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Chester High Alumni Coming Home!

Chester MA 10Chester High School Alumni will be coming home to Chester this year for their 115th annual reunion and meeting on Saturday, June 30, 2018. 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 1:00 p.m. 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 p.m. and Officers and Board Members will meet at 12:00 p.m.

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. All classes will be honored, especially the fifty-year class of 1968 and twenty-five-year class of 1993.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that this reunion has been deemed significant and will include a reduced cost along with a few surprises. In addition to being the 115th Anniversary of the formal creation of the high school in 1902, this is the fiftieth anniversary of the last class to graduate from Chester High in 1968.

“It really is like a homecoming. Some can’t resist sitting on the church corner for a while and many tour the area to visit the places that were an important part of their lives.” Boomsma also reports that the Association enjoys the support of organizations like the Chester Foundation and Chester Historical Society. “The Historical Society has agreed to open the day of the reunion from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and again on Sunday for their regular summer hours. Alumni visiting the recently opened museum will be amazed at the amount of Chester High and Grammar School memorabilia on hand.”

Reunion invitations are mailed to Association Members in May. 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 $7.50 per person, payable to Chester High School Alumni Association) to Robert Goewey, 1 Aldrich Avenue, Huntington MA 01050. Please make reservations no later than June 20, 2018.

Officers of the Association include Robert Goewey, Vice President/Secretary and George A. Morey, Treasurer. Board Members include Judith Olson of West Hatfield, Brenda Budreau of Huntington, Jackie Conklin and Edith Whitaker of Westfield, Jack Young of Hinsdale 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 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 of Chester and Mary Burkholder and Ed Woodis of Westfield.

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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.

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.

A few photos…

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This was a busy year… I didn’t get enough photos! If anyone has some they are willing to share, please let me know!

Help Wanted!

November 19, 2015 Leave a comment

figure_help_wanted_400_clr_2561 Our association is very fortunate to have and manage a significant scholarship fund that helps a number of kids every year. The Association’s founders wisely kept the management of those funds separate from the regular business of the Association by creating a team of Scholarship Custodians to manage the funds and determine scholarship recipients.

We have an opening for a such a custodian. The work is not difficult or time-consuming–most of it is seasonal in nature and revolves around determining scholarship winners.  (There are guidelines for each scholarship.)

About the only qualification is you are a member of the Association. You also can’t old any other office in the Association. I suppose ideally one would live somewhat near Chester, but given telephones and technology that’s probably not necessary.

If you’re interested in spending a few hours every year helping out your alma mater and our future generation, please contact Walter Boomsma by phone or email (click link). You can also leave a message on the Chester High School Facebook page. Vacancies are filled by vote of the Executive Board. The term we are filling ends June, 2016 but we hope the person will be reelected and serve a three-year term.

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.

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.