A Family Affair

Suffield is very much a family school, with 35% of our student body having biological ties (siblings, children, or grandchildren of alumni). The Legacy Scholarship will be awarded on the basis one or more of the following: The student’s parent must have attended Suffield Academy; Academic achievement, athletic and/or artistic contributions, and community leadership; Available to new day and boarding students, males and females, entering grades 9-12 and post-graduate. (Note: students do not need to qualify for financial aid to be considered for this award. For additional information about the legacy recruitment program, contact the admissions office at 860-386-4440).

2019 Profiles

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • D’Angelo: Michael ’88, Mia ’19 & Sami ’21 

    Michael D’Angelo grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and it was his mother’s idea to pursue an independent high school education. “I applied to three schools but liked Suffield the best,” he says. “It was close to home and had a soccer team well known for being a New England powerhouse. Soccer was very important to me, and so I naturally wanted to play there.” His wish came true and in both his junior and senior years, Michael was selected to the All-WNEPSSA and All-State soccer teams. He would receive the Suffield experience so many before him and after him now cherish. The most memorable part of Michael’s high school career was the feeling of camaraderie in the dorm, on the playing field, and around campus. Having lived in Fuller Hall for three years, Michael established bonds with some pretty interesting characters. “The tight-knit family atmosphere fostered wonderful friendships I still think about today,” he says. “Now regularly back on campus thanks to my daughters, I always look forward to seeing former friends or faculty members who tremendously influenced my life. I often think of Mr. Gooch who taught me how to write, Mr. Godin who taught me about honesty, and Mr. Vianney (my dorm head) who taught me about respect. It was Rocky, though, who shaped the way I approached academics. He was an engaging educator who inspired our learning with energy and experience.”

    “Suffield was, is, and always will be a special place for me,” says Michael. “In many ways it is the place I became a man—leaving home for the first time, surviving disappointment, celebrating victory, navigating obstacles, and making new friends—with memories so thick I could ramble on forever. Now 30 years later I’m back and watching my daughters write their own chapters and maybe in another 30 years I’ll be hearing my grandchildren ring the Bell at Commencement.” As a young girl Mia knew early on that Suffield was an extraordinary institution. Often an unofficial cheerleader at soccer games, Mia spent a lot of time on campus sharing with her father the many fond memories he made at the school. But it was not until halfway through her freshman year at Longmeadow High School that Mia began thinking about her own application to Suffield Academy.

    “While reading through SUFFIELD magazine, for the first time I really understood all the amazing opportunities Suffield had to offer,” she explains. “I went on a tour and saw some parts of the campus and classrooms I had never seen before. I fell in love with the school all over again and through my own eyes.” Prior to entering Suffield, Mia says she was afraid to speak her mind in fear of backlash or people not accepting her views. She notes, “I lacked the confidence to say what I believe. Suffield helped me gain a radiance in myself and my beliefs. The community challenges you to take a step back and listen to worldwide views, broaden your outlook, and elevate your perspectives. The raw passion and love everybody has for the school is unlike anywhere else. We are such a close-knit family and the ties and relationships I made here have been life-changing. Not only does Suffield push you in the classroom, but also in your mindset to become a more balanced and well-rounded thinker. It is a unique experience that encourages kids to flourish.” Graduating this year in the Class of 2019 as a member of the Torch Society, Mia was charged to present her senior speech to the community in January. Placing herself in the same scenes and scenarios, she cleverly recreated photos her dad took as a student. She explains, “Even though my father and I had vastly different points of view and experiences attending Suffield, one thing we do have in common is our love for the school. So, I decided for the last few months to recreate the pictures he took here through my point of view and with the people who make this place special for me.”

    When asked what she will miss most about Suffield, Mia says, “I will miss the passion and acceptance and friends I made. This place is so remarkable, and I am very proud to be part of it. I now have a stronger bond with my father that will last forever. I want to thank him for all he sacrificed for me to follow in his footsteps. I think legacy families symbolize a unique connection to the school.”

    The decision to attend Suffield Academy was slightly more certain for Samantha, who had both her father’s and sister’s experiences to compare. “My dad constantly reminisces about his time as a student,” Sami says. “He talks about his lifelong friends and all the fun they had. His most frequent stories consist of his teachers and favorite classes and his time spent on the soccer fields. It is fun when my dad shares stories to which my sister and I can both relate. He always advised us to take advantage of the many opportunities Suffield has to offer because it is such a small, special time in our lives.”

    Nearly everyone at Suffield has their own private, meaningful place on campus. For Michael it is the soccer fields, for Mia it is the athletic trainers’ room, and for Sami it is the student union. She calls it “the heart of campus” where people come to eat, relax, study, or unwind after classes and practices. “Suffield is such an extraordinary place because of its welcoming environment,” she says. “Everyone is authentic and friendly. The faculty members constantly reach out to provide support, and nobody is ever left behind academically, athletically, or socially. People from all over the world unite to become friends and classmates to explore cultural differences. I think the student union perfectly encapsulates what the Suffield experience is all about.”

    Perhaps one of the most meaningful bonds between legacies is when both parent and child share the same class, coach, or teacher. The D’Angelos are fortunate to have done the same. Sami notes, “I love sharing stories with my dad about Suffield. Some of the same faculty who impacted his life are now also influencing mine. It is interesting to see how Suffield has changed over the years while some things have remained very much the same. Seeing Suffield from my own perspective in comparison to what my dad tells me has been very rewarding. My sister and I are very lucky to share this bond with our dad. I genuinely love being a student at Suffield Academy.” Michael D’Angelo went to Assumption College, where he met his wife Judy. They now live in Longmeadow, Massachusetts with their three daughters: Mia, Samantha, and Ava. Michael owns his own business and Mia is attending Holy Cross University.
  • Killam: Tucker ’80, John ’18, Tom ’19, & Kate ’19

    Thomas “Tucker” Killam grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut. Having an uncle who attended Choate, Tucker’s parents encouraged their children to attend an independent high school. Tucker and his brother Jim ’78, however, had their eyes set on a smaller, more intimate, academic setting. Suffield Academy was the first school they visited, and the last one as well. Tucker arrived as a freshman and Jim as a junior. The family quickly fell in love with the school and surrounding town. In 1979 Tucker’s parents built a house on land purchased from Meade Alcorn, a member of Suffield’s Board of Trustees. After spending three years as a boarder, Tucker began his senior year commuting as a day student, happy to call Suffield his home.

    Upon graduating from Rollins College (Florida) Tucker returned to Suffield and began working for his father’s company, Killam Truck Mart, which he had relocated from Wallingford to East Windsor. Tucker and his wife Michelle have three children: John who graduated last May in the Class of 2018, and twins Kate and Tom who will graduate this year in the Class of 2019. Michelle says, “It has been an honor seeing our children pass through Suffield and we are so thankful for all the support and guidance they’ve received. It is just such an awesome place.” Tucker adds, “Suffield has always had a clear direction of purpose which we still see today as parents.” Independence, leadership, and a strong work ethic are among the core values of a Suffield Academy education. The school engenders among its students a sense of responsibility and pride. “Don Mackey, Abe Samii, and Barry Cleary were hard-nosed guys who provided me with the guidance a young person needs,” says Tucker. “Mr. Mackey was the assistant to the headmaster and my business role model because of his involvement in school activities. I was on Mr. Cleary’s first varsity baseball team as a junior and enjoyed having him as my advisor. Playing sports was probably the most memorable part of my Suffield experience. I played soccer in the fall and managed basketball for Dennis Kinne in the winter. I captained the baseball team my senior year and was a solid honor roll student. In fact, I received the H. Meade Alcorn Jr. award for academics and athletics.”

    John entered Suffield Academy as a freshman in 2014. On December 4, 2017, he gave a talk about Asperger syndrome as part of the senior speaker series. Diagnosed at just five years old, John explained how he manages the developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction. “Converting my thoughts and ideas into words is a challenge,” he said. “Most of the time I have only a vague idea of what I want to say inside my head and it is difficult for me to put it into in the right words. I try to figure out methods to improve my poor speaking skills. I try to overcome my social awkwardness and interact with people more. But no matter what I do or how much I try it is impossible to change who I am. The best I can do is adapt and more importantly help others to understand me.”

    John was a four-year cross-country runner and captained the team his senior year. During the winter term, he could be found in the Jeanice Sevearns Performing Arts Center as a member of the stage crew, helping to build sets for the theater. He was also a four-year member of the school’s jazz band. Throughout his time at Suffield, John valued the support he received from Mrs. Adlesberger and Mr. Strong and his advisors Mr. Gotwals and Mr. Caginalp. Now as a freshman in college he appreciates the education received and relationships formed at Suffield more than ever.

    A member of the Torch Society, Kate was also the day student representative her sophomore year, the student council vice president her junior year and will leave Suffield as vice president to the Class of 2019, captain of varsity field hockey her senior year and member of the softball team, an honor roll student, and a reliable tour guide. Her favorite place on campus is the library, where she likes to study at night and where her mom works part-time during the week. “Suffield has impacted my life positively in so many ways,” says Kate. “Between the bonds made on sports teams, relationships with faculty and staff, lifelong friends I’ve made, and all the opportunities I’ve been given, Suffield changed my life for the better. I cannot stress enough it is the people at Suffield who make it such a special place. I would never have met some of the most important people in my life had I not attended Suffield Academy.”

