Vanesa Perea, who enrolled at Excel Academy
East Boston in the fifth grade and graduated from Excel Academy High School in
June, will begin her studies at Harvard University as a member of the incoming
Class of 2023.
Admission to the world’s most prestigious college culminated an eight-year journey of educational enrichment and academic achievement for high honor roll student Vanesa Perea at the Excel charter schools, whose mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.
Excel Academy High School graduate Vanesa Perea of Chelsea will be attending Ivy League school Harvard University in Cambridge
Perea, whose parents, Jose Perea and Luz
Piedrahita, are originally from Colombia, was a shining example as a member of
the first graduating class at Excel,
which opened its new high school on Bremen Street in East Boston at the beginning
of her sophomore year.
She attended the Kelly School in Chelsea
through grade four before entering Excel in the fifth grade.
Many accomplishments and school activities at Excel
Excel does not select a class valedictorian
or have an academic ranking system, but Vanesa’s achievements in all aspects of
school life speak for themselves.
She had an outstanding grade point average
and received a number of academic honors
including the school’s Mathematics Award and National Honor Society Award. She
was treasurer of the National Honor Society.
This year Vanesa took Advanced Placement
courses in Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, and Literature and
Composition. Other AP courses were taken in Language and Composition, U.S.
History, Biology, Spanish, and World History in her two prior academic years.
“I like STEM,” said Vanessa, explaining the
concentration of courses in science and mathematics.
Vanesa also took her talents to the athletic
fields where she competed in varsity soccer and served as team captain for two
seasons. She was also a member of the Excel track team.
of her most recognized accomplishments was founding the school newspaper, “The
Howler,” and serving as editor of the publication. The school presented a
graduation award named in honor of Vanesa and her classmate, Evelyn Rodriguez,
the other co-founder of the newspaper. That award went to the newspaper’s
She was the backstage director for the Music
Club and served on the Student Council for two years.
Vanesa also volunteers as an English tutor for
immigrants at a center in East Boston.
Receiving the acceptance letter from Harvard
Vanesa applied to Harvard in its Restrictive
Early Action program. She received notification of her acceptance in December.
“December 13,” said Vanesa, recalling the
day she learned that the next stop in her career would be in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. “I was very excited. I called my mom and I said, ‘Mom, I did
She had enjoyed the positive learning
experiences at the Crimson Summer Academy and the summer classes at Harvard she
took last summer in Introduction to Biomedical Ethics and Expository Writing.
She is considering a major in Biology,
Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Economics at Harvard.
“I’m going to explore a little and see which
field of study I really like so that I can end up doing something that I’m
passionate about,” related Vanesa, who may pursue a pre-medical school path or
a future career in consulting. She has received a full scholarship from Harvard.
Praise for her teachers and college counselor
Vanesa said she was grateful to the teachers
at Excel, particularly her junior-year Mathematics teacher, Sarah Hafele.
“Ms. Hafele is a lot like me – I really love
math and she shares that passion,” said Vanesa. “I like math tutoring so I
asked her if I could tutor some of her math students. During my senior year we
started a math tutoring, honors pre-calculus program which went really well.
She’s a very kind person.”
Vanesa also credited Excel counselor Nicole
Repp for her assistance and guidance in the college application process (Vanesa
was also accepted in to the UMass/Amherst honors program).
“Ms. Repp began advising me in my junior
year and working on essay preparation and she was very helpful,” said Vanesa.
This summer, Vanesa is teaching Mathematics
at the Excel Academy summer program in Chelsea.
Support and encouragement from CSC member
One of Vanesa’s proud supporters at Excel is
schoolteacher Kelly Garcia, a Latina member of the Chelsea School Committee
“I heard Vanesa’s story and I wanted to let
the people know – she’s from Chelsea and she makes us all proud,” said Garcia.
“There are many obstacles against us, but she is one that is breaking all
barriers and stereotypes and I want her to be celebrated and recognized in her
beautiful city of Chelsea.”
Garcia said she hopes Vanesa’s success story
as the daughter of immigrants “will
inspire students to keep working hard and know that anything is possible if you
put your mind to it.”
Gratitude to her parents
Vanesa’s father, Jose, is a driver for a
senior center while her mother, Luz, is a teaching assistant at an early
childhood learning center.
“My parents have set a great example for me
with their hard work,” said Vanesa. “They are my motivation.”
Another positive role model is her older
brother, Jhonatan, a Chelsea High School graduate who just received his degree
in Biology from Boston University. He works at the Boston Medical Center.
“Jhonatan set a very good example,” lauded Vanesa.
“I never knew the extent of how good a role model he was until I went through
my own college process and realized how incredible a school Boston University
is. He accomplished it first and I want to be like him.”
Looking back at
her career in the Excel system, Vanessa said, “I’m very happy I attended Excel.
