By Michele Siegel
In 1965, the first year John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Kings Point opened its doors, Dan Marsella moved with his family from the Bronx to Great Neck and began fourth grade in the elementary school. Marsella and his younger sister have fond memories of their years growing up in Great Neck, especially those which included skating at the open-air Parkwood Ice Rink (enclosed now and renamed the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink). Marsella spent hours skating at the rink with his childhood friend, Peter M. Renick (the current superintendent of the Great Neck Park District). Richard Arenella, the Park District superintendent at that time, hired both Marsella and Renick to work as skate instructors on the same day back in 1972. They were both just 16 years old. Marsella progressed to skate guard and hockey coach during the winter and worked summers at Parkwood Pool through 1978.
After graduating from St. John’s University in 1978, where he majored in criminal justice, he put aside his dream of becoming a police officer. When he married in 1992, he relocated to Chicago, where he opened a commercial carpet cleaning business. His daughter, Alexis, is now 22 years old.
Soon after his divorce in 2011, Marsella moved back to Great Neck to help care for his elderly parents. One thing led to another and during the summer of 2012, Marsella was rehired by the Park District as the Parkwood Pool coordinator. Coming full circle in 2014, Marsella was offered the full-time job of rink manager and hockey director of the Bears program at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink—and the community is thrilled to welcome him back.
For information about joining the Bears Hockey program or for questions about the rink, call Marsella at 516-487-2976, ext. 128.