The 2021-2022 Senior Speaker series concluded on May 9. It featured seven members of the Class of 2022: Tyler Cooper, Trent Hieber, Sander Abell, Trey Bischoping, Oliver Roberts, Harper Reuss, and Chloe Ku. ASSIST student Victoria Benderschi ’23 also shared remarks.
Tyler Cooper, a three-year senior from Bloomfield, Connecticut wrote a letter to his swim coach Andy Lowe saying, “Your advice has always been blunt and straight to the point, yet helpful as I find myself listening to you no matter what. You have that sense of honesty, humor, and humility that I will forever admire. Through my years at Suffield I have learned to be true to myself no matter what people think, and my confidence has gone up exponentially by going off your example.”
Trent Hieber, a two-year senior from Granby, Connecticut shared a piece of creative writing about what inspired him to begin his hobby of collecting coins. He said, “That 1914 Standing Liberty quarter isn’t worth much in monetary terms, however it is worth everything to me because of what it represents. It will perpetually be one of my most prized possessions because it inspired my journey into the vast and fascinating world of numismatics, also known as coin collecting.”
Sander Abell, a three-year senior from New York City and Houston, Texas spoke about what he’s grateful for at Suffield, referencing “the opportunities that my parents have worked so hard to afford me” and “the amazing bonds that I have built with my peers here.” He then went on to display his musical talent, performing some of “Lenny” by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Trey Bischoping, a three-year senior from Austin, Texas spoke about his hero, his dad. He said, “Every day, seeing what he does inspires me. He’s the hardest worker I know and never fails to put his family first. He works unbelievable hours and when he isn’t working he’s helping my mom, my brothers, or me with anything and everything... He truly leads by example.”
Oliver Roberts, a four-year senior from Nassau, Bahamas shared a story about the importance of his dog, a stray his family took in seven years ago. He said, “Nobody in our family could possibly imagine our lives without him. My dog, like all dogs, makes us feel safe, keeps me calm, and gives me something to worry about other than myself.”
Harper Reuss, a four-year senior from Bridgehampton, New York spoke about his experience in the True North Wilderness Program. Though initially hesitant, after accepting what the program would do for him he came to the realization that “for the next couple of months I would be given a chance to focus solely on my mental health and well-being. By utilizing therapy sessions mixed with supportive friend I was finally able to get a grip and work on myself.”
Chloe Ku, a four-year senior from Hong Kong expressed gratitude for her family members, saying to her father, “Thank you, Dad, for always being someone I can look up to and get advice from. Thank you for providing for the family and being someone that I can talk and relate to,” and to her sister, “I am really proud of what you achieved and overcame these years. Thank you for being the best sister, a sister that I can connect with and share many interests.”
Victoria Benderschi, a junior from the Republic of Moldova through the ASSIST program, spoke about the single year she's been able to spend at Suffield and what she has learned from her time. She said, “Yes, my time here is finite. But I now realize there’s something so beautiful about that. I get to cherish all these moments as if they were my last because…they are... Suffield gave me a newfound appreciation for the present moment, so fleeting yet so precious.”
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.