Friday, April 19, 2019

Windham graduate enjoys reconnecting with his hometown community

By Matt Pascarella

Matthew Bell knows the importance of community and applies that every day. He is the nurse at the Manchester School in North Windham. Prior to that, he was a medic for the United States Army. He is also coaching soccer, alongside Jason Dakin, and has been doing so for several years.

Matthew Bell
Before joining the Military, Bell never considered a career in the medical field.

“When I joined the military, I wanted to make sure I had a usable skill when I got out,” he explained. “My recruiter helped guide me to becoming a medic and I ended up loving it. Toward the end of my first enlistment, the Army offered me nursing school.”

From that point, he went to the Army Medical Department Center in San Antonio, Texas and received his nursing license.

While in the military, Bell worked with active duty and veteran populations. This meant a lot to him. “Being able to help these soldiers caused me to fall in love with nursing. Helping these individuals who have given so much for us is humbling and extremely rewarding.”

Working at the Manchester School was a natural fit for Bell. He stated that the students are an engaging age group. The educators and support staff are some of the greatest with whom he’s ever worked and have the best interest of the students in mind; they are always willing to help.

Bell is impressed with the teamwork and collaboration between nurses within RSU 14. Working with accomplished people who are willing to help or answer any questions has made his job even better.  

Bell got into coaching to be closer to his daughters. He quickly learned he was having more fun than they were. He and coach Dakin started coaching for Windham Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) at the U11/U12 level. They both have been moving up with this talented group of girls throughout the years. He and Dakin are also in their second year of coaching Velocity Soccer, a premier soccer league.

Last fall, Bell took over as the eighth grade girls’ coach. “Being involved in coaching has allowed me to connect with the community,” Bell said. “I have made friends throughout this town and surrounding area as a result of coaching. Also, coaching the kids through WYSA, Velocity and RSU 14 has been extremely rewarding. I have had the good fortune of coaching the same girls for the last few years and it has allowed me to see them grow as both players and young women.”

Bell would like every player who plays for him to grow as an athlete, but more importantly to grow as a person and teammate.

He and his wife, who is also a WHS graduate, have two daughters in the middle school. When he is not working or coaching, he enjoys spending time with his family. They like hiking, swimming and spending time outside. His youngest daughter and he have gotten back into fishing and hope to enjoy a lot more of it this spring and summer. 

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