Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Justin Turner is coming off of a league MVP season in Cross Country, and has been racking up wins for indoor track this winter as well. The senior captain said he loves chemistry, but hopes to working in computer programming. Here, he is shown running the two-mile at a meet last Weds., Jan 9, during a meet at Lynn Tech.

When Chelsea High track standout Justin Turner hits the last lap of a two-mile race, it isn’t so much the training or preparation, but the mental toughness to find energy that just isn’t there. He would know.

The senior captain has prevailed in most every two-mile event already in the indoor track season, and he also made a huge splash in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) as the League MVP in cross country.

“I think the finish is more mental, probably because you know you’re so close to the finish and you want to do anything you can to get there and also hold off anyone who is exact same thing to try to catch you…At the beginning, I try to hold off the adrenaline rush for the start. It’s about getting a good pace and settling in and focusing. On the last few laps, you pull out everything you have left in order to finish – and that’s the mental part.”

Turner, 17, attended the Early Learning Center, the Berkowitz Elementary, the Wright Middle School and Chelsea High. He said he started being athletic at a young age, playing football and other youth sports, and becoming the athlete in his family.

He began cross country and track his freshman year, and has participated continuously all four years. Having been mentored by star athlete Jose LeClerc, who graduated last year, Turner said he stepped up to lead the team this year. Though he is a quiet leader, he said that he believes other team members look up to him.

Turner said he enjoys distance running because it’s a very controlled sport.

“It’s more about paying attention to what I’m doing and not getting distracted by what’s around me,” he said.

“You have to motivate yourself and if you don’t it’s hard to stay focused,” he added.

When it comes to the classroom, Turner has never had a GPA below 3.5, and he said he enjoys chemistry the most. However, he hopes to focus his attention on computer programming in the future.

He said his older sister is involved in that, and he watched her over the summer programming video games, and he felt that was something he really wanted to do.

He has applied to seven colleges so far, but said he hopes to be able to go to Suffolk University so he can try to run track and cross country there as well.

Beyond the classroom and the athletic fields, one might have seen Turner in the front row of the concert band, where he plays flute and piccolo.

He said his mom and dad, Russell and Erikka Turner, have been a support system throughout his track career not only for himself, but also the whole team.

“My mom and dad and family came to my first meet and they always come when they can,” he said. “They support me throughout my years and they support the rest of the team too. They don’t just support me, but everyone on the team.”

Turner also has three siblings, Jyllian, Teri and Kyle, and he said he has enjoyed growing up in Chelsea. “There is a stereotype out there that Chelsea isn’t the best place, but people in this community fight that stereotype and they do everything they can to make it the best city it can be,” he said.

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Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

It’s been so long since Chelsea has sought out a new superintendent that there isn’t even a current job description.

For so many years, Boston University (BU) appointed a superintendent as it ran the public schools for decades, and when current Supt. Mary Bourque came into the role, it was long-decided that she would succeed former Supt. Tom Kingston – the last BU appointee.

Now, for the first time in 30 or 40 years, the School Committee will be tasked with finding a new leader for the public schools.

“This is all new to all of us,” said Chair Rich Maronski. “It’s even new to the School Department. They don’t even have a job description for superintendent. They have to create one now, which tells you how long it’s been.”

Bourque said the Collins Center was most recently used by the schools to hire Monica Lamboy, the business administrator who took the place of Gerry McCue. She said it was also used to hire City Manager Tom Ambrosino and former City Manager Jay Ash.

“The first couple of steps will go slowly, but from the middle of February to May it will be intense,” she said. “I can’t be involved in it then. I’ll be more of the logistics part. There is a lot of community input, but it’s a School Committee decision. Chelsea hasn’t had a search since before BU…One interesting point is we don’t have any internal candidates. In Revere, Supt. Paul Dakin was succeeded by an internal candidate, Dianne Kelly. None of our internal candidates feel they are ready to move up. Because of that, it’s going to be an outside candidate.”

Maronski, Supt. Bourque and the rest of the Committee met with the Collins Center last Thursday, Jan. 10, to go over the timelines and parameters of the upcoming search.