    Tom especially likes playing sports and being on a team, and he has been on many. In his freshman year, he played 4ths soccer, 3rds squash, and junior varsity baseball. During his sophomore year, he played junior varsity water polo, junior varsity squash, and junior varsity baseball. As a junior, he moved up to 3rds soccer and was captain of the junior varsity squash and baseball teams. By his senior year, Tom captained the junior varsity soccer team, played 3rds basketball, and was again captain of the baseball team. He notes, “I like competing, even if not at the varsity level. I’ve always enjoyed practicing and trying to get better to win games. Now as a senior and captain, I feel a responsibility to lead as a role model and mentor. The bonds formed on a team are very important to me.”

    Tom admits he was not the most centered student when he arrived as a freshman and credits the faculty for helping him develop into a more successful scholar. “I really enjoy the small classroom settings,” he says. “This school is filled with uniquely diverse people from all around the world. This makes for great classroom discussions, and I feel like I learned a lot more sometimes from our conversations than I did from our books. The teachers here really care about helping us succeed. They dedicate a lot of their personal time to ensuring we receive an excellent education.”

    John, Kate, and Tom witnessed significant changes to the Suffield Academy campus during their time as students. In fact, over the past decade, new facilities have been constructed for academics, athletics, the arts, college counseling, residential life, yoga and mindfulness, dining, and student life. The heart and soul of the school, however, remains the same. “When you walk around campus now it certainly does look a lot different than it did even just four or five years ago, and that is a really good thing,” says Tucker. “The school is constantly evolving to provide innovative, positive opportunities for improvement. Michelle and I have really enjoyed seeing our children develop here. It will always feel like home to us. Suffield Academy changed our lives.”
  • Kinne: Kevin ’84 & Owen ’18

    If you have attended Suffield Academy, chances are you have heard the last name Kinne. Dennis Kinne served as Suffield’s Director of Athletics for 41 years and to honor his contributions to the school, the basketball court in Perry Gymnasium is named after him. Born and bred at 217 Stiles Lane, all four of Dennis’ children grew up roaring for the Tigers: Kelly ’82, Kevin ’84, Barbara ’86, and Denny ’89. Kelly lives on campus with her husband (Wayne Patterson) and is the assistant coach for girls’ varsity soccer and director of Suffield’s Child Care Center. You will often still see Dennis rooting for Suffield teams, and Kevin on the fields as a referee for girls’ field hockey and lacrosse. 

    Kevin’s son, Owen, graduated last May with the Class of 2018 and now studies mechanical engineering at Fairfield University. The Kinnes have given a lot of themselves to the school but also feel very proud and fortunate for what Suffield has given to them. “We are very blessed to have Suffield in our lives,” says Kevin. “The school polished and prepared us for success and refined us as individuals. It provides a platform to mature at an age that can be very challenging to navigate. You belong to a community that encourages and nurtures you to be the very best of yourself. I especially loved being in Rocky’s classes. He had a way of engaging our attention and pushing us to think outside the box. The faculty really care about each student as individual athletes and scholars. It is a warm, family atmosphere that you don’t see anywhere else.” 

    After college, at age 23, Kevin returned to Suffield as assistant coach of the varsity boys’ soccer and girls’ softball teams. He worked alongside coach Andy Lowe (soccer) and his sister Kelly (softball) for several years while also accepting a job with the United States Post Office, which he has held for 30 years. “It has been a wonderful career, and I am very thankful for how well the job has treated me,” says Kevin. “Because we start so early I have always had time in the afternoons to coach, referee, or play golf.” Kevin and his wife Tracy are coming up on their 24th wedding anniversary and have been living in Somers, Connecticut, for the last 12 years. Owen attended The Grammar School in Somers before spending 7th and 8th grade at St. Bernard Catholic School in Enfield. Owen says, “It was very easy to assimilate to Suffield as a freshman, not because of my family’s history but because the community is so open and welcoming. The rigorous schedule is a bit intimidating at first, but it teaches a valuable lesson in time management which I carried into college.” 

    “The individualized attention we received in the classroom was what I liked most about Suffield,” concludes Owen. Kevin adds, “I cherish the fact that Owen was taught by some of the same faculty I enjoyed as a student. Brett Vianney, Dave Godin, Andy Lowe, Rocky, and Barry Cleary—this core group of gentlemen were extremely instrumental in my Suffield experience. It means so much to me that Owen and I share this bond. It makes me feel very proud as an alum, a legacy, and a father. It is truly a remarkable place.”
  • Mastella: Dan ’87, Gavin ’19 & Garrett ’21

    Dan Mastella grew up in Enfield, Connecticut and is one of three brothers to attend Suffield Academy. His older brother, Ed ’84, chose Suffield after an extensive secondary school search. His youngest brother, Peter ’92, followed Ed and Dan to Suffield only a few years later. Dan recalls, “Since my older brother attended Suffield, I did not apply to any other schools. However, for my sons Gavin, Garrett, and Brendan, we looked at several good alternatives and finally settled on Suffield as being the best place for my oldest son Gavin. He had such a wonderful experience that Garrett wanted to go, too. Now our youngest son Brendan will join the Class of 2023.”

    The Mastellas, like all alums, share special memories of an experience they hold very dear. Suffield teaches discipline, honors tradition, and encourages excellence. Dan notes, “I have so many great memories: winter carnival, math with Mr. Samii, Gordy Glover’s passion for literature and track, swimming for Andy Lowe, Latin with Mr. Nelson, and I still remember Headmaster Lindfors graduation speech. Suffield taught me to work hard and expect success as a result. Faculty and coaches asked me to show up daily, give my best effort, and keep moving forward. These lessons still motivate me today. The rigor of daily life combined with a willingness to meet students where they are combines to create an atmosphere where students can learn and grow. The changes to campus have made it more compact and, in some ways, Suffield is a very different school than the one I attended, but in more important ways the school is still very much the same.” As mentioned, Gavin applied to several other schools before choosing Suffield Academy. “My dad did not pressure me in any way to attend Suffield just because he went there,” he explains. “In fact, he explicitly told me that if my only reason for choosing Suffield was because he went there then it was not the right choice for me. The fact that I selected Suffield anyway speaks specifically to what a remarkable place it is. I was drawn in by the friendly, welcoming environment.”

    While Dan was more interested in studying math with Mr. Samii, his son Gavin found inspiration in the music center’s recording studio. “Mr. Gotwals probably had the greatest impact on my Suffield experience,” says Gavin. “He was always supportive of my various musical endeavors and opened up a variety of opportunities for me to explore and perform, especially during guitar shows. As students we had access to a lot of cool production equipment, and I enjoyed working on my own creative projects.” In his book Alone on the Wall, American rock climber, author, and subject of National Geographic’s award-winning 2018 biographical documentary Free Solo, Alex Honnold writes, “My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible.” Well before his graduation in May, Gavin gave his senior talk in October where he examined the limitation of comfort zones. He concluded, “Trying new things shouldn’t be something you force yourself to do, it should be something you want to do. If you try new things you will be pleasantly surprised by the result.” When asked about the upgrades made to campus Gavin is in full support. “I love that Suffield is continuously growing rather than being stuck in the past,” he says. “Memorial Building was a much needed update which has made the school a better place overall.”

    While Gavin was making beautiful music and stepping outside his comfort zone, younger brother Garrett was following after his dad and developing an affinity for math and athletics. “Playing on different sports teams has definitely been a highlight of my experience so far,” says Garrett. “Specifically, I have really enjoyed running cross-country and track. I met great people on these teams. Coach Stellato motivated me to run more, and I eventually set some decent personal records last season. I also earned honorable mention in math last year at the underclass awards ceremony.”

    Suffield’s environment is known for being warm and welcoming. Students form close relationships with faculty and each other. “The atmosphere created on campus and the people here make it a great place to go to school,” says Garrett. “The teachers are nice and very helpful and the students are accepting. I have learned so many amazing things already. I was not here to know the original Memorial Building but the new one is an incredibly nice place to learn. When I graduate, it will be the people I will miss the most. I chose Suffield because my dad and brother went here but am very glad to be undergoing my own Suffield experience. I really like it here.”

    Dan Mastella went on to attend Georgetown University, followed by UConn Medical School, and is now a hand surgeon at The Hand Center and Hartford Hospital. He swam competitively for the first time at Suffield under the tutelage of Andy Lowe, would later swim at Georgetown, and is now training for his 10th Ironman Triathlon this year. Gavin has moved on to Boston University where he is studying film. The Mastellas live in Farmington, Connecticut, and enjoy spending time together at our National Parks, where they continue to make new, lasting memories as a family.
  • Tompkins: Jay ’58 & Savi ’19 

    Joseph (Jay) G. Tompkins Jr. grew up in Suffield, Connecticut, and attended Suffield Academy for four years. His dad graduated from the Hill School in Pennsylvania, but after his passing Jay wanted to remain close to home. “Although nobody in my family had attended Suffield, I had a lot of contact with friends from town who did,” explains Jay. “Some of my older friends were there when it was still named the Connecticut Literary Institute. I personally remember the late 1940s when the Academy had many WWII veterans who came to prepare for college on the GI Bill. My classmates emerged from all over the US, Columbia, Thailand, and Madagascar. I played three sports like most of my peers, which for many of us was the first time playing organized athletics.” Jay was on the honor roll all four years, a member of Cum Laude, lettered in three varsity sports as a senior, and received the Meade Alcorn Prize at Commencement. He was mostly interested in math at Suffield and later studied economics and political science at Williams College, graduating in 1962.

