“When you care about the environment, you feel as if you are never doing enough to protect it,” says Headmaster Charlie Cahn. “I am extremely proud of Suffield’s effort to weave environmental initiatives into our everyday life on campus. It is an important aspect of our Leadership Program to recognize our role in sustainable development at both a personal and community level.”
The United Nations established the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 as an effort to “transform our world” by 2030. These 17 goals—and 169 associated targets at its core—aim to end poverty, fight inequality, and stop climate change. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. Sustainability is the fastest area of growth in all aspects of life and these concepts are crucial to securing a healthy future for our planet. Guided by these goals it is now up to all of us—governments, businesses, civil society, and the general public—working together to implement these environmental initiatives. 

Suffield Academy maintains a strong focus on using resources responsibly and growing awareness of our carbon footprint. This includes educational programs, campus construction, and various school awards and annual activities. To this end Suffield proudly supports the 17 global goals for sustainable development in all areas of campus life.

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • » The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

    1: No Poverty
    2: Zero Hunger
    3: Good Health & Well-Being
    4: Quality Education
    5: Gender Equality
    6: Clean Water & Sanitation
    7: Affordable & Clean Energy
    8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
    9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure
    10: Reduced Inequalities
    11: Sustainable Cities & Communities
    12: Responsible Consumption & Production
    13: Climate Action
    14: Life Below Water
    15: Life on Land
    16: Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions
    17: Partnerships for the Goals

In The Classroom

Sustainability is impossible without quality education. Suffield's core curriculum centers on providing a robust, diverse learning environment. From math and sciences to technology, arts, and languages, Suffield's academics assert that knowledge is a vehicle for change. Course offerings centered of global initiatives include:

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • » Elements of Food Science: From Lab to Landfill

    From Lab to Landfill is a full-year senior elective implementing an approach to experiential learning. Its goal is to give students an educated perspective on the reality of what food is and where it comes from. The fall term focuses on the food industry: how food is grown and consumed. The winter terms centers on food chemistry, diet, and nutrition. Students then move outside and into botany during the spring, learning the benefits of seed-saving while planting and maintaining an active garden and greenhouse.
  • » Environmental Science (Honors)

    This class is a full-year senior elective exploring six main themes: the environment and society, the interrelationships of the natural world, human population growth and its environmental consequences, natural resources (renewable and nonrenewable), energy and climate change, marine and fresh water systems, and sustainable solutions. It is designed to illuminate the understanding of ecological systems and processes and to emphasize the interrelationships of the natural world. The curriculum challenges the perception of humansí place in nature and recognizes peopleís role in the environment as an integral influence. It asks students to accept their place in the natural world and be accountable for their ecological footprint.
  • » Biotechnology (Honors)

    Biotechnology (Honors) explores the application of genetic manipulation to the fields of medicine and agriculture. Students explore how the cell accesses, uses, and maintains genetic information and how these mechanisms can be altered for commercial purposes. It is a hands-on course in which students work collaboratively to become proficient in the laboratory techniques necessary for DNA extraction and analysis, gel electrophoresis, transformation, chromatography, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), and cloning. Through labs and discussions, topics include forensic investigation, nanotechnology, DNA barcoding, cancer genetics, gene therapy, genetically modified organisms, DNA fingerprinting, “jumping genes,” RNAi, microRNA, and the recently discovered CRISPR technology.

  • » Primate Disease Ecology

    Primate Disease Ecology investigates the evolution of infectious diseases including interactions among hosts, pathogens and parasites, and their environments. As disease ecology is interdisciplinary, immunology, viral and bacterial biology, epidemiology, molecular genetics, ecology, and evolution are addressed. Students examine the unprecedented rise in the global incidence and severity of infectious diseases in human, animal, and plant populations across nearly all of the worldís terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This includes zoonotic diseases that spread from wildlife to human populations. It is thought that human activity, including habitat transformation, climate change, invasive species, pollution, and the accompanying loss of biodiversity has led to this rise. Therefore, the examination of our closest living relatives, the non-human primates, can help us understand disease transmission within a population, as well as transmission to humans from a non-human source.

Community Charities

There is no better example of Suffield’s commitment to global sustainability than the annually elected community charity. For nearly 15 years Suffield’s charitable initiatives have supported a wide range of global goals. From poverty and hunger, good health and well-being to clean water and sanitation, quality education, and gender equality, Suffield recognizes its world-wide citizenship.