“It’s all structured by the Collins Center,” he said. “They are looking at the May 2 School Committee meeting for us to vote on this. That would be the first Thursday in May. I believe they will want to get it done by June because that’s a very busy month for us. I think the Collins Center is pretty good. They had all the dates worked out and structured for us. That helps.”

The notice of a job opening will go out on Feb. 8, and focus groups of teachers, staff, parents and community groups will form about the same time. They will be charged with coming up with a candidate profile that will be used by a Screening Committee to review all of the applicants.

The Screening Committee will be selected by the School Committee on March 7, and it will be made up of appointed members, including City Manager Tom Ambrosino, parents and teachers.

They will conduct private interviews of candidates in April, and they will forward a public list of finalists to the Committee around April 4. Community forums and public interviews will take place from April 22 to 25.

A contract is proposed to be signed by May 10.

Bourque said she will remain on through December 2019 so that she can mentor the new person and help transition them into the “Chelsea way.” Since it will be an outside candidate, she said that will be critical. “Chelsea has a very strong reputation and coming in with a solid transition plan with the exiting superintendent to help them is something people will like,” she said. “At the same time, it is an urban district and it is a complex district. Some people don’t like that, others do.”

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Dr. Erika Fellinger of CHA Everett Named ‘Top Doc’ for Surgery

Dr. Erika Fellinger of CHA Everett Named ‘Top Doc’ for Surgery

Between taking her kids to gymnastics and riding her bike from her Somerville home to the CHA Everett (formerly the Whidden), Dr. Erika Fellinger somehow finds time to perform just about any kind of surgery that might walk through the doors of the community hospital.

Her dedication and listening skills, many say, are notable, and it is one of many reasons she was recently named a Boston ‘Top Doc’ in the latest issue of Boston Magazine. Once a year, the magazine highlights several doctors and specialists who have gone above and beyond in the medical profession. This year, Fellinger was recognized.

“It was a surprise, and it’s an honor,” she said. “I think it speaks a lot for CHA. I love my colleagues. We have a mission driven group of physicians and I consider myself one of them. I love my patients and listening to their stories and knowing their families and the staff here. I think if that’s what gets you ‘Top Doc,’ then there needs to be more of it. That’s really what we need more of in medicine. We need people who enjoy the stories and the people. I’ve been on the other end as a patient and I know how it feels. Even if I can’t fix them, the listening I can do is critical.”

Fellinger didn’t come by way of Harvard or Boston University, like many top doctors in the area, but rather by way of the mountains and valleys of practicing community medicine in Vermont – with a few years training in Africa as a member of the Peace Corps as well.

She said the key for her has been to focus on the patients of Everett, Chelsea and Revere and really get to know them. As a general surgeon mostly conducting minimally invasive surgery, she can be doing everything from removing a gall bladder to repairing a knee to treating a gunshot wound that cannot wait.

In the midst of those procedures, she said she has always made an effort to visit with the patients – learning about them whether they are five generations in Everett or they have just arrived from any number of countries around the world.

“General surgery isn’t usually warm and fuzzy, but I feel fortunate the training I had in Vermont featured role models that listened to patients and their stories,” she said. “It helped to find out what was wrong with them. Coming down here, I realize now that was a really unique experience and I am fortunate.”

Fellinger, 50, was born in Washington, D.C., but said her “hippie” mom retreated to Maine when she was 11. As the oldest of five children, she said there wasn’t a lot of money, but there was always a lot of work to be done. She got a big break in landing a scholarship to Smith College. After college, though, this non-traditional surgeon took another non-traditional route on her way to the operating room.

“After college, I thought I wanted to go to medical school, but wanted to get experience so I joined the Peace Corps,” she said. “I ended up in Africa for four years. It was life changing. I still have friends there, and with cell phones, it’s much easier to talk to them now.”

She returned to the United States and enrolled in the University of Vermont Medical School (which is Maine’s in-state medical school). She married a Vermonter, and was a resident for 10 years up there, later completing a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Bay State Medical Center in western Massachusetts.

