The Chelsea High School Class of 2018 will hold its Commencement Ceremonies Sunday at 1 p.m. at the high school.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque will address the large gathering and offer her official congratulations to the graduates.
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and School Committee Chairperson Jeanette Velez will also be part of the ceremony.
Former CHS director of athletics Frank DePatto said he is looking forward to attending the ceremony for the first time in his capacity as a member of the School Committee.
“I know this class very well and they are an accomplished group academically and athletically,” said DePatto. “I look forward to being present as our graduates attain this important milestone in their lives. Graduation represents the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. I wish the graduates continued success as they move on to college, the military, and the work force.”
For Revere High School seniors graduation day is Thursday and this day is one of the few occasions that brings a smile to the faces of everyone in a community, regardless of whether they know a graduate. It is an occasion when all of us share in the joy — and pride — that graduation day marks in the lives of our young people. For older folks, graduation day recalls a time when we too, were young and full of life.
However, graduation day marks a bittersweet moment for parents, friends, family, and teachers, as well the grads themselves. As befits every turning point in our lives, it is a time of mixed emotions of joy, sadness, and reflection. Although the graduates and those close to them are looking forward to the exciting future that lies before them, at the same time, they will be looking back on the passing of their carefree youth and of the friends and experiences that have shaped their lives to this point.
The young women and men who receive their diplomas no longer are considered “youths” in the eyes of the world. They are full-fledged adults who have been deemed ready to assume all of the rights — and responsibilities — that adulthood implies.
The graduates, most of whom have turned 18, can vote, run for public office, enter into contracts, be tried fully as adults in the criminal justice system, and fight and die for their country.
For the parents of the grads, watching their “little boy or girl” proceed to the podium to receive his or her diploma will be a poignant moment. No doubt every parent will be thinking of the sentiments expressed in the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler On The Roof:”
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When – did – they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they – were – small?
Although economists these days tell us that the value of a high school diploma is not what it was a generation or more ago, the graduates should keep in mind, as they contemplate venturing out into an uncertain future, that their mere presence on the podium has proven that they have the ability and the determination to achieve whatever goals they may set for themselves.
We came across a news item from one of our sister publications, The Winthrop Sun-Transcript, from June 24, 1898. The article, which reprinted the Class Ode for the Winthrop High Class of 1898, is as timely today as it was 120 years ago, and sums up the feelings of all of us on graduation day.
Stephanie Simon became the first Chelsea High girl ever to compete in three events at the MIAA all-state meet this past Saturday at Fitchburg State University.
The sophomore turned in a strong performance, taking 11th in the high jump with a leap of 5’-4”; 15th in the 100 dash with a time of 12.65; and 17th in the triple jump with a distance of of 35’-3”.
“While none of the performances were personal bests for Stephanie, she performed well competing in multiple events,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau.
Senior Martine Simon also competed in the all-state meet, finishing in 18th place in the triple jump with a leap of 35’-2”.
Both of the Simon sisters and junior Jocelyn Poste will compete in the state heptathlon this Tuesday and Thursday at North Reading High School.
sports museum hosts 2018 stand strong graduation
The Sports Museum hosted its 2018 Stand Strong Graduation on June 4 at TD Garden in Legends.
Members of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club of Chelsea received framed certificates of completion at the ceremony that was led by Sports Museum Director of Education Michelle Gormley.
Sports Museum Executive Director Rusty Sullivan and Northeastern University basketball star Jeremy Miller held a question-and-answer session for the youths.
Miller responded to questions such as: How tall are you? (6-foot, 9 and three-quarter-inches); What is your favorite NBA team? (San Antonio Spurs; and When will you enter the NBA draft? (in 2019).
The youths appreciated Miller’s story about how he kept a positive attitude after sustaining a knee injury in his freshman season. Miller worked hard during the rehabilitation process and became a star player on a very good Northeastern team that will contend for an NCAA Tournament berth again next season.
Miller said that some of his outside-of-basketball interests are improvisational comedy, acting, and music. Miller was a huge hit with the youths, graciously posing for photographs and signing autographs.
Stand Strong is a 12-week interactive character development program focusing on the core values of Teamwork, Courage, Fairness, Determination, and Responsibilty.
The Stand Strong curriculum includes a number of field trips where students engage in fun activities centered on the aspects of character.
FUN-DAMENTAL BASKETBALL CAMP TO START
The annual FUN-damental Basketball Camp, open to boys and girls in the local area, will be held July 16-July 20, at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, located at 59 Summer Street in Everett.
The camp will be held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for boys and girls entering grades three thru nine as of September 2018. The cost of the camp is $100.