    Jay served in the US Navy through 1965 and earned a master’s in finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1967. He would then spend 25 years working for Morgan Stanley in the Investment Banking Division and end his business career running his own family office. Jay served on Suffield’s Board of Trustees from 1975 to 1991 and is very proud of the school’s growth and stature. “Suffield Academy is located in a beautiful New England town with an outstanding faculty and student body,” notes Jay. “The family-style atmosphere creates a nurturing community and its reputation remains as a top-notch educational institution. The campus has maintained its historic perspective but has also added excellent modern facilities. My brother David graduated in the Class of 1960, and I am very pleased that my granddaughter Savannah was in the Class of 2019.”

    Although her grandfather is an alum who speaks very highly of the school, Savi was uncertain she wanted to attend boarding school away from her home in Telluride, Colorado. She explains, “I knew it was a special place according to my grandfather, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave home. However, when I came for a visit I got a good impression of what it would be like and decided to try something new. I am very glad I did because the people at Suffield left a lasting impact on me and affected my life in many positive ways. I now feel more mature and outgoing and learned valuable habits from Suffield’s rigorous work environment, which I hope follow me to California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) where I plan on studying business.”

    Savi shared the stage during her senior talk this year with fellow Colorado native Eliza Gregory from Aspen. Together, they spoke about their hometowns and outdoor lifestyles: “Being surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, naturally we were raised to crave the outdoors. Throughout grade school, when winter rolled around and the snow began to stick so did the anticipation of  the opening of the mountains. Instead of going to the movies or the mall like most teenagers, our idea of fun consisted of hiking, rafting, and camping.” It is therefore no coincidence that Savi was a member of Suffield’s Alpine Ski Team and discovered the SOLO barn as her favorite place on campus. “We are so lucky to have such a beautiful campus with recreational facilities like the SOLO and Balance barns,” she says. “For me it helped Suffield feel like home.”

    Many of the most important parts of the Suffield experience stem from its time-honored traditions: sit-down lunch, Tiger Games, Chill on the Hill, study hall, holiday dinners, dress code, and even Saturday morning classes. Savi says it is all these small things that make Suffield unique and memorable. “We always had so many events to look forward to annually,” she notes. “I cannot believe I was at Suffield for four years already and that I will not be coming back in the fall. This has been my home and I am going to miss my Suffield community. We have a lot of family history here, and I hope to leave behind a positive impact on our name for future generations to enjoy.” Jay concludes, “The view over Bell Hill is one of my favorite and lasting memories. If I hadn’t gone to Suffield I would never have gotten to Williams and that shaped my life tremendously. High school is a time when each student is transitioning from youth into adulthood. I have been retired now for 13 years and all my five children are adults with children of their own. Suffield will always be a meaningful part of our lives together.”
  • Vardakas: Lee ’82, Nick ’18, & Laurel ’20

    Lee Vardakas grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts and later studied economics at University of Rochester. Now living in Longmeadow, he is a business owner in the energy sector. His daughter Laurel is a junior at Suffield and his son Nick graduated last May as a member of the Class of 2018. “I am thrilled I was able to afford my children the same influential high school experience I had,” he says. “It also gives my wife Nicole an opportunity to experience Suffield through us and as a parent. It is the family culture of Suffield and the teachers and friends that I miss the most. I’ve maintained a lot of those friendships, and my positive experience is largely what encouraged me to send both my children to Suffield.”

    With her older brother Nick already attending Suffield, Laurel was interested in having the same great experiences and lasting friendships about which he and her dad were always talking. Although she was encouraged by her parents to visit other schools, she already knew Suffield was the right place for her. Laurel received the freshman mathematics award and is an honor roll student. Her favorite subject is chemistry and she is on the school’s dance team. “I love performing in dance shows and school musicals,” she says. “Participating in the performing arts allowed me to form bonds with people across all grade levels. Suffield provided me the opportunity to meet so many great people who are a lot like me. I feel very fortunate to be attending such a beautiful school. Everyone here really cares about us.”

    Nick did visit a few other schools but never applied anywhere else besides Suffield Academy. He made honor roll every semester, was named Athlete of the Week in 2018, was a Leadership Program teaching assistant, and captained both the junior varsity soccer and Tiger B basketball teams. “The most memorable part of Suffield for me is all the moments I shared with Mr. Cleary on the basketball court,” says Nick. “I started my freshman year as a benchwarmer, eventually made my way up to being a starter, and then I earned a co-captainship as a senior. From scoring 16 points to help defeat a team we had not beaten in years to having a terribly broken jump shot—these are all still very fond memories I have from the court. I was never very good, but I gave it my best effort every time. I chose Suffield because it offered a new environment to grow. Of course, the fact that both my dad and aunt Kim (Class of 1979) attended the Academy helped make that decision a lot easier.” Nick is now pursuing engineering at Northeastern University. “I miss the community at Suffield,” he says. “The people at Suffield make the school a very special place. The faculty are more than teachers or coaches or dorm parents; they are mentors. I learned a lot of life skills and leadership abilities from being around them, and these things have been helpful to my life and confidence.”

Past SUFFIELD Magazine Legacy Profiles

List of 15 frequently asked questions.

  • Lee Baldwin ’88 and Eva Hafner ’18

    Lee Baldwin lives in Southport, Connecticut, and is co-founder of Train Away Pain, a functional movement business based in Westport specializing in injury prevention and performance for youth and adult athletes. She also owns a jewelry line called 3-OM Jewels, which is sold online and at Bungalow retail store in Westport. Her daughter Eva Hafner was the senior class president this year, co-president of J.O.S, co-leader of the Spirit Committee, co-founder of the Games of Thrones club, a two-year proctor, and member of the Torch Society.

    While the Tremaine Art Center did not yet exist during Lee’s time at Suffield, she credits Bill Butcher’s art classes for having a profound impact on her early life. “Bill was a true guide during my four years at the Academy,” she says. “He encouraged me to cultivate my passion for the arts both inside and outside the studio. Through Bill’s teaching I developed an art core of drawing, painting, and photography. As a result, I was inspired to study art history with Brad Gooch and later on in college. I studied interior architecture in Chicago and most recently find
    myself designing jewelry. Ultimately it was Bill Butcher who provided me with the foundation and tools to explore, develop, and establish a career in various facets of the arts. The moment she stepped on campus, Lee knew she wanted to be a part of the Suffield experience. She instantly fell in love with the warm, welcoming community and genuinely diverse student body. From Fairfield County, she never looked back. “The magnificent crest of Bell Hill with far reaching views of New England and its ever-changing seasons tug at your soul,” she says. “There are countless highlights of my time spent enjoying those views, and there is no question that orientating the campus centered on that side of the Hill was a brilliant and cohesive move in the master plan. My perception of the physical campus has changed due to the many improvements and additions since 1988, but the school itself has remained true to its identity as a nurturing, diverse, friendly community.

    High school years are arguably the most formative, and at Suffield I was able to forge meaningful relationships in the classroom and dorm, at meals, and on the athletic fields. My world expanded through this connectivity in a way it never would have had I remained in Fairfield County. Connection is the true gold you get from the Suffield experience.” It was love at first sight for both mother and daughter and the decision to attend Suffield was instantaneous. Stepping onto campus for the first time Eva immediately saw herself wanting the full experience she had heard explained for so long by her mother. “I would not have ended up here had it not been for my mom. She always spoke so passionately about the school and her closest friends and classmates. Choosing Suffield was easily the best decision of my life, and I recognized it from the start. The community allowed me to grow in ways I never knew I could. It accepted me for who I was and freed me to become who I am today. It inspired me to reach higher, work harder, and pursue what makes me feel happy. Suffield is unlike any other place. It has something to offer everybody, includes everyone, and provides tremendous  support and room for growth. The possibilities and resources we are provided with feel unlimited. There is a place here for everyone to discover themselves. Being a family legacy made this experience I share with my mother all the more special. It is a feeling of comfort and a bond that has made me love this school even more.”

    The mother and daughter duo share yet another common adoration: an affinity for Bell Hill. While Lee’s gaze typically lingered on the distant, majestic New England landscapes dissolving beneath the glare of a Suffield “Suff-set,” Eva preferred to shred the slopes of Bell Hill riding atop a dining hall lunch tray. “It is a memory that traces back to the winter of my freshman year,” she admits. “Sledding down Bell Hill is absolutely a rite of passage, but when the first snow fell we were without sleds. We therefore decided to work with what we could find and what we found was ourselves borrowing lunch trays from the dining hall. To this day, that joy ride is certainly something I will always remember. Sometimes the silliest things make you smile the most.

    Suffield provided me with so many colossal memories. “I am so grateful Eva had the opportunity to attend Suffield,” concludes Lee. “She thrived in all aspects of development and character during her four years. The school enabled her to grow academically and athletically and tapped into her inherent leadership skills. Volunteering for service trips in Ghana during the school’s last three Thanksgiving breaks, Eva joined her peers in support of Hearts of Our Father Outreach program. These journeys helped cultivate Eva’s ability and desire to give back and make a tangible impact on human lives. And if you ask her she would tell you there is nothing more rewarding. As I have returned to campus over the years for alumni events or to visit Eva, I am always reminded of the years that shaped my life and the people who keep Suffield’s bell ringing.”

