Town and Gown

English graduates Saltzman and Curtis tie the knot after successful collegiate athletic careers in Cambridge

Georgia Saltzman and Matt Curtis walk down the aisle after exchanging marital vows at St. Mary’s Church in Lynn.

They are shining examples for the Lynn public school system, two graduates of Lynn English High School who went on to college and worked hard to achieve in the classroom, while spending countless hours training and practicing fortheir collegiate sports.

Matt Curtis and Georgia Saltzman have accomplished so much and they’re only in their early 20s and just beginning the next phase of their life – together.

Curtis, one of the most heralded athletes in Lynn history after being admitted to Harvard and becoming sole captain of the Crimson football team, and Saltzman, a former English standout who went on to be a captain in two sports at Lesley University, are now officially husband and wife.

The attractive couple walked down the aisle at St. Mary’s Church and celebrated with friends and family at their wedding at a reception at Oceanview in Nahant last August just a few months after Saltzman’s graduation from Lesley. They had begun dating when Matt was a senior and Georgia was a junior at English and they maintained their strong and loving relationship while attending colleges in Cambridge.

Curtis recalled how he first met Georgia Saltzman and how he, as big a high school football star as it gets, was a little intimidated about asking the popular and beautiful English student for a date.

“I was good friends with her older brother, Alex, and I played football with her older brother, Adam, as well,” said Curtis. “I knew the family well. Georgia and I were friends when I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. Georgia was a very popular girl. She was a very gregarious person and a great athlete. She did it all so everybody knew her. I thought she was a beautiful girl and I guess I got the courage to approach her.”

Georgia said her future husband first caught her eye and her father Charlie’s attention when they would be waiting to pick up her brothers at football practice.

“There’d be one kid left after practice with this weird contraption on him – like a parachute or a weighted object – and he’d be running sprints after practice,” recalled Georgia. “My dad would always say, ‘look at that kid, he’s going to be great – he’s always doing extra and staying after practice with his brother or the coaches.”’

Mr. Saltzman was right on the money. The hard-working Curtis became an All-Scholastic player and a Division 1 football recruit before choosing Harvard.

Georgia recalls vividly that memorable moment when Curtis learned he had been accepted to the world’s most prestigious university. His sister, Michelle, had brought the acceptance letter to English.

“We were together at English and he was called down to Mr. Fila’s office,” said Georgia.

“When I saw my sister in the office, I knew I got in because Michelle wouldn’t have opened the letter or brought it to me unless I had been accepted,” said Matt.

Georgia said Matt’s diligence as a student and dedication on the football field, coupled with his admission to Harvard, inspired her as they were beginning their relationship.

“At the time I was starting to look at colleges and whether I wanted to play sports, and with Matt’s work ethic and his dedication and striving to always be better – just being around Matt and seeing him work hard, it was in my nature to try to match him and emulate that.”

Georgia said she was on her way to Matt’s football game at Harvard Stadium when she first walked by Lesley University. “I eventually talked to the softball coach and she said, we’d love to have you as a student,” said Georgia, who became captain of back-to-back championship softball and basketball teams at Lesley. “I think the school was a great fit for me, from the coaches, to the faculty, to the athletic director who were very helpful.”

Georgia was able to attend only one Harvard-Yale game – while she was a senior at English.

“Every year after that, my first [Lesley] basketball game was played on the day of the Harvard-Yale game,” said Georgia. “I did get to see him play other games, though.”

Curtis, who played on two Ivy League championship teams, said Georgia’s support helped him chart the challenging and rigorous academic curriculum at Harvard while he was also playing college football.

“Harvard was incredibly demanding with football and schoolwork and the adaptation to the new environment and what enabled me to succeed was having Georgia being incredibly supportive,” said Matt. “I remember telling her before I went to football camp that this was the most important thing in the world and I have to succeed and I need you to understand that if I can’t stay up and talk on the phone or see you for an extended period of time – Georgia was just so understanding about everything.”

One of the best memories was the night Matt was elected captain of the Harvard team. His selection was announced at the Harvard football banquet two days after the Crimson had routed Yale to win the Ivy League title.

“I had the Ivy League trophy in the back seat of her car and I drove to her dormitory and I joked a little but then I told her I was a captain and she was so excited and happy for me because it’s such an incredible honor,” said Matt, who drew significant interest from National Football League teams before a back injury [he had surgery following his senior season] ended his dream of playing pro football.

Their relationship grew stronger during their college days and Matt proposed to Georgia on Christmas morning, 2009.

“I knew early on I was going to marry her – that Georgia was the girl for me,” said Matt. “She supported me through difficult times and great times and she’s just always been there. We both share a lot of the same values. We both wanted a family young and we talked about things like that. I was just very comfortable with her. But I wanted to wait until she graduated from college to get married.”

“I opened the big jewelry box and it was engraved with, ‘Will you marry me?’ with a heart and there was a ring inside and it fit,” said Georgia with her trademark bright smile.

All Georgia had to do was finish her college basketball and softball careers, take her final college exams, and receive her degree in May. – and plan her wedding at the age of 20.

“It was a very big, busy year,” said Georgia.

The wedding was held on August 14, 2010. Michael Curtis Jr., Matt’s brother, was the best man. Matt’s friends and teammates from Harvard and English attended the wedding. The maid of honor was Liz Franchi, Georgia’s roommate at Lesley. Helena Diamond, a graduate of St. Mary’s High School and lifelong friend, was in the wedding party.

Among the guests at the wedding were former English Principal Andrew Fila and former Vice Principal Donna Hegan (who gave the blessing at the wedding),  former Tech Principal James Ridley, Breed Principal Fred Dupuis (who is Georgia’s stepfather) Stacy Dupuis (who is Georgia’s mother), Lynn English school teacher Amanda Curtis (who is Matt’s sister) and former Columbia University football player Greg Abruzzese of Swampscott, a close friend of Matt’s who was instrumental in helping his football career.

“It was a real expensive party,” said Matt, “But it was awesome,” added Georgia, completing the thought.

The Curtises spent their honeymoon in Hawaii and they are currently residing in Boston’s South End.

Georgia, who received a degree in Early Intervention from Lesley, works for a non-profit organization in Needham and is an early intervention and developmental specialist.

Matt, who received a degree in Government from Harvard, is an equity analyst for Alydar Capital in Boston. During his years at Harvard, he had an internship at the firm.

“It’s the greatest place in the world to work,” said Matt. “I enjoy going to work and doing my job there.”

The Curtises hope to buy a home and live on the North Shore in the future, close to the city where Matt met Georgia and their perfect union began.

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