The 2023-2024 senior speaker series continued on October 16. It featured eight members of the Class of 2024: Cameron Cote, Joe Giugliano, Ella Slate, Jacob Carroll, Kiefer Priest, Conor Tashjian, Caroline Powell, and Hanseo Lim.
Cameron Cote, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut, spoke about the person who’s trained him in basketball for the past five years. He said, “I am so grateful that he taught me the importance of hard work and discipline; I wouldn’t be where I am without his guidance... He taught me how to become a leader through basketball camp and...the core values he implemented onto me have benefited me in all other aspects of my life.”
Joe Giugliano, a four-year senior from Gainesville, Georgia (and Suffield, Connecticut), shared some memories about how Suffield has become a second home to him. He said, “I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Senior year may be stressful, but Suffield has become a home to me in so many ways... Now I have two homes, two communities, two support systems. I’m happy to call this place my home.”
Ella Slate, a four-year senior from Springfield, Massachusetts, talked about the way she looks at life. She said, “After a lot of self-reflection, contemplation of the meaning of life, and forgiveness, my perspective has changed. Nowadays I see life as a series of memories made, of moments to reminisce about at family parties. My parents, my brother, and I like to call these moments, particularly our funniest ones, our best ‘bits.’”
Jacob Carroll, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut, spoke about attending Suffield as a faculty kid. He said, “The most valuable thing Suffield Academy gave to me was the importance of community. The ability to integrate into our school community the way boarders are able to while maintaining a close relationship with my family and friends in town is a privilege I don’t take for granted.”
Kiefer Priest, a three-year senior from Lake Forest, Illinois, reflected on lessons he has learned. He said, “It’s important to do what you fear; it’s great to be together, even if it’s forced; and going through hardships builds relationships... These things are important because of Suffield’s motto ‘Esse Quam Videri.’ The only way we are going to be rather than to seem is to try and lean into new things.”
Conor Tashjian, a three-year senior from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, spoke about finding self-confidence through his high school career. He said, “Through everything that has happened, I have found myself again, growing from these experiences and making changes in my life to ensure I become a better person from this. I have persevered through challenging times for an exceedingly long time now, and fortunately my perseverance has paid dividends.”
Caroline Powell, a two-year senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, talked about feeling equally at home in two places that she is not originally from. She said, “When asked where I am from, at school or on a tour, the answer is Charlotte, North Carolina, but this is not where I feel most at home. Even though Baton Rouge is 1500 miles from Suffield, these two places together make me feel most at home.”
Hanseo Lim, a four-year senior from Seoul, South Korea, shared a letter he wrote to one of his mentors, Suffield graduate Logan Lee ’23. He shared, “I've come to realize the immense pressures and challenges you must have faced during your senior year. Even among your own stresses about the future, you took the time to guide and support me, which I now recognize was no small act. This year, inspired by your example, I aim to be a strong support and mentor to others, even with my own challenges.”
The senior speaker series is a valuable Suffield Academy tradition and capstone part of the Leadership Program. It is a weekly highlight in our community.