The 2023-2024 senior speaker series continued on October 30. It featured eight members of the Class of 2024: David Bowers, Niko Curwin-Amfitheatrof, Max Giugliano, Lleyton Kornstein, Michael McCormack, Alex Tucker, Ellie Ruffa, and Allie Zeytoonjian.
David Bowers, a four-year senior from Nassau, Bahamas and Niko Curwin-Amfitheatrof, a three-year senior from Bridgewater, Connecticut joined forces to share a Halloween-inspired “scary story” about facing toxic black mold that incorporated many of their friends and teachers from their years together at Suffield.
Max Giugliano, a four-year senior from Gainesville, Georgia shared why diving is a great sport and why others should do it. He said, “There is nothing like the feeling of hanging in the air above the water—it feels both freeing and terrifying, and both feelings are amplified the harder the dive you attempt... The dopamine hit for surpassing your limits is addictive.”
Lleyton Kornstein, a three-year senior from Manhattan shared stories about the winding journey he took to get to his senior year at Suffield, and the lessons he's learned along the way. He said, “My journey here wasn’t exactly a straight path... My biggest takeaway is that without mishaps I wouldn’t be the person before you today.”
Michael McCormack, a four-year senior from San Francisco, California spoke about his strong bond with his mother, saying “I truly believe that I have the greatest mom out there. I’ll put her up against any of your moms as the undisputed GOAT. Even though it’s a natural maternal obligation to be there for me, no one does it like her.”
Alex Tucker, a three-year senior from Scarsdale, New York, talked about the importance of discussing current events. He said, “I love Suffield and have grown immensely here. I am grateful for the opportunities that Suffield has given me. But I encourage everyone to speak more freely about what is going on in the world.”
Ellie Ruffa, a three-year senior from Dorset, Vermont, spoke about her relationship with her younger brother, Will. She said, “Though I had so many resources here on campus helping me adjust, Will, you have been my original inspiration, motivation, and confidence builder.”
Allie Zeytoonjian, a three-year senior from Farmington, Connecticut, shared what she learned from Jay Shetty’s podcast “How to Master Emotions.” She learned that “criticizing and comparing both originate from insecurities but what separates the two is how comparing tends to be internal while criticizing tends to be more vocal. Together, comparing and criticizing are destructive to one’s mindset...The cancers of the mind are generally internalized, teaching people negative habits that harm their self-image.”
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.