MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
Paula Simi - "So let's do this!"
My name is Paula Simi. I am a fitness instructor and have been with the YMCA of Greater Westfield since September 2019
I started my fitness role in Bend, OR and moved to Bozeman, MT and continued teaching. After moving to Westfield, I taught at Fitness First, then started with Westfield Health and Fitness. I also had a full time job with United Bank, then retired. I quit teaching for several years and became a member of the YMCA and found I missed being at the head of the class. I now teach classes and enjoy being up there.
You can find me teaching the following classes:
Monday/Wednesday Going Strong I 8:05 AM • Thursday Strength/Cardio 9:20 AM
My Going Strong I class is an intermediate level class working between basic and advanced levels of fitness.
My Strength/Cardio would be more on the advanced side, but every participant in class is able to work at her/his own fitness level.
Both classes takes you through 45 minutes of physical exercises, with floor routines using both low and high impact moves. I use energizing music to push you through movements and motivate you to rise through challenges. My goal is to engage with you and motivate, so you can achieve results and build your cardiovascular fitness level while improving your muscular strength. We use free weights, resistant bands and body bars. We also at times incorporate the step bench in our strength/cardio class.
My classes are energetic, fun and challenging and my goal is to take cardio and muscle endurance to the next level!
Teri Somers - "Fitness is like anything in life, you try and find your nitch. We have a great variety of dedicated instructors and diversity in our classes. Try them all and then come back again!!!"
I returned to the Greater Westfield YMCA as an adult member, after a long hiatus since learning to swim in the small pool and being a proud past member of the swim team under coach Jean C. Cole.
One of the wonderful fitness staff approached me for a substitute instructor position, and from there the passion for health, well being and teaching took over. My formal education includes Group Exercise and LiveStrong Instructor Certification. I also attended a Water Aerobics workshop. What I credit as priceless is the countless hours learning as a class participant under the direction of both Carol Palmer and Cindy Agan. I became a part of the talented and dedicated YMCA staff in September of 2014.
Currently you can find me as an Active Older Adult (A.O.A.)Fitness Instructor.
You can find me teaching the following classes:
Going Strong 2 10:30am Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
I will get you moving and grooving to some great music. Low/mild impact aerobics(20min), whole body stretches (10min), and strength/balance building exercises(15min) will assist you to achieve your fitness goals. We utilize the wall for pushups and squats. 50-55min, some equipment used if wanted.
Chair Yoga 12:15pm Tuesday/Thursday.
We use a yoga mat and chair, then guide participants into various yoga asana. We stretch and strengthen. Most folks are surprised how much can be accomplished in/with a chair. Soft instrumental music helps with flow and relaxation.
Deep Poolates 4:15pm Monday, 10:45am Tuesday/Thursday.
We use pool noodles and hand weights to help you move in the water. If you are curious about exercises like balance beam squats, swing lateral scoops, or rocking horses...these innovative moves build and maintain balance, core strength and endurance. Stop by for a try!
Pool Fitness 9:05am Friday.
Basics of low/mild impact exercises but done in the water which helps with resistance, but also helps the body with comfort.
I also teach Outreach Chair Yoga at the Westfield Senior Center where I have made lasting friendships and continue to learn from the perspectives of my seasoned clients.
My goal is safe and effective teaching with a blend of some fun and flair!
Shauna McCrary - “Fitness isn’t a competition against others. The goal is to be a little better than you were the day before. That is why I believe fitness is for EVERYONE.”
I originally started my YMCA journey six years ago when my husband insisted it was too dangerous for me to cycle on the bike trail alone. Our compromise was that I join the Westfield YMCA and take the Cycling classes offered there. Not only did I fall in love with this form of exercise, I also fell in love with the PEOPLE. Fast forward a few years…I was invited to be trained as a substitute Cycling instructor. Within six months an early morning cycling class opened up and I was able to make it my own. This was closely followed by an opportunity to instruct some of our youngest members in the 7-10-year-old Jr. Fit Class. Now, in my third year of class instruction, I still love the people and introducing both young and old to how FUN fitness can be.
Outside of the YMCA I am a wife and mom of two boys. Together my boys and I are navigating the world of homeschool and volunteering in the Kids Ministry of our local church. In our free time we enjoy bingeing Marvel and DC Comic superhero shows/films and making memories with our teen/preteen we hope will last through the years.
Classes I teach: Cycling Tue 6am/Cycling Friday 9:15am My cycling classes are high intensity cardio exercises that are easy on the joints, utilizing resistance and speed to improve heart health, endurance and lower body strength. With varied upbeat music to match the specific movements and goals for the day, WARNING: this form of cardio is so addictive you may NEVER want to stop.
Jr. Fit Thurs 6:30 (ages 7-10) The goal is to introduce them to different exercises and equipment and learn proper form and technique while also proving that fitness is FUN. I believe the fun is what will keep them coming back and help form lifelong fitness habits setting them up for healthy adulthood.
Stephanie Schellenger - “I am so happy that I found the YMCA and love the community”
Stephanie started at the Y as the Strong Nation instructor in June 2021. Strong Nation is a unique class that uses music to push your limits in a HIIT style workout. Every move is set to the beat of energizing music, which makes the class totally fun, keeps you motivated, and makes the class fly by. She loves this program, and has a blast teaching it. This class is for all levels of fitness and in 30 mins you get a full body workout, and have fun while you’re at it. Come check it out!
