HANOVER — Whitman senior Rosa Gachia has big plans for her future, but the Allied Health student who intends to become a surgeon has already compiled an impressive résumé at South Shore Regional Vocational Technical School — and just added the biggest achievement of all.
The SSVT School Committee on Wednesday, May 16 announced that Gachia, daughter of Kenneth Njuguna and Teresia Kariuki, is valedictorian for the Class of 2018.
She will attend Bridgewater State University in the fall and was also accepted at Simmons College and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gachia is also a member of the National Honor Society, a SkillsUSA participant, a peer mentor, student body president and student representative to the School Committee.
Hanover seniors Cole Hoadley, Mikaela Drake and Gachia, were also honored as students of the month for February, April and May respectively. Drake was also honored as the school’s Vocational Student of the Year.
“It’s an honor to have students such as this at South Shore Vo-Tech,” School Committee Chairman Robert Molla said, adding the committee’s congratulations.
“These are truly three of our finest students,” said Assistant Principal Sandra Baldner. “The students of the month are always spectacular. She asked each student to talk about what they consider to be the highlight of their SSVT experience.
“She really is the face of South Shore,” Baldner said of Gachia. “She represents a work ethic, a spirit and a kindness that we would like all students to embody.”
Gachia singled out meeting new friends from the eight member towns at SSVT as her highlight of attending the school.
“I never would have gotten to meet Mikaela or Cole if I went to Whitman-Hanson,” she said.
“She worked hard while having all that fun,” Baldner added.
Automotive student Drake, who Baldner described as a “dynamic, talented and gifted academic student” has also been named the school’s Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year.
“I think the most memorable moment was getting accepted into Automotive Technology Shop because I remember that, in freshman year, there were a lot of people that wanted it and I wasn’t sure if I would get my first choice of shop,” she said.
Drake will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in September.
A Metal Fabrication/Welding student, Hoadley was selected for his exemplary work ethic and for his efforts on behalf of the student ambassador’s program.
“Without Cole, there really wouldn’t be a student ambassador’s program,” Baldner said.
While Hoadley said there had been many highlights for him over the past four years, he found the SkillsUSA program especially rewarding.
“I’ve been part of tons of different conferences for them to leaderships to three district competitions and two state competitions,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable experience.”
He plans to attend Massasoit Community College while staying in his trade and working full time.
In other business, Superintendent-Director Thomas Hickey announced that Assistant Principal Mark Aubrey has been hired to be the next school principal. Principal Margaret Dutch is retiring at the end of the school year.
Horticulture teacher at Upper Cape Tech Keith Boyle has been hired as one of two vocational coordinators at SSVT. Interviews are still being conducted for the second position.
Non-resident tuition rate of $17,266 for fiscal 2019 was accepted by the School Committee.