Tony Ferullo, boys’ varsity basketball coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, will be the camp director.
Each camper, who will receive a t-shirt, certificate and medal, will participate in various drills, scrimmages and individual contests. Special guests will speak and share their personal basketball tips. An awards ceremony will take place on the last day of the camp, and parents and friends are welcome to attend.
For more information about the FUN-damental Basketball Camp, please contact Camp Director Tony Ferullo: 857-312-7002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chelsea Public Schools are making some big moves at the end of this school year, with the biggest news being Chelsea High Principal Priti Johari moving to the Central Office from CHS to an assistant superintendent position.
Her departure from CHS follows the departure of Assistant Principal Ron Schmidt – who now will lead the new alternative high school within CHS.
“I am announcing that effective July 1, 2018, Chelsea High School Principal, Priti Johari, will be promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Strategic Programs and Accountability,” wrote Supt. Mary Bourque. “To replace Ms. Johari, we will be posting for principal candidates as soon as possible. We are also convening a ‘Selection Committee’ to do the first round of interviews. The job of the Selection Committee will be to narrow the field of possible candidates to the top 2-3 highest qualified for me to interview. I will choose from the 2-3 finalists.”
Bourque told the Record that right now the Committee is looking at five or six semi-finalists. She said they would forward two names to her soon, and she expected that an announcement could come as soon as Friday.
She said with two key leaders at CHS leaving, the thought of a slip-back is on some people’s minds, but she said they are prepared not to let that happen.
“One of the good things we’ve put into the CPS is we build the system so that we collaborate very well,” she said. “One of the things about Chelsea is because of our turnover, we have gotten very good at picking things up quick and making sure they don’t go back…As superintendent, that’s why you always build a deep bench.”
Another piece of big news is that Principal Maggie Sanchez Gleason is leaving the Kelly School as her husband has received a promotion that requires them to move to London.
That opened up the position for Assistant Principal Lisa Lineweaver, who is a former School Committee member and a Chelsea resident. Lineweaver has two children in the schools and came to Chelsea last year after teaching in Boston for many years.
In the realm of retirements, the biggest news is that long time Director of Administration and Finance Gerry McCue will be retiring.
Bourque said she is still looking for a replacement for him, and will be engaging the Collins Center from UMass Boston to help locate and choose replacements. The Collins Center was engaged by the City Council a few years ago to help choose a city manager.
Other notable retirements include:
The six Central Office and district wide administrators retiring are:
Tina Sullivan, Director of Human Resources
Linda Breau, Deputy Superintendent (who will be moving to Human Resources for one year before retiring).
Linda Alioto Robinson, Director of REACH
Miguel Andreottola, Director of Technology
AnnMarie LaPuma, Director of Assessment and Planning
For Andreottola, Bourque announced this week that long-time resident Rich Pilcher has been promoted to director of technology. Pilcher is also a Chelsea High graduate.
The City and the School Department are preparing to begin construction on a full renovation project of the Chelsea Memorial Stadium, putting down a new turf field and a new track.
Gerry McCue of the School Department said they will begin replacement of the field and track at the end of May.
“We have a synthetic turf field at the high school and it’s at the end of it useful life,” he said. “It was installed 17 years ago. They don’t last forever and it’s time to think about a new field. We’ve been working with the City because the cost was so high and we need to have it in the Capital Improvement Plan. We found at the same time the track was in desperate need of repair as well.”
After meeting with the Planning Department and stakeholders, such as the Pop Warner and Chelsea High coaches, they began designing the field and track.
As part of the project, they will push the track slightly up towards the Parkway to accommodate lighting in a better fashion. They will also prepare for a Phase 2 to the project, which will be built out later in the summer after being bid in July.
“That Phase 2 will provide new lights outside of the track and a new restroom facility,” he said. “We’re also going to create a Master Plan for our remaining baseball fields and the high school and the Burke Complex.”
That second phase is estimated to cost $900,000, with the lights accounting for $800,000 of that.
Phase 1 has already hit a kink in the chain, though, as bids came in at $2 million for a project with a $1.7 million budget. McCue said they would look at cost-cutting measures.
One of those measures is the addition of a large Chelsea ‘C’ in the middle of the new turf field. That might have to be cut out of the project due to the higher bid. Another possible cut is re-doing the scoreboard, which could be taken up at another time.
A second sand pit for pole vault and long jump is also a possibility.
By next fall, the Stadium should have a whole new look.
“We will probably start the project the day after Memorial Day, but it looks like that could slide into mid-June,” he said. “We were hoping to have everything buttoned up by mid-September, but it could end up being late September. It will be an exciting project to see completed next fall.”
