Class of 1993 Alumni Spotlight
– Posted Spring 2021
All Who Wander Are Not Lost
A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Aaron Gallagher (Class of 1993) remembers being uncertain at times about where his path would lead. He said, "One of my favorite quotes is from Lewis Carroll, 'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.'
With 23-years of experience in the civil engineering field, Aaron Gallagher is now a Vice President and Director of Civil Engineering at Massachusetts-based Nitsch Engineering, where he has provided design and consulting services on a wide range of projects. He is proud to say that his educational background includes four years at Blackstone Valley Tech. Ultimately his education, combined with 'wandering,' set him on a course that has served him well.
Aaron attended Our Lady of the Valley, a regional private catholic school in Uxbridge, from kindergarten through eighth grade. He said, "Going from one regional school to another wasn't a huge change, but mainly I chose to pursue a vocational-technical education because my dad taught at BVT. I now remember that time with him fondly. He knew everything going on with me all the time, sometimes even before I did. But for the most part, I really couldn't imagine doing it without him there with me. It was a positive experience."
"Science and math were my two favorite subjects, and the Electronics program was the best fit for me. At BVT, I learned skills that have served me well in the Civil Engineering industry and throughout my career," said Aaron. "If we're talking about real concrete skills that I use daily, I'd have to say Mrs. Pyne's typing class. I mean, I can still type about 80 words a minute, thanks to her. I also figured out that I'm a very visual/hands-on learner, which I realized with our shop classes. I received hands-on learning from some top-notch educators, Bob Genoa, Frank Rubino, and John Byrnes, who all spent time working in the industry. I still lean on the fact that I know I'm a visual learner and gravitate towards learning opportunities that are as visual and hands-on as possible, even to this day."
"When I graduated in'93, I knew I wanted to further my education, but I'm not sure I'd thought too much past that point," said Aaron. "I look back at that time and laugh at how naive I was and how little I knew about life. I have no strong recollection of where I thought my path was leading me. But I definitely didn't have any idea that I'd end up where I am now." Aaron studied Civil Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (BSCE), Class of 1998, and attended Suffolk University Law School, 2005–2007. Aaron currently resides in Mansfield with his wife Kara and their son Myles.
"I don't do much technical engineering work in my current role at Nitsch Engineering, but we handle a ton of interesting projects," said Aaron. "We are one of the more progressive companies regarding sustainable civil engineering design and climate resiliency projects. We are transforming the Seaport District in Downtown Boston from industrial buildings and parking lots to the vibrant waterfront community that it is today. We're behind the Moakley Park project in South Boston that will help the City of Boston become more resilient to climate change and rising seawater levels while also creating some cool public gathering spaces."
When asked if he had any advice for today's vocational-technical students, Aaron said, "Two things come to mind, never stop learning and have a plan. I've been in the Civil Engineering industry for over 23-years, and I still learn new things. If you think you know everything there is to know about your chosen profession, you're most likely not looking hard enough for ways you can improve and grow."
"One of my favorite quotes is from Lewis Carroll, 'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.' It's perfectly ok to wander from time to time. Some of the best times in my life were while I was aimlessly wandering," said Aaron. "But when you figure out what you want to do or where you want to end up, I'd recommend you have a plan to get you there, whether it's a one-year plan, a five-year plan, or a 20-year plan (preferably, you'll have all of those). Make promises to yourself and set goals with measurable tasks, with specific timelines to help you achieve that goal. Revisit your goals and keep yourself accountable. It's ok to change course along the way and modify your plan (I mean, we all know life happens) but make sure whatever comes your way, you revisit your plan."
“I think now, more than ever, vocational schools are essential for the future of our country. I’m proud to say that I’m a BVT Beaver. I admire those who choose to pursue a vocational-technical education and are out there, succeeding in the real world or will be in the future, whether it is in the field you studied in or not. Go Beavers!!! As I travel through life, I’ve come to value not where I am going but how I felt in those moments throughout my life, when I’ve been a part of something amazing,” said Aaron. “So far, it’s been – unbelievable.”
The Ferreira Family
– Posted Fall 2019
Father + Mother + Daughter = BVT Pride
Lindsey Ferreira of Sutton (Multimedia Communications, Class of 2019) included this quote in her yearbook, “The past doesn’t define who you are, it just gives you the starting point of who you’re going to be.” BVT is a big part of her parent’s history, which is why Lindsey decided to follow in their footsteps and apply to BVT.
Graduates of the Class of 1993, Lindsey’s parents David Ferreira of Milford (Plumbing) and Danielle Vanderlinden of Sutton (Information Processing) met as students and married in 1997. They currently reside in Sutton where they are busy raising their family.
David, employed by Waters Corporation in Milford for 23 years, is a Senior Material Technician. He returned to BVT in the late ‘90s to assist with junior varsity baseball.
Danielle is the Director of Plan Implementation at Wilson Language Training in Oxford. She furthered her education at Nichols College in Dudley with a Bachelor’s degree and dual major in Accounting and Information Processing, and also completed a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership in 2016.
As a senior, Lindsey excelled as a setter captain on the varsity volleyball team under coach Brian Lehtinen. This summer she shared her skills by returning to campus to help coach the volleyball clinic. Come this fall, her parents will proudly send her off to Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston where she’s looking forward to fine-tuning her animation talent and pursuing her passion for art.
From one generation to the next, BVT has given this family a firm foundation, but for Lindsey, this is her starting point. Best of luck to Lindsey and all of our 2019 graduates.
Once a Beaver, always a Beaver!