BHCC Names New Dean of Workforce and Economic Development

BHCC Names New Dean of Workforce and Economic Development

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) appointed Kristen P. McKenna as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development. In this role, McKenna will oversee corporate learning and development and community education programs at the College. The renamed Division of Workforce and Economic Development supports area businesses and community based agencies with career pathway building, customized training and individualized support to grow workforce and economic development for the greater Boston metro area.

McKenna possesses over 20 years of professional implementation, management and policy development experience in higher education, workforce development, nonprofit and government funded programs. She has held senior leadership positions focused on program improvement, enrollment and the development of industry supported training for workforce development at River Valley Community College in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Working with the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board and the Institute for Labor Studies and Research, McKenna has also implemented a number of projects designed to accelerate credential attainment with technology-based solutions. She’ll bring expertise to the College’s workforce development initiatives and the development of non-credit to credit career pathways.

The Greater Boston community has come to rely on BHCC’s community education programs for English language instruction, test preparation, continuing education and international learning programs. In the 2018 academic year, over 2500 students enrolled in customized training, community education and adult basic education at the College. With a focused commitment on workforce and economic development, BHCC will expand access and equity with additional course development and innovative pathways development so all community members have options and flexibility in a supported environment.

The division is working with partners like Facebook to offer future opportunities that will support local entrepreneurs with workshops on social media marketing and more.

McKenna holds a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Higher Education Administration from Eastern Nazarene College, a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island College. To learn more about BHCC’s Workforce and Economic Development program and to view the courses that are offered visit bhcc.edu/ce.

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Appreciation:Remembering Frankie Bernard, Who Had a Gift for Art and a Gusto for Life

Appreciation:Remembering Frankie Bernard, Who Had a Gift for Art and a Gusto for Life

Frankie Bernard was an inspiration to all, a man who never let his physical challenges deter him from his pursuits in

Frankie Bernard was a noted newspaper cartoonist and caricaturist whose artwork was enjoyed by many people.

life. With the support of a loving family and friends who enjoyed being in his presence, Frankie lived each day to its fullest.

Born with Spina Bifida, Frankie graduated from Chelsea High School in 1986 and attended the Massachusetts College of Art. He became an accomplished cartoonist and caricaturist, delighting readers on the pages of the Chelsea Record and its sister publications with his creativity and keen sense of humor.

He brought joy to visitors to Faneuil Hall Marketplace with his caricatures and taught others the craft of art and to appreciate it while serving as an instructor at Bunker Hill College and in school programs in Chelsea. Through social media, he developed friendships with other artists all over the country.

Francis J. ‘Frankie’ Bernard Jr., son of Mary L. (Manning) Bernard and the late Francis J. Bernard Sr., died on Dec. 18 after a brief illness. Frankie was 51.

“The most important thing I would want people to know is how strong he was, what he endured, and he just took it with a grain of salt,” said his sister, Maureen Bernard Jurgelewicz. “The hospitalizations, the procedures, and the tests, things most people couldn’t endure, Frankie met them head on as a fact of life.

“Interestingly enough, they told my mother that Frankie would live to be about 2 years old, so he defied that by a lot,” said Maureen. “He surprised the doctors with surviving and flourishing.”

And he did flourish, demonstrating an early gift of proficiency in art and caricatures. “That came out pretty much when he was a toddler – he was able to draw and he could pick up any song and play it on the keyboards, even though he never had lessons,” said Maureen. “You could see he had that gift at a young age. He was very artistic.”

Maureen recalled how Frankie would engage in recreational activities with the other children on Gardner Street and in the neighborhood, participating regularly in games like kickball and kick the can.

“He would try to keep up with us and he could,” said Maureen.

She describes her mother, Mary Bernard, as “an angel,” who devoted her whole life to Frankie with her care, her uplifting manner, and her kindness.

“Frankie and I had a good relationship, sometimes I was like a second mom to him, though he didn’t always like that too much,” said Maureen. “We did a lot together,  the past two years especially.”

Maureen said her brother loved Chelsea. “I tried to get him to move closer to me, but he wouldn’t budge – he loved everything about Chelsea. He loved his Chelsea friends.”

Sean Richards was one of Frankie’s closest friends, according to Maureen.