    About her graduation Eva said, “I will miss everything about Suffield—from the people to the beautiful campus—I will miss it all. It is easy to fall in love with a place that loves you back just as much.”
  • Craig ’88 and Myles ’18 Freeman

    Craig Freeman attended Suffield Academy nearly 30 years before his son, Myles, arrived as a postgraduate. From Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, Craig is owner of Burkhardt/Freeman, Inc., a leading supplier of specialty textile transfer papers and textile transfer films for the industrial heat applied graphics market. He and his wife, Nicole, have lived in Shelburne Falls for the past 25 years. In addition to Myles, they have a son, Kiernan (16), and daughter, Avery (12), who may very well one day add to the Freeman legacy at Suffield. “Charlie Cahn and the Board have done an amazing job executing the school’s master plan,” Craig notes. “Not only is the campus so beautiful, but the renovations seamlessly tie aspects of modern design into the traditional, vintage bricks of Suffield’s past. The appearance of Suffield’s physical plant equally compliments the overall genuine and sincere energy personified by the headmaster, faculty, and staff. Suffield is still truly a special place, and I am honored to have my son shared the experience. The Academy affected my life in a positive way by introducing amazing people into my life, many of whom I remain friends with to this day. The community encouraged me to develop a sense of confidence and independence. I miss the daily interactions with my friends and teachers the most. I chose Suffield as a means to leave our local school system, pursue a boarding school lifestyle, and continue athletics at a more competitive level. I was a three-year varsity athlete and captain of the lacrosse and hockey teams.”

    Like his father, Myles is an accomplished athlete. He played football and baseball at Suffield. Looking for an additional year to grow as a competitor and challenge himself academically, Myles viewed Suffield as a vehicle to expand his college search and increase educational opportunities. After hearing his father describe many fond experiences in the dorms, classrooms, dining hall, and athletic fields, Myles sought to represent his family name at the school so highly regarded by his dad. He recognized the Academy would offer him a chance to create similar memories of his own while securing a foundation for his future. “It is really cool to know my father walked these same sidewalks when he was the age I am now,” Myles comments. “It has been an invaluable experience to be surrounded by so many students working so hard to be successful. Suffield is an environment where diligence and dedication are the basis of everyday life. The school has engrained in me tools to manage my time wisely and achieve the best of myself. I will miss the rigorous, stimulating schedule, the friends I made, and the entire community as a whole. Suffield Academy is a remarkable biosphere that encourages students to achieve their full potential.”
  • Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88 and Peyton Cahn ’18

    Having competed for four years at the University of New Hampshire, Hillary Rockwell Cahn spent two years coaching in Breckenridge, Colorado before carving the slopes for another two as a coach for the Holderness School. Winner of the Butler Cup and member of Suffield’s Athletic Hall of Fame, she began helping her dad, Rocky, with Suffield’s Alpine Ski Team in 1995 and took over as head coach in 1996. For nearly the next 10 years, Hillary taught Art I, ceramics, and photography in the visual arts department, was a dorm parent, and coached girls’ lacrosse. Hillary has spent 39 years of her life on Suffield’s beautiful campus. Since her freshman year, home was a wood-framed house at the bottom of Stiles Lane (200 Academy Drive) and for 14 years before that, her family lived in Bissell House across Main Street. Her great-great-grandmother (Millie Gowdy) attended Suffield, her father (Rocky ’58) attended Suffield, her brothers (Geoff ’82 and Jed ’86) and sister (Jennifer ’79) also attended the Academy, and her daughter, Peyton, graduated this year in the Class of 2018.

    As mother and daughter, Hillary and Peyton share many affections and similarities, but they differ from most legacies in an interestingly unique way. They both grew up on campus as daughters of a faculty member. Peyton Cahn looked at six other independent schools and applied and revisited two, but she knew her blood was orange and black. “I grew up hearing stories about life at Suffield, and to now compare those with my own is really cool,” she admits. “It is not something a lot of other students can relate to, which makes the connection to my relatives and with Suffield even more special to me. Everybody here has their own place and feels welcomed, and I believe they leave Suffield as better people than when they arrived. The environment is genuine, happy, and inclusive. You cannot find that everywhere. It has taught me that being kind to others is above all else the most important skill you can hone. I have learned to be more friendly, accepting, and mature.”

    For both Hillary and Peyton, navigating adolescence in the shadow of a faculty member had its benefits and frustrations, but both agree it was an extraordinary experience. “Growing up here was a lot of fun; I always felt like I had 400 big brothers and sisters,” comments Peyton. “You may be held to a higher standard and your peers may see you through a different lens,” says Hillary, “but you have access to this profound landscape with state-of-the-art facilities, culture, and sporting events. There is no equal to that type of childhood.”

    Living on campus but technically regarded as day students, Hillary preferred a good night’s rest over a formal evening study hall. “I enjoyed school but had more interest in sports, and it was always more important I got enough sleep at night,” says Hillary. “I didn’t have formal study hall but I always did my homework during the same hours at home like everyone else,” says Peyton. “I liked English class the most and built additional interests in global initiatives and environmental science.” While their lives at school were rigorous and stringent, Hillary and Peyton embrace freedom in nature and mindfulness.

    Spending summers at their coastal home in Maine, Hillary takes a week all to herself camping on a tiny piece of land known as Little Green Island. “The solitude and peace helps me decompress and find my balance. I have been coming to Maine with my parents ever since I was a child and am happy to be sharing it now with my own family. I love everything about nature, and Peyton has become my adventure gal. Many people do not realize how fearless she is. We like spending time outside biking, running, gardening, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, or walking our dog, Benner. We love it all, and the best part is that we share it together.” “I like going on adventures with my mom,” affirms Peyton. “We both really cherish the outdoors, and the SOLO fields at Suffield are definitely our favorite place. My grandfather and mom have spent countless hours out there doing what they love: teaching leadership, rock climbing, and yoga. It is truly a beautiful space. We are really lucky to have a location so nearby to decompress, breathe, and recharge.” Peyton graduated as a tour guide and J.O.S leader, headwaiter, and member of the school’s discipline committee. Her younger brother, Harrison (14), will follow the legacy next year at Suffield.

    Hillary is the school photographer and creative director for Suffield’s Department of Marketing & Communications. She also oversees special events and leads the programming in the Balance Barn, a healthy lifestyle center constructed in 2014 and named in her honor. Alumni, parents, and students know Hillary as a kind-hearted, warm, and welcoming leader of the Suffield community along with her husband, Headmaster Charlie Cahn. Those closest to her also know her as a thoughtful and loving mother. “I don’t think we are going to uncover any great secrets in this profile,” she comments. “My life at school is very transparent. I suppose the only revealing thing I can offer is that people often forget I am a proud parent of Suffield Academy students. I am always available to support our community, but I also try to appreciate this experience as a mom. I have enjoyed every parent and teacher conference, attending our children’s sporting events, and especially liked Peyton’s prom and graduation. While I really love helping Charlie lead the school and being such a large part of everyone’s lives—alumni, parents, students, skiers, faculty, and staff—I value my family and our time together. To me, Suffield is such a special place because it has always been my home. It is really difficult to think of it as anything else. When I left for college, I never intended on returning, but I did and have never regretted it. Our blood is orange and black.”
  • Frank ’88 and Carlin Molander ’18

    She is confident and strong, intelligent, witty, and extremely composed. A day student from Suffield, Carlin Molander ’18 is the epitome of a successful student athlete. Sitting in our communications office just before Labor Day and the start of her senior year, she arrived from a dormitory apartment where she worked all summer as a nanny for the Zanussi family. She would later trek down to her grandmother’s and mom’s real estate agency on Mountain Road to help in the office. There is no doubt she works hard and deserves the success she found at Suffield Academy.  Carlin has achieved honor roll or high honors status every term. Her group’s junior museum project in European Studies won best overall for a presentation on European Espionage. She captained the diving team since her sophomore year and last season was awarded the Most Outstanding Diver. She will also captain the softball team in the spring. She is a teaching assistant in Suffield’s Leadership Program and a tour guide leader. She upholds that if you are passionate about something you will be successful at it. But what is most remarkable about this young woman is not only her work ethic; it is that she is humble and selfless.

    Carlin believes success follows passion. “I wouldn’t say that I am gifted at softball or diving; I work hard at them,” she explains. “I don’t think I have a natural ability for these sports or any sport, but anyone who puts in the effort can achieve athletically. I want to always be the best teammate I can be and do what I can as an individual to help us as a whole. Suffield taught me to become more confident in myself and my abilities and develop a go-getter attitude. Being independent is a skill I learned to master here. You cannot expect opportunities to bump into you; you must discover and create them.”

    In her final year at Suffield, Carlin decided to push herself even further. For the first time she entered a fall pre-season as a member of the cross country team. Not a naturally born runner, she appreciates the mental and physical challenge and looks forward to sharing a new experience with a fresh group of athletes. “I hope to be a contributor and a positive support system,” she says. “I really enjoy being part of this community and want to give my very best to it before I leave. If you genuinely want to have a good experience you must naturally get involved. I think this is the perfect time and place in our lives to explore our interests and see what we’re capable of accomplishing.”

