Paula Astramowicz Smalac

Paula attended Platt High School in Meriden from 1975-79 during the infancy of Title IX and the growth of women’s athletics. A versatile athlete, she played volleyball, basketball and softball.  When Paula entered Platt as a freshman, volleyball had only been a varsity sport for three years.  The team finished 6-8 that year, but just three year later it would finish 15-2 and be runner-up in the CIAC Class M State finals.  Paula was a big part of that success.  A dedicated and talented athlete, she worked to develop and improve. She was a four-year varsity starter in volleyball, earning four letters and serving as co-captain her senior year. She was also an All-League team selection her sophomore, junior and senior years (there were not All-State teams in the 70’s).   Paula did not just excel in volleyball; she was a four-year varsity starter in basketball and softball as well.  She earned letters in each of these sports for four years. She has the distinction of being the first athlete at Platt to earn twelve varsity letters. Paula was also captain of the basketball and softball teams and was an All-League selection for both.

Paula received a volleyball scholarship to the University of Connecticut, no small feat since scholarships for women were rare in 1979.  She played there for three years and earned three more varsity letters. Since graduating college, Paula has continued her involvement with volleyball, playing on USVBA teams, beach doubles, and coaching.  Paula started coaching at Middletown High School in 1984, but left after one season to return to Platt to replace her former coach, Denise Amiot.  She continued to keep the winning tradition alive. In her four years there, Platt won three CIAC Class M State Championships (1985, ’86 and ’88) and was runner up in 1987.

Today Paula resides in Cheshire with her husband Michael and her two children, Brendan (11) and Lindsay (8).