Headmaster’s Welcome

Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell

Welcome to St. Johnsbury Academy—we’re grateful that you have landed here and are eager to share with you the many ways in which our school is extraordinary. Founded in 1842 to serve the youth of St. Johnsbury, St. Johnsbury Academy has both endured and evolved powerfully to offer a unique, even inimitable, comprehensive model of secondary education.


Here we combine liberal arts education and advanced college preparation in academics with exceptional technical education in trades and professions. Our campus and community are also woven inextricably into the surrounding town in terms of history, culture, and day-to-day life, giving students many ways to gain real-world experience, and then to find ways of giving back meaningfully. Our community brings students from all over the world—towns in rural Vermont and New Hampshire, nearly half of U.S. states, and 30 countries—together in a community diverse not only in where students come from, but in where they are going.


In a world where students with different life objectives, life experiences, and beliefs seldom cross paths, the students of St. Johnsbury Academy are fortunate to live, learn, play, and work alongside peers who will be artists and bakers, mechanics and scientists, builders and architects, writers and electricians. We know they learn invaluable lessons from one another as well as from the equally various Academy faculty and staff who are committed to seeing them succeed.


Our accomplished, experienced faculty bring an expansive view of education to the classroom, shop, studio, dormitory, playing field, and job or field work site—focused not only on what kids do and achieve, but on who they are, and how they achieve it.


What unites us at St. Johnsbury Academy is our deep optimism regarding young people — we want to help each student become the best person, the best learner, and the best community member they can be. Our common purpose is to support students as they learn the lessons they must learn to become these best versions of themselves. As a comprehensive school, St. Johnsbury Academy serves students with a wide range of skills and abilities, bringing them together with a faculty and staff accomplished in their disciplines and professions, many of whom have done and continue to do what they teach, from publishing novels and poems, showing art, and performing on Broadway to making furniture, building houses, and working as professional chefs.


Perhaps most importantly, St. Johnsbury Academy is a place where the hope for mutual respect, compassion, integrity, and responsibility informs all our relationships; because we believe that when we ask and expect students to be respectful, compassionate, morally courageous, and responsible, they will rise to that expectation and help us form a community where they can be themselves and thrive.


Even in this time of uncertainty and stress, we see our students and faculty making the most of virtual opportunities and chances for creative engagement, and helping to be positive, productive forces in their own communities. What St. Johnsbury Academy offers is special, and part of that is the way we model, and help students to learn, many ways to face adversity with resilience, compassion, and optimism. It is part of our culture to “face the world and make it better;” commitment becomes even more important in difficult times.


We can’t wait to show you our school. Please enjoy perusing our website—we feel sure you will be inspired, and hope you will see many ways you could bring your unique self, get excited about learning and activities, and become part of our school’s community. Be in touch with us to learn more, and if you can’t get here in person, please be sure to take our virtual campus tour.


Dr. Sharon L. Howell