    A common question we often ask our legacies is to speak about a favorite class or influential faculty member. Without hesitation Carlin began speaking about three of them: former faculty member Thomas Salamone and current faculty members Demetrius (Toutou) Toutounas and Erika (Picciotto) Zanussi. “There is a common thread here at Suffield about how the faculty teaches and guides us,” she says. “They are genuine and find a natural way to connect. As a result, we form a mutual respect and I can always find something positive to take away from each class. I was very nervous entering French I as a freshman, but Mr. Salamone calmed my anxiety with his humor and positivity. Toutou is fun, interesting, and worldly. Mrs. P is like a second family. She encouraged me to try diving and step outside my comfort zone with confidence. At first I had more bad dives than good ones, but with persistence and her support I learned how to progress and earn.” 

    Frank Molander ’88 also grew up in town and attended Suffield Academy as a day student 30 years ago. His mother was on the Board of Trustees. Two cousins—Brad Linsley ’78 and Mike Russo ’86—godfather Charles Alfano, Jr. ’77 and younger brother Nick ’91 are also alumni of the school. In 1992 Frank graduated from Saint Lawrence University with a combined major in Environmental Studies and Political Science. He would later attend Vermont Law School, graduating in 1995 with a JD and primary focus on alternate dispute resolution (negotiation/mediation/arbitration). He has spent the last 18 years as a consultant to utility companies designing and implementing energy efficiency programs across the United States and Canada. For the last 12 years he and his wife Kellie, with daughters Sophia (14) and Carlin (17), have lived on Prospect Street in Suffield and have together witnessed the evolution of the Academy’s two Master Plans. “The changes to campus have been exciting to see develop over time, especially being here in town and watching it all first hand,” says Frank. “Having traveled to a number of other schools over the past four years for athletic events it has continuously struck both me and my wife how well Suffield maintains its campus. The combination of new facilities and the maintenance of older ones really makes our school stand out.” It is important to protect what you believe in and take pride in the things that matter to you most. Pride in their school is most likely the most significant bond a legacy can share. It is also this same concept that has proven Suffield Academy’s success over time.

    “When I look back 30 years ago to my time at Suffield,” says Frank, “the thing I miss the most is the sense of being a part of something that was bigger than myself—and the people that created that sentiment, both friends and faculty. While I miss that from my time at Suffield I also learned to recognize and appreciate that sense of community when I found it again. I have been fortunate in both my professional and personal life to be a part of companies and groups that have that same ethos. What I first learned at Suffield about contributing to a larger group has been invaluable. It is often easier to see when that sense of community is not present and it is very difficult to create it from scratch. The fact that the Academy has maintained this over time is impressive. And the chicken pot pie…I really miss that, too.” Carlin adds, “I think anyone who attends Suffield has pride in this school, and I am even more proud to represent a legacy. This is a very specific experience to have with my dad. We now share the same blood, sweat, and tears through this age in life. Legacies demonstrate an invested part of Suffield’s community and history. It is an honor to see dad’s name written on these walls as captain of the hockey team and member of the Torch Society. And now my name shares similar real estate as captain of the diving and softball teams. That’s pretty special.” 

    Frank and Kellie met in Burlington, Vermont and will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary this year. Doubling up on her science classes with a passion for biology and education, Carlin plans to attend medical school. Although her college destination is still undecided she may be leaning towards an undergraduate program at the University of Vermont. Like her parents, she enjoys the Vermont lifestyle. She is grateful for her time at Suffield and hopes her sister Sophia will add to her family’s legacy. “My dad always told me Suffield would give me a leg up by the time I got to college, but for me it already gave me independence and confidence I never had before. Everyone here supported me to grow and succeed. The most important thing I’d like to say is that I am very thankful for being here at Suffield Academy. Not a second has been wasted. I’ve made the most of it.”
  • Andrea Plakias ’87, Alex ’15 and Audrey Dufresne ’18

    What made you choose Suffield? 
    Andrea | Honestly, it was my parents and extended family that influenced me to go to Suffield. I’m so thankful. 
    Alex | Suffield was always my first choice and the only school that I applied to. But I really fell in love with the school far before I ever stepped foot on campus. Constant childhood stories about my mother’s experiences at Suffield left me with a desire to see for myself what it was like. It was, and still is, a  life-changing experience.
    Audrey | I chose Suffield originally because of my family. I heard my mother, aunt, and brother talking about the loving and supportive atmosphere of Suffield Academy since a very early age. On my Revisit Day everyone was so kind and helpful, and everywhere I looked there was a smile.
    What was the best/most memorable part of the Suffield experience?
    Andrea | There are so many it is hard to choose just one. Dorm life would have to be at the top. For me, Suffield is now home and family. It taught me tolerance, patience, and understanding. I was lucky enough to have Mr. and Mrs. Nelson in New Dorm (now Academy House). Also, who could forget lunch announcements with Mr. Compton, and of course...pizza in the Union at 10 p.m.!
    Alex | In my four years at Suffield, the most memorable experiences have been traditional all-school events. To me, they are all priceless. The atmosphere created when a community like Suffield comes together is something that takes my breath away every time and can only truly be understood by experiencing it.
    Audrey | The best part of the Suffield experience has absolutely been meeting the people here. I came from a school with limited ethnic and racial diversity. Suffield Academy has introduced  
    me to different cultures and people. I can’t thank Suffield enough for helping me develop into the well-rounded individual that I have become.
    How has Suffield positively affected your life?
    Andrea | Suffield continues to affect my life, as I now have both my son and daughter attending. I experience Suffield through their eyes as an adult, a parent, and former student.
    Alex | I could go on forever about this, but in short, Suffield has supported me and all my classmates, through the crucial transition from childhood to adulthood. I see this support every day, and I believe nothing could be more important than this—regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or where  you are going.
    Audrey | Suffield has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and has helped me build friendships that will stay dear to my heart for many years to come. The boarding experience has allowed me to spend a lot of time on campus, strengthening my relationships with the faculty and students.
    Who is the most influential faculty member?
    Andrea  Mr. Nelson and Mr. Butcher were my most influential faculty members.
    Alex | It would be wrong of me to say each faculty member isn’t superbly influential in their own right, however, without a doubt, “gregorius Lynch” (Dean of Students Greg Lynch) has profoundly changed me. Whether by design or just happenstance, his relationship with students is vital, especially boarders who are,  in some instances, thousands of miles away from home. Because  of this, it always gives me great joy to make him proud.
    Audrey | The most influential faculty member is Mrs. Henle! She has helped me through everything, both academic and social. She is my advisor, my second mother, and always my ally. I know she has my back, and that it certainly helps to know you  have someone in your corner.
    What is your favorite place on campus?
    Andrea | The window in Brewster lobby. It was one of my favorite places to sit and relax or wait for a friend, especially in the spring. The smell of the flowers and cut grass would blow in. It always amazed me how this hall that hosted pep rallies, receptions,  and waiting time before entering the dining hall could become  so tranquil!
    Alex | Kotchen Quad. As a boarder, all freshman dorms are located in this area, and it is the start of many experiences at Suffield with friends, teachers, and lifelong associates that you never keep more than a phone call away. Many of my first priceless Suffield moments were created with friends bonding in that quad.
    Audrey | My favorite place on campus is a toss up between the library and the math office. Mrs. Henle is head of the Math Department, so I know I can always find her there for help when it is needed. The library, however, is where I spend the majority of my time. It is so beautiful and grand, and it takes my breath away every time I enter.
  • Heather Collins Raymond ’88 and Sarah Raymond ’16

    “I chose Suffield because when I visited I immediately felt it was a warm and welcoming atmosphere,” explained Heather Collins Raymond. “I could not believe how friendly everyone was. I liked the size of the school and thought the campus was beautiful. My two older sisters went to a much larger boarding school, and I knew that the smaller environment and family feel at Suffield was a better fit for me. Academically, of course, Suffield affected my life because I felt very well prepared for college. Beyond that, I think the kindness and the support I felt while at the Academy impacted my life in a positive way. It is such a warm and caring environment, and while high school years can be really tough and even awful at times, I was really lucky to be in such a special place. The close friendships I made are really what has stuck with me the most. My favorite place on campus is Bell Hill. It is such a beautiful view, but it also holds great memories for me. I remember rolling down the hill with my field hockey team after ringing the bell to celebrate our win. When I came to watch Sarah’s first home soccer game, I saw her team do the same thing. It has been just amazing for me to see Sarah have two fantastic years at our school. She has accomplished a lot, and I am so very proud of her.”
    Sarah responded, “Suffield has made me a better student, better team leader, and a more outgoing and positive person. When I first arrived I was overwhelmed with the large amount of change, but faculty members like Ms. Samenuk ’09 really helped me feel more comfortable and step outside my shell far more than I would have ever expected. We became extremely close through the advisor program, and she was very supportive when it was difficult not seeing my family very often throughout the academic year. Being part of my family’s legacy at Suffield makes me simply want to further the tradition. I love how my mom would come back to campus and still know many faculty members and also see several of her own classmates visiting with their children. This just proves how great a school it truly is. I believe that Suffield Academy leaves a lasting impact on everyone who passes through.”
  • Tish Gutteridge Dutranoit ’85, Luc Dutranoit ’17, and Izzy Dutranoit ’19

    “I think the changes to Suffield are incredible,” she says. “When I met with Sean Atkins for Izzy’s interview, I mentioned that although there were many beautiful physical changes to the campus, the spirit of the school had remained the same. It still felt very familiar. I always tease the kids and tell them that they are attending a country club—there was no fold and fluff, we had to do our own laundry in a damp basement. There were no wheels on luggage to zip across campus and we had to wait to use the single pay phone in the dorm. The new dining hall (and food) is spectacular. Stiles Walk is such a beautiful addition to the campus. The school is consolidated now, making it easier to be a part of the community. It is a stunning campus.”