It’s been a great experience. The people at Excel inspired me to pursue my
Chelsea Soldiers’ Home awarded $100 million to
Mario Zullo of Chelsea, passed away September 30 surrounded by his loving family. He was 90 years old.
Mario was the late owner of Park Street Dry Cleaners Chelsea and a US Navy veteran of World War II.
The beloved husband of the late Elena (Cianfrocca) Zullo, he was the loving father of Judith Festa and her husband, William “Chuck” and Diane Zullo all of Peabody; cherished grandfather of Alana Rikeman and her husband, Joseph and Giana Festa and her wife, Vanessa Spatafora and Joseph Breda; dear brother of Barbara Libby of Chelsea and the late Elizabeth Sophia, Carmen, Felix, Anthony, Joseph, John, James, Michael, Christopher, and Jerry Zullo. He is also lovingly survived by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Vazza’s “Beechwood” Funeral Home, Revere. Entombment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. For guest book www.vazzafunerals.com
Edward Joseph Kelly, II
Businessman and investor
Edward Joseph Kelly, II, devoted husband, granddad and uncle, passed away peacefully at his home in Melrose, on Sunday, October 2. He was 86 years old.
Ed was born and raised on Eleanor Street in Chelsea. He earned a B.S. from Northeastern University through the co-op program and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A talented businessman and investor, he spent much of his career at Courier Corporation, a printer and publisher in Lowell. However, his greatest interest was in high technology and started his career at Transitron Corporation in Wakefield and spent the last decade of his career working closely with Dr. Richard S. Post and the talented team at ASTeX Technology Ltd., a provider of power supplies for the semiconductor industry.
Ed was a hard worker and friendly colleague. He could tell a good joke and loved to laugh and he always answered his phone with a cheerful, “Ed Kelly!”
He also was a loving son and admired his mother, Marcella. He proudly held her out to his children as an example of a loving parent and capable businesswoman, succeeding without much formal education. Ed credited his mother for his appreciation of education and was always grateful to his sister, Alice for typing his papers.
He married Anne Costello, a teacher from Winchester, in 1959. Together they raised their family in Melrose and enjoyed many holidays and gatherings. Once their children were grown Ed and Anne enjoyed learning and traveling with Elderhostel, going places near and far including Russia, Japan and Greece. His tenacity and his devotion to Anne and family are evidenced in part by living cheerfully for 13 years after a stroke prevented him from further work and travel. Ed couldn’t have stayed in his cherished home of 58 years without the devotion of his wife and the kind assistance of many caregivers to whom the family is deeply grateful.
Ed is survived by his loving wife, Anne (Costello), his daughter Anne Byerly and her husband, Keith of San Luis Obispo, CA, son Edward Kelly and his wife, Kathleen of Wellesley, and daughter, Joan McNeil and her husband, Jeff of Wyomissing, PA. His eight grandchildren include: Michael, Daniel and Elizabeth Byerly; John, Brian and Megan Kelly; and Abigail and Benjamin McNeil. He is also survived by his sister, Alice Conlon and her husband, Joseph and his nieces Patty, Mary, Cathy and Jay and his nephews Billy and Joe. He was predeceased by his parents, Marcella (Van Grocki) and Edward J. Kelly, sister-in-law Margaret Costello and brothers-in-law William Costello and Rev. Robert Costello.
Visiting hours will be held at the Lane Funeral Home, 760 Main St. (Rt. 38), Winchester today, Thursday, October 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment at Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester will follow the Funeral Mass of Christian burial to be celebrated at 11a.m on Friday, October 7 at St. Mary’s in Winchester. In lieu of flowers, donations in Edward’s memory may be made to the The Salvation Army—Donation Processing,1215 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids MI 49503. For online condolences, please visit: www.lanefuneral.com.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Mitchell ‘Mitch’ Noveska
Avid Red Sox fan and award winning Project Triangle retiree
Mitchell F. “Mitch” Noveska of Cambridge, formerly of Chelsea, passed away on Sunday, October 2 in the peaceful surroundings of his Cambridge home. He was 84 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, he was one of eight children born to the late Mitchell and Genevieve (Pawelczyk) Noveska. Mitchell lived his life with the challenges of cerebral palsy. At the age of five, he was enrolled at the Walter E. Fernald School in Waltham. While in residence at the Fernald School he was proficient in the craft of chair caning and other handicrafts.
Having left the Fernald School in the mid 70’s, he resided for a short time in a group home. Shortly thereafter he embarked on living independently in Cambridge. He supported himself working at Project Triangle in Malden. During his term of employmen,t he was the recipient of The Spirit Award and received recognition as the Employee of the Week. He retired at age 65 after 30 plus years of employment at Project Triangle. The sentiment “To know him is to love him” was repeated many times by the caregivers and nurses who attended to his life’s needs.
