Class of 1996 Alumni Spotlight
– Posted Spring 2021
As the daughter of a BVT instructor, Kate Gallagher (Class of 1996) remembers being sure that BVT was where she should be. Beyond that, she was surprised to discover where her education would take her and how much she values her vocational-technical education.
With over 20-years of experience in the news radio industry, Kate Gallagher is Senior Editor in Charge at WBZ News Radio 1030. She now manages all local news coverage and supervises and supports her team of reporters and editors on a wide range of local news stories. "I gained confidence and an understanding of how the world works, what it means to have a job, be part of a team, and collaborate with others at BVT," said Kate. "While these things translate into all careers, I consider them invaluable in how I got to where I am today."
When asked why she decided to go to BVT, Kate said, "Thinking back, I don't know that I ever considered going anywhere else for high school. For as long as I can remember, it was where I was destined to be. But by the time I arrived, everyone at BVT knew my dad, Jack, my brother, Aaron, and the Gallagher name. It didn't hurt that my dad was a pretty popular teacher, but I had zero anonymity, and I couldn't get away with much, but honestly, I loved every minute of being there with them."
Kate always enjoyed cooking and describes herself as one of those people who believe food is love. She explained that Culinary Arts seemed a natural fit at the time. "I had met Eddie Bracebridge (Mr. B.), the founding Culinary Arts instructor, years before attending BVT," said Kate. "He had such a great personality that I wanted to be in his company. I was happy with that decision. My instructors, Mr. B., Mr. Mattei, Dawn Dubois, and Gladys Mckinstry, were terrific, and I learned a lot from them. But a Culinary Arts career was not in the cards for me. While I enjoyed it, I had other plans."
"I had big ideas when I graduated from BVT," said Kate." I would travel the world working as a photojournalist or a videographer before eventually ending up in New York or Los Angeles. I was passionate about consuming the news. I loved politics, loved following policy discussions, and legal wrangling. I think I inherited that from my dad, along with his passion for civics. I'd always skim the newspaper after he read it, and then we'd talk at length about the news of the day, the politicians, and of course the shenanigans."
Kate went on to earn an associate degree in Mass Communication and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Newbury College. She took courses in television and radio production, theater performance, and photography at Newbury College. She loved it all, but over time realized that the technical aspect of production news didn't intrigue her. "It was the act of imparting information and checking facts that I enjoyed," said Kate. "My radio professor encouraged me to make the transition to writing news, and it just felt right. I found that my true passion was local news. I believe the news that people care about is the stuff happening in their own backyards. So, I decided to stay local and focus on writing the news in the area that I cared about the most." Kate currently lives in Dedham with her husband Brian and their two boys, Jack and Ryan.
"At WBZ, our stories are short-form, typically no longer than 35 seconds, airing maybe 3 or 4 times before we are on to the next story," explained Kate. "In my radio news career, I am most proud of our team and our continuing coverage of major news stories over the last 20-years. I was in the WBZ newsroom for the 9-11 attacks, which was probably the most stressful day of my career, the Boston Marathon bombing, a personally terrifying day because I had assigned reporters to be at the finish line for the race. I remember frantically calling their phones, just praying they would answer. (They did). The Merrimack Valley gas explosions, and most recently, the pandemic."
"My advice for all vocational students is to make the most of every opportunity that you have," said Kate. "I'd recommend keeping up with new technology; it has served me well — media companies need tech-savvy people with social media skills who can adapt quickly to changing trends. Tech trends change so quickly that if you don't keep up, you risk becoming obsolete. And I hate to say it, but social media and new apps are the way of the future. When I first heard about Twitter, I didn't think it would catch on. But it did, and now the focus is on Instagram, and tomorrow it will be something else."
"Learn everything you can, even if you don't continue in your trade as you have no idea how valuable those experiences are and what they might mean to you in the future. Be secure in the knowledge that you can always fall back on the trade you learned at BVT. My vocational education shaped my work ethic, the choices I made in my career, and how I came to be where I am today."
– Posted Fall 2017
An Easy-Bake Oven and the rise of the Food Network sparked a career in the culinary industry for Christine Langelier. She is currently the General Manager of Blue Hills at Stone Barns located in Pocantico Hills, New York. Langelier credits BVT’s full-service Three Seasons Restaurant for providing her with her first real-life experiences in both the back-of-house and front-of-house which are duties that she now completes daily.
In May, Blue Hills at Stone Barns was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Service. Langelier first attended the James Beard Awards, often referred to as the Academy Awards of the food and beverage industry, as a volunteer while studying at the Culinary Institute of America. The experience of being on the stage receiving an award rather than behind the stage was an incredible moment for Langelier.
“As the General Manager, I’ve helped train and mentor the staff that contributed in this year’s award, so this win meant more to me personally,” said Langelier. “Having my team able to stand beside me to accept one of the industry’s highest awards was such positive affirmation for the hard work we all put into the restaurant.”