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s u f f i e l d

w i n t e r 2 0 1 0

suff ield reunion october 15-17, 2010

save the date


winter 2010

editor Stephanie Dellaquila Greco ’88

designer Tobye Cook ’88

art director Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88


mission Suffield Academy is a coeducational, independent secondary school serving a diverse community of day and boarding students. Our school has a tradition of academic excellence combined with a strong work ethic. A commitment to scholarship and a respect for individual differences guide our teaching and curriculum. We engender among our students a sense of responsibility, and they are challenged to grow in a structured and nurturing environment. The entire academic, athletic, and extracurricular experience prepares our students for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and active citizenship.

Charlie Cahn, Peter Stein, Jason Cassis ’01, Gerry LaPlante, Mark McCullagh ’81, Bill Galvin ’60, Betsy McComb P’04,’06, Phil Riegel ’87, David Rockwell ’58, Tom Dugan, AJ Yates, Amy Pentz, Linda Colo

photographer Alexandra Tremaine ’03

photo contributors

non-discrimination Suffield Academy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, physical attributes, disability, age, or sexual orientation. We administer our admissions, financial aid, educational, athletic, extracurricular, and other policies so that each student is equally accorded all the rights, privileges, programs, and facilities made available by the school.

Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88, Phil Riegel ’87, Candy Padilla, John Adams P’10, Jason Cassis ’01, Gerry LaPlante P’04, ’06, Crosby LeVeen ’99

trustees President: Daniel R. Tisch ’69, P’02 – Scarsdale, New York Vice President: Jackson W. Robinson ’60 –­ Boston, Massachusetts

Suffield is published by the Marketing and Communications Office of Suffield Academy for alumni, parents, and friends of the school. All publications rights reserved. Contents may be reproduced or reprinted only by permission of the editor. Opinions expressed do not reflect the official position of Suffield Academy.

Treasurer: Michael J. Daly ’59 –­ Longmeadow, Massachusetts Secretary: Frederic B. Powers III ’83 –­ Mamaroneck, New York Headmaster: Charles Cahn III ­– Suffield, Connecticut Paul Blakeley P’07, ’10, ’13 –­ West Simsbury, Connecticut Joseph P. Campanelli ’75 ­– Wellesley, Massachusetts Andrew C. Chase –­ Deerfield, Massachusetts Christopher T. Cuddy ’87 –­ Boston, Massachusetts

Questions or comments may be addressed to the editor:

George B. Daniels ’71 ­– New York, New York Guy L. de Chazal P’10 –­ Brookville, New York Samuel S. Fuller ’41, Trustee Emeritus ­– Suffield, Connecticut

Suffield is printed by WolfColorPrint. About Wolf: WolfColorPrint is committed to Responsible Green Manufacturing. With our FSC Certification, recycling of raw materials, vegetable based inks and Computer to Plate tehnology we work to assist our clients to improve our environmental impact. For today, for tomorow and for our future.

Robert C. Graham, Jr. P’11 –­ Stamford, Connecticut Valisha Graves ’81 ­– Brooklyn, New York Matthew W. Greene ­– Westport, Connecticut Walter Harrison –­ Hartford, Connecticut Laurence Heilbronn P’06 –­ New York, New York Christopher M. Houlihan P’05 –­ New York, New York Bradley S. Jacobs P’12 –­ Greenwich, Connecticut Maryann Jones P’01 ­– Rowayton, Connecticut

Suffield Academy uses only FSC certified, recycled paper.

Lawrence N. Lavine P’05 –­ Purchase, New York Karen McDonald P’12 –­ New York, New York

Jeffrey K. McElnea ’67, P’12 ­– New York, New York Bruce C. Mellon ’59 –­ Los Angeles, California Pat Moore P’09 ­– McLean, Virginia Tracy Orr O’Keefe ’85 ­– Hoboken, New Jersey John M. Tremaine ’66, P’94, ’03 ­– New Canaan, Connecticut H.P. Van Ingen Jr. P’06 ­– New York, New York Suzy Vogler P’11 –­ San Francisco, California Jeffrey White ’65 ­– Westport, Connecticut Jacqueline R. Williams P’04, ’07, ’08 –­ New York, New York

Copyright © 2010, Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT 06078

features winter 2010 departments on the hill We take a look at the success of the proctor program, winter sports championships, fantastic performances, and engaging chapel presentations on the hill. profiles Mark McCullagh ’81 Crosby LeVeen ’99 Bill Galvin ’60 Isaiah Ekejiuba ’00 Legacy: The Palombas class notes Alums from the classes of 1936 to 2009 wrote in to tell us what they have been doing.

34 suffield looks at faculty member Gerry LaPlante’s P´04,´06 cross-country bicycle trip On T wo Wheels.

2 Charlie Cahn explores adolescence and Suffield in the headmasters column.

18 What Makes a Great Teacher? suffield answers this compelling question by profiling several faculty members.

40 In College 101 we profile Suffield Academy’s intensive college preparation course.

50 suffield profiles Oakland Raider Isaiah Ekejiuba ‘00.

winter 2010


headmaster’s column

the journey to adulthood: adolescence and suffield I was talking recently with a group of parents, people who have lived in the town of Suffield for many years and now have children at the Academy. They expressed how proud they are of the school and their sense that it has grown in strength and prestige during their time as local residents. Then they asked for some advice. “Charlie, how do we get our children to really understand the great opportunities they have at Suffield and in college? We’re frustrated Charles Cahn III by their lack of gratitude.” Sure enough, a few days later I received an email from a grandparent saying, “We are so proud to have our granddaughter at such a fantastic school. There’s only one thing that bothers us, and we thought you would know if it’s normal for teenagers. We wish she would write to us or call more frequently. Can you require your students to do this more often?” I think these parents (and grandparents) realized this topic—adolescence—is one I am focused on as someone living with 400 students each year. Specifically, adolescence refers to the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood, usually the time between age 11 and 19. It is a formative and complex period in human development. Author Jay McInerney discussed this topic in his Commencement address at Suffield in 2009. He said, “I remember the high school years as the hardest, most anxiety ridden, and the most challenging of my life. In the years you spent at Suffield, you were saddled with increasingly serious academic responsibilities just at the moment you were undergoing the extraordinarily awkward physical and psychological transition from childhood to adulthood.” We know some certainties about adolescence that shape the philosophy of our school: high expectations need to be balanced with encouragement; and clear boundaries and rules need to be combined with room to experiment and grow. We know students develop in a multitude of ways during these years here, and that a senior generally thinks in more abstract ways than a freshman. Yet we also know that one of the most interesting aspects of adolescence is unpredictability. Our children never cease to amaze and surprise us, in ways that can be beautiful or frustrating. They create or say remarkable things one moment, and the next they make us wonder, as parents or educators, about whether they understand what we are trying to teach. Relatively new research shows differences in the structure and functioning of adolescent brains—compared with preadolescents or adults—that correspond to such teenage behaviors as immature decision making, increased risk taking, and impulsive behaviors. Scientists have identified a specific region of the brain called the amygdala that is responsible for instinctual reactions, including fear and aggressive behavior. This region develops early; however, the frontal cortex—the area of the brain responsible for cognitive processes such as reasoning, planning, and judgment—develops later. It changes and matures well into adulthood. Pictures of the brain show that adolescents’ brains function differently than adults when making decisions or solving problems. In short, their actions are led more by the amygdala and less by the frontal cortex.



Our children never cease to amaze and surprise us, in ways that can be beautiful or frustrating.

The Society for Neuroscience’s Brain Briefings expands on this topic—of how parts of the brain undergo refinement during the teenage years—and proposes that cognitive control over high-risk behaviors is still maturing during adolescence, making teens understandably more apt to engage in risky behaviors. Along these lines, David Bennett, writing on behalf of the Youth Action and Policy Association in Australia, says the prefrontal cortex has been called “the area of sober second thought” because, as this part of the brain matures, teenagers can reason better, develop more self-control, and make better judgments. His research into parenting styles over the past quarter century or so shows that the most effective approach, so-called “authoritative parenting,” has three main characteristics: 4 Parenting that is warm, involved, and responsive 4 Parenting that is firm and strict (with developmentally appropriate expectations) 4 Parenting that fosters and encourages psychological autonomy We know as parents that this is easier said than done. Finding these ranges and balancing these forces is no simple task. The challenge rests at the heart of our work at Suffield. As author and professor Dr. Robert Sylwester says, “Biological phenomena always operate within ranges. For example, leaves fall from trees in the autumn, but typically not all at once. Developmental changes similarly do not occur at the same time and at the same rate in all child and adolescent brains. And just as it’s possible for wind or temperature to alter the time when a leaf might fall, unexpected events can alter the time when an adolescent has to confront and respond to given environmental challenges. The important thing for adults to do is to carefully observe an adolescent’s interests and abilities, and insert challenges that move maturation forward at a reasonable level. No magic formula exists for getting this just right.” So how do we use this knowledge of adolescent brain science to support the development of each student at Suffield? There are some central tenets that guide our plan. Our enrollment size—400 students—ensures that every student is what I’d call known and needed. Our academic program combines core requirements with electives, honors, and AP offerings. Our afternoon program blends competitive interscholastic athletics with a growing number of alternatives in the arts. Family-style lunch is balanced by buffet meals at breakfast and dinner. There are a significant number of non-negotiable expectations here—managing time well, treating people respectfully, working hard, and meeting commitments. Yet surrounding these fundamentals are areas for students to take good risks, try new things, and discover their skills and competencies.

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headmaster’s column

The transition from adolescence to adulthood—from Suffield to college—is most apparent in the words of two alums. This first excerpt comes from a letter I received from a 2004 graduate, one who theoretically exited adolescence about six years ago: Throughout my four years at Suffield I made many valuable friendships with faculty members both in and out of the classroom. This does not occur in many public schools, and I am sure it isn’t that common at private boarding schools either. Suffield is a truly unique place to grow and learn. The sense of community there is one of a kind, and I really benefitted from it. There were times when students were not too fond of the rules we had to follow. The dress code seemed restrictive, and even at the age of 18 we had to be in our rooms with the lights out by 11 o’clock. Yet as I look back on my years at Suffield I would not trade them for anything. As I talk with my friends from Suffield we all feel the same way. The school prepared us well for college and beyond. We are proud to be alums of such a special place. And here’s one for the parents I met with that speaks to how I would answer their questions about the expression of gratitude: My reason for writing to you involved my desire to reconnect. Life often leads us down unexpected paths, paths we follow no matter how confusing or clear they may seem, paths which sometimes lead us far from home. But all of us come home at certain points; all of us feel the need to regain the balance and comfort which home affords us. So I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I miss Suffield. I miss Suffield for a plentitude of reasons… but mostly because Suffield is a place where I derived a sense of self, and a sense of purpose. Suffield helped me realize my individuality, my own voice. I was never as good to Suffield as Suffield was to me, but now, in retrospect, I realize why. I wasn’t ready to be the person I wanted to become and it has taken some time, years really, to get there. So what is my response to the parents and grandparents? First, they are right that we should try getting our students to express more gratitude, even as we know it is more likely to come in later years. Second, it is wise to offer structure, encouragement, and high expectations but also to acknowledge that adolescence is a unique and challenging period. The body and mind are growing and changing. If parents can find good partners like Suffield, they should grab them and hold on tight. And finally, I think we will add another non-negotiable for students at Suffield—expecting them to thank their families on a regular basis for the opportunities they have at our great school.



“I miss Suffield for a plentitude of reasons… but mostly because Suffield is a place where I derived a sense of self, and a sense of purpose.”

on the


Peter Arguimbau P’11 contributed a stunning oil painting of Suffield’s academic quad that now hangs in the lobby of Fuller Hall. The work captures the center of Suffield’s campus with remarkable clarity and beauty. His daughter Terra is a junior. Peter began working on the project in the summer of 2009, consulting regularly with Headmaster Charlie Cahn about key decisions with the piece. Peter is a native of Darien, Connecticut, who moved to Greenwich in 1986 with his wife Mary and their two children. Peter paints in Flemish Technique, creating dramatic light effects of sky, wind, and water. He grinds his own pigments from powders, mills his own hard wood panels, and coats them with gesso and lead grounds for canvas. His hand finished frames give his paintings an old world quality. Limited edition prints of the Suffield Academy painting—signed and numbered by the artist—are available for sale at the school. For more information call Phil Riegel ‘87, director of development.

Suzy Vogler P’11 joined the Suffield board of trustees in January 2010. Suzy has been a resident of the California Bay Area since 1978. She and her husband Bill also own and operate a farm in Cornwalville, New York. Their son, Brodie, is in the Suffield Class of 2011. Suzy has served for the past two years as Suffield’s parent chair of the Annual Fund. She was very involved at Brodie’s previous school, Town School in San Francisco, and she helps lead her family’s foundation, the Willow Springs Charitable Trust Foundation. Suzy serves on Suffield’s Marketing & Communications and Development Committees.

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mark mccullagh ’81 swimming to save lives

Nineteen years after being profiled for his efforts with “Swim Across the Sound,” Mark McCullagh ´81 continues to make a difference. In fact, this year he used his proficiency in swimming to save lives.

A nine-year-old girl had fallen through the ice first while chasing her tennis ball onto the semi-frozen pond. An adult, male bystander attempted a rescue but soon found himself in a dangerous situation.

In 1991, aquatics, leadership, and community service were central themes in his life. He developed these interests a decade earlier as a student at Suffield Academy, pursued them at Boston College, and made them a permanent part of his life. Since his days at Suffield, Mark remained involved with swimming, cancer fundraising, and the “Swim Across the Sound,” now a nation-wide fundraising organization known as Swim Across America, Inc. Mark met his wife Mary at Boston College where she was a standout swimmer. They have three children, Hayes 14, Nora 12, and Erin 10, and recently moved from northern Michigan to North Carolina.

“The ice collapsed as I got to the edge, so as I got to the little girl I just pushed her to the surface and out of the water so she could slide to land,” said Mark. “I then swam out to the man who was exhausted by the weight of his clothes and the water temperature. I pulled him to the ice ledge and pushed him to the ice surface so he could breathe. From that point, I just kept him on the ice, and we waited for the rescuers with ropes to pull us out.”

Mark says,“We have stayed active in the communities where we’ve lived through various schools, teams, and projects. This involvement has been gratifying and has led to many friendships. We are hoping that our own children see the importance of participation and getting involved in whatever they choose. On the home front, we mention the study skills and writing skills taught at Suffield. After 30 years, it’s finally sinking in for me! More than ever, I appreciate what my parents did to make Suffield possible for us. For our three children, I find myself seeking what Suffield offered in community, academics, and quality of faculty, like Dennis Kinne and Andy Lowe.” Before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, Mark was leading an effort to build a community pool in Petoskey, Michigan. “The values of community and leadership instilled by Suffield play an important role in our family,” said Mark. On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Mark’s swimming background aided him in a way he never could have imagined. Mark’s daughter, Nora, went outside of their Charlotte home and heard yelling. Two people had fallen through the ice in a nearby pond. Mark acted without hesitation. “It all happened very quickly, so other than very simple thoughts of getting the people out and some crazy thoughts about the water temperature, I can’t recall much,” said Mark. “As I was running toward the pond, I was shedding my clothes. I slid out on the ice 20 yards to the point where the two people were.”


Undoubtedly Mark’s swimming background rendered him at least partially capable of this courageous act, but he really credits the water safety instruction classes taught by legendary former faculty member Dennis Kinne. When Mark was a student, Dennis ran the pool at the Suffield Country Club and offered water safety classes to certify his summer staff. Several Suffield students, including David Spitzler ´81, Kelly Kinne Patterson ´82, and Mark, took advantage of the classes. “Just making the classes available to students was great, but what made a lasting impression was an image and phrase that Dennis planted that ‘saves are usually ugly,’” said Mark. “To drive the point home, he mentioned pulling hair or reaching out with sticks or chairs—anything to keep the head above water. After almost 30 years, those words have flashed like a movie for me.” Mark remains connected to Suffield in many ways. “My brother Chuck ´78, sister Linda O’Leary ´80, and brother Neil ´87 all attended Suffield. My sister-in-law Martha taught math at Suffield for many years, and two of Mary’s brothers, Tim and Patrick Kennedy, attended Suffield as postgraduates in 1991. My niece, Megan O’Leary, attended The Summer Academy at Suffield last year and had a great experience.” But no connection has been as influential as his relationship with Andy Lowe. “Our three children now swim, so Andy set the hook pretty well! Fortunately, Andy and I have stayed in touch and I enjoy seeing how Suffield has evolved over the years.”


PROCTORS When the proctor program began at Suffield Academy over 30 years ago, the role of proctor was quickly recognized as one of the most important student leadership roles on campus. It is seen in much the same light today. From the outset, the idea for the program was to find students who had expressed a desire to develop leadership skills and who had demonstrated the capacity to make consistently good decisions. Unlike other student leadership positions such as tour guide leader, team captain, or community service inspector, being a proctor was really a 24/7 commitment. By creating this role, Suffield was elevating the importance of student leadership in the residential program. Iconic faculty member Phil Currier, a member of the Suffield faculty from 1975 to 1986, is credited as the driving force behind the program. Mr. Currier began his Suffield career as the director of admissions and later became the dean of students, head of the discipline committee, soccer and tennis coach, as well as math teacher and dorm head. Faculty member Dave Rockwell ’58 says, “Suffield was a small community in those days, and so many of us were involved in getting the proctor program up and running—Phil (Currier), Barry (Cleary), Andy (Lowe), and myself. We felt it was an important role for students to play.” When they began to shape the proctor program in the late seventies and early eighties, they looked to other schools and discovered the valuable impact proctors had been making as both individuals and as a group presence on campus. Phil Currier stated in a 1982 edition of SUFFIELD: “We began by clearly defining the selection process, developing a yearly calendar of events, and granting more privileges… a fair amount of discussion, balloting, and matching took place before the final slate was chosen. What emerged clearly was a set of qualities desirable in proctors, to go along with an overall philosophy of this kind of leadership.” The goals of the Suffield Academy Leadership Program—started in 2001—seem similar to the background of the proctor program, and consequently, over time, the influence of the leadership initiative has enhanced the content, quality, and training of the proctor program.


