Suffield High School February Newsletter

1060 Sheldon Street | West Suffield, CT 06093 | 860-668-3810

Upcoming Events:

Suffield High School Agriscience Classroom
6:15 PM
Suffield High School Auditorium
6:15 PM
Suffield High School Auditorium
School Wide
School Wide
School Wide
9:20 AM - 10:20 AM
SHS, Room #210 (Chorus/Vocal Room)
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
School Wide
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Suffield High School Commons & Auditorium
School Wide
Suffield High School Commons and Gymnasium
6:00 PM
Suffield High School Library Media Center
7:00 PM
Suffield High School Auditorium
7:00 PM
Suffield High School Auditorium
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Suffield High School Library Media Center
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Suffield High School Library Media Center

Principal's Message

It has been a while since our last newsletter edition due to Winter Vacation and mid-year exams in January.  While this school year has not officially ended, the school is already preparing for the 2017-18 school year.  Students were recently asked to complete course requests and the school will soon begin preliminary efforts to build next year's schedule.  This year's process was a little different, as the school has requested all students select 6.0 credits for the year along with 1.0 additional credit in alternate electives as we are hoping to adopt an 8-period schedule.  Goals associated with the new schedule include:

  • Enhanced flexibility for course offerings and student scheduling
  • Increased collaboration time for faculty
  • Incorporation of Concert and Chamber Choir within the school day
  • Addition of an intervention component within the school day
  • Revamping of the Advisory program
  • Consistent and equitable time across all periods


While specific bell schedules have not been decided, any new schedule will still allow for senior privileges (i.e. early release, late arrival).

Please also remember that each cancelled day of school backs up our projected last day of school.  We have been very fortunate to only have had one school cancellation day (as of January 30th) so our last day of school is now Monday, June 12th.  For those families of seniors that may be concerned about graduation, please remember the Board of Education cannot officially set the graduation date until April 1st.  Let's hope for no more school cancellations and an uneventful end of winter/beginning of spring. 

I remind everyone to periodically check the school calendar on the website as there is always something of interest at Suffield High School.  For those parents with Twitter, become a follower of Suffield High School's new Twitter page - @suffield_hs.  Parents are also reminded that a great way to be informed and provide perspective is through the periodic Parent Advisory Council meetings.  The next meeting is scheduled for February 13th at 6:00 p.m. in the Commons at Suffield High School. 

Athletic News

The boys and girls indoor track team has had a lot of success so far this season as they prepare for the NCCC and State Championship meets. There have been big performances from veterans and new comers alike. State qualifiers include Ryan Cleaves, Alek Cotnoir, Jared Sharp, Nick Sinofsky, Kyle Englander, Samatar Wehelie, Cam Miller, Josh Wozniak, Kaitlin Girardini, Gabby Zeller, Cam Shaw, Marybeth Heyse as well as a variety of relay teams. The girls' basketball team is on a roll as they approach the last few games of the season. The team is 13-1, with the lone loss coming to class LL Hall High School. Suffield is currently #1 in the NCCC and #1 in the state in Class M. The girls look to continue their season with several important conference games coming up. The boys' basketball team is off to an 8-4 start. The team is taking great pride in playing for Suffield. With a tough stretch ahead the team is poised to continue their competitiveness in all games. Also, the team recently donated over 30 new toys to children and veterans in need. This is a great group of student-athletes. The Wildcats High School Boys' Hockey team is having a great season.  The players practice extremely hard every day and it has propelled them to being a top 10 team in Division 1.  The team has great unity and camaraderie and looks to continue to improve to be ready for a great run in the state tournament.  The fan section has been electric all season; keep coming out to support Wildcats Hockey! We would like to thank the cheerleading team for supporting our basketball teams all season long. They have a couple of their own competitions coming up in the next couple of weeks. The inaugural season for the girls' ice hockey team is sure to be a winning season with their current record of 9-2.  Eighteen girls from several towns in Northern CT have come together and demonstrated what it takes to play Wildcats Hockey:  teamwork, sportsmanship and character on and off the ice.  It's an exciting time for Suffield sports!  A special shout out to Brianna Chernik, Grace Gozzi, Chase Lambert, Sophie Lupone and Sydney Lupone for playing on Suffield's first-ever girls ice hockey team! The wrestling team currently has a record of 3-2 and is looking forward to their senior night match against Canton on February 1st. Congratulations to seniors Caleb Leblanc and Madi D'Ostuni. The boys swim team hosted rival Granby a couple weeks ago and powerhouse Simsbury last week. The boys prevailed at both meets to improve their record to 3-2. Great job guys! They have a big meet coming up Friday against Hall. 

