Shrewsbury – This past fall, sixth-grade students at the Sherwood Middle School participated in a special journalism project. Under the direction of their teachers, Moira Cristy, Douglas Kershaw and Jordan Smith, the students identified a person from Shrewsbury that they thought would make an interesting profile, then conducted an interview and wrote a brief feature. We will be sharing some of those profiles in the coming months.
By Aadarsh Balakrishnan
Jackie Pratt is an employee at SELCO, a company that produces electricity for the people of Shrewsbury. She grew up in Westborough with her brother, who currently lives right next to her with his kids, then moved to Grafton, but then went right back to Westborough and lived there for a while. Now she lives in Shrewsbury to work at SELCO and help the company. She used to have dogs, cats, and even chickens! She really wanted a goat, but it’s not allowed in the town of Shrewsbury. Jackie Pratt has even cooked before. She likes to cook some juicy steak on the grill with corn on the cob and some delicious summer squash.
SELCO is a company where they provide electricity and good internet to the people of Shrewsbury. This allows them to watch TV, use their cell phones, and pay bills for electricity. She works there as a marketing and customer care manager. Jackie Pratt is most proud of her kids because they are great and support her to be brave. They helped influence her. Her family and friends helped her learn and protected her to help her become the great person she is today.
Jackie Pratt went to Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts for her undergraduate degree and Green Mass College, for her Master’s Degree.
Before Jackie worked at SELCO, Jackie Pratt worked at a web design firm for a software company in Westborough. She started working at SELCO on December 8th, 2003. She was very excited and happy to be there since SELCO is a great company. The first job Jackie had at SELCO was a website administrator. During this job Jackie did marketing like making fun and creative TV ads. The web administrators work for the marketing manager. She started being a web administrator because she really likes to be creative. This job is perfect for her because Jackie is very creative. After 16 years, Jackie became the marketing and customer care manager. Now she gets to see other people do creative and fun stuff like what she used to do. She also does customer service where a bunch of people work with Jackie to help people solve problems. Some of the problems they help fix are if someone’s electricity cut out or if they don’t pay their bills.
If Jackie wanted to move somewhere else away from Shrewsbury she would probably go somewhere in Vermont, but for now she would still stay here in Shrewsbury because of SELCO. Even if 5 years have passed, she would still sit at that desk in her office and do her best to help the company, by working harder by the day. Her kids will grow up and go to brand new schools and carry on. Even if she could be anyone else, she would still be herself because she’s having a great time and life with her family, friends, and job.
Jackie Pratt is a great person who supports her family and friends. Jackie works very hard at the company SELCO to help the people of Shrewsbury with electricity to watch TV and power electronics.
By Ahmad Joma
James Vuona has an interesting life who has risked his life to save people as a fire chief.
James grew up in Shrewsbury near Jordan Pond across from Whole Foods and Shrewsbury Greens apartments. In James’s family he had a mom, dad, and two younger sisters. James says his parents taught him good manners, good values, and took him to church when James was a kid over by Saint Ann’s near his house. They taught him how to be respectful, kind to people and also to try to work hard. He says “my dad is my strongest influence because he taught me to treat people the right way, treat everyone with respect, and to be a good person.”
When James was growing up he went to school right here in Shrewsbury. After high school he went to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. After college he played softball, baseball and football with a lot of his friends. They influenced him to take the firefighter test. He went to his uncle and cousin who are both firemen who also encourage him to take the test. Once he joined the fire department he went back to school at Quinsigamond Community College and got a degree in public administration. He later went back and got a fire science degree.
James has four children and all of them graduated from college. They are all working and they turned out to be really good kids.
Even if he is a fire chief, he still has free time and he says “I like to listen to music, play music, and exercise or work out. This is why I joined a band. I also enjoy watching sports.” If he could meet anyone in the world it would be Paul McCarthy because he is a famous songwriter and he was in a band called The Beatles. He has seen him in concerts many times, but has not met him face to face. If he could go anywhere he would go to Hawaii because he has not seen the whole island. I think we can all hope that good things come to Mr. Vuona because of his service to the community.
By Aishwarya Patil
Sunitha Patil was born and grew up in a town called Bellary located in Southern India. She completed her bachelor’s degree in science. She loves art, music, and entertainment.
She first came to the United States of America and lived in Falls Church, Virginia. She traveled out of the country for the first time and it was difficult to adjust to a new culture and living away from her family. After a year passed by, she worked part-time as a substitute teacher, volunteered at the library, and was a cashier at the grocery store. Then she went to learn basic administrative skills in a non-profit organization. After completing the 6 month course, she learned how to use computers, typing, and filing methods used in the US. She volunteered to assist other peers in the class, and received a leadership award. She received a job immediately after the completion of the training and worked for a year as an administrative assistant in a Finance Department.
