Academic Opportunities at SJA

Han Zeng ’20

Attending Northwestern University

Dalian City, China
2020 Salutatorian

2020 salutatorian Han Zeng

St. Johnsbury Academy has greatly improved my ability to research independently and learn critically by providing me with unlimited resources and opportunities. Before coming to St. Johnsbury, I had no experience in academic research. However, now as a graduating senior, I am confident about my abilities within formal academic research procedures, and it has become a strong interest of mine that I am eager to pursue in college. In this area, the Academy has helped me build my skills step by step. From freshman year, our humanities teachers guided us through Freshman Capstone, during which we worked as groups and conducted research projects. Building on this foundation, our independent research abilities were further refined through an independent research project in our junior year and then through our Senior Capstone project in our senior year. For me, taking AP Seminar and AP Research as I pursued the AP Capstone Diploma were both very important to this process.


The Academy offers a great variety of opportunities including 220 Courses and 30 Advanced Placement courses, which are great resources for self-growth and college preparation. Since the average class size is very small and every teacher has a conference period with students after school, it is very easy to build close connections with students and faculty here.


Additionally, the Academy has provided me with excellent support as I applied to college. Starting Freshman year, every student is paired with a guidance counselor who guides the students through four years of course selections, then helps with college interviews and the application process. As an international student who wanted to attend college in the U.S., I needed help navigating the application process. My college counselor guided me and answered all my questions, and I got into some great colleges.


I am very thankful that the Academy has offered me the most meaningful and unique academic experience, sparked my interests in multiple academic areas, and prepared me with the skills and knowledge I need for continuing my education beyond high school. I would recommend St. Johnsbury Academy to everyone I know as this is a place I grew as an independent thinker and life-long learner.


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