The Class of 2018 Speaker Series – Words from our Seniors
The senior speaker series continued on October 2 and featured seven members of the Class of 2018: Michael Robidoux, Devon Loftus, Rory Tettemer, Bobby Long, Hattie Bauchiero, Kate Rookey, and Mike Trevallion.
The series launched last year with the Class of 2017 as an addition to the chapel program where all seniors delivered a speech, presentation, or performance to the Suffield Academy community. Headmaster Charlie Cahn said he hoped the program would serve as a formative experience for the seniors, an opportunity to strengthen community, and a way to continue providing engaging chapel programming. These talks are supplemented by traditional chapel events including the Alumni Leadership Day program, Student Council Elections, and Kent-Davis Speaking Competition during Commencement week. Guest speaker Alephonsion Deng will speak about Rwandan genocide on October 16. His visit is sponsored by the Cahn family Fund, established in memory of Headmaster Charlie Cahn’s parents.
A four-year senior from Windsor, Connecticut, Devon Loftus talked about his first time being pulled over for speeding and what he learned from completing 25 hours of community service. “I’ve always heard that my actions have consequences, but until that day it really did not mean that much to me.” After spending four weeks in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, Michael Robidoux took a moment to “accurately explain” his summer vacation. “Anything can be an adventure,” he said. “Go ahead and take one. Chances are you are going to have a great time and learn a lot.” From Westfield, Massachusetts, Rory Tettemer examined his life as a Philadelphia sports fan and what it means to “trust the process.” Growing up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Bobby Long explained the impact and inspiration sports have on his life. “Not only do sports push me to improve in everything I do, but they also show me core values on which to base my life,” he said. Hattie Bauchiero developed a passion for scuba diving two years ago and shared a video she made while discovering the world beneath the ocean. She noted, “It was initially nerve-wracking to be so vulnerable under water, but the amazing fish creatures and colors I’ve seen altered my outlook.” Kate Rookey talked about serving villages in the Dominican, presented a video of her time there and described her misconceptions of poverty. “I left here with the intention of giving to their country, but the amazing people I met gave me much more than I ever imagined,” she explained. “Even though most people possess so little, they are some of the happiest people and made me realize the best things in life are not things.” Finally, Mike Trevallion talked about confronting mortality at a young age and his journey with type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency). “They say you die twice: once when you stop breathing and again later on when the last person says your name for the last time,” he reminded his peers. “So live your life to the fullest and be remembered. And when you find people who care about you, be grateful and keep them close.”
The senior speaker series will resume on October 23.