Senior Speakers – February 19
The senior speaker series continued on February 19 and featured nine members of the Class of 2018: Sam Cuda, Braden Kane, Owen Kinne, Bryan McLennan, Rishi Patel, Jake Selbst, Isabella Boonstra, India Shay, and Alina Ryan.
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.
From Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Sam Cuda talked about surfing and shared a short video of himself riding the summer waves of Cape Cod. Having only begun following his passion in photography Braden Kane noted, “If you have always been interested in something you haven’t tried, give it a shot. It is never too late to try something new.” After wrecking his 2003 Hyundai Sonata over Christmas break, Owen Kinne spoke about maintaining composure during aggravating situations: “Try to stay calm and not get so easily upset over things because it will only make matters worse.” Growing up while splitting his time between Connecticut and Florida, Brian McLennan detailed his life as a “snow bird.” He explained, “Through this lifestyle I have become very familiar with one of the most important aspects of life: the ability to transition and adapt. Everyone at some point in their lives will experience struggles of transition, and I urge you not to dread these moments but to embrace them because it will help you in the long run.” Rishi Patel gave a presentation titled “How Not to Drive” and outlined a few key factors that lead to poor driving skills. From Riverwoods, Illinois, Jake Selbst gave a humorous and informative talk about Darwin’s theory of evolution as it relates to the Pterosaur. “To truly progress we must explore perspectives beyond our own current perceptions,” he commented. Isabella Boonstra provided seven memorable takeaways from her freshmen Physical Science class with Mr. Krasemann. India Shay took a few moments to give her younger sister Sophia advice and encouragement: “Don’t take your time at Suffield for granted. Make the most of every opportunity. Suffield is a special place, and I hope you will leave here with no regrets.” Finally, Alina Ryan spoke about making responsible decisions. She concluded, “For the few minutes of feeling on top of the world I can guarantee the apprehension of reality will change your opinion of making potentially risky decisions.”
The senior speaker series will conclude for the winter term on February 26. You may view all chapel talks here.