Thursday, September 25, 2014
As our third week of classes unfolds I wanted to send an update from Suffield. The academic year is off to a very good start and we have much to look forward to during the rest of our fall term.
Our returning students and faculty have done an excellent job of welcoming 141 new students. The many demands and pace of life at Suffield require time to adjust, and the newest members of our community are transitioning successfully. It is nice seeing the Class of 2015 settle into their role of leading the student body.
You should have recently received information from us about the October 9-11 Parents' Weekend. There are many details that go into this event, which includes individual meetings with each of your child's classroom teachers and their faculty advisors. Parents of twelfth-grade students will meet with college counselors, and various additional programs fill the schedule. We also welcome back many Suffield alums on this weekend for their reunion. Details can be seen on our website at www.suffieldacademy.org/parents. Other upcoming events include Grandparents' Day on October 21, the parent and alumni golf outing on October 24, and the admissions Open House on October 25.
Author Jamie Ford spoke at chapel on Monday and several other guests will visit campus in the coming weeks. Jamie is the author of Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, this year's community text. Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a Holocaust survivor, will be here on Monday, followed by author Tom Clavin on October 6 and former professional road bicycle racer Tyler Hamilton on October 27.
The fall athletic season is in full swing and contests fill the calendar between now and Thanksgiving. The enrollments are solid in all areas and the spirit of our students is on display each Wednesday and Saturday. There were great home games yesterday including exciting field hockey victories and girls soccer matches against against Miss Porters, and water polo against Deerfield. The football team opened last weekend with a decisive victory at Blair Academy and faces stiff competition in the weeks ahead against schools including Exeter, Andover, and Choate.
I am sure you noticed the major construction project unfolding in the center of campus. This includes both a conversion of Stiles Lane into a central campus walkway and a major addition to Brewster Hall. These are among a series of goals outlined in the Campus Master Plan endorsed by our Board of Trustees in 2012 (http://www.suffieldacademy.org/Page/Master-Plan). The plan also led to the construction of Hoffman College Counseling Center and our new science facilities. We have been the beneficiaries of generous gifts from parents and alumni that have helped make these projects possible.
The Hillary Rockwell Cahn '88 Balance Barn is also complete. Located on the western tip of our property (next to the Courtney Robinson '88 Outdoor Leadership Center), the space will house activities including yoga, pilates, barre, and meditation. It will be used by our winter fitness program and during evenings and weekends. Suffield alum and yoga instructor Bobby Hoyt '87 is volunteering his time and expertise to help Hillary and others implement the programs that will take place in this beautiful new space. You can see the Balance Barn on our school's webcam (web.suffieldacademy.org/webcam).
In closing, I wanted to mention the exceptional work of our physical plant staff. Many parents have commented to me this fall that the campus is in impeccable shape. This is due in large measure to the commitment and talent of our physical plant staff. We are very fortunate to have a talented faculty and staff, and they are at the heart of what makes Suffield such a excellent school for our students.
Hillary and I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks for our fall Parents' Weekend.