BHS Model Congress Jim Petela, Founder

Jim Petela, Founding Father and Advisor

Petela, James Gerard

The First 50 Years

Born Sunday, January 27, 1963 to Mary & Stan Petela, lifelong natives of Branford.

Attended St. Mary's School in Branford through 6th grade then to Bfd Intermediate School for 7 & 8th.

Branford High School 1978--81, academic 3'd in class, Nat'l Honor Society, Basketball All-Housy League 3 years, All State 2 years, New Haven QHouse All Tourney 2 years/MVP Sr. year, Akron All Amer. Classic Tourney Jr year, (competed vs Jordan, Ewing, Barkley & other future pros), Converse All-American Sr Year, New Haven Italian American award (not Italian!), hold a dozen BHS men's scoring records, including most career points, 1399* (no 3 point line and missed 10 varsity games injury) and season/career free throw ave. 91%. (Also record for lowest career assists for a guard!) Accepted to Yale & Harvard, offered full scholarships to BC, Fairfield, Holy Cross & over 100 Div. 1 schools.

Yale 1981--85--Present, academic major History/religion, gpa ~3.22, Timothy Dwight College. Varsity basketball 1982 & '83, Ivy League Runner-up Rookie of the Year basketball1982 & 1ih in the nation division one free-throw 88%. Member Skull & Bones society. Associate Fellow ofTDwight College since 1990.

SCSU 2004-- Master's in History, Thesis Timothy Dwight & The Revivals At Yale College 1795-1815.

1985--1989+: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance agent, Branford High and Middle school substitute teacher, Middle school special ed aide, Cutler's Record Store New Haven sales, St. Mary confirmation teacher, Yale Divinity student (fall of '87, found God fast & dropped out), then considered joining the Jesuits via retreats and direction (30 day Ignatius silent retreat summer 2000), Basketball head coach Bfd Middle School, BHS Frosh, JV, Asst Varsity & Summer league teams. BHS summer school study skills course teacher. ARC graduate summer 1989 -- CT Ed Alternate Route to Certification at Wesleyan. Foote Park supervisor, 1986 to present, weekly during spring, summer/fall with Stan & Mary, Team Petela

1989--1991: Hopkins School, Private New Haven. Taught history ih grade and coached thirds boys soccer, JV boys basketball, and girl's varsity tennis / 1991--1993: Hamden Hall, Private, Hamden, CT. Taught history to frosh and ih graders, coached boys varsity basketball and girl's varsity tennis. Private schools not for me.

1993--Present: Teacher Branford High School. Taught Civics, US& World, Protest & Reform, Personal Psychology, and since 1995 have been teaching primarily AP US History and seniors Honors Worldviews & Comparative Religions, formerly Eastern Philosophy. AP scores always above national average with 2009 being the perfect storm of AP US students, mostly juniors-56 & 14 sophs, scoring a historic 24 5's & 22 4's, quadrupling national average, an amazing feat of focus, grind & game facing! Have taken BHStudents on 100 field trips (Boston, NYC, Phili, Rlsland, San Fran, DC+) and invited many guest speakers (rabbis, lamas, ministers, college profs, veterans, yogis, etc) to classes and school.

1994--Present: Founding Father BHS Model Congress, taking 2000+ students to almost 100 MConferences primarily at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, winning over 322 gavels/awards, raising $200,000 for student scholarships & program, taking over 100,000 photos (visit Promoted 15 annual fundraising concerts with the Yale Whiffenpoofs & BHS Music Makers, and other special guests (Jon Bush), as well as annual pre concert dinner at the "tables down at Mory's" where Whiffs & MMakers sing to each other, a new tradition-- our kids singing to the Whiffs.

2005--2006: BEA Contract Committee 2005, helped to negotiate significantly increased special contract stipends for activity advisors K-12. St. Mary's Confirmation Director & Eucharistic Minister 2005 & 2006, responsible for over one hundred high school teenagers confirmed, thank God.

Recognitions-- Branford Education Hall of Fame 2011 Goin dad Stan & his sister Mary), New Haven Tap Off Club Hall of Fame 2008 (join dad), Branford Sports Hall of Fame 2005 (join dad, his brother Fritz & my cuz Jack Cirie, Y'64).

Member Pine Orchard Country Club since 1995 (golf club champ 2008,2011, finalist 2003,2012, medalist 2006, '07, '08, '10, '11; Sid Noyes champ'08); tennis single champ 1996--2000, doubles champ w/ Sturge 1996 & '97. Boater 2012

Member Yale Golf Club since 1994 (club champ 2007, medalist & finalist 2009, medalist 2010) Scratch since 2004.

Member Mory's since 1985, In Shape Fitness since 1980, and Planet Fitness since 2008.

Resident Great Oaks Condo since 1994, Indian Neck area of Branford, Assoc. President 2013.