Spring 2018 Bell

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2018 Departing Faculty

Article: Nicole Lee ’19 |  Photos: Nicole Lee ’19 and Molly Gotwals

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • As the 2017-2018 academic year draws to an end and we celebrate the storied careers of Mr. Cleary and Rocky, Suffield also will say good-bye to several other important faculty members.  » read more

    Mrs. Ausubel
    Mrs. Ausubel, who arrived at Suffield in 2015, will be departing this year to continue her learning endeavor at Harvard University. Mrs. Ausubel contributed tremendously in diversifying the science department by providing AP Psychology course. She played an important role not only as a biology teacher but also as a dorm parent and a cross country coach.

    Mrs. Bauchiero
    Mrs. Bauchiero has taught for twelve wonderful years at Suffield Academy. In addition to teaching AP Biology, she developed a wide variety of electives. Her biotechnoloty elective, in particular, was developed out of her conviction that no student should leave Suffield without introduction to this study; ultimately, revealed that our facility needed increased and functional classroom - lab settings, which we now have in the new building. At Suffield, she enjoyed the vigorous academic community and the freedom to develop course offerings that enhance our core curriculum. Memorable experiences included teaching her daughters in her AP Biology course, as well as in several electives. While she is sorry to leave the people at Suffield, it is time to move closer to Boston, where her husband has been commuting for the past 22 years. She looks forward to traveling, reading, perhaps writing a book.

    Ms. BG
    Ms. BG has spent 7 years at Suffield as a Spanish teacher, the dorm head of Tomkins, and a softball and soccer coach. She has enjoyed the strong connections that students and faculty members built in our community. She will be pursuing a graduate degree while continuing her teaching career at a day school in Maine, where she grew up. She said, “I am very excited for the new opportunity, but I will miss this community very much. I am nervous about having to prepare my own meals!” After all, she thinks that her time at Suffield has prepared her to be a great teacher and gave her amazing experiences that she will carry into her new adventures.  

    Mr. Kayiatos
    After 6 years at Suffield Academy as a teacher and a dorm head, Mr. Kayiatos will be working at Trinity College to pursue a career in development and fundraising. He will be working in the Development Office at Trinity College, focusing on family leadership giving. Although his time at Suffield has been joyful for both him and his family, Mr. Kayiatos says that he is excited for this new career adventure that he is about to begin.

    Mr. & Mrs. Piccioto-Zanussi
    Mrs. Piccioto has been a Chinese and ESL teacher at Suffield for ten years. She was also in charge of all the international students and their affairs along with Mrs. McCarthy. Along with her crucial roles as a teacher and international student coordinator, she was a passionate head diving coach. Mr. Zanussi has been working at Suffield for six years as a science teacher and the Freshman Academic Dean. He has also coached soccer and SOLO. He is currently the dorm head at Montgomery Street house with Mrs. P. The PZs will be further pursuing their teaching careers at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA to expand and revamp the ESL program. Mrs. P says that she will miss the community and her work as a diving coach.

    Mrs. Wiggin
    Upon finishing her 17th year at Suffield, she will be living part of the year in Central Maine at her Arts Center, Snow Pond Center for the Arts and New England Music Camp, and the rest of year in Ghana. Mrs. Wiggin is also currently building a house near the school in Ghana that she started two years ago. Many Suffield students participated in the construction of the school and have wonderful memories of working there with Ms. Wiggin and the Ghanaian students. She will also be founding a new school in next couple years. The school is partly sponsored by many faculty and staff at Suffield, which will allow her to stay connected to our community.


Charity Week 2018

Article & Photo: Megan Swanson ’21

List of 1 frequently asked questions.


