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Scholarship Recipients Listed

Camryn Rock received the Kent Alexander Scholarship.

Anna Pless and Nicholas Cooper both received scholarships from the Permanent Scholarship Fund.

Rachel LeBarron received the Chouffet & Pierce Woods Scholarships.

2017 CHSAA Reunion 19

Brent and Margaret Alexander attended to assist with the presentation of the  Kent Alexander Scholarship, created by Francis in memory of her son Paul (Brent’s brother).

Students are reminded that scholarship applications are available on this website:

CHS Scholarship Application.

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Around Chester, 2017

June 28, 2017 2 comments

A few photos for those who haven’t been to town for a while. I started in Pine Hill Cemetery… Later while taking photos downtown, I instinctively smiled and waved at folks driving by. Most gave me a blank stare. It finally occurred to me that I now know a lot of people in the cemetery but very few living in town! Time waits for no one… (I didn’t have a lot of time so these are just a few of the familiar haunts.)

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Scholarship Application Now Available

Check out the “Scholarship Application” tab on the site–it’s now possible for students to download an application for the scholarships available from the Chester High Alumni Association! Note that applications must be returned by June 1.

Comin’ Home to Chester…

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Fifty Year Class of 1965 (L-R) Donald Austin, Julie Niskanen Swol, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Ed Woodis, Walter Boomsma, Elinore Whitcher Gordon, Bruce Cooper, Donald Blanchard

Chester – As over 100 Chester High Alumni and friends gathered in town, there developed a picture of history, nostalgia, and community/school spirit.  The annual reunion and meeting always draws a large number of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who attended or graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s meeting was held on June 27 at the restored Chester Train Station.

Special recognition was given to Aldo Bazazarro from the class of 1938 who was present for his 77th reunion. Bazazaro was given the distinct honor of leading the buffet line together with Eleanor Laurent class of 1939 through the delicious spread prepared by Chester Foundation workers.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that these reunions are “drifting in the direction of becoming as much a town event as a school reunion.” Noting that the Chester Foundation handled most of the meeting arrangements and food, he also pointed out that the Historical Society supports the occasion by offering special hours for alumni to visit prior to the reunion. “I think this is proof that small town America is alive and well, at least here in Chester,” he said.

Nine former teachers also attended the annual event. Anthony Russo, former English Teacher and Vice Principal confessed to the group that while he’s never attended his own high school reunion, he has attended a number in Chester. He explained that Chester was his first teaching position and a big impact on his life. “Chester is family,” Russo explained. “I will never forget the support and connections I have here.” Russo joked that he wasn’t much older than his first students—the graduating class of 1965 and this year’s fifty-year anniversary class. Returning members included Bruce Cooper, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Walter Boomsma, Julie Niskanen Swol, Donald Austin, Donald Blanchard, Edward Woodis and Elinore Whitcher Gordon.

The Association elected Walter Boomsma as President for his tenth year. Also returned to office were Vice President Robert Goewey, Secretary Annette Fimbel LaMountain, and Treasurer George Morey, Jr. Morey is the only treasurer the organization has ever had with a record of service spanning over sixty years. When introduced and acknowledged for his service, he replied, “I’ll keep doing this as long as I can.”

Brenda Davenport Budreau and Tino Cardarelli were reelected to the Board of Directors. Duane C. Please was reelected as a Scholarship Custodian. Scholarship awards were presented to Charlotte LeBarron, Nicolas McClafin, Sarah Otterbeck, Samuel Bean, John LaHue, and Spencer Rock—all 2015 graduates from Gateway Regional High School.

The Association has already started planning for the next annual meeting, scheduled for June 25, 2016. Members agreed unanimously to maintain the Chester location and time of the annual event because “it’s good to be home.” Those associated with or in some way connected with Chester and/or Chester High School are encouraged to be certain the Association has current mailing information by contacting Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary, PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.  The Association also maintains an informational website at https://chesterhigh.wordpress.com and a Facebook page.

Reunion Invitations Are Coming…

Blue DevilFor a number of reasons, we’re a little behind this year with the mailing of the printed invitations… look for your copy early in June! Go ahead and make your plans, because the details haven’t changed!

112th Chester High School Reunion

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Social Hour at 2:00 p.m.

Business Meeting at 4:30 p.m.

