It is my honor to welcome you to a very special place in a gorgeous corner of New England. Vermont Academy is nestled on four hundred fifty acres at the foothills of the Green Mountains in Saxtons River, Vermont, just a half hour north of Brattleboro and an hour and a half from Hartford’s Bradley International Airport. We are strategically connected to a gorgeous natural space and yet fully accessible for domestic and international travel to campus.
As you might imagine, Vermont Academy has a long history of experiential learning and outdoor experiences, including hiking, skiing, and camping. As a nod to our history, we have a thirty-foot ski jump that is an iconic centerpiece to our campus, adjacent to our ski hill where many students enjoy a Sunday afternoon during the winter months. In the arts, we are also very much a Vermont school, with our state hosting numerous writers’ retreats and serving as home to authors and poets. One of the strengths of Vermont Academy is that its students embrace both the arts and athletics. We have many students who are, for example, playing D1 basketball after successful seasons at Vermont Academy and who were recognized as writers and artists, having earned accolades at the regional and state levels. Where else can you find extraordinary scholar-athletes who compete at such high levels and across disciplines?
I am particularly excited to be at Vermont Academy at a decisive moment and as the first woman to lead the school in its one hundred forty-four year history. Our school is strategically positioned to be a Vermont school with a long reach. We have study abroad experiences in Belize and Spain, with perhaps the most involved connection being in northern Spain and Madrid. What makes Vermont Academy’s Global Programs so unique is that students have their Vermont Academy teachers on-site when they are abroad in addition to teachers from their host countries.
Vermont Academy's integrated approach to math, science, and engineering enables students to continue to be the entrepreneurs and tinkerers who have long populated the campus. Wherever you look at Vermont Academy, students are taking what they learn into applied contexts. One of the trademarks of Vermont Academy students is that they are fearless and tenacious as they practice what they learn. Step on the basketball court or ice at 6 a.m. and again after school, and you will see athletes relentlessly determined in their pursuit of what Malcolm Gladwell called "deliberate practice." Those same athletes are also award-winning artists at Vermont Academy and in state competitions.
Students thrive in opportunities that enable them to express the complexity and sophistication of their inner selves and inner life. Our students understand what it means to go beyond Gladwell's theory, because practice skills must be accompanied by cultivated flexibility and scrappy problem-solving in the moment. Vermont Academy is a community of scholars and athletes, scientists and writers, artists and engineers who show us every day that cultivating passions and interests is just as important as self-awareness about how we learn and work.
Dr. Jennifer L. Zaccara
Head of School