SJA News——来自校长的信:Capstone Day美好感恩瞬间


Stage-Side Reflections of Gratitude on Capstone Day

Capstone Day美好感恩瞬间

It was about 4:45 on a Friday afternoon at the end of a long week, and I decided it was time to call it a day. As I walked home, I stopped by Fuller Hall; the lights were dimmed, and the stage lights were still on, so I went to the front of the hall and sat on the edge of the stage. About eight and a half hours earlier, 100 seniors had stood together in their spots in the front section of Fuller, representing the full range of interests, abilities, and backgrounds present in our student body. They had grasped the hands of those standing near them, raised them high and on the count of three, shouted, “Capstone!” as the rest of the auditorium erupted in applause. Bonnie Raitt was right when she called Fuller part living room, part church, but on this day, it was part team room, part dressing room, part arena, as these young people launched into one of the biggest days of their high school careers.


Sitting on the edge of the stage and looking out at the now empty seats, I could see some of the remnants of the day: a spot where a water bottle had spilled, a piece of paper with evaluator notes on it, a wrapper from a throat lozenge, a tie left behind in celebration as the day ended. I thought back to what had happened on that stage, beginning with Konrad Tillman stepping out from behind the podium—as many of the 10 presenters in Fuller did—speaking with a lapel mic and using the whole stage. Sporting bright red sunglasses that matched his red pants that had a white stripe that matched his white shirt and jacket, he was a walking/talking embodiment of his topic: fashion as a statement of identity. The ensemble was completed by a pair of shoes that he had helped design.


Konrad did more than talk about the psychology of fashion and its role in creating and expressing one’s identity; he educated us about the environmental and social justice aspects of the clothes we buy and wear, and he will continue this educational mission as he distributes posters around New York City later this year. He was not the only one who educated us on Friday:


Emma Sestito taught us about Vermont’s impact on the Atlantic Ocean through the microplastics that travel through the Connecticut River watershed into Long Island Sound due to Vermonters improperly disposing of tires near and in our streams and rivers. She has designed an elementary-school learning plan to be used in local schools so that younger students are aware of the problem earlier in their education.


Lane Freeto educated us on the effects of Vermont’s drinking age and of the reality that responsible behavior, not one’s age, is the key factor in reducing drunk driving.


Alissa An taught us how various mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and prevent burnout, and she even took us through a short activity that had audience members wanting more.


Sophia Hendrick revealed the lack of women in career and technical education courses and in the trades in general, and she has set out to educate young women about the possible careers in the trades and STEM fields before they even get to high school.


And Ryan Egan ended the day by exposing the effects of solitary confinement and arguing that it could justifiably called a form of torture by current legal definitions.


Other presenters used their learning and research to make tangible changes to our community and communities around the world:


Brette Stone is going to combat the decline in the bee population by working bee-friendly flowers for the gardens and banks around campus.


Liz Dauscher has created a Go Fund Me site to raise money for Doctors Without Borders so they can more effectively provide treatment for rural and impoverished South Africans suffering from the co-occurring illnesses of tuberculosis and HIV infection.

利兹·多舍尔创建了一个Go Fund Me网站,为无国界医生筹集资金,以便他们能够更有效地为患有结核病和艾滋病毒感染的农村和贫困南非人提供治疗。

Sadie Chapman has created Peace Corners at the Good Shepherd Catholic School so that younger students have spaces in which they can safely learn how to self-regulate their emotions.

萨迪·查普曼在Good Shepherd Catholic School创建了和平角社团,让年轻学生有空间学习如何自我调节情绪。

And Patrick Fox has successfully taken the first steps to launch our first SJA Mountain Biking Team, which will compete in its first season next fall.


As I sat there remembering all of the presentations and the performances of these students in answering an array of questions from their audiences, I was filled with pride for them and their families. Not only had they survived a high-stakes, high-stress demonstration of their thinking, speaking, and research abilities, but they had shown brightly under those lights on Fuller Hall stage. As I told Olivia Robinson and Mike McQuillan that afternoon, when they interviewed me for film project they were doing for their Media class, one of the things I love most about Capstone Day is that so many students get to hear praise and applause for showing their abilities publicly. Athletes and performing artists get this kind of affirmation more often, and it is heartening to see students of all types appreciated for what they know and can do in a field about which they care deeply.

