Friday, November 11, 2016
As next week brings exams and the conclusion of the fall term, I wanted to send news from Suffield and best wishes for Thanksgiving. The opening months of the academic year have been excellent and our senior class is doing a particularly good job leading the student body.
A series of events in support of a nonprofit organization called Akshaya Patra began last Saturday evening (November 5) with a color course paint run. Presented by Yash '17 and Aashi Patel '19 as one of four possible charities to help, Akshaya Patra was our students' clear choice. They provide daily mid-day meals to nearly two million children in India. Efforts aimed at supporting charitable organizations beyond our campus have become a great tradition at Suffield and brought inspired leadership by our students. The next event for Akshaya Patra will be a winter telethon of live arts performances.
Along these lines there is a great deal of activity in the arts including an exhibit starting today in Tremaine Visual Arts Center featuring work by students who had afternoon art-specials this fall. After our formal Thanksgiving dinner last night the theater was full to watch one-act performances by members of our Acting course. More than 50 students are preparing for the upcoming musical Sister Act, a comedy based on the 1992 film and featuring music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menkin. Sister Act will be performed in Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center from December 8-10.
Our fall athletic season was quite successful and saw strong competition in all sports. Our girls' volleyball team (and possibly our girls' soccer team) will take part in the New England postseason tournament next week, and other teams will conclude the season with contests and meets tomorrow. The girls' cross country team finished undefeated. Our athletes have shown great determination, representing Suffield with pride and class.
The chapel program has been highlighted by our senior speaker series, where each member of the Class of 2017 is sharing remarks. Earlier this week retired Lt. Col. Bill Moryto P'16, '18 spoke about the sacrifices made by those in the military as we honored Veterans Day. The first chapel period of the winter term will be set aside for advisor-advisee meetings and the senior speaker series will resume on December 12. Mark Shriver will join us on January 9 to talk about his book (and our 2016-2017 community text), A Good Man.
Our seniors—with the support of their college counselors and recommendations by their teachers—have been closely focused on college applications with the second of many deadlines (November 15) approaching. The growth of early action, early decision, and rolling admission programs over the past few years has accelerated the application process. This was part of what led to Suffield's comprehensive, unique four-year approach to college counseling, which is certainly helping our students navigate this challenging process. More details about the program can be found at suffieldacademy.org/college
As we gear up for the winter, parents should be aware that the school will send texts to all domestic parents with mobile phone numbers in our database when there are announcements related to scheduling and inclement weather. We will be sending a message to test this system next Tuesday (November 15). Since the majority of Suffield Academy's students reside on campus, the school does not normally suspend classes or activities during snowstorms or other extreme weather conditions. Although classes and school activities will occur, day student families are asked to make their own decision about the safety of travel and notify the school in the cases of absences due to the weather, following our standard procedure for reporting an absence to the Dean of Students Office (860-386-4492). Our faculty understands there will be no academic penalties for excused absences and will offer appropriate help for any missed classes.
Thank you to the many parents who have already supported the Annual Fund. Our high levels of parent, alumni, and faculty participation are the envy of other independent schools and have helped enhance all areas of school life.
Hillary and I look forward to seeing you on campus as the academic year unfolds and send best wishes from Suffield.