"Beyond Bullying" Presentation

There will be a special presentation "Beyond Bullying" by Guest Speaker, Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D., from the Connecticut State Department of Education.  Ms. Freiberg is an education consultant for school climate, bullying, and character education.  She assists schools and youth-serving organizations to create physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe and positive learning environments.  The presentation will take place on Friday, March 17th, 8:45 – 10:15 a.m. at Suffield Middle School Auditorium.  Please RSVP to 860 668-3803 or email  The snow date will be April 7, 2017.


Beyond Bullying Flyer - PDF

Black History Month

During the month of February, Suffield High School will be celebrating Black History Month.  We will be celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans who have played a vital part in this nation's history.  Students will be acting as historians and will be researching the lives of African American individuals and presenting their story to the entire school during this month-long celebration.  In doing so, we hope to enhance students' understanding and appreciation of the tremendous role African Americans played in American History. 

Students of the Month


Congratulations to the following students who were chosen as Physical Education Students of the Month for December and January.



Riley DellaPenna

Lucas Garcia

Julia Hart

Victoria Kent

Anna Mervosh

Chris Rainey-Griggs   Halie Shea



Dan Cushing

Andrew Moskowicz

Sabrina Olechny

Savannah Price

Nate Roy.

Congratulations to Caitlin Kirschbaum who was chosen as the Rotary Student of the Month for January.  Caitlin is a senior at Suffield High School and is involved in many activities such as Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track, Student Council and Student Senate.  Caitlin is also involved in our Interact (Junior Rotary Club), Science Fair Club, Best Buddies, A-Team and our Writing Center.  Caitlin is an honors student who is a member of the National Honor Society and the World Language Honor Society.  In her spare time, Caitlin is an assistant CCD teacher at her church and works as a lifeguard during the summer at a local country club.  Caitlin's guidance counselor, Ned Sullivan, describes Caitlin as an especially bright and bubbly young woman with a zest for life and learning that truly sets her apart.  He states, "Caitlin is an open-minded and dynamic "people person" who loves to debate ideas and collaborate with classmates."  In the future Caitlin hopes to incorporate her passion for constructive debate and collaboration into her career, possibly a Political Science/Government Major.  Caitlin has won many awards at Suffield High School, such as the Dartmouth Book Award, the highest PSAT math score award, Science Fair Honors Awards and the AP English Language Award, only to name a few.  We are fortunate to have Caitlin as a student here at Suffield High School and wish her the best as she furthers her education.

Athletes of the Month


Congratulations to Kaitlin Girardini and Austin Rupp who have been chosen Athletes of the Month for December.  Students are awarded this honor based on their athletic and academic accomplishments, attitudes and leadership skills.


Kaitlin has been on the Varsity Indoor Track Team for four years.  She has been an All-Conference runner for all the seasons she has been on the team.  Kaitlin has won multiple individual and relay school records and NCCC championships.  Kaitlin has placed third in the 600m at the Class M State Meet.  Kaitlin's coach reports that Kaitlin has a "team first" attitude and will forgo personal glory to help out the team.  Kaitlin is hard-working, dedicated and motivated.   He states, "Kaitlin has an overall positive attitude and is respected by her peers and teachers.  Kaitlin has been a captain of the team for two years and handles herself with pride and respect at all times."  Kaitlin's coach described her as a model of sportsmanship for her teammates, as she displays respect for opposing competitors, coaches and officials.  Kaitlin is in the top 5% of her class and is a member of the National Honor Society, and is involved in many activities.  Kaitlin is a perfect choice for Athlete of the Month.


Congratulations to Austin Rupp who has played on the Varsity Boy's Hockey Team for four years.  As Captain of the hockey team, Austin works very hard, has a positive attitude and displays sportsmanship at all times.  He leads by example, always giving 100% effort.  He is a positive influence on all the players on the team, and respects everyone on and off the ice.  He plays hockey with class and integrity.  Austin is currently 1st in the state in points, goals and assists combined.  He is ranked 6th in the state in goals and ranked 1st in the state in assists.  Austin has reached the elite 100 point club.  Austin is in the top 10% of his class and has received many academic honors.  He is active in his community by volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House and the American Junior Golf Association.  Austin is well-deserving of this award.

