By Cary Shuman
When Amanda Alpert takes office on July 1 as athle
tic director (AD) at Chelsea High School, she will be the first woman to serve in the prestigious position.
Alpert’s official title is coordinator of physical education, comprehensive health, and athletics for the Chelsea school district but it’s those two letters – AD – that all will recognize for being the person in charge of all CHS sports programs.
The late Saul Nechtem held the position for a half century before Frank DePatto succeeded Nechtem in 1989. DePatto is stepping down this year after a sterling 27-year career.
Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque appointed Alpert to the new position that also includes overseeing physical education and health classes in all local schools. Alpert is a guidance counselor at CHS but has begun the transition to her new office.
“I’m excited about my new position and putting my thoughts in to action,” said the 32-year-old Alpert.
She is currently a CHS boys and girls assistant track coach and she previously served as an assistant coach on Mike Stellato’s football staff.
Alpert has made a name for herself as a women’s professional tackle football player, having won all-league honors as an offensive lineman 11 times. She has played on three Super Bowl championship teams and is still active as a player for the Boston Renegades, who play their home games at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. This weekend, Alpert and her team will fly to Pittsburgh for a professional game that will be televised by the local Pittsburgh station.
Alpert played tennis and competed in indoor and outdoor track at Saugus High and went on to compete in track at Endicott College. She holds a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Suffolk University and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Athletic Administration.
She was a teacher at Malden High School before becoming a guidance counselor at CHS in 2009. Alpert is now poised to build on the success of the CHS athletic program that competes in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.
Alpert feels that CHS athletes should be receiving more recognition for their accomplishments.
“I would like to see the community more involved in the athletic program,” said Alpert. “I think the accomplishments of our athletes need to be publicized. Some of our athletes are amazing scholars and I want the community to know about them and where they’re going to college. I want our student-athletes to focus more on their studies and be more serious about their education.”
She will also stress sportsmanship to the CHS student-athletes. “I would love to say that winning a championship for every team is my goal but realistically it’s not. I think what’s more important is what the students are learning through playing sports.”
Alpert intends to meet with Chelsea parents to discuss the school’s expectations for student-athletes. She will also reach out to the leaders of Chelsea youth sports programs.
She thanked Dr. Bourque for the opportunity and said the schools’ top administrator has been very helpful to her in her new role. “Dr. Bourque has been super supportive through this whole process and I’m very lucky to have someone like her involved in this transition.”
Amanda Alpert has been immersed in Chelsea for much of her life. She is a member of a well-known philanthropic Chelsea family. Her father, Allan, is the city’s emergency management director and the esteemed toastmaster general for local social events. Her grandfather, Norman Alpert, played sports at Chelsea High and was a CHS teacher, while his brother, Julius Alpert, was also a standout athlete at Chelsea High School.
She is grateful to her parents, Allan and Laraine Alpert, for their support and encouragement throughout her athletic and professional career.
“When I told my parents that athletic administration was a field I wanted to pursue, they were 100 percent supportive,” said Alpert. “Whether it’s been women’s pro football games or coming to track meets or tennis matches in high school, they would come by to watch me compete. I think my father has missed one only one home football game in my playing career. They’ve been great through everything. They’re excited for me and I think my dad is really excited for me to be so involved in sports in Chelsea because they were really important to his dad. I think he’s proud that I found a love for Chelsea that he has and that his father had.”