Richard Feinberg, a beloved Chelsea High School teacher and a member of a longtime and well-known Chelsea family, died unexpectedly Monday. He was 70.
The son of the late Julius “Moxie” Feinberg and Helen (Bulafkin) Feinberg, Richard, or “Richie” as many knew him, grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1965. He was the wise and witty older brother to whom Stuart and Ralph looked for guidance and support. In fact, Stuart and Ralph followed their brother in to sports while Stuart again took the track of his brother in to high school basketball officiating.
At CHS, Mr. Feinberg was a popular, civics teacher who took an interest in his students’ aspirations and goals beyond the classroom.
“He’s my all-time, favorite teacher,” said Robert Brooks, CHS Class of 1981, who was among the many people who attended graveside services Tuesday for Richard Feinberg. “He was wonderful. He taught me so many great lessons in school and just about growing up in Chelsea. Even after I graduated and I wasn’t sure what direction I would take in life, he kept in touch with me and advised me. I had to be here today to honor Mr. Feinberg.”
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson knew the Feinberg family well while growing up in Chelsea.
“Richie was a really good friend who gave back to our community,” said Robinson. “He and his father were instrumental at the Chelsea YMHA. I remember Richie refereeing in the Wild Animal League and he was always professional and fair in his calling of the games. Chelsea has a lot a great guy and another key figure in our city’s history.”
State Secretary of Housing and Economic Jay Ash, a former basketball star at CHS and Clark University, said that Richie Feinberg was a positive influence during his life.
“He was a mentor of mine, an influential character during my lifetime,” said Ash. “He was a tremendous educator and loved politics and loved community.I stayed in touch with him after high school and college and after being city manager. As secretary, I had the opportunity to speak to his class at Bunker Hill Community College. He loved politics and loved to be in the middle of everything. This is a big loss for all of us.”
Following his years as a teacher at Chelsea High, Richie went on to work at Northeast Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield and to serve as an adjunct professor of government at Bunker Hill Community College. He shared a love of education with his wife, Laural, who was a highly respected educator in the Lynn school system for 35 years. The Feinbergs have one daughter, Julie Lucas, of Lynn, and two grandchildren, Dylan and Kyle
A top basketball referee
Richie was also well respected on the high school basketball scene as both an outstanding referee and the dedicated commissioner of the Dual County League. He enjoyed mentoring new members of the basketball refereeing fraternity.
“I refereed with Richard and it was a great experience – he knew how to handle a game,” said Mike Muchmore, past president of IAABO Board 130. “He was my mentor. He’s the first commissioner that gave me a varsity game. He was meticulous. He would call every referee and ask them how things went.”
Paul Halloran, also a past president of IAABO Board 130 and a well-established college referee, said Richie’s expertise and goodwill extended beyond the basketball court.
“Richard was a well-rounded guy with expertise in many areas: antiques, basketball officiating, horse racing, politics, poker,” said Halloran. “He could engage in a thoughtful, thorough conversation on any of them at any tume. He was a real character and he will be sorely missed.”
Richie served on the Swampscott School Committee for 15 years, receiving a strong, town-wide vote in each election. Stuart Feinberg said politics was one of his brother’s passions.
“He loved Chelsea and politics was his baby,” said Stuart. “He was on the Swampscott School Committee and loved politics in general. He also loved sports and enjoyed gambling.”
Stuart said Richie always helped people whenever they called upon him for a favor or some assistance.
“He loved teaching and loved his students and he tried to help as many people as he could – he did as many favors as he could, that’s how he was, just a good person,” said Stuart. “Like everybody else, I was stunned by his unexpected passing.”
As a brother, Richie was top-shelf, according to Stuart.
“I looked up to him – he was a great brother to Ralph and me,” Stuart said emphatically. “He was fun to be around and I really enjoyed him. Especially for me, I’ll really miss him.”
Patricia Pierce of Peabody, formerly on Chelsea, died on Wednesday morning, May 9.
Born in East Boston over 90 years ago, Patricia passed away at Rosewood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Peabody where she was receiving supportive care.
Patricia grew up with her family on Spencer Avenue and received her education in Chelsea. Upon graduation from High School, she entered the Sisters of Providence convent where she took her final vows. After 27 years, with the passing of her sister-in-law, she left religious life to care for her brother. In the ensuing years, she continued as a teacher in the Malden School System until her retirement. In the years that followed teaching, she resided at 5 Admirals Way continuing to minister as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Rose Parish and St. Mary’s Parish in Revere, also bringing Communion to homes as well as to the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home.
