On Dec. 2, St. Johnsbury Academy freshman and sophomore classes participated in Stewardship Day, part of the Academy's continued commitment to the advisor program, to building community within the school, and in efforts to help students learn how to operate as citizens in our surrounding communities.

While juniors and seniors attended Capstone Day presentations around campus, students from the Academy classes of 2014 and 2015 went into the community to volunteer their time and labor, with the help of faculty, to make a difference around St. Johnsbury. (Capstone is the senior research-project requirement at the Academy.)

"I'm pleased with the energy and enthusiasm that our young people and our faculty and staff have in giving back to not only the school community, but also the larger community," said Beth Choiniere, assistant headmaster for Campus Life. "Much of what we are trying to achieve with the mission of the school came alive on Stewardship and Capstone day--to teach character by modeling responsibility, to foster a love for learning by challenging individuals to pursue intellectual self-reliance, and to encourage each individual to understand his or her rights and responsibilities within a given community. The beauty of the Academy lies within the hearts and souls of the people who walk through our doors each and every day."

In the morning, sophomores helped at the Agency on Aging, Black Bear Tavern and Grill, Portland Street (pruning), Town Forest (trail work), town ice rink, skate park, St. Johnsbury Welcome Center/Train Depot/Santa's Village, St. Johnsbury School, Community Lunch in South Church, and Canterbury Inn. In the afternoon they participated in the Advisory Olympics in the Field House.

Freshman had their Olympics in the morning and in the afternoon helped at Black Bear Tavern and Grill, Good Shepherd School, Community Food Shelf, Community Lunch in South Church, St. Johnsbury School, Canterbury Inn, various assignments around campus, and worked with individuals in the community who needed assistance.

"Our students have shown an increased sense of civic responsibility and care for their fellow community members, and I am convinced that these stewardship opportunities are a large part of that growth," said John Lenzini, Academy faculty and sophomore class dean.

"I am incredibly proud to be a part of this institution. A day like last Friday highlights what is so particularly wonderful about the spirit of the Academy," said Terrance Reed, freshman class dean and Academy faculty. "To have a day on which every member of the school, students and faculty alike -- collectively, more than a thousand people -- have an opportunity to make a positive impact on the community, and to share in the experience as a celebration of hard work and togetherness, is an amazing thing. Whether they were in involved in Capstone Day, a morning of team-building in Advisory Olympics, or an afternoon of service in the community, seeing so many people all creating positive changes in the lives of those around them was very moving."

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