The Bell Head Editors

Article: Jenna Daly ’21  |  Photo: Megan Swanson ’21

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • All good writers have a spark within them. A spark that pulls them to focus on their passion for writing. Devina Bhalla and Sarah Swanson are no exception. In their four years at Suffield Academy, they have been an intrinsic part of The Bell, holding leadership positions for the majority of their time on staff. Talking about their reasons for becoming involved, both stated that it “felt natural” and they “loved to write.” Devina said another reason for her was she wanted to introduce a sports section.  » read more

    Since their interest in the newspaper, they feel much has changed. Besides going electronic this year, which made views and publications increase, there is more of consistency within the group. Devina and Sarah both agree that having fixed positions for the staff makes the process much easier and allows them to produce more editions. Additionally, Devina said their “leadership and management” skills developed over time. While their writing styles did not change dramatically, their positive attitudes and hard-working mindsets grew stronger, allowing both to lead a successful newspaper. Sarah adds that she learned “you donít really need the same interest as someone to be inspired by them.” Sarah stresses that a good leader needs to be open to ideas.

    While discussing what they would miss most about The Bell, Devina joked, “I won’t miss tracking down pictures.” Nevertheless, she will miss working with Sarah, Ms. Gotwals, and the new additions to the staff. Sarah agreed saying “I will miss working with Devina.” And after giving Devina a hug, “I love her.”

    Devina and Sarah agreed that effort and persistence is needed to run a newspaper. They believe that it takes dedication, “organization… and passion” to write strong articles. Sarah mentioned that her favorite part was “seeing different people get excited and work together.” The energy that came forward during meetings was electric and inspired everyone to do their best work.

    Both girls gave a piece of advice for aspiring journalists. Sarah’s takes form as a quotation by E.B. White: “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” This is a quotation she lives by and thinks of anytime she is writing an article. Devina says “even if itís out of your comfort zone, you should try it. It takes diligence and work, but if youíre willing to put in the time… it’s worth it.” In their final remarks, the girls added on to this statement by expressing gratitude for Ms. Gotwals’ dedication. Devina stressed that “she has put so much work and faith into the newspaper,” while Sarah reminisced about her four years realizing Ms. Gotwals “always made them feel that everything was possible, even if it wasn’t.”

    When the Suffield community returns in the fall, Devina and Sarah will no longer be a part of The Bell staff. The newspaper will miss their enthusiasm, article ideas, and leadership. There is no doubt in anyoneís mind that their contributions towards The Bell have improved the editions greatly and their hard work will always be admired. The words “thank you” will never be enough to describe how grateful The Bell staff is to Devina and Sarah’s efforts.


Looking into their Future

Article & Photo: Katherine Schmitz ’19

List of 1 frequently asked questions.


Memorial Reconstruction

Article & Photos: Nicole Lee ’19

List of 1 frequently asked questions.


A Journey to the Tiger Den

Article: Sarah Swanson ’18 | Photos: Anna Ausubel

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • This past spring the psychology classes, led by Ms. Ausubel, ventured across the street to the daycare on campus, affectionately known as the Tiger Den. For most, it was their first time visiting the building, which is tucked beyond the First Baptist Church. Since returning from March break, the psychology classes have been learning about early childhood development. The highlight of the unit has been watching videos of baby and child experiments, and we were excited to observe firsthand some of the developmental milestones that the children were experiencing at the Tiger Den.  » read more

    Once adequately prepared, each of the two sections of psychology were divided in half, allowing each student to spend a long period at the Tiger Den. When students entered the daycare, they allowed the children to play with the toys and games at the activity station that they were naturally drawn to. All of the milestones that were explored across each station related to the social, verbal, cognitive, and motor development of the children. By asking different questions to children of different ages at each station, students could observe how their brains differ from that of an adult and among each other.  Bridget Carey ’18 shared that “being able to palpably view the concepts that we learned in class about child development was very helpful and interesting.”

    Play-doh was a popular station for the children ages 3 and 4. While playing, we observed the children act out stories with their creations, demonstrating the common belief in young children that inanimate objects have human feelings and intentions, which is termed animism. The kids were then asked to compare the sizes of different pieces of Play-doh, as they changed shape to see if they had developed the concept of conservation of mass. Egocentrism, or the ability to take another person’s perspective, was assessed by whether or not the child could report back another studentís favorite color or if they assumed that their own favorite color was the other studentís as well. Tori Tryon ’18 noted, “My favorite part was playing with all different ages of children and seeing the difference in their development.” The most important lesson we learned in the classroom during the unit is that the time it takes children to progress through the stages are development will vary and that is okay. What is important is that development takes place in the proper order. The lesson was clearly reiterated in the daycare, where we saw children of very similar ages at different stages of development, often giving different answers to the same questions.