The devoted daughter of the late John F. and Ella (McKevitt) Pierce, she was the beloved sister of the late Francis Pierce, Elizabeth Smith, Loretta McCormack and Sister Eleanor Pierce, SP. She is also lovingly survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Services will conclude with interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.
The family suggests that memorial contributions in her name be made to the Sisters of Providence-Mission Advancement Office, 1 Sisters of Providence Road, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876 or at www.spsmw.org/donate.
Frederick ‘Fred’ Nowicki
Retired Chelsea Firefighter nationally recognized for heroism
Frederick A. “Fred” Nowicki, a lifelong Chelsea resident and retired Chelsea Firefighter, passed away Wednesday morning May 16 at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home where he has been receiving supportive care for ongoing illnesses. He was 77 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, a son of the late Anthony Nowicki and Louise (Kozolowski) Nowicki-Hurley, he attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School in 1959. Fred was a member of the Chelsea High School Football team beating Everett in 1958.
He continued his education at Dodge City Jr. College and was awarded a full scholarship to Arizona State. Foregoing the scholarship, Fred returned to Chelsea with his young bride, the former Beverly Renfrew to support and raise his family.
Fred began working as truck driver for Monarch Foods.
He was appointed to the Chelsea Fire Department in 1968. He was nationally recognized for heroism in 1972 for retrieving a bomb from the Chelsea Naval Hospital. He was also a veteran of the Chelsea Fire of 1973. Fred was a member and Past-President of Chelsea Firefighters Local 937 and was honored to be named President Emeritus of the local. He was a longtime member of the Fire Department Color Guard and was one of the original organizers of Chelsea Firefighters Memorial Sunday held annually on the first Sunday of June. He retired from fire service in 2003.
Fred also worked for many years as a foreman withTravaco Laboratories in Chelsea, retiring in 1996. He was a member of the Cary Square Associates and the Winnisimmet Social and Athletic Club.
Fred was recently widowed in December with the passing of his beloved wife of 56 years, Beverly J. (Renfrew) Nowicki. He was the devoted father of Scott C. Nowicki of Revere and Paul R. Nowicki and his wife, Tracy M. Nowicki of Chelsea; cherished grandfather of Mia V. Nowicki, Christina H. Nowicki and John Paul Nowicki; dear brother and brother-in-law of Linda and Frank Sobelewski of Dennisport and Roger A. Nowicki of Billerica and his late wife, Linda, the late Janice Nowicki, Paul Renfrew and his wife Sue Ellen of Southborough and cherished uncle of Brenda Sobolewski-Finn, John Sobolewski, Elizabeth Renfrew-Birkemose, Douglas Renfrew, Adam Nowicki and Rachel Hall.
Funeral from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Tuesday, May 22, at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea at 10:30 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 on Monday from 4 to p.m. Funeral Home fully handicap accessible, ample parking opposite Funeral Home. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
Anthony Memorial – Frank A. Welsh & Sons Chelsea, 617-889-2723
Closing a $3.1 million budget gap is never painless, but now in the weeks after those cuts were announced, many in the community are starting to take notice.
This week, one of the most notable cuts that is being discussed is the removal of the librarian from the Chelsea High School (CHS) Library.
Supt. Mary Bourque said the cuts, including the librarian, were part of the School Committee’s attempt to deal with state funding discrepancies that have been dealt to the City over the last few years. She pointed out that last year, the Schools had to cut the elementary school librarian as well.
Now, the school system is left with only two librarians at the Middle School level.
Bourque said they had to prioritize teaching and learning, as well as their turnaround plan that is already in place. When making tough decisions, the librarian at CHS was a hard, but clear, choice.
“We needed to stay close, first and foremost, to the principles that would help meet the needs of our students,” she said. “We used data and we based the decision on the data. This is our third year of budget cuts. It’s illustrative of the broken state funding formula…This year we’re cutting the librarian at the high school because of the standards we stood on. We looked at the data and circulation numbers are down. Kids at the high schools are doing a lot of research online now. There were only about nine books a day being checked out for a 1,500-student body.”
Speaking up big for the CHS librarian was fellow librarian Martha Boksenbaum, who is the Children’s Librarian at the Chelsea Public Library. She said a school librarian shouldn’t be sacrificed, especially since the librarian at the elementary school was cut last year.
“One might argue that if there isn’t a School Librarian, students can just go to the Public Library instead,” she wrote in a letter to the Record this week. “In reality a School Librarian does things the Public Library cannot possibly do. School Librarians are part of the school; they know the teachers, the teachers know them and they work together on a daily basis so School Librarians can make sure students have what they need to complete their assignments.