Some 14 years ago, she got an offer to come to the “big city,” being offered a position at the former Whidden and at Cambridge Hospital. Going back and forth between the two facilities, however, was challenging. Soon, she was able to decide between the two, and she chose Everett.

“I had a choice between Cambridge and Whidden and I chose Whidden,” she said. “I loved it. It’s a great operating staff. Everybody really cares and bends over backwards to help out. I also love the patients. My practice has grown. I see many of my patients out in Everett when I go to eat, and I’ve even seen patients while taking a steam at Dillon’s Russian Steam Bath in Chelsea.”

The hospital has changed, she said, but only for the better – as she noted everyone is now board certified and it’s much more academic. She said she often describes herself to patients as a “butts and guts surgeon” due to the fact that general surgery can entail both parts of the anatomy.

More than anything, she said she enjoys being a compassionate physician who could face just about any kind of care.

“It’s a community hospital,” she said. “I love being able to take care of anything that comes through the door.”

Fellinger is married, and has three children between the ages of 13 and 8. They make their home in Somerville.

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In Appreciation: Remembering Elaine Richard

In Appreciation: Remembering Elaine Richard

The greatest legacy of Elaine Marie Richard was seated in the front rows at the Our Lady of Grace Church.

The four loving and devoted sons, Ken, Jim, Jack, and Edward – these four scholar-athletes, all graduates of Chelsea High School and the best universities in the nation – led a beautiful tribute to their beautiful mother.

When it came time to encapsulate all that Mrs. Richard had meant to her family and the great example she had set for her children and the family, it was Jack Richard, who stepped to the lectern to deliver the eulogy.

A brilliant, personable man who excelled at Tufts University and Boston College Law School, Jack rose to the occasion with words that showcased the richness of his talents.

“Before I speak for my brothers, I should first speak for my mother,” he began. “Many of you here today have been so good to her through the years, and I know she would want me to begin by thanking you all and by telling you how much she and we appreciate all your kindnesses to her big and small.”

Jack told the assemblage that the day truly was “a celebration of life, a full life very well-lived and filled with great joys, but also marked by great sorrows.”

Jack said their mother grew up in a big triple decker in Chelsea “in a house full of family and faith” where she was doted on by her older sister, Marjorie, and brother, Edward.

Elaine Doherty Richard was an excellent student herself and graduated at the top of her class at the St. Rose School.

“When Elaine Doherty, that cute little girl, grew to become a beautiful young woman, she met the one and only love of her life,” said Jack. “Ken Richard was talented, handsome, strong, and as we kids would say, ‘wicked smart.’”

Elaine Doherty and Kenneth Richard married when she was 22. “The four of us were always so proud of both of our parents,” said Jack.

The four boys were born five years apart. Mrs. Richard would prepare meals for her four sons and her husband each day. She would send her sons off each morning to Our Lady of Grace School. The boys did their homework at night at the dining room table with the assistance of their mother.

“But day after day, every day, Elaine Richard did it all with grace and with cheer,” said Jack. “All in all, our mom, against all the odds at that time and place, she succeeded. She was proud to say she went 4-for-4 with her sons.”

But just as Elaine and Kenneth Richard “were about to enjoy all the benefits of their work – with all four kids in college, they were finally about to get some well-deserved time together for themselves, my young and healthy dad passed away suddenly,” related Jack. “My mother’s sweet and happy world was crushed. She was only 44 years old.”

Following the death of her husband, Elaine Richard “never quit on life and she soldiered on, and day by day, year by year, she built a new life and she taught us a lesson in grace and in perseverance, a truly good example.”

“If you know my brothers and me,” then you know Elaine Richard,” said Jack. He praised his brothers, “Ken, who was thrust in to the role of the man of the house when he was just a college kid, protective of us all and the most solid dependable man there is; Jim, a deeply spiritual man whose faith and his family are the very center of his life; and Ed, the best guy with the biggest heart who would do anything for you, but also with the strongest will of anyone I’ve ever known. We are what we are because of her.”

Jack Richard said this Christmas their mother gave the family “the most important gift and lesson.”

