When you talk to Director of Admissions Sean Atkins, one thing shines through: his passion for Suffield Academy. Ask Sean what he loves about Suffield, and his answers are effusive and myriad.
“Suffield kids are happy” he says. Polite and engaging, Suffield’s students clearly enjoy and value being a part of this community. They really care about the people they interact with daily, be they other students, faculty, or faculty family members. This is especially important to Sean, who lives on campus with his wife Yasmin and sons Sean Jr. and Gavin. It’s a simple thing, of course, but for Sean, it also tells him he’s in the right place.
Where can someone on campus for the first time see this attitude in action? “To view our students as they really are,” Sean says, “just walk through the Student Union.” Like in so many student centers, Suffield students spend free time playing table tennis, reading a book, or just hanging out. But at Suffield, Sean says, cliques and class year have no place, and students simply enjoy the experience of being in one another’s company.
The best time to be in the union, Sean says, is “three minutes before a period starts, as it clears out. There’s a shared sense that ‘we’ve had our fun, and now it’s time to buckle down and work.’” It’s obvious to any visitor to the Student Union to see how much the kids care about each other and the school.
Sean says Suffield’s hidden gem, though, is the staff behind the scenes, and the passion the dedicated men and women of dining services and the physical plant have for the students and community. “This,” he says, “says a lot about what Suffield really is.”
FUN FACTS Sean loves the North Carolina Tar Heels. He also enjoys traveling, anywhere. "Taking in different parts of the world gives me a better perspective on life in general," Sean says.