Suffield Academy seniors and faculty members had a formal dinner in Brewster Hall on September 8, focusing on their shared responsibilities of leading the school during the 2021-2022 academic year. Class President Lauren Carey ’22 delivered remarks, as did co-Class Advisor Jazzy Salehi ’12. Matthew Fava is also an advisor to the Class of 2022, and Max Henderson ’22 is class vice president.
Lauren noted how great it was that the class was together in one room essentially for the first time since their sophomore year. She said, “When I chose I Suffield, I know one of the biggest factors was the community. Everyone was so welcoming, especially the upperclassmen who showed us the ropes. Now we need to take on this role because many here don’t even know what normal is at Suffield (given the COVID-19 pandemic). The senior class sets the tone for each year…we are the hype crew for this school. We have a duty to the school and specifically all the underclassmen to leave our mark on Suffield and help shape the welcoming community.”
Prior to a wonderful buffet meal, Class Advisor Jazzy Salehi ’12 shared comments about the vital importance of mental health and self-care. She said, “Mr. Cahn powerfully emphasizes Suffield’s strong values regarding kindness towards others, but we can sometimes forget to extend that same level of compassion and goodwill towards ourselves. We are living in a time where we are constantly inundated with images, videos, and other platforms of how we should live our lives, how we should look, dress, and think. We are in a continual state of comparison—with our siblings, our friends, our classmates, celebrities, influencers, and thousands of other strangers. Our wish for you all is to know that we could not be happier that you are you and we hope that you know or grow to know the value in your individuality. There is no one else like you and that is a powerful thing. There is no person out there who will understand your personal journey better than you. Love yourself, respect yourself, embrace who you are, and be proud of yourself through all seasons of life.”
After dinner, Head of School Charlie Cahn spoke about the vital role the senior class plays in sustaining Suffield’s philosophy and core values. He also noted that the past eighteen months have brought new and unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am very mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of us in very real ways—our academic and work lives, our mental and emotional health—and crushed us with a reminder that life can change significantly in what seems like minutes. Now, we reemerge together, as part of a wonderful community that cherishes and supports each member. As we begin the year, bring your best—bring compassion, positive spirit, and appreciation for having this unprecedented storm that has now brought you back to Suffield Academy.”
Faculty members Chelsea Kane ’09 and Tom Gotwals led the students and faculty through a rousing rendition of Suffield’s Alma Mater to conclude the event.