It was Maureen who wrote the beautiful eulogy that was delivered by Frankie’s nephew, Michael Bernard Jr., at the funeral Mass Dec. 22 at Our Lady of Grace Church.

Following is the eulogy:

Eulogy for Frankie

Love can cure your problems/You’re so lucky I’m around/Let my love open the door.

These are the lyrics to one of Frankie’s favorite songs from one of his favorite bands. They seem so fitting today as we pay tribute to our beloved friend, uncle, brother and son Frankie.

We love your strength and hope Frankie. Your Chelsea-strong fighting spirit. You showed us that strength means never giving up in the face of another hospital stay, another surgery or another social rejection. Your hope was for a better new day, each day, and that never waivered.

Frankie, we love that God blessed you with the gift of art. You loved to draw your caricatures and cartoons. It was your passion and profession. Other than a big tip or paycheck, you liked nothing more than to make people smile with your caricatures.

We loved your gusto for life. It was there as a kid playing kick-the-can on Gardner and Parker. Always keeping up with the neighborhood kids. It was there for concerts and karaoke as an adult. For attending your beloved Celtics and Red Sox games.  You were always ready, willing and able to pursue a good time.

Frankie we love that you were a great friend. You loved nothing more than spending time with your friends.  From your friends awakening you from hospice care in the ICU to meeting you at the PPC or the Brown Jug, you cherished each and every moment with them.

We love your love for family. As an Uncle, Brother and Son you have taught us so much. You gifted us with the lessons of patience and perseverance. You were a living example of never sweating the small stuff. You and Mom were a living example of dedication and truly unconditional love.  This love was truly the best medicine of all.

We were so lucky you were around.

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State Athletics Organization Honors Chelsea High Senior Yarid Deras

State Athletics Organization Honors Chelsea High Senior Yarid Deras

Cross Country standout Yarid Deras may not talk much about her achievements, but the senior Chelsea High scholar-athlete has plenty of others to tout her accomplishments.

Aside from her coaches and Athletic Director Amanda Alpert, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has also honored her.

On Nov. 14, at the MIAA Recognition Breakfast, Deras was named the Commonwealth Athletic Conference’s Female award recipient. It’s an honor she will add to being the upper division league MVP this year in Cross Country.

“It’s very surprising to me how fast four years have gone,” she said. “I didn’t start running until my freshman year. It was the first thing I really did my freshman year. I didn’t really think I would enjoy it. I enjoyed the team and not so much the running. The summer after my freshman year, something happened and I really learned to love the sport for what it is. I will definitely continue running after high school, maybe for a club team in college.”

Deras’s coach, Don Fay, had nothing but good things to say for his senior leader and league MVP.

“I have coached Yarid for the last four years,” he said. “She is one of the most impressive young ladies I have ever met.  Extremely smart, hard-working and competitive. She never misses practice, and never complains. Yarid is a truly nice, genuine person.”

Alpert said Deras is soft-spoken and very humble, always the last person to talk about any of her achievements.

Deras said the team is small, with about eight girls, but they are very competitive. She said over the years she has learned to be a leader, but that may not always come vocally.

“I think I don’t really lead vocally,” she said. “I don’t say much, but I think I lead by example. I don’t do much with words, but I set the example for the younger runners on my team. That’s how they have come to respect me as a leader.”

Even though she was this year’s league MVP, Deras said the highlight of her Cross Country career was last year when the team won the league meet and went undefeated for the entire season. Her sophomore year, she also won the league MVP and turned in an excellent 21.04 time in the 5K.

As a senior, she still has outdoor track to look forward to, and the Chelsea girls are also very strong in that sport as well. She said she will run the one-mile and two-mile races for the team.

She is currently looking at several colleges, including Smith College and Providence College.

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Baker Visits CHS

Baker Visits CHS

Supt. Mary Bourque explaining CHS’s five-year vision during a panel discussion and visit from Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration last Weds., Sept. 5. Baker came to CHS to review and hear about Chelsea’s innovative college credit program in association with Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC).

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BHCC Receives $2.4M in Private Grant Funding

BHCC Receives $2.4M in Private Grant Funding

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation awarded $2.4 million to Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) to establish the Early College program at BHCC, marking the largest private grant awarded in the College’s history.