“She taught us how to die,” said Jack. “For two weeks, we had all been taking turns at her bedside, just as she had done with us so many times when we were sick as children. We got to say how much we loved each other. We held her hand and we told her how good she was. She spoke of how this family she had built would live on, in us, in her 12 grandchildren, in her five great-grandchildren.”

Elaine Doherty Richard died on Christmas day. She was 86 years old. She will be missed.

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GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

There has been no shortage of discussion about what people think about public transportation service in Chelsea, but many of those conversations don’t always include the elderly, and that is one of the largest populations to use the service.

On Monday morning, GreenRoots staff and a graduate student from Boston University gathered to speak to seniors in a multi-lingual, confidential discussion about what needs to be improved.

“We wanted to have this conversation because so many seniors depend on public transportation,” said Sarah Levy of GreenRoots. “We want to know what is working and what is not working. We hope this will being a conversation on how to improve public transportation for you all. It’s not going to be us coming one time and going away.”

The group was lively and many seniors turned out for the meeting.

Some of the answers were unique to the older popular.

“The strollers are often a problem for us,” said one woman. “Seniors get on with canes or walkers and the baby strollers block the space. When the bus starts going, they can’t get to a seat because the strollers slow them down. They can fall down.”

Added one woman, “I would suggest that they have strollers get on in back. That gives more space for seniors in the front.”

Another request was to educate the young people and adults about getting up to provide a seat for an elderly person.

“I hope the T can have an educational campaign to better let young people know that they are supposed to get up and provide a seat for an elderly or handicapped person,” said one man.

By and large, though, the biggest complaint for seniors was the infrequent service and the inaccurate time schedule.

“If you don’t come at the right time, you have to wait another hour,” said one woman. “The 111 is usually ok, but the 116, 117 and 112 are always late and they are too crowded. Sometimes you can’t get on because it’s full and then you have to wait an hour for another bus.”

Added another woman, “Many people are left behind because the buses are so crowded. They are left standing there in the cold because there is no room for them.”

Other major concerns were:

  • There needs to be more places to get a Charlie Card in Chelsea.
  • The MBTA needs to schedule a time to come to Chelsea to do photos for Senior ID Passes.
  • There needs to be more regular 111 buses and fewer 111C buses.
  • The Chelsea loop bus to the Mystic Mall needs to be more predictable, and it needs to also go to the Parkway Plaza.

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Suffolk Success Story:University Renames Residence Hall in Honor of Michael and Larry Smith

Suffolk Success Story:University Renames Residence Hall in Honor of Michael and Larry Smith

Suffolk University renamed its oldest and largest residence hall in honor of two of its most esteemed graduates,

Chelsea High School classmates and friends joined Larry Smith and Michael Smith at the dedication ceremony of the Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall at Suffolk University. Pictured at the ceremony are, from left, Jeanne Blumer, Larry Smith, Barbara Lawlor, Michael Smith, Arlene Taraskiewicz, Helen Dobbyn, and Joanne Chelotti.

Michael and Larry Smith, during a ceremony Friday at the hall located at 150 Tremont St. across from Boston Common.

Shawn A. Newton, associate dean of students, served as master of ceremonies for the program.

“I’m extremely happy to welcome you to 150 Tremont St. today, Suffolk’s oldest and largest residence which is about to have its name changed,” said Newton. “Today we’re honoring with our special guests, Michael and Larry Smith, who without your generosity and support – thank you for being role models and for being great leaders. We truly appreciate your support to Suffolk.”

Marisa Kelly, just hours before her inauguration as the new president of Suffolk University, noted the history of Suffolk’s first residence hall and praised the Smith brothers for their extraordinary history of philanthrophy to the University.

“It really is a great day at Suffolk University and I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible dedication,” said Kelly. “This is the residence hall that launched Suffolk on the new chapter of this educational journey when it opened as the university’s very first on-campus home for students in 1976.”

Recognizing the Smiths’ ongoing generosity to the University, Kelly told the assemblage, “Michael and Larry Smith are really doing so much to build community here, of course by all of their contributions, but specifically what they’re doing to build community as part of our residence life program.”