    Beyond an educational experience, the trip to the Tiger Den provided students with the opportunity to explore the community by visiting a part of Suffield Academy that they otherwise would not have had the chance to. I think Tori Tryon spoke for all of us when she shared, “just playing with the kids really brightened my day.” We are grateful to Ms. Ausubel and Mrs. Patterson, as well as all of the Suffield Academy parents, for collaborating to provide us with this hands-on experience outside of the classroom.


Prom 2018

Article: Isabella Attianese ’18 | Photo: Katherine Schmitz ’19

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Prom. Some people love it, some people hate it, but despite the various emotions surrounding this event, it does serve as a rite of passage for most high school students. Growing up, many of us have seen the movies or shows that highlight prom as the most magical night of your high school years, however, this concept is constantly debated. Many people tend to dispute whether or not the hype around prom is too much for just one evening. It can certainly be stressful with the drama of what to wear, who to ask, and how to decide who to be at a table with, but it can also be a fun night to enjoy yourself and spend some quality time with your friends.  » read more

    Promposals are one special part of the prom experience and are a fun way of asking someone to be your date. Here at Suffield we tend to be quite skilled in the art of promposing, with many creative, elaborate ideas that tend to make the person being asked feel very special. However, deciding who to ask or to ask anyone at all can be quite nerve-wracking, especially with the circling thoughts of what if the date declines the offer. This is again one of the controversial aspects around this event; some students disapprove of the over-the-top invitations and would prefer to just go with their friends without the pressure and anxiety of finding a date. However, there are some students here who love the idea of a cute pun or a clever idea to showcase how much someone would like to spend this evening with them.

    When looking to how the upperclassmen feel about underclassmen at prom, there are also differing ideas of what is “socially acceptable.” There used to be an unwritten rule years prior that if you are an underclassmen girl attending the prom, then you are supposed to wear a short dress rather than the longer ones that the senior girls wear. However, in the last few years, the prom game has changed. The proper attire for the younger girls has shifted from shorter sundresses to formal, long dresses. Additionally, many people have been more accepting of underclassmen at prom, but some of the underclassmen, themselves, feel uncomfortable with the idea of attending an event with people they do not normally spend time with. One sophomore girl shared her opinion that, “It would be weird to go as a freshman, and I would only go as a sophomore if I had friends going too, because otherwise I would feel uncomfortable.” Another sophomore male agreed with her opinion saying that, “It would be weird if a senior asked me as a freshman, because I would not really know anyone.” On the contrary, there are plenty of underclassmen going to this year’s prom who are ecstatic they are able to attend and look forward to this fun evening. 

    Honestly, it really depends on the person with regard to prom, because it is not everyone’s scene. For the people who do go, they all seem to have a fun time. Caroline Gingold ’18 explains that, “Prom is always a fun time, but between the cost of the dress, hair, tickets, and flowers, it becomes pretty expensive pretty fast.”

    A reality that many students definitely agree is a negative aspect to otherwise a great evening. Sedley Bentz’s opinion of prom is also one shared by many, as she stated that, “Prom is overrated,” and everyone at her dinner table agreed with her. However, on the other end of the spectrum, Juhi Rayonia ’18 says, “Honestly it is one of my favorite nights of high school, because I get to dress up with my friends and dance and just have a fun time,” which is another common opinion within the student body here. This year’s prom is May 20at the Great Horse Country Club. For many seniors it will be a sentimental end to a great four years at Suffield, while for the underclassman it is just the beginning of their time here. Prom has a different meaning for everyone, but, in the end, it brings everyone together and creates some great memories that everyone will cherish forever. 