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • » Suffield’s Annual Community Charities include:

    Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (2017-2018): a fight to end Duchenne
    Akshaya Patra (2016-2017): unlimited food for education
    Circle of Care (2015-2016): supporting families of children with cancer
    Spouts of Water (2014-2015): water filters in Uganda
    Hearts of the Father Outreach (2013-2014): homes for orphan refugees
    Charity: Water (2012-2013): clean water to developing countries
    Autism Speaks (2011-2012): sponsoring autism research
    The Petit Family Foundation (2010-2011): education, chronic illness, and violence
    Camp Sunshine (2009-2010): a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses
    HARC, Inc. (2008-2009): quality, inclusion, and dignity for the intellectually disabled
    Jambo Tanzania (2007-2008): providing health care to those in need
    Interval House (2006-2007): preventing the cycle of domestic violence
    The Jimmy Fund (2005-2006): supporting adult and pediatric cancer care and research

Professional Development for Faculty

Suffield is proud of its talented faculty and committed to providing an array of vehicles for them to grow as educators and people. To enable faculty members to engage in nontraditional study in order to become more effective teachers and scholars, summer sabbatical funds are available. Sabbatical proposals do not have to be strictly about education or teacher training; these grants are meant as rewards for commitment and excellence, and intended to help teachers to stay invigorated. Listed below are some of the more recent sabbaticals.

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  • » Gis-xi Nahmens (Languages Department)

    Gis-Xi traveled to La Mancha and Andalucia in southern Spain to perform research on the influence of the Moors in Spanish culture. She visited the cities of Toledo, Malaga, Marbella, Torremolinos, Cadiz, Tarifa, C—rdoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Granada, Sevilla, Gibraltar, Ronda, and Casares.

    “Culture is not the result of a single eventor unique to one specific country.”
  • » Amy Pentz P’16, ’19 (English Department)

    Strongly influenced by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Amy Pentz P'15, '19 toured the Rhine River in June 2016 to see for herself what inspired so many artists' imaginations. In teaching two English elective courses, The Literature of Evil and The Literature of the Servant, Amy is particularly interested in the gothic element of many classic works and the life of the European servant.

    "I appreciated the sights that inspired many great writers and am thankful to Suffield for this enrichment opportunity."
  • » Rebecca Strong (English Department)

    Designed to enhance her teaching of Greek mythology, including The Iliad and The Odyssey, and to develop ideas for a new elective course on World Mythology, Rebecca and her family spent 12 days in August exploring ancient sites described in myth and literature. Her tour of Greece incorporated travel by boat to capture the feeling of Odysseus and the other soldiers returning from Troy.

    “It was wonderful to have the chance to speak from this hands-on experience when telling these stories to my classes.”
  • » Molly Vianney P’12, ’14 (History Department)

    Recognizing the cultural impact the musical Hamilton has made on and off the stage, Molly focused on diversity on Broadway and other unique aspects of this award-winning musical.

    “The creator (Lin-Manuel Miranda) is in my opinion brilliant. He conveys complex and contradictory visions of the Founding Fathers in an engaging way, weaving old political values with current ones.”
  • » Tobye Cook Seck ’88, P’16 (Art & Design Director, Marketing Department)

    Tobye traveled to Daker, Senegal in West Africa and examined family life through film. She presented a documentary to the community at chapel.

    “I was surrounded by people with beliefs similar to my own. Every day we ate together as a family, with all meals cooked by my sister-in-law. I experienced the warmest hospitality, a renewed appreciation for the small things, and a powerful family bond.”

Clubs & Organizations

The many clubs and organizations at Suffield provide students the opportunity to explore global initiatives in non-academic platforms. These organizations aim at heightening awareness of differing sexualities, ethnicities, cultures, genders, religions, environments, or economic backgrounds. Equity and inclusion sustain our community and eliminate inequality. Clubs and Organizations offered at Suffield include:

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  • » Kaleidoscope (Multi-cultural Association)

    Kaleidoscope strives to promote cultural awareness and understanding of all nationalities, ethnicities, religions and genders. Kaleidoscope offers programs and events that provide perspective and understanding of all who surround us. Open to all members if the SA community, leaders of Kaleidoscope meet twice a month with the group faculty advisor to plan and prepare events for the Suffield Academy community that educate and inspire social equality.
  • » FOCUS

    FOCUS is the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools. It is a diverse community of students, alumni, parents, faculty, clergy and professionals from a variety of Christian denominations drawn together by a common faith and purpose.
  • » The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

    The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student organization aimed at heightening awareness of different sexualities. The goal is to sustain a safe and comfortable environment for students of all sexual preferences by focusing on continued education and communication on the Suffield Academy campus and the community at large. Students meet regularly to discuss issues in the news and to build strategies to raise awareness about the organization and related issues.
  • » The Jewish Organization of Suffield (JOS)

    The Jewish Organization of Suffield (JOS) aims to provide a community for Jewish students, faculty, and staff on campus. The JOS offers programming both religious, secular, spiritual, cultural, and social as desired by the campus community. In addition, the JOS is an all-campus inclusive group; all campus members are invited to JOS activities. The JOS also provides, as requested, information to the campus about aspects of the Jewish faith.
  • » TREE