The aim of the Suffield Academy Leadership Program is to help develop human beings with skills and habits that lend themselves to making a significant and positive impact on society. We want our graduates to have the capacity to define and achieve meaningful goals and dreams. Thus, Suffield has embarked on a unique program to teach ways of thinking and to develop skills and habits that enhance each student’s leadership qualities. Thirty years ago, similar goals were set forth for the proctors. As Phil Currier said, “The program is a real challenge, but it offers each proctor the opportunity to experience the value of giving within a community. Self-awareness is a by-product which comes as a result of struggling with difficult issues related to decision making, counseling, and modeling the actions of someone attempting to lead a responsible school life.” Today’s co-directors of the proctor program, Dean of Students Greg Lynch and Director of Counseling Marla Adelsberger, have been leading the proctors for the past eight years. While the core goals for proctors remain the same, the selection process and training have been formalized. Marla Adelsberger says, “The proctors act as a liaison between students and dorm parents, serve as a sounding board for fellow students, and help newcomers adjust.” She emphasizes that the success of the proctor program is due, in large measure, to the students themselves, from the regular

By creating this role Suffield elevated the importance of student leadership in the residential program.

training sessions which proctors are responsible for organizing to the training at the annual proctor retreat. Greg Lynch notes, “While we advise the proctors, it is in many ways a student-led, studentdriven program. The proctors set the tone in important ways for our residential curriculum.” Students interested in becoming proctors must really earn their stripes. There is an extensive application process. They must first submit a written application detailing what makes them uniquely

qualified for the role, and students then go through an interview process with two current proctors. Input is solicited from advisors, dorm parents, coaches, and teachers. Once all of the information is collected,

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proctors from the


a final selection committee reviews it and the proctors are chosen. Headmaster Charlie Cahn says, “Suffield has an intentional and broadly defined residential curriculum. It essentially includes all areas outside of the academic program—dorm life, dining, weekend activities, health services, athletics, and parts of our arts programs. The senior leadership positions—and certainly the proctor program—play important roles in helping us achieve our many goals.” There is no question that proctorship is demanding. As Marla Adelsberger remarks, “The challenge of being in this type of leadership role is that you are never off-duty. It can obviously be difficult to proctor your friends and peers.” Suffield proctors enter the position with a great deal of training and preparation. In addition to Suffield’s formal leadership curriculum, they participate in the proctor retreat at the beginning of the school year. This outing utilizes the experience of returning proctors and program advisors and covers topics such as the role of a proctor, goal setting, and role playing. In addition to these core areas, there is discussion on the community theme and text, team building exercises, and an overview on different resources within the Suffield community. Each year a genuine sense of camaraderie evolves among the group. In addition to the retreat, proctors meet biweekly throughout the year for meetings they lead in pairs. “It is important for the proctors to take on this responsibility. They know what obstacles they are facing, and it helps to address them together. There is a tremendous amount of trust that develops among these students,” says Greg Lynch. Suffield proctors play a large part in how the school year unfolds. Those involved with establishing the program over 30 years ago would be proud of how important it has become in supporting Suffield’s mission. It is a wonderful leadership opportunity for students, and the program helps enhance the experience of everyone living at Suffield.


Why did you want to be a proctor? “I wanted to be a proctor because I wanted to help make dorm life fun and enjoyable.” “I wanted to become a proctor to expand my relationships with people beyond my own grade and my existing group of friends. This has been a great way for me to meet and bond with girls that I would not otherwise know as well.” “I wanted to be a proctor because when I first came to Suffield I admired my proctors. They helped me adjust, and I wanted to play that role for incoming students.” “I wanted to become a proctor so that I could help others, help lead the school, and challenge myself.” Is being a proctor easy? Is it difficult? “Most of the time it is smooth, and then there are times when you have to make difficult decisions.” “At times it is confusing because you have to handle the role in different ways—being strict, lenient, friendly, and understanding. It can be challenging to find the right balance.” Did the leadership program prepare you for your role as proctor? “Yes, the Leadership Program was very helpful in preparing me to be a proctor. The classes on how to have your own voice, set goals, and listen closely are very important in this role.” “The Leadership Program helped me with my proctorship by teaching me about different leadership and learning styles.” What are you learning about yourselF as a result of proctoring? “Helping the younger students in the dorm handle their academic and social problems opens my eyes to what I can improve upon as well. “ “I can be very reserved and uncomfortable with approaching people the first time, especially if I am in a position of authority, and proctoring has definitely helped me be more outgoing.” “I learned a lot about myself through the proctor program. I have learned that I can be a good role model for students, that I can help them out in ways I never thought I could, and that I can be tough when I need to be. I have also learned to see things differently and more broadly.” What do you enjoy most about the program? “The thing I enjoy the most about being a proctor is the chance to interact with younger students and help them with issues that I have been through before.” “I enjoy the relationships that I have with both the other proctors and the girls in my dorm. No lights out, Internet until 12, and a fridge in my room are nice, too.” “The teamwork and cooperation that all the proctors share to help the overall community are great.”

winter 2010


suffield receptions New York Reception for Alumni, Parents, and Friends Over 150 alumni, parents, and friends gathered at the Regency Hotel on December 2 to celebrate their connection to Suffield and hear news about the school from Headmaster Charlie Cahn. The event was hosted by Dan Tisch ´69, P´02, president of Suffield’s board of trustees. Headmaster Cahn was joined at the event by his wife, Hillary Rockwell Cahn ´88, Phil Riegel ´87 (Director of Development), Betsy McComb P´04, ´06 (Director of the Annual Fund), and Hilary Golas ´02 (Assistant Director of Alumni Relations). Several trustees and class agents were also in attendance. It was a special evening that symbolized the great strength and momentum of Suffield.

Peter Snedeker ´02, Charlie Cahn, Alex Vinograd ´02, Sari Biddelman ´02, Liz Pace ´02, Nick Oleksak ´02, Alison Carey ´02, Susan Korte ´02, Hilary Golas ´02, Chris Collins ´02, Billy Simons ´02

Dave Maloof P´12, George Daniels ´71, Jean Sweeney P´12

Bermuda Reception Suffield’s enthusiastic alumni, parents, and friends in Bermuda gathered for a reception at the home of Allison and Ernest Morrison P´09,´11 on December 8. The event was hosted by the Morrisons and Kathy and Ricky Lines P´08,´10. Suffield has a long history of working with students from Bermuda, and the event is a highlight for the extended community. There are currently seven students from Bermuda: Brendan Doyle ´10, Alex Hart ´10, Reid Henderson ´11, Riley Henderson ´11, James Gould ´11, Chelsea Lines ´10, and Luke Morrison ´11. JeanAnne Gutteridge Hart P´10, Janice Gutteridge ´94, Tish Gutteridge Dutranoit ´85, Carol Gutteridge Hulst ´88

Kathy Lines P´08,´10, Jenny Gibbons P´07

California Receptions Members of the Suffield community and friends joined Headmaster Charlie Cahn and Phil Riegel ´87 (Director of Development) for events in Los Angeles and San Francisco on January 6 and 7. The Los Angeles event was hosted by trustee Bruce Mellon ´58 and his wife Allison, and the San Francisco gathering was hosted by trustee Suzy Vogler P´11 and Bill Vogler P´11. Headmaster Cahn said, “It was very generous of the Mellons and Voglers to help the school in this way. We really appreciate all they did to make these events so enjoyable for our alumni, parents, and friends. It is fun to share news about Suffield and hear stories about the positive impact of our school.”

Suffield alumni, parents, and friends at the home of Bill and Suzy Vogler P´11 in San Francisco

Suffield alumni, parents, and friends at the home of Allison and Bruce Mellon ´58 in Los Angeles

New York Admissions Reception Over 50 prospective students attended an admissions reception in Manhattan on February 5. The event was hosted by Debbie and John Evangelakos P´11 at their home. Nisa Bryant (Senior Associate Director of Admissions) helped organize the evening and was joined by Headmaster Charlie Cahn and his wife, Hillary Rockwell Cahn´88. This event is held each year during Suffield’s extended winter weekend, which enables current students from New York to attend. Suffield currently has 50 students from New York, 25 of which are from the Manhattan area.


Headmaster Charlie Cahn with prospective students and parents

reunion october 15–17, 2010 Reunions are milestones—occasions for alumni to commemorate their place in Suffield’s history, reflect on what Suffield has meant to them, and renew their ties to the school. Reunion celebrations are also a time when classes focus their fundraising efforts to increase giving in support of financial aid, student life, and innovative academic programs. Reunion giving engages the participation of one-third to one-half the members of each reunion class—and many more in some cases. Many donors often significantly increase their annual giving in reunion years.

Alumni in reunion classes ending in 0 and 5, please show your loyalty to suffield academy by making a donation to the Annual Fund before June 30, 2010!

reunion giving awards To recognize the special generosity of alumni celebrating reunion, Suffield presents the following awards at dinner on Reunion weekend: The Fuller Cup The Fuller Cup will be presented to the reunion class, with 20 or more members, that has the highest percentage of donors to the Annual Fund by June 30, 2010. The Trustee Award The Trustee Award will be presented to the reunion class that donates the most dollars to the Annual Fund by June 30, 2010.

chapel Suffield’s chapel program provides a weekly chance for the community to gather and hear from inspirational speakers and guests. There were several memorable events during the winter term. > Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day where students shared a compilation of original work in honor of Dr. King > Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s story of surviving the Holocaust > Gerry LaPlante’s story of cycling across the United States > Wally Adamchik’s presentation about leadership and his memorable tale of surviving a helicopter crash > Headmaster Charlie Cahn’s talk about Suffield’s history, and stories about the importance of keeping your composure and having a strong ethical foundation > Crosby LeVeen’s ’99 presentation on his experience as part of The Deadliest Catch

Mr. MLK A man of love But a target of hate All he wanted was peace There was no need for debate We take it for granted, the world we live in today Where color isn’t an issue And racism is looked at in disarray A man of hope Not one of pride Spoke what his people felt And never kept his words inside. A man of thoughts, so farfetched in his time Tried changing the world Where for many Being black was a crime A man hated by many But loved by many more Put his life on the line For an intention that was pure A man of one dream A dream, which still lives on today Broke down many barriers Which were once set here to stay A man who took action And never left things to chance Took control, of the reins, of the civil rights movement And the outcome is this, his dream fulfilled EXACTLY what we have. A man of inspiration Who, still inspires us today Revolutionized the world And for this, on your day It is only fitting that we, as a whole say Thank you, to our modern day martyr Mr. MLK. -Argenis Rojas ’11


DR. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The January 18 celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was among the most memorable events of the school year. Suffield began celebrating Dr. King’s legacy and achievements in 1992, when Nkenge Hook ’92 organized Suffield’s first extensive program. Her hard work turned this celebration into an annual event. This year, the Suffield Multicultural Association (MCA) led the tribute to Dr. King. The event included original poems from Tesfa Jacobs ’11 and Argenis Rojas ’11, student dreams (Bridget Walsh ’10, Chambriel Spence ’10, Giulia Guarducci ’11, Shang Wu ’10, Mariah Gonzalez ’10, Francisco Pujals ’10, and Julia Chinchelli ’11), a video presentation, and a remembrance skit (written by Chambriel Spence ’10). The program concluded with a of reading of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by Lorenzo Bernardez ’11. MCA Advisor Liz Warren remarked, “We really wanted our students to lead this event. The presentations were created entirely by the students. I was there to help organize, support, and encourage their creative ideas, but the MCA leaders inspired many students to get involved. We were proud of their efforts and their desire to share the importance of MLK day.” The presentation was heartfelt and not only explored the courage of Martin Luther King but also demonstrated the courage and leadership of the students who put together the presentation.

Marion blumenthal Lazan On Monday, December 14, Suffield had the privilege of welcoming Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan as a guest chapel speaker. Marion shared her amazing story of courage and the details of how she persevered as a survivor of the Holocaust with faith, hope, and determination. Marion spent six years in refugee and prison camps, including the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She kept her story private for 30 years, but in 1979, she opened up about these horrific events. Her experiences ultimately led her to write Four Perfect Pebbles, published in 1996. The title refers to a game that Marion played in the concentration camps. She had to find four pebbles of the same size and shape, as each represented one of her family members, and their survival depended on her discovery of these pebbles. This was one of many survival techniques she used to pass the time and steel her nerves. “I made it my business to find them,” said Marion referring to the pebbles. “I played other imaginary games, but this was the main one. It became an important survival skill.” Marion believes it is important to educate audiences about such dark periods. She spoke with suffield about the three specific messages she aims to highlight in her talks. “First, you can read. There are many films about the topic, but to hear first hand, really allows for people to appreciate and understand. No two people’s stories are the same, and I just want to teach people to be tolerant, respectful, and understanding — regardless or skin color, religion, etc. Second, we must lead, not follow the leader blindly without first checking our hearts and the consequences, and understanding the true intentions and motives. My third message is that we must never generalize and judge a group by the actions of one member or a select few.” Marion describes how she found courage in her own mother — a woman who faced remarkable adversity and could have easily just given up. She credits her mom for her survival, since her father passed away just six months after their liberation. “She was a woman who was widowed at 37, left with sick children, penniless, with no home, and really with no country. Yet, she picked herself up and had tremendous strength. She mustered the inner fortitude to keep going and helped bring out the courage within me. Physically, she was just 70 pounds, but she was filled with determination, courage, hope, and faith.” The courage that Marion saw in her mother helped her become who she is today. At the time she was liberated, Marion was just 10 years old and started a new life in Holland. Just a couple of years later, the family was able to move to Peoria, Illinois, and she entered fourth grade at age 13. At the time, English was the third language she had started to learn in three years. However, Marion was determined to work not only in school, but also after school to help her mother financially. After years of summer school and extra courses, she graduated eigth in her class at the age of 18. “Everything I did, I would do it for my mother,” said Marion. “I realize now how lucky I was to get a good education. I just want people to not take this for granted and make the most of what they have. Now that I have the ability to share good fortune, I hope to reach today’s students. I want the younger generation to share these stories with their children and grandchildren, so when we aren’t here they won’t have to bear witness to what I did. We can work together to prevent terror and encourage basic respect and tolerance of others. This is the basis for peace.”

winter 2010



crosby Leveen ´99 Crosby arrived at Suffield in 1997 as a junior from a small town in Maine. He learned about the school from some friends, Matt Rowe ’94 and Ryan Gall ’96. Crosby came to improve his education and ultimately graduated with more than he ever could have imagined. “I really learned a lot about myself at Suffield. I especially loved the classes that Rocky taught. They helped me better understand the importance of reading, writing, speaking, but mostly about finding things you are interested in and pursuing those things in life,” said Crosby. Eleven years after graduating, Crosby returned to Suffield on March 1. He spoke to the community about his adventures over the past decade and what led him to his career path of deep sea fisherman and television star on the Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. After graduating from Suffield, Crosby took time off and volunteered at schools in Australia and Central America, and assisted Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica. He later enrolled at the University of Vermont in 2000. “While at UVM, I needed a summer job and something came up as a fisherman in Alaska. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a try, “Crosby remarked. He originally fished salmon, but after graduating college he switched to crab fishing on The Wizard, which would later become a featured boat on The Deadliest Catch. The show is popular for the drama and danger that it portrays such as ocean fishing and crabbing. Crosby talked about the fears, thrills, challenges, and joys of the fishing industry. He has been filming for the show since 2007. “I don’t really get too scared out there anymore,” said Crosby. “I definitely have had moments where I’ve looked back and said ‘that was scary!’ We almost had a few guys go overboard, and I think that was the most scared I have been. With the weather, and three guys potentially overboard, it would have been very tricky to get them all back on the boat. Fishing is a lot of repetition; there is a right way and wrong way to do things. The more people know the right way, then the less chances that people might get injured. But things can and do still happen. However, I really like the physical challenge. I like seeing things that you really just can’t even describe. I love the sunsets and the water. You can tell someone what a 60-foot wave looks like, but they will never really understand.” He recently concluded taping and has been pursuing several other areas of interest. Crosby hopes that his exposure and popularity gained from The Deadliest Catch can help propel new opportunities in the fishing and television world. At chapel he presented an idea for a television program that he is currently pitching to the Travel Channel. “My hope is to travel around the world and try to explore different cultures through fishing. I feel comfortable at this point that I can walk on most boats and be successful.” The Suffield Academy students took quite a liking to Crosby and were fascinated by his story “He was my favorite chapel speaker to date,” said Peyton O’Connor ’11. “I found his adventures to be extremely inspiring and entertaining. Learning about the accomplishments of a Suffield Academy alum opens my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me.” Crosby concluded his talk by sharing thoughts about how the Suffield experience helped shape his future: “Suffield prepared me to test my limits. I wouldn’t have been as comfortable traveling abroad and then later working in the fishing industry. My experiences at Suffield helped me to establish more independence and feel better prepared for life on my own.”


Admissions & Strategic Planning asked Headmaster Charlie Cahn some questions about the current admissions picture and about driving factors in planning for the school’s future.


How is Suffield doing in admissions? We will have a first round applicant pool of over 800 students applying for 100 spaces. It is quite possible that by the end of the admissions cycle this year will be our largest pool ever. Our previous record was 890 applicants. About 3 in 10 applicants are accepted to the school, and about 5 of 10 accepted students choose to enroll. The admissions picture is good—interest is high and we have a talented group of candidates. Has the recent recession affected private schools and colleges? Like other families and other organizations—whether private or public, for profit or charitable—independent schools and colleges have been impacted by the economic changes over the past year. They have been affected to varying degrees—from smaller enrollments, shrinking endowments, changed debt-to-endowment ratios, or operating budget challenges. The most difficult situations are the personal ones when a parent loses a job or circumstances suddenly change and it’s important to respond with sensitivity and assistance wherever possible. Fortunately, Suffield has fared well in spite of the difficult economy. Our applicant pool and enrollment remain very strong. Our recent construction was fully funded by gifts. We did not reduce staffing or significantly alter programming, and none of our students have had to leave because of financial issues. Are families less likely to consider a private school or college in this environment? If you look at enrollment at Suffield I would say no, but I know it’s something families are considering every day. Private schools have to be mindful of articulating their value in this type of climate, but this is something we should be focused on regardless of the economic environment. Because an independent school or college education requires at least some family financial sacrifice in virtually all cases, institutions like Suffield Academy strive, wherever possible, to make this sacrifice manageable and realistic through their financial aid programs. What will Suffield’s next strategic plan look like? We are currently working through our 10-year accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC). This includes a self-analysis in 14 different areas. It will help shape our next set of strategic priorities, which we will develop with our board of trustees. I know our goals will center on sustaining our enrollment size and applicant pool and continuing to build our infrastructure and permanent resource base. I also think the academic program, faculty professional development, and college counseling will be primary areas of focus. How has the 2004 Strategic Plan for Suffield shaped the school? What were the essential elements? This really guided the strategic decisions we have made at Suffield over the last five years. It helped us stay focused on essential goals related to the enrollment size (400) and composition, our program offerings, our commitment to recruiting and sustaining a strong faculty, and our many physical plant projects. The plan shaped decision making from the board and the faculty, and it has been great to see us execute all of the central goals, even within a period of global economic turmoil. Tell us about the board of trustees. How does one become a trustee, and what are the responsibilities? The board of trustees serves three primary purposes: defining the philosophical basis and objectives of Suffield Academy, hiring and evaluating the headmaster, and overseeing the school’s fiduciary matters. Our bylaws permit up to 30 trustees, and the board is currently at capacity. Suffield’s board is led by president Dan Tisch ´69, P´02. We look for a blend of alumni, current and past parents, and educators. For example, the president of University of Hartford (Walt Harrison), headmaster of Eaglebrook School (Andy Chase), and a prominent independent educational consultant (Matthew Greene) are on our board. In addition, we aim to have a range of personal and professional diversity. It is fascinating to see this experience when we discuss topics and make decisions—to hear the views of business leaders, those in marketing, law, education, and other professions. Our board has an executive committee and six standing committees. Each trustee serves on two of the six committees. We have an approved list of board candidates that is always growing. Most importantly, people recruited to be on the board have shown sustained interest and commitment to the school. Ours is an excellent board—engaged in all ways with Suffield—through their time, giving, and energy. We’re fortunate.

winter 2010


what makes

andy lowe “Andy Lowe was instrumental in my development as a student. He assigned dense texts, didn’t give us much time to read, and expected concise analysis. His confidence that we could handle the work was complete, and because of this we rose to the challenge. Pushing me to understand what good scholarship entails—this was Andy’s greatest gift to me.” -Phil Riegel ´87

Hillary rockwell Cahn ´88 “Hillary Cahn re-defines the term role model. Her inner strength and thoughtfulness come through in every interaction. Students (and parents) come away from a conversation with Hill thinking, “wow, she gets it and I respect her thoughts and opinion.” She is a “go-to” person whether it is in or out of the classroom. She helps you reach your goals and feel confident.” -Erin Orr ´02

a great teacher?

