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NASHOBA TECH CELEBRATES 45 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION WITH GALA
NASHOBA TECH CELEBRATES 45 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION WITH GALA
Posted on 05/14/2015
NASHOBA TECH CELEBRATES 45 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION WITH GALAGALA WALKER

Robert Walker, developer of Cornerstone Square in Westford, among many other developments in the Nashoba and Merrimack valleys, speaks at Nashoba Tech’s 45th anniversary gala Wednesday at the school. Walker graduated from Nashoba Tech in 1982.

GALA KELLIELLE

Kelli Eliopoulos, right, manager of the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank branch at Nashoba Tech, receives a proclamation from Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz on behalf of the Lowell Five, which was inducted into the school’s new Hall of Honor as a business partner.

GALA RICARD

Nashoba Tech Assistant Principal Matthew Ricard, right, receives a proclamation from Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz. Ricard, who graduated from Nashoba Tech in 1995, was inducted into the school’s Hall of Honor.

WESTFORD — Robert Walker has a lot to be thankful for.

        Now one of the most successful developers in the Nashoba and Merrimack valleys, in 1978, he was entering high school and, like most kids in that position, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.

        A Littleton resident at the time, he started at Littleton High School but soon realized it wasn’t what he wanted. So he transferred to Nashoba Valley Technical High School, which was then in its relative infancy, having opened its doors in September 1969.

        On Wednesday night, in Nashoba Tech’s Viking Forum, Walker helped the school celebrate its 45th anniversary by speaking at a gala that also included the induction of the first 51 people and institutions into Nashoba Tech’s Hall of Honor.

        “I knew the direction I wanted to go wasn’t the traditional route to high school,” Walker told the assemblage. “In 1979, the Tech had a slight reputation of being not for the smartest kids, and I was glad to prove everyone wrong.”

        Walker entered the Electronics program. After he graduated in 1982, he earned his journeyman electrician’s license. In 1987, he started his own electrical business, which still operates today.

        In 1994, he entered the field of real-estate development. Today, he is principal of Westford-based RA Ventures, which has developed more than 40 buildings along the Interstate-495 corridor, from Beverly to Falmouth, including much of downtown Devens, and he owns or has developed numerous car washes, hotels and restaurants, including the 110 Grill in Chelmsford.

        Perhaps most noteworthy is the 238,000-square-foot Cornerstone Square that Walker opened on Route 110 in Westford in 2012.

        “Much like my career, the Tech has grown over time,” Walker said. “It is the epitome of what a quality education is about. It gave me the vehicle to achieve my goals and aspirations. I wanted to see things in a certain way, and the Tech let me do that.”

        Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz said the 45th anniversary celebration, which began last June and will culminate on June 6, when Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito addresses the graduating class of 2015 at graduation, is a way to look back and thank those who have helped make Nashoba Tech the thriving school it is today.

        “Nashoba Tech is always thinking of the present and the future in the context of education and career training,” Klimkiewicz said. “But it’s also important sometimes to look backward. Many lessons can be learned from the past.”

        She said the Hall of Honor was established to show appreciation for those who helped along the way, some of whom are deceased.

        “We’re celebrating 45 years of excellence in education, and we wanted to thank those students, staff members, administrators, and business and community leaders who gave fully of themselves so Nashoba Tech could be successful.”

        The school also received proclamations from the state Senate and House of Representatives, as well as U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.

        Inducted into the Hall of Honor were:

• Retired staff members Pamela Anderson, Tony Cerra, Frank Connell, Ed Gill, George Kalarites, Victor Kiloski, Thomas Lafionaitis, William Lekas, Shirley Lowry, David McLaughlin, Bernie Nystrom, Charles Pentedemos, Paul Royte, Claudia Saball and Peggy Ward.

• School Committee members, both past and present, Jerri Bozicas, Al Buckley, Ellen Hargraves, Robert Hargraves, Ralph Hulslander, Augustine “Whitey” Kish, Hajo Koester, Irene Machemer, Kevin McKenzie, Joan O’Brien, Samuel Poulten, Sandy Proctor, Jennifer Rhodes, Garry Ricard, Ann Roche, Sharon Shanahan, Ben Wales and Richard White.

• Current staff members Carol Heidenrich, Irene Hulslander, Judith Klimkiewicz, Scott Lahue, Timothy McDonald, Matthew Ricard, Steve Whiting and Barbara Whitney.

• Business partners Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Juniper Networks, Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, MacKay Hardware, Richard Nagle of Raytheon, Nashoba Valley Ski Area, School Street Light Truck Parts and Westford Earth Materials.

• Alumni Moses McCall and Robert Walker.