The announcement was made in Chelsea Wednesday afternoon at an event celebrating the early college designation to Chelsea High School’s Early College program by the Baker-Polito Administration. Board Members from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation joined Governor Charlie Baker to see firsthand the impact of Early College. At the event, Governor Baker and the legislators in attendance heard from four Chelsea High School students who shared how their experiences in the program influenced their decision to pursue a college-level program.

  • Transformation to a Consolidated Early College Model

The funding from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation allows BHCC to consolidate its Early College efforts into a core model that anticipates growth in scale and performance, as well as distillation and dissemination of its promising practices to the field. The $2.4 million grant covers a three-year project horizon, and will serve more than 500 high school students, coming from a portfolio of partnerships with high school and community-based organizations in Greater Boston.

“We are so thankful to the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation for this extraordinary grant. It allows us to consolidate and scale our early work, to gather data and evidence of success and to make a strong case to the leaders of the Commonwealth that Early College is a viable and scalable solution to talent and economic development,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger.

An early adopter of Early College, BHCC currently collaborates with seven high schools and community-based organizations, serving nearly 500 early college students in addition to almost 400 participants in dual enrollment. Increasing demand and initial successes with traditionally underserved students and the potential for greater educational equity and student achievement pressed the College to consolidate the Early College efforts into a core model and make it central to the College’s Mission. The grant supports the Early College effort exactly at this important inflection point and gives the College the financial and structural lift to reach the next level of success.

“The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is pleased to be partnering with one of the Commonwealth’s leading community colleges to bring a transformative model proven in other states to Greater Boston. By bridging high school and college experiences, Early College will help many students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and enjoy the benefits of the Commonwealth’s strong economy,” said Lynne Doblin, Executive Director of The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

  • Early College: A Cross-Segment Convergence in Education Strategy

This important work signals a convergence of new thinking from education leaders and policymakers around the State.

“An important goal of the Early College program is exposing students to college-level work while they are still in high school so they can envision themselves on a track toward a college degree,” said Governor Baker at Wednesday’s event. “The college-level experience, combined with the credits they earn in the courses, sets many students up for success by the time they arrive on a campus.”

The Secretary of Education, the Board of Higher Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education all support the effort to recognize Early College work by awarding designations to strong partnerships around the Commonwealth, with the promise of sustainable funding in the near future. These designations, of which BHCC is a part, will stimulate experimentation, document effective practice and demonstrate impact.

The standard-setting work of BHCC’s Early College will be a powerful proof point, and the data to be gathered over the next three years will provide strong evidence as to the efficacy of Early College as a way to increase high school graduation and college completion and broaden career exploration.

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New School Leader:Lex Mathews Begins as CHS Principal

New School Leader:Lex Mathews Begins as CHS Principal

Alexander “Lex” Mathews was seen enthusiastically welcoming Chelsea High School students on their first day of

Lex Mathews, new principal of Chelsea High School, is pictured in front of the school sign.

school this week. That personable approach is an indicator of the accessible manner he will bring to his new position of principal.

Mathews, 49, also brings elite academic credentials to the principal’s office, having graduated from prestigious prep school Milton Academy and earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and advanced degrees from Harvard University, and Hunter College in New York City.

Mathews began officially on July 1, succeeding Priti Johari, who is now an assistant superintendent of Chelsea schools. His administrative team at CHS includes Assistant Principals Linda Barber, Kim Murphy, Mark Martineau, and Magali Oldander, ELL Coordinator Deidre Collins, and Special Education Coordinators Alan Beausoleil and Daymon Peykar.

Originally from Alaska and California, Mathews previously served in school principal and assistant principal positions in Somerville, South Boston, Somerville, and the Bronx in New York City. He has 23 years of experience in the field of education.

Mathews will be in charge of the day-to-day operations at Chelsea High which has approximately 1,500 students.

“I strongly believe in teamwork and the idea that every employee in the school matters tremendously to students,” said Mathews. “The principal may seem like a really important person, but to some students, there’s a paraprofessional that matters a lot more than the principal. To some families, there’s a teacher that matters a whole lot more.”

Mathews also believes that for Chelsea High School to be successful, “we have to be able to work together.”

He will expect administrators to be in the hallways  “making connections, building community and raising expectations.”

