Ivan Reese (Admissions, Mathematics Department)
Mr. Reese, second from the left in the back row, is coming to Suffield from Bates College in Maine, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics while playing running back for their football team. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Mr. Reese moved frequently throughout his pre-college years, including Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, and other various cities in Florida. He appreciates the welcoming faculty and student body at Suffield, and is grateful for how genuinely interested people were to meet him. Mr. Reese was willing to take any position offered at Suffield. In addition to teaching math and working in the admissions department, Mr. Reese is a dorm parent in Fuller Hall. He is also coaching football and basketball, as well as helping out with the strength and conditioning program. He wants his students to know that they should remain competitive after Suffield and to compete on a global scale. Kevin Van Dam (Mathematics Department, Science Department)
Pictured in the back row, second from the right, Mr. Van Dam grew up in Westboro, Massachusetts, which is within close proximity to the Fay School. He received a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Suffield’s warm community and supportive faculty were the first things Mr. Van Dam took note of when he came to Suffield for an internship last year, and seeing what went on here made him want to be a part of Suffield’s community. Along with coaching thirds soccer and golf, Mr. Van Dam is teaching math and Engineering and Problem Solving. He personally designed the engineering curriculum with the vision of helping students interested in pursuing engineering to have a class that supported that interest. He believes that his students should be confident in their abilities so that they can appear competent, allowing for new opportunities. Mr. Van Dam is a dorm parent in Spencer Hall, where he lives with his ten-year-old dog, Snickers.
Neil Stone (Academic Support) Displayed in the back row, furthest to the right, Mr. Stone received his Undergraduate Degree from Kenyon College in Ohio, and his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. Having grown up in a suburb of Cleveland, a town called Solon, Mr. Stone understands the meaning of the word “struggle.” This has taught him to always remain optimistic for the future and the success it brings. Mr. Stone will be coaching thirds basketball in addition to working in academic support. Suffield appeared to have a sense of community that was vibrant and supportive, which is what made him want to teach here. He believes that his students should trust themselves and trust the process.
Jennifer Lord (Admissions, Leadership Department) Mrs. Lord, front row, fourth from the left, grew up locally in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, as well as Easthampton, Massachusetts. She received her Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees from Connecticut State University, and her School Counseling Degree from Central Connecticut State University, respectively. The welcoming campus, rigorous curriculum, and spirit of community all attracted Mrs. Lord to Suffield. She is co-teaching a leadership class with Mr. Atkins, as well as fulfilling a role in the Admissions Department. She believes all of Suffield’s students should remember and use their personal strengths, be true to themselves, and use the knowledge gained at Suffield in the world beyond their high school years. Mrs. Lord resides in Suffield with her two children, Will and Addison.
Anu Rawlings (English Department, ESL) Ms. Rawlings, pictured in the first row, second from the right, grew up in a small beach town known as Kennebunk, Maine. She recently received her Undergraduate Degree from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, where she double majored in English Literature and Secondary Education. Ms. Rawlings was first introduced to the preparatory school environment last year when she did an internship at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire for two weeks. This is where she fell in love with the environment of private schools, especially being able to work with students in and out of the classroom. She loved Suffield specifically because of the community atmosphere, kind people, and how the school perceives discipline: as an opportunity for students to be disciplined thoughtfully for the sake of learning their mistakes, rather than being punished harshly. The most important piece of advice she wants her students to know is to not be afraid to ask for help because it is very easy to get caught up in the idea of feeling that you must know everything when you do not. Ms. Rawlings is coaching girls’ water polo and swimming, and she also is teaching English and ESL.
Gina Longo (Assistant Athletic Trainer, Leadership Department) Suffield’s athletes know her as Trainer Gina in the training room, and while she is not new to Suffield’s community, she is new to the Leadership Department, where she is referred to as Ms. Longo. Ms. Longo, featured front row, sixth from the left, grew up in South Plainfield, New Jersey. She attended Springfield college for her Bachelor’s Degree, as well as Northeastern University for her Master’s Degree in Leadership and Strategic Health Management. When at Springfield College, she did an internship at Suffield in the training room where she works today. During her internship, she was attracted to Suffield because she liked the fact that she could see athletes not only in the training room, but also in the classroom and at social activities. She wants her students to take on new opportunities after Suffield and to be willing to expand their comfort zone. Ms. Longo takes time out of her busy schedule to get up early and be in the gym at five o’clock every morning. She is a dorm parent in Montgomery where she lives with her cat, Luna.
