Guest Column

Michelle Staggers Soars for Duke Lacrosse

Michelle Staggers  Credits: Duke Athletics
Savannah Cohen is a third-grade student at Tamaques Elementary School.

Editor’s note: Savannah Cohen, a third grader at Tamaques School in Westfield, was recently selected to be a student journalist for Education Update. For her first assignment, she was asked to write a story to commemorate Black History Month. Savannah wrote about Duke University's star freshman lacrosse player Michelle Staggers. Staggers spoke to Savannah on the phone on Feb. 19, a day before a game against the University of Southern California. The story is slated to appear in Education Update in the March/April edition.

Who won two national awards for lacrosse and is a great student and surprisingly did not have lacrosse in her high school? The answer is the freshman Michelle Staggers who plays at Duke University. Michelle won the William Swan Formwalt ’32 Athletic Award given to the top high school female athlete and the Thomas Moore Carruthers ’20 Memorial Award as the top scholar athlete. “I just love playing the game of lacrosse it is so much fun,” said Michelle.

Michelle grew up in Stafford, Virginia with seven siblings. An interesting fact is Michelle’s dad is the owner of an ice cream catering business and Michelle’s mother takes care of the family. Michelle and her siblings worked for her dad in the summer. “My family is great,” said Michelle. “We have a big family and we have a lot of different things going on.” Michelle’s younger brothers play lacrosse and her older brother briefly played college lacrosse at George Mason University. He left because he wanted to concentrate on his studies.

Sign Up for E-News

 On the field Michelle is Defense and Midfield. “I like the community at Duke and the people on my team they are like family” said Michelle.  She seems like she has a really good time with her teammates when a reporter asked her questions on Feb. 19. Michelle began lacrosse in second grade on a rec team. “I watched the high school lacrosse team play and went with them on away games.” said Michelle and that’s what inspired her to play lacrosse.

Michelle loves working with kids. In the future she wants to be a journalist, teacher or lawyer. “My parents have been and huge impact on life” said Michelle. Another huge impact on Michelle’s life was not having a high school lacrosse team. She played on a club team called the Storms, in Richmond, Virginia. Later she went to a boarding school in Virginia to play lacrosse.

Michelle who is African American is thankful for all of those who helped her achieve her goals. Since February is black history month a reporter asked her about what it means to her.

"I think that Black History Month is a great time to remember African Americans that were fighting for equal rights in our country and it doesn't just have to be in America," said Michelle. "I also think it is really nice that we have a month to think of those people."

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Fanwood Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Mobile Meals of Westfield

April 22, 2018

FANWOOD, NJ  — At the Fanwood Borough Council meeting on Monday, April 16, Mayor Colleen Mahr read a resolution acknowledging Mobile Meals' 50th anniversary and presented it to volunteers Nancy Otchy and Josephine Walsh.

Mobile Meals, based in Westfield, delivers meals to thousands of area residents every day. The organization passed its one millionth meal delivery several ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 4:00 PM

Westfield Memorial Library, Westfield

Westfield Memorial Library Spring Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment


Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Westfield Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting


Tue, April 24, 7:30 PM


Westfield Board of Education Meeting


Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work ...

18 Homes Sold April 15 to April 22, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Fanwood & Mountainside

Eighteen homes sold the week of April 15 to April 22, 2018, in Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside, Cranford and Westfield:*

TOWN   ADDRESS                            ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center


Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...


Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

‘A Sad Day for Paterson’ as Police Officer Loses Life in Car Crash

April 23, 2018

PATERSON, NJ — On what Paterson Superior Officers Association President Mason Maher called “a sad day for Paterson,” a city police officer lost his life on Sunday after he was involved in a motor vehicle collision while on duty.

Several sources familiar with Sunday’s tragic accident have identified the fallen officer as Tamby Yagan, a 13-year veteran of the ...