Convocation 2016-2017 – Out of many, we are One
As Suffield Academy began its 184th academic year, Headmaster Charlie Cahn welcomed 134 new students and five new faculty members to the community on September 12. Advocating a tradition of academic excellence, individual responsibility, and collective leadership, Headmaster Cahn spoke about diversity, respect for people and surroundings, and the school’s emphasis on kindness.
Leading off the senior leadership speaker series, Katherine Kalill ’17 asked her peers to step outside their comfort zones and experience all the Academy has to offer. “Every aspect of life at Suffield can make you a better you,” she explained. Be a leader and include your peers throughout this journey.” Performing the song “I Hope You Dance,” originally recorded by Lee Ann Womack, Katherine brought attention to the following lyric: “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” “Let’s dance this year Suffield,” she said when concluding.
Student body President Max Toczydlowski ’17 spoke about unity, tradition, and community. He touched on upcoming events at the school and supported more involvement with the local community. “I am very excited about this year,” he explained, “and putting our mark on Suffield Academy history.
Closing the ceremony, Academic Dean Sara Yeager talked about this year’s school theme of service. “My challenge this year to you is you,” she announced. “Small acts, kind acts, individual acts do matter. Recognize that you can and should make a difference in our community every day. Serve in your everyday acts of kindness.” Quoting Martin Luther King Jr, she concluded, “Anyone can be great because anyone can serve.”
As the academic year gets underway, Suffield’s emphasis on kindness is apparent all around campus. This is a school united—as teachers, as students, and as leaders—providing service to others and valuing timeless traditions.