Yelena Vasilenko “At first I thought Mrs. Vasilenko was just really tough and the class was going to be so hard because she is so smart and really knows her material, but she is always willing to help us. You can sense that she really wants us to learn and appreciate the material. We are so well prepared for the AP Exam. I really don’t like math, but I love her class.” -Katherine Sacco ´10

Barry Cleary “My favorite teacher at Suffield Academy was Barry Cleary. I still cannot call him by his first name. Mr. Cleary helped me to shape myself as an individual and prepared me for academics and adult life. He helped me to accept everyone for who they are. I feel fortunate that he is mentoring my son in much the same way today. I still recall his calm classroom demeanor, his dry sense of humor, and I still remember US History and the treaty of Guadolupe Hidalgo.” -Susan Dellaquila O’Brien ´84

what makes a great teacher?

“America is in the midst of a particularly intense period of soul-searching about education. We hear regularly that the public school budgets are decimated, that our children are less well educated than previous generations, that violence and dysfunction infect families and schools, that American children are falling behind the children of Japan and other competitor nations. Our belief in providing sound education for our children, an impulse that goes back to the earliest colonial settlements, has produced high expectations. When we see things going poorly in the schools, we are prone to worry. Similar to earlier times of national concern about education, the current ‘crisis’ has produced calls for reform, best-selling books on the subject, and promises of change by our political leaders.” -Dr. David Holmes ´60, Suffield Academy’s twenty-third headmaster, written in 1992 Suffield’s former headmaster’s poignant insight could have just as easily been written today. Many believe that our country faces similar challenges and that we ponder similar political promises, but Suffield Academy remains constant in its methods. Since its founding in 1833, the purpose of this school has been to prepare graduates to succeed in college and become responsible, ethical citizens. During a recent chapel presentation, Headmaster Charlie Cahn traced the roots of the school’s history—from its founding as the Connecticut Literary Institute in 1833 to its change to Suffield School in 1916 and Suffield Academy in 1939. Even in its earliest days the school offered an array of courses in English, math, history, civics, and science aimed at college and life training. Today, in many of the same classrooms, Suffield students study many of the same subjects for the same purpose. Our world has changed in such dramatic ways that one must wonder how Suffield’s methods can remain constant. Let’s examine how this is possible. A new breed of high school graduate has emerged over the last decade — the highly connected teenager engaged with their online friends just as much if not more than their flesh and blood world. The experienced teachers of Suffield Academy are forced to compete for airtime with this group of young adults. Conventional wisdom may suggest that the influence of teachers is diminished in this paradigm. Is it?


Presidential administration after presidential administration, study after study, student after student — one conclusion: teachers matter. Researchers have evaluated students, mandatory testing, learning styles, cultural influences, and many other factors, but one idea remains a constant — teachers make the difference.

scholarship and a respect for individual differences guide our teaching and curriculum. We engender among our students a sense of responsibility, and they are challenged to grow in a structured and nurturing environment. The entire academic, athletic, and extracurricular experience prepares our students for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and active citizenship.

This was true during the days of the Connecticut Literary Institute and it’s true today. The invasion of instant messaging, the Internet, information saturation, and immediate news cannot compare to the steadfast, deliberate efforts of a strong educator in a Suffield classroom. Teachers provide stability and consistency—an anchor in an ever-changing world. A teacher gives students the opportunity to step back from the hustle and bustle, from infinite interconnectedness, to examine the world around them. At times it seems like everyone else is finally catching on to what we at Suffield have always known, what we have always held dear — the value of a teacher and their power to enhance the lives of students. A Suffield teacher works not just in the classroom, but is an integral part of the Suffield community. They are dorm parents, instructors, advisors, coaches, dining companions, and role models. They engage in the lives of students to learn, not just teach. Singularly, they make a difference in their classrooms. They adjust their teaching style or approach to subject matter, and they work together within departments to evaluate the curriculum and learn from one another. Whether it is the veteran faculty member like Rocky or Brett Vianney, or newcomers like Erika Picciotto and Paul Caginalp, Suffield teachers share a common commitment to student development. Headmaster Charlie Cahn likes to characterize this journey of personal development as, “the distance each student travels during his or her time at Suffield.” In the January/February issue of The Atlantic, author Amanda Ripley asked the question, “What makes a great teacher?” The author reviewed 20 years of data compiled by Teach for America and came to several conclusions: “Right away, certain patterns emerged. Great teachers tended to set big goals for their students. They were also perpetually looking for ways to improve their effectiveness. Great teachers, she concluded, constantly reevaluate what they are doing.” We have always known this at Suffield. The theme is embodied in our mission statement: Suffield Academy is a coeducational independent secondary school serving a diverse community of day and boarding students. Our school has a tradition of academic excellence combined with a strong work ethic. A commitment to

Chris Pentz “Every day is a new challenge with Mr. Pentz. It is debate, discussion, and understanding all rolled into one. Sometimes I feel like I’m on CNN.” -Maggie Roelants ´10

Our mission statement represents our objectives and all that we seek to accomplish at Suffield. Yet, in the face of this, it is no secret that we are experiencing something of a cultural crisis in our society. The 2005 U.S. Department of Education Report on Adult Literacy demonstrated as much, as it outlined the staggering decline in literacy among college graduates. Interestingly, the primary areas of focus in the English department at Suffield are, and always have been, on reading, writing, and speaking — the essential components of communication. As former director of studies, English department chair, and headmaster, Mason Nye once shared, “No one is grading the television experience. The responsibility for declining literacy is not, after all, in the hands of the entertainment industry. It is in the hands of the schools and the teachers. In the school, and certainly at Suffield, we still have the power to focus attention, set high standards, and ensure accountability of what is truly important: the language we use — the chief means we have of empowerment in society, in work, and in leisure; the chief instrument of our humanity.”

winter 2010


what makes a great teacher?

Anna McCarthy “Mrs. McCarthy always pushed me to do my absolute best in Spanish. She was always available for extra help to clear any confusion and always supported me as I mastered difficult material. She knows how to teach in a manner where students do not only memorize principles of the language, but also understand and apply these concepts while still enjoying as they learn. Most of all, her passion for the Spanish language and teaching in general are clearly exhibited whenever she works with students. She cares about each and every one of them. She is definitely one of the best teachers I had at Suffield.” -Pooja Kothari ´10

joel biederman “Mr. Biederman is so interesting. You never know what is going to happen during class. It keeps us all on the edge of our seats.He is patient, supportive, always available for extra help, and such an amazing guy.” -Jen Ruddock ´10

Suffield has always been fortunate to have a core group of dedicated faculty members whose interactions with students have spanned generations. Current faculty members, like those who have been at Suffield for more than 30 years—Dave Rockwell, Barry Cleary, Andy Lowe, Gerry LaPlante, Bill Butcher, and Dave Godin—have all had a hand in building the academic standards upon which Suffield stands today. They have helped provide the foundation from which scores of young faculty have built their careers. It is their passion for teaching, for reaching the wide-range of students at Suffield, and their overwhelming compassion that makes them great teachers. They embody the core Suffield values of a classic education and share these qualities with their students. They help sustain important values and rituals —that the environment be friendly, that people look you in the eye when speaking to you, and that students hold the door for faculty and one another. They hold students accountable, and they mentor young faculty members. If you were fortunate enough to have taken Brett Vianney’s ’70 English class 25 years ago or are taking it today, a few things are certain—you will complete the course ready for college; you will have learned to study; and you will have learned how to write a good paper. The same can be said for so many Suffield teachers. “We are trying to produce good citizens who care about each other and the world around them. We want them to be well prepared for college and for life,” says English teacher Brett Vianney. A new group of educated young minds will emerge from Suffield in the spring. Are we helping shape the greatest generation or simply the next? There is no doubt the faculty members of Suffield Academy have wondered this for decades, only to be rewarded with answers in the form of the esteemed alumni who return year after year in person or with the written word to share their gratitude and news of their accomplishments. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the great Suffield teachers by presenting a cross-section of instructors, new and old, each with their own distinct style.


precalculus AJ YATES A photo editor at Getty Images and an avid sports fan, AJ Yates started thinking about teaching when his recently retired dad began his second career as a teacher. “He would come home, and we would have these great conversations about how teachers can really inspire students. When my father told me he felt he was making more of a difference teaching than anything else he had done, I was moved.” AJ has found a place to make this difference at Suffield. “My message is simple. Do your homework. Math requires practice—much the same as kicking a soccer ball or building speed for a race.” For AJ, teaching is about connecting with students in and out of the classroom. He is committed to continued learning and to understanding the wide range of students we have at Suffield. AJ coaches cross-country and track. He also lives in the Academy House with his family. “Being involved outside of the classroom helps me stay accessible and available to students, and that makes a difference because they feel like they can always come to me for extra help,” says AJ. “The way life is structured at Suffield, students are set up to succeed. It’s our job to help them.” Whether he is singing the quadratic formula song or explaining trigonometry through scuba diving stories, AJ is helping students learn.

Native American Studies Dave Rockwell ´58 In his 46th year here and now leading Suffield’s respected Leadership Program, Rocky has also taught Native American Studies for nearly two decades. He is and always has been the definition of a great teacher. He engages students in remarkable ways. “If you’re passionate about what you’re teaching, it’s infectious,” declares Rocky. “My goal is to make any course I teach as rich and interesting as I possibly can.” He achieves his goal day after day. Native American Studies is an elective course offered to seniors. The subject matter diverges from mainstream history and emphasizes its anthropological content. The course has attracted students for years. Many students enroll primarily because Rocky teaches it, but they leave with a below the surface sense of history and a feeling for an indigenous people. “It’s simple,” Rocky explains. “I break the course down into first contact, Native American culture, and contemporary Indian issues.” For 10 years Rocky took his teaching beyond the classroom to the Zuni reservation in New Mexico. During these trips, students attended evening dances in the pueblo, met Native American artists, and hiked into lava tubes or up Corn Mountain. Several Zuni students have since attended the Summer Academy, and some so successfully that they returned as teaching assistants. “I think this class resonates with students because it forces them to slow down and look at how others live,” says Rocky. winter 2010


what makes a great teacher?

Cinema and Literature Tom Dugan

The Literature of Evil Amy Pentz

Tom Dugan joined the faculty in 2008 to lead Suffield’s drama program. With a background in both theater and film from Emerson College and a stint in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, Tom brings his personal experience into the classroom. “I got involved with theater in high school. I really liked it. It made me a better student, and that is why I feel strongly that students will learn more if they can connect with the material.”

“I used to be in advertising, so naming my course the Literature of Evil was like winning sweeps,” says Amy Pentz. It is easy to see why she was the 2008 recipient of the Richter Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tom credits his rapid success at Suffield in part to Suffield’s required commitment of family style dining. “Sitting at my lunchtable is where students really get to know me. I love to bring different topics and spark conversation.” Tom teaches performing arts and english courses at Suffield including Acting, Film: Theory and Practice, Play Directing, Cinema and Literature, and 20th Century World Drama. He also directs the two major performances which are held in December and April. “I’m always telling students that every job has an element of performance. Our performing arts courses help students gain comfort performing in front of others.” Tom’s role is a symbol of the growth of the arts at Suffield, and his engaging style has helped him make a major impact on his students.


If you ask any of her current or former students, they all agree she’s a great teacher. They also say she’s funny. Perhaps it was her years in advertising or her stint as a DJ; whatever the case, Amy uses her wit to her advantage. “I try to stay current and make connections between the classics and the teenage world. For example, in my third year class when we are reading The Age of Innocence, I tell my class it is just like high school, everyone is talking about their clothes and their relationships.” Amy has been teaching at Suffield Academy for 10 years, and she likens her philosophy to teaching her young boys to ride a bike. “You have to help them at first, push them along, hold them steady until they get the swing of it, and before you know it, they are riding on their own and loving it. It is about reinforcement of their abilities. If you don’t ask enough of your students, you don’t know what they can do. They will rise to the level if they know you’ll help them. They know I like my job, and they know I like them. It’s a recipe for success.”

dance -athon Suffield’s sixth annual dance-a-thon will be held on April 10, 2010. Students will dance the night away from 10PM to 6AM. The dance-a-thon has become a great tradition—one that students enthusiastically look forward to each year. Students and faculty nominate and then select a charity to support with proceeds that come from sponsorships for the dancers. More than $200,000 has been raised over the last five years through the dance-a-thon for organizations including The Jimmy Fund, Interval House, Jambo Tanzania, HARC Inc., and Camp Sunshine. Suffield students and faculty chose Autism Speaks as the beneficiary of the 2010 dance-a-thon proceeds. The organization was nominated by Griffin Murray ´11, Penn Fisher ´11, and Briell Smith ´12. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. If you would like to support the dance-a-thon, please contact Phil Riegel ´87 in the development office at 860.386.4461 or

for more information please visit winter 2010


Guitar Show on January 15, Suffield Academy held the annual winter guitar show. Students performed before a packed house in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center. The event has become a great tradition at Suffield and was once again a huge success.

The Performers Stephen Kiss 
´10 Lauren Booth ´12 Brooke Tashjian ´10 Izzy McDonald ´12 Gordon Murphy ´10 Gus George ´12 Katherine Sacco ´10 Alberto Fernandez ´12 Griffin Murray ´11 Beverly Rogan ´10

Dylan Laycox ´10 Nick Brown ´12 Duncan Renchard ´11 Briell Smith ´12 James Thompson ´11 Mina Song
´13 Katherine Perry ´11 
 Tyler Brooks ´11 Brendan O’Connor ´11

Dance Show on February 25 + 26, over thirty students participated in the dance performances held in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center. The program was led by two Suffield faculty members, Gis-Xi Nahmens and Barbara Guarriello, in addition to consultation from two adjunct dance professionals—Renee Klucznik and Ally Czerniak. The dance center that opened in 2008—supported by gifts to Suffield’s The Time is Now campaign—has helped support the increased enrollments. Technical enhancements to both lighting and audio in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center were also very apparent at this year’s outstanding show. The technical work was led by faculty member Paul Caginalp.


winter theater December 10-12 The Suffield musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was a hilarious tale of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. It included a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time. The characters learned that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. The Cast Billy Glidden ´10 Nick Allen ´10 Constance Turner ´10 Rachel Sun ´10

Hang Yu ´10 Harry Land ´11 Terra Arguimbau ´11 Tommy Jensen ´11

Si Yoon Kwon ´11 Jack O’Connell ´11 Dave Copel ´11

Pank Praneeprachachon ´12 Katherine Battle ´12 Grace Vianney ´12

February 12 Tom Dugan’s Play Directing and Acting class put on the annual Winter One Acts in the Performing Arts Center. Students directed and acted in four short productions. Tom Dugan organized the show with the help of faculty members Tom Gotwals, Beth James, Kim Wiggin, Heather Dugan, and Paul Caginalp as part of the creative team. Kris Sitteeamorn ´11 was the show’s stage manager. Drugs Are Bad directed by Mack Cook ´12 (with Dave Copel ´11, Billy Glidden ´10, and Constance Turner ´10)

Out The Window directed by Dylan Laycox ´10 (with Morgan Fog ´10, Rachael Kawasaki ’11, and Constance Turner ´10)

It Ain’t No Honeymoon directed by Henry Thevenin ´10 (with Val Klimenko ´12, Erica Robbie ´11, and AJ Placanico ´11)

Cha-Cha-Cha directed by Evan Terrell ´10 (with Will Kencel ´10 and Julia Maloof ´12)

The Cast Constance Turner ´10 Erica Robbie ´11 Dave Copel ´11

Griffin Murray ´11 Christine Mastroianni ´12 Val Klimenko

Gabi Webb
´12 Dorrian Wyatt ´13 Ben Mayne ´13

winter 2010


winter sports In a great winter season, Suffield’s athletic success was highlighted by New England and Berkshire Ski League championships for the ski team, a state championship for the riflery team, more champion swimmers, and a semifinal bid at the Western New England Prep School League Tournament for the boys’ basketball team.

skiing Following a 15-1 regular season, the Suffield boys’ ski team won the New England Class B championship for the first time in school history. In challenging weather conditions at Mount Snow in Vermont, Suffield put together an outstanding performance from top to bottom. The team won both portions of the event—slalom and giant slalom—to finish first overall among the 14 teams in the field. In the giant slalom, four Suffield racers qualified for All-New England status by virtue of top-ten finishes: Colin Dowd ´11 (6th place), Ben Adams ´10 (7th), Mateo Gaviria ´10 (9th), and Mark Paton ´12 (10th). In the slalom, Mateo Gaviria finished 3rd, Colin Dowd 4th, and Ben Adams 10th. Other varsity racers this season were James Graham ´11, Billy Regan ´12, Jameson Everett ´12, Erich Seifert ´11, Didi McDonald ´11, and Madeline Casey ´13.

New England Champion boys’ ski team


“This is a very special group of people who became a fabulous team,” said Head Coach Hillary Rockwell Cahn ´88. “The camaraderie was remarkable. We have had many great skiers in the long history of our program, but this is Suffield’s first New England ski

championship. Coach Dave Eckhardt ´86 and I are really proud of the team, and especially of how great they are as people.” Colin Dowd ´11 said, “This championship showed us what we can do when we work hard and work together. I was really excited to come to Suffield this year and be part of the ski program, but I could have never guessed what a fantastic experience it would be. Winning the New England championship is special, but the best part of the year has been being on this team.” Suffield has had a varsity ski program for over forty years. The program was started by Dave Rockwell ´58, and his daughter Hillary took over as head coach in 1996. Suffield had won several Berkshire Ski League titles but never a New England Championship. Dave Rockwell said, “I’m so proud of the team and impressed by Hillary’s leadership. She is a gifted coach who has become a real point person in New England prep school racing.” Rocky had a chance to watch the Berkshire Ski League Championship with two long-time ski coaching friends—Carl Williams from Salisbury School and Bob Brigham from Berkshire School. The three of them coached together (and against each other) for parts of four decades, and Carl Williams still leads the Salisbury team.

