The Class of 2017 Speaker Series – Words from our Seniors


The senior speaker series continued on October 24 and featured eight members of the Class of 2017: Tonny GhengZhu, Noah Cyr, Kirill Dolgin, Ivan Zakharov, Chris Donohue, Tanner Moore, Elizabeth Sacco, and Nick Mayo. 
The series is a new addition to the chapel program where all seniors deliver a speech, presentation, or performance to the Suffield Academy community. Headmaster Charlie Cahn said he hopes the program will serve as a formative experience for the seniors, an opportunity to strengthen community, and a way to continue providing engaging chapel programming. These talks will be supplemented by traditional chapel events including the Community Text speaker (Mark Shriver this year), the Alumni Leadership Day program, the Student Council Elections, and the Kent-Davis Speaking Competition during Commencement week.
Tonny GhengZhu talked about Asian cuisine and culture, and he used the symbol of eating dog meat to highlight misconceptions people can have about different cultures. After introducing himself, Noah Cyr recited “I am the Flag,” by Ruth Apperson Rous. Kirill Dolgin provided tips on making television more useful and educational, while Ivan Zakharov recalled a story about falling through the ice twice in an evening in his home country of Russia. Chris Donohue and Tanner Moore each shared personal accounts about finding happiness and contentment, the value of a supportive community, and the importance of accepting yourself for who you are. Chris suggested, “Don’t look at your flaws as something you hate about yourself,” and Tanner concluded with a quotation from Dr. Seus, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Elizabeth Sacco talked about her love for photography and presented a slideshow of her recent work. Finally, Nick Mayo comparing legendary NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
The senior speaker series will resume on October 31.

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