Mathews organized a freshman class trip to Tufts University this summer. “The goal was to get them thinking about college in the ninth grade, instead of waiting for tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade, because by that time, if you have a bad grade point average, it’s hard to recover,” said Mathews, who is married and has three children.

He is excited to be working with Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque and the faculty and staff at CHS.

“Dr. Bourque has been supportive, inspirational, accessible – just extremely helpful,” said Mathews. “The other employees have also been inspiring and helpful and all are seeking to make an improvement in the school. I also look forward to any opportunities to meet with members of the community.”

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It’s Time to Update Your Child’s Health Information

It’s Time to Update Your Child’s Health Information

Book bags are replacing beach totes as it quickly becomes time for students to go back to school. Organizing your child’s health information, keeping current with doctor’s appointments and planning for emergency scenarios should be part of every parent’s seasonal routine, the nation’s emergency doctors say.

“We all know about reading, writing and arithmetic. Let’s consider adding a fourth ‘R’ for parents – establishing routine healthy behaviors,” said Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). “Now is the perfect time to catch up on doctor visits and update your child’s health information. Taking these actions, before an emergency occurs, can help avoid a trip to the ER and possibly save your child’s life.”

Some back to school action items:

  • Organize your child’s medical history records and emergency medical contact information.
  • Complete a consent-to-treat form. The form authorizes medical treatment and you should give copies to the school nurse and any day care providers. List prescription medications, medical problems, previous surgeries and pertinent family history. Be sure to update your emergency contact information. Free forms can be downloaded at http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/Be-Prepared/Organize-Your-Important-Medical-Information/.
  • Work with your school nurse and appropriate care providers to develop action plans for health issues such as asthma or food allergies. Has your child been screened for allergies? Are all vaccines and immunizations current?
  • Schedule medical and dental check-ups before school starts or as soon as possible. In addition to a routine physical examination, consider vision and hearing tests, since impairment can adversely affect learning. Consider a sports check-up if your child participates in athletics.
  • If your child walks to school or to a bus stop, review the route with them. Be sure to point out traffic dangers or other potential hazards. For bus riders, establish a safe and clearly visible pick up/drop off spot, preferably with a group of children.
  • If your child drives to school, make sure he or she obeys all laws and wear seatbelts. Don’t text and drive!
  • Make sure your child knows how to call for help in an emergency. Emergency contact numbers should be visible right next to every telephone in your home. Encourage your child to learn when to call 911 and give their name, address and a brief description of the problem.

Avoiding backpacks that are too heavy can prevent back and shoulder injuries. And, packing healthy lunches will help your child develop eating habits that ward off obesity, which contributes to a host of emergency and chronic conditions later in life. Try to encourage a consistent sleep schedule, especially for teens.

More health and safety tips are available at www.emergencycareforyou.org.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

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The Trucks Stop Here:Chelsea Food Truck Festival Scheduled for Aug 14-16

The Trucks Stop Here:Chelsea Food Truck Festival Scheduled for Aug 14-16

What better way to introduce the new ordinance allowing food trucks in the city than with a Chelsea Food Truck

City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher (left) and City Hall summer
intern Katherine Cabral invite Chelsea residents to attend the first-ever Chelsea Food Truck Festival Aug. 14-16 at the Williams School parking lot.

Festival?

That’s the path that City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher and City Hall summer intern Katherine Cabral are taking with the city’s first food truck festival that will be held on Aug. 14-16 (Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) at the Williams Middle School parking lot at the corner of Arlington and Fifth Streets.

Watson Fisher, head of the Law Department for the city and a graduate of one of the nation’s finest law schools (Boston College), is the chief organizer, while Cabral, a CHS graduate and student at Bates College, is in charge of marketing for the organizing team.

Watson Fisher, who also supervises licenses in Chelsea, drafted the food-truck ordinance, which took one year to develop and gain approval.

“We’re trying with this festival to show that there is a customer base and market for food trucks in Chelsea,” said Watson Fisher. “We also want to get the food trucks here as an event for employees of City Hall. The Williams School is a good location for City Hall employees and other people who also work in the city during the day.”

Several employees from city departments, including licensing, law, DPW, inspectional services, schools, city manager’s office, will be in attendance and interact with the community at the festival.