Dave Rockwell ´58 with long-time ski coaches and friends, Carl Williams (Salisbury School), and Bob Brigham (Berkshire School)

Suffield’s girls’ team, consisting of Didi McDonald ´11, Maddie Casey ´13, Annie Salzman ´10, Lauren Webber ´11, and Kyoko Hashimoto ´12, finished in ninth place at the New England Championships. winter 2010


swimming The Suffield swim program maintained its strong tradition of excellence with an outstanding season. The boys’ team (9-1) finished 2nd at the Bud Erich Invitational, with the girls’ (7-3) taking 4th. At the New England Championships the boys’ finished 4th (out of 30 teams), trailing only behind Andover, Exeter, and Deerfield. The girls’ finished in 9th after a spectacular meet. Seniors Evan Ciecimirski and Connor Beaulieu led the boys’ swim team, and together with Lester Taylor ´11 and Fred Tritschler ´11 they recorded a new Suffield Academy and Hotchkiss pool record with the automatic All-American time of 1:25.94. This ranked them in the top 20 in the United States. Ciecimirski and Beaulieu led a first and second place Suffield sweep of the 100 breaststroke.

s q u a s h

The Girls’ squash team finished 3rd in the New England prep school tournament, following a 7-6 regular season highlighted by victories over Pomfret, Brooks, and Berkshire. Boys’ squash earned a 4th place finish in the New England tournament, which was hosted by Suffield.

wrestling The wrestling team was led by several students who earned top finishes in the Western New England tournament and competed in the nationals at Lehigh. Elliot Frank ´11 was the Western New England champion at 140 pounds. Jet Jaturavith ´11 (119), William Evangelakos ´11 (125), and Andrew Jacobs (152) finished second, Patrick Tolosky ´11 (130) third, and Sam Waters ´11 (135) and Brando Brandolini ´11 (215) finished sixth.

riflery coached by Anna McCarthy and Brett Vianney, The Tigers were once again led by sophomore Remington Lyman, who dominated with a score of 197 (out of a possible 200.) He was followed by Kyle Clark ´10 (193), and Matt Tolosky ´10 (190). Following these three captains were K. H. Song ´10 and Conrad Mish ´12 with scores of 188 each. Other shooters for Suffield included Penn Fisher ´11 (186), Grace Vianney ´12 (185), Sarah Hong ´13 (185), Brendan O’Connor ´11 (181), and Joe Sosothikul ´10 (173). After a 7-1 dual meet season record, the Suffield riflery team repeated as state champions. Competing against the other top-five ranked teams in Connecticut, Suffield defeated Xavier High School by four points. The match went right down to the wire, and the results were still up in the air as the last shooters finished. The final results posted a victory for Suffield.

winter 2010


basketball Suffield basketball once again finished with much success. The girls’ team earned a New England tournament spot with a season highlighted by wins over Taft, Hotchkiss, Westminster, Deerfield, Berkshire, and Choate. The boys’ basketball team made the semifinals in the Western New England tournament. They began the season 0-3, but a seven-game winning streak helped propel the Tigers to conference contenders. They finished the regular season with a 15-8 record. In the quarterfinal tournament matchup, Suffield fell behind Choate early but stormed back in the second half. Senior Xavier Pollard was a force for the Tigers with his second triple-double of the season, totaling 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The 88-73 earned the Tigers a shot at the semifinals where they lost to Kent. Pollard finished his Suffield career with a remarkable 1,000 points. He helped lead this year’s team (averaging 20.8 points per game) along with Allen Harris ´10 (20.8 points per game) and Nate Vernon ´10 (15.0 points per game). All three Tigers were nominated to play in the 2010 McDonald’s All-American game.


the annual alumni basketball game

back row l-r: Shawn Manafort ´00, Lambros Papalambros ´08, Joe Palomba ´80, Jack Ferraro ´81, Ryan Allen ´05, Wade Sojka-Colli ´05, Evan Boyle ´08, Rip Furniss ´08, Jason Qua ´86 front row l-r: Ed Palomba ´78, John Camerota ´09, Ryan Sonberg ´09, Zeke Donnelly ´07, Matt Capone ´07, Ben Fish ´08, Matt Jones ´07, Kyle Vigneault ´09

Suffield welcomed back over forty alumni to the annual alumni basketball game on Saturday, January 9. Twenty alumni played each other in the first alumni vs. alumni game. Following the game, alums, faculty, and guests enjoyed a reception in Tisch Field House and stayed on to cheer as the boys’ varsity basketball team took on St. Andrews.

While the world experienced the most serious economic crisis since The Great Depression, Suffield science teacher Gerry LaPlante P’04,’06 was on a two-wheel journey of discovery of the United States. Gerry (or G-La-P, as he is fondly known across campus) and his bicycle took to the roads and towns of America and engaged the source of its greatness, the roots of its strength—the people. Gerry discovered that heroes didn’t just land airplanes on the Hudson River or win medals or trophies. He discovered, or better yet, re-discovered that heroes exist all across America. “Every day of the trip I met amazing people,” says Gerry. The “trip” is Gerry’s 64-day journey across America on his bicycle. He was fulfilling a long-held dream and learning more than he could ever imagine about what makes America special. “Most long-term cyclists want to do this,” Gerry asserts in his straightforward, matter-of-fact manner. An avid runner, he turned to cycling when he turned 40; and not long after, he began chasing the dream of cycling across the country. He planned the trip for two years with a group of people, but when the rubber literally met the road, he was a lone rider. “I wasn’t discouraged. I eventually turned to the Internet and found a riding partner through the Adventure Cycling Association and Facebook,” says Gerry. Finding a riding partner online “highlighted the fine line that sometimes exists between courage and risk-taking behavior. However, I saw it as a good sign that the one book my new riding partner chose to bring on the trip was Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species… surely we would have plenty to talk about when we were not riding!” He had a riding partner. He had a plan. He had a goal. “I needed to get to San Francisco, California, by August 11 because my daughter Jeannie ’04 was swimming with some other Suffield folks (Phil Riegel ’87, Julio and Tracy Adib-Samii) in the Sharkfest swim from Alcatraz Island to the mainland.” So it began on June 9, 2009, as Gerry, his bicycle, and 70 pounds of gear headed up Stiles Lane and north on Route 75 into Agawam, amidst a band of summer thunderstorms. The first stop was Williamstown, Massachusetts, 76 miles into his journey and with day one behind him. The physical journey began many hours earlier with the first rotation of the thin rubber wheels of Gerry’s bicycle, but as the sun went down, the journey of discovery really began.


two wheels

on two wheels Gerry quickly learned the true meaning of hospitality from the Williamstown Motel manager, who was also owner of an Indian restaurant a couple of miles away in town. His request for a dinner spot recommendation led to a ride into town, an outstanding meal with special service, and a ride back to the motel. So his first day ended with a foreshadowing of how he would be treated by people he would meet over the next nine weeks. Some of Gerry’s hosts had Suffield connections, while others were new acquaintances who opened their homes, refrigerators, and lives for a very brief period to share in a stranger’s journey. When Gerry talks about his trip, he doesn’t use geography to catalog the journey but rather the people. “This was the beginning of an uplifting experience with humanity. Throughout the trip, I continually benefited from the help and generosity of people I just met. While early on I saw such encounters as courageous acts by both receiver and giver, I soon realized that it was simply common human decency, and, in my experience, it is found abundantly throughout this great country.”

northern Ohio we were invited to eat and spend the night at the homes of people we met in stores and while resting in public parks.” With 38 days to go until the final destination, while they were in Des Moines, Iowa, Gerry’s riding partner Kris broke the news that he was going to take off on his own. Gerry considered ending the ride, feeling it might be too risky to complete alone. After several conversations with his wife Nancy and a few hours of sleep, Gerry made the decision to continue. He wouldn’t have a riding partner, but he knew he wouldn’t be alone on this adventure either, for there were many people yet to meet. With the departure of his riding partner, the journey took on a new dimension. “Looking back on the separation, it was a key to much of what happened to me over the remaining 38 days of the trip.” Gerry embraced the open road and forged ahead, into the Fourth of July celebration of Exira, Iowa, where he once again experienced the spirit of America. Exira, a town of 800, typically draws upwards of 12,000 for their celebration of America. While Gerry did not arrive in time for the two and a half hour parade, he did enjoy hot dogs,

Many of Gerry’s hosts had Suffield connections while others were new acquaintances who opened their homes, refrigerators, and lives, for a very brief period to share in a stranger’s journey. On day five Gerry was still in the Empire State. “Boy, is New York a big state,” he exclaims. “It took seven and a half days to cover the 495 miles from Ticonderoga to the Pennsylvania line. During that week we enjoyed the hospitality of three Suffield connections, the Destito family (Chris ’85 and his uncle Frank Perraino in Rome) the Fruce family (Mark ’07 and his uncle Frank ’83) in Fulton, and the Mayers (close friends of former colleague David Nelson) in Buffalo. The extended Suffield family is a wide and generous one — and they are excellent cooks, as well!” Throughout the country—as he traveled through Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and California—Gerry discovered beautiful scenery and interesting people. The residents of the Buckeye State really made an impression. “For three straight nights in 36

maid-rites (Iowan sloppy joes) and homemade raspberry pie. He also had a visit with the Mayor, who came by to meet this tall stranger and learn of his travels. On July 5 Gerry reached a landmark point in his journey by crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska. This, according to former faculty member Dave Nelson, meant that he was now truly “out west.” The Missouri is described by locals as “too thick to drink, but too thin to plow.” His route turned north along the Lewis and Clark Trail when he encountered Tom Davis, a homeless man traveling from Kansas City, Missouri, to Rapid City, South Dakota. Suddenly, Gerry realized he had an opportunity to pay-it-forward. He had been the recipient of much kindness during the ride. It was now a chance for Gerry to extend the same warmth to another person on a journey of his own. “He had all of his belongings strapped onto a beat-up old bicycle which he

Throughout the country—as he traveled through Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and California—Gerry discovered beautiful scenery and interesting people. had salvaged from a dumpster. He was walking his bike because it was stuck in the lowest gear, which was useless for riding along the flat terrain of the road we were on. I spent about an hour with Tom, sharing life stories, using my tools to fix his bike into a rideable gear, giving him some meal money, and watching him ride off happily down the road. I thought often Gerry with the Fruce family about Tom during the remainder of my trip, and I have continued to do so since returning home. For him to have an optimistic and hopeful outlook given the life he was living was simply amazing to me. After all the help I had received from people along the way, I was thankful to be able to help out someone like Tom Davis.” On the next day, Gerry met new riding partners, Jerry and Sam, a father-son duo from Alaska. He encountered the duo while enjoying a morning coffee at McDonald’s, swapping stories with a group of retirees in a situation which reminded him of something his late father-in-law did every day of his retirement. The Alaskans saw his loaded touring bike parked outside the restaurant and came in to investigate. After very brief introductions (“Hi, Jerry, I’m Gerry”), a new riding team was established. Gerry says, “While riding with Jerry and Sam for over 1200 miles in the next three weeks, I got to witness the mutually courageous behavior of a father and his only son as they encouraged, challenged, supported and endured each other (and me) on their epic adventure,” says Gerry. Together the three experienced the beauty and hospitality of northern Nebraska. “The riding was simply outstanding, with blue skies and green prairie grasses interspersed with colorful flowers of all sorts. The road was flat and smooth, with wide shoulders and light traffic. The excitement of our new partnership allowed us to ride over 15 mph on our first

day together, well above the 11 mph average of the entire trip.” Gerry goes on to describe the beauty of the Sandhills Region, which he learned more about through conversations with friendly Cornhuskers. “This region is characterized by a series of ancient sand dunes permanently stabilized by beautiful prairie grasses. The landscape is rolling; it is punctuated by small creeks in deep canyons surrounded by thick pine forests... it looks a little bit like Cape Cod, but instead of observing the ocean, when you ride up to the crest of the dunes there are just more dunes for as far as the eye can see. The landscape was intoxicating. We rode into Ainsworth, which was celebrating its annual ‘Middle of Nowhere Days’ with a downtown carnival. I rode down through town to see the carnival and visited with a cattle rancher and his family for about a half hour, learning even more about the Sandhills.” The three men rode together for mile after mile, day after day, through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho. They experienced everything from the emotional perils of family relationships to ice cream socials to 60 mile per hour winds. Young Sam had several rough adolescent moments, and Gerry needed to get to Jackson Hole by a certain date, so his struggling partners urged him to ride on ahead to make his deadline. It was during this time that Gerry faced what was perhaps his biggest physical challenge—crossing the Rockies and the Continental Divide. As is so often the case, with great challenges come great rewards, and riding under difficult conditions over Gerry with the former headmaster David Holmes ´60 and wife Toni tough terrain proved to be one of the great physical accomplishments of the journey. On the coldest day of the 64-day trip, July 16, with a morning temperature of 41 degrees, Gerry completed the 30 mile uphill journey in five hours, climbing approximately winter 2010


on two wheels

Gerry with wife Nancy and David Okano P’07

3000 feet to the 9658 foot elevation of the pass. “The combination of light traffic, beautiful scenery, sunshine, blue sky, no wind, and an average uphill grade of around 4% made for one of the best days of riding on the trip. I am sure that the leg strength gained and body mass lost in the weeks leading up to that day had something to do with the level of enjoyment.”

Another Suffield connection awaited Gerry as he pedaled down from the Togwatee Pass into Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. “I was, for the first time on the trip, overwhelmed by a sense of accomplishment. All I could think was, ‘I’m in the Tetons and I rode here by BICYCLE!’” Gerry spent the next several days immersed in the natural beauty of the Grand Tetons. The enjoyment of this four-day respite was enhanced by the fact that his wife Nancy flew in for the weekend. They spent four days hiking the remarkable Tetons while enjoying the cooking and gracious hospitality of David Okano P’07. “For four unbelievable days in the Tetons we had to keep pinching ourselves to remind us how lucky we were!” On his final day in the Tetons, while awaiting the arrival of Jerry and Sam, LaPlante encountered Nicolas, a cross-country cyclist from Paris. Nicolas had departed from New York City only one day before Gerry had left Suffield. He had ridden a parallel path and was also headed for San Francisco. “We talked for about 45 minutes when we realized that we were both headed for San Francisco. We hoped that we might meet again down the road.” Gerry, Jerry, and Sam headed out of Wyoming through the Snake River Canyon and into Idaho via the Alpine Junction. They discovered some amazing scenery and geology in central Idaho. Gerry says, “After a warm night camping at Craters of the Moon National Monument, I arose at dawn and went for a six mile hike through the park. Not surprisingly, I had the whole place to myself for over two hours.” The next day, the trio connected with former Suffield Headmaster David Holmes ’60 and his wife Toni in Hailey. The Holmes’ were gracious hosts and wonderful companions. Gerry witnessed firsthand the aesthetic power that attracted David and Toni to this part of the country. The natural beauty was stunning. “We headed 38

out for a hike to an alpine lake in the Galena Pass area. It was a nice five mile hike, with beautiful vistas, and, of course, the end prize of a beautiful green mountain lake tucked away in a mountain pocket. The climb took us up above 9000 feet of elevation. We traveled up over the summit and down into the Salmon River Valley in the amazing Sawtooth Wilderness region of Idaho. With jagged mountain peaks presiding over a wide valley through which a gorgeous serpentine river flowed, it was remarkably similar to the Tetons and Jackson Hole, only much more pristine and undeveloped. It was very impressive.” Gerry stayed an extra night with the Holmes’ so that a local bike shop could look at his failing (again) rear rim, while Jerry and Sam headed out toward Boise, with a plan to cover the 122 mile journey in two days. The next day, Gerry rode those 122 miles, his longest day of the trip, in an attempt to catch up with his Alaskan friends. Since he could not make it to their hotel before the danger of falling darkness, and because he had arranged to spend a day in a Boise bike shop

and former Suffield faculty member Jon Rockman was their gracious host when they arrived in San Francisco. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco was an incredible way to end the journey. “We wore our black and white ‘formal’ cycling outfits for the arrival party. I had hoped for some fog, and we were rewarded with a nice rolling bank of fog and hazy sunshine as we approached the bridge. Julio was waiting for us with a welcoming sign midway across the bridge, and Jon was our official arrival

The three men rode together for miles and miles, days and days. Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho. They experienced everything from the emotional perils of family relationships to ice cream socials and 60 mile an hour winds. getting his final new rim, Gerry parted ways with Jerry and Sam with a phone conversation. They talked next with congratulatory phone calls when they reached their final destinations.

photographer.” Nancy LaPlante and other family back East were able to witness the arrival through the use of modern technology. Nancy had Googled a traffic webcam that was pointed at the spot on the sidewalk where the journey ended.

Looking back on the trip is something After several days of that Gerry still does every day. It was the most spectacular indeed a dream come true, the experience riding through the high of a lifetime. He says the support of sagebrush desert of family and friends made the trip possible, southeastern Oregon, and the natural beauty of America made Gerry serendipitously every day enjoyable. It was, however, met up with Nicolas again the relationships developed with people in Alturas, California. along the way that stand out. As Gerry They rode together for told the Suffield community during his the last eight days to San recent chapel speech, “While I will always Francisco. Gerry says be proud of the physical accomplishment, riding with Nicolas was a it is the interpersonal experiences great experience, and they Gerry with former faculty member Jon Rockman throughout the country that will be the discussed a second chapter legacy of this trip.” of riding together, next time in France. Their time in California was highlighted by visits with two more Suffield connections. Julio Gerry hopes there will be other such trips in his future. Anyone ready to go? and Tracy Adib-Samii hosted them in Discovery Bay,

winter 2010


College 101 by

Stephanie Dellaquila Greco ’88

The pressures of being a junior in high school are tremendous. Students see that the competition for college admission is fierce. They realize applicants must be exceptional students with a solid record of achievement in and out of the classroom. Suffield has established a program to help them manage this challenging experience. Students in the midst of the college pursuit are on information overload. Browse the Education section of the New York Times on any day and you will find a story about college, whether it’s an article advising readers on the “right” foreign language, the growth of for-profit universities, or a thought provoking piece about the relevance of college in today’s rapidly changing world. This generation of students has access to more information and data about college admissions than any other. Hundreds of books, seminars, articles, and studies advise students on how to best position themselves for admission to the college of their choice.


college 101

From an early age, students and parents ponder choices like whether to specialize in a single sport, study Mandarin Chinese or French, or pursue piano or violin. The choices are endless, and students are led to believe that “poor” decisions can negatively affect their college prospects. Sifting through this process can be overwhelming. Suffield Academy has always had in place a strong process for helping students and their parents navigate the college process. Yet, this emphasis has become even greater during Charlie Cahn’s tenure as headmaster. Ann Selvitelli, Suffield’s director of college counseling, says, “I think our success is a result of three key points: small student to counselor ratios, a comprehensive educational process, and a headmaster who is deeply involved in its details and executions. Student involvement in the college admissions process offers them the opportunity to gain a better sense of who they are as they evaluate their achievements and expectations, research schools, and begin to assume responsibility for the next phase of their education. It is our goal to empower students to take ownership of the process and their futures.” Suffield Academy equips juniors and parents with the tools they need to navigate the obstacle course with an explicit and detailed program referred to as College 101. The course is part of Suffield’s Leadership Program. This year I had a first-hand look at this course as a co-teacher of junior Leadership with Headmaster Charlie Cahn. On December 3, we began our own college process. Headmaster Cahn had been down this road with Suffield juniors countless times before, but this was a first for me. For nine weeks, the College Counseling office guided us as our juniors learned about the college process. The topics included the college counseling process at Suffield, options for standardized test preparation, the differences between the SAT and the ACT, shaping a college list, writing effective application essays, building a résumé, and preparing for campus visits. The office facilitated a series of seminars on the subjects outlined above. Students took advantage of a mock admissions committee, and there was a field trip where students had the opportunity to visit a large university or a small liberal arts college.

“In my professional experience and conversations with so many boarding school families over the years, I have found that when it comes to the college admissions process, the measure of success often comes down to process more than outcome. That is, did a student and his or her parents feel supported, guided, informed, and, sometimes, pushed a bit, during the admissions process? Not surprisingly, when a process works well, good and appropriate outcomes for students tend to result. Suffield’s college counseling program, with its mandatory class beginning at an early stage, its professionally staffed and experienced college advisors, and the school’s requirement that all students prepare for standardized tests, provides the structure, information, and plan that students (and their parents) need to make the most out of the college admissions process.”

The counselors also host an event for parents of eleventh graders. “This is a critical piece of our College 101 program as it gives parents an overview of the next eighteen months,” said Ann Selvitelli.

-Matthew W. Greene, Ph.D. Educational Director, Howard Greene & Associates

and Suffield Academy trustee

The course provided a tremendous amount of material, and I could not help but think what an advantage our students had by taking it. winter 2010


college 101

As we ended the term and I reflected on the activities of the previous weeks, I was struck by how personal this had become for me. I hadn’t considered it quite this way before, but should I race home, put skates on my five-year-old daughter, and send her to the ice with a stick, puck, and personal coach? Regardless of how smart she is, is ice hockey her best hope, her only hope, of getting into a top university? She is a girl from New England. Admissions statistics tell me that the odds are stacked against her. I chase these thoughts from my head, suppress my anxiety, and think about what I’ve really learned. First of all, the college process has changed dramatically. Students and parents must learn the rules of the contest and in many cases, parents must “unlearn” some rules. Colleges and universities market aggressively to students and use whatever means necessary and available to attract applicants. But the definition of a “good” college is apparently no longer a relative or personal assessment; now it appears to be defined by influential ranking systems that measure performance for us. In the end, the rankings provide another metric, another piece of information for students to consider, but shouldn’t be the end all.

college counseling office’s overarching goals: 1> Provide highly professional, proactive, hands on counseling and guidance 2> Represent each student fairly and responsibly, with his or her uniqueness and potential appropriately identified. 3> To enable each student to find a match—fitting his or her ambitions and talents with a college’s programs, resources and style.


