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May 2021 - Phil McNamara

May 14, 2021
By Phil McNamara

Full Name: Phil McNamara

Former High School: Holy Name Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 1993

Organization: U.S. Department of Transportation      Job Title: Assistant Secretary for Administration

Briefly describe what you do for work:
I was appointed by President Biden to a senior-level role in his Administration at DOT in January 2021. I oversee human resources, acquisition/procurement, security, facilities, and environmental sustainability for DOT, which includes agencies like the FAA, and the Federal Highway Administration.

Who influenced you the most during your time at Holy Name? Why? 
Rev. John F. Madden no doubt. Fr. Madden was the director of campus ministry when I first started at HN in 1989.  He later became headmaster.  To me, he is the epitome of what a Catholic priest should be. He is centered on building a just society that helps the poor and vulnerable. I remember first hearing his homilies while at Holy Name, and I’ve been fortunate to hear him preach many times in the years since. The work he did to inspire young people like myself at Holy Name, and the work he is doing now at St. John’s Church with the soup kitchen and homeless housing, is truly God’s work.

Favorite memory of Holy Name?
Oh, gosh….. looking back on it, I’m still shocked/surprised/horrified that for 4 years I ate lunch out of a vending machine. I had so many great memories from my time on Granite Street, it’s hard to pick just one.  However, I would say the thing that always stands out to me when I think about my days at Holy Name are the enduring friendships I made.  To this day, 28 years after graduating and 23 years of living in Washington, I have friends for life.  We all went through the same 4 years together. A crucial 4 years in terms of personal growth and learning.  We still text and email just like we were back in high school. While I may not be able to see them in person as much as I like, I know that if needed anything they would be there for me. I’m grateful that Facebook and Instagram give me an opportunity to stay connected to them!

Most important thing you learned at Holy Name?
I think one thing HN did well was impart a sense of “service” on to the students. Service on behalf of those less fortunate and marginalized.  Back when I was at HN, it was service opportunities at the Mustard Seed and Camp Sunshine. 

Describe Holy Name in three words?
Community. Loving. Service. 

What activities or sports were you involved in at Holy Name?
Student Council Government, Yearbook, and the National Honor Society.  

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
Consider a career in politics and government service. Public service needs motivated, young people.  Government and politics doesn’t need to be a dirty word.  Government can help people. Get involved. Seek out elected officials that inspire you, volunteer on their campaigns, whether at the local, state, or federal levels. Learn how public policy is made. And even if you don’t get involved in politics, every one of us has an important civic responsibility: VOTE!  Pay attention to elections, learn about the candidates and their policy positions. And VOTE.

What is something people may not know about you?
Ummm….I love to travel. I’m 4 states away from having visited all 50 U.S. states. Still need Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Through this pandemic, I have actually found myself missing airports. When the COVID pandemic is crushed and it’s safe to travel again, I’m excited to get back in an airplane and go places.

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
It’s all going to go by in the blink of an eye, so cherish the moment now. Make those memories. Form those friendships. And if you’re stressed about the calculus exam or that English paper relax.  In 10 years, no, 5 years, no one is ever going to ask you how you did on that trigonometry exam.  Get involved in extracurricular activities. They will teach you as many important life skills as classroom learning.

Anything else you want to share?
I happened to be in Worcester last June for a funeral. I was close to Granite Street, so decided to take a quick drive through the HN campus. I was so surprised as an adult how small the physical footprint of the building felt to me as I drove around. Back when I was in high school and coming into Worcester from Clinton, I just remember being wowed at how large the building and campus were. Obviously, the building didn’t get larger or smaller in the last 28 years. The only thing that changed is my perspective.

Have you stayed connected with your former high school?
I’ve not stayed connected in a traditional sense of being an active alumni or sending children to HN (well I don’t have kids, but you know). But I feel a sense of connection through the lasting friendships with my classmates as well as with Fr. Madden who remains a close family friend. So connection by association is my answer!

 

May 2021 - Edward Burke

May 03, 2021
By Edward Burke

Full Name: Edward Burke 

Former High School: St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic Jr./Sr. High School

Graduation Year: 1980

Organization: Aimbridge Hospitality          Job Title: VP of Rooms and Engineering Operations                   

Briefly describe what you do for work:
Aimbridge Hospitality is the largest third party hotel management company in the world. We manage 34 brands, 1500 hotels with 100 of them in Europe, Russia, England, Scotland and Ireland. The best way to describe my role is if you are in a hotel, and you do not eat it or drink it, it is my responsibility.

Who influenced you the most during your time at St. Peter-Marian?
That is tough, Mr. Paul taught me to think, Sr. Rose Sullivan taught me to act, I use both of those qualities in my job every day

Favorite memory?
The musicals were a blast! Great people and great memories.