4 out of 414

Article: Sarah Swanson ’18 | Photos: Hillary Rockwell Cahn 88, P18, ’22
Emma Krasemann ’21 / Lexi Roberts ’20 / Jackson Pentz ’19 / Bryan McLennan ’18

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • During sports seasons, coaches and players form bonds that can last a lifetime. Some have already had this chance before the season even started. There have been many students here at Suffield Academy with a parent who is also their coach. The four students represented in this article will highlight what this experience is like and how they feel about having their mom or dad as a coach.  » read more

    Emma Krasemann ’21
    Through the sweltering heat and many trips to Grass Roots, Emma was coached by her mom for the cross-country season. Emma says, “I would always run in races when my mom ran. It was a family thing that happened. It has always been part of my life.” While asked about any pressure coming from her mom since her whole family runs, she explains that Mrs. Krasemann is a very fair coach who stays professional during practices. “It is also nice,” Emma points out, “that I can get feedback after practice or races. Sometimes she can push me a little too far, but in the end her practices are always fun and I enjoy the sport.” Emma’s strong background in running is apparent too. This year her mother helped coach her through some tough races, earning her a 17finish in New England Championships.

    Lexi Roberts ’20
    Ever since the Roberts family moved from Florida to Connecticut, Lexi has been ski racing. She recalls her dad saying one day “yeah, we’re going to ski race.” While Mr. Roberts works with the whole team during the season, Lexi sees that “he knows everything I do outside of skiing and can see how hard I’m working. I need that reminder to keep working hard.” Through skiing Lexi and her dad have become closer and have spent a lot of time together during the winter. Sometimes Lexi wants to get away from all the ski talk; nevertheless, she will always enjoy talking about her races and watching the World Championship ski races with her dad. With her dedication, along with the support of her dad, Lexi skied in an outside league during the winter as well as on the SA ski team, placing in the top 15 in every race.

    Jackson Pentz ’19
    Ever since he was younger, Jackson had listened to stories about baseball from his dad. His dad’s passion brought him to develop the same love and work ethic during every practice. Jackson says, “we definitely disagree on things at times, but I don’t think I’d be anywhere near the player I am today if I didn’t always have him.” Jackson has learned from his dad, and he recalls watching a video with his dad that still inspires him to this day. It is of a “Red Sox outfielder during an interview saying ‘you do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do.’” This still resonates with Jackson on and off the field. When asked about his relationship with his dad, he says they are very close, and Mr. Pentz is “an incredible role model for what it means to be a father.” He also adds, “I consider myself very lucky to have him as my dad.”

    Bryan McLennan ’18
    Despite his dad being a golf professional and highly dedicated golf player, it was Bryan’s decision that brought him into the world of golf. He “started playing because his buddies started playing, not because of any pressure his dad put on him.” Bryan did feel, however, that he played more because his dad “could teach him and he was another person to play with.” Mr. McLennan is a good motivator for Bryan, giving him advice off the course on how to improve. Bryan noticed that while his dad never puts pressure on him to do well, he always feels there is more at stake because he wants to impress his dad. Nevertheless, Bryan’s shared passion for the sport brings him and his dad together throughout the year.


Women in Math and Science

Article & Photo: Emma Winiarski ’21

On Friday, April 6, the Women in Math and Science Lecture Series continued with Dr. Laurel Rachmeler who is currently a rocket scientist at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Rachmeler studies plasma physics in order to understand the solar dynamics of our sun. To teach students the basic concepts, Dr. Rachmelerís presentation included fun, interactive activities which touched on how heat and energy were measured. From here, students were able to see some of Dr. Rachmeler’s computer models of eruptions on the sun, and a larger scale model of the sunís corona. These computer models were conducted through Dr. Rachmelerís research on magnetic fields, where she was then able work on the team that built an MSFC sounding rocket called Clasp. At the end of the presentation, time was allotted for questions, which reflected much of what the students are learning in their science classes and provided further insight on the topic. As with the last lecture, there was a large student crowd, and it was a perfect way to launch off the spring term.