In response, students must market themselves. While this has always been the case, gone are the days when the headmaster could pull a student out of class and take him for a car ride to get him accepted at his alma mater. Today, admissions at United States universities has more global competition than ever. We know that solid grades and strong test scores are not always enough for acceptance, and that an applicant’s other accomplishments, although impressive, may not always be enough when compared to the achievements or stories of those across the country and the world. This brings me to the most important lesson I learned during this course with our juniors—a good college is the college that’s the right fit. Every college is not for every student. In simple terms, not only will everyone not get into Yale, but also not everyone should. College is about self-discovery as much as it is about learning core academic skills. A famous painter said, “Where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” Finding a good college is important, but finding the right college is critical—hopefully every student finds both! With the right fit, a student positions himself for success inside and outside the classroom. In a recent conversation I had with a Suffield alumnus from the Class of 1960, he relayed these sentiments: “When I was at Suffield we were going to college to learn. We didn’t have the societal pressures that exist today. I applied to four colleges and got into four—Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton, and Amherst. Suffield was always proactive in their work for the individual student.” It is more important than ever that today’s students find a college that fits their interests and encourages their excitement about learning—this can only lead to a pathway of success.

suffield academy

parents’ association

auction april 16, 2010

smart car

raffle enter to win a 2010 Passion Cabriolet 650 Connecticut Boulevard East Hartford, CT 06108

* Tickets cost $100 each * Drawing to be held on Friday, April 16, 2010, at 9:00 PM at Suffield Academy * Winner need not be present * Tickets are limited to 700 and will be sold on a first come, first served basis * All ticket monies received after the 700 will be returned to purchaser * All federal, state and local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the responsibility of the winner and must be paid before winner takes receipt of the car Charlie Cahn demonstrating the actual size of Bill and Suzy Vogler’s P’11 smart car

* Prize not redeemable for cash * Winner is responsible for vehicle transfer and registration

Please mail ticket requests to: Auction Committee Suffield Academy 185 North Main Street Suffield, CT 06078 For all raffle inquiries or to order tickets by phone, please call Penn Sullivan at 860.386.4465 or

winter 2010


gilbert ahrens ´81

shattered Shaken and stirred Gilbert Ahrens’ debut book, Shattered Shaken and Stirred, was released on October 23, 2009. Ahrens ’81, a native of Suffield, had always planned to write a book as a way of leaving a piece of himself for his daughter. However, the topic of his first book was one that he had never dreamed of or wished to write about. During a weekend trip in the fall of 2002 to his cousin’s wedding in Denver, Colorado, the Ahrens’ life was forever changed in one, quick moment. Gil’s car, with Gil, his wife, and daughter inside, was hit by a drunk driver traveling 95 miles per hour. Although his daughter survived the accident with no serious injuries, Ahrens’ wife Kim was left paralyzed by the collision. As Ahrens describes, this single and unexpected moment drastically changed his family’s life. “It not only changed the way we do practical things, but the very process of how we go about our daily life. We have had to move three times and seek accommodations for wheelchairs, but there were spiritual, philosophical, and emotional realignments as well.” Shattered Shaken and Stirred is a story written in letterform to Ahrens’s daughter, but the intended audience is much broader. Ahrens describes how he and his family have worked to overcome adversity and reconnect with what matters most in their lives. “Bad things can happen at any time, and bad things do happen,” said Ahrens. “You always think it will happen to someone else. What is important is how you deal with adversity, the choices you make along the way, and the relationships we have with God, friends, and family. This is all very critical to healing and getting on with life. Even if it’s different, it is a life that is hopefully more meaningful.”

Following the accident, a friend of Ahrens’ set up a blog for a wide group of friends, family, and colleagues to keep in touch with him. The site became a place where many people came together to support Ahrens’ family. “This touched us, and several people encouraged me to write a book,” said Gil. Writing had always been one of Ahrens’ passions. In fact, he already had begun writing a book of historical fiction about the town of Suffield and its history of tobacco growing. However, this book was put on the backburner, and what emerged was Shattered, Shaken and Stirred. Ahrens’ book has been successful, but most importantly for him, it has had a positive impact on others. “It’s hard work and a seemingly thankless job,” said Ahrens. “But it is very rewarding from the intangible benefits, the people that read and appreciate it and are positively impacted. The phone calls, the emails, and all the people who have reached out to me have made it all worth it.” Following the release of the book, Ahrens began speaking and consulting on his experience of overcoming fear and adversity. Although Aherns continues to write and he would love to resurrect his original historical fiction piece, Gil jokes that he would have to do so using a pseudonym. Looking back at Suffield, Ahrens fondly remembers his experiences and the impact it had on his life. “Many of the faculty had a great influence on my overall academics and even my sense of humor. At Suffield you get to see the teacher as whole person, and this makes them less intimidating and more engaging.” In particular, Ahrens credits former Suffield English teacher Mason Nye as a key mentor. “He is utterly brilliant—a major influence in what I read, how I read, and my subsequent writing style.”

More suffield alumni authors Suffield has many prominent alumni authors. A few are highlighted here. Archer Mayor ´69 is the author of the well-known mystery series featuring Joe Gunther, a Brattleboro, Vermont, police officer. He was the 2004 winner of the New England Booksellers Association award for best fiction—the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. Dr. Gilbert Lavoie ´60 published two books, Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud and Resurrected: Tangible Evidence That Jesus Rose from the Dead. Thomas Greene ´87 published several novels, including Mirror Lake and Envious Moon. Nemo Niemann ´72 recently published a second edition of his art book Vanishing Ireland. Jason Sokol ´95 wrote the critically acclaimed There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights. The book focuses on the experience of white Southerners as they faced the tide of change brought by Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. David Holmes ´60 wrote Stalking the Academic Communist, which centers on the story of scientist Alex Novikoff’s firing from the University of Vermont for Communist activity during the turbulent 1930s. It recounts Novikoff’s fate and future in an excellent case study of McCarthy’s attack on campus intellectuals. Tom West ´61 has written several books, including In the Mind’s Eye, a classic in the field of brain research and dyslexia. The book provides a strong argument for the great importance of visual thinking and visual technologies, as well as the high creative potential of many individuals with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.



Earthquake :

lives forever changed

The January 12 earthquake that ravaged Haiti struck the hearts of millions around the world. A Suffield student, parent, and alumnus were linked by a desire to help. They all began their work with Haiti for different reasons, some personal and some professional, but they now share a common goal of helping to rebuild the country.

Jason Cassis ’01

Izzy McDonald ’12

James Michel P’12 winter 2010



Jason Cassis ’01

Jason corresponded with Suffield just weeks after the earthquake. He sent photos and text via cell phone as developments occured. After working for Food For The Poor, an American based relief and development charity that serves Latin America and the Caribbean, Jason Cassis ’01 returned to Haiti two years ago to work in his family business. Started by his grandfather 60 years ago, the Cassis’ family company represents food agents and distributors in Haiti for companies including Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, and Bayer. Jason had previously spent many years away from Haiti, at The Fessenden School, Suffield Academy, and Northeastern University. Upon returning, Jason noticed a lot of positive changes.

“The phone flung out of my hands, and it felt like someone picked me up out of my chair and threw me to the ground while the earth was violently shaking,” said Jason. “I tried getting up but it was very difficult, and then I watched the entrance floor to my building crack before my eyes, like you would see in a movie. When I tried to exit my office, the floor, which had risen, blocked the main door and I was left trapped inside. At that moment I had to kick the glass door to try and escape. As I was leaving, I watched an employee being escorted out bleeding profusely. He had lost fingers on his hands and was cut all over. We all got out, luckily with minimal damage, and

“For the first time in a very long time the economy seemed to be improving. Things were moving in a positive direction,” said Jason. “Kidnapping and insecurity were at an all time low. Haitians were investing into the country, and it was starting to pay off. Poverty was still very high, but there was still a positive feeling of upward change.” However, on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Jason and the people of Haiti would be forever changed. When a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital, a country on the rise was left completely devastated and in a condition never before seen. In a sudden and unexpected moment, an event caused over 200,000 deaths, injured another estimated 300,000, and left approximately another one million people homeless. Other than the peculiar hot temperature for a January afternoon, Jason said it felt just like any other normal day in Haiti. He was finishing work at the company’s headquarters in Port-au-Prince and was on the phone at about 5:00 PM when it suddenly felt like a bomb exploded.

only one employee was seriously injured. But once outside, I realized the gravity of the situation. Seeing all of the destroyed buildings and ones toppling in front of my eyes was totally overwhelming. All I could see were clouds of dust where buildings once stood, and people were crying and screaming in every direction. There were crowds of people in shock, scared and saddened by an event they never could have imagined. We all knew at that point that many had lost their lives, but yet it was still so hard to believe that this was actually happening.” Jason and his colleagues were lucky to make it out of the rubble and survive the earthquake, yet they now entered a new world of terror. “It was like I was starring in my own horror film; it was getting dark and we were surrounded by death, destruction, and despair. Even in the days after, I would drive around and just see dead bodies after dead bodies. Bodies were being burned in the middle of the business district.


We have a lot of teams, medical supplies, and doctors but you would not believe the amount of people in need of medical attention.” Immediately after the earthquake, Jason spent time working at a makeshift hospital. The “hospital” was a station set up at a hotel, half of which had collapsed, where people with any type of medical background were welcomed to volunteer. “I never thought I could be a doctor, but that’s what I was doing,” said Jason. “I was doing and seeing things that I never would have even imagined. People were fully burned and I had to clean and bandage them. People’s heads were cracked, little girls were screaming, people were losing limbs. There was just such a major influx of people that needed help that it was so overwhelming. But helping them became routine. It just became normal for me.” Despite all the negativity of the situation, Jason describes how the relief efforts have been positive. There has been a very immediate response to address the situation, clean the rubble, and provide food, medical care,

and shelter. “You can see all of the aid efforts. Almost immediately after the earthquake, countries from all over the world sent planes with generators, tents, and food—even before the United States. The Red Cross is very visible in Haiti, as is the U.S. Army, the United Nations, and UNICEF. Within the country everyone knows someone who has died or has been severely impacted. The capital was so over populated, and in the first week people were leaving for the outside provinces. So now the issues are spread along a greater land scale that moves throughout the entire country. The beautiful thing is to see people coming together, helping out, and literally doing everything we can.” Despite the abundance of relief, rebuilding Haiti after the earthquake will be an ongoing process. That’s why Jason’s message is simple: people cannot forget about this. “It is going to take hard work and dedication if the rest of the world is serious about Haiti. If people don’t do what they say they will, the country might completely collapse. The number of beggars on the street and homeless people is now multiplied by a whole new level—it’s overwhelming. People’s houses were destroyed and businesses have been depleted. Now people have no security, so how will they put their families back in homes?” Jason plans to continue to help rebuild his country. After a month he simply had to get away and return to the United States to clear his mind and process everything that he had seen and experienced. However, his future focus is all about Haiti. “As soon as you go back, the first step you take on Haitian soil, you are right back into reality,” said Jason. “It’s just all around you. I haven’t processed all my emotions about the whole thing because I have just been helping all that I can. But working at the hospital is the most intense thing you could ever experience. So many people who survived were left severely handicapped. The challenge now is going to be to try to reset everything. In terms of helping, I think the key is to just make sure the money gets to the right people. Try to make your gift personal. There are so many good organizations out there, such as the Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti fund. We have to put everything into rebuilding and fixing the country or it simply will not exist. It is all a matter of time, and the key question is whether or not people will forget about Haiti.” winter 2010



James Michel P’12

James’ life in the United States started as a fifth-grader who couldn’t read, write, or speak English. By the tenth grade, he had caught up to his peers and had resolved to get a college degree. He completed high school, earned a degree from Brooklyn College, and then obtained a master’s from the University of Hartford. He is currently an audit director for Aetna and the chair of the Bloomfield, Connecticut, board of education.

St. Joseph before earthquake

James’ father and mother left Haiti in 1965 in search of a better life for their 11 children. They took up residence in Brooklyn, New York, and like so many immigrants before them, they worked hard to buy a house, save money, and bring the rest of their children to America. It took his father eight years, while holding three jobs, to secure the funds to reunite the family in Brooklyn. “My father’s reason for existence, his hope and vision, was for all of us to come to the U.S. and take full advantage of the American Dream,” said James. “He believed that the American Dream was not something that is given to you. You have to work for it and earn it.” James has devoted his life to helping others find success. He gives back to his roots through a charitable organization known as Hospice of St. Joseph, of which he is a board member. The focus of this organization is to provide education and medical treatment in Haiti. They host visiting medical teams and help students discover a future through education.

St. Joseph after earthquake

Like so many others, the devastation of January 12 changed everything for James and the Hospice of St. Joseph. “For a long while, we couldn’t reach anyone on the ground in Haiti. We eventually found out our three-story building had collapsed, but fortunately, all of the staff members had escaped without harm. The director on the ground even managed to save some food and medical supplies and continue helping people in the Christ Roi neighborhood,” says James.

James remains steadfast in his effort to help the people of Haiti. He is headed there on March 12 to assist on the ground with the relief work. As he says, “They need us now more than ever.” He urges the citizens of the world not to forget about Haiti, saying, “Help will be needed for years to come.”

Izzy McDonald ’12

A sophomore at Suffield Academy, Izzy McDonald spent last summer in Haiti working on an ongoing reforestation project. Through a friend, Izzy learned of the reforestation service project. She worked with the youth group of St. Entien’s Church and parish to help plant trees and rebuild the Haitian forest. Izzy made several connections and developed friendships in Haiti, and had planned to go back next summer for more reforestation work. “It was such a rewarding experience. I was so glad to have participated in such a worthy cause,” says Izzy. Then the total destruction of the earthquake changed things. Suddenly the need for building became the need to rebuild. Food and water became the necessity rather than trees. The earthquake has devastated many of Izzy’s friends in Haiti. They have lost friends and loved ones, and their homes have been destroyed. “I was distraught when I heard about the earthquake. I cannot wait to go back in June with everybody and help in any way possible.” The whole group is planning on going back in June, and all of the money they had raised throughout the year to buy trees has already been sent for relief efforts. When Izzy returns this summer, she will be focused on rebuilding more than reforesting.


class agent

bill galvin ´60

Snow was gently falling on Suffield when we caught up with class agent William Galvin ’60 about his Suffield Academy experience. “On snowy days like this it would be a fun walk to school,” he said. Bill grew up on Marbern Drive in Suffield. A hometown boy with big dreams, after graduating from the Academy he went to Yale University. “I had an easy commute, never too far from home,” he jokes. Bill was one of 43 students who graduated from Suffield in 1960. Like so many others, he came to the Academy because of the persuasiveness of former Headmaster Appleton Seaverns. “Ap, being the fabulous promoter of Suffield that he was, convinced my parents Suffield was the only choice for me,” Bill shares. Bill speaks fondly of his Suffield years and the rigorous study that was demanded of him, but it is the personal connections that truly shaped his experience. “I had Wasky (Leon Waskiewicz) for several math classes, but he became more than a teacher. He was a positive force in my existence. He was an excellent teacher of math and also a great character. He was funny, clever, an exceptional athlete, and of course, very direct. He was a taskmaster; but, in hindsight, I learned valuable life lessons from him.” Bill credits Wasky for teaching him math and setting him on his career path in finance. He recognizes that the physical

make-up of Suffield today is different than it was 50 years ago, and he is impressed that the positive environment and supportive faculty still remain a constant. “It’s a great, nurturing community. There have always been faculty members like Rocky who span multiple generations of students. Times have changed, but kids still come to Suffield and they try to figure out who they are as they meet and interact with people from different backgrounds. It is a positive environment that fosters intellectual growth,” says Bill. During his Suffield career, Bill was a headwaiter and captain of the golf team. Fifty years later, he returns to Suffield in yet another leadership position, as a class agent. He believes in getting involved, and he certainly espouses the importance of supporting education. Bill is actively helpful to both Suffield and Yale. He and his wife also sponsor a leadership scholarship for young people in their community. “There have always been a core of supportive alumni at Suffield. They have been involved and have written meaningful checks, but the time has come to focus on relationships and to expand our base. The class agent program enables us to do just that.” Bill believes in the one-on-one connection between classmates. “If Suffield can facilitate these connections, surely everyone will benefit,” he says. “We need more personal contact, and that will make a difference.” Bill speaks from experience as 44% of his class gave to the 2009 Annual Fund.

Come back & celebrate

50 years with fellow classmates

October 15-17, 2010 winter 2010


Isaiah Ekejiuba ’00 Although he excelled in basketball and soccer at Suffield Academy, nobody could have predicted that Isaiah Ekejiuba ’00 would end up a member of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. However, after his sophomore year at the University of Virginia, the now 6’4” 240 pound athlete saw an ad in the college newspaper about football tryouts.

The rest is history.

“I wanted to try something different to try and expand my horizons,” said Isaiah. “Football seemed like it would be a challenge. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew whatever I did I was going to give it everything I had. I didn’t do it with the hopes of going to the NFL, but instead as something to help change up the monotony of just going to class. I guess I went further than I would have ever dreamed.” As a driven and talented individual, Isaiah would likely have had success in any career path he chose. Studying electrical engineering, he dreamed about NASA, not the football field. He said, “I wanted to work for NASA or Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designing circuit chips for jets and spaceships. I hoped after that I would branch out and start my own company. I still have aspirations of doing that later on, when I’m done with football.”

“Football seemed like it would be a challenge. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew whatever I did I was going to give it everything I had.”

However, at just 28 years old and having completed his fifth season with the Raiders, Isaiah appears to have more football ahead of him. The special teams standout has appeared in all of the team’s games the last two seasons, recording a total of 16 tackles in 2009. He was named as an alternate for the 2009 Pro Bowl for his key special teams contributions. While he has found success with the Raiders, Isaiah’s path to the league was rather unconventional. After walking onto the Virginia Cavaliers team during his junior year, he had to redshirt to gain a better understanding of football. He then had a chance to play his senior year and during a fifth year, when he earned an athletic scholarship.

