Throughout his time at Cheshire Academy, Senior Class President Russell Tevie ’20 has had his doubts about his enrollment.
As a native of Ghana, Tevie was initially challenged by the academic requirements demanded by the college-preparatory school. He admits that returning to his home country had crossed his mind.
Whenever those doubts began to surface, however, his support system of friends, faculty, and staff helped ease his concerns until he became comfortable at the Academy. Tevie later joined the boys’ soccer team and, in May, was elected class president.
Tevie shared his story of the past three years at Cheshire Academy before his classmates, faculty, staff, parents, and guests during the annual Convocation ceremony, held on Thursday, Sept. 5.
With his final year ahead of him, Tevie offered his classmates some advice for when negative thoughts and doubts cross their minds.
“Consider your journey at Cheshire Academy to be similar to climbing up a mountain,” stated Tevie. “The trail up is steep and seems relentless. When you get to the top and witness the breathtaking scenery around you, you realize how worthwhile your efforts were.”
Tevie continued, “To those of you who are new and far from home, I say homesickness is real, but it gets better—just give it some time. To those of you who have been here before, expand your friend groups, reach out to faculty when you need help but, most of all, recognize they are part of an amazing family here at Cheshire Academy. Don’t stop climbing the mountain until you’ve reached that beautiful view at the top.”
Head of School Julie Anderson P ’19, ’23 welcomed 130 new students to the Academy, comprised of 344 students hailing from 19 different states and 24 countries. With such a diverse campus, Anderson said students will likely question how they can fit in. Cheshire Academy, she continued, is not about fitting in, but belonging.
“You now belong to a community where you will find challenge, encouragement, support, guidance, and love and, from this day forward, you are bigger than yourself,” she said.
Anderson continued by saying that all Cheshire Academy students have the power to make choices, uplift themselves and others, and be optimistic and spread positivity.
“The power to be positive is yours,” Anderson said. “You have a voice and you have power—it’s up to you to choose how to use that power. I know this might seem daunting, but I trust you, I believe in all of you, and I support you. I cannot wait to see what you will do, how you will impact others, and what you will achieve.”
Chief Academic Officer Laura Longacre reflected on the word “margin,” defined as the edge or border of something, such as text on a page. While margins can be used to annotate or revise, Longacre suggested students use margins in their own lives by creating intentional space and time to be present.
“Our world is more and more connected,” stated Longacre. “Information moves quickly to and from us. Do we allow ourselves margin to think about the information that we encounter ... Do we provide ourselves with margins to slow down and appreciate our connections with others?”
Longacre concluded by proposing a challenge for all students: “This year, I invite you to live with margin. Reflect, be bold, and be intentional with your time and thinking.”