    Tish Gutteridge Dutranoit ’85 discovered Suffield Academy from the Independent School Guide and did not know much about the school until she visited campus and met with Headmaster Ken Lindfors. After her tour, she immediately knew Suffield Academy was the right school for her. Her dad and brother attended Canterbury, but Tish chose a different path. She would have three sisters, a nephew, a son, and a daughter also choose to attend Suffield Academy. Bradley Airport offered a direct flight from Hartford to her home in Bermuda, and this convenience along with the school itself sold Tish. “The size of Suffield Academy appealed to me and so did the town,” she recalls. “It had a friendly, small, comfortable community feel but seemed big enough to enjoy new experiences.”

    Tish was an avid swimmer and a proctor. “The swim team was a very important part of my life and a strong influence on my decision to attend Suffield,” she recalls. “However, by being a proctor I forged close relationships with the faculty involved in the program. I remember Mr. Currier, the head of the program, taking me to the hospital for shoulder surgery in the spring as my parents were unable to make it in time. It was a privilege being a proctor for Mr. and Mrs. Cleary in Curtis House. They treated us all like part of the family, and that made the experience very special. They had a wonderful sense of humor and their constant support and encouragement were greatly appreciated.” While she cherished the support and encouragement from the faculty Tish says Suffield allowed her to become independent. “I learned how to advocate for myself and navigate a larger environment,” she explains. “There was a level of support where I felt safe but also a force pushing me outside my comfort zone. When I walk around campus now I still see students and teachers who look happy and connected. I feel the faculty and staff know their student body and are willing to give extra time and support to help the students meet their goals.”

    It was a pleasant surprise for Tish when her son Luc and daughter Isabelle (Izzy) decided to attend Suffield at the same time. Luc matriculated as a junior and graduated in the spring with the Class of 2017. Izzy arrived at Suffield as a freshman, with Suffield’s strong swimming program luring her to the school. Izzy and Luc say that it was the friendly and genuine atmosphere on campus that truly convinced them Suffield was a good fit. Both strong athletes, Luc played basketball and lacrosse, and captained the boys’ varsity soccer team his senior year. He also earned the Coaches Award. Izzy is a tri-varsity athlete in swimming, track, and cross country and an honor roll student. She received the Coaches Award her freshman year from the cross country team and values that accomplishment tremendously. “I think Mrs. Krasemann has had the biggest impact on my life so far at Suffield because she helped me realize how much I enjoy running,” she remarks. “Now I run both cross country and distance events in track. I never tried running competitively before coming to Suffield, and I would have never realized I have a talent for it. I am very proud to have placed 11th in cross country New Englands last year.”
    Izzy says that Suffield is teaching her how to be more outgoing, positive, and willing to try new things. Her brother Luc agrees. “It is a great faculty and staff, who have created a relaxed atmosphere where students are able to be themselves,” he describes. “Everyone is supportive but ready to push and challenge you when it’s needed. Mr. Lynch and Mr. Brissette especially pushed me to be my best, believed in me, and helped me when things weren’t going my way. Suffield had expectations for me and encouraged me to meet them. In return, I challenged myself more in the classroom and on the athletic fields.

    When asked about their fondest memories of Suffield, Luc and Tish each spoke about graduation. “It was so beautiful seeing my entire class gather on Bell Hill in their white dresses and coat and ties to celebrate our accomplishments,” commented Tish. “Commencement is when I realized how much I was going to miss my friends, coaches, and teachers,” said Luc. “Ringing the Bell at graduation was definitely my last remaining win.” Tish graduated from Boston College before returning to Bermuda and taught kindergarten, first, and second grades until 2008.

    For 19 years she taught at Saltus Grammar School in Hamilton and now has the flexibility to visit her children, attend their sporting events, and meet with their teachers. “I’ve loved being part of their experiences at school,” she says. Luc matriculated to the College of Charleston in the fall and joined the Class of 2021. Izzy will remain at Suffield until she rings the Bell in 2019.

    “Suffield is a special place because it is such a beautiful campus with a great sense of community that allows you to feel at home,” she explains. “I think it is really cool to continue my family’s legacy here. My advisor (Andy Lowe) used to coach my mom in swimming, and other faculty members on campus taught my aunts. That is seriously very cool.”
  • Tobye Cook ’88 and Miles Johnson ’16

    As the youngest in my family, my siblings were my heroes,” Tobye said. “They loved Suffield, and I naturally wanted to follow in their footsteps. I was also accepted to Pomfret but felt at home at Suffield.” Socially and academically, Tobye recognizes that Suffield had a big impact on her life. She entered as a junior and found that making friendships happened quickly and effortlessly. “I met amazing and memorable people in those two years during the most impressionable time of my life,” she said. “To name a few, I remember laughing fits in the dining hall with Lee Baldwin ’88, singing on the steps of Brewster with Robin Miller ’88, long talks with my very sweet roommate Jennifer Rowe ’88, and blasting Bob Marley with Alex Steinman ’87 and Blake Schulman ’87.” Academically, she quickly figured out that her teachers were more accessible than she imagined and provided her the help she needed to succeed. As a student at Suffield, Tobye was passionate about writing and spent a lot of time working with faculty member Ned Ide ’80. She describes herself as being very shy and reserved and also really enjoyed long-time teacher Gordy Glover’s English classes. Excelling as a student, Tobye later studied studio arts and art history at Humboldt State University in California. She says that returning to Suffield as part of the faculty has been a deeply positive experience. “Stephanie Greco ’88 was the marketing and communications director when I was hired and she really helped me refine my skills,” Tobye said. “She was a strong leader and got the best out of me. This is the most creative job I have ever had, and I really enjoy working with the students. I have also loved working with Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88, P’18. Over the years, our relationship has grown professionally and in profound ways. Her mindfulness greatly balances my creative process.”
    While his mother’s favorite place on campus was the photo lab, which used to be located on the ground floor of Holcomb Hall, Miles’ favorite place is Tisch Field House, where he thrives on school spirit. Entering as a sophomore, Miles primarily chose Suffield because of the great experience his mother had, but also because he wanted to be challenged. At Suffield, academic work is difficult and classes are rigorous. On top of that, a typical Suffield student competes in three sports; one in each season. “The overall structure of the school asks a lot of its students,” Miles said, “but if you’re not pushing yourself what are you doing?” Sean Atkins is Miles’ advisor and they have known each other for over five years. They have a close relationship and Miles respects Sean as a mentor. Miles explained, “Mr. Atkins has given me a lot of guidance and encouraged me to embody leadership. I learned to accept all that Suffield has to offer and get the most out of the experience, try new things, and learn more about myself.” The Suffield community is a diverse culture and provides opportunity for personal exploration and growth. As one of the leaders of the multicultural association, Miles admits that he never before took the time to fully embrace his ethnic heritage and background, and that Suffield influenced him to explore his family history. A mix of several different nationalities, Miles promotes the importance of knowing who you are and where you come from. “Defining yourself,” he said, “can be very difficult and frustrating. Searching to find your core values helps, but it can too often only be the beginning of self-discovery. The wide range of diversity at Suffield inspired me to recognize that.” Next year Miles will attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and plans to double major in culinary arts and business. Like his mother, he is passionate and engaged in following his interests. The positive experience working in the kitchen at Suffield has been another example of self-discovery. He has grown to appreciate the camaraderie forged in the kitchen, just as he has on the athletic fields and in the classroom. When asked about his favorite school memories Miles replied, “All of the relationships that I’ve made here—the community aspect of Suffield is such that all the students and teachers grow on you. I will truly miss all my friends and teachers.”
    Tobye says she is very proud of her son and it has been a rewarding experience to see him grow over the past three years. “Being part of this small, hard-working, and fun community has made our relationship stronger. Although I am so excited for him to move on to college, I am really going to miss seeing him on campus every day after he graduates. I feel honored to share the Suffield experience with him.”
  • Chrissie Pattillo Pape ’84, Caroline ’16, Annabelle ’16

