I recently received a note from Reg Blauvelt ’61. He shared a photo of his meeting with Frank Siller, the brother of one of the firefighters who died helping others when the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001. Frank’s brother Stephen was on his way home from work when he heard what was happening, and, because of the blocked off roads he took his heavy gear and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel for two miles until he reached the South Tower.
Welcome to the 2021-22 Vermont Academy Convocation -- a traditional gathering for our school and a formal opening to the school year. In this meeting, you will hear about some of the achievements of your peers, there will be some prizes awarded, and new members of our community will sign the honor code, joining with the rest of the community members who signed when they also came here to our hilltop school.
Good afternoon! I am so excited to launch this first all school meeting with a few words of greeting. I am Dr. Jennifer Zaccara, 18th head of Vermont Academy, founded in 1876. We are actually around the corner from celebrating our 150th anniversary – in 2026. This year, you will contribute to our story – your story of learning and growing will become a part of the fabric of this special place.
Congratulations seniors and post graduates, faculty, staff, and families. We have achieved a year of-in person education in the middle of an historic world-wide pandemic. Here in rural Vermont, at Vermont Academy, we held onto our Core Beliefs, followed the state’s rules for health and safety, and delivered the very best education possible to a group of students we admire and care for, guide, and witness every day.
Almost 150 years since Vermont Academy was founded, the key identities and DNA of this place stand true: Faculty and staff meet students where they are. Students find joy in discovering how they learn. People join together to build a community of friends. The construction of character, citizenship, and authenticity is a daily focus. The learning and continued practice of self-advocacy is alive and well.