Reflection From This Year's Seniors

Article: Caleigh Horrigan ’18  |  Photo: Katherine Schmitz ’19

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • As commencement approaches, it is a bittersweet realization for seniors that their time at Suffield is coming to an end. Senior Spring is full of excitement and joy but most of all it is a time of reflection for seniors on their journey here and what they will take away from it. I sat down with some of our seniors in order to hear how they are feeling about their Suffield experience and what advice they would give to underclassmen as they continue to navigate their time at Suffield.  » read more

    High school is a transformative time for anyone and without a doubt every student has been impacted by their time at Suffield and grown in more ways than one. Bailey Hyland ’18 says of her experience, “I feel like I have been able to go with the flow more and take things as they are.” The lesson she has learned is certainly a valuable one, especially with the often hectic and stressful life that students have at Suffield. In addition to this, our school has provided many students with the skills they need to become more socially confident and self-assured. When asked how she feels sheís grown in her four years here, Hattie Bauchiero ’18 answered, “Probably my confidence, through being forced to speak up in class and give senior speeches I’ve changed a lot.” The social growth that students experience is not limited to being developed in formal settings. Milo Marcus ’18 shared that being in the dorms has given him the opportunity to talk to more people and improve his social skills. Even when students are not aware of it, after spending years at Suffield there is a clear growth and beneficial change that they undergo simply be being a part of our community.

    I'm sure if you ask any senior they will have valuable guidance to share that they’ve learned in their time at Suffield. Elias Smith ’18 gave an insightful comment saying, “Be aware of your appearance and how others perceive you.” This advice rings true at a small school like Suffield and speaks to the importance of acting in a way you can take pride in, whether it be amongst peers and faculty. Milo Marcus ’18 had important counsel for any high school student stating, “don’t do anything you arenít comfortable with.” This message is one to always keep in mind, as the peer pressure students face can be difficult, especially when in a new place and trying to get acclimated. Hattie Bauchiero ’18 gave a heartfelt observation on the relationships students make at Suffield saying, “Open up more. Everyone here is genuinely nice and the friendships you make here will last long after.” This truly epitomizes the kind of friendly and welcoming environment Suffield has upheld. Hopefully underclassmen students will take all of these seniors’ advice and experiences to heart, as they soon will know what it feels to have the sun set on their Suffield Academy journey.



Article & Photos: Audrey Arthur ’19 
At the end of every school year we say goodbye to a whole class of seniors and sometimes beloved faculty. This year David Rockwell is one of those beloved faculty members we must part with. Mr. Rockwell, known by all as “Rocky”, has worked at Suffield Academy since 1964. His career here at Suffield has not only been so exceptional because of the years he has given here, but also because of the effort he has dedicated to his every undertaking. Rocky has transformed the role of leadership within our community, beginning with the SOLO Program and the Solo Barn and more recently by directing the Leadership Program. Rocky’s impact extends beyond leadership; his door is always open and he always has a minute to talk. Rocky is the most effective kind of teacher; he knows the benefits of the programs and curriculum he implements because he has lived and experienced those benefits himself. At an institution where competitive sport is such an integral part of our culture, Rocky encourages the importance of non-competitive physical activity in which one only competes against and pushes themselves. Rocky talks to each person with the earnest intention of better knowing who they are and how life has shaped them, and his very approach tells us so much about who he is and the life he continues to live. 

There are many things that are hard to imagine Suffield without. Sit down lunch, Saturday classes, Chapel, the Bell are all examples of seemingly timeless traditions at Suffield. As for the spirit of leadership and community and dedication Rocky has brought to Suffield? That may emerge as the most everlasting of them all.


Defining and Defying Our Dominant Culture

Article: Devina Bhalla ’18 | Photos: Hillary Rockwell Cahn 88, P18, ’22

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Why do we play sports? Perhaps it’s because we like being competitive, the enjoyment of competing or simply winning. Or, maybe, we play sports to learn how to live our lives with other people in a positive way. Sports, therefore, become a laboratory for life. Yet, what happens when voices of discrimination in our culture contaminate this laboratory?  » read more

    In 1973, Billy Jean King, one of the worldís best female tennis players, fought these voices when Bobby Riggs, another top tennis player, loudly taunted that he could easily defeat any woman. King went on to beat Riggs in three sets.

    43 years later, the contamination continues and recently voiced itself to Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu, who won gold and set a world record in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This incredible feat was simply credited to her husband and coach as media labeled him the “guy responsible.” In a single moment, all of her success was credited to a man. Our culture assumes womenís sports are inferior. Female athletes are not as strong. Their varsity teams could easily be beaten by mediocre men. These are constant anthems within our dominant culture, anthems that continue to regress our society into its sexist traditions.