Kelly said Michael (Class of 1961) and Larry (Class of 1965) each earned business degrees at Suffolk “and they were armed to find great success in the insurance business. They have been incredibly generous to their alma mater. Larry Smith now serves as a member of the University’s board of trustees. We thank you, Michael and Larry, for your loyalty to Suffolk, your exemplary generosity and we’re just so grateful for your involvement here.”

After receiving a warm ovation from the many guests in attendance, the two brothers, who grew up in Chelsea, took the podium for the ceremonial unveiling of the rendering for the new Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall.

Michael spoke first, thanking the University “for this great honor. “I wish my mom and dad were here to see it.”

“I love this university,” he said. “It helped us grow. I want to thank everyone for showing up today. It’s just overwhelming. When I went to college in the early 1960s, we had one building. It was a great education, great professors and I’m so proud of Boston and Suffolk University. I wish everyone the best success.”

Larry, a basketball star at Suffolk and at Chelsea High School, echoed his brothers’ sentiments, stating, “we’re very, very proud of Suffolk University.”

Larry recalled his humble beginnings as a boy, working early mornings in Boston as a window and floor washer. He said he would then change in to his school clothes at Chelsea High. He became a scholar-athlete on the basketball team and earned a scholarship to Suffolk.

“The tuition at that time was $600 and Suffolk University and Charlie Law came and gave me a scholarship,” he said.

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Suffolk Students Henry, Nastri Speak at the Dedication Ceremony

Suffolk Students Henry, Nastri Speak at the Dedication Ceremony

Two Suffolk University seniors, Sean Henry and Andrea Nastri, were the student speakers at the dedication ceremony for the new Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall.

Henry, an ice hockey player representing Suffolk’s student-athletes, noted the Smiths’ past gifts that led to the creation of the Michael S. Smith and Larry E. Smith Fitness Center on campus.

“When it comes to being a student-athlete at Suffolk, you join a family bigger than you can expect,” said Henry. “Larry and Michael Smith, you came to Suffolk University in the 1960s and I know Larry was a star on the basketball team, so you’ve known for a long time how great this family is. Your loyalty to Suffolk and your numerous generous donations have changed this program and I hope that one day I can show half the generosity that you’ve shown this University. This residence hall is a great tribute to the two of you. We can’t thank you enough for everything you have given us.”

Nastri, a third-year residence assistant at the hall, said as a freshman, she met two of her best college friends in the residence hall.

“I was delighted to live in the city and be at Suffolk University and with that positivity, I met a lot of friends who shared my enthusiasm,” said Nastri. “This is not just a building across the street from the historic Boston Common. This is not just a Suffolk University building to me. This is my home. This is where I’ve grown up. This is where I’ve grown up. This is where I’ve connected with others. This is my place.

“Smith Hall will be the name people remember years from now when they laugh about the memories they made here,” said Nastri. “Smith Hall will embrace students with open arms in to a safe and inclusive environment.”

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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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Dimitris Meletlidis, Broadway House of Pizza Showing Support for Chelsea Walk

Dimitris Meletlidis, Broadway House of Pizza Showing Support for Chelsea Walk

Dimitris Meletlidis, owner of Broadway House of Pizza, was skeptical about the Chelsea Walk Revitalization Project when he was first approached about the idea.  Now, he is one of the project’s biggest proponents.

Dimitris, came from Greece in 1981 and attended Northeastern University where he earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering.  He and his family purchased the Chelsea locale in 1987, just a few doors down from its present location.  When the existing building became available, he bought it and opened up the thriving business he has run for the last 30-plus years. He also owns Prattville Pizza as well as locations in Revere and West Roxbury.

Dimitris comes to Chelsea twice a day and often is here until midnight or later.  He knows practically everyone in the city, quickly chatting up teenagers, adults and the elderly alike.  With a twinkle in his eye and a quick laugh, he says, “I’ve known this guy since he was practically a baby, always coming in for pizza!”

It is no surprise Meletlidis feels a strong sense of ownership and connection to Chelsea and the Chelsea Walk. He checks out the progress of the transformation daily and has donated pizza for Artist Silvia Lopez Chavez and the multitude of volunteers she’s had on hand over the past week.

