bottom row: Richard Kroeger, Aaron Newton, Matt O’Brien, Rachel Slimovitch, Daniel Stapleford, Doug Urie.

St. Johnsbury Academy announces the addition of seven new faculty and five new staff members to start the 2019-2020 school year. Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “This group of new faculty and staff represents an impressive diversity of talents and experience.  As usual, we are happy to welcome back members of our alumni as they return to give back to their alma mater, and we are fortunate to add some talented professionals from outside the Academy community. This diversity of perspectives has provided a richness in our conversations on how to best serve our students and their families, and this group in particular has formed close collegial relationships within and beyond their cohort. We are grateful they have chosen to work here. I look forward to watching them support our students as they strive for excellence.”


Rose Kent Dedham ’02 joins the Academy as a member of our Science Department. Rose graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Biology/Environmental Science, and Montana State University with her M.S.S.E. Before coming to SJA, she taught science for four years at Thetford Academy. Prior to that, Rose taught at the South Royalton School.


Edwin Eckel joins the faculty as a teacher in the Science Department. He received his B.S. in Astronomy and his M.S. in Physics from UMass/Amherst. Has taught science at various schools since 1995, most recently at Drury High School in North Adams, MA and Miss Halls School in Pittsfield, MA.


Cynthia Ely joins the Capstone and Math departments as department secretary. Cynthia worked previously at Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice, where she was a billing specialist.


Mathew Forest ’92 joins the Special Education Department as the Special Education Administrator. Mat received his B.S. in Psychology from Plymouth State College, his M.S. in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College, C.A.G.S. in Curriculum Development and Instruction from Plymouth State College and his Doctorate in Transformational Leadership from Franklin Pierce University. Most recently Mat worked for the Caledonia Central Supervisory Union where he served as superintendent for the past five years.


Julie Hale ’02 will serve as the department secretary for the English, Humanities, Social Studies and Computer Science departments. She earned her B.S. from Springfield College. Before arriving at S.J.A. she worked at N.E.K.C.A. as the Associate Director of Family Services.


Adam Kennedy ’92 returns to SJA after spending time as a faculty member at St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju in South Korea. He will be focusing on Learning Support. Adam graduated from Salve Regina University with a BS in Information System Science.


Richard Kroeger worked at SJA last year as a substitute teacher. This year he will serve as an adjunct teacher of woodworking classes in the Career and Technical Education Department. Richard has twenty-five years of woodworking experience, including 12 years as a self-employed craftsman.


Aaron Newton has transitioned from a part-time bus driver to a full-time custodian. He previously worked for Butler’s Bus Service.


Matthew O’Brien ’09 has joined the Guidance Department. Matt received his B.A. in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He joins us from the New Roots Charter School.


Rachel Slimovitch joins the Math Department and is a 2019 graduate of U.V.M. where she was a double major, earning a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in secondary education. Prior to arriving at SJA, she worked at Phillips Exeter where she taught PreCaluculs and Geometry.


Daniel Stapleford earned his B.A. in Mathematics from Temple University. Daniel comes from the Storm King School, where he taught Math and coached soccer. He joins the Math Department.


Doug Urie ’81 joins the staff as a custodian. Doug recently retired from the Army National Guard, after 36 years of service.


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