In his lifetime, Mitch enjoyed playing cards, listening to country music, following the Red Sox on TV and attending games at Fenway Park. An avid fan he fondly remembers the times he met players like; Ted Williams, Luis Tiant and Nomar Garciaparra.
In addition to his parents Mitch was preceded in death by his four brothers; Chester “Al” Noveska, Carl Noveska, John Noveska and William Noveska. He is survived by his three sisters; Mary Dodge of Woburn, June Wangrocki of Saugus and Genevieve Racki of Lynn, He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
His Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Friday October 7 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St. Chelsea at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m
John Kanarkiewicz, Jr.
Retired Chelsea Fire Department Lieutenant
John H. Kanarkiewicz, Jr. Chelsea Fire Department Lieutenant (ret) passed away with family members at his bedside on Wednesday afternoon, September 28 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a long battle with overwhelming illness. He was 56 years old.
Born in Everett, he was a lifelong resident of Chelsea. He was one of three children born to Sophie T. (Domoretsky) Kanarkiewicz and recently departed Chelsea Firefighter, John H. Kanarkiewicz, Sr. Young John attended school at Our Lady of Grace Parochial School and later graduated from Pope John XXIII High School in Everett. He worked briefly in various jobs while he pursued his dream of following his father into Fire Service.
In 1987 he was appointed to the Chelsea Fire Department and was assigned to Ladder 2, just like his father before him. He continued his education and received a Masters Degree in Fire Science from Salem State College. He attained the rank of Lieutenant and studied to become Captain. When called to an alarm, battling a fire on County Road, he was seriously injured when the building’s roof collapsed on him. His promising career with the Chelsea Fire Department ended due to the injuries he sustained at that fire scene.
Undaunted by his disabilities and challenges, he was able to work for a short time with FEMA until his worsening illness made it necessary for him to resign to home.
In his lifetime, John enjoyed boating and was a member of the Winthrop Elks, B.P.O.E. He loved reading and coin collecting and was a member of the Chelsea Fire Dept. IAFF Local 937.
This past March, John was preceded in death by his father, John H. Sr. He is survived by his beloved mother, Sophie T. (Domoretsky) Kanarkiewicz of Chelsea. He was the dear brother and brother-in-law of Rosemarie Miller and her husband, Gary of Lynnfield and Frank D. Kanarkiewicz and his wife, Joanne of Peabody; cherished uncle of Dennis and Sara Kanarkiewicz, Adrienne Manes and her husband, Aaron and great-uncle to Caroline Manes. He is also survived by an aunt and several cousins.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea
Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the National Kidney Foundation “NKF” 85 Astor Ave. Ste. 2, Norwood, MA 02062
Dr. Albert W. Kelley, D.P.M.
Retired Podiatrist and former Revere Board of Health Chairman
Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours today, Thursday, October 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Vertuccio & Smth Home for Funerals, 773 Broadway (Route 107) Revere for Dr. Albert W. Kelley who passed on Monday, October 3 at Revere’s Lighthouse Nursing Care Centrer following a long illness. His funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Friday, October 7 at 11:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in the Immaculate Conception Church (corner of Beach Street and Winthrop Avenue) Revere at 12:30 p.m. Internment will follow at Puritan Lawn Memorial Cemetery, West Peabody.
Born in Chelsea, Dr. Kelley came to live in Revere as a young boy. He attended St. Rose Grammar School of Chelsea and then went on to Immaculate Conception High School, Revere, graduating in 1944.
He served with the US Navy from June of 1944 through June of 1946 as a 1st Class Fireman. He returned home and attended The Beacon Institute of Podiatry in Boston and obtained his degree in podiatric medicine at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Kelley opened offices in Revere and Malden and practiced for almost 40 years until retiring in 1998. Before that, he served internships at N.E. Foot Clinic and Long Island Foot Clinic of Boston. He was a former instructor in both Review Anatomy & Practice of Podiatry at Beacon Institute of Podiatry in Boston.
Dr. Kelley had a long association with both McFadden Manor Nursing Home and Davenport Memorial Home, both of Malden as their Chief of Podiatry. Here in Revere, Dr. Kelley was Chairman of the Revere Board of Health for 15 years and a member of the Board for over 30 years. Dr. Kelley was also a life member and former officer with the Revere Council, Knights of Columbus, #179.
After his formal retirement from the Podiatry profession and the death of his beloved wife, Dorothy P. (O’Brien) Kelley in February of
1998, he relocated to the grounds of the Tewksbury Country Club. There, he entered the workforce again and for 13 years was manager of the Pro-Shop at Tewksbury Golf Club.
