Lynn Tech inducts 12 new members into its Hall of Fame

Lynn Vocational Technical Alumni Association Hall of Fame inductees: (seated from left) Gerardo Raffaele, Class of 1989; Kenell Broomstein, Class of 2004; Diana Badger, Class of 1981; Kathy Alukonis, Class of 1988; Dianna Chakoutis, Class of 1980; Frank Cassell, Class of 1982; (standing L-R) Patrick McGrath, Class of 1973; Craig Whitcomb, Sr., Class of 1990; Antonio Anderson, Class of 2004; Dennis Barton, Class of 1978; Drew Bennett, Class of 1973; Kevin Woodbury, Class of 1976. (Marianne Salza)

MIDDLETON — Appreciation. Courage. Family. Perseverance. Those are just some of the core values that embody what it means to be a student at Lynn Tech.

Saturday night at Angelica’s Restaurant in Middleton, Tech officially inducted 12 new members into the school’s Hall of Fame. And their speeches touched on the morals they learned during their years at Tech — morals they still carry with them in their respective professions.

The inductees were Kathy Alukonis (Class of 1988), Antonio Anderson (2003), Diana Badger (1981), Drew Bennett (1973), Kenell Broomstein (2004), Frank Cassell (1982), Dianna Chakoutis (1984), Patrick McGrath (1973), Gerardo Raffaele (1989), Craig Whitcomb, Sr. (1990) and Kevin Woodbury (1976).

“We had a great group of candidates, as we’ve had every two to three years or so,” said Bart Conlon, who serves on the Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors. “It’s not an easy decision because some candidates didn’t get in, but we can’t put in a bunch of people at once. We were pleased with the people here. We had a great turnout for it, we had great sponsors and we had a very successful night.”

Conlon said the inductees formed a well-rounded class.

“They came from a number of different programs that we’ve offered at Tech over the years,” Conlon said. “They’re very thankful because their time at Tech got them off on the right foot. They graduated school and if they didn’t go to college, they had something where they could get into a trade and work their way up, which many of them have done. Some of them get their degrees too. Some of them get into trades and it works out very well.”

Saturday’s ceremony started with opening remarks from Lynn Fire Chief Steve Archer and emcee, Lynn Ward 2 City Councilor Rick Starbard, Tech Principal Carissa Karakaedos and Tech Alumni Association President James Ward. Tech SkillsUSA students delivered a presentation before the inductees were introduced by Archer. Each inductee delivered a brief speech reflecting on their experiences at Tech.

“The speeches were great,” Ward said. “You heard different stories. Everybody went up there and did a great job.

“Perseverance was a big word of the night,” Ward said. “Perseverance and keep going after it, keep plugging away.”

Conlon agreed.

“The speeches were very good,” Conlon said. “When you’re putting 12 people in, it could be a very long night. They got to their speeches short and sweet and got to the point. They had a chance to thank some of the teachers they’ve had over the years. Some of them were here too, which is good.”

Al Malagrifa was one of the former Tech teachers in attendance. Malagrifa is on the board of directors and enjoys hearing success stories from his former students.

“They’re not my old students, Malagrifa said, “they’re more like my children. Mr. Woodbury lives two doors away from me. Mr. Raffaele, I visit with his family in Italy.

“I’m a trade person,” Malagrifa said. “I relate to the trade people. I enjoyed my years at Tech. I taught for 37 years and I enjoyed all of them.”

Ward said the inductees serve as positive role models for Tech’s current students.

“The levels of success is just amazing,” Ward said. “People are doing amazing things. People don’t realize that’s what Lynn Tech’s all about. It’s about building amazing people.”

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