Matthew Fava

Matthew grew up in southern New Hampshire and has lived in various New England states over the years. He joined Suffield Academy in 2017 as an Associate Director of College Counseling and is transitioning to the science department in the fall of 2022. Matthew enjoys helping young people realize their potential and feels fortunate to contribute to the Academy’s welcoming and supportive campus community.

Prior to Suffield, Matthew coached men’s college basketball for eight years with stops at Vassar College, College of the Holy Cross, Castleton University, and Connecticut College. He graduated from Connecticut College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and earned a Master of Arts in Education from Castleton University in 2014. In addition to his primary role teaching biology, Matthew is also the dorm head in Roe. He and his wife Lindsey live on campus with their two-year-old son Avery and dog Harper.

What do you love about where you live now?
I love raising my son, Avery, in Suffield. More specifically, raising a family at Suffield Academy is a truly unique and enriching experience. My wife, Lindsey, and I feel so fortunate to be here and to grow as a family throughout our lives at Suffield.

What is your favorite thing about day-to-day life at Suffield Academy?
The camaraderie among colleagues at Suffield Academy is something that I cherish. People went out of their way when we first arrived to make us feel welcome. Now, some of those coworkers have become true friends. We value those relationships so much, and it is great to work alongside them and see them every day.

Which of your roles at Suffield Academy do you relish the most?
As I transition from working in the college counseling department for the past five years to serving Suffield in the science department, I am excited to work in the classroom. My undergraduate and graduate school training is in secondary teaching, and I am eager to work with the students at Suffield in this setting. I look forward to introducing the freshman class to high school science through the exciting study of living things (biology) and piquing their interest before they move on to learn about chemistry, physics, and various science electives.

What is the first thing you do every morning when you get to work?
I am eager to learn the answer to this question myself. In college counseling, I started my days by making coffee and responding to emails. This year I will be driving Avery to Enfield Montessori School every morning at 7:40 am, and what I do after that will depend on my teaching schedule. I may be heading right back and walking into my 8:00 am class, or I may have time to sip my coffee while I read up on new current events related to biology and prepare for the day.

What is something your Suffield Academy family might not know about you?
Many of my coworkers and students may not know that I have two tattoos, both of which mean a lot to me. One is on my right forearm, matching a tattoo on Lindsey’s left forearm, with our wedding anniversary in roman numerals. The other is on my left ribcage and is a tribute to my late maternal grandmother. It is a bare tree with roots exposed to symbolize our family’s past, present, and future; and with Nana Ginney’s life tenets (attitude, truth, purpose, forgiveness, perseverance, trust) scribed between the branches. I am excited to add to this tattoo, or start a new one of its own, to recognize my children once our family is complete.

What is your favorite hobby?
This one is easy: playing golf! It is absolutely my favorite escape hobby. It allows me to clear my head, compete with myself, and feel like I am always striving to be better at something active, while also spending quality time with family and friends on the course.

What is the most important life lesson for someone to learn?
A lesson I learned that has kept me grounded is, “You have plenty of time. What do you need to do?” It is easy in our fast-paced life, particularly in the independent school world, to feel like we are rushed and do not have enough time. That is rarely reality, but rather our perception, due to stress and distractions. When I remind myself of this quote, it helps me step back, take a deep breath, reprioritize, and take action.

What is the one word that you live by?
ACCOUNTABILITY. Every time I complete a values exercise, this turns up as my top choice. I think it encompasses a lot in our daily lives, and its importance is undervalued in my opinion. When it comes to self-motivation, I find accountability to be the most useful tool and compelling force. In terms of leaders and supervisors, I think accountability is of the utmost importance for both production and collaboration.

What is something you believe one can never over-invest in?
TIME with the people who mean the most to you. To me, this is more valuable than any monetary gain or material possession, which is one of the biggest reasons I made the transition to Suffield Academy in the first place. It means the world to me that I get so much quality time with my family during the summer months, and I love seeing Avery interact with students and faculty alike in the dining hall at breakfast and dinner during the school year.