    Whether it is in the Olympics or within smaller communities, women have to fight for the respect they deserve. There is an inequality that, if not addressed, will continue to breed frustration and diminish the success of many female athletes in the world and in schools. Every time our culture belittles the success of female athletes, we perpetrate this discrimination and extend it to the next generation. Our unintended biases sustain this negative voice in our dominant culture.

    As a future college athlete, I demand change. Female athletes around the world should not have to fight the same discrimination, hurt, and frustration. In order to change the larger world culture, we must first start within our own smaller community.

    So, what can we do? Well, popular Nigerian author Adichi wisely utilizes her anger to create change, declaring; (quote) “Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. In addition to anger,” Adichi states, “I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.” (end quote). Thus, I stand here, angry but optimistic.


Poem: Goodbye High School

Poem: Katherine Kelley ’18 | Photo: Audrey Arthur ’19

Good bye high school,
Good night to you,
I know I never thought I would escape you.
From study hall hours,
to my laptop losing power.
My brain did fight for many an hour.
The friends I have gained,
The friends that I leave behind,
They will always be on my mind.
An education that is up above the rest,
Truly put me to the test.
Finals haunt my memory,
While I sit writing my poetry.
I do just enough to keep my grades stable.
From awkward freshman photos,
To a March trip visiting the Duomo,
I am suddenly gaining my diploma.
Sprinting, up that hill I’ll go,
Every step I’ll be one step closer to my goal.
I’m ready to yell, “no more!”
The top I will have reached,
Happy I’ll be, to be up above,
Able to see the world below me.
To the future I will go,
A future for which I have to thank thee.
But let me cut clean.
When I ring that bell,
Three times that spring day.
I will cry with joy for now I can sleep in on a Saturday.


Capturing Uniqueness in Suffield Community

Article & Photos: Mia D’Angelo ’19

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • On April 4, I got to observe the photos in Suffield Academy's very own Advanced Photo Exhibition. The class is made up of seven students. The show featured Madi McCreesh’s ’19 Faces, Audrey Arthur’s ’19 Rocky, Cailey McNamara’s ’19 Phantasmagoria, Spencer Macchia's ’18 untitled, Ramona Fontaine’s ’18 Character Represented by Color, Jessi Malley’s ’19 Out of Control, and Alessia Martini’s ’19 Hands: Tools of an Artist.    » read more

    The show was held downstairs in the Tremaine Art Center and showed six different projects, each one of them unique to their creator. I was able to interview four of the photographers about their artistic process. In Faces, McCreesh decided to focus on the differences within each picture. She free painted her various models faces in different patterns of stripes, symbolizing how different one is from another. Spraying water on glass to get the effect of water droplets caused distortion to represent the imperfections in every person. She focused on one side of the face and darkened the rest to show that one never sees the entirety of someone, and she decided to make her pictures have a black and white filter. McCreesh concluded her artist statement with the resonating message that not one droplet, stripe, or person is the same highlighting the uniqueness of humans.

    Martini focused on the teachers who work within the Art department and their most used tool; their hands. She took breathtaking black and white portraits of the four teachers in four columns and five rows. The first column was Mrs. Fuller, then Mr. Butcher, following Mrs. Caginalp, and finally, Mrs. Graham. In her project, “Hands: Tools of an Artist,” Alessia highlights the complexity and how the universal tool everyone possesses connects in many medias. That each teacher has their own way of using their “tools” to evolve their is illustrated in this series of photographs.

    While the other projects were planned out and executed, Malley had a different experience with her photos in Out of Control. She was planning on using portraits that she had taken, but by happy accident, after she had soaked the film in baking soda and lemon, she realized that the pictures soaked were from her summer lake-house. This mistake turned masterpiece taught Jessi that things have unpredictable outcomes and represents, “[me]as a photographer and my style of photography,” Jessi says in her artist statement.

