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Tanya Andrysiak – Home Is Where Her Heart Is

“I believe that if I can help a person live a more balanced life, a more stable life, then I will,” she said. On February 15, English Department Chair Tanya Andrysiak spoke at chapel and admitted that she does not live a balanced life at Suffield Academy. Just like her students and colleagues, she lives in the intense nature of boarding school life. When classes are in session her days, nights, and weekends are filled with activities. Tanya realizes that school breaks provide unusual amounts of time to reset her equilibrium. For her, time outside of school represents a critical hiatus to pursue travel and physical activity. While sharing photos and stories from her work with Habitat for Humanity in Honduras and Anchorage, Alaska, Tanya reflected on what it takes to build a home. “We live in a world where we want fast and instant results,” she said, “but it is amazing what you can do with a stick, a square, and a pencil.” In Honduras her crew worked with their hands, digging up and clearing rocks to build a foundation and then a home with rebar, shovels, and cement. In Alaska, power tools and machinery were available and plenty useful in helping with work amidst very challenging conditions. While the locations were drastically different, the value of building a home was very much the same. Tanya spoke about Habitat for Humanity's mission and values, and she answered many questions from the community. In all of her words it was evident that for Tanya, periodically getting outside of her own life helps balance it. The experiences are grounding and remind her of what an extraordinary lifestyle she, her students, and colleagues live as a citizens of the Suffield community. A dedicated educator, home is where her heart is for Tanya Andrysiak.
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