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Oral History Project

The Cheshire Academy Oral History Project is a collection of interviews conducted by Jenna Denomme ’19 with alumni from various points in the Academy’s history. They discuss their experience at Cheshire Academy, along with the skills and life lessons they learned along the way. Thank you to Joe Calabro ’71, Jason Curry ’91, Danielle Landry ’15, Suhi Koizumi ’15, and Praveen Savalgi ’06 for participating in this project.

 

Joe Calabro ’71

 

In this interview, Joe Calabro, who attended the Academy from 1967 to 1971, talks about the unique factors of the Academy that drew him to it, such as the depth and intellectual rigor of the classes and the diverse, tight-knit community. He also discusses the engaging, personalized teaching methods of some of his favorite teachers; the many school clubs and organizations he participated in (including some he founded); and what the campus culture was like in his time, and how it was affected by events such as the Vietnam War and the re-introduction of young women to the school.

 

His takeaway from his Cheshire experience, a lesson he hopes current and prospective CA students take to heart, is to look for and take advantage of all the opportunities life provides.

 

“Life is opportunity.”

 

Jason Curry ’91

 

In this interview, Jason Curry, Class of 1991, talks about the large positive impact his one year at Cheshire Academy had on him. He highlights in particular the close bonds he forged with his basketball teammates and Horton floormates, and playing in the Class A level of the New England Prep School Division. He also discusses the remarkable academic turnaround he achieved at CA, as well as some of the events and elements of campus culture that stick out in his memory.

 

“Even though there are some new buildings on campus, the feeling is still the same… that’s why it still feels like home to me.”

 

Danielle Landry ’15

 

In this interview, Danielle Landry, Class of 2015, talks about what it was like to attend CA through both middle and high school. She discusses several elements of her experience, including IB courses, playing sports on teams with students from eighth to 12th grade, serving as an admission ambassador, school traditions like Spring Fling, and the college counseling process. She also talks about how the connections she made and life skills she learned at the Academy have carried through to the present, and the ways in which the school has changed, but also stayed the same.

 

Suhi Koizumi ’96

 

In this interview, Suhi Koizumi, Class of 1996, talks about what it was like to come to the U.S. for the first time as a high school student and be a boarding student at Cheshire Academy. Some of the highlights of her experience were the structure and discipline CA provided, the ready access to help from faculty and staff, history classes with Mr. Rogers, music lessons, her participation in volleyball and theater, the Academy’s 200th year anniversary celebration, and the overall welcoming and supportive environment.

 

“Cheshire is such a special place. Everyone wants to help you. All you have to do is ask for that help.”

 

Praveen Savalgi ’06

 

In this interview, Praveen Savalgi, Class of 2006 and current member of the Board of Trustees, talks about the interconnectedness of the CA community and the many opportunities he as a student was given to contribute to it. This includes examples such as using skills learned in a music class to do recordings for student bands and the literary magazine, re-founding the Key Club (a community service organization), participating in student discussions with faculty about potential changes to the dress code, and even an occasion where his cross country team paused their practice to help some of their Cheshire neighbors change a flat tire. He also discusses how the Academy further developed his interest in computer science, preparing him for college and his career.

 

“Sometimes there isn’t a path to get to where you want to be; and if you’re in a supportive community, you can just go ahead and do it.”