Since 2010, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School has recognized and honored outstanding alumni, teachers, and individuals who have achieved or contributed to the development of students or to the excellence of the vocational/technical programs of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. The 2014 induction was held at the annual Program Advisory Dinner, with 7 new members honored.
Four of the inductees were graduates of Assabet Valley.
Michelle Lyons Roche graduated in 1977 from the Cosmetology program. Roche currently has both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Education from Leslie University, and holds a Chapter 74 license in Cosmetology, but has also completed the MAVA (Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators) Leadership Academy, and is certified for Director, Principal and Superintendent.
Phyllis Muthee graduated from the Practical Nursing Program at Assabet in 2003. She already had a degree in economics from Kenya, but became interested in healthcare after moving to the United States. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master’s of Science in Nursing and is now a Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Muthee also serves as the chairperson on the PN Program Advisory Committee.
Wendy Pelto Tortolini is a 1987 graduate of the Commercial Arts program. (This program has morphed into the current Design and Visual Communications program.) Tortolini regularly works with top interior designers from “Architectural Digest,’ traveling to London, New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and the Florida Keys, and is soon heading to Dubai. Her artwork has been featured on an episode of MTV Cribs, and she is also featured in many books related to faux finishing and art. Her work can be seen on her website, artsofboca.com.
Jeffrey Gemma is a 1988 graduate of the Commercial Arts program. (This program has morphed into the current Design and Visual Communications program.) Initially, Gemma decided to forego his art training and worked for a time in Florida with child services, but a display of tattoo art caught his eye. Gemma immediately started a year-long apprenticeship in the art of tattoo, and today owns Secret Society Tattoo in Worcester.
One inductee was a teacher at the school.
Joan Kilroy, who served in the Practical Nursing program from 1974 to 2003, was part of the original faculty that developed a strong nursing program. Kilroy became the program’s director in 1982, where she laid the foundation for Assabet to have the only Licensed Practical Nursing program in the state to have alternative accreditation when NEASC no longer accredited these programs. Kilroy has a Bachelor’s in Nursing, a Masters of Education, and a Master’s of Science in Nursing.
This year, Assabet inducted two as Significant Contributors.
Robert Caras, founder of Ledgerock Welding and Fabrication in Hudson, has a passion and skill for creating custom ornamental and architectural features. Caras often brings this expertise to the writing and implementation of changes in our Metal Fabrication program, has been very generous with donations of material to the program, hires Assabet students, and chairs the Program Advisory Committee for Metal Fab.
MACWIC, the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative, was founded in 2012 to ensure the continuation of the manufacturing industries in Massachusetts through curriculum development and dissemination. Through MACWIC, many of our Precision Machining students have earned third party certifications that lead to employment, higher salaries, and college credit. Both Ted Bauer and Leslie Parady have been instrumental in providing Assabet with curriculum, free industry testing and credentials. They have recognized the achievement of the student body in the program and have hosted a legislative breakfast to recognize the students receiving their certification.
Submitted by Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.