Dedication Common Among Hall of Fame Inductees
CHELMSFORD -- A trailblazing female officer. Successful businessmen in telecommunications and management consulting. Educators, coaches and mentors.
Whatever their profession, all of this year’s inductees to the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame show dedication and service to community, said Executive Director George Simonian.
“The common thread among all of them is what they do in their communities,” he said. “They are participants and activists, all of them.”
Gail (Mullen) Beaudoin, Class of 1979, was one of the first female police officers at the Chelmsford Police Department, overcoming sexism and discrimination to be the first woman to become a detective, sergeant and lieutenant.
“Calling on her determination, perseverance and caring personality she soon gained the much-deserved respect of her colleagues and the community that she served,” said Bob Pariseau, who nominated her.
Upon retiring from the force after 32 years, she became a full-time criminal justice teacher at Concord Regional Technical Center in New Hampshire. Beaudoin also served more than 16 years on the Chelmsford Housing Authority board.
Peter McHugh, Class of 1964, is a true “renaissance man,” with a diverse array of accomplishments in academics, athletics, music, business and community involvement. He played trumpet at CHS and professionally, attended Harvard College and taught high school biology in Haverhill for three years. In 1972, he went into sales and marketing at New England Telephone, marking the beginning of a successful career in the telecommunications industry.
At AT&T, McHugh developed channel sales programs that expanded sales of end-user telephone switching systems tenfold. In 1995, he joined EMC Corp., where he helped start a new business unit that laid the foundation for today’s internet video streaming infrastructure.
Maura (Devaney) Duah-Asamoah, Class of 1988, was an accomplished varsity softball and field hockey player at CHS and gives back to her alma mater as a health and wellness educator and field hockey, lacrosse and basketball coach, receiving local and regional recognition on numerous occasions. In 2005, the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance named her Health Education Teacher of the Year.
“Her athletes were empowered and challenged to become strong, independent young women while also producing Division 1 athletes,” said Hawthorne House Dean Joshua Blagg.
Patricia (Galvin) McCafferty, Class of 1976, began her career as a reporter for The Sun before becoming district director for former U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, now president of the UMass system. McCafferty has worked for UMass Lowell since 2001, rising through the ranks to become vice chancellor of university relations, a position she’s held since 2011.
She co-founded the Sacred Heart Neighborhood Endowed Scholarship for Lowell students with financial need, and served several years on the Merrimack Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees and a number of committees at the Academy of Notre Dame.
Lauren Cochran is a 22-year CHS music, theater and filmmaking teacher and after-school advisor who has overseen countless plays and musicals and helped enrich arts programming at the school.
“Through her outspoken leadership, she inspired everyone around her to be better, push the boundaries and strive to be better than we all were the day before,” said 2002 graduate Ben Gasper.
William Gilet Jr., Class of 1989, has found professional success as a partner specializing in management consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global, $38 billion accounting, tax and consulting firm.
He gives back to his community in numerous ways, including serving as chairman of the Vinal Square Strategic Action Committee and the boards of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell and Lowell General Hospital. Over the past 25 years, his efforts have brought nearly $2 million in funds for North Chelmsford, and he continues to raise close to $1 million for local charities annually.
Judy (Merrill) Metz, Class of 1973, was an accomplished varsity basketball and softball athlete at CHS and went onto become a physical education teacher, athletic director and coach at a number of locations around the region, including 22 years at Pelham High School.
Her career took her to Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she taught at Escuela Bella Vista from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2014 to 2017, making her the first foreign educator to go back to the school.
Michael O’Keefe, Class of 1987, was an accomplished varsity baseball and basketball athlete at CHS. His baseball achievements continued at Assumption College, where he was named to the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame as the most prolific baseball performer in Greyhound history.
O’Keefe taught in Worcester for four years before coming back to CHS, where he has been a beloved social studies teacher for 21 years and received local and regional recognition for his 23 years of coaching baseball.
“Mr. O’Keefe constantly pushes his students to do better in school, be better human beings, and to never give up on anything they decide to pursue,” said 2008 graduate Lisa DeDonato.
Louise (Quinn) Tremblay, Class of 1962, was active in band, theater and sports at CHS, but her true talents lie in service to community. She served 30 years on the Dracut Finance Committee, nine in leadership positions, and on numerous other Dracut committees, including the Historical Commission and Community Preservation Committee.
She has been recognized for her community involvement on many occasions, receiving such honors as the Massachusetts Unsung Heroine Award, Community Champion from the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, and the Melvin Jones Award from the Lions Club.
Former 18-year School Committee member Evelyn Thoren will also receive the Lucy E. Simonian Golden Lion Award, an occasional award given to individuals and organizations that support CHS and its students but do not qualify for induction to the Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, March 23, at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center in Lowell.
Tickets are $60 per person and going fast. Contact Terry McSheehy at 978-251-3788 or Simonian at 978-256-3100 for tickets and information.
In-depth bios can be found at chsalumni.org/hall-of-fame-members .
Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alana.lowellsun or on Twitter @alanamelanson.