Most everyone in St. Michael-Albertville knows (or knows of) Maryellen Barthel. Named the very first and only Community Education Director for St. Michael-Albertville, she has served the community for the last 24 years.
When she was hired, community education was a one-person operation. As she's watched the community grow around her, her department also grew– to whopping 110 employees.
This past January, Barthel got a call she wasn't expecting.
"The athletic director [from her high school in Windsor, CT] called and said they were inducting me into the Hall of Fame," she said.
Barthel had been a three-sport athlete, lettering eight times throughout her high school career in field hockey, basketball and softball. She was voted the Most Outstanding Athlete of the class of 1977, and won the Windsor Cup. She was co-captain of the basketball squad.
After high school, Barthel went on to play four years of field hockey and one year of basketball at Ithaca College where she majored in physical dducation.
"It's such an honor. It's been a long time since I've graduated, and to be in the first one," she said. "There have been a lot of women athletes who could have been given this honor."
Barthel, her three brothers and her children, Blaine and Courtney, all went to Windsor last weekend for the fesitivities and the award presentation.
"Athletics is genetic," she said when she accepted the award. "My parents would be absolutely thrilled if they were here. They always encouraged me to give 100 percent."
She also jokingly blamed her competitiveness on having three older brothers.
Barthel continues to coach, and is the assistant varsity softball coach at STMA High School.