Senior Speakers [November 1]


The 2021-2022 Senior Speaker series continued on November 1 and featured 8 members of the Class of 2022: Dylan Achatz, Matt Shiffman, Zeno Dancanet, Giselle Ciriaco, Gabriella (Gibby) Nunez, Kaitlyn Suller, Cooper Choate, and Bennett Simpson.

Dylan Achatz, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut, shared his college application essay with his peers, which centered around the importance of family. “No matter what, all five of us sit down on Sunday at 6:30 pm and have a meal together. No phones, no television, just one family sitting around the dinner table talking about the latest occurrences in their lives in the same seating arrangement as the week before.”

Four-year senior from West Hartford, Connecticut Matt Shiffman shared details about the strength of his connection with his father and brother. When speaking about his dad, his overwhelming love and admiration came through. “His ability to balance an awesome career that he loves, while putting his family first, will have an everlasting impact on my life. My dad’s hard work motivates me in the classroom so that I too can find a job and career that I am passionate about.”

Zeno Dancanet, a four-year senior from Manhattan, New York, touched on how he spent his last summer working at a children’s hospice in Romania. He was particularly impacted by the loss of a young girl the day before her birthday. He recalled his and his colleague’s reaction to that day: “Neither of us had anticipated that death was an option. We had just assumed that tomorrow would naturally come like it always did without question for us. But that is not how it is for some people.”

Giselle Ciriaco, a four-year senior from the Bronx, New York, wrote a letter to her advisor, Ms. Rachel Lloyd, saying, “Joining your advisory and having you as my advisor has been, and continues to be, one of the best decisions I have made in my life... When I needed someone the most, you stepped up and you made life tolerable, not because it was your job, but because you genuinely cared about me.”

Four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut Gabriella (Gibby) Nunez spoke about spending her favorite “holiday,” Super Bowl Sunday, with her family. “We simply enjoy being together and watching some good football. The Super Bowl may just be a random holiday for some, but for my family, it’s an important day we can all share and make funny memories... It’s the time we spend together laughing and joking around that make it a great family tradition.”

Four-year senior from from Granby, Connecticut Kaitlyn Suller shared what it’s like being a twin, and how she and her sister, Hailey, found their own personalities outside of just being “the Suller twins”. “Suffield has allowed me to become my own person and I encourage you, whether you are a twin or not, to go outside your comfort zone and take advantage of what Suffield has to offer.”

Cooper Choate, a three-year senior from Litchfield, Connecticut, told listeners about how easily injuries seem to have found him during his time at Suffield. His best advice for others to avoid a similar fate? “Watch where you’re walking and do not try to rush because you may end up falling down the stairs.”

Bennett Simpson, a four-year senior from West Granby, Connecticut, discussed being a day student, and how his time at Suffield started out much less social than his peers. So he shared some of his favorite things with those who might not know him well: “The built-in friendship I have with my sisters; Cotuit, Massachusetts; 29 Kripes Road, East Granby; ‘Sand in my Boots’ by Morgan Wallen; all the friends that I’ve made here.”

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