BILLERICA, MA — Internet technology students Jessica Turner and Thomas Strow were recently honored at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School as Seniors of the Month.
Turner is the top ranked student in the 12th grade academically and came to Shawsheen specifically for its IT shop.
“I knew that was the shop I wanted to pick,” she said.
Turner’s father works in the field and Turner spent many days going to work with her father while she was growing up. Nonetheless, Turner said her experiences at Shawsheen only further increased her interest and passion for computers.
“I knew a little bit [about computers] before I got to Shawsheen,” she said. “But I got into the depth of it during my freshman year.”
She hasn’t slowed down much since.
She’s been an honor-roll student and a member of the National Honor Society almost since walking through the doors and these days she’s taking advantage of the school’s cooperative education program. The Wilmington resident works in information systems and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
While Turner enjoys being on the MIT campus, she’s likely heading to Burlington, Vermont for college. She was recently accepted into her top choice, Champlain College, where she plans on majoring in cyber security and computer networking.
Outside of the classroom, Turner is an orientation leader, helping incoming freshmen get acclimated to their new surroundings.
Turner also played ice hockey for the Rams for two seasons.
When she’s not at school, Turner enjoys volunteering.
For the past two years, she has worked as a tutor to a middle school student in Wilmington two days each week.
She is also an active participant in charity walks such as the Relay for Life, a 24-hour charity walk. Turner has done the Walk for Hope to benefit suicide prevention as well.
As she starts to prepare for the next chapter of life, she insists that her decision to attend Shawsheen Tech was a big difference-maker in her life.
“I love Shawsheen, it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “Going to the school, I was a little iffy at first, but being able to pursue my career at such a young age was important to me. I think we’re all really lucky to be going to such a nice school.”
Strow, of Wilmington, seems to bring a measure of toughness to whatever he does.
A standout in the classroom and a member of the National Honor Society, Strow is also one of the top performers for Shawsheen’s wrestling program, traditionally one of the state’s best.
Also a cross country runner in the fall, Strow represents the Ram wrestlers at 152 pounds. Last year as a junior, Strow went 41-11 on the mat, took third place at the Div. 1 North sectional tournament and then finished fifth in the state. He also qualified for the prestigious all-state tournament.
He has high hopes again this winter and has helped the Rams win 13 of their first 15 matches as a team.
Strow has been a regular with the varsity since his freshman year, not an easy task at Shawsheen.
When he isn’t throwing opponents around, Strow is just as adept at hitting the books.
Although he spent plenty of time growing up working for his father’s cement business, Strow decided to try internet technology at Shawsheen.
He’s hoping to continue that major, and his passion for wrestling, next year in college.
While doing well in his IT classes, Strow is also experiencing the field first hand outside of school. He works as a remote technician in Lowell at PlumChoice, Inc. through the cooperative education program at Shawsheen.
(NOTE: The above announcement is from the Shawsheen Tech.)
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