    “Suffield has always been a part of my life, even when I was younger,” Annabelle Pape said. “I remember visiting campus as a child with my parents, and I finally understand the amazing experience they had and what we now all share. Faculty and friends were readily willing to guide and help me succeed to the best of my ability. Living among such a variety of people showed me how to cope with people and their differences. I learned to be a leader and developed a passion for helping others. Everyone here wants to see each other blossom. Although I was only in Mrs. Sweeney's advisory for one year, I feel I have known her my entire life. She is a role model and friend, always there to support and encourage me to succeed.”
    “Suffield helped me in every way possible,” said Annabelle’s twin sister Caroline. “I’ve become a better student, athlete, and artist. I’ve created so many friendships with people all over the country and world. I’m now more independent and well prepared for college. I heard so many great stories about Suffield from my parents, aunt, and uncle while growing up. I remember my revisit so clearly, being treated as if I were already accepted. The faculty made Suffield feel like my second home all in one day, so it made it very easy to decide where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. It’s a huge honor to be part of a Suffield legacy. It’s been a great experience for me, and I hope to someday share it with my own children.”
    • The twins’ mother Chrissie remembered, “When I was in 8th grade, my parents brought me to campus for an interview and tour. I immediately felt at home and knew this was the place for me. Everything I needed was right there on campus: academics, sports, community, and friendships. As a day student, I felt I had the best of both worlds. I spent my days being part of a wholesome community, and in the evening I still had the support and guidance from my family. My favorite place on campus was always the lobby in Brewster Hall. This was the central location where everyone came together on a daily basis. As a freshman I was always anxious about the table assignments and discovering who I’d be sitting with. The ever-changing seating arrangements gave us the opportunity to spend valuable time with other students and faculty. By the end of the year I knew almost everyone and believe they all knew me, too. The countless relationships I formed are definitely what I remember the most. And of course, Suffield Academy is also where I met my best friend and late husband, Andrew. I am so pleased that Annabelle and Caroline were able to be a part of this special school.
    “Suffield has always been a part of my life, even when I was younger,” Annabelle Pape said. “I remember visiting campus as a child with my parents, and I finally understand the amazing experience they had and what we now all share. Faculty and friends were readily willing to guide and help me succeed to the best of my ability. Living among such a variety of people showed me how to cope with people and their differences. I learned to be a leader and developed a passion for helping others. Everyone here wants to see each other blossom. Although I was only in Mrs. Sweeney's advisory for one year, I feel I have known her my entire life. She is a role model and friend, always there to support and encourage me to succeed.”
    “Suffield helped me in every way possible,” said Annabelle’s twin sister Caroline. “I’ve become a better student, athlete, and artist. I’ve created so many friendships with people all over the country and world. I’m now more independent and well prepared for college. I heard so many great stories about Suffield from my parents, aunt, and uncle while growing up. I remember my revisit so clearly, being treated as if I were already accepted. The faculty made Suffield feel like my second home all in one day, so it made it very easy to decide where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. It’s a huge honor to be part of a Suffield legacy. It’s been a great experience for me, and I hope to someday share it with my own children.”
    The twins’ mother Chrissie remembered, “When I was in 8th grade, my parents brought me to campus for an interview and tour. I immediately felt at home and knew this was the place for me. Everything I needed was right there on campus: academics, sports, community, and friendships. As a day student, I felt I had the best of both worlds. I spent my days being part of a wholesome community, and in the evening I still had the support and guidance from my family. My favorite place on campus was always the lobby in Brewster Hall. This was the central location where everyone came together on a daily basis. As a freshman I was always anxious about the table assignments and discovering who I’d be sitting with. The ever-changing seating arrangements gave us the opportunity to spend valuable time with other students and faculty. By the end of the year I knew almost everyone and believe they all knew me, too. The countless relationships I formed are definitely what I remember the most. And of course, Suffield Academy is also where I met my best friend and late husband, Andrew. I am so pleased that Annabelle and Caroline were able to be a part of this special school.”
  • Megan Kampmann ’77 &  Kyle Reddish ’16

    Megan Kampmann Reddish attended Suffield for three years, graduating in the Class of 1977. In 2011 she brought her son, Kyle ’16, for an interview. He is now part of Suffield’s rising senior class. SUFFIELD spent time with Megan and Kyle to learn about their bonds with the school and how their time at Suffield has helped shape them.
    What made you choose Suffield?
    Megan | I attended Suffield from 1974 to 1977. I was in the first female class of sophomores. It was an exciting time to be part of the transition from an all-male to coed school. I had looked at many larger boarding schools but felt at home after visiting Suffield. For some reason it felt more personal to me, and less intimidating.
    Kyle | My mom was always telling me about it from a young age, and when I was in seventh grade I really started exploring the idea. I came for a visit and liked it a lot. I also applied to two day schools in Philadelphia, but knew I wanted to come to Suffield if I got in.
    What is/was the most memorable part of your Suffield experience?
    Megan | The most memorable take away from Suffield was navigating adolescence in an environment and community where I could deal with challenges and triumphs with such support from teachers and peers.
    Kyle | The friendships I have made here have been the best part of the experience. The school has stretched me in positive ways, personally, academically, and athletically. Competing in sports has been great—mainly football and lacrosse—and being a dorm proctor has offered me a positive challenge. It has helped me find ways to lead in the dorm and on campus. I have also become more of a reader at Suffield and have benefited from the English courses.
    How has Suffield affected your life positively?
    Megan | The most positive effect of Suffield for me has been the legacy of Kyle attending. I love returning to the campus for a game or a parents’ weekend, seeing so many of the amazing changes, but still sensing that feeling of community that is part of the tradition of Suffield.
    Kyle | I have become more independent and mature by being here. I notice I have become more outgoing and not as reliant on others to get things done. I have been forced to get help when I need it, make decisions on my own, and grow in real ways.
    Who is / was the most influential faculty member for you?
    Megan | There were many influential faculty for me: Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Rockwell, Mr. Nye, Mr. Pervear, and Mr. and Mrs. Connors come to mind most quickly.
    Kyle | Mr. Foote, my advisor, has been very helpful to me and involved in my life. He has been my coach in both lacrosse and football. He has helped me mature, understand my strengths, and figure out good ways for me to contribute to the Suffield community.
    What is your favorite place on campus?
    Megan | I like the view from the lower fields looking up at the school on a fall day with a beautiful autumn sky. Magical.
    Kyle |  I love being in the academic quad on nice spring and fall evenings. This is where we can all hang out, throw around footballs or frisbees, and just be social. It’s a happy place.
  • Donna Hayden ’78 and Colin Pittorie ’16

    “Even though my brother graduated from Suffield eight years earlier, I was not pressured to attend the Academy,” said Donna Hayden. “I loved the warm feeling I received when I visited. As a 14-year-old girl facing the prospect of living at boarding school, I was extremely nervous but immediately felt safe and secure. My favorite place on campus always was and continues to be Brewster Hall. It encompasses the great sense of community that is Suffield Academy. When one is heading to Brewster it is for positive reasons: to eat and gather with friends. Now beautifully renovated, the building still respects the stately architecture of its past, while also representing a state-of-the-art dining hall and student union. Closing Stiles Lane has transformed that portion of campus, and the view from Brewster’s balcony is breathtaking. I’m so pleased Colin’s graduating class had this academic year to enjoy these major additions to an already beautiful campus.” 
    Donna’s son Colin explained, “It is an enormous honor to be a legacy at Suffield. I hope to pass it on to my own children one day as I know they would also have a great adventure and many of the best moments of their lives. Suffield has given me a different outlook on education. I always thought of high school as an intellectual meat grinder, where students were forced to conform to a norm, but the faculty here encouraged me to follow my own interests and develop my own self.”
  • Lisa Palomba ’79 & Anthony Deni ’15

    The Palomba family has a long history at Suffield. In addition to Lisa ’79 (profiled below with her son Anthony Deni ’15), other Palombas at Suffield included Mark ’77, Ed ’78, Joe ’80, Alyssa ’10, and Joe ’11. Anthony now carries the tradition forward, as he joined Suffield Academy’s Class of 2015.
    What made you choose Suffield? 
    Lisa | I actually didn’t choose Suffield. My older brother Mark ’77 begged my parents to send him here, and he paved the golden path for me and our other brothers, Edward ’78, and Joseph ’80. Mark got his way and, ironically, back in 1977 the Palomba family made history at Suffield Academy as the only family to have a child in every class all at the same time. God bless my mother. We were famous. We got our picture posted in the Suffield Bell.
    Anthony | I chose Suffield Academy because I wasn’t enjoying or excelling in my former high school. Also, I had heard so many stories about Suffield over the years from my mom, my three uncles, and two cousins—especially the rare accomplishment in 1977 when all four Palombas attended in the same year. Without my grandfather’s vision of sending his four children to Suffield, my attendance may not have been possible.
    What was/is the best part of the Suffield Academy experience? 
    Lisa | The best part was the special bond we all shared, regardless of where we were from or our cultures or religions. There was so much diversity in how we were raised, yet we were all connected. This experience is now being renewed again through Anthony’s attendance. It’s great to relive these treasured times with him.
    Anthony | The best part is the fact that there is so much more independence at Suffield than a public school, which definitely prepares you for the real world. It allows for freedom to determine your own success, much like a college.
    How has Suffield influenced you in positive ways? 
    Lisa | I believe it’s the caring family atmosphere, the ever-present positive outlook, and the ingrained culture of always believing that anything is truly possible. I continue to share that influence in my daily life with people I meet today or have known my entire life. My four children have made that belief a reality.
    Anthony | Suffield has influenced me in many positive ways, but the biggest has been the learning aspect. My academic focus has dramatically increased from my sophomore year in public school to my junior year here at Suffield. I also had a lot more fun my junior year and met some interesting new friends.
    Who is / was the most influential faculty member for you?
    Lisa | Too many to choose! I must apologize up front because I’ll leave someone important out. In my case, it’s a really tough question as there were so many, but here are a few: Mr. Hamilton, the Rockwells, Mr. and Mrs. Lindfors, the Samaiis, the Mackeys, Wasky, Mr. Pervear, the Kinnes, the Pohankas, the Stones, Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Banks, and, of course, JR Fuller, my faculty advisor. Hands down he was always there for me (with a smile) to talk to and confide in. Memory Lane is incredible. Thirty-fifth reunion in October 2014! How’s that for a Reunion plug?
    Anthony |  A specific faculty member who has had an important impact on me is HAT (Mr. Thomsen) because we have similar personalities, and he is always making sure I am staying on task. He’s been a great advisor for me through the transition of merging into a totally different school halfway through high school.
    What is your favorite place on campus? 
    Lisa | My favorite place on campus is Bell Hill, the triumph of the Bell and the meaning of victory and unity.
    Anthony | My favorite place on campus is the Student Union after dinner. It’s a fun place to be because everyone is unwinding and catching up with friends. It truly adds to the uniqueness of the Suffield experience.
  • Kelly Kinne Patterson ’82 & Jack Patterson ’13