Tory Fitzgerald (Academic Support) Ms. Fitzgerald, featured in the center of the back row, grew up in Holliston, Massachusetts. She attended boarding school in New Hampshire, and received her Psychology Degree from Bates College where she minored in Education. Ms. Fitzgerald wanted to teach at a New England boarding school, having attended one, and Suffield also offered certain coaching spots that she was interested in fulfilling. Ms. Fitzgerald currently works in Academic Support, and she also coaches field hockey and softball. She believes all Suffield students should advocate for themselves, as it is very important in college and the real world to find the help you need in order to succeed.
Aphra Benitz ’13 (Science Department) A Suffield alumna, Ms. Benitz, front row, fourth from the right, is teaching in Suffield’s science department. She is a graduate from the University of British Columbia, and has her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Natural Resource Conservations with a Specialization in Global Policy. Ms. Benitz was born in Toronto, but grew up in Florida. She has a passion for biology. When she was offered the position of teaching biology at Suffield, she was excited for this new opportunity, so she took it. So far, she is very happy and loves working here. Ms. Benitz wants her students to remember that their time at Suffield is precious, and that they shouldn’t worry about university or getting accepted to university, as they will go to a good college. Ms. Benitz enjoys rock climbing and hiking, and is helping out with SOLO and JV girls squash. She is also a dorm associate in Nathena Fuller and Barnes.
Matt Mercure (History Department) Originally from Westfield, MA, Mr. Mercure, front row, furthest right, attended Westfield State University for his Bachelor’s Degree in History. Mr. Mercure previously worked in Suffield’s library as well as the Summer Academy, which is how he was exposed to the attitude of Suffield’s faculty and students, and how great the people of Suffield are. He wants his students to remember that they shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Mr. Mercure is teaching in the History department, as well as coaching boys JV soccer and crew. He is also a dorm parent in Spencer. Mr. Mercure takes pride in the fact that he has been volunteering with the Special Olympics in Massachusetts for the past thirteen years.
Brittney D’Oleo ’14 (Mathematics Department) Ms. D’Oleo, a graduate of Suffield, is coming to Suffield from The University of Richmond, where she double-majored in math and physics and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Science. She, pictured in the front row, furthest left, originally grew up in Forest Hill, New Jersey, which is within close proximity to Newark. During her time at Suffield, Ms. D’Oleo became very close with Mrs. Warren. She continued to visit her often after she had graduated, and even though she had job offers elsewhere, she decided to come back to teach at Suffield after being offered a position. She loves how Suffield has a strong sense of community, and appreciates how we are conscious about our environmental footprint. Ms. D’Oleo is coaching girls’ volleyball and basketball. She believes her students should keep learning, growing, and remember to be open-minded. As they move on, she hopes they recall the community values that they learned at Suffield. Ms. D’Oleo is a dorm parent in Kotchen, where she lives with her four-pound, fully grown toy Yorkie.
Taylor Coats (English Department) Mr. Coats, shown in the back row, furthest left, is originally from Austin, Texas, but spent time in Saudi Arabia growing up because his father had a job in the oil industry. He attended boarding school in New Jersey before attending the University of Southern California for his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. He was looking for a position to be a rowing coach, which Suffield had open. He was making a transition from medicine at the time and was interested in teaching, but he did not want to teach science, having done so in the past. When he was offered a position in the English department, he took it. He is coaching crew training in the winter, as well as crew in the spring. A dorm parent in Samii, he wants his students to know that they should not be afraid to change their minds and should be open and flexible in making decisions. His wife, Nikki, spends half of the week in New York, where she is attending college for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The Coats have a Pitbull mix named Mia.