    TREE is a student initiated, student led organization whose primary focus is to educate the school community on issues related to the environment. TREE was instrumental in establishing Suffield's recycling program. Each year the organization sponsors Earth Day. This has included chapel presentations, campus projects, and visiting naturalists. TREE conducts annual fundraising activities and works to join other organizations together to accomplish these environmentally focused projects and activities.
  • » Political Action Committee

    Political Action Committee meets weekly to discuss current events making headline news around the globe. Topics range from powerful world leaders to changes in policy and reform. Students involved in political action committee accept an active engagement in politics and the current state of public affairs.
  • » Investment Committee

    Investment Committee is an ambitious group of students whose interest falls on the economic sustainability of wealth and resource. Members analyze market trends and investment strategies while considering how differing economic growths effect the overall global market. Investment Committee maintains that supportive, diverse investments benefit economic sustainability worldwide.

Healthy Eating

Responsible consumption and production are hallmarks of everyday life at Suffield. It is therefore essential that our dining services provide ample options for healthy eating. Our staff takes great pride in their ability to offer good carbs, low-fat proteins, limited saturated fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and plenty of choices for calcium. Additionally, we are constantly evaluating how to optimize our processes of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Suffield supports health and well-being in a variety of ways:

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • » Meal Prep

    We purchase fresh food that can be repurposed for multiple meals.
  • » Eat Local

    We work with local farmers whenever possible to reduce the overall impact on the environment.

    We receive nutritious Greek-style yogurt and delicious pesto sauces the local Trinity Farms.

    Our specialty pastas are made locally at Carlaís Pasta of South Windsor.

  • » In House Offerings

    We offer in-house, hand crafted specialty pizza baked in our own commercial pizza ovens.

On Campus

To sustain our community and support economic growth, Suffield's physical plant maintains ongoing initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and operating expenses. The utilization of affordable, clean energy is a major way we demonstrate responsible consumption while respecting a global climate and life below water and on land. Suffield's ongoing initiatives to support responsible consumption include:

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • » Suffield’s ongoing initiatives to support responsible consumption include:

    » Discontinued Poland Spring deliveries & added water machines in several buildings to fill water bottles
    » Natural gas heating capabilities added to four major buildings on campus
    » Updated efficiency for major boilers on campus
    » Re-lamped exterior and interior lighting to LED bulbs
    » Enhanced the recycling and waste program (single stream recycling collection)
    » Initiated a campus-wide electrical reduction competition in 2007
    » Incorporated biodegradable trash bags and reusable coffee mugs campus wide
    » Biodiesel in various maintenance vehicles and select faculty residences
    » Use of post-consumer recycled materials around campus (toilet paper, paper cups, cleaning supplies)

Leadership Awards

The Leadership Program at Suffield is of lasting significance and greatly enhances our role as global citizens. It prepares students and alumni to make a substantial difference beyond our campus. Core elements include an emphasis on understanding a moral foundation, goal-setting, communication skills, problem-solving, self-awareness, and inspiring others. It is in this way we fully embrace our partnerships with the 17 global goals for sustainable development. Only by working together can we secure a future for our planet. Suffield recognizes leadership is several ways:

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • » The Leishman Family Energy Conservation Award

    The Leishman Family Energy Conservation Award is granted to a student who either best demonstrates knowledge and commitment to using less energy through conservation strategies, recommends the installation of energy efficient technologies that preserve natural resources and reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, or implements a practical project that improves Suffield Academyís environmental management. The student has to show creativity and commitment to educate others about environmental issues, as well as an interest in environmental problems and solutions. Previous projects included cold water laundry, differing approaches to heating the swimming pool, and various heating efficiency ideas in school buildings.
  • » The Robinson Environmental Award

    The Robinson Environmental Award is presented at Commencement each year to the graduating senior who shows sustained interest and passion for environmental initiatives.
  • » Alumni Leadership Awards

    Alumni Leadership Awards honor Suffield graduates who have displayed notable leadership in their professional careers or in a humanitarian endeavor. The selection committee is comprised of alumni, current students, and members of the faculty. Past recipients include Tor Peterson ’82, Gretchen Schwabe Wilcox ’77, Dr. Paul Sullivan ’58, and Dr. Richard Wahle ’73 (2013), Thomas C. Greene ’87 and Kristin Hostetter Pandit ’86 (2014), Gerard J. Hall ’77, Dr. Michael F. Sheridan ’58, and Joseph G. Thompkins ’58 (2015), David Celentano ’69, Michelle Kaminsky ’84, and Ben Diep ’85 (2016), and David R. Holmes ’60 and Janice H. Lee ’99 (2017).
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411