When Steph is not at the Y she is working with those who suffer from Dementia, playing with her almost 2 year old and training for an upcoming Strongwomen Competition. She is also certified in teaching Zumba.
Christine Sullivan - "Try everything once and never regret you did. You may not know what's out there in life until you try."
Christine Sullivan is originally from Wisconsin (Go Packers), and has been living in Westfield since 2006. She has been teaching group exercise classes for 22 years. Christine has a dance degree (her first love) and started teaching many disciplines of dance in 1986. Her second passion is animals. She returned to college to obtain her Veterinary Science degree and, also works as a nurse at a local animal hospital. While she loves to read, she really enjoys spending time with her granddaughter.
Classes she currently teaches:
Body Shaping - pure muscle building and toning. Each class is different, so you will have plenty of variety. She utilizes not only the free weights (dumbbells), but stability balls, bands, medicine balls and weighted bars.
Piloxing Barre - mix of pilates and boxing at the Ballet Barre. Want to work muscles you never knew you had? Then try this class. Channel your inner ballerina (no experience necessary) and work toward better balance and leaner muscles. The slow leg work really challenges your body's muscle control. Once you try it, you'll be hooked.
In the past, she taught also taught Piloxing, which is a mix of standing pilates, boxing and dance - a fun class that is like no other. She hopes to bring that and Piloxing Booty to the Y in the future.
Her motto? Try everything once and never regret you did. You may not know what's out there in life until you try.
And, always remember: when you're having a bad day, reflect on the other things in life that could be much worse-you will get through the little things.
Diana DelMonte - "Our bodies are always changing, and we have to exercise at the level that works for us and makes us feel good. It's ok to challenge ourselves, but not to hurt ourselves."
Diana DelMonte has been a member of the Y since 2003 and started as a substitute group cycling instructor in 2007. Currently, she teaches Group Cycling on Monday and Wednesday at 5:15 pm. This 45-minute class is for adults of all ages and fitness levels. Join her as you'll ride up and down hills, sprint, jump, and jog on your Keiser stationary bicycle to a variety of music from the 1960s to today. You will burn fat, build muscle and improve your endurance. It's easy on the joints, good for your heart, and will ease your stress. Don't forget your water bottle!
Diana was Program Volunteer of the Year at the YMCA in 2014 for her dedicated service to the Westfield YMCA gymnastics team. Outside of the Y, she works full time in broadcast operations at a local tv station. She is a big fan of the Olympics, enjoys summer and heading to the beach, going for rides on bike trails, and spending time with her family and friends.
Donna O'Connor - "Do, but don't overdo."
Donna O’Connor has been teaching fitness classes since 1987! That’s 30+ years, friends! And, she has loved every minute of it! She has always felt supported by, and so appreciative of, her YMCA family. “The Y is my second home and has been for many years. It’s not only where I work out with my friends, but where I’ve loved and laughed and lived into so many moments of joy. When I arrive at class, I am greeted with such kindness and positive energy. It makes for a wonderful way to start a new day!”
Presently, Donna is teaching Stretch and Strengthen on Tuesday/Thursday from 8:00-9:00 am and on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00 am. Her motto is, “Do, but don’t overdo”. She encourages her participants to be very attentive to their bodies in motion and to honor their abilities in the moment. She was strongly influenced to create this class through the vision of Suzanne Marotta, a premier Yoga instructor in the area. Suzanne had a most unorthodox and wholly endearing way of teaching that engendered deep caring and respect from her students. She had an energy and light that left us all so sad and unbelieving when she passed in 2021.
Donna is a Spiritual Director and Focusing Facilitator at Genesis Spiritual Life Center. Her favorite pastimes include reading, walking/hiking in nature, and enjoying her two children and their lovely significant others. She and husband, Jim, (an even-longer member of the YMCA) are proud to call themselves “National Park Geeks”. They will continue to vacation in the parks for as long as their bodies allow…healthy bodies being another major perk of YMCA membership! "
Jen Keenan-Jolie - "I feel so fortunate to have found a place at the Y. What a great community to be among for this next phase of my life!"
Jen Keenan-Jolie started at the Y teaching 7 am Yoga in the fall of 2021 and immediately felt welcomed by the community here.
Her goal for her yoga classes is to offer participants a solid foundation on which to safely build a strong yoga practice. She offers modifications and adjustments as she teaches, and encourages students to take the time to explore each posture. She also offers more challenging postures as appropriate. The first principle of her teaching is Ahimsa, to do no harm. It is important to her that everyone feel safe and have fun in her classes. Her areas of interest and continued study include yoga for pain management, breathwork, and restorative yoga.
Recently retired from a career in higher education, Jen credits her yoga practice for the fact that she feels better now than she did as a much younger person, both inside and out. She is excited for the opportunity to share the practice with people of all ages, experiences and levels of ability. She has the 250-hour Teacher of Raja Yoga certification from Dhira Yoga Center where she also teaches. She is also working toward Continuing Ed hours in Restorative Yoga and regularly attends workshops and other events to further her understanding.
“I feel so fortunate to have found a place at the Y. What a great community to be among for this next phase of my life!”