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2018 Hall of Fame

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Rebecca Richards Cox '81

Distinguished Alumna

Being a graphic arts specialist is vastly different from being a diagnostic medical sonographer (a trained professional who performs ultrasound tests), but Rebecca Richards Cox made that transition from what she majored in during her years at Minuteman to her present career - bolstered, she says, by the valuable confidence she acquired in high school.

Ms. Richards Cox came to Minuteman from Acton-Boxborough High School. There, she recalls she “felt like a number, not a person.” In contrast, she found the atmosphere at Minuteman entirely welcoming and flexible enough to allow her individuality to emerge. Within six months, Ms. Richards Cox says she was happily and wholly integrated into the Minuteman community.

“Everyone was so incredibly supportive,” she notes. Before long, Ms. Richards Cox began to flourish. Although she says she was not strong academically, success in her technical program “gave me that little push” to start excelling in her academic classes. Not only did she thrive in the classroom, but on the playing fields as well. Ms. Richards Cox participated in field hockey, basketball and softball throughout her four years at Minuteman, becoming captain of all three sports in her senior year. She was also active in VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, now known as SkillsUSA).

After graduating from Minuteman in 1981, Ms. Richards Cox attended Middlesex Community College, earning an associate’s degree in science with a focus on ultrasound technology. Today, she is employed by a hospital and a mobile company and she still remembers Minuteman with immense gratitude and appreciation.

“I am in awe of Minuteman,” Ms. Richards Cox says. “It has done so much for me. It was the best choice I ever made.”

Frank A. Domenichella, III '78

Distinguished Alumna

 It seemed like the fulfillment of Frank Domenichella’s unwritten destiny when he chose to attend Minuteman. Growing up, he lived on Mill Street in Lincoln, essentially in the shadow of the school’s Lexington campus. Mr. Domenichella’s grandparents had owned a restaurant in Lincoln, so it fit with his family background to major in Culinary Arts at Minuteman and pursue medical training years later since his mother was a nurse. Mr. Domenichella would ultimately have a remarkable, globe-trotting career that would bring him to exotic far-flung locations throughout the world and across the United States.

Just three weeks after graduating from Minuteman in 1978, Mr. Domenichella entered the U.S. Air Force. He underwent basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, followed by technical training at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was then assigned to England AFB in Alexandria, Louisiana. After enduring the heat and humidity of the deep South, he longed to get closer to New England. The closest he could get to Massachusetts was Loring AFB in Limestone, Maine. A well-versed medical technician by then, Mr. Domenichella dreamed of earning even more credentials. He was sent back to Sheppard AFB for eight weeks to train to become an Independent Duty Medical Technician. After training he was then assigned to a unit in what was then West Germany.  After living and working there for three years, he rotated back to the U.S., getting assigned to Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB.

After spending seven and a half years on active duty, the future held many unexpected twists and turns for Mr. Domenichella career-wise. He was an EMT for Armstrong Ambulance in Arlington for a couple of years, and he received an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Middlesex Community College. He was a security guard at what would become a Superfund site in W. Concord. He then spent four years working for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as a corrections officer at MCI Concord. All the while he was also in the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Wishing a change of pace, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve, and underwent training to become an aircraft load master for the C5 Galaxy cargo plane. This was a position he held for the next 14 years until his retirement from the Air Force Reserve. He retired as a Master Sergeant with a total of 27 years with the Air Force and 4,500 hours of flying time. He has been a Security Guard and a Court Officer for the Massachusetts Trial Court since that time.

Mr. Domenichella’s professions have taken him to nearly all 50 states and just about every continent except Antarctica. Everywhere that his travels have brought him, he has used something of inestimable value that he learned back home - the impressive work ethic he was taught years before at Minuteman.

James Hayes

Service to Minuteman

James Hayes graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1972 with a degree in physical education/health and history. Three years later, he was hired at Minuteman to teach physical education and oversee the swimming pool by teaching swimming and supervising the staff in that department. He also coached football and basketball.