What do you value most from your time at St. Peter-Marian?
Maybe it was because our class was the first to go through 4 years at the new SPM, but to this day, at every reunion, we have a blast. It seems our class is closer than most. Therefore, I would say the people I met, the friendships I made.

Most important thing you learned at SPM?
How to have a great time, get decent grades and stay out of trouble…(for the most part)!

Describe St. Peter-Marian in three words?
Fun, Challenging and Fair

How did your education at SPM prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
I went to Fitchburg State to become an English teacher, but dropped the teaching and majored in writing. Teachers like Mrs. Abyssal and Sr. Judith taught me to enjoy literature and writing. I spend a large part of my time at work writing, developing and presenting, using much of what I learned from them.

What activities or sports were you involved in at St. Peter-Marian?
I was a class officer three of four years and in all the shows. I think I was a library aid for a week and was removed…lol…long story.

What is something people may not know about you? 
A simple summer job, down the street from my house doing laundry at the Worcester Marriott on Lincoln Square for $2.85 an hour turned into my life career. 38 years later, I am still with that company, we have gone from seven hotels when I joined to 1500 today. I have lived in Canada and spent 4 months in Egypt managing a resort and condo development on the Mediterranean Sea in 2010.

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Surround yourself with great people, laugh a lot, take your grades seriously but keep a good balance. Don’t worry so much about what people think about you, be yourself.

Are you a legacy child?
In a way…my parents went to Sacred Heart Academy which merged with St Peters in 1971 and then with Marian in 1976!!

Have you stayed connected with your former high school?
As many and as often as possible. We have had reunions just about every 5 years!!

February 2021 - Dwayne McClain

February 24, 2021
By Dwayne McClain

Full Name: Dwayne McClain 

Former High School: Holy Name Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 1981

Organization: McClain's Mergers & Acquisitions LLC          Job Title: CEO                   

Briefly describe what you do for work:
I broker the transactions of businesses that purchase other companies or are looking to sell. I am a former NBL player for the Indiana Pacers (1990 to 1997). I was the most valuable player (MVP) of the 1989 Continental Basketball Association All-Star Game.

Who influenced you the most during your time at Holy Name?
Headmaster, Charles McManus and Boy's Basketball coach Joe Walsh were instrumental in my development as a student athlete and father figure.

Favorite memory?
Graduation Day

What do you value most from your time at Holy Name?
The lifetime relationships I developed and cultivated.

Most important thing you learned at Holy Name?
Be honest and truthful when speaking to others.

Describe Holy Name in three words?
Great Catholic Education!

How did your education at Holy Name prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
My transition to attend Villanova University was seamless because Holy Name prepared me for, not only the rigorous academic load, but more importantly the socialization of surviving in a big time basketball program.

What activities or sports were you involved in at Holy Name?
Other than a member of the boy's basketball, I'm most proud of being a member of the Chess Club.

What is something people may not know about you? 
I have a twin sister and 16 siblings.

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Please learn from the leadership group as they prepare you for the real world. Study hard, pay attention to detail and separate yourself from your peers by having a more committed work ethic. Trust your instincts and learn from your mistakes.

Anything else you want to share?
Put God first and the rest will come.

January 2021 - Erin Stomski

January 22, 2021
By Erin Stomski

Full Name: Erin Stomski

Former High School: Holy Name Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 2008

Job Title: Dance Instructor and Personal Trainer

Briefly describe what you do for work:
During the day I work with clients in group exercise classes and one-on-one personal training, helping them obtain their health needs in a fun, yet knowledgeable way. My main focus is form and mind to muscle connection through both strength and conditioning exercises. At night, I teach all genres of dance to ages 5-18. I’ve been teaching for over 10 years and I see myself teaching for a few more decades! My career has allowed me to travel the US to share my knowledge and creativity with others. Dance has always been my passion and I love kids! Win-win!

Who influenced you the most during your time at Holy Name?
Mr. Burke! He saw the potential in me freshman year and taught me so much, with a lot of patience too.

Favorite memory?
Hands down, Founders Day! The best day of the whole year!

What do you value most from your time at Holy Name?
The discipline of working hard and obeying the rules.

Describe Holy Name in three words?
Academics, Arts, and Athletics

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
Don’t let ANYONE discourage you. Not everyone will understand your passion but you have to keep trying. I was told endless times I couldn’t live off being a dance teacher. If you work hard at your craft, you'll be recognized for your efforts. Also, have more confidence. Fear stopped me from doing a lot of things when I could have had more opportunities to grow and learn.

How did your education at Holy Name prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
College didn’t seem as hard as everyone played it out to be. I was used to balancing the work load given in high school, so I was able to carry that work ethic with me into college. Holy Name was definitely a huge stepping stone for everything I do now. It’s important to pay attention in every class because who knows what career path you’ll follow and/or change along the way.

What activities or sports were you involved in at Holy Name?
Chorus, theatre, band, yearbook, and SADD

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Be kind to everyone! It makes high school a much better experience.

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