    Arthur decided to pay tribute to Mr. Rockwell, “Rocky,” and dedicate her project as a farewell message. She mixed her candid photos, portraits, pictures of the SOLO barn and some throwbacks from years ago to capture his legacy at Suffield. She started her process by thinking of capturing many photos of other teachers who have been at Suffield for a long time but as she talked with Rocky, the project developed itself.  Other projects made use of  black and white filters while others highlighted color.  Overall, each photographer had their own unique take on their art and how they presented it.


Suffield's Short Spring Season

Article: Gabriella Tosone ’20 | Photos: Hillary Rockwell Cahn 88, P18, 22

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • The spring season at Suffield, while short, is equally as exciting and enjoyable as the longer Fall and Winter seasons. The warm weather brings the community together to watch games and spend time outside. I decided to ask Mr. Brissette and Mr. Foote about the differences between coaching during a long, fall season and then adapting to the shorter spring season. I asked about how they are able to adapt their coaching techniques and ideas in order to be met with the same amount of success each season.  » read more

    I started by asking both coaches how they manage to fit in the same quality and quantity of coaching in a season that is far shorter than the fall. Mr. Brissette explained how it is key “to plan and manage practices in the most efficient way possible.” He describes that the use of the indoor facilities at Suffield ensures that no valuable coaching and practicing time is lost and he watches to make sure the players “work on skills to help them prove individually and, as a result, help the team improve.” In addition, Mr. Brissette wants to thank his “excellent assistant coaches” as they help make “this goal much more realistic” and Mr. Brissette feels “lucky to have that in both Coach Pentz and Coach Hennessey.” Mr. Foote similarly describes how fortunate he is “to have great facilities and a grounds crew so [the team] can always get something accomplished at practice.” I asked both Mr. Brissette and Mr. Foote what the biggest struggle was for them as coaches in the shorter spring season and both discussed the difficulty in weather here in New England. Mr. Foote explains how “the weather (especially this year) frequently is an obstacle, as snow, ice, and rain can drive teams inside” yet both he and Mr. Brissette are grateful for the facilities Suffield provides. Mr. Brissette similarly adds that “it would be nice to have better weather in the spring so fewer practices have to be moved indoors (and usually shortened) and fewer games postponed/canceled.”

    I then asked what each coach does to change their coaching techniques in order to ensure the most success for the season. Mr. Brissette responded, “First, it’s important for the team to understand what “success” means. For the varsity baseball team, our goal is to get into the league playoffs. In a short season, the coaches and players must have a clear nderstanding of the importance of each game and practice in the pursuit of this goal. At any point, if we are not getting better we are getting worse.” Mr. Foote adds that he asks his team to “keep their sticks in their hands in the offseason, improving their skills” in order to make the most of the short season.

    Mr. Foote also says, “we just remind them to balance schoolwork, lacrosse, and other activities as best as they can, to be positive community members all the time. Both coaches value balance and team bonding and make sure both of these aspects of team culture are present during both seasons that they coach, no matter the length. When asked whether he preferred a longer or shorter season, Mr. Brissette insightfully responded, “It would be nice to have more games so that my players could showcase their talents more. It can be challenging in such a short season (usually fewer than 20 games) to generate statistics that reflect a player’s true ability. This can be an issue when it comes to college recruiting,” which is true for any of the sports played during Suffield’s shortest athletic season.

    I asked Mr. Brissette how he changed his coaching style for the two different sports and different team dynamics. He explained that “football and baseball are two very different sports from a coaching standpoint” but that one of the major differences for him is that “in football an emphasis is placed on game planning for each week's opponent while in baseball more of an emphasis is on individual and team skills.”

    Mr. Brissette continued to elaborate and say, “Regardless of the sport, it is important to motivate the young people you coach and communicate with them effectively each day. Doing this can vary from season to season, year to year and team to team. A coach must be willing to adapt and learn each year no matter how much experience they have.” This is a universal idea that is seen in many of Suffieldís coaches and it is a core idea both on and off the fields. I enjoyed hearing from Mr. Brissette and Mr. Foote about their ideas on the short Spring season! Good luck to all our tigers! Be sure to go out and support all of our Spring teams!


Spring Special Olympics

Article: Kate Rookey ’18 | Photo: Tori Tryon ’18

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411