The senior speaker series continued on December 4 and featured eight members of the Class of 2018: John Killam, Jack Pumphret, Breana Gibbs, Jack Godfrey, Walter Kress, Jenna Torki, Tori Tryon, and Caroline Gingold.
The series launched last year as part of Suffield’s chapel program. All seniors deliver a speech, presentation, or performance to the community. Headmaster Charlie Cahn feels the program serves as a formative experience for the seniors and another opportunity to strengthen community. 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.
A boarding student From West Hartford, Connecticut, Caroline Gingold said she is often mistaken as a day student. To emphasize her boarding-student status she opened the day’s talks by listing her top 12 dining hall hacks: steamed vegetables, pizza bagels, passion tea lemonade, omelet sandwiches, quesadillas, soda floats, caramel apples, burrito bowls, ice cream sandwiches, lettuce leaf wraps, chia seed pudding, and banana boats. Diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was five years old, John Killam reflected on strategies he has effectively used to work through the disorder that disrupts his ability to socialize and communicate freely. Presenting photo-shopped images and imaginative stories, Breanna Gibbs delivered a humorous presentation about her very distant relative Uncle Tibbs. Jack Godfrey shared photographs and notes from his trip to the highly preserved and protected Galapagos Islands. Involved in a car accident exactly one year after receiving his driver’s license, Walter Kress talked about the importance of driving safely. “Stupid actions can and will have serious consequences,” he warned. From Saudi Arabia, Jenna Torki belied common misconceptions and myths about the Middle East. Tori Tryon spoke about her work restoring and renovating homes and shared photos and videos. Reviewing a personal letter written in 2014 outlining his struggle with self-doubt, Jack Pumphret talked about the value and significance of the Suffield community. He concluded, “None of us in this world are inherently special or better than any other, but as we continue to develop and differentiate ourselves as unique we tend to fill in each other’s gaps. The magic of this community is that collectively there are no gaps. Our goal as high school students is to find our niche and embrace it. However, I want to ask that you all take it upon yourself to find what others have to share from their own niche and embrace that too.”
The senior speaker series will resume on January 8. You may view all chapel talks here