Dr. Kelley was the cherished father of Paul G. Kelley and his wife, Patricia A. of West Peabody, Linda J. Gregory and her husband, John T. of Tewksbury, Maureen N. DeMers and her husband, Steven T. of Revere and Patricia A. DelMastro and her husband, Richard of Tewksbury. He was the devoted grandfather of Paul B. Kelley and his wife, Jacquelyn of Merrimac, MA, Lauren M. Kelley of West Peabody and Liann Gregory of Tewksbury. A set of two-year old twin girls, his great granddaughters, Alana and Madeline Kelley also survive him. He was the dear brother of Paul F. Kelley of Everett and his wife, Doreen and the late MDC Patrolman Robert F. Kelly. He is also lovingly survived by his sister in law, Susan H. (Segal) Kelly of Point of Pines, Revere. He was the brother in law of the late Regina A. Kelly. Many nephews, nieces, grand nieces and grand nephews also survive him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, 480 Pleasant St. Watertown, MA 02472.
For further information, please visit: www.vertuccioandsmith.com
By Seth Daniel
The State Legislature has made efforts to fill the monumental education funding gap in Revere, Everett and Chelsea – as well as other Gateway Cities – but it has not been enough to save the schools from major cuts which are being announced this week.
The Revere Public Schools have begun to prepare for a School Budget that includes far less funding, as Supt. Dianne Kelly announced $1.7 million in cuts to the upcoming budget and the end to several long-time support programs.
Teacher and staff layoffs are likely to be avoided.
“I’ve cut $1.7 million of the budget already,” said Kelly. “We have a few less positions than last year, but about all of them have been reduced through attrition. That’s good because we’re not putting people out of work. Our commitment, for myself and the School Committee, was to make a conscious decision to focus on people. That means we’ll have to discontinue many important curriculum supports.”
One of those includes the Bay State Reading Initiative, which has been in place at Revere Public Schools for 10 years. That program has been highly successful in teaching kids to read proficiently at an early age and was credited for major gains some years ago at the Beachmont School.
Another program will be the Achievement Network.
Kelly said that is a program that helps teachers and deans crunch numbers from standardized tests – to be able to focus in on specifics.
“Now we have to figure out how to get data and crunch data ourselves,” she said. “Fortunately, we have the 5 District Partnership and we’re looking together to see how we can do something collaboratively to replicate that service.”
Kelly said the School Committee will vote on a slimmer budget than hoped for on June 7. She praised the Committee, Business Manager Matt Kruse and the City.
The budget could have as much as $2 million in cuts when all is said and done.
In other cities, such as Everett and Chelsea, City government has stepped up to add extra funding. Everett could pitch in as much as $5 million later this summer through support of its mayor and its City Council. In Chelsea, the City Budget has included an increase of nearly $2 million for the schools to help soften the blow.
In Revere, however, there are no excess funds at the City level to be able to plug such gaps with City funding.
One hope is that Gov. Charlie Baker would adjust the final budget when he signs it. The Senate had debated the issued ad nauseum last week, and some success was made, but in the end, Kelly said it wasn’t what superintendents in the area where looking for.
She said the Senate did approve some extra money in the budget that will come directly to the district and the student funding formulas were adjusted too. Still, it hasn’t eased the burden, which are the fruits of a change at the federal and state government levels in the way low-income students – now called economically disadvantaged students – are counted. The new formula only counts students whose families are receiving public assistance. It was meant to save time and paperwork, but in effect has excluded thousands of students who are very poor, but are not qualified for or receiving public assistance.
“It’s still just not enough money,” said Kelly. “I can’t help them to understand that increasing the student funding formula isn’t the same thing. To me, it’s so obvious.”
Jennifer Kelly, of Gloucester, is the new director of the Healthy Chelsea, a community coalition focused on improving the overall health of Chelsea residents by working to increase healthy eating active living and decrease the negative effects of substance misuse and toxic stress.
The coalition is supported by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI).
Kelly comes to Chelsea with more than 20 years of experience working with youth, families, elders and communities both assessing and addressing their health needs. She has connected individuals to supportive service, such as housing, as well as provide crisis management, conflict resolution and outreach to those in need.
She has managed community coalition work for more than nine years. Most recently she was the coordinator for the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, an evidence-based substance abuse prevention and resource coalition for individuals and families in that community. Kelly worked with community leaders and residents to determine the needs of the community. She provided resource and referral information, as well as ongoing support, to students and other community members. She facilitated comprehensive substance use education for students, parents, school faculty, and coaches, and she organized local support and psychosocial educational groups for users and family members who struggle with a loved one’s substance abuse. During her 2011-2016 tenure as coordinator, the coalition received funding from two important grants: the Drug Free Communities grant to reduce youth substance use and the Opioid Overdose Prevention Grant to fight the opioid epidemic.
Before working in Melrose, Kelly was the assistant coordinator for the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC), a community coalition in Charlestown supported by CCHI. She received her Masters of Social Work from Salem State University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Vermont.