SJA Celebrates Earth Day

April 20, 2021

Due to the scheduling of April break, St. Johnsbury Academy celebrated Earth Day early in Chapel on Thursday, April 15th, when Academy Junior and National Honor Society member Josie Sestito announced the donation of an electric vehicle for the school’s Driver’s Education Program.  The donation of the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt is made possible by Abel Toll, owner of the Autosaver Group, which includes 12 auto dealerships in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. 


According to Sestito, the new EV will reduce gasoline use by around 1000 gallons per year and “will lower the amount of carbon pollution our school is dumping into the environment by around nine metric tons per year. We’d like to thank Mr. Toll and the Autosaver group for helping us leave this place better than we found it and helping us learn to become leaders of a sustainable future.”


Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell said, “I was so impressed by Josie Sestito’s Earth Day chapel talk, which explained so compellingly the carbon-reducing impact of just one electric car. I think once our new Chevy Bolt is out on the road, and our students are charging it up here on campus and driving it around town, everyone will be much better able to envision a world where electric vehicles are more standard. We are so grateful to Abel Toll for helping the Academy to be good stewards of the environment practically, ethically, and educationally.” 


After Sestito’s talk, Abel Toll stated that, “The Autosaver Group is pleased to be able to provide a fully electric vehicle to St Johnsbury Academy for use in their Drivers Ed Program. It will be nice for the student drivers to experience what is now cutting-edge technology but most likely will be what they are purchasing in a few years down the road”.


Sestito closed her speech with a call to action for Earth Day this April 22nd: “This Earth Day, we encourage you to take part in helping us reduce the amount of carbon emissions we put out into the Earth, and learning how we can help preserve the Earth. Although we can’t be together to celebrate Earth Day this year, we encourage you to get outside, take part in action against climate change, and help reduce your carbon footprint. You can take small steps to celebrate Earth Day like participating in Vermont’s Green Up Day and picking up trash, supporting local farmers by purchasing local food, walking or riding a bike, or turning off appliances when not in use. Thank you, and Happy Earth Day!”

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