当我坐在那里回忆这些学生在回答听众的一系列问题时的陈述和表现时,我为他们和他们的家人感到骄傲。他们不仅经受住了高风险、高压力的思考、演讲和研究能力的展示,而且在富勒大厅的舞台上,他们在聚光灯下表现得非常出色。那天下午,当奥利维亚·罗宾逊和迈克·麦克奎兰采访我作为他们的媒体课项目时,我说我最喜欢Capstone Day的一件事是,很多学生都能够获得赞扬和掌声,因为他们公开展示了自己的能力。运动员和表演艺术家更经常得到这种肯定,看到各个领域的学生在他们深为感兴趣的领域受到赞赏,是令人振奋的一件事。

My pride went beyond the skill of these individual presenters however. I was also proud of their intellectual humility, admitting when they didn’t know something or hadn’t considered an approach to the problem. The same virtue was shown when they put their message ahead of their pride as they overcame technical difficulties or occasional stumbles and still made sure that the truth of their findings was first in the minds of their audiences. Their poise under fire, especially in the spontaneous Q and A portions, was impressive. I was equally impressed by their commitment to keep learning and working in their various fields of interest; they left their audiences inspired to learn more, and they modeled that intellectual virtue themselves as they pointed to future plans.


As I got down from my stage-side seat and stood at the front of the hall, I was struck by a wave of other strong emotions. I thought of the joy of the friends and family members of these presenters who enthusiastically embraced them after a job well done. I thought of the pride and relief of the Capstone teachers who had coached these young people and who had spent the day balanced between nervousness, excitement, hopes, fears, and finally satisfaction and celebration of a job well done. I thought of the genuine engagement of the students in the audience who asked good questions and continued to talk about the topics even after the presentations were over.   I thought of the goodness and thoughtfulness of the 62 guests evaluators who gave up an evening and a whole day to provide a community perspective in our assessment of student learning and outcomes.


Turning to walk out of Fuller, I thought how blessed I have been to experience days like this—and how blessed I am that I get to facilitate one more day like this in May. I was grateful that I had taken the time to sit on the stage and reflect on the power and goodness of Capstone Day while I still had one more chance to experience it up close. Yes, I was grateful for that and more.

当我转身走出富勒大厅时,我想,我是多么的幸运能够经历这样的日子,我是多么的幸运,我在五月份还有机会经历这样的一天。我很感激自己抽出时间坐在舞台上,在我还有机会近距离体验的时候,回顾Capstone Day所展现的力量和美好。是的,我很感激。

I encouraged students on Monday to end their semesters graciously, gracefully, and especially gratefully, saying thank you to the teachers and classmates who have helped them, taught them, and inspired them this semester, so in that same spirit—to the Capstone students, their families and friends, their teachers and schoolmates, the staff that handled all the logistics and set up, and the community members who volunteered their time to support academic excellence—I say thank you.


Let’s do it one more time in May!









Junior Mate Koszo presented a plaque from his native Hungary to the school last week during Chapel. The plaque and its message brings blessing, peace and love to a home, or to a community. Mate and his family, who were present in Chapel, selected the plaque because the values represented by the plaque are very similar to those of SJA. Accepting the plaque is Beth Choiniere, Assistant Headmaster for Campus Life.


The Class of 2023 wrote letters to themselves, to be opened at their Senior Breakfast. In Chapel last week they made sure their letters were securely saved until then.


The Math Team advanced to the Elite Eight with a win before break. In their next match they tied the Deep Run School from Glen Allen, Virginia, but lost the tiebreaker.

数学团队在休息前以一场胜利晋级精英八强。在他们接下来的一场比赛中,他们与来自弗吉尼亚州格伦艾伦的Deep Run School打成平手,但却输掉了平分决胜比赛。

We had a fantastic Capstone Day on Friday. View photos from the day here.

我们度过了一个精彩的Capstone Day。

The basketball teams held a scrimmage on Saturday versus Hanover High School.


On Saturday, SJA's basketball teams scrimmaged Hanover High School in their annual fund-raiser for the Norris-Cotton Cancer Center. All proceeds from ticket sales and concession sales went to the event. Additionally, the officials working the games donated their fees to the cause. Jordan Cady '15, representing the Sullycat Foundation, presented a check to Athletic Director David McGinn to support the event.


Students working towards their Biomedical and Health Services Certificate have been working in the Fairbanks Museum's STEM lab. The certificate is one of SJA's Signature Programs.


Students displayed their tables in Streeter Hall last week.





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