Isaiah said, “After my career at Virginia, I didn’t know what to expect because of my limited experience, but we had a college pro day and I performed well. I got a call from the Arizona Cardinals who told me they liked what they saw. I was signed as a rookie free agent but was released right before the season started. I got picked up by the Oakland Raiders and have been with them since 2005.” Ironically, Isaiah came to Suffield Academy as a soccer player. He feels his experiences at the school had a very positive impact and helped him get to where he is today. Isaiah and his brother, Sam ‘01, learned about Suffield from a childhood neighbor. They visited the Suffield campus with their mom, interviewed with Charlie Cahn, and saw it as a great fit. Isaiah said, “I loved the campus, and I knew it would be the perfect atmosphere to prepare not only for college but for life after that as well. My biggest influence at Suffield was Wayne Patterson. He was my advisor, and he always pushed me to become better than I thought I could be. He helped me overcome some adversity, and he helped me believe that I could achieve anything I wanted if I worked hard enough for it.” Isaiah looks forward to staying connected with Suffield. “I am living outside of Oakland with Sam [Ekejiuba ’01], and we hope to return to Suffield soon. I spoke with Charlie Cahn recently, and it was great hearing about all that is happening at the school. We care a lot about Suffield.”

winter 2010


meet the

Pa lom ba s

Why Suffield? Alyssa ’10: Suffield was such a great place for my dad, and he really loved it. That made a huge impression on me. My aunt and uncles talk about Suffield all the time, too. When you come to Suffield, I think it is a lot different than other boarding schools because the people are so nice and they are open. People are involved, and they enjoy the whole experience. Suffield is not just school; it is a lot more than that. I know that I can come back always. Joey ’11: Suffield always felt right for me, from the first moment I stepped on campus. The people and sense of community really convinced me to come here. Also Suffield offered a chance for me to grow, learn, excel both in and out of the classroom, and try sports and music. I would never have had a chance to pursue all of this anywhere else. Dr. Palomba ’80: I grew up idolizing my older brother Mark ´77 and watched him enter Suffield, and then my brother Ed ´78, and then the next year my sister Lisa ´79. I was convinced that Suffield was going to give me an opportunity that my small town high school could not. I wanted to be in a challenging community where I had a chance to excel at a higher level. I was able to do this at boarding school, but as a day student, and this meant a lot to me because I was able to still spend time with my family. Did you ever think about going somewhere else? Alyssa: I went to the public high school in my town for two years, and then I came to Suffield and repeated my sophomore year. I came to Suffield one day for my dad’s alumni game. I had been to Suffield many times before, but this time I knew that I wanted to go here. I applied to other schools so I would have options, but Suffield has always felt right. Joey: Yes, I thought long and hard about my choice for high school. I struggled with leaving home and the public school I knew so well. My sister and I also applied to other boarding schools, but we found Suffield had everything we wanted and more. Dr. Palomba: No. What is the best part of the Suffield Academy experience? Alyssa: The best part about Suffield is the opportunities that they give you here. Everyone—the students, the teachers—they all help you be the best that you can be if you are willing to put in the effort. I have been able to be involved and try new things, and that is what is so great about Suffield. You don’t have to blend in. You can do what you want to do. Joey: The people. Suffield is a great school and has a little bit of everything, but the people make Suffield most special. The closeness of everyone in the community makes for a homelike feel. Also, the goals and purposes of the people here are so diverse and interesting that you can learn so much from just talking to others. Dr. Palomba: Suffield gave me the opportunities to play the sports that I wanted to play and take challenging classes that gave me the confidence to compete and learn at the next level in any college. Also, it gave me the chance to be exposed to different cultures and ways of life, which I have taken with me in my life as a physician.


What was your most memorable experience at Suffield? Alyssa: One of them was when I was inducted into the Torch Society. I get to be a part of a group that is special at Suffield and it keeps me linked to Suffield for life. It was such a fun day too because my mom, my grandma, Joey, and one of my best friends, Taylor, came to see the ceremony. It meant so much to me to be a part of such a great group of people. Joey: Mr. Abbott’s Physics class. I will remember this class for the rest of my life. For the first time in my life I was challenged by not only my teacher and my classmates but also by my sister. I sat in my first class at Suffield Academy with 10 kids, one of them being my sister, and soon found out that this was going to be totally different from anything I had ever experienced before. By the end of the year I had started to learn how to learn and quite a bit about physics.

Joey and Alyssa, did your father share with you any great stories about Suffield Academy? Alyssa: My dad always talks about his friend Tucker and playing soccer, basketball, and golf. But he talks most about his comical classes with Mr. and Mrs. Samii. When I came to Suffield for my dad’s alumni soccer game, I got to meet Mr. Samii. Later I met Mrs. Samii and now I get to hear more stories about my dad at Suffield. Joey: We have heard all sorts of stories from my dad, from Coach Kinne using a big stick to simulate tall basketball players to Mr. Samii hitting him on the head with his pipe in math class. But he also told us of the legacy of Suffield and described how well it had prepared him for college and life. Finally, can you comment on the boarding experience?

Dr. Palomba: The experience of being a part of the basketball program at Suffield during the Dennis Kinne golden years with several championships. Despite no personal greatness of my own in the game of basketball, I learned many lessons that I use in my daily life, not to mention winning at alumni basketball games. Who has been the most influential faculty member? Alyssa: I would not be able to pick one because I am close with so many faculty members here. The faculty is awesome. They have really helped me mature here and always have been there to talk. Joey: Mr. Gerry LaPlante. He is my advisor, was my chemistry teacher last year, and has been a real help to me. From the first time I met Mr. LaPlante (at an alumni basketball game), I knew he was nice guy, but I never thought he would be able to help me so much through my first years at Suffield. He is an inspiration and a role model to me. Dr. Palomba: Abe Samii. He pushed others and me to the limits of academic excellence and curiosity. Equally compelling was the strong, genuine interest he took in community at Suffield as a whole. He was also involved individually in student’s lives beyond the classroom—whether it was as a soccer fan, his input at a school assembly or chapel, or a chat with him as he sucked on his pipe in the faculty room outside Brewster. He truly cherished the opportunities he had in his life at Suffield and in America, and this itself fueled his passion to educate, inspire, and care. This spirit is a fire that I think burns in many of the alumni lives he has touched, as well as in mine. I must mention a close second, Amparo Samii, his wife and real fire, and my Spanish teacher.

Alyssa: I love boarding here. I do go home on the weekends a fair amount to coach lacrosse, but I love living here. The people are great, and it has helped me grow more, I think. I have learned so much from each of my roommates because they are all so different and show me things about themselves. I am so glad Joey also came to Suffield and boards here. Joey is my best friend, and he is always there for me. We get along so well, and we hang out all the time. Joey and I also have a lot of the same friends which is great, and I talk to Joey about the classes that I have taken and he is currently taking. Joey: Honestly having a sibling at school with me at school is unbelievably helpful. I can say I love having Alyssa at Suffield. She is a friend that I will never lose and who understands first hand all of the challenges and successes I am having at school. I think a big joke among the faculty and some of our friends is what am I going to do when she leaves. Dr. Palomba: I have never raised children before, and like most parents, you do not get another chance. What is best for their high school years? It is not all about getting into college; it is about developing them as well rounded people and giving them the skills to learn how to learn and take on what life offers them. As a Suffield alumnus, I was confident Suffield could provide this. This decision was easy the first year, with all the enthusiasm with Suffield traditions, great educational and extracurricular offerings, and its vast facilities. Then, after that first year, the newness wears off like with most things, and at times it can tear your heart out because you want them close to you when they are struggling, sick, or just having a bad day. As parents, my wife and I believe in the value of developing real-life interrelationship skills, the ability to face difficult situations, and a self-reliance in an academically challenging and caring environment—“The Suffield Experience” (boarding or day) is all worth it.

winter 2010


the messages of yesterday apply to today...

May 18, 1937 Dear Alumnus, This old academy must live in the future rather than in the past. The depression kept us from launching a building project to celebrate our centennial in 1933. But, if we have had no new buildings in the last decade, we have not added any debt during the depression and we have improved what we have and added the Gay Manse, with thirty-nine acres of land, and a fireproof moving picture booth, three stories, with good theatrical equipment. And our reputation has gone up and not down in the meantime. We must now be ready for an advance. We cannot stand still. We need generous friends outside our alumni body. And to get them, we need to show that our alumni are loyal and enthusiastic. You have loyalty. Will you show it? You have enthusiasm. Will you share it? Will you put your loyalty and enthusiasm in evidence by some contribution, small or large, to the Living Endowment Fund? It is the number of alumni who respond and not the amounts they give that prove to an outsider that Suffield Academy is a going concern, with an alumni body who care about it, though may not be rich. A dollar, and the trouble you take to send it, will be an evidence of loyalty, and the 5 and 10 and 50 dollar checks will prove there is enthusiasm, too. Do it now, and then come to Suffield this spring. And when you come, look at the old Gay Manse, and see what is happening to it! Later, someone will help us improve the inside as much as a few alumni have improved the outside. Loyally yours, H. Meade Alcorn, Chairman George W. Skilton Brownell Gage, Headmaster

one gift at any size = life-changing opportunities for Suffield students Please join our loyal and enthusiastic donors and make your gift to the Annual Fund before June 30, 2010

Alumni Participation

parent Participation

goal 35%

goal 100%

20% as of March 5

57% as of March 5


more alumni donors are needed


more parent donors are needed / donate

winter 2010


1945 Don Treadwell “I’m in good health and have been retired since 1992. I volunteer at Bridgeport Hospital twice a week as a patient escort. I’m very active in the Masonic Fraternity and am chaplain at my lodge, Temple #65 Westport, CT. My daughters Kathy and Sue are both married.”

1950 {55th reunion} Class Agent Charlie Roberts

Jason Pearl “My wife, Helen and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year by flying by jet around the world. It was an unforgettable experience. We have three children and six grandchildren, all of whom will gather together in California to celebrate further in December.”

class notes 1934 David Hildreth “Having moved to Ohio in 1932, I left Suffield and took my four years at Western Reserve Academy, graduating in 1935. Then I went to Amherst College and graduated in 1939. I lived in Granby, Connecticut with my wife Evelyn and kids Ellen and Ned until 2007. We are all now in Maine on the Blue Hill peninsula. We have four grandchildren and two great grandchildren—both girls.”

1937 Eleanor Swider Mloganoski “My husband, Stanley Mloganoski ’36 is in a convalescent home—he was class of 1936. I wish we could give more.”

1939 Ernie Ball “Not much news now. I expect to visit my brother Robert Ball ’41 who lives in Vero Beach. He’s not well and will have hip surgery in February. I will be 90 in September of this year but am still able to get around just fine.”

1951 Dave Baker “I just attended Suffield for one year, 1948, before my family moved to the Midwest. Even though I did not graduate, I have served as class agent. I had a chance to visit two years ago, and I loved what I saw! The snow this winter reminds me of demerits I worked off by shoveling snow off the roof of the main dormitory. My roommate and I came in late from a trip up in Massachusetts and were caught outside of our room climbing up the fire escape. Oh, to be young again!”

1955 Class Agents Al Gesler, Bob King,

Thomas Johnson “I’m retired in St. Augustine, Florida. I have four children and seven grandchildren. ” Al Gesler “I remember the time Jim Mutch and I put the snake eggs we were hatching in our closet. The apple cider blew up and broke the eggs and the snakes got out only to get into the heating pipes and make their appearance in the proctors’ residence on the 3rd floor. You should have heard the yells.”

1956 Class Agent Robert Houghton,


David Jellison “I am retired—living in Highlands, NC.

June Montgomery Parker “My husband Lloyd turned 91 on December 27. I am 86. We are moving in the spring to Trezevant Manor, a retirement home in Memphis, TN. Everyone we know is over there so we look forward to moving. We are on the ground floor. We have 14 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. We are blessed to be married 62 years. I still play golf and ride my bike six miles a day when it doesn’t rain.”

Bob HougHton “Mike Rosenthal is living in Round Pound, Maine, and is in final proofreading stages of a novel he has written. Nelson Hallas is retired in Missouri after an engineering career, and I’m in Florida, retired after a career in insurance adjustment.”


Edward A Mathieson “My wife June and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends in March.”

Peter Olin “I am partially retired, working 50% of the time as a professor at the University of Minnesota. I’m the retired director of the University of Minnesota landscape arboretum.” John Taylor “I continue to work as the director of recreation for the town of Barrington. Our department has had a successful year with continuing growth in programs and facilities.”

1957 Class Agent Ralph Jennings,

James Whitten “Been living for a month in northern Italy studying church architecture. This has been a life-long hobby that I am able to pursue more in retirement.”

1960 {50th reunion} Class Agents Bill Galvin, David Holmes, Bob Najaka, Al Walden,

Gilbert Lavoie “I have three children, all married, and five grandchildren. I published two books on the Shroud of Turin. I boarded in international and occupational medicine. I have an MPA from Johns Hopkins. I’ve practiced in three areas—currently doing public health.” Ed Haydash “I remember the great education I received due to the foresight of Ap’s hiring a professional, dedicated, and diversified faculty. All the teachers were top notch. I can remember all of them. I am not sure they all want to remember me. I was not a star student, especially in chemistry and physics. They left their footprints and set the example. Playing football, basketball (bench warmer/hatchet man), and baseball were also highlights. We did well with what we had. Hopefully the 50th reunion will generate some interest and get the classmates to show themselves. I am looking forward to seeing my old teammates, especially Charlie Bardelis and Dave Holmes, my senior roommates. They are the ones who got me into trouble with the rules infractions. All those cleanup hours I owe to them.”

1961 Class Agents David Isaacson, Jerry Kargman, Mike Menzies,

David Isaacson “I am a principal in a national insurance marketing group and the author of a 2009 book called Understanding Life Settlements, a guide for consumers and their advisors available on Amazon and elsewhere. No children but am enjoying watching my goddaughter, age 10, grow up and have reconnected with a woman I dated from age 20 to 27. Isn’t the Internet amazing?”

Mike Menzies “After 25 years in Sun Valley, Idaho, my wife and I recently moved to the central coast of California. This is an ideal location for my wife to pursue her quarter horse cutting competition and breeding business; I remain a financial consultant which is a business that can be conducted anywhere; and I am surrounded by my hobby—the pursuit of the ultimate pinot noir! When we moved several years ago there were 70 wineries; we now have 210 vitners and growing. It is, in fact, arduous to keep up with and be knowledgeable of all the growth of truly superb growers and wineries. Suffield alumni are always welcome to give a call. We are equally distant from San Francisco and Los Angeles in a small town called Templeton.”

1962 Class Agents Paul Connor, Andy Spector,

Dave Kaplan “I am still a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Loyola University Chicago. I also serve on the faculty council.”

1964 Class Agents Tom Webster, Jack Bruso,

Jon Booth “Tom Webster did a great job pulling people together for our 45th reunion. I hope we have twice as many back for our 50th.”

1965 {45th reunion} Class Agents Bill Kelly, Peter Klarfeld,

Jim Daly “I have retired, and my wife Licia and I have moved to North Carolina to see what new adventures await us.” Joseph Field “I have been transferred to Hong Kong by my law firm, Withers Worldwide. I am now the senior regional partner, Asia, and would love to see any Suffield people in the area.” Ron Martinez “Our oldest is in college at Kenyon. The other two girls are about to have another overseas adventure with us next year in Italy for a sabbatical.”

1966 Class Agents Bruce Fletcher, Chris Frost,

Paul Brezina “I am entering my 37th year of college teaching and I am still enjoying my work immensely. We are spending a little more time enjoying the beauty of Cape Cod. Susan and I are proud grandparents of our first grandchild, Andre, born on September 17, 2009.”

winter 2010


1968 Class Agents Tyler Bumsted, Brian Hersey,

David Black “Since October 2008, I have been settling into retirement after 29 years in the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency. My last assignment was as a CIA officer-in-residence in the history department of Ohio University. I celebrated my 37th wedding anniversary at the end of December. I have four children, ages 1829, one of whom is in college and three who are making their way in the world.” Collin McNeil “I had a book published that I wrote on the 125th anniversary of Radnor Hunt, Bright Hunting Morn.” John Moritz ´74, Bill Aldrich ´74, Bob Sbriglio ´71, Martin Sbriglio ´74, Tom Flagg ´74

David Chase “As Sparks caustically noted: ‘You’re a drummer, you’re supposed to have rhythm and you can’t dance.’ Jimmie Brown’s efforts to teach me to dance did eventually pay off, as did his introducing me to Motown. I sing in a gospel choir once a month in San Francisco in addition to teaching dance. Here’s to you, Jimmie Brown.”

Mac Mead “I’ve been involved with biodynamic farming since 1975 and since 2007 I have been the director of the Pfeiffer Center, a biodynamic farming and gardening research and education center.”

1969 Class Agent Greg Putnam,

Charlie Claggett “Thank you, Bruce Fletcher and Chris Frost, for being our class agents! Keep up the good work.”

David Celentano “I was named chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins in September and received the inaugural endowed chair.”

Bruce Fletcher “I have completed 35+ years in general dentistry. I am busy with the presidency of Connecticut Federation of Lakes. I will be in Bolivia for a one week medical/dentistry mission adventure in August 2010. My brother-in-law, Kent Carlson, attends all home UConn football games as well as the men’s and women’s basketball games. My daughter Sarah ’98 is becoming a K-3 teacher. My son Andrew ’96 is married and living in Stamford, working in NYC.”

Will Hemingway “Just a salute to Greg Putnam ’69 for his excellent effort recovering and recruiting stray alumni.”

Perry Gleason “I have been retired for just over a year. I now split my time between our home in New Jersey and our house in Maine, devoting my time between my 44’ cutter and the two businesses I am developing.”

1967 Class Agent Chris Harlambakis,

Bob Goodell “I am retired. I spend my time equally between Eagle River, WI, and Milwaukee. My daughter Ruth just graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University. My son John graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is in his final year of law school at Temple University.” Douglas MacMakin “I attended BU and Farleigh Dickenson. I worked in the auto industry for a couple of years, became an aircraft mechanic, and have been in the bicycle business now for just over thirty years. I live in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and do a fair amount of photography and ride both bicycles and motorcycles.”


1971 Class Agents Spencer Beard, Pierre Genvert, Leo Letendre,

Brian Morris “I’m back in California after two and a half great years in South Carolina. Already looking forward to our 40th reunion in 2011. I will definitely be there!” John Watson “I served on the leadership panel and delivered a presentation on process improvement for financial and administrative functions at the 2009 American Society for Quality National Summit for Loan Six Sigma in Phoenix. Thank you to our class agents, Pierre, Spencer, and Leo.”

1972 Class Agents Chip Spear, John Therriault,

Pancho Cole “I have been out of work since July 22, 2009.” Nemo Niemann “Life has been full of surprises since our twin boys were born July 31, 2008. As I often tell my friends when they haven’t heard

from me in a while, “My life is not my own”. As of this writing, they have just turned 15-months, and I now understand where the word “toddler” originates! And they get into everything. My wife Carol and I still have our farm and old stone house in rural PA (not far from Harrisburg), along with the four horses, three cats and a dog. With Ellis and Aiden, we now have the “twos” filled. Carol continues her work as a graphic designer and art director (and amazingly finds time for a full workload AND take care of the boys in the evening). I continue to work as a fashion and lifestyle photographer based out of New York and have produced a second edition of my fine art book Vanishing Ireland. (Shameless plug—available for purchase from Overall, life is good, if not exhausting. One day last month, my son Aiden (who has been a bookworm since he was five-months old), discovered an old copy of suffield. By himself, with no prodding or set up from me, he perched himself on a foot stool and proceeded to “read” the magazine! I’ve been in touch with a fellow classmate, Mickey Ahearn, who went to the same college, Franklin & Marshall. He tells me he has three kids heading out of their teenage years. Wow, I have a ways to go for that.”

Ron Rivard “Life is good. My family and children are well. As the years go on, I look back on the great times at Suffield. Keep up the great work. Go Suffield!” Chip Spear “My daughter, Carolyn Fieger ’11, is currently attending Suffield Academy. She is a junior and has been involved in fall and winter sports. This has allowed me to make weekly or every other week trips to the Suffield Academy campus, as well as visiting other prep schools. From a facilities’ standpoint, Suffield Academy is at the top! The new Tisch Field House is spectacular. Thanks Tommy Tisch ’72 and the rest of the Tisch family!”

1973 Class Agents Jody Cranmore, Jim Knight,

Ned Higgins “Jeff Prudden is stopping by to spend the night and visit on his way from New York City to Florida.” Roger Williams “I have weathered the merger of EDS into H.P. I still love managing Little League baseball championship teams in Vienna, VA. My 10 year old son Grant has qualified for seven Junior Olympics swimming events! Eight year old Luke is not far behind!”

inspiration and compass to get me pointed toward a future in the broadcast business. Who will ever forget the ‘road trips’ to the Springfield Coliseum for the roller derby match or J. Geils concert?”

