The 2021-2022 Senior Speaker series continued on December 13 and featured eight members of the Class of 2022: Devon Carty, Stephanie Karmitz, Karrah Hayes, Catherine McCarthy, Maeve Moylan, Sophia Tosone, Jason Yuan, and Katya Yurkovskaya.
Devon Carty, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut and Stephanie Karmitz, a four-year senior from Toronto, Canada, presented a joint speech about how they both chose to attend Suffield after going to grade school together in Toronto. When Devon found out she was moving from Toronto to Suffield she said, “As a joke, I told [Steph] she should move with us and apply to be a boarder at whichever high school I chose. Not thinking Steph would actually ever agree or take this statement seriously, to my surprise she did.” The decision was a great one according to Steph. She said, “Coming to Suffield has helped me meet some of the most amazing people who have turned into very important friends in my life... Thank you to Suffield, for becoming my home away from home.”
A four-year senior from Granville, Massachusetts Karrah Hayes shared a thoughtful metaphor between gardening and mental health, letting the audience into a personal part of her world as a self-proclaimed perfectionist. She admitted, “I was not perfect—I was struggling, and I didn’t want anyone to know. The façade of my fake garden—of my fake happiness, of my fake stability—all to project perfectionism onto the world, placed me at my lowest... If you need help cultivating your garden, please reach out to someone who is able to lend a caring hand.”
Catherine McCarthy, a three-year senior from New York City, shared an essay she wrote where she spoke about her complicated relationship with competitive swimming, and how her feelings changed from distaste to pride over time. She stated, “I began to feel proud of my tiny improvements, suddenly aware that I did not present myself as a weak swimmer, slowly inching towards a victory for myself. The graceful mediocrity of my stroke showed improvements, as I started to glide my way through the water, rather than attack it.”
A four-year senior from West Hartford, Connecticut Maeve Moylan wrote a letter to her little sister, Quin, who bumped her out of the youngest child position when she was seven years old. She wrote to Quin, “When I think of growing up, I am never not with you. You were always willing to be my student when I wanted to play teacher, always willing to play Barbies or build Legos... Thank you for always being yourself, and always being there for me.”
Sophia Tosone, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut, dedicated her speech to her strong relationship with her mother, Mrs. Kelli Tosone. To her mom, Sophia said, “When I think about what kind of mother I want to be, what kind of person I want to be, and what effect I want to have on others, I think of you.”
A four-year senior from Wuhan, China Jason Yuan shared some specific stories about his time at Suffield, starting with the time he was locked out of his room in only a towel with no one else around, and what his experiences taught him. He stated, “I learned to be more careful about keeping my key with me because it isn’t fun to be outside in the cold with no clothes. Most importantly, I learned the power of friends because my friend helped me.”
Katya Yurkovskaya, a four-year senior from Belarus, started her speech with a surprising statement: “There is a catastrophic mistake a Suffield student can make...making friends.” But this made sense as she continued on about the difficulty of making friends that graduate before you, and how it can be hard to lose their presence while you’re still in school. But when Katya decided to hold an experiment this year to expand her social circle, she was surprised by the result, sharing, “The reason why I held the experiment was that I needed friends. Once I acknowledged this need, the universe decided to help me out. Five days after I started the experiment, I accidentally joined a friend group.”