“Students in Chelsea deserve more than this,” she continued. “While school funding is tight and hard decisions have to be made, this is a sacrifice Chelsea High students should not have to make.”
Bourque said she did a survey and found that most schools in the area were down to one librarian districtwide. That was true in Revere, Saugus and Malden. In Winthrop, there is no librarian in the schools.
In Chelsea, they left the two middle school librarians because they also teach classes, where the elementary and high school librarians did not teach.
“Librarians are the support services for students and are necessary, but when you have to decide whether to increase class sizes by keeping the librarian or keeping class sizes at 30 and cut support services like librarians, that the choice,” she said. “We can’t cut the teachers in the classrooms.”
The school librarian was only a small part of the cuts made to the School Budget.
Other cuts included:
Three administrative positions.
10 instructor positions.
Two whole-class paraprofessionals.
10 one-on-one paraprofessionals.
Discontinuation of the 5th to 8th grades Citizens Schools at the Brown Middle and Wright Middle Schools.
Mandatory Connect Digital Lead Teacher Platform.
Reduction in the extraordinary maintenance and technology budget.
Of all of those, Bourque said they needed to be careful about pushing off the maintenance and technology budget.
“You can only do that so many years in a row before it comes back to bite you,” she said. “We have to be careful in doing that.”
Meanwhile, Bourque said the cuts are a call for the community to unite in lobbying the entire legislature to support Senate Bill 2325, which was proposed by Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz. Bourque said that bill contains all of the fixes to make sure cuts like this wouldn’t have to happen for a fourth year in a row.
“It behooves us all to be on the same path with our advocacy,” she said.
House Budget contains pothole account to help schools like Chelsea
The House Budget passed last week by the state House of Representatives has some encouraging news regarding school financing – and word from Beacon Hill is that the funding changes will outlast any vetoes from Gov. Charlie Baker.
The House put in a $12.5 million “Pothole Account” to help districts hurt by the change in ‘Economically Disadvantaged’ definitions a few years ago. Last year, there was no such funding, but this year it looks like that money will make it through.
The money would be allocated to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and they would be charged with disbursing it to the affected district.
Supt. Mary Bourque said the pothole account in the House Budget is good news, but she hopes that there are some changes.
“First of all, $12.5 million will go fast,” she said. “I have asked Sen. Sal DiDomenico to petition that DESE isn’t in charge of disbursing that account…We need to get it passed first, but second I would like to see that DESE isn’t in charge of that money.”
The City is preparing to begin construction on the final leg of a five-phase infrastructure redevelopment of Everett Avenue – focusing this construction season on the stretch between Carter Street and Route 16.
The $2 million state-funded project will represent the last of five areas that have been completely rebuilt with sidewalks, road reconstruction, lighting and other amenities.
“We’ve finished all of the environmental studies and design and engineering and we’ve hired GTA Company of Everett as the contractor,” said Planner Alex Train. “We’ll be commencing construction sometime in May.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it is exciting to be able to finish something that has been going on for so long.
“We’ve excited to finally complete the final part of the Everett Avenue Urban Renewal Area,” he said. “It should tie in with the development of the Fairfield apartment buildings where the Chelsea Clock building was at. We’re looking forward to this proceeding to construction.”
The Everett Avenue infrastructure project began some years ago when the new Market Basket opened, and proceeded through the area one step at a time using the MassWorks state grants.
“We’ve had five total years and five grants,” said Train. “It’s exciting and it’s exciting that it’s spurring the economic development in the area like the FBI and One North. It’s a dramatic improvement and we’re excited to see it come to a finished point…We still want to rehabilitate Spruce Street between Everett Avenue and Williams Street, but I think we’ll be looking to the downtown Broadway next.”
The current project this year will involve putting in new water mains, new fire hydrants, new sidewalks, ornamental lighting, a full-depth reconstruction of the roadway and improvements to the Carter Street/Everett Avenue intersection at Chelsea High School.
“We’re also coordinating with DCR, who controls the light at the Parkway, to make sure they are synchronized and work in tandem,” he said.
The construction schedule will run for one year and will continue until October of this year, picking up in the spring of 2019 with the final paving.
Beyond that, Ambrosino said they would apply for another MassWorks grant for 2019 that would focus on downtown Broadway.
“I think the focus is now going to move to the downtown for this grant,” he said. “I think our construction costs for what we want to do downtown are going to exceed the $5 million the City has thus far authorized.”
He said the City could potentially get $2 million to $3 million in MassWorks funding to add to the City money already set aside for Broadway rehabilitation. Those two resources should give the City a huge jump on funding improvements to Broadway corridor next spring and summer.