Jeff McGowan “I can remember playing soccer and having an away game on Halloween. Of course our colors are black and orange and we were made fun of by the other team. Of course we came out on top, but it was a funny predicament to be in. I remember going to an Alice Cooper concert by bus from Suffield. It was a big road trip to Hartford, and we were all excited to see the big show with him hanging himself at the end-such a big deal! But our curfew time came before the big finale, and we all had to leave. I always wondered how that execution turned out! It was always a mad rush to sign up for events off campus. Another memory is Hank Aaron hitting his historic 715 home run—during study hall. We all knew he could hit the big HR that night, and the game was on TV which was something back in the 70’s. We had the radio on and when he did hit the big HR we said heck with it being study hall and we ran down to the lounge and saw the replay! Rocky just laughed it off—no punishments for history! Hope to make it in October.”

1976 Class Agents Jennifer Cartmell, Molly Debevoise Rennie, Neil Smit,

Jeffrey Keeney “I always enjoy my annual summer visit with Bill McDonald. We always go for a morning bike ride up the Connecticut River Valley (this year’s ride turned into a 50 mile excursion due to some poor navigation by the ride leader). I beat him in tennis and then we caught up on the past year sitting on the raft in Fenwick!” Molly Debevoise Rennie “I am living in Short Hills, NJ, with my two daughters Trina and Tory Rennie. My eldest daughter Trina is a junior at Kenyon College, where she plays lacrosse. My younger daughter is a senior at Millburn High School, where she runs cross-country and will be attending Colby-Sawyer College in the fall. I am the corporate campaign director for United Way of Morris County in Morristown, NJ. Looking forward to seeing Cynthia Rogers later in May when she is making a trip east to visit family and catching up with more classmates at our reunion. A special hello to Tracy Milliken and Tony Ashbaugh. Tony, you never called me back!”

1975 {35th reunion} Class Agents Carey Fiertz, Mark Teed,

Janice Hadley “I completed the required courses from the Four Winds Society’s Healing the Light Body School. I am offering the healing techniques from the Peruvian Quero elders to all interested people. I continue to study and teach Tai Chi. Can’t wait to see you all at the reunion!” Mark Graham “A favorite memory of Suffield was working at and running the school’s radio station, WSAR... Mario Vincenti was an incredible

Abhichart Abhinorasaeth ´76 & girlfriend with Paul Hugo ´76 & wife Diana in Bali.

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Paul Hugo Last month my wife, Diana, and I met up with Abhichart Abhinorasaeth (my Suffield roommate junior and senior years) and his girlfriend in Bali, Indonesia! Diana and I have been planning the trip for a year or so, and we connected with Abhichart on Facebook. He asked for all our trip details and ended spending a couple of days with us in Ubud, Bali. We had a great time catching up and visiting, as we have not seen each other in 30+ years. Abhichart is still living in Bangkok, Thailand, so if anyone is there be sure to look him up. He is the senior manager at a company that makes welding electrodes for stick welding. He has promised to come back to the states in the next few years for a visit. I will try and convince him to come for our 35th reunion as long as it says in the fall. He mentioned that one day years ago he ran into Bala-Garba Jahumpa ’76 on the street somewhere. As I recall he indicated Bala was in politics, but don’t quote me on that. I am now working at a company that produces casino slot machines, WMS Gaming located in Waukegan, Ill. It is a fun place to work, as one can imagine. We still own our home in Michigan, terrible time to sell. We rent an apartment in Waukegan. We treat our house like the cottage and travel there most weekends. If anyone makes it to Chicago or western Michigan, look me up.”

1977 Class Agents Ed Kaplan, Beth Tyler,

Jim Baker “I am completing my 29th year at Unilever. Both daughters at Bucknell University. PG year at Suffield had a great impact on me personally and educationally. ” Steve Martin “My brother, Michael Martin ’76 died on December 28, 2007 from glioblastoma stage four brain cancer, after battling it for 23 months.”

1978 Class Agents Ben Davol, Lisa Longo, Susan Shafroth Macomson,

waiting for the seconds bell to ring, and racing toward the kitchen to make sure we secured an extra tray of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches; varsity baseball spring training in Sanford, Florida with Barry Cleary, where we played Millersville State College from Pennsylvania, and lost badly; the captain EO video at Disneyland, and Space Mountain; Joe Palomba’s ’80 basketball “Fro”, wristband’s, headband, kneepads and big black glasses complete with head strap, a sight to behold; Al Hoffacker ’63 assigning the 800 page long The Winds of War for me to read during Christmas break. I will admit, it was riveting.”

Matt Beaudry “After six years as the director of global portfolio strategies at Alliance Bernstein in Manhattan, I have moved back to Boston with my family to become a portfolio manager at Eaton Vance Management. My wife of 23 years and three children all reside in the western suburb of Weston. Best wishes to all my classmates.”

1981 Class Agents Valisha Graves, David Lingua, Alison Welch Davee,

David Spitzler “Thanks to Suffield for organizing an alumni/parent reception here in San Francisco recently. It would have been great to have some 1981 classmates there! It was good to catch up with Phil Riegel ’87 and Headmaster Charlie Cahn. Special thanks to current parents Suzy and Bill Vogler P’11 for hosting a wonderful reception at their home.”

1982 Class Agents Margaret Figueroa Hern, Madeline Phillips, Richard Scullin, Kim Wills Campbell,

Bob Smith “All is well is St. Louis. Kids are growing like weeds. My son, R.B. 12 is about to surpass his old man in height! Still running revenue management for Ascension Health and trying to figure out what healthcare reform is going to mean for the providers!”

Todd August “Things are grand on the Chesapeake Bay. Drop by for a visit. Tierney, Tobias, Mary, and Olivia say ‘Hi’.” Edward Palomba “I came back for alumni soccer game to watch brother Joe ’80. Looking forward to alumni basketball game in January. Campus looks great; field house is awesome. Niece Alyssa ’10 and nephew Joseph ’11 currently attend.”

1980 Class Agents Peter Coombs, Jon DiLuzio, Joe Palomba,

Jon DiLuzio “Some of my favorite memories of Suffield are being an ‘a-waiter’, Jake, Will, Alison Welch Davee ´81 , and John (dogs are Lance, Wilson, & Jazz).


1984 Class Agents Shelley Frazier Pelletier, Kerrin Fuller Rowley, Peter Mitchell, Lisa Paolini Schmidt, Lisa Reveruzzi,

Kerrin Fuller Rowley “The twenty-fifth Reunion was a complete riot... reliving the good old days... loved seeing everyone.”

1985 {25th reunion} Class Agents Andy Glover, Michelle Hashioka Lord, Margot Krawiec Mineau, Chuck McGavern,

Stacey Orben Glazier “I would love to hear from anyone living in the DC, Northern Virginia Area, we live in Alexandria, VA. Our daughter Grayson Wells Glazier just turned two and we are pregnant with another baby girl due in early February of 2010. Keep in touch with “Cinnamon Williams Cowan ’85” regularly. She and husband Chris and their two children are great.” Richard Nunez “I currently own and operate a 100 seat call center/BPO operation in Bogota, Colombia. Things are going well. We specialize in selling products to the US Hispanic market. I am still in San Francisco with my wife Maria and two kids Alexander and Mariana (both 8).” Kerri Grotto “Oh, so many memories! Looking forward to seeing everyone there. twenty-five years goes way too fast!” John Hess “I am fired up for this! Twenty-five years and half of the teachers that were there when I was there are still on campus. I would be delighted to assist with encouraging alums to come back.”

1986 Class Agents Dave Eckhardt, Sean Federowicz, Brinley Ford Ehlers, Kristin Hostetter Pandit, Niko Mosko,

Andrew Davenport “I am now the principal of the Rondout Valley High School. The system where I spent K-9. Jen and I have a new son, Jackson Dean, who join William and Aidan.” Teresa Owen Dyke “Hello fellow classmates. If you are ever in the Miami, FL area look us up. Wade and I have three wonderful children: Owen 11, Ellie 6, and Brendan 5. What a joy they are.” Kristin Hostetter pandit “We went to Negril, Jamaica, over February break with Dominique Smookler Roberts (my roommate at Suffield) and her son, Scout.”

Joey Pandit, Shaun Pandit, Kristin Hostetter Pandit ´86, Charlie Pandit, Dominique Smookler Roberts ´86, Scout Roberts.

1989 Class Agents Tom Burton, Beth Conway Sterling, Michelle Motta Stewart, Jed Nosal, Aimee Scherer Hodgkins,

Michelle Motta Stewart “I started my own tennis business this fall. It is going extremely well and I ran into Jen Rowe Havlicek ’88 at a tennis club on the South Shore of Boston. I have two girls ages 4 and 6. I currently live in Concord, Massachusetts. My fondest Suffield memory was the winter carnival.”

1991 Class Agents Kimberly Ames Ide, Pat Kennedy,

Scott Crombie “I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Geology in 2004. I received a masters in geology from Vanderbilt University in 2006. I am currently teaching chemistry at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee.”

1992 Class Agents Marigrace Canter Morris, Julie Granger Brassard, Ntsekhe Moiloa, Wadiya Peterson,

Kerry Loughlin “Still in Nova Scotia, working as a partner for a small consulting firm in IT. My wife Genevieve and I are hoping to finally finish the adoption process next year for our first child. Yes, we are late in the game but are working hard to get in the game, mother nature has not been our friend. I recently read a great book that reminded me of Ms. T’s grade 11 U.S. History class when we read a book called the Book of Negroes. It was an amazing read about the story of life as a slave. It was highly disturbing, but I am constantly reminded of that class and the discussions we had. Hope everyone is well. I plan on making the 20 year reunion. Till then, cheers all. I heard that SA Polo won New Englands, AWESOME! Kerry… that’s right, its Kerry now, not John. I always keep you guessing!”

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1995 {15th reunion} Class Agents Joyce McGovern, Leigh Murphy, Bryson Tillinghast,

Sofia Franciscus “I received a master’s degree from Colorado School of Mines. I’m an environmental officer on Royal Caribbean ships. Avocation: waste management and cutting edge of alternative energy.”

1996 Class Agents Tabitha Bliven Heidorn, Ryan Dowd, Sarah Knapps Saven,

Kate Vosti ´08

Sarah Nosal Smith “I’m living in Scituate, MA with my husband, son Andrew 6, and daughter Hannah 3. I am a freelance graphic designer and love living by the ocean. Hi to all my old Suffield friends!” Marla Zide “Classmate, Lilah Al-Masri recently co-authored 100 Questions and Answers about Sports Nutrition and Exercise with Simon Bartlett, PhD, CSCS, ATC. I was so excited to see her company, Quest, featured on WBAL news during a segment on training like an Olympic athlete. Lilah is a registered dietician and board-certified specialist in sport dietetics. She currently serves as the head sports dietician for the United States Naval Academy and is the cofounder of Quest Sports Science Center, a world-class sports nutrition and physiological testing center. Lilah was integral in designing and implementing the sports nutrition program for the Women’s World Cup Lacrosse tournament, as well as training personnel from the Ericsson Yacht Team program during the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race. To purchase Lilah’s book or read more about Lilah, please visit”

1994 Class Agents Scott Sartwell, Chris Saven,

Scott Sartwell “I moved to Charlotte three years ago and I am still an engineer with S&ME. I will be married to Mary for a year on May 16th, and it has been a wonderful year. We honeymooned in Myconos and Santorini, Greece. I am currently a marathon coach for Team In Training in South Charlotte. It is such a great feeling to help people finish a marathon while raising money to find a cure for blood cancers. My favorite memory of Suffield is probably the relationship with teachers like Gordy Glover, Peter Benson, and Mario Vincenti. Also, seeing Mr. George on the sidelines of the soccer games and his devoted support. It was even touching seeing him at a soccer game when I was playing for Siena.”


Wes lipner “Currently living in London for the last three years working on Global Real Estate Acquisitions in Europe, US, and South America. I’d like to say hello and thank you to Rocky and Charlie Cahn.”

1997 Class Agents Lewis Dunn, Brian Hetzel, Meaghan Leahy Palmer, Danielle Therriault,

Johanna Trout Szczesiul “My son Devin is 10 now and is in the fifth grade at the Enfield Montessori School. Braeden is a little over 18 months and is a ton of fun. He’ll be joining Dev at Montessori when he gets a little older.”

1998 Class Agents Mickey Allen, Babatunde Ayinde Meaghan Leahy Palmer, Danielle Therriault,

keith david Sustainable Engineering Solutions LLC announced Keith A. David Jr., CCP, LEED AP, has joined the company as a project manager.

1999 Class Agents Larry Griffin, Maura Mae Deedy, Steven Darling, Jon Parenteau,

Robert Schnabel “Time has certainly flown by since graduating 10 years ago! I have been living and working in New York as an advertising art director since finishing from the School of Visual Arts. Not long after, I started playing D1 club rugby and spent some time living and working abroad in South Africa, which has helped inspire me to start my own rugby apparel company, Bakline, Inc. (http:// I suppose a little daydream of mine is to see Suffield with a rugby program one day. If anyone is in New York or knows the whereabouts of Andrew Gaska, certainly drop me a line”

2001 Class Agents Paige Diamond, Greg Hearn, Russ Hearn, Ashton Jones, Katherine Pratt,

Gale Berninghausen “I live in Washington, D.C. area. I love being the midst of everything in DC but also hope to return to India later this year or 2011, perhaps for a quick visit or a long stay!” Greg Hearn “Greetings from Boston! I’m currently finishing my MBA at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, and I’m glad to be living in New England for the first time in eight years (I can’t believe it’s been that long already!). It’s been wonderful reconnecting with some of the Suffield folks in the Boston area. In the past few months I’ve had the chance to catch a Red Sox game with Sarah Glass ’02, visit Gale Berninghausen ’01 and Jim Woodsome ’01 in Washington DC, and even caught up with Billy Simons ’02 after his most recent performance in Boston! I hope everyone from the Class of 2001 is doing well and having fun. Cheers!” Jordan Rothenberg “I am currently living in New York City and am getting my degree in psychology from National University. I have also been serving as the director of East Coast operations for OnLife Prevention Inc., a non-profit that uses online social media to prevent teen suicide.”

2002 Class Agents Alison Carey, Sari Biddelman, Erin Orr, Nick Oleksak, Hilary Golas,

Gregory d’Otreppe “I am currently studying at La Ecole D’Armurerie De Liege, Belgium to become a professional gun engraver and learning French in the process! I plan to specialize in depicting hunting scenes or scene de chase, which requires a lot of studying and drawing of animals. I will also be visiting South Africa this summer to take a guide course on animal recognition and natural conservation.”

Matt Bernstein “I’m still waiting for the ‘circle of trust’ to come visit me in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where I am working as a firefighter, ski patroller and fishing guide. I hope to see any Suffield alums that want to come out and ski, especially Ryan Sample.” Sari Biddelman “I am still living in NYC, finished my thesis, and am finally graduating with my masters this May! I am teaching seventh grade special ed at a new school and am loving it. My kids are great!” Marc Cusamano “I’m pursuing a career in geographic information systems and am currently working on the 2010 census at the New York Regional Census Center (NYRCC). The census is so important for rationing federal funds and representation. Because computers make the census more accurate and efficient than ever before, I’m really excited to be combining the census with technology.” Polly Catanese “I’m currently living in Kansas where I’m planning to start nursing school in the fall. I’m engaged to a Kansas native, Grant Elpers, whom I will marry in May. I’m busy working in my father’s office and planning a wedding!” Jeff Depelteau “I am still working in admissions and coaching basketball at SA. Both jobs keep me really busy, but I love working here. My wife Brooke is now working at Suffield teaching English, and she is pregnant with our first baby, a boy, on March 11th! I had a chance to catch up with Robert Disco, and TJ Owen at the Alumni Basketball game this year, and Eric Yale ’03 also swung by to check out the Williston night game this year.” Jeff Dressler “I’m in DC working as an analyst for a think-tank focusing on Afghanistan. In the past several months, I’ve been tapped as one of the go-to people in DC for insight and analysis on the ongoing war, appearing on CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera and in print in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the AP and Reuters. It’s certainly an exciting time and I’m looking forward to spending some time in Afghanistan in the next couple months. I would love to hear from some SA folks passing through!” Hilary Golas “After living in Baltimore for two years while attending grad school at Loyola Maryland, I’ve returned to Suffield! I am working in alumni relations and giving and absolutely love being back. We had some really good times here ’02! Please stop by and visit next time you’re in the area.” Sarah Glass “I am still living in Boston, and am excited about starting my new job this month in interactive marketing research. I am also really looking forward to this summer when I’ll be sailing on the Cape!” Liz Pace “After living on the North Shore of Boston and working as a senior account executive at Mullen in the relentlessly creative advertising industry for three years, I sought after a career with a deeper sense of purpose and meaning. I moved to New York City just one year ago hoping to make a difference in the lives of others as the Take Steps Walk campaign manager for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. I’ve been amazed with the number of current SA students and alums who have been supportive of the efforts of CCFA and encourage all to come out to Take Steps New York City A Walk Through the Boroughs at the South Street Seaport on Saturday June 12, 2010. Best wishes to all of the Class of 2002.”

Saran Nerngchamnong ´02 Inside the pit during one of the 2009 racing events with Naputt Assakul ´94.

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Saran Nerngchamnong “I left my post as the deputy chief of staff to the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister when my mother passed away late last year. I was selected by the board to serve my family’s real estate development company as the new chairman in place of my late mother and predecessor. Although, it has been a difficult and challenging task over the past few months, I still continued on with my goal to bring lacrosse to Thailand. I, along with a few Suffield alums and other Thai boarding school alums formed a Thailand Lacrosse Association, as well as a national team with Naputt Assakul ’94 and Pinyot Pibulsonggram ’95 as the two captains, also on the roster is Vorapat Praneeprachachon ’03 as one of the goalies. They (and a few more Suffield alums) are scheduled to hold the first few international scrimmages by the end of the year. For more team information, please visit www.”

2003 Jamie Senk ‘05, Matt Shifrin ‘05, Alex Moore ‘04, Gavin Crescenzo ‘03, Duncan Fraser ‘05, and Brad Crescenzo ‘05

Gerry Helmcke “This past year I moved from London to Greenwich, CT and am working as an oil tanker broker focusing on the Latin America market. I work for Charles R. Weber Company.” Jeremy Hansen “I am teaching little whippersnappers English in South Korea.” Ashley Scibelli “I just got back from a relaxing week in Anguilla and am now working for Boston Beer Company, better known as Sam Adams, as their regulatory compliance and contract specialist. I’d love to meet up over a beer if anyone comes to visit Boston!” Elizabeth Michael “While living in Philadelphia, I accepted Dan Roda’s proposal. Shortly after the engagement, we relocated to Arkansas where Dan practices law and I continue to expand my family’s rapidly growing retail business, splitting much of our time between Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. We wed May 8th, 2010!” Christopher Jarzabek “For the last year and a half, I have happily resided in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Yes, the stereotypes are true: coffee is abundant, which is inexpensive and delicious; the weather is constantly grey and/or rainy; and it’s “emerald” green year-round. But what they never prepare you for is the hills! Be in good shape before you move here. Ninety-five percent of my time and effort is divided between my talented designer girlfriend and the reason I moved here, my job at Microsoft. I’m one member of a wonderful team of designers working on the next Windows operating system, which I promise will be very cool! I’m still best friends with Sari Biddelman, with whom I walk the streets of NYC, and Sam Dudek, who will be joining me in two weeks for snowboarding at Whistler/Blackcomb in Canada!” Peter Snedeker “I got married at the end of June and now live with my wife in Greenwich, CT. She teaches at a local, private school, and I commute into Midtown for work at Morgan Stanley. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other alums at Billy Simons’ concerts in the city.”


