SJA Announces Valedictorians and Salutatorian

May 3, 2022

St. Johnsbury Academy is pleased to announce the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2022. Madison Flanagan of Bryan, Texas, has been named valedictorian. This year’s salutatorian is Cecilia Sweeney of Piermont, New Hampshire.


During her sophomore year, valedictorian Madison Flanagan worked with the school’s Bio-Medical instructor to improve her research techniques. She used this opportunity to guide her Senior Capstone project, where she researched the behavioral response of C. elegans (worms) when exposed to a specific drug. Despite attending school remotely during her junior year, Madison’s dedication to her research and her classes has placed her at the top of her class. She has completed seven Advanced Placement courses and will receive an AP Capstone Diploma.


Madison is a member of the National Honor Society and has served as a class representative, resident student proctor, and Ambassador for Admissions outside the classroom. She is also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the Boston University High School Honors Program. She has been a member of SCOPE, a school organization with the mission to improve the school and the greater community through events and activities.


Madison will be attending Northeastern University, where she will study Cell and Molecular Biology.


In May, salutatorian Cecilia Sweeney will be one of two students representing Vermont at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, GA. Her project, entitled Identification of Microplastics in Soil Using Fluorescence, presented at the VT-STEM Fair, earned her Certificates of Merit and Accomplishment from the US Metric Association and the Association of Women in the Geosciences and the chance to represent Vermont.


In addition, she has worked with the New Hampshire Academy of Science (NHAS) and was accepted to present research projects at the American Junior Academy of Science (AJAS) annual conference in 2018 and 2022. Cecilia will also receive an AP Capstone Diploma. She has completed 13 AP classes.


Outside of the classroom, Cecilia has been a member of the National Honor Society for three years, has been a member of the Math Team, and a four-year member of the Scholar’s Bowl team and co-captain of this year’s team. She has participated in the District Music Festival, All-State Music Festival, and New England Music Festival. She has also performed with Academy Theatre and been a member of The Hilltones.


Cecilia will be attending Tufts University School of Engineering in the fall. She plans to major in Civil Engineering with possible minors in architecture and French.


Headmaster Sharon Howell said, “These two students are not only committed to academics to the point of being first and second in the senior class–they are also passionate scholars who want to use their curiosity and knowledge to make the world better. In fact, they are already doing it. SJA valedictorians have gone on to be some of our most impressive alumni, and Maddie and Cecy are more than worthy to join such a cohort.  I am delighted that they will have the chance to address their class at Commencement, and we congratulate them wholeheartedly on this huge achievement.”


St. Johnsbury Academy’s Commencement Exercises will be held on June 6, 2022, on Fairbanks Field at 10:00 AM.

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