SJA Welcomes Twelve New Faculty and Eight New Staff

New SJA staff 2018
September 17, 2018

Our new staff members are David Baker, Benjamin Barnes, James Fein, Donna Gaston, Logan Hansen, Kathleen Higgs, Susan Kapp-Monaghan, and Leslie King Witt.




New SJA faculty 2018

Our new faculty are Emma Charrow ’14, Michael Eareckson, Fenjens Kwok, Kristin Mantius, Molly Meehl, Robert Muir, Brian O’Farrell, Kerra Photiades, Frank Bowen, Meagan Boucher, Florence Darling, and Admira Macedonci.

St. Johnsbury Academy announced the addition of twelve new faculty and eight new staff members to start the 2018-2019 school year. Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “These new additions to our faculty and staff are diverse in their backgrounds but united in their love of education and young people. Some are alums, some are returning to us after working in other schools, some are natives of the NEK, and some are brand new to the area. We are excited by the energy and expertise they have already added to our community, and I am certain they will add much more in the years to come.”




Emma Charrow ’14 joins the Academy as a member of our arts department faculty teaching fashion design. Emma graduated from Lyndon State College in 2018 with a B.A. in visual communications. She took Fashion I, Fashion II, and Advanced Fashion during her time at SJA and has worked at JC Penney, SJE Corp, and most recently at David’s Bridal as a bridal stylist.


Michael Eareckson joins our mathematics department. Michael has had a long career in education, beginning in 1984, and including St. Christopher’s School, Virginia Commonwealth University, Blue Ridge School, Carrabasset Valley Academy, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, and Tandem Friends School in Virginia, and the George School in Newtown, Massachusetts. He worked most recently as the Your Services Librarian at the Colebrook, New Hampshire, Public Library. Michael received an A.B. from Bowdoin College in biology and math, and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus in aquatic ecology.


Fenjens Kwok also joins the mathematics department. He has worked as Dover Middle School in Dover, New Hampshire as a student tutor, at Upward Bound in Durham, New Hampshire, as a Tutor Mentor, and at the Math Activity Center in Plymouth, New Hampshire as a tutor. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Plymouth State University.


Kristin Mantius joins the English department. She previously worked as a teacher, coach, and dorm parent at the Besant Hill School in Ojai, California, and the Winchendon School in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She was also a grant writer at the Idaho Youth Rand in Boise, Idaho. Kristin holds an M.A. from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and a B.A. in English from Bates College.


Molly Meehl joins the mathematics department. She worked previously as a math teacher at The Storm King School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. Molly received a B.S. in physics from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, is currently pursuing a M.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Arlington, and received her high school diploma from Burr and Burton Academy.


Robert Muir joins the Language department teaching Spanish. Robert has worked as a long-term substitute at St. Johnsbury School and as a Spanish teacher at East Providence High School, Paul Cuffee Charter High School, and LaSalle High School, all in Rhode Island. Prior to working as a teacher, he was a member of the police force in Providence, Rhode Island. Robert holds an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College, an M.A. in teaching from Rhode Island College, a B.A. in Spanish from Rhode Island College, a B.S. in administration of justice from Roger Williams College, and an A.S. in administration of justice from Roger Williams College.


Brian O’Farrell joins the health and wellness department as a counselor and health teacher. He has worked as a licensed school counselor at St. Johnsbury School for many years, and prior to that he was an innkeeper. Brian received a B.A. in sociology  and an M.A. in counseling from the University of Vermont.


Kerra Photiades joins the English department and library. Kerra graduated from St. Michael’s College in May 2018 with a double major in education and English. During her time at St. Michael’s, she worked as a student teacher, classroom assistant, and teaching aid.


Frank Bowen returns to the special services department after spending a year at St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju in South Korea. He worked previously at SJA and Woodstock Academy as a special education teacher. Frank holds an M.A. in special education from St. Joseph College, a B.A. in biology from Eastern Connecticut State University, and a B.S. in science/microbiology from Arizona State University.


Meagan Boucher also returns to the Academy’s math department. She previously worked at SJA as a mathematics teacher, then worked at White Mountains Regional High School before returning. Meagan holds a M.Ed. in Educational Studies from Southern New Hampshire University and a B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of New Hampshire.


Florence Darling returns to the Academy’s art department after spending a year at Anomol Design and Fabrication. She previously worked at SJA as a fine arts teacher. Flo holds a BFA in Studio Arts from Johnson State College.


Admira Macedonci joins the faculty as a teacher in the newly formed Computer Science department. She was formerly a science laboratory technician and long-term substitute at the Academy. Admira holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and an M.A. in Education from Johnson State College.




David Baker joins the admissions office. He previously worked at Camp Akeela in Appleton, Wisconsin, as director, and in Thetford, Vermont, as head counselor. He also was a residential instructor and math teacher at Middlebridge School in Narragansett Rhode Island. David holds a B.S. in education from Franciscan University of Steubenville.


Benjamin Barnes joins the staff in the Grace Stuart Orcutt Library as a paralibrarian. Ben worked previously as a substitute teacher at the Academy. He also worked at the Old Stone House Museum and at NEK Information Associates. Ben has shown his paintings at many shows throughout Vermont. He holds a B.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art.


James Fein joins the staff of the Grace Stuart Orcutt Library as a librarian. He previously worked at Dartmouth College as head of acquisitions services and collection assessment at Dartmouth College. James holds a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from San Diego State University and a Master of library science from Rutgers University.


Donna Gaston joins the humanities and capstone departments as department secretary. Donna worked previously as a project director in the after school program at Caledonia Central Supervisor Union, and as a site coordinator at Barnet School. She also had a career as an architect.  Donna holds a B.S. in architecture from The Pennsylvania State University.


Logan Hansen joins the science department as a lab technician. Logan worked as a scientific researcher at Montana State University – Bozeman and co-founded Canyonlands Sustainability Association. He also spent time as a free-lance photographer. Logan holds a B.S. in geophysics from the University of South Carolina and an M.S. in earth sciences from Montana State University.


Kathleen Higgs joins as the evening coordinator at the Field House. She worked previously as a physical education and preschool teacher at Good Shepherd Catholic School, and camp director at Kampiwannahavefun. Kathleen is currently pursuing a degree at Community College of Vermont.


Susan Kapp-Monaghan joins the math department as department secretary and also works as floating substitute teacher. Susan has taught math and science at St. Johnsbury Academy, White Mountain Community College, Vermont Student Assistance Corp, and Lisbon and Littleton High Schools. She previously worked as a mechanical/energy engineer. Susan holds an M.Ed. in mathematics education from Plymouth State University and a B.S.E. in Mechanical and Material Science Engineering from the University of Connecticut.


Leslie King Witt joins the staff of the Grace Stuart Orcutt Library as a paralibrarian. She worked previously as a staff gardener at Karme Choling Shambhala Meditation Center and with newspapers in Moscow, Russia, and Massachusetts. Leslie holds a B.A. in studio art and art history from Smith College.

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