Representatives from the National Institute of Justice will be conducting a survey at the festival. The Hubcats, which promotes the well-being of cats, will have an information table. The Archery, Limebikes, and Carter Park Crossfit are among the local businesses participating in the festival. There will be music and a possible appearance of the Chelsea Police “Copsicle” truck.

Attendees will have a wide of variety foods available for purchase, according to Watson Fisher.

“We’ll have a Chilean food truck, a Vietnamese food truck, a gluten-free, vegan truck, an American barbecue truck, as well as tacos, sausages, hot dogs, and hamburgers, and desserts,” said Watson Fisher.

Cabral said the festival will help determine which type of food trucks might be popular if the trucks were stationed here on a daily basis.

“We’re bringing in a big variety of food trucks to see what the people want going forward and whether the food truck operators are interested in collaborating with Chelsea,” said Cabral.

Though Watson Fisher is ready to review applications for food truck licenses and to potentially grant them, there are no food trucks currently operating in the city.

“We have allowed food trucks at certain events,” said Watson Fisher. “But at this point there are no food trucks operating in the city.”

Cabral believes the festival will ignite an interest in food trucks wanting to set up shop in the city.

“We really do want this event to be a springboard for food trucks to come to Chelsea and to expose our dayworkers to see this an opportunity to try new things, so we’re super excited to hold such a multi-faceted event in our city,” said Cabral.

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Encore Boston Harbor Begins Monthly Job Clinics at Collaborative

Encore Boston Harbor Begins Monthly Job Clinics at Collaborative

Encore Boston Harbor and the Chelsea Collaborative started the first of many monthly job fairs last Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Collaborative’s Broadway headquarters.

The Collaborative’s Sylvia Ramirez said they want to make sure Chelsea residents can benefit from the 4,000 full-time casino jobs that are coming in June 2019, and time is of the essence.

She said Encore will begin coming to the Collaborative to discuss and assist potential applicants with the process. The first such meeting came last Thursday, and Ramirez said the next one will be Aug. 30.

“The Collaborative has a workforce development department and we are trying to forge partnerships for financial sustainability and better jobs,” she said. “We are collaborating with businesses around the community. It also has a lot to do with the casino. We want to teach career readiness so they can be prepared when the jobs come down the pipeline.”

Ramirez said the casino is going to affect Chelsea as much as it will Everett and Charlestown, and with that in mind, she said residents should be ready for the jobs that will be coming very soon. She also said Chelsea is falling behind, and now is the time to get ahold of the opportunities.

“This is the beginning of the conversation,” she said. “I don’t want to be behind on this. I think Everett is so far ahead of us with the Everett United organization. We need a coalition as well. We don’t know what it’s called, but we need to set goals and metrics to advocate for our Chelsea residents. Everett doesn’t have 4,500 people available to hire.”

By bringing in representatives from Encore once a month, Ramirez said it ensures that the company will commit to Chelsea. The city does have preference in line with Boston and Cambridge. Only Everett and Malden come ahead of Chelsea.

“We want to make sure they really commit to us and give some opportunities to our people. Just because some of our people in Chelsea have limited language, it doesn’t mean they can’t do a job there.”

Representatives from Encore will be able to help residents one-on-one in English and Spanish. They will be able to define the jobs that are available and what one needs to do to qualify for those jobs. Likewise, they will be discussing the new “dealer school” that is about to start at Cambridge College in Charlestown. The six-week course will begin in the fall, with applications coming soon.

Meanwhile, Ramirez said the casino jobs Ð whether in the gaming area or in non-gaming functions Ð can provide a better income to help solve the rising housing costs in the city.

“Anyone who lives in Chelsea, they pay $1,500 in rent now and they’ll likely be paying $2,500 in the next few years,” she said. “ How can they keep up? They need to stay in the city and have jobs like these that pay well.”

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Gallery Opening

Gallery Opening

John Winam points himself out in one of Arnie Jarmak’s historic Chelsea Record photographs during the opening reception for Gallery 456 on Monday, July 16. The show was the first for the City-sponsored gallery in the old Salvation Army Store. Jarmak was a staff photographer for the Record in the 1970s and captured thousands of images of the city and its people. His show will be displayed at Boston College later this year, but will remain in Chelsea through September.

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