5-18-16 – St Johnsbury Academy Jeju

by John McClaughry

On May 6 a remarkable story appeared in the Caledonian Record. The caption was “Breaking Ground on South Korea Campus Project.”

The story reports that on April 29 contractors broke ground for a new twelve hundred student educational complex on Jeju Global Education City, on an island off South Korea. The remarkable part was that the new school will be a clone of the independent St. Johnsbury Academy, that enrolls nearly a thousand students in the Northeast Kingdom, northern New Hampshire, and 25 foreign countries.

The Jeju campus will offer Korean and other Asian children quality K-12 education in English. At the secondary level, the Academy will feature daily chapel, capstone achievement program, advanced placement curriculum, athletics, and the Academy’s tradition of respect and educational excellence.

What the South Koreans have done is invite a number of foreign world class secondary schools to establish new campuses on Jeju Island. The island is the size of Jamaica and has a population about the same as Vermont’s. Its climate is like that of Atlanta, and its highest mountain is slightly higher than Mt. Washington.

The Jeju campus will be managed by a joint board of Koreans and St. Johnsbury Academy leaders.

Let’s give a gold star to the South Koreans for creating this really innovative project to prepare its young people to be leaders in a global economy, and another to the farsighted leadership of independent St. Johnsbury Academy. Ask yourself: could any public school in Vermont have undertaken this project?

John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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