St. Johnsbury Academy is proud to announce the return of the Faculty Fireside Speaker Series for its second year tonight, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Library in the Mayo Center. The series, created by assistant headmaster for Academics Jeffrey Burroughs, is designed to showcase the extraordinary talents, interests and expertise of the St. Johnsbury Academy staff and faculty and invited guests.

"Any time a student can see a different side of his or her teacher, a new avenue for connection and aspiration can be built. It is my hope that exposing students to examples of academic and professional excellence will fuel their own passions and help them see their own potential," Burroughs said. "Last year the talks were well-attended by students, faculty, and interested citizens, where topics ranged from Semiconductor manufacturing to starting an airline; from traveling through central and south America on a motorcycle to working with youth in Macedonia."

Burroughs continued: "I am very excited for the talks we have lined up for this fall and look forward to the energy and insight our community will gain from hosting these talks."

Academy staff and teachers scheduled to participate in the Fireside Speakers Series include: (Sept. 30) Academy director of Marketing and Communications Joe Healy will discuss printed materials such as books and magazines, the sector in which he spent more than 20 years of his career; (Oct. 7) Elia Desjardins will talk about how music and engineering meet in the modern concert harp; (Oct. 21) Cristin Ashmankas will discuss the climate change impacts on New England in general and Vermont in particular; (Oct. 28) Florian Rexhepi, whose topic will be "Keep the Fire Burning: How culture and hope was manipulated to further destabilize an already unstable country to spread hate in the region -- a chain of events that brought us to the brink of war, Macedonia 2011-2012"; (Nov. 11) Academy varsity football coach and assistant athletic director Rich Alercio on his career in coaching and athletics; (Nov. 18), English as a Second Language teacher Robyn Greenstone on her involvement in Bunraku, the form of life-size puppetry with origins in Japan's feudal era and how she became a "lifelong guardian" to a 100-year-old puppet head; and (Dec. 2) Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett presenting a program on Nobel Prize--winning author William Faulkner.

For more information on the Academy Fireside Speakers Series, please go to or send email to


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