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By Eric Weld   Date: 12/17/08

A Marriage of Two Careers

As Steve Samolewicz, head coach of Smith’s ski team, gears up for this year’s season, he can add another skill to his résumé.

Two months ago, Samolewicz, who is also a practicing attorney in Northampton, stepped in as a Justice of the Peace to join in matrimony his former team captain and her fiancé.

Steve Samolewicz (background) marries Katie Horton ’04 to Josh Puchalski on Sept. 27.

When Katie Horton ’04, of Chittenden, Vt., sought to marry Josh Puchalski, a computer consultant, she asked Samolewicz, who had been a mentor during her Smith years, to perform the ceremony.

Horton and Puchalski were married on September 27 at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vt.

“I was asked by Katie last summer if I would be willing to ‘officiate’ the wedding as Justice of the Peace,” recalls Samolewicz. “I’ve never acted as a Justice of the Peace prior to this so I was a bit nervous about the process.”

Though Samolewicz, who specializes in real estate and estate law, practices in Massachusetts, he learned that Vermont had recently passed a law that allows a person who is not a Justice of the Peace in Vermont to assume that role one time to preside over a wedding.

Samolewicz poses with his wife, Jennifer, and the happy couple following their wedding.

“We did the necessary paperwork with the state and I was allowed to oversee the wedding,” he said. “It went great and we all had a good time.”

Samolewicz, who has served as Smith’s ski coach for ten years, was honored to marry Horton and her husband, he says. “I’ve remained very close to Katie and her father since her graduation,” he said. “Her ski career at Smith was very impressive. She served as captain for three years and she made the all-league team all four years, which no one else has done at Smith.”

Though he has gained a new skill, Samolewicz says he has no plans to repeat his performance of Justice of the Peace any time soon. For now, he has enough to focus on in his roles as attorney and ski coach.

The ski team is preparing for training in Breckenridge, Colo., beginning December 28. Samolewicz has high expectations of a strong season with several team wins, some personal records—and no marriages.


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