World Language Student of the Month-December

James Casella is the World Language Student of the Month for December.  Jimmy is currently a junior at Suffield High School, where he is a member of the French 5 Honors class.  During the past three years, Jimmy has shown great initiative in French class, making the most of opportunities to speak in French with classmates and teachers, to write about his experiences and plans, and to enrich his understanding of world cultures and international perspectives.  For example, during a school trip to Montreal last spring, Jimmy consistently communicated with tour guides, shopkeepers, teachers, and friends in French and had a great time immersing himself in this welcoming and dynamic city.  In French 5, Jimmy has shown steady improvement in his language skills, and his range of vocabulary and ability to communicate effectively and understandably in French is excellent. 

Jimmy has many diverse interests that bring numerous personal elements to his work at Suffield High School and allow him to make strong connections through his endeavors.  Jimmy is President of the Earth Club and involved in the SHS Robotics and SWAT teams, and his activities – which include fencing and juggling – are also evident in his creative and presentational work.  The World Language Department is happy to offer this award to Jimmy, who brings passion and vibrant curiosity to his work and strives to connect with others.

Core Values – Respect

Congratulations to the following students for exemplary demonstration in Suffield High School's core value of Respect:

  • Seniors   Josh Baskin and Rachel Bernabe
  • Juniors   Gabriele Preli and Michael Barron
  • Sophomores   Hannah Stack and Leroy Lawson
  • Freshman   Andrew Martin-Ryan and Madelynn Dunnigan

News from Fashion Club and Interact Club

Mrs. Kate McCluskey's Interact Club and Fashion Club have teamed up to create pillowcase dresses to send to children in Africa.  Grace Domashinski has visited several orphanages in Africa while doing mission work, and the idea was discussed in Fashion Class.  Mrs. McCluskey's Interact Club opted to help as a service project.  To date, they have created 11 dresses.


Random Acts of Kindness

from the Classroom of Mrs. Zielinski

During Parent/Teacher Conferences, parents and guardians were approached by Mrs. Zielinski requesting that the students in her classes get into the spirit of recognizing and documenting random acts of kindness.  These acts of kindness could be acts they have done themselves or have seen others do.  She asked for students to extend their random acts of kindness into our own Suffield community by bringing in items for either Suffield Emergency Aid Association or for our Annual Toys for Tots campaign organized by the National Honor Society each year.  The idea was to assist in teaching our students the intrinsic value of kindness and giving.  Below is a picture of the items that were collected.  Thank you for your generosity. 


Mrs. Zielinski also wishes to thank all of the students and families of room 214 for making our campaign to donate to The Network a huge success!   The Network assists families and individuals who have experienced domestic and partner violence, educates to promote healthy relationships, and advocates for safer communities. We were able to collect coats, hats, pajamas, mittens, scarves, sweaters, bags, shoes, art supplies, baking goods, and more.


These boxes have been packaged up and will be delivered the week of January 16, 2017!  A huge "thank you" not only goes out to the students and their families, but to Mrs. Stacey Salters and Mr. Bob Bissonnette for their tremendous contributions!


The students have come up with their next Random Acts of Kindness project and will collect any old towels and/or blankets that can be donated to the Suffield Dog Pound and the Dakin Humane Society.  Please dig into your closets and see what you have available for your child to bring in!  Any items you have can be dropped off in Mrs. Zielinski's room. 


Agriscience Update

 The beginning of a new semester has started at SHS. Our chapter keeps moving along by planning new events. Our most recent event was a chapter meeting held in the Large Animal Facility (LAF) on January 25, 2017. At this meeting our officer team covered the recent revisions of our chapter's constitution and bylaws. Every year this should be edited and revised to ensure a successful year, and to make sure that our meetings and overall programs run smoothly. Our next event coming up is Senior SAE Capstone Night. Capstone is a night where our seniors get to share Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) throughout their years in the Suffield Agriscience Program. Another event coming up soon is National FFA Week. This is a week where the students can express their love and passion for the FFA by having a different theme each day (dress like a farmer, official dress day, etc.). This is a fun week for the students to show their love of the program and have fun while doing so. To wrap up the week we will host a FFA dance. Lastly, a huge event coming up is our Agricultural Exposition (Ag Expo). This is a 2-day event that occurs every other year. The students, and Ag expo committee come together and plan an educational experience for kids who are interested in the program, or just people from the community that are interested in learning about the future of agriculture.

