Ways To Give: What Other Alums Are Saying

IRA Charitable Rollover

Paul Simpson ’65

Paul Simpson ’65 and his wife, Michelle

Paul Simpson ’65 and his wife, Michelle

Some of us were able to grow up in, what I consider to be, a great era. We had wonderful neighborhoods. During the summer, my friends and I would be outside all day playing ball or running through the woods until we needed to report back home for supper. During the winter months, we ice skated after school and on the weekends at the Portland Street rink (many thanks to the Buck family). 


We all looked forward to the day when we got to go to the Academy. I remember walking over the Portland Street Bridge and up the hill to the Academy with my neighbors, John Cornish and George Conly, and sometimes Jeff Noyes and Bruce Sweeney joined us. We made the trek every day regardless of the weather. 


When I think back to my Academy days I am reminded of the wonderful and caring faculty. Mr. Daniele taught us history, but he won my heart when I learned he was a loyal Red Sox fan. Mr. Bill Stowe taught us physics and chemistry in a way that was fun.


He also ran a boy’s summer camp called Highland Green where I worked as a counselor from my sophomore year in high school through college graduation. Me, and many of my friends, camped, swam, canoed, hiked, and just enjoyed the beauty of Vermont. It was during those summers where Mr. Stowe became like a second dad to me. Then, there was my favorite teacher, Mrs. Byrne, who is the person responsible for getting me interested in mathematics. 


Extracurricular activities were also quite important to me and many of my classmates. We had some great coaches: Drew, Burlingame, Ingram, and Racenet. Through athletics, I learned the values of teamwork, responsibility, trust, sacrifice, losing, humility, and success. And, I cannot forget our band teacher, Mr. Messier, who left me with many fond memories. I remember going to the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964 with the band. How fortunate we were! I could also go on and on about the memories of winter carnivals.


When asked why I give back to St. Johnsbury Academy, it is an easy question for me to answer. I so appreciate the memories and the education, but I am also thankful for the many dear friends I made there who are still important in my life, even today.


There are many ways a person can give back to SJA. One of my best friends reminded me about Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD). For those of us 70 1/2 or older, we can donate direct contributions up to $100,000 from our IRA to any qualified charity. No taxes are taken so all the money goes to the charity. What a great way to help satisfy my required minimum distribution while giving back and giving thanks for my experience at St. Johnsbury Academy.