Later on, she had to move to Boston as her husband got a job offer in that area. She was staying alone for two months as her husband had to join the new job. She started packing on her own without any help including her husband who was away for his job. Then she hired movers to move her stuff from Virginia to Massachusetts. She moved into a rented apartment with her husband and mostly stayed home. After a few months, she started looking for a job. She finally got a job interview and was hired as a project coordinator in eClinicalWorks.
eClinicalWorks is a healthcare information technology company. She says, “I enjoy working in eClinicalWorks as they treat all employees as a family, providing wellness, care, and other benefits.” The company was growing fast and had lots of opportunities to grow and advance her career. The company is located close to where she lives which helped in less commuting time. She started working as a project coordinator starting in July 2004 and she has been there for fifteen years. She started to become a Manager of Professional Services five years ago in March. She makes plans, prioritizes tasks, and focuses on completing her goals. She has built a lot of experience understanding the services provided by the company and uses all the skill sets developed through the years for the betterment of the company and better services to the customers. She was motivated to take up more challenges and have the ability to improve the overall process to bring up customer’s satisfaction.
If she wasn’t a manager of professional services, she would be a teacher because she loves to be with students and moreover, her family members are almost all in the teaching field. She is suitable for this job because she has exceptional project delivery results, possesses experience, skills, and has the self- confidence to bring success. Sunitha is a great role model who has made a lot of progress in her career.
By Andrew Vincequere
T.J. Morgera is a senior at Shrewsbury High School and plays on the football team, but on September 14th he had to step up and do something he had not done before.
T.J. started playing football in third grade for the Shrewsbury Patriots in their first year of American Youth Football. He played running back and pretty much since then he has always played that. He plays running back because running is definitely his strength and he can get away easily. T.J. also played quarterback when he was in middle school but it had been a long time since he played quarterback.
TJ’s team was in a scrimmage game and they were on defense. TJ was not on the field at this time, but Clint the first string quarterback was and out of nowhere…BANG, Clint got blindsided. Clint had pain in his gut and T.J. knew it was something serious. It ended up being something with his liver and T.J. knew Clint wasn’t going to be able to play in the first week of the season. So, T.J.’s coach put him as the head of the offense. He had to be the leader when everybody was nervous. T.J. was going to play quarterback for the first time in a while. T.J. was definitely nervous to play quarterback, but was excited too because it was going to be the first game of the season. He knew he could step up and take the position as QB. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy to just walk on the field and to be great. He had to work hard and that’s exactly what he did. He watched a lot of film because as a quarterback you need to know the defense you are going up against and he worked really hard in practice.
The game that T.J. played quarterback in his team played Tantasqua Regional High School and it was a very competitive game. After all the hard work and dedication that he put in it all paid off because he ended up getting 4 running touchdowns and 1 passing touchdown! They won the game 46-29 and T.J. got five touchdowns which is thirty-five points. That means T.J. got 76% of his teams points! The coaches definitely helped T.J. a bunch with all the work they put in with setting up the game plan and how it was so effective. It helped them score a lot of points.
All in all, T.J. Morgera put in so much hard work to play as good as he did in the game. T.J. still plays a little quarterback with Clint back, but if Clint ever got hurt again T.J. would be going back in at quarterback because he knows the offense and how well he did the first time. T.J. practiced hard and even though he was nervous, he stepped up proving that hard work pays off.
By Anvitha Kura
Pamela Panarelli is the Shrewsbury Public School’s registrar and has worked at the Town Hall since July of 2019. Her job is to take all the children’s records and move them to whatever grade they’re going into. In addition, she helps families register their child into school if they moved from a different school or from a foreign country. Pamela Panarelli has lived in Shrewsbury for most of her life and currently resides there. Other than being the school registrar she also has many interests. Lastly, her work as the school registrar has helped many in the Shrewsbury community.
Pamela Panarelli grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. She lived in the Floral Street district on Bumblebee Drive. She was raised by her mother and father. However, her father died when she was young which, left her mother to raise four children. Pamela has “an older brother, younger brother, and a younger sister.” It was tough to lose her dad. “My dad was always the caring, funny one and my mother worked two jobs while we were younger to support us, as my dad stayed home. He was sick a lot, so he looked after us while my mom was at work”. She currently lives with her husband and two dogs. She met her husband in 3rd grade. They have two children who both graduated from the Shrewsbury school system. The older one currently owns a restaurant and the younger one is in graduate school to become a teacher. She owns two restaurants and Panarelli also said that she and her husband were always busy and on top of something or other.
Panarelli and her family love to play hockey. She mentioned that when she was younger she loved playing outside. As soon as she came home and finished her homework Pamela, her sister, and her brothers would run outside. She and her siblings loved playing softball, baseball, and frisbee. Her neighborhood was vast, leading her to make a lot of friends and share a lot of great memories with them. Additionally, when the sun started to go down, she played kick the can and manhunt, a game like hide and seek, but with teams. She also stated some of her talents “I love computers! I am good with troubleshooting so I guess one of my talents is working with computers.”
Pamela loves her job and without her moving your records to the next grade you would probably still be in 1st grade. Some of her previous jobs were as a teacher’s aid, school secretary, and a school registrar in New Hampshire.
Pamela Panarelli is hardworking and a responsible citizen. She makes Shrewsbury citizens lives better by doing her part as the Shrewsbury school registrar. She is definitely a great mom who has very responsible, hardworking children who love doing what they do. She mentioned that one of her biggest accomplishments is raising her kids to be who they are. She is very outgoing and energetic and enjoys doing what she loves.