Fall CDE Competitions

Every season there are state-wide competitions for different niches in agriculture. These competitions are very important to the students because they practice for months in order to be ready to compete, hoping to go to a national level. This fall, we had multiple teams compete at UCONN on November 4. The teams that competed were: Livestock Evaluation, Poultry Evaluation, Dairy Foods Evaluation, Nursery Landscaping, Floriculture, and Horse Evaluation.


Suffield did incredibly well with two teams that came in first place.  Nursery landscaping with teammates Joey LaFlamme, Jackson Smith, Brooke Tillotson, and Lela Waite. The team worked very hard practicing their identification skills with different plants and tools. They also had to practice general knowledge about landscaping and compete in a team event while also demonstrating their use of a string trimmer. They were able to succeed with the help of their awesome coach Mrs. LaFlamme. The other team that will be competing at a national level is the Livestock Evaluation team with teammates Halie Shea, Robert Mueller, Morgan Blake, and Elizabeth Leighton. The team practiced general knowledge of breeding genetics and breed types of livestock.  They also competed in a team event and judged six livestock animals and presented two oral reasons to a judge as to why they placed the animals the way they did. They couldn't have done it without their coach Mrs. Oliver. Finally we had two students that placed in the top three individually. Brooke Tillotson placed 3rd in Nursery Landscape and Cadie Tronsky placed 1st in Poultry Evaluation. Congratulations everyone!

SAE Spotlights

A Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) is a huge part of being in the Agriscience Program. Every year the student must get at least 150 hours working with their project. Each month the teachers pick out three students that they think went above and beyond in their SAE that they want to share with everyone.

Elnara Beckett:


Elnara is a sophomore in Suffield who branched into plant science or vegetable production in her SAE. She works for Beckett farm where she helps produce various vegetable crops. She also goes to farmers' markets on the weekends to sell the produce and interact with the community.

Holly Tseka:


Holly is also a sophomore at Suffield whose SAE involved mechanics/robotics and marine science. Holly wants to be a marine engineer in the future and in order to accomplish that goal she participates in multiple robotics teams and is participating in the MaTTS program (Marine Technology for Teachers and Students). 

Dove Sinclair:


Dove is a senior at SHS and focuses on natural resources and underwater photography. She is passionate about the environment and climate change. She is working to get her scuba diving certification.  Her ultimate goal is to take underwater photos to sell and educate the public about environmental concerns. Dove has traveled as far as Alaska to take photos.

Kayla Daley:

Kayla is a senior this year in the Agriscience Program and for the past several years has worked hard to get approval, create and run a community garden in Windsor Locks. Kayla got inspiration for this project when she volunteered at a food bank and realized people weren't getting any fresh produce. Now, each year Kayla plants numerous vegetable and fruit species to donate to people in need. 

New Agriscience Sign

Mrs. LaFlamme's landscape class helped to install the new Agriscience sign in front of the Agriscience after school entrance.  The class is in the process of developing a new landscape around the sign as well as developing a proposal for the school entrance. 


Congratulations to Lela Waite who was elected into the Historian position of the Suffield Regional chapter officer team.

Art Times @ Suffield High

Mr. Tim Kudrle's Graphic classes have been finishing up their linoleum print illustrations.  Each student picked a passage from a famous book and created a unique illustration using the relief print-making method in linoleum block.  Afterwards, the students worked on the computer to edit and add text to the image to create the final illustration.  Relief printing is a type of print-making similar to woodblock.  The ink sits on top of the plate, meaning everything that you see that is white was carved away.   


Ms. Kerri Michaud-Bagley's ceramic classes learned about the traditional Native American Pueblo Pottery process.  This traditional method is passed down through the generations and is done completely from scratch.  There is no modern technology or electricity involved.  The clay is mined in pits near their home and mixed to the correct consistency.  They use the coil method to build each vessel by hand.  Tools, brushes and under glaze colors are all handmade as well.  To fire the clay they use dry cow dung patties to cover the pottery and start a fire.  The pottery making process is very spiritual to them and they say prayers while gathering the clay, building and firing process.  Their pottery is adorned with symbols and images important in their culture.


Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Meeting

The next PAC meeting will take place at Suffield High School in the Commons on February 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


©2016 Suffield Public Schools
350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
Phone: 860-668-3800 (Central Office)

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