Leadership Program Overview


Many schools discuss the importance of leadership training, but at Suffield Academy we have fully established programs for all students to develop leadership skills. In 2002, Suffield embarked on an ambitious project to bring formal leadership studies to the academic program. The program aims to develop human beings with integrity who wish to make a significant and positive impact on our society. It begins with a focus on personal mastery skills, moves to an emphasis on community service efforts, and culminates in practical experience for all seniors. We teach ways of thinking and developing skills, traits, and habits in order to enhance each student’s leadership qualities and capabilities. Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 take required year-long courses where the curriculum emphasizes experiential learning and guided self-discovery. The leadership experience at Suffield concludes in the 12th-grade, with each student participating in senior seminars and a senior speaker series introduced by the Class of 2017. The program emphasizes seven core elements which each student is exposed to in direct ways: personal mastery, moral foundation, goal-setting, communication skills, problem-solving, self-awareness, and inspiring and mobilizing others.

Course Descriptions

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Freshman Year | Foundations of Leadership

    Term: Full year, twice a week

    Personal Mastery
    The freshman seminar in the leadership sequence stresses the discipline of “personal mastery.” It is designed to develop the skills, habits, and thought processes that will enable students to succeed at Suffield and beyond. The Personal Mastery course sets the experiential and conceptual foundation for Suffield’s subsequent leadership seminars. This class meets during an academic period.
  • Sophomore Year | Foundations of Leadership

    Term: Full year, twice a week

    Values, Vision, and Citizenship
    The sophomore Foundations of Leadership seminar builds its curriculum from where the freshman Personal Mastery course leaves off. Expanding its curricular focus beyond the basic self-management, public speaking, and collaborative skills stressed in ninth grade, the tenth grade seminar reinforces these habits of personal mastery while introducing elements of group dynamics, service learning projects, and more. This class meets during an academic period.
  • Junior Year  | Preparing for Leadership

    Term: Full year, once a week

    This course is designed to reinforce the competencies of personal mastery established in the freshman and sophomore seminars, while focusing more explicitly on developing the students’ leadership capabilities. This seminar does not meet during an academic period.
  • Senior year | Practicing Leadership

    Term: Full year, once a week

    Practicing Leadership completes the leadership sequence. Each Suffield senior is expected to exercise significant leadership responsibilities at school. Class time during this seminar will be used primarily to reflect on and improve students’ performance in their leadership roles and responsibilities. This seminar does not meet during an academic period.

Leadership Office

List of 11 members.

  • David Rockwell 

    Director of Leadership Program; Director of the SOLO Program
    Emporia State University - B.S., M.A.
    Wesleyan University - C.A.S.
    Read Bio
  • Marla Adelsberger 

    Smith College - M.S.W.
    Smith College - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Patrick Booth 

    Chief Financial Officer
    University of Connecticut - B.S.
    Read Bio
  • Charles Cahn 

    Headmaster
    University of Michigan - B.A.
    Wesleyan University - M.A.L.S.
    Read Bio
  • Barry Cleary 

    Dean of Faculty
    University of Notre Dame - B.A.
    Springfield College - M.Ed.
    Read Bio
  • Drew Gamere ’93 

    Co-Director of Athletics
    Ohio Wesleyan University - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Gina Manning 

    University of Massachusetts - B.A.
    Saint Joseph College - M.A.
  • Mary Mitchell ’10 

    Franklin & Marshall College - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Ann Selvitelli 

    Director of College Counseling
    Trinity College - B.A.
    University of Pennsylvania - M.S.Ed.
    Read Bio
  • Lyndsey Sweeney 

    Eastern Connecticut State University - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Liz Warren 

    Diversity Coordinator
    Mount Vernon Nazarene University - B.A.
    Mount Vernon Nazarene University - M.S.
    Read Bio
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411