Class Agents Eric Yale, Kelly Griskewicz, Lindsey Pell, Greg Schultz,

Greg Schultz “All things considered, life in Boston is great­­—working at a boutique consulting firm, Exeter Group, and playing in three bands, primarily Socialist which has been going extremely well ( as well as sitting in with Darlingside ( and Caitlin Canty ( Given the large number of gigs and the growing connections, I started a booking agency called Purple Valley Entertainment. Right now it only serves the three bands mentioned above. Either way, it’s been a fun adventure staying involved in the music scene. Otherwise, I ran into Sara Kerin ’02 in Boston before she moved out to Colorado. Then I ran into Gavin Crescenzo ’03 but the best was running in to Jordy Hart ’03 who played junior hockey with me throughout our Suffield years. I look back at Suffield with lots of fond memories, especially lacrosse. Now when I look at the photos, I can confidently say that our once top-of-the line equipment now looks antiquated, and it makes me smile in a good way; but mostly it makes me remember having a great time at Suffield.”

2004 Class Agents Alex Naboicheck, William Taylor, Andrew Scully, Kate Braden, Jessica Aiken,

Jennifer Lamontagne “I’m almost halfway done with vet school out in Kansas. Missed everyone at Reunion in the fall!” Will Taylor “I am still working and living in the metro-Atlanta area and enjoying the fifty degree weather in the middle of January and February. I went up to New York after Christmas and saw Brendan Moriarty, Sam Rade and Jules Okai, which was fun. If any SA alumni in the metro-Atlanta area read this, please contact me. I would like to start Suffield alumni of Atlanta club/chapter and would like to know who is interested in joining.”

David McConaghay “After having entirely too much fun at the reunion in October, I spent six weeks in Guadalajara, Mexico, earning my TEFL certification. Then in February I flew to Lima, Peru, to begin an open-ended escapade in South America. I’ve been through Peru (though I missed Machu Picchu due to flooding), all around Bolivia, and the north of Argentina. Today is the first of March and I am in Buenos Aires. In two days we fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet, and will work our way up through Patagonia by bus. We intend to end up in Colombia. My dear friend Dubey might say that I’m unemployed. Hope all is well! Suerte.”

2005 {5th reunion} Class Agents Dan Fisher, Casey Shanley, Rick Devlin, Steph Shaker,

Dan Fisher “I am getting excited for the reunion after catching up with Shane Hennessey in New Orleans and with Ryan Allen in Atlanta in February. Professionally, I just started my MBA at Georgia State University while maintaining work with the Atlanta Braves and Chevy Youth Baseball.”

2006 Class Agents Eric Litmer, Luke McComb, Gina Petrone, Lev Saltonstall, Jen Mais, Kelly Van Ingen,

Chris Stafford “As I am sure is the case with several of my SA classmates, things have been crazy this senior year. I am still at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) and am really looking forward to graduation. I will sit for my 3rd Mate’s license exam in June, and am still waiting to hear about what I am doing after graduation. I have an application in with the U.S. Coast Guard to serve active duty in their Maritime Graduate Program as a marine inspector and should hear back soon. This year I was selected to serve as two different regimental officers at the Academy, including a department head position and staff position. I was also voted captain of the men’s swimming and diving team, which has been fun. I came back to SA to swim with the team over Thanksgiving break and could not believe all of the changes to the campus since we graduated. Things look great! I hope everyone is doing well and I wish everyone luck in their final semester of college!” Ben van Renesse “I am finishing up my last semester at St. Michaels College in Colchester, VT, as an anthropology and global studies major/ minor. I am continuing to play music in Burlington, landing local gigs in town and at school with my band, Free Louis. I just recently returned from a semester abroad in Indonesia and have been teaching a class to Bhutanese refugees living in the Burlington area as part of my anthropology research.” Lauren Ingalls “I still have one more year undergrad left at Suffolk University in Boston and then I’ll be applying to Suffolk Law School.”

Christin Peters “After completing my undergraduate degree in kinesiology and psychology this spring, I have been accepted to several DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) programs throughout the country and will be attending one of them come June 2010. The programs are three and a half years long so I will be re-locating to wherever I decide to attend! I’m incredibly excited to start graduate school, but am having so much fun during my last couple months here at Gordon.” Brooke Beatt “While I don’t have any concrete plans yet, I’m enjoying my last semester at Middlebury, where I will graduate with a degree in International Studies. I’ve been working on my thesis and just finished my last season playing squash.”

2007 Class Agents Mike DiPietro, Sydney Greenberg, Catherine Mis, Erik Osborne, Meredith Rarus, Charlie Huck, Tyler St. Pierre, Rob Zammito, Bintou Ojomo,

Peter Aldrich “I am a junior at Clemson University in South Carolina majoring in finance with a minor in accounting. I am the Delta Chi representative to the Interfraternity Council.” Brielle Beaudette “I recently caught up with A.J. Yates, Brian Hetzel ’97, Chris Pugliano ’07, and Joe Pugliano ’09 at a track meet in Boston. It was great to see familiar faces and hear how things are going at Suffield. I just finished up my indoor season, running at the Heptagonal championships at Dartmouth College. Classes are also going well, and I hope to visit Suffield soon!” Gary Yeaw P´07 “Jennifer is presently attending George Washington University.” Ray Mancuso P´07 “Michael is attending RPI.” Harry Melendez “I am currently studying abroad in Perth, Australia. I have been here for about two weeks, and it has been a tremendous experience thus far! Surfing, snorkeling, kangaroos, koalas, visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and best of all experiencing a whole new culture. Spring break should be very interesting! A couple of my friends from Trinity (Hartford, CT) and I will be traveling to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the biggest tourist attractions in Australia! Hopefully we will be able to travel to Sydney as well and roam around the East Coast of Australia! Special shout outs to Matt Capone, Lee Sulham, Chris Blydell, Sean Caddigan, Khadim Diouf, and Lexi Walston. Some of my favorite memories at Suffield had to be while doing morning dish crew with a few PG’s, we were caught totally off guard by having a job on campus, especially MORNING dish crew. I couldn’t imagine having to get up that early to load up a dishwasher and deal with other’s leftovers. It was definitely a bonding experience that set the tone for the rest of the year, which was a VERY successful one! Suffield will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart and I look forward to visiting when I am back from Australia.”

winter 2010


balls, the countless number of times my friends or I slipped on the ice walking to Centurion, and when Mr. Patterson tripped over Sydney Greenberg’s ’07 feet at basketball practice and fell straight to the floor, ‘Word G-money’.”

Becca Bathrick “Hey everyone! I am just finishing up my sophomore year at Seton Hall University, and I completely love it! I miss Suffield very much though, not just my friends and faculty friends but the atmosphere that Suffield provided, the sense of community. Thanks to Suffield, I have adjusted well to the college scene. Some very exciting news: I just received my stethoscope with the nursing program and start clinicals in the fall. I am now officially an Alpha Sigma Tau girl and love it! For spring break, my dad and I are taking a road trip down to Florida to watch my brother Ronny ’06 play baseball. As for the rest of the Bathrick clan we are all doing wonderfully!” Evan Boyle “I’m in my second year at the University of Virginia, and I’m studying History, and am a brother in Pi Kappa Phi. For spring break, I’m going back to home to Massachusetts and taking a trip to see Syracuse in the Big East Tournament in New York. A shout out to Ben Fish ’08—‘We are only going to score 17 points’?”

Matt Rousseau’s ’97 children Reagan and Payton

Matt Doup “Hope all is well at Suffield. I just came across the video that I made along with the rest of the boy’s squash team my senior year. I died of laughter. Shout out to Coach Pentz and rest of the ’07-’08 team. No tins, boys!” Hana Gosney “For spring break I will be doing water polo training with my school. We only get a few days off, and with those few days I plan on relaxing and going to the beach in LA. I want to give all the aquatics people a shout out. I miss them lots and good luck with the water polo and swimming teams.” Lauren Okano and Sydney Greenberg “Proving once again that it’s a small world, we’re currently studying abroad together. We’re studying health and community in Switzerland, India, China, and South Africa. We’ve had the chance to visit rural and urban areas, meeting with lots of fascinating people from the world of public health.”

2008 Class Agents Joel Glassman, Becca Joslow, Barbara Kaplan, Danton Kerz, Lindsay Life, Dan Matchett, Isy Zellweger, Becca Bathrick, Thomas Drummond-Hay,

Barbara Kaplan “My favorite memories from Suffield were our softball team winning New England’s in ’06 and ’07 and our basketball team winning New England’s in ’08. Also, performing Ice Ice Baby with Mal Nai ’08 at 4 A.M. during the Dance-a-thon. Funny experiences would be our senior prank with all the bouncy


Lindsay Life “I am currently a sophomore at the George Washington University, majoring in journalism and minoring in religion and anthropology. I am interning in the research department of the Republican National Committee, getting involved in just about all of the Washington politics I can handle. It was such a nice surprise to have both Adam Pistel ’08 and Katy Heydinger ’07 transfer to GW this semester. They were the perfect additions to the Suffield crew here in DC.”

2009 Class Agents Roshard Bryant, Rosemary Chandler, Maysie Childs, Liz Monty, Megan Murphy, Jen Yeaw, Kate Pistel, Sam Stone,

Frankie Walsh “Well, so far I love Stonehill College! I have recently been appointed a crossings minister (a kind of spiritual RA for Stonehill) and I have been accepted into the Peer Mentor program. Over spring break, I am doing mission work with Stonehill’s H.O.P.E. program building homes in Coachella, California. I hope my friends from ’09 are doing well and congrats, Class of 2010!” Maria Veronesi “I’m preparing to become a Studio Art Major with a Secondary Education Minor. I completed my first season of collegiate soccer this past Fall, and I am looking forward to the Spring season which will start after our Spring break. I miss Suffield very much and look forward to returning for Commencement.” Ryan Sonberg “I just got back from a spring break trip to South Carolina. I helped lead Bates’ baseball team to a 3-1 start, and first place in the NESCAC so far.”

alums around town

On August 15th, 2009, several of the Suffield Academy family challenged themselves to escape from Alcatraz in the annual Sharkfest Swim in San Francisco Bay. Jeannie LaPlante ´04, Julio Adib-Samii, Tracy Gayeski Adib-Samii, and Phil Riegel ´87 braved the 58 degree water and mile-and-a-half swim to the shore.

Jeannie LaPlante ’04, Manny Simons ’00, Jake McComb ’04 at the release party in New York City. The release party for Billy Simon’s album, Music From the Motion Picture was held on Saturday, November 21, 2009, at The Bitter End in New York City. Over 25 alums showed their support to see Billy play at his sold out show. Billy’s music can be streamed for free at

births To Jared Todd Greisman ’88 and wife Beth Greisman, a daughter, Rebecca, on July 20, 2009.

To Kristy Booma ’00, a daughter, Kensington Anne Booma, on February 14, 2010.

To Amanda Schelling Getten ’94 and husband Mark Getten, a daughter, Rachel Dara Getten, on August 17, 2009.

To Keith David Jr. ’98 and wife Betsy David, a son, Nathaniel Keith David, on February 26, 2010.

To Andrew Davenport ’86 and wife Jen Davenport, a son, Jackson Dean Davenport, on September 26, 2009. Nathaniel David

Rachel Dara Getten

weddings Genevieve Stefani ’00 to Robert Staib on October 2, 2009

Peter Snedeker ’02 to Lindsay Muetterties on June 26, 2009

Gretchen Allinson ’00, Jared Dubey ’00, Genevieve Staub ’00, Morgan Irving ’00 and Emilie Kuhn ’00

Shana Richter ’02 to Matt Saccullo on August 8, 2009

Katharine Schelling ´98 married Douglas Slocum on October 24, 2009. Alums in bridal party: Emily Trutt Schelling ´93, Amanda Schelling ´94, and Pam Eisen ´93

winter 2010


A Brother’s Memory in memorium John J. Mahoney 1945-2010, a member of the Suffield Academy kitchen staff, passed away Thursday, February 18, 2010, at Baystate Medical Center. John was born in Newport, RI, a son of the late John J. and Catherine (Murphy) Mahoney. He was an avid Boston Red Sox Fan and enjoyed fishing. John is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jean (Chechile) Mahoney. John will be dearly missed by the Suffield community.

Stanley H. Mloganoski ’36 passed away on February 21, 2010. Ignatius Murawski ’36 passed away on December 27, 2009. Martin Benedict ’38 passed away on November 11, 2009. Jessie Hryniewicz Blaszyk ’38 passed away on December 22, 2009. Sophie Gonczewski Zielinski ’40 passed away. Thomas Duquette ’48 passed away on December 23, 2009. Lawrence Morrison ‘50 passed away on September 3, 2008. Robert Tambussi ’50 passed away on December 24, 2009. James Morris ’60 passed away on May 2008 (see brother’s note to right).

Darrell Powell ’68 (left) passed away on January 25, 2010.

Michael Martin ’76 passed away on December 28, 2007 from glioblastoma stage 4 brain cancer, after battling it for 23 months.


written by Bob Morris ’68 I confess that I have been negligent over the years in contributing to Suffield, but that is certainly no indication of the high esteem in which I hold the school and indelible experience which I had there during a key period of my youth. Naturally, we become more reflective of life’s experiences as we grow older, and more aware of our mortality; and, as I reflect upon my Suffield experience, I know that my time there permanently changed the lens through which I viewed the world, from a rather close-up focus to a much more panoramic view. I also believe that my older brother Jim, who graduated from Suffield before me, felt much the same way. My brother, James Edward Morris III, Class of 1960, passed away in May of this year. Although I do not recall that we ever engaged in a conversation specifically about our respective Suffield experiences, I know that he considered his 3 years there to be very positive. Jim was president of his senior class, was a pretty good swimmer, earning three varsity letters, and was popular among his classmates. He went on to graduate with a degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Following graduation from UVA, Jim served as an officer in the United States Army for 25 years, including a tour in Vietnam, where he earned the Bronze Star with “V” Device, eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel; he loved his time in the Army, and he was duly proud of his service to the nation. After retirement from the service, Jim embarked upon a second career with Synovus Bank in Columbus, Georgia, with whom he worked as an executive for an additional 20 years. He retired in the spring of 2008, at which time he planned to work on his golf game (it needed it!), and to spend as much time as possible with his grandsons. Unfortunately, those plans were cut short; he was diagnosed with cancer that summer, and he passed away 9 months later. Jim was a devoted husband to his beautiful wife of 39 years, Mary Ann; their 40th anniversary would have been in June 2010. He was a dutiful father to his two fine sons, Jamie and Sean, and he loved the role of grandfather to his five young grandsons, ages 1-8. He left six siblings and numerous nieces and nephews who loved him, and hundreds of loyal friends. His funeral service, which was held with full military honors, was a testament to his life, as evidenced by the huge gathering of friends and family members who attended to pay their final tribute to him. Although there will never be any buildings or monuments in Jim’s honor at Suffield, he led a life of which the Suffield community can be truly proud. His were the traditional values which have formed the foundation of America, service to country, devotion to family, and an active and contributing member of his immediate community. His legacy will last forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him; for me specifically, he was a great brother, mentor, and friend. For the most basic and essential of reasons, the world is a much better place because Jim Morris walked amongst us.



Suffield Academy is a coeducational, independent secondary

Stephanie Dellaquila Greco ’88

designer Tobye Cook ’88

art director Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88


school serving a diverse community of day and boarding students. Our school has a tradition of academic excellence combined with a strong work ethic. A commitment to scholarship and a respect for individual differences guide our teaching and curriculum. We engender among our students a sense of responsibility, and they are challenged to grow in a structured and nurturing environment. The entire academic, athletic, and extracurricular experience prepares our students for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and active citizenship.

Charlie Cahn, Peter Stein, Jason Cassis ’01, Gerry LaPlante P’04,’06, Mark McCullagh ’81, Bill Galvin ’60, Betsy McComb P’04,’06, Phil Riegel ’87, David Rockwell ’58, Tom Dugan, AJ Yates, Amy Pentz, Linda Colo

photographer Alexandra Tremaine ’03

photo contributors

non-discrimination Suffield Academy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, physical attributes, disability, age, or sexual orientation. We administer our admissions, financial aid, educational, athletic, extracurricular, and other policies so that each student is equally accorded all the rights, privileges, programs, and facilities made

summer academy at suf f ield

available by the school.

june 27- july 30, 2010

Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88, Phil Riegel ’87, Candy Padilla, John Adams P’10, Jason Cassis ’01, Gerry LaPlante P’04, ’06, Crosby LeVeen ’99

trustees President: Daniel R. Tisch ’69, P’02 – Scarsdale, New York Vice President: Jackson W. Robinson ’60 –­ Boston, Massachusetts


is published by the Marketing and Communications

Office of Suffield Academy for alumni, parents, and friends of the school. All publications rights reserved. Contents may be reproduced or reprinted only by permission of the editor. Opinions expressed do not reflect the official position of Suffield Academy.

Treasurer: Michael J. Daly ’59 –­ Longmeadow, Massachusetts Secretary: Frederic B. Powers III ’83 –­ Mamaroneck, New York

five weeks of self-discovery and academic enrichment

Headmaster: Charles Cahn III ­– Suffield, Connecticut Paul Blakeley P’07, ’10, ’13 ­– West Simsbury, Connecticut Joseph P. Campanelli ’75 ­– Wellesley, Massachusetts Andrew C. Chase –­ Deerfield, Massachusetts

academic enrichment with intensive courses in math, science, essay writing, foreign language, study skills, visual and performing arts

Christopher T. Cuddy ’87 –­ Boston, Massachusetts Questions or comments may be addressed to the editor:

George B. Daniels ’71 –­ New York, New York Guy L. de Chazal P’10 –­ Brookville, New York Samuel S. Fuller ’41, Trustee Emeritus ­– Suffield, Connecticut


is printed by Wolf ColorPrint.

About Wolf: Wolf ColorPrint is committed to Responsible Green Manufacturing. With our FSC Certification, recycling of raw materials, vegetable based inks and Computer to Plate tehnology we work to assist our clients to improve our environmental impact. For today, for tomorow and for our future.

Robert C. Graham, Jr. P’11 –­ Stamford, Connecticut Valisha Graves ’81 ­– Brooklyn, New York

weekend trips to NYC, Boston, and Newport, Rhode Island

Matthew W. Greene ­– Westport, Connecticut Walter Harrison –­ Hartford, Connecticut Laurence Heilbronn P’06 –­ New York, New York

supportive and nurturing environment

Christopher M. Houlihan P’05 –­ New York, New York Bradley S. Jacobs P’12 –­ Greenwich, Connecticut Maryann Jones P’01 ­– Rowayton, Connecticut

Suffield Academy uses only FSC certified, recycled paper.

Lawrence N. Lavine P’05 –­ Purchase, New York Karen McDonald P’12 –­ New York, New York

Jeffrey K. McElnea ’67, P’12 ­– New York, New York Bruce C. Mellon ’59 –­ Los Angeles, California Pat Moore P’09 ­– McLean, Virginia Tracy Orr O’Keefe ’85 ­– Hoboken, New Jersey John M. Tremaine ’66, P’94, ’03 –­ New Canaan, Connecticut H.P. Van Ingen Jr. P’06 ­– New York, New York Suzy Vogler P’11 –­ San Francisco, California Jeffrey White ’65 ­– Westport, Connecticut Jacqueline R. Williams P’04, ’07, ’08 –­ New York, New York

for more information tony o’shaughnessy director of summer academy admissions suff ield academy 185 north main st. suff ield, ct 06078 phone 860.668.7315 email tony_o @ suff

Copyright © 2010, Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT 06078

s u f f i e l d

w i n t e r 2 0 1 0

suff ield reunion october 15-17, 2010

save the date


winter 2010

Suffield Academy Winter 2010 Alumni Magazine  

Suffield Academy Winter 2010 Alumni Magazine

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