SJA News——来自校长的信:恰到好处的招数


Message From The Headmaster 来自校长的信

All the Right Moves


Last July the Eltaib family moved from New Haven, Connecticut, to St. Johnsbury, having heard of the educational opportunities at the Academy and the welcoming community here. Their son Ahmed would be a freshman in the fall, and he enrolled in Operation Creation to gain familiarity with the school and with some of his new classmates. As Sudanese refugees (Ahmed’s father Aamir is from Darfur), the family relied on the goodness of several local families to help them get established and oriented in their new community, pointing them to the opportunities St. Johnsbury offered. As Ahmed searched for his place and for a passion to pursue, he relied on the advice of mentors and sought out new opportunities as well. In doing so, he found a new interest—chess. And now he is part of a state championship team, as our Chess team repeated as Vermont State Scholastic Chess Champions last week.


This team, through the coaching and encouragement of Chess Club moderator Ty Hartshorn, is just the tip of an excellent extracurricular activity that provides students like Ahmed a boost in their academic success. Educational psychologist Stuart Marguiles and elementary school teacher James Liptrap conducted separate but similar studies in the late 1990’s that showed students who played chess performed significantly better in reading and math than those who did not play chess. They are just two of many who recognize the educational benefits of the game. As Wendy Fischer wrote on the Johns Hopkins School of Education website, “It’s not about Kings, Queens, and Rooks, but rather, quadrants and coordinates, thinking strategically and foreseeing consequences. It’s about lines and angles, weighing options and making decisions.”

这个团队在国际象棋俱乐部主席Ty Hartshorn的指导和鼓励下,已经成长为可以为像Ahmed这样的学生获取学业上的成功提供动力的优秀课外活动。教育心理学家Stuart Marguiles和小学教师James Liptrap在20世纪90年代后期做了但相类似的研究,结果表明,下象棋的学生在阅读和数学方面的表现明显优于不下象棋的学生。他们只是很多意识到游戏能够带来教育益处的其中两个人。Wendy Fischer在约翰·霍普金斯教育学院网站上写道:“这不是关于国王、王后和鲁克的故事,而是关于象限和坐标、战略思维和预见后果的问题。这是关于线条和角度,权衡选择和做出决定的问题。”

Coach Hartshorn agrees and sees even more benefits:


It is relevant to learning in the 21st century because it forces a continuity of thought and punishes impulsive thinking. My favorite mantras in chess are "Think hard, think twice", "If you find a good move, find a better one", and "Don't just do something, sit there". As competitive as chess is, my hope is that it teaches empathy. The most important question to reflect upon is “why did my opponent do that?”. If you don't answer this question first, quite often your own attack and plans are stymied. Add a clock in, and now efficiency of thought is required.


This last piece about empathy is especially important in a club as diverse as ours. The club is an evenly mixed group of day students and dorm students, domestic students and international students, and students from all classes. The championship team—made up of Ahmed (grade 9 from Sudan, now living in St. Johnsbury), Zachary Anti (grade 10 from Waterford), Sergio Sastre-Salgado (grade 11 from Spain), Joseph Vineyard (grade 11 from Danville), and Yunuo “Henry” Xie (grade 11 from China)—is a good representation of the club’s diversity. Learning how to seek understanding and appreciate different perspectives in a multicultural environment is essential, and chess helps students build those critical skills.

在像我们这样多元化的国际象棋俱乐部里,关于同理心尤为重要的一点是:俱乐部是一个混合走读学生和寄宿学生、国内学生和国际学生以及所有班级学生的群体。冠军队由Ahmed(9年级,来自苏丹,现住在圣约翰斯伯里)、Zachary Anti(10年级,来自沃特福德)、Sergio Sastre-Salgado(11年级,来自西班牙)、Joseph Vineyard(11年级,来自丹维尔)和Yunuo “Henry” Xie(11年级,来自中国)组成,最能体现该俱乐部的多样性。在这样的俱乐部里,学习如何在多元文化环境中寻求理解和欣赏不同的观点是至关重要的,而国际象棋有助于学生掌握这些关键技能。