Chester Train Station

Note that the Chester Historical Society located in the “old jail” will be open for browsing and research from 10: oo a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

You can download this year’s invitation 2015 Invitation if you just can’t wait. And, by the way, while we try very hard to keep our mailing list current, we do “lose” people from time to time. If you know anyone who attended Chester High (or Gateway Graduates who lived in Chester) please encourage him or her to send their address to Annette LaMountain, Secretary at PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011. It’s never our intention to exclude anyone! Thanks!

CHS Reunion 2015

May 13, 2015 1 comment

Chester – Chester High School Alumni will be coming home to Chester this year for their annual reunion and meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The meeting draws a large group of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s festivities begin with a social hour at 2:00 PM at the Chester Railroad Depot and continue informally throughout the entire weekend as “Blue Devils” and “Quarriers” wander around town visiting old friends and relatives. The Association’s annual business meeting will be held at 4:30 PM.

Chester High has traditions dating back well over one hundred years, but the Association has no members from that long ago! Among the many mysteries every year are questions like, “Who will be the oldest member?” and “Who will come from the farthest away?” In the midst of all the reminiscing, prizes are awarded for the first local and first out of state reservation. There is never a lack of laughter, perhaps because the threat of detention is long gone even though former teachers frequently attend. Five year classes will be honored, especially the fifty year class of 1965 and twenty-five year class of 1990.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that the reunion will be held in Chester for the eighth straight year. “People love meeting in Chester for a lot of reasons, including the relaxed atmosphere. Some can’t resist sitting on the church corner for a while. Small town America is alive and well, at least in Chester.”

Association Leadership is excited that the event provides a bit of an economic benefit for Chester. “We’re thrilled to continue to bring dollars into Chester as local businesses and organizations will make the town open and welcome to those who attend.” Boomsma reports that the Association also enjoys the support of organizations like the Chester Foundation and Chester Historical Society. “The Historical Society has agreed to remain open the day of the reunion from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Alumni visiting the old jail will be amazed at the amount of Chester High and Grammar School memorabilia on hand.”

Reunion invitations are mailed to Association Members in May. Boomsma also notes that the reunion is not limited to graduates of Chester High. “Anyone with a connection to Chester is certainly welcomed to join us for socializing and reminiscing. This is really a town event.” Anyone who does not receive an invitation may simply send a check (tickets are $15 per person, payable to Chester High School Alumni Association) to Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary at PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.

Additional officers of the Association include Robert Goewey, Vice President and George A. Morey Treasurer. Board Members include Judith Olson of Hatfield, Brenda Budreau of Huntington, Jackie Conklin, Edith Whitaker and Mary Burkholder of Westfield and Tino Cardarelli, Diane DeMoss, and Janice Brown, all of Chester. Any one of these people may be contacted for information or to volunteer some help. The Association maintains a blog at https://chesterhigh.wordpress.com and a Facebook page where alumni can gather information and post comments.

The Alumni Association also manages a significant scholarship fund and Gateway Seniors are encouraged to contact their guidance counselors for additional information. Scholarship Custodians include Duane C. Pease and Paul Petersante of Chester and Mary Gleason of Bernardston.

Association Announces CIA Subcommittee

spywith magnify glassHaving solved a number of mysteries–such as the origins of our Alma Mater–Chester High School’s Alumni Association is pleased to announced the informal formation of a CIA (Chester Inquiry Assistance) Subcommittee. Every member of the Association is on the committee. For that matter, anyone who has lived in Chester belongs to the CIA.

We are indebted to Fay Piergiovanni of the Chester Historical Society for recognizing the potential of forming such a group. You can remain “undercover” by sending your information via email or a Facebook Message on our page. Or you can “come out” by posting your comments and findings here on our website.

Your current assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to help us find a slide show. Fay has stayed in touch with John Costello who was a Principal at Chester Grammar School the years before we joined Gateway Regional in 1968. John (Mr. Costello) asked recently what happened to the slide show they put together providing commentary on the state of Chester Grammar School. He thinks it was put together specifically  for the school committees, probably in the mid-sixties.

If you have any information or ideas, let us know! How cool would it be to find it and post it on the site? Our CIA subcommittee has an excellent track record, having recently solved a mystery presented on the 2015 Chester Historical Society Calendar. We’ll post the mystery and solution soon… but another mystery you can solve is whether or not you’ve ordered your calendar. If not, do so soon!