Previously unsure of the project, now just like the Chelsea Walk’s transformation, Meletlidis is changing his mind and thinking it might just be nice to have the mural extend to the back of his building too.

As a proud husband and father of two Ð a son studying at Amherst and a daughter studying law at Suffolk Ð Meletlidis exemplifies the theme behind Lopez Chavez’ mural “A City of Dreams.”

The mural takes inspiration from the diverse multi-cultural background of Chelsea people, a city which has welcomed immigrants from various countries for many years, working together to promote inclusivity, diversity and tolerance.

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Soaring to New Heights:Simon Completes a Sensational Sophomore Season

Soaring to New Heights:Simon Completes a Sensational Sophomore Season

Every time Chelsea High girls track coach Mark Martineau set a goal for Stephanie Simon this season, the 5-foot-4-inch sophomore eclipsed it.

Stephanie Simon is on her
way to another victory for the Chelsea High girls track team.

“I think Stephanie exceeded our expectations to the point that we don’t know what the expectations should be for Stephanie,” said Martineau, who has piloted the CHS track program’s resurgence and helped Simon develop in to its marquee performer.

Simon just completed an outdoor track season that was unprecedented in school history. She was the Commonwealth Athletic Conference MVP in the track and field events at the CAC Meet and the season-long honoree. She set six school records and won every event in which she competed, with the exception of one. Her older sister, Martine, an All-State performer heading to Mass. College of Art, edged her out one time in the triple jump.

Stephanie qualified for the Division 1 State Meet in six events (high jump, triple jump, long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 100-meter hurdles). She entered three events in the Division 1 Meet and finished second in the triple jump, third in the high jump, and third in the 100-meter dash.

Competing in the New Balance Nationals at North Carolina A & T State University against the trop track athletes in the country, Simon placed 15th in the high jump and 27th in the triple jump.

Martineau believes Simon’s improvement has been striking and that her future is exceedingly bright.

“Stephanie has improved a ton from freshman to sophomore year, which leads us to believe that there is more room to grow,” said Martineau. “It’s hard to predict what her ceiling is.”

So who is this emerging superstar that is already drawing comparisons to Autumn Lopez, Denise Chappell, Kristin Rosa, Tiffany Moore, Katrina Hill, Nancy Pilcher, Laurie Taraskiewicz, Minerva Cruz, and Loreen Bradley – some of the greatest female athletes to wear the CHS uniform?

Stephanie is the 16-year-old daughter of Hubert and Mathilde Simon, who are of Haitian descent. Both parents played soccer in Haiti. Stephanie attended the Early Childhood Learning Center, the Berkowitz School and the Clark Avenue Middle School. In addition to an older sister, Martine, she has an older brother, Norbert, a graduate of CHS and UMass/Boston and a former CHS track athlete, and a younger brother, Emmanuel, who will be a freshman at CHS.

What is Stephanie Simon’s best track event?

“The high jump is my favorite event, but my best event is the triple jump,” she said.

Simon is already raising the bar for next season.

“My goal for the high jump is to jump 5-6 by the end of indoor season and 5-8 in the outdoor season. For the triple jump, I want to be able to jump 38 feet consistently and in the 100 meters, I want to be in the high, 11-seconds. And we’re going to try out the 400 meters next year,” she said confidently.

She views her sister, Martine, as a role model and a motivating influence in her track career.

“Martine taught me in my freshman year the do’s and don’ts and I appreciate all that she has done for me,” said Stephanie.

The MVC (Most Valuable Coach) in her athletic career is Martineau, without a doubt. Martineau, however, is stepping down as coach to be the Grade 9 assistant principal at CHS.

“Coach Martineau has been an incredible mentor who has brought out all the excellence in me and I’m definitely going to miss him as my coach,” said Stephanie, with emotion in her voice. She added that she was also appreciative of CHS Athletic Director Amanda Alpert’s support and encouragement.

College coaches are becoming aware of Stephanie Simon’s record-breaking accomplishments. A good student, Simon is looking at such prestigious institutions as Amherst College, Smith College, and Tufts University.

“I’m only a sophomore and I believe I can get better,” said Stephanie.

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