The club is often the first opportunity students have to play chess in their lives, and for some like Ahmed, the first extracurricular activity they have ever joined. For some it becomes a passion. Sergio Sastre-Salgado read three chess books this year, completed hundreds of chess problems both from the books and online, and has hired a grandmaster for additional lessons. The more he learns, the more amazed he is with the complexity of the game and his ability to see it with a higher thought process. He hopes to be individual state champion next year. Henry Xie also has had a transformative year. Knowing Chinese Chess, he joined the club with an excellent ability to calculate and a strong end game. He played the highest-rated player in the state in the first round of the tournament and almost pulled off the upset. The team’s highest scorer was Joseph Vineyard who placed fifth in the state (the highest finish in school history!), leading the team to a one-point victory.

这个俱乐部通常是学生们人生中第一次接触国际象棋的机会,对一些人来说,像Ahmed,这是他们参加过的第一次课外活动。而对有些人来说,它则变成了一种激情。Sergio Sastre-Salgado今年读了三本有关国际象棋的书,他从书中和网上完成了数百个国际象棋问题,并付费向一位大师学习额外的课程。他学到的越多,他对象棋比赛的复杂性以及用更高级的思维对待比赛的能力就越感到惊奇。他希望明年能获得个人国家冠军。Henry Xie也经历了充满变革的一年。他了解中国象棋,他以高超的计算能力和较强的棋局对决能力加入俱乐部。在第一轮比赛中,他是全州排名最高的球员,几乎扭转了这场比赛失利的局面。该队得分最高的是Joseph Vineyard,他在该州排名第五(学院历史上得分最高者!),带领球队以一分之差获得胜利。

In a year chock full of championships, we could easily overlook this back-to-back championship performance. Chess is quiet and happens without much hoopla. The development of professional chess may build its popularity, and it is already gaining fans around the world. That is a good thing, for as our Chess Club has shown, not only does it build stronger minds, but stronger hearts and communities too.


In The News

Chess Team Wins VT State Championship


The SJA Chess team won the Vermont State Scholastic Chess Championship for the second year in a row.


Mark Your Calendars

Saturday, April 13 to Sunday, April 21


Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 23, 8:00 a.m.


Thursday, April 25, 7:00 p.m.



Senses Of The Week

Students whose work is being featured in our art and literary journal The Clear River Review attended a launch event on Thursday. The book will be available from Mrs. Mackenzie after break.   


As has become our tradition, a number of students from our Career and Technical Education program won gold medals at the state competition and will compete at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kentucky in June: in Commercial Baking, Emma Smith; in Culinary, Katelyn Molleur; in Restaurant Service, Rebecca Houde; in Team Works, Shawn Guckin and Dylan Villeneuve; in Pin Design, Isabel Bourgeois; and in Prepared Speech, Alexis Collins. We will have more information available after break.   

正如我们的传统一样,我们职业和技术教育项目的一些学生在州比赛中获得金牌,并将参加6月在肯塔基州举行的全国技能苏萨大赛:在商业烘焙方面,艾玛·史密斯(Emma Smith);烹饪方面,凯特琳·莫尔;餐厅服务,丽贝卡·霍德;在团队合作中,Shawn Guckin和Dylan Villeneuve;在别针设计,伊莎贝尔布尔乔亚;在事先准备好的演讲中,是亚历克西斯·柯林斯。休息后我们会有更多的信息。

The Hilltones featuring Emily Steen '19 performed "Operator" in Chapel.以艾米丽·斯蒂恩'19为特色的山地乐队在教堂演奏了《操作员》。

Students traveled to Fiji and participated in replanting a coral reef.     


Students in a fine woodworking class posed with their finished benches.   





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​名校之行第三站--维克森林大学(Wake Forest University)。维克森林大学建于1834年,是美国一所极富盛名的综合性研究大学。


资深留学顾问Maggie Wu一行人名校之旅第二站来到了杜克大学(Duke University),美国最优秀的大学之一,长期排名美国前十。


2018年8月中旬,USAEDU美国美嘉资深顾问Maggie Wu再一次踏上美国访校之旅,此次访校之行第一站是美国排名第三的芝加哥大学。