Amy Norris (Science Department) Ms. Norris, pictured in the front row, third from the left, was originally from Oklahoma, but spent most of her childhood in Hudson, MA. She attended Roger Williams University for her Undergraduate Degree in Marine Biology and Sonoma State University for her Master’s Degree in Science. She came to Suffield because of how flexible it was for families with young children, and because it seemed a good fit for her current career needs. She wants her science students to remember that they should live in the present and find what makes them happy. Ms. Norris previously worked with elephant seals. Her husband, Mr. Johnson, is helping with stage crew. Ms. Norris is a dorm parent in Montgomery, where she lives with Mr. Johnson, her son, Leif; and two cats.
Lindsey Fava (Library) Mrs. Fava, displayed in the front row, third from the right, is originally from Windham, New Jersey. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Criminology. While this is her first year as a member of Suffield’s faculty, she has lived on campus for the past year with her husband, Mr. Fava, who works in college counseling. In that time she saw how welcoming Suffield and wanted to be a part of the experience. Suffield also had more flexibility than her previous position, which made it a great option. She believes it is important that Suffield's students should put themselves out there, get involved, meet new people, and learn about others. In addition to working in the library, Mrs. Fava is the dorm head in Tompkins, where she lives with Mr. Fava and her dog, Harper.
Joyce Bolaños (Language Department) Señora Bolanos, originally from Peru, is pictured in the front row, fifth from the right. She attended Muhlenberg College for two years, as well as Universidad Interamericana in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Marketing. Señora Bolanos was introduced to Suffield’s community last year as a substitute teacher. She appreciated how kind people were and how students were eager to learn. Señora Bolanos teaches Spanish and is interested in starting a fencing club at Suffield. She has a passion for fencing and has participated in the sport since she was very young. Señora Bolanos is n the Publicity and Promotion Committee of the FIE (International Fencing Federation). She works to help plan fencing at the Olympics, and is currently assisting in curating the plans for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She is sent to fencing World Cups and other events to ensure that there is no doping or steroid use. Last year, she traveled to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador to perform these tests. She continues to fence competitively in the “veterans” category, and she trains three times a week at Prite Fencing Academy in Broadbrook, Connecticut. She lives in Enfield with her husband, where they have a thirty-acre garlic farm. She is traveling to Paris this December for the FIE.
Rachel Lloyd (English Department) Ms. Lloyd, front row, fifth from the left, is originally from Agawam, Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst for her Bachelor’s degree in English. Ms. Lloyd appreciates Suffield’s strong sense of community and the high value placed on academics, which is what made her want to teach here. The location was also convenient for her. Ms. Lloyd is coaching j.v. girls’ soccer, as well as girls’ varsity tennis in addition to being a dorm parent in Tompkins. She wants her students to remember that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when they need it and to use all available resources.
Phil Hodosy (History Department)
Mr. Hodosy, originally from Watertown, New York, is pictured in the front row, second from the left. He attended St. Lawrence College for his Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies. He first noticed Suffield’s sense of community and unified culture. Mr. Hodosy also appreciated how the school was big enough that it had plenty of diversity, but small enough so that everyone knew each other. He is coaching crew in the spring, and is currently teaching in the history department. He believes his students should acknowledge that they will have difficult times in life, but if they work hard and put forth effort, they will succeed. In addition, he believes that work ethic and commitment are important in order to attain success. Mr. Hodosy is currently a dorm parent in Rockwell, where he lives with his five-year-old springer-spaniel named Lexi.
Liz Kelly (Language Department) Ms. Kelly is originally from Lakeville, Connecticut. Displayed in the front row, sixth from the right, Ms. Kelly attended Gettysburg College for her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Business and Middlebury College for her master’s degree in Spanish. Ms. Kelly had heard a lot about the community and the mission of Suffield, she and was excited to come and visit the campus. When she arrived here, she knew this is the place where she wanted to work. Ms. Kelly is currently coaching girls’ JV soccer, and she also teaches Spanish and ESL. Her students, she believes, should remember to treat people kindly and with respect because the most important value is being kind to others. Ms. Kelly is a dorm parent in Rockwell, where she lives with Mr. Hodosy and her five-year-old springer-spaniel named Lexi.