    What made you choose Suffield?
    Kelly | My father graduated from Colby College in 1962. He played basketball for four years at Colby. Upon graduating from Colby, Suffield Academy offered him the head coaching job for the Varsity Boys Basketball team. He stayed At Suffield forty-one years, retiring in 2002.
    Jack | Suffield was the only place that I have ever known. I have lived my entire life on campus.
    My mother went here and I have attended athletic events since I can remember. I have always dreamed of playing at Suffield Academy.
    Did you consider other schools?
    Kelly | Never. After growing up on this beautiful campus I could not wait to come to Suffield. I was lucky that Suffield went coed in 1975 and I started my freshman year in 1979.
    Jack | Not really, I knew that I always wanted to go to Suffield.
    What was (or has been so far) your most memorable Suffield experience? 
    Kelly | I had many wonderful experiences at Suffield, but two stand out, one as a student and one as a coach at Suffield. In the 1980s the girls’ basketball tournament was played on a weekend. We went up to the Northfield Mount Hermon School to play our first game. In that game I scored 27 points (my career high) and we advanced to the next round that afternoon. Another memorable experience took place when I was coaching the girls varsity softball team with my husband Wayne. We lost avery special person and player, Rachel Carey, in a tragic automobile accident in January 2003. Rachel had been our starting pitcher for the two previous seasons and had never lost a game. She was one of those student athletes that comes around once in a lifetime. We began this season with heavy hearts not knowing how we could carry on Rachel’s spirit. That spring thirteen girls, which included Rachel’s younger sister, set out to do something no one thought could be done. We dedicated the season to Rachel and made the New England tournament. I can still remember the championship game as if it were yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were playing Berkshire. We had lost to them earlier in the season. It was the bottom of the seventh inning, with the score tied 6-6, two outs and a runner on third. Jackie Pannell ’04 was up and hit a ball down the first base line that looked for sure like it was going foul. It was almost as if someone moved the base line and the ball stayed fair. Suffield won 7-6 and became New England champs. I was never so proud of that group of girls, and also my husband Wayne. We sure learned a great deal that season both on and off the softball field.
    Did you/do you have a favorite faculty member?
    Kelly: My favorite faculty member was Leon Waskiewicz. Wasky, as everyone called him, was my math teacher and my basketball coach. Although I did not realize it when I was at Suffield, Wasky instilled in me the will to work hard. I was not the best math student and I had Wasky for all three math classes that I took at Suffield and to my surprise my math SAT scores were higher I imagined possible. In addition, to this I still do not walk on the grass around campus because I can still hear Wasky saying “get off the grass”. 
    Jack | I’ve known most of the faculty here for most of my life, but if I had to make a choice, I would have to say Mr. Brissette and Mrs. Vianney. I have yet to have them as teachers, so that may change.
    Did you have any concerns about choosing Suffield? 
    Kelly | Wayne and I never had any concerns about Jack coming to Suffield.
    Jack | The only thing I was really nervous about was what the difference was going to be like from being a faculty kid to becoming a student. My grandfather has be teaching me about life since I can remember. He told me that I would do well here if I put my studies first, tried my hardest, and hustled on the athletic field. I already knew many of the students here, but I was still nervous being a new person on campus.
    What is the best part of the Suffield experience?
    Kelly | The wonderful caring community makes Suffield the special school that it is.
    Jack | What I like the most about SA is probably the atmosphere of everything. Everyone here is really nice and I never had a problem fitting in. I have met a lot of great people and have enjoyed being able to play varsity soccer.
  • Rich Currey ’79 & RJ Currey ’14

    What made you choose Suffield?
    Rich | Suffield was a place where I learned to be an individual. When I first joined the Suffield community, I was just beginning to find out who I was and what I could contribute. Suffield helped me to identify and strengthen who I was and what I believed in. It gave me the confidence to become the person that I am today.
    RJ | I wanted to come to Suffield to push myself and become a better student.
    What is the best part of the Suffield Academy experience?
    Rich | The people. Every faculty member, everyone on the administration, all of the staff. They all knew who I was, what I was interested in, and were always looking to help me become a better person and a well-educated and thoughtful human being.
    RJ | The best part is the college counseling office. They help so much and do an amazing job preparing us for college.
    What is your most memorable experience at Suffield?
    Rich | My most memorable experience at Suffield was being a member of the varsity basketball team that finished number two in New England my senior year.
    RJ | My most memorable experience at Suffield has been winning the New England Basketball Championship and the feeling of running onto the court after the last horn.
    Who has been the most influential faculty member for you?
    Rich | Ebrahim Adib-Samii and David Compton. Mr. Samii was my calculus teacher and never once let me rest on my laurels. My love for math continued into college, where I graduated with a degree in computer science. Mr. Compton was my advisor for four years and helped me navigate through my career at Suffield, always there to help with advice on the choices that all teenagers face.
    RJ | The most influential faculty member has been Mr. Depelteau. He has helped me with so much, whether it was learning the campus and the new class style or helping me prepare to send in my applications as a senior.
  • Ferraro Family: Jack ’81, Sam ’11, and Erin ’13

    What made you choose Suffield?
    Jack | Much has changed about Suffield since I attended, but at its core, Suffield is the same place I left. I appreciate Suffield a lot more now than I did then! The feeling of community, the spirit of the school, the clear sense of purpose, and steadfast commitment to promoting the success of each student, both as a person and as a learner, these are core principles that make Suffield a special place.
    Erin | I chose Suffield because I knew about the school since my brother and my father both went here. I knew I would get a great education at Suffield and really felt a sense of community when I was on campus.
    Sam | I chose Suffield because it was where I had wanted to go ever since I found out my dad went to Suffield.
    Did you ever think about going somewhere else?
    Jack |Being local (I grew up in Enfield) and being 14, Suffield was the only school other than our public high school that I thought about attending. I wasn’t aware of other private schools and didn’t apply to any.
    Erin | I applied to and looked at a few other schools and considered my public school but Suffield was always my number one choice.
    Sam | I applied to one other school. I also applied to Northwest Catholic School in West Hartford as my other option.
    What is the best part of the Suffield Academy experience?
    Jack | The chicken pot pie on Parents’ Weekend. We didn’t have that when I was there.
    Erin | I have made some great friends from all around the world and I would have never gotten that experience if it weren’t for Suffield.
    Sam | My most memorable experience at Suffield would have to be going over to the bell and ringing it one last time at 9:00p.m. with all of the seniors last year after winning our second championship in track.
    What was your most memorable experience at Suffield?
    Jack | My nickname, for one. Everyone called me “Fish.” Even my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Hamlin, called me “Pescado.” Every so often I run into Tucker Killam and he’ll say, “Hey Fish, how’s it going?” Brings me right back. I also remember convincing Mrs. Samii that there was much to be gained for Gil Ahrens and me if we could just be excused for part of the day to drive to the Coachlight Dinner Theater in nearby East Windsor so we could attend a matinee performance of The Man of La Mancha. I don’t think that would fly today. Another memory is of freshman English with Mr. Banks, wondering what one had to do to break 80 for an English paper. After bringing home several papers with grades in the mid 70s, my father decided to “help” me with my next paper. He essentially wrote the paper for me. I remember the comment and the grade: “Nice improvement. 78.” I also have fond memories of our baseball team’s trip to Florida with Mr. Cleary and his buddy, Tom Knight, a New England championship season in basketball, and of course, I remember the band “Nietzche and a Horse” playing the chapel on a Wednesday afternoon.

    Erin | 
    I don’t know if I have a most memorable experience, but sports and the people I have met have all been great here.
    Sam | The best part of my Suffield Academy experience would have to be the community. At Suffield, you can get a sense of community from almost anything from the basketball games to any sit-down lunch.
    Did you/do you have a favorite faculty member?
    Jack |I loved Ted Martellini. He had a gift for the way he connected with kids. I will always remember his sense of humor, his teaching style, and the interest he showed in me as a person outside of the classroom. I was so fortunate to run into Ted at a regional math education conference about 10 years ago. It was the first time I had seen him since he left Suffield, and I was able to tell him that he was a big reason I became a teacher myself.
    Erin | I like many of the faculty here. I especially love Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Guarriello.
    Sam | My favorite faculty member would have to be Mr. Gamere. He’s my advisor, and he has helped me get through a lot at Suffield.
    Did your father share with you any great stories about Suffield Academy?
    Erin | He used to tell us about baseball and all of his friends’ nicknames. He also would tell me about how he had Rocky as a teacher because I was in Rocky’s Leadership class last year.

    Sam | 
    Yeah, my dad has shared a couple stories about when he was at Suffield. Most of them were about his friends’ band “Nietzche and a Horse”, or playing intramural soccer.
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411