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NASHOBA TECH STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR STATE AWARDS
Dan Phelps
Thursday, May 07, 2020

Following are Nashoba Tech's nominees for other major statewide and county awards. 

Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators’ Top Vocational Student

Donald “DJ” Fraser III, son of Donald Fraser Jr. and Jean Fraser of Chelmsford, is in the Electrical Technology program, and he has become so proficient at it already that he works for Massachusetts Electrical Contractors through the Cooperative Education program and plans to continue working for the firm upon graduation.

DJ is an honor-roll student who has been inducted into both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. He is a student representative to the School Committee and a member of the Student Council. This spring, he will attempt to earn a medal in the SkillsUSA district, state and national competitions. 

DJ is a standout wrestler in the 195-pound weight category who this season recorded his 100th career mat victory, a milestone only dreamed about for most wrestlers. He also plays center/linebacker for the football team and catcher/pitcher for the baseball team, and is captain of all three sports this year. 

He is also a Freshman Mentor, helping younger students acclimate themselves to Nashoba Tech, and he volunteers at the Chelmsford Elks Club, where his parents are members.

Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Walter J. Markham Award

Rachael Thompson of Littleton, daughter of Peter and Maryann Thompson, is Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s nominee for the Walter J. Markham Award, sponsored by the Massachusetts Vocational Association.

Rachael is a senior in the TV & Media Production/Theatre Arts program. She is a high-honors student and a member of three honor societies — National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. As Nashoba Tech is an Early College School, Rachael is taking all Early College classes her senior year. And speaking of college, she has been accepted to — and was offered a Dean’s Scholarship to — the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Honors College and hopes to study Sound Recording Technology. She has also qualified for the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, which provides free tuition for four years to any Massachusetts public college or university.

Rachael is a well-rounded student. She is an officer of the Viking Theatre Guild, participates in plays and musicals, and plays volleyball for the Vikings. She also plays trombone and piano. 

Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Top Non-Traditional Vocational Student

Amani Downs of Westford, granddaughter of Paul and Diane Graczyk, is Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s nominee for the Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Non-Traditional Vocational Student Award.

Amani is a senior in the Plumbing & Heating program, one of only four girls — and the only senior girl — in the program. She is an honor-roll student and  a freshman mentor, helping incoming students acclimate to high school. She competes for the cheerleading and softball teams at Nashoba Tech.

Amani said she was a bit intimidated at first, being the only girl in her grade in the Plumbing & Heating program, but she is glad she saw it through and also proud to be Nashoba Tech’s nominee for the MVA Non-Traditional award.

“It makes me very happy,” she said. “There are definitely a lot of awesome people who go to this school, so I’m proud they chose me.”

Amani qualified for the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, which provides free tuition for four years to any Massachusetts public college or university. She plans to attend college to study Business “and see what opportunities arise from that.” She has been accepted to Bridgewater State University, Dean College and Anna Maria College, and is also interested in the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Top Postsecondary Student

Emily Brobst of Westford, daughter of Matthew Brobst and Misty Manibusan, is Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s nominee for the Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Postsecondary Student Award.

Emily is a 2018 graduate of Westford Academy who began her postgraduate career at Nashoba Tech to in Fall 2019 to study Veterinary Assisting. She spends some of her time learning theory in the Veterinary Assisting classroom and some working in the Angell at Nashoba Clinic, a partnership between Nashoba Tech and Angell Animal Medical Center that operates on the Nashoba Tech campus.

“I wanted to work with animals so I came to Nashoba Tech to get that hands-on experience,” Emily said, noting that she helps with pets before surgical procedures as well as with post-surgery and front-office jobs.

She plans to continue her education in veterinary science after her postgraduate stint is done in Spring 2020, and would like to work in an animal hospital.

Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Best New Teacher

Peter Martin, in his third year teaching Electrical Technology, is Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s  nominee for the Massachusetts Vocational Association’s Best New Teacher Award. The award goes to a teacher who has been teaching less than three years at a school.

Peter is a Dunstable resident and a 1997 graduate of Greater Lowell Technical High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at Bentley College before going on to work in the electrical field. He then decided he wanted to teach electrical theory to high-school students.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in the theory part of the industry,” Peter said. “I enjoy that ‘a-ha moment’ when a student learns something they’ve been working on. I love seeing it dawn on their faces.”

Peter said he is proud of being selected as Nashoba Tech’s nominee for Best New Teacher.

Merrimack Valley Superintendents Association’s Top Students

Kaleigh Walsh and Danielle Watman, both Chelmsford residents, have been selected as Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s honorees at the Merrimack Valley Superintendents Association’s annual scholastic luncheon.

Kaleigh Walsh is a senior in the Engineering Technology program and a full-time student at Middlesex Community College through Nashoba Tech’s Dual Enrollment program. At MCC, she is creating her own course of studies because she is interested in environmental engineering, a major that MCC does not offer.

At Nashoba Tech, Kaleigh is an honor-roll student, and a member of the Digital Media Club and Robotics Club. She has competed in SkillsUSA and won a bronze medal last spring in the State Conference. Kaleigh qualified to receive the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, which provides free tuition for four years to any Massachusetts public college or university, and she is leaning toward Worcester Polytechnical Institute, where she has been accepted and has ben offered a scholarship worth $28,000. She has also been accepted to the University of Vermont and the University of New Hampshire and is also interested in Northeastern University.

Danielle Watman, daughter of Ronald and Azlin Watman, is a senior in the Programming and Web Development program. She is a high-honors student and  a member of the school’s Outdoors, Digital Media and Culinary clubs. She is interested in attending college next fall to study computer science or artificial intelligence.

Danielle plans to go to college in the fall and has applied to Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Becker College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Fitchburg State University and University of Massachusetts Lowell.