The Suffield Academy faculty is comprised of 85 men and women, each of whom acts as an advisor to Academy students. An advisor’s role is to encourage and guide students throughout their Suffield journey. Each spring students are given the opportunity to select their advisor for the following academic year. The typical advisee group consists of seven students and meets regularly each term. In addition to scheduled meetings, advisors host dinners, attend advisee sporting events, and offer overall encouragement during the school year. Advisors play a vital role in the Suffield community. They are more than a mentor for students; they are also an important resource for parents and other faculty members.
Suffield’s commitment to sustaining a strong community is apparent in many school traditions. Students and faculty gather for family-style lunch each day. There is a school meeting every Monday where guest speakers address the community. There are also several annual events that help define the strong bonds on campus, including an Earth Day celebration, Alumni Leadership Day, and the Kent-Davis Public Speaking Contest.
Suffield has 13 dorms for our boarding students. The small size of the dorms and the close supervision of faculty members make each dorm a family. It is common to see students hanging out with faculty members and their families. This closeness and family-like atmosphere sets Suffield apart from other schools.
An essential component of life at Suffield Academy is the internal community service program that we call the Work Program. The philosophy of the Work Program is to promote pride in the school, respect for others, and a sense of responsibility and leadership. Each term, students choose their role. These range from helping with dining services to the library to the admissions office or snack bar.
Between the World and Me is written as a letter from the author to his teenage son about being black in America. It pivots between personal and historical, focusing both on America’s racial history and current civil rights crisis. As we have seen again poignantly this spring, systemic racism in America devalues black lives. Racism diminishes, demoralizes, and dehumanizes. We hope to use this text and a series of programs to help Suffield’s students and faculty engage in the realities of systemic racism and help strengthen our community and the world.