But it was in the capacity of Dean of Students that Mr. Hayes really left his mark during his eventful and productive 31-year career at Minuteman. The position, which entails enforcing discipline, requires many innate traits that can’t be taught – wisdom, patience, restraint and perspective among them. As the Minuteman community soon found out, Mr. Hayes had all of that and much more, earning him the well-deserved respect of the teachers, parents and students he dealt with throughout his long, distinguished tenure.

No one had held this uniquely challenging post for more than three years prior to Mr. Hayes. Demanding though it was, however, he savored it because he knew he was contributing tremendously to the character development of young people.  As he mentioned, his longevity in the job “helped put things on an even keel” by ensuring that disciplinary rules and regulations were consistently adhered to and that an equal standard of discipline was applied in all classrooms.

Even more importantly, Mr. Hayes insightfully sought to “get students on track” by treating them like adults via sitting them down and calmly talking matters through so they emerged all the better. His approach emphasized the value of thoughtful reasoning, not merely punishment. “This isn’t a discipline issue,” he would often tell himself, “this is a people problem.” He never raised his voice except in cases where safety was an issue. Sometimes, Mr. Hayes recalls, students would gratefully thank him for being so compassionate. To him, they were all good kids who sometimes made bad decisions and needed to be firmly but gently set straight.

More than anything, Mr. Hayes loved seeing students “blossom and find their passion” at Minuteman. “I really enjoyed what I was doing,” he says – and it always showed.

Scott Lambrinos

Scott Lambrinos '85

Distinguished Alumnus

 With his induction into the 2018 Minuteman Hall of Fame, Scott Lambrinos will truly be following a family tradition. His brother and sister both graduated from Minuteman. Their mother, Sandy, worked there for twenty years as an administrative assistant, mainly in the Athletic Department. She also coached field hockey and softball. Her steadfast dedication to the school and its students was recognized in 2012, when she was among the inaugural group of inductees into the Minuteman Hall of Fame.

Mr. Lambrinos majored in Culinary Arts at Minuteman. His career goal at that time was to become a chef or restaurant manager. He worked in the food service industry for approximately ten years, then Mr. Lambrinos changed professions. For the past nine years, he has been a senior collections representative for HarborOne Bank.

Mr. Lambrinos was a standout as a multi-sport athlete at Minuteman. He played basketball for four years 

and attained the level of captain, did cross-country for four years to stay in shape for basketball, and participated in baseball, also for four years. When he says, “I was heavily into sports and was really good at it,” that comment is a modest understatement.

Today, Mr. Lambrinos is married, has two children, and often reflects gratefully on his Minuteman experience.” I met a lot of good people there,” he says. “All the friends I made, they stay with you for most of your life.”

Geraldine McGrann

Geraldine McGrann

Service to Minuteman

Geraldine McGrann has fulfilled many key roles in her personal and professional life with distinction, including registered nurse, teacher and mother. But there is an equally important and influential position she unofficially held that significantly impacted the future of her Minuteman students – role model.

Reflecting on her 25-year career at the school as a Health Assisting teacher from 1978 to 2003, Ms. McGrann mentioned that “it’s the little things” that students retain from their education which ultimately shape their lives, intangible yet meaningful things like the values and work ethic a favorite teacher exemplifies. Those “hidden influences,” as Ms. McGrann termed them, can be powerful, enduring and unforgettable, as they were in her case.

She had earned a BSN from Boston College and an M.Ed in health science from Bridgewater State College, plus she had 15 years’ experience in medical/surgical nursing. Ms. McGrann was thus very well-prepared to teach her students at Minuteman the correct techniques for doing CPR and administering first aid, as well as showing them how to do a host of other procedures they would be expected to perform on patients, along with getting them ready to become certified nursing assistants. 

It’s not an easy career path for high school students, who must quickly adapt to pressure and stress, learn how to deal calmly and efficiently with people who aren’t at their best due to illness, and behave with maturity and sound judgement in demanding, fast-paced healthcare environments such as the Lahey Clinic and Emerson Hospital, where Minuteman’s Health Assisting students do some of their training. Guiding them through all the myriad ups and downs was Ms. Mc Grann, always there as a steadying and encouraging presence. 

She went on to teach in the Nursing Assistant / Home Health Aide program at Cape Cod Community College for 11 years after her retirement from Minuteman. To this day, Ms. McGrann looks back with pride on her students at Minuteman, reveling in the success they have had as nurses, EMTs and x-ray technicians, just to cite a few examples of how far their education has taken them in the healthcare field.

Mark Palaima

Mark Palaima '80

Distinguished Alumnus

Mark Palaima is a self-described Silicon Valley veteran technologist, inventor, entrepreneur and investor who has been practicing and honing his skills in the Valley for the past 27 years. He is a truly an impassioned visionary with a keen eye for the future and a sincere desire to help others ascend in industry and business the way he has. 

You could also say that he is constantly questing. “I don’t sit still,” he acknowledges. Not only does Mr. Palaima think outside the box, but he often reimagines the box and even tosses it aside completely when necessary. Leadership, guts, innovativeness and perseverance are the hallmarks of his approach.

His initial exposure to technology started early, as a pre-teen, when he spent time in his father’s garage taking apart and reassembling all types of machinery. It would seem logical that Mr. Palaima would attend a technical high school, but it was actually pure luck, coupled with a last-minute decision, that landed him at Minuteman rather than his local high school in Arlington.

It was a fortunate choice. Mr. Palaima excelled in the classroom at Minuteman and was also clearly talented at sports. He started at Minuteman majoring in Hydraulics/Pneumatics and ultimately graduated from the Electronics program. He ranked high in the Class of 1980 and was in the National Honor Society. Voted most athletic among the members of his graduating class, he lettered in basketball and tennis, was the school’s first 1000-point scorer and won the tennis league championship as a sophomore. Mr. Palaima was also a Genrad Foundation scholarship recipient.

Mr. Palaima continued his hands-on technology studies at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, graduating with a BSCS and achieving a 4.0 GPA.  During the next five years, he worked in the Boston area for Wentworth and for Wang Labs.  It was at Wang that Mr. Palaima met his most important career mentor and further solidified his appreciation for such roles. He relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991, joining former Wang associates at Sybase Inc., thus beginning his Silicon Valley career.

Mr. Palaima has been a significant influence at both the small and large companies he has worked for in the Bay Area. At eBay, for example, he held the position of Chief Architect and was named an eBay Fellow (the highest individual technical award/position in the company).

Mr. Palaima subsequently launched multiple companies including Flouwen Inc., Alert1st, Inkiru, and Ismintis Systems.  He also held key engineering roles at Objectivity and Avegant.  Across these start-ups, he held various roles such as Founder, Distinguished Software/Systems Engineer and VP of Engineering. He was a founding member and Chief Scientist at Inkiru, which was acquired by Walmart.

Throughout his remarkable career, Mr. Palaima has not forgotten the key role Minuteman played in his professional success. “The Minuteman faculty and staff were amazing and very supportive people,” he notes.  “I never heard the words ‘You can’t do this’ once in four years!  I also loved playing hoop and getting coached by Nick Papas, Jim Hayes and Paul Wysocki. Graduating with a lot of confidence, with new skills and friends, was the best.”

He added, “You will always be surprised about what you like and what you can accomplish if you just get out there, do the work and are surrounded by supportive people.  Minuteman’s technical programs were like mini functioning businesses that served the public. That is a powerful concept to be exposed to early in your life and I never forgot it.”      

William Powers

William Powers '85

Distinguished Alumnus

By just about any standard of measurement, William V. Powers has achieved extraordinary professional success. A 1985 Minuteman graduate and Arlington native who majored in Culinary Arts, he is executive vice president of Swoop, a digital ad company serving the pharma and automotive industries. In addition, Mr. Powers is a Founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which currently operates in over 20 countries around the globe. 

Besides business, another important motif in Mr. Powers’ life has been sports. He attended Cape Cod Community College from 1985-87, where he played basketball and led the New England junior college Division 3 conference in scoring his sophomore year. “Basketball was always important in my life,” he said. “It created a fantastic path for me.” That path led Powers to work for and become friends with Boston Celtics superstar Dave Cowens, eventually start his own basketball school in Wellesley, and coach basketball at Melrose High School for the legendary Nick Papas, who was his high school coach at Minuteman along with Jim Hayes.

Mr. Powers then attended Seton Hall University in New Jersey for a short time in 1988. He eventually finished his studies at Boston University in 1991. By then he was involved in a basketball and sports and entertainment business. By 1997, he worked for Westwood One and American Radio, then, two years later, Mr. Powers was recruited to grow a venture capital start-up,  As senior vice president of sales, Powers used his expertise to help bring in $100 million in revenue, expand the company to 600 employees, and take it public in 2006 before selling it a year later.

Mr. Powers and his wife, Suzanne, live on Cape Cod with their 16-year-old son Lorenzo, whom Mr. Powers affectionately calls “the light of his life.” As he puts it, “We don’t take anything for granted. We just keep it simple.”

Perhaps that unassuming outlook stems, at least in part, from the events of Nov. 22, 2000, when Mr. and Mrs. Powers lost their son, Luke, in childbirth because of what Mr. Powers described as medical errors made at a Boston teaching hospital.  Motivated by that tragedy, he reached out to educate others - including medical professionals at teaching hospitals, conferences, and state hospital associations around the US - in hopes of preventing similar tragic situations in the future. The couple also created the Luke Vincent Powers Foundation (, which assists children in need.

To this day, Mr. Powers appreciates all those at Minuteman and elsewhere who guided him along the way. He still gratefully harkens back to his time in high school and the remarkable teachers, administrators and coaches he knew there. He says, “[My education] gave me the ability to grow, learn to problem-solve, build self-esteem, be organized, get along with people and meet wonderful role models and leaders like Jim Hayes and Nick Papas.”

Mr. Powers’ philosophy in life and in business is succinct: “Be impeccable with your word and work hard. That’s all that matters.”

06 07 Girls Basketball Team

The 2006–2007 Girls’ Basketball Team

“The 2006-2007 girls’ basketball team was extraordinary. They had it all, according to their coach, John Skogstrom – talent, drive, know-how, fierce spirit and solid belief in themselves as individuals and as a cohesive unit. “The intangibles were off the charts with this team,” he recalls. “There was an exceptional feeling of camaraderie. We were one team, not 12 or 13 different players.”

The girls were outstanding on the court, wowing everyone with their ability from the get-go. “Early in the season,” said Mr. Skogstrom, “we found out how good we could be.”  The games they played against the other teams in the Commonwealth League Lower Conference turned out to be decisive wins by margins of at least 25 points, he said.

The girls were clearly primed for more. In their final matchup of the regular season, the team notched a major win over Lynn Tech of the Commonwealth League’s Upper Conference by a score of 52-50. “We actually surprised ourselves continuously, as we bested better and better opponents along the way, culminating with Lynn Tech,” said Mr. Skogstrom. Then it was on to the State Vocational Small Schools Championship. The Minuteman girls claimed victory there as well, by a score of 69-38. 

“They practiced hard, played hard, and worked as a team,” said Mr. Skogstrom, “It really was a special group.”

Team Members: Shaina Digiacomo, Eliza Leahy, Sam Sexer, Jes Williams, Hailey Callahan, Lauren Buckley, Ashley Val, Alice Ofria, Abby Dornbusch, Keneisha